Hello everyone!

Our discussion this week is actually a rerun of one from over a year ago, with some slight modifications.  I think it’s a good topic for reflection and discussion, but I’ve been wrong before.

Recovering from infidelity is an extremely long and tough journey.  At times it seems as though it might just be easier to quit trying altogether and move on.

With all the pain and heartache that victims of affairs experience, at what point do you say “Enough is enough!” and just give up?

In your mind, do you ever get to that point?

What is the driving force behind your inner strength and determination to continue working to save your marriage?

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


Doug & Linda

See also  Open Discussion: Should You Spy on Your Spouse?

    50 replies to "Discussion: When Do You Just Quit Trying?"

    • Saddenned

      It is funny that this topic is brought up. When the pain is so tremendous, I do want to give up. It would be easier to leave, I tell myself. Why put myself through this? At that point I am convicted. I made a promise to God, myself and my husband when I said my vows. None of us know what it means to love someone, “for better or for worse”, until you have traumatic events in your life such as this. The person I thought I knew isn’t who I thought he was. I never thought he could hurt me, betray me, but he did. When I want to quit I think of all of what I will give up and what my kids will have to endure. No pain, no gain…

      • Sad in North Richland Hills Texas

        I am so sorry for your pain. I do understand your feelings.
        I need help! My husband of 31 years got involved with and old high school girlfriend( they were only together two weeks when he was 16 years old) over FB and he became emotionally involved with her and asked me for a divorce in August of last year. It continued till December and then he decided he did not want out. We have been trying to work things out over the last few months well on April 11th I checked his email and found out that he had sent her a happy birthday email I was devastated and told him to get out of the house. He decided to stay and has promised to stop communication with her. Mind you the woman is also married and his been married for 32 years. She lives in another state,I finally told her husband and send him a 21 page document on all the emails I was able to capture and pictures she had send my husband.
        Well from what I understand her husband wants to divorce her because she has done this before. My problem is I really dont how to feel anymore..the damage is great, I live in a constant state of anxiety and lack of trust. He did so much damage last year , moved into our spare room, took off his wedding ring, pulled his direct deposit, denied being married, stopped talking to our son and our extended families, treated me horribly, bought another cell phone, wanted a divorce, told me he hated seeing me at home, bought her jewelery, said they had a future together, told her he loved her and promised her a cabin in the woods which was our dream. I am still sick about it , I was on major medical from my job for six months, went into counseling, and lost lots of weight. Question is what do i do now?? I am still very sad….. 🙁

    • B

      I was making great progress and then last night something triggered all of my negative emotions. I wanted to quit. I made the mistake of talking to my wife about it and it ended in an argument because even though she was the one that caused the pain, she made me feel as though I was the one making it a bigger issue than it really was. So yeah, today I feel like quitting and we aren’t speaking this morning. I hate that feeling because when a married couple fights it really isn’t a big deal, you argue and then realize you were being stupid so you make up. But after ANY kind of infidelity, every argument you have about anything gives you that sinking feeling that the marriage could be over. Amazing how affairs take even the smalles arguments and makes them feel tremendously huge. The anxiety can be overwhelming.

      • Saddenned

        I understand B, it is like walking on eggshells. I never thought twice about bickering with my husband, but now when we bicker, I feel anxiety and worry it is over. Hang in there.

        • B

          The hardest part is dealing with the painful thoughts in your head regardless of how good things may be going because now when you want to talk about the pain you are feeling, you can’t talk to the one you always have because they are the ones who you hurt you. Walking on eggshells is no way to live. In a sense, I’m worried about making a mistake too push her away, and she is worried about me not letting go of the pain. Sometimes it just feels like a lose-lose situation.

    • ppl

      may sound off topic but i believe it is on topic. a suggestion to help users of the site. it would be nice to be able to search by user name to see progression of the comments and history of the healing or lack of it. i would envison being able to pull up all comments of a user by date posted. one may see in what stage of healing you are in relation to others. some report great success in the process. it would be nice to be able to go back and see if it was as bad for them as perhaps it is for you now or perhaps some dont show healing despite attempts and that could signal a time to quit. seeing comments of all of us at one point in time is not as useful as seeing where people come from and end up. that would be more useful to see if you are on path or off.

      • Doug

        ppl, That’s a very good idea. This is a WordPress powered site which utilizes plug-ins to do specific functions. I will search when I get a minute to see if there is such a plug-in that allows one to do that.

    • roller coaster rider

      This discussion also finds me at a place very similar to you, B. I was depressed yesterday and that led to much deeper depression in my H who says now that he hates himself and just seems like he wants to give up. I am not ready to throw in the towel at this point, but sometimes it does seem like the “This too shall pass” mentality isn’t enough. I also agree with ppl and have wanted to read all the postings by a single writer in one place. Thanks for considering it, Doug.

