Looking back on how I handled Doug’s emotional affair, there were certainly a lot of mistakes I made along the way.  It was tough to know at the time since so many of my actions were based on trial and error and emotions.

If it’s been a little while since you discovered the affair – or since your affair was discovered – there has to be some things that you did that were not very productive initially.

For example, if you are the betrayed, it could have been the pure rage that you felt that stopped you from moving forward, or perhaps it could have been that you didn’t act forceful enough towards your cheating spouse.  If you are a cheater, it could have been that you didn’t disclose the entire truth right off the bat or that you beat yourself up so much with guilt that it held you back from exploring why you did what you did.

This week we want to hear from you about the following:

What was the least productive thing you did after the affair was discovered?

What was the effect on your affair recovery process as a result?

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?

As always, please reply to one another in the comment section.


Linda & Doug

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    55 replies to "Discussion – The Least Productive Thing You Did After Discovery of the Affair"

    • rachel

      If I could have done one thing different, I wished that I was able to control my rage/anger. Though when thinking back, I don’t know how I could have. My H was not giving the answers that I wanted so I was upset. He was turning the table so I was to blame. Said that his e/a was nothing, meant nothing. He didn’t tell me because he knew I wouldn’t understand that this was “only” a catch up with an old friend (an ex girlfriend). Now he finally admitted he wished he never got in touch with her. He never thought it would come to this. Admitted finally that he was in the horrible “fog” when he said that he was in love with her not me. He is text book on this whole affair.
      At the point of trying now. Both of us. Such a long road ahead but I am willing to give it my all. Just wish those bad days wouldn’t appear when I wonder, just what was so great about her? Visuallizing their lunches of “catching up and just fun”. Ugh!! I can feel I’m starting with a nother bad day of wondering.
      Thank you, Linda. What a wonderful blog as usual. Do you and Doug do any seminars? Would love to meet you and hear your story in person.

      • Doug

        Hi Rachel, Linda’s getting ready for school so I’ll answer for her. We have done webinars via phone calls in the past and will be doing more as part of our higher healing program that we’re getting closer to introducing. I often have wondered if at some point it would be a cool thing to do a conference or seminar live and in person, but not sure we’re ready for that just yet. We think it would be great to meet as many of you all as possible in one place.

    • Greg

      I’d have to say that the least productive thing I did was obsess about trying to find every little detail of what my wife was doing through out each and very day after I discovered the affair. Since I had accessed every email account she had, home, work, and web based, had full access to both our home computer and her work computer, and was able to see her phone records I became obsessed with the possibility that she might contact him again or that she was doing something else I wouldn’t like. It consummed large portions of my day just trying to see what she was doing every day. It would always get me wound up if I saw something that looked like she was doing something different than usual. It wasn’t good for me, as I couldn’t move forward while doing this, and it wasn’t good for her, as she knew I was constantly checking up on her.
      I know I have a somewhat obsessive personality and it is also a stage that most BS go through but combining those two together paralyzed any progress I could have made during that time. It doesn’t help that my obsessiveness was also the reason behind some of our marriage problem to begin with. I finally had to decide to force myself to let her change her remote access password to her work computer and not try to discover t with the keylogger program again. I have reduced the number of times I go through the phone logs, haven’t been able to stop it yet but getting there. I thing by naming each of the contact numbers has helped a lot as I can see the names and not just a list of numbers, though recently I felt like a fool when I saw a number that looked like it was one of the numbers at her office and I became obsessed with figuring out who’s number it was, I felt pretty stupid when I finally recognized the number out of my own phone, it was her work number, she bhad been checking her voice mail since she was taking a day off of work due to the kids not having school.:-) I know that this is keeping me from fully recovering com this and it is the one thing I would want to change out of this. I’m not even sure I would have wanted the EA to change as it has actually forced us to confront our problems and try to deal with them rather than continue to bury and ignore them.

      • Healing Mark

        Greg. I did the exact same thing with my wife! And same “results” as with you and your wife. Tremendous time waste, and made my wife feel quite untrustworthy (yeah, being viewed as untrustworthy was a correct one at the time, but that didn’t make my wife feel any better about it and this did nothing positive towards healing).

        I didn’t have quite the same story with an initially unrecognized number, but I did have many instances where I was bothered unnecessarily by things that would have never been an issue if I had not been snooping. I would say that I would advise a BS to not obsessively follow their CS’s phone, text and email activities as in my experience very little good came out of it (sure, after awhile it became clear that my wife was not crossing boundaries, but the wasted time and pain getting there was not, for me, worth it). However, I’m afraid that this is a fairly unavoidable step in the healing process, much like being angry at the CS, like being depressed and feeling less self-worth given the CS’s emotional attachment to another person, like not trusting the CS very much for some period of time after D-day, and others. All I know is that in my case, once I stopped not only obsessing with checking up, but actually checking up, and my wife knew this to be true, things got SO MUCH BETTER for us and genuine forgiveness quickly followed.

