There’s a devastating situation that we run into quite frequently when talking with other couples. In fact, some consider it even more devastating than the initial affair discovery…It’s called False Reconciliation.

false reconciliation

By Linda & Doug

OK, here’s the scenario (based on a true case story, btw)…You’ve discovered the affair and your spouse almost immediately breaks down and begs for forgiveness and promises that he/she will never do it again. They’re remorseful, open, honest, transparent, doting and really working hard on the relationship.

Their actions are really supporting their words and you’re really feeling positive about the future and you’ve certainly reattached emotionally and physically with your spouse.

Then, for some reason, there seems to be a little backsliding. Your spouse is starting to act similarly to the way they did while they were in the affair. Kind of short tempered. Doesn’t want to talk about stuff. Thinks that maybe you’d be better off without them.

Your gut is telling you that something is up. You approach your spouse about your fears and you are greeted with anger, gaslighting and the proverbial “You’re never going to get over this, are you?”

Then it hits. It can hit a couple of different ways – either by accident or by confession – but when it hits, the devastation is immeasurable. The affair has either restarted, never ended, or believe it or not…another affair started with someone totally different this time.

This friends, is the anatomy of a false reconciliation. (Some may call it a false recovery.)

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard the story above (or one similar) from folks who we’re mentoring. Most of the time when we’re talking with them it hasn’t gotten to the point where the second D-day has hit yet. However, based on the story that’s being told, it is painfully obvious to us what is going on.

See also  Debunking Some Marital Affair Fantasies

What is a false reconciliation?

Basically, a false reconciliation is when the wayward spouse (WS) purports to be committed to the betrayed spouse (BS), the marriage and to reconciliation, but has either taken the affair underground, reestablished contact with the affair partner in some way, started another affair or is otherwise still deceiving the BS.  It could also involve the WS deceiving the BS about their feelings toward the BS or the affair partner and/or about the reason the WS wishes to remain in the marriage.

Though we know of no statistics to support our assumption, we’re sure that many a promising affair recovery, has turned false.

We did read somewhere though that false reconciliation is usually caused by the WS inability to withstand the symptoms of affair withdrawal. As mentioned, often the false reconciliation is more damaging to the BS, than the original affair.

Signs of false reconciliation or recovery include:

  • Difficult to contact
  • Avoidance of sexual intimacy
  • Lack of care and concern for the BS
  • Crying
  • Seemingly unwarranted anger
  • Continuing “affair fog” babble.
  • Continuing desire for ‘privacy’
  • Has not apologized, indicating a lack of remorse
  • Still secretive
  • Uses your hurt to justify not fully engaging in the marriage
  • Attempts to set terms and conditions
  • Continues to state the BS was the reason for the affair
  • Blame shifts
  • Slight changes in stories
  • Continued dishonesty
  • Coldness
  • Actin distant
  • Extreme boredom
  • Changing work schedule
  • Difficult to reach on phone
  • Disappearing frequently
  • Still insisting on needing space
  • Holds onto affair mementos
  • Discusses contacting the OP for ‘closure’
  • Finding contraceptives
  • Lack of commitment
  • A sense of insincerity
  • WS acts like they are doing the BS a favor
  • Lying when confronted with evidence of ongoing contact
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While not all of these in and of themselves are absolute indicators of a false reconciliation, several of them going on at once should result in a huge red flag.  And you’ve probably noticed that the list is quite similar to what you could expect as signs of an affair pre D-day.

Sadly, a false reconciliation often brings back the entire wayward spouse mentality. Talk about devastating.

Universal Behaviors of Wayward Spouses that Sabotage a Marriage After an Affair

So what do you do?

The answer isn’t cut and dry, but there are options.

As the BS, you can…

  • Do nothing.
  • Start from scratch and repeat an attempt at the whole affair recovery process again.
  • Confront. Give ultimatums. Hope they work.
  • Kick your spouse out and file for divorce.
  • Get into therapy – either individual or couples – and try to work things out or prepare for a amicable ending of the marriage.
  • Get extreme and expose the affair in the hopes of forcing it to end and then take the lead in the affair recovery by establishing guidelines and non-negotiable conditions.
  • Take your time.  Assess the situation and any progress and then evaluate your options.  If reconciliation is your goal, hopefully your WS will get his/her head out of their ass, end the affair and transform themselves into a healer.

A false reconciliation can be devastating and can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  This second (or more) time around for the BS may bring about extreme emotional reactions.

You may want to wait until those emotions settle down a bit before you make any life changing decisions.  That said, since the deception and betrayal has happened again (or never ended) it may be extremely difficult to maintain any level of patience.

See also  You Decide: Ron and Maria - Living in Affair Limbo

If you’ve had any experiences with a false reconciliation, please share your story and how you handled it in the comment section below. And we know this probably isn’t a complete list, so if there are other options you’d like to add, please do so in the comment section. Thanks!

You may also want to watch this video from the folks at Marriage Helpers. 


*Originally posted on 9/5/2014 and updated on 7/26/2022

    61 replies to "False Reconciliation – Perhaps More Devastating than D-day"

    • Lynn

      My WS lied to his therapist, our MC, and me for over a year after the first DDay about his level of involvement w the OW. To the point that his therapist actually told him it sounded like I was emotionally abusing him by continually asking him to tell me the rest, bc I knew there was much more ! How do you like that?

      It has been quite a journey, to say the least…..he has done a 180 since coming clean and we are doing well, but the damage he did to his character added insult to injury and has prolonged our recovery, and it will take me much longer now to fully trust him.

      Even if I get to that point, I will never forget what he was capable of.

    • Jeff

      My wife did the same thing. I was even told by our MC that I needed to trust her again. Shortly after that I found phone #4 and had found they had been talking and meeting up for almost 2 months, while I had moved on to trusting her. Complete break down for me. After this we separated for a few weeks. She broke it off with him. She even fooled our counselor big time. Now a year later I am no where near being able to trust her and I am not sure I ever will. The pain of this was much more devestating than the original D-day!
      To this day I don’t know if I will ever trust! She is trying to regain my trust and she understands it might be a long road. I’m just not sure I will be able to make it.

    • Broken2

      Basically this is my life right now. Good article. My husband cheated on me 4 years ago with a coworker. He fundamentally changed who he was and how he acted. I couldn’t believe it! He was the man I always dreamed of. I kept waiting for him to turn back into what he use to be. He didn;t and I took a chance and trusted him again. We worked so hard for 4 years to rebuild our marriage. Then 6 weeks ago he started to be a little cocky…said I was driving him away because he had to be to transparent.So I looked at his email and low and behold he had gone on Craigslist and answered 3 adds to woman seeking men. One ad had a running detail of their conversation much like what is running in my head right now. It said (him) I would love to meet you and talk with you, heres my work number, call me on Monday. She very kindly sent him pics of her topless to which he replied that he liked them. The other ad was for a threesome and the girls kindly sent him a pic of themselves naked. I couldn’t believe it. He says he was JUST curious and that he would have never met her but does that really matter. When we talk about it he acts like it was no big deal and again he is back to the “new” husband with constant I love you and your so beautiful all day long. It sickens me really. I don’t want him to touch me and I even feel repulsed when he does. Underneath I feel angry on the outside I feel nothing. He cries alot because he thinks when I graduate from college I am going to leave him. Maybe I will. I have made an appointment with a counselor and I told him if he wanted to go he could be that I don;t care one way or another. His actions will answer my question. I now have NO self esteem….I had worked so hard to get it back the first time. I am so repulsed by myself that I avoid mirrors and certainly dont even hear the beautiful part of his compliments because if I was so beautiful there would be no need to seek out others…ever. I am studying to be a counselor so I know that this is his problem within himself, not mine but the pain is still there. I love him and always will but I hate him for hurting me yet again. Maybe I am using the counselor to leave him but I think it is more to understand why he does what he does. I truly dont understand because without this miserable behavior we have a great relationship. We had our best friend here for a week right after I found out about the Craigslist thing and they brought their daughter. SHe blurted out one one mom and dad why cant you act like they do towards each other? I thought if she only knew…and where is my academy award? I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have to endure this pain and I wonder if I would be happier away from what is dysfunctional behavior on his part. He is making me into someone I don;t like. I am cynical, bitchy, needy, possessive….his friend hates me because I act like this. I said the other day maybe you should tell him why I act this way. Maybe if he knew what he did to me he may not be so judgmental or maybe I dont care. I want me back. My classes are so hard and I find myself drifting off to the Craigslist conversation and it makes me angry that his behavior is making it hard for me to do the one thing that means anything to me. Yes this time around is awful but my body has numbed itself.

