What Would You Do If Your Spouse Had Another Affair?A few weeks ago Linda wrote a post that talked about the fear that many of you have of another affair happening again.  That fear applies to whether the affair could pick up again with the same affair partner or that a new affair might start with someone else.

There were quite a few comments to her post but not very many of you stated what you  would do if another affair did happen.

From past comments one would assume that if it did, most of you would kick your spouse to the curb and quickly call your attorney.  But is that really the case?

Our discussion this week…

If your spouse would ever have another affair, would you definitely end the marriage?

If you are the cheater, if you ever strayed again, would you expect that your spouse would want a separation and/or divorce?

Why or why not?

Some might think that the answer is a pretty cut and dry, “Hell yes!”  But you never know.

Please be sure to respond to one another in the comment section below.

Thank you!

Linda & Doug



    59 replies to "Discussion – What Would You Do If Your Spouse Had Another Affair?"

    • tsd

      Like baseball, three strikes YOU’RE OUT…that’s where I stand

    • forcryin'outloud

      There would be hell to pay! Not like this time with a broken heart and broken dreams, tears and screaming, therapy and bonding, forgiveness and effort. There would be a for sale sign in our front lawn, moving truck in the driveway and a check in my hand.
      I sacrificed so much for him and our family and he treated me and our family with utter disrespect. This trauma has been the most exhausting all consuming ordeal I have ever gone through. And there is no way in hell I’m doing it again!!!!

      • exercisegrace

        “all-consuming ordeal”. Yes, that is it exactly. It has taken an enormous emotional, physical, financial and time toll on our entire family.

    • KelBelly

      If my H could go down that road again after all the pain he saw his first brain fart do, then that would be the end. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t really want to be with me and to me a second time around would mean just that.

    • Natalia

      Ditto here. I will never be a doormat again. His EAs disrespected me, our children and our marriage, and that was the last straw. Should it ever happen again, I’m DONE. I will never put up with his crap again, it has been so devastating and I’ve cried so much I feel I have no more tears left for him. I didn’t deserve what he did to me, I never disrespected him even when I had the chance because I always thought of him first, second and third. I always took his feelings into consideration in everything I did. And what did he do? The minute I stopped “entertaining” him because I had 3 kids to raise, he went out to find his own entertainment. NOT FAIR! He never thought twice about breaking my heart. Heck, I never crossed his mind when he was flirting with those whores!
      I took a lot from him for the sake of my children and probably for myself because I just couldn’t believe the love of my live would ever stoop to cheating. He is aware of what he will lose, his whole life, and he’s afraid. But if for some weird and stupid reason (read COW) he “forgets” there will be hell to pay and terrible consequences for him. I’ve told him I have zero tolerance for his crap and the minute I see him drifting away I will pull that leash tighter! Then I will put him in his place and kick him out of my life. He already had a second and last chance. No more chances from me.

    • tryinghard

      He wouldn’t even have to cheat again. ANY disrespect or inconsideration, any lying or lies of ommision with regards to the affair will send him packing. This was not his first but the first that lasted so long and that he gave way too much to both emotionally and financially. There was more than 30 years between them. I’m still not sure I have forgiven him for this one yet. Everyday I have the choice to stay or leave and everyday I make that decision. So far I’ve stayed but who knows what tomorrow may bring. It is true, Once a cheater, always a cheater. They are like smokers. Smokers can quit for years and then one day they easily pick one up and they are back smoking. This shit is a drug and cheaters know what it feels like to be on it and they like it. If there is ANYTHING about they affair they remember is how much they liked that “in love” feeling.

      Yes I will leave and it won’t be pretty! He knows that too.

    • chiffchaff

      hmmm, well I have, like other BSs trying to work on their relationships with their CSs, considered this many times.

      I’ve already told my H that if he did do it again he could never rely on the ‘ignoring the consequences’ line as he would be doing it full in the knowledge of the pain it would cause me so I would consider it to be a deliberate act to end our marriage. There would be no ifs and buts about it.

      I suppose then it gets down to what constitutes an affair the second time around and for me it would be him keeping secrets from me about a woman he had got to know. finding a secret email account or other secret online activity because for my H it’s the keeping secrets like this that is the beginning of his affair type activity.

      I would have to leave as I would have to accept that my H no longer wanted to put the effort in to have an honest relationship with me and put his selfish needs above our marriage. I couldn’t stay a second time because that would really be taking the piss.

      • exercisegrace

        Very good point. While my husband had an EA/PA, it would not have to go that far for me to consider it infidelity. We have agree to be completely transparent with each other. If this were to be violated, well….we know the reason for that!

    • chiffchaff

      I’m also better aware that I’m a stronger person than I thought and that it would be better to be on my own than to be treated with such disrespect by someone who professed to love me.

    • Mandy

      I will never go through this again. It is very clear to him that if he were to betray me in any way again, that would be the end. Zero tolerance.

    • Patsy50

      Yes I would definitely end my marriage if my husband had another affair of any kind. He knows there is not another chance.
      He destroyed my self esteem, our marriage foundation and showed disrespect to me and our children. And I also believe once a cheater always a cheater. It now has become a part of who he is. I had to accept that when I decided to stay in this marriage and always keep one eye open. I am aware now of things to look for when in an EA which I didn’t before which helps but it’s never a guranetee. I have become a much stronger person in this journey and my husband has done everything asked of him to get us to where we are now, in a good place. He knows I will never take this journey with him again if he decides to stray in anyway.

      • tryinghard

        Well said!!! Can I ask you name what YOU look for? I think sometimes I put too much in what he does or doesn’t do. What would be you signs?

    • Hopeful

      Yes. Self-denial, deception, and rationalizations fogged up matters in the first go round. This is not possible again.

      I agree with others: he would be choosing in full knowledge of the slippery slope, the pain, the way fantasy/past wounds operates for him, etc.

