Shame and suffering are linked, as are forgiveness and recovery. Many experts agree forgiveness can have a profound impact on one’s health.

forgiveness and recoveryBy Mel Faith

Shame and suffering are linked, as are forgiveness and health. On a purely emotional level, this has been accepted for generations – but psychological science is beginning to prove that the ability to forgive (both others and oneself) can have a profound impact upon one’s health and wellbeing.

Shame and guilt are toxic emotions which are often felt unnecessarily. While they may be useful in personal development (they teach us how not to behave, for example), when they last after all apologies have been made, and strike when only we ourselves believe that we have anything to apologize for, then they become damaging.

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The Real Journey to Forgiveness
It’s for You, Not for Your Spouse

There are misconceptions about forgiveness that cause many misunderstandings and also serve as roadblocks to the healing process.

We clear up the misconceptions, provide the real scoop on forgiveness, and show you how to get rid of lingering feelings in such a way that allows forgiveness to become a healing force in your life.

Forgiveness and Recovery – Grace

Those who are afflicted with an inability to forgive themselves may feel themselves ‘unworthy’ of recovery. They may believe that the way they are is fixed, and there is nothing to be done about it because they are intrinsically ‘bad’ or ‘mad’.

‘Twelve-Step’ programs experience a degree of success because they combat shame by encouraging participants to believe that their self-perceived ‘sins’ are forgiven by a ‘Higher Power’. This makes them feel more deserving of self-compassion. This ‘grace’ is a powerful concept which can change lives.

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One must participate in one’s own emotional recovery, and this will not happen unless one feels that the effort is worthwhile. If you consider yourself worthless, you’re unlikely ever to make the effort to heal yourself.  Indeed, those who cannot forgive themselves are likely to become so mired in shame that they plunge deeper into the trauma of their own issues.

The same also applies to forgiveness of others. If you can’t forgive someone for something they have done to you, then you can never let the hurt of that issue pass. We all need to learn forgiveness if we are to develop into emotionally healthy individuals. 

Here is an excerpt from an article, Amazing Grace: How Unconditional Forgiveness Assists Recovery, by Rita Milios where she provides us with a Forgiveness Imagery Exercise adapted from her book Tools for Transformation. Rita has used this imagery many times with clients, and has seen amazing transformations as a result.


Letting goForgiveness Imagery Exercise

Find a comfortable place and relax your body completely. Place all your attention on your breathing, noticing how your lungs expand and your diaphragm recoils as you relax into a quiet meditative state. Once you are relaxed completely, imagine on your mental screen a stage like actors and actresses use. On this stage picture both yourself and the one you need to forgive. (This may be another person or it may be an aspect of yourself, one of your “shadow” parts.

  • First state the reasons for your non-forgiveness to the other person/part. Take as much time as you need. Let out all your frustration, anger, and hurt. Get your feelings fully out into the open, and be perfectly clear about how you feel.
  • Then let the other person or part of you have a turn. Stand quietly as the other tells his or her side of the story, the reasons he or she acted the way they did. Do not interrupt; just listen, and you may be surprised at what you hear.
  • When the other has finished, send him or her love. Imagine it as a large pink cloud (representing unconditional love) emanating from your body and passing between the two of you to envelop the other. As the pink cloud surrounds the other (person or part of yourself), see their image begin to fade and dissipate into the cloud, until they become just a part of the cloud itself. Then see the pink cloud dissipate completely, until there is nothing left of it. As the cloud dissipates, say to yourself, I forgive you. I release you from my life. Say this three times. Feel the weight lifting from your shoulders. Feel the exhilaration and freedom gained by no longer being bound to this person or shadow part. Feel the peace of mind this release brings, and bask in these positive emotions for a few moments. Then say emphatically to yourself, I love and approve of myself.
  • Take in a few deep breaths and slowly return to your normal, fully conscious state. Open your eyes, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, peaceful and full of loving energy.
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Read the full article here.


Please leave your comments with respect to your own process of self-forgiveness and/or forgiveness and recovery.

Mel Faith is an editor and writer with a specialist interest in addiction, anxiety and depression related pieces. In her previous career she worked within the health care arena and now as well as writing, she volunteers for a number of mental health charities too.



    45 replies to "Forgiveness And Recovery – Intrinsically Linked"

    • Scott

      My ex is not safe for me personally. I will not put myself in a situation where I can be manipulated or abused again. I understand the concept, but acceptance is the only safe option for me. There are some steps I can do individually, though I’d rather send nothing. No love, no honor, no hate, no disdain, just nothing. That’s a better and safer option for me. I rarely talk to her, and when I do it’s short and to the point. She is not a person of value for my future, nor is she a person deserving of my respect.

      I’m good with giving nothing to her. I’m not good with pink clouds. I don’t want to get stabbed while I’m closing my eyes basking in forgiveness.

      Certainly there are safe ways to accept your past without going through an exercise like this, acceptance is good enough in my mind.

      • Rachel

        Great post Scott.
        I understand and agree 100%.
        The horrific treatment once in this lifetime was enough for me too.
        We will heal!

    • Tryingtorecover

      Scott- it sounds like your situation differs from some who may wish to work on their marriages. Do you one me asking? Did she end the affair? Did she wish to work on the marriage? Was it an ea or pa or both?
      My husband had an emotional affair with the same woman on and off for ten years… It’s been six months since I discovered this… I’m still heartbroken but he wants to work on the marriage and ended affair. That said I know it will take years to rebuild trust. How did you know it was the end of the road?

      • Scott

        It’s a great question, and one that I must stress, is individual and not the same for everyone. For me D-Day (EA and PA both) was a breaking point. For about 3 years prior she was engaging in behaviors (mentally, emotionally, and yes some physically abusive) that were just way beyond acceptable. It’s tough to say what was and was not a final final final straw. I know dday was a breaking point, but there were specific things I look back on and know I’m better for not being in that lunacy anymore. I have to say, some people recognize ways to find the best in their spouse, and live with it. I just couldn’t do it. My ex was never really engaged in the marriage. She was mentally sick, depressed, looking elsewhere and frankly it took me a long time to accept that this was all her, not me, and she was never really going to accept what had happened and own it.

        Probably her last chance, when I decided she would never do the work, never be whole, never work to help me or the situation, was during an argument. Her words were, “I’m not going to live being punished forever, so you have to get over it.” (I swear all cheaters use the same stupid lines) What she failed to understand was by divorce, she would live with it for the rest of her life. Only God and her husband could give her restoration. But she threw that away too.

        It’s been 2 ½ years since dday for me. And 19 months since my divorce. Yes, I am much much happier now. I believe by my 3rd year post dday, I will be pretty close to the person I was before. Just smarter, and less willing to put up with games.

        • Untold

          Dang Scott. That sounds eerily familiar. How about adding in “you’re so lucky to have a wife who wants to move forward”. Or when she gets angry “you’ll be sorry one day when you wake up and I’m gone. Or the latest, when I said we should be working as a team “you’re the enemy…and I resent the hell out of you.” I told the counselor I think we’re dealing with a disorder. He just looked and said “I don’t know…it’s got to be tough…what can you do to help her move toward you?”.

