the impact of an affairThere is no question that the impact of an affair is far reaching and devastating.  All of the parties involved in infidelity suffer from long-lasting effects after the affair.  These effects are not just felt solely by the betrayed spouse but also by the cheater, the affair partner and the families of each.

Each party may be impacted differently and with varying degrees, but one thing is for sure and that is the effects are profound and long-lasting.

The impact can be emotional, physical and/or financial and can affect those individually and as a family unit – especially if divorce is involved.

Grief, trauma, guilt, shame, weight loss, depression and the shattering of trust are but a few of infidelity’s effects.

Being cheated on by the very person you love and trust is incredibly painful and it can greatly impact how you interact within your other relationships.  The idea of being cheated on again makes it very difficult to trust again in many facets of life causing some to avoid relationships totally based on the possibility that they may get hurt again.  These effects can be a part of you for years to come.

Additionally, children and other family members who are impacted by infidelity may carry the wounds into other relationships as adults believing that infidelity is just a part of the growing experience or part of any relationship.

Cheaters as well are impacted in a variety of ways, as they have to live with the consequences of their actions and must face the questions of character that caused them to do what they did.

See also  Discussion – Acting Crazy After the Affair

This week’s discussion will center on the impact of infidelity on you – whether you are the betrayed spouse, the cheating spouse, family member or the affair partner…

What is the single biggest impact that the affair has had on you?

How have you managed to cope with the effects of this impact?

How has the affair impacted your family?

Feel free to share your experiences and  be sure to respond to each other in the comment section below.


Linda & Doug


    44 replies to "Discussion – The Impact of an Affair"

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      Grief, trauma, guilt, shame, weight loss, depression and the shattering of trust are but a few of infidelity’s effects.

      Being cheated on by the very person you love and trust is incredibly painful and it can greatly impact how you interact within your other relationships. The idea of being cheated on again makes it very difficult to trust again in many facets of life causing some to avoid relationships totally based on the possibility that they may get hurt again.

      I have felt all of the above. But perhaps the greatest impact of my former H’s affairs has been to help me see myself for who I really am. We were together so long and the dynamic of ‘us’ was so much a part of the majority of my life that I lost perspective and much of my identity was wrapped up in my marriage. Now I know who I am (at least much more than I did). I am able to consider my decisions and do what is best for me.

      I thought I would die from the pain. But I didn’t. And now, I know that moving forward is the best, most hopeful place I’ve ever been in.

    • CBb

      The impact is devastating. That is the only word to describe it.

      My family was shocked! Never ever expected it from my CH. He was considered a great guy.

      I no longer hold him in the same regard even though I do love him and we are together and recovering.

      Cheating was always a deal breaker, but now I think differently. We have children who must be considered. However I am on the fence as to whether I can stay with him after his two attempts to end our marriage. Some days I am good, other days I am not sure if I have the ability to live with a cheater.

      He is trying so hard to turn this around and I acknowledge everything he s doing.

      The BUT is that he wrote in numerous emails that he wanted to divorce me. And he wrote some mean things to the OW about me, such as “she (meaning me) thinks if we separate I will get you (the OW) out of my system”. I never said that.

      In fact the most courageous thing I did was tell him he could leave me and be with her. I never stopped him. I stood up to him a number of times on this issue. When he went back to her the second time he was telling me how great I was, how much he loved me, how great our marriage was and lied to me the entire time because he was with her.

      So now I have to live with a compulsive liar (this was just realized by me). And a cheater. He had an EA 20 years ago with another girl. This was before we all knew what an EA was. I confronted him and he lied. Nothing going on with her was all I heard.

      However he admitted to the OW there was something going on and I suspected it and confronted him. And he lied to me.

      So can someone tell me what I should do now? Continue living with a liar and cheater even though he is trying his hardest to make amends? I do not have to worry about trust issues b/c I have so little confidence in him. So he can go and do whatever b/c I no longer care. However I do not want to look like a fool either.

      I have great confidence in me however. I would rather be alone than live with this crap.

      My concern is the children. I can continue to live happily as I am over this. I am not angry or resentful as this had NOTHING to do with me. My CH is good looking and was shy. He had only a few relationships before we met. I guess now that women are interested in him he has confidence and made these choices to satisfy some unfulfilled fantasy. These EAs that he had – they knew he was married but did not care. Typical mid-life 50 year old guy with a mid-life crisis.

      I am torn between making this work and my pride and self-respect.

      Anyone else have this problem?

      • Jeddy

        Exactly my problem. I’m not worried about the ow, he’s disgusted with her and himself, I don’t police the marriage, and I just feel so drained and mentally exhausted by everything that making a big decision seems like a bit much right now. He’s doing all the right things, but I’m not feeling much of anything. I want to focus on me and the kids. And he can pay for it $$.

        Who’s to say I’ll feel ths way in a few months? But I hear you completely.

