Being in an affair is like being addicted to crack cocaine.  It can be really tough to kick the addiction.

affair addictionBy Doug

Recently, we’ve been mentoring and communicating with several betrayed spouses who are going through some very difficult times.  Two primary issues are common with almost every case.  Either their spouses do not want to let go of their affair partners and are leaving to be with them to see if it was “meant to be.”  Or…

…the cheater has stopped contact but is having a very difficult time letting go of their affair partners.  Not so much from the standpoint of continuing their affair – but more so from the standpoint that they cannot control or stop their thoughts and feelings towards their affair partners.

The first phrase that comes to my mind when I hear these stories is “affair addiction.”  

Linda even said the same thing the other night while discussing a person’s situation.

Whether their affair addiction is due to the other person, the feelings that they experienced, sex, love or whatever, they are having a rough time letting go.  And until they can do so, recovering and healing from the affair hit a dead end.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if it’s ‘only’ their thoughts and feelings that are continuing to be an issue, there could potentially be further contact with the other person at some point in the future, as they need to “get a fix” – if you will.  This does nothing but start the affair all over again.

The more of these stories that we are exposed to, the more Linda and I feel that taking a tough stance against the cheater is the appropriate thing to do.  Not necessarily in all cases, but certainly a large percentage of them.

It’s quite shocking at times to hear the behavior that cheaters stoop to while in the “affair fog,” and yet many betrayed spouses put up with it out of love, commitment and fear of rocking the boat.

Hell, I did some of the same crap to Linda three years ago and I know that if she would have taken a harder line with me from the get go, the fog would have lifted and I would have got my head out of my ass much faster.

The Affair Addiction

Dr. Willard Harley, author of “Surviving an Affair” (which we highly recommend) states the following:

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“My experience helping couples recover from infidelity has taught me that any contact between the unfaithful spouse and the lover ruins reconciliation. Even casual contact prevents completion of withdrawal from the addiction of an affair. Since an affair is usually an addiction, the only way to fully recover is to permanently separate the unfaithful spouse (the addict) from the lover (the source of the addiction). But even in the very few cases when an affair is not an addiction, total separation of the spouse and lover is a necessary act of consideration for the feelings of the betrayed spouse. It’s the very least a wayward spouse can do to compensate for the suffering caused by the affair. Continued contact with a lover simply perpetuates the suffering of the betrayed spouse indefinitely.

It’s been my experience that without total separation, mutual love cannot be restored, resentment cannot be overcome and protection from the threat of another affair cannot be guaranteed. So when I counsel couples who want to reconcile after an affair, I insist on total separation of the unfaithful spouse and the lover with extraordinary precautions to guarantee that they never see or talk to each other again.”

Lorna Hochstein, Ph.D. describes a love addict as someone…

“…who substitutes an unhealthy and mood altering relationship with a process (i.e. relationship) for a healthy, life giving relationship with another person. An addict is a person who puts this unhealthy relationship at center of her life. This relationship with a mood altering process is an addiction. My own rule of thumb is that a person is addicted to a relationship if being in that relationship had clear negative effects on her life and she continues in the relationship regardless of the effects.”

Sound familiar?

affair addictionSex and Love Addicts Anonymous has a 40-question self-diagnosis aimed at possible sex and love addition.  You might want to have your spouse take the test (or take it yourself if you are the cheater).  Some of the questions included are the following:

  • Do you feel that your life would have no meaning without a love relationship?
  • Do you find yourself in a relationship you cannot end?
  • Do you ever find yourself unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that seeing this person is destructive to you?
  • Have you ever tried to control how often you would see someone?
  • Do you feel your love life affects your spiritual life in a negative way?
  • Do you find you have a pattern of repeating bad relationships?
See also  Q&A With An Unfaithful Wife

Treating Affair Addiction

When I think of treating an addiction, I think of 12-step programs.  So I did some Googling and found that there are 12-step programs for every addiction imaginable and they are all based around the 12-steps that were originally introduced in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism in 1939.

As summarized by the American Psychological Association, the process involves the following:

  • admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion
  • recognizing a higher power that can give strength
  • examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member)
  • making amends for these errors
  • learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior
  • helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsions

You can find the original Alcoholics Anonymous 12-steps here.  I personally like a more updated version that I found a little better, and you can download a PDF version to read or show to your spouse if you wish.  Hopefully you can find these beneficial in your own circumstances.

treating affair addictionIn treating an addiction, I think that it is also helpful to understand the cheater’s process for getting into and out of their affair in the first place. 

In the book “Torn Asunder,” author Dave Carder provides us with the following four infidelity phases:

  • Growing mutual attraction
  • Emotional and sexual entanglement
  • Destabilization of the affair
  • Disclosure and resolution

For a detailed explanation of these phases click here.

Linda wrote a post about these phases and how I acted. You can read it by clicking here.

Click here for a post that talks about how to get them to end their affair.

The phase that I find most interesting and might be the cause for cheaters to have such a hard time letting go of their “drug of choice” – the affair partner – is the destabilization phase.   

I have a feeling that most affairs are discovered during this phase which might contribute to the on-going thoughts, feelings and potential contacting of the affair partner.

During the destabilization stage, the fear of being caught fuels the urgency to get out of the affair. Though on the outside the affair looks like it may fall apart, in reality it is being stabilized.

Carder explains that one partner may call it off, and after some time will call to see how the other is doing.  Immediately the affair starts up again. This on again – off again pattern makes the affair almost impossible to end on its own. 

See also  How to Get the Cheater Out of the Affair Fog

The separation/togetherness cycle actually intensifies the feelings and guarantees that the affair will not end. 

The longer the process goes on, the more powerful the attachment becomes.  They begin to need each other to medicate” the fear, emptiness and new irrational “reality” they now both live in.

Obviously then, this stage can be quite powerful.  If the affair is discovered and quickly ended during this stage, it can be quite difficult for the cheater to suddenly abandon his/her emotional bind (the addiction) with the other person.

If you have ever watched the TV show “Intervention,” then you know that an addict’s behavior affects other people to the point where they just can’t take it anymore and these other people need to step in and try to convince the addict to get help. 

There is almost always denial on the addict’s part and most of the time they won’t agree at first to seek help.  But when the other people communicate the consequences if they refuse help, then the addict almost always agrees to go to rehab.  Sometimes rehab works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Surviving an affair can be much the same way.


After writing this (to me anyways), it seems like I’m all over the place with this post.  For that I apologize, but I wanted to firstly, give you  some information and resources about affair addiction.  Secondly, I wanted to try and get across my opinion that it’s okay for you to say that you’re just not going to take it anymore. 

You don’t deserve to go through the emotional and physical hell while your spouse continues to “get high.”  And quite frankly, you might be to the point where you don’t have anything else to lose anyways.

To end, let me quote from “Surviving an Affair:”

“You may think that after a spouse willfully chooses a lover (over the betrayed spouse), there would be no hope for marital reconciliation, but that’s not true. While there is no hope for reconciliation when the affair is underway, as soon as the affair is ended, reconciliation is definitely possible. And almost all affairs end sooner than most people think they will.”


    79 replies to "Don’t Put Up With the Affair Addiction Anymore"

    • Notoverit

      When I found out, I did not calmly accept my H “just being friends” with the OW. I pitched a fit of epic proportions. I even tried to dismantle a door (not pretty but my rage overtook me – something I NEVER had done before). I gave my H an ultimatum – this stops now, no more contact, nothing. I truly believe I shocked him. I told him that if he did not stop contact then I was leaving, done, over with and I meant it. I think for the first time in our married life he saw a part of me that I had hidden – a very strong part of me – and he knew that I was serious. Funny part is that he seemed relieved to be out of the mess. To my knowledge (and I have been very vigilant) he has never spoken to the OW even though she made quite a few tries (which I intercepted and squashed). I responded with no fear of losing him because I thought if that is what he chooses then let him go. Who needs a man who can, and I quote you here Doug, can’t get his head out of his ass?

    • ifeelsodumb

      I have had first hand experience dealing with a family member who is just as Lorna Hochstein described!!! The guy she was involved with was TRASH, and he treated her like TRASH, and she still went back, time after time after time! Even today, she still cries over him…and I just can’t understand it! She gave up EVERYTHING for him, her home, job, reputation, family… she is in debt that will take years to pay off…and if he showed up at her doorstep today, swearing he’s s different man, I really think she’d take him back!
      Also, after reading this post, I’d say she is a sex-love addict…she’d never agree that she is…but she is!
      Great post!!