          • Scott

            Get a new counselor. Seriously. And the reason it sounds eerily familiar is because they do all use the same lines. My ex said the same thing, “you’ll miss me when I’m gone.” I don’t miss her, or her BS. I miss my kids being with me daily, and I miss ‘family’ but I don’t miss her.

            I had one of those counselors too. Until you find one that can deal with the infidelity and make your spouse focus on her issues and not yours, there won’t be moving anything forward. Your healing and her ownership is the only path, the only issue, that really succeeds. There’s very few happy marriages that focus on the marriage and not the infidelity when it happens.

            You’re in a car wreck, you break your leg and scratch your head. Marriage counselors spend most of their time putting bandaids on the head scratch and not dealing with the broken leg. It’s why they fail so often.

    • loveheals

      My partner of over 20 years and I had a conversation today about forgiveness and grief. He understands that trust, forgiveness and the healing process are intrinsically intertwined. I explained to him that many times my tears and questions of “Why, why, why?” are expressions of a powerful grief over something I treasured and lost. There’s an impermanence to things we consider tangible truths. One of my shattered truths was “My partner loves me and will not have another affair” (he’s had several).
      I will go through a period of mourning and grief. By grace I will heal. My heart will open more. Will I ever fully, completely trust him again? Probably not completely. Will he ever have another affair? Not likely, but there’s a part of my psyche that has been ingrained to navigate a new landscape where there are things I might trip on. I’ll learn an intuitive path, and I’ll also notice where a rock has been moved or twigs snapped. Those will be the triggers or the subtle signals he gives off when he’s cheating. It will hit me automatically, sort of like smelling smoke suddenly where it’s not supposed to be.
      Slowly we are making loving progress. He’s motivated and kind. It’s like he’s falling in love all over again. I cautioned him not to become infatuated with me lest the pink bubble burst and he becomes disillusioned. He was deeply emotionally involved with the affair partner, to the point he thought he was in love with her, was going to rescue her from her self-destructive behavior and then fantasized carving out a future with her. Although he was hurting me I could also see that someone I loved was in danger and didn’t see the hazards (the affair partner was a sociopathic person with a parasitic lifestyle, was using him emotionally and financially and she had a history of violence in her relationships). I don’t want to go on and on about the affair partner but use a few features of the affair to illustrate the trouble he was in. If her violent boyfriend had found out he might have hurt them both, badly.
      My man is more than just the sum of bad choices. He’s a generous and kind person. But he “forgot” to be respectful to me for nearly a year. A lot of damage was wrought. For awhile I thought things were hopeless. I now see a spark of recovery. He started the affair probably last February or March. I could feel it and questioned him. Finally, last November he admitted it. Information about past affairs came out. It has been a painful and finally a joyful process. We are laughing through the tears. He’s growing so much.
      We’re starting to heal. It is possible.
      Have I forgiven completely? No, but not due to resistance; it’s due to healthy caution. I take a step, check the terrain, and if it’s safe I proceed.

    • TrustingGod

      Ah…I think that this meditation might be good for those who are trying to forgive themselves, because what they tell themselves in the meditation will likely be the truth. But when I tried to do it last night–and I was actually feeling pretty forgiving already–I got to my husband’s part, and in the meditation, his excuses for adultery were that he didn’t love me, had never loved me, and was never going to change, because he just couldn’t love me. It was a little hard to produce that pink cloud of love and forgiveness at that point, because we are still currently together, and his behavior since D-Day has not been anything like what a repentant cheater should do. Fortunately I was so exhausted I just fell asleep before I was able to dwell too much on the fact that I felt more disturbed from this meditation instead of less. Now, it’s not that I don’t know that it told me what I think he actually feels–but I don’t know if that IS how he feels. And how can I forgive what I don’t know? If we were getting divorced I might have a better idea of what he really thought, and less concern about its accuracy, because the relationship would be over, and I would just be trying to move on. But I need a real confession from the man I’m married to if we are to stay married, not a visualization of what I already think. I need the truth. And I don’t think this meditation will bring you the truth about anyone except yourself. I think I’ll stick to the Christian method of forgiveness, which I was recently reminded is not just grace given to someone who doesn’t deserve it. It’s forgiving when someone confesses their sins and repents–turns away from the sin, changes the behavior to match what they know was wrong, what was 100% their fault and no one else’s. I had allowed myself to feel guilty for not easily forgiving my husband (who of course said, “what kind of Christian are you?”), although I had made the decision to forgive him. And I had told him he was confusing forgiving with forgetting, and forgiving with a restoration of the relationship. But I felt so much better when I realized my difficulty was because I could not forgive him as God forgives me–because the admission of sin, and the repentance, just weren’t/aren’t there. I often wish I hadn’t done half of the things I did when I found out, but I know that I was ignorant and hadn’t even found this site yet. I was listening to all kinds of marriage advice, but no matter how well-meaning and sometimes helpful it can be, most of it doesn’t apply to infidelity, because some of their advice only works on someone who actually does love and respect you, not someone who feels entitled to cheat because they are unhappy. That person doesn’t have any respect for their spouse, and doesn’t even want to stay with them, and their spouse’s feelings mean nothing to them. And maybe that can change, but it’s only if it comes from all the work the CS puts in. Not from a meditation to forgive someone who left you to heal alone. Because if the CS is repentant and does everything you need to heal and forgive them, you don’t need this type of meditation, anyway. You just look at how your marriage is better than before and how your spouse seems like a brand-new one with how loving and attentive and understanding and humble they are, and that person should be easy to forgive, because they will have already offered up all the reasons and stupid justifications for the affair along with repeated, sincere apologies.

      • Maxine6


        For May 7th. A great response to this question. I know I forgave way to soon. I was raised that you forgive 7 X 70 if I am remembering correctly. No remorse shown by him, just like you are saying. Forgiveness should be earned, I definitely believe that. Some say that you should forgive, because if you don’t, you are not letting yourself move forward or something like that.

        I so regret that I did what I did, but back then there were no computer’s to learn these things from. I finally found a counselor, only to realize that she didn’t think you need details. I just found out this week that that same pretty counselor, with a PH degree, had an affair on her psychiatrist husband and divorced him. This is someone who I went to sessions with for the first 5 yrs. Unbelievable! The last counselor I went to, I found out from my hairdresser yesterday and I had already stopped seeing her after about 5 or so sessions due to only talking about her issues and my husband said the same thing, was basically not a good person or counselor. So, you just never know who to go to.

        Your last paragraph hit the issue head on. Thanks for your input.

    • loveheals

      Would it be helpful for anyone to have my formerly cheating partner post here? He has listened to my pain for some months now. It took time but he now understands it’s not just “forgive and forget” and that expressing my feeling is a necessary part of the grief and healing process. Just when I was losing all hope a shift occurred. This happened in the last couple of weeks. The “aha” moment finally came.
      He’s an articulate, emotional man with a big heart who has taken full responsibility for his affairs. He no longer blames me. We each are cleaning up our own sides of the street.
      Let me know if you think it would help to have him post. He’s really become an advocate for the broken-hearted.

