affair limbo

This is the latest installment of our ‘You Decide’ series where you will provide your opinion on a fictional affair scenario. In this particular scenario, Dale has  suspected that Susan was having an affair, but has struggled with whether or not to confront her.  

Dale and Susan were college sweethearts who have been married for 14 years. They have 2 young children. Dale works from home as a freelance writer and Susan works for a large insurance company.

Dale has noticed for the last several months that Susan had been pulling away emotionally and physically. It wasn’t as if she was being mean or abusive or anything like that. Just somewhat distant and not interested in sex all that much.  It was like she was always preoccupied.

At first he chalked it up to her being massively stressed out due to her recent promotion at work and her increased responsibilities. But after a little bit of time and a little bit of amateur investigative work on his part, he had a fairly strong gut feeling that Susan is having an affair with her boss.

He had no real proof in the way of incriminating texts, emails, photos or the like. Just the knowledge that Susan was working a lot of late hours and that she and her boss, Steve had a few business related trips that they had recently gone on with the rest of their team. The latest trip however, was just the two of them.   

Since Dale had no real proof, he was very hesitant to approach Susan with his gut feeling and instead had been extra supportive and loving towards her and had been taking care of 90% of the household chores and kid-related responsibilities. He thought it best to try and rebuild a connection with Susan and prove to her that he is the better choice.

See also  Discussion: Intimacy After the Affair

Unfortunately, he got to his breaking point. He so much wanted to confront Susan, but with no real proof, he knew that she would only deny it.  He also felt a confrontation would only serve to push her further away.

So one night, he mustered up the nerve to approach Susan.

Here’s what he did…

He told her he knew she was having an inappropriate relationship and said that he did not need her to confirm or deny it. He asked her to end the relationship and have no further contact with the other man.

He finally told her that he had an obligation to their family and that he was concerned about her welfare and health as she is so withdrawn and appeared lonely.

Susan’s face kind of went flush, she locked her eyes on Dale – as if in shock. She listened to everything and then walked away. They then went to bed as normal with Dale kissing her good night.

The next morning, not a word was said by Susan and it was as if the previous night’s conversation never occurred.  After a quick breakfast, she jumped in her car and drove off to work.

So what does Dale do now? You Decide!

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    110 replies to "What to Do After a Failed Confrontation? You Decide!"

    • Puzzled

      Well, I’ll be the first to step to the mic.

      I think he needs to have a wait and see approach. It’s been months that he’s noticed her change. He needs to see if her demeanor and marital/family behavior changes for the better and continues to do so. I’m not sure bringing it right back up will do any good. He’s said his part and, as hard as it will be, the ball is in her court to play. If, however, things don’t improve, then he needs to be direct and probably suggest some couples counseling to see if that can expose any truth or shed light on her behavior.
      He could have approached it in a more subtle way too. He could have discussed her distance and preoccupation with work. Throwing the affair card on the table was bold but could push her further away. It is a risky play but he took the initiative to lay it all out there. Her reaction speaks more than anything she could have said. This was the same reaction my wife had when I told her that I knew she was having an affair and then when I demanded she end all contact with her AP. I don’t think that I’ll ever forget how distant she felt at those moments and how her eyes looked at me with hatred. It’s a heartbreaking and gut-punching look. The curtain has been thrown back and it’s full exposure.
      I’d like to say it was an easy walk in the park after that but we all know the truth. It’s been over two years and we are continually working on our marriage. We are finally to a point where we can discuss things about her affair with healing as the goal. Honestly, we’ve had better talks over the last two weeks than we’ve had in the previous two years.
      Dale needs to keep the conversations flowing and not allow her behavior to control the relationship. He needs to lead her with love and show his children what unconditional love looks like. It will be Susan’s decision to come back into the marriage fully.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am not sure about the whole “leading with love” thing. I was so shattered after d-day, that I could barely stand let alone lead someone with love. I chose to treat my husband with respect and care during that time but only because I wanted to take the high road.

        Sometimes we think we need to pussyfoot around the CS and let them “choose” between us and the AP. Let them decide what they want… matter how long it takes. Meanwhile we better prove we are the better choice. I find that so demeaning to the BS. Dale as the BS has choices to make as well. I was fortunate my husband ended the EA on d-day. But I did have proof in the way emails etc. I believe I would have had him pack his bags if he would not have ended contact.

    • TryingHard

      Dale hires a private investigator!!!

    • Tired

      If he “waits and sees” she will be too far into the relationship. I agree with Trying Hard. Hire a PI!

    • Puzzled

      If she’s having an affair, then she’s already too far into a relationship! Have any of you on here actually hired a PI and then had things work out for the best? I’m just curious as I’m not sure that’s the right move. I think that would drive a wedge between spouses that might no be repairable. Don’t get me wrong, I become an undercover spy myself trying to find every bit of information or crumb that would prove something when I started suspecting the affair.

      • TryingHard

        Puzzled–No I did not hire a PI. I was getting ready to when DDay 2 happened. I would hire a PI in a heartbeat!!!

        The wedge you talk about has already been driven. There is nothing more the BS can do to drive it further.

        And first of all I believe she IS having an affair. If she were innocent she would have vehemently denied it and proven she wasn’t and talked about it.

        Dale needs proof just like all of us need proof. I key logged, GPSed, checked his phone, checked his car you name it I became very very good a PI work. But the advantage I had was we own our own business so checking all the computers here at work does not involve anything illegal. Where Dale’s wife is working for a private company. he has no access.

        The only way for Dale to get the truth is to hire a professional person and that is a PI. Unless of course he doesn’t want the truth then he can continue on with his cute little head in the sand and play pretend.

      • Tired

        Yes I hired a PI. The cheater used all sorts of excuses to blame me in the beginning. For instance by hiring a PI I “violated his basic rights to human life.” Yes, and and it was ok that I might be vulnerable to a sexually transmitted disease. The PI st least allowed me to know my partner was cheating because otherwise I would have been at the mercy of his decisions. He was only thinking about himself.

        • TryingHard

          Tired— good for you. BRAVO FOR YOU!!! I applaud you. Very very smart.

          You it was YOU who was denying HIM a basic human right?? That is laughable at the very least and totally delusional. But I admire his knowledge of the constitution and Declaration of Independence!!! Albeit it totally misguided!!!

          I am continuously amazed at the directions cheater choose to justify their choices!!! And while they gave every right to grasp at their justifications we too have rights to chose to toss their sorry butts to the curb or not.

          By hiring the PI you created a level playing field for your relationship to either go forward or end. Again good on you.

          • Tired

            Trying Hard,

            Well he was parroting the words she told him. Even he is embarrassed about it now. I did not know what I was up against the time so I did what I thought I needed to do. I needed to know where I stood. So I may have wasted a lot of money, but I nipped it all in the bud. Of course, my husband was so obvious it was like he wanted to get caught for attention. I’m not sure getting exposed to all our friends and family was what the attention he was looking for, but that is what he got.

        • Tired

          Puzzled. There is one thing I will not stand for, and that is being taken for a fool. He was cheating on ME. How could anyone expect you to put up with that? So hiring a PI was wrong in case I upset him? Please. I agree that we are on a level playing field now. I’m not playing the fool, and he knows he won’t get away with such behaviour again. He knows I won’t put up with such terrible behaviour again, and given his past performance he will need acting classes to fool me next time. I hope you work things out with your wife…on YOUR terms. She is the one who was unfaithful

    • Shifting Impressions

      I found Dale’s approach rather strange….to tell someone “I know you are having an affair” without proof is rather reckless. Without proof he has nothing to go on. I also found it confusing that he didn’t expect her to confirm or deny. I think that basically sends the message that they don’t have to talk about it.

      In my opinion he should have shown concern when she started pulling away. Now I know many of us have gone through the whole “what in the world is going on with my spouse?” Especially when we had no idea an affair was going on. And yes, I’m sure she would not have been forthcoming, but it would have set the stage that her spouse was aware that something wasn’t right.

      We haven’t been given the information if Susan is actually having an affair or not……even though it seems highly likely that she is.

      Also he doesn’t need to “prove that he is a better choice.”

      But all that said, he did handle it the way he did and what now?

      He needs to find proof. And they need to have a conversation about what is going on. Should she refuse….that would speak volumes.

      • recoveringfrombetrayal

        I understand about finding proof. I did that and couldn’t find it. No I didn’t hire a PI (I should have) but actually found out about the affair with my wife in bed with the other guy in our bedroom.

        Sometimes we have to listen to our gut. That’s what I learned from all of this. I have a habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt. One word of advice, if your gut tells you your spouse is cheating, he/she is probably is.

        Trust your feelings.

        BTW, we are in recovery and trusting my feelings has a lot to do with it.

    • Hopefull

      I think this approach was odd also. In a short period of time I dug around and took screen shots of everything. Even after dday I found a fake email and fb page with hundreds of im messages that he forgot he even sent. I just screen shot everything, cell phone records, his entire contact list. I checked every contact since I know people will hide numbers under the wrong names. I screen shot his entire email address book. None of it made sense at the time but when he only told me some of what he had done this helped piece things together. I had no idea my husband had an affair. I just found a text exchange when he was out of town for one night. It was nothing more than a girl he chatted with but I asked him what was going on. He had ended everything over 15 months before. He had considered leaving me without telling me or never telling me since he knew it would crush me. He was also scared I would leave him. However he also felt we could not last the way things were going. Obviously he was not thinking straight.

      I do not have experience with confronting someone in an ongoing affair but I think that would be more challenging and could cause someone to react how she did. I mean I could see her driving to work and racing in to tell her boss that her husband knows something. I think whether it was an actual physical affair it must at least be an emotional affair. To me there is not difference and I might even think an emotional affair could be worse.

