Hello Everyone!

It’s another discussion Wednesday, and every so often we like informally survey our readers in order to get an idea of the subject matter that you all would most like to read.

Your input is extremely valuable as it truly does help us to better help you!

With that in mind…What are your top 3 to 5 issues, topics or questions regarding any aspect of affairs and/or affair recovery that you would like to learn more about? Some of you may need to learn more about trust, or forgiveness, sexual issues, or moving on. You get the idea! Let us know what is most important to you.

Thank you very much for your help!

Have a great day!

Doug & Linda

See also  A Main Element for Affair Recovery is Communication

    23 replies to "Discussion: Your Top Issues For Affair Recovery"

    • nony

      Hello Linda & Doug,

      You have been seeing a lot of me on this site, but I am genuinely trying to keep my cool and figure out what I want and mostly, how to react without freaking out.

      I do have a few questions, such as what do I do about all of this immense hatred I feel towards the OW. I have never felt like this about another human being. For me, she threatened the happy relationship my daughter has with her father, and while logically, my husband is equally guilty, I suppose since we have been friends since childhood and in a relationship for the past ten year, I don’t have the same level of hatred (mostly disappointment and sadness) towards my husband. So, the issue of how to diffuse your anger towards someone is huge.

      I have read several of your pieces on building up trust, and I simply cannot imagine trusting him ever again. In fact, I’ll admit freely that we weren’t “in love” when we married, but we both loved one another because…get this…because we each felt that we were with the person we could trust the most, because of our deep friendship (and we were good lovers as well). Of all the things I have ever imagined going wrong in my relationship, this was never one of them. I never before checked his email or his iPhone, and now I am tempted to check all the time (not that this would get me anywhere and I know that). So, the issue of trust is huge and how can I look at him with the same level of confidence that we used to have in our marriage — it is gone, in an instant.

      Last, but not least, I wonder if I will ever feel like myself again. I find myself feeling like some crazy, jealous, suspicious, untrusting, angry person. This is not who I was before. We did have problems to work on before this, but they were mainly financial plus a major bout of depression that took place shortly after the birth of my child. He managed to stay by me all through that after I had come through the other end, and then he broke everything, the most important aspects of our relationship. So, will I ever be myself as long as I stay with this man? Part of me thinks I might be a stronger and better female example if I left and took care of our lives without him in the picture. I want happiness in my life, and right now, he is really and truly standing in the way of that happening.

      I am willing to work hard to save us, but these three points are making it hard for me to stick to my guns on the decision I have taken so far to forgive him and work on our marriage.

      Thanks for your wonderful site! I don’t know if you realize how much you are helping others!

    • melissa

      Definitely trust issues but also how to deal with a cheater who refuses to talk/acknowledge responsibility.
      Different types of fantasies (what does the OP represent in the cheater’s mind)?

    • Liz Lemler

      A particularly huge issue for me is dealing with my parents. My mother was with me when I received the accidental text message that was meant for “her” and she was with me when he confessed over the phone (he was out of town when I found out). My mom witnessed the immediate aftermath, which must have been very difficult to see. So of course, both my parents know about this, they don’t agree with my decision to work things out, but they say they are trying to be supportive. This has put a strain on our close relationship. I don’t know what it will take for them to come around.

      My guy wrote a letter of apology to my parents, taking responsibility for his actions, asking if they could forgive him someday. My dad refused to read it for months. My mother is trying and it sounds like she’s coming around more and more, but my father still thinks I made the wrong decision, doesn’t think it’s fair for my guy to even ask me to take him back.

      I worry a lot about what it will be like the first time my parents and my guy see each other again. I don’t want my relationship to create conflict between me and my parents (and vice versa). I don’t want to be in a position where I feel like I have to choose.

      Has anyone else had to deal with family members knowing? Have they been able to forgive your partner and move on? Sometimes I feel like their resistance is getting in the way of me coping with this and trying to move on.

    • Joanna

      I agree with Melissa on the issue of a cheater who refuses to talk/acknowledge responsibility. Within a one-week period last week my husband went from saying he wasn’t sure we could work things out because we might wind up falling into the same old patterns and he might end up pursuing his third affair (the first he had always, until now, denied was even an affair — they were simply old friends who were suddenly talking and emailing each other all the times —using an email address I didn’t even know existed — and the emails were way more than friendly)….to saying that he didn’t even know how I could call his last EA an affair. And he has yet to talk about the most recent affair that began in September. Whenever I try to talk to him he says that I was unhappy and angry all the time ….and takes no responsibility for any of the problems or the affairs he’s had.

