Happy Wednesday!

This week’s discussion is going to be geared towards the cheating spouse.

One of our readers suggested that it would be helpful for any betrayers who read this site to share their experiences.   Specifically as it pertains to the cheating spouse not doing the things that the betrayed spouse wants or needs them to do.

The reader writes:  “I think a lot of us betrayed want to know WHY our cheating spouses (in the healing process) don’t do the things we want/need them to do.  It’s frustrating and it can really put a damper on the healing and ultimately the entire marriage.  It would be great to hear from other people why they don’t want to talk about it and why some will NOT talk about it at all, etc.”

Obviously, you don’t have to be a betrayer to jump in on the discussion.

So if you understand why your spouse did or didn’t do what you needed them to do, or why they won’t talk about the affair, then by all means chime in.

Please try to use the information that any cheaters offer as a learning tool and not as a lightening rod for nasty comments.


Linda & Doug

See also  Quick Survey Question

    27 replies to "Discussion: Why Won’t the Cheaters Do What You Need Them To Do?"

    • B

      Well, it has been about 3 months since I walked away from reading this site to focus on my marriage in a positive way and to clear my head. Honestly, the last 3 months have been pretty great. My wife and I have reconnected and had some great times with the kids and just the two of us. Unfortunately, I discovered she has been emailing the OM and then deleting the emails and as recent as yesterday, she texted him, I think. I say I think because when I got home from work, her iPhone was laying there and I doubled clicked the home button. Now anyone who has an iPhone knows that when you double click the home button it shows the last four apps used. In her case, the last icon open was the text icon. yet, when I opened it, the last text on the phone was from my daughter at 8:44 am. Well, that means she texted someone and then deleted it from the phone.
      Of course this led to an argument and now we are fighting. She is saying “I thought we were past this”, “I thought you loved me”, “Do you want a divorce”. All these things that make no sense. All I asked her was “Did you receive or send a text this afternoon?”

      She immediately got defensive and started calling me names and being irrational. I told her the only way she could prove to me that she was being honest was to give me access to her phone records (company owned cell phone) so I could see if she had been holding up her end of the deal by not speaking to him. She immediately balked at the idea and said she shouldn’t have to. I told her that it may be the only way to fix things. She then suggested we go back to therapy. See, what I’m trying to get her to understand is that no matter how happy or normal she acts at home, if she is still communicating with this man, then we can NEVER move forward. To me, not voluntarily showing the phone records and being transparent means she has something to hide and she is afraid I will leave her. I thought we had made all this progress, guess she is still having her cake and eating it too. Sad, sad, sad.

      So why won’t a cheater do what you need them to do: simple.

      1. They don’t want to be reminded that they were capable of being such a cold-calculating person.
      2. They may not be done cheating yet

      Next month, will mark the 1 year anniversary of when she first met him. While I thought we were putting it behind us, I’m starting to think she has just gotten better at betrayal. Guess I played my hand too early in this card game.

      • roller coaster rider

        B, I am so sorry to hear this.

    • roller coaster rider

      I believe the only reason my H is getting counseling and has been willing to accept responsibility for his affair is that he knows this is the last opportunity he has. Without these tangible measures, there is no way our relationship could survive. I also think that if this hadn’t happened now, it would have in the future. My H is broken on the inside. There is a possibility he will get the help he needs to see what has led him to this point, and I am also in counseling which is something that will hopefully help me see what I want and why I have done so much settling in the past.

      Those cheaters who refuse to talk about what they have done are wanting to stay in the same pattern of blameshifting and lying. It is easier to find other reasons/excuses than to actually be honest and admit the truth. There can be no real healing and no real intimacy without honesty.

    • Kristine

      I have no issues whatsoever about my husband’s remorse, guilt, shame, willingness to take full responsibility, regret, any of that. I know he is really sorry about it all, very remorseful, he tells me all the time, “I can assure you NOTHING like this will ever happen again.” he has stated numerous times how he almost lost his family because he lost sight of the truth etc etc..

      My issue is him giving me what I need now, to heal and to help close the wounds that the adultery caused. I want PASSION. I want ROMANCE. I want my husband to be my boyfriend and BUILD ME UP. I don’t know why it’s so hard for him to do that. When I tell him what I need he says “I’m never been an over the top person.” Weird, because that’s not over the top to me! LOL That’s my love language. I do appreciate all the verbal things he says to affirm his feelings but that just tells me how HE feels, it doesn’t play into what I NEED to feel loved.