    • Saddenned

      To share with you all. My individual counselor told me that this is called “stinkin thinkin”. In other words, reliving the moment and causing all of the pain to yourself. When you relive the moment the negative feelings come back. We all need to put up a “stop sign” if you will when we feel this way. I talk a lot with my individual counselor about my own personal feelings and she helps me sort through the feelings. Make sure you have balance in your life. Make sure you are eating, sleeping, resting, and exercising, all in moderation. Find something in your life that you enjoy. For example, on my lunch break I went to a workout class, it was great, helped clear my head and was really healthly. You must have balance in your life to deal with these traumatic events. If you are not taking care of yourself, your emotions can get out of control. In my case, my doctor put me on medication (temporarily) too, to help control anxiety. I have noticed a significant difference on how I feel when I am taking care of myself and not letting my H’s EA consume me.

    • Melvin

      “Stinkin Thinkin”….. I like that.

      Agree Saddenned — Good advice, thanks.

      The key to getting rid of that stinkin thinkin is to have “good times” that you can fall back on. Call them distractions or release activities. Something that you enjoy. In the end, we all can control our good feelings and by doing so, we can help push aside the bad times.

    • Ronald Johnson

      With all the pain and heartache that victims of affairs experience, at what point do you say “Enough is enough!” and just give up?

      I think for me the time will come when “Enough is enough” when she has totally give up on the kids and I. I still fell there is hope, even through the pain and heartace bring. Each day is an uphill battle for my and I keep praying to God that he grants me a do over.

      In your mind, do you ever get to that point?

      I have been to that point several times over the last four months of my wifes emotional affair. I have contemplated suicide on numerous occasions and have even thought about packing up and leaving. I wish there was a magic pill to give to our spouses that will make them forget about there new love and come back to us.

      What is the driving force behind your inner strength and determination to continue working to save your marriage?

      My inner strength comes from a promise I made her from day one that we will never get a divorce. We are both on our secound marriage and together we are raising four children, one from my previous marriage and three from us together. I try my best to change to what she wants me to be so she has the best of both worlds in me. I give her as much freedom as I can, but I still fear that one day she will cross the line from an Emotional Affair to a full blown Physical Affair. If this happens, I am not sure I could forgive her as that is what happened with my first marriage.

    • Candace

      Yesterday I wanted to give our marriage a try, today I want a divorce. My feelings are all over the place. One thing for sure I will no longer let him see me down. He is now saying I am driving him away from me because I am making too big a deal out of this. If it were not for our daughter I would have been out of here weeks ago! He knows that & everyone around us knows that, but he thinks because I am still here that he “is winning & right”. To top things off I just found out this week my job may be done away with at the end of June. Icing on the cake.

      • ppl

        i like that too big a deal. its deflection, problem wasnt his action but yours. for me my wife deflects to me spying on her email to get evidence of the affair. i can only imagine if i walked into bedroom with her in bed with man, the discussion would be its my fault for not knocking first. if he feels bad about what he did and is unable to admit it, you are both far from healing. my own experience is wife who despite all signs and evidence claims not affair. refuses to read on ea etc. thats when i checked out

    • Roller coaster rider

      Lots of disappointment…I am sorry, Candace.

    • michael

      For any that have read this blog for over a year,
      You know I have been at that point several times. Even with the evolution of my blog I have been there before. Its been suggested before, and at times I believed that was the right coarse of action. At times.
      Most of those days come at really low points. And even a comment by someone else may open that door again.
      Its the look in my childrens eyes, the look in my wifes eyes that I feel I can’t do that. I won’t do that.
      Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t. But I will not do that to them. Most of the time I can’t do that to her either. I’m not perfect. She not perfect, and if we will be an unperfect couple till the day that changes. At least I know I gave more than I received.
      My love is unconditional. My happiness is always conditional.

      I to agree that at least for me I would love to be able to pick out my comments from a year ago till now. I have slowly started to populate my blog with older personal notes. Protected ones that I could look at myself. I’ve even opened up some for others to view that weren’t too personal. Even if you could just pick my comments out separately and email them to me I would be happy.
      Is that dwelling in the past? Maybe. I don’t think so. I think it gives me a root, a string, a bread crumb trail that I can look back at.
      There are even comment my wife made early on here that I have to go back and look at. But who’s to say if it healthy or not. I’m the type of person who wants, needs information.

      For the regular visitors here I think it would be a good thing to rate their feeling now. And then look back at older posts and gauge where they are at now.
      Sorry so long winded. You know me. When I start to write I just keep going.

      • Doug

        Michael, I did some searching yesterday for a plugin that would allow one to search in the comments, and thought I had found one, but after downloading and activating it, it did not work and all of the instructions for setup were in French! We’ve got to go out of town today and tomorrow and I won’t have anymore time to search until we get back, but I do promise that I will do my best to find something that will work. As an administrator and blog owner, I have the ability to search comments by name, etc in the blogging dashboard. If you like, I can find them, copy and paste them into Word and email them to you.

    • S

      Help. I need advice. D day#2 this morning. Found in H work email stating ILY2. This is his boss. I told him the relationship had to be strictly professional with the relationship. He agreed claiming his emotional attachment to her was done. That was 6 weeks ago. Things weren’t adding up so I checked his work email I confronted him and told him to pick her and his job or me and the family. I now see no contact is the only way. Was it good of me to give the ultimatum? I will talk to him this afternoon. I want to do something crazy like call her or her boss but I won’t. Please I need advice!