      Should he choose that, it would break my heart, but I would leave.

    • Paula

      The remnants of love that I have left after this would be wiped out. Gone. Just like that. I must admit, I thought that would happen if he ever cheated once though!! But I am sure that twice would be the end for me. He has said that if he ever started feeling that vulnerable again – and with the work he has done, in learning who is is and who he was at that terrible time in our lives, and making personal, lasting changes, I doubt that SO very much – he would firstly tell me straight away he was in/heading for that place, and if it was looking like an escape plan – he would tell me immediately he was out, he will not put any of us through this hell again, and I actually BELIEVE that now! In reality, I actually have most of the “power” in our relationship now, in a sense. Whereas once I think I may have loved him more than he loved me, it has definitely switched around, which is how is was when we were first together, he pursued me hard for the first years of our relationship, children, work, mortgage, yaddah, yaddah yaddah, switched the “power” part of the chaser/chasee relationship between us, and now it has re-flipped!. He knows I could leave at any stage, and I would, but I still choose to stay – for now (jokes) – and he accepts that HE did that to us, and does everything he can to let me know I am cherished, desired, and treasured.

      • exercisegrace

        Interesting point. I too feel like I have more of the power now as well. Not in the sense that I feel that I hold a “get out of jail free card”, but that he feels deep shame for what he did. He knows it could have easily ended with me leaving. It is still a fear of his.

    • livingonafence

      haha, bye bye jackass

    • Patsy50

      My signs are the same but more important to me now is notice when he stops doing, like changes in how he acts. Changes in his attitude to himself, me and things in general and a big one is sleep patterns.( Guess things were starting to bother him). Do I look for these on a daily bases, no If he did not choose to tell me about his EA, I would still, to this day, never know about it. When I look back, I can see what I mentioned above. My hat goes off to all who are trying to make their marriages work even after several affairs.

      • tryinghard

        That is interesting you should say sleep patterns. It really bugs me when my H get’s up around 4:30 or so. I’ve checked the computer and emails and phones but don’t see anything. I don’t think there is contact with the OW and he never did do any chatting on line but I get bugged because sometimes he will wake up and not go back to sleep. I always think he’s lying there thinking about HER. ULK. I watch the behavior patterns. I used to GPS his car but have quit. He never even drove on the same road where she works.

        • exercisegrace

          Sleep patterns are very accurate. I don’t know whether my husband used to wake up on his own, or whether he woke up because the parasite was texting him. In any case, I would often wake up and he would be in the bathroom with a “stomache”. But I could hear him tapping the keys on his phone and texting. He usually tried to say he was just responding to a random work email, and I bought it at the time (although I was VERY suspicious). Now, I most certainly would not.

    • exercisegrace

      If I have learned anything at all in this mess, it is that no one can say “for certain” what they would do in ANY given situation. Having said that, I have told him repeatedly that I would leave. And I believe that with all my heart. He is now getting individual and marital counseling to deal with his depression, the childhood issues that contributed to his affair vulnerability, to learn to set better personal boundaries etc. We are getting marriage counseling to strengthen our communication and marital vulnerabilities. He knows now how he put his feet on that slippery slope. He knows what each step of the decline into a year long EA/PA looked and felt like. He knows what it has cost him personally, what it has cost me, and most of all what it has cost our children and our family.

      We both know the signs. If he ever did this again, I would see it as a conscious CHOICE. Not a gradual slide into something he had no intention of getting into, but a DECISION. Made with full knowledge. And to me, that has deal-breaker written all over it.

    • exercisegrace

      I would also add that overall I am trying hard to trust and believe that this was a terrible mistake. A horrible chapter in our marriage that we are repairing, and doing enough preventative maintenance to keep from happening again.

      I don’t believe in the “once a cheater, always a cheater”. People get sober, get off drugs, make a variety of mistakes, and correct them. They move on with their lives. They are forgiven. They embrace the second chance with their entire being and are grateful for it. If we truly believe “once a cheater, always a cheater” then why stay and wait for a round two that you feel is certain to come?

      • tryinghard

        There are alcoholics who are recovering and don’t drink that does not mean they are not alcoholics. You know the chemical affects these affairs have on the brains. It alters them. Our husbands are cheaters. The have cheated, now with A LOT of introspection they may work on not cheating as alcoholics work not to drink. I do have faith that they can not cheat, but I believe it is foolish to not remember that they have capability to do it again. It will always be a work in progress. I have chosen to remember that he has that capability to betray me, but that doesn’t mean he will. You are right sometimes I do think why battle this?? Why not just throw in the towel and move on? Because I question, will my life really be better if I do??? I don’t know. I will not make excuses for his choices. This has made me crazy. I am worn out trying to figure this out. He made his choices and he is a mature man and he damn well knew what he was doing. He was not the young foolish one who did it the first time. I was young and foolish too. I did it wrong the first time. Not this time. I need to call a spade a spade and face the reality of it.

        • Paula

          tryinghard, everybody, all the time, has the ability to cheat – it was always this way – yes, we feel it more now we have been cheated on, but there was ALWAYS this possibility. If you thought otherwise, maybe this thinking was wrong? I don’t think I ever would, but to be fair to my partner, he thought the same thing about himself. So, that means we are all recovering alcoholics, in your analogy. Yes, they have cheated, but I think those that have the true remorse, and are doing the work, are aware that they have done this to themselves – it is a lifelong sentence that they brought on themselves (and, unfortunately, us too – that is the killer!) I don’t think it is too helpful to recovery to think of them as once a cheater, always a cheater. My partner says one of the worst aspects for him, is that he is now grouped in our little town with all the serial cheaters, despite more than two decades of deep love, partnership, fun and fidelity before the apocolypse, certainly not the worst aspect, the worst for him is the damage he has seen in me, apparently his true love, lol, and his own version of who he thought he was! I get your point, and I think early on, it feels that way a little, I hope it eventually passes for you xx

    • Patsy50

      “If we truly believe once a cheater always a cheater” then why stay and wait for round two that you feel is certain to come.