      • Lynn

        Broken2-You don’t deserve this! Clearly your husband has not had the personal growth occur that is needed in order to have a healthy, mature committed relationship. HE is broken! I am sorry for your pain-it comes through loud and clear.

        Keep seeing your counselor, and start believing that you deserve better, please.


        • Broken2

          Thanks Lynn……no one does. Crazy life I live.

      • tryinghard

        I so feel for you. I am so sorry this happened. Yep my husband has done a 180 as well but I constantly worry what he’s doing, thinking, behind my back. You know. YOu said his “actions” will tell you. Well I think he’s showing you by his actions what he’s going to do and that is to continue to lie, deceive, and pretty much continue to cross those boundaries that he is well aware of again, and again.

        You need to start believing yourself and what he is trying to show you. He can’t be honest.

        But here’s my thought. YOu have bigger fish to fry than your relationship with him. You have to finish you school. Is there ANY way you can just focus on that and put his sorry ass on the back burner? You’ve given him plenty of chances. Did the whole MC thing, are years past DDay, there’s really no much else you can do for the relationship if he is choosing to continue going down this very destructive road because these are only the ones you KNOW about!! Who knows what else he is doing.

        If you’re really so hell bent on making this work I suggest you get a GPS on his car and see if he’s going to prostitutes or strip joints as well. I put nothing past and incorrigible unrepentant cheater. And pretty much this is what he is showing you he is.

        Good luck to you and please stay in school and let the jerk think yes you might leave him once you graduate!!!

        • Lynn

          Hear hear! I second what trying hard has said, Broken2.

          Keep in mind also that a relationship is a two way street, and it seems you are doing all the “heavy lifting” while he is going around acting like Peter Pan. You know, never wanting to grow up!

          Not sure if you have kids w him and that may factor in why you are still w him. He is afraid you will leave him after school? GOOD! He knows you will not be dependent on him financially then and have no good reason to stick around.

          FWIW, my CS told me that when I went back to school he felt threatened, not that I would leave but that I would be smarter than he, he did not share this w me at the time.

          I was baffled b/c my going to school was for the common good, for us. I had no idea he felt that way until 10 yrs later!

          Poor communication or what??

          Keep us up to date, Broken2, and perhaps one of these days you will change your name on this site to something more fitting of you-like, UNbroken2, or Superglue gal-know what I mean? 🙂

        • Danni

          and do leave him, once you graduate.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Such a good topic. I think this is one of my biggest fears. If someone can live a lie for over a year….they are capable of doing it again. This is the fear that haunts me and keeps me watching. It’s part of what makes rebuilding trust so very very difficult. I don’t think that’s whats happening in my situation but…..and it’s that but, that haunts me.

    • tryinghard

      Enough would be enough. I would be broken hearted again and I would be even more furious with myself for giving him that chance knowing what he was capable of and what he did. For believing in him and all those shit sandwichs I ate for our relationship and him and our business.

      But I would NOT fall apart like I did the first time. I would divorce ASAP without a second look back. I would drag him and his family and the business through the courts just for the sport of it all.

      It would be Scorched Earth philosophy. All the kings men would fall. Including the king!!!

      • Lynn

        looking for the “like ” button Tryinghard-me too, should Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall, so to speak, all the Kings horses and all the kings men would never be able to put him together again-at least not w me!

      • Shanaaz

        I’m waiting for anything to happen so that I can do the same as the above mentioned becuase enough is enough.

    • tryinghard

      Yes what Lynn said!!

      And start looking at your beautiful self in the mirror and loving that beautiful, giving, smart woman. Protect her and love her. You are all you have girlfriend!

      New name–I love NotBrokenAnymore!!!

      • Lynn


    • Tabs

      Three months after Dday, the bitch I thought was the OW turned out to be the second OW. My H had already tried to end his first affair so he could have a younger girl. The second affair didn’t end quietly since they worked & traveled together. However, I forgave my CS (well, more like stopped yelling at his face) and stayed in my marriage. If anything… “anything”… I feel is inappropriate ever happened again, I’d put Trying’s “Scorched Earth Philosophy” into full swing. Thanks Trying for giving me new philosophy!

    • Broken2

      Thanks Lynn and Trying…..I am just taking it day by day. Trying to stop thinking about it and study. Oh I will graduate….7 classes left and then I have to get 2000 hours to get my license. I intend to work hard and support myself by this time next year. He keeps saying you dont have to support yourself…I’ll always take care of you and I think really?….just like you take care of me emotionally? No thanks. Lynn I do have 4 children with him ages 17 to 32 and 2 granddaughters. If they knew about his latest thing…I think they would leave him! I don’t want my marriage to end but as I become more and more independent I feel less and less like getting dumped on forever. I still can’t look in the mirror. I feel old and wrinkly, fat and ugly. I hope my new counselor can help me overcome these issues. It is suppose to be marriage counseling but I think I just want me there for awhile. I dont think he sees himself as having any real issues other then he screws up occasionally. The craigslist thing was just out of “curiosity”. Anyways thanks for the support I have got to get back to study mode

    • theresa

      I honestly don’t know.
      First thing will be the “Serenity Prayer”
      Next, look in the mirror. Is this me the same as the old me?
      I like and respect this me.

      So, Who was that?

    • Lost33years

      3 days ago I wrote Brian and his spouse to say I am at the end of 3 years of gaslighting TT omissions lies denial hiding all this wasted time . I have found such disturbing and self destruction I have been educated to not only see hear listen and watch but to put all the pieces together and the different mental illnesses my husband has shown obvious signs of his whole life are so hard to know we have all paid the price of his untreated undiagnosed mental illnesses . I wrote I am at the point I have been denied my husband being my partner I’m ready to call it over I did everything possible. I can’t make him see how unhealthy and unbalanced his lifetime of decision making has been I have been praying for decades for the man I love. Last night we watched an old show on Netflix and my husband turned to me and said I realize to you I was a monster I never tried to be. So I asked him just what was he trying to be to me by breaking every word he said to me , by abusing me mentally emotionally financially and sexually(by risking my life with prostitutes and who’re she’s even while I was pregnant) by abusing our marriage our children and our grandchildren . I am not sure what is going on in his head or heart but I am seeing cracks into this stranger I am married to. Can he read my mind?is this another game or is he really ready to face his own internal demons? I don’t know . I have lost so much of my feelings / respect / trust= loss of love for him .I am tired of the constant battling my own knowledge and my own instincts . My husband is an abused abandoned child a child who probably watched his father molest little girls including his baby sisters he has ADHD he was hard to handle as a child he was taught by example to abandon those who love you. My husbands father had him committed as a 9 yes a nine year old to a mental hospital (yes my husband had done psychopath actions) he was abandoned there for 3 years all those years his mother fought her own mental illnesses to get him out of there( even though he turned all the gas on the stove and told his mother when she asked if he knew his sister and his mother could have died he said he knew and he didnt care) I think he was 7 maybe 8 he nevver got any help all he got was an even bigger excuse for anything he ever did that was not how most people would act or react. I no longer know what to dont husband is a sick person. If I stay or go I am forever tied to this man by my heart and by my vow to GOD and by our 8 children and by our 7 grandchildren . I have done the 180 to help me see clearly in spite of the pain . I have given all I am and I feel beaten robbed raped abused and used all for a serial cheater who is sick enough to use other abusive sick no moral no character less than human beings and sick enough to do this and lie to my face everyday for two decades makes me doubt he will ever help himself. I just don’t know any more. I don’t know if I can take any more .

