Good Wednesday to everyone!

This week Linda came up with the topic for discussion that she saw on another website.  We both feel that it could generate some lively discussions here.  I imagine that many of you have some pretty strong opinions on the following:

We know that infidelity hurts other people. But why?

Why is monogamy so important to us?

What is it about infidelity that hurts so much? Is it the breach of trust, or something else?

What is it about human relationships that we can share friends but not lovers?

As always, please respond to each other in the comments.



Linda & Doug

For more information on rebuilding trust after an affair, check out our e-book “Journey to Trust:  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair” and learn how we were able to regain trust in our relationship.  There are also some great bonuses included where experts share some of their valuable  trust building strategies.  Click here now!



See also  Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair

    63 replies to "Discussion: Infidelity, Trust and Monogamy"

    • Ronald Johnson

      We know that infidelity hurts other people. But why?
      The reason it hurts other people is the fact that all trust is lost in the person doing the cheating. We feel that if the person is able to do this, what else are they capable of doing.

      Why is monogamy so important to us?
      For me monogamy is important, because I want to devote all my heart and energy to one person, but in return I expect the same. I want someone who will love me unconditionally with all my flaws, someone that will help me grown with them as a couple and change what things that can be changed and accept those that cannot be.

      What is it about infidelity that hurts so much? Is it the breach of trust, or something else?
      For me the breach of trust is what hurts the most, that and I feel like a failure. This is my second marriage. My first one ended when my Ex-Wife had 3 or more Physical Afffairs one me. I felt like a failure then, and now with my current wife having an EA, I feel like a failure again.

      What is it about human relationships that we can share friends but not lovers?
      We want our friends to like our spouses and to accept them, but we do not want our friends to desire our spouses and want to have sex with them. When in a dedicated relation we want that person to dedicate themselves soley to us, not to us and someone else at the same time.

    • RecoveringMommy

      We know that infidelity hurts other people. But why?…

      I think it’s mostly a trust issue. Not only does the CS betray the spouse, they also betray their family, their inlaws, and their children. In my situation, my daughter greatly suffered because she lost a friend in all of this and also a women you she loved and admired (the OW.)

      Why is monogamy so important to us?…

      First of all, it’s important because it’s part of our marriage vows. You promise, before God, that this is the only person you will share that aspect of your life with. Your spouse should be your best friend, the person you confide in, your “life coach”, your lover. We all want that one special person that is “ours.”

      What is it about infidelity that hurts so much? Is it the breach of trust, or something else?…

      It is a breach of trust. That person you vowed to love and cherish is good times and bad decided that you were not enough for them (or so we BS think). My H is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet. I never in a million years would imagine he was capable of this. So infidelity is something I personally never really worried about happening. All of a sudden, my H was just like every other guy in my life…a cheater. I no longer felt special. Even now that we’ve reconciled, I still battle the thought that since May 1, 2004, this man would be the last love of my life. But I cannot say the same for my H. I was not the last women in his last. It’s so unfair to a BS that has remained faithful.

      What is it about human relationships that we can share friends but not lovers?…

      Our lover is “ours.” Nobody really wants to share what is theirs. It’s human instinct. It’s knowing that this man/woman is mine for the rest of my life. This is the one situation in which we don’t have to share.

    • E

      For me, broken trust is not the answer to these questions. I believe that I can have trust again in my H one day if the road to recovery we are currently on continues and gains strength. The betrayal from him sharing his life, spare time, personal thoughts, hopes, dreams, and yes his body – with OW – I will never get any of that back. Those are things that were supposed to be reserved for me – only – forever.

    • RecoveringMommy

      E, very well said. I agree completely.

    • Norwegian woman

      Infidelity hurts because we are chemically and biological wired for this. Think about all the chemicals and hormones that are involved when we fall inn love, and how they change after our body is worn out from the “psyko”-state of in-love. Oxytosin is the chemical that our brain sends out to bond you and your partner together. It is the same chemical that a woman produces when she breast feeds a baby and that has a lot to do with bonding with the child.
      From nature, we are made to stay together so that our children has a better chance of growing up and reproduce themselves.
      Love is mostly a product of chemistry in the brain. That doesn`t make it any less worth. Monogamy is a product of chemical coctails and cognitive ability in human beings.
      With friends you don`t produce all these chemicals even though they produce “feel-good” chemicals also. But those chemicals are different from the one you bond with.

    • Candace

      It’s all about trust for me!

    • Saddenned

      What is it about infidelity that hurts so much? Is it the breach of trust, or something else?
      For me the breach of trust was hard. I didn’t have family that I trusted very much growing up, so I depended on my husband for that. Getting that back is a battle that I am facing daily. We are doing better, growing, but we have “crosses to bare”

      What is it about human relationships that we can share friends but not lovers?
      It is how we are made. You are not supposed to share your spouse…that is the one person besides God that you should be able to open up to.

      I have decided to get off of this site as well. It was good for the healing process, but my counselor and I decided that I was beyond this point now. Good luck to all. I recommend to all counseling in conjunction with these resources.

    • roller coaster rider

      Why is monogamy so important to us?

      I know I may get out on a limb with this one, but I personally believe it’s because we have a Creator who designed this special relationship and patterned it after His own relationship with His beloved. The intimacy He gave the man and his wife is to be protected and not shared with any other, and the jealousy that one feels when betrayed by the marriage partner is also the same type of jealousy God has for His beloved. He won’t share that love with another. I will not be one of several women in my husband’s life, nor will I be one of two… If our love is not unique and special, then I just can’t give myself to him as wife. Nor would I expect him to share me with any other.

    • RecoveringMommy

      RCR, I believe you have hit the nail on the head! I agree 100%.