        • Strengthrequired

          Cbb, jeddy – I have been on the fence not sure what to do, run or stay. My h tells me how he loves and adores me all the time, yet like you CBB I think if I was good enough then he wouldn’t have cheated, he wouldn’t have watched me fall and struggle to get back up.
          I have been fighting for my marriage for what seems so long now, and although it’s over with my h ow, and ” apparently for over a year”, and then finding out last week after my h avoiding telling me that it ended after he slept with the ow.
          Now all I wanted was the truth, as really I had that feeling, yet it still felt really disgusted with him.
          So I started to feel I needed something to give me my answer on whether to stay or go.
          This is what I found, well what I remembered of it anyway. So now I am going to keep this in mind.
          ” evil wants you to lose, evil does not care about you. Evil takes great joy in seeing you suffer. God loves you, he is giving you strength to keep fighting for your family, he does not want you to give up. Do not let evil win”
          I found this to be exactly what I needed because I don’t find anything good about an affair, or my h ow, and if I think about it, she is an evil b””””h, and I refuse to let her ever get her hands on my children. Before I kept thinking to myself maybe god wanted me to suffer for some reason or other, yet it was the opposite, he has been keeping me strong helping me find that extra strength when I needed it, to keep my family together.
          All of the feeling of not being good enough is not coming from my h anymore, as he says and does the right things now, it’s all me now, I put pressure on myself to keep showing my h I am the better person, I know I shouldn’t have to keep proving myself, but can’t help but feel like I need to.

          • CBb

            Strength required, I agree. Some days I am good and strong and believe in us and our ability to get past this.

            Other days I am focused on reality. If I was so great why cheat? Why be selfish and disrespect me and our family like that?

            I pray every day. Some days I am all about forgiveness, other days it is about the cheater and liar he was.

            So no clear answer, I know. I basically have decided not to make any decisions now. But I am stockpiling money in case of that inevitable day I decide I have had enough. Or he screws up again.

            • Strengthrequired

              Cbb, if only they were honest and up front from the beginning. If only they stopped all the lying and when they made that choice to stay with us their family, why did they keep going behind our backs? Why did they not honour their decision? All they needed to do was end it with the ow, if we were what they wanted from the moment they decided to stay with us, but they didn’t.
              I doubt we would have been sitting on the fence, confusing the hell out of us, making us feel even worse about ourselves, because they weren’t man enough to do the right thing. That is what I am disappointed about along with my h tell me how much he wanted out family that she meant nothing only to still end up sleeping with the cow. So that strength I needed to keep staying and not just running for the hills, has been because he couldn’t have honoured his word to me and still did what he shouldn’t have. I honestly don’t give a damn that he was feeling ohhh so sorry for himself, that he was under the influence of alcohol when he saw her and it happened, he should have thought of me and our family instead of poking the donkey with his stick. Instead now I’m not sure I see a man that is strong anymore, I see a man that is weak, and not sure I will see that strong man again that used to be so devoted and protecting of us.
              Which is sad.
              Yet I will continue to be supportive of him, and just watch my children smile that we are still together, and not let that crazy ow get anywhere near them, just so she can inflict her nastiness onto them… Not happening.
              Hopefully he will see how strong I really was and am, because he seems to think that i am not, yet he doesn’t realise how much strength you need to have as a bs, to just keep going through each and everyday, trying to keep a family together, while trying to keep yourself from falling like the cs.

            • Trying Hard


              What Gypsy57 said. It is so important if you truly want to heal is to stop taking the blame for HIS poor choices.

              No he was not thinking of you when he was in his affair. He was only thinking of himself and his fantasy and need for escape from whatever he needed to escape from. Heck HE doesn’t even know what he wanted to escape from, how can you know?? We may be a lot of good things but mind readers we are not.

              Of course they lie because they realllllly don’t want to get caught. These are very immature un-evolved people. This is not your fault.

              The lies are just part of the infidelity/betrayal. There can be no betrayal without the lies. No cheating without the lies. And guess what not only did he lie to you but he lied to her as well. Probably more so. She didn’t care. She believed because she wanted to believe him. Surly she questioned his words? Whatever about what she believed or didn’t.

              ok so the affair is over and he’s still lying, right? That too. Now he wants to recover for himself and you. He needs to make himself look good in your eyes. Telling the truth and facing his own demons is too big a task for an immature person. He wants to forget about it and move on but you can’t. Here’s where the devil lives. How many lies are too many??? BTW there’s a book with that title. Yes there will be a proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. You are the only one who can decide if you want to continue a relationship with a person who is so attached to lying for whatever reason. This is not his decision he’s doing the only thing he knows how to do. He lies and it is part of his personality. He has to be the one to do the soul searching and educating to stop the lies, even the little white ones(although we all lie to one extent or another for many reasons) to rebuild his relationship with you.

              Not saying you can’t have a relationship with a liar but you need to be educated and informed to figure out when he’s lying. It’s an exhausting job.

              Please, please quit blaming yourself and questioning yourself. It’s all him and not you.

              Good luck my friend, I feel your pain.

            • Gypsy57


              You wrote:

              “If I was so great why cheat?”

              Please remember that cheating is about the CHEATER; not YOU, the ‘betrayed’.

              He didn’t cheat because YOU weren’t wonderful; he cheated because HE wasn’t wonderful.

              He didn’t cheat because YOU weren’t great; he cheated because HE’S not that great!

          • CBb

            Strength and Jeddy, we seem to be in the exact place.

            The continued lying is what is destroying the ability to move on.

            I asked my CH last week a very minor question b/c I was curious. My Q was “what did you say to this woman to get het to go out or even date you, as she knew you were married?”.

            His answer was “it did not take much”. I then said well what was your line, were you unhappy, I did not understand you, what? I got no response.

            The answer would not have made any difference.

            So I told my CH for the next 30 days we will not discuss this topic at all. I want to see what happens. He voiced his concerns but I have not discussed one thing with him for the past 10 days. And things are good.

            However, I look at him differently now. Because has not been honest throughout this entire time. When I saw an email he wrote to her (the OW who was half my age, covered in tattoos and has mental issues) telling her that when they are together, the people in his life will understand his choice and accept her b/c they love and respect him.