        I really can’t put a finger on why I finally felt no further need to check up on my wife’s activities. Was it when I finally got sick enough of all of the inane stuff going on on Facebook? Was when I finally realized that If she wanted to contact the AP she could without me knowing about it no matter how much I checked up? Was it when I finally got sick and tired of being so unproductive at work and with my life? Or perhaps when enough time went by with no inappropriate activity evident that I could finally convince myself to trust that such activity was not going to take place so there was no need to look for it? Who knows? But it sure feels GREAT to be able to walk by my wife’s unattended phone and feel ZERO urge or need to get on it and see who she has been talking, texting or emailing!!

        • Greg

          Tell me about it. I’m almost at that point, it’s just going to take a effort to control wanting to look. Doesn’t help that I have my tablet PC with me at all times so it’s just too easy to look. We’re starting couples counseling in just over an hour today so hopefully it help as well.

          • Doug

            Hey Greg, Good luck at counseling and if so inclined, please let us know how it goes.

            • Greg

              Thanks Doug. Counseling went pretty well, it was mostly a discover session for the therapist about what our problems are. She’s given us an asignment to think about things that we like about each other and the marriage rather than focusing on what our problems and issues with each other are. Overall the therapist seems nice. It helps that we are at a stage where we can tell each other the truth, calmly, and not blow up about it. Now we just need to try and recapture some of what attached us to each other in the beginning. Next week’s session should be more interesting as it’ll be less discovery and more work hopefully.

            • Greg

              Actually there were a few revelations today s I think back on it. Turns out the affair was about six months longer than I thought, she went on lunches with oiny him and no other coworker quite a few times, she had previously said it was always with others, he had talked about leaving his wife for her, and he still tries to talk to her at work but at least she shuts him down. Not the best but it is something I can deal with as it’s nt much worse than previously thought.

            • rachel

              Doug and Greg,
              Do you feel that couples counseling is a necessity after an E/A?
              My H and I agreed to work on our marriage, but again I feel like I am doing all of the work. He doesn’t talk to me unless I start a conversation. I don’t dare ask what his problem is because I know the answer will be that he didn’t like my anger through all of this. He know’s I’m very upset as to what he has done and understands that but doesn’t like the way I handle my anger.
              Thank you!

            • Doug

              Rachel, that question is kind of hard for me to answer because we did not go to counseling after the EA. Linda went to about 3 sessions on her own (almost 2 years after) and she basically knew more than the therapist did. That being said, I do think it probably would have helped speed recovery up provided we found a good therapist with a good plan of action for us – and we followed it.

            • Greg

              I don’t necessarily think that you need to go to couples counseling for just the EA. At this point we are both mostly over that, she realizes it was stupid and to do and admits fault for it and I’m over what she did, at least mentally, emotionally I still have some bad days, :(. Having our individual therapy session helped a lot in this. We are doing the couples counseling to deal with the underlying issues that contributed to the affair. They are a lot deeper and more hurtful but we both realize that if we don’t deal with them we’ll end up in the same place or worse. We’re not sure what the end game will be, if we stay together or not, but we are committed to trying our best to repair our hearts and minds. The built up resentment of a decade of problems never dealt with is a lot of baggage to sort through.
              On a lighter note, it turns out that the therapist we are seeing was also the therapist for one of my employees when her parents were going through their affair problems and eventual divorce. Sort of humorous to be able to compare notes about it.

            • Yeah, Right


              I remember clearly being at this point with my CS. What helped me, and us, was totally stepping back. I stopped being the one to instigate conversations and ask questions. I figured if he wanted this to work, it was time for him to step it up. And I told him so. I outright told him I was waiting for him to show me he was committed to our marriage, and I was no longer going to take the lead to “fix it.” I waited a while with nothing, I can tell you. But I think withdrawing helped me to gain composure and focus on myself, and helped him to realize that this was his problem and I was not going to lay down and take it like a doormat any more. He eventually came around.

              I know Linda and Doug have written a number of posts about stepping back, and it sounds to me like that’s what you need to do.

      • Sam

        I’m not sure if your behavior denotes an obsessive personality, or just normal behavior after being the victim of an affair. I’m leaning towards the latter.

        I did the same thing with my husband. I became obsessed with finding every little detail, conversation, e-mail, etc. I wasted MANY hours during the day constantly checking his email accounts “just in case” there was any new contact. It’s been over nine months, and I’ve found nothing… yet sometimes I still feel the urge to “look for more.”

        If I could go back in time, I’d probably NOT want to read all their e-mails. Many of the messages they exchanged haunt me – and it’s an additional cause of suffering.

        • Greg

          Your right what I did doesn’t denote an obsessive personality, it’s pretty normal for the situation from what everyone has posted. In my case I think my personality just caused me to go pretty deep, generally it’s considered bad form to hack a corporate computer network for personal information. It could have resulted in her being fired and me going to jail. But hey it’s who I am, at least I know it:-).

    • Eva

      Mine would be believing their story and thinking that me the wife, is the third party to their relationship. I couldn’t even refer to it as an affair, until now. Then I started to romanticize their affair and obsess about the details, and feel that perhaps they are more compatible to be together.

