triggers and memoriesIt seems that except for our “Open Mic” discussions, the last several weekly topics haven’t generated much conversation at all.  That most certainly is our fault for not coming up with topics that are relevant and/or interesting enough for you guys to comment on.  For that we apologize.

I hope that this week’s discussion topic will put an end to our losing streak and get us back on track.  If not, then I guess we either consider moving away from the weekly discussions or, well, I don’t know what else.

If you all have a topic that you want to discuss, by all means either mention it in the comment section or shoot us an email.  We typically will run with most topic suggestions as long as they’re appropriate.

That said…

In our last survey, 64.46% of you guys said that you are struggling with “Dealing with your own triggers and memories of the affair”

That’s a pretty darn high percentage.  So let’s talk about them.

No doubt that after finding out about your spouse’s infidelity, you’ve been through a tremendous amount of emotional trauma.  It’s been life altering indeed.  It may be hard for you to really believe that you will ever heal from this.

You may think that you will be forever stuck with the triggers, obsessive thoughts and memories of the affair and that you may never reclaim your peace of mind.

The mind is a powerful thing. After the affair the mind can manipulate your thinking to the point that you can obsess about your spouse’s affair and/or the affair partner. These thoughts and images can be both destructive and controlling. But they are there. And we all need to learn how to deal with them.

With this in mind, here are some questions to consider with respect to dealing with triggers, obsessive thoughts and memories after infidelity:

What thoughts of the affair or the other person are playing in your mind today?

How would you describe the thoughts and images that have come to you after the affair?

What affect have these obsessive thoughts and images had on your quality of life and ability to move forward?

Have they lessened with time, or strengthened?

What, if anything has helped  to lessen these thoughts and their control over you?

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

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

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Regaining Control:
Dealing With Obsessive Thoughts, Triggers and Memories of the Affair

Arm yourself with a variety of techniques, practical strategies and  knowledge to help you to manage those intrusive thoughts, triggers and memories of your partner’s affair.

    113 replies to "Discussion – Dealing with Triggers and Memories of the Affair"

    • Jeddy

      Some days I am obsessive, some days I’m awesome and made of rubber, it all bounces off me. I am 3 months out, and I think my h’s behavior helps, after acting defensively for several awful weepy weeks, he seems to be more empathetic and compassionate. I’m triggered by strange things – a hotel lounge my h or I have never been to. I had a mild panic attack at a Marriott lobby that had no relation to the ea. the triggers piss me off since in addition to being in the dark about my marriage, I often have no control over my thoughts either. The ow is no threat to me, my husband is mortified and embarrassed. She’s like a bad rash I can’t get rid of when she occupies my head, and she still reports to my h. So that’s a problem to healing completely. Her behavior concerns me insofar as I feel my responsibility is to her husband. She’s a boundary crosser, so I just forward things to him. Until she’s completely out of our lives and nc can be permanently implemented, she and the triggers are monkeys on my back.

      I also think triggers occur when there are still unanswered questions. I still feel like the ow knows more about me and my life than I know about her. I believe there are still holes in the story and until I feel I have all the pieces, I think triggers will continue – its like my brain trying to fill in those blanks. It’s keeping me from closure. He swears there was no pa, but Im being tested for stds next week. That’s a whole new level of humiliation, right? I have no reason to take his word on this, believing his promises and “truths” brought me to this level of hell.

      • Rachel

        Jeddy,
        Glad you are being tested. Who knows if the cs ever tells the truth? Better to be safe. Good luck.

    • EyesOpened

      Doug and Linda – you are truly a lifeline. Thank you for all the hard work and energy you put into this site. With posts like this – I just don’t feel I deserve to have a say – but I’m going to talk anyway … Things are moving forward for my h and I . We have moved into our newly renovated house, still go to couples counselling and are still working hard at the ‘New Us’. As I’ve mentioned before , I feel bad that somewhere along the line, as the CS, I became the ‘victim’. Most of our work is on reinventing ourselves . Very rarely, my h suffers triggers openly, but when they happen, his anger triggers me to the ‘old him’. It’s difficult to manage that cycle. Nowadays I get huge pockets of contentment and really believe we are going to have a happy ever after marriage against all the odds.

      Sometimes I still find my mind wandering back to the affair – triggered by places, smells, songs and the like. Just like the BSs – I don’t want the thoughts or the images – they just appear and interrupt my peace. I am so bitterly disappointed in myself and so wish I could rewrite history.

      One topic I would like to suggest that I have been thinking about is this:- What advice would you give someone BEFORE an affair took place? Doug – what would have prevented your affair ? What should you (or Linda) have been doing? I’m desperate to explore this for myself. Should I have told my h I was falling for someone ? If I had, I don’t think we’d have got to counselling and I think we ‘d still be in our viscous circle now. One couple I know goes to a counselling session every 6 months – just to check in with one another. I think that’s a great idea for all newlyweds! How do I stop my kids copying me or this being done to them?

      • Doug

        Thanks EO. It certainly sounds as though your relationship is moving in the right direction. I like the topic idea and may indeed run it next week. So nobody answer her questions yet! 😉

    • EyesOpened

      Hi Jeddy. Speaking from the other side – at first my h said he didn’t want to know the details. When we started counselling, I asked the counsellor in confidence if I should tell him. She said ‘not if he doesn’t ask’. 18 months on – and he doesn’t know everything and hasn’t asked but still guesses incorrectly . I so don’t want to trope the wounds but am thinking if writing it all down so he can choose to read it or not. I worry we’ll just be starting all over again though. It’s a dilemma. Good luck to you.

      • Jeddy

        Thank you. My h says he doesn’t remember details – in my opinion, there may be 3 reasons for this: men really don’t remember details, he has blocked it out of his mind due to shame & doesn’t want to revisit, or he’s lying. For me, personally, I just want this book closed, but some chapters are incomplete, so it’s hard to get past it. I need the details, your h doesnt.

        Someone sent me the ‘soul mate schmoopie’ link, which had me laughing hysterically, I wasn’t triggered by it. When I showed my husband some of the clips, he laughed but found it hit home uncomfortably. Specifically, the way the ow mirrored everything he said and how obvious it is to him now. That his ea was a cliche that cartoons make fun of and basically followed a very juvenile script. It’s crass and r rated but I’d love to know what you think. Good luck with your journey, you’re very honest about yourself.

        • Strengthrequired

          Jeddy, my h doesn’t remember a lot (at times I find it hard to believe, because I remember everything I went through because of his ea), I think at the time my h went off the rails with the ow, he wasn’t really well mentally, and there were things he said to me while in this stage he truly doesn’t remember saying. So I believe he blocked it all out, for most of it. I do believe he remembers towards the end of his ea though, I also believe that what he remembers he prefers not to say everything, so not to hurt me, so is trying to protect my feelings as well as the possibility of me walking away from him.
          He knows he cannot change what happened, I cannot change what happened, but I do know we both want to forget it ever happened, so we can be normal again.

        • Paula

          Jeddy, in the early months, as you are, even the “good” (lol) genuinely remorseful, embarrassed and ashamed cheaters say they don’t remember. They do. They are lying. They may not remember dates, times, places in detail, but they remember. They are mostly trying to protect you from the awfulness, but also, very importantly, themselves. If they say it out loud, it becomes true LOL. Mine got better at “remembering” pretty early on, got better at unqualified truth within the first six months, probably earlier, but didn’t totally let the last shutter down until around two years after D-day. He learned that he needed to be really honest with me, he had ended the affair before she exposed him, so was already sure of who he really wanted to be with. He knew without total transparency and honesty, it was a deal breaker. As they all say, be careful what you ask, but I wasn’t really. I needed details, many don’t. The reason I needed details was that my imagination was already on fire with far more adventurous. far more “loving” things, very graphic sex, so I needed truth to disseminate those pictures and ideas.

    • EyesOpened

      Thanks Doug. No offence taken if you edit the post. Apologies for going ‘off piste’.

    • theresa

      Flip side
      if there are circumstances, beyond our control, that does not allow us to banish the AP to a second universal plain, and there are DAILY reminders, how is the CS dealing with their triggers?
      AND, only a jackass (mine) says he never thinks of her anymore

    • theresa

      Sorry all. didn’t scroll down. i’ll wait for the next topic

    • gizfield

      Doug, I don’t know about anyone else but I have been EXTRA busy lately. Not really sure why. I get email notifications of new comments and a lot of the time want to comment but just dont have the time. Also, lol, at the end of February, I got a Kindle Fire and spend a lot of my free time reading and playing Fruit Ninja, my latest addiction. It’s very therapeutic for those hostility issues that come up from time to time….

      • Doug

        Giz, Believe me, I understand. Since the weather has improved we’ve been spending more time in the outdoors in the yard and in the woods. Fruit Ninja, huh? I never have gotten into the whole gaming thing for whatever reason. I don’t think I have the patience for it. But if it helps with your hostility issues then have at it! 😉

    • Battleborn

      Doug, I don’t believe there is a reason for or Linda to apologize for the lack of responses. We are all adults here and quite possibly have been enjoying the new spring that has finally come. You are not responsible for keeping the conversation going all the time, if it weren’t for you two all of us would still be spinning our wheels without any help.

      Keep up your great work, we all benefit from it whether we respond or not!

      • Doug

        I appreciate the kind words..and you’re right BB. But when comments are pretty much the only source of feedback we get (other than emails) it can seem that the content isn’t relevant, helpful or interesting.