      I think we have a disconnect or something in our communication maybe. I have a hard time wrapping my head around how I can clearly articulate what I want and what I’m looking for and he hears me, nods his head, says ok but then doesn’t do it. OR he’ll do it once, shortly after we talk and then nothing again until I bring it up again. Kinda frustrating *but* we are having a grand time in spite of that. Reconnecting and sharing a lot of love. I’m more at peace than I have been in this entire year. I find I have fleeting thoughts about things but nothing that hangs around and dwells as much. I’ve also stopped hunting online for boards to talk and express my pain and that helps tremendously. Sometimes the very thing we want to be rid of ,we feed. A year out of this, I’m not feeling the desire to feed it any longer. I’m ready to be happy and move forward. There are still some kinks to work out but I know they will be eventually. We start counseling soon and I cannot wait! Who knows, maybe it’s me that’s causing the disconnect (nahhhh who are we kidding it’s him) 😉

      • ifeelsodumb

        Have you read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs? It’s really helped me to better understand my H. We aren’t completely over his EA…he STILL has trouble opening up to me…but the book has really helped us. We are going to a Love and Respect conference the end of October…hoping it will show him that communication is the key to helping me heal..

    • JS

      My H couldn’t/wouldn’t give me what I needed to heal in the beginning, because he was still carrying on the EA. (And B, I’m so sorry to hear you are dealing with this, also.) He was very much “you need to move on an trust me and get over it.” He didn’t want to talk about anything or help me with anything, because I don’t believe he had made the decision to stay. He obviously wouldn’t talk about the affair, because he was still playing both sides.

      Now that things are over with his EA, I see a different side of him. I see a little remorse, realizing he was almost thrown out of the house where his daughters are and realizing he wouldn’t have been with them every day as a result of his bad decisions. I see a recommitment to family activities and things around our house, in general. What I don’t see, and what Kristine talked about, is the passion and romance and building me back up and helping me through the hard patches. I keep it all to myself now because asking him for his help has gone nowhere. For whatever reason, he was able to woo his AP and be the romantic guy I had always hoped for, but he can’t seem to do that with me. My best hunch is that he loves me but it’s more in the way you love someone who provides you stability. I take care of things, and he knows he has it good with me. He never was romantic or espcially loving toward me, but I think I’m realizing it’s because he just doesn’t feel that way about me. So my answer to the question is that my H isn’t able to do what I need him to do because he doesn’t have the same kinds of feelings for me that he did for the AP, and I think you have to really be in love with someone to show them passion and romance. And I don’t think he’ll talk about the EA now because he doesn’t want to be tempted back into acting on feelings that he knows will ultimately result in him losing the stable things in his life he has come to enjoy.

      • RecoveringMommy

        JS, I understand where you’re coming from about your H’s inability to woo and charm you. That was part of the conversation I had with my H a few nights ago. I understand that I had hurt him with my actions before the EA, and I now accept responsibility for that. The conversation was prompted by me finding facebook messages between him and the OW (from when the EA was going on). It absolutely killed my soul to read all the sweet, nice, romantic things he said to her. That’s what I needed from him! Maybe my actions would have been different if he was giving me the same treatment that he was giving his affair partner. So as he was telling me that he wasn’t getting what he needed from me, I asked him to read through those messages. I then told him that was what I needed from him. He had issues with me but he never gave me a change to rectify it. Instead he gave his heart to another woman. We went through a bible study last year called “A biblical portrait of marriage.” It was wonderful and was exactly what we needed at that time. In one of the video sessions about the role of the husband, Bruce Wilkinson (author of Prayer of Jabez) made the statement that you will never find a wife that doesn’t blossom under the love of her husband. And I think that is so true. Yes, I mistreated him but he was not giving me anything to respond to.

        • Kristine

          Recovering Mommy,

          Your H sounds a lot like my H. He never told me ANYTHING that bothered him about things in our marriage. EVER. I used to joke that my husband was so laid back he was lying down. He never criticized me, disagreed with me, or ever sat me down to address any issues. It wasn’t until I noticed his “mid-life” crisis symptoms that he started flinging out accusations and cruel comments about things that I was doing or not doing and he did it in such a veiled way I *still* didn’t really put 2 and 2 together until he moved out. That’s when it hit me, “ohhhhhh this is all about ME!” Wow. Pretty mind boggling to go from never saying anything to doing a 180 and LEAVING while continuing an adulterous relationship. When I say I was kicked in the face, I mean I was REALLY kicked in the face. I did not know what hit me.

          My H is also not a talker. It’s funny how it took this to happen for me to finally see clearly about all the communication issues I’ve always thought my husband to have. He never addresses anything that has to deal with emotions or his wrong doing. He never wants to talk about it. He doesn’t SAY he doesn’t want to talk about it but it’s clear he doesn’t. He doesn’t bring things up, he often gets quiet and will just sit there with no response when I bring things up. It’s very frustrating for someone like ME who addresses EVERYTHING. I can see when someone needs closure and I can ask “what do you need?” and give it to them. I can hear when someone is talking to me that they’re hurting and need to be uplifted and encouraged. He can do that when it’s not about him or someone concerning him, if it does then he flounders.