      It helped to read up and after more communication with my H, the process has really been textbook-like. If only I could get my H to read up so that he can feel less confused and understand what he is going through and what he is putting me through as well.

      • chiffchaff

        Ditto Eva. Except in my case the H has been a textbook of how not to do it (which I know, from this site, is textbook for how some CSs do it when trying to avoid their own demons).

    • Notoverit

      I have to agree with Rachel. I would have controlled my anger and rage. It kept me from learning to heal and be better for myself.

      The one thing I would change was letting my H know that I had caught him. I would have tried to see the texts so that now I am not obsessing about what they talked and texted about. I just wish I had waited a bit. But no, I had to explode. Oh, well, hindsight is 20/20.

      • nmwf1

        this is the comment i was looking for. i would give anything to have waited just a little longer to, i am tortured by my mistake. he told me some things cause i bluffed him. i told him that i already have them in my possession and that he even thinks of lying at this point i would walk out the door. he told on himself for some things mainly pictures. ugh%$@&^%$ i still want to scream and rip his head off. This obsession i have is so unhealthy but i dont know how to quit. My heart rate goes up constantly……. i mean really i don’t feel any better than i did in the beginning. And worst of all i keep a lot to myself now because of the torture i have put him through , the guilt i know he feels but my mental anguish continues and i cant let go,

    • melissa

      Mine – amongst others – was to try and heal on my own (apart from too few counselling sessions which my H agreed to but we did not have enough to get to the bottom of things and the counsellor seemed totally unaware of the concept of an EA). I tried single-handedly to rebuild trust and move on (and yes, I did have a few wobbly moments in between when the pain was just too much) This only led to a second D-day when I blew my top, having discovered that my H and the OW had agreed to meet up and there had more more secrets and lies.

    • Numbers

      What was the least productive thing you did after the affair was discovered? I confronted him in a rage the second that I found out that my suspicions were correct. I was in shock. I was hysterical and in a rage.

      What was the effect on your affair recovery process as a result? Well, I stayed in that rage and that emotional roller coaster for 4 months. I think that things would’ve moved faster had I been calm, though he says that had I not gotten hysterical and been crushed that he wouldn’t have believed that I actually loved him – which he said he thought that I didn’t. I don’t know if that would’ve been true or not. I look back and am embarrassed by some of the things that I did, and how I pleaded… I humiliated myself and lost some of my own self-respect, which I am working so hard on now to get back. I handle things in a much more calm manner now even though it is still very emotional.

      If you could do one thing differently, what would it be? I would’ve called the whore right when I found out (I found out by sexting messages on his cell) and I would’ve told her husband. Would this have driven my husband and the whore together? I don’t know, but to this day, it kills me that her husband doesn’t know who he is really living with. He doesn’t know that he is married to a serial cheater, and that tortures me. I felt stupid enough not knowing about my husband’s 1 affair… I can’t imagine how bad he will feel when one day he learns of his wife’s several affairs… and that HE was the only one who didn’t know. Being in the dark and the humiliation is one of the worst feelings that I am dealing with in my recovery because even though my husband bold-faced lied to me, somehow I still have guilt that I allowed him the freedom to do what he did. I am sure that Dave will feel the same way when he finds out – though we did nothing wrong by trusting our spouses, there is always the nagging thought in the back of my mind that I could’ve done something to end it sooner…..

    • Regrets

      Tough — Agreed, Melissa. I would have read the emails before he got to erase them. It would have expedited the process of him coming clean. I guess he has, months later, come clean. I am the type who obsesses as well and probably my mind’s creations are worse that reality.

      Then, again, the double now is letting go. I have destroyed much and blew my top, so I agree with the wish that others had that they would have been able to control their rage.

      And, then again, I was deeply harmed and my reactions, given my treatment, was very reasonable.

      I wish the discovery process was shorter as my healing process is only now begun.

      Now, I will regret every time I look her up, compare myself to her, denigrate my own beauty or self worth, allow her or EA memories pollute and poison me. Every moment from here until I die, I will regret letting her and the EA occupy my life in anyway.

      And so I hope for me and for us all that we can love ourselves, believe in ourselves, focus on our own desires and needs, and grow. I hope that I will think about this less and less, and that one day I will not think about it hardly at all. And then never. I hope that in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now I will be alive and happy and that I am completely free from this or any worry that she is better, swifter, smarter and free from the nagging doubt that I do not deserve to be love. I regret not being there and am not fighting to get there.

      One day.

      • REgrets

        Oops, I mean I am NOW working on fighting. I AM FIGHTING.

    • CA

      I also feel that I spent way too much time obsessing. I know it was just part of the healing process but many days I would spend hours on the computer doing nothing but checking. Checking his work emails, checking our phone logs etc. Of course my H knew I was doing this, so the likelihood of me ever seeing anything was nil (unless he was a total idiot). There were many days that I felt like I accomplished nothing due to total obsessing. With that being said…I don’t really know that I would have changed anything. I read all the posts and most people also do the same things to help them heal. I am almost 8 months from D-day and am just starting to feel normal and happy most of the time. Just last night my H said “I hate to wish time away but I wish it were a year from now so that maybe you wouldn’t be hurting so much and we would be farther past this”. Sometimes I feel bad that I can’t heal more quickly…especially when I read so many posts of people who don’t get that 100 percent help from their WS. I am very lucky to have that and I try to hold on to it.