    • Strengthrequired

      Doug, one thing you need to remember and that is:
      You and Linda have started this site in the hopes to help yourselves heal as well as helping others benefit from what you both have learned. Now you have information on here, that has helped many. Those people are here and show themselves, others come by and read and learn silently, and are just not that ready to get their thoughts out. Some of both are yet to visit, and some just haven’t found you yet. They are out there. One thing is for certain, whether you want to believe it or not, you have helped many, even those that have not commented, those who are just looking for answers to their own situation, those not wanting to feel alone in their situation, and they find relief here. With information and experiences from people who are and have been though the same situation. Let me tell you, there are a lot of sites out there that don’t even come close to what you and Linda offer here.
      I browsed a site one day, reading the comments and honestly I was shocked on how much this cheating spouse was being treated, when all he wanted was help, he wanted to find a way to get back to his wife, after he realised what a terrible thing he did. Everyone told him to just leave the poor woman alone. Which then he decided to defend himself, and his wife, because they told him she would be an idiot if she took him back. Yet on the other side, you could see he was still very confused, if his wife didn’t take him back, he was looking at staying with his ow. What this man needed was someone like you, someone like this site, that could help him do things the right way. He did ask for help prior to him leaving his wife, but at the time he chose to ignore the advice, which by the time hs wife found out he was still cheating, she told him to leave. That was when he became devastated, and finally knew the pain he had caused. Unlike many situations that we all have experienced, either side.
      Now I don’t know what ended up with this man, it was several years ago, maybe even before your site was created, yet one thing is for sure, if instead of people getting upset with him, he needed someone to guide him. I am truly not sure if this man found the help he needed, but I just know he would have found the right type of help from here.
      Just don’t under estimate the work you do here

      • Doug

        Thanks so much for saying that SR. I’ve mentioned before that typically only 1% of readers make comments on blogs (all kinds of blogs) and I think the numbers are going lower and lower all the time. You’re right when you said…”others come by and read and learn silently, and are just not that ready to get their thoughts out.” There have been several times where a person has mentioned that they have been a reader for years and are just making their initial comment. I’m sure it’s not easy for some folks to do. Thanks again and thanks for all of your contributions.

    • Tabs

      Jeddy,

      I believe you are correct. Triggers occur when there are still unanswered questions. I’m “three years” out from D day and I still think about the OW. There are lots of half truths and many blanks that keep me obsessed. It’s especially painful when I remember my H telling me things happened one way only to be told something different later. As Strength said, it may be to protect me from pain. But more likely, I believe it’s to protect himself. Is anybody else years from D day still obsessing with the details?

      • SHAPE

        Yes, I am 3 1/2 years out now, and while the triggers are less often, they are still there. What has helped the most is that we had to move due to my husband’s job loss (out of work for a year). and acceptance of another job half way across the country. And, while I know this is not possible for everyone, it has helped reduce the triggers for me. I no longer have to live in a house she came to (when I was home) or go by a street near her house to get to my hair stylist and things like that. But I still have ugly remembrances of the lies he told me, and of seeing his car in her driveway AFTER I was told he had not been in contact. And, probably what helped a lot is that I was able to confront her directly (w/o him present) after that visit and before our move to make it very clear to her that they could not be “friends.”

        I think this was also a turning point for my H as well, and then he started a new job in a new state 2 mos later. His whole attitude has changed now, and he really does show remorse for what he did. That is all helpful – but a part of me still does not fully trust him to let me know if she were to contact him again.

        But with time and my H’s continuing change in behavior, it is getting better. A new living place – many, many miles away – has helped!

      • allayfig222

        Tabs, I am 2.5 years out and in exactly the same position as you. My H continues to deny that he remembers anything of what they said in their thousands of minutes of phone calls but remembers clearly what they did not say (LOL) like he never said anything uncomplimentary about me and they never even talked about meeting in person (she is an old girlfriend who lives 1200 miles away). His “I don’t remember” and “I don’t think so” in answer to almost all my questions have contributed to my continuing obsession. If he would tell me what did happen leading up to the mushy love letters I found, then we might put this to rest. Without complete knowledge, I fantasize and get hit by multiple triggers every day.

      • sr

        Yes, Al two yrs out. Found out nite of my b’day, I still feel he is being evasion with info and I feel until I get all the truth its not going away.

        • Sam

          I found out the night of my birthday to Dec of 2012 looked on his phone for messages from our daughter but got something like, sorry I missed saying goodnight to your sexy voice. I left message with her husband that he needed to watch his wife she was doing more on her phone and computer then he knew about. My husband told me few days later the husband was humiliated by this and got drunk and went home and beat her up she called his sister to get him off her.
          My husband wasn’t mad at me for doing it he is the kind that don’t want others to know. I say he shouldn’t have been talking behind my back to another woman from his school days than. I felt bad she was beaten however I doubt it was the first time.

      • sr

        Yes after two yrs.

    • Tryinghard

      Dog and Linda
      You guys have done a great job with this blog. You’ve been a Godsend and a place of perspective and help for me. Please don’t apologize.

      For the record I try to comment on most posts in support of your efforts with the blog. Sometimes though I just don’t have anything to add. I did make a suggestion that Sarah P could expound more on personality types that have affairs. Maybe she could do a post on that?

      I always find a lot of information in her posts. And as you know not so much with the Ottos. Sorry about that but they are too naive for me. I’m too crusty and cynical for their advice.

      Ok on to triggers. This was the topic with my shrink today. Spring has been rough for me since it was this time three years ago that my H left for 3 months. The weather in 2011 was horrible. Storms, tornados, snow you name we had it and I was by myself with the dogs. Alone in my shitty basement listening to the trees cracking and the winds howeling. I hate wind. He never called to see if we were ok. Now me I can see but he loves his dogs:). Anyway so we’ve had some storms and honestly felt transported back in time. At one point I went to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror I was white. The triggers are the worst. And for me one trigger begets another. I go from being triggered about the physical aspect of the affair to the emotional aspect and then back. My shrink says its because I was betrayed on so many levels. So honestly I can say as of today although I dearly love my husband I am truly evaluating if I really want this marriage any longer. I mean three freaking years is a tough battle. I’m wondering if I would be better off alone. It would mean the demise of his business though but I’m about ready to say WTF. I’m tired and wondering if he or the marriage is worth it. Maybe it is time to call it a day???

      • Doug

        Thanks TH. I always enjoy reading your point of view as well – crusty and cynical as it is. 🙂

        It must be very difficult to be in the position that you are in to have to decide if you want to stay in the marriage. It’s impossible to predict what the future holds and if things will change/improve, so I wish you continued strength throughout your decision making process and that you make the decisions that are in YOUR best interests.

    • Tryinghard

      Bwahahahaha. Dog???? Sorry Doug 🙂

      • Doug

        Hmmm…An innocent slip up? I think not! 😉

        • Tryinghard

          LOL Doug. It was an innocent slip, sorry:)

    • gizfield

      Trying Hard, for some reason I don’t even understand I have felt really bad toward my husband since about Monday. I can get really detached really easily. Pretty much nothing to even say to him, lol. Today at work I wrote “divorce” on my calendar, and decided I would either use the tax refund money for it, or get a title loan on my car if I had to. Wanted to flush my wedding ring down the toilet. Decided I should at least sell it to get divorce money. Pretty radical, right? I am lots better now. We went to the Thai restaurant tonight after we picked our daughter up from dance. For some reason I can tolerate him again. All I can say is this stuff comes and goes, at least for me. As far as his girlfriend goes, I seldom think of her. (She is a pathetic, disgusting troll.) Except when I’m mad I’d like to pack him and his shit in the car, and dump him off where ever the crap she lives, lol.

      • Tryinghard

        Exactly Giz. There are some days when everything is just fine. No triggers and it’s all good. But then a trigger happens like for me the inclement spring weather and bam I’m right back to square one.

        My therapist yesterday compared it to being raped. That there was nothing I could have done to stop the betrayal. I was totally in the dark and then I wasn’t. That I had been betrayed so deeply and on so many levels it was going to take time for my mind to sort through all of it and put it in its proper place. She also said just like a rape victim you may heal and move on but the actual act will always be part of my life experiences. She said even if I left the hurt and pain comes with me so here I am still TryingHard to make everything right and move on.

        I enjoy your comments too. I hope you get something from the empathy video. I know you probably won’t show it to your H as I didn’t show it to mine because well they just wouldn’t get it and it’s not worth the energy it would take to explain it to him. You’ll get it though and hopefully gives you another puzzle piece.

        LOL with regards to being the more complex person in the relationship:). I can identify. Shocking I know:)

    • Strengthrequired

      Tryinghard, giz – I told my h the other day, that after everything we have been through and still working through, that I know my worth more than ever and I won’t stand by a man or even fight for my marriage again, if I was ever to be put in that position again. I deserve better and I deserve love and respect, whether it be by the man I married or by someone else. I don’t deserve anything less. (That day, he called me so many times to see how I was and to chat).
      As for some triggers, I have my wedding anniversary and birthday coming up, and honestly, that is a trigger in itself. We celebrated our 21 wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time reconnecting when we were in the throws of his ea. unfortunately for me, he wasn’t as involved as I was at the time, still calling and texting her. My birthday, he threw me a birthday party, invited some friends and family, it was beautiful, but after seeing all the times afterwards, where he was still declaring his love for the ow, that birthday just doesn’t seem so special anymore, more tainted and felt more like it was forced into him by my friend. I had even told her, please, I didn’t want any celebrations, I wasn’t upto it and I didn’t want him pressured into giving one. It took another 8 months to get the turd out of our lives, everything in between just feels half hearted and him not really there.

    • suziesuffers

      Its been months and months since I’ve commented….triggers still haunt me…sometimes things that he had mentioned…sometimes something that just triggers a memory…my cheating husband after cheating during his years of addiction got sober and just cheated more with the women in aa…ea and pa…suddenly he had a audience of women that needed him and he loved the adulation…I was going thru tb e last affair..pa with an aa women…and he said he had finally learned he was searching for something he already had in me…bjt the constant available women in aa keep his eyes wandering…it have done that been two years in the last pa but I was obsessively talking to him about the affairs ..driving him crazy he said…but he was not truthful. ..still lies..stupid stuff traffic tickets…where he was…he started alanon…said I wasn’t practicing it well enough…he even lied about going to these meetings. ..didn’t know for a year. ..making women friends supporting him from his abusive wife that was still so upset about the affairs …after aa says…shouldnt discuss tbe affairs..let bygones be bygones…he LOVED that. ….found it was so much easier to get a relationship going with women in alanon. ..didn’t have to deal with his suffering wife…his troubled kids..alcoholic past… $10.00 hour job after being self employed architect…..he could start all over into a new worry free life with a new woman in alanon….even though this whole time he now loved me more than he ever had…but then 3 weeks later while with my mom for cancer surgery. ..he moved out…filed fkr divorce. ..its been 2 years…he had to move on to a couple alanon women…but finally settled down with one. .. he’s still with her…poor as a church mouse and was renting rooms till he moved into her house…still struggling and we’ve been divorced for a year…triggers…sadness…ptsd??? Narcisstic abuse. .codependency. ….I think I did everything wrong. ……. ready this site all the time during our recovery. … transparency. .. he was angry about. .. telling me I was up his a@@… I never felt I got answers…but I wasnt even sure what I was looking for. .. hoping maybe the truth would help me. .. maybe if I felt he was telling the truth I could feel safe. … not scared. .. but I kept trying…I was there for him in EVERY way.. except my pain over the affairs…he was angry I couldn’t forgive and never mention it again…so confused .. still in pain…36 years together…and I still struggle while he’s happy in his new history free life with another woman for the last 2 years….stupid I’m still struggling from whatever happened to me…

      • Doug

        Suzie, Boy I’m really sorry that your triggers still have the power that they do over you. One thing that you need to do is remove all blame from yourself. Don’t believe the BS that your ex has told you over the years. From what you’ve written, he has serious issues and I guarantee you that he is not “happy.”

      • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

        Suzie, you have been through so much, and like me have tried every which way to make it work with a broken man. Doug (or is it Dog, now, kind of like the Bounty Hunter? 🙂 is right, your ex isn’t happy even if he appears to be right now. I agree with you that the pain we have experienced is so real, but in Divorce Care I learned that depression is necessary for healing. It really will be possible for you to move on, but it takes a long, long time. I wish I could walk with you through this…I guess in some ways, just connecting here makes it possible to give and receive some support. I wish you the best and send you a big cyber-hug.

    • EyesOpened

      Jeddy – Apologies! Occasionally posts don’t show on my phone for some time. I’m going to look at your recommended link and shrivel – I’m sure!

      TH – recently, for various logistical reasons, my H and I have seen our MC independently – I went alone one week and he went the next. During his session -I don’t know what they discussed, but he fed back that she’d said ‘sometimes people want to leave the marriage because they think somehow the alternative life will be easier /more simple’. She admitted that the people she sees, by definition, always need help, but the point she made is that ‘it never is a simpler choice’ . I’m not sure if they were talking about my bad choices or whether he is tired and thinking if chucking it all in …. But, in my opinion, she is spot on. At the time of the affair, I thought running off with my AP would make things better/clearer/more simple. Ha! Cloud Cuckoo Land . Now, if my h leaves me, I have no one but myself to blame, but what a shame to have worked so hard to give up in the end…. His worry at the moment is how my family perceives him – that they think he’s stupid for sticking with me (they don’t). I am not sure how to handle it, as I can’t betray his confidence and ask them to reassure him – I think they find it hard to deal with BOTH of us in the aftermath. Tough one!

      Positive vibes to you all. EO

    • EyesOpened

      Jeddy – just listened to one soul mate schmoopie. Brilliant!! And sadly very accurate. Made me laugh too – not sure what that says about me???!!

    • gizfield

      Suzie Suffers, my first husband was an alcoholic and that type of relationship is one that I will NEVER go back to. We had horrible fights all the time. Things got so bad I decided I needed to quit drinking cause I was afraid someone would get killed. I went to AA a few weeks and hated it. I know it helps some people but it just drove me crazy. Very repetitious. There were not many women but believe me I was the cream of the crop. Not trying to be ugly, just truthful. I was in my late thirties then. I was “successful” at least and did not have any alcohol for over two years. I did go through some bad drinking for a few months after my husband died but now only drink occasionally.

    • gizfield

      Doug, you are so right about Suzie Suffers ex. I doubt very seriously he and his other woman are “happy.” Alcoholics that aren’t drinking are just about as bad as those who are. I’m not trying to be down on alcoholics but living with one is just HORRIBLE. Can’t imagine two in the same house. Has got to be chaos. If I had to pick between a cheater and an alcoholic, I’d pick the cheater.

    • Donna

      this issue is consuming me. I am 13 months past dday-my husband confessed to me and I still cannot genuinely move forward. I am so tired of feeling this way. My thoughts and images are all of my husband and his affair partners having sex. I make myself think of this and say to myself ‘I cant believe HE did this!’ My entire marriage-37 years-this has been my greatest fear–losing my husband to another woman. I’m learning this is my own low self-esteem issue. after learning of my husband’s affairs I know longer fear losing him. That fear is gone and somewhat of a relief to me. I am always searching for a way to help me diminish these thoughts and images. I read every single article, make copies of it and reread them every day. So far nothing is ‘clicking’ for me. (why?) I know that if I can get some control over this I will be able to begin to move forward.

      • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

        Donna, I too had a marriage of 37 years, and in the last three my H had two affairs, both of them emotional and physical, and now that I’m divorced and truly done with him, I cannot tell you the relief. Yes, there has been intense pain, so bad I sometimes wanted to die. But I am finally coming alive in ways I never before imagined were possible, especially at this age! You just have to decide whether a future with him is what’s truly right for you. I wish you all the best.

    • Oceangirl

      I am 16 months from Dday. We are in individual therapy, we have done a marriage recovery weekend, I have done a betrayed spouses class, and we are going to a second marriage/family counselor in a couple of weeks. I STILL can’t get the triggers to stop.
      When the affair was discovered, he told me he would not give her up, he deleted all correspondence between them on his cell phone, told her not to call him on his personal cell or our landline because I could monitor those calls, I found a gmail account with pictures of flowers he sent to her, I found a picture of her he forgot on his cell that led me to discover a date that they enjoyed together, I have 53 pages of phone records that show texts and calls between them from 2:00 am to 5:00 am on one occasion, and other late “after work” times, some as late as 11:00 pm. He got on a deer lease with her AND her husband when he had never hunted before but told me it was “some guys from work” that wanted him to join their deer lease. When I continued to press for answers to my questions about the affair, he became extremely abusive to the point of physical abuse – he spit on me, shoved me down, put his fist up against my nose but didn’t hit and many other actions– and verbally abusive, using words I won’t print here. I moved out for safety 8 months ago. I never have received any real answers to my questions — just “tip of the iceberg” general answers that really don’t answer the questions.
      This is his second emotional affair with her. He had the first one 18 years ago and I was never sure it was actually an affair until he admitted it during this one. He has shown little remorse, has told me to “get over it”, and really seems to just think that after a while I WILL get over it. Since she is a coworker, I cannot monitor their interactions. All he says is that he is no longer talking to her. He has gotten into an anger management class to help with his abusive tendencies. We have tried to reconnect by going to movies and dinner but I really have to make myself do it. I am finding that , although I know as a Christian I am supposed to forgive, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t keep the intrusive thoughts from my head. They have been there 24/7 for 16 months!!!! I have tried everything my therapist has told me to do, but they persist. I don’t know what to do to keep the thoughts and triggers away, short of a divorce. We have been married almost 36 years, a lot of time to throw away. But he has gone to her twice during our marriage (at least that I know of) and I just feel that if and when things get back to normal, he will do it again. I believe that he will go back to his abusive ways, because as my therapist puts it, “that’s who he is”. I don’t want a divorce, but I don’t want to live the next 30 years with these thoughts and wondering if he has gone back to her or even to someone else. Please tell me if anybody else has had intrusive, triggering thoughts for this long or am I just going crazy? Maybe I am crazy….the hurt should have been so much less or even gone by now…….I feel so broken.

      • oceangirl

        I found out in July right after moving back home after a 10 month separation (due to the abuse) that the affairs were both emotional and physical. He bought her many expensive items, such as jewelry, western wear like jackets, vests, and boots, took her to expensive restaurants, and spent several nights with her. The affair was still going on as he was trying to “reconnect” with me by going on movie/dinner dates and concerts. He was still kissing her in his office up to the week before I moved home. I didn’t know until I got an package in the mail with things that left no doubt that it was deeply emotional and physical and has been for the past 18-20 years. I am devastated all over again. The triggers are everywhere! I have to cross the bridge that he tossed his throwaway phone over while going home. I have to go by the hotel in which they had their fun every time I go to tutor a particular student. I have the ugly texts that the AP sent to me describing all the places and things that he did for her, such as put rose petals in a heart shape on the bed in the hotel and a night that he spent on our farm with her down by the pond. Many graphic details that wont get out of my head. Now he wants 6 months to “prove” to me that he wants me. I feel like I am undermining myself and my self-respect by staying in the marriage, yet I still love the man and I don’t even know why after all he’s done. The triggers are everywhere. I am having to start over in recovery after 18 months of work. He has lied for the past 18 years – half of our marriage- and for the past 18 months. All this has sent me into a tail spin and he can’t understand why I am still so angry.

        • tryinghard

          Oceangirl
          18-20 year affair? 18 years of stealing you reality? 18 months of faux reconcillation?? You have every right to be VERY angry. There would be something wrong if you weren’t totally pissed!

          I have a question for you. My husband had a 4 year affair and while I saw some red flags I dismissed them, thought I was being a drama queen, silly for not trusting after 35 years marriage etc Are you saying in those 18-20 years you never had ANY hint that something was off?

          IMO 6 months is no where nearly enough time to repair the damage this selfish jerk has inflicted on you. It’s going to be terribly rough going. There will never be enough answers for you. Damn right you have triggers. They are everywhere. You shared your husband for 20 years with another woman.

          What is there possibly to save? He lived a double life. Which one was real?? Listen I’m in the same boat and as I said his was 4 years. After 3 years of hard work and reconciliation I’m still not sure.

          Oceangirl I wish you luck but more so I wish you clarity. Be careful and take care of you. Let him think you are reconciling but start getting your legal and financial ducks in a row. Don’t let him on to it or he may jump the gun. Get all the info on marital assets he spent on the OW during these 18-20 years. This is a big deal in court. Dig into his financial matters and even run a credit check on him. There’s probably more you don’t know about. This guy is a professional con artist. Do NOT show your hand to him and if you do reconcile you will be even better off. I would not trust him as far as I could throw him!

          And stay the hell away from the OW!! You don’t need any more info from her.

          Oh my, hugs to you sister!