          I’ve had issues with his mother for YEARS. She hates me. Always criticizes me and has said some really horrible things to me. He’d never say anything! I’d tell him something she’d say and he’d just sit there or he’d be in the room and hear it and later on I’d wait for him to address it and bring it up, NOTHING. So weird, I’d think and I’d get sooo frustrated!!! I understand how you feel!

          The sad thing is, 3 years before this even happened I started telling my husband I thought it was odd he never had any comments about me. His words were “I don’t want to hurt your feelings.” I told him “Id rather be hurt and live an authentic life than to be in the dark living a lie.” What did he say to that? Nothing! lol he just sat there. And look where that got us! I was telling him the same thing you were telling your husband, that he had to TALK TO ME! I really think my husband has poor communication issues because of the way his mom communicates (very very VERY manipulative and controlling. I think he learned very early to NOT speak up and when he did there was hell to pay) and a military father who viewed emotions as being “too sensitive”. Not manly, sissy-ish. Those two viewpoints alone will inevitably do damage to someone growing up with those two dynamics and I can see it in my husband. He is literally LOST when it comes to expressing himself and really struggles when pushed to do so. It’s sad really because he’s missing out on getting all out of life he can get!

    • RecoveringMommy

      I’m going to speak on why MY H has a hard time talking about the EA. Unfortunately, I cannot speak for cheaters in general…

      My H never initiates conversations about his EA. When I finally broke down and asked him why, his response was that sometimes he does want or need to talk about it but he doesn’t want to upset me. And I do believe that. But I did tell him that sometimes it would be nice for him to start the conversation. To me that would be a sign of him working through his issues. He agreed to, so we’ll see how that goes.

      My H also tends to deal with any problem with the old “Let’s not talk about it and hope it goes away” method. That absolutely does not, and has never, worked for me. However, this is always how he’s chose to deal with problems, even before the EA. It’s also how his family deals with problems. I guess that’s where he gets it from. I told him if there is a problem or I do something to upset him or make him mad, HE MUST TELL ME. This is the very thing that caused the disconnect in our marriage, which eventually led to his EA. And with that statement, I am in no way blaming myself for the EA. As I read in Dr. Huizenga’s email this morning… “Infidelity is a blind attempt to manage one’s inner ghosts.” I agree with that! I was pregnant, had a 4 year old daughter, and worked a VERY stressful job that I hated. My H made me take that job in the first place because it was an 8-5 job, no weekends, and it made it easier “for him” because he is a basketball coach and our schedule is pretty hectic from October to March. So when I had a bad day at work, I thought I was entitled to take it out on him. Why not? He made me take the job. What I didn’t know was that my behavior was making him feel emasculated. He was scared to confront me thinking that it would make me even more upset and consequently worse for him. So he never said anything. And I never knew he was feeling this way. Then low and behold, here’s this poor pitiful woman who “got” what a wonderful man he was. She lavished him with compliments and the rest is history. All that to say, I told him from now on he must tell me when he’s feeling like this. Even if it does upset me, that’s a hell of a lot better than dealing with another EA later.

    • Alone

      Hi, I am a cheating spouse. A few months out from D-Day. Honestly, and this is really hard to say, but I don’t think the cheating spouse is doing what you need them to do because whether or not they are still in contact with their AP, they are probably still struggling with feelings for the OP and just don’t have those feelings toward you, the betrayed spouse at this time. In my case, I want to have those feelings again for my spouse, but I can’t get past this other person. But I am trying, trying, trying. Maybe love is not a feeling, maybe it is a choice. I agree with the other posts, every marriage deserves romance and passion. That’s what I want in my marriage. I just can’t get there right now. But working on it.

      • Kristine

        Hi Alone,

        I agree that in some cases that might be the issue but not all. I don’t have any doubts my husband is completely over the OP. That was made clear the week he came home. I didn’t buy it then because I was viewing the adultery as being so perfect in their eyes but he’s stayed constant to the very things he has said since then.

        I think for my husband (and I can only speak for mine but there has to be more than him) he’s just not an EXPRESSIVE person. Never has been. He will SAY how he feels but never digs deeper to see if what he’s saying is even reaching me. He’s not “deep” when it comes to relating to people or trying to relate to them on their emotional level. Something else I’m just now realizing after alllllllllll these years of marriage lol

        He will tell me all day how he feels about something but hearing it is not enough for me. Verbal affirmations is not my love language. I mean sure, it’s nice to hear, of course I like it but it doesn’t reach me deep in my heart. I like to FEEL it and see EFFORT and frankly, after his adultery, I want to be wooed again. I want to have all the things that hurt me to be buried by his EFFORTS to heal those wounds in the very way I need them healed.