      In my case I am not expecting my husband to cheat on me again. He chose to have an EA and he is a cheater. I had to except that and I chose to stay and forgive him but the word cheater is who he is and it will always be in his history. I had to decide whether I could except that before moving on in this new marriage, and I did. I can’t predict if it will happen again or not but we move forward. My husband and I can only do our best to try not to let it happen again. So far so good . It’s been almost 3 yrs. since DDay.

      • tryinghard

        EXACTLY! Thank you. I was driving myself mad trying to figure out the “whys”. Coming up with the reasons for his choices, wanting revenge on the OW (alright, I’d still like to crack her one ), checking emails, GPSing his car etc. My answer was coming to terms with whom I am married to. A CHEATER. Now I cannot be taken by surprise anymore by any lies or dishonesty and I will be very sensitive to seeing them. In the famous words of The Who “…we won’t be fooled again…” I am not saying they are going to, but for Pete’s sake let’s all not be so stupid not to believe, they could. Yep I’ve chosen to stay for several reasons BUT I am never going to trust him again. He already had that and it was obviously not important to him.

        Also this whole notion of forgiveness mystifies me. If what they did had nothing to do with us, what the hell are we forgiving? I accepted his apology, but I do not believe it is my place to “forgive” him of something I had nothing to do with it. I didn’t do anything wrong to cause this, he did. So is accepting an apology the same as forgiving? Do I beat him over the head with it, NO. Is that forgiving.? Do I accept that he is human and prone to mistakes? Yes. Is that forgiving? I don’t know, I am just NOT driven by this whole forgiveness thing. And I sure as hell don’t feel the need to forgive the OW. Yes I told Sidney to apologize to the wife in case they had to be in public somewhere. I never said ANYTHING about the wife forgiving her.

        Maybe it’s just semantics but these are the cwaaaaazy little thoughts I have. Thanks to all of you for giving me a venue to express them.

        • exercisegrace

          Tryinghard and Patsy. Okay, I see what you guys are saying now and I agree. I read the “once a cheater always a cheater” as the spouse would always cheat. Patsy you define it best for me when you said this will always be a part of his history. And truly that is where I “hope” I can start to put it. I don’t want it to be part of our present or future. I don’t want his cheating to define us or even him. I truly do want to build what you described as “this new marriage”.
          TH I completely loved your statement:

          ” Now I cannot be taken by surprise anymore by any lies or dishonesty and I will be very sensitive to seeing them.”

          YES. YES. Knowing what my husband did. Something I never would have imagined he was capable of. I see him differently. I see the world differently. I see our marriage differently. Some of that is a good thing and some of it is not. But it just IS. We live with the consequences of actions, ours or theirs.

          TH, I too struggle with the concept of forgiveness. I am starting to think it is somewhat meaningless for me. I feel NO need whatsoever to forgive the parasite. She never asked for it, she doesn’t want it, continues to harass me and probably thinks (in her twisted mind) that I am somehow at fault for not relinquishing the man she wanted. She doesn’t deserve forgiveness. And yes, there are those who will read you a trite little quote about how forgiving is for YOU. To that I say, NO. Moving on is for me. Healing is for me. Rebuilding my life, my marriage, my family, my self-esteem. THAT is for me. It has NOTHING to do with whether I “forgive” her or not. She means very little and I choose to not give her power in my world.

          As for my husband? Do I forgive him? Well I can’t say it any better than you did here:

          “So is accepting an apology the same as forgiving? Do I beat him over the head with it, NO. Is that forgiving.? Do I accept that he is human and prone to mistakes? Yes.”

          • tryinghard

            ABSOLUTELY!!!! I agree with everything you said. I guess I should read some books on forgiveness, but just can’t want to. I’ve read enough. I want to go back to reading my murder/mystery novels. Who knows maybe he will maybe he won’t, it is out of my control and that is very freeing for me 🙂

            • exercisegrace

              TH, you nailed an important idea/emotion for me. FREEING. Yes indeed! I used to think if he cheated on me I would just die. Wouldn’t be able to survive it. Well I didn’t die and I am surviving it. I can’t control what he does in the future, but I can and will control what I do. I will never allow someone to treat me the way he did, for as long as he did. Freeing indeed!!!!

    • tryinghard

      Do not agree. I am not a cheater. Never have been. Never will be. That I know. I learn from others and well it just isn’t a good idea. I’m a smoker. I choose to smoke. I have quit smoking and all it takes is one little stress and I am back at it. I will always be a smoker. I know what it does to people. I accept it. The probability that my smoking will affect others someday is good. I still smoke. If I quit I may become an ex-smoker and I may or may not take it up again.

      Facing these facts about my H problems has brought me tremendous peace. The ball is in my court now.

      Thanks for your input.

      • exercisegrace

        TH and Paula. In theory, I agree it is “possible” for anyone to cheat. I feel like I have been battle tested though. During the lowest point of my life, when my husband was cheating on me and I suspected it, I had the opportunity. I didn’t walk, I RAN away from that.
        People that cheat, do so for particular reasons. Usually they are pretty common and universal. Vulnerabilities that some people have, and some people don’t. I agree that *could* change over time. Most of the betrayed spouses here could have coughed up reasons to cheat, but something inside of them said NO. My therapist tells me I have a very strong “moral compass” and people that have that are the ones that stand faithful even in the worst of times.

    • jewel

      I would just quietly go. I’m so tired of this pain.