    • TheFirstWife

      In my opinion Dale doesn’t need the truth. His wife is showing him typical cheater behavior from page 215 of the Official Cheater Manual.

      Gaslight. Don’t respond or acknowledge. Lying by omission.

      You see like many of us, he doesn’t realize when someone is involved in the A and the Affair fog they are not rational nor thinking of anyone but themself.

      So if he is not aware of this he believed he is talking to the same spouse and someone who will be honest.

      And many of us know that experience too well.

      In my opinion he doesn’t need proof – her actions are proof. My H had a 4 year EA before text messages and email. I knew her (ow) and confronted him but like Dale I had no proof but I knew in my heart the “friendship ” was wrong. It crossed a line.

      But my H bullied me and showed typical Cheater behavior by stonewalling and gaslighting and making me believe I was a crazy jealous wife. Completely swept under the rug b/c I had no proof. And then 20 years later I got confirmation I was right all along.

      Looking back I knew he crossed the line.

      In my opinion Dale should proceed with getting counseling for himself first. Prepare himself for the possible confrontation – he should have his plan B in place. Emotionally strengthen himself. And get ready for the nightmare.

      And when he is ready he should confront her again. With evidence of he needs it. But he already knows.

      • recoveringfrombetrayal

        Very good advice. I wish I had did that before my D-day. It would have been easier than what I went thru… a lot of unnecessary pain, blaming oneself and feeling worthless.

        To have been cheated and lied to and found out about it was the worse thing that ever happened in my life. We are in recovery right now (almost 3 yrs from D-day) and we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

        But for Dale’s situation, if his initial confrontation fails, one thing he shouldn’t do is think he was just overly jealous or going insane (I thought that and it made it worse when I found out that I was right). But instead, prepare for the worse by getting some help as thefirstwife said it.

        My word of advice (something I go thru a lot initially and some times still), the affair is never your fault. It is your spouse’s fault! Don’t let your spouse blame you for it!!! He/she had a lot of choices on whatever shortcomings we (Betrayed Spouse) had to fix it.

    • TryingHard

      First Wife–Her actions definitely say she is guilty. BUt I disagree with not needing the proof. Even after many years we all STILL look for proof. Dale is in denial and he won’t get therapy for something he doesn’t know he is dealing with.

      Sorry, I disagree. Sometimes it needs to smack you right in the face. Dale is very naive and needs to wake up. A picture speaks 1,000 words.

    • Patsy50

      I think the first thing Dale did wrong in his talk with Susan was to tell her she did not have to confirm or deny what he was feeling about an affair. Giving her the opportunity to come clean if in deed she was having an affair or to lie. Sometimes their actions speak louder then words.
      Susan could also be suffering from depression which would give another explanation for her appearing withdrawn and lonely. I think without any real proof of an affair Dale would be better off hiring an PI if he could afford it to put his wondering to rest and then he can decide what he wants to do, in the case of an affair, either divorce or both decide to work on the marriage together. Or get Susan help, in case, of depression

    • Hopefull

      I think due to the wayward mentality and fog it is much better to have proof. I have read so many stories of people having proof and the wayward still denying it all. I do think a betrayed who suspects an affair has no idea how the wayward is thinking and how far gone they really are. I just think proof helps. Even when I had it i was dismissed by my husband as it not being a big deal.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I agree with Hopeful….the wayward spouse usually denies or minimizes even with ironclad proof. Without proof of some kind you are up a creek without a paddle. Proof gives you one hundred percent validation that you are not crazy or imagining things. You need just enough information to prove that they have turned to someone else and have kept it hidden from you.

        • TryingHard

          Agree. How do you fight or defend that which you do not know.

          Not only does dale not know he has no idea what he’s in for once he finds out. Yes the automatic reaction is to deny. That’s why we all remember those damn red flags ice the affair is known.

          To say he doesn’t need to know is irresponsible !!

    • TheFirstWife

      Okay I am going out on a limb but this is my opinion (and I am not trying to force it on snyone).

      I think we all share a common experience that we were forced to have black and white proof or evidence of the affair. I believe it is an accurate statement and experience for so many of us that if we did not have that evidence, The cheating spouse would admit to nothing.

      I guess it seems like circular logic, but if they are going to deny it even though there is incontrovertible evidence, then it would be fair to say that if you suspect your spouse is cheating, then they probably are.

      His wife’s behavior alone signifies there is something going on. Whether it is an emotional affair or a physical affair, she is behaving in a way that would be considered cheating.

      I think my experience colors my thought process. As most of you know, my husband had an emotional affair that lasted for years, in the late 90s.

      He would never admit to anything. It didn’t matter because I knew his so-called friendship crossed the line.

      Fortunately there was no proof so he believed it worked in his favor. Unfortunately for him, he did not realize The damage his arrogance and lack of remorse was causing.

      After his more recent affair, I no longer need proof of anything. I believe that if I ever suspected him of cheating again, our marriage is over. It is a feeling that once The trust is broken, it can only be repaired or mended so many times.

      So I think, given this scenario, Dale can do all the fact checking and investigative work that he needs to do. But I believe the hand writing is on the wall and her behavior and her actions are indicative of an affair. I guess I have learned that if there comes the critical moment and your spouse will not be honest, what is the point of trying to save the marriage.

      It took my husband way too long to start understanding how his continued lying caused more damage than the actual affair. And I think that I am somewhat impacted because I now recognize that he is not the person I thought he was. And unfortunately those rose-colored glasses existed for most of our marriage.

      There are times when I wished I did not torture myself after the second DDay by working so hard on reconciling. It was clear for too long that I was just doing the heavy lifting him and he was coasting. And I think I have some anger and resentiment from that.

      I guess looking back I should have been a bit more objective and stopped giving him allowances and excuses for The continued lying and blame shifting that occurred.

      I would tell Dale that he is in for the fight of his life and I hope he is prepared for it. Because it will make you start to question your own sanity.

    • Puzzled

      Sadly, we all know what Dale is feeling and we all process/handle it differently. The evidence and proof isn’t really necessary to “know”. I think it’s for us as the BS to muddle through the swamp of deception. I really didn’t know what I was looking for or what I wanted to find. It’s a long hard road back to reconciliation. It’s a longer road back to trust.
      First Wife is like most of us. It takes a long time for resentment and anger to go away. And just when you think you’re over the hump, something creeps back from your memory to knock you down. My wife makes daily efforts to show how she feels and how she wants “us” to be whole again. It took around 18 months for this but the waiting was hell. The fog didn’t lift for a long time. I look back now and can see all of the signs of an affair but, when it was happening, I never ever suspected it. As a lot of us can say, she wasn’t the type of person to have an affair. That’s why I never imagined the worst. I can now see that December of 2014 things started being “off” in her behavior. It kept worsening over the next 6 months until she was exposed. But her bitterness and anger towards me didn’t stop for a long long time. I think our marriage was over for her in 2015. She stopped putting any effort into “us”. But I kept plugging away with hope that she’d get her head on straight.
      And I can’t count how many times I thought “why am I doing this to myself”. I wish that I could say I’m completely trusting and open but I’m guarded. Maybe in time.
      Dale is in the fight of his life and he better be ready. He’s barely scratched the surface of emotions, anger, fear, resentment, and sadness.

    • TryingHard

      FW–Hmmm I find it curious that you say “fortunately there was no proof…” I don’t understand what that means.

      I have no problem dealing with what I KNOW and a huge problem dealing with that which I do not know.

      Everyone’s experience is different. But I now look back and given the benefit of that experience I wish when I first had those red flags I would paid attention and yes hired a PI. Would have saved me a world of grief and money!!!

      You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free, but first it will!

    • Hopefull

      I agree we are all influenced by our exact circumstance. All I know is that I asked my husband very directly over the course of the 10 years he was having two affairs and everything else about other women. I was very direct and asked in many ways both about general attention, being intimate with someone else. I was not naïve that women would see him as a catch or could be drawn to him. I would say I asked him maybe not once a year but probably 8 times. Each time he looked me in the eye and said “no never” or something like that. I had not real reason to believe anything was going on. Yeah he went away with his friends or met them out to watch a game but both affairs were sporadic. The one person he only saw 4-5 times over the 10 years and would go a year at a time without hearing from her. So there was not a constant relationship with either. So when I read these suspicious texts and took screen shots of everything I could find it was helpful for me. I know everyone cannot get that type of info but luckily I had access to everything. Then as part of my searching and by accident I found his fake email. He was so dumb and must have wanted to get caught or never thought he would get caught. He used my work computer to log onto this fake email. And he had instant messages with dozens of women that that were 4 years old and he had not communicated with any of them for 3 1/2 years. None of it will ever make sense to me but for me it was never obvious but when someone lies to your face there is not much you can do without proof.

    • TryingHard

      Hopeful– Yep same here. I didn’t ask per se but I had red flags. Most incriminating was I found an earring in the backseat of his car. I asked directly who’s it was. He could see I was distraught and yet he lied. I asked and asked and got nothing but gaslighting. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought and thought who’s it could be and came up with no one. Turns out it was her’s. I found out on DDay 2 two years after I found the earring.

      If you don’t know and there’s little to no evidence, truth bias takes effect. You want to believe so you do. They deny and your willingness to believe without hard evidence allows the deception to continue. The BS doesn’t know to look any further because they have no experience in infidelity. Things weren’t adding up, I just didn’t know what the triangle was.

      We tend to judge people after our own values. I was certain he wasn’t cheating. CERTAIN. So of course it was me who was wrong. I wasn’t but I just didn’t know it then.