    • Lori

      To me it’s all about expectations. I expect to be put first and I expect to put him first. I expect that he won’t betray, lie and be intimate with others and I expect to do the same. This give and taking, trusting relationship is the backbone, the foundation to being able to grow in love and experience life’s journey together. Some think there’s a chemical reaction we have; but it is certainly an ingrained from childhood expectation that we have going into any relationship. I do not want my partner, lover, husband and best friend sneaking around on my and covering up his inappropriate relationships. He’s covering it up because he knows it’s wrong.
      I have a new life motto – do not do onto others as I would not want done to me! That includes cheating! And yes… texting, sexting, sharing secrets and personal jokes, secret lunches and rendezvous and calling your spouse names are all cheating. There is no room in my life for inappropriate emotional relationships – that is my expectation plain and simple.

      • roller coaster rider

        Lori, I agree 100 % with every single thing you said. Marriage comes with lots of expectations, and unfortunately for us (that is, my spouse and I) most of them have been unspoken but understood nonetheless.
        But it is really interesting, isn’t it, when you think about these discussion questions. I mean, really, WHY do we even care and why don’t we just go out and do the same thing that was done to us? Why does it seem so very contradictory? I guess everyone has to resolve those questions individually but it makes lots of sense to me that it might just well be related to who we are as human beings…

      • just found out

        I Love your new life motto. I think I will borrow that one if you don’t mind. I agree with you 100%. For me now I don’t know when he is telling me the truth, he lied so easily for 8+ months hiding it from me. I’m scared I won’t know again if something is going on. I hate that feeling.

        • Candace

          Know what you mean about not knowing if it is happening again. My husband originally claimed he never really hid anything, says I just did not think to look, sooner. Why do I need to check up on a man I have been with for over 25 years & felt that I could trust & rely that this would not happen. Now that I am very aware of it and ask him questions here & there he does admit that he “hid” that. So now how will I know if it happens again? Back to trust. So many here have stated that it does happen again. Do not think I could stand that. We are working on our marriage and family time. It still hurts so much.

      • melissa

        Absolutely spot on, Lori. Same for me.

    • Geri

      one of the most difficult things for me was the assualt on my reality. What I thought we had, who i thought he was and what i thought we shared. All of that has to be recreated in light of new information. Makes me question myself and my judgement. I dont want my husband to be more loyal to some other women than he is to me. That is exactly what happened when he kept her secret of an EA with him for so many years.

    • roller coaster rider

      I don’t know where I saw it today, but the list ’26 things you must do to heal from your spouse’s infidelity’ was really good, and may be worth running again. There seems to be a theme among the betrayed, and that is a major difficulty in healing, and it could very well have lots to do with the fact that the cheaters don’t want to participate as that post said they must if there is to be healing and restoration. Thanks!

      • Doug

        RCR, That’s a good idea. Perhaps we will do so next week. thanks for the suggestion.

    • lostinlove

      betrayl…it’s the deepest hurt..even if you were not raised to believe in the bible..we all have it embedded in us that marriage is a sacred trust, where no matter whats going on around you..your marriage is a place of comfort and safety…one minute..and before you have a chance to even consider something like this could happen to that safe’s gone.

    • InTrouble

      For the sake of argument, what if fidelity is simply an evolutionary consequence that attempts to guarantee that men know where there DNA is?

      For instance, without “guarding” their women (i.e. monogamy), how do men have any guarantee that their DNA is being passed on? Add to that the evolutionary advantage of “diversifying” one’s opportunities for genetic reproduction, and you have secret infidelity.

      The primitive instinct towards genetic diversification could, of course, apply to women too. In fact, in the animal kingdom, even species considered “monogamous” are known to secretly stray. For instance, when they do genetic testing on bird chicks they often find one or two strays in the nest. Does that female slip out, unnoticed by her male (who is busy defending his territory), and attempt to improve her genetic odds? Probably.

      Is that why the forces behind these affairs are SO incredibly HUGE? Are we dealing with some very primal drives that are encoded in us as surely as our sex drives, our hunger drives, our fear drives?

      Let me make this clear: In NO WAY does this excuse the actions of the cheater. And I certainly do not use this as an excuse for my own infidelity; but it does me wonder about it within a larger context.

    • I'm hurting, too!

      I’ve been reading this site daily for months but this is my first post. I probably won’t be very well received, initially, because I’m the cheating spouse…or I was. My story like everyone else’s is long and personal. Over time, I’m hoping to be able to tell it all in bits and pieces. I’m hoping that the one thing that I might be able to accomplish is to help the betrayed spouses understand that we, the cheating spouses, hurt too! I’m not making excuses for my affair…I never will…but I will try to help you see inside the mind and the heart of the person who strays. At least one mind and one heart…mine!

      I’ll start by saying that I am a 47 year old woman who has been married for 27 years. I was faithful until 4 months ago. We have 5 children ages 23, 21,21,18 and 16. Our only daughter is the oldest, followed by our 4 sons. Our oldest son has Cerebral Palsy and MMR and is confined to a wheelchair, wears diapers and needs assistance in every area of his life. I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 18 years. My husband is a good man. He is honest, faithful, dependable, hard-working, a good provider and an excellent father. On top of that, he loves me very much. Our oldest two children are adopted…they are my biological niece and nephew…yes, the handicapped son. The list of my husband’s positive attributes is long and the sacrifices that he has made for our family are immeasurable. I’m guessing that many of the women who read this site are sincerely questioning my sanity at this point. Maybe I am, too! Or perhaps, I will be able to help some of you understand how depression, loneliness and isolation can cause a person to feel as though they are dead while trapped inside a living body!

      I will continue this post later. I don’t believe that I can possibly tell my story in one simple post.


      • roller coaster rider

        Some of us do realize that an affair can happen to anyone. How is your husband doing at this point?

        • I'm hurting, too!