    • Paula

      TH, you may have misunderstood, I’m so sorry. I am also not a cheater, and I really believe I NEVER could – this is the only man I have ever been sexual with, and I am no prude! I also have a HUGELY strong moral compass. What I meant was, no one is ever safe from cheating, sadly, so everyone is actually capable. Everyone can have certain life events, and brain explosions – most of us won’t be this selfish or stupid – I have been tested in the past – I chose NOT to cheat in that situation, walked away and told my partner straight away about the close shave, we discussed this ad nauseum over the years – just don’t do it – the anti-Nike slogan! THAT is what bugs me – why didn’t they just say no – very Taylor Swift, lol!! How stupid do you have to be to not see a future train wreck – even if your marriage is really, really bad and you SHOULD divorce (and in most of our cases this was not the case, I was still very, very in love) DO that, get a divorce BEFORE you find another/cheat. Not condoning any of it at all, just stating it the way I see it nearly four years out – and still in considerable pain, but coping somewhat better.

      • Exercise grace

        Paula, I completely agree. I agonize when he says he never stopped loving me. Never meant to hurt me. How did he envision an EA/PA turning out to not hurt me? We have been together thirty years. We were each others’ one and only. I cant even grasp the idea of sex with anyone else. it just wouldnt happen! I feel like I am grieving the death of something so sacred and precious. Our love was strong too. Before they took their friendship over the line, he can remember telling her how good our life together was. What was she thinking?? Challenge accepted????

        • Symac

          I forget where I read it, but someone put it out that that many times, it’s not that the other woman wants your man, but that she wants *your life*. Maybe she thought that she could get in on that “good life” you and your H had. In my situation, I definitely feel that. H has 2 EA’s. The second was with a twice divorced. mom of three, who’s ex’s didn’t support her financially. Meanwhile, my H is a manager, drives a luxury car and makes enough so that I don’t have to work and also enjoy driving a luxury car, designer closet, trips, etc. I really think she thought that she could have MY life. Goes to show how dumb she is. Not only did my H offer to give me whatever I wanted (when it first came to a head, his response to me was “I will not fight you, you can have everything”) but now he talks about her like she’s nothing, saying that he did what he did simply because he could, not because he actually wanted her. It doesn’t make it any better, and he might just be saying that to smooth things over, but I bet she wouldn’t be happy to know that my husband thought of her as nothing more than a toy he could play with when he got bored. Oh well, boo hoo for her LOL!

          • Tryinghard

            This is absolutely true in my H case. The OW was financially broke, bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits from bill collectors the list goes on. She talked my H into hiring her and she made double her previous salary. My H was a well respected businessman in town. She wanted all of that. She is a sad desperate person.. He gave her a lot financially and I believe that is why she has never contacted him. The affair for her was totally what he could do for her financially. As the saying goes, A fool and his money are soon parted. This has never been more true as with the OW my H chose. Isn’t that also known as a whore when someone uses sex for money?

          • Teresa

            The cow actually told my H that “I’m living HER life!! When I asked my H what she meant, he said its because I don’t have to work, she does, my H helps out around the house, hers doesn’t, (so she says, you KNOW how they lie to make themselves look like damsels in distress)
            and the funny thing is….my H and her only went on THREE dates over 30 yrs ago!! They were never in a serious relationship at all!
            My H broke things off with her, via letter, and I think she has always resented that, and wanted to see if she could get him “back”! She’s a fat, ugly sick COW!!

      • Tryinghard

        I agree with everything you say. Sure we could all throw caution and good judgement to the wind. A drunk driver never intends to hurt antone and yet they choose to drive. Where does common sense come in and say yes if I do this someone’s going to get hurt? Even themselves. I believe all of us trying to make a go of ot after all this fallout should ALWAYS remember who we are married to. This not to say that they don’t have other wonderful qualities but we shoul remember what they are capable of. Before the affair I really didn’t think he was capable of it again. I thought he learned his lesson. I was safe and trusting in that knowledge. I do not feel I took it for granted in the negative sense. My H is doing many many wonderful things to show he’s changed and committed to me but there will always be that knowledge in the back of my mind that he is/was a cheater/liar. I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt in many cases but man is it hard. Fours years out and the pain is still there? ULK is this pain our destiny?

      • Teresa

        It’s funny you say that Paula, “How stupid do you have to be to not see a future train wreck”…..because my H’s cousin, who knew about the EA, she said those very same words to my H, “If Teresa finds out, it’ll be a train wreck”!
        But he didnt care, selfish jerk that he was!!
        As for another EA and what would I do?
        Well, as my 2nd oldest son told me recently, “If dad ever does this to you again, mom, me and (insert oldest sons name here) will pack him up and move him out, you won’t have to do a thing!” And I’d let them!!
        If my H ever did have another EA, I agree with what others have said…He is deliberately choosing to end the marriage, he knows full well the pain and feelings of betrayal, there are NO more excuses! And that goes with contacting the OW again also!

    • blondiegal

      I’m currently going through a second EA with my spouse. It’s easy after the first time to say I’m out the door if you do this again, I even said it in therapy if front of him and the counselor. Once it ACTUALLY happens though, it’s the same as anything. It’s different once it happens. I’m not making excuses, but there were things between us that didn’t change, or more so that HE didn’t change. He’s started therapy on his own and has found out he has an emotional disconnect with himself. He should have done that a year and a half ago when we went through this the first time. Anyway, I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I have decided I’m working on me. I’ll see how his therapy goes. I guess I’m just putting it out there, that it’s not clear cut and dry. It never is. I’m in a very hard spot and when I look for help and people speak in hypotheticals, its advice that’s hard for me to take. Every situation is different. I’m just spending time with my friends, family, and working on me. Who knows where he and I are headed. I don’t have to make a choice today or tomorrow. I’m just going to take life day by day.

      • ocanas

        Blondiegal, Your situation is the main reason I’m thinking about leaving after my wife’s first EA – she has not worked on herself and not willing to do it 2 years after D-Day – so the odds of happening again are high since she has not changed and put the effort to look inside her – thanks for sharing!