      • Hopefull

        100% agree with all of that. I honestly did not have much knowledge about cheating or affairs. It is something that has never entered my mind beyond it is possible. But the inner workings no idea or clue. I have such greater knowledge now. But at the time I was just so clueless. And it is crazy when you have an idea of even are not walking around clueless with blinders but again when the person you are supposed to trust the most who vowed to be true to you lies to your face over and over it is so beyond our control. I am convinced if I never saw the texts I saw my husband would have divorced me and given me some pathetic excuse. I told him that would have been a huge travesty and crushed me. As I look back I was already being crushed but did not know what was causing it. In the end I am so thankful dday came. DDay 2 though was a different story and nearly crushed me but just because I felt like he hurt me worse than dday 1. He will say he handled it poorly but I think my roadblocks these days are in large part due to that. I understand why it happened but in the end it had really damaging results.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        Same here…..I was so certain he wasn’t cheating….I just trusted, that he would never betray me that way. I completely believed in his integrity. But I knew something was very wrong. I did ask a few times….is there someone else?? I only asked because I didn’t know what else to ask.

    • Puzzled

      We see red flags and can sense things are off but we don’t think “my wife/husband is having an affair”. That’s the way it was for me. Looking back, it was all right there: distant, glued to her phone, secretive with her passwords, going out with work friends, no intimacy, cold heart, no hugs, no I love you’s, never saying good night. Wow, was I dunderhead! Sure, it’s obvious now but why would I ever suspect an affair?

      We had the marriage that people admired; or so it seemed. Even after my daughter asked me “is mom having an affair”, I couldn’t even imagine that might be the case. But, my daughter knew and sensed it. But I didn’t want to believe it. And when you ask your spouse if there’s someone else, you believe their answer of no. She’d never lied before so why now? So, like Trying Hard, I thought I was overreacting. But the pain was just beginning…

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled—No you were NOT a dunderhead! Not at all, not even a little bit. You were a loving, trusting, honorable husband and father. Infidelity is the LAST idea anyone has when sense those red flags. Yep I chalked it up to stress at work too. Oh boy was I nice and made sure to take extra loving care of him he was so stressed. LOL he must have gotten a real kick out of that.

      That’s not bad on me that’s bad on him!! I refuse to blame the victim as if we have some kind of 6th sense. We were busy being adult and responsible and living our lives and taking care of what needed to be taken care of. We weren’t running around finding hotels and times where we could hook up. We weren’t taking inventory of everything we said to make sure we weren’t caught in a lie.

      No cheaters work very hard to lie and cover up and gaslight. It wears them out. They are so tired they have no choice to be distant and tired and quiet and withdrawn.

      A dunderhead is someone who puts their head in the sand when faced with irrefutable evidence. Innocent victims of other peoples malevolence are just that victims of others evil.

      • Hopefull

        Yes! Yes! Yes! I agree with all of that. I refuse to take any of the burden for this. I was given so many excuses about how his time was spent and why he was distant. It was work, parents, friends everyone else. I would specifically ask him why I was the lowest priority in his life and he would come back at me that I am too black and white, it is not like that, is he not supposed to work hard, is he not supposed to be there for his parents, can he not do things with his friends…. I mean he could go on and on and also tell me that it was my issue if I needed help with the kids, he would ask his parents to help, date nights no those weren’t possible because a babysitter costs too much money even though he spent a lot of money each year on vacations with friends.

        I agree too that they work so hard to cover everything up including their shame and making excuses about what is wrong with us so they don’t feel as bad.

    • TheFirstWife

      The “fortunately” comment was for my H in that he was lucky at that time he could have an EA but there was no cell phone with texting or emails. So HE was lucky b/c he could not get caught with anything. And I know he saw her 4 nights a week at grad school. All legitimate and on the up and up.

      Except I always knew that “friendship” crossed the line.

      Even if he would not admit it (and he didn’t).

      His last EA/PA I had no idea. There was not one sign – no lateness or missing $ or any obvious signs – he wasn’t mean or angry or distant.

      Hard to imagine I married a cheater.

    • Kim

      My husband constantly accused me of having affairs. With work colleagues, daughters friends dads, neighbours – you name it. Most weekends I was questioned about my behaviour. My husband was relentless in his pursuit of finding me guilty. I spent so much time trying to defend myself until I just felt so much resentment towards him- still I didn’t cheat . He was the cheater – having an affair with our next door neighbour .

      I would never accuse someone of cheating unless I had hard evidence. It’s sole destroying.

    • TheFirstWife

      And in the aftermath of his last A when I knew he was lying I didn’t pull out evidence or show him my proof.

      I would say “I am sorry you don’t respect me or our marriage enough to tell the truth” and walk away.

      It makes the statement loud and clear he was lying and I knew it.

    • M

      I’ve always believed in listening to my gut…that’s exactly what Dale did. To me, her physical reaction (flushed) and her not denying were all the confirmation he needed. Who wrongly gets accused of an affair, and says nothing, zero, zilch? Personally, I would not allow her to pick up where she left off – with the affair partner, (or more importantly,) with me. I would go back to the previous conversation, and stand my ground, however painful that might be. I would not be willing to “prove” myself as the better choice. To me, that puts the burden of saving the marriage on the BS, while the CS has all the power. At the end of the day, two things the BS has (after something so horrific) is a clear conscience that (in spite of any marital difficulties,) they honored their vows/they stayed true – AND the power to force a choice: to draw a line in the sand that says, “Not only will I not let you decide whether I will be your 1st or 2nd choice, I will insist on being your ONLY choice.” I would rather be alone than to give my CS the power to pull my strings like I’m his marionette puppet. Having the person you trust with your heart – with your very life – treat you like a second class citizen, shatters a person. As for me, it made our beautiful life look like a nuclear winter. It effected my safety, my self-esteem, my faith – even my worldview. When I was faced with that, the one thing I had left was the clear understanding that I did not deserve what he did. I adored him, I supported him, I raised our wonderful children, I took pride in our marriage and in our legacy. He was the love of my life – and he knew it. So I made the decision to choose ME, even if he didn’t. As far as I was concerned, if he ended it with her, and chose me, healing would still be a long road – but it absolutely would not begin until he chose me. Period.

      • Shifting Impressions

        That was so well put….I couldn’t agree more!!!!

      • Sarah P.

        Wow, M, you described everything so perfectly. And I agree that betrayed spouses should choose themselves and demand to be the only one.

        I will never settle for being second in my husband’s life. Not second to work, not second to his family, not second to his friends. I come first at all times.

        Some might think this is based in arrogance but it is not. It is based in self-esteem and a knowledge of my inherent worth. All of us must see our own worth before others see it.

        They say we teach people how to treat us and I have set the tone with my husband and have made it clear that there are strict boundaries around everything.

        I had to become this person after what happened with my ex. I was pretty much the opposite of who I am now. My fiancé wanted to have female friends? No problem! He wanted to go out to dinner just him and a female buddy? No problem! He wanted to go skiing without me and take along his male friend and several women? No problem! He wanted to have a female tennis buddy? No problem! I saw myself as a modern woman and believed men and women could be just friends. Yeah, we all know how that ended. Not only did I lose my fiancé I lost my house because he became violent when I asked to stay in the house. And I had purchased that house my cashing out all of my stocks for a nice down. That is what being a “modern woman” or a “cool chick” got me. But anyone who reads the blog regularly knows about that epic tragedy.

        The good thing though is that I have become an expert on what not to tolerate in the first place. Of course this doesn’t mean I can affair proof my marriage. If someone wants to cheat they will cheat. But I don’t tolerate what I would call “stepping stone” behaviors that lead to affairs. It would make it harder to pull off because I no longer allow all of the things I allowed in the past with my fiancé.

        An interesting side note. Has anyone heard the phrase that many people will get the face they deserve at 50? Well, my ex fiancés wife is now in her mid-50’s and my ex is on his way to 50. I saw a recent picture of the two and they both physically look like reptiles. I kid you not. I have never seen such a thing, so it’s quite remarkable. This cannot be chalked up to me smoking something. Has anyone else observed this kind of thing where someone’s face changes to match their internal character? (Again, I am not talking about aging.)

    • Shifting Impressions

      I find it so interesting…..there is such a common thread running through all our comments. It’s like all of us had this Spidey Sense that something was very very off……yet all of our partners were very unlikely suspects.

      My Spidey Sense was on high alert about twenty years ago……it was such an excruciating time….yet infidelity did not even occur to me. I guess the book The Manogamy Myth makes a lot of sense.

      The truth came out totally by accident almost fifteen years later. It came out a year after d-day regarding a much more current EA three and half years ago. My Spidey Sense was also on high alert during the more recent affair…but again, I only asked if there was someone else because I couldn’t make sense of my husband’s behavior. Of course he lied straight to my face when I asked. I asked that question the night before I accidentally stumbled on the emails.

      So…we absolutely need to pay attention when out gut starts screaming that something is very wrong.

      We have still never really dealt with the EA of almost twenty years ago but I know we need to. So how does a person who has such integrity in every area of their lives….betray and lie to the one that should more important to him than anyone else in the world??? I don’t believe that I will ever really understand that. Yes, Dale has a very long journey ahead of him.

      I have learned that YES I can trust my Spidey Sense. It’s not on high alert now, but having gone through that twice, I’m quite certain I would recognize it for what it is now.

    • Alice

      I would like to hear both Linda’s and Sarah Ps advice to the husband in this senario.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Alice,
        I will chime in. By the way, many of these You Decide pieces are a surprise for me just as they are for you guys. I don’t see some of them in advance, so this one is new for me too.

        Let’s start with red flags and here they are in order:

        1) Susan pulled away emotionally and physically. This is a red flag but it becomes even more so since it is implied that such behavior is new.