    • Dol

      I’m finding it very hard to deal with my OH’s ongoing struggle, even though we have our rules, and she’s sticking to them – so far. The OM is in the building next to hers at work. I’m reminded of something Doug said a while back about cigars: “As I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need or want a cigar because I was removed completely from them. They were nowhere in sight, smell or reach at any point during the day.” She’s seeing the OM sometimes, either through his office window when she can’t help walking past, or around and about. He’s in sight and reach…

      She tells me when she’ll be going near his office, tells me if she sees him. But then I also know there are times when, if she does see him, she’s then having to fight an ‘excruciating’ urge to go and see him. Really, just knowing that makes me want to run a hundred miles. I am not feeling very strong right now. Some days, for her, it’s worse than others. Most of the time, I don’t need to know, but sometimes it all comes out.

      The insidiousness of the addiction is strong: my OH is arranging a girl’s mountain-biking weekend, and just so happened to suggest a bike hire and route place all of 1.5 miles from where the OM lives! She had no intention of meeting up with him, but it seems her addiction was subtly putting her in harm’s way. At least after a while she had the self-awareness to see that and tell me.

      Perhaps there isn’t anything I can do except take it a day at a time, and hope that I can get stronger, and continue to trust she’ll stick to the rules. But some days I wonder if it’s ever going to be possible to heal while she’s working in the same place. I berate myself for being knocked so low by her even thinking about him: how did I become so pathetic that even her thoughts can do this to me?

      I suppose this all shows that even when you are able to trust that it’s been broken off, that’s only the start point of recovery. And just how damaging any contact at all is: it breaks my heart to read that a BS has made contact again after months. All that time and hard work squandered in one stupid moment!

    • Dol

      I should clarify: when she “sees” him, it’s literally just getting a view of him through his window or in some part of the building. She’s not communicating with him and, on the one occasion it was close enough, she avoided any eye contact. I just mean, he’s there and visible.

      • Jeanette

        I understand completely. My spouse is the same way. Just “curious” as to “how she is doing”. And lied for the last 9 months about not looking her up on the Internet or Facebook if he could. And now she comes to our church during school breaks. Yes she is over 30 years younger and friends with our children. I alternate between disgusted and not knowing what to do. He doesn’t want to change churches. And I don’t want to go to separate churches. It is coming to a loggerhead soon with holidays approaching. Just seeing her name in print is enough to give him a thrill. Watching her on a room just keeps his obsession alive. So sad for such an honorable man to have sunk so low.

    • InTrouble

      “Carder explains that one partner may call it off, and after some time will call to see how the other is doing and immediately the affair starts up again. This on again – off again pattern makes the affair almost impossible to end on its own. The separation/togetherness cycle actually intensifies the feelings and guarantees that the affair will not end. The longer the process goes on, the more powerful the attachment becomes. They begin to need each other to medicate” the fear, emptiness”


    • B

      As we all know, it is never really “over” until the CS decides to stand some ground. Even in my wife’s case, she may or may not be still conducting the relationship. It may not be at the level that it once was, she may be gradually pulling away. Or it could be full-blown secrecy. All I know is that when she answered his phone call last week, then responded to his email, SHE CHOSE to put herself in that position and risk it all. Affairs are so powerful, they require so much discipline to stay away from. I’m beginning to understand that we really never learn our lessons unless we lose something first. It is amazing how strong the BS pretend to be, amazing how we can be away from our spouse put a plan together and feel good about moving forward. Right up until we look into our CS eyes and realize we aren’t ready to let go. I have honestly come to hate the fact that I am in love with my wife because it keeps me from trying to fix me and promote my well-being. In the end, we never really know if our cheating spouses are really trying to get better, or just saying what we want to keep the double-life alive. Some days it actually feels like I am being punished for loving her. Bummer.

    • B

      But in the end, the one thing that hurts more than anything else, is the deception. We teach our kids not to lie, we preach honesty, then we go and act differently. The world would be such a better place if we simply had someone who was brave enough to look at us and say “I’ve met someone else, I want them more than I want you, goodbye.” At least then we wouldn’t feel like yo-yo’s in a web of deception. Being hurt by someone who claims to care about you is worse than anything. Because the “why’s” never come. They just never get answered.

    • karen

      “. . . many spouses put up with it out of love, commitment and fear of rocking the boat.” I’d just like to add financial and child issues to the list of why some BS’s allow this affair addiction to continue and not put their foot down. Female BS’s especially, including myself, are very reticent to do anything that will hurt their children going forward or cause them to change the lifestyle they have become accustomed to and, most importantly, not have 24/7 contact with their children. How do you get past that?? I have absolutely no idea as I did give my CS an ultimatum, and thankfully after a few misstarts, he broke off all contact. Maybe the age of the children matters and whether the CS has some financial independence of their own (which I did but, even though warranted by my H’s actions, could not affect my kids’ lifes by giving him the boot, even though well-deserved at that time). I feel so much empathy when I read the helplessness expressed in the posts from the BS’s about what to do when their CS’s can’t/won’t get out of the affair fog. My only idea is for BS’s to work on themselves and get strong enough and realize how wonderful they, themselves, are and follow Linda’s and Doug’s advice on how to “assist” their CS in getting out of the fog and after whatever time period they individually decide, as Doug says, don’t put up with the affair addiction any longer. Take care.

    • Bobse

      I’ve gone thru multiple cycles with my wife, any talk about no contact is me trying to control and manipulate her. All it takes is one call even after months of calm to draw her back in. It is an addiction, to that feeling she gets when he calls. I’m not sure what to do. 1.5 years and I will not let myself go thru another cycle. The sad thing to me is the feeling she is addicted to, is not sustainable.

    • Bobse

      I’m with you B!

    • D

      There is definitely an addictive quality. It took my wife some time after last contact to get over the affair but once it was really over (once the Fog truly lifted) she felt embarrassed and actually grossed out by it. She had this pensive look on her face one day and I asked if she was missing him. She looked at me like the mere thought of that made her want to vomit. We’re all nervous that our spouse wants the OM/OW instead of us. The truth is it isn’t the OM/OW they crave at all, it’s the addiction itself. The OM/OW is merely a tool to avoid whatever is the underlying need for the addiction. Knowing that helps the cheater understand the purpose the OM/OW plays and may help them release the habit sooner.

      • Linda

        D, you are so right, the problem is the cheater has difficulty understanding or admitting that it was more the situation than the person who gave them all of these wonderful, addictive feelings. Last week Doug and I had another conversation where he said again it was so much fun I didn’t want it to end. I asked him what was so much fun, the actual person or the admiration, the ego boasts, the ability to be someone or something that is restricted by our everyday lives. He finally said that she wasn’t that much fun, and that it could had been anyone. He had never said that before, I was somewhat shocked.

        From my experience, cheaters have a difficult time digging deep into the why’s and how’s. They just want to forget about it and move on and unfortunately the BS can’t stop thinking about and cannot move on until some kind of progress and revelation is made by the cheater. I feel that is the reason affair recovery takes such a long time. Linda

      • Jeanette

        She needs addiction treatment. Also EMDR . And you need to be able to tell her you WILL leave her. And pack your bags. And get in the car. Because it is the only thing that she will then believe is real. Not fair to you.

    • D

      Putting my foot down was definitely a catalyst toward her severing contact with him. It was my “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” moment. I held nothing back. I felt a bit bad about how mean I thought I’d been but she flat out told me she needed that talk to help her break the cycle. Intervention? Tough love? Definitely worth it.

      • Southern Man

        Bravo! I’m and was a Rhett Butler kind of man. It is the only thing that works but I would have been decisive in it if I knew it would not work. Don’t let a CS give away something to a lesser creature, something that belongs to you. You think you can do nothing about it? Try shape up or ship out – maybe ship out anyway. If there were more of us, it would put a large crimp in the misbehavior that seems to be opidemic in modern society.

    • Hail2Victors

      This post couldn’t have come at a better time. This is exactly what my wife is struggling through right now. She works with the OM. she is trying to get moved out of the building, but she does see him on a daily basis. While I think the affair may have stopped, I know the fantasy has not. We are trying to slowly repair the marriage (I fully admit I was a neglectful husband, and I have been working on a number of personal issues in order to improve myself, not just for the marriage, but for my mental well being.) It is a struggle to keep moving forward though, knowing that the OM is on my wife’s mind.

    • PunchingBag

      B, I’m right there with you and you have done and incredible job of expressing my feelings and beliefs.

      I get bits and pieces that come to light and let me know that my wife and the OM are still communicating. The constant lies that she had decided to cut all ties with the OM only make these moments more bitter. At this point I’m numb and can hardly react. At least the numbness is giving me the power to let go. I’m sure the “why’s” will stop but it might take some time apart for that to happen. I only hope she comes to her senses before we rip our family apart.

      • Jeanette

        It is most disheartening. It has been over a year since I discovered my husband was in an emotional affair with an 18 year old college kid, friend of my daughter’s, who did not apparently understand the intenseness and frequency of his emails. He actually was arranging to go to her college campus to meet her for coffee when I caught him. That we have been through a year of therapy costing is thousands of dollars and finding out he was still trying to follow her on websites even though making no direct contact… for now…was alarming and disappointing. Now he is going to try addiction therapy and I am hoping for the best. We have been married 32 years.