    • Tabs

      EyesOpened,

      I am in your H’s predicament. I wonder what my kids (both college age) think of me for staying in the marriage. My daughter knows the most, including the awful details. I have asked her what she thinks about me staying married. But she either side steps the question or asks me if I’m happy. And quite honestly, I don’t know if I am. For now, I’m just OK. The problem is that it may be years from now before I can assess whether I’m happy or not. Hindsight is 20/20 vision.

    • Asil

      The triggers are many from my husband’s EA but as time goes by, it does lessen (1 1\2 yrs after DDAY). Her name! It is a weird name or should I say it is spelled like a normal name but the way she pronounced it, was ridiculous! Even her nick name was ridiculous. My husband would correct me when I pronounced it wrong, which would make me so furious that I started calling her by the name of the state she lives in. It kind of amused me that during marriage counseling my husband only referred to her by her states name as well. The down side is, the name of that state is a Huge trigger for me still! I did pick up his phone and changed her name in his phone to “Homewrecker” He never mentioned it. Lol
      I too found this site very early on after Dday but have only read EVERYTHING and never posted until recently. I just felt too raw, too exposed, embarrassed by the whole thing (how could this happen to me?) to feel comfortable to share any of my thoughts. I will now say, this site helped me more than any other! We are out here reading and benefitting even if we are not always speaking up! Please keep up the great work!

      • Doug

        Thanks Asil. Good to hear from you and we appreciate the kind words. Glad to have you as a new commentator! I hear what you’re saying about the name thing…We know someone whose first name is Michelle and she says it like Meechelle. Long E. Drives me nuts.

    • amy

      Hi Donna it’s been an year for me since I found out about the affair. It’s really tiring to tackle those obsessive thoughts about the affair n ow. All I want is to some how live a normal life and get my peace of mind. I can feel n understand exactly how you n many others feel. Also, Doug n Linda I am just not able to trust my husband again. It’s just not happening. Sometimes I want him to leave as to live with a man because of which my life has changed forever doesn’t seem acceptable. I have two kids n don’t know what will happen. I am so disheartened about marriage n love. I don’t know why we are still married n together? Is it the kids..so confused about the present situation.

      • Doug

        Amy, I understand the way your feeling and sorry that you’re having such troubles. As far as the trust goes…Is your husband now acting in a trustworthy manner, or at least in a way that is conducive for trust to be rebuilt? Or is he pretty much acting the way he always has? He can’t just have an affair, say it’s over and “Oh by the way honey, let’s just go back the way it used to be.” He has work to do!

    • EyesOpened

      Hi Tabs. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I happen to think my h is one of the bravest people I know. To hold his head up and fight for what he believes is our amazing future , in spite of all the hell I’ve put him through is incredible. Ultimately it’s what YOU believe that counts. Do you believe your relationship is worth the fight?

      My h was clever enough to see the woods, when all I could see were the trees (can’t see the wood for the trees).

      I’m very glad he held on so tightly – because I would definitely have let go, and I think it would have been the beginning of the end .

      Time is an incredible element in this horrid journey. In the time we have lived through this, BOTH of us have worked hard on ourselves to make sure that whatever the outcome we’d be better parents for our kids (and ourselves ). I think ours will be a happy ending – but like you, only time will tell.

      You’re not stupid. You’re amazing!

    • EyesOpened

      Hi Tabs. I did reply but thought you were a betrayed h!! That post has disappeared.

      Anyway – the thrust of it was – you’re not stupid, and neither is my h. You’re amazing people for sticking with it and seeing the positive.

      The best you can do is work on yourself and be the best you can be for you and your kids – then decide if your h is what you want. As I mentioned in a previous comment – my counsellor said ‘people think it’s going to be simpler/easier to go – and it never is…. Food for thought .

      Best of luck and sorry for delayed reply !

    • Tryinghard

      Uh oh DOUGLAS 🙂 it really was a slip. LOL I don’t really think you’re a Dog, maybe a really small Dog like a puppy. Stupid autocorrect!

    • forcryin'outloud

      First after 3.5 yrs post d-day, triggers really SUCK! I thought I would be past this or divorced. Anyways, couldn’t sleep so came downstairs walked past my H’s ipad and mistrust reared it’s ugly head. (Doesn’t help it’s the middle of the night.) I’m browsing his email and see one about his high school reunion. Well, what do you know, one event will be at the very club/bar his OW works. Which made me shake my head roll my eyes and give a chuckle. So I researched a little and find out the opening event for the weekend celebration will be at the “fine establishment” my H rendezvoused with his old HS GF. It explains why I got dead silence a couple weeks ago when I asked about whether or not he wanted to travel to his reunion. How childish and how pathetic this situation will always be…
      Well, my search lead to the OW’s current employers website which now has the first up to date, close up and in focus picture I have seen of my worst nightmare in living color.
      I think I just took 500 steps backward. Its the freaking wee hours of the morning and I’m never going to sleep now. How can a stupid freaking picture and a reunion invite make me feel this crappy again? 3.5yrs and this crap can still have such a profound effect. Right now I’m not sure how I feel about any of this…
      On the upside I remember the times I would have woken him up raging about this revelation. Now, I know that behavior is a waste of my energy.

      • forcryin'outloud

        For those who don’t know or may not remember my H’s OW was his high school GF. The typical story of social media message turns into ph calls and emails then a trip to see her with a good dose of assistance from his mother added just to make things even more dysfunctional. The whole story is just freaking pathetic.

      • tryinghard

        FCOL

        That is strange that he didn’t answer you about the reunion. Do you think he was going to plan to attend and just slip it into the conversation one day?

        I agree. I have gone storming in there too a couple years ago. Now what I do is play it very close to the vest. Don’t let on that you know and just observe what he does. If you confront he will go into defense mode.

        Also for all you iPad spyers like myself. If you double click the round button at the bottom of the iPad up will pop all the pages he has been on. Also if you go to Safari you can click on the icon that looks like a book and see all his search history and bookmarks. If there’s nothing there you know he is clearing the history and that speaks volumes right there. But I’m sure you probably know that one. The double clicking on the round button was new to me. You can also get the same results by doing this on the iPhone as well.

        I understand the profound effects the triggers have. I was doing pretty well until a couple weeks ago when all the stormy spring weather came up and our anniversary and the antiversary in March. I knew it was going to happen and try as I did to face that demon it still struck me. I had been doing so much better where the triggers were concerned and UGH back it came. It’s like a nasty cold that just doesn’t go away.

        Since the OW worked at our business I constantly have to see her tracks. The good news is last week I got notice from the IRS no less (you know the folks that put Al Capone in Alcatraz and finally stopped him 🙂 well it seems she and her ex husband didn’t bother paying their Federal Tax and they are looking to impose a Levy on her. LOL they wanted to know if she still worked here, I said no and gave them all the forwarding information I knew to find her. Karma at it’s best again. So not only has she lost her job, lost her car, has stage 4 cancer with numerous surgeries that is so bad I doubt she would EVER take her clothes off for anyone else EVER, has to pay back unemployment, owes everybody and their brother, lost 2 boyfriends, is on Medicaid and welfare, and NOW the IRS wants their pound of flesh from her. You can’t make this shit up. Am pretty sure my H is happy to be away from that shit show. I’m almost feeling sorry for the poor cow!

        Hang in there FCOL and go into you observation mode with regards to this reunion issue.

        • forcryin'outloud

          i’m not one to relish in other people’s misery but your H’s cow is definitely reaping what she sowed. I have an uncle who abused, cheated and was basically a dirt bag to every person in his life. He’s now jobless, almost homeless, and dying of a list of aliments. I feel nothing for him. He’s destruction is legendary. He’s just put too much nasty stuff out there for it not to come back around. Much like your cow.

          As far a my situation I don’t think he had intentions of going. He’s never gone to any of them. Maybe because we have always lived several states away. I know he and the OW went to a few parties with people he had gone to school with during his visit to see her. Nice, huh? So immature! Anyways, I’m nothing like the OW. Nothing at all. First I wouldn’t cheat with another woman’s husband. Then, let’s just say she’s more comfortable in a bar at 2am and I’d rather be at a nice restaurant at 7. Also, she would probably be waiting tables at the event. (she graduated a yr after my H) She’s a waitress at a municipal golf clubhouse before that she was a waitress at a bar. A “nice” bar as my H would say immediately after d-day. In the picture she looks “rode hard and hung up wet.” If I were him I would be embarrassed I dated her in the first place much less thought of destroying my marriage for her. What an idiot!
          Today I just cannot believe this is how my marriage turned out. And it doesn’t help that he will be gone all next week for work which always leads to triggers. This recovery shit ain’t for sissies! Days like today I wish I would have walked away.
          But as always I appreciate your support and everyone’s. I don’t know where I would be somedays without this blog.

    • gizfield

      For Crying Out Loud, like most on here, in my opinion, ( me and others who have trust issues with their spouse) you dont trust them and have triggers because he is WITHHOLDING information from you that he should voluntarily tell you. So, it’s not you, it’s him. If you ask them anything, you get the whole thing thrown up to you that you are paranoid, unforgiving, etc. so you dont ask. These withholdings are LIES of omission. Most likely they do this for Self Preservation of their ego, not that it actually means anything. They know it’s lying too. But they will never admit that, lol. About a month ago, we got into an affair related disagreement and he told me he said he wanted a divorce years ago “because I got tired of lying to you.” Now, I didnt interrogate him or accuse him of anything, like ask Did you stop at some whore’s house on the way home?” so all these lies hes speaking of are lies of omission. The cheater’s specialty. Thats why we dont trust them.

      • forcryin'outloud

        Giz – You’re comments are exactly correct. I think after he sincerely realized I wanted to make this marriage work that all he had to do was stonewall me on topics he didn’t/doesn’t want to deal with. And yes that is lying by omission. My H is a BIG FAT LIAR!

        I think I could read all the books in the world, attend a decade of therapy but if you have to constantly manage your husband like an errant employee isn’t that a bit ridiculous?!?!?!