            Really?! In what delusional world are you living in? None of my friends would allow their H to hang out with my CH and his new girlfriend, that I am sure of.

            And here is the point. When I asked him about that comment to her, he tried to lie and make it seem like she asked him that question and it was just a response to her. Really!? Sounds like my CH was trying to convince her to stay with him, knowing their relationship started out as an affair and that this relationship could work out. His friends will accept her. And understand. what a load of crap.

            Yet he lied to me. Again and again. He said he never said he loved her. Yet I have numerous emails where he wrote he did love her. A continuous lie.

            Too bad these CHs just don’t get it. And they never will.

            So how do you reconcile the continuous lying? That is my issue. Doug and Linda, any suggestions?

      • deb

        My ex told me about the one and only tryst with her, drunk in their employers parking lot. She went home and told her husband she wanted a divorce. Who does that if it was one mistake? My husband was dry heaving and behaving strangely for two days when I finally asked him what was wrong. He told me he had a grope with a fellow female employee. Her husband visited me, after I forgave my now ex for a mistake. Guess what? It was more than groping! I continued to try to take the kick and make things work. We finally, after 23 years of raising two boys, him sleeping for his odd hours, me teaching them everything, plus working; well we tried to do something. We went kayaking together, took a vacation and started biking together. Guess what? He never stopped talking to her during my deceitful resurrection of our marriage!

        He came crying for forgiveness after I caught him in another lie and kicked him out. He told me he wanted to come back…she wouldn’t leave him alone. Prior to all this I became a waif. As the calls from her and visit from her husband were perfect triggers of an emotional breakdown, he had the nerve to tell me that a woman needs more meat (she’s a bit hefty)…I can walk away from family….do we want to become like your mom and dad? I couldn’t even believe these words I never heard in 27 years!!!! All of this was being fed to him from the affair partner.

        Guess what? My lawyer delivered the divorce papers to his place of employment because he would never give me or our young adult sons his address. He flipped and I forwarded a copy of the text thread between us to her, via her ex with whom I became good friends with.

        I got a lashing from ex like you wouldn’t believe! He accused me of causing pain!!! I said that was it. I will never be the same and I really do not believe that people can ever truly recuperate from the most excruciating pain. His death would have been easier! He has not spoken with his sons, his new wife and he have a baby…all in 2 years with one single oops.

        Do not believe a cheater and a liar…ever. It is better to start over than mistrust that person. Sorry, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of my journey. The affair partner handled the entire divorce and pays my alimony as well as her ex’s! And I love her every month for the next 6 years.

    • Rachel

      Had it, we divorced.

    • Tryinghard

      Ok big question. Are there any computer experts out there that would be willing to give me some advice?

      I need deleted data from phones and I have a tape backup from the server. When have outlook for emails. Wouldn’t all those emails be on that tape backup?

      Does anyone have any suggestions how and where to go to retrieve data from these sources?

      • Doug

        I’m far from a computer expert but I think it depends on what type of phone you’re dealing with, ie IPhone versus Android or old-style cell phone. If you can give me that info, I’ll see what I can find out or you can try this site: I would assume that the email information would be in Outlook in the tape backup unless they were deleted permanently, but then again, they say that nothing is really ever truly deleted and there are ways to get the information. This is certainly beyond my knowledge base though.

      • CBb

        Trying hard, I have Verizon wireless. You can access your account and see text message info (date and time) but not the actual text message. And there is no way to get it.

        With your server, find a good PRivate investigator or tech savvy computer geek to access the emails. Have all the passwords handy. They should be able to restore outlook emails.

        We use outlook via GoDaddy. You can log into the account and see what is still there, if anything. If they were deleted, you may still be able to pull them up from that account.

        We have a tech guy if you need advice, I can always ask him.

        • Doug

          There are actually devices that you can purchase where you can restore deleted data from the phone itself (simm card?) regardless of what company your cell service is with. Typically they have to be either a smartphone of some sort, like an Android or IPhone.

        • Saw the Light

          there is one way to get text messages and that is with a court order or supbpoena. Beyond that, date and time are usually all that can be seen.

    • Trying Hard

      The phones are Android. I bought the stick but it didn’t retrieve the deleted data. It could have been a problem with softwares not matching. ie The stick was a newer software than what was on the phone. I don’t know. I’m computer savvy just enough to be dangerous.

      I’ve got all the records, ie date, time, duration for calls/texts. I need the actual verbage from texts and emails received on those phones.

      The tape back up is for the whole system. All I need are emails which we get through Outlook.

      I need someone who can search the tape for only Outlook emails. I have all the passwords. I’m not even sure if the emails actually are downloaded onto our server from the Host. I know they don’t live on each employees hard drive but I think they may live on our server and if that is the case they are there practically forever. I know we have used those backup tapes when our servers have crashed to rebuild the data.

    • Strengthrequired

      I asked my husband this tonight
      What is it about me that you love and want? Why do you want me now, when you didn’t care before,,what made you decide you wanted me?
      Why am I good enough now, and deserving of your love now?
      His response
      You have a lot of questions, I’m not starting this conversation.

      I don’t understand why this was so hard to answer. Certainly didn’t make me feel good having that as his response.
      Do you think it was a reasonable question to ask?
      I ended in telling him then it wasn’t out of love for me then.
      Then he said, he didn’t understand why I said that it wasn’t out of love for me then.
      Then tells me he loves me.

      I just don’t see how hard it is to say something to at least give me some self esteem back, after having it ripped away and making me feel unworthy.

      • CBb

        So odd, we had a similar conversation last night.