      Secondly, how do you deal with family members? I’m not talking about the children, but my husband’s family and my own. My family is very different than his — they know my faults and they know his faults, but they say he has been a member of our family for 28 years and they will always love him and think we should try to work things out. My husband, however, is a woe-is-me kind of guy, and has been telling his family for years how horrible I am….that I’m angry all the time (while at the same time telling me how much he loved me…how he wanted to grow old with me, giving me cards, etc., telling me I’m the love of his life and that his love for me grows deeper every year). So his family seems glad that we have separated and are “moving forward” (in their words) toward a divorce. They blame me for his unhappiness, and deny that the two EAs he’s had are really affairs. My husband told me the other day that he will always love me, but he doesn’t know how to go back (toward working on a reconciliation) because of our families. I told him my family wasn’t the issue, that it was all the bad-mouthing of me that he has done to his family. I think it made him feel less guilty about the affair if he made me look like I was the bad guy…he was just this poor guy looking desparately for some happiness. Sadly, I don’t think he is “man” enough to admit to his family that he was at least equally responsible for the problems in our marriage and that he misses me and wants to come home. I think he would rather lose everything he has (me, his home, our daughters’ respect, our standard of living) than accept responsibility and face his family. I have no communication with his family these days, but I heard through my oldest daughter (who received a call from my husband’s mom) that she was glad we were moving forward, and I just wanted to scream. I am trying to move forward. He is not. I have started therapy, religiously read the posts on this site, ordered self-help books, at the same time working a full-time job, trying to take care of our 5 family pets and the house, deal with the despair of our daughters, pay the bills, get our house ready for sale, and he has done essentially nothing. Not even respond to simple questions about when he thinks we should put the house on the market, how much money he is willing to contribute to get the house ready for sale, etc. I am drowning and he is just biding his time — waiting for who knows what — for the EA to make a decision to leave her husband, for another woman to come along….and occasionally dropping by the house just to stare at me with teary eyes (but not saying much of anything ) or try to initiate sex. As we enter our third-month of separation (and our fifth month since we agreed to separate), I no longer know what to do…..

    • Kathy

      I would also like to know what to do about a cheater who refuses to talk/take responsibility. And like Joanna’s , my H is a woe-is-me kind of person who wants everyone to feel sorry for him. I also get the big sad eyes from him, along with the silent treatment.

      I would like to see more on what to do/how to know if/when it’s really over. When is it time to hang it up once and for all? How long do you keep trying?

      Thirdly, I’m very interested in topics pertaining to personal mental health and strength. How do I make positive changes in my life FOR MYSELF, not for him? How do I develop that mindset…that I’m bettering myself because it’s good and healthy for ME, regardless of what he does? Because in my situation, it’s very possible he wants out, and if he does, and we split up, somehow I still have to go on. This is a daunting prospect after 27 years of marriage!

    • Vanessa

      I agree with the others who say about how to talk to the spouse who cheated. How to talk to them in a way where they won’t feel threaten or like they are being questioned.

      How you cope on a day to day basis to move on and not dwell on the other person and what happened.

    • Yuki

      There have been articles and posts on these, but I’m still working on them:
      How to come to the place where I can forgive him.
      How to stop obsessing over their relationship.
      How to help him see that he also needs help to learn from the past and move forward to a healthy, FAITHFUL relationship.

    • anaffairtoremember

      For me, it’s not really a matter of trust, it’s more a matter of how do you go back to respecting the cheater’s character. That was one of the reasons I married him was because he had such character and integrity – now I question that. I realize he made a mistake and he admits that too, but it’s the nagging feeling of me not having any respect for someone who was willing to walk out on their family and destroy their children’s relationship with their father for some fantasy woman that I truly believe would have cheated on him eventually too. If you really love someone, you do what’s best for them and that tells me she didn’t love him if she was willing to let him lose his relationship with his children. I don’t know, but that’s the thing I struggle with the most.

      • Diana

        I know what you are saying. It’s like you don’t even know who they are any more. How could they risk so much to get so little in return. How could they think it was possibly worth it.

      • QuillsOut

        I know what you mean… My husband is such an upstanding guy at work and out with his friends, they all know him as the loving, committed family-man who will be your DD if you can’t afford a cab or help you fix your flat tire on the side of the road. And this is one of the things I love(d) about him, his willingness to be a true friend and his respectability… But now I know he has the capacity to cheat and at one time was willing to trash our marriage and put tons of strain on all of us… for what, someone to listen after I’d been begging him for almost 2 years to talk? I have problems moving past the affair b/c I flat out can’t reconcile the man I fell in love with and the man I know him to be in the aftermath.

    • Norwegian woman

      I agree with Yuki on the point of how to help him see what he did wrong and to NEVER do it again. I sometimes struggle with av feeling that he says that he understands his mistakes and that he never will go into something like that again, but of course, my trust is broken, and it has been two mistakes (that i know of).
      Maybe the topic should be about the cheater and how he can build the trust again, how to overcome the addiction and so on. The little toughts (self deception lies) that may put them out there again….A little more focus on the cheater, rather than the one being cheated on?
      I feel that I need some facts and information that can leave no excuse for him to telling me “it just happened and I don`t know how” again.