    • gizfield

      The iPad is a trigger for me, lol. My husband got the first one I had ever seen and he kept it locked up tight. Our living room at that time was set up with a separate couch and chair and situated so that you couldn’t ever see what he was doing on it. Anyway, one day he wanted to show me a video or something and I went and sat beside him. The ipad had a four digit security code that he had to key in, and he forgot to hide so I memorized it and could read his email anytime. Til he hacked it for non apple applications and it quit working. Now, we have a sectional one piece sofa, so I csn always see what hes doing. Also, furniture is rearranged so you csn see the computer from the doorway before you even go into the room. I didnt plan that but it’sa great benefit, lol. He still never figured out how I hacked his email and thinks I’m a computer whiz.

    • gizfield

      I agree, FCOL, it is ridiculous! But their fault, not ours. I read recently that the average person tells 200 lies per day. Wonder how many cheaters tell, lol. I dont read Adultery Recovery books because they are contradictory and biased to cheaters for the most part. But I got one free on Amazon Prime last month. Forget the name. It actually referred to cheaters as “the lovers.” Eeew. They are not lovers, they are two children playacting at the expense of others. But almost all books have something useful and this had a big section on lying that was useful. Described types if lies. Not long after that my H said talking to his gf and lying about it was “white lies” so he wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feeling s.

    • gizfield

      He also said that I am a liar because “you misrepresented yourself as thin and pretty and gained weight and no longer were.” They didnt cover that type of lie in the book….

      • tryinghard

        Hey Giz

        How long did it take for him to have his retarded head reattached after THAT stupid statement???? Sheesh–what a dumb ass thing to say. You know what’s really sad is that men really think they are using their trump card when they say stuff like this. Not true because you know what I would have said to his sorry ass… “Well listen up, Guess what I can always lose weight, then what would you have to criticize me for. But you will always be stupid and you just can’t fix stupid!”

      • forcryin'outloud

        Giz – What a bird brain with that comment. Mine would tell me “wait until you do something stupid because I’m going to tell you about it.” What?????? SMH. That was when he was still more pissed off he got caught than sorry for what he had done.

    • tryinghard

      FCOL

      Yes she is reaping what she has sown and I feel bad that there are such human beings that even at the ends of their lives they do not see or understand what they did to add to the human misery. She continues to blame everyone else in the whole world for her miserable life. Yes she was and is a low life and I think, and have actually said, “I think you had a grudge against yourself ever getting mixed up with her in the first place.” How on earth that shit show was a fantasy, more a nightmare, I’ll never know! This is definitely one aspect of the affair I will NEVER understand. She is no way in the same socio economic class, educated class or any class for that matter as my H and myself and maybe I should be happy because had it been someone of more character we probably would be divorced by now. I’ve actually come to a place where I am not even trying to figure out the attraction any more other than she had a vagina and she offered it up and he was too stupid to say NO thanks! Well it cost him–dearly. Yes it looks like medically she probably doesn’t have much longer to live, but you know what, I could be run over by a bus tomorrow and I could be dead before her so I am not gloating or relishing in her bad Karma. Just amazed by it. Really she’s had so much bad happen to her from her own doing there is NO revenge, ill wishes, or revenge I could enact on her that would have any more negative affect.

      I know what you are saying about the triggers when they are away from us. They happen to me then too. I really have to “busy” myself not to think of it. As far as raging at him after seeing the OW pic, could you have raged or even asked him calmly any questions and gotten any more information than you already have that would have helped you heal? For me the answer is no. Because in the end that is what all the previous talks and questions are supposed to result in, our healing and not punishing the CS any more by blowing up or badgering them. After a while there just aren’t any more questions that will answer anything legitimate and if there is we already know the answers. We just are hoping the answers will be different. They won’t be, so why bother??

      I would stalk the OW social pages and see her pic and I would make myself look at her until finally it didn’t bother me anymore. It was just a face–with bad hair, no neck, wrinkles etc LOLOLOL. I know this probably wouldn’t work for a lot of BS, but every time I would look at her picture it was like a challenge to face my own fears and each time it bothered me less and less. I would look at the pic and say everything I wanted to say to her ugly face but didn’t. Whatever works, right?

      I do think the most important part of moving forward after betrayal, is to put the old marriage in the past and try to judge their words and actions by what they are doing NOW. Not what they did in the past, unless of course they are doing the same things today as they did in the past. It’s a fine line, but we have to find hope or see progress somewhere otherwise, give. it. up! That’s where I am now. Either I put the past where it belongs and judge him for what he is doing now (which is a lot of reallllly good things) or give it up and move on with out him. I like to keep my options open.

      You’ll get through it FCOL, I know you will. You’ve gotten this far and maybe you just need a little more time until you can finally let go of all of it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? He could cheat again? Maybe, but if he does this time YOU WILL KNOW. We are no longer that naive trusting person. You will know and you will know what to do. And you will be fine. We all will. We just have to quit being our own worst enemy 🙂

      Hey have some fun while he’s gone. Go shopping (there’s some really cute summer shoes in the stores right now :), go to the spa, whatever you like to do. Enjoy your own company.

      I agree this is a great resource and I get so much from everyone on this site. I am so happy to see there are some more people posting and not just reading.

    • gizfield

      Trying Hard, lol, I dont really care about my weight so thats really stupid on his part. Guess I was super skinny for so long that I know it really doesn’t matter, except in some cases for health reasons. If thats where a person gets their self esteem, it’s truly sad. I wasn’t planning to enter any swimsuit competitions anytime soon anyway.

      I either said “well you misrepresented yourself as a decent human being, not a liar and a whore.” Or “I don’t guess youvelooked in the mirror anytime lately yourself, Mr. America.”

      I actually recorded that conversation so I could check but I’d rather not. I have an app on my phone called Virtual Recorder. Very efficient and discreet. I realized I was having a hard time remembering what he said, which makes it hard to catch a liar. Plus, believe me, sometimes what you think you heard is not what was said. I highly recommend it if you are getting the runaround regarding what was said in conversation.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Against better advice (sorry TH). I asked my H last night why he didn’t mention it. Then the stonewalling and gas lighting began. No big surprise. In hindsight that’s been he’s response or lack of since about 4 mos. post d-day…roughly 3 yrs. now. It was pointless. His feelings are kept in an iron vault. He’s a very hard closed up person and I’m finding how he has dealt with recovery more disappointing than his affair. The thing that keeps ringing in my ears is the therapist asking him, “Do you know how to be supportive?” His response, “Apparently not if you’re asking me that question.” He quit therapy shortly after. And that’s as far as it has gotten. No action to find out how to be supportive for the past 3+ yrs.

      Btw-did anybody see Good Wife Sunday? The last scene with Peter and Alicia was well played.

    • tryinghard

      FCOL

      No need to apologize to me. We have to do what we have to do. You know in a way you got your answer. Sometimes their evasiveness/stonewalling is an answer in itself. At least for me it is. I know now that my H is completely humiliated by his own actions and having an affair with such a despicable cow. He’s ashamed and embarrassed so when the subject comes up he pulls the ” I don’t remember” etc card. I truly think he is and has tried very hard to forget because he just doesn’t want to remember being such a dumb ass.

      I find now, if or when the subject comes up it’s a short comment or question. A good sense of humor also opens more paths to the truth. Yeah there wasn’t so much humor in the beginning but there is now.

      • forcryin'outloud

        TH – I’ve tried to come at it with humor, in writing, emails, you name it. He’s got it all tucked in a compartment which he won’t share on any level. Like you say I think there is an enormous amount of embarrassment and shame but he keeps that flame fueled by burying it. It was odd because when I first mentioned it he started to talk. His face and body language were open and then in a split second he turned dark. His change was that quick. I told him it wasn’t about him and what he had done it was about me trying to understand and keep moving forward. He said “Well then forget it. It was the past.” Then he went back to watching ESPN. And while I agree with that on some level, I don’t understand how asking if he doesn’t want talk about his reunion because of her is an “invasion of the past.”

        On a side note I find it odd after nearly 28 yrs together whenever we go back to his hometown he has never introduced me or hung out with his buddies from HS, but his excursion with her was like a high school reunion. I’m beginning to wonder if he was a vastly different person when he was with her. I know when he dated her he quit playing sports (he had been offered a baseball scholarship his jr. yr. that he squandered by quitting before his sr. yr.) and started participating in some sketchy behavior. He has told me many times I opened a lot of doors for him and allowed him to see life in an entire new way.

    • EyesOpened

      TH – every time I hear ‘Let it be’ I think of you – and I’ve heard it a lot lately. It’s a nice trigger!

      FCol, TH and Gizfield. Your last three posts have given me the giggles! ‘She had a vagina’ ‘she looks like she’s been rode…’and Mr America ‘ lol lol lol!

      And fcol – a new series of the good wife?!

      Amazing what you learn in this forum!

      • forcryin'outloud

        EO – You’re on the other side of the pond from us in the states if I remember correctly. I think we may be quite a few episodes ahead. But if your a fan which I have been from day one this season may be turning out to be the best ever!!!

        • forcryin'outloud

          EO – I have another good one for you my grandfather use to say referring to a woman’s vagina. “That thing is stronger than a cable across the Atlantic Ocean.”

    • gizfield

      Thank you, Eyes, we can be a pretty entertaining bunch. I know one thing my husband always did with his girlfriend was compliment her on how “dang quick witted” and funny she was. I can tell you he sure as hell saw something I didn’t. She must have spent hours pouring over the internet to find the perfect crude jokes and photos of people shopping at Walmart to forward to him. Quick witted, indeed, lol. No wonder they had an affair, they deserve each other.

    • tryinghard

      EO

      Hey Girl glad to see you are posting!! Funny how we really don’t “know” each other but there are so many times when we come to each other’s minds. Let It Be is a great song and a song from my youth but it is so relevant. I’m not Catholic, but when I hear “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom, Let It Be” it is very calming and true. God speaks to us all in many different forms, we just need to listen sometimes. LOL I always think of Rachel when I hear Katy Perry’s song “Roar”. Maybe I’m bi-polar but sometimes I feel I need to “Roar” and sometimes I just need to “Let It Be”. Keeps life exciting around here.

      Thank God for my sense of humor. It’s really kept me somewhat “sane” through all this. I really feel like I am moving forward and healing but these damn triggers some times makes me want to throw in the proverbial towel.

      Yeah she was just a willing vagina. You know he could have done much better if he would have let me pick out an affair partner!! I have much better taste than him 🙂

      Hope you’re doing good!