      • Strengthrequired

        Trustinggod, your husband may get some help out of being here too. What I have noticed is, this site is not just for the betrayed, Doug and Linda have given a place for all of us to find peace, help, understanding. I know when a cs happens to find their way here, they give us as much knowledge and insight, as we can provide them. We all try our best to help each other through a very difficult situation and time in our lives.
        You are lucky that your husband is one of those cs that wish to find out more and be more involved in both of your recovery.
        Just let him know that at times we can be a very emotional bunch, and may ask questions of him that may sound harsh or judgemental, and that he isn’t to take it to heart, as we are just trying to make sense of the nonsense in our own lives, and these questions may be those questions that we haven’t been able to get answered by our own cs.
        I am sure we all would appreciate any insight your husband can provide.

        • Strengthrequired

          Sorry that was for loveheals.

          • loveheals

            Hi, Strengthrequired. I got it. My guy does come here to read and has seen the comments. He has also gotten a lot from Dave Carder (Torn Asunder) and from a book written by Linda MacDonald. He heard Dave Carder on a radio program a couple of weeks ago and told me about him. I ordered his book today.

            • theresa

              Doug and Linda’s program
              Healing from an Affair – A cheater’s guide for helping your spouse heal from your affair
              Is now on the list of required reading.for others on this journey. It is an honest, concise, realistic program specifically geared to the cheater.
              But, you know what, the list of recommended material that they have created on their site,has become my first go to source when I need information and advice. There is information for both the betrayed and the cheater.
              One more reason this site has become a lifeline for me.

            • Maxine6


              What do you do when your CS doesn’t want to read anything? I’ve sent him articles to read to help us, but even if he does read any of them, he never wants to discuss it with me. He just wants us to get on with all the life we’re missing and living in the present, since we can’t change the pass. I just can’t do that, I’ve tried and it isn’t working. I wanted him to get the book that you and Doug suggested and he said that he was tired of dealing with this day after day. Which isn’t true. We might go days without bringing it up, but then I can’t hold it in any longer and ask him and question and all hell breaks lose. So I don’t know what the answer is, if he won’t even read things. I even offered to get it on CD or something. I give up.

            • Doug

              Thanks for saying that Theresa! How much do we owe you?? 😉

            • Maxine6


              Yes, it is a great site. I sure wish it had been here 27 yrs. ago. I could have learned so much on how to handle things and how to proceed after being cheated on. It’s better than the many counselors that I’ve been to. I agree that “A cheater’s guide” is great for the cheater, but from what Doug told me, it’s better for the cheater and it doesn’t help that my husband refuses to read or discuss things anymore. Only if I find the right counselor again will he discuss it. Even then, he says, “I can’t imagine telling and going through all of this again.” That tell’s me again that he truly doesn’t want to work on our marriage.

              So this book, which I’m sure is a well written and helpful one isn’t going to do anything if you don’t want to read it.

            • theresa

              Doug, no charge. The help I’ve gotten from you and Linda is priceless!

            • theresa

              Maxine, there has been times when I wonder if he really, ever read anything. I do know that he has browsed some of the material. He has been treating this material like he was choosing from a Chinese food menu. His efforts were cursory at best. Selecting one from column a, one from column b, one special….
              HIs choices dismiss anything that may be unpleasant.
              Play acting the easiest visible behavior issues for a time and then it’s business as usual. The time frame for this happy bubble has become shorter and shorter. When trying to “share” all I hear are snippets or phrases that were in material he scanned. Nothing concrete, nothing specific, never anything pertaining to him and his actions, never anything of him. Nothing but vague, empty rhetoric.
              If there is true commitment to you and your marriage, he should be trying to find information that will be a true reflection of his commitment.
              And this was one of my mistakes. I would give him material I thought would help him.
              But, I found you can lead a horse to water but I couldn’t make him drink.

            • Maxine6

              Everything you are saying is so true. I have tried so many times these past 3 yrs. of off and on hell, with fighting, him saying cruel things to me. Trying to blame me for what was wrong in our marriage, saying that I was obsessing over everything and ruining what was left of our lives. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened.

              I would move into the guest room for a while as I would be so upset and couldn’t take it anymore. He would even remind me that our daughter’s told him that he didn’t need to feed into the questions about the affair anymore. I got real angry when he would say that, as like the counselors told us, they shouldn’t have been brought into our problems. I never said anything to them, he did.

              Then later I got a long letter from both of them telling me that I was making there Dad’s life miserable and it was so unfair. I shouldn’t be bringing up something that happened over 25 yrs. ago and that I was tearing up the whole family. If it continued they were going to be forced to distance themselves from me.

              Then he would start acting better after he would apologize and say that we both should try harder and try and make it work. His idea of trying to make it work was to go about life like everything was okay, as long as I didn’t bring up the affair again. I could only do that so long before it would build up in me inside for to long, then he would either say something wrong and I would just let it all out.

              Yes, since I have been on Linda & Doug’s site for a couple yrs. if I would read something that I thought would help us and get him to understand how much I hurt inside, then I would forward it to him to hopefully read. Never would he try and discuss anything with me. I would ask if he had read anything and he would say that sometimes he had, but he was tired of going through this kind of life just about every day, which wasn’t true.

              Even with going to 3 counselors these past 3 yrs. he would never have an answer for my questions, as to why this would happen or why didn’t he ever think of my love for him? Didn’t he think of the word dis-respect, which he answered, “No, he never thought he was doing that to me.” He obviously never thought of anything but her and himself. The counselors would never press him for answers and even told me that I asked way to many questions that were not that important. I stuck to my guns and told them, “I told you why we were coming here and you agree that you understood and would try and help me get to all these missing pieces of the puzzle that didn’t add up.” Of course, again he got away with answering nothing.

              We left that counselor after about 6 or 8 visits. We had been to him maybe 12 yrs. before, but don’t know why we went back into counseling, but feel it had to do with his drinking to much again and the arguing and trying to save the marriage.

              We tried another counselor, same thing happened, the only thing that both of them had in common was, they were both male. I swore I would not go to another male again. I then found a lady counselor who I had read good reviews on. Not true, she was very scattered and would always turn the conversation back to herself and what she had been through. Also she would eat lunch while talking to me or the two of us. She didn’t help us at all, so I just quit going to her after about 7 sessions. My hairdresser today, which was ironic, were talking about things and she used to be his client and he told me that she was a scattered person and couldn’t even imagine her counseling anyone. So true, she shouldn’t be.

              We were suppose to go to our daughter’s for a Mother’s day breakfast. We haven’t spoken hardly to each other in two days. He refuses to talk and help me, so I’ve just shut up and stayed away from him.

              I did give him copies of the letter’s that TrustingGod had written to me as I thought they applied so much to us and asked him to read them. He did and didn’t seem to be very happy about what she had said and let me know that he didn’t care anymore and that he felt inside that it was pretty much over. I told him that I agreed with him. He sure wasn’t willing to work with me on anything for the past 3 yrs., then we started arguing and him bringing up ugly things again. I just said, “Forget it, I’m going to bed.”