      • Strengthrequired

        Lost33years, I hope all works out for you, I’m so sorry your h has done this to you, I will never ever see the fairness of it, it is just completely wrong, and we are the ones that suffer. It’s hard to believe that the person you marry, can turn out to be someone so different to what you know. You never expect them to betray you or hurt you in any way, it doesn’t happen to you, it happens to someone else, then reality hits, no one is safe, everyone marriage can be vulnerable, and your whole life gets turned upside down and never to be the same as you knew it. Hugs to you….

    • Sarcaz

      I’m really sorry you have all been through what you have…
      I am here as the person who cheated. When my partner took me back she wanted total honesty, transparency etc. i wanted to be and give her all of that. However – I gave her a false reconciliation as I withheld details of my affair. I didn’t want her knowing the beginnings of the affair purely because I had done more than enough damage to her. I have since told her everything which has devastated her further due to the deception and because I broke my promise to be honest and transparent. I fear now that I have totally destroyed any reconciliation with her. I really don’t want to lose her – but it’s not my choice to make.
      If this thread is still active is anyone able to offer any form of advice on how I can save my relationship. Obviously I have destroyed all trust she could have had.

      • TryingHard

        Hi Sarcaz
        I’m a BS so you will get my experience through that filter. Just wanted you to know.

        Anyway, I get how tempting it is to only give so much information. I get that in your mind you are think altruistically wanting to “protect” her from TMI. Maybe even judging whether or not she can handle it. If your partner is asking questions it’s because she needs the truth on some level. She’s an adult. Trust me there isn’t too much else you can tell her that will hurt her any worse than the main fact that you cheated. What happens is in the begining and mostly on DDay we get information overload and when we go over the conversations we question whether you indeed said something or meant what you said ie did we really get the answers to our questions. And we forget. Plain and simple. Also we will ask questions later on to see if the answers change. For instance: “Did you love her?” “Well yes I did” ooo that one always hurts. But later we may ask the same question and given some therapy and time your answer most likely changes to “No actually I didn’t love her”. See what I’m saying? One of the reasons for the never ending and repetitive questions, we are trying to sort it out and unfortunately you’re the one with all the answers

        I asked lotssss of questions and repeated them, still do 🙂 4 years later, yeah it ain’t easy pal, but not as much as the first 18 months in. It’s all so overwhelming. I needed to know lots of details about her. I wanted to know my enemy which BTW is easier to pin on the OW than the CS because well we love you. If we did indeed pin all the onus on you I doubt there would be many reconciliations. And in my case I know for a fact the OW went after my husband, relentlessly. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have said NO, but regardless she played her role. I asked for NO details regarding the sex. I did not want any details on that and I made that clear in MC and in our conversations. But some women want those details. I think my husband would have rather cut his arm off than discuss the details of the sex!

        So what you have done any progress you made in the beginning brought you all the way back to step one with each new truth you give her. It’s called trickle truth and it is exasperating.

        So now what? Give her what she needs. Answer the damn questions. Don’t pretend you want to protect her when in fact you might just be trying to protect yourself. It’s her decision what she wants to do with the truth. The more honestly you answer the more likely she will try to rebuild trust. It’s when we KNOW there’s more you are hiding and trust me, we know.

        I hope I’ve helped. Good Luck to you

        So we get the initial bomb drop, tsunami of hurt, pain and endless conversations. We want to trust, soooo bad and we start to. Then we ask another question and more info comes out. Bam we are back to another DDay. Everyone here has had multiple DDays.

    • Sarcaz

      Tryinghard – thanks so much for taking the time to respond to me and revisit your own pain in doing so.
      Yes… I did want to protect her – I’m so tired of hurting her – but I was also extremely ashamed, riddled with guilt and embarrassment for what I had done. I had promised transparency and honesty during a time she should true strength of character by even being willing to try trust me again – and what do I do? I blow it completely. My intentions are very much transparency, openness and honesty – however when she asked questions I answered as truthfully as I could within the information she had. Obviously – that’s hardly being truthful. That’s what hurts her more than anything now – is that I allowed her to allow herself to vulnerable again. I also didn’t give her a fair opportunity to make a correct, life changing decision when she wanted me back as she didn’t have full disclosure. I took that right from her – yet claim to respect her.
      The worst of the entire sordid affair was initially I was swept up in the flattery, attention, friendship, closeness. I liked the idea of something different as our relationship hadn’t been good. The first mistake I made was not having respect for my partner at the time – or the courage to actually tell her I was unhappy etc. thin crossed the line. And the worst – most despicable thing I could have done? I married her! I have wanted to marry her for so long. But I also knew – the timing was wrong – we had too many problems before and of course… I was having an affair. I tried putting a stop to the affair on two occasions. However, the OW was so manipulative and controlling and I’m a coward and weak that when she threatened to expose I did what I needed to do to stop her. She wanted me – I allowed her to believe I wanted her – PURELY to save my partner the devastation of what I had done and whilst I towed the line – the OW got to dictate. I tried ending it again then she started threatening physical violence against my partner. Now I was trying to deal with the other place I had put her without her permission – in physical danger. From that point I did whatever I could to appease the OW in order to protect my partner. Yes, sounds absolutely sick and the whole situation is beyond disgusting. Basically I played the OW – conned her into thinking I wanted her when I didn’t. I didn’t even like her much.
      Another unbelievable truth – I didn’t even like the sex. It was demeaning and damaging to me – never mind the damage to my partner.
      Anyway… My partner and I eventually separated for 5 months – with me actually telling her I wasn’t sure who I wanted. I also told OW that I wanted to be on my own. I knew damn well who I wanted but had become so loathsome of myself and firm belief that my partner needed better than me – so I tried pushing her away. She never let go of me. Anyway… The OW Got back in touch and said I owed her an explanation on how I could play her the way I did. She always always blamed my partner for getting in the way and resented the hold my partner seems to have over me. Anyway… Once again – the deceptive lying con hat came on and I decided to con the OW again – to prove to her that my partner was not to blame for anything. It was like I wasn’t allowed to make a decision that I didn’t want the OW. So I entered a relationship with her – moved in with her so she could see – I was no longer with my partner and her and I were still not going to work. I figured this would be good and the only way I could stop the OW from threatening my partner – as she would have no one but me to blame. I lasted a month before I unravelled. OW got violent – I left. Eventually I had to get police and lawyers involved to get her to back off. The good thing though – her physical threats were directed to me and no longer my partner. Mission accomplished.
      My god… All of this is absolutely horrendous… I should be locked away from society. I’m vile. But I absolutely love and adore my partner. I so don’t want to lose her but when I mess up… God do I mess up.
      I will more than understand if you can’t respond to this – but I guess I just wanted the world to pretty much know how disgusting I’ve been to my partner.
      Am I expecting another try at reconciliation? No… Do I want that chance? Most definitely. Everything is out now… No more secrets – no more lies – but the damage is done.

      • Liz

        You are vile and the best thing you can do for the woman you claim to love is to let her go. You need counseling, I’m sure the other woman didn’t hold a gun to your head. You made the choice to hurt your wife. If you do love her, free her from you.

    • TryingHard

      OK first YOU are NOT vile. You made some vile choices but YOU are not vile.

      My husband could have written your story with the exception of the OW becoming violent. He was scared shitless she would tell me everything. Said he stayed with her much longer out of fear. He was a PRO at compartmentalizing his life just as you were. But it all catches up with you and all hell breaks lose. I get the shame embarrassment guilt, he has all that too but you have to push all that aside and go for it. Let it out. Of course you’re ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, you acted a fool and made horrendous choices. Own it and learn from it and make amends. Your case with your partner is not hopeless BUT you have to be honest, you HAVE to be transparent in everything and honest in everything otherwise she will think if you try to hide something little you are hiding big shit as well.