    • tryinghard

      FCOL

      Well I think there is some hope since he started out being open in the beginning of your conversation. I know the main thing they don’t want is a long, protracted conversation on the topic. Maybe he is feeling he needs to be in charge of cutting the discussion short because he thinks you won’t?? So maybe start small conversations on the topic and YOU end it before he has a chance to that way he can see that you don’t want to dwell on it too long either. I did that with my H the other night. The topic came up and we spent about 5 mins talking about it while we were baking cookies together. I changed the subject really fast and went back to baking and acted like the conversation was no more important than talking about the weather. I asked, he answered and we moved on. I think he was a little shocked but it showed him I didn’t want to spend that much time talking about it and it really wasn’t that important.

      Some men are VERY private, don’t talk etc. and I just don’t get it. I guess they think if they open up too much their testicles will fall off or something. They’re weird! I swear, if given a choice, I am coming back as a lesbian or a dog in my next life!!!

      • forcryin'outloud

        I”m with you on the testicle thing!!!!

    • Rachel

      Trying hard, lol!! I love that song !!!!! So many songs remind me of me. Kelly clarkson, stronger is a great one infect her whole cd.
      A girl that I work with saw the ex in a bar Friday night Trying to pick up a 21 year old!!!!
      she said he was with a group of guys with discusting mouths.
      He hasn’t changed a bit. He use to do that in front of me and I begged and pleaded with him to please stop and he wouldn’t . He would say that he’s just a friendly guy.
      My friend said here he is hanging in a bar at 53 years old and you are being wined and dine by your new man or just hanging out with your two boys.
      He got what he wanted FREEDOM!

    • Tryinghard

      Rachel

      True Dat!!! What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am for you. You’re going to be better than good, you’re going to be great. We are going to see you Roarrrrr.

      Well you know what, Mazaltov to him hitting on 21 year olds because all those young girls see in these gray haired, flabby old men is$$$$$$$ and he is too stupid to know that. Let him be her problem now and her his problem. What a douche. Yeah hanging out in bars sounds really fun, NOT.

    • gizfield

      There is a comedian, Sinbad, who was popular a few years back. He had a routine that was about the reason men want to get married is so they won’t be THE OLD GUY AT THE CLUB, lol.

    • gizfield

      Oh, my husband’s girlfriend wants to hang out in clubs, eat sushi all the time, and fish for compliments about how “phat and fresh” she looks. Shes 46 and he’s 50. They could be the OLD COUPLE st the club, lol.

    • EyesOpened

      FCol – your grandfather sounds like a real romantic! :-).

      I LOVE the Good Wife. It’s virtually the only thing I’ll sit in front of a tv for, nowadays. American TV is SO superior to British TV – I swear I was supposed to be American !

      TH – you writing that to me reminds me of something I think may resonate with you. When I worked at the job where it all happened, I used to arrive at 8am and the rest of the team got there about 9. Often, I would bump into the office cleaner ‘Mary’. We had a language barrier but she had the voice of an angel and would sing every morning. When all the sh@* hit the fan, I arrived at work the following morning feeling like I was in the middle of an emotional earthquake – and Mary was there smiling and singing ‘you were born to be great, you are going to be great’ and I cried. I filmed her on my phone and said I was going to treasure that forever.

      I’m not a religious person but an angel called Mary sang to me when I found myself in times of trouble. I never thought of that before!!

      Remember everyone. You were born to be great. You ARE GOING TO BE GREAT!

      • forcryin'outloud

        EO – funny note – he was my step-grandfather. He had been married 7 times by the age of 50. The last time to my Grandmother who was a force of nature, hence his last marriage. 🙂

        I want to tell you how wonderful I think you are for posting on this site. I’m sure it takes great courage to be amongst us BS. But you keep engaging and it gives us all hope. And like you my H has mentioned how he has shed many tears in private about what he has done. The full impact of that didn’t hit me until I read your post…for what reason I’m not sure but I’m grateful.

    • tryinghard

      EO

      Nor am I religious, but I am spiritual. I don’t do the whole social church thing, can’t stand it. I call instances like what you had with Mary at your office, God Whispers or Angel Thoughts Illumined. It’s so important to listen. I think we get so caught up in hatred, fear, revenge, angst that we don’t be still long enough to listen. And when we do it is awesome.

      As much as it seems we give a broad brush stroke to all the OW in the world and that they are terrible, evil, wicked people in reality some are just like us. OK well maybe the ones that are indeed terrible, evil, and wicked aren’t at least in my case that whore is nothing like me! LOL!!!

      Hurting is hurting no matter if you are the OW, BS, or WS. I think for some OW reading blogs from the BS point of view they get an insight that never occurred to them while they were in the midst of the affair and that is that we are real people, with real feelings, not frigid, nagging bitches, on the other end of their relationship. I think they also see how the MM lied to them and manipulated them for his own selfish satisfaction.

      If one truly humbles themselves, asks for forgiveness and learns from their mistakes how can anyone possibly judge them? But for many OW unfortunately they never learn this lesson. They carry on in life with the “Finders Keepers Losers Weepers” mentality. They delude themselves into thinking that the reason the spouses are cheating in the first place is because the BS doesn’t care or isn’t taking care of him. Coming to forums like this proves this is NOT the case. I’ve read other Blogs that relate to mistresses in affairs with MM and it is quite sad how many of them are on multiple affairs with MM. They languish in their pitifullness of the unrequited love like love-struck adolescents. They will never learn from their mistakes. And they will continue to be miserable.

      You EO are NOT in that category. You’ve done everything to make things right for your husband, family and even apologizing to the wife. That is HUGE! I pray for you that someday you can forgive yourself and let go, because I would bet that God already has 🙂 Yes we are all born to be great and we should never squander it.

    • EyesOpened

      Dear TH and FCol. I am feelin’ the positive vibes all the way over here in my back garden in the fading evening sunshine in the UK. Thank you for those lovely words of support and all the fantastic words of wisdom and humour you have allowed me to learn and grow from.

      I KNOW I would not be facing a positive future without yours and everyone else’s help and guidance . Thank you.

      Ps 7 wives?!!!! Blimey!

    • forcryin'outloud

      Thankfully my H had a meltdown of his emotional reactor last night. WeI had the most beneficial conversation EVER about this entire ordeal. I had read an article on another site that gave me great insight in how “the get over it” phrase and attitude will lead to the BS never recovering. I explained much of what the article said to my H then expressed (very calmly) how his boxing up every and anything to do with the OW makes it appear he has much more to hide. Also that it invalidates my feelings and gets me upset/angry fairly quickly. A big take away from his point of view as a CS was this:
      “I don’t want to think about her, know anything about her or anything related to her. I take the blame for my actions but she is a part of how much pain I caused you and our family. She represents something really bad for me.” He also said every time he sees or hears her name in my presence he has enormous amounts of anxiety over what is going through my head.
      The irony in all this is that during this entire recovery time period the mind games have had me wondering if anything relating to her had him wondering “what if or only if” and reminiscing fondly of her and their time together.
      Humorously at the end of the conversation he asked if all the talk of her was enough until July 4th…Anti-versary. I laughed.

    • tryinghard

      FCOL

      I’m pretty sure we are all married to the same man!!! FCOL that is exactly, almost word for word my H says. I am so happy you guys finally had a good talk! Sounds like he was happy to do it too. Much as they kick up a fuss about talking I think once they do it and it’s over they feel better. I’ve deliberately not brought the “topic” not for any kind of trickery I just don’t have much to say to him anymore about it and I have found he will make references to it. It’s almost like now that the shouting is over he needs to get some of the stuff off his chest. I don’t know, but I think your H is being sincere. I think we think they are pining away for her because well that’s what girls do, boys not so much.

      Maybe you guys can make it to 7/4 without any more conversation about it, maybe not…..:) At least you had a laugh over it and that really helps ease the tensions.

    • Jenocide

      Hi y’all,
      This is my first comment so hopefully it posts…

      My trigger is his cell phone. Every time it buzzes I’m plunged back to my d-day. I’m tired of it, and hopefully someday it will just be background noise instead of a kick in the stomach.
      Anybody else have this trigger? Any advice as to how I can move beyond it?

      We’re going to counseling, and yes he has said that anytime I want to I can check his phone. But I don’t want to be that person. I won’t be the wife who grabs his phone and searches through it frantically.

      Any feedback would be appreciated greatly.

      • forcryin'outloud

        Jeno – you need to be whoever and whatever works for you to recover. IMHO CSs lose their right to privacy once they step over into cheating territory. I would get up for months EVERY night and check my H’s ph. Occasionally still do. And ironically he checks mine. If it helps YOU then do it.
        The trigger will lessen with some time. Just be mindful to create a positive thought every time the ph dings or ask him to silence it once he’s home. In my experience trust is proving to be the last frontier. Early on I didn’t want to believe this. In fact when our therapist said I would never trust him again like I did I thought that would be a deal breaker. Now it’s just a new normal. Plus I think it forces him to fly right.
        Keep posting – you will find a tremendous amount of help and support here.

    • EyesOpened

      Hi Jenocide – I’m a CS and probably not who you want to hear from right now…. But as the forum is quiet and I’m here…..

      How long is it since you found out? As a CS I EXPECTED my h to look at my phone and texts . He never has, but I always thought it was a bit daft not to – given my dishonesty !

      One thing I’ll say, is that the texts are probably a trigger for your h too. And if he’s anything like me, the habit of keeping everything a secret is hard to break. We are 18 months post dday now – and I’m still scared of my h looking at my phone. I have absolutely nothing to hide , but I’m petrified that at the very moment he looks, a text may pop up and hurt him (for instance if a friend is mucking about or someone sends a wrong number ). Ridiculous but true. If it was me – I’d be checking !! You’re not ‘that wife’ – your HIS wife, and you have a right to know who he’s communicating with and when.

