Continuing with our Monday post-reruns…

Here is one from Nov 18, 2010 where Linda shares her concern about what would happen if I ran into my affair partner (Tanya) in the future.  Would the affair start up again?

She goes on to share her belief that the only way for that not to be an issue is by eliminating the fantasy that is associated with the affair partner and the affair relationship. Please read on.

fantasy of the affairErasing the Fantasy After the Affair

After the recent revelations of several couples we know who are suffering from infidelity, I began to think about if our marriage will ever be safe. Will I ever feel secure that Tanya will never enter our lives again?

Willard Harley’s book, “Surviving an Affair” paints a grim picture when he discusses contact once the affair is over. He suggests definitely leaving your job if that is where you met your affair partner, and even so much as moving to a different city or state. For many of us that is just not possible.

Am I destined to worry that if Doug runs into Tanya someday our marriage is doomed? Is that the way we want to live the rest of our marriage?

What if I told Doug before we got married that if I ran into my high school boyfriend, I couldn’t guarantee that I will not fall back in love with him? I am sure that Doug would have told me to hit the road. Why should this situation be any different?

I believe that eliminating the threat of re-igniting the affair involves eliminating the fantasy that is associated with the affair partner and the relationship.

See also  Discussion: Your Perceptions of the OP

For many years after the break up with my high school sweetheart, I used to wonder if he still had feelings for me. Did he still think about me and love me? Those thoughts alone make the situation a lot more romantic than it needed to be.

About six months ago Doug wrote a comment concerning Tanya. He said he didn’t have any desire to contact her, but he was curious about how she has moved on after the affair. Those words alone demonstrated that he may have been keeping the fantasy of the affair alive. I may be reading into this a little, but this makes me think that Doug wondered if she still had feelings for him. When you are trying to save your marriage after the affair, those types of thoughts and feelings are dangerous.

A person who was involved in an affair needs to say to himself that the affair partner has moved on and realize he is happy and in love with the person he CHOSE to be with – his spouse.

Those revelations allowed me to get over the fantasy I had when I thought about my high school sweetheart. I knew that I was in love and happy with Doug and my ex-boyfriend felt the same way about his wife. There was nothing left between us and no spark to ignite.

I also began to see my old flame how he really was and not as I wanted – or fantasized – him to be. I came to the conclusion that he really wasn’t someone I would have been happy with. He was a little too redneck for my taste, and still stuck in the old high school mentality.

See also  Discussion: Rebuilding Trust and Honesty

I hope that Doug has done the same thing. I hope he has put all the feelings associated with being in an emotional affair aside (the fantasy), and thought about what it would be like after the infatuation phase wore off and they were living a very normal and mundane life.

I hope that we have made our marriage secure enough after the affair that the temptation will never surface. I really don’t want to live the rest of my life having that worry hanging over my head. I know that I have tried to do everything to make our marriage the best it can be and I hope that Doug has done everything he can to erase the illusions, make realistic comparisons, and learn what it feels like to be in real love.


Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  They’re important!


    70 replies to "Eliminating the Fantasy of the Affair"

    • CBB

      Eliminating the fantasy is true for both! I have to let go of what I make/ made of it on the other hand just recently my H suggested inviting the OW and her H with a couple of friends to ease the tension. It is true that I can hardly bear the idee of seeing her ( happens weekly for sport activity from the kids, monthly on social events wich I sometimes drop because I can’t bear the triggers) He says she’s uneasy with it as much as I am. Might be so!!! But why have the guts to ask if we’re not interested in going skiing again?!?! He doesn’t have the guts to tell her why that is impossible ( she has been professionally dangerous since I found out! True) but I get the feeling my h would actually consider it if it wasn’t for me refusing . Gives me the impression that the fantasy of great times with ” great people” doesn’t fade that easy. Especially as probably neither actually planned to leave the marriage ( just liked the milk!) it’s hard to let go if triggers, looks, situation …keeps reminding me of the times I suspected the EA .

    • CBB

      I’m sure I would cope better with the encounters if I really felt the fantasy was gone and words and actions would be driven by responsible consideration and not by ” I did nothing wrong. Maybe there is a third fantasy : that we could attend same events with ease . This would cover the hard reality of the destruction they created. For my H his current state of mind can hardly take it. For the OW it would destroy her narcistic self image

      • Strengthrequired

        Cobb, I feel for you so much. I would hate to have the ow more or less shoved in your face so often. Having her in my home, them talking as if nothing happened. What a horrible situation, your h and this ow had done a terrible thing to you, and you still have to see her on a regular basis. Here you are trying to repair your marriage, trying to deal with all the triggers, emotions, trying to recover, and there she is, as if nothing happened and your feelings don’t matter. Honestly, I think what a hide she has, even considering showing her face around you as well as him. I suggest though when she is around, hang off your h, give him kisses making sure she sees it, making sure she knows her place, away from your man.

        • Strengthrequired

          Cbb, not Cobb

    • Gizfield

      Sorry, this woman could be the queen of England or the president or WHATEVER she would not be coming in my house, ever. Eeew, it would violate my anti whore policy. That is the only place that is truly yours.

      • Too Weak

        OMG! Thanks for the laugh! I needed it!

    • CBB

      GF , I am not planning to invite her in my home, and I told my H so. We have been invited to her place though so now I am the ungrateful not responding to her efforts for pease . I asked my H wat would brake the ice? Trying to put the facts in the open ? No if it’s for hypocrite smalltalk I’m not in and I don’t care how many excuses he wants / needs to make to her and especially her H ( he only knows about one phonecall and he told my h that he trusts her never to leave him !!). I didn’t ask him to lie!

    • Jeddy

      Here I am 2weeks past the truth coming out about my h’s ea – cant call it dday, 2013 was more like dyear. No question, neither of them planned on leaving their spouses for one another, and the affair is over although they work together. After a few strong days, here’s what I’m struggling with, and sobbing over – how could a mousy nothing (we are nothing alike, I’ve met her once – thought she was about as plain as could be, I’m a very artistic creative person working in film and fashion, and I take very good care of myself) now control my self esteem? How do I get my strength back? I don’t blame her for this, I blame them both equally, maybe my husband more since he took our 27 yr relationship and gave her a piece of it that I can never get back. He risked our family for an ego boost. The person I was before the ea was suspected woud have walked out with her dignity intact, wearing killer boots and a confident attitude. But they broke me this last year while I questioned and was lied to. Hundreds of times. And I’m not that strong hot thing anymore. I miss the old me desperately and I can’t figure out how to tap back into that 44 yr reserve of strength. The hillbilly ea is and has been in my way for 10 mos. we are starting couples therapy next week, but how can I begin to fix me? I’d love to hear about books, etc that coaxed people back to a place of peace and strength. Because whether this marriage works out or not, I need to be the old me again. And since I have to assume that everything my husband says is a lie, I need to be strong – I’m really all I have right now. I’m ready to be happy and not give her mental real estate, but I’m not sure what the first step is – I’m obsessing – not about what she as that I don’t, but about what they shared that was mine.

      • Doug

        Jeddy, I feel for you and understand that you’re having a very rough time right now. I hope that the marriage counseling might offer you a path to feeling better, but I would also suggest that you concentrate on yourself perhaps even more so right now. If you are not already, you might consider counseling on your own.

        I’m not sure if this post will help, but I’m hoping it does (there are two in the series):

        If I can recall others I will add them as well. Stay strong!

      • webbgurl

        Check out any Marsha Means books. We must reclaim our power.