      Like I said if she asks the question, you answer it. Don’t try to explain that you are trying to protect her because she won’t buy it. She knows you are protecting yourself, whether that is true or not. As I said my words come from the other side of infidelity not your side. I will say be careful about offering up some information. There may be some she doesn’t really want to know as in my case the sex details–DID.NOT.NEED.TO.KNOW. some women want to know and well you will have to put your big boy pants on and deal with it. It may be too much but not telling is really too much. At least if you tell she will make the decision and that decision is for her to own. I know a lot about my husbands affair and I now own my decision to stay. I can always leave and I may or I may not. That’s my choice. He can leave too. But not telling especially when asked is not a good choice. Lay all the cards out and let her make her own decision what is right for her. And quite frankly it may or may not be with you. You at least owe her that. Quit trying to control everything. You did that with the OW and well how did THAT work for you. Try being vulnerable, honest, with her and see what happens.

      Yes the damage is done and as my wise friend on this site says “That donkey can’t be unfucked!’ but you can do better going forward. You are NOT hopeless or vile. Neither is you relationship hopeless but doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

      Let me know 🙂

      • Sarcaz

        Thank you for your response.
        Unfortunately, I was a person who was consumed and driven by fear. A complete coward whereby I put my fears first – not my partner – and in doing that – that put the OW first – even when I didn’t want to be with her at all. I have been working on those parts of me that helped me make such vile decisions as those parts of me need to drastically change.
        I have now told my partner everything. To my knowledge – there is nothing else to say about the whole sordid thing. However, because I said the same thing a couple of months ago – and then now tell her otherwise – how is she to believe I am actually telling the truth. I know she can’t trust me – I know she can’t actually believe a word I say due to what I’ve done – but I also don’t want her thinking that I’m playing her now. I don’t care about my guilt, shame, embarrassment and horror at what I’ve done to my partner. My feelings were self inflicted – hers weren’t. I just want to be able to try come up with some plausible, possible, real solution that she will be able to cope with and I’m just not sure what. She has been reading articles and forums on the net and recently mentioned one wherein it was stated that if I am serious about what to save the relationship then I have to take the lead. I’m not sure I quite understand that at all. How am I supposed to take the lead. I am the offending party and my partner is the one who now calls the shots. Decisions are hers – when and how she needs to make them. The only way I can take some sort of lead is try come up with some ground rules or something she can gauge my words again – but I have nothing as I’ve broken all those before – so I just worry that she would like me to take the lead and if I don’t know how – she will think I’m not serious. Funny thing is – I’m more serious about wanting to save this relationship than anything in the world. Her and our relationship is the most important thing to me. I know I have pissed all over it and showed over and over that it wasn’t important – but it is. If she finds that she can’t continue with it – then I will have to respect that – but I will never give up trying until the day she actually says to stop trying.
        She also read on the net that “once a cheater, always a cheater”. Obviously, I disagree with this. I know some people are serial cheaters. I have done this once – and just seeing the damage and devastation it has caused my partner is more than enough reason for me to know I will NEVER do this again. I know my own feelings don’t really come into things being the WS, but it has marked me. It has made me question the person I am etc and how the hell was I capable of being like this towards my partner. I don’t think I will ever figure out the how – as there is absolutely NO excuse to cross the line.
        I think perhaps if I say to my partner that I understand she cannot make any decision right now and that I fully understand that – but if I do everything in my power to show her that I am deathly serious about her and our relationship – that I will never ever again do something like this to her, if she perhaps observes to see whether my words and actions match up etc – then maybe her and I should weather the storm – and if, when the storm clears, she decides that she does want to be with me, then I will be with her – and if not – then at least she will know she has at least made a decision based on full disclosure. I don’t want to sway her decision – but I want her to know that I’m serious, I love her more than anything and I am willing to do whatever it takes. I know I have said this before and that my words are pretty much meaningless now – but I can only show her by the person I am now evolving into.
        If you have any thoughts on anything I may be able to present to my partner on ground rules – or anything like that – then I would love to hear it.
        Thank you so much.

    • antiskank

      TH – Well said! I agree completely. This is an issue I am still dealing with, too. the trickle truth is so frustrating and sets back all the progress to square one. You get to a point where you no longer believe anything that the CH tells you after so many lies. Are they just telling you what they think you what to hear, trying to keep the waters smooth? I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him again.
      I have never really made a clear decision to stay or rather to let him stay, I guess because I still don’t have all the questions answered. He is an avoider and keeps hoping that given enough time, it will all go away. I feel like he tiptoes around conversations and tries to avoid alone times in case the subject comes up – NOT cool! If only they understood that the ONLY way to rebuild a marriage and be forgiven is to come clean and answer ALL of the questions and be open to any discussion the BS feels is necessary for their recovery.
      No kidding they should be embarassed and feel guilty – they have destroyed the life of the person that loves them most in the world. It takes someone with some major issues to do such a thing!

      Sarcaz – You may have done some foolish things in dealing with your situation, but it sounds like you get it now! That’s a huge step forward in repairing the damage. Take the advice given by TH. As someone who has been betrayed, she can completely understand what you need to be doing now. Be open to what you need to do and DO IT!!! Good luck:) We all love a success story

      • Sarcaz

        I’m sorry to read a bit of your story and that you are going through this….

        Yes, trickle truth is worse than the actual deed itself. In my experience – my partner’s reaction to what she has now learnt is worse than me actually having an affair. And that is because I promised to be transparent, to not bullshit any more etc – but I went ahead and broke all those promises – and why? Simply because I didn’t want to hurt her any further – and also to cover my own shame and guilt – so once again – this put me first and not my partner. It has set her back further than the first time and it is more than understandable. I wasn’t trying to say things to keep waters smooth – I have more than learnt that I cannot keep the waters smooth and I have also learnt that I cannot protect her from what has already happened – so in me withholding the whole truth in order to try and protect her from more hurt was as stupid and vile as me actually having an affair.

        Perhaps you should give your WS an ultimatum of some sort to gauge how serious he is.

        For me, my partner said that this was now my last chance – very last chance – to tell her the truth and if I’m incapable of respecting her enough to actually tell her the truth – then that’s it.
        That for me was the scariest thing because I know I love her deeply. No, of course I didn’t want to hurt her more and I knew it would – as it has made an absolute sham of our marriage. Our marriage has been based on lies from the word go – but because I lacked the courage back then to actually say we could set a date for a later time as I could marry her then – and then told her everything – things would in all likelihood be very different now.
        I don’t know why I have done all the things I have done – I have questioned and soul searched – and I don’t think I will ever know why. In trying to answer the why – it makes it sound like mere excuses to me and there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to cross the line.

        I really really hope you are able to find a way forward – but I do believe you have to put yourself first until such time as there is a little more trust – without trust – there is nothing. With the intention of wanting to build trust again – that is hope.

        The mere fact you are still currently together and the fact that you have yet again shown that you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable – shows you have an inner strength – shows you have a strong character – so when you start doubting your self worth – try remember this.

        He should not be trying to avoid conversations with you at all. I have learnt than in order to take full responsibility – I need to see the damage, I need to hear and see the hurt, witness the loss that the betrayed person experiences, they experience a loss of self – and that is ONLY because what we have done to that person – so in order to take full responsibility, we NEED to see exactly what we have done.

        I wish you well – and I really hope you find a way forward that is good and safe for you.

    • Sarcaz

      Something else I would like to say – what I have done to my partner has changed us both as people – and technically, we don’t know each other the way we once did – so I feel that we need to also be spending time on getting to know each other again.