              Then he came in and halfway opened the door and told me that we were not going to our daughter’s for breakfast, that it was Mother’s Day and I was her Mother and I could just go by myself. I told him, No, I wasn’t going by myself and be subject to questions. I told him he could call her and tell her that we were not coming.

              He then proceeded to talk with anger and say that nothing mattered anymore. I didn’t love him, didn’t even want him to touch me and that he had had enough. I agreed with him.

              I think the key to all of this and how he doesn’t know what the word love mean’s is that he said all this in anger, not sadness that a 53 yr. marriage and life is over and I truly feel that it is. I’m tired of the fighting with someone who isn’t willing to work on our marriage, help me get through all that has come back because of his lies and temper that he did 27 yrs. ago. I don’t deserve this kind of life at 71 yrs. of age. I laid in my bed tonight feeling sick to my stomach with sadness after all that we have been through, but I have nothing left to give. I’m scared of what is ahead now and have been dreading this day. But I don’t see any kind of remorse from him, so that tells me a lot. The road ahead is not going to be easy though.

              Thank’s again for your help and comments.

      • Doug

        Absolutely, please have him post. Everyone is welcome and his input could be quite valuable for others.

        • Maxine6

          Doug are your referring to me in your comment about him posting? I’m confused as to your post at 8:05 pm. I can’t imagine my husband posting on any site. I can’t get him to even read anything, hardly that I send him on the computer.

          Today has been a horrible day, we can’t discuss anything anymore without screaming at each other. He just doesn’t get it and my need for him to understand the pain that he caused me years ago. He wouldn’t discuss it years ago and now that it’s being revisited again years later, he’s even worse. I can’t move forward and save this 53 yr. marriage when he seems to not be able to give me a reason for totally forgetting me during his 3 yr. E/A or P/A as I’ll never truly know what happened. He feels that I should be able to move on as he can’t change the “mistake” that he made years ago and then didn’t show remorse for me or sadness over what he did. His comment is, he was still the same selfish person that allowed him to have the affair. Never thinking of me or how the pain would kill me that he could love another woman while he was married to a women who loved him so much for 24 yrs. What kind of man can live with himself if he truly loved me? His standard comment is, “He never fell out of love for me, he just enjoyed the flattery and ego boost that she provided and he never thought I would get hurt because I didn’t know about it.”

          I did know about it after 8 months when I got a letter from the OWH telling me that an affair was going on between his wife and my husband. I cried all day, couldn’t reach him at the conference he said he was at, never knowing he was with her for the first weekend where they supposedly didn’t have sex, slept together, so he wouldn’t look like a whimp, The purpose was to go off together so they could enjoy Sea World, eat dinner and not have someone seeing them together. He could have just went to Sea World on a Saturday and came back late, like he had a one day conference, he didn’t have to crawl in bed with her. It hurts so bad to think that he was able to do that to me, with no thought of the pain it would cause me.

          He finally called me that evening after I got that letter, I cried on the phone, didn’t know what to believe and he told me that he could never do that to me. This person was someone he had to fire and her husband was trying to hurt his family. He could come home now if I wanted him to. I told him that I trusted him and that he could stay if he needed to. He elected to stay and I so wish I had told him that he needed to come home.

          So after being almost caught, her husband knowing, he still elected to continue this affair for another 2 1/2 yrs. and take a chance of the husband coming to our home, his place of work, etc. He loved her enough to take all these chances and forget what would happen to the pain he would cause me.

          A year, supposedly after she broke it off with him, the husband sent me the 4 love letter’s he wrote her and all the loving things he said to her. I went into shock as my daughter’s gave them to me. My one daughter who lived at home recognized the handwriting from the first letter I received and gave it to her older sister. They both told me the night after we had come home from a dinner with clients from work. They only wanted to talk to me, he slept while I went to my daughter’s home.

          Then lied when I came home and threw the letter’s on him as he slept on our bed. He denied he wrote them, as I yelled and cried at the same time. He then said it was only for lunches and didn’t mean anything, yea, right! I told him to leave and he wouldn’t. It was the worse night of my life and can you believe that he can’t even remember half of it? What man totally kill’s his wife, can’t even remember the date that it happened.

          Then lies and more lies for 8 months, so I didn’t kick him out. I was still in so much shock that I couldn’t even function for a couple of yrs. There is a whole book left, but I’ll stop now.

          I just don’t know how you can forget this when it all comes back later in life when he just never shows remorse and becomes a better person for me and himself. Forgiveness doesn’t happen if you don’t deserve it and you have no respect for the person you married, that you would take a chance to hurt her to the core of her soul. Then he get’s angry when I question all this, how dare him. Am I angry, you bet I am. I feel like packing my bag and just walking out the door. I deserve better than him.

          Sorry, it’s just been an awful day. Forgiveness over and over again is just impossible. He doesn’t deserve it.

          • Doug

            Hey Maxine, No, I wasn’t referring to you in my comment. I believe it was Loveheals who mentioned having her husband/partner comment on this site. I’m truly sorry that your husband will not see fit to help you heal in the slightest bit.

            • Maxine6


              So am I. I just don’t know what else to do. My children, my 2 daughter’s that is, feel that there Dad should not be questioned about something that happened almost 30 yrs. ago. They are very angry at me for messing up there Dad’s life and making him miserable. They are accusing me of destroying the family unit by doing this and that I should forgive him again, especially since he has done so well and gave up drinking on his own, thus I owe him to work on the marriage. To actually go on dates and do more things together to make the marriage work. I’ve tried to do this, but I look at him when we go out to dinner and think of him taking her out to dinner. The thoughts just won’t go away and I have no desire to be alone with him, let alone date him. I moved into the other room a couple months ago as I couldn’t stand to sleep with him, because he got in bed with her. No bra on, see through t-shirt and bikini pants. He doesn’t get how intimate this is. He even touched the top of her breasts as he said he was so nervous getting into bed with her as he had never been with anyone else. He did that so he wouldn’t look like a total wimp. I told him that he had no idea what she could have had on in that bed and what a position he put himself into. He also didn’t know what she could have done. The bottom line is, I still can’t believe anything he tell’s me about what happened, even with 3 lie detector tests. The first one’s that were done were not done by a good tester. The last one was about a yr. ago, but he only basically asked him one question and it had to do with the sex, which he passed. But I still don’t know if he didn’t have sex with her because he wasn’t able to? I wanted to know if he really wanted to but couldn’t and I can’t get an answer to that question. The reason that sex is a deal breaker with me is this. We had never been with anyone else, never even intimate at all and I valued that so much and I thought he did, but I was so wrong.

              So, if I leave and separate, our children will hate me, the grandchildren are going to find out about what happened and they are all in there 20’s and I would feel so humiliated if they knew what there Grandfather had done to me. They love both of us so much, but I feel there parents would influence them. The children don’t want to hear anything more about it and have no idea all that I went through before the affair, trying to be both parents to them. Talking to there Dad at night to get him to be a better parent, less controlling with the money, do more things as a family. They just don’t know what I put up with and they really don’t want to know as they both believe that you should live NOW, not in the past. I didn’t ask for all of this to come back into my brain 3 yrs. ago, his actions did that and they just won’t go away.