        My CH had an EA 15+ years ago. I confronted him on it numerous times. He denied it. I finally dropped it and life went back to normal. I do not know of any EA until last year but now I am wondering what really has gone on. And then he does it to me twice last year. With the same OW.

        So last night I unleashed all my thoughts (in a nice way) about his EAs and continued lying after the last EA was over.

        Really what is this marriage but 30 years of blinders. By me. I see his selfishness now in a whole new light.

        My CH tells me how wonderful I am. And how much he loves me. And what a mistake he made. He is trying very hard. I readily recognize it.

        But I fear the damage may be too great to overcome. Next month will 1 year of all of the recent EAs coming to light. I just no longer have the same resilience and strength.

        I know it is easier to walk away. But I have never been a quitter. But I feel like I could be one now.

        The conversation last night was about the lying about the details and too many “I don’t remember” answers to questions. Sounds like my kids. When you do something wrong it is easier to say “I don’t know” than tell the truth.

        I wish he would have told me the truth instead of forcing me to confront the other woman to find out they were still together. And then continuing to lie or omit things.

        Do all these CH become cowards and losers in this area of telling the truth?

        Maybe Doug or another guy has some answers that could help us. I am open to anything or any suggestions to get past this issue.

        • Doug

          CBb, I’ve noticed over the years that there are people (it seems more men than women) that just lie seemingly all the time regardless of the situation. So perhaps in such individuals, lying is just a part of their character makeup. Otherwise, I think there are a number of reasons why they lie after a betrayal. Here’s part of an article by Ruth Houston that offers some reasons to consider:

          Embarrassment – the cheater may be too embarrassed at having been discovered to talk about the affair.
          Guilt – the cheater may be so consumed with guilt that he can’t bring himself to discuss the affair.
          Fear of Your Reaction – the cheater may be afraid that you will rant and rave, throw things, or become violent. He may be afraid that if he admits to having the affair you will leave or put him out.
          Concern for Your Feelings – the cheater may be filled with remorse for having hurt you, and afraid that revealing additional facts about the affair will cause you more pain.
          Inability to Express Himself – the cheater may not know how to verbalize his behavior, how to put his thoughts into words, or how to tactfully describe what he has done. He may not even know why he had the affair.
          Fear You Won’t Forgive Him – the cheater may feel that his behavior was so despicable that you’ll never be able to forgive him for what he did. He may feel that discussing the matter is a lost cause.
          Fear that You’ll Use What He Says Against Him – the cheater may be afraid that you’ll use what he says against in a court of law, bring it up in every other conversation from now on, or use it to manipulate him in some way.
          Assuming Talking Won’t Help – the cheater may feel that he’s already a condemned man — that you’ve already made up your mind to leave him, and that there’s nothing he can say to make you change your mind.
          It’s an Exit Affair –. Some cheaters are too cowardly to end a committed relationship or ask for a divorce. So they have an affair in order to force the issue and bring things to a close. Once his mission has been accomplished, there’s really nothing for him to say.

          I would say in my case I lied for fear of the consequences – divorce, loss of family, etc.- and to spare Linda any additional pain

    • BeckyB

      I just this week got the point to cheating is the cheater wants to be a different person than he is . When the truth is they try to run away from what cheating shows themselves to be abusers. Yet this is where they become an accomplished liar (who can really face being a person who abuses themselves the one they love their children and family or friends?) as the self lies progress to self delusion. All the lies that abuse isn’t abuse and its ok to invite any lowlife to join you in your perverted abuse/excitement of abusing your innocent partner. Truly sickening when it settles into my soul. I am married to a person who INTENTIONALLY and DELIBERATELY chose to abuse ME. it seems the world is full of delusional people ( I wonder about myself can I really live with him and his delusions) I miss ME. This has left me unable to atomatically trust any one.

      • theresa

        Becky, I miss me too. She was not always the best, had plenty of faults. But there was alot to admire. At the very least it helped me to recognize the change in myself and to whip myself back into a better me. (I hope, work in progress).
        I’m not gullible or in denial any more. Threw away the rose colored glasses. I decide what I will accept where my life is heading, and if it’s without him I’ll be okay.
        He has been Dishonest by action and omission. Repeatedly. I’m so sick of the lovey davey bullshit. No matter how many times I’ve tried to explain it only makes things worse. Is he listening to me, does he hear anything I’ve said?
        Just keeps doing the wrong stuff. I wasted time trying to find a way to help him understand the harm he is doing. He says he’s read “some” of the info I’ve given him. So where’s the disconnect?
        He does seem to want to fix things, change things, see me.
        I do.

    • Marie

      Wow, I have been reading these blogs for a few years now. I discovered my H EA November 2011. He told me so many times I lost count, that he had ended it. She finally threw him out last month. So new he thinks he can just jump back into my life. We are still together, by that I mean living in the same house. Like the others here, the lies have been rampant. Each time he gets caught, his only response is – how did you find that out. We have been married for 38 years, and at one point he told me that I did not need to know so much about his business. Really?? You don’t think married people should know pretty much everything about what is going on with each other!
      I no longer view him in the same way. We are starting counseling again next week. We went originally, but he lied to the counselor as well, telling him that he had ended the EA. When I discovered he had not ended it, the counseling stopped. If you can lie to a counselor, what is the point.
      I am not sure if we will make it or not, but what I do know is, if I walk away, I want to walk away knowing I did absolutely everything to make it work. Walk away with a clean conscience.

    • Trying Hard

      There’s a fine line between working or Trying Hard to make your marriage work and beating your head against a stone wall!