      Tryinghard and Antiskank –
      I would like to ask you something else and I’m not sure you are able to answer – and if it’s too painful for you then I understand. What I’m struggling with is not knowing how to be around my partner currently. Clearly, I can’t just be how I was a couple of months ago – little things like sitting watching tv together – I would always hold her hand or place my hand on her lap – I can’t do all the little things now to show I love her. If she cries – more than anything I want to just put my arms around her – to try give her some sense of how hugely sorry I am and to offer some sort of comfort – if that is even possible. If I don’t do any of those things – I feel like I’m still a fraud – but in doing any of those things I feel like I may, again, be putting her in a place she doesn’t want to be in. She has never ever rejected me in any manner – no matter what I have done – and if she did – she would feel horrible – so I don’t want to be taking advantage of knowing that for my own selfish gain – and at the same time – I don’t want her thinking that if I don’t do that – then I don’t care. I do not want to appear as uncaring in the least.

      Are you able to offer any sort of advice on what you think is best I do so I do not screw up again. I know she needs space – but I don’t want her thinking that I’m ready to bail on her because I’m not prepared to do that. I also know that she won’t be able to tell me she loves me etc – but I still want her to know I love her. I have said to her that I know and understand she can’t tell me she loves me – but I still want her to know that I love her.
      If you have any advice on this – I would so appreciate it.

      • TryingHard

        I really don’t know the inner workings of your relationship so all I can give is my personal experience. All I know is my husband and I spend a lot of physical touching time. But we are almost 4 years out. However this started very early in recovery. Yes when I cried he would hold me. I would fight him but he would still gently hold me.

        A BS will vacillate from wanting to pummel you to taking you back to the bedroom and ripping your clothes off. It’s called hysterical bonding. All that calms down. Look her emotions are right there front and center. I don’t know what she’s doing to heal. You say reading etc. and I am sure you don’t know what to do or say next. Let her take the lead. As far as instigating a conversation one thing that is recommended by therapists is to set aside a time of day where both of you know you are going to discuss the 500lb gorilla in the room. This takes the pressure off you knowing when to instigate a conversation or not, and her ruminating about a question or thought. In the beginning those conversations are about an hour and that hour goes by very quickly. The more she hears and gets it and gets the information SHE needs to make her decision the shorter and fewer those conversations will be.

        She will ask the why, and didn’t you think of me. My answer to the why, because there is NO good answer. Plain and simple you did it because you could, you felt entitled, and you were sure she would never find out and no you did not in fact think of her and how she would be hurt because it was all about you. There will be questions that are easy to answer who, what, when, where. It’s the “how could you” questions that are hard and only she will be able to figure out.

        I believe “once a cheater always a cheater”. My husband cheated, and lied, and betrayed me, was disloyal, gossiped about me, gave her marital assets, etc. I won’t for one minute deny he did that or excuse it. I know he is perfectly able to do it again. Only he can control his behavior, not me. I can only choose to try and forgive and move forward. I watch is actions not his words.

        Look you cheated. You will therefore always be a cheater. Doesn’t mean you will act on it again if you do the work to figure out WHY, for yourself, you cheated. For women the lies and the betrayal and the scheming is always worse. For men it’s always the physical act of sex that’s worse. The fact that you continued to lie after disclosure only further eroded your integrity. One thing you can do is don’t lie–ABOUT ANYTHING. She may very well have a GPS on you. She asks where you went, be honest. She may very well have a key logger on your computer watching everything your are typing, be HONEST. She may very well have cloned your phone, be HONEST. There’s many ways to catch a person lying these days, and if someone is hell bent on finding the truth it’s pretty easy to do. Just be honest, open, transparent and caring. Tell her you are sorry, over and over again if need be. Sign a post nuptial agreement with her that if you cheat, she gets it all. Do whatever it takes to make up to her and prove you are worthy. She still may not accept it and well too bad so sad for you.

        One thing else. Put all you self flagellation aside. This is NOT about healing you, it’s about healing her. Put your embarrassment, shame, guilt, self loathing aside. This is not helping her. It just pisses her off that you were that stupid to do that to yourself. Own it and apologize for it and do better.

    • Cotton Candy


      I hope that you can work out your problems with your wife. It sounds like you know what to do but are just afraid to do it.

      Your story touched me as Im going through something very similar with my boyfriend. Ive had 3 ddays. All involving the same woman-he insists that it is over but I have found out that they are still having contact and he says they are just friends. We all know what that means and I am just devastated.

      I almost thought you were him in disguise, except you seem to love your wife. I don’t think my boyfriend really loves me-why would he continue to do the thing that hurts me the most if he did?

      Ive become a permanent private eye. I hate that about myself. I decided last night that im no longer going to check and verify. I know that our relationship is going to end because I don’t see how he could ever prove to me that they aren’t having contact anymore. Im so sick about this loss-it is so unnecessary. Why didn’t he just leave me for her? We aren’t married, we have no children, why torture me?

      I thought he was such a good man-I know im sick now because I still believe in my heart that he is. He just doesn’t love me enough. He cant humble himself -he is very prideful.

      I wish you luck-my advice would be humility and honesty. Why is that so difficult? Don’t you have any respect for her as a human being? She obviously loves you-why cant you love her in return by giving everything to her. Fight for her-bare your soul-don’t hold anything back.

      I think that the thing that hurts me the most is that my cb wont fight for me-he wont humiliate himself with the details-its not really about me not being able to handle it -its about him revealing the truth.

      She was humiliated repeatedly by you-do the same for her and she will pay attention. I guarantee she is thinking-why cant he just love me? I know that’s what I always come back to.

    • TryingHard

      Cotton Candy
      I have two words for you that I’m pretty sure you know but don’t want to hear.

      GET OUT!!! Get out NOW before it’s too late and you have too much invested in this idiot. No he is NOT a good person. He may love you he may not, doesn’t make a difference, he loves HIMSELF more.

      Seriously GET OUT while you still can without children or financial loss, just GET OUT!

    • Webbgurl

      This is the truth.
      Wayward spouses are like teenagers or animals in heat. I believe Anyone can change, BUT WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO, or BE?
      If you want what Trying Hard says about Cheaters to NOT BE TRUE, get in touch with YOUR INNER MESS.
      Stop all two faced behavior, STAT.
      Get help, and FO WHAT your therapist, pastor, or whomever tells you.
      Don’t look at it as being on good behavior to win her back, BUT CHANGING WITIN, so YOU LIKE WHO YOU SEE.
      If you do that, even if she leaves, you’ll be better.
      Maybe, she’ll see the new, improved person and love you all over again

    • Carol

      My counselor likened every setback to a plane crash. You survived (barely), but then you’re forced to fly that same plane again, and again. Why would you ever want to fly again? It’s extremely traumatizing. In my case, although my H never saw his BS again, I was continually traumatized by his continued deceptions and lying, with most of the symptoms mentioned for false reconciliation. He continued to use porn, contact the AP, visited men’s clubs, and engaged in trickle truth over a year about women her slept with in the past over our entire marriage of 35 years- 15 others in all! Each time he promised- no more lies. For reasons I’ll never know, I stuck it out. It took 8 years- the indescetions getting more and more minor until I felt we were truly off the roller coaster. He finally woke up but it was a long process and i will always have scars. Still, I’m glad I didn’t leave. The rewards? An intact family, the joys of grandparenting together, and a sense of peace. The long, rough road is not for everybody, but if you do see a glimmer of that good man you married and want to work like hell to help him shed his narcissistic armour, go for it. In any case, I wish you the best.

      • MJrecoveringbetrayed

        Same here. My CS was a serial cheater for the first 18 years if our marriage. He lied, gaslighted, trickle truthed to the nth degree. I left once, I left twice because I simply couldn’t tolerate all of the cheating and everything that went with it.

        He finally came around at the 18 year mark, worked on himself then us and we reconciled at the 20 year mark or our marriage. These last 20 years have been much better, but he has been so filled with guilt and shame that he can’t quite get passed it. Our marriage is in a good place, not fantastically great, but good now. It would be great if he could just let go of the guilt and shame but that is work he has to continue doing on himself.

        All in all we’ve been married for 40 years and together for 41. It’s been a roller coaster ride that’s for sure. We have 3 beautiful daughters and 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. Life is good.