              Sorry this is so long, thanks for all your help.

    • TrustingGod

      I think it would help if he were able to share what it took to get him to that AHA moment, and why he didn’t initially understand how much pain he was putting you through, or why it isn’t easy to forgive and put behind you. Sometimes I just don’t understand why it is so difficult for a CS to realize how a betrayal of your marriage would be so painful and difficult to forgive. Seriously, people have lied about me and ruined my reputation at work, and I had to keep my cool and continue to work with them for a while still, but those people weren’t my friends, and were trying to keep out of trouble themselves or push an agenda. It is still hard to fully forgive them, even though I no longer see them, even though I try to let go of all anger and bitterness about it. But none of them was my husband, a person I entrusted my life to, and who shouldn’t have too difficult of a time understanding what a betrayal of trust feels like, given what an ex-friend of his did a couple of years ago. I don’t know if I believe yet that he is simply incapable of thoroughly empathizing with me because he has no respect or real love for me, as one book I have been reading suggests. I don’t love or respect a lot of people who hurt me, but I can still put myself in their shoes. I just don’t understand how people can be so oblivious to how much they’ve hurt another person, and not do whatever they are asked to make it right, and instead keep treating them like their feelings are a nuisance or an exaggeration.

      • Maxine6

        Trusting God,

        Were you referring to me, when you made your comment above at May 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm?

        Just wondering as it does seem to apply a lot.

        I’ll respond to your other comment either now or later. Thanks for all the support and I beg you to look into your situation and not end up like me at 71. I was only 43 when I found out about the affair and I could have divorced and had a better chance to find a man that I could love and who would be faithful to me.

        Take care, Maxine6

    • TrustingGod

      For clarification, are you saying that your wife, the CS, is saying those things to you, and that the therapist is asking what you can do to make her move toward you? Because that sounds like a big old plate of WTH! If she’s the CS and thinks you’re lucky she’s willing to move forward, and your therapist says crap like that, you need a new therapist. That is the one reason why I’m glad I haven’t gone to MC–as of yet–because I’m a little concerned that they’ll want to talk about what I can do to make my husband do his part. But I’ve already done enough damage to my marriage by being a doormat, so I don’t see how more catering is going to help. Sure, it gets my husband to act nicer to me–for the brief time he is at home during the week–but then he goes right back to ignoring me and our children during his free time on the weekend. Unless you were abusive to your wife in some way, I can’t imagine how she could say any of that to you. Those are the BS’s lines.

      • Untold

        Your interpretation is exactly correct TG. That’s the amazing part – much of her behavior is as if she was the faithful one – hostile, contemptuous. It’s either stonewalling or uncontrolled rage, very unhealthy. We’ve been married 28 years, so I’m trying to hang in there.

        This is a Christian counselor, a nice guy, but no plan, no program or specific approach. MC is definitely a crapshoot, especially in smaller areas without much selection. I think he has had no benefit after 1 year, maybe even a little worse than when we started. Of course, wife won’t read or listen to anything about healing processes. She knows what needs to happen – I just need to shut the f*** up!

    • Maxine6

      I read this article and I think it might help you forgive yourself and your cheating spouse, but only if he is truly sorry for what he did and is willing to totally work on healing you and himself. If he shows no remorse, won’t tell you what you need to know to find some peace, it’s very hard to do that.

      With me, I’ve got 3 yrs. of my life missing. I don’t truly know what happened between him and the OW, only what little he has told me and even then, he does it with anger as he doesn’t want to be questioned about it. I tried 27 yrs. ago to get answers, went through 5 yrs. of counseling, with him at most of the sessions, but he never learned anything.

      I forgave him before the affair, so many times for drinking so much at conferences, not being a good Father, not supporting me and he did the one thing that I said I couldn’t forgive and he knew it. Did he think of me and the disrespect and betrayal during those 3 yrs, no he didn’t. He said he was able to carpartmentalize it. There are enough people on this site, have you heard your CS say that to you? If your the CS is that how you do it? Put your spouse in a box and just enjoy the other person? I just don’t know how anyone does it. To put yourself in the same room, at the same table with your spouse and mistress at the same time, with even her husband being there and be able to do that? How, I’ll never understand till the day I die.

      I forgave before the affair so many times because I loved him and kept trying to stay together. I looked at him earning a good living, working together to have a nice home, showing him so much love and for what? To be cheated on because he wanted extra attention from a younger sl++t.

      So, I did what I said what I would never do, I forgave him for his affair, even though he didn’t show remorse and be thankful that I didn’t kick him out. I’ll have to admit, I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t tell him to leave back then. I chose the route of being so hurt instead. So after that 5 yrs. of therapy, I decided to totally forgive and love him again.

      Did he change, NO! He still drank to much during those next 25 yrs. Didn’t treat me special, danced with other women at conferences, even though I asked him not to. I still loved and stayed with him.

      Then the stock market crash, he got worse, I tried to get him to make love to me and yes he did about every 4 months, but wasn’t totally into it. I didn’t leave, I kept working on the marriage. Forgiveness again by me. Then I finally realized he wasn’t ever going to be the man that I thought I had married and I didn’t want to forgive anymore and I won’t! You have to deserve and work for forgiveness.

      Finally he has made some changes, no more drinking, working on controlling me, but yet still looses his temper when ever I bring up the affair to understand it. I can’t move forward till he understands what he did to me. I don’t care how many years ago it was, he owes me what he never told me, but he doesn’t want to discuss it anymore. I’m in a very dark place and need to find a counselor at least for myself. He feels that I am obsessing about the affair and should be over it by now. I didn’t ask for it to come back, he brought it back by his lack of love towards me. I deserve better than what he was giving me.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m beyond meditation and trying to stop my thoughts. They are going to still be there until he works with me to solve them. If he truly loved me, he would do that. Meditation is not going to heal me, it just made me angry because again, I’m doing work on something he caused. It just doesn’t seem right.

      Thanks for posting the article Doug, maybe it will help someone else.

      I would like to know this. Can a person have an affair and not think that he is disrespecting his wife? Can he still love his wife in the same way during his affair, as he did before he was having it? How does a person who knows there wife and how much that person loves them, be able to forget her and give attention and love to another person? I just don’t understand. You’ve been through this, can you please explain how you could hurt Linda? Not trying to be ugly, just wanting answer’s since I can’t seem to get them from my CS. He just tell’s me that he was selfish and did what he wanted. I don’t get it!

    • Maxine6


      I can so relate to everything you wrote, except that my CH didn’t say that he doesn’t love me and never has. I know I couldn’t deal with that, it’s to painful. I would ask him why is he still in the marriage then, just to have a place to sleep?

      I totally agree with the other person on what your counselor said, I would be going to another one.