    • Sidney

      I like the statement you wrote saying, ” the truth is it isn’t the OM/OW they crave at all, it’s the addiction itself.” One thing you can ask a CS is this: Do you love him/her or do you love the way they make you feel?

      And then when the affair is over and they are struggling with it being over, you can ask….Do you miss him/her or do you miss the way they made you feel?

      • nonsense

        This is silly. I could ask any happily married spouse – do you love your husband or do you love the way he makes you feel?… Do you miss your husband or do you miss the way he makes you feel? Think about it. Especially when you first began dating your husband… wasn’t it always about how he made YOU feel?

    • Swivet

      For all you BS out there, do you find yourself searching for things to make a connection that the CS is still contacting the other person. I am very paranoid, alert, and suspicious. I had a lapse last night because my wife is still in the hotel, coming home tomorrow, and she did not call me when she said she was going to. So I called her and got on to her about how I feel like I am a low priority in her life. She said she was thinking about me the whole time knowing she should call me. I apologized to her the next morning about jumping on her like that, I should have approached it differently but reading some posts I wonder if I should have not apologized. I am a very anti-conflict person and I am normally the one who tries to make up.
      I have sent her some posts from the CS and BS perspective and she knows we will be talking about them soon. I am hoping to get some answers about her feelings toward the OM and what she plans on doing in our relationship. She has talked to a friend of hers who has been a CS and a BS to get some advice and my wife said she recommended some Bible verses and some other books to read. I honestly feel like we are heading in the right directions, I just hope she can control the “addiction”.
      This site has provided me a major release and I want to thank you all for allowing me to release this and get some great advice. THANK YOU!!

    • Still struggling

      Swivet…. I am also a BS. I am just shy of 16mos since Dday. I still have the paranoia, suspicions, or any other term that can be used for high alert. I don’t know if it will ever go away. I guess when you look at it from the point of “an addiction” to the affair I don’t know if it will ever go away. Helps me to realize the problem was not this “great person” they met but something that was missing within them. That is what makes it so scary. The CS may be able to move past the OP and affair but what keeps it from happening again? In my case my H knew he was getting too close the his AP and began meeting new women wih whom he could relate.

      Don’t know if this will help or not but I look at it this way. I can only control me, can only change me. My H has been told that I will not endure this again. He is to have no contact with the OW and he is not to have anymore “secret friends”. I went further and told him that he has issues that only he can resolve and I can help him if he wishes but I cannot do it for him.

      I still occasionally check for clues that this may be ongoing or restarted. I don’t know if that will go away either. I ignored it the first time I will not do that again.

      Be strong and know that you are worth being faithful to. Decide what you will and will not tolerate. Then let your wife know. Discuss what will be triggers for you. Decide what you will do if it happens again, let her know, and move forward with working on you. The ultimatum does not need to be Divorce. It could be temporary separation, counseling, quitting her job, moving away, or any other consequence that you are willing to commit to right now and that you could live with if it comes to that.

      If she chooses to continue or do this again then know that you did all you could do and laid all your cards in the table. It will be her decision, by way of her actions, as to whether she continues or not.

      “People will not change unless that suffer the reasonable consequences of their actions”.

      Hopefully this helps.

    • Disappointed

      My CS has had no contact since early Nov but still says he is in love with OW and will always be grateful she awakened him. Why is he clinging to those feelings? He is making it all about her noble sacrifice for her kids. Truth is she is a stay at home mom who dodged a bullet. My CS would never be stepdad and could not have provided for her. Why won’t he admit it was an infatuation, an escape. It was not real. 1400 texts in one month do not create love that lasts a lifetime. Is he trying to feel more noble by saying it was true love instead seeing it for what it was… Running away…

    • Hopeful

      My CS refuses to discuss the EA, thinks it’s “destructive” when I want to discuss it, wants to know why I can’t move on. I have decided that I am going to raise the topic with thin

    • DJ

      This is related to what I posted on my blog yesterday. At 15 months out from D-day, I have come a long way. Through prayer, counseling, blogging, coaching, and much hard soul-searching, I am better. Not great, but better.

      For me, when I was in the fire of the initial pain and suffering, I could not work on myself and and I was so messed up that I couldn’t be tough in the face of his addiction. But now I am and he knows it, too. I’ll kick his sorry butt out if he screws up again. This has made the difference for him. He’s as sweet as honey now and so doting and caring. It seems he has gone through his withdrawals and now really wants to be here with me.

      I still teeter on the edge. Some little trigger will set me off and I’ll be climbing the walls with my crazy brained notions. And then my coach or a fellow blogger will bring me back to reality again. I cannot control him. I cannot put him on a leash. But my eyes have been opened and if he screws up I will figure it out. And there will be no more counseling, no more talking, no more anything. It will be over. And I will be fine.

      We all will be fine. We can let it out here and share our deepest fears and insecurities, but with each other’s support, we will be fine.

    • Hopeful

      With him this weekend. I am going to explain that I know it is painful and unpleasant for him, but I NEED the whole story in order to move on and to begin to trust him again. He has resisted showing me his cell phone records, and I suspect that’s because they would show that he spoke to her far more often than every 2 or 3 days like he told me. Another lie. I really can’t take any more lies. He either starts being transparent or he leaves. From my perspective, he should be groveling right now, not continuing to lie and hide things.

    • Healing Mark

      Swivet. I too found myself for awhile after D-day searching to make sure that my wife was not continuing to contact her EA partner. Actually, b/c it was too difficult for her to initially not contact him (a mutual “friend”!), we started w/ an agreement that she could contact him and his wife (gross!) only if she told me before or shortly afterward. I found my obsession with monitoring whether she was honoring our agreement to be quite destructive to me and my marriage.

      I came to a realization that I just needed to trust my gut and act as I had when we were dating and married prior to my gut telling me that something might be “up” with my wife and her relationship with this “friend”. Before I felt something was amiss, I had no reason to suspect that anything was “wrong” and hence had no reason to check up on my wife. After D-day, it took awhile to not worry about my wife continuing the “fog” actions that were so harmful to our marriage and family. But my efforts to prove that she was still over the “fog” did not help me at getting past her mistakes, getting back to the great marriage that we had before we began fighting like never before so she could justify her EA, did not allow me to get to a point where I could genuinely foregive her for her mistakes during the EA. I could not function productively until I could get to a point where I genuinely forgave my wife and stopped worrying about whether she still wanted to continue her EA. She showed unequivocably that she was over the EA, wanted our relationship back to it’s happiest if not happier state, and was truly sorry for the mess that she caused (although she is still thankful for the “eye-opening experience” she got from the EA; wish that something else had occurred that would have fulfilled her and gotten her to get with me to fix what relationship bumps we were experiencing at the time).

      All I can say is that you should trust your gut. When you were first dating your wife, did you worry about her interacting with other men in her life? Probably not, as she was likely very much “into” you. After marrying your wife, did you ever worry about your wife’s relationships with other men? Probably not, especially when things were going good with your relationship. But there comes a time when, whether in hindsight, or at the time, or both, you sense that there is a distance between you and your wife that has/had not been there before, at which time you need to initiate communication with you wife to attempt to access why you are feeling the way that you do. Of course, you are past this point, as was I when the EA was discovered.

      Sorry for rambling, but the point is that after the EA and mutual rededication to the marriage, you should reach a point where your “gut” tells you that all is back to the way it was when things were great between you and your wife. You are not beating her up over the affair b/c you have genuinly foregiven her and you 100% believe that she is not only sorry for what she had done, but won’t do it again (although we now know that there are no assurances, wedding vows notwithstanding, that another man might not trigger feelings that she acts upon once again). At that point, as with my wife and me, the hope is that you can live as husband and wife and be as happy as you ever were before the affair, if not happier. Believe it or not, my wife and I are happier now than we were before the EA, but only b/c we cured the issues that arose shortly before it that contributed to it. And also b/c I have made the effort to not allow the EA to be something that gets in the way of us being happy together. Look, I have made mistakes that have hurt my wife, and just b/c they did not involve infidelity, they were still hurtful and damaging to us. The choice is to move forward and be happy notwithstanding the past, and for me and my wife at least, doing so had been much more rewarding and successful than holding onto prior “hurts” just b/c they are worthy of holding onto.

      Good luck with efforts to find genuine foregiveness and hopefully subsequent happiness. And God Bless all who are having to deal with the pain and suffering resulting from affairs, which extends to those who have strayed as well as those who have been betrayed.