      • Rx lady

        I tried to call the OW’s mom because I know for a fact she read the bi$%h the riot act about her behavior before she left on an extended trip. Apparently HE caught the grief – good for him -and tried to make me feel like crap over it. Since I’m so non confrontational I have a problem giving the ultimatum also, but I’m almost there. It needs to be me and the kids or OW and her dysfunctional brats. I don’t see any other way. I’ve made my life transparent to him, but he continues to hide all kinds of crap because they’re “just friends”. Really, how stupid does he think I am. And the worst part is that the pastor at church has turned a blind eye even when it’s been drawn to his attention. Needless to say we don’t worship THERE anymore. God have mercy on all their souls; they’re going to need it. Good luck

    • michael

      That would be great, and I would appreciate it.
      You know I am a supporter of what you both do here. I owe my vocal evolution to the both of you. I’ve always been a writer but have not always had something so personal to write about. Its a great platform to be speaking on. There are so many of us at different points In their healing. You are always working on different topics that anyone, at any point of healing, can relate to.

      • Doug

        Michael, I’ve sent you an email with all of your comments.

    • Ronald Johnson

      My Wife and Her Boyfriend have been wanting the Kids to spend the Night at his house with them. I was all against it at first, (afraid of the effect on the kids, hating the situation, afraid that it will make their relationship stronger), but then I realized that when she is with him, she does not have to worry about the kids. I finally decided to let them take the kids, starting next week to spend the night whenever they want them.

      My Question is, is this wrong? The way I look at it, is that it will either make or break the relationship. If he is bad with the kids or mean to them, the relationship is over, or I would hope it is, but should I have put my children in what I believe might be harms way, if nothing else emotionally. Please people, I need help.

      • Rx lady

        Don’t let your kids around the boyfriend. I certainly won’t let my boys be part and parcel of OW and her kids. I can’t stand the thought of it, even before I knew she was the OW I didn’t want her around my kids because she’s trashy and I don’t want them exposed to people like her and her dysfunctional family problems. Kids should NEVER be put in harms way. I don’t care if I have to have my kids 24/7 for the rest of my life; it’s better than them spending even one second with this tawdry situation (think I have some hostility about this???) Good luck; we all need it!

    • RR

      My H is still involved with the OW. He is better at hiding it, but I know it is still going on. I think things are slowing down though. The last texts I was able to read, she was making him make a choice. She either wanted to see divorce papers or she was walking. My H and I are not divorcing or separating, as of now. I know he is telling her that our marriage is over. He is lying to her and to me. He keeps insisting he wants his marriage. He is a cake eater. I keep asking myself, if it ends between them, do I really want to even continue my marriage? Right now I feel like I’m just in a survivival mode. I don’t want her to be around my kids. I don’t want them to feel the stress of their parent’s divorce. I’m just more focused on making it through until the affair ends, which I know eventually it would. Then what? Would I be able to ever forgive him for all the horrible things he has put me through?

      • melissa

        Hang in there, RR. It may take time but the solution – whatever it is – will become clear to you at some stage. It doesn’t mean it won’t be painful either way but once the decision is made, it’s like a huge weight has come off your shoulders.

    • Mark in Idaho

      Hello. I posted this post in another thread, that I now see is kind of old… and this is probably a more appropriate place to have posted it… seeing it’s about when you just quit trying… anyway, here’s what I posted. Sorry for the earlier mis post. I hope you will take the time to read it and lend me your advice, as I ask for at the end.

      I’ve been reading posts here for several days now. This is such a helpful place.

      My W is in her 4th EA in the last 10 years. Each one has blown me out of the water, having me run to her, beg her to stay, blame myself for everything. It is only now, with this latest one, that I have realized it’s not me – it’s her. I believe she has some sort of personality disorder. She is the victim of sexual abuse when she was a teen by two different men. She many times acts like a teenager. Each time I’ve discovered the emotional affair, common themes come up from her – “I need to be needed” is a big one. I have made so many changes for her over the years out of blaming myself. That isn’t to say I didn’t need to make SOME changes. And I’ve worked at forgiveness; gone to individual counseling and couples counseling. Finally learning to dump my own co-dependent behaviors, as well, which do nothing but enable.

      This time – I can forgive, but I’m not so sure I can keep doing this with her. With this guy, he’s troubled to say the least. He was a drug user, relapsed last Summer and Fall when I thought they were “just friends” (hoping it wouldn’t happen again) In and out of his own relationships. A “bad boy” that is exciting to her. Now, he’s in JAIL awaiting trial for what I have to admit are some semi bogus charges… but he’s done enough other things that he was never caught for, karma has finally caught up. Anyway, she writes him every day; puts money on his books so he can call or do a video chat.

      I discovered the letters a few days back. They are love letters in every definition. And she goes on quite a bit about how she still loves me, but I’m not enough. I don’t satisfy her in the right ways. I’m not exciting enough, dangerous enough, spontaneous enough. She hints about a possible physical contact that may have already occured… as well as with a possible additional person. She talks about how sexy he is. How she is suprised someone his age could be into her (he’s 26, she’s 42… as am I), how they have so much in common and are both so fun loving. Barf!