        2) Susan is distant and preoccupied.

        3) Dale assumes it is stress related because of a promotion. (But the stress seems to be related to hiding something.)

        4) Dale’s gut tells him specifically that Susan is having an affair with her boss. Even though he has not found hard proof, the overnight trip away with her boss is specific. Also in my personal experience, I have observed married women having affairs with bosses or other management specifically to get promotions. I have seen it more than once. In fact I have personally witnessed it enough to be very alarmed by it since I have worked at several companies and each one had a different specialty. Sure,, I worked in the information technology department managing products or software releases, but I have worked in Fortune 100 finance companies, non-profits, wireless technology companies, with legal compliance initiatives, and accounting initiatives. The companies did different things, but no matter what the company specialized in, I saw the tend. It is not industry specific. Now again, this is my own experience and I cannot prove this is a trend– I just saw it often enough to be absolutely disgusted by it.

        5) Susan’s reaction to Dale’s confrontation was suspect. He told her he knew there was someone else and she did not even attempt to deny it. It sounds like she was knocked speechless by the truth.

        6) Susan pretended like it never happened.

        What’s the old saying…. “if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, flaps like a duck, it is probably a duck.”

        If I were Dale, I would fear for my marriage. I would absolutely hire a PI and consult a lawyer to make sure I knew my rights. I would also want advice from a lawyer on how to build a string divorce case should I need one. I would get busy finding evidence and working with an attorney so that I wouldn’t make mistakes due to not knowing local laws etc.

        Alternate explanations for Susan’s behavior? Periomenopause. But, we have to look at the best explanation. This situation points more to an affair than periomenosuse. Plus we can assume that Susan is still young enough not to be in that life phase.

        Basically this has affair written all over it. Dale needs to take control and find his inner Alpha male. He needs to find evidence and then if he finds it, he can put her stuff out on the porch. Then he can confront her and ask, “what would the children think if they knew mommy was trading promotions for time in another man’s bed? I don’t think that is what is meant by doing overtime.” Yes, if I found proof of sexual intercourse, I would not mince words. I would tell Susan that I expected her to be a professional and to do her job selling insurance. I would remind her that it is unforgivable for her to break up her own family and possibly the other man’s family too. i would make her feel ashamed and let her feel the full emotional force of her actions.

        I know some of you out there are going to think I am being too hard on Susan. But, here is the real intent: to wake Susan up to her actions. Quite often, women are driven to have affairs for different reasons — mostly emotional ones. But when they cross the physical line, they often need to be ashamed. There is such a thing as healthy shame. It’s the kind of shame that forces people to step outside themselves and “snap out of it.” Women need to be appealed to differently in some cases.

        On the other hand, if it turned out Susan was non-monogamous by nature, Dale would need to consult an attorney adept at getting father’s rights. Susan would be a terrible life partner if she turned out to be promiscuous by nature. It would be best to cut ties early on.

        You see, I hate adultery. I do not go easy on unrepentant adulterers. It doesn’t matter if the cheater is a woman or a man. If anything (and this is sexist on my part) I think a philandering woman with children can do more damage in the long run. Moms generally have the greatest influence. Since they are generally caretakers, all of the time they should be spending with kids is spent with the other man. Maybe I feel this way because I am a mom myself. But I do think adultery is terrible and I just think that if a married woman is cheating the kids can really see it and feel it. This doesn’t mean male cheating is better. Cheating is nearly unforgivable no matter the gender. But when a mom of small children cheats is has different repercussions.

        Please don’t crucify me for my opinion. There is a reason I feel so strongly.

        • Lynsey

          HI Sarah P. You are right about how a mom cheating has different repercussions. My mother cheated on my dad when my brother & I were children. We both remember being at some strange house and given toys to play with while mom went into another room with some guy. We were both too young to know exactly what they were doing, but we could sense that something was wrong. Mom would also ask us to lie to Dad if he ever asked where we went. I think memories like that compounded my anger and frustration during my husband’s EA.

    • TryingHard

      Kim– what your husband did was projection. He was projecting his bad behavior into you. It’s sick and most do this. My h after DDay did the same. “Go out, date anyone. Do it”. He wanted me in the same muck and mire he was in. It’s sick

    • Puzzled

      Shifting Impressions- In my original post I mentioned leading with love and you weren’t sure about that. Don’t get me wrong, I was as lost, confused, sad, angry, you name it and I was feeling it. This was not an immediate response to my wife’s affair. Dday 1 was when I got the “I’m not in love with you and not happy for years” garbage. Dday 2 was when I caught her texting the guy at 2 am. Just like everyone else, that’s when my world really flipped upside down.

      It was after some deep soul searching and praying that made me decide to “lead with love”. I had confronted my wife, demanded she end it, and there could be no other way for our marriage to work. She became even more resentful, hateful, cold, demeaning, aloof, and simply downright mean. But, that made it even more obvious to me. When she used hate, I used love. When she was mean, I tried to be kind. I wasn’t going to let her dictate my behavior. I wasn’t going to stoop to her level. Did her behavior destroy me every day? Was I an emotional wreck from it? Did I question everything that happened over 20+ years of marriage? Yes, yes, yes. But I was going to fight for my marriage but I was going to do it my way. My two daughters being college age & high school age knowing what she was doing was a factor as well. I had to show them what unconditional love looks like. I was faced with a possible destruction of my marriage but I would act with love. It was my wife’s choice to come back. But, through it all, my girls needed to see the kind of man that they should marry. One who will stand up and face the worst but do so with love and compassion. I wasn’t just fighting for my marriage, I was fighting for theirs as well.
      Maybe everyone thinks that’s a crazy way to react but, if my marriage was going to end, I was going to show my children how to live with honor, integrity, and love.

      • M

        Puzzled, I actually feel the love you have love for your girls coming through the words you have written. Your daughters are blessed. Whether your marriage works out or not, you can know in your heart that you took the high road. It is obvious that you are a man of prayer – because to be able to face hate, and give back love, is “other-world” like. I admire your conviction to be someone you of kindness and honor – even when you’re broken.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thanks for the open and honest response. It’s probably just the terminology “Leading with Love” that doesn’t resonate with me. I have a rather complicated religious history, and phrases like “Leading with love” just have a bad connotation for me.

        I have great respect for the care you are giving your girls and your marriage. I have tried and am still trying my best to take the high road as well. Despite my “religious” background it is my faith that is carrying me through this.

        My adult children also know….and yes I want to be the best role model I can be for them. But as M put it so well in her post “I insist on being his ONLY choice”. That really is the bottom line for me. I have to model to my sons and daughters that I require their father to treat me with respect.

      • Fatcat

        Amen Brother! I’ve reached deeply to show kindness, love, and patience in all this. But when she gets a text from her “friend” and reads it with a smile on her face, I have to leave the room as all I feel is rage. I’m only five weeks into this mess but thank heavens for the example (and sage advice) you and others on this site have. This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through but for my two children I need to keep it together. To show them what real love is in the face of utter emotional devastation to become a better father, husband, and person in general. So no matter what happens months\years from now with my marriage, I’m going to be a better person because life events like this can make you better or bitter. None of us are going to be the same as before D-Day so it’s up to ourselves to become better…or allow all this s*** to make us bitter.

    • TheFirstWife

      Puzzled. I did the same during his A. Don’t engage in an argument. Don’t stoop to his level.

      Be size in the back of my mind I felt if we were able to reconcile I did not want him to have negative comments from me running through his head.

      At DDay 2 I was forced to be a bit more firm and take a harder stand. But I was not raging at him just standing my ground. The times I was forced to yell I made sure my kids were not around.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Sarah– you don’t need to apologize for your assessment. You are 100% correct. You’re correct because if both your education and experience.

      Pussy footing around, waiting for gor the affair to play out never never ever works. The point of being assertive is to snap them out of their stupidity or more nicely put “fog”.

      U agree completely with your assessment. Especially the point where she doesn’t even bother to deny it. Although the non denial doesn’t always follow. My h denied profusely when I found her earring in the back seat. He was very good at denying/gaslighting.

    • Doug

      Hey everyone, Thanks for the comments. We’re just returning from 2-weeks vacation in upstate New York and Canada where we had no wifi 90% of the time. It was actually quite nice!

      Anyways, I thought I’d update you on this particular scenario. See, this was an actual situation that a person I was mentoring had experienced recently. When putting this post together I intentionally left out one of “Dale’s” updates that he had sent me. I thought you might be interested in what ultimately happened.

      Here are some bullets from an email that he sent me:

      Post my conversation with my wife on Saturday evening….all day Sunday everything carried on as it has been for the last 2 years as if the conversation had not happened.

      – Yesterday evening I led a conversation where I offered her the opportunity to talk……I told her that I was probably the last person she may want to talk to or would even think of talking to….I told her that ironically I was the person closest to her and who knew everything…..and that I suspected she was isolated and not really able to talk to anyone else
      – This approach did illicit a long and constructive conversation
      – She admitted the affair (not many details at this point)
      – She re-traced history and we discussed her being shut down and distant for the last 2 years
      – She explained again why she had shutdown….she lost feelings for me (i love you but not in love with me!!). She explained that 2 years on she feels the same and she can not ignore that.
      – She is stuck with 2 – 3 events in our marital history where she feels I was not supportive of her and these are items she can not forget / get past. These are her story…..i.e. this is all she really remembers
      – I told her I am sure the affair made her feel alive and that she could have feelings she was looking for and she said it did….I did explain while it felt good it was a ‘false situation’ and she did agree

      This is where we are…..I will continue to be loving and supportive in my actions towards her…..I understand that it is only her that can come to a place where she decides to engage and if / should she do this I understand that she may start to feel differently

      • TryingHard

        Hi Doug–I hope you guys had a great vacation.