      I think it comes down to trust so much. You can’t believe if what they are telling you the truth or if it’s something they just want you to believe so it will all go away. My CH gets so angry when I question him about his feeling’s for her. “He say’s, how do you describe feelings, did I love her on a scale of 1 to 10?” Then I just get so angry as he says it with arrogance. I keep telling him, if you were remorseful and sad over what you did, you wouldn’t get so angry and defensive like you do. You did the same thing 27 yrs. ago when I would ask you about what happened. I finally had to talk to her and then also found bank statements to get to some of the truth, but never from him. How do you ever trust someone like that again and trust is the foundation of marriage. Your comment said everything so well.

    • TrustingGod

      I so feel you, too, and I think many of us just don’t get why our CSs are so insensitive and think we can just move on without full disclosure and signs of repentance. You are living proof that sweeping it under the rug will not make it go away. I initially thought that something must have happened to make you go back to being upset over adultery that happened so long ago. So many of us here have had recent betrayals and can’t imagine how, after such a long time, someone can become obsessed with talking about and thinking about something they had forgiven.

      But you are not alone. I thought of you when I was reading, What to do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore, by David Clarke. He wrote that people come in to see him often who are just as affected by it years later as if it had happened yesterday–because the work to repair and restore the relationship wasn’t done. And from everything you’ve shared, I would say that is definitely the case. I’ve seen people be less than kind and understanding about this, even here, because you stayed, and tried to move on. But it seems more and more obvious that one person can’t save the marriage by themselves, and that those who got away with adultery (staying married without having to show repentance and work on the marriage) continue to mistreat and disrespect their spouse.

      I take what is happening to you very seriously, because I have been with my husband for twenty years and do not want to be obsessed about this twenty years from now. I know now that my husband has very little time left to get with the program, or else I will have to leave. Once a spouse forgives without all the work, it seems, that spouse is set up to be a doormat for the rest of the marriage. I’ve already been an understanding and forgiving little doormat for years, with brief bouts of standing up for myself, but I always accepted the excuse of time and money problems when it comes to counseling, etc. Now is the first time it is actually true, or at least very difficult financially. But I can’t keep letting him destroy me and our family because he cares more about other people than us, and doesn’t want to reveal his own failings. He has a slim chance at redemption, and I hope he takes it seriously now, for all of our sakes. I have been through so much and have given him so many chances already.

      I have been wondering if it is worth it to separate in your case. I don’t think your husband remembers that much about his adultery after all this time, because he didn’t actually love her–he was using her. Why would he remember those details, as if their time was precious, instead of just an ego boost? It would still be to his benefit to repent of it now, but I think it would take a lot. He sounds so much like my husband, who is a total jerk sometimes. He is telling the truth about the reason being his selfishness. But does he want to live the rest of his life as that same, selfish man, the one who hurt and disrespected the woman who loved him and dedicated her life to him?

      If you haven’t read David Clarke’s book, maybe you should, and decide if it’s worth trying to do the work that should’ve happened years ago, or to separate so that you can have some peace to enjoy the family that you love and who loves you back.

      I’m in the same boat, even though it’s only been 20 years, 19 of them married. So much time, and now with a toddler I didn’t expect to have–I thought it was a new beginning for us, a new child and a chance to be better parents and have a more loving marriage. Instead I got D-Day. And I’ve held out hope that if I could just hold on, do my part, he would change. But people don’t change and improve themselves when they are given a free pass, because the person who gives it has no dignity. I’m not going to beg and plead for answers anymore. If he won’t change, I don’t want him in my life, or in my sons’ lives. You seem so unhappy with your spouse, too. If he won’t get counseling or at least do some marital improvement program with you, do you really want to stay with him?

      Money and a desire to give my husband a fair chance to redeem himself are the only reasons I’m still with him right now. But it’s a time bomb, ticking away. I want a loving, peaceful family where trust exists, and I hope to be able to post something positive about my marriage soon, but now’s not that time. I pray you have happier days soon, as well.

      • Maxine6


        In regards to your comments on May 9th. at 2:01.
        These do seem to get confusing at times. Sorry I’m late in getting back to you, it’s been a bad weekend or should I say the past few days.

        Everything you have said is so true. This all coming back was not my choice, it was brought on by his lack of love for 3 yrs., his anger over everything, life, his loss of over $400,000 in the stock market crash we went through a few yrs. ago. The money our daughter, $10,000 that she wasn’t paying us back. He was just so angry with life and money has always ruled him, especially when he has no control of it, since he is a controlling person.

        Then he started drinking more at night, started more arguments, slammed doors, screamed at me through them as I locked the door as I couldn’t deal with the stress anymore.

        He wasn’t interested in making love to me much anymore, I would initiate it, wear something sexy and he would have to take the time to drink a glass of wine, watch some TV and then the same love making, nothing different every time. I would try to get him to be more creative, but he wasn’t interesting. Then things started to not happen for him, he would blame it on us arguing, of course that didn’t help, but he was causing it.

        He never talked to me about his feelings, never tried to see a doctor to see why he was having ED problems. He was so focused on himself, just like you have pointed out. It was all about him, as usual. He could have showed me affection, but no he didn’t. He still took time to go to the Y to do his workout, with hair done, etc. I started thinking he was seeing someone there, but was to scared to follow him there to see if it was true. Checked phone number’s, but could never come up with anything concrete. I worried about this for over 6 months. I didn’t ask him, as I didn’t want to give him time to hide things like he had done before.

        Everyone ask me why, after forgiving him was I going back after 25 years? Like I truly hadn’t forgiven him and that was so untrue. I saw all the comments and they hurt, which I mentioned to Doug. I wasn’t seeking revenge, I had moved on, laughed, loved him, put up with some of the same crap again, the drinking to much sometimes, his control. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t let him walk all over me. I stopped that after the first affair. I swore he was never going to control me again and he really didn’t. I did what I wanted, did he like it, heck No, so there were still arguments as he never thought he was wrong and would always argue to the end and I would either leave or lock the door and turn up the TV so loud I couldn’t hear him.

        His behavior just made me look back on my life with him and realize that he had always been a selfish, self-centered person. He didn’t know the true meaning of the word love. I still don’t know if he does and after the way he acted tonight, I don’t think he does. He wasn’t sad, when he came in the room, he was angry when he said that he was through with all this. He knew I didn’t love him anymore, I was untouchable, I didn’t even want to be around him and I said, “Why should I love you when you don’t even try to help me?” Your the one tearing the family apart as he was trying to put the blame on me again. Why wasn’t he saying this to me with sadness that our marriage was over after 53 years? That told me everything that I needed to know and I told him to shut the door and get out of the room. I lay her in sadness, not knowing where my life is going. It just seems like it is all over.

        The other reason I was asking about things now, is that I had been through 4 D-days before. Lies for over 8 months and if I had even knew 1/2 the truth he would have been out the door. I was in so much sadness and shock, finding out one thing after another for so long totally tore me apart. To the point that I couldn’t even hear anything more of what happened, I couldn’t deal with it any more. I tried to kill myself twice with an over dose and the only thing that stopped me was, “What would my children and grandchildren have to go through if I did.” I didn’t stop because of him. He doesn’t even remember any of this. I don’t understand at all. We fought for 5 yrs. and he doesn’t remember this, nor his lack of remorse, never talking to me with such sadness over what he has done to me.