        My husband is not a romantic, passionate person. I am! Deeply so. I asked my husband the other night is there anything I can do to make him feel more loved than he already feels now. He said, “no this past year you have done nothing but showered me with love and made me feel very wanted and adored. Now i need to work on doing the same for you.”

        OK still waiting… lol I really think he doesn’t know how. I guess I just want to feel loved enough that he TRIES. I don’t care if it’s a bumbled attempt, I don’t care if it’s corny or the oldest romantic gesture in the book. I just want him to go out of his way to DO something and not just SAY it. I told him my love bank was in the red. I told him I want to be fawned over, adored and built back up. I told him to treat me like I was his girlfriend and not his wife sometimes.

        What I would *like* for him to do when I say these things is ask, “how can I do that for you?” and/or “would such and such make you feel that way?” Instead he just says “OK” and I really think he doesn’t have a clue on what to do. I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t WANT TO I think it’s naturally not IN HIM to do it so he’s frustrated on how to get started and what to do which frankly I don’t get because it’s easy for me to meet people where they need to be met but considering my husband’s emotional inability to connect with people deeply, I see where it’s hard for him.

        I’m being patient because to me, this is fixable. We start marriage counseling soon and I hope this is something the counselor can help him see and tackle. It’s frustrating because even though we’re in this very good place right now I feel lonely at times. There is an emotional disconnect but I’m confident this can be worked out.

      • Also cheating

        I am also a cheating spouse and working on it. My H still has no clue I’ve had an EA or that I am even in contact with an old boyfriend. I almost wish he did, then we could get this out in the open. I detest secrets. I am looking for a counselor for myself just so I can have someone to talk to about this. My old boyfriend who is also married. The EA started innocently enough with texting about old times, which led to chatting and sexting and eventually to video chats. We have chosen to “cool it” for the sake of our marriages, but still remain friends. (Difficult not to as we grew up together.) I can’t begin to describe the guilt I feel or how easy it would be to start up again, if he wanted to. It is hard to give up something that makes you feel young, attractive, and alive again.

        To all of you spouses, it isn’t anything you have done. It is what hasn’t been done or what is missing. I feel taken for granted by my spouse of 28 years, and his sex drive has diminished the last couple of years, which made seeking attention elsewhere easier. My OM actually helped me find ways to boost the sex in my marriage, but in the process, I became emotionally attached to him. He was listening to my frustration, not my H. I wanted to be with my H, but found myself seeking online time with the OM. It was effecting my home, my work, everything in my life. I can’t describe the level of stress it created.

        Please understand, I love my husband. My OM loves his wife. I’d like to say we got “caught up in the moment,” but we kept frequent contact for several weeks. Somewhere along the line, something changed and I felt like I was falling in love again. It IS possible to love 2 men at the same time, I found that out, but my marriage vows mean everything to me; so the chatting was reduced to almost nothing, and it is very platonic now.

        I’m not going to say that I don’t miss the excitement, but when I realized I was willing to travel 200 miles to actually, physically cheat on my husband, I knew I was in over my head and so did my OM. We immediately pulled back from the online contact…An affair hurts too many people, not just your spouses. There was too much for both of us to lose to just give in to an old feeling. Fortunately, we care enough about each other not to let it go any further. I want my marriage to be better, and now I know I have to seek help from a professional, not a friend.

        FYI: I will reveal who my OM is to my husband only if it is needed for therapy. My OM is a person my husband has always detested and it will be catastrophic if he finds out. Another secret to bear.

        • RecoveringMommy

          Also cheating, you may or may not want my advice. But as a betrayed spouse whose H had an EA with an ex girlfriend…

          I understand that you say it’s impossible to not be friends with this man because you grew up together. Nothing is “impossible.” If you are truly committed to your marriage, you can stop the contact with the OM. It’s a self sacrifice but it can be done. Just ask yourself how you would feel if the tables were turned and you found out your H was emotionally involved with another woman and was continuing a relationship with her.

        • Healing Mark

          Also cheating, are you sure that your husband has no clue? Perhaps he has no direct evidence of your EA, or not enough evidence/indications with which to confront you with suspicions that he might have. Perhaps he suspects but does not want to really know the truth due to the anticipated pain and manner in which this truth will undoubtably change your lives forever. While I appreciate the fact that you detest keeping secrets from your husband, as someone whose wife fell into an EA, enjoyed all that it provided to her (you and my wife appear to have gotten many of the same “benefits” by virtue of the increased closeness and feelings of attraction and being attracted to someone else other than your husband), recognized the harm that the EA began causing and, as you believe you have done, chose to “cool it” and yet remain friends with the EA partner, please allow me to give you my thoughts regarding a few matters relative to your apparent present situation.