      When the CS doesn’t discuss or lie when they go to a marriage counselor or just wants to push it under the rug that’s when we need to make this judgement.

      I think it’s sick what big babies (I realllly wanted to use a more derogatory term) they are when it comes to talking about their betrayal and infidelity and generally acting like a fool!

      Oh sure they are all big men when they puff their chests up to the OW, oh yeah they are very talkative to them with their bull s*^t “…she just doesn’t understand me like you do…I love her but I’m just not in love with her….she’s frigid…… I love you smoopy, I should have never married her….you’re my soulmate….” They can obviously talk given the long phone calls, texts, emails, etc.

      But when it comes time to be a real man and face THEIR problems like a real man, they suddenly just “don’t remember” or just don’t want to talk about it!!! Or hide behind semantics. Words fail them here.

      Well too bad their memory and lack of words weren’t lacking when they were/are spewing their them to the OW! They weren’t forgetful then. OY!

      My H did all of that until I told him he could leave if he kept forgetting, omitting, and out and out lying. They will not come clean unless they are certain of what they will lose. Has he told me all the truths. Probably not but I know enough and I’ve gotten most of my answers but I’ve also learned how to read between his bull s*&t too.

      They are the fools, you are the smart ones. The ball is always in you court. Use it.

      • theresa


        • Tryinghard

          LOL Theresa. It’s from Seinfeld. “…I love you schmoopy, no I love you schmoopy, no I love you schmoopy…” What a cliche they all are. Us too as a matter of fact:(

    • Carmen

      I hear and see myself in so much of what is said here. My H had a physical affair after EA and now is back to being “friends” with her. I am sick. He knows I am against it and so he tries to hide it and lies. I go back and forth on what to do. His drinking is getting bad and he isolates himself from me and our two teens. Since confessing four months ago, his anger is more and affection is less. He says he still loves me but that his love has changed… whatever that means. I try to be patient and understanding and have read so much my head is spinning. I keep waiting for him to decide and come around. Man, I sound like a doormat. I know he is ambivalent and that he is having lots of stress. In reading Doug’s reasons for lying, I see my H in all of those. I do not want to give up on him yet every time I try something I lose a bit more ground. I have never been pushy or a nag… should I be?? Doing more self care now and carrying on with my life but HOW do you keep your mind from taking over with thoughts and doubts and torture??

    • overwhelmed

      I’m sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I’d like nothing more that to participate so much more with these discussions with you beautiful people. I’m not supposed to be posting here for the time being, but I need you folks…

      What is the single biggest impact that the affair has had on you?

      My wife, ripping my heart out, throwing it on the ground and stomping on it all while pointing at me and laughing.

      Yes, that’s what it feels like.

      How have you managed to cope with the effects of this impact?

      Each and every day for over a year now, I have to remind myself to STOP thinking about the day I have to tell the kids we are divorcing. In the early days, this completely paralyzed me, to the point that I’ve lost several important clients. But each day, I try to remind myself that this day has not yet arrived. Live for today. Love them, and show them how much you love them. Say nothing bad about their mother. And live for now. When the day comes, it will come. Don’t waste your life wishing it away.

      How has the affair impacted your family?

      For now, the kids must know something is not right. But beyond my household, it has impacted every single person we know and care about. And none of it is good. I guess it helps that her entire family is on my side, they may not all express it, but it’s well known.

      Does that help? I guess…

      No, not really.

      I get to feel that, “I’m winning” feeling, but as soon as I think of my little kids, none of that matters anymore.

      • Tryinghard


        What the heck. Why can’t you be here? Lawyers, wife??? Pretty sad when you can’t even get support from a little blog. Don’t let the bad guys bully you, I and I hope you’re doing ok


        • overwhelmed

          Thank you. :'(

    • Strengthrequired

      Overwhelmed, that is exactly how I word it.
      I even write something similar down a few days back that I have been planning on reading to my h.
      It is like ripping my heart out piece by piece then jumping up and down on it over and over again, while he and his whorebag laughed hysterically.

      That is why now I look at my h and think, why is it you love me now? I don’t get it after what he out me through.

      Does anyone think it is normal to be feeling so much more angrier now than when the affair came out, even after it apparently finished?
      I’m feeling really angry, like I’m going to burst if I don’t let it out. I’m not sure if I should really let my h have it, just to get it off my chest. Otherwise I fear that, I will end up leaving him.
      I’m just so mad, and I don’t know how else to cope with it.

      • Strengthrequired

        I just didn’t think I would feel as bad as this.

    • CBb

      So I read the responses from the BS group (both men and women).

      We are all feeling the same here- anger at being lied to, hurt for being mistreated and yes, abused in a certain way, unhappy that the OW or OM got love, communication, affection, attention, (sometimes even sex), gifts and time that should have gone to us, the spouse.

      I think we all have thevability to forgive. Wevare strong in that respect.

      But alas we are not stupid.

      So we are trying to make sense out of something that MAKES NO SENSE. Not to the BS or the CS.

      And we continue to try to get answers about things with a CS who does not have the ability or confidence to be completely truthful. So we are stuck on the hamster wheel just going around and around.

      Same issues all the time.

      So let’s be proactive here and figure out how we can all get to a better place after this hellish nightmare. We readily can recognize that the CS is now a liar and cheater. We get it.

      How do we get off the hamster wheel and move forward? I think we need to stop banging our heads against a wall and trying to accomplish that the CS is miraculously going to suddenly go forth, tell 100% of the truth about the affair. Let’s face reality here. And move forward.