    • Gizfield

      Jeddy, I totally agree with what Doug said. It’s really easy to confuse “ego” with “self esteem” but I believe they are different. After adultery, people are (in my opinion) working on their ego, which has been shattered. Ego is looking for outward validation, self esteem is looking inward. You find self esteem in what you ARE, not what you do. It’s hard to find in awesome boots or achievements or basically anything external cause those require someones attention to make you feel good. It’s hard to explain but self esteem seems to come from making others feel better, comfortable around you, etc. and any person can find it, no matter how they look, or dress , or what car they drive.

    • CBb

      Jeddy, I was/am in your position. 25th wedding anniversary last year. My H had started having a very serious EA in spring 2013 w/ a 29 yr old. He partially ended our marriage b/c he was not sure what he wanted. I was a wreck w/ children involved. Here is what I did. I acted calm, cool and rational in front of him. No screaming or yelling but being positive about our ability to repair and save our marriage. This was not the end of the world. The effort I put forth was for him to end it with her. However he started back up with her months later and this lasted about 3 months. I finally found out they had been back together and I told him to get out. The whole time I was calm and rational. I looked him in the eye and said I can no longer do this, I deserve better. Things have drastically turned around b/c NOW he wants our marriage. Before he was not sure what he wanted. He has been doing everything to make amends.
      The point is that if your H wants your marriage he has to commit and show it. Do whatever you need to do but I think by proving I was not the weak, needy damsel in distress my H saw me in a whole new light. You will feel the emotions you need to feel from him and know it is real.
      Keep telling yourself this has NOTHING to do with me. My H tried to blame me for things and obviously it was his mid life crisis AND opportunistic “friend” AND his choice to do this. Men do not realize all that happens when they cheat until too late!
      Btw. There is a special “place” for women who are cheaters in the next life or upon death.

      • Jeddy

        Cbb I really appreciate your response. Thank you so much for very valuable insight. It’s so fresh and raw right now, I really seesaw. He started in spring 2013 too, ended in September, came clean new years eve. So he’s over it and not always appreciative of how I react. Of course I say, “well you reacted to a big stress by having an affair, so I’m not sure you’re the go-to guy for how to handle things”. I go from calm to throwing up in the subway station or wherever I happen to be. I feel like an alien. Took every gift he bought me during the ea and returned them today – I said, “please give me a store credit for these, my husband gave them to me while he was (insert colorful word here) around”. And I bought myself different things that won’t remind me of her. Today is the 27th anniversary of the day we met, so I did think we’d be celebrating differently. I am going to practice serenity. I went to my favorite store today (I’ve bought one thing there in my life, it’s a special place), and decided I would look for something that would mark the start of my new beginning. It’s a beautiful china espresso cup and saucer, and I plan on buying myself 2, maybe 4, for my birthday in march. And just doing that felt really nice, something to look forward to, for me. I didn’t think it would feel so good, I did it on a whim. I tried on jewelry, but the salesgirl said I lit up when I saw the cup. So that’s what I’m saving for – a beautiful exquisite object which I can add more too. And I can use it every morning to remind myself that I have value and I’m worth something exquisite. I don’t feel that way, but if I say it every day, it will be so. Whether this marriage works or not (my wish is that it does, but only if I’m respected) I need to get to the other side of this shock. I am going to try to react to him calmy, and react to the waves of horror with grace. Plus side, lost 12 pounds.

      • webbgurl

        Amen, to that. My husband’s on again off again girlfriend was really fooling herself. He never took her out or bought her anything. He better not. Little did she know that he was a sex addict whom finally decided to cheat after marriage. It took a lie detector to uncover the affair and years of infidelity all the way back to our dating years.

        He always picked homely, pitiful types because he thought he was better than them! I say birds of a feather. Although we are slowly working on ourselves and attending Family Life’s Marriage weekend next month, I am NOT PUTTING UP WITH ANYMORE AFFAIRS!

        I told him this in no uncertain terms. If, I had known he was this messed up, and refused to get help, he would have been ghost long ago…the ONLY reason I am even staying is because he is working extremely HARD to stay clean, and become a godly man with integrity.

        It’s up to him and whoever he cheats with if they want to provide alimony and child support for me and my kids. My new motto: Get Right or Get Gone!

    • CBb

      You can survive this day by day. I had to confront my H on two occasions asking what do you want? His words said me, his W, actions did not until a few weeks ago. I too lost 15 lbs and I was thin before and did not need to lose the weight. These tips may help you.
      1. This is his mistake. People choose to cheat.
      2. He could have come home and told you he was not happy but took the cowardly way out to make himself feel better.
      3. It is crazy that the person who destroys our self-esteem (even temporarily) is the person we look to restore it. It sounds crazy! But true.
      4. I became empowered when, after 6 months, I finally learned the truth. H made it seem like it was over and she meant nothing. In reality it was still going on and she meant something. So I told him to leave.
      5. He became unglued. I told him we had no hope and he begged for a chance. I told him after 2 days of his begging me to reconsider that if he thought he could turn this around, good luck. Don’t look for any effort from me b/c for 6 months I tried everything and he did NOTHING. And he realized how bad it had been for me b/c now the shoe was on the other foot.
      6. Start a journal. It can save your sanity,
      7. I went to my son’s therapist when I could. He saved my sanity. Find someone you can talk to and get objective advice,
      8. Do some things for you. I started exercising just for me to keep my stress level down. I did some writing and entered a contest. I made sure my kids knew nothing. That took a huge effort. I went to church (I did go often but now I go more than 2-3 times a month). Volunteer. Get out of the house. Be engaged in your life. Find a new passion. Read a book. I sang Blurred Lines the entire summer just to get me through – it’s a feel good song.
      9. Do not compare yourself to the other woman. That will just torture you into a place where you end up crumpled up on the floor sobbing. It is a mistake. Tell yourself she is not better than you, she was just new and exciting to your H and he was relieving his boredom. That is all this is.
      10. Try not to let this consume your life. It will only torture you.
      11. Act in a way that you can hold your head high, look in the mirror and know that you are a GREAT


      • webbgurl

        I totally agree.

    • jeddy

      Spent the rest of yesterday very controlled -fact based conversations, not emotion based. Told him we would need to set aside time to discuss our goals for the next six months. No tears, looked at it as a business conversation. I decided I wou ‘ll d attend a family funeral with him today, wont be easy. He came to my job at 7:30 this morning and dropped off a room key to the four seasons hotel where I can change for the funeral and then return there with him for the night. Remaining cool & fact based is my goal (damn you perimenopause). I agree with every one of your points – they all contribute to rebuilding our own dignity & self respect in way that make us proud. I dont compare myself to the ow – shes an unsophisticated married cheesy hillbilly who blew sunshine up his a**. Hes more embarrassed about her than I am. Marital therapy starts monday, my own therapy on tuesday. Sing it, sister.

      • webbgurl

        Good one, Jeddy. My dh actually threw up when he thought in hindsight about his ex. Funny, he NEVER wanted to call her a girlfriend. He refused to remove all his clothes while having quickie sex with her. He says he couldn’t bear to touch her breasts because her body looked disgusting fully clothed. Did she not get a clue.

        I forced a meeting with the three of us. He had lied about what she looked like previously. I could not believe how truly sick addicts are. She was beyond unattractive. I hate putting other people down, so I will just say she was fat and smelly looking.
        I am smart, talented, beautiful, great figure, compassionate. I felt pity and disgust.
        She met him at the doctor’s office I sent him to! Low, isn’t it. I won’t even write here what I called him more than once since the incident.