    • Elizabeth

      After months of struggle,heartache and tears,Like Linda my Partner also told me it could have been anybody,but i wasnt shocked i just turned it around and said” ah right lucky for you it wasnt a gay man then” He could not answere back.Yes looking back at the raw moments after DDay i wish i could have been more Grrrrr,but in doing that i would not be the person i am now,i had to discover myself first.And after i told him to do what ever he wanted as it was his life his choice,we as in kids and myself would be ok without him,and it did not matter where,why,when,who if he was going to cheat again.

    • changedforever

      What a great post…one I have read & re-read, visited all the links. & even completed the 40 Questions for Self Diagnosis survey on BEHALF of my H … will be interesting to see my H’s survey results of himself in comparison. What a textbook case my H’s affair followed…almost to the ‘T’ relative to the research done by Dave Carder. I look forward to discussing this with my H if I can just get his attention. I, too am just shy of 16 mths out of DDay #1…just can’t get my H’s ‘attention.’ I know he just wants ‘everything to be okay,’ but those days are long gone. As he left for work this morning I asked him to consider this: if he was sick & hurt & reached out to me for help I would do everything I could in making him my life’s priority…don’t I deserve the same? And this request is just relative to the affair hurt, not the damage done by the acquired STD…a whole other issue. Hope this makes the difference as you see, I want HIM to followup with me when he makes a promise to ‘talk’ whrn I need to…I shouldn’t have to keep reminding him…in fact I don’t do that anymore.

    • Swivet

      Mark – You were not rambling you were encouraging and I thank you for that. I try and tell myself not to be consumed by this but it is very difficult, as I’m sure you know. I have not reached the point where I can forgive her but I know in time I will be able to. I don’t know if it was smart for me to tell her this but I did, I was hoping it would open her eyes to the pain she has caused. When we talked on the phone last night I noticed she was depressed and she said she has up and down days like I do so I am hoping she is going through her withdrawal time from the OM. If we can get through the initial stages of this mess she created then we can work on our marriage.

      Some people have mentioned the book “Love Must Be Tough” on other blogs on this website and so I purchased this book for my kindle last night. All of you BS out there this book is amazing, I found myself reading about myself and what an I opener. Yes I am the man so it was a double whammy because the book states that more women feel this way then man. This book emphasizes what “D” has been posting in some of his posts. I am going to step back, give space, and remain firm in my decisions!! My wife is a very strong willed woman and I have just placated to keep the peace in the house. No longer will I do this because I know this is part of why our marriage got to where it was before the EA.

      Thank you all for sharing your life, this site has helped tremendously. I have and will continue to pray for us all.

    • donna

      My husband left me 3 weeks ago,after 30 years I have seen him this week and he has asked to come home. But wants to spend as much time with the OW as possiable before returning to me on Monday. I am finding this very difficult to deal with and i’m unsure if just to tell him its over and try and move forward

    • Notoverit

      Donna, how hard that must be for you! There are good and bad things to this, which I am sure you can see. He sounds like he is starting to come out of the fog. But just isn’t quite there yet. I might tell him that when he can go for a certain time period with no contact and then still wants to come home that I would consider it. Be strong for yourself and do what feels right for you. Personally, I wouldn’t want him back right now. He is vacillating between you and the OW. Make him make a clear choice, not a foggy one.

    • D

      Swivet, there’s a great school in Maine for troubled kids that works with parents to create a better home life. They have a list of Priorities and #1 is Truth over Harmony. It’s a fantastic philosophy. Placating gets no one anywhere. The truth will set you free.

      donna, he wants to what?!? Definitely truth over harmony on this issue. My wife and her OM thought they’d have closure if they met once more to say goodbye. Guess what, there is no “closure” there’s only No Contact. If he wants to come back to you, why wait?

    • JS

      I cannot agree with this more. I made my subtle threats that the EA had better end or I was outta there. It didn’t, so I kept throwing out new ultimatums and he kept lying. On the third D-Day, I flew into a rage, and told him to move his cheating ass out of my house and that I would fight for full custody of our kids so that tramp wouldn’t have access to them, and I just totally went off the deep end. After all the months of whimpering about why this wasn’t ending, why he didn’t love me, why he couldn’t come back, etc, I found my strength and said I’d rather be alone than with a spineless cheater. After the other D-Days, I called in sick from work for a day or two, and just bawled my eyes out, pleading with him to end it. The day after the 3rd D-Day, I dropped off my kids at school, went to work, and refused to take his calls or answer his emails other than to tell him he blew it and I was finished with his games. I texted the OW and my H and I told the OW if I ever see a text, email or phone call from her again, I was spilling everything to her BF and called him by name (she didn’t know I knew who he was), becuase if I lose, you lose. I was PISSED and it clearly showed. Then HE spent 2 days at home sobbing, looking through photo albums from when our girls were babies, asked his mom to come over to talk to him (he never opens up to anyone), and wrote me a long letter of apology which he read that night. It’s been a long road since that day 16 months ago, but the affair stopped that day.

      I recently asked him why he didn’t stop it the first time when he said he would, or the second time. He said in his mind, he had broken off the affair part of it and he saw no harm in keeping the communication going because she had become a close friend. I said, “even though you KNEW it was killing me, you saw no need to stop?” and he admitted he didn’t think he would lose anything until the day I snapped. I’m telling y’all out there with CSs still in fog, SNAP ON THESE PEOPLE! They will not stop until they are forced to. And flimsy ultimatums that aren’t back up will backfire on you. This is only my opinion, and in my situation, I am typically the milder of the two in our marriage, and my H is a very strong-willed, my way or the highway kind of guy. He never ever expected the tables to turn like they did. I was fully prepared to divorce him and to live alone, and I think it’s key that you know you are strong enough to do that if you really lay out that ultimatum.

    • Swivet

      I just finished writing a letter to my wife that I will give to her when I get home. It is the same kind of letter that is in the book “Love Must Be Tough”, it basically say I am not going to take any more of this and if it happens again I will leave without telling her. She will just find me gone. I also stated that I wanted this to work but if she does has contact with him I will make it without her, even though I want to make it with her.
      I will let you all know how it goes.

      Thank you again D for your thoughts and insight.

      • Doug

        Good luck with that Swivet. Let us know how it goes. That same type of message from Linda sure kicked me back to reality.

    • JS

      And one more thing – after he said he really didn’t think he would lose anything until the day I snapped, I responded by saying that if his friendship with the OW was so close and so special, what would matter if he lost me? He’d finally have the one he really wanted but was afraid to leave his marriage to pursue, and he said no way – he didn’t want her to replace me, he just wanted to eat his cake and have it, too. I firmly believe he would still be in contact with her if I had continued to behave in a wallflower manner I had up to the point I snapped. There was no real threat to his happiness before that happened, and he needed that to come to his senses.

    • Hopeful

      My H says he is no longer in contact with the OW, but how can I ever be sure?

    • Healing Mark


      Last try. I focused on how happy my wife and I were or were not as a married couple, and chose to assume that since we are in many ways happier than we were during even our happiest days being married, it didn’t matter whether she was in contact with the OM. Also, my wife has made great strides in proving herself worthy of my trust once again, so when she tells me that she is not in contact, I believe her. However, I must admit that I will ocassionally check phone records to make sure she is being truthful about not texting the OM. But I’ve only lately been doing this not as a way to be sure that she is not in contact with the OM, but rather to make sure I find out sooner rather than later if she is texting with or talking to someone excessively. I would sure have liked to have found out sooner how frequently she was in contact with the OM so that we might have been able to avoid the negative effects her EA had on her, me and our family.

      Done! Take care.

    • JS

      @Hopeful – You can’t ever know for sure. I searched emails for a long time afterwards looking for any clue to prove me right that they were still together, and I never found one. After a while, it became exhausting to search. I decided I had to go on faith and start to give him tiny bits of my trust again, while knowing that if the trust was broken again it would be over. I had (and still do) somewhat of a wall of protection up just in case this happens again. I don’t think I’ll ever fully trust him, but it is getting better a little at a time. I just got so tired of wondering ALL THE TIME if he was still contacting her. I couldn’t keep it up. I think, too, that my H’s demeanor changed a lot when the affair stopped. He stopped saying hurtful things to me, and he stopped acting like I was a burden to him. He started saying again that he loved me, just out of the blue, and he started doing things like planning a family vacation for us – something he’d never done before. I think for me, his behavior was an indication of whether I could believe his words. And speaking of words, after looking back at email communication from him to me when he was still in the EA but told me he wasn’t, it’s very evident now the difference in his words. While he was still in the EA but saying he wasn’t, he would say things like “I only love you” and “I’m sorry I hurt you, I never meant to” but nothing that was ever emphatic about having ended it or having no current contact. When I would ask him if he saw her at work, he would say no. No, he hadn’t seen her, but he did call her. He played a lot of word games and answered only what was necessary, but I see now he answered in a way where he felt he wasn’t exactly lying. After the EA ended, he changed his words to things like, “I have absolutely no communication whatsoever with her” and phrases that are very definitive about no contact. One final thing to add is that for the most part, he became willing to listen to my feelings instead of immediately getting defensive about how I felt. Just a lot of signs like that.