          Think long and hard about whether to disclose the occurrence of the EA to your husband (hopefully, your therapist will be able to assist you in assessing whether or not disclosing the EA is worth all the bad things that will no doubt be attendant to such disclosure). Based on what my wife and I have had to deal with since I discovered what had happened between my wife and my “friend”, I can’t tell you strongly enough that I wish very, very, very much that I had never discovered the fact that an EA had developed and thrived for a period of time. Sure, I suspected that something bad was happening, but my wife and I chose to seek counselling on both an individual and joint basis, acknowledged that our marriage was not as strong as it typically had been, agreed to do all that we reasonably could to get back to what we considered ourselves to always be before the EA began and continued (i.e., a very happily married couple), and succeeded in large part due to my wife and “friend” truly morphing their relationship from an EA to one that no longer excessively consumed each of them and caused harm to their respective marriages. Finding out the “truth” did so much more damage than any good (really, is the only “good” to relieve some of the guilt felt by the BS?) that could have possibly come about, especially the inevitable impact to my ability to trust my wife and the ongoing worrying that another EA could develop.

          Both my wife and I suggest that you do as much as you can to get rid of any evidence that your husband might somewhere down the line find and then become aware that something was amiss in your marriage given the EA you have had, and are hopefully no longer having, with your former boyfriend. Texts…, delete them. Emails…., no need to keep any of them so delete, delete, delete. Anything else that might indicate that you and your former boyfriend acted together in any manner that your husband would disapprove of or find threatening needs to disappear immediately. Do this for the love of your husband so that he does not stumble upon anything that leads him to becoming aware of your EA, as the saying “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” is actually fairly true in this case. And although I tend to think that there are very few instances where lying is the “right” thing to do, I feel very strongly that not being truthful about an EA that has come and gone is very much the right thing to do PROVIDED that the other spouse does not later discover the lie/lies, thus make anything out there that even remotely points to the existence of an inappropriate relationship with your former boyfriend DISAPPEAR!

          Finally, let me vent on something that I get very frustrated with – the desire to continue to “just be friends” with a person with whom you have developed an EA. Why play with fire? Clearly, you have established that you can develop feelings for your EA partner and that the same is harmful for you and your marriage. So, unless something has dramatically changed with respect to this person, isn’t it reasonable to anticipate that the same feelings will again develop as you continue to be a “friend” to this person? In my opinion, it is a very selfish and disrespectful decision when a person decides to continue contact with an EA partner, and I do understand that it is NOT easy to discontinue interacting with someone whom you have become this close to. Look at it intelligently. If you have no contact with an EA partner, there is a zero chance that feelings will arise due to interactions with this person. Since you know how harmful/hurtful (for both you and your husband) developing these feelings might be, why even risk it? Act responsibly and do something that is sure to protect the relationship with your husband as well as your husband’s feelings, health and self-esteem!

          • Holding On

            Well said Healing Mark,

            I am 2 months out from discovery of my H’s EA. It has been quite the road from hell. My husband’s plan was to let the EA fizzle out while the OW went on vacation (and they had tried to break it off in the past, but would eventually call again. I guess my wondering is…I think once I recover from the affair, our marriage will be better than the one we had before the EA. So I think I would not have “woken up” to where he was, how completely checked out emotionally he was from me, how “given up” he had become if not for the EA. I guess if he had ended it and I never found out, I don’t think he would have opened up to his needs to me. He felt he couldn’t even tell me of his needs. I was checked out from him and busy with the kids. I had put him on the back burner.

            I feel like the EA woke me up and him up to us again. So, as much as I am hating the roller coaster, and as horrible as it was, I am grateful to this opportunity to fully and completely love my husband and him, me, again.

            Maybe he might have suggested counseling? Maybe he would have finally opened up about his needs? Maybe I would have stumbled on some books that would help me love him? Not sure.

            Interesting to ponder. But I do suggest that Also Cheating cuts off all contact. This is the only way if she is to make it work with her husband and open up in communication with him to fix problems.

    • Healing Mark

      From a betrayed spouse by virtue of things that my wife and I discussed by our selves and with our marriage counsellor. For a bit of a background, while my wife was having her EA, I had suspicions, but was clueless that something like and emotional affair, as opposed to a physical affair (which I worried about), existed, and I was too busy with work and home responsibilities (my wife had very little responsibilities and I let this happen ’cause I really wanted to take care of my queen in every way that I could) to bother to even google either EA or just “affair”. I confronted my wife at least 4 times with my suspicion that she and my “friend” might be having an affair, or were at least a bit too chummy. She denied having an affair, of course, first rationalizing that nothing physical had or was occurring, and then flat out lying to prevent hurting me but to really allow her EA to play itself out as she felt the need to know whether what she was feeling was something more than just temporary (it was). She also constantly used the phrase “but we’re just good friends” (yuck). As she changed into a person I not only no longer recognized, but also began liking less and less and I feared that she would soon become someone I could no longer stay married to, children be damned, I insisted on marriage counselling, she confessed to our counsellor to having had and ended what the counsellor and I were calling an EA, and committed to taking efforts to save our marriage, which we thought we had more or less done when I then discovered the beginning, continuing and ending of her EA with my “friend”.