      • Numbers


        I STILL spend WAY too much time obsessing… gathering info on the OW – just in case! And it has been 9 months since I found out!!! You should NOT feel bad about the recovery taking so long!!!! DO NOT beat yourself up!! You didn’t have any say in the affair, so you need to take as long as YOU need!! What he did to you was the worst thing he could have done to you in your relationship, and whether he is sorry or not now, you still have pain. Don’t rush yourself or you will do things that you regret and make decisions that you won’t be fully comfortable with. I have read that it takes, on average, 2 years to heal from an affair. You still have a lot of time left! Take care of yourself and be happy when you feel it, and hurt when you feel it. Just remember to be true to yourself and your relationship – it is the best example of what a real relationship is for your wayward partner. Good luck!

    • Disappointed

      I spent too many hours looking at phone logs and counting how many each sent and who initiated and ended day. I also find myself comparing myself physically to her and thinking they are a better match. I think probably biggest waste of time is me still hoping. Four months later he has declared he does not need to work on anything. The OW has been NC for the same time period, so not about her. Just almost done with me.

    • nw

      I think I am still doing the least productive thing, which is pouring energy into wondering about her and whether or not he has spoken to her today. I have to assign her a lot less importance, she really isn’t worth it.

    • REgrets

      nw, no she is not.

    • chiffchaff

      I think that everything that I have done to try and save our marriage has been unproductive, everything. But I don’t think I could have done it any differently at the time, there are processes BSs go through and these vary based on what process the CS chooses to use to deal with Dday and the aftermath. I did what I felt was right at the time.

      Probably the least productive for me though has been comparing myself unfavourably to someone who posts nude photos of herself on the internet and who sleeps with married men in hotels. The fact that she’s very pretty is irrelevant, she’s very ugly inside to act as she does and I am so much better than her. I have never slept with a married man and conducted an affair with them. I am not vacuous and shallow.

      So the most productive has been focusing, when I’ve been strong enough, on myself and addressing those issues of mine that I didn’t like and the ones that made me feel like shit. I’m still bad at dealing with surveillance, because so little information is willingly given, or has been given, that I have needed to go hunting. But every time I look I find something that hurts me and sends us both back into the dark days. I have to stop because, as others have said, it really doesn’t help anyone, especially not me.

    • Rachel

      At that visualizing point again today of “them” at their lunches. Wondering about their conversation, wondering what they ate. Spins in my head. I hope she dribbled the cheese down her face, had something stuck in her teeth and chewed with her mouth opened!

      • REgrets

        Rachel, I am so there, spinning with you.I’m ok and then BAM I’m vividly seeing them walk around doing romantic things together or having engaging conversations or starring into each others’ eyes or writing little letters to each other and feeling that in love energy radiant and I FREAK.

        Ugh, let me off, let me off this nightmare path brain.

        Sometimes “THOUGHT STOPPING” works but other times, no dice.

    • ChangedForever

      In retrospect, i would have been more brave and demanded of my H that once he’d ‘decided’ to break up with the OW (the week after DDay)i would have threatened him that if i found out about any further contact…i would contact ‘Cheaters’ immediately & expose & humilate both of them on national TV, first & last names included, but, who knew? I never even heard about Cheaters before being cheated on…
      In other words, i would have used more scare tactics.
      Maybe, just maybe if i would have scared the s**t out of one or both of them shortly after DDay, and acted a little ‘over the top brave’ in this respect, all the months of continued contact may not have happened…( as if watching me quickly deteriorate & lose 40 lbs wasnt scary enough…)

    • PunchingBag

      I think there are many things that I have done that have proven to be unproductive. But I think there are two that really seem to be at the forefront as I look back today.

      First, I should have never confronted my wife when all I had was a gut feeling that there was something going on. This lead to lies and more lies as she tried to blow it off and “get it under control” before anything bad happened. This has led to discovery after discovery of pieces of information that I should have uncovered myself as evidence or that she might have told me if I had more solid evidence to start with. Just added more pain, more delays, and more heartache.

      Second, I should have never let her know how weak I was and how much I want our marriage to work. This gave her a great deal of power to do and say what she pleased without fear of me leaving or her being kicked out. I feel much stronger and I now know that if our marriage is to end because of her transgression that she will be the one that must move out. I will stay, I will care for our children, I will not let anyone think that I am weak and left my family, and she can go live in her fantasy until it crumbles.

      If I could have done something differently I think I would have done a better job at controlling my emotions and controlling our conversations as to not let her turn them around on me. I think too many times our communication breaks down within minutes of starting and goes downhill fast. If our conversations were more controlled and respectful I think we could have gotten many things out and addressed at a much faster pace. Perhaps just shorter and more direct would have produced results as well, but in any case it boils down to better and more productive communication.