      I am open to any and all suggestions. As crazy as they may seem. Let’s try to end our pain. Together.

      Suggestion: maybe we should try to go 7 days w/out talking to the CS about the EA/PA. Maybe if we try to resume a normal life and lift the ugly cloud, even temporarily, WE, the BS can feel better.

      I know many are in different places, but maybe it can work. This is not an attempt to bury or sweep under the rug. By no means. It is a way to help us, the BS.

      Thoughts welcome. Good or bad. No offense taken.

      • Jeddy

        I went a few weeks without discussing it – it’s been 5 months since dday. Then I blew up again. My h wants to reconcile, the ow is gone, but the drama has been humiliating. So I’m torn about what I’m going to do. I really don’t feel like I know the whole story about the ea (pa?) and thats my gut feeling. I wishi had money to leave, I’d be gone. Im a very private person, and his affair affected a family business, and the level of shame I feel (I know, not my fault) is overwhelming. I feel like I’ve been hit with a truck full of classless idiots, the ow is quite embarrassing. Since this involves my in laws, who have not contacted me since this came to light, I’m quite unsupported. Why would I want to be married to someone who is capable of such bad decisions? That’s what I have to answer.

      • Trying Hard


        You have a great point and I’ve done just that. After the initial discovery where conversation was everyday, after a few months I gave myself a boundary. No talk about her or the affair for a week. It worked and I think H was grateful and surprised. Then 2 weeks, etc. It’s been months that we’ve had any kind of conversation. There are no more questions other than the lame ones I make up in my head. I’ve learned to push those aside and discount because really, I don’t need to know any more. It helps that I have all you wonderful people to talk to and my therapist. Sometimes after therapy he will ask what we talked about and inevitably the “subject” comes up. Not so much the OW. Thing is as much as he or I want it all to go away it is part of our history and is never gone. Memories may fade and let’s hope to God they do, and new ones take it’s place.

        And no they are definitely not going to miraculously see the evil of their ways. All we can do is make a nice life for ourselves and inspire them to come along for the ride. If they want to lie who are they really hurting but themselves. By now if they are so stupid as to think we won’t see through their lies well maybe it would be time to part company because I just don’t think I want to stay married to someone that stupid!!!

        My greatest help is when I dig down really deep into my self and what motivates me to get past the bad is when I think about all the brave female members of my family. My female heritage for whom I have great regard. They certainly lived through many more hells than I ever have or will. If they can get through those hells and adversities I sure as hell can too.

        Maybe you don’t have any female family you admire but certainly there are many females you can admire and get inspiration and strength from.

    • Tryinghard


      My heart goes out to you.

      It’s not a matter of him making the decision, it’s you making a decision for yourself and your children. It’s not easy either way.

      You have to chunk it down. Deal with one problem at a time. He cheats, he drinks too much, he’s ambivalent, he’s still cheating even though he hides behind the semantic of “we are just friends”. That’s bullshit! They aren’t friends they are lovers. You’re not privy to their interactions but you know what was in the past. Nothing’s changed except he’s better at lying.

      If you can can you get professional help for yourself ie a therapist? That would empower you. Also a lawyer and give him an ultimatum. He may say he wants out but that is a risk you have to be willing to take.

      This is no way to live constantly waiting for HIM to decide he needs to change and yet there is no change. He’s good at lip service it sounds like.

      Hang in there, you will be fine.

      • CBb

        Carmen, I was exactly where you are last year. My H came home and admitted the EA that had been going on for 2-3 months. He ended it with the OW but they were still in contact.

        He was mourning the end of the EA and was telling me he was not sure if he still wanted to stay married (after almost 25 years). And “he would let me know at the end of the summer (August).”.

        I was not going to play that game and confronted him at the end of July. It was decision time. He was so shocked as he never expected me to stand up to him. He said he wanted to stay with me. However his heart was somewhere else and he treated me badly at times.

        He then picked up w/ OW in Sept. That lasted another three months. He told me twice he wanted a divorce and then begged for a reconciliation hours later. I did not know about the same OW from the summer and that their relationship progressed into a very serious affair and was planking to leave me for her in both cases. He claimed “he could not give me what I wanted, needed or deserved”.

        He then ended the EA in December. Begged forgiveness. Please reconcile.

        I behaved in the calmest most rational manner throughout this entire ordeal. seriously. I never knew I had it in me.

        Now it was my turn. He begged for a reconciliation. We went to our counselor. I told him he was delusional and I would not take him back. He cried. A few days later I asked him to leave and he refused. So I called a friend to make arrangements to stay with a friend. He did not want that.

        I decided to let him stay for the holidays for the children’s sake.

        And he is still here. And afraid of me leaving him. And afraid he has permanently damaged our relationship.

        The best thing I ever did was confront him. I was prepared to leave him in July with about $2000 to my name, me and our two children. It got his attention not enough to end it, but it did the trick for the time being. The second time he knew I was serious and he was scared.

        Once he realized he would not have his great life and he finally realized what his midlife crisis had done, boy did he get it. Finally.

        Do not wait for them to get it. It may be too late. Sometimes confrontation can work.