        Yet, he wrote love letter’s to her, saying how he could never live without her because he loved her so much. That no one had ever meant as much to him as she did, with the word “ever” underlined. I know he loved her, she told me so. She said, she would have never stayed with him for 3 yrs. if she didn’t feel like he loved her, as that would have made her feel used. So, yes he did love her and I think more than he did me, along with himself.

        You are so right, one person can’t save a marriage, I’m living proof of that. I did all the work before the affair, during the affair and even after the affair, even forgiving him and moving on. He never worked on anything after the affair to make himself a better person, still drank, still danced with other women, wasn’t totally present for our 25th. Anniversary to the Virgin Islands, where he went as we never had a honeymoon. She had just broken up with him about 6 weeks before and he didn’t want it to end, even after 3 yrs. Her husband in the letter said it was still going on, so I don’t know if it was truly over or not. So many un-answered truths that I have to live with.

        I tried so hard back then and for the next 30 yrs. and have even worked on it for the past 3 yrs. or I wouldn’t be on this site. I’ve been to the counselor’s myself to get help on my own, he didn’t try to help at all and never has. If my back is out and I end up in the hospital, he get’s frustrated that it’s happening and his world is being disturbed. He’s just not a compassionate person. I think I’ve seen him only shed a tear only once in the 53 yrs. that I’ve known him and that’s when I feel over a gate. The other 7 falls, he would get aggravated and just couldn’t understand how they happened

        No, I think he never paid any consequences for what he did and that’s why he’s so angry now. He’s being cornered, questioned, etc. and he doesn’t like it. His yelling at me is surely not respectful and he has no right to after what he has done to our marriage.

        You say, that people don’t have dignity when someone gives the other one a free pass? I never looked at it that way at the time, I just tried to save our marriage of 26 yrs. as I still loved him. But I do see what your saying and I do think he didn’t respect me as he never thought even during the affair about the word respect. I also stayed for some of the reason’s that you are doing. We had worked for all those yrs. to get somewhere, started with $90 in our pocket and both worked together to have a nice home and life and it was hard to give all that home. But all I can say to that now is, peace inside, loving yourself and having respect for yourself is more important. So If your husband isn’t going to work on the marriage, I would insist on it and not give him to much time. I don’t want to see you end up like me. Get out while your young, if he’s not willing to work with you. I would set a deadline and let him know what it is. I did leave him twice in all these past 30 yrs., but not long enough and I should have made him leave, but he was to drunk to drive, so I left instead.

        In reference to my children, no they won’t stand behind me, they are angry with me for ever bringing this up and have told me so many times. Have even distanced themselves from me and both of us now, as they know we’re not happy and don’t want to be around us. I dread the day my grandchildren find out about this, as I will feel so humiliated that there Grandfather did something like this to me. I know I shouldn’t, but I will feel that way. They feel like I am making there Dad’s life miserable. They don’t understand my depression, panic attacks or back pain. They feel that I don’t help myself to get better. So no, they won’t be there for me, they will stand by there Dad. Even though when this first happened my 16 yr. old begged me to divorce him so we could have a peaceful life. She eventually moved out of our home her senior year as she couldn’t stand the stress anymore and moved in with her boyfriend. Yet, now she’s all for her Dad. Neither daughter is close to me, only my son, who lives in Rio. So when this is over and I truly think it is, I will loose my family unit altogether. No more family get together’s as they wouldn’t want both of us there and surely wouldn’t want me for quite a while. That’s what is going to hurt so bad.

        No, nothing has happened to my daughter’s to ever go through anything like me. One almost got arrested twice for doing things on E-bay and if we hadn’t bailed her out she would have went to jail. We saved her because of the grandchildren. Lent her $10,000 twice and she’s still owes us $6000 from the last one and that was 5 yrs. ago. Her husband almost left her twice, but she is smarter than he is and he feels that he got a catch when he married her as he came from a broken home. They are very much in love now, as they both have great jobs and live there own lives. We aren’t included much anymore.

        I didn’t share a lot of these things with them after the affair. They saw some of it, but have forgotten. The other years I’ve only shared very little with them and they don’t want to get involved in it and they really shouldn’t be. They don’t like to hear negative things anyway.

        It wouldn’t do any good to talk to them about the way he’s acted. period! They don’t agree with my approach to this. So, no that won’t work at all. I’m just on my own now. I think when I gave him your letter’s to read, he really saw himself for what he truly was and he got very angry about it. His Narsistic personality didn’t like to be told by someone else what kind of person he truly was. I feel that’s why he said what he did himself.

        So, I will text my daughter and tell her that we won’t be coming over this morning. I don’t want her to go out of her way and get things ready for a breakfast that we’re not going to. Knowing my husband, he won’t tell her till 7:30 this morning and by then she could have bought things.

        Sorry this is so long, I responded to both thoughts into one. Wish me good luck as I have no idea how my life is going to be now and I’m so tired of going through so much.

        Thanks, Maxine6

    • TrustingGod


      I think the comment you’re referring to was for Loveheals. Every time I come back to this page the comments are out of order and my screen is not showing times, just dates.

      I’m a little surprised to hear that your daughters seem to have more compassion for your husband than for you. His drinking and lack of love throughout the years put you through a lot, and lack of repentance left you with a festering wound. Has nothing happened in your daughters’ lives that they have had a hard time getting over?

      Your husband may have given up drinking on his own, but that doesn’t mean you owe him anything! What about everything you have done for him over the years? You tried to have a good marriage, and since he didn’t want to do the work back then, it has come back to haunt you both now. He owes it to you to show you the repentance he never did. Working on the marriage means working through that first, then you can work on the marriage itself. It’s not just you that needs counseling–it’s him, too, and he probably needed it for a long time.

      Maybe you can get your daughters to see this. If they are on his side and against you, he will have no reason to keep changing, and just blame you for being unforgiving. Who is blaming him for being unrepentant? Saying I’m sorry and not leaving the marriage or not continuing in his adultery is not repentance.

      It’s funny to me that I would have this insight now, but I have learned a lot, even in this past week. I pray that you are able to communicate with your daughters and get them to see that your husband will have to be made a little more unhappy and uncomfortable before he breaks and decides to show you the repentance, and the love, that he should have shown you all along. I would hope that your daughters would want him to do this while he still can, so that he can become the person that you and he both can respect, and THEN he will be truly happy, not this pretend happiness he has right now. Do they really want him to come to the end of his life and regret all he did, when it is too late to fix any of it?

    • Loveheals

      I spoke to my man about posting here. He’s happy to do so. However, his father (who has dementia) is in a care home that is being closely watched by the county ombudsman and this is taking up a lot of time and energy. When things are more resolved for his father he’ll either post or send an email to Doug and Linda for editing.

    • Rachel

      HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you amazing mother’s!!!!!