      I confronted her. she of course said I didn’t understand, took comments out of context, etc. I’m sorry – how do you take “I love you so much” out of context? Or, “I know you’ve suggested I just leave if I’m so unhappy, but I’m so afraid to be alone.” She told me that he needed her. That she couldn’t just “abandon” him because she was abandoned by her dad as a kid. So she can’t commit that same sin. All I have to say now is B.S.! Like I said, I can forgive, but I just don’t think I can do this emotional roller coaster anymore – waiting for another shoe to drop, again! Like I said – 4 times (that I know of) since 2001! She’s been in couseling for her own stuff for the last 3 years and I think the counselor is encouraging her to just do exactly what she wants so she can discover “who she is.” This is what my wife has told me.

      I’ve been working on a letter for several days – calling her out on her behavior and ultimately saying pick one – you can’t have us both… and if it’s him, then fine. At least she made a choice. She’s been shocked by my calm demeanor… that I haven’t gotten clingy like in the past. But she’s not budging. I’ve learned though counseling that I don’t have to take this… that I don’t have to give up myself here. That I really am a good person – and yah, even a good husband that does a lot more than most do in a relationship. Again, I’m far from perfect, but I’m not deserving of this either.

      So – I’m writing this letter so it can all be said without interruptions… and we’ll see how it goes. It is tough love time. I go through bouts of depression and panic, still… but when I sit and really think about it, I know just can’t keep this up. It is affecting my health – mental and physical. She’s acting now like nothing happened – that I didn’t discover the letters… and she still writes him every day and talks to him on the phone a couple of times a day. I saw the letter she wrote today – not as mushy as the past ones, but mushy none-the-less. Don’t even get me started on how much money she”s given him… including a previous jail bond that we’re still trying to pay off!! Sigh.

      I feel like I’m in a better place. Many of the things I’ve been thinking I see here on this website. I’m willing to work on it, but she’s gotta drop him… it won’t work otherwise. And if she won’t, well, we won’t be “we” any more. And I’m finally ok with that.

      Thanks for listening to my venting. I look forward to any insights you can offer – especially on her repeat emotional affairs.


      • karen

        Hi, Mark – so sad for what you’re going through. You don’t mention if you have any children, so I’ll assume you don’t. Please take care of yourself first and foremost. Your post shows you’ve reached the point of tough love, which we all reach at different times. Check the resources out on this site – you can buy most of them used on Amazon for a few dollars each. Dr. Dobson’s book Tough Love is great for one. Tough Love is not about giving up but is about giving your W an opportunity and choice to seek help for her issues, which clearly prevent her from being a loving and faithful wife. If she chooses not to seek help and make changes in her life, then you will have pre-formed your consequences for that refusal, which may involve separation. From what you’ve said, I definitely would separate your finances right away as there are long-term ramifications for financial missteps. Seek out support, look to your faith for comfort, and, of course, keep us up to date on this site. You can do this!!! You obviously are a good and strong husband to have endured multiple EA’s (something I could never do) – I’m thinking it’s time you stepped back and took care of yourself. Your wife will have to make her own choices. Best wishes for both of you. Take care.

        • Mark in Idaho

          Hi Karen – thank you for replying. Yes, we do have kids – a daughter wo is a high school senior who will be leaving home soon and a 14 year old boy. My daughter has figured out what’s going on all on her own. She’s very perceptive – and very angry over it.

          As an update – my W and I spent the weekend talking – including renting a motel room just to be able to talk without interruptions. By the end of the weekend, she began to see where I was coming from and why I was so hurt. I ended up giving her an ultimatum – choose one of us, you don’t get both. She says she chooses me… but last night we went backwards and she doesn’t understand why she has to give up her friend… and says to do so would hurt him because he would not understand the “why.” So now she says she’s stuck. She says she understands that by saying what she did and by not wanting to let him know, she’s chosen him, in essence… and that she doesn’t want to hurt me, either. Supposedly going to see our counselor Thursday. She says she’s not sure she wants to go – may just have me go. She says she doesn’t want to be analyzed anymore.

    • Rx lady

      RR, I ask the same thing, but in my case the H has moved out “temporarily” so he can find himself (whatever that means). The few I have confided in think he is a dirt bag and I should just do the legal paperwork and be done with it. It’s very hurtful for him to come to our home with my 2 sons and pretend to care, when I’m not sure he does. He need to sort his thought out, and after only 2 psych visits, I’m supposed to go to the next to tell the shrink if I see signs/symptoms of bipolar disease. Since he’s a medical professional it’s easy to come up with this diagnosis to just cover up his crappy choices in life and try to come out smelling like a rose. If OW disappeared tomorrow, I’m still unsure if I could forgive all the hurt and lies I’ve been through the last 8 months!

    • roller coaster rider

      I don’t know if it’s good to be doing this at 3 a.m. but I’m certainly not sleeping. Reading what has been written yesterday, and just wanting to find some help or be of some help. Today is 2 months since D-day and last night we met with another couple who are friends and who want to help. We are reading and discussing a book “Broken Promises;” and after thinking about my husband’s words where he outlined what specifically happened, I just can’t sleep. The devastation is back. I never heard him tell the story that way, either…before, it was short answers to my questions but now I have a clearer picture of what he was thinking and I also know he ‘still has feelings’ for her. Well, a part of me just doesn’t want to deal.