        As usual the cheater is blame shifting. Poor thing didn’t feel supported. So sad. She’s blaming him for her short comings and poor character choices. Did Dale know she felt this way? Did she discuss it and seek MC or IC?

        You know what I think. She’s caught and confronted and now she’s reaching for the Cheaters Handbook for some justifications to support her bad choices.

        Marital partners cannot and do not and are not supposed to meet every single emotional or personal need. But if a relationship gets to the point where none of your needs are met put your big girl parties in and get a divorce. Cheating and lying is not an option. It’s only an option for people with disordered character.

        I call buklshit on her story. And until she stops the bullshit and owns up to her choices that she alone are responsible for reconciliation will become wreckonciliation for Dale.

        Poor Dale will jump thru all the hoops trying to change, do better, reallllly listen and pretend empathy and she will find more to blame him for because her well thought plan is working for her. He took the bait and now she just reels him in to her crazy orbit. And he will think if he only does this or that everything will be fine. If he just dances pretty enough she will choose him.

        I hope you’ve guided him in the direction to not accept this. To get good legal advice and find a good therapist. He’s got a long way to go Personally and their marriage has a very long way to go too.

        • Doug

          Hey TH, Yes, it was very nice, thanks. Now I have to recuperate from it 😉

          You are correct, and I told him that his wife was using these past situations to justify her actions – and he understood and agreed with that. And absolutely, he needs to seek legal advice and counseling and take care of himself and his kids as best he can. One key piece of information that he needs to know right now though, is whether or not the affair is still going on. That will help him to determine what path to go down.

          BTW, I love the term you invented… “wreckonciliation!” I might have to use that in a future post!

          • TryingHard

            Doug– haha yes sometimes I need a vacation from my vacations too!!

            Ok well I can’t be credited for inventing that term. Totally plagiarized from another blog. But it is appropriate in many cases.

            Yes Dale does indeed need to find out. He cannot trust her word at all. If she’s blameshufting I’m going to guess the affair is still on going. And I will revert to my very first comment on this post. DALE NEEDS TO HIRE A PI.

            You cannot reconcile anything unless there’s a level playing field and right now it is not level in the least.

          • Butterball

            Doug-Do you think the wife is having an MLC? I get the impression from what you wrote above.

            In that case, he really isn’t going to get anywhere making demands that she leave the affair partner. His best bet is taking control of what he can control and that is himself, limiting his relationship with her as long as she continues. Refusing to accept the projected blame.

            MLCers are a special breed and you can’t convince them of their wrong and try to change what they are doing because all they can think of are themselves.

            • Doug

              I’m not sure Butterball. “Dale” never mentioned that possibility. And your advice is spot on, I think, regardless of whether she is in a MLC or not.

            • Hopefull

              I feel like recently I hear of more women having affairs and the majority have written off their marriage. In general it seems as if men use affairs as an escape. That was my husband he never made any commitment or professed any love or promise of a future but used it as an escape and diversion in the end hating what he was doing and himself the entire time. I just do not hear that from women having their affairs. It has come up more and more often in real life and each time the wife is done, does not want to work on the marriage. Again I understand this is not the case every time but based on my recent real life experiences.

            • TryingHard

              Hopeful- I guarantee if I were tempted to have an affair I would exit my marriage first. I would def know then that it was over for me. I’ve been thru incredible stressors the last 6 years since DDay and I have never once even considered an affair. I am certain that my stressors could most definitely contribute to a MLC and maybe an affair is just what I need. But if I do a divorce will preclude that affair. Now I just have to go find someone. After my nap…

              So I could not lower myself to my husbands level during discovery because well I just don’t know how to get stupid!!! I could not dumb myself down enough!

              Truly some of the dumbest stuff he said was head shaking to say the least. You know how when you talk to a dog and he tilts his head as if trying desperately to understand? That was me, head tilt and all.

              Yep he was mean and said mean stuff. I was shocked. But then I got smart and lawyered up and found my therapist. It was amazing how the stupid talk stopped once I asserted myself and called him on his bullshit.

    • TheFirstWife

      Do you think his approach will work to get his M back on track?

      • Doug

        TFW, I think that it is certainly possible depending on the person and the circumstances. For instance, if the affair is still going on, using his current approach he may find that the affair continues for quite a while, whereas a tougher approach might work better. If however, the affair is over, then I feel that his loving and supportive behavior can be beneficial for healing and reconnection. It’s certainly not a one-size fits all, situation.

    • TryingHard

      Loving kindness is a given. It’s an approach that should be instilled in ALL relationships. Always. There is no room for hatered or meanness or revenge in any relationship that one wants to grow. And when it’s a personal value, loving kindness is even more important. Indeed no one should sacrifice their intrinsic values for anyone else or any relationship.

      That said loving kindness is NOT a tactic. When some one is cheating it makes no difference to the cheater if you are loving or hateful. It makes no difference to them. If you are kind and loving you are perceived as trying to win them over, trying to manipulate them, being fake because after all where was all that previous to their affair as they like to blame us? They lie in wait for the loving kindness to end. Then they can say “see I knew you were faking”. And if you’re hateful well that plays into their plans too. I say don’t go overboard with the love and kindness. Shift into neutral with her. Show all the love and kindness to those that reciprocate. Your children, your siblings, your parents. But her neutral.

      absolutely stick to your values. But I’m telling you were I you and my spouse was texting the lover in front of me, that phone would find a new home. IN THE TOILET!!! Lovingly tossed of course!!

      • Hopefull

        I feel the same way. I was not mean or nasty after dday but I was demanding and critical. I was doing everything to protect myself and figure out what was going on, what was best for me and my kids and how to navigate the future. I was emotional at times and I am sure that things I said were hard for my husband to hear. I was being 100% honest. I never said it to get back at him or to try and even things up. I would not go to his level and that is not who I am no matter what circumstance I am in. I think in the long run and when caught off guard with something like this I reacted naturally and true to myself. I agree kindness is not a tactic and especially when someone is cheating. In the end I would advise anyone to be true to yourself. I am proud of how I handled everything and I go to bed every night knowing that. I know my husband has a ton of respect for me because of who I am and how I have handled everything. I have not been a pushover at all but if I wanted to give this a try I felt I needed to be the most authentic version of me. anything else would be fake and most likely not help our marriage stabilize.

        I agree with trying hard that they will use anything against you in the moment so be yourself. And for me it was up to my husband to show me kindness and step up his behavior.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        Sheesh….why didn’t I think of tossing his ipad “lovingly” in the toilet instead of smashing it to the floor on d-day. So much more effective! I couldn’t even get the damn thing to break.

    • Butterball

      The confrontation failed because it actually wasn’t a confrontation. He basically said I think there is something going on but you don’t have to tell me.

      A confrontation requires two people, and he gave her an out from the beginning. I don’t think it failed. I think he got exactly what he demanded from her, which was nothing.

      • TryingHard

        Butterball–I think you are on to something. Yes we ask a question sometimes and then we realllly don’t want the answer. Because we know the answer and it’s just to abhorrent to process.

        Or we ask another question hoping there will be a different answer. I think particularly we do this very early in discovery. We are in such shock and all we can think is ‘please don’t let this be what I am hearing’. It’s all part of denial.

        • Hopefull

          I think this is so true and would agree also. It was not much of a confrontation and probably reflects their recent or maybe even their communication style their entire relationship.

    • TryingHard

      SI–I know right?? Toilets serve a multitude of purposes!

      Don’t feel bad though. Picture me trying to push his $6600.00 effing massage chair that he just HAD to have out the back door so I could push it into the ditch behind my house!!! LOL I gave up when I got a stomach cramp 🙁

      • Shifting Impressions

        Don’t worry Trying Hard
        I don’t have a moments remorse over that ipad. I really think they need to see some of our rage…..

        All in all I agree with you, Hopeful and Butterball….it wasn’t much of a confrontation. And loving kindness is not a tactic. I was pretty fair and kind as well….and even the ipad thing wasn’t all that crazy. He had lent it to me that morning and I found all the incriminating emails. Then the moment my back was turned after confronting him he had “destroyed all the evidence” I took that thing and threw it on the hard tile floor and said I never want to see this thing again. I sooo wish I would have thought of the toilet.

        It breaks my heart when the BS gets so caught up in the idea that they now have to “win” the CS back…….it should be the other way around.

        Sooo….does he still have that chair??

    • TryingHard

      SI—LOL yes!! Only because it’s like a freaking tank and I couldn’t push it across the basement floor let alone my yard!

      • Shifting Impressions

        That bad huh!!!! I imagine it brings up just a tad of resentment seeing him sitting in that chair….just a tad, mind you.

    • TryingHard

      Haha actually the chair doesn’t bring up too much resentment but we actually get a good laugh from it. LOL I’ve got plenty of other stuff for resentment.

      He asked how his chair was when he was gone and I told him it was in the ditch. There was dead silence and he actually believed me. I told you he was stupid then. How on earth he thought I could get that thing in the ditch…. but anyway he was surprised to see it sitting in the basement when he moved back home. He told me he thought I would have slashed it with a knife but not push it into the ditch. I told him I was really really mad one night and did it. Strong like bull!

    • Tired

      Ironically it was MY phone and computer that got destroyed by him because that was what I was using to “do my detective work”! Hello, what about the emails and messages he sent from his phone and computer? Double standards, lol

    • TryingHard

      Tired–of course it’s not what they are doing wrong, it’s about your bad reaction to it!! Sorta like if someone took a baseball bat to your arm and broke it. It’s not that you’re pissed he broke you arm with a bat it’s how dare you be pissed about that.