    • changedforever

      Trust-related…When your gut feeling is that questions are not answered truthfully following discovery day, should those same questions be revisited a few months later when progress is being made? I didn’t know what a ‘withdraw period’ was while it was happening, but my H went thru a 4 week one. He was truly like an addict during that time…it was pathetic so don’t expect ANY progress to be made until your spouse snaps out of withdrawl…it took a 1on1 with my H & our marriage counselor to snap my H out of his….it was a horrible time period. I truly believe if I can get him to give me the answers to those questions, HE will make more progress as well as we as a couple will…

    • Donna

      How to not obsess about ow/om. How do I stop checking her out on facebook. I have become almost stalker like 😉

      HOw to continue in every day to day life but also recreate your marriage so it is not boring and mundane.


      how to keep your cool when the cheater does feel ready to talk of affair and ow/om… thisis massive problem for me as I feel my hackles rising and I get hurt and upset and then attack and then say something I regret. I need to learn how to stay cool.

      • melissa

        Donna, you’re not alone. I still Google the OW a huge amount – the only difference is now I don’t see her as some sort of Goddess but a pathetic prima donna who can’t spell 😉 They say ‘keep your friends close but your enemies closer’.

        I know I’m wasting time and hanging on to the affair but I genuinely don’t know if I can trust my H ever, like many of us on this site. Don’t beat yourself up, you’re not alone but do try and look after yourself as well, give yourself a bit of tenderness.

    • Donna

      Oh yeah, also learning to accept my life and recognise all the small achievements my husband has made and not JUST focus on the negative!

    • Diana

      I would like to see more on how to handle this limbo stage I feel like I am stuck in. My husband told me he would break it off with his EA but then 3 weeks later he was IMing her again. He denies he ever said it and that I am lying. I told him if he wanted a relationship with her, that was fine, but he wasn’t going to have one with me. I am not going to share him with another woman. He thinks I am making a mountain out of a molehill–that it is not an emotional affair. Any relationship that involves lies and secrecy is an emotional affair.

      So I don’t know if he is in contact with her or not. There are just times that I feel like he is lying to me even though I can’t prove it. I feel like I am in a constant state of hypervigilance (which is not what I used to be like at all, trusting soul that I was). I get angry with myself about the amount of time I WASTE trying to find out if he is telling the truth or not. I’m trying hard to back off and move on. But I’ve already given him the ultimatum so do I try and find out if he is telling the truth or just sit back and figure that eventually find out the truth? That’s the hard part. This no man’s land of not knowing and feeling like an absolute fool. With Valentine’s Day coming up I can feel myself getting more and more anxious.


    • blueskyabove

      I would like to see something on the topic of emotional unavailability. I recently read a book on this subject by Bryn Collins and I’m beginning to believe that it was/is a factor in my spouse’s affairs. I was encouraged to read it after reading the reviews on Amazon. Someone suggested reading the book with yourself in mind, and since I was aware that I have spent some time withdrawing emotionally from my H, I decided to give it a try. It has opened my eyes to issues I never thought of during the aftermath of the affair. This book doesn’t deal with affairs specifically, (although there a few examples mentioned) but more as a general reference on common behavioral patterns and how to overcome them and establish real intimacy. It was very thought provoking.

    • tryingtoowife

      I withdraw emotionally from my husband, as trying to be close emotionally and sexually to him as before it feels almost impossible, and it is so painful to compare to what we used to have.
      I still have periods when my anger is so great that I shut him out completely as I feel that it is ALL his fault, the mess he put us in and I detach myself, to be able to cope. I know this is not healthy if we really want to save something of our marriage, but when something triggers the anger I see nothing else. I don’t see the man that has regrets and pain in his eyes, or the man that is begging to be accepted, or the man that wants to stay with me and his family and just wants me to work with him.

      In my anger I see nothing good, just the pain that his cold actions caused and that all pain that came with it is what he deserves. I think about him and the OW all the time. He hates her, but I still linger on the details of they physical affair. He claims it was ‘only’ physical, but it does not feel any better, because he was sexually close to her and the thoughts kills me. I sometimes can see a future for us, and I feel better about it, but can’t hold on to that as much as I would like to.