      Ronald, I don’t know about having the kids spend the night at the OM’s house. It doesn’t seem right to me. They have to be confused already, and to have you almost giving your wife permission to be with this guy…and seemingly encourage their relationship by allowing the kids to be there, too.

      RR, I know how you feel. The pain is so intense, and as long as there is any doubt about the choice your H is making, it doesn’t seem possible to get past it.

      S, I think you did the right thing with the ultimatum. Be strong.

    • Saddenned


      I re-read my post today as yesterday I had an unexplained emotional outburst. Make sure you read what you type in your strong moments when you are feeling weak.

    • david

      Doug you and I talked durring a phone interview about re-establishing trust. Well as hard as I have tried I reached that point. After spending a small fortune on our weekenfmd to reconct she thought I yelled at her on the phone and came. Home at 10;00 never callinng me. Well a quick check of the celll record confirmed my fears.so the following day I sent an email reylaying my concerns well her responce was less than kind. And she told me there was no more sex which I said was good but that the emotional part had to end as well any way after a few emails she failed to come home last night and didn’t make her way home to shower for work, I believe she overslept there well needless to say I wss.up and sent several mails over night and left. One. Voice mail which I know she checked this morning with no calls to me so I had service suspended so zhe has no phone. I finished the divorsr papers and will be filing Monday. Hate she thru away her family and possibly lost her job on Friday 13 and her ac oaccount is overdrawn 809+ dollars again. But I reached the end due to her lack of any kind of effert at all

    • sosad

      We or should I say He has decided to quit. He has feelings for the ow that are just not going away. He is moving out in a couple of weeks. We are telling the kids this next week. I am in so much pain. I think I know deep inside that this is it. He won’t be back. It would be easy to put all of the blame on him and her. The hardest part for me to admit is that I didn’t treat him like I should have. I took him for granted so much. I got angry and frustrated at things that were nothing. He told me that his biggest problem with me is that I just never seemed happy. Of course, I didn’t see any of this at the time. And Of course, he never talked to me about it. If only he had talked to me about it, I could have taken action and worked on me and us. Instead, he found someone else that is for the most part a funny, happy person. She was a good friend to me at one point. My children like her and her children a lot. I know that regardless, they both should have respected their marriage vows. I agree with that. Regardless, I am now in this hell whole of a situation. She and her husband have split. He doesn’t seem bothered by the whole situation which makes me look like the “bad guy” Unless, she does something to totally change his perception of her, it’s over for us. He has told her that we seperating. Her answer was that she was sorry. She said that of course nothing could happen because “they” are married. What the hell does this mean? He is still leaving. They are not taking any steps to not see each other at least in social settings. Sorry, I am rambling. I am jsut trying to wrap my mind around it. I never thought I would see myself in this situation. My heart goes out to all of you. For those that are still trying, I am sending positive thoughts. I pray that you can find your way back to each other.

      • Brian Too

        Remember it is all about choices. It is his choice to leave, and continue with this OW. You are doing the right thing. I know it is hard, but in the end you will be doing everything right. All of us know that with everything we do, wrong or right, we are making choices for the good of our families. The vows we have taken in marriage are to our spouces and to the family we have created. Our childern cannot fight for their family becasue their mind and thoughts dont understand. We as the BS have to fight for our families, because the CS does not have the capacity to do so. Also there is no one else that can fight for the family unit, which if we want to survise this EA, is up to us. The thoughts of the CS, during the fog or confusion, are not clear, and they are not thinking of the family first. Only that of themselves and the OP. It does get easier with time. If we truly did not love our spouces it would be so easy to move on.
        When I see my therapist, it always seems so clear. I realize this path had to happen in our lives. It makes us all stronger, as husbands and wives. If this didn’t happen now, it would have happened in the past or in the future. The sooner we realize this, we can continue with a strong heart. The difference between us and the CS is we have the tools to be better for ourselves and our family.
        Please be strong and continue your patience. I think time will make it better. They will see each others faults as they get closer and will start to see the true light. I know its hard to wait but it does make things better. Also, remember to not blame yourself for the past. Your H is as much to blame for any problems, as you are. If you were willing to work on your relationship, even though it is now, than you are doing all you can. Even in our worst moments, we are touched by a higher power. Let this guide you. Do not give up. Remember, you have stength in numbers and we are all behind you.

    • suziesuffers

      Ronald, I think I know where you are coming from. You wife is having the cake and eating it too…just on “vacation” with this OM..no responsibilities, but if she had the kids and he saw the problems in a “blended” relationship and the kids reaction to him, maybe this would shake her. And I SO understand that. I think it’s scary though that this may let the kids know you condone this relationship and maybe even make your wife feel like this might work!!! She might be testing the “relationship” with the kids and the OM….making her feel safer to leave. I know how angry you are and just want to have her take the responsibility of the kids and SEE WHAT THAT’S LIKE when she’s in the affair. But, the kids are already being damaged by having one of the most important people in their lives condone cheating as a solution to problems in a marriage….and now possibly having their dad “condone” it too…..I think I’d talk to a professional before you move too far in that direction. A professional might also give you some insight on how to discuss this with your kids.

    • Battleborn

      Hello, I have not been submitting any comments on this blog because I have been doing the mentoring instead. However, Blueskyabove’s last posting hit a note for me so I had to respond.