      I still have hope and I still look for the little glimmers of love that tell me that things might work out, but I am also getting more realistic and coming to grips with what may come. As the weeks wear on I keep getting stronger and the power of their fantasy over me gets weaker. Fingers crossed, hopes high, and waiting for the fog to lift.

    • Joe

      Oh my gosh, the things I did those first few weeks and the things I continue to do.
      Like Greg and Mark, I obsessed with email, phone, Facebook, I couldn’t leave it alone. Though I have never met the OM, I would drive by his house to see if she was there. She stayed with him the first month of our separation, now has her own place, but I believe stays with him the nights she doesn’t have custody of our child. I want to know, but want to keep away and give them freedom. I know they need time together to discover what a tool he is, and what a fog she is in.
      The obsession to know is a behavior I am ok with, what I’m not proud about is the way I verbally berated her in that discovery period. Laying on guilt, calling her names, trying to ‘shock’ her back to reality. I know now how damaging and futile that approach is. She cannot see the situation yet. I just got an email from her today and I can tell she still blames me for her infidelity. I have no idea what is going on with their relationship, but I assume it is still on because she cannot process thought like I know she was able to do before.
      She is a liar and cheater demonstrating little character, so I’m not sure I want her back as much as I just want clarity, admission, acknowledgement and a healthy co-parenting relationship. I loved her so much, and continue to love who she was, but the woman I see now is a shell of the person I married. No matter what happens, she will always have to deal with the fact then when things got tough, she ran to the bed of another man.

      • Anita

        I know this is a hard time for you.
        Since your wife is living the life she wants right now, the
        best thing for you to do is to go foward with your own life
        and do things that bring you joy.
        I know your grieving, however now its time to put you and
        your children first, and forget about her.
        Someday if she decides to return to the marriage you can
        work and try to rebuild. However at this point and time
        put your engery into yourself and your children.
        Joe, I have experienced your hurt and disappointment.
        However what helped me was to focus on creating a
        new life for myself.
        My best to you!

      • WriterWife

        Joe — I so understand this obsession! I’ve been the same way (for the first time yesterday I realized that I have a set of the OW’s house keys and I had a moment of thinking I could go over to her house and poke around — ack!).

        This is something that I’m really really struggling with right now — I don’t know how to stop my obsession with the OW. The thing is, the obsession isn’t really about her interactions with my husband, it’s more than that — I want to know if she’s dating someone new, who he is, what he looks like. I want to know if she’s happy or if she’s still miserable since she lost her two best friends through all of this. I want to know if she ever got around to cleaning her house or if her life is falling apart. I spent hours googling pictures of her one weekend (and was rewarded with a truly horrid one that made my day – lol). I posted a picture of me on my facebook showing how much weight I’d lost because I wanted her to see it.

        I recognize that *I’m* actually the one who’s keeping her an issue in my marriage — not my husband. I’m so furious at her for her betrayal of our friendship but I’m not sure if I want to talk to her about it or not.

        I’d definitely love to know how others have dealt with this because I’m with Anita and NW — she doesn’t deserve this power in my life. I need to figure out how to move on. I’ve already decided that a character named after her will die horribly in my next book (an author’s ultimate revenge!) but sometimes that isn’t enough comfort 🙂

    • Yeah, Right

      I’m in the same boat as everyone with the obsessive survaeillance, and the comparing myself to the OW. Of course, through that surveillance, I did discover the seeds of another emotional affair with an X girlfriend from high school, so it was not all for naught.

      But my biggest regret is allowing myself to be a doormat. I am a strong woman normally, so putting up with both the affair and the crappy treatment for 6-9 months after D-day while he pulled his head out if his *ss, is something I regret. I really do wish I had had the nerve to kick him out, even temporarily, so he knew just how damn serious I was and how much he needed to get his act together if he ever wanted me and the kids in his life.

    • WriterWife

      This is a great question and it’s been interesting to see common threads in the responses. I’m actually glad I found anger because at first I was just so hurt and crushed — the anger gave me needed strength. I actually found out about the EA the day after my husband’s father had a heart attack (he’s recovered now) and I’d raced up to be with the family — so here I was having found out about my husband’s (their son/brother) EA and I had to stay surrounded by his family with no one else knowing! It was torture! But it was probably also good because I couldn’t just lie on the bed staring into space and sobbing. I was happy when the anger came because it gave me strength — it allowed me to start focusing on myself and demanding what I needed.

      Looking back on it, I think the mistake I made was in wanting to continue to be my husband’s emotional support, even when what he needed support with was his tortured feelings for the OW. I spent weeks where I allowed him to come to me (and often I was the one who initiated the conversations) when he needed to share how hard it was to get over the OW (or how he didn’t want to get over her). That wasn’t healthy for me and we spent so much time focusing on his feelings for the OW (our former best friend) that we spent almost no time on me and how I was feeling.

      This sounds strange to say, but I feel like I was often too understanding. I wish I’d demanded more from him because I’m not sure he ever truly realized how deeply hurt and betrayed I was because we spent all our time on him. I definitely felt very very taken for granted by him.