        • Tryinghard

          I hope you give a lot of thought to your decision. I’m sure you are. As you’ve read this is not the first time for me. I believed him the first time when I saw guilt and remorse. It obviously is not enough. We needed more marriage counseling and didn’t do it. I thought we could handle it. We couldn’t. We never went for one on one counseling either. He still hasn’t gone. This is part of his narcissism. They think they are always right and if someone points out they are wrong they dismiss it or they feel resentful of it. It is very hard for them to take any kind of criticism. They hate criticism worse than anything. There are ways of dealing with narcissists and I did not even know about narcissism until DDay with my therapist. Maybe you could research it and find out about it. You can never let your guard down with them. They bore easily and boredom is their enemy. You may also want to invest in a GPS device to put on her car. I bought my through amazon. It will tell you a lot. You can bring up in subtle conversation where they went and well if she lies you will know. It sounds shitty I know but you need answers and this helps. Also a key logger for the computer. I’m just saying…..

          • ocanas

            Thanks Tryinghard

    • Tryinghard

      It sounds like YOU learned a lot from the first go round, he didn’t. I didn’t learn enough from my first go round and that is probably what got me in this second mess. I had small children and the only thing I could focus on was making life right for them. We had some tumultuous years after that fiasco. Looking back I would have done things differently. One day at a time is all any of us can do but we also shouldn’t live our lives in a constant limbo. The first time I just chalked it up to he was young and just made a big stupid mistake. Now I see there is something in his self that is missing. He won’t go to therapy. We went to marriage therapy but that was for our relationship not for him. He can’t stand looking too deeply at himself. He is doing many wonderful thing to make our life good but deep down inside I believe he is tormented and refuses to bring that out in the light. I am hoping you H will figure out his own healing process.

      • blondiegal

        Tryinghard–Im trying to catch up..you are currently experiencing a second EA?

        • Tryinghard

          Yes. PA withe two Ow over 30 years ago. We were young. I chalked it up to being young. He was very remorseful and made lots of promises. Lol he must have forgotten!

          Now over 30 years later he did it again. Lasted four years and lots of money given to her. I my sound bitter when I say once a cheater always a cheater but I’ve learned from experience it’s true. They may forget about to woman but they never forget the feelings they had when they were doing it. I also think that after many years they can hook up with the same woman but why do that when there are so many new ones to hook up with? It really isn’t about the woman it’s about them.

          I didn’t believe my own red flags since we had already been through it once I didn’t/couldn’t believe he could be tat stupid again. Now many years later divorcing would be literally liquidating a corporation and hurting many people, family members. And my big question is would my life be any better without him? Cheaters are narcissists maybe not full blown but cheating is a narcissistic trait and according to my therapist cannot be fixed much like a pedophile can’t be fixed. I sometimes wish I would have divorced him many years ago. But who knows. I could just as easily remarried a man that gave me more problems! All know now is no matter what…listen to your own red flags. Trust nothing and no one but your own self because in the end tat is all you really have. He is very remorseful now and I do believe he loves me but I know he loves himself more. This EA/PA hit me much harder than the first time. So it doesn’t get easier. I feel like such a schmuck for staying with him again.