        I understand why people run and don’t look back. Had I been younger, and found out…I am still going to see if he continues to climb upward. Last chance.

    • jeddy

      Cbb – I just read your earlier posts – I have made it clear to my h that I will never ever be in the same place as the hillbilly. Nor is she ever to be told anything about me or my kids. This is a challenge since she has a relationship with my mother in law – a woman with no regard for personal privacy or appropriate boundaries. So I told my h that from now on my conversations will remain superficial. Period. She only blames my h for this, not the ea. For the record, my h has been in therapy for issues relating to his mother – serious issues having to do with her lack of boundaries his whole life. He was never parented, he was a buddy and the responsible one. While I love her I have zero respect for the environment she fosters. Every family function involves the ea, an employee. Personal, private and business are one big love fest. Very creepy. I will no longer attend nor apologize.

    • CBb

      Good for you! You are stronger than this. There are some positives here.

      1. It appears your husband is trying.
      2. He did end it months ago (compared to mine).
      3. He is embarassed by this (good sign).

      My H told OW all about our kids and I am not happy with that. He also told her things I said to him. I have seen some emails between them. Hard to believe and read, believe me.

      In any event my H REFUSED counseling for him or us. Ignored EVERY attempt I made to fix this. Not until it was almost too late did he start to do everything possible to change this around. Now he is mystified as to why he did this. REALLY!

      The point is that these women somehow flatter them and boost their egos and they fall for it. And in my case when it is over, the OW won’t take no for an answer.

      Focus on you for now. Get to a better place. Now that I feel stronger I am so much better both emotionally and mentally. I did not crumble but I spent too many days in the summer crying to myself. The shock is unreal. But you will rebound. NY girls cannot be beaten down.

      And btw, I found out way more than my H ever told me about OW by his emails and her living life in the public domain. They are both idiots. I have photos she posted in places. Things that cannot be denied. Good news for me is that I have saved a large amount of cash so if I ever have to, I can walk. And he has no legal claim on the funds.

    • SHAPE

      I think it must take a very long time for the fantasy to go away, if ever! It has been 3 years Dec. 20, 2013 since D-day for me and their EA/PA went on for almost a year before I had absolute proof of what I suspected. She (OW) moved across country–her H’s job changed–about the time I found out, so they did not have a way to see each other. But I am quite sure he thought of her often because he just wasn’t his same “self.”

      And, then, after about 20 months of no contact, she emailed him on his birthday in 2012 and he responded. Of course, he did not tell me as he has promised many times he would. I saw an email he sent (addressed wrong and was returned) quite by accident. So yet another D-Day. At that time I emailed HER husband and let him in on the whole thing. He said he had suspected something but was believing her when she said it was just a “friendship.” (btw, he also had become “friends” with my H before their move.)

      So now another promise by my H to let me know if there is any further contact on her part. And, in their email exchange referred to above, they both agreed they “should” not have any contact as they had promised me they would not! In my opinion, the word “should” needs to be “will not,” as “should” leaves the door open!

      So now in 2013, she moves back to our area – and she and her H are separating (I wonder why???). She once again contacts my H by calling his work. A week went by and does he tell me? NO! But again, I found out. This time he emailed her from my email acct.telling her in no uncertain terms not to contact him. But this is yet another D-Day. I think he still probably has a fantasy about her, even though I do believe it is fading. He has become much more like his old responsive self.

      Whenever I say something to him, my H usually responds with, “she’s forgotten all about me; she’s going on with her life.” (And last I heard she and her H are back together–back here in the state where it all started.)

      What I really want my H to say is: “I don’t want to hear from her; I have no desire to hear from her; she doesn’t mean anything to me anymore”–instead of the words in the paragraph above. I think he said this ONCE, and that after I said that was what I wanted to hear.

      Meanwhile after my H has been unemployed and working only a part-time job for a year, we are moving to the mid-west – far from her here on the west coast – for a full time job. She doesn’t know where we’re moving to, but she does know there was a possibility of it, (came up in their phone conversation), With her tenacity, I don’t doubt but what she will find out. Does the fantasy ever end? I have a hard time believing it does.

      Doug, has it truly ended for you?

      • Doug

        Absolutely Shape. Have not seen, talked to, emailed, texted, etc. since ending it about 5 years ago. The only fantasy I have left involves Linda, me, a cabin and the mountains!

        • Strengthrequired

          You know what my fantasy is, that I would love to see a reality. Our home, our business, being able to save all we have worked for all these years. This is such a long hard road, I wish for something miraculous to happen, where we are no longer at risk of losing everything.

        • SHAPE

          That’s wonderful, Doug. I hope that fantasy becomes a reality!
          I have another question, though. At first, when you ended it with Tanya, was it hard to not still fantasize about being with her, and if so, how long did this fantasy last?

          I think my husband by the way my H acts now, he is really starting to be rid of this fantasy – it has been 3 years – but every time (twice now) that she contacts him again, I think it brings it back, although probably not quite so intense.

          • Strengthrequired

            Shape, what is it with these ow, they just don’t know when to let go. It’s like they are keeping their foot in the door, just incase our h decide we aren’t what they want.

          • Doug

            Shape, Sure there were some lingering fantasies or thoughts about her after things ended. To be quite honest, I cannot remember exact time frames but I really do not remember this going on for very long. I had started to come out of the fog prior to ending things and was seeing her in a more realistic light, so the fantasy was already fading. I’m sure the fact that I had no contact with her whatsoever helped to speed this process up.

            3 years seems like an awfully long time to hang on to the fantasy, but I guess I can see it happening since the OW has contacted him. I hope he finally can rid himself of the illusions and as you mentioned, perhaps the move will help to expedite that.

            • SHAPE

              I don’t believe it has been 3 years of full force fantasy. More like that lasted 6-9 months. Since early 2012 he has become more like his old self, better as time went on.

              But, in 2012 (EA/PA was in 2010) and then again in 2013, she contacted him – both times I found out about quite by accident. And, I wonder why he can’t tell me she has contacted him yet again and even tell her IT IS OVER at that time. It seems he can only do this when I do find out. I guess that is what I mean by “perhaps the fantasy is not over,” as he doesn’t seem to be able to be “forceful” with her and truthful with me unless/until I find out about the contact.

              I am quite sure he does not want to leave me for her, and probably never really has. I just hate to think I always have to wonder when/if she is going to be a part of our lives again in any way.

            • Strengthrequired

              I can understand that shape, my h does the same, only tells me when I find out that the ow contacted him. He too finds it hard to be forceful with her. The last time I found out that she was contacting him, was just by chance. I had his phone in my hand, and up she came with a good morning message.
              I told him that if he can’t tell her to stop, that he is not interested, then I will get a restraining order on her, of course he would have to come. Lol
              He said it wasn’t that bad yet, as her msgs are becoming less often and don’t contain love and miss you or baby. He doesn’t respond to her, so in a way maybe she will slowly get the hint.
              Yet somehow, I think it is the ow just trying to keep her foot in the door, showing him she is still around, maybe hoping that he realises that he doesn’t want his w after all, and come running back.

            • Too Weak

              Since my D-day my wife has left me, taken the kids, filed for divorce and is still sneakimg around screwing this married scumbag and both continue to deny it! It’s mind-numbing and disheartening.
              Fog doesn’t begin to describe it. I know it’s a fantasy. I know it’s like a drug fix so how the hell can I get her to stop the insanity before we end up divorced? She has demonized me, re-written our history to justify her adultery and is still going full-bore towards the divorce.