      • Redshoe9

        Oh my I could have written your post word for word. I am so guilty of doing this myself. I’ve always been the “healing talker” in our marriage and because I’m his only real life friend he turned to me to dump his withdrawal feelings on. I did the exact same thing and I’m still in the horrible urge to “fix him” and make him see what he did to me (sending him articles, quotes etc) and I realized recently that it’s pointless. His affair was online only and short lived ( three weeks of intense love?) but the pain will last a much longer time for me.

        I’m deeply hurt and all he gets is his own longing for the infatuation. He has romanticized his cyber affair to the level of jack and rose. He talks out both sides of his mouth, wanting to repair the marriage (we are in counseling) and yet is too honest about how he misses the waves of emotions that he experienced in his fling. I saw a email when he was first busted where he described his marriage to me as “safe and right” and yet questioned if it was the right choice for him.

        Forgot to mention that his cyber OW lives in Iran and we live in the US. Married for 12 years with two small children. She was a decade younger and trying to find a way out of Iran. He refused to believe that she could have been playing him for a green card.

        • Notoverit

          At least he is trying to be honest! Sounds like he is missing the “high”, not the woman. I too tried to fix things and push. I got to thinking I was like the push-me-pull-me llama. I finally reached the point that you are at – it was pointless. The CS has to come to the realization himself/herself and there is nothing we BS can do to make it go any faster. Hang in there and work on yourself, learn things about yourself and keep reading for you. My H is finally starting to realize that all this EA mess was just his attempt to feel better about himself – selfish and self-centered. I knew that from the beginning but it took him some time and counseling to realize it. So hang in there!

    • Sonia

      It has only been 3 weeks after Dday, but that first week, I wish I was more demanding and ask all the questions with out thinking about hurting him. Yeah, I know it sounds stupid. But I was afraid that if I bombard him with questions, he would shut down and stop talking. Because I was not getting all the answers, I was imagining everything. I can close my eyes and vividly see them kissing and hugging. UGH

    • SamIam

      Rage! that I would change. But I am sure there is no way to handle such a betrayal except with rage. My biggest regret is that both of my young adult children were home from college and heard some of what I was saying about their father, to their father~ some but not all. 🙁

    • Rodion

      I think the least productive thing I did was to confront my wife with my knowledge of the affair. From the sounds of it, a lot of you had spouses who immediately displayed remorse and then decided to end the affair. Mine did not. Oh, she was remorseful, and truly so, but the affair had just gone physical and she was totally addicted and told me she could not break it off. I believed her initially, and thought that divorce was my only option. I then realized that other trajectories were possible and began marriage coaching with the aim to reconcile. It’s been a long haul, and she’s still obstinate and totally enveloped in the affair fog. I do think that my initial confrontation just made it worse. It drove them closer together and as a result that could mean that the situation might have resolved sooner if I’d just gotten out of the way and allowed it to run its course.

      But, mistakes are mistakes and we can only work with what we’ve got and what we’ve done.

    • theresa

      After reading all the comments that had been posted, I forgot the questions.
      1. I stuck my head up my ass..
      2. there was no recovery
      3. I woulf not have married him. (only if my children
      were still my children. So, that makes the rest of the
      crap was worth it. I have great kids).

      I am ready. They are in college and beyond.
      We met in HS, married after college,(31 years ago)…You see he cheated before we married, and has told me that he had no intention to keep his vow of fidelity ( recent revelation). And he hasn’t. And I knew it. But I couldn’t say it out loud. Then it becomes real.
      I made his needs a priority.
      I did not value myself.
      There have been a number of D-days. And you can ignore alot with your head in the wrong place.
      And I just can not pretend anymore. It’s getting hard I find myself unable to communicate with the kids.
      So I took my head out of my ass, looked at myself and realized that I used to be pretty special. I should have demanded respect. I should matter.At the very least I should matter to myself. I should trust my instincts, I should treat myself at least as well as I treated someone ‘that never deserved it.
      thank you to all who visit here,.I value your words. So I just had an idea. There are threads that go through each situation. I’m going to extract the words that I most identify with in each of your posts.
      I’ll keep you posted.

    • Surviving

      I kept too much inside and didn’t tell family members or close friends what was going on with me. I retreated from all of them and closed myself off. The only person I was with during this time was my H. I should have reached out to more people and did more things. My depression was worsening until finally I decided that I wasn’t okay, by this time friends and family started to worry about me.

    • Benny

      I am only a couple months from D – Day and I am still obsessing and depressed by my wife’s EA. I wish I could put the bad feelings and depression behind me. I wish I had followed my gut feelings and checked up on her sooner than I did and I am getting tired of checking everything but don’t feel comfortable or ready to stop looking at emails, etc just yet. This blog has been a godsend and has helped save my sanity. Thank you all.

      • Healing Mark

        Benny. Hang in there. For me, the obsession and depression and anger and triggers and you name it did not start to diminish noticably untl after about 6 months. There should come a point at which you are comfortable/ready to stop monitoring your W’s communications, but it takes time to regain that kind of trust. I feel for you right now as a couple of month’s after my discovery of the existence, and ending, of my wife’s EA I was a real mess. I’m 16 months out after discovery and my relationship with my wife is great. We hate what happened and the harm it caused, but we’ve moved on and are doing what we can to keep each of us happy and proud to be married to each other.