          RCR, obviously, there are many, many details involved in my story and while I am hesitant to jump to where we are now without going into all of those details, I appreciate your interest and I believe that the purpose of this site is to provide a place where we can all offer our insight, comfort and knowledge to one another without judgement. So, to answer your question, I will tell you that my husband has handled this like he has handled every other crises that we have faced together. With dignity, humility and courage. The night that he confronted me, April 19th, he expressed hurt, disbelief and anger. I didn’t try to deny what I’d done, in fact, I was relieved that the truth was out in the open. I was not comfortable being a liar, a cheater and a deceiver. When you engage in an affair, you have to tell lies. You aren’t just lying to your spouse or significant other…you are lying to your children, your extended family and your friends. For someone who values honesty and has spent a lifetime teaching her children that it is one of the most important character traits that a person can have it is very difficult living this type of lifestyle.

          I told my husband the truth about everything. I think that the most painful part for both of us was that I could easily say that I was sorry that I had hurt him, but I could not say that I was sorry that it happened. You see, I fell in love with the OM. That is where the “hurting” part comes in. I love my husband very, very much! He has been my best friend since we were 17. I really do love him, but I am not “in love” with him anymore. I know that is painful for a betrayed spouse to hear, but I promise you that it is painful and frightening for the cheating spouse to realize and to admit. My husband had known for several years that I was unhappy. Our life hasn’t been easy. We took on a lot of responsibility adopting my niece and nephew. We took care of my parents. In 1996 we sold our home and my parents sold their home and we built a home together. Prior to this, my parents had been raising my niece and nephew. As my parents health began to decline we knew that it was time to make the tough choices and we did. We made the only choice there was…the right one. I know that I am not making any friends here, yet! I’m hoping that as my story continues to unfold that, if nothing else, I can help someone hurt a little less and maybe even hurt a little less, myself. This isn’t simply a story of a housewife who got bored and restless…it goes much deeper than that!

          • Candace

            I don’t get the “in love” vs “love” your H either! Whether you love your H, mother, friend etc. no-one goes about willingly to hurt them. I do understand that love takes on many forms throughout a marriage. Yours was probably in a rut & needed revamped, as most of us here. My CS has never said he doesn’t love me, quite the opposite, but admits that he has problems of his own right now & needs to figure them out. We can only help with so much & the CS must make a decision.

          • Linda

            I know that we can learn much from the cheater and I am not trying to dismiss their feelings, however I will be honest in saying that at times their comments really make me angry. Their issues of dealing with loving two people at the same time, their confusions of what to do, not wanting to hurt their spouses, etc. really strike a chord with me.

            These emotions seem to focus too much on how they are feeling and are not taking into the consideration of how the betrayed spouse may be feeling. I know the cheater feels terrible and guilty that they have created this mess but are they really putting themselves in their spouses shoes. If they did they wouldn’t concern themselves so much with THEIR pain of loving two people at the same time, but what their spouses are going to do when they wake up from this emotional trauma and decide they deserve better.

            When the BS no longer feels devalued by the affair and comes to terms with the fact that they do not want to live with a person who can’t love them the way they deserve. When they are finished trying to compete for the top spot in the cheater’s heart, and conclude they are not going to share them with anyone and they are ready to move on with their lives.

            At that time will all the confusion go away for the cheater? It seems to me that they will have to make a choice at that time, to continue living in the fantasy of the affair or let it go and devote themselves completely to their marriages.

            The cheater has to realize that they can’t live with this apprehension forever, if you truly love the OP then leave, and let your spouse be free to begin a new life. I just hate that all the cards seem to lie in the hands of the cheater, the BS has a choice that they need to express also. They will not settle living with a person who can’t or won’t love them completely. I am sure when they married they didn’t enter the union under the assumption that their spouses couldn’t love them the way they deserved why is it different now. Linda

            • So Sorry

              Linda- I can really appreciate your feelings, however,at least in my case,the power or “all the cards” belonged to my H,the BS. I never fell out of love,or told him that I wasn’t “in love” with him,nor did I truly fall in love with the OM. SO,ultimately the decision to stay and make us work,or pack up leave was his. He could have just as easily said that he couldn’t get past what I’d done and left,rather than take this slow road to recovery. I was lucky that we BOTH realized we still loved and needed one another. I suppose its very different if the CS,doesn’t come back and profess their love,and instead says things like,”I love you,but I’m not in love you”or “why can’t I be in love with two people?” In those cases the BSs have a much more difficult decision,but ultimately they have the power to leave the relationship-or offer ultimatums—Personally,whether I was the CS OR the BS,I wouldn’t want to be someone who didn’t want to be with me. Who didn’t make me number one- so I agree with you,How do you live with someone who can’t make up their mind?? I can see why we CS’s make you angry at times,we seem so selfish, we say these ridiculous things in our confusion,BUT ultimately the POWER belongs to neither the CS ,nor the BS-they both need to want to move forward and fix the marriage,with love and MUTUAL respect,something much harder than just bailing out.

            • Doug

              So Sorry, Every situation is different and honestly I wasn’t directing my comments to you. Initially in our situation I felt that I had no power or choice. As time passed and I was able to learn more about affairs and somewhat distance myself from the situation I realized I had been such a fool and I deserved better. I allowed the affair to measure my value and self worth, with time I realized that I had been a good wife/person and that I will no longer be the passive, agreeable, predictable person I had been in the past. I had to look out for what was best for me. I had to let Doug know my expectations for me and our marriage. I felt that until I was able to do Doug would continue having his cake and eating it too.