            • Doug

              Hey Too Weak. I’m so sorry for all you’re going through. It certainly appears that your wife is deep in the fog. Unfortunately, there may not be a whole lot you can do to snap her out of it. Instead, focus more on yourself and your own self-care. That said, and as Trying Hard and The First Wife have mentioned, get a lawyer and get your ducks in a row legally and financially. Hire a PI to get any evidence that you need to help your case – especially in getting your kids back.

              Finally, educate yourself as much as possible about affairs and affair dynamics. They usually follow fairly predictable patterns.

              Here are some other posts you might want to check out:




            • Too Weak


              At this point I am trying to focus on self but after 23 years of marriage it’s hard to find a self.

              I did hire an attorney to deal with the bogus domestic violence t r o and we were successful in getting it dismissed along with getting me back time with my children but at 18% it’s only a pittance. This cost me five thousand bucks which I had to borrow. I still have to come up with another $8,000 for just the retainer for divorce case now which I also will have to borrow.

              It’s strange that one of the issues was about finances but she goes off and sets up her own household and takes over half the income with her. She tells me now I have to pay the mortgage and all the bills and is giving me no help. Apparently she’s justified in this but she’s because she’s got 82% of the kids time. Give me a break!

              Because this is a no-fault state they could be screwing on the courthouse steps and the courts wouldn’t give a damn. Thus, Gathering evidence is of little value unless I want to defend my claims or ruin her , or his marriage, but it would also hurt my chances that she would want to return. I also fear that if I did Supply the boneheads wife of the om with the proof she needs it will mean the end of their marriage and that’s made him free to pursue my wife even more than he is now and make everything even harder on me. So basically I’m stuck hoping somehow she will come to her senses and hoping somehow God will intervene and Brake her which is what I think she needs in order to get her lose her stubbornness bitterness and pride. This Is My Hope and prayer but maybe I just have my head up my butt. Maybe I’m just fooling myself. But if I don’t hope in something and I really feel lost. The flip side is that everyday I see no change in her I get discouraged and lose hope. On top of that I give myself all kinds of grief for not having enough faith in God to even make it through one day, much less the months it’s really going to require at a minimum.

              I have thought about so many ways to try to shake her from her fog but I think I fail to see how strong that fog is and that I’m not the person to deliver the message because right now I’m the devil. I thought about her mom because her mom has pulling Authority with her somewhat but also because her mom understands a lot about therapy and codependency and alcoholism an Al-Anon. The problem with that is her mom doesn’t like me much anyway so she’s Uber supportive of her daughter’s choices I don’t know if she would have the character and integrity to listen to me and do what’s right for her daughter, and for the children and deny her selfishness of wanting to get me out of her daughter’s life. I’ve made the decision that I’m not going to contact her mom to try to get her on board. I also believe that in God’s hands and realize that he’s able to get her 2 call me if that is indeed a good idea.

              One thing that really helps me is something Charles Stanley said which is “Do you want what you want or do you want God’s best?” This gives me the patience to make it another hour. I have all these thoughts that maybe my wife is too far gone and that God is actually trying to save me from more heartache and a dismal future which is both encouraging and depressing.
              Depressing because it means that my hopes won’t materialize somehow I have to start over and there’s no guarantee I’ll ever find someone else to Love Me Again. As you can see, the thoughts a negative scenarios never end in my mind.

              I have been working with DBT skills training when I can see the benefit if I can keep it up.

              My fear is that I really was a horror to live with and despite this affair the marriage was doomed. But on the other hand I have been working myself for the better part of a year already and making Headway that both my children and my wife recognize and liked. Even though she was able to admit it apparently it wasn’t enough as she already was emotionally fettered to this om jackass.

    • jeddy

      I was able to witness the moment that the fantasy was over – yesterday. My H has described the relationship as one in which he talked about his difficulties with his marriage, midlife, stress etc, while she listened, really heard what he said. She in turn got to take on more visibility at work as he continued to mold her with more responsibility, he passed on some of the work he had to her, mainly dealing with higher level people. He told her to buy new clothes, that she needed to polish up. Like a puppy, she did everything he told her. He was never impressed with the results he got from her, but he was taken by how she lapped it all up and obeyed diligently (not a trait I possess) – she saw him and saw prestige, and in her eyes together they were a force to be reckoned with at work. This was my H’s take on what she got from the EA. When he told me that her reaction to his ending it was “okay”, I thought he was telling another lie – how could Eliza Doolittle just happily go back to her old hee haw life without a fight? Or tears? Or drama? Once the EA ended, she never contacted him, it was all business, and she never fought for him, or threw him under the bus, I saw this. Maybe this wasn’t her first rodeo. H said it was just her doing what he told her, not rocking the boat. When he told her that I knew everything and that she had better tell her husband or I would, and that he was fighting for his marriage, she was so mad – this was water under the bridge and no one needed to know, especially not people at work. So yesterday we find out it wasn’t her first rodeo. She has a teacher husband who is not power or money motivated (and by all accounts a good dad and man), and she is the breadwinner. Ho. Hum. She finds professor Higginseses (sp?) to spice it up. Men we know. From the same work. When my H told his mother about the EA (family biz, where EA is employed), redneck was not pleased, pieces were coming together, other stories were going to emerge. We were driving, just the 2 of us, and it was like one of those movies where there are a whole bunch of flashbacks in succession and the entire meaning of the story is clear and evident: this EA was not what my H thought it was – he had in fact been completely manipulated and used, not the other way around. He turned white and pulled over because he thought he was going to be sick. The simpleton had outsmarted the CEO and he knew it. At that moment he began to understand the depth of what had happened. And what he had done to us. Fantasy eliminated via total emasculation. He’s not able to discuss it further with me yet because he’s so embarrassed, totally getting our money’s worth of tomorrow’s therapy session.

      • webbgurl

        Same here. My Dh thought his series of affairs throughout the relationship were about him, and he even felt guilty, and apologized for breaking up with each of them! Ha, later on he figured out THEY WERE USING HIM, TOO.
        He had a job, money, nice ride, And HE WAS AS DUMB ABOUT WOMEN AS JETHRO BODINE AND GOMER PYLE all in one.

        He actually just realized that the only thing he should have been sorry about is sinning against The Lord and lying to me as well as putting me at risk for STDS.

    • CBb

      Jeddy, I am glad to hear of the closure you have. Hopefully it will help you on your path to recovery and healing and restoring your marriage.

      Me? Struggling with this everyday. I feel confident it is over but not sure the OW will not resurface down the road and try to rekindle, as she has done in the past. My H swears he would never respond to her again. And that I am the one for him forever.

      I just don’t know how to trust that part. I believe we can get past thus but then I have major doubts about trust and believing. I guess I can only wait for the passage of time as this is only a month old. However he did end it with the same OW this past summer, she called in the fall and he went back. What to believe?

      • Jeddy

        Cbb what do you think the pull is for him? What is the fantasy? Pinpoint that. Is this a game for her? You’re stronger than I am. If he had had to choose between me and a hillbilly, I’d like to think I would have walked away. But it’s not that easy, I know. Oh man, even with an idiot lying to my face i stayed. What s she getting out of this? If you cut off the oxygen source to both of them, the fog should lift. I can’t believe how some cs live in a fog fr so long. The point is if he’d wanted to leave for the love of his life, he would have. She’s not it. He has no choice but to sustain (with no lapses) his dedication and remorse to you. This shit with one foot in each yard makes me nuts. One door must be closed. Nailed shut. Forever.