    • Strengthrequired

      Throughout last week, I sat down and I wrote a letter to cs, yet it was mostly for me to get heaps of my chest, heaps of anger came out in this letter, a lot of swear words, a lot of truths about how he made me feel while running around with his s””t, and what he did to me each time. In this letter, I let him have it, really good. I let him know how his affair hurt not only me but our children, when they needed him, he was not there, yet how he didn’t think it hurt him, or that he abandoned them because he still made sure we had a roof over our head and food in the table. I let him know exactly how idiotic he is, for not thinking his ow family were not involved in my downfall, how we were just non existent in their eyes, because they wanted their daughter /sister to not be alone in another country, so we were the collateral damage of war.
      I let him know how selfish and weak he really was, how I was not the weak one, I actually protected our children from his ow, and stayed with them through his bad behaviour, and how wrong he was for believing all the shit that his ow had him believe about me. I let him know how he should have know me better after 20 years of marriage.
      I let him know how angry I was, I arum attic it has been for me, and how I don’t feel safe with him anymore, and I’m not sure I will ever feel safe again, after In my eyes I believed our marriage was beautiful, and how I believed he felt the same.
      Ohhh boy did the ow, get a lot of name calling in my letter, it wasn’t just him who came out looking disgraceful. I listed everything she did to me, and what my h did to me, leaving me behind racing off to be by her side. How he was more concerned about her than the health of me.
      I went on and on, and each day, several times. I re read it and added more or adjusted this letter, honestly probably made me more angry just writing it, but I. Was glad I got it all out.

      I was tossing up whether to get my h to read it, or leave it for just my eyes.

      In the end , I told my h I had a huge letter I had written because I needed to get a lot of anger out of my heart. He ended up being curious as to what I had written. He even asked how bad did I make him out to be? I told him that everything in it was truth and how I was treated, by him, his family and her, h damaged I am now, and how I now seem him as something he always hated, a liar and cheater.

      In the end he sat down and read it, it seemed to take ages for him to finish it, maybe he kept rereading it, I’m not sure, but it truly shook him up, I think he needed to see the extent of the pain he put on me and his children. He didn’t think it was as bad, until I had him read what I wrote. I could see the pain in his eyes, even caught him wiping his eyes, as he tried to remain strong.
      I let him know in this letter, that he needed to prove to me, how much he wants me and his children, before we move, because I refuse to be his second choice, as really that is what I felt like. I wanted him to know, I did not want to drag the kids back home, only to take them away from their friends again. He had to make a decision, on what he wants and stick to it, none of this I want you only to be pining over his lost love. He had to be certain that his head was out of his ass, and was nolonger be two headed.

      After he finished I said, did you make your decision, he said, yes, I already made it, you and my children are where I want to be, you are my family.

      I did let him know how he needed to prove things to me, yet I am sure hearing he his wife really thought of him and his betrayal, is something he really needed to hear. None of the sugar coating.

      We ended up having a beautiful weekend, and from the anger I had built up over time, I feel so much lighter, having him finally see what he did, without having me hold it in because he didn’t want to feel worse.

      I was worried at first on how he would take it, yet I think it was the best thing for the both of us, so he really sees the how he treated me was not acceptable, and humiliating soul destroying. He needed to see, that I was not going to take blame for him having his affair, because I was going through depression after having our youngest, how I had depressions, yet I did not betray him, he turned his back in me, when he should have held me, I told him how, I saw him going through his depression, yet I did not turn away, I tried to help him, because I loved him, yet he just turned to his bimbo for self soothing.
      Ohhh TH, thanks for the saying can’t unf””k a donkey, came in very handy lol.

      I feel heaps lighter since he finally saw how I felt.

    • Tryinghard


      I only have one thing to say, YOU GO GIRL!!! I’m proud of you. I’ve heard about writing those letters and never sending them. I always thought why not. Good for you. That was brave of you.

      I can’t take credit for the donkey quote. I read it here. I think Giz may have said it. It is appropriate though:)

      • Strengthrequired

        TH, I was so worried he was going to think I was rubbing his dirt in it, and that I had hate for him. Yet I did let him know several times in the letter, how much I loved and adored him, and that it was nolonger about how much I loved him, but how much he was prepared to sacrifice for me and his children, it was about how much love he had for us.
        Honestly, I was so tired of always worrying about how he was going to cope, whether it was going to push him back to her, or him just throwing his hands up and walking away, so I never really let him know the extreme torment his affair had in me. Let me tell you, most of it he had forgotten, all of the things she did, he forgot, things he did during that time, he forgot.
        I needed to let it out, because I could really feel my anger building, so I decided to write. Then because he nagged me so much to show him, I decided it was better he see what his affair did to me, as well as our kids, because he truly had no idea on the devastation and the impact it had on me, as well as our children.
        I made sure in the letter that he understood that, I did not write this down to upset him, to place guilt on him, or anything like that, it was for me to release the pain, and anger I was feeling, because if I didn’t, I may have well decided to leave, eventually.
        I let him know that I wanted our marriage to work, but he had to be willing to work on our marriage completely too, and that he needed to show me more than ever the amount of love he has for me and our family.
        I do think it was something he needed to read, he wasn’t wanting to listen, yet it was the first time since the affair, that he actually sat down and read about how I felt and the pain I was in. It actually meant quite a lot, I did not force him, yet I think because I decided I wasn’t going to let him read it, he became quite curious so decided he wanted to.

        I do feel so much more lighter now. So hopefully this is the change we needed to break free from the affair.

    • Trying Hard


      I didn’t want my H to feel guilty at first either. Didn’t see it an emotion that would help. Well our MC straightened me out right away. She wanted him to feel guilt and shame so I let it go and she was right. That guilt and shame is what has made him want something better. She didn’t want him off the hook too early. Given you just found out about the PA you shouldn’t let him slide. He needs to feel shame and guilt for the risks he’s taken to almost destroying you and your family. It’s good he feels and sees your anger otherwise what’s to stop him the next time. He needs to know what he did was wrong.