    • Jules

      This is my fear – that I am involved in a false reconciliation. But – because his long term EA was with a coworker and they still work together, any hope or positives or good signs are clouded in my mind because they do still work together. At this point, we are 2 year past dday and for the most part marriage is – good. Or as I usually describe it – good enough. It’s not like it was before dday, and if I stop and list them out, there are many many things that are different, that are better, that we have worked through. We still need to work on “date night” time but we also spend more time here at home just being together. We laugh more, we touch more, we are intimate, we enjoy our kids. The payoffs right now are the family is intact for our 3 kids and for our financial situation. I’m not going to lie – those two reasons are part of what is keeping me here. Or keeping me from kicking him out. I do love him – but the scars are deep, the wounds still fresh in some ways, and because of some ways that he still struggles to connect emotionally, I find trust is very hard. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever change or fully heal….other times I’m grateful to be here in this place, even with the bad, than where we were before dday.

      Not sure any of this makes sense. Thanks for reading.

      • Shifting Impressions

        You make a lot of sense. Thanks for saying so eloquently what I and many others I am sure can totally relate to, It has been over four years for me since d-day and I still have some of those same feelings every now again. Not as often or as intensely as I did,in the beginning, but they do surface here and there.

        Thank you for sharing.

        • Rosalyn

          Its been 3 years and 5 months for me since d day and I still get triggered. Not as often as before but it still haunts me. Probably because I thought I knew him better than anybody else and I just never thought he would ever do that to me. He still doesn’t like talking about it. I have said to him its like only knowing half the story. If he just opened up I think I could put it behind us. I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I can’t move on. Thankfully the OW has moved on and married the man she was complaining about to my husband about in the first place. How long that will last is anybody guess. In the mean time, I can’t let my guard down. Not yet anyway.

      • Kelly

        Your tale sounds like mine. I found out of his EA with coworker in Jan 2017. He claimed it was “just friends”, but she has a reputation of killing marriages a mile long. Went to marriage counselor until Feb 2018 when he told me “I don’t love you anymore and don’t know that I ever did”. WTF? 26 years together and now he says THAT??!! No kids. He never left. Very little intimacy (physical or otherwise). They still work together, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m just working on me, and hoping he’ll come around. I have faith that God has a plan, and it’s us remaining together, happily, until we go home to see Him.

    • CMan

      Some absolutely outstanding contributions in this one. I still don’t know my endgame (as stated by others children and finances are in the mix here) but it’s definitely still going on between my W and a work manager despite a lot of MC and a vastly improved relationship. The gut reaction is always good in this instance plus some serious pointers have revealed themselves. Guess I’m just waiting for that smoking gun evidence (haven’t really snooped for almost a year now apart from a couple of one-offs) and I will certainly dread that day as that will involve pressing the nuclear button as this situation can’t go on.

    • Movingon

      My husband is a sex addict. He has had a porn problem throughout our 37 years of marriage and apparently has been visiting strip clubs for at least a decade. One of the strippers became his “girlfriend” and he gave her and his other “friends” tens of thousands of dollars. He has also gone into heavy debt supporting them. These girls are not at all interested in him, only his wallet. He is old enough to be their grandfather. His “affair “ lasted 2+ years until he ran out of money, the girlfriend got mad and messaged me to tell me he was cheating. I extended grace and said we needed to seek counseling. Before we could go to the appointment I found out there was still another “girlfriend” whom he had bought a car (which she totaled). I threw him out for a few weeks. He came back out of necessity since I had to get a job to pay household bills since he was giving all of his money away. I had been taking care of a family member who is disabled. Fast forward roughly 8 months, during which time he was diagnosed with A.D.D., bipolar disorder and possible early onset dementia (I am skeptical of all of them.). He has not allowed me to see the cell phone account which I assumed meant he was still texting young girls though he denied it. He hides his phone, his laptop, his car keys and his wallet. I had zero trust in him because I would discover his dishonesty almost daily for things unrelated to his extramarital activities. He did appear to be making an effort to right his wrongs for a few months. Then last week he was careless and left out a copy of his bank statement. It was clear he was still showering someone with lots of purchases. Turns out to be the same 19 year old that wrecked the car. That was the final straw for me. His things were moved to a spare room in the basement and we are barely speaking. I am looking for a job with benefits since I am on his health insurance plan and need my own, and I am looking for a care provider for my family member. Once those things are done, I am filing for divorce and he will move out. Since the first discovery, I have had plenty of gut feelings he was still cheating, but had no way to prove it. Our adult daughter is concerned that he does have a degenerative neurological disorder based on him losing skills like his ability to organize and spatial reasoning, and he very well may, but his confessions have reavealed his betrayal has spanned more years than I ever guessed, almost as if he has been leading a double life. I can attest that the second discovery is worse than the first. There isn’t quite as much shock the second time so the emotions easier to identify and are more raw. Add to that the pain from all the grace and forgiveness and energy poured into trying to rebuild a relationship after the first discovery. All that effort becomes worthless and discarded leaving you wondering how the person you shared so much life with could be so different from who you thought you knew.

    • Healing Heart

      This article is so true to what happened to me and my spouse. I had found out in April of 2017 my husband was having an affair with a former co worker. I had started to put the pieces together. Married 22 years and together for 30. We had the best relationship or at least I thought. He apologized and we started moving past and healing. He had no contact with her for months and then it started back up. I was so blind sided and this woman was not only seeing my husband but a multiple married men. She was 38 living with her grandma and was with a boyfriend for ten years. She played the poor me card that she was abused and played on my spouse sympathy. To make a long story short my husband found out she was addicted to drugs, men and sex. She overdosed and I still dont understand why he did not see it. Neither one of us never used. My husband and I are such better, we are able to discuss it but he often gets defensive and gaslights. He has promised to me and the children never to put us through anything like this again. Some how someway I am just waiting for the ball to drop. But I do see improvement and waiting on my heart to heal.

      • Rosalyn

        The old damsel in distress game. My husbands OW did the same thing. The guy she was with had no idea and she was telling my husband he was cheating on her. They bought a house together and everything. My husband kept telling me “Were just friends”. He said to me, She has had such a hard life! When I asked why do you say that. Her parents divorced when she was very young Blah blah blah. Oh so that would be why she is trying to break up our marriage. We have so much in common. She is one of those women that has to have a man. She was married for 20 years and before she left her husband she was having an affair with the next guy. Thats the guy she was complaining about to my husband. She left him and when my husband didn’t leave me she hooked up with another man to make my husband Jealous. He was dumbfounded to say the least. That only lasted 6 weeks and she snuck back into town and started work on my husband again, only this time I didn’t know she was back. I had my guard down and was trying to put it all behind me. Biggest mistake ever. He had blissful 2 months before I cottoned on.

    • Antonia

      Here’s my take on this. You are married to a liar. You either accept that fact or get a divorce. In an affair, he lied to 2 women. Why do you want him back? Half of what he told you @ his affair is crap. If you knew the whole story, you’d blow chunks. Do you really want this man around your kids? Can you trust him? Most cheaters cheat again. They’re looking for release, excitement, escape. Find s good divorce attorney & move on.

      • Mollymagee

        Wow… antonia….that pretty much says it all. Yes, we all lie or fib but months and months … sometimes more than a year of lying…honestly who is this person. And yes… he lied to her, to me, to other hers. to himself, to his family. I am closing in on the next Dday… divorce filing day. I can’t grow old like this. The trust is gone. I don’t think you can ever get it back.

    • GHusb

      I’m a BS who has had about seven ‘discovery days’ this year and it has gotten to the point that I’m not even sure I can trust my wife’s own confessions.

      It began in March with a discovery that my wife had been on a married dating site and her version of events then was that the monotony of bringing up children made her look for sexting partners for a thrill, but no meeting in person.

      Then in April I discovered she had spent an evening in a hotel, at which point she confessed that she had met one man but only spoken on Kik and not shared numbers. She also claimed they did not have sex, although I think that claim is rubbish. People don’t go to hotels for a cuddle. At this point the new official version was fooling around on dates with random guys and that she didn’t even know the surname of the man she met.