        • Strengthrequired

          Your not alone Jeddy I stayed as well while all the lying to my face still went on. It isn’t as easy as just walking away, it truly isn’t.

          Cbb, I wait with baited breathe for the next time my h ow tries her next move. She hasn’t stopped her contact, he has to her however, but not her, she still tries to have him respond to her. My problem she is a relative of my h, so unfortunately she will always be somehow apart of his life, whether he likes it or not. So here I wonder at times what the next 20years has in store for us…..

          Hang in there you ladies…

          Ohh and jeddy, sounds like good news for you with your h finally seeing the sunshine again, and you are right, if the ow was such the love of his life in reality he would have left.

      • SHAPE

        CBb and Jeddy–
        I, too, think my husband is at least mostly over his fantasy. But the ow has contacted him twice, and even though he said many times over and over that he would tell me if/when she did, he did NOT tell me. I found out in other ways and confronted him.

        I just don’t think she will ever stop and wonder when the next time will be. I am hoping our move many hundreds of miles from where she lives now will put an end to it. Different house and places that I will be driving will at least help me get rid of triggers that abound where we used to live.

        I am struck by so many things we share on this website that have such similarities. It is comforting to know things/feelings I experience are not crazy, but othes share these as well.

    • CBb

      That last line is the best. If the ow were the love of his life he would have left. Mine almost did.

      I watched it for 6 months. He came home every night but he was different. When he finally ended it a few weeks ago I saw how changed he was. Committed. Sincere. Caring. Making huge effort to show how he wants to be in this marriage. Remorseful. Truly sorry. Willing to do anything.

      I feel lucky that we now have a much better relationship. We had a good relationship before. No arguing. Got along well. Treated each other with kindness and respect. Did nice things for each other. Said I love you alot. But now we are definitely more emotionally and deeply committed and it feels so different. That is what I am basing our future on.

      I just become anxious every so often when I allow myself to let my thoughts spiral. And how the he’ll do I stop that? If I did not allow that to happen I would be so much better off.

      • Strengthrequired

        Cbb, we were similar to you and your h before the ea. then the ow comes into our life and turns everything upside down. He too was different. At times very mean. She brought someone so cold and nasty out in him, he was completely different to what I knew and loved. Amazingly I stuck by him, even after a short separation of a month, but he came home.
        Yes she still was in his life, telling me lie after lie, he was different each time he saw her. I always knew when he had saw her, due to that.
        Once the contact became less and less, especially once it stopped completely, he changed for the better. Our marriage too in many ways is better than before.
        I do have times of struggle, I try really hard to not get brought down by all the negative thoughts and emotions, yet since just after Christmas it was like a tonne of bricks hit me, I had a huge step back emotionally. All the stupid triggers. So now I’m back to trying again, trying to each good thing he says or does, and when these negative thoughts come racing, I tell my self to stop, look how good he has been.
        Honestly, my h was never a liar, and in a short space of time he became very very good at it. So learning to trust again after such hurt and betrayal is hard, but I don’t think impossible.
        I think time and patience is key here. We need to not be so hard on ourselves.
        There is one thing you need to remember, yes he almost did leave, he left emotionally for a while, all the cs left us for a while, and yes they all thought that the ap was the love of their life, until the fantasy wore off, the delusion of the how wonderful the ap wore off. Once that happens and it eventually does, they realise what they did. Most never intended on leaving us. So remember, your h does love you, he fought through all of the emotional attachment for the ow, because you meant more to him then she did.

        • Too Weak

          I’d like to think that my wife of 23 years still loved me. I still find it hard to believe that she doesnt even though she is SO hateful to me now.

          23 yrs and my wife now HATES me. 2 months since D-day.
          Filed for divorce, refuses to admit that she ever has, and is continuing to, screw this married, low-life, jerk.
          I’m a mess, in dispair, sometimes mildly suicidal. Anxiety attacks from past tramas has returned. I’m dying inside.
          I desparately want her to come back but not even sure if I want her to, or if I can handle the betrayal and mostly the sexual comparing – real or imagined.

    • Joan

      This line of discussion is very different from my own experience – yet somewhat the same. I identified with Jeddy in that I miss the old me. Pretty much could take on anything – was totally in control. But my husband’s infatuation with an 18-year old co-ed did me in. We can’t call it an EA – except a lot on his side – and they emailed daily – lengthy letters – toward the end of the two months (when I found out) I could tell the flattery was working – she was starting to get hooked emotionally (or so that is how it seemed to me from reading some of the flattery – he validated her need to feel older and wiser by asking her many questions – including her opinions about parenting(!) and he told himself how emotionally mature she was (which was the line of crap I was given when I confronted him – how I didn’t realize how mature she was and that it was none of my business if he had a private friendship, etc.). It had not progressed physically – but I know he was planning to go over to where she lived in the near future because he planned a coffee date in front of me at a church party(!) In any case – fast forward two years – it has been pretty tough. He deceived me for some time saying he was over her – when he was not. And although he wasn’t emailing her – he looked like a hurt puppy when he couldn’t talk with her – and he kept trying to be close to her at church. Plus he had been secretly looking up her social websites, etc. That ended when I found out. But he said he was only “interested in how she was doing” and that she was “interested in the same things that he was – and he was curious about her activities, etc.”. She had flattered him too – and he lapped it up. Much more fun that dealing with financial stress, 3 kids who were young adults with money and college issues, lack of a full-time job, and getting older. Plus I was upset with him – and so that added to the problems. (Who wouldn’t want to be told that he was incredibly wise and even “like a bright star” in her opinion because he was so bright (she liked his wide vocabulary and he used it like a pro in the letters). I don’t say those things – and he would not leave our church so I am confronted with seeing her there from time to time – and at first he kept looking at her – I couldn’t stand it. When he sent her the email to say goodbye that said he was “emotionally invested in the relationship” and that it affected his marriage – I think that she didn’t realize that and was really quite embarrassed. She has not talked with him – but his fantasy was mostly in his head. My problem is that because he is a non-talker, and because he hasn’t ever been that verbose (written or otherwise) with me, I really wonder what his fantasy life is. Does he keep wondering about her? At first – when he was upset when I found out – he said “leave it to me to fall in love with someone who doesn’t love me back.” and he said verbatim that he was smitten with her. Is he over her? I don’t know. He is able to compartmentalize well. He says he loves me. But he will never say anything bad about her – of course she was a kid – but he refuses to even acknowledge that (at first he said she was an “adult” because she was 18!!!!). But our daughter – who is now 19 – is still considered a kid to him. But this girl – never was – because she was so mature – as he thought of her – because her compliments built him up. I find it hard to say the same things – she was really quite gushy because he did buy her a gift and it was secretly accompanied by a lengthy letter from him (which he has never done for me). I can’t tell you how this all turns out. We have been in counseling for over 2 years now – off and on – and primarily because I want him to really renounce her – and he will not. He says it was his fault – not hers – and he sees no reason to leave the church because one day I will “get over it” so he can go back to “normal”. He doesn’t expect to be close friends with her – but he does expect to be able to have conversations with her. I don’t see the point – because he is more interested in her activities than our daughter’s college major. Because he does not see her as a kid 40 years younger. He sees her as someone he wishes he was – and he wishes he was 25 again with his life and career ahead of him. His career is disappointing – and she is involved with and doing things he wishes he would have done. But she has parents who are paying the rent and tuition and he did not – she has money to volunteer for many things and he had to work in the summers. I told him this but he doesn’t believe she is privileged – but that she is “interesting”. And that makes me feel…….well – guess…. because I am dealing with bills and financial questions and things about the house and the kids. I am working full time too. But he doesn’t write me lengthy emails and letters despite the fact that is one thing that I really need to know -that I wanted to be the woman he has written to the most – not her. And that has not and will not change unless he wants to do so. It makes me sad -makes me feel not chosen and because he did not pursue me before we were married like he pursued her.