              Many cheaters believe just because they have ended the affair that everything is ok and they should move on. Actually this is where the hard work and commitment begin. If the cheater still believes that they are in love with the OP or that they have made a great sacrifice not being with them, they are still not giving their spouses the commitment and love they deserve. Even though they are not physically with the OP, if they are still in the heart and mind no one is able to heal and move on. I really do appreciate your insights and honesty. LInda

            • karen

              Linda – I second your comments and add: IHT – you preface your comments by stating that you expect to be unpopular on this site, and I hope you won’t interpret my comments on your posts as unkind as I mean no unkindness. But if you were my friend, I’d share some blunt realities with you, in addition to what Linda has posted. Your posts exhibit extreme selfishness and complete disregard for your spouse. Your H is probably pretty passive, and you feel you can do pretty much anything you want in your marriage with little or no consequence and probably have throughout your marriage. Any reason you give in your upcoming posts for your affair will in no way mitigate the fact that the affair is completely your fault (emphasis added). All of us BS’s, including your H, bear equal responsiblity for not keeping our marriages safe from infidelity, but the infidelity itself is all on you. That should give you great pause to evaluate your character as something is very lacking in it. You sound like you have a very kind and compassionate heart, so I know you can fix yourself. I only hope you take the steps quickly as your H may not continue to respond to your failure to stop your affair in line with his prior passive behavior in the marriage. Not to mention you owe it to him to get out if you cannot give up your OM as your H deserves someone completely devoted to him. Instead of sharing with us your story and justification for loving two men (which is entirely possible), you should start researching all the suggested info on this site and start doing the necessary things to begin to reinvent your marriage as the old marriage is now over. Hopefully your H will wait around for you to get out of the dense fog you’re in. If he’s seeking encouragement and emotional support elsewhere to deal with your betrayal, don’t count on his usual understanding and supportive behavior toward your selfish action. He deserves better than your present behavior. I wish you and your H the best.

            • Roller coaster rider

              Thanks for saying these things, Linda. I too agree that there is too much weight given to the feelings of the CS and the choice has to be made.

            • Paddy

              Excellent points Linda. I am right there now with my wife saying she is in love with two people. Her main turmoil seems to be how she can make this work in a way that everybody is happy, and that she doesn’t have to give anything up. She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s already given up plenty, like my trust.

              I agree in a sense with So Sorry that I do hold the cards, but I want to play them wisely. Sure I could leave or make demands (and I feel strong enough to do that now) but my ideal outcome is still that she realizes her mistake on her own and chooses the marriage.

      • So Sorry

        Hi-Hurting—-I am also the cheating spouse,a 44 yr old woman,who also has a “story”- just like everyone else on this site. You will be received just fine,because most of us understand that it usually takes two to create an affair- While only one spouse might have actually cheated,often its the situation at home,or the “DITCH” as Melvin likes to call it,that causes us to go out searching. I do understand your isolation and depression-while My situation isnt exactly the same- I am a stay at home mom, and my H is wonderful man. After I fell in Feb of 2010,my injuries didnt permit me to go back to work. I take care of my father,who has Altzeimers,he lives w/us and requires daily washing,feeding,changing,he is like a 77 yr old toddler. Add the isolation of no job,having very few friends,the depression from my head injury,and I completely understand how you can feel so devoid of happiness,excitement. At the same time my H was going thru something too- turns out he had a thyroid issue that was making him,angry,irritable,in pain,-and he was drinking to cover up the symptoms—–normally my H is wonderful,patient,[he helps take care of my father] hes a great dad,hard worker,[we laugh because generally he’s the “nice one” in our relationship-lol]–So we had a very tumultuous homelife for a span,and instead of dealing w/our issues-I re-connected w/someone from my past trying to find a little slice of happiness,a little relief from my days of depression and pain—-I can really understand what you are going thru- and why you strayed- the important thing is whether you want to make things right at home- and if you and your H can see past the affair to move forward— I wish you luck—

    • RecoveringMommy

      Hurting…I look forward to reading your story. I’m sure it will sound similar to my husband’s. However, hearing it from another person may make it somewhat more “believable.”

      • I'm hurting, too!

        RM, my story is still unfolding as I write this. I don’t know how it will end. I know that everyone contributing to this site has been hurt by the betrayal of infidelity. I’m going to be as honest as I know how to be because, truthfully, I’m figuring this out as I go and I need all of the help, insight and wisdom that I can get. I’m hoping that something I might say will help a betrayed spouse understand the mind of a cheating spouse and possibly help them heal. And, I’m hoping that someone who is further along in the healing process can help me gain insight into making the necessary choices that I have to make. I pray that whatever I do that it is what is best for everyone. I really do want the hurting to stop. I love my husband, my children, AND the OM. Both of these men are hurting now. The AP isn’t always some horrible, evil, selfish, monster who doesn’t care about the consequences to your family. They, very often, might simply be flawed human beings who are hurting and vulnerable, too!

        Thank you for being interested in my story. I hope that, in some way, it can help both of us…the betrayed and the cheating spouses.


    • Battleborn


      I believe that if any one of us who are the BS doesn’t read and learn from you they are not ready to understand the vicious circle that results in the affair. This only my second blog and you have some of the same “problems” although I am the BS.

      My husband and I have four grown children and we adopted one of our granddaughters. We have had her since birth… long story but she is the delight of our lives. To put this into perspective, all the grown kids are his step-children which he has raised since childhood. This sounds bad but our six year old is his “only daughter” to speak of. So when my husband had his affair, I of course was devastated, but worse I could not understand why he had done that to our daughter.

      He is as you say the most wonderful man I have been with (been married 3 times – first one beat me, the second one passed away) and I would never have thought he would have been so ignorant as to put himself, me and our daughter in jeopardy. What an idiot! But it has happened, it is over between them and we are making strides at a reconciliation.

      My question to you (and any other spouse) what do you mean by “I love him but I am not in love with him”? That doesn’t make sense to me. If you love someone, regardless of the degree of that love, an affair should never happen. In my opinion what the BS believes is love with the OP, is really “in lust” only they call it love. Is this possible?

      Lastly. If for no other reason, I would be grateful for your insight. Not because you are the OW, but to start understanding what or why someone feels the pull to the dark side. Thank you for being brave enough to write.