    • Jackie

      Thank you Linda and Doug,

      I am glad that we are finally looking as the affair as an addiction. I believe looking at the affair as an addiction rather than “true love” finally gets us to the root of the problem. But like any addict, the CS will deny, blame, and rationalize to the point that they have convinced themselves that what they are feeling is the real thing.

      I know it doesn’t make it any easier for a BS to handle, that is thinking of the affair as an addiction, but it allows us BS a different view as to how to approach the problem.

    • Hopeful

      I do not have access to my H’s cell phone (it’s password protected), and so I cannot check texts, calls, etc. So I am left to rely on his words. And he lied to me so so so many times during his EA. I have asked to see his cell phone records, but he declines, gets angry, says I am treating him like s childHe is definitely

    • ifeelsodumb

      After reading all these postings, I have to agree…Telling your spouse to GET OUT…really DOES shake them up! Tuesday I had a complete meltdown…I let the house while my H was at work, drove around until I found a semi secluded spot…and had a raging fit! Man, did that feel good! 😀
      My H then called me, to tell me he was on his way home, and I told him I was NOT at home, and I didn’t know when I was coming back!
      To say he was shocked is an understatement! I then told him I was making a decision that day, either we stay together or not…I WAS MAKING THE DECISION…then I hung up the phone! He called me back, I didn’t answer, he sent a text, I sent one back, telling him to leave me alone. I know this was hurting him…but I had been hurting for over a year now, so I figured he could take it for a few hours!
      I was just so tired of the pain, the lack of trusting on my part…I hated who I had become…and even though I’m confident that all contact with the OW ended on DDay a year ago, I just couldn’t get past my H’s not helping me heal….I was now more angry over THAT, then the EA..and I had a decision to make…did I still want to continue to work on this marriage, knowing that my H has severe emotional intimacy issues and that the triggers are not going to go away for quite a while…I HATE the triggers!!
      I sobbed for over a half an hour, and it was like a cleansing took place! I think I was finally grieving the loss of my trust, my marriage, the betrayal of my best friend…
      I then went home and told my H that I still wanted to stay in the marriage, but he has to do more…that I REFUSE to let him get away anymore with just doing about 10% of the work! Either he accepts that this is a journey we are both on…together…or we discuss separation!
      I’m happy to say that I finally saw raw emotion on his face! He IS sorry for what he did..I just could never tell! He’d tell me he was sorry, but it was so emotionless…and I couldn’t understand that!
      So yes, I do believe that tough love works! And he now knows..beyond a doubt, if this EVER happens again…he is out of my life…forever! I AM stronger, I CAN make it without him!

    • JS

      @Hopeful- do you have a family phone plan where you two have accounts with the same provider and get one bill for the service you have? That’s how could see the text traffic. I couldn’t see the contents but I could see the times and volume of texts bw them and that’s how I knew how long it had lasted and that he was texting her after he told me he wasn’t in contact any more. I logged on to AT&T’s website, set up my profile, and voila – I saw it all. If you have a joint cell plan, maybe you could try to do the same thing. ? I wish I had thought of it months before I did.

    • Anita

      You have every right to look at the household expenses when your money goes towards those bills. There should
      be no reason for him not to let you see whats on the bill,
      unless of course there is something he doesn’t want you
      to see. If this is own privite cell, why does he have one
      that’s privite, why isn’t included with your cell?
      Does he make this much fuss over you not seeing the other
      household bills?

    • Anita

      Let him get angry, stand up to him, unless he’s a voilent
      person, then if that’s the case you shouldn’t even be around
      him. Your married, there should be no reason for him
      not to let you see a bill, its a bill. Does he get angry if you
      want to see the power bill, and tell you that he feels like
      he’s being treated like a child? Of course he going to blow
      a smoke screen, he doesn’t want you to see the truth,
      because he already knows he busted.
      But you also need to make a choice, is this something that
      you can live with?

    • Doug S.

      My wife had an affair that lasted about only a month before I found some incriminating emails, I confronted her,at first said nothing happened,then succumbed to guilt and spilled the beans. She had become detached emotionally for a while from me and this person gave her what I wasn’t at the time. I know now that I had been neglectful in some parts of our 8 yr marriage and accepted my shortcomings to her. She tells me that she loves me, but not in love as much with me. We have started counseling and I am hopeful as she is as well. I do not know if I am blowing it out of proportion about not being in love with me as before, but I do not know how to take that. She says she has ended it and I let her know there will be no next time and that this is it,we either work on us or she can have him (he is married too btw). I guess I am still numb to the situation still (found out and confronted her 2days after Christmas 2011). Any advice or comments would be appreciated. I am trying to help myself by looking at we sites for help and couldn’t stop reading these. Thanks in advance for any advice. Doug S.

    • Anita

      Doug S,
      We all have shortcomings, however that doesn’t give a
      a spouse the license to have an affair. Yes forgive her,
      but she fell into temptation, and inched her way into
      an affair. If she was so unhappy with the marriage she
      should have gone to counseling, not an affair.
      I wish you the best in rebuilding your marriage.

    • Hopeful

      I see all of the household bills because I pay them. However, my H has his own business, and his cell phone is his “business” phone. I do not see any of the bills of his business, including his cell phone bill, as they are all mailed to his office. Since learning about the EA, I have asked multiple times to see his cell phone records. He has told me that my continued dwelling on the past is destructive; he will not be treated like a child; he will not be micro-managed by me; I am controlling, etc., etc., etc. I told him that he has my blessing to move out and to go and get his needs met, including his needs for privacy and secrecy. He responded by saying, “I know YOUR needs are not being met, either.” I told him that he was right — that I have a need for complete and total honesty, and that he has proven that he is unable to meet that need.

      I didn’t have the time or energy this weekend to (once again) explain that I need to see his cell phone records. I will get to it this week and will keep you posted.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Doug s. Its still to young for you understand why your W did what she done,But you should understand she did it because she wanted to,it has nothing to do with you,we have choices and free will and many CS Blame us for there mistakes because we have the moral highground so to speak,and our CS need to off load.My CS told me the same that he was not in love with me ect ect ect the blue print is the same for all off us.It has taken me this long to come to the understanding….so what,i can drive forward and change ever so slightly,but i WILL NOT change the person i am,it is they who need to change,it is they who have the problem not us.

    • Anita

      I understand your frustration, and the amount of energy that
      is used when going through this. Take good care of yourself
      and do things that give you enjoyment, this is a hard time
      for you right now, so pamper yourself, you deserve it.

    • Hopeful

      Thanks for your comments. You are so right about the amount of energy that is used going through this. I am so tired. Tired of reading, tired of thinking about it, tired of trying to figure out what to do or where to go next. I just want to live my life free of this nonsense. The more I think about it, the more I think that my H and I are done. While I may be able to get past his EA, I do not think I will ever be able to get past some of the things he has said to me over the past year, nor will I ever be able to trust him again. This is no fun. I have been trying to hang in here for my children, and I have done so for a really long time. I sure wish I had a crystal ball to see how this is all going to turn out.

    • E

      I read this the other day and thought that the post was so relevant to where things are with me and my H right now but I attempted to dismiss the thought because of that tendency that most of us BSs have to live in denial. I do believe that contact has ended but am discovering that the addiction is still there. I really thought the fog had lifted but I guess it can come back. I started thinking things were different about a month ago. Life had begun to be somewhat normal again, maybe things got boring for him who knows. That on again, off again relationship described his affair very accurately. Now after months of no contact, the draw of that drug is back for my H. He pretty much admitted so himself. So if he is abiding by no contact, but it’s obvious to me he is tempted – how do I take a stance against that? I tried today and he asked me if I was giving up … I said no, but that I was getting tired.

    • Dol

      E, I’m in very much the same place. It’s very hard for us BSs to deal with knowing our other halves have to fight the thing still. The short answer is, you can’t take a stance against those feelings appearing. All you both can do is to agree to continue “no contact” – that will deprive it of oxygen and, eventually, over time, hopefully the cycle of him thinking about it will fade.

      In your case, do their paths cross, or are they able to avoid each other completely?

      I know how unfair it is, but it has at least helped me to understand that it’s perfectly normal for the feelings to carry on. I’ve asked my partner not to tell me unless it’s bad enough that she’s really considering doing something stupid like contacting him or going to see him in his office – at that point, we’d be back to square one, and I’d probably walk.