      • Jeddy

        Oh my – I’m so sorry, this sounds pathological. And I feel terrible that you’re being put through this. He sounds like he’s still in the fog. Do her parents know or is she away from home? Because I’d think her father could stop the insanity pretty quickly – as I’m sure your h would do if your daughter were involved in something like this. Are your children aware? I can’t believe he’s not embarrassed by this. Can you get your own counselling? This is emotional abuse. We get used to feeling beaten down for so long it feels normal. That he could give to her something he’s not been able to give you must make you mourn for the relationship you could have had, and that’s heartbreaking. She is 18 (18!!?!?!?) and she’s going to move along with her life very soon. Of course she’s interesting! Being around young people is very invigorating and fun – you can mentor and learn, as long as there are boundaries. I work with 20-somethings and it’s a gas – I’m 48 – the energy is awesome. Does he think at all that she just mirrored him and told him what he wanted to hear? That maybe she was using him too? None of our stories are the same, it’s fascinating – but the same elements stream through them all. I’m often surprised by how the male cs always thinks of himself as the master and the ow his containable muse – but the ow often has her own separate agenda he knows nothing about. It’s all so fascinating. Being said, I’d love you to see your own therapist so you can find those strong tools you used to have and end this nonsense – because he’s not using any sense here. My best to you, I’m thinking about you and sending you some strength.

        • Strengthrequired

          That Jedda is something I wanted to ask, if you have been going through therapy, what does your therapists say to you h? If it as been two years in therapy, how is your h still not seeing that this infatuation he has over this young girl is right? TBH, I would be mortified if a man double my daughters age was chasing after any of them. I know my h would hate it too.
          I just wonder has the counsellor made any real progress with your h at ?

          • Strengthrequired

            That was for Joan

    • Strengthrequired

      Joan, I wish my h could have emailed, texted me, or even called me 100 times a day he did with his ow, I was the one that put up with all of his good and bad days, I had his children, I was there for him always, I supported him in everything he wanted to do, even if he wanted to leave me for the ow, I supported him, because if I couldn’t make him happy then he needed to be with her, the one that made his life seem so much more happier. Of course he declined my offer of being with her, he wanted his family, we were his family. Yet of course when the person you have invested your entire life with continues to contact the ow behind your back it definitely doesn’t feel like you are the one he wants.
      All I asked of him was that he tried to repair our marriage for a year, with no contact of the ow and if he felt as though our marriage was not working then at least we tried, at the beginning.
      It is very draining, you often wonder why didn’t I deserve all of those txts, all of those calls and that want of seeing me, like he did her. Yet the truth is, I am not the one he was trying to impress with his charms and heroism. He already had me. I think it was more draining on him trying to keep up with finding something new to talk about with her, so the same conversations were repeated everyday, as I said 100 times a day. Ohhh it makes me sick just thinking about it. Yet no matter how much I wanted my h to pay me as much attention as he did his ow, I just don’t think i would have liked the constant contact, little letters every now and then would have been nice, just to tell me how he feels and thinks about me, have kind gestures given to me by him, showing me how much he cares.
      Honestly if they had gotten together as h and we all those phone calls and all those txts, and all the pumping up of egos would have dropped.
      It hurts that our husbands turned to someone else and chose to do these things for her, it truly does.
      Maybe your h will step back more once this young girl finds herself a boyfriend, whom she really cares about.
      I have to say this is the most draining time I have ever experienced.

    • CBb

      Strengthrequired u r so right in all you say. Joan, I feel for you and in similar position. H is middle aged (50s) going after 29yo girl. Totally the complete opposite. Needy, drama queen, complete flake. Me? Very different.

      I think our H don’t feel as needed by us as we go through life capable and managing everything day to day life has to offer w/ kids, jobs, illness, bills, schedules etc.

      Then they meet someone that they can talk to easily and they come alive (in their own minds). They feel 25 again.

      It is funny b/c when we are out socially I stop to think: does my H think our friends would accept this bimbo as part of our social circle (friends, family, church, etc.)? I know none of my friends would tolerate her. Typical 30 something with tatoos, piercings, foul mouth, party girl. Her drama-rescue me mentality was the catch. My H felt needed and wanted to help her and protect her. That was the catch.

      She resurfaced after some SANE guy her own age dumped her. She called my H b/c she was upset and dumped and needed to talk to someone so he went back, thinking he would listen and help her get through her break up as a friend. in reality it was her way of getting him back. And it worked.

      We make it easy for these guys. We manage everything life dishes out, support them, love them, yet we are left holding the bag when their egos are bruised or their mid life crisis takes over.

      • Jeddy

        The ow requires no work – pretty sure I know where my h would run after a bad oyster or lousy Mexican food, moaning all the home. There’s no effort in rainbows and unicorn land. His ow became an ea because he could just extend the lunch or meeting into a mutual admiration goo fest. But he was embarrassed by her crassness, no polish or sophistication, and he knew that right away. But. He. Didn’t. Stop. The latest on her is that she’s contemplating leaving this job.

        • Strengthrequired

          Jeddy, my h ow was happy as long as my h wasn’t near me or our children. When that didn’t work, she was happy as long as he kept meeting up with her, for coffees, etc, as those were the times she could reach out to him, she was happy if he didn’t see her, for him to talk to her 100 times a day, if he didn’t call her back she would keep calling until he answered or called her.
          She just wanted to keep that foot in the door, so he had somewhere to run, when the wife does something that upsets him, he would run to her. I think that is why she still keeps trying to remain in contact with him, just incase I upset him and she can pick up the pieces.
          Honestly who wants to live their life that way, waiting for someone else’s leftovers? I mean really, it’s pathetic.

      • Strengthrequired

        Cbb, these ow that we have had to dealt with here, all seem to be the same, drama queens, ohhh please help me, what a, I to do type of person. So of course our husbands all fall for it hook line and sinker, they have to help the damsel in distress.
        While we look after their children they go off galavanting around lapping up all this wonderful ohh your my hero talk, and ohhhh your w doesn’t deserve you.

    • SHAPE

      Strengthrequired and CBb –
      what you both say is so “spot on.” My H was 59 and enmeshed with at 34 yr old – same age as his daughter and my daughter! She confided that she was having trouble with her in-laws, husband didn’t appreciate her, and neither did they. He thought he could help. And, talk about not being accepted by anyone in our circle, much less his family, – it would never have happened. Totally different culture, no religion. But he was so impressed that she had a Ph.D. in chemistry while he didn’t go to college. He became besotted with her, I think, because she stroked his ego, and he was overwhelmed that someone with this degree would think he was so smart and wonderful. Nevermind that I, too, am a college grad and fell in love with him! sheesh -midlife crisis, I think.

      He was on the radio, and she fell in love with his voice and smooth talk. That’s what he was supposed to do – appeal to women ages 25-54 on an easy listening music station. She emailed him and called the station and just continued to feed into his fantasy.