      • So Sorry

        Dear BB- although I too, am the spouse who had the affair- I completely agree w/a few of your comments,and understand your situation—-First-I don’t really understand the “I love you but I’m not in love with you” either– I never fell out of love w/my H-wasn’t searching for love from another man-but rather,searching for a little slice of happiness in a marriage that was in a really bad place at THAT time. I know that sounds really selfish,but just like everyone’s story,there are always sooo many issues that go into the whys…… In reading “Im Hurting’s” story- I think that the fact that she and her spouse have been together for almost 30 years,and all the other extenuating circumstances,it sounds like despite how wonderful her H is,they weren’t able to devote the time necessary to keep close,to keep the “fires burning” ,so to speak. Anyone in a long term relationship,knows how MUCH WORK it is to keep the relationship fresh,to maintain spontaneity,to GROW TOGETHER instead of apart,especially with the pressures of child rearing,or financial strain,or taking care of special needs children/parents,or frankly ALL those stressors of everyday life. If we don’t stay on top of our relationships, you get that typical “the kids are grown and now I don’t who my spouse is anymore”—So, I think “I’m not IN love anymore” might just be the result of two people who have been busy being parents,or caregivers,or moneymakers, who suddenly wake up and realize that they don’t have that same relationship with their spouse that they did before all those stressors,and years of life gone by—We need to spend a little time everyday,keeping the relationship in check if we want it to last.[we take our cars for service,but too often leave our relationships unchecked]……..and BB,I would suspect your spouse never meant to hurt either you OR your daughter. While I can’t speak for every cheating spouse,I can tell you that I don’t think most cheaters really think about the consequences.They/we are so busy feeling sorry for ourselves,being depressed,or lonely, or what ever made us go out and seek the comfort of another,rather than deal with what was happening at home, that we honestly don’t think to ourselves[at least in the moment,hindsight is always 20/20] that we are hurting someone else. We feel justified in seeking out the emotional comfort and connection w/the OM or OW,AT THAT TIME,because,more often then not,I think we deep down blame our spouses for part of the unhappiness we feel,whether we say it “out loud” or not. Its after,when we realize that “the grass ain’t greener over there”-and that we were always in love w/our spouse,just too proud or stupid or embarassed,or whatever to fix what what was broken at home.That we realize how much we hurt the other people in our lives.. That’s why I’m so sorry……………..

        • Roller coaster rider

          SS, my CS told me “I knew what I was doing would hurt you, but I did it anyway.” He was truly in a fog, and well…I think it’s lifting, but then we don’t always know for sure, do we? One thing I do know is that I won’t live with a cheater.

          • So Sorry

            Hi RCR- Even as the CS,I completely agree that noone should have to live with a cheater. After D- although I selfishly and ridiculously thought I could still be friends w/the OM[he was an old friend from high school,],I quickly realized how stupid that was,and wanted to commit 100% to making my marriage work. I never expected my H “to just get over it”,and really had no expectations as far as how long our healing would take. I also have spent alot of time and discussion telling my H that I love him,and reassuring him of “his value”[ Linda mentioned feeling so un -valued/not realizing her worth/feeling the affair was somehow due to a shortcoming of hers. ] BUT, I would never have expected him to wait around while I try to figure out who I really want to be with,or whether I was in love w/the OM- It’s up to each and every BS to decide where their line,and how far /or how long they are willing to go- Everyone’s situation is so different.,but I am here for the same reasons as everyone else on this site. To gain insight and strength from others in the same situation. AND,while I agree it is the CS’s fault for the affair,pretty much no matter what,we all have very different circumstances in our marriages. AS Karen said ,she feels the CS is responsible for the affair,and the BS is responsible for allowing the marriage to be vulnerable to an affair. A very good point,but remember what may make the marriage open for an affair can be of very varying degrees.WE had alot of extreme issues that were poisoning our union,including alcohol,gambling,nearly physical fights,health issues.and others. So -while alot of BS’s can say that they were a great spouse,or don’t understand why or how a spouse could have wandered,my H understands that he played a pretty big part in driving me away. This in NO WAY condones my actions-but it has made it easier for us to heal and start moving forward. If I had simply started sleeping with an old friend while my marriage was happy and healthy,that’s a whole other can of worms- and an issue that I know some BS’s are dealing with. I don’t want to anger or insult anyone–I am simply here to talk,get support,and heal like everyone else.

            • karen

              So Sorry – just to clarify, the BS and the CS are both responsible for allowing their marriage to be vulnerable to an affair and the CS is alone responsible for the affair itself. I have yet to hear after a year from D-day of a situation within a marriage that justified an affair. None, zip, nada. So glad you are moving forward and doing the right things. You are definitely out of the fog. I hope IHT can get to that point also,and I hope this site helps.

            • battleborn

              SS, i also agree that we as BS need to examine our contribution to the loss of intimacy within our marriages/unions. I also agree that the CS had a choice to either have the affair or not. It is always their choice and as we read here, the choice was not a good one.

              It is unfortunate that most, if not all, BS do not realize there was a problem until they find out about the affair. That is, what I believe, is the crux of the problem. If I had known that he and I were “being lazy” within our marriage, perhaps he wouldn’t have sought other companionship. That in turn drives the BS to think she/he is the cause of the affair.

            • roller coaster rider

              Well, I knew my marriage wasn’t strong. It never has been. We have had one thing after another. Starting long before we married. The irony is, when DH (thanks, Melvin!) started his affair, I was under the impression that things were better and I was closer to him than ever…

    • Roller coaster rider

      I do understand what you’re saying and for lack of time just want to make a couple of recommendations…which may shed some light for you on what has happened and why. I have read what seems like mountains of materials in the past three months since our D-day and for me the best have been an old book written in the early 90s but still available, “Broken Promises” by Dr. Henry Virkler, and “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair:A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful” by Linda J. MacDonald. I wish you well on your journey.

    • Melvin

      I also recommend the short, concise manual for CS’s “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful” by Linda J. MacDonald.