      Look cheaters are dangerous pathetic people while in the “fog” or denial or whatever you call it. Sometimes they act like cornered animals. It’s important to stay safe and firm with your boundaries. And too bad he destroyed your computer. I guess he’s never heard of recovering memory from your hard drive or the Cloud? But really his actions tell you everything you need to know. He doesn’t want you to find out what he’s doing. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. He’s guilty as hell and he knows you know it. Now they point is how do YOU move on/progress with your choices.

      Really all you’ve done with your detective work is to level the playing field. Cheaters don’t like to play on level playing fields. They get a real kick out of the power and control and secrets that create the rules of engagement to be in their favor. I hope you are very careful in dealing with your husband and his infidelity. First and foremost is to keep yourself safe. The fact that he destroyed your property to defend himself makes me a little worried for you.

    • Tired

      Don’t be worried about me. It’s all under control.

      What you say is true though…he was scared I would discover things. This was 18 months ago and he was still in touch with her. Not sure what he expected to find in my phone or iCloud. Most of the evidence would have been on his stuff. So I think he was just angry that I was still suspicious.

      He acted like an idiot while in the fog. That’s the hardest part to forgive. He was someone else, literally parroting someone else’s opinions.

      I’ve been through all the cornered animal behaviour. Yes he did that. But now it’s different.

    • TryingHard

      Tired–Good I’m glad to hear that. But you keep your eyes WIDE open.

      LOL oh yes they love to quote the wise words of schmoopie! Sheesh, stupid much.??

      I feel your pain. They say and do quite absurd things. I remember looking at my husband of 30 + years and wondering ‘who the eff are you???” Sometimes I still do that and it’s been 6 years.

      • TheFirstWife

        Trying Hard. Same feelings here.

        I look at this person I have known for 34 years and ask – who the hell are you?

        Everyone would tell you my H would never cheat – he is not that type.

        Well he did. twice.

        And yes he is that type of guy. Mid life crisis or not I now see who and what I really married. I see him as a coward at times – he will never start a conversation about any issues or snything A related. I told him once how I wish he would come to me on his own and explain everything and provide final closure. Not going to happen.

        But I remember the A days when one minute he was divorcing me and the next day I got the “love you not in love with you ” speech and the third day it was yes I love you.


        • TryingHard

          FW—it’s so confusing I know. And I still shake my head and wonder too.

          Oh hell no my h has NEVER taken the initiative in that conversation. It would mean a lot to me too. But so would winning the lottery and I have as much a chance if that happening as him initiating a conversation and show me that he had an aha moment.

          I did have a sort of one last week. An architect dropped off some plans and along with them was a full file and plans for the reconstruction of the OWs shack. I made copies of everything because well that’s what I do now and slapped the file in his desk. He turned white and actually said “oh boy, now that’s a trigger “. Honestly I think he felt worse than me. I walked out and agreed yes it was a trigger. There were even about 20 pics of the project. Seriously a dump!!

          When he got home we talked a little. He expressed how awful he felt that I had to be triggered. He also said it made him physically ill to see all that stuff and the pictures. He admitted “I was trying to be such a big shot”. I almost fell over but I agreed with him.

          You know as you said we have to accept who we are with. We can’t love who we want them to be but who they are. Like they say, When someone tells you who they are, believe them!!

          Now it’s up to us to face that task. And I know you can do it!!!

    • JTK

      I am new to the blog – glad I found it. It’s been 6+mos since d-day of my wife’s EA. She still denies it; all friends I have showed email say, yea, more than just flirting. The end of it basically said not now for us but maybe one day. There is so much that is familiar with your stories – I would never have suspected; our love was sooo deep; the previous year + between us was really good, felt closer than a long time. I like Puzzled approach. As a Christian, I pray for help and direction daily; told my w I forgive her; though she did not really respond, still denying. I read the risk of staying questions in the guide and every answer is high risk – she keeps her phone private, she has not been compassionate, no remorse, and since the OM works with her, contact is maitained. In fact she is new mgt and wants him along side her. About to be empty nesters. Should I leave? I love her so much, it is painful everyday to see her not love me like she used to. I want the best for her, and if she no longer really loves me, maybe what is best for her is the OM.

      • Puzzled

        JTK- sorry you are going through this. All of us here know the pain and fear that goes along with D-day and the betrayal of our spouse. When the affair “fog” is thick, I’m not sure there’s much to do other than state your feelings and demand an honest response. Demand that it end and that she commit herself to you and your marriage. You won’t get much honesty but you need to stand your ground and tell her you want your marriage to work and that the affair must end. You’ll get denials, gas lighting, lies, hatred, anger, cold-hearted bitterness, and lots of other garbage. But don’t repay hatred with more hatred. My wife wanted me to lash out. She asked once “why don’t you just get mad and scream at me?!?!” I simply told her that it wouldn’t help anything, it wouldn’t make us closer, and I’d never screamed at her in 21 years of marriage so I wasn’t starting now. I think she was hoping for bitterness and rage so she could justify her behavior. The driving factor for me was my kids. They needed to see that a person of honor and integrity can face adversity without anger and hatred. I know that my approach goes against the normal response but, if my marriage was going to succeed or fail, then I was not going to be anything but myself’; just as I’d been myself for 25 years with my wife.
        As a fellow Christian, what is best for her? To honor her vows to you and to her Lord. A Christian marriage is a covenant between you, your spouse, and your God. It’s not just a piece of paper. It’s not just words.
        But don’t fall prey to her meanness. It will hurt a lot. You’ll question your sanity. She’ll make you feel like garbage. But don’t give in to her. Loving unconditionally means loving no matter what and not expecting anything in return. Pray like crazy and fight my man. Fight for your marriage with everything you have.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I am sorry you are going through this. Until your wife acknowledges the EA and shows some remorse, all your words of forgiveness will fall on deaf ears.

      A really good book to read is NOT JUST FRIENDS by Shirley Glass.

      I really believe our CS need to see the pain they have caused and need to be held accountable for their actions. You need to ask yourself if you are really at a place of forgiveness yet. There are some really good posts about forgiving to soon on the blog

      I have the same Christian values that you have and we are also empty nesters, I can relate. But it’s taken me over three years to get closer to forgiveness.

      Hold her accountable for her actions. Isn’t that what love is?

    • JTK

      Puzzled and Shifting impressions
      Thank you for your comments. What are your thoughts on additional exposure as mentioned in the Harvey book? All she knows is that our pastor and I know. I could expose to her parents and my daughter to help confront her. Like you say, we might not move forward unless she owns it.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I would absolutely NOT do that. In my opinion that is vindictive and not the way I would want to behave.

        My adult children do know what happened but that came about in a much different way. My husband didn’t deny and he cut all contact on d-day. I would not want my children to be part of the confrontation process.

        I told my husband that I only wanted him to stay with me if that is what he wanted. I wasn’t going to beg and he was free to go. I wouldn’t leave my home if I were you….after all you aren’t the one having the affair.

        She might never own it….we really can’t make our partners do anything. If that is the case you need to realize that you still have choices. I’m pretty strong in my stand that if they can’t decide what they want perhaps they need to leave until they do. And I might not be waiting should they chose to come back to me. I need to be his only choice.

        Here is the thing…the last three and half years of my life have been painful to the extreme. And that has been with my husband showing remorse and with us trying to work through this. I don’t think I could have made it this far if there would have been denial etc. Don’t get me wrong he wasn’t easy and he was guilty of dribbling the truth in bits and peices but he didn’t deny the EA.

    • JTK

      Shifting impressions
      Thank you for your response. So now I struggle with how to proceed. With my w denying anything, it would not make sense to demand no contacr with the OM because per her there is no reason. Yet she remains emotionally distant from me. I will try to fight for my marriage but as everyone here knows, it is painful daily to see the love of my life no longer love me.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Just because your wife is involved in an EA doesn’t necessarily mean she no longer loves you. As they often say….the infidelity isn’t about you. I know, I know that is so hard to hear since their actions cut so deeply. Like you I couldn’t sleep for months after d-day either. Nothing in my life has ever broken my heart as did my husband’s EA.

        About your wife’s denial….you said you had evidence in emails. I stumbled on emails as well and it took only two things in those emails for me to have proof that an EA was going on. They addressed each other with “My Darling Susan/Bob” and signed their emails “your Susan/Bob”. (Not their real names by the way) That’s all it took.

        I imagine you have at least that much. If you do I would tell her that her denial is irrelevant and in your eyes she is involved in an affair and you are sorry she doesn’t respect you enough to be honest. I would then turn your focus on self-care for you.

        In the mean time educate yourself on Affairs and get counseling for you. My husband refused counseling as well, even though he admitted to the EA and ended contact.

        • JTK

          Shifting Impressions
          The email I saw just after their 10-day trip together included my W saying ‘oh love you’. She does not talk like this at all. The email ended with my W saying ‘we have to walk away today; maybe one day we won’t have to…., love you with all of me’. When I confronted her, she said that’s just the way people at her work talk – WHAT? Are you kidding me?!? She later said it was inappropriate flirting and she would not email like that again. For months after she blamed me for our disconnect and her staying distant because I found the email. When I finally stood up saying this is an EA, more than flirting, she just said, you don’t believe me and has never admitted. I am concerned about the last part of the email and her continued denial that she is just maintaining us for now but will eventually keave for the OM. She said this last part just refers to them wanting to work together. That’s crap – they had just spent months on the phone weeknights and weekends, worked alone together after work late several times, had gone on another previous trip in addition to this 10-dayer. How much more time do you need together. I stopped going to a counselor because she says ee are not making progress by doing that. She says she needs to see me happy before she can feel like we can get close again. Bit how can I be happy with her staying distant – just more bs. She is not trying to win me back because ‘she has not done anything wrong’. So how do I get to that point. I did get ‘Not Just Friends’ and started reading. Yesterday I had an ultrasound mid-pm to check a lump they found to see if it might be cancer; normally my W would have txted me aftet to find put results. I did not hear from her until late night when she got home from work. I ferl like I must have hurt her somehow but will not tell me for her to be so heartless these 6 mos. But it sounds like other CS are like that.