      So when I wanted to talk about her EA while it was ongoing, my wife did not want to talk about it not only to keep all the crap that occurs once an EA is exposed from occurring (I don’t blame her on this one, although it is much worse if the lies are later exposed), but she also enjoyed all the attention she was getting from her AP, and really enjoyed all of the feelings she was getting out of the relationship, actually acknowledging after the exposure of the affair that it was almost like being addicted to a drug, and the thrill of continuing this hidden and elictit relationship (and trying to make other people think that, yes, they were really “just friends”) was just too good to give up by admitting to the EA’s existence. So, the “fog” that so many talk about seems, in my opinion, to really exist and is so strong that it made a wonderful person like my wife make choices that were quite contrary to how she knew she should act and how she, in hindsight, hated having made.

      After the EA was discovered, my wife hated discussing it initially, but actually became more comfortable discussing it as a way of helping each of us get over it once I was able to let go of while we talked of the many negative emotions that I was experiencing at the time. I get it. No one like talking about something that is likely to cause the other person to become angry, or cry, or scream, or you “fill in the blank”. My wife acknowledged many times that she was ashamed of what she had done, and sought some credit for having recognized how bad the EA was for our family and our “friend’s” family and ending the EA. Every conversation brought up these feelings of shame, which she of course hated. She also did not want to be percieved as a bad person, and she had to get used to accepting the fact that she was not a bad person (for quite a while, talking about the EA made her feel very bad, and no one likes that!), but instead the very good and well respected person that just made some very, very bad choices.

      I also hate to report that my wife did not like discussing the EA since she could not stop lying about certain aspects of it (she did not want to hurt me and was willing to risk getting caught rather than deal with the fallout of being caught lying), and by talking about it more, she risked having things come up that she did not want to come clean with, and the attendant risk that she could (and did) be caught lying. At the beginning, she tried to make her EA sound like it was almost not an EA at all (after all, they were “just good friends”!), and her lies were tailored to do this. However, she never really thought much about covering her tracks since she ended the EA and we were doing so well together after rather successful marriage counselling, so it was not hard to find evidence contradicting many of the matters discussed about the EA. Finally, after going back to the counsellor and the counsellor and I convincing my wife that she should honestly answer all of my questions, no matter how painful she thought they might be, my wife came clean (I do believe this and at least my “friend” as able to unknowingly coroborate this in many respects). Funny, but the “truth” was much less harmful than she thought it would be, and was far better than leaving things to my imagination.

      Finally, and this is frustrating, but I feel that even though my wife made a concious decision to make our marriage as strong as it could be, and also one to do what she could to help each of us get past the EA, various aspects of human nature simply made it difficult for her to actually talk about many aspects of the actions she took with her AP which she was ashamed of and knew would make me hurt, angry, think less of her as a person and, most importantly, cause me to lose my trust of her word/actions. I realize that there are likely betraying spoused out there that really don’t care that much about their marriage, and thus just don’t want to talk about their affairs since there is not that much to be gained from such discussions if you really don’t care. However, even for betraying spouses who are truly remorseful and want to do everything they can to salvage their betrayed relationships, it still remains that talking about details of an affair, even non-physical ones, is still just not that easy of a thing to do, and is certainly never a pleasant talk.

      As always, for those still in such pain and despair as a result of an EA or PA, there is hope and you should utilize as much as you can all resources available to you to assist you in potentially foregiving your betraying spouse and getting to a relationship that, notwithstanding the occurrence of this terrible event, is nevertheless one that you can cherish and enjoy and one that makes you and your spouse as happy as you can be.

      Healing Mark.

      • Kristine

        Healing Mark my husband doesn’t like to refer back to that time either like your wife. He says, “talking about that time period makes me reflect on a place I want to get as far from as I can.” We have a couple friend that just divorced. The wife’s PA and EA came to light the day the husband helped my husband move back home. Even just talking about her and the things we see her do (which mirrors some of the actions of my husband) makes him very uncomfortable. In his words, “while my guilt and shame aren’t as pronounced as before I’m still very ashamed and I just want to delete it all,” NO $HIT, Dude! So do I, so do I lol

        Anyway, I get it. I do. I don’t like to be reminded of stuff I’ve done in my past either so I can only imagine having to talk about the worst thing you’ve ever done must be really emotionally draining and challenging and DOES remind you of a time period you’d rather didn’t exist. I get it but it still has to happen.