    • DazedandConfused

      I wish my H would have read “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” – instead he made a lot of the mistakes noted in the book. I’m going to ask him to read it now and see how he reacts to it. I think his reaction to the book will tell me a lot about how sincerely remorseful he is about his affair. Not sure what I will do if he doesn’t take the ideas in the book to heart. It would definitely set our progress back significantly. I’m a person who is uncomfortable feeling or expressing anger (ACOA). But reading that book brought up a lot of anger in me! I did not deserve his affair or a lot of his behavior after D-day, and I’m going to start standing up for myself more.

      • roller coaster rider

        Dazed (somehow I can’t call you D & C),
        It is quite a trick, isn’t it, that a CS can somehow turn the responsibility for lying and deception and stabbing you in the back around to where it’s somehow your fault? Don’t fall for it! Getting mad about it is the only sane thing to do. You don’t have to stay angry forever or at least you don’t always have to feel the intense rage that accompanies first finding out, but think of what you’d feel if someone did this to your child? Why should we not be angry at having had it done to us?

        Working on the marriage is a step that comes, but I think there are many other steps necessary to get there. There has to be acknowledgment and responsibility taken for the actions that the cheater has committed against you.

    • Ouch

      I feel that the trust and betrayal of the CS are the biggest things that hurt. Because he gave up without giving notice. He did not see any value in trying to work out the issues that were eroding the relationship. He started something else before he finished what the current relationship was. Marriage has vows. The OW and the CS knew what they were doing and hurting the people that were involved with consent. They day I found out I was physically ill. I never saw it coming and still feel like it is a bad dream. I so want to wake up from it. I want to work through the issues and keep our marriage together. But I am not sure that he does. I am so tired, I hurt some much. I feel like it will never heal. Bless you all that are trying.

      • Paula

        Ouch, I agree wholeheartedly. I refused to marry my other half, even though he asked me several times in the first few years we were together. We’ve lived together for 23 years and we chose to be together, but I had asked him to always be honest with me, and himself. My thoughts were that it is very difficult to be monogamous, we’re designed poorly, and many cheat. I have only ever been with him sexually, and I’ve never wanted anyone else. I just completely trusted that if he was so unhappy that he was tempted to cheat, that we would talk, work through it, and separate if needed, or fix whatever was wrong. He opted out without me having a clue!!! I didn’t know there was a problem, she was my friend, and I just foolishly trusted that they had my morals, and our friendship would stand for something. The first time he decided to sleep with her, he could have talked to me, I think we could have overcome it, but instead, he lied, and lied and lied, even when I asked him questions about being alone with her – she was an ex, after all – using the line, “the children were there” like I was some kind of pervert! Actually, the children being there did not prevent him from climbing into her bed. He didn’t sleep with her again for another 5 months, and I caught them out then, too, but he explained it away, and I believed him, again…..

        He gave up without giving notice, I kept trying, but he wouldn’t even let me see there was a problem, I sensed it, and asked him to talk to me, to share what he was thinking and feeling, and occasionally would tell him that he must think I was stupid as his friendship (with OW) was a little too close, and he would hug me, and kiss me deeply and tell me it was okay, I wasn’t stupid, I just trusted him, and I’m still angry about that, mostly because I believed him so easily. The aspect of it all that no-one else understands, is that we now have this forever, yes, we’re better, but we were pretty great before, and I felt loved and secure. I feel loved again, but I don’t think I’ll ever feel that security again, and it feels like I’ve been violated and no-one cares – bloody midife crisis! I can’t talk to anybody about this anymore, it got old fast! My family don’t know, my friends that do have kind of walked away, and I understand that, they don’t understand what this feels like, so I haven’t mentioned a word of any of it to even my best mate for over 6 months, because they all just say, leave if you’re unhappy. They don’t get it, and why should they? That’s why I started posting on this blog – it became my bucket, to get rid of the poison that festers when you don’t purge from time to time! Sorry, been a long day, and even after two years, I have the odd one where I just need to vent a little! All is good, just never the same again, wish I knew we had “problems” – I didn’t, and we didn’t, he just got lazy and a little bit lonely.

      • So Sorry

        Dear Ouch and RCR and all, I am going to write something that might not be real popular,but I think it’s important after continuing to read the posts of some of the BS’s…. We,the CS’s are people too,flawed,capable of poor judgement,making mistakes. We made a HUGE mistake by going outside our unions when things weren’t 100% at home.And while EVERY situation is different,I’d say most of us don’t really think before we leap.We don’t say to ourselves,gosh I can’t wait to hurt those I love,or break those vows we meant so earnestly at one time. And while I agree it should/could take a loooong time to restore the trust in the marriage if you are choosing to stay together[like myself and my H]–BOTH parthers need to be recommitted. So,when the CS can’t stop seeing the OW/OM,or says things like “I love you,but I’m not in love with you” or De-values the BS in any way,this ISN”T moving forward..BUT the same goes for the BS-if the CS is 100% committed,and the BS continues to place blame,or can’t see that they have even a tiny part in why their DH/DW strayed, or just can’t see past the betrayal to let go and forgive- that isn’t moving forward either……. It’s unfortunate, but it takes the committment of BOTH parties to really forge ahead and get the marriage back to a good place. I can see why the BS wouldn’t feel that should have to sacrifice as much,after all” it isn’t your fault”,but if you constantly berate the CS,and place blame, the marriage is doomed.However,on the flip side,NO BS should have to put up w/blame and derision from the CS either——-I know this sounds hard,but my H and I have moved forward so quickly because we don’t sling insults and blame. I have respected his feelings,allowed him time to be angry,hurt,accepted that I made a terrible mistake,but want to move forward,,and in return he doesn’t try to make me feel bad everyday about what I’ve done. THIS is the only way relationships can move forward—-with both the CS and the BS working together. Sorry to the BS’s-but if you constantly berate your CS-is it a wonder they can’t recommit,or retreat back to “fantasy land” with their OM/OW ? On the opposite side,to CS’s –setting boundaries or limits is NOT berating-expect your DH or DW to set some new ground rules,you deserve it-you screwed up–

        • battleborn

          SS, I may not like that you are the OW, but what you have said is so true. It is so self-defeating for the BS to continually berate not only themselves but the CS, too.