          • Manya

            Tryinghard, I never ever written or replied to any comments before, although I read them a lot lately, but this time I decided to do it for once.
            We have been married for 29 years. The first several years of marriage were a bit difficult, but after immigrating to New Zealand and then Australia we found our happiness. Life not always was easy, we worked hard ( and still do, which is good!), but we were always a great team and I could never even dream of a better husband.
            Anyway… October 2011 -this is when we became emptynesters, since our son moved out to live with his girlfriend. Good times, freedom, travel, work and leisure, do whatever you want ( and thoughts like that, of course, I know it sounds a bit too primitive , never mind!).
            It did not take even a few weeks as my husband has opened an account on Facebook (before that he never even touched a computer at home, always said he was tired of spending 8 hours a day before it at work ). Now almost every evening he was chatting, e-mailing and things like that… I did not think anything bad about it, since I was happy he had found things to keep him occupied.
            But then he started to look in the mirror more often, which is also out of character for my husband, then during shoppings suddenly started asking me to buy him some new clothes and shoes (never before, I normally had to drag him to shops ). New Year came and went, in my country it is a summer, we had a wonderful cruise to Pacific Islands. Then we came back, relaxed , tanned and happy and after a few more weeks at home , in February 2012 my husband came from work and said that he wants to try to live by himself for awhile, said, he did not love me anymore, or did, but like a close relative, although cared for me a lot, said he was tired of everything and everyone here and wants to try to get away from us all and stuff like that.
            You can imagine how I felt! People who visit this site, they know, many of you have been through the same thing. Life has suddenly stopped, disbelief, grief, fear… everything… I don’t know how I survived alltogether!
            Then he announced that he is going to Europe for two weeks to our native city, to visit friends and to change scenery and , for once, to do it alone! It was horrible! I never slept alone, even one night in my life, so those two weeks I will remember for long time.
            When he came back he seemed like a different person, at least , to me, something was different. As a coincidence, soon after I had to answer my husband’s phone and accidentally pressed “messages” and noticed SMS , where my husband apologises to a woman for snoring and promises to go to a doctor so the next time would be more enjoyable. She answers that those days they spent together were unforgettable… And I nearly died for the 2nd time after that, because deep inside I still hoped that just maybe, he really needed to see his old friends and maybe a bit of nostalgy for his youth ( by that time I already read a lot about male midlife crisis, but infidelity did not cross my mind yet…)
            So, still being shocked and hurt beyond belief I have confronted him and he denied everything stubbornly at first, but then confessed that some 29 years ago, during our first few years of marriage he cheated on me with some woman from his work. We were young (23-24) and he thought that,maybe , he got married too soon and had a child next year, and his friends were still partying, so he cheated with this woman to feel again like a bachelor. I did not know about any of it, of course, he was my first man and I was pretty naive… (By the way, it was another blow for me to find out about it after 29 years, it should have died with him…) Now I understand, in a way, why our first five years of marriage were not as happy ones. In Octover 2011 he, after 25 years, suddenly spotted this woman on a Facebook and the rest is a history. This woman is older than me, but he wanted to see her like there’s no tomorrow. In fairness, he did not want me to know about it, I found those SMS by a pure accident …
            Anyway… I am cutting my story short. After that my husband said that he understood a lot, he loves me and family, doesn’t want to leave and stuff like that.
            It’s been a year exactly, now February 2013, All 2012 since his trip he tried to be as supergood, medal deserving husband as he possibly could be, or even better, took me to Europe for 3 weeks (first time in my life!), Chistmas and New Year we went to Singapore and Thailand, was helpful at home (as usual, he always is very – very caring), let me talk about things and we talked a lot , like never in our previous life. Our family was very happy for us…
            Shortly speaking: he is going to the same 2 week trip again, to the same city and, I guess, to the same woman…
            Complete deja vu, even with dates and the same, out of the blue, way of announcement.
            This time I only had one emotion : anger and lots of it!
            I realized that for a past year, after getting out of that terrible shock and grief + councelling (did not help a bit!). something has definitely died inside me and it can not be resuscitated. I don’t love him anymore and can not even produce any jealousy. I sat down and divided a piece of paper into two columns and written all pros and cons for leaving him or staying, this time quite coldmindedly. If I will leave him, I will be left almost penniless , since we have a huge mortgage and I earn not a lot ( I am a piano teacher and here it is not a profession which earns you a good living, especially now, and I don’t know any other profession and at my age (51yo) to learn a new profession and to hope that someone will hire me at this age and with no experience is an absurd). I also depend on my husband for doing a million other little and big things he normally does for me (as I do for him). Without those things I will be absolutely miserable. If I will leave him – yes, I might get my pride back, but I personally think that pride is little overrated these days and, what is more important: would it make me happier, considering what I have written in my previous sentence, maybe not… So I have decided to stay in marriage and use my husband for all he is capable of for now and let him have his old flame ( I call her our satellite) or whatever for those 10 days (4 days only takes to get to Europe from here!) as long as the other 350 days he will give me my comfortable life with our family and friends, like I got used to all these years.
            I believe now that once a cheater is always a cheater even after so many years and do not have any rose glasses any more. I call our marriage now an arragement and realize that one day my husband may want to leave me and create an another one, the one which involves lawyers , or not, who knows… I will be better prepared if it happens, but for now let him pay the bills, while he can.
            I know that many of you would disagree with me and you might be right, but if I financially dependant on my husband,being at my age, I have to be more flexible, especially if most of my feelings towards him, are dead now.
            To Tryinhard: thank you very much for sharing your story and thoughts, I understand you very well. The second time feels very painful and hard, just a bit different for me. I still think that my life was over after the first time and the second time is just a prolonged agony of the first one and yet , that I have to learn how to live with a stranger,even very caring and loving one ( minus those 14 days a year, when he loves someone else! ;))
            Sorry for such a long letter and not perfect English, even after 22 years I still make mistakes 🙁

            • tryinghard

              WOW and your English is very good. I understood everything you were telling us.

              I feel for you and I understand the financial situation as well. What an ass. He’s going to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. NICE!!! Well if you are going to resign yourself to it I hope you have some plans to treat yourself while he’s off on his little “love tryst”. Your own trip, and new Prada/Gucci/Louis Vuitton… Please don’t say you can’t or shouldn’t afford it!! He will be spending money you should too. best yet go on a trip of your own and don’t be there when he gets home. I know it’s hard starting over for we “women of a certain age” but it can be done. Also maybe living simply without the asshole’s abuse would be better. I don’ t know but I feel for you.

            • Recovering


              I feel for you!! I can’t imagine going through this mess again. Know that I couldn’t! Would rather live at home with my mother again (and THAT is saying a LOT at my age!), or with one of my children than stay. That being said, just because I know I would leave doesn’t make me better than you for staying!! As long as you feel that you have a CHOICE!! You do have a choice, regardless of your situation! Heck, you can even tell your cheating hubby that now it’s your turn, and he’s gonna financially support YOU while YOU have your fun! I know that isn’t right! Him cheating doesn’t make it okay for you to cheat (love the attempt, though, Miss LeAnn Rimes!), but if you tell him up front, then it isn’t cheating now is it? YOU have a right to be happy too ya know!!! You need to live your life for YOU, even if it is while still being married to the cheater!!! Maybe you feel trapped and feel like you don’t have that choice… but you can chose to live YOUR life.. basically putting yourself as your husband’s roommate. It isn’t easy either! No choice you make is easy, especially since this wasn’t even something that you had any say in to begin with!! Don’t let his lies and deceit suck the life out of YOU!! As BSs we often feel like we have no power over our lives left – I know I do, and often, feel that way. Its the days we wake up with purpose that we need to focus on! YOU are special! YOU didn’t deserve this, but how you chose to face YOUR life IS your choice! Love yourself and even if you stay, vow to make yourself happy regardless of him!! He doesn’t deserve you anyway!!! Chin up!!!!!

            • tryinghard

              Yes what Recovering said. I hate to admit this, but if I were staying in a marriage where my H has utter disregard for our marital commitments, I would look for a lover too. And he would be young, firm fleshed, artistic, with a high tolerance for wrinkles! I would also do while carrying a great handbag!!!

              OY again with the handbags!!! Not dismissing your hurt at all Manya but we all have choices. Don’t deny yourself your own happiness no matter what form you find it.