      In July whilst on holiday I noticed she was getting SnapChat messages from another man. This time she claimed it wasn’t even cheating, just messages between a group of friends at work. I foolishly believed her (gaslighting works).

      In August, I discovered she had been messaging an ex on Facebook asking for sex, although this predated the first D day by around five months. She insisted it never went ahead and I scared the ex by threatening to reveal all to his wife. Later in the month I saw messages from another man telling her he missed being with her three times a week because of lockdown.

      In October, I discovered she had booked a room for day use only the week before. She said it was another random man she met on ChatIW. Then in early November I saw messages between her and a confidant talking about “having an affair.” Turned out through comparing notes with his wife that he wasn’t seeing mine but the relationship was unhealthy nonetheless. Imagine two cheats in their affair fogs backing up the nonsense they spout.

      Finally about a week ago I discovered more texting between the August guy and my wife, although masked with a false name in her contacts. Odd when you see a message from a woman that says “I love holding you XXX.”

      At this point people are probably asking why on earth do I put up with this. It’s mainly because I have proven so little of what is going on, my wife has admitted mental health problems and we have kids together. I’m not going to up-end the kid’s lives until I know more.

      However, my warning to cheats is be very careful what you say when you are first discovered because after that the residual trust will be gone. My wife could be telling the truth that she’s never had sex outside the marriage and only texted random men but in the absence of honesty early on I have no reason to believe her. I find my own version of events, that she sought quick thrills online and ended up falling into a full and physical affair, far more likely at this point.

      • Mollymagee

        She’s a liar … what else do yo need to know? And probably sex addict. Make your decisions for your own life (and your kids’ well being); if choices are based on that being a man of integrity … the rest will take care of itself. Stop trying to catch her… focus on your own life and goals and get a great divorce lawyer stat but first tuck some money away out of any joint accounts and cancel any joint credit cards, etc. She may be giving money to some of these men too… there are grifters everywhere out there especially with Covid19. Liars don’t like being hurt where it hurts the most …their $$$. Also get STD and Covid19 tested frequently…she’s threatening your health and your children’s health, during a pandemic, by meeting up with strange men. . Speak to a good custody lawyer… your kids should not be around this compulsive lying and behavior. Good luck!

    • wendy bornstein

      This is a very scarey article. We are still in phase 1 and separated because my husband is unable to end his EA and needs more time. We had our 3rd counseling session this weekend and I told him he has to accept my boundary to end the EA and get therapy or we will not be together again. He said he needed more time and the counselor suggested we separate longer that our original 2 week trial. He shed tears for the first time and I thought was reaching his aha moment but that lasted 5 hours. I do not have faith that he will fully commit to me again. We have been married 36 years and will not take anything less than 100%. It is very sad but I am very aware and want to remove the cancer not just go in remission and have it reoccurring. My husband is an oncologist thus the reference.

      • Momfourever

        I like the comparison of a cancer… My WS will not end the affair. He calls her his other wife. Been thinking all along that she was the cancer. Maybe it’s been him all along and I need to find a way to remove him. Problem is I love him and we have over 20 years and four kids together. I did find this article helpful though. It seems like there is so much out there for people who are truly recovering but not for those of us stuck in the middle of it for years. I hate this club but feel less alone knowing this is a likely scenerio. Any resources, friends?

        • wendy

          I hear you. This is hard and I am in the midst as well. We have 3 kids. I feel he has not kept his wedding vows and am not sure I will last indefinitely as our kids are now adults. I am giving it a few months now to sort out feelings but in the end his choice will be to end it 100% and put time in to us if he wants me. Right now he says he is still seeking clarity. It is hard at we have been married 36 years and until the EA had a rock solid foundation.

      • Rosalyn

        Yep I think your right. After my husband cheated and we had our d day I gave him the chance to go. He didn’t go and says he wants to be with me. I have told him I won’t tolerate it happening again. If he does it again he can expect his gear to be at the gate waiting for him. Its too hurtful to go through that again and I won’t.

    • Myranda

      Out of all the articles I’ve been reading, I feel this one the most. 8yrs married, there’s been at least that many different physical affairs that I know of. So many options but not a one of them leads to healing when they won’t change.

    • john H

      my wife was having a emotional affair with some guy she met at the casino *which i let her go to whenever she felt like it because you know i TRUSTED HER AND SHIT* but i digress so after the discovery which had me using all of my OSINT skills and had to deep dive the dark web within 72 hours i knew his name his address his mom dad sister all their previous addresses etc… im prior military 12 years army vet so i have never been one to pussy foot around anything… First i called that low life littledick Jack and he didnt have the testicular fortitude to answer the phone SIGH so i had to bring it up to my beautiful wife who had just came back from her “work trip” in arizona SIKE her get away with littledick jack… she did all the normal shit a cheater does when they get caught told me she wanted a divorce! thats when i lost it… NGL… but i told her if thats what you want go file it tomorrow and well settle in court until then pack your shit and find someone else home to wreck… she ultimately backed down after two days told me she broke it off blablabla yea ok if you did why you still guarding that phone with your life? Why do i have to ask for your phone passcodes? well we were at my brother in laws having a get together and she got shit faced gave the phone to my son and i said hmmm lets take advantage of this oppurtunity and sure as shit emails sending videos to eachother masturbating now when i think about it im like LUL morons… what are u 14… but none the less it pissed me off to the point i put the damn phone in her face said were leaving went home ww3 broke out again days later promises from her again at this point now im stewing in my own rage with this littledick jack fella… So i politely texted him his mom his dad and his sister the videos of him wanking his littlejack and said ” jack why do you think its ok to send married women videos like this? also a picture of his geometa data that i collected from the videos he sent my wife along with a google earth screen shot of his house 😀 that resulted in my wife BEGGING me to not contact littledick jack because they are scared… i said good he finally gets it aye? good good… then 4 weeks later AGAIN i find her sending him something but no responses from lover boy im guessing he finally blocked her on every channel of communication… now instead of asking my wife to look at her phone all the damn time once a month we take 15 minutes to go to aTT to print her call logs and text logs 😀 and she says IM CRAZY AND PARANOID right right hunny keep telling yourself that…

    • Betrayer

      I am WS and I am totally guilty of this. I kept mementos from affair partners. Yes multiple women, multiple times. I lied over and over and over again to minimize the severity and depths of the betrayal. I lied to my wife, family, counsellor, doctor, psychiatrist, friends, boss. I strung them all along for three months. My wife and I were seemingly doing so well and talking more and more about definite reconciliation after a year long separation. Then one evening a colleague of mine let my wife know about the other affairs and the next day I confessed to my first one. A total of 4 women over the last 6 years. I had 30 minutes to say goodbye to my kids or the police would remove me from the property. It became harder to confess the deeper we got into the original recovery. I read over and over again that trickle truth restarts the recovery clock or just destroys it entirely. My wife wants a divorce and already has a date with a new man lined up for next week. False Recovery date was 4 weeks ago. The only thing keeping me from suicide right now is our three beautiful kids who I know love me still. I love my wife and want to try again more than anything but I don’t think I’ll have another chance. I don’t deserve another chance. I blew it and hurt her beyond anything I will ever understand. I don’t deserve her and she deserves so much better than me. I am learning so much about recovery but unfortunately by making all the wrong choices and decisions and learning the hard way. Good luck and best wishes to all of you still trying to hold on. The effort and fight is worth it coming from those lucky enough to have succeeded at reconciliation.

    • Carol K.