          I am not a therapist, but I have come to realize that if one is to reconnect and recommit to their marriage, the BS must make the decision to bring the berating to a halt and being to work together rebuilding.

          I realize that everyone has a different situation and that everything is not as easily said and done, but honestly, those who want to rebuild will admit that after the anger, after the hurt and after the disgust, the time will come that acknowledgement of the affair will be at hand and the reconnect can begin. There will be times that the anger and hurt will rear it’s ugly head, but there will be times when the reconnect will be working. It just takes time.

          In my case and once I grew a backbone, it was time to tell my CS how things were going to work – on my terms. No wavering, no excuses. He had a choice, accept that WE were going to make our marriage work OR walk. I never felt so exhilarated and free. I had made my decision and I had made my stance.

          So I guess what I saying to everyone is that there are several “steps” to rebuilding. One of which is listening. SS is telling her side of the story and she make several good points. Whether we like it or not, she did something horrible and it is hard to accept her into our fold (BS), it is good to hear from the other perspective (OW) – she may just help us fnd our way back to the happy relationship we are all searching for.

          • So Sorry

            dear bb- I am actually the CS,but the “on the other side”just the same—and I am here for advice and healing- and frankly, to understand what my H is going thru so I can be sympathetic,and help us move forward. The reason I posted what I did is because I really do believe that BOTH parties must be committed 100% to making a marriage work after an affair,or it won’t work. Both BSs and CSs need to see past the hurt,in order to make positive strides. My H has his moments,and he deserves to give me some grief-if I were in his shoes I’d feel hurt and angry too–But an affair is no different than any other loss,we must go thru those 7 steps,starting with anger and denial,and ultimately leading to acceptance or we can never really heal—–And for all of you BS’s setting ground rules,sticking up yourselves,and ultimately realizing that staying or leaving is a decision that ONLY YOU can make. These things lead to acceptance and healing……..

            • battleborn

              SS, Sorry that I got you mixed up, but as you say, it really doesn’t matter which side your on, everyone feels the hurt. You are still a valuable source of information because you can offer insight from a different perspective. Maybe I am a little different than others, but I find some solace in knowing your side. Does that make sense?

          • So Sorry

            Dear BB-and others- That’s why I am here- First and foremost,because my H and I need to heal-and although things seem really good-I like hearing your stories about triggers,and trust,so I can try to understand what my H is going thru. This way I understand when he’s having a bad day,or checking up on me,[he found out about my affair because of emails I hadn’t properly deleted-so he’s often on the computer doing a little “history search”-I have never reconnected w/the OM,but I understand his need to keep checking] Listening to all the BS’s helps me to be more sympathetic to HIS needs in all this. ON THE FLIP SIDE,if talking about my role as the CS helps even one person to feel less hurt,less responsible,less unappreciated-it’s worth it–Like everyone has said,all situations are very different,all marriages.But I really think that alot of affairs occur because the CS is too stubborn,too scared.or too stupid,to fix what is ailing at home,and we “take the easy way out”—-At least it seems that way when we are in our selfish fog.— My H is also learning to set boundaries,limits,and its the best thing that could happen for us…I am here because YOU CAN make it thru after an affair–BUT it takes hard work and Committment!!!! I wish everyone so much luck,and I think this site is great…………

        • karen

          So Sorry – that was a great post!!! Agree 100%. Thank you for posting here – I am so admiring of your taking responsibility for what you did and for sharing with us BS’s your insight from the OP perspective.

    • roller coaster rider

      Ouch, probably lots of CSs fall into the category of “giving up without giving notice” and don’t feel it’s valuable to try to work out the issues. But I do think sometimes even the betrayed can give up and not feel there is any use anymore in trying to work out the issues. I know I did. I sure am sorry for how you feel right now. I know that tired, sick feeling, that heart racing feeling, that punched-in-the-stomach wish I could barf but I can’t feeling, that really wish I could die because it hurts too much feeling. And yes, even the “I wish I could do or say something or anything that would give you even five minutes of this pain” feeling. But is isn’t always like this. Thank God.

    • bittersweet

      I found out 6 weeks ago about my H’s EA. I can relate to so many of the comments here. If anyone has insight to my questions I would greatly appreciate your comments.

      The OW’s husband does not know about the affair. It leaves me feeling my H and I are going through the recovery turmoil while the OW and her family are living every day as ususal. Makes me angry to the point that I want to tell her husband so they can experience the pain as well.

      How do I get beyond the ‘wanting to get even’ and ‘it’s not fair’ type thinking?

      • ppl

        of course its not fair. would not contact. your issue is only with your spouse. you cannot try to punnish anyone who your spouse hits on. even if they initiated your spouse said yes. once you contact other, you hurt their spouse, presumably innocent as well. you also loose leverage. once out in open the other person could be free to pursue your spouse more aggressively. i did talk to man my wife was involved with telling him he was not welcome in our home anymore. i am sure he knows why i said that and it let him know that i knew and could tell his spouse (without threatening it overtly)….providing me with leverage and him with incentive to stay away.

        • bittersweet

          I appreciate your insight. Need to keep in mind my issue is only with my spouse. Thank you. Common sense tells me I would hurt my family as well as hers if I were to talk to her husband. Listened to Linda’s recording about confronting the OW. Her positive comments helped as well. Need to keep my integrity in check and not make the OW the focus any longer.

      • Rachel

        The OW’s husband (now ex as she was in the middle of a divorce, I am a year out from my original D-day and they had an 8 month EA/PA) doesn’t know and never will. I felt the same way, still do. My husband and I are riding this recovery ride and its bumpy, while she is off living the life unaffected, hanging out with my friends who don’t know just the kind of person she really is.

        All I can tell you is that getting even and wanting to hurt her the way she hurt you won’t make you feel better. Her family didn’t do this, your husband and the OW did. I know as a BS I wouldn’t wish this on my family any day so would never purposefully make another’s family suffer.