    • AnnaB

      It’s freaky reading so many comments that match my own feelings! If my H was to do it again I feel certain I would leave. However, I also thought I’d leave if it ever happened in the first place but I didn’t! But I really really don’t think I could cope like this again because hiding the facts from our children has been a HUGE task. They know something is up but as far as I know they don’t know what. My H is so full of remorse and guilt that sometimes it seems unlikely he would do it again, but I still can’t relax 100%. That part annoys me, that I’ve changed because of them. I really don’t know what forgiveness is because I suppose I’ve accepted the situation, but to me forgiveness is saying, “it’s ok that you hurt me.” It isn’t. And as for forgiving her: NEVER!! Apparently she was jealous of s, even though they are wealthy. She craved a family who would do meaningful things together, so she made a play for my H! That is evil. If he did do it again it would probably be with her. Up to now I’ve only texted her to tell her very strongly to leave us alone, which protected her family. But if it happens again I will go to her house to have it out, no matter who is home, and then I’ll walk away from the pair of them. Well, that’s the plan.

    • StillSick

      My husband had a three-year “emotional affair” with an old girlfriend that I found out about when I picked up his phone by accident one day (we have the same model). He broke off that relationship immediately and couldn’t be sorrier. I’m still shattered, six months later, but life does go on. I completely understood an earlier commenter’s observation that the decision to stay is not made just once, and it could still change. I always thought I would leave if a man did this, but I have stayed. So I can’t say with certainty what I would do if he did this again. But I am 99.99% sure I would kick his ass out, and damn the consequences. I am too old to start over again alone, but better to live alone than with someone I can’t trust. As it is, I know that I would not trust anyone so fully again.

    • Recovering

      You say that many of us dont KNOW what we would do if this happened again, but I think that is incorrect. I KNOW without a doubt that I won’t even tolerate him FLIRTING anymore. That used to be something about his personality that bothered me, but I thought I was being overly sensitive because we were married and I NEVER thought he could be such a sick slimeball! Now, flirting, secrets, lies… any of that is grounds for my butt to leave. I won’t put up with it anymore. There is no more going out drinking with the boys after work, no more hiding feelings, no more having a life without me. Now I have insisted on meeting EVERYONE he works with, men and women. I have had to change in that now I have become more of a host – having his coworkers to my home so that I am part of that world, which I was not before. I will not stay if he were to do anything remotely selfish like this again. I deserve better! I have been there for him every day for the last 17 years, and not once have I even desired to kiss him, or hang out with another man for that matter. I deserve the same respect. If our marrige fails to be his number one priority, then I am outta here! Men and women SHOULD NOT be friends. They can’t be unless they are friends of the marriage. Plain and simple. This has almost killed me the first time. Changed me into someone I never wanted to be. Another dose would put me over, and there would be no coming back from that. None. Never.

      • Natalia

        Recovering, I totally agree with you. My H and I have made major changes in the way he interacts with men and women in general. He can never go to lunch out of the office with other co-workers unless I’m there (I have a very flexible schedule and can meet him for lunch everyday if I wanted), he’s stopped having lunch in the companies cafeteria and eats lunch at his desk, he can never again go to dinner with other men or women related to his job unless I go too. He can never again give out his cell phone number to anyone. He either gives them his work number (it’s hard to have flirty conversations surrounded by other coworkers) or the house number. And I check the cell phone records every once in a while and question any strange numbers and he better have an answer. He can never again email anyone without including me in the email. He now uses my email address to get any personal messages so I can read them too. I have access to his email at work and can check anytime. He knows better than to delete any messages because they can be traced. He knows that if he breaks any of these rules there will be serious consequences and I’m DONE.
        D-day was the day he mentioned he had found an ex-gf on fb. I soon discovered she was just the tip of the iceberg. So instead of deleting her from his FB page I decided to friend her on FB. She friended me back and I told her I was not too happy to learn that he had contacted her due to their past history. She apologized for even answering his messages and said something very important that I have used to show my H what a moron he was trying to keep secrets from me. She said that when a male friend of hers gets married then her friendship with this man changes to include his wife and the friendship is now conducted through the wife. She’s a psychologist and knew right away why I was not happy with their so called renewed friendship 30 years later. We are now “friends” on FB and she does a pretty good job keeping her distance from my H. After this encounter I have demanded that I meet every single one of his female friends and if he’s got them on FB then I must have them too. If he refuses or they don’t friend me then they get deleted, no questions asked. It’s all very simple. I personally hate these stupid rules but if he’s going to act stupid and think it’s ok to flirt and act like his wife doesn’t exist, then stupid rules are in order.

    • Recovering


      I have log-ins for all of my husband’s accounts, and he can’t get on a new social networking site without my agreement. I look at his work email, have a say on who is in his contact list on his phone (he only has a work phone, so we don’t get the bills, which is why he was able to hide the sexting for so long), he isn’t allowed to be ‘friends’ with ANY women… why would he need to be anyway? The slut wasn’t even supposed to be at the bar when he went out with “the guys” for drinks after work!! Had I known there were women there I would’ve either shown up myself or not been so agreeable for him to go!! I, stupidly, thought that I was being supportive. That he needed some time with “the guys” to blow off steam!! DUH! The slut came on to him in the bar.. and of course he worked with the slut then… I guess my biggest issue with all of this is WHERE WAS HIS FRIGGING HEAD? I would NEVER leave the bar with a guy to go to his car ‘to talk’… REALLY? He says he never had any interest in her before that night… Why would he do that? HOW could he do that? I mean, NOT A CHANCE I would do that!! And where the hell were the “guys” that night that she felt so comfortable hitting on my husband to start with? Obviously she was a slut, being married herself with 2 kids. Why didn’t THAT disgust him like it does me? I sometimes wonder if it would’ve been easier to deal with an affair if he had had it with a single person, but with a MARRIED slut? Where was THAT appeal? How could THAT turn him on? Just the idea makes me want to hurl!!! Never again… the rules now are stupid – I totally agree. I HATE feeling like there has to be rules!! Why can’t he just be who he claimed to be and not a liar that I have to babysit? Is the price I pay I guess, among others, for staying with a cheater….