      At the moment, my partner is finding the thoughts having much less of a grip than they were doing. It’s far too early for me to lower my defences, and we don’t know whether it’s cyclical, whether another random corridor encounter will re-trigger it all… early days. But if your H is truly committed to “no contact”, that’s a solid basis for hope. I know how much it hurts to contemplate their thoughts wandering, but it will get easier in time. It makes me wonder whether I’m going to be able to do anything but walk away – but I still love her, and I’m still here, and I will fight for us.

      I hope you manage to have a good day soon, with hope, and where you remember why you’re together in the first place.

    • E

      Thank you Dol, I definitely needed the encouragement this morning. It does sound like we are in similar places. Their paths do not regularly cross and I am thankful for that. But I don’t believe she has given up in fact I think she puts herself in places at times when there is a possibility of a chance encounter. All that I really can do is hope that if that happens that he will be honest with me. I do believe he is committed to me, but I have been here long enough to know how strong that addiction can be. Not giving up but just tired of fighting. Thank you again and I hope for the best for you.

    • E

      I guess setbacks are normal. When I think about how terrible things were six months ago and think about how much progress we have made it helps me cope with those setbacks.

    • sharkgirl

      Healing Mark – OMG thank you, it’s all clicked. At this point in time things are good with my husband but I just see this lack of commitment and then I question him and her, etc… found out she’d text see if he was ok and let him know she’s out with her new bloke. He sees this as positive, she’s moved on, all I see is he replied no matter what the content he replied. The problem is I want this and I find myself talking myself out of it or thinking of ending it because of what I think he thinks and feels. It was all my gut before and I know now there is nothing is going on but I think if I’m honest, and I guess part of me doesn’t want to be, he’s not wanting this 100% or giving it 100% question is why when he say’s it what he wants. He never left me for her I had him move cause I couldn’t live with the ‘fog’ the constant contact he had with her that he just couldn’t stop so I told him to go decide what was more important me or his ‘friendship’ with her. He did his thinking, we started dating only weekend after he took me away he spent the weekend with her even seeing the same film, then he finally agreed to end it and he did I saw the e-mails and that hurt so bad but it was this website the people on it and the understanding of this fog helped me get through them or they alone would’ve ended this. Then after days of it over there was that one e-mail ‘Hi how you, how was your weekend’ and I knew he couldn’t stop so that was when i filed for divorce and I was ready to go through with it. He’s stubborn and always said if I did that, that would be it and his Dad begged me not to because he knew it would be to but I reached this realisation that he just couldn’t help himself. He never signed the divorce papers and I don’t know what or why but he started to come out of it on his own and a couple of months down the line when we decided to try again I knew it would be over and he meant it. Now these texts I know nothing actually in them, but its what could be behind them and more so what they say to me about his thoughts about me. What am I trying to say. Yes maybe threats do work if you’re prepared to carry them out or its that only then can the hard cold reality hit, he said he only realised how much he’d hurt me despite seeing me a complete emotional wreck and losing it when he saw this look of hate in my eyes when he picked the kids up one time. Thank you to everyone who comes on here it’s been my life line and I’m sure will for some time to come. What I want, do I let things carry on I feel if I stop the texts she’s only e-mail him at work till he gets a new job to some degree the contact will never fully stop even if it means nothing for him. Does it mean anything should I be worried and am I still just at a stage of waiting for him now he’s come out the fog, probably just actually getting over withdrawal do I need to wait for him to deal with what he’s done, the why’s, etc… Is it worth hanging in there? I feel he needs to come home so we can move on but I can’t have that not if there is a chance this is what he wants I can’t have him leave the kids again have them go through that. There are so many positives I know that but why we suffer so much, we stay we want to help them but there are times people have to figure things out for themselves.

    • Nerimastinga

      I have learned of my husbands EA two months ago, well I think it is EA, but it might be full-blown affair. He has been involved with her for a year, been laying to me all this time. I had a clue a year ago and told him to stop it, and he said he did, but end of this August I found out that he has been seeing her for the past all year. All the time he said he was going out with friends, he was with her. I have a suspicion it is a full affair , because he has lied to OW that we are separated, later that he went back to me and still is with me just for the sake of kids, that he has told me on our “separation” that he is seeing someone. Non of this is true, we have never separated, and he kept saying I am the love of his life. So I wonder, if it is EA than why he had to make up all these lies to her? OW thinks I am just obsessed to make him ” love me Again”. He has told her that he is no longer in love with me, it’s just for the kids:(
      Me and the kids were on holiday this summer, and when we got back, I found enormous amounts of his underwear in a wash, was suspicious straight away, and then went through his phone and discovered all of these lies. Confronted him, he said its “just friendship”, than why all these made up stories? He couldn’t answer that, said that OW is silly and must have made it up herself, but it was his texts that said the lies, not hers. I have contacted OW, but she denied it, and later I have discovered that she was covering up for him too, in his emails she was telling him to set up passwords everywhere, how to make his phone untraceable and so on. I got all of this from their emails and text that I managed to restore.
      A year ago he lied that communication stopped and I believed, never checked up on him, and it went on for this long while I was giving birth to our third child and rising my baby. I have checked his cell phone records, and that texted and phoned everyday at large amounts. Than two months ago he again promised to stop affair, but was in contact again next day, even spend our daughters birthday with her, while we were at home blowing candles, obviously saying he is at friends place again! After that he promised again to stop, I demanded written proof of their brake up in text. He said, there is no point because he has not spoken to her for a while, lied again, they were contacting every day, and he was delaying to proof me of the split up, until last week I said I will divorce him if he doesn’t, because this is killing me, so that evening he showed me a text he send to her about stoping contact and her reply that she understands, so it’s over. But he didn’t admit to her that he has been laying to her about his marriage , just that his wife is unhappy with their friendship. So it was over. I thought!!! Two days later I check his other cell phone, and find to calls made to her and two text, but can’t see context!!! It has been I think four times now that he lied about no contact, even after I made it clear I will not tolerate this and will divorce him, that I am not afraid. Didn’t bother him! So today I discover that he has changed his email accounts passwords, locked his phone and ect. How can I ever trust him, he is a compulsive lier, and if I say I don’t trust him and need to see his records, he says I am invading his privacy and control him! Don’t know what to do, I need to let him go, he is killing my love towards him! And through out these two months of hell, he didn’t even make a way to make love to me or be any closer, even after I told him that.
      Confused, help!!!
      Thank you, sorry for the long post, my life is crumbling in front of me!

    • Nerimastinga

      Sorry, I also told him that if he feels that he can’t stay with me no longer, he should just tell me and free me from this hell and leave, that I will be ok, and that we will manage the kids together, shared custody. If I can’t make him happy it’s ok, than we will move on and find someone to be happy with. But he refuses to leave , but also would not show any warmth towards me. We have been together 8 years , have three little kids and I always thought we are happy together, had some ups and downs, but who doesn’t?
      He had a problem with his lying, can’t help himself, always lies, even about little things, and I accepted it before, but I think he took me for a ride and abused my trust till the last drop.
      Thank you all for posting, it’s very comforting to know that I am not alone and not going crazy on my own 🙂

      • Surviving

        Is the OW married?

        I guess at some point you need to take control of your life and decide if you want to be with him or not. It really shouldn’t be his decision to stay or leave. What you are experiencing is living with someone who is emotionally unavailable and perhaps physically unavailable. This is not a marriage, roommates but not a marriage.

    • Nerimastinga

      OW is not married, I don’t know if she ever was. She is also much older than me and quite older than him, she has very good job too and travels a lot. I guess he found her much more interesting than me in many ways. I know we haven’t been spending much time together, but I have three little kids to look after on top of housekeeping, graduating from university, it’s my last year, but I shouldn’t be punished for being busy and motivated to get Our life better. What annoys me the most, that OW is not married, but she is capable of marriage advice???
      He has been silent person most of our marriage, always saying he needs space and so on, but now he is blaming me for not communicating, while I constantly ask about work and other things he is into, and all I get ” am fine, work is fine”. He keeps on going that there are many ways that woman can make a man talk, but wouldn’t identify one. I guess OW is magician and foun this secret way to make him talk.
      And the thing, if he sticks with her, they have no future anyways, all based on lies and iliussion. We have bee through so much in our lifetime, that no other woman can compare to what I have done for him, don’t want to go to details, and he knows it, but she is like a drug to him, he has been brainwashed.

      • Surviving

        If she is living the perfect life why is she after him?
        It is like an addiction a drug
        it’s a shame he can’t see all you are doing but he’s in a deep fog.