      Your assessment is eloquently written and I believe you have an insight to what I have found in myself, and my H would agree with you also. He is looking for my support to help him (and myself) come to grips with what he did. It has been a strange journey for the both of us but we have begun to seek each other’s help with both kindness and openness.

      As I told Doug and Linda, I was at my lowest when I discovered my H affair. My father was diagnosed with cancer and I put all my efforts into helping my parents through the rough times. Subsequently I had to decide how to manage both “tragedies;” I decided to put my H affair secondary to my parents. My dad passed away within two months and my H was the co-executor so he HAD to be in the picture. Needless to say, he helped me get through the saddest time in my life. He was there to hold me, love me and to help my mother get through the process. That in itself showed me how loving he is, both to me and my family.

      What I have come to realize throughout my father’s illness is that I lost someone special to me and I was not about to lose another person special to me – my H. Yes, he did something horrible to me and I am in the delayed process of coping, but he and my marriage is important to both of us so we are working on us.

      I guess what I am trying to say is that it really takes something so sorrowful to realize that my H having an affair is not the end of the world… at least to me. It is still one day at a time, but when I am sad or mad I alway look back on what he did for me then and it helps remind me that he is a good person who made a horribly stupid mistake. Will I forgive him? Maybe in time, but he understands that and is willing to wait. Somehow I believe my father helped keep us together by passing away but forcing us to stay together. If so, I will be internally thankful that he did.

    • suziesuffers

      blueskyabove….inspirational. Keep posting. Just last night my husband, as he always does if I’m “working” through some pain….told me that he can’t do anything about the past. Like you said, that really doesn’t help my pain. But there seems to be something “unpeeling” in his emotions, but it’s usually blurted out to me during a “heated” discussion. He said, I was abandoned since I was 3 (when his dad left and mom decided multiple marriages might solve the problem), I’m not attached to anyone, I don’t have any feelings of abandonment, it’s not like I feel emotional about that. That statement saddened me, thinking about the little boy that just stopped caring about whether anyone cared about him, then of course, I turned to the fact that he also has trouble bonding with me. Of course, that all immediately got erased because I looked at how much he pursued and was emotionally impacted by his last PA, which meant there was SOME emotion going on. This of course made me even more distraught, that he was able to “bond” with this woman, but maybe not with me.

      Your post gave me some additional insight….maybe it is his own self defeating thoughts that made him think that “finding” someone to magically make him feel OK. So maybe that’s why he always was on the lookout for that “someone” that could fix things….while all the time, it’s not someone outside of him..but within him that will need to be accessed to help him heal. We all have some wounds that need healing and often that’s why we find that person and marry them. We believe they can “fix” us and make us whole, and when that doesn’t happen, we don’t look at ourselves, but look at our spouse or circumstances and decide that maybe someone else can make us “feel” better. My husband I think initally chose alcohol to numb those feelings…and when we became sober, had to start feeling again and needed to find someone to make him feel better….replacing the high of drugs and alcohol with the high of “love”….and all because of the giant void in his own heart…not what I didn’t give to him. I gave and gave and gave….and it is never enough to heal someone else.

      Thanks blueskyabove…..you’re posts are thought provoking.

    • Dealing

      the 1st yr anniversary of D-day passed about 2 weeks ago. It was hard. It’s been hard. I still have emotional days, etc., but I quit when, after 6 months of the EA going on, H went on a trip to see the OW and went on a date with her. I was tipped off by the OW’s husband. That was it. I contacted H and told him he was no longer welcome in my home. A month or so after the 1st date he moved to the OW’s state, she got divorced (full custody of her 2 children- even though she is clearly immature and living in a fantasy world- some law really need to be changed) and now they are dating each other. The OW’s family think it is wonderful to have my H in her life. Nice to know. Anyway, that is what it took for me. I miss the life I used to lead, but I wouldn’t want him back even though he was very much the love of my life for 10 years.
      I filed for divorce about a month ago in my state, but have not yet served him due to various familial reasons. He knows that it is filed, though.
      I wish you all luck. It is hard. Really hard, but we all have a breaking point and when it arrives, that’s it.