      • Doug

        Healing Mark, Again great comments. I am curious about something, you mentioned that your wife had little responsibilities “little queen”, in our situation and many on this blog, during the affair they cheater has little time to deal with all the responsibilities at home and often the BS is does everything. Was it the same before the affair? I know that over the years I became more of Doug’s mother and service worker than his wife and I feel that he didn’t have much “ownership” in our relationship, because of this I wonder it was “easier” for him to justify his affair. (not saying anything can justify it) Do you feel by trying to do everything for your wife (believing you were being a good husband) made it easier for her to enter an affair. Also do you feel that by doing so much caused you to resent her? Linda

        • Healing Mark

          Linda. The answer to your first question (was it the same before the affair) is an interesting one. There wasn’t so much a change as to what responsiblities I took on and what she took on, as there was in how she was spending her free time, time that she really always had about the same of both before and during the affair. The difference was two-fold. One, my wife got on Facebook shortly before the EA started and my wife started looking at his page (she could even though she had not yet been “friended” by my “friend”) the Sunday after our Saturday night party. My “friend” friended my wife a week later and they began to interact on Facebook (I was not and am not on Facebook). Second, my wife got her first smart phone (damn you i-phone!) approximately 6 weeks after our Saturday night party and my wife and my “friend” then began to text each other more than I care to remember, and they would send each other emails with just a picture of my friend’s favorite beer as a signal that I was asleep and that my friend’s wife was asleep, at which time my wife and friend would then talk well into the night (I went to bed much earlier as I began my work day quite early every morning, even sometimes on the weekend).

          My wife did not think that initially anything about our relationship was really bad (terrible fights and contemptuous acts had not yet really started in earnest and with frequency) and thus contributed to the EA, other than the fact that our different hours and the fact that my friend kept same hours as my wife (he does freelance work and thus usually stayed up late anyway and slept in during mornings, something my wife began to do more and more of although I was not initially aware that she was doing this as I was either asleep or at work). Instead, she has said she just felt a “connection” to her AP (as she says over and over, they are “both Libra’s”) and that relatively early on she began to have feelings of affection towards him (he has had many, many problems and tramatic events in his life that he chose to share with my wife, and my wife loves to listen to and try to help people with problems) which later blossomed into feelings of sexual curiosity and attraction. As these things happened, my wife changed dramatically and treated me very poorly and picked fights at one point almost nightly. I reacted negatively and let myself get sucked into what I often viewed as very unnecessary fights/arguments. I also initially stopped attempts at not only meeting her emotional needs (many of which I was not even aware of at the time and thank goodness for marriage counselling), but also stopped spending virtually any meaningful time with her at all. All the better for her to spend more time with the AP. Later, as I suspected that she was having an affair and I began attempts to “reel her in”, she reacted the opposite of what I was looking for and really started taking more and more actions to resist what I was trying to accomplish. Curiously, while my wife acknowledges that all of the foregoing occurred, including the dramatic decline in happiness in our marriage (hence marriage counselling), she does not attribute any of this as contributing factors to the EA, but instead unfortunate byproducts of her new relationship with my “friend”.

          So, I don’t think that my trying to do most everything for my wife caused her to have an EA, but, yes, it did make it easier for her to establish and maintain the same. Did I resent having to take on so much responsiblity? No, not really. What I began to resent more and more as the EA developed and thereafter fortunately ran its course after about 8 horrible months for me was the fact that this wonderful person who I had been married to for over 14 years at the time became lost and in her place was this nasty bitch of a person who was almost impossible to live with. That is, until we had make-up sex, which was fantastic virtually every time and fortunately/unfortunately all too frequent, although I know now that it wasn’t always me that my wife was thinking about at the time (boy this hurts to type!). I also resented the fact that my wife seemed to be accomplishing less and less than ever before with her free time, frequently failing to do things she told either me or other people she would do (this rarely, if ever, happened before the EA), and I hated the feelings I had in my gut that my wife was in love with another man, and that this man was almost certain to be my former “friend”.

          Again, to all that are struggling with attempts to heal after learning of an EA or PA, understand that there is hope and with work and a bit of luck (at least in my case), you may find yourself more happily married (albeit differently married) than before the occurrence of the affair, but only, of course, after the affair has ended and the betraying spouse has gotten over any greiving process as a result of the ending of the affair (geez, seems to me to be adding insult to the injury, but my wife had very genuine feelings of grief once she and her AP decided to end the EA, a decision that my wife and friend have each acknowledged to initially be a mutual one, then one solely by the EA, and finally by my wife after the AP allowed the EA to be briefly reestablished after the first “break up”).

    • Candance

      Guess I might me in the minority here. My H has no problem talking about his EA with me, but only when I initiate it. Yes, I think he is now embarrassed it has happened & that we deal with the results in our marriage now. Our relationship is growing & the passion that was missing for years is back. We are both loving it! The pain is still there for me & I cannot fully trust him yet. Not sure when that will return, if ever. But I do not check phone records daily anymore. Once school starts I will have to face the OW at the kids functions. I am hoping that I am now stronger & able to handle this better that 5 months ago.