        Its not fair, it’ll never be fair no matter what actions you may take. Concentrate on healing and on loving yourself and slowly but surely those thoughts become less frequent and you’ll start looking forward more than you look back. (I’m still looking back daily but I don’t dwell as much and I redirect myself much more effectively now.)

        • bittersweet

          Rachel, you’re absolutely right. It’s not fair and never will be no matter what. I couldn’t purposely put her family through this. She can handle herself and her marriage however she chooses. My focus is me and my marriage, right? Looking forward. Re-building self-esteem and confidence. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • diane

      My H works with the OW he had an EA with. He could move to another office, but tells me I am making a big deal out of nothing, and they are just friends, the way they used to be before he started texting her, professing his love for her. He said he doesn’t want to lose her as a friend, and I feel like I can’t move on or trust him until he separates himself completely from her. I feel like it would hurt them both to break up this friendship, and I’m hurt, so I want them to hurt too. Am I wrong?

      • So Sorry

        diane-no you definitely aren’t wrong- and this is coming from the mouth of a CS. I had my affair w/a “friend”[very old friend from high school] turned to an EA then to a PA, after d-day-since I had already stopped any physical part of the affair-I mistakenly thought I could remain friends with the OM–He was “my best friend”-I had known him many years,I knew I could be with him and not ever have sex again-blah blah blah…….POINT IS -it was all about RESPECTING my H enough to want to stay away from the OM. How could I keep meeting my best friend for lunch knowing that my H would worry,would be upset,would be constantly reminded of what had gone on… So,I completely understand it when your H says that he doesn’t want to lose her as a friend,but frankly if he wants to make your marriage work,too bad is right. He crossed the line of friendship and there’s NO GOING BACK. Unfortunately,its a work situation,and I don’t know if he can get a transfer,or find another job-things are very tough out there..either way,he should respect and value you enough to make you his priority. Good Luck

    • bittersweet

      My H met the OW in a social setting. Weekly hang-out with the guys after golf turned in to friends of friends joining in.

      My H stressed to me so many times “we were friends, it just turned in to something more”. He also doesn’t see any reason why they can’t go back to being “just friends”.

      He’s not been to the hang-out for 6 weeks now.
      He misses “the group” and thinks he should be able to go just to socialize with the guys. Sorry about him missing “the guys”, but this is a consequence of the choice he made when he crossed the “friendship” line with the OW.

      I think he needs to cut off all contact with her, period. I pray, as time goes on and we continue to re-build our marriage, that his view of her and their relationship will become less important and he’ll see it for what it was. A symptom of our troubled marriage.

      As with your H, I feel the “friendship” needs to end completely, as well, in order for you both to move on. You have every right to make a “big deal” out of what he considers “nothing”. Yes, it will be painful for him. Too bad. What’s more important right now…repairing your marriage, or maintaining the emotional fantasy? I don’t believe he can do both.

      There is no easy way out. It’s hard work and takes total commitment from both of you.

    • diane

      Thank you

    • InTrouble

      Anyone who claims they can continue being “just friends” with the object of their affair is lying. They are simply and undoubtedly looking to prolong the affair.

      You can insist on no contact (and you should), but understand that the true motivation to end the affair (or prevent another one) MUST come from the CS.

      People have a tendency to do what they want…not what someone else is insisting on. Unfortunately, you may not trust your spouse (and you probably shouldn’t), but you have no choice but to trust that they are internally committed to ending the affair if they want to continue your marriage.

      Believe me, I know.

    • Alycon

      OMG, how to answer this? D-day for me was last August when my husband came home and told me that a female colleague had given him a DVD of her filiming a ghost documentary. Prior to this she had asked him if he was married / had children. I knew straight away that something was going on – as everyone on this blog can testify to! We just know, don’t we?

      For me it’s not just the lies, the betrayal, the blatant disrespect for our marital boundaries and me on my husband’s and her part, it’s also the loss of ‘innocence’; yes, our marriage has always been troubled and rocky, but ‘live’ women up to that point hadn’t been thrown into the mix like an unexploded bomb. What really hurts is that I had tried to get my husband to sit down and discuss our problems / differences like two mature loving adults for years before this happened yet he blamed me and said he was punishing me ‘for 16 years of hell’.

      I don’t feel sorry for her, I feel no pity, I despise her for blatantly trampling all over MY personal and marital boundaries. She must have known at some level that she would be creating turmoil in my marriage and to me. People always say don’t focus on her/him, focus on what your partner did as he didn’t have to behave the way he did, but these men/women don’t have to reciprocate, do they?

      I’m afraid that my stance on this behaviour is uncompromising as far as both parties are concerned. The ‘affair partner’ is to blame too, they allow their selfish needs and desires to flirt / have sex with someone else’s spouse to overide respect and decency for other people’s boundaries ie the wronged spouse.

      Anyone with any integrity and respect for other people’s boundaries who is on the receiving end of a married person’s advances would tell that person to focus their emotional and sexual energy on their spouse. I’ve done so myself god knows how many times. When I was in my twenties married men hit on me all the time and were immediately rebuffed. I even threatened to call their partners if they were stupid enough to give me their phone numbers. Believe me, word soon got round and married men kept away from me.

      As for how I’m coping now? Not very well, I’m afraid. My husband has behaved innapropriately with at least three young women in their late teens / early twenties since his EA and not fifteen minutes ago asked me if I still felt hurt about what has happened. Of course he knows how I feel but what’s really making me seethe is that he keeps saying ‘oh don’t be jealous’ in a ‘baby voice’. I’d actually appreciate some input from Doug as to how I can handle this because my respect and trust for my husband diminishes all the more when he’s like this.

      The fact is I don’t think I’ve actually moved on any further than the day I realised what my husband was doing.

      Please can I have some advice from you, Doug? I don’t want my marriage to go down in flames but I don’t want to live like this either.

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