      With regards to the trigger – could you do something else when it buzzes? Like pinch his bum or wiggle your bum – something fun that becomes your joint in-joke that replaces the bad trigger? Just a thought …. Good luck

      • Jeddy

        I’m almost 4 months out – its been ridiculous. The ea is apparently over, I was sworn transparency, and 5 weeks in, he erases a phone call from ow. They still work together she still reports to him, as per the big boss – my mother in law. I’ve never known anyone in my life who talks more than my mil, but she has been silent to me for months. I think she would have preferred that my h and the ow stay together, but what the hell do I know – she’s been uncharacteristically silent. He texted the ow during my bday dinner, Easter, time w kids – cliche shit. Once he erased that call, regardless of the good he had done, I felt violated. And I’ve never checked his phone or email since. Because I now know he can clear it before he walks through the door. So he still works w her, talks to her and I check nothing. I have one foot out the door because I feel like transparency and no contact are not available to me. Does the phone trigger me? Like a son of a bitch. It may accidentally break on a tile floor. During the ea he slept with it. The ow doesn’t threaten me – she’s a (not high income) breadwinner married w 4 kids, my husband can’t afford that shit, plus she’s a serial cheater. If he wants her, whatever. But that phone will be the death of me. I’m having a bad weekend, a year ago their love was hopping. Like the Easter bunny

        • Strengthrequired

          Jeddy, I have to agree with you, it is so easy for them to delete the messages and any calls made, or even have a secret phone. If they want to keep the affair going, nothing will stop them, until they are ready. It doesn’t matter whether we see their phone, the phone bill or not, there will always be a way for them, until they slip up and they get caught out again.

        • theresa

          There has been a number of times while in a discussion about his activities the jackass has referred to my “research”. His attitude becomes belligerent and a wee bit confrontational. I have never hidden my “research” activities, but I am not always forthcoming about the what and how I came by that information.
          Then I watch the scramble to cover his tracks.
          The next discussion (or in his words “inquisition”) to bring some information to light will invariably contain his referring to my “research” activities. His attitude is now belligerent and confident. Confident because he thinks I haven’t discovered his new trick.
          And I will hear one of my biggest triggers
          “go ahead, I have nothing to hide”.

      • Strengthrequired

        EO, you have given me something to think about. I wonder if that is how my h feels, that dread of my looking at his phone and a msg comes across from the ow or her children etc. tbh, it has happened, where I was looking at his phone and who was to message right at that moment his ow.
        Just his luck hey?

    • gizfield

      Jenocide, I think the cell phone is EVERYONE’S major trigger. Some people the computer, if that was the main method of contact. You are not spying, or snooping, or being “that kind of wife.” He instigated all this.

      We were at the mall Friday. I’d been in a store with our daughter buying a dress. He’d gone to other stores and texted me he was waiting in some chairs outside a particular store. I spotted him but he didnt see me. He may have been looking at his phone, I can’t remember. I was right beside him before he saw me. We talked a minute, then decided to go to the restrooms, which are down a long hallway. I was ahead of him, talking. I turned around unexpectedly and he was looking at the phone. I must have scared him cause he dropped it, lol. I didnt say anything excrpt ask if it was broken. So, I considered this suspicious but was it. I mean, we were going into separate restrooms within a minute so maybe my imagination was overactive. Maybe not. Who knows? Not me, obviously.

      The thing with phones is you can be doing something innocent and appear suspicious. For example, I don’t want my husband to know about this blog or my postings. I’m not doing that for any reason other than it would cause me to “edit” what I say and it would not be as helpful. So, sometimes I look suspicious myself and he will ask what I’m doing. He might even think I’m having an affair.

      I dont think I would have believed this, but I would advise anyone in a relationship to “verify”what your partner is doing and who they.re doing it with. I believe that cheating is very often “a crime of opportunity” and those with too much freedom and trust may be tempted into doing something they may not otherwise do.

    • Tryinghard

      Jenocide

      Everyone here has given you great advice. I hope you will take from us as words from the wise.

      The phone is definitely a trigger for everyone. Isn’t “not being that wife” what kinda got you and all of us in the mess in the first place? Your days of naively trusting are over, forever. You’re sending him a very strong message when you check. Yes he is the one that decides whether or not to carry on the affair but many of them do it because they are good liars and don’t think you will find out. By checking you are placing strong boundaries for him. I think you would be very foolish not to test the veracity of intentions and honesty.

    • Rachel

      I love how they all sleep with that damn phone. I didn’t even know his secret code!!!

    • gizfield

      Theresa, too bad these guys aren’t as smart as they think, lol. It makes you wonder why any one woman would want them, let alone two. I’m curious, what is his new “trick.” If you can’t share thats fine but I would love to know.

    • tryinghard

      Theresa

      ME too!! I want to know the new trick as well..

      I read that people who don’t lie, do not have to swear to God, dare anyone to prove them wrong, don’t get defensive or belligerent. Good for you to trust but verify.

      My H and I laugh how I would make a good PI!

      • Strengthrequired

        Me too Theresa, what’s his new trick? Gee they all do the same, ohhh I don’t care I have nothing to hide, then get defensive when caught out. My h used to call me detective. After they get caught they learn a new way to cover their tracks. Until the next time…. As Deborah calls Raymond on everybody loves Raymond, idiot….

    • theresa

      I was in the process of cleaning up a brilliant post….. And lost it. I had to walk away.
      Anyone know how to auto save on an IPad?
      The evolution of communication between them is over a period of about 31/2 years. They work for the same company and their contact though not always direct has been in related departments. There has been more than one job change for each of them. The company has also changed it’s inter office communication. Then recent upgrades allow an instant chat, circles, remote access to your communication network. The company security has also gotten more restrictive to non company communication. Even though his Black Berry gives him remote access to his communication network, he can manipulate the remote information the BB has access to.
      There are clues that may indicate another wormhole. When I see all contact between them dry up, even legitimate work related cc’s on emails or scheduled meetings listing attendees, for example, my suspicion trigger is activated. We also agreed to notify each other about any password changes or new methods. Since he is mistaken about his superior intelligence, or convinced of my downright stupidity, and since my best tool is my gut, I find it.
      There are times it’s like watching the “Keystone Cops”. When he thinks I am watching he becomes a contortionist. Never looks at a pretty women, eyes always straight ahead. Agrees with everything I say. Happy all the time. Walks around WHISTLING. Telling me
      But, as Monk says “here’s the thing”, he ALWAYS fu@&$ up! I still check on occasion, but not as often as I used to. And when I ask about a changed password or new form of contact, changes in work and why he did not alert me, here it comes…
      “I forgot”. Someone posted something that hit the nail on the head. He always remembers what he DIDN’T say DIDN’T do. He has used other colleague’s t#, emailing using a third party to set up a date, attend required training sessions together, schedule work related field visits. (I didn’t know she’d be there), misrepresent info on his calendars.
      I feel that he gains a sense of superiority thinking that “she’s not as smart as she thinks she is”. That he’s winning the game.
      It’s never been a game to me. I won’t play it anymore.
      But I’m not as stupid as he thinks I am.
      A while back I posted a fantasy I have.
      Every time he is caught in a deception, lying, omitting, downplaying,..
      I would zap him with a cattle prod. I don’t think he’d get it.

    • theresa

      How about a list of word triggers. The jackass has a new one
      AWARENESS

      • Doug

        In what context is he using the word so that it becomes a trigger for you?

    • theresa

      In his very rare attempts to try to make an effort to help us, he will latch on to word or phrase
      And regurgitate it back to me during a discussion. The words/phrases he chooses don’t really require any effort from him.
      The last discussion was an attempt to verbalize our wants, needs.
      He has given me a list that he’d like me to work on. Things I needed to change. We discussed each topic. Some were acceptable, some just bullshit. then I outlined what I would do to comply.
      Then it was my turn. I put my needs/wants out there. He admitted that he had not “considered”, many of my concerns (or did he just silently refuse to consider).
      His feedback to me was yes, he needed to work on his contributions. After doing some reading he needed to be more “aware”.
      That’s it.

      • Doug

        Thanks for explaining that. Being aware is one thing and doing something about it is another thing completely. Let’s hope he does something!

    • tryinghard

      Theresa

      Sounds to me like you need to keep letting your husband think you are stupid. Seriously, don’t show him all your cards. YOu don’t really want to have to work that hard. Heck once it’s all said and done you might be qualified to work for the CIA.

      One time after MC I told my husband that I believed what he was saying and that if he was lying now, I would know. He said, “Oh no you wouldn’t. I could still fool you if I wanted to and you want to know why? Because you want to believe me. I could fool you anytime about anything if I wanted.”

      Now first of all what kind of dumb ass thing was that to say especially after a MARRIAGE COUNSELING session??? But, I sat back and finally said, “you know what, you are right! You are very good at being a big, fat, liar!! You should be proud of the fact that you are so good at something like that!”

      Taught me to keep my cards close to my chest.

    • theresa

      Oh, I have a nice little nugget of ammunition.
      Is he as smart as he thinks he is?

    • theresa

      I keep thinking about values, responsibility, integrity, pride (not hubris), compassion, intelligence.
      I think you get my drift. All the things that make us human.
      So what’s a cheater’s.
      Select one, or all or none of the choices in the above list to describe your Neanderthal

    • Recovered

      It’s been 18 months. Hubby’s EA is over and buried. I thought I was over it as well. Today I re-read a book that I was reading on the D day. Emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. I threw out the book.
      I wonder if I would ever be free.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Recovered
      I’m not sure if any of us will ever be totally free of what happened. Being betrayed by our partner changes something deep inside. I know I will never be quite the same.

      I’m sorry you had to go through that….but know that you are not alone in that type of trigger. It’s been 3 and a half years for me and I still get hit with triggers that I am not expecting. The thing is as time goes on the triggers don’t happen as often and maybe don’t hit quite as hard. Also one gets the over them a little faster.