      But, I do think he is coming out of his fog – finally. But my trust is still not back to where it was, and I honestly am not sure it will ever be. I am taking one day at a time, especially since we are moving many, many miles away from her now. I have also spoke to her face to face after their last connection. English is not her first language – so I hope between what I told her and what my H said (no more, no more, no more contact) has gotten through.

      And, yes, we make it easy for them.

      • Strengthrequired

        I hope so shape, with my experience the ow in my life is family to my h, and she has not been able to take no for an answer, after two years of this.
        I have never been a hateful person, but I tell you this ow is pulling me into that direction.

    • jeddy

      We do make it easy, but in our case h had to do little to no work to have sunshine blown up his arse. He just extended meetings and coffees longer and longer so they could linger. Answering her texts and emails was done sitting with the family on the couch. There was so much jumping on the phone 24/7, I did inquire if he had branched off into organ transplantation due to all the urgency (hes not in anything related to medicine). He snapped his fingers and the protege heeled, or so he thought. She was in control, he thought he was. He did say it was no extra work at all. Im sure if a bad oyster or lousy Mexican food was involved, he would run right home to me. Im very lucky that he realizes he was used and manipulated – and it revolts him. She revolts him. Shes considering leaving the company. The culture of this company, led by my mother in law, is inappropriate and without boundaries. His therapist told him that she was switching the focus of his treatment from our marriage to his mother. He also needs to wean himself from the business. I love my MiL but in the last 3 years I have lost all respect for her. Its amazing to me what women do to one another so cruelly. My husband is far from innocent, but I feel like he had 2 things to think about: make money, get ego stroked. He considered nothing else. He couldnt tell he was being used because his needs are simpler. My struggle is to accept that im married to an idiot. A ceo & president imbecile. It’s not sitting well with me that his simple needs have sabotaged so so much. He has cracked so many relationships due to a gross little redneck, who has successfully played this game before. So stupid.

    • Strengthrequired

      I believe my h ow has done this sort of thing before, she seemed to play all the right moves, all the right amounts of boohoo, and all the right manipulation that had come close at tearing his and children’s lives apart.
      Trusting is very hard to get back, after the person you believed in and loved and devoted your life to, does something like this. I don’t think it is impossible though, I think time is what is needed.

    • CBb

      Strengthrequired your post reminded me of something. My H’s EA/OW was not married and she knew he was from day 1. She used to get upset that he wore his wedding ring. What a laugh!

      Also in a text to me she told me she was willing to accept my H knowing he had a W and children. Does this mean she is or was content to be the OW for years? She also told me she wanted to have children, but not sure if she wanted to be married.

      She also told me that she hates the fact that we are together. She clearly wanted him to end it with me and be with her. Most of the things I have read it does not appear to be the case but in mine it was. But I know he would not have been happy with her long term. He could not have withstood her drama. Not that he would have come back to me b/c that door would have most likely been nailed shut. But he would soon realize the bad choice he made.

      • Strengthrequired

        Cbb, my h ow wanted my h, she wanted my life, she wanted my children incase my h stayed with me, so she thought for his children, because how could he love me after 20 years of marriage. She didn’t love her h, so I mustn’t have loved mine, or him me.
        She was going through divorce when she decided to cling to my h, she too wanted children with him, I think if he had slept with her she would have gotten her way. That would have been just to hold onto him. She already had 3.
        If he did end up having a child with her, it would have been a done deal for me, I would have left and not looked back. Even with him whimpering, wanting me to heal his wounds.
        There is no such thing as a married man is out of bounds to some women, and they just don’t give up.
        I know my h would not have been happy with his ow, far too much drama, an apparent crazy exh, step children, and a crazy ass ow, who really wasn’t after him for love, she was after him to help her raise her children and keep her up with the good life, the whole time she doesn’t have to be alone.
        To be honest, if he wanted that life, I mean truly wanted that life, then he can have it, but he doesn’t get to drag me or our children into that drama fest, and he knows I would always be there for him, but if he chose her, it would have been too late, for him with me.

    • CBb

      Jerry. Thank you for a laugh. I know how it is to feel u r married to a jerk. I sit at the table and when my husband talks to me I think “truth or lie”? Which one is it today.

      My H was never a liar or person to be questioned on truthfulness. And I said to him over the past 30 years that if he ever met someone who was better and he no longer loved me, p,ease tell me and do not cheat as it only makes things worse.

      So he cheats, comes home and tells me about his EA and then continues for 6 months. But telling me he loves me and doing nice things for me. And treating me great. At the same time he is with her. Secret email accounts, skype accounts, etc.

      So he has now shattered my family (who knows), some close friends who wanted to smack him for what he was doing and me. And he used to have some nasty comments for men who cheated on their wives.

      And then they come crawling back shattered and demoralized for us to pick up the pieces. Is this a consolation prize?

      I just feel stronger and better than the last 6 months b/c I finally have the truth and straight answers on what has been going on. I was not crazy – just like the movie Gaslight. It was real. And CS should realize eventually you get found out.

      Go figure. Mid life crisis BIG TIME. Turning 50 did not sit well with him.

      • Strengthrequired

        That’s what I do, whatever comes out of his mouth, “which is it truth or lie” my h was never a lar, not until this ow came into our lives.
        And yes, if your going to cheat and lie, it will eventually come out.
        Ohh and the midlife crisis, what a nightmare the good old midlife crisis is for a wife. Apparently appears to be a whole heap of fun and games for the h. Reliving their younger years, falling inlove again, driving fast cars, yet this time they have nice cars to show off with, as well as more money then sense apparently.

    • CBb

      Strengthrequired I feel for you. I think you are a saint for putting up with his antics. And this girl will move on, we both know that.

      But how do you recover yourself and move past this, with or without him?

      For me since this so new, I am developing my own new life. Nothing crazy but I took on a part time job I love, in addition to my regular job. I read things of interest to me. I go to therapy when necessary. My therapist is goooood! I recommend him to everyone he has so helped me. Start a journal. Exercise. Take a walk, even around your block. A change of scenery can clear your mind.

      There are days when I think I can get past this and days when I have doubts about my ability to accept this or tolerate what has gone on. Anger, hurt, devastation,etc. Not always surevwhat to do.

      When you start to pull away from this clown, he may have his “aha” moment. He may start to see younin a different light. Maybe knowing he has you he feels he does not have to make changes. But if he is not sure where you stand, he may force himself to make changes.

      Start a life of your own in some respects. Hang out with your kids without him. Don’t invite him places with you. Go alone. Prepare yourself for the day when YOU decide to kick him to the curb.

      You deserve better than this. We all do.

      My H ended his EA via email. The email is basically insulting to me as he claims he was
      trying to let her down easy b/c she is kooky. I think he may have been afraid of backlash. in any event that email is so damaging to me and my self-esteem in the things he says that while it is over I don’t know how to get past those very hurtful words.

      And he communicated w/ her in a way he has not done with me for years. Even when I tried I got 2 minute answers. She would get 2 hour conversations and 10 emails a day. And now I am supposed to be happy he wants me back. Me. The consolation prize. That is what I am. Or what I feel like I am!

      I am going to have my own midlife adventure – not cheating b/c I could not livecwith myself if I did that- but create a new life for me. If we work out, great. If not I will be prepared the future w/out him.

      Strengthrequired what are you going to?