        Some if these other women are vultures swooping down for their prey they are very good too.
        In my case the OW was going thru a divorce her doing of course and had so much free time she would drive over an hour sometimes more to meet up at my H work for lunch….
        really and call, text at two in the morning because she couldn’t sleep and wanted someone to talk to.
        Of course my H was a hundred percent at fault.
        Eventually some come to reality that it wouldn’t have worked, and their life with kids is what they want…but it may be too late

    • Nerimastinga

      I am just so confused, he says all the right things when we talk, apart from when his lies catch up with him and make no spence anymore. He says he loves me, I am the best thing, our marriage is good and so on and on, but his actions don’t add up…
      Same case in my H affair, after checking his cell records, I saw that they spoke and texted through out nights ( he works night shifts), so than I said to him, what a hell kind of friend stays up all night just to talk to a friend, does she not have to go to work in the morning? He didn’t say anything… Keeps saying they are “just friends” and I should stop accusing him of cheating , even after I have all the hard evidence. He looks me in a eye and lies without blinking, because I didn’t uncover all the evidence to him, so while trying to escape the situation he made up even more lies.
      I am just so hurt and confused!

    • hippee

      I am about 17 days from confronting my wife. she told me she loves me but she’s not sure if she’s in love with me, she thinks she might be in love with him. She says she needs time to figure out the right thing to do. She has ended contact (2 days ago) because she said she feels like he says one thing and does another, but doesn’t know if the no contact will remain in place. God this is killing me

    • Deni

      I have read all the material on this website and researched articles, books, individual counsellors, elders in my community, friend and family experiences. I am a cheater and am betrayed. My story is not unique or pretty, it’s just real.
      Initially my affair was a one night stand with a coworker, we both said it was a mistake and carried on with our lives, our marriages, our work…another business trip and another bad choice (this was 4 months later). I became depressed and felt a lot of guilt, going between wanting to tell my husband and denial-it meant nothing, it’ll pass, I can forget it happened, my H doesn’t need to know…it’s over. For several months I concentrated on my work and my H. We began planning and doing house renovations, dated again, but something was off…. I couldn’t place it, was I doing something wrong, I’m extra loving, extra attentive, extra affectionate, what is going on? 3 months later…my AP, initiates casual contact, talking on coffee breaks, seeing how our work projects are going, questions about how’s the family, how are you, then how about supper-we deserve it, we work too hard, his treat. I conscientiously decided nothing was going to happen, just a supper. I truly believed that it was just a supper between friends and colleagues. One supper turned into another supper, going out on shopping trips, taking long walks, having long talks about work and family…we reconnected. Bad choice, big mistake. We didn’t continue our PA we dove into an EA which over a couple of weeks returned to a PA. I’ve said that months earlier, something was off with my marriage, this PA was my excuse to forget the home, H, kids and feel good again. I ended things with my AP shortly after. My values, beliefs and morals were totally compromised and I deeply loved my husband. I told my AP that my marriage of 20 yrs was extremely valuable to me, my H didn’t deserve this and I could not do this any longer. I asked for my AP to not contact, speak, text, phone or email. He was very understanding, he even offered advise on how to treat my husband well, he verbally agreed that he would do all these things for me even though he loved me very deeply and it would be very hard. I missed my AP very much, he became my companion, friend and lover. He said and did all the right things at the right times. I yearned for this treatment everyday. But I stayed resolute! Absolutely no contact and total focus on my marriage but… something was still off in my marriage. Onto my d-day, my H and I went on a Caribbean cruise with our 3 teenagers. Our second day in, my H was texting from the middle of our ocean paradise. I checked his phone when he left the room. He just sent a message to his EA. He said he missed her, can’t wait for this vacation to end although the sights were beautiful, he can’t wait to see her, for her to meet his mother 2 months down the road, that he can’t wait to go to his first football game of the season with her and I was behaving like a complete bitch but thankfully our kids were good buffers (those are a compilation of 2 days of text messages, most of it in the last message). A lot said in a short period of time and also a good indicator of his perspective on me, on his EA and on our marital state.
      …16 months later, he says “for things to work out, I have to admit I was wrong and I have to change”. That statement was said in a vulnerable state, in a small voice with more truth than he realizes.
      The affair fog is all consuming, extremely selfish and self serving. I’ve been the betrayer and the betrayed. I’ll be okay, my H will be okay. Life goes on…

    • Rachel

      Any idea why people feel the need to tell me that they have seen my ex- husband out to dinner with his beautiful perfect new girlfriend?
      First my hairdresser, then the dental hygienist and now my old boss.
      I DON’T CARE!!!!!
      This just brings me down and I feel the rejection all over again.

    • Gizfield

      Thank God I live in a fairly large city. Nobody sees my husband, much less some slimy girlfriend. My new favorite word, “slimy”.lol

      These people really aren’t worth your time, Rachel.

    • jbug

      This is a great relief to see so many people going through the same stages I am. My husbands OW and he went to high school together. They are both older than me. She is married with 5 children all grown. I spent a lot of time with my middle child in sports and I think it took away from our marriage other than that we were the ultimate happily married couple. He used to tell me everyday for 16 years he loved me more than anything in the world. That stopped on the day I found out about this EA Facebook affair. The first six months were awful I came across chat messages of him telling her he had never been so emotionally attached to anyone. They both think they are soul mates. He tells me he loves me but is in love with her. They keep breaking it off and getting back in touch over and over again. I can’t live like this anymore. When he is not talking to her he’s disinterested in our life. She puts out posts on Facebook how she can’t be with her eternal flame and pulls him right back in. She doesn’t want to leave her husband because she is comfortable and they have been married thirty years. This is her third affair. Supposedly they have not slept together. I will never really know. My husband keeps telling me this will eventually stop he has nothing to give her financially he can’t take care of her. He no longer wants to have sex with me. At least for awhile he was trying. When I tell him I love him he puts his eyes down and says he loves me too but it looks like it hurts. I am so mad. Scared and tired….that’s me. He doesn’t want to leave his marriage but he doesn’t want to commit completely either. I have begged him to go be with her and he says she doesn’t want to break up the family. HA! My poor children that’s all she’s done this past 17 months. I have tried to make things better but I am losing all hope. They don’t text on phone they chat online where I can’t see it but I can tell because of the internet usage on the phone bill. He doesn’t see how deceiving they both are. She uses religion and spirituality to justify it and he has her on a pedestal although they argue a lot when left alone they are jealous of one another. I wish he cared about me that way but I honesty think sometime if I disappeared he would no longer care. I know what I need to do but I’m having a very hard time doing it. I still love my memory of the wonderful caring respectful family man he was. He is torn into two different people and the less contact he has with her the more distant he is with me, thank you for letting me rant. On Facebook he crops me out of his life because it hurts her. Pictures references to me unless I comment it’s like he has taken a public vacation from marriage. Is this affair fog?

    • Julie

      My husband reconnected with his female best friend at our wedding 2.5 months ago. After that he told me how nice it was to catch up with her and enjoyed spending time with her kids (my are grown). He also volunteered her marriage was in trouble and how he’d like to take her and the boys out to the movies sometime. Two weeks later he arranged this date. And although he I asked to go he said he, it was just going to the movies. A red flag went up. When he came home I asked him to read an article on emotional infidelity so he could have some background knowledge and understand how dangerous they can be. He was defensive. Later said he read an article. They had another outing just the two of them a couple weeks later when they went Christmas shopping for 10.5 hours. I was incensed and hurt. All along I get the just friends helping each other through problems. One day my intuition was keen and I felt something in my gut. I caught him leaving work early and he drove to her work. Left for three hours and then came back and sat in her car for 45 min. Since it was way later than he would normally be home I texted him and asked why he was working late. No answer. When it got later and I had to leave for a hair appt I asked again. I got a big elaborate lie. I confronted him when I got home and again, we were talking and during the three hours they went and walked around a shopping center. I don’t believe him. He hasn’t told me he loves me, hasn’t touched me or talked sensitively for over a month. A few days after I confronted him he broke down and said he has a hole in his hard and he doesn’t know what is wrong or how to fix it. That I can’t help he has to do this on his own. I told him he needed to leave to figure it out and if he loves me and wants to work on a committed marriage to let me know. Now I can’t get over obsessing that I just drove him directly further in to the affair and there is no way he’ll quit and I can’t certainly compete with that. I don’t feel there is anything else I can do to save my marriage. Help?

    • Sam

      “Carder explains that one partner may call it off, and after some time will call to see how the other is doing and immediately the affair starts up again. This on again – off again pattern makes the affair almost impossible to end on its own.

      The separation/togetherness cycle actually intensifies the feelings and guarantees that the affair will not end. The longer the process goes on, the more powerful the attachment becomes. They begin to need each other to medicate” the fear, emptiness and new irrational “reality” they now both live in.”

      This sounds exactly like my dad. The OW chased him (she sounds really insecure to me), does this mean that their affair will never end? Personally, my dad and the OW are so completely different as people, that I feel it’s going to end horrendously and TBH the relationship was doomed from the very start!