      Take care

    • MollyMagee

      Has anyone ever thought- as a way to stop the triggers – to send all your messages, musings, pictures you found and texts between them, poems and emails you’ve written to your hubbie (with names blocked out?), articles you’ve researched on affairs and their impact on couple and family and sending them off to the OW or OM. I’m seriously thinking of doing this – coming up on 2 year anniversary of DDay….putting them in a notebook, tying them up w/ribbon and shipping off – let her see what she did and read it or not read it… I don’t care. I know, I know – everyone, every website on affairs, every blog says leave the AP – him/her alone – but honestly – my gut told me to do this right from start and I kept holding off. But I feel I need some “balancing of the score” even though I know the score can never be actually, truly evened… it might help my sense of self-conflict and torture about her, about the role she played in his life (before, during and after our young adult daughter fought serious cancer AND we have a disabled son and have elderly parents to tend to….YES!!!!) and how important she thought she was to him. I have one letter in particular that he wrote to me… declaring his love for only me – stating he NEVER loved her – that I’ve thought of mailing to her work address w/our names blacked out. Let her live w/that like I’ve had to live w/their decisions the last 20 months. The triggers are still everywhere! And at any moment. Yesterday I was at a lovely baby shower and a young mom brought along her sweet little girl… whose name happened to be the name of my husband’s AP… ugh! Even the initials AP are trigger as they are her initials too. I can’t escape it. Things can pop up at a random time. He’s trying but he doesn’t get, he can’t truly GET/Understand/empathize with me – because HE was the agent of change… and he doesn’t know that all around me are triggers of affair. He’s the biggest one – so how – Doug and Linda – do you handle that – when your actual spouse – looking at him; knowing he stabbed you in the back at one of your most vulnerable times (with two struggling children) and continued on w/EA and then let it become – wanted it to become – an emotional affair. And it did. I’ve stopped sharing every trigger w/him and I’m trying, trying to be less emotive and revealing – I overshare and have always; he under shares and has always. Now I hold back from sharing my process and thoughts and hurts with him and guess what – I don’t feel close to him at all. Why would we, as humans, want to be close to someone who hurt us so badly and treated us so poorly and disrespectfully? That makes no sense. The longer this goes on the more I think divorce was the most rational decision but because of our son on autism spectrum and his love for both of us, I’m staying put for time being. But it’s torture some days to stay put. My commitment is to my son and his balanced/calm life thru rest of HS, not to my husband or my marriage, for now. Since my husband gave himself an almost two year or more break from being committed to me and our marriage, I think I deserve this time and evaluation time too. I try not to feel too bad about it. I didn’t set this in motion. I just have to try to keep being compassionate to myself and how long this is taking and the constant baby steps of progress and then the retreats and slide backs into the pain of the his decision to have an affair. And if he tells me one more time that this was solely a struggle about himself, I’m gonna lose it. Because if that’s the case – why didn’t he go for a vk alone to have a spiritual or physical quest … like hiking the Appalachian Trail solo, or biking in Italy w/his good friend (my suggestion) or going to a workshop for men. I knew he was struggling but I had no idea, no concept he would use cheating as a way to connect w/his lost self and boost his ego. He coped out and he knows it but now I’m the one left holding the bag. It’s changed the whole way I think about myself. I don’t like myself or how I behave around him or my self-perception anymore. I knew I was insecure but I never knew I was THIS insecure. Now everyday is still a challenge. Weekends are the hardest – having him around – the week is better. I had so much hope for our marriage before all of this and hope for each of us; now not so much. Sometimes there’s so much damage, you gotta stick a fork in it and call it done. This might still be one of those cases of a marriage post infidelity. It’s still TBD. My compassion to all of you out there struggling w/triggers six days, six months, sixteen months and six years after Dday. I don’t pretend they will all go away ever. Maybe fade but never completely dissapear. I’m thinking of getting a kitten and naming her his AP’s name just to torture him and heal me! LOL. You gotta laugh sometimes or you’d cry all the time. Peace… MM

      • MollyMagee

        BTW, I mean to say it was an EA that became a physical one and he didn’t stop that either – he wanted that and was agent of letting it escalate into that as well. Peace.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Molly Magee
        I am sure many of us have been tempted to seek some type of revenge towards the AP….but they are just not worth it. They aren’t the ones that broke the marriage vows…your husband did.

        I believe sending her your “note book” would just give her way to much power. I seriously doubt it would end the triggers. Have you thought about burning the note book???

        As betrayed spouses, we have been thrown into an epic battle inside ourselves. A battle we never asked to be in, but nevertheless here we are.

        Are you getting any help for you??? Remember you are not the cause of your husband’s poor choices. Take care of you and get the support that you need. I have always hated that line about the affair not being about the betrayed spouse. I always wondered how something that “wasn’t about me” had the power to devastate me. But yet I know it’s true. Your husband made poor choices rather than deal with whatever he was struggling with.

        I cried almost everyday for three years after d-day. Things took a turn for the better in the fourth year. You are so right about the baby steps. Be kind to yourself.

        The pet thing might be tempting but would probably just torture you. I would let Karma deal with the other woman…..and take care of you instead.

        Take care…..I am so sorry you are going though this. You are in good company here.

        • MollyMagee

          Thank you Shifting Impressions for your thoughtful reply. Some of what I wrote above was written “tongue in cheek” (about an imaginary pet, for example – being named for his affair partner) some not. His AP is a teacher in TX who traveled all the way to MA to screw with him and yes, agreed, while he chose her, she has criminal background (for theft and grand left) and was definitely interested in him both personally, physically and financially. And once they were caught by me (completely by accident – on phone by a text she sent him), she did not go away fair and square (do they ever?) and had to be served with a cease and desist order by our MA lawyers because she kept reaching out. In her defense, my husband’s “dear Jane” letter breaking it off was nicer than some love letters, ie, it was too nice and forgiving of her and didn’t lay any of the blame on her. So she interpreted it as leaving the “door open” to them having a future. After being told they didn’t have a future, she still reached out and then the Cease and Desist came. She’s reached out again and recently as December, 2017…. 16 months post Day. My husband chose to ignore it (she was stalking him on LinkedIn) but I saw it – he never told me about it. So I told him 3rd time – if there is one and I catch her – I’m done tip toeing around her inappropriate behavior almost two years post Dday; I will get a lawyer in TX and have her charged with stalking. I will notify her HR department and superintedent’s office as well. She is a public school employee (so was I at the time of their affair) and I’d hedge my bets, she used school technology and time to contact my husband since most of their affair was conducted thru emails, text, etc. She’s so careless, I’m sure she slipped up, and if she did, she could lose her job. She also violated the morality contract every teacher signs as part of their longer teacher contract agreeing to hold herself to the highest moral standards. So I KNOW for a fact she did that by having an affair. So while I hear what you are saying that 80-90% of this is his doing, the fact that she’s still lurking and skulking in the corners of our life (knowing we have a young adult child w/cancer and another teen child with disability) and she’s cheated in now 2 of her 2 marriages… I don’t have to play nice with her even if my husband did/continues to do so. He wants her to just go away but what he fails to reconcile is he picked a grifter and con artist to have an affair with from a s-hole part of TX with nothing going for her or where she lives. She had NOTHING to lose by helping to destroy our life, our marriage, our kids. That’s bad on him and her. The best thing I’m doing is participating in Al Anon and therapy; his affair kicked up massive amounts of almost PTSD condition for me from my early life as an ACOA. I know that wasn’t his intention but who cares – that’s what it does. Every day is four steps forward and one or two steps back in my recovery. I will never call it healing because every wound in life leaves scars and this one is leaving its own unique scars on the top of ones I had already formed from my early life and youth. Thanks for your kindness above. I’m trying…. aren’t we all. Peace to us, our kids and extended family and friends who are innocent victims in our spouse’s (and their AP’s) mess making as well. Be well….. MM

          • Shifting Impressions

            MollyMagee
            I figured you were joking about the pet…LoL!!!

            No you don’t have to play nice…..but, people like that just want to pull you right back into their drama. I think I would get legal advice and let her know in no uncertain terms….anymore stalking etc and the authorities will be informed.

            She couldn’t care less about the pain she has caused you….don’t let her pull you in.

            Take care of you and your beautiful children….they are lucky to have you.

    • Recovery bound

      It has been 3 years since my H’s affair. He was horrible after he was caught and still continued to see and talk with her. I fought for my marriage because I prayed a lot. When he kept saying he was moving back but didn’t take the initiative to put in for jobs, I sent him divorce papers. That was the definitive moment for him, but not as profound as when our 12 yr old daughter called him one night without me knowing and told him how she felt about what he did to her, me, and our family. He tried to explain, but she didn’t want to here his excuses and hung up on him, she wouldn’t talk to him for a long time especially when he moved back home. That’s when he realized how much hurt he was causing. He knew he had to make a choice and fast. We were all leaving him to his new life and walking away. Every time he has to travel to see his family (where the affair occurred), I grinned and was an emotional wreck until he got back. Even though he did all he could to stay in constant contact with me to make sure I felt comfortable and secure while he was there, that place is a trigger for him. He will have a couple of beers, which he rarely ever drinks, and call and start arguments, say hateful things to me. Then wake in the morning and read the texts he sent me and feel horrible. We have realized going there is a trigger for his affair. The shame and embarrassment makes him turn angry sometimes. So, this last time, he asked me to join him when a parent fell ill. No triggers occurred, instead I found he clung to me. Something he has never done before. He didn’t just want me there, he NEEDED me there. Once we were heading home, he told me he knows he could search the entire world for someone else and no one will ever love him as deep as I do and he finally realizes what he had. That one statement washed so many horrible memories from my heart and I was able to start healing. I still struggle with the OW. I have not found forgiveness for her yet because she kept chasing him even after I found out. It wasn’t until I sent a letter to her husband and families FB messenger letting them know what was happening, that I was finally able to get her out of our life so we could rebuild. It may have been a horrible thing to do but when you see your young children living in agony and her grown children not have a clue of the pain she was causing… I don’t regret it. It has been 2 yrs since he has been home and fighting for my marriage was the best thing I ever did. We are better than we were before. He tries more than he ever has of meeting my needs instead of it being one sided. We focus on our love of each other and the wonderful family we have raised. She is no longer a thought to him.,, I still struggle with it somedays where she is concerned. Forgiveness for her will not come anytime soon for me. I feel like that f I do, it will give her another green light to ruin someone else’s family. I know that may sound stupid or unreasonable, but desperate, lonely people will make bad choices. I just make sure my husband is happy and fulfilled. So thoughts of her have no power in our relationship anymore. We are almost at 33 yrs of marriage and I still love him deeply, because he was willing to change for me and I did for him. There is hope after an affair! 😊

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