      Dear Betrayer
      My H has your history on steroids. I learned thru a year’s worth of trickle truth my H had been cheating since before we were married – over 30 year’s worth of secrets – at least 15 women which included a 10 year affair from 2000 to 2010. The only reason I didn’t divorce him is that I was so emotionally damaged I could barely put one foot in front of the other, let alone completely change my life. We also had two (adult) kids who I wasn’t going to tell but they found out anyway bc they each questioned my bizarre behavior and unlike my H, I can’t lie. The last 11 years have been a mix of joy and indescribable pain. I will never fully recover. My H has changed in many ways and is now the husband I always thought he was. Trouble is, with this amount of emotional damage, I still trigger and he still doesn’t handle my triggers very well – e.g. “Why are you still harping over this? I thought we’d moved on” etc or we just ignore each other until we’re both miserable. Each marriage is unique, but if you harbor any hope of staying together, you’ll need to make many changes and endure her pain, probably for a lifetime. Hate to say “you blew it, buddy “but yeah, you did. From a wife’s point of view who’s been through it, if you can’t become almost saintly and treat her with the utmost respect and patience from now on, harboring zero secrets, doing nothing to arouse her suspicions (eg looking at her Venus catalogue for more than a nanosecond), freely offering to go to therapy and take periodic polygraph tests, knowing that even if you do all that, she will still likely be in recovery the rest of her life, then she will be better off with a man who has had impeccable integrity and good character from the get-go. I wish every high school would teach a course on the devastation of infidelity. Prevention would have been so much easier. Sending my best to your children, and wishing all of you the best possible outcome.

    • Doug

      My wife had a nearly 4 years affair with an older married military officer which was full in sexual the first year, then emotional and cooling off the next three. He ended it and disclosed his real self serving self. We reconciled even though she blame shifted, has lighted and rug swept it all. 21 years later I find a birthday card written but not yet mailed to him on her desk. I went rouge and discovered mementos a plenty. Therapy for me followed and in a joint session she came clean that she misses his influence in her life. Recovery and reconciliation remain up in the air for me.

    • Susan M.

      Second time around was a done deal for me. My WASBAND had his affair in 2015 and then caught him with this same mistress in 2020. I made a vow to myself that if this ever happened again, we were done. There is no fixing this since the trust is gone. I have no regrets filing for divorce since I know I deserve a loving lasting relationship that is based on trust, safety and love. I want to be with my best friend and if someone loves you, they would think twice about cheating (at least I like to think there are good people out there that think that way). No matter what decision you make, always know that you matter and should not be treated with unkindness. Stay well and peace to all!!

    • Doug

      Thank you Susan. I think I will never “get it.” What can a lying, cheating, sex maniac with numerous affairs he brags about offer my wife that she doesn’t seem to find with me? It’s insane. She knows he used her sexually, deceived her, misled her and ghosted her and she still holds a place in her life for him? I simply don’t get it. Out of desperation I asked her” my God, how BIG is his “€:<#” and she got highly offended. Go figure.

      • Susan M.

        Doug, I know it hurts and I hope you find peace within yourself. No matter what decision you make, you matter and are enough for your wife (remind yourself everyday of this). I no longer have any fears and worries about what my ex is doing since our divorce. I realized that I no longer felt safe with this person. Being in any relationship, one should be able to feel a sense of safety, loyalty and love. Life is too fragile and precious to be with people who don’t share the same values as you. All relationships take work, but once that betrayal sets in, it is hard to overcome. There has to be remorse and lots of work from the partner who had the affair to build that trust again. I never got that from my WASBAND. He use to tell me “to get over it and stop bringing it up” since he thought I was never “going to get over it and keep holding onto this to make him feel bad” 🙄. I take full responsibility for anything I did in our marriage and could have done better, but I NEVER blamed myself for his affair and I hope you don’t either. Therapy has been good and keeps me grounded, so I hope you continue to find ways that will help you through this trauma. Stay well!

        • Doug

          Susan, again thank you. Your words are both encouraging and healing. We just celebrated 45 years of marriage and I vacillate between believing this marriage will survive and thinking I’m just fooling myself. I too hold myself responsible for anything I did to cause unhappiness in our marriage but not for her decision to cheat. That’s on her. She tried to tell me she made a mistake but I reminded her a mistake does not involve years of lying, cheating, gas lighting and rug sweeping, much less crawling into bed with a married man who is not me. Time will tell.

    • Aubrey S

      I am surprised to see how common my situation is/was. There is comfort in knowing I’m not alone I was married 14 years with 3 wonderful children. I thought things were truly great. Then one day my husband up and left. He paid up front for renting a house for a year! He filed for divorce almost immediately after. And the cliche of course was that he had fallen in love with another woman. This woman had eyes on him for a while and I was always uncomfortable around her (our kids were friends). didn’t see it coming at all. About a year after he had filed for divorce, he told me he wanted to reconcile. I was hesitant at first but he was so convincing to me; telling me he would do ANYTHING to save us. He even dismissed the divorce and legal proceedings. We dated, we kissed, we made love. We went to therapy and I was seeing us become a better version of us. We were learning each other’s needs and how to communicate better. The problem was he wouldn’t move back home. After a year of working on the reconciliation, I started to become suspicious. Even though he was telling me how much he loved me, and how committed he was to our marriage, I sensed he was with the other woman again. He didn’t spend the night with me, and he made excuses to avoid dates or romantic getaways. With a little digging and detective work, I was able to discover that he was indeed, sleeping with the OW again. I’m not even sure it ever stopped. Anytime I had confronted him in the past

      I am surprised to see how common my situation is/was. There is comfort in knowing I’m not alone I was married 14 years with 3 wonderful children. I thought things were truly great. Then one day my husband up and left. He paid up front for renting a house for a year! He filed for divorce almost immediately after. And the cliche of course was that he had fallen in love with another woman. This woman had eyes on him for a while and I was always uncomfortable around her (our kids were friends). didn’t see it coming at all. About a year after he had filed for divorce, he told me he wanted to reconcile. I was hesitant at first but he was so convincing to me; telling me he would do ANYTHING to save us. He even dismissed the divorce and legal proceedings. We dated, we kissed, we made love. We went to therapy and I was seeing us become a better version of us. We were learning each other’s needs and how to communicate better. The problem was he wouldn’t move back home. After a year of working on the reconciliation, I started to become suspicious. Even though he was telling me how much he loved me, and how committed he was to our marriage, I sensed he was with the other woman again. He didn’t spend the night with me, and he made excuses to avoid dates or romantic getaways. With a little digging and detective work, I was able to discover that he was indeed, sleeping with the OW again. I’m not even sure it ever stopped. Anytime I had confronted him in the past, it always turned into a big fight. He would get angry, say mean things to me and push me away. So, I chose a different path. I did my own detective work. I found out where the OW lived, which was easy since we have mutual friends. I started to do drive by’s to her house whenever I had that sick feeling to my stomach. His car was there a LOT! I then started asking around and found out there was more than one other woman. He was sleeping with my daughter’s friends’ mom too!
      Somehow I found the strength to keep silent and act like I didn’t know. I hired an attorney behind his back, started doing more research on my own (no way I could afford a PI). I ended up getting so much proof of his lies and deceit that by the time I served him, I had ALL the power in the divorce. I simply told him if he didn’t give me what I wanted, I would tell the kids all about the OW, and what dad did to me. He folded like a chair. I got our house, my car, and a nice chunk of alimony and child support. The heartbreak was intense,, but I am so glad I had the strength and guts to leave him instead of confronting him. Our entire reconciliation was a joke. He was pretending to try so the kids wouldn’t hate him, and he had told me he wanted to make sure that I (nor the kids) would ever think he left me for her. But that’s exactly what he did. I never ended up telling the kids, and didn’t need to. He gave me everything I wanted. I hope my story will help some of you out there. The only person who is going to advocate for you is YOU. Trust your intuition and find the strength. The inner love you will discover will make it all worth it.

    • Eren

      Embracing diversity allows individuals to break free from societal constraints, exploring a spectrum of desires and preferences. This exploration fosters self-acceptance, bolstering self-esteem and confidence. In relationships, diverse experiences contribute to a deeper emotional connection, spicing up intimacy and preventing monotony. The acceptance of varied desires promotes a culture of inclusivity and understanding, diminishing judgment and stigma. Overall, a diverse sexual life empowers individuals to embrace their authentic selves, fostering a more profound sense of well-being, satisfaction, and harmonious connections in both personal and interpersonal spheres.

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