      Your anger has nothing to do with your love for him. Showing anger does not negate your love for him. You are angry at his choices and actions not him as a person. I think it’s always good to also mention what you love and admire about them but don’t discount showing your anger and disgust at what you don’t like about him.

      I heard a good line in a movie. A man had spent all his savings buying a horse that this destitute family couldn’t afford. He did it for his ego. When he got home and told his wife she was very angry and he was feeling a lot of remorse for spending their money. He asked her if she not longer loved him. She said “I might hate you a little more but I don’t love you any less.” I think this is a wonderful line. Love and hate are not mutually exclusive. Of course you love him. Love is not the point. If we didn’t love them we’d have been gone the minute any of the bull crap came out.

      This has everything to do with being honest. Honest on your part too to not hide your anger from him. I’m not saying yell and scream but through calm discussions letting him know you still get mad when something occurs to you with regards to his foolishness that you never believed his was capable of.

      You did good SR. I’m proud of you. I know it was hard for you but as you can see already you feel better, so I say whatever works. What do you possibly have to lose???

    • forcryin'outloud

      “It’s good he feels and sees your anger otherwise what’s to stop him the next time.”

      TH – Wow that line really resonates with me. I have realized that my H has a REALLY skewed emotional thought process that no matter how much he tries to fix it much of it is ingrained from early on in his life. I do believe without him feeling immense guilt and shame along with the pain and suffering in my eyes he would do it again. He has told me many times he thought he could do it and I would never find out. I believe over the course of his life he has told many lies that “never got found out” which allowed him to continue lying without consequence. I will say he’s pretty damn good at it, but now I’m pretty damn good at reading it.

      SR – Good job on the letter! Put it all out there sister! He needs to know this behavior is mind and soul altering. Not just for you but for his entire family. Yes there is redemption, but he needs to show he is worth it and believes you and his family are worth fighting for. He needs to see that dealing with his emotions/issues with maturity could have precluded the entire affair. In essence he needs to see the damage he has done and the depth of what he could have lost. I don’t advocate acting like a lunatic like I did – I was pretty scary – but I do think showing your anger and pain plays a tremendous role in the recovery process for both BS and CS. It wasn’t until I became enraged that my H took me seriously. In fact when I found out about the affair with the old first love he was already engaged in sketchy behavior with a woman at work and an exGF on FB. For us, he had to see the entire scope of damage that he had done to finally realize his behavior(s) was going to be his undoing. So please don’t worry about how he’s going to take – he made the mess. Proud of you too!!!!!!!

    • Trying Hard


      I’ve found along with all the other cliches the fact that they think we would never find out is just one more. How convoluted is that for an excuse. “Gosh officer yes I robbed the bank but I was sure counting on not being caught.” What adult goes around with that kind of reasoning??

      Last night we were out with some old friends. Everyone of them knows the story. Now it’s been 3 years since all this came out and let me tell you I know we were being scrutinized by all of them. I sat by my H and acted as loving as I could without looking like a patronizing idiot. I know he still feels the shame and guilt as well he should. He knows those friends are judging him without saying anything. He was very attentive to me and I had a good time. I meanwhile sat with my head held high. I felt bad that he couldn’t but this is his personal journey. He knows I love him and am devoted to him and I really don’t care what others think. There is noting I can do to assuage his guilt or shame. He did it to himself so he has to live with the consequences. We called it a night after about 3 hours. He couldn’t wait to leave. There was no conversation about it but I know he would rather just the two of us go out. Frankly I would too. So his shame and guilt works to our and my benefit. I don’t rub his nose in it, he does a very good job of doing that all by himself.

      I think it is disingenuous to hide your anger. Why should we? Yes there are constructive ways of using it and that is where intelligence takes over. The screaming and yelling like a banshee has to end at some point and who knows if it ever drives the point home anyway. But showing a real disgust and genuine anger towards their tacky behavior and generally making yourself and your spouse the butt of a tacky, sad cliche is certainly grounds to evoke real displayed anger to the perpetrator.

      There is no glory or use in martyring ourselves otherwise. Really that is all we are doing when we don’t let them know that we are angry with them. We internalize the anger because God forbid we do anything to make them want to leave!! Well I call bullshit on that. We didn’t do anything to make them have the affair in the first place so how on earth can showing our anger make them do anything worse.

      This may not work for everyone but it has certainly worked for me. If he can’t take the heat he should have NEVER walked into the kitchen!!! He knows where the door is and so do I.

    • Strengthrequired

      Thanks th and fcol. I did let him know how angry I was through out his affair, he saw my sadness, he saw me at points ready to leave. Yet he hated talking about it, my questions would be answered with lies, which led me to repeat the questions because it wouldn’t stick with me as truth, until he would finally give me the truth in drabs.
      So after finding out about the pa, although he knew my anger and pain was there, I didn’t believe he truly knew the extent of it. I was only getting angrier as the days went on, torturing myself. So that’s when I decided to just write, to get things off my chest, because it felt like it was sending me mad. I addressed it to my h, but was unsure whether it would be for his eyes or just mine, yet I really did need him to see it, didn’t think he would want to, or even read the lot, I mean it was long…. A lot of anger came out in this, yet things that needed him to hear, that I felt our conversations would not last long enough about the subject, and most would be missed, or repeated.
      So it ended up being the best thing having written it down for him to read.
      No emotion, no frustration, no hurt and depth of pain was left out.
      Things that needed to be said to help free myself.

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