        • Benny

          Thanks for your comments Healing Mark. I appreciate all your other posts here as well. Reading and listening to you and others here is a special kind of therapy that can only be gained from people that have been through the same troubles.

      • Greg

        You’re pretty much where you need to be Benny. I’m at eight months out and have only been able to stop looking at her browser history and cell records daily in the last two weeks. Doesn’t mean I still don’t feel the urge to but I at the point where I can trust my wife enough to stop that urge. My goal is to be where Mark is now with his sixteen months. It really is weird to be able to look back at what people are going through and see that I was doing the exact same thing at almost the same time. There just seems to be a normal progression for many of us. Trust that you will get there it’ll just take time. The determining factor seems to be the CS willingness to work on the marriage.

        • Healing Mark

          Benny and Greg. Not only working on making the marriage the best it can be which includes efforts to stop any harmful behaviours that existed leading up to and during the EA, but for me, I also sensed that my wife was back to “normal” (i.e., acting the way she acted when we were not having any real problems getting along and when she was not spending inordinate amounts of time talking, emailing and texting with the AP). As such, I have nothing to look for, so why look. It helps, of course, that for an extended period of time, my checking up on things resulted in me discovering that she was not acting inappropriately including hiding things or lying about things. And also for me, I got so sick of checking up on her, and it was making me so unproductive at work and life in general, that I just had to give it up as any other destructive habit before it became something almost as damaging to me and my family as my EA.

          Again, hang in there guys. In the words of Dan Savage (although the context is quite different), “It does get better!”.

        • Benny


          I took look at your and Healing Mark’s success and gain much hope that I will have a chance of feeling better with time.

          So far, my wife has made some drastic changes and I think she is serious about working on us. However , I’m not sure I’ve heard the whole story yet as “things” keep getting disclosed or admitted slowly so I’m always worried about what will come out, but for some that seems to be the way it is.. yes.. It takesTime… I used to tell my children that now I I’m the one that needs to hear it. Thanks.

    • Jamie

      D-Day was 7 weeks after our baby was born. She’s 8 months old now. I’m still extremely angry.

      If I could change one thing it would be my feeling of powerlessness and guilt. My H is selfish. He has always been a selfish person, beyond the norm; only never with me, but with his family and friends.

      I do not know how to stop blaming myself for his EAs…yes..plural, that happened during my entire pregnancy. He was supportive, loving, giving, helpful, caring and an all around wonderful H during my pregnancy, but I always felt there was something going on; because he would often ask me..”is there anything you want to tell me”..and he continues to turn some of his actions into my responsibility. Which is total bullshit.

      I had a baby. He felt neglected. Tough shit. That’s really how I feel about it. I’m still explosively angry 8 months later.

      Some days I wish I would have left him the day I opened his phone. Some days I realize I have some culpability (about 5% at the most). And some days, I feel that my furious anger is justified and justifyable. Today, I don’t really care about his feelings. Today I want you be angry and take it out on him for abandoning me and our new baby daughter because he was “scared” or “overwhelmed” or “selfish”, all of which, I find are unacceptable answers. I was experienceing all of those same things too, and I was 40lbs heavier, and I had crazy hormone issues, and I had a very hard pregnancy, gave up my job, was forced out of school and I haven’t had any major connections to my friends over the last months. I’m very very very very angry.

      Sometimes I think my furious anger has more to do with the timeing of this affair; than the actual act of betrayal. I feel like a paper towel.

      I’m pissed off that I was left to deal with my daughter’s needs (she is my first and only child, I’m in my late thirties) and that he wanted me to consider my ‘responsibilities in my actions and why he acted the way he did, due to how I treated him”…screw you…is how I feel.

      Some days, I think it’s not worth the struggle. Then, I remember that our miracle is in my arms, all day, everyday..and that without him and without our strong loving relationship, before his contact with other women, I may never have known the best thing I have ever done…our child.

      I was told for years…”focus on your career, you will not be a mother 1 in 100 chance”, so that’s what I did. And now, I have this amazing child; because we loved each other. Somehow, I know, at the apex of all this trauma; he never stopped loving me. I didn’t do anything to make this happen. And I still believe my anger is part of the process.

      I would change my furious anger, if I could. I haven’t been able to. It comes in waves. I wonder if I’m doing it to push him away. I usually walk away from relationships after an offense of this magnitude. The damage cannot be repaired. I hold grudges. I burn bridges.

      I don’t really know what I want.

      I know I love him for giving me my child.

      I want the anger to stop. I want to be happy again.

      • Redshoe9

        🙂 I admire your willingness to admit such anger. I have that too and yet “suppress” it to avoid the fear of pushing him away and because I’m dependent on him financially. I am a stay at home mom who has been out of the work force for over 15 years.

        You are right, you didn’t do anything to cause him to cheat. You are right to feel mad. Get mad girl and then at some point you’ll move on to the other emotions but that anger will still be there. I think it’s fine for now.