    • PatheticNaggers0808

      Those who believe that an affair is an an addiction, that there could not be real feelings and love, I am here to tell you that you are in denial and weak. No one (man or woman) could possibly open themselves up emotionally or physically to another human being if they are in fact still TRULY loves their spouse. NO ONE. When a man or woman took this path, they are NO longer TRULY in loves or loves the spouse. Yes, they might stay out of obligation, guilt, fear, financial, social status, familiarity, comfort etc… they are NO LONGER TRULY love you, the SPOUSE. Any woman/man who decides to manipulate, guilt, threat someone into staying and “work on the marriage” (Bullsh1t really) only have themselves to lie to and deserve all the pains and torments the situation brings. To the betrayed spouses, first YOU have totally failed your marriage in some major ways hence, causes your spouse to look for whats missing at home in someone else. Your FAULT. Then, when the affair is discovered/disclosed, YOU then decides/begged/forced/wanted to continue the marriage hence, IMPLICITLY continue to kept your “wanted out spouse” captive and chain in this so lame marriage just because you feel you have “invested” in it or maybe that you are “weak” and “dependent” on this marriage for YOUR OWN selfish reasons (financial, stability, comforts etc..). NO, you do not do it and wanting to hold on to your marriage for love, because in truth, LOVE DOES NOT hold another HOSTAGE and prevent the other person the exercise his/her FREE WILL. By him/her gone out side of the marriage, this actions speak louder then words, IT IS YOU who FAILED to listen and accept this truth. IT IS NO LOVE for you to force someone’s hand. TRUE loves have to come naturally and by choose NOT via manipulation. Loves happens in an affair, just because it is an affair between two persons does NOT means it isn’t love. Just as you and your spouse started out in your relationships many moons ago, that loves is no different than loves in an affair. So, to all the betrayed spouse, stop living a lie yourself. the strayed spouse WANTED OUT. He/She will forever be only a shell of a human being by STAYING back in marriage. All the counselings, and time in the world WILL NOT change this very fact. He/she ONLY feels sorry for you if he stayed and selling himself/herself short. By hanging onto this dead fake marriage, you are sinned for keeping another being hostage and robbing him/her of living. MOVE ON. You don’t have true loves with this person. It might all boiled down to a “business like partnership”. And, stop using your kids as an excuse to stay. They do not appreciate you manipulating the situation and using them as an anchor to “holding” your spouse back in the marriage. Yes, the truth hurt, but it is LIFE! Wake up and smell the p**p you yourself have help created. Finger pointing is only further deceiving yourself from seeing the truth. Haven’t you heard, takes two to tangle.

    • PatheticNaggers0808

      The concept of “marriage” is man made so are the scriptures in the bible. It is not God’s law. marriage is but only a piece of useless paper, if both people’s hearts are not TRULY in it. We are all human, with emotions, and emotions change overtime. Changes is always good regardless what the outset looks like. It is how we evolves and grow. Relationships and loves changes over time and sometime comes to an end. No one owe anyone anything and no one should ever have to feel obligated to stay in a relationship in which they feel dead enough inside to go seek life “aliveness” elsewhere. For the betrayed, accept this truths and set the spouse free. Why forcing someone to stay when the heart/soul has checked out. Its not about YOU, its about the journey. We each are given a short time here on earth, each soul needs to find its way and experience and learn all that it can on this earth plain. When loves and relationships ends, let it go with loves and peace, anything less than that it is self-serving and is a sin in itself. Yes, God puts people together, He too changes the course of our lives with events. Things happen in our journey for a reason, it is His way of teaching us, helping to grow. Spouses does NOT always meant to last a life time. Some people came into our life for a reason, a season, and some might last for a lifetime. Nothing last forever, the earlier you learn to accept and “let go” the better you’ll be. Perhaps God now wanted your spouse for someone else – that new person is meant to be with your spouse in the next stage of life’s journey. It is a fact of life.

    • Gertrude

      My husband had an emotional affair, for 5 months, which he ended about 3 months ago. He called her and told her that they could no longer be “friends”. since then he has gone out of this way to avoid her, no texting , no calls , no messages. He promised me that if she contacted him he would tell me. he said I could check his phone anytime he had nothing to hide.
      I had to go away for just over a week and when I returned I just had this nagging feeling that they had been in contact, so I checked his phone, and sure enough they had almost daily while I was away. I approached him, told him I had seen the calls and asked why>? he exploded and told me that I don’t trust him and he cannot live like this anymore. he said that it was a business related issue and nothing else. I explained to him that he had broken his promise to me about no contact or telling me if they had contact. he packed his bags and left. he has turned the whole issue into a mistrust issue blaming me. maybe I should not have checked his phone? I did ask when I returned if she had been in contact, he shrugged it off saying “:are you starting with that again:. I don’t care if it was business related, I think that he should have told me ?

      • Doug

        Gertrude, You did what you had to do and what you thought was right. Most BS would probably do the same thing. It’s normal and it’s fine that you did it. He’s just using this little fit to turn things around so as to justify his actions.

    • Loulou

      I’m here to say, I’ve recently ended a five year affair with someone who I absolutely worshipped. I’ve never loved anyone they way I live him in my life.
      Yes the withdrawal has been like an addiction, I’m still struggling with missing him and our conversations/ affection and daily contact.
      Not all affairs are grounded in fantasy. I think ours was for him, but it wasn’t for me. It ended ( by me because he wouldn’t give me closure) when his wife found out and I confessed my part too.
      We are both still in our marriages with no contact at all with each other.

      It hurts like hell but I’m moving forward without any regrets. I loved him and will always love him.

      • Blue

        Loulou- What kind of closure did you want from the married man you worshipped? It’s just that the woman who had an affair with my husband said she wanted closure also- I’d like to understand what OP wants. And what were the things you worshipped him for? after all, worshipping someone who betrays their spouse who they vowed to protect seems like it might have a fantasy element. Did you want to win him?

    • CoisaNossa

      I have a lovely wife, two gorgeous children, a great job and home with no money worries, and we are all blessed with good health and pleasant lifestyle. Last year, I fell into an affair with a woman 18 years younger than me. She lived in another country a short flight away, so we only met up 5-6 times, though messaged often. I loved her more than I have ever loved anyone, more than I even thought possible. She was, and always will be, the absolute love of my life. My wife is beautiful, but my lover is stunningly beautiful, even based on opinions of others not in the affair fog. I so wanted to have a life with her and see where it would go. But it meant abandoning, my home, my family, my country, my financial security . . . everything. She was pressuring to leave my family after we’d only met a couple of times, by the time I said that I would, she didn’t want me any more, and told me she would block me if I tried to contact her again. In a way, I was relied that I didn’t have to go through with it and could try to settle back into my married life again somehow. Then a few days later, she found out she was pregnant by me, and then she reached out to me again. I was torn. I so wanted to go live that life with her, raise a family with her, and take on the world with her. But the guilt of what it would do to my children, and the fear that I might just be making a big mistake, that it wouldn’t work and that I would be left with nothing were enough to make me stay. It was absolutely heartbreaking and I managed the conversations with her really badly. She didn’t keep the baby, and cut off all contact with me. This was 5 months ago. We still work in the same company, and though we keep our contact to a minimum, we still sometimes are on team calls together, and often with webcam since lockdown. I find this very distressing as I am still so in love with her. So though I have gone through periods of a few days where I feel fine, I often am besides myself with grief, crying, missing her and what could have been, even to the point of feeling suicidal. I would do anything to roll back the clock, and just go to be with her and start that new family. It would have been selfish beyond belief. My children and wife would have suffered. But I am in such torment over it I am finding it hard to function. My ex-lover dominates my thoughts from the moment I stir in the morning until I blissfully drift into sleep at night for a few hours respite. I wish I could stop thinking about her and get on with my lift, but I cannot. Am I an affair addict? Maybe, I don’t know. I try to hide my grief from my wife as she has suffered enough, but she can see my lowered mood and depression. I just don’t know what to do any more. I just want to get my ex-lover out of my head, though at the same time some part of me does not want to let the love of my life go.

    • Kaycee

      How do you get over their “choice”, doing what they did, addiction or not? been dealing with the last discovery from 2016 that I just found out in 2019…i’ve been dealing with his “addiction” (but there were only 4 women over our timespan together)…we have been married 25 years..I knew he had issues before consenting to be together with him 25 years ago and he promised he changed (whatever, I was stupid and knew better than to believe him but I was pregnant and he wanted to be part of our unborn child’s life)…he has been clean from women for 5 years and clean from porn for almost 3…but still…I feel broken because I want to be with him but I am struggling to get over his “choices” that he made…any advice? help? thoughts? the rationalization that I can take hold of (since accepting the “it was how it made him feel” excuse? I’ve read so much, been to therapy, etc…I still cannot get past this one particular person he willfully entered into a said “relationship” with and continued wanting to find her and go back to her after even being away from her for years at a time but he says today that it disgusts him thinking about her and he doesn’t know why….he has seriously blocked out/disassociated all his memories…yep, seriously.

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