          • JTK

            Also, she will continue towork with the OM and go on trips together.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Well…you have enough evidence, there’s no doubt. No sense arguing with her about it.

              You can’t make her do anything….only you can decide how much you will put up with. Go for counseling for you….help you figure out what you want.

              Is the other man married? Sometimes it just takes one of the Betrayed Spouses to say ENOUGH…to shake things up.

              And yes the gaslighting, the manipulation and the lying seem to be quite common….especially while the affair is still going on. And yes they can be rather mean and heartless. Remember you did nothing to deserve this.

              I am so sorry you are going through this….I hope the results of your test were good news.

            • JTK

              My results are that it is just a benign cyst – good I don’t have to deal with that right now. The OM is married. I think I know what I want that is for her to be passionate about me/us as I am about her. We had this; sure we had our moments of selfishness, stubbornness and frustration with each other. But overall we loved each other. But if she is no longer passionate, I do not want to be with her. So the question is how long can I wait for her to decide. The only other factor is that I want to submit to what God wants. It had been months since I had written in my prayer journal which has scriptures on each page. I opened to the page I last wrote and the journal scr. was Hosea 3:1. “Show your love to your wife again though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress”. But I still wonder if it takes leaving to bring her into accountability.
              Thank you for caring in giving me your thoughts, experience and help.

            • Shifting Impressions

              It’s all so difficult isn’t it. Of course you want your wife to be passionate about you and your marriage, but that’s highly unlikely while she is in the middle of the affair fog. Even when a BS shows remorse and stops all contact I believe it takes time for healing to take place…all these things are a process and take time.

              My husband and I had always had that as well. We were high school sweethearts. We had our highs and lows but together we raised four of the most incredible children and made a very good life for ourselves. D-day came two weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary.

              I was completely devastated…..the words that God spoke to my heart were “Did you think I would let you go through this alone?” And true to his word I have had the most amazing support.

              That’s a very heavy scripture that you quoted and probably should be balanced out with other scriptures,….as most scripture should. I felt I was free to chose whether to stay or go….as infidelity is one condition that allows us as Christian’s to divorce. What I received from my faith was comfort, support and strength as I fought this horrendous battle, not a heavy mandate that I should stay….or go for that matter.

              Only you know when enough is enough.

            • JTK

              Shifting Impressions
              It breaks my heart to hear how your H hurt you – at 40 years. I know we keep busy schedules when raising children. I love my children, but I was looking forward to being empty nesters – more time together, trips, romance. These should be years we embrace with our spouses. It is tough to endure my W while she is in the fog. I suddenly lost my key source of affirmation, best friend (on d-day, my W said the OM has become her best friend), my sense of being loved. I know we should not blame ourselves, but it has brought to the forefront all of my failures. So this has all contributed to my loss of self-esteem and confidence. This makes it hard to have a sense of joy or contentment with who I am. I have always had this live for today attitude, so for me to think it may be years before my W and I are good is hard. I admire your courage to endure your pain and fight through your battle. I pray your H truly appreciates you, adores you and loves you completely.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Thanks for your kind words. The fact that my husband really is a wonderful person and shows true remorse keeps me going. We really have come a long way.

              I believe most betrayed spouses feel the loss you are talking about. This is where I believe the self-care comes in. Get the support you need, educate yourself and realize you are not to blame. Take care of you!! I know the process can seem daunting, but there just aren’t any shortcuts one can take. As time goes on you will find strength you didn’t know you had.

              The fact that your wife admitted that the other man has become her best friend tells you how deep in she is. Perhaps ask her if the OM’s wife appreciates her husband having another woman as a best friend. She needs to face that she is hurting two families.

    • Puzzled

      Without concrete evidence, you’re in the beginning of discovery stage. Can you get all text messages printed out by your cell carrier? Do you have access to her phone and Ipad? She may delete everything but, from my experience, she’ll keep the text messages as a memento to boost her ego. If not, when you’re sitting at dinner, simply ask her to unlock her phone and hand it over. If she throws a fit and calls you paranoid, invasive, untrusting, then you’ve struck a nerve. But it sounds like you already read things that proved your suspicions.
      And I know what you’re feeling when the woman you love and cherish looks at you like a stranger and treats you like an enemy. But don’t give up hope. I just passed 2 years from D-day. My relationship with my wife is changing every day. We are rebuilding a new future. I don’t want what we had, I want something better. Hopefully, it continues to improve. There are still struggles and challenges but we are definitely moving in the right direction. Don’t lose faith and keep the communication lines open. Ultimately, it will be up to your wife to wake up and come back to reality though.

    • JTK

      On D-day, I checked her email . I did not think about text at the time. However they seemed to use skype to talk which if you don’t turn on a certain switch, those messages are not retained on her phone. When I thought of it later, I checked phone when she did not know and found nothing. A few months back I mentioned something about her locking her pc login and that struck a nerve. The email I found was right after a 10-day business trip they took together. I went to a prof counselor and shared the email; she said this an EA as did my pastor. By the way my w refuses us getting counseling. I admire how you have been able to hang in there 2 years (Shifting Impressions for 3 1/2 !!). I can’t believe I have been able to make 6 1/2 mos. I lost a lot of weight and did not have a full nights sleep the first three months. I said the same thing to her about wanting things to be better. I have been through thinking about my regrets and failures as a husband (no affairs though) just times of selfishness or stubbornness and told my w a few different times. She always says she has nothing against me. I initiated a discussion on meeting each others emotional needs. She was not real interested. So I am just trying to love her as best I know how while trying to be patient if she decidrs to “come back”. The only way to me that a husband and wife should be is passionate for each other – passionate about time together, sharing life experiences, feelings, affection, everything.
      I am glad to hear about your marriage headed in the right direction. It encourages me to hear from you and Shifting impressions; I will persevere.

      • Shifting Impressions

        You know I tried to behave with as much grace and character as I could during those early days not because I was trying to WIN HIM BACK. I did that because I wanted to look myself in mirror, knowing I took the high road.

        In my opinion it was up to my husband to win me back. The first year was hell as he had is head up his ass!!! He couldn’t handle my pain….it became all about him.

        But slowly, slowly he started to show true remorse. I don’t know if we would still be together if he wouldn’t have done that. Slowly, slowly he was able to listen to me express my pain.

        Don’t give up, but don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

    • Puzzled

      This is a journey so be patient and be ready for the ups and downs of a very long roller coaster ride. My wife quit counseling as “she didn’t like our counselor” but it was really that he was about to expose the truth of another man in her life. You’ll make some strides but there will be set backs as well. I hope things go in the direction that’s best for you. There were many days that I never believed we would be together right now. I’ve come steps from Hell and it’s been a long climb back out of this pit.

    • TryingHard

      JTK— Wow you’re wife is making you jump thru a lot if hoops.

      This just doesn’t make sense. She is being so manipulative the way you describe your relationship.

      You really need to get back to your counselor for your sake. I don’t give a damn, and you shouldn’t either, what wacky wife says. You need an anchor and direction and your wife is not it. She is gaslighting you my friend. Pretty sure your therapist would agree. this is not an example of taking care of you. You are letting your wife pull all your strings like you are her desperate puppet.

      • JTK

        I have wondered if she was being manipulative but wondering why she seems to do just enough to maintain us. I see from her s lot that she seems insincere or superficial which I definitely did not see before d-day. So if this true – gaslighting , not really sincere in interest in is, then she is not really wanting us, probably wants the OM. Then, I think I should leave (I prefer leaving vs her leaving). Then what is best for me is to no longer be around the love of my life that does not love me (as much) anymore.

        • TryingHard

          JTK– no not necessarily so. Yes she is manipulating and gaslighting.

          I’m sure she loves you as best she can. But she loves herself more. No she doesn’t feel the same pain you are feeling. She feels very little pain. The only real pain she feels is when you expect honesty because that is one thing she cannot give you and yet it is the one thing you need.

          Ah yes LOVE. The great big barrel of spackle and server of shit sandwiches !! There’s a whole lot more to relationships than love. Like respect, integrity, honesty, commitment, sacrifice to just highlight a few. But hell if there’s love than fuck it. We will take anything and everything right?

          No!! I say. Love alone does not a relationship make. Because LOVE is a choice. You can love anyone and everyone. You may not be lacking love but you are lacking all the rest that makes a good relationship.

          Who knows why she wants you. Could be as simple as she wants her cake and eat it too. Maybe you’re a good provider or maybe you’re just a convenient habit. Maybe she’s lazy and doesn’t want to be totally responsible for herself and children if you have them. So she stays. But she sure as hell isn’t going to give up anything for that love you have for her. No in fact she probably resents it.

          She’s learned to live a double life and it works for her as long as she can manipulate you enough to shut up and quit asking questions. She’s learned to go deeper underground with her affair. Pretty certain you have no idea where she is or what she is doing most of her day.

          So this works for her right now. She probably doesn’t want the OM full time. She knows she will end up as she is now in her marriage with you. She wants the affair, not another marriage.