        I know it’s hard to believe that it can ever go away. I’m a grudge bearer as well. Talk about burning bridges, I leave them smoking for anyone else but this darn cheating spouse of mine. I don’t know why love hurts.

        You are probably like me in regards to giving up when it feels overwhelming. I want to ditch him, take my kids and start over somewhere else all to avoid the pain of his cheating. It is one of the most horrible feelings in the world to think that your spouse doesn’t love you enough to stay with faithful much less fight for the marriage. They toss you away like yesterday’s news.

        Hang in there, you are not alone.

    • chiffchaff

      I think it is the feeling that you just don’t exist to the CS anymore, that you’re ‘old news’, a ‘has been’, and thrown away that hurts the most. They didn’t try to fix the marriage in any reasonable way before just deciding to discard you for someone shiny and new. In fact, it’s worse than that. They wanted you to stay at home and look after/support the mundane side of their life so that their OW and themselves could keep all the nice bits just for themselves within their cosy little bubble. Leaving you to get on with the drudge, with their real and hurtful side, with no perks, upside or affection whatsoever.
      That’s what really hurts.

    • ghost

      i am 17 months in since d-day. i had already suffered a 20 year battle with PTSD, depression, and OCD, but was doing better than i ever had when i found out about the EA. i was doing better than i had ever been in 20 years. i was in full recovery and we were, i thought, doing great and happy and healthy in an 8.5 yr marriage. **yes, plural… there were 9 EAs all around/at the same time… one (that i know of) led to physical encounter** i was absolutely devastated when i had his phone and intercepted a text from the physical encounter-OW… ugh! (but i have to add here, the EA turned physical affair was at the 20th anniversary of the reason i had PTSD in the first place and i wasn’t taking it very well, and i needed his support, and i did notice he didn’t seem to be there for me, which was odd for him… i just thought he was overworked… also, 9 days after d-day my beloved dog died, 12 days after that my other dog died, then a couple of months after that my dad died…so not great timing…, huh?)
      but really, i was completely blindsided. i didn’t see it coming AT ALL. we were doing so great. i had breakfast/lunch/dinner for him every day, surprise lunches for him at work, surprised him by doing renovations on the house at home (painting,etc), took him to see fireworks for his b-day in summer… we never argued, we had date nights, etc. we didn’t have any quarrels about anything. ?? i don’t get it!

      i ended up having a nervous breakdown and am still in partial hospitalisation. i guess the good thing is, i have lost 60 lbs, she has gained 😉 my biggest regret is not playing it cool and not letting him (them) know i knew about it so soon… finding and reading the texts could have helped instead of letting my imagination now torture me and eat away at me like a cancer.

      the most unproductive thing, though, is my obsessive behaviour. i already have OCD…i had the relapse along with the PTSD and MDD relapse(s) when i had the nervous breakdown… and though i am now on meds again, they get the better of me and i can literally sit for 10 hours a day blocking random women on facebook– and by that i mean, i have access to his facebook account, and besides all the women he actually knows being blocked from his account already, i just block any “friends of friends” (and their friends, and their friends…) who happen to be women. yes, it is nuts. some days i can control it, most days i can not. i have found that even increasing meds does nothing to help. sometimes i literally have to force myself to get up and EAT or even go to the restroom. it makes me so mad to see myself that way when i was never like that before. talk about wasting time. i still look at the phone logs online, his personal email is forwarded and merged with mine, so i get it and he has no access to it, so if he gets an email, i tell him. and between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am, his phone is as useless as a paperweight due to parental controls i pay extra for to the cell company. if he needs to make a call during those hours, he can ask to use my phone. he still has his work phone and email but they are monitored by his job so i don’t think he uses them for anything other than work.

      my husband feels insane remourse and is in individual therapy as well as our couples therapy. i am (like i said) in partial hospitalisation and have individual therapy there 3x/week as well, and see the psychiatrist 3x/week. he insists he was addicted to texting and addicted to the attention.
      i am so hurt (obviously) and cannot get these images out of my head. it is like i am at ground zero. i have all this intense rage and anger, panic and manic attacks, and now starting to have other scary symptoms i never had before. this is the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life…even worse than the event that caused me to have PTSD 20 years ago. i just hope i can get over this. i know it is going to take me a very long time. i had 100% trust in him, even to the point where he would be sitting next to me in the car TALKING ON THE PHONE with one of these women, and i didn’t give it a sideways thought… now i think “how could i have been such a trusting idiot???”

      and now i have come to find that he hadn’t been telling me the truth since d-day and has just come clean, (he had told me that this physical-OW had persued him relentlessly and he “gave in” to her yadda yadda, which now he says is not the case… he persued her, he liked her… he wanted her…) so it is like the scab has just been picked off and now i have to deal with this, and HE is just now coming to the realisation of what he has truly done because he had believed his own lie and had deflected his responsibility in the whole thing, so now he is starting from scratch as though his d-day is fresh. it’s just a huge mess.

    • ghost

      *LOL i messed up my editing of my post– sorry for mistakes, it was long and i was in a rush 🙂 sorry in advance for mistakes! 🙂

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