    • Brian Too

      Hey everyone, you are all a great asset to those who visit the site. I have been visiting now for over 4-weeks and I have learned so much more. All these great tools I have from this site and other publication have made me a much stronger person, better father, and understanding husband.
      I too have an EA story that is in so many ways, similar to all the others, but in some small ways is different. I am a middle aged father of 2. I met my wife when I was in 19 and married at age 25. I’ve been married over 21 yrs. I have had a good marriage and was lucky to be brought up in a stable household. It is now going on 6 months since confirming my wife’s EA. She has been involved with this OM starting as friends for over 14 months. In the first 2 months I did all the classic wrong things, but have gained all the correct tools and help to gain confidence and understanding of this EA. I am on the right track and have gained so much self confidence and control of myself. I am a better person for my family and close friends. From time to time I still make bad choices, but with every bad choice I make two better choices the next time.
      Like all of your experiences, mine is close to that of Brian’s. I have (2) kids of my own. One is a pre-teen and the other is a young adult living at home. My wife tells me that she knows this is her problem and must get the OP clear from her mind before she can move on, or consider staying in a marriage, if she can even do that. The problem is, this roller coaster ride of emotion she is on, is not helping her stability. She has gotten more subdued and less open in the past month. Her circle of close people is very small (2-3) people that she talks to. My family knows nothing and her family knows much. She has a large family of 7 brothers and sisters. At a young age her family was very dysfunctional, which may be the root cause for her depression and problems now.
      Anyway, I am very close to my son whom is the young adult. It seems like we are even closer now, than before the EA. He knows what is going on and has had personal contact with the OM before him or I were aware of the affair. He is very disappointed in his mother and what she is doing. He has recently opened up to me, showing his hurt feelings regarding his mother’s actions towards him, his little sister and myself. His mother has, for simple words, has given up on him and says she is done raising him, which is so un-motherly. We all know you continue to raise and teach your kids throughout their life. She is also trying win over her daughter by spend alone time with her and not as a family unit. When my wife is gone visiting this OM in a different city for a day, I spend a lot of time with my son and daughter alone and as a 3 unit family. I am very genuine and close to my daughter. I love doing sporting activities with her and am her coach for baseball. It was just recently, when her mother did not show up to her game, because her mother was with this OM. She had an amazing game and the team won and she was so excited. My son was there also. Her mother had no intention of coming. This really bothered my daughter and she called her mother up that night and just gave it to her. I could hear the lies just pouring out of my wife. My daughter of 10 was reading right past them. I don’t know what to do. I am not sure even considering telling her or if any information will really help. I am afraid she is figuring it out on her own. I am also worried it will have great affect on her and what she thinks of her mother later on. I have had many single therapy sessions for myself and hope to get my children in which I know will help. My son is willing, but not sure of my daughter. I’ve come so far and so long. I have so many tools now, but this one is the hardest. I would love to hear from you.

    • Jackie

      Affairs are addictions. Our cheating spouses are so caught up in their fantasy that they just don’t see clearly. Would you send your kids out with you spouse who is planning to go get drunk or do his drug? It is not healthy for the kids to see too much of the dysfunctional state in which his/her parent is in. Sometimes we as parents can’t hide the craziness of our cheating spouse any longer from the kids. I feel it is the grounded parent’s job to keep as much of the unhealthiness away from the kids if possible. Sometimes it is no longer possible.

      There are a lot of tough decisions the betrayed spouse must make during these affair times. After all, the CS has pretty much allowed his/her emotions to run amok with little checking from the rational part of their brain. Isn’t that what being, “in love” is in reality. It isn’t a true long lasting thing…it will wear off eventually…but will it be too late for our marriages to repair? Will the CS realize that they made a mistake, and can no longer go back because of the damage they have caused?

      I agree with “blueskyabove” about coping skills and not knowing how to repair the damage they’ve done. After two years of this craziness H doesn’t read or do much to fix the mess he created. He won’t go to therapy for himself or for us together. He is depressed and just waiting for everything to just magically become better, without reading, outside therapy, or working together with me on possible fixes. He basically allows small inputs from me to better ourselves. It is as if he has just given up on life and is just doing what he has to to keep functioning and holding things and himself together.

      All I wish is for us to connect and be together once again. He has no clue what he wants any longer.

      • Nony

        Wow! Your last paragraph describes my husband to a T! I cannot believe how depressed he is, how he is just staying in our marriage but won’t do anything to make it better. Today was the day the OW came back to the office after her maternity leave. She wants to know where they stand. I told him flat out to figure himself out because I wasn’t going to stand for his lying to me any longer. He sent her an email saying that he hadn’t stopped thinking about her over the last four months, but that he wasn’t ready to give up living with his daughter and taking on her two children. Not a very convincing email to tell you the truth, and when I asked him to be honest about how he felt about her, he keeps saying it wasn’t that big a deal.

        Would love some advice!!!

    • TBST

      This is a on time topic for me..its been 4 months since d-day. Me and my H talked end of April and he still want to split but when I asked when and how he is going to do this he said I dont know. I kind of expecting this is what he gonna say so I told him calmly that he maybe right … splitting maybe the best thing for us.. he appears surprise about what i said. I am doing a 180 since that day. He seems to be noticing it, i think but he is not saying anything about it either. However, he still has not said anything about this “split” that he wants. Can anybody tell me what is happening? Many times I thought of quitting and give up..like some f here, its so easy to end the marriage. But deep down, something is stopping me from doing it.

      Its difficult to do 180 while we still live together, can anybody tell me how am i suppose to talk to him ? I followed the advice of not initiating conversation unless I have to. I answered direct to the point but I feel its not enough.. I need more advice on this please help.

    • no-tolerance

      I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of flack for saying this, but why do betrayed spouses stay with their cheating spouses? Seems to me that if you forgive a cheating spouse (no matter how much they may seem sorrowful), all they learn is that you will forgive them if they cheat. I believe that one time is too many times. The only option is to leave to keep your self respect and dignity.

      • Roller coaster rider

        Forgiveness is not about teaching someone a lesson. It is about extending grace and it is a requirement for those who want to be forgiven. Forgiveness does not mean there are no consequences, nor does it mean trusting. Forgiveness is also not reconciliation because that requires two people. Staying with a spouse who has been unfaithful is an individual decision based on many factors, but the only alternative to forgiveness is bitterness.