      It is a struggle and it has been for few months now. I don’t believe in quick forgiveness. I have to go through it all motions and first heal and better myself as I have been doing, and hopefully it will work for the benefit of us together, and for the future of a healthy relationship between us. I want to save our marriage because I think that there is still so much love between us, and we are good together. But how to control my anger at him, if I want to be with him? Is it ever possible to share your life with someone that destroyed it! How to let the love flow again without the guards that I have built? Is to hard…

    • ChangedForever

      (As an affair has been referred to — and rightfully so – as an ‘addiction…’) here’s an amazing analogy, relative to an email I received this morning concerning ‘How to Talk with Your Kids About Drugs.’ My H & I experienced a drug-related trauma involving our son last summer, which culminated in my H ‘escaping & running’ from addressing/handling that issue/incident together with me: he ran into right into fantasyland – straight into the OP whom I believe was to be the “kind ear’ he was looking for (to ‘listen,’) – but the selfishness & immaturity of this much- younger- than- he ‘monster,’ sucked him in like a vacuum and almost destroyed him. Yes, there are these monsters out there – remember this when you are dealing with your CS’s situation. You never know someone’s weaknesses until you see how they can –OR CANNOT– rise above a challenge (such as this.)
      Here’s an ‘excerpt’ created from what I received today from a drug-free support organization website (for parents,) re: creating a ‘drug-free’ environment: (see how you could use this same premise for a CS who has shown weakness in times of previously suffered traumas?…)
      “…I realize there’s a lot of temptation out there…I also know you are a very strong person – no matter what , keep me in mind, and in the loop…okay? Don’t forget I am here…for you.”)
      Remember…in most cases….aren’t they worth it? (What DO you have to lose in trying…?)

    • QuillsOut

      1) TRUST – It’s not fair to say I don’t trust my husband at all, but my trust in him will never be what it was ever again. It can get to 99.999%, but that last little bit will never come back. After D day I snooped almost constantly, and only now 7 months later am I even beginning to slack off snooping, checking the e-mails, phone records, etc. He’s been on an odd schedule the past two weeks, and hasn’t been able to call when he’s on his way home b/c I would be putting our son to sleep and couldn’t answer the phone. A call when he’s on his way has been almost constant since I discovered the affair, and not having one is a trigger for me, leading me down the “what if” path despite it being 5 months since NC. I know I need help trusting again. Important people in my life have lied to and abandoned me, and now my husband is one of those who have lied to and hurt me. It’s something I struggle with daily.

      2) FORGIVENESS – I want very much to forgive my husband someday, because I know carrying this pain around inside of me, this hurt and anger and sadness, is hurting me far more than it is him, and in a way, is keeping the affair alive inside myself. I have tried telling him I forgive him in moments of strong emotion, but I don’t feel that I am there yet, because I still think and speak angry/hurt thoughts about the affair, when I am feeling sad or spiteful the words come spilling out of my mouth, and I don’t believe this is what forgiveness is or should be. I want to be able to move past the immediate pain and set the affair aside as a learning experience, a thing I can learn from and remember, but not freak out about every time I’m upset over something else or experience a trigger. I want to forgive because being down has been a life-long condition for me, and one less weight would do a world of good.

      3) FINDING MYSELF AGAIN – I would love to find myself again. Pursue my interests, smile more often, and enjoy my life day to day. I’m having a hard time doing this, because I feel massive amounts of guilt each time I take a moment to do something for myself or by myself. I’ve come to the point of making chores that enable me to be alone my “me time”, like taking out the trash, simply because they allow me to be alone for a few moments. I wind up rationalizing my time to myself as a frivolity that I cannot afford to partake of, because there are so many other things that need to be done, and at the end of the day I still need to carve out some time for my husband and I to be together. When he was away from home for work I would miss him, but at the same time be thrilled at the time alone I had after my son went to bed, able to take a long bath or watch some TV before falling asleep and not having to be accountable to anyone but my sleeping child in the next room. I want to get myself back, and feel happy, confident, and blessed for the good things in my life.

    • Yuki

      QuillsOut, that’s how I feel, too, on all three of your points. I discovered a new trigger this week: business trips. My husband either met with the OW or spent all his free time on the phone and computer with her when on business trips. Well, he has to go on another one on Sunday for a week. I did not expect my own reaction. I am a basket case. Like you with your husband’s calls right now, I cannot avoid this trigger. He tried to be helpful by offering to take me with him, but I can’t take off of work at this time. I should feel good that he offered, but actually I think he only offered because he knew I wouldn’t be able to get time off. I’m feeling right now like there’s no way out of this misery.

      • QuillsOut

        I have times I want to toss both my husband’s phone and laptop out the window, or run them over with a car… they were both things he used heavily to facilitate his affair (mainly their internet capabilities) and for a while after D day the mere sound of him text message alert was a trigger… all I could think about were all the times he was texting here when he was driving our family somewhere, or when he was IM’ing when we were together in the same room…

        *Big Hug*

        • Yuki

          I know what you mean. My husband’s affair would probably not have happened without the stupid computer and cell phone. He would also be online with her while with us.

          Thank you for the hug! You lightened my day! Sending one to you, too**

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