      • forcryin'outloud

        Recovery, like you I hate being the police person and that’s what I call it. It’s ridiculous but necessary. My teenage son has more electronic autonomy than my H. I have full access to everything and after d-day he took down his FB. Last yr he subscribed again and within 3 mos. one of his distressed damsels whom he previously had VERY friendly messages with tried to contact him 3 separate times. “She was so sad he had unfriended her. Or why don’t you want to be my friend, blah blah blah.” Down came the FB. It’s a joke. The sad part is he has changed and does see how damaging ALL his flirtations were to me and our marriage. But it’s like the dealer who won’t let you get off drugs. These sad, lonely, pathetic women won’t let it go.

    • Manya

      Tryinghard and Recovering
      Thank you very much for your response and all your support, really appreciate it !
      You are right, my today’s husband is an ass, but I wish all in life would be so simple and black and white…
      The problem is that everything in my life now has different sides and shades. My husband has been absolutely great and cool for the past 25 (!) years and until I suddenly found out about the first 4 years, I thought that all 29 years were wonderful. We have never (!) been apart, always did everything together, he was not only my best friend and adviser, right arm, but, probably, my whole body, which I would not separate from mine. We went through a lot together, making it in a foreign two countries, raising a sick child (he is grown up now and OK) and taking care of our parents (we are both only children and do not have any relatives), he always was (and still is, when it comes to all other things, except having 10 days a year affair) the most reliable H. in the world!
      We know each other weaknesses and strengths, so over the years our lifestyle has crystallised in form that everything is well divided who does what according to our best abilities.
      My husband is always responsible for taking care of all our finances, cars, fixing things around the house, helping our son and both of our parents with any advice or whatever other help they may need. He is a very doting dad even though our son is 27 years old now and has a girlfriend, we are very close and speak every day + my son calls my H. for any help or advice or just to discuss some soccer results, etc… My responsibility is, of course, house work and a lot of it, we have a big house, he helps a little as well, shopping, travel organizing and booking, organizing our social life with friends, house doctor if someone gets sick, looking after our parents and many other little things mums and wives do + my students, my work.
      My husband calls me from work three times a day, he is so used to do it over the years that (can you believe it?) even when he went to Europe to cheat the first time last year, he still called and emailed me a couple of times a day to find out if everything was OK , how I spent the night, how was my driving ( I am a very frightened driver, so he always double check if my daily rounds were OK), how was our old dog, whether I gave her a medicine and whether I manage to get through the night or a day without being scared of a spider or a big moth (as you can see I am scared of everything in life that is my weakness !), I am just wondering whether he made those phone calls in front of that satellite (OW) of ours or alone? ;)). Besides, he also brought back lots of photos with his friends, some from high school even, some from uni, some from his old work, all in different venues, in different clothes, which tells me that out of those 10 days, he, maybe ,had only 4 or 5 days to spend with his OW.
      Still , that trip of his nearly killed me… One year passed…. This time I have no clue, how is he going to spend those 10 days there ( I can only guess !) and, honestly, don’t care anymore. This time he is silent about his upcoming trip, he says, to minimize traumatizing me (has a nerve!), because the first time he was so excited, he could have just jumped out of his undies , and all his preparations were, sort of , in my face, which was beyond horrible! This time he is very considerate, quiet and very, overly supportive and helpful in all daily chores and in general, tries to spend a lot of time with me, takes me to the country wineries on weekends or art exhibitions, or just for a cup of coffee somewhere nice, meeting with friends (they all love him and I am absolutely sure that we would lose them all , should we separate simply because they would not be able to make a choice), he also talks about the better future with me… (Yeah, right…). I don’t know, maybe I should be grateful that he does his dirty deeds not here, where we live, but in a different country and even different continent!!! I know, it is a lame excuse (I remember well that my today’s H. is an ass, no excuses!), but it could definitely hurt much more if he did it here, right under my nose (it can still happen in a future, who knows…)
      Then another thing happened. He booked (himself, normally it’s my job) three- week holiday in Europe for us in September, he only asked me, what countries would I wanted to visit.
      Absolutely unexplainable! Midlife crisis? Don’t know, but I’ll take the European vacation, to me it’s much better than Louis Vuitton, besides , I am pretty sure that I’ll visit a few shops over there, no doubt about that!
      That is my life today, who knows, whether it is right or wrong to stay with him, time will tell, he still does everything for me + pays the bills, so, I guess, it all depends now on a level of my tolerance , how much I can close my eyes on in order to have my routine life, that’s all.
      Thank you for listening and being patient with me.

    • Dakota

      at the beginning of friendship satisfaction and attraction make us feel good with the other person==Trust & love and dedication
      Then some one start feeling Disatisfy, bored ==We become unattractive to them
      someone chooses to Look for it outside the relationship -= cheating, violating the boundaries of the relationship, and Hurting Our Trust pride and relationship in the must of cruel ways= So Now we start feeling unloved, unsatisfy , unnatractive, unapropiate,==We start losing our faith and trust in that person and sometimes in ourselfs..Now we have “Untrust” is the very same feeling redirected in a negative way tours us so we decide they are not worth our Trust ” and is this very feeling of Untrust” that direct our love..we feel that something inside of us die with our betrayed Trust ===equals to our feelings of Love for this person are disapearing and the relationship is near the end..just a though…

    • N H

      Previos post under “Nancy”…..Well…in my last post i told you I called the OW husband. He contacted me and confirmed all of my questions,,,,that they were indeed carrying on the affair, stll. confronted my H last night….he denied everything. Is furious at me. And just walked out. I’m devastated. Talk about backfire. I want to die.

    • theresa

      I know now what I should do.
      But I just don’t know.
      I’ll never say never again

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