        • Saddenned

          Something I got emailed to me today.

          Luke 11:4 – ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’

          When temptation is too much for you to say no to, there is a simple statement that Jesus gave us to rescue us. “Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil”. God is always there and he never leads us into temptation, but he will lead us away from it as well! That’s what this prayer is all about. Leading us into another place, another time, another chance, away from the tempter that has a strong hold against us. He even said that his power could “cast down our evil imaginations” Wow, my imagination can get very bad at times, so I definitely depend on God to handle that for me!!

          I have been very tempted and even while considering a sinful act, I prayed “Lead me not into temptation” and miraculously, something occurred that stopped me in my tracks and rescued me from something I did not have the power to resist. Sure if we resist the devil, he will flee, but what about the times when you don’t want to, or can’t seem to resist? That’s where this prayer comes in handy. I know some folks think they are maxi-saved Christians and are never tempted, but I get tempted. And many times, I desire to do the wrong thing because my flesh gets a little weak. And I assure you that you are not crazy, or backsliden just because you get into these positions at times. WE ALL DO! Don’t let folks lie to you in church and make you feel bad because you feel like slippin. That’s why Jesus died for us. To give us power over our own sins and use his power instead of our own! The power that raised him from the dead can raise us from the dead! Raise us up from dead works and keep us from falling. But we must learn to ask for his power and use it to resist the temptation that is ahead of us. So, when you can’t resist and the temptation is something you wanna fall for, pray to God that he will lead you away from it. Try it! You will be amazed at the power of this little prayer.

          Suggested Reading: Matt. 6:13, Mark 14:38, Luke 22:40, Luke 22:46, 1Cor. 10:13

      • Saddenned

        To an extent, I get your point; however, do you forgive your child forgiveness. Does God forgive us? We ALL make mistakes based off of bad choices. Mistakes is how we learn. My spouse doesn’t want me to be in pain, but he is glad I forgave him and gave him another chance to make it right. We are not always going to do everything right the first time. Even with forgiving him, I do not do it all right in the process.

      • Mark in Idaho

        Sometimes it sure seems this way… at least in my marriage.

    • Nony

      I am just about done. It’s funny, I’m nervous, but in some ways, I’m a little excited too. I imagine not living with a liar every day. I think, well, now I can do some of the things I had wanted to. I won’t have to try and always ensure someone else’s happiness.

      Today is D-day Part 2 because the OW is now back at the office after her maternity leave. She had tried to reach my husband last week before her return to the office. He apparently only sent her an email today. In it he says how he is still unhappy and hasn’t stopped thinking about her and that sometimes it was almost like she was with him.

      I wrote an email to the both of them and told them I wouldn’t tolerate any more lying in my life.

      I may be stupid, but he is getting his final chance now.

      If anyone has any advice, I am very much open to it. Doug, my guess is that he is still in an affair fog. He may not have been in touch with her, but he still thinks of her (apparently constantly – and yes, I spied on his emails today – a girl’s got to protect herself and her family). The worst is that he has still been lying to me about his feelings for her. It really makes me sick to my stomach.

      On the other hand, I feel like a weight is being lifted. I know the truth about the two of them, and I know what I have to do if they decide to continue.

    • Karen

      My H is in his second EA with the same coworker. The first EA happened 18 years ago and I forgave it and moved on. I found out about the second in Nov2012. I confronted him on Christmas Day 2012. It has been a year of pure hell for me. He stonewalled or evaded my questions, just said that she “listened ” to him. He became emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive when I would try to continue discussions or ask questions after about 15 minutes of talking. I would have listened to him if he had ever really talked to me!!! He took off his wedding ring during the first EA and never put it back on. We have tried individual counseling, marriage weekend, and I thought he was getting anger management therapy and recently found out that was not the case.Although there was such a long time between EA’s, I find that this time I cannot find the forgiveness in my heart. In spite of all he says about wanting to stay with me, growing old together, having a good retirement ( we are both 58 and have been married 35 years), enjoying our grand kids together, I just don’t believe him or trust him at all. I feel like he only wants to stay married so as not to incur any financial losses in a divorce. He has a sizable 401k and we own over 300 acres of farmland and we live in a 50-50 state, half of every thing is mine. I think the land is more important to him than me, but he is willing to stay with me to avoid losing any of it. I have moved out of our home due to the abuse. Anyway, the point is I feel that if he has gone to her TWICE, then it is more than just a temporary EA– there are real feelings there. I am afraid to go back to him on several levels, the abuse, another EA with her after he thinks the coast is clear with me, the lack of trust, respect, and belief I had for him that may never return, th constant triggers and worry about whether or not he is with her or calling / texting her on the only phone I can’t monitor ( his work cell– he keeps it hidden ). He has never given full disclosure, dismisses me with “all we did was talk and text too much”, and tell me to get over it. I have been a doormat for too long, he has discovered that I might actually not stay instead of being the usual doormat I was for decades, and is now “just getting it”, he says. After a whole year of my begging, pleading, crying, moving upstairs to the guest room, and then Separating completely by moving out— he is JUST NOW getting it? Amazing.

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