      • Maxine6


        Thanks for the best wishes. Unfortunately for me, it’s been a horrible Mother’s Day. My 2 daughter’s just got all over me and ganged up on me on the phone today. They have totally blamed me for destroying the family household and wish that I would make a decision to either leave there Dad so he could have a happy life and maybe me also. They don’t believe that he should be expected to answer one question about what happened over 25 yrs. ago. I should have already been over it, even though I explained what brought it all back. They are sick of hearing it and am tired of me destroying the family unit. I think a lot of permanent damage was done in this conversation, as I said a lot of things that I have kept to myself. I don’t feel that your children should be involved in your own personal life and that wouldn’t have happened if my husband hadn’t went crying on there shoulder looking miserable and told them that we were not getting along and I was asking questions about the past.

        I have never been so disappointed in my life. This reminds me of when I was in the hospital about a year ago with an infected blockage of diverticulitis and I was really sick for 5 days while in there. I had an allergic reaction to the Cipro, so that made it worse. I was really sick and it was a draining and horrible experience. I never even knew that I had divertulosis, that can turn into the other.

        I was in the hospital for 4 days, never heard from either daughter, one lived there, but my son called from Brazil to see how I was. My oldest daughter that lived there finally called me and had no sympathy for what I had been through, blamed it on the life and stress that I lived under and that it was my own fault that it happened. This ended up being a 30 minute conversation that ended with me crying and finally telling her that I didn’t want to talk to her anymore. The nurse had to give me something to calm me down. She then called her Dad, after I had called him and told him what she had done. She then wanted to come see me, I really didn’t want her to, but told him it was okay as long as she didn’t bring anything up again. It was a strained visit, the only thing good about it was she brought my grandson with her, which made it easier.

        I look back on it and can’t understand how I raised such un-compassionate kid’s, but she is just like her Dad, so that’s my answer on the oldest one. I’ve only saw her show emotion when her son had testicular cancer, she cried on the phone when she told me and then when it went into the lymph nodes 18 months later, she cried again for a moment on the phone. I don’t ever remember seeing my husband cry, maybe when he lost his Father, there were a couple of tears. None when he had the affair on me, which I’ll never understood.

        So, I think you can understand why this is an awful day for me. I was so close to my Mom, got unconditional love from her and gave her unconditional love and my Dad had 3 affairs on her also. She had a nervous breakdown on the 1st. or 2nd. one and couldn’t leave as she had 6 children and they didn’t have much income, so she couldn’t leave. After the 3rd. one, right on the weekend they were going to move from there home of 35 yrs. into the city into a used but nice brick home, my Mom found another love note to a women in my Dad’s suit pocket as they were packing to move. She got so upset that Friday, that she ran away from home and we couldn’t find her anywhere. Dad called all upset, not knowing she had found the note. We finally found her at there church and her friends and priest there were helping her. I finally spoke to her and she asked me if I could fly home and be with her when she confronted Dad the next morning. She was a basket case and so scared, I couldn’t tell her No, so I went. I had to sit there at the table, between her and Dad when she told him what she had found. It was awful to see my Mom go through that again. Then she told my Dad that after they got everything into the other house that he had to leave. My Mom was about 72 at the time. Then after they moved in and I stayed to help get Mom settled, Dad wouldn’t move out. I had to fly back again to do more work and found out that he wouldn’t move out. A big shouting match happened between all of us, or at least Dad and I and it was awful, but he finally packed his bad and moved into another house. Mom shut herself into a room and cried all week. But then she got on with life and was the happiest I had ever seen her. She was a totally different person. Then unfortunately she fell and broke her hip and Dad had to move back to live with her. It wasn’t a pleasant 2 yrs. as she really didn’t want him there. They only got along the 3rd. year right before she died at 80. I miss my Mom so much, she went through so much and I really loved her.

        Happy Mother’s Day to all that have read this.


    • Loveheals

      I’m hurting today but I am also aware that my words can hurt my sweetheart. It isn’t necessary. He’s a kind-hearted soul who is trying his best to be a better man.
      I took a class recently called “What Love Does” about what love can heal. That’s where my sweetie and I got the Loveheals handle. It was a good class.
      I’m going to review some of the syllabus and writings. The teacher was outstanding. She’s a trained therapist who specializes in both grief counseling and couples therapy.
      My goal is for us to get through this not only intact but in even better than before.
      I practice a daily gratitude.
      Today I’m grateful for the love we share even when I lash out in pain. He never leaves my side.

    • Maxine6


      I am so proud of how you are handling this. I wish I could be as sensitive as you are. Maybe I’ve hardened through the years. I use to be that way with my husband, but not anymore. Yet I am with my grandchildren.

      I wish I knew of one of these type of counselors in my area. She sounds great and I think she would be very helpful.

      Thanks for a good post.


      • loveheals

        I live in California, specifically in an area with a lot of nearby resources. I hear you, and others, regarding the icky part of the process. Sometimes we ask ourselves, what can I trust/believe/do/understand, etc.
        The emotional pain can get close to unbearable. My teacher and mentor instructs us with a form of mindfulness meditation (it is compatible with any faith tradition). In this moment I am safe in the hands of a loving creator, a have compassion for myself, I forgive myself my own shortcomings (which have nothing to do with my partner’s affairs). No matter what he does I must have some mastery over my healing process.

    • theresa

      Timing is everything, isn’t i?
      I think this thread is a perfect example of the timelessness.
      The circumstances, behaviors, reactions, needs are the same today as they were 30 yrs ago.
      And thirty yrears ago the betrayed was in a lifeboat all by herself.
      Today that lifeboat is overcrowded. And therein lies the “advantages” of being in the crowded vessel. We have company, support, direction, validation, wisdom, empathy,accessibility to information and tools, a variety of opinions that insures help for your particular circumstance, regardless of financial constraints via the web, and published literature available at your public library………(I hate run on sentences as a rule but this could go on and on).
      The Kinsey Report blew the lid off, but it took a while to recognize the fact that the betrayed did not have to choose a therapist, self medication, or silence. Yeah, you had company in the boat but there was very little hope that you’d be able to get off, you were still basically
      alone, still a victim.
      So now the lifers can see the errors she made way back when. Some marriages may have evolved into a successful relationship. You have accepted the past. You are happy today.
      You got off.

      Maxine it sounds like Your marriage did not evolve. You keep getting pushed back on. By more than one set of hands. How does he justify bringing your daughters into this minefield? How great will their own hurt be knowing how much they hurt you There will come a day they realize this. And that’s on him, he betrayed them too.

      • Maxine6


        I will respond tomorrow. Have a business dinner to go to tonight. A great post, but a lot has happened since yesterday and it has really helped me at least, so I would like to share it with everyone. I think you will find it very interesting and helpful.

        Till tomorrow.

        • theresa

          Let yourself enjoy your nite out

      • loveheals

        Theresa, very well said.

    • tryingtorecover

      I agree with “loveheals,” and that the emotional pain can become so unbearable at times that we need to find an outlet. That outlet and coping that helps has been: meditation and time for me as well…and it has helped immensely!

      I also have read excerpts from Beatie’s books on Co-dependency, and this has helped me gain insight and help ground me as well. I still struggle at moments and have self-doubt and blame myself though ultimately these strategies have helped lessen this self- blame, shame, and inner turmoil.

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