          I know I sound cruel but I’m not cruel. I’m telling you the truth. The truth your wife won’t tell you. You did nothing to deserve this. You did nothing wrong. Do not accept any blame. It is she who has done wrong. It is she who is disordered. Do not feel sorry for her. Feeling sorry for a cheater is the same as feeling sorry for the person that kills their parents and then begs sympathy from the courts because they are orphaned. SHE alone has done this.

          Now she wants to threaten you further into submitting to her wishes and just let her have her way or she’s out of there. Well I say show her the damn door!!!

          If she can’t at least be honest, respectful, remorseful, committed, act with integrity ask yourself, what are you really losing?? And don’t tell me the love of your life. Because if that’s the love of your life you my friend need to raise the bar.

          • JTK

            The irony is that she is in line to be the top dog of her company and has been leading establishing their core values including respect, honesty and integrity. Her job situation is a part of her loving herself more than me/us. I have seen that for a while; there are times recently that I think she is seeing that. But she is either too arrogant, selfish or insecure to admit what she has done. To me it needs to be all or nothing between us. The question is how long do I give her to decide.

            • TryingHard

              JTK– only you will know when enough is enough. It took me three months of doing the loving supporting but. Then I blew. He came home the next day. But he was still seeing her for about a month. Yes I was very chunky and wanted to believe and oh boy was he passionate with me during that time!!

              It sounds to me as if she is getting a lot of her needs met thru her work. The sad thing is jobs go away all the time and then you have nothing. My former DIL did this. Yes I said former. You and her marriage are taking the back seat and will continue unless there’s a threat she’s going to lose you. Tough love works is all I’m saying.

              Remember Jesus threw the money changers out of the Temple. You need to throw those money changers out of your temple too. Jesus wasn’t always kind to sin. You can only give one so much rope until they choose to hang themselves.

            • TryingHard

              Lol. Chumpy not chunky!!! Stupid autocorrect

            • JTK

              Lol thanks for making me laugh. I needed that.

    • TryingHard

      Actually going from Spiritualuty to psychology is not a stretch at all.

      The word psychology is Greek in origin. Psyche is mind, spirit, soul. Logos means study of. So Psychology is the study of Mind, Spirit, Soul. All synonyms for God in many religions

    • TheFirstWife

      JTK. So sorry for you.

      As an aside your W is probably doing the same thing my husband did during his emotional affair that lasted 4 long years. He refused to admit there was anything wrong because in his mind if there was no sex, then he wasn’t cheating. This was in a period of time before texting was around.

      It didn’t matter that the woman was more in love with him, and she clearly had an interest in breaking up our marriage. He refused to even acknowledge that the relationship existed.

      I tried confronting him over the years but was up against the gaslighting, stonewalling, denial and refusal to even speak about it.

      It finally came to ahead one day when she called my home, as she always pretended to be my friend, to ask me if it would be OK to have my husband attend a wedding with her. At the time she did not have a boyfriend and was requesting my husband to be her date.

      The only response I can give you is that I handed my husband the phone and told him what she wanted. The look on his face said it all as he knew he was busted.

      A few months later she sent an invitation to our home for her graduation party. Her and my husband spent four years In grad school together. So when the invitation arrived, I asked my husband if he planned on attending. He responded yes. And as the saying goes, do you know what hit the fan.

      for four years I tried to be patient kind and loving with him. I never suspected that he was in love with this woman the way she was in love with him, but he refused to put a stop to this highly inappropriate so-called friendship.

      I didn’t speak to my husband for three solid days. That was when he finally got the message that I was done being the kind and loving wife. The frustrating part is that he would never admit he ever did anything wrong.

      Fast forward to 2013 when he starts up a second emotional affair. Except this one lead to him falling in love and requesting a divorce numerous times. I guess the torture from the first emotional affair wasn’t enough for me, because I now had to face another one (which became a physical affair). And now I am being kicked to the curb for someone he is known less than six months.

      I will spare you all the details but at Day2 I learned from the other woman that he admitted to her that his first emotional affair did in fact exist.

      I cannot begin to tell you the anger that I have had for the last four years because he would admit to being inappropriate and crossing boundaries with someone else, but would never ever admit it to me.

      I am telling you this because in all these instances I tried to be the loving kind and supportive wife to win my husband back. It wasn’t until I took control of the situation in both cases that it had any impact. Unfortunately in the second affair, I was forced to tell him to leave me and my children. It still upsets me that I was forced to be put into that position to be so heartless.

      However I will tell you it was the only thing that worked. It was like a bucket of cold water had been throwing on my husband’s head and he was finally ready to deal with reality.

      I feel for your position because I have been there. I think your wife is in the affair fog. She is romanticizing this relationship right now. And it is all a mirage but she is just too blinded to see it.

      Please do not allow her to blame you for her affair, her unhappiness or anything else she throws your way. Her affair is a choice that she has made. There are no justifications for cheating.

      I wish you the best and hope that this situation resolves itself.

      • JTK

        Thank you for your comments. I can see in her how she is in this fog. Sometimes I wonder if it is a MLC. Regardless, she has some kind of love and connection with the OM that is betrayal. Since she continues to deny, she is not wanting to relinquish that connection. I do feel like I need some kind of bucket of cold water to throw on her. It breaks my heart to hear what your H did to you and for all on this blog. It is incomprehensible to me that a spouse can be so cruel, so hurtful. I am certainly no saint, and the times I think that I may have hurt my W devastate me. She says she has nothing against me; I still regret anything less than complete love, support and adoration for her. I wish for you happiness and love everyday.

        • TheFirstWife

          I feel as bad for what you are going through

          I remember those days too well

          I remember going to church every Sunday and praying for our M.

          And I do believe it was a miracle we survived it b/c my H finally got it at the last pisdible second. He snapped out of the A and fog one second before I was being forced to end it.

          Sometimes taking a hard stand is the only solution unfortunately. Because the cheater counts on the BS to remain there in the same place so they get the best of both worlds.

          Sorry to say it is true. I hope your wife doesn’t do permanent damage to the relationship. Read up on the 180 as it is called. Don’t make her coffee or her dinner or run her errands. Start to distance yourself to emotionally protect yourself AND let her see you are not going to tolerate her behavior. Get your own social life with friends and activities.

          And if that causes her to run to the OM – well there wasn’t much to hold onto was there.

          Hoping for the best for you.

        • TheFirstWife

          Yes and at this stage the CS believes it is love. And you cannot convince them otherwise.

          They are irrational. Completely irrational.

          I don’t have a solution to break them out if the fog. Oftentimes the threat of D is may do it. But not much else – maybe threaten to leave.

          I think sometimes cutting off the financial access can do it too. Credit cards and all that stuff, money, bank accounts etc.

          Hell during my H’s A I was squirreling away $ – in case he walked out and left me stranded with nothing – I could survive (with kids) for a few months.

          To this day I cannot have a balance on a credit card. Gee I wonder why??

    • Tired

      This is a bit from the left field. But often men who cheat are down in the dumps. A woman flatters his ego. They need someone to build them up. And then it is on. I don’t think men who cheat are always so bad. They are human and therefore fallible. A woman comes along and starts admiring him, telling him how wonderful he is.He falls for it. He doesn’t get that he has done none of that to his wife. He also doesn’t get that is why he didn’t get enough attention from his wife! And that would apply for cheating wives as well…

      • Doug

        Hey Tired, I certainly can agree with your opinion. They may not necessarily even be down in the dumps either. They just fall for the ego-stroke that the OP is giving them. I can also agree that he/she doesn’t understand that he/she could have received the same type of attention perhaps from his/her spouse if only he/she put forth the effort in the first place.

    • Tired

      i would really like to hear Doug’s take on my opinion

    • TheFirstWife

      Well if I had not seen the roughly 300 emails from the OW then I may have believed this.

      But my H pursued her. Made the A happen.

      Convinced her out M was terrible and stunk and we were on the verge of D. Because initially she did not want to get involved with a married man.

      So that theory doesn’t wiite git here.

      Secondly I used to get hit on very often. I used to think I must look like an easy mark. But immediately once the “men” uttered their “line” I lost all respect for them. I would laugh it off and extricate myself from the conversation and would have very little to do with them. In my mind they were pigs.

      So not every one falls for cheap flattery. Some people are smart enough to see through it. Don’t get me wrong I can recognize a sincere compliment but most men I know are respectful and understand boundaries.

      So I believe that A happen because one or both parties make it happen. I can feel flattered if someone pays me a compliment or we have an interesting conversation. I can look forward to talking to them again – doesn’t mean I would allow it to progress to a point where it becomes anything more.

      A good friend of mine has a H that looks like a celebrity. Seriously this guy gets stopped all the time asking if he is this gorgeous movie star. He said the worst part is the women who try to hang all over him and flirt. He loves his W and says so many women just have no respect and boundaries. They know he is married and don’t care. He hates to go to social events b/c of this sometimes.

      Snd that is the explanation for A. Selfish behavior and choices. If your M is so bad you need an A, get a D first. You have that choice before you are a cheater.

    • Puzzled

      TFW: I think the key word you’ve used is “boundaries”. Our CS did not respect or maintain the boundaries of marriage. Whether consciously or subconsciously, they crossed boundaries that were not meant to be crossed. We all have opportunity but the heart breaking reality is our spouses decided or rationalized crossing the line. I sometime wonder if a one night stand would have been easier to handle. My wife’s EA was a daily choice of crossing the line. It wasn’t a one time thing. It was a daily decision that eroded away at our marriage.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I struggle with that thought as well….the EA lasted for 18 months until I stumbled across the email. So over and over that decision was made to betray and lie. And that is really so unlike him. He has always been such a trustworthy person in every area of his life…last person one would suspect.

      He was miserable during the EA….I believe much of his misery was because he was behaving against his own moral code. I don’t think I will ever really understand.

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