    • mamak

      Hi, I am a cheating spouse. A few months out from D-Day. Honestly, and this is really hard to say, but I don’t think the cheating spouse is doing what you need them to do because whether or not they are still in contact with their AP, they are probably still struggling with feelings for the OP and just don’t have those feelings toward you, the betrayed spouse at this time. In my case, I want to have those feelings again for my spouse, but I can’t get past this other person. But I am trying, trying, trying. Maybe love is not a feeling, maybe it is a choice. I agree with the other posts, every marriage deserves romance and passion. That’s what I want in my marriage. I just can’t get there right now. But working on it.

      This is exactly how my H described his reasons to me. He has always felt that you can only be in love with one person, and for a long time he was ‘in love’ with her, therefor could not be in love with me. BUT he made the choice to stay with me, our marriage, our kids and leave her behind. He slept in another room and did his own thing for months…until one day he said it hit him in the face that he loved me and couldn’t believe he had fallen so far from us. I think you’re right, there is choice involved when it comes to love – and I know it will take time for him to get back to a place where he can give me the passion and romance I deserve but he took the first step and chose to be with me, cut off his AP and work on our marriage – the rest will come. Alone, I hope that you too choose your spouse and work on your marriage, perhaps for you too you will wake up one morning and realize those feelings are still there, that they were just masked by your affair fog and can grow to be stronger than ever.

    • roller coaster

      My H is still in contact with the OW. On July 11, 2011, several people confronted them on our suspicions and now we are the jerks because we called them on it. My hope is that he admits to me that his feelings are more than friendship. A social worker told me that he views us as jerks because as they justify their bond as only “friendship” it helps them to continue it. Even though their actions have broken many friendship and caused pain and struggle in our marriage their desire to be connected outweighs all of it.

    • BLUEYZ

      It’s been one year one month that i found out my husband of 18yrs was having an affair on me. the whole time my gut and heart were trying to tell me and i blew it off as paranoria. must say i have a sixth sense. today is our 18yrs anniv and honestly iam no happier now then when i confronted my h about the affair. he was sorry for being caught but not sorry for what he did. i know in my heart he is still talking to this op by his work cell. he takes his wk cell everywhere with him and has a lock on it. and the personal cell goes to the bathroom with him too. when i confront him and say this is a red flag to me he blows me off and says it means nothing and cannot understand why i would think it was odd. he won’t go to counseling, not even fmo a group thru our church that deals with sex addiction and affairs. he fights me on everything and keeps saying he is done with her. and that i have to trust him. i have no trust at all because he has not shown me and proven to me with his actions to meet his words. iam so frustrated. i had a breakdown and lost my job due to this. i am struggling financially and iam still paying on the atty bill on my cc. if i was to throw in the towel i would be even deeper in debt. please pray for me. i have been begging God to turn his life around. being married to a narcisstic man is hell and iam at the end of my rope.

      • Notoverit

        Blueyz, complete honesty is the only thing that will work. He has to open those phones and let you look in order to win your trust back. If he still refuses, he is probably still in the affair fog or worse, still in the affair. The one thing I learned from this blog is to back off. There is nothing attractive about a crying, screaming woman (boy don’t I know that – been there and it doesn’t work). Work on yourself, get counseling and make yourself happy without him. Eventually he will see that you are the person he fell in love with. The distance, for some reason, makes them notice you. Don’t be angry or mean, just be cordial and nice, nothing more. Keep reading this blog, there are plenty of us out there who have suffered through this. Good Luck!

        • Waiting

          Thank you for the reminder to focus on yourself and your own happiness. It has been 2 months since I confronted my H about his EA. What I received in return was more distance between us. As another article on this site said, he has to want to end it. None of my pointing out how it hurts the family or how I feel betrayed or alone makes him come closer to me. Back off is the key.

    • StealthGenie

      The betrayer won’t act upon because she might again be indulged into cheating over you… You definitely need to take actions and in order to do so, you need StealthGenie.

    • Eleanor

      I am at the end of my rope here. My H is a serial cheater. The first time, he broke it off himself. Guess the OW wanted more? But I found out because she called me. Second time I discovered a handphone & some secret loving rext messages. That was 5 yrs ago. Along the way we had fights because he said herr broke it off but then kept going back & forth. The final one time I discovered him contacting her was in Aug 2011. I believe he stopped after that. But he refused to talk about it, refused to go for counseling. And then last early this month it has happened again. Another affair. What is the matter with this man? Is it just lust? Is this what mid life crisis is all about? He just turned 50 in June. I have no idea who it is this time. And he refuses to talk, refuses to do anything. And I am left hurting like mad. Again. I think this time I will leave. It is just too much for me.

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