    • strengthrequired

      Cbb,believe me Hun, I’m no saint, I just believed in my h and what we had together, after two years since dday, we are in a much better place. He is back to the man I know and love. It took a long time to get here, each day at a time is what it took. There were a lot of setbacks, and a lot more ddays. The triggers are less often, which I guess when they do hit you realise that the hurt is still deep.
      I think it is only natural to at times wonder what is a lie or what is truth after going through something like this, yet I think that too just requires time.
      I believe that is our safety net now, not truly believing in everything that is told to us.
      I understand how you feel at times when you feel like you can truly make it, then the next day question if you really can get over what happened. Yet for me I will keep pushing ahead, and fighting through those days where I doubt, and hang onto those days where I believe we can truly be better than ever.
      I know we both love each other dearly, and I would much prefer to keep trying and keeping my family together, then break us all apart, and have my children’s lives turned upside down, just because of a time when my h was questioning himself and his worth through depression and midlife.

      • SHAPE

        I love your outlook on the situation and ability to see the better side staying together. My H, too, has made many strides in the right direction, and I don’t want to throw away all we had and still have together because of what he did, which he now freely admits was really stupid.

        But that does not erase the memories I have and the moments I still have where I get triggers. They don’t last as long and don’t come as often. I still wish it were a little easier for me to trust fully – takes time, I am sure. And also that it were a little easier for me to talk to him about my “down” feelings when they come. I am hesitant to bring things up, although I do. It’s just hard for me to do so.

        Sometimes I wish he would take the initiative and ask how I am doing, but I think he doesn’t want to bring it up either. We’ve talked about things and I have most my answers – but like you not always sure I get the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        Time does seem to help and seeing him treat me like he used to shows me, too, that we are returning to a much better place. I just think I will never really forget what happened, but I don’t want to hold it over his head either.

        • Strengthrequired

          Thank you shape, I don’t think I will ever get all the questions answered, like as you said, I’m not sure I won’t to know, yet I know my h doesn’t want to keep being reminded of what happened either, so for him it is better to just forget and move on with our lives.
          Sounds good doesn’t it, yet it is harder for us being the bs, so it’s not as easy to just forget, but I think it just gets easier to not remember, especially when the good days outweigh the bad.
          I think if we see it from the cs point of view, having their failures brought up to them all the time, it just makes them feel even worse. At some point we have to look at everything they do, all the changes they make towards us, and learn to trust, that it won’t happen again. It will be the hardest thing for us being the bs to do, but if we ever want to not hold that guilt card over their head, then that is what we need to do.
          It doesn’t mean we forget, as I think for us that will be pretty hard to do, but just let it go, and learn to live with our lives showing the ow that they really do mean nothing.

    • Jeddy

      What nags at me sometimes, (and it as nothing to do with the ow who’s viewed in a different light now), is that the fallout from learning the truth has been so great. With all the hell he has gone through, as well as a solid week of me flipping out, why should he want to be truthful with me ever again? His life woud have been easier had this remained secret, although I was falling apart for 10 months, and the true story has been very hard on a lot of people. Will he become a better liar? Is his fear of my reaction (which was normal btw) going to color how honest he is with me? Since the truth came out after the ea was over, the ow is now in a situation she thought was not going to occur (her h finding out, her job at risk), and my h has a mess on his hands. I believe the truth sets you free, but do cs believe continuing to feed the lies is easier than owning up? The lies give the ow & cs control, the truth gives the bs control. I’m curious if there’s relief in the truth being known after so much deceit. One of our issues has been h claiming I can’t handle the truth – but in fact I couldn’t handle the lies he tried to pass off as truths – its almost a way for h to slyly blame me.

    • CBb

      Jeddy I have the same burning issues. These “men” we marry revert to acting like little boys when caught. We end up acting like their mothers!

      I suppose they lie out of embarrassment for their behavior. My H lied even after ow told me all that was going on. My H still will not admit his true feelings for the ow, even after I saw emails he wrote her saying he loved her.

      What do we do?

      Unfortunately the fall out is that while we choose to stay and repair and work hard, the result is you can never fully trust AND you will always look at this person and know they are a liar.

      I know I can get up every day and look in the mirror and hold my head up and have no regrets. I would never do something like this to devastate someone I loved.

      And yes, initially my H tried to pin some blame on me. And most of it is midlife crisis. Turn 50 and wig out. One of my friends told me her husband bought a bar as his mid life crisis. Something they can work on together. How refreshing to hear – a guy who channeled his energies in a positive way.

      For six months I begged for the truth. Response? Many were “I don’t know”. As in “I don’t know what I want” or “I don’t know how she is different from you” or “I don’t love her like I love you”. So you no longer have on rose colored glasses and look at your H the same.

      I have to admit my H is working hard at making amends. Some days it means everything and some moments it means nothing. My goal is to release the triggers and do what I need to do for me, so they are minimal and impact my life less and less.

      I told my H just yesterday I no longer want any discussion on this topic b/c it is controlling us. I get angry when he cannot or will not answer a question(for a variety of reasons). So I will move on in trying to figure stuff out. If he does not know the answers then I have to let some of this drop.

      I would never want my husband to ever look at me with some of the feelings I have/had since this whole EA/mid life crisis/ow thing occurred. I could not live with myself. And that is the difference between us as he now has to live with the guilt. Guilt and remorse that took him almost a year to understand.

      He wrote me a letter about how he felt guilt and remorse and how selfish he had been, and then went back to her (secretly of course) for the next 3 months until I “outed” him. At least now he gets it. Finally.

    • Strengthrequired

      They seem pretty slow learning hey?
      If it was me that had an ea I can’t imagine my h would have stayed. Maybe he would now knowing what I did for him, but I believe the pain for him would be too much and the burning questions he would want answered, when not given truthfully, he would throw his hands up and just walk.
      I could be wrong, but he won’t be finding that out because it’s not me.

    • jeddy

      My h wouldnt have stayed either – seeing how well he dealt with the stress that got him to the ea, hes clearly about sabotage. And hes 47, so definitely a mid life crisis too. I made a document cutting and pasting his and her dated emails (gooey crap) with emails he sent me, all chronological. So telling her how he coukdnt wait to see her followed by telling me I was crazy, shes a colleague, an oddball etc and that he doesnt have a relationship with her. Everytime I saw an email or text I forwarded it to me or photographed it. In case my lawyer needs it. He never even knew. He has 2 phones and I kept one and got all the correspondance. He still doesnt even know I have the other phone. But the contact is all business and very very curt. Its a confusing time, but has anyone else experienced more often than usual bedroom activity? Seems like a primal and passionate urge. Not complaining its noteworthy.

      • Strengthrequired

        Definitely Jeddy, not sure why though. Lol

      • Paula

        More sex, oh yeah. We were having the usual amount of pretty good quality sex during his affair (he says it confused him, why he was carrying on with her, because she was not great in bed, and he was “getting the goods” at home, always had.) After D-day – ah-maz-ing year of hysterical bonding – five-seven times a day often, and incredibly HOT. It calmed down in the second year, we were a reasonably active couple after nearly 25 years, in that we had sex most days, we’d always been that way. After the two year mark, I kicked him out (again) only to reconcile some months later, but we have struggled since, I lost all sexual feeling – not just for him, I wiped off the planet completely – and had hormone levels tested, sex therapy, all to no avail, I have somehow checked out, and I don’t want to, I’m only 45!! I know there are underlying issues, not least of which has been some of the sexual health problems I have had since they shared their filth with me, but you would think awareness would help. It hasn’t. Very much a primal and passionate urge. I can recall knowing that I was primally “reclaiming” him in that process, and he reported similar feelings, although he had never “lost” me, he felt the same way. Although I find all of this very distressing, I am also quite fascinated by the psychology behind it all.

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