Getting over an affair truly takes two individuals working together – yet separately – to reach a place of forgiveness and healing.

get over an affairBy Linda

As Doug and I have embarked on this journey there has been many times where I have been awakened. 

There have been times when the confusion of getting over an affair has opened up to clarity and the pain of the affair decreased. 

There were times when I was able to look forward with optimism rather than focusing on the past with despair.  I know these moments of revelation have been what have kept us moving forward in the quest to have a better marriage and life together.

Just recently I had another awakening as a result of the work that Doug has completed on himself.  I have realized that it doesn’t matter how hard you are trying to do all the right things…making an effort to have a better marriage, spending more time together, listening, and doing loving things for each other, etc.  You will not be successful in getting over an affair completely until both partners do the work on themselves.

As the betrayed spouse, I felt I didn’t have a choice but to take a hard look at my shortcomings and what I needed to do to have a better marriage and life. 

Like most others who are in the same situation, I read scores of books and I went to therapy.  I spent hours thinking about my actions, about my marriage and about my past.  I made many personal changes and became aware of my fears and how those fears sabotaged my relationships.  I feel that all of this searching has produced many positive benefits both personally and with the people I love.

See also  Top Emotional Affair Journey Posts, Searches, Stats and More

I often hear from other affair victims that their spouses are doing everything right, however they cannot let go of the pain or let go of the affair.  I felt that way also. I thought that Doug really couldn’t do anything else to make it better, and yet I was still in pain.  I wondered what was wrong with me.  Why couldn’t I let it go and just move on?

Blog member Paula says…

Until the unfaithful person is prepared to become completely vulnerable, do the introspective work on themselves that most betrayed spouses do first, there really is little hope, little chance that we will feel a little confident that this won’t happen again.

When the CS says, “oh it’s over now, sorry, it won’t happen again, let’s put it behind us and move on,” s/he needs to back that up by SHOWING the BS what s/he is prepared to do, what they have truly learned about themselves.

I know this will be a bit depressing for many of you here who are near the beginning of this journey, but it can take quite some time, especially with men, sorry to seem sexist, but they have many more layers to unpeel than most women, because they are taught to hide emotions, toughen up, stay strong on the outside, etc, it is foreign to most of them to show vulnerability. For those of you who may be interested, there are a couple of videos by Brene Brown on YouTube, regarding this very topic…

One day I was reading a comment from someone who regularly posts on our site. She had been really struggling with the pain of the affair and I sensed that she was ready to give up her marriage.  She had been to a counseling session and the therapist told her that she wasn’t the one who needed to be fixed.  She was not the one who was broken.  Rather, it is the cheater who needs to do the hard work on themselves.

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I could tell from her post that the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. She had arrived at where she needed to be.  She had completed all the hard work and it was her spouse who still needed to work on himself.  He needed to ask himself those hard personal questions.  He needed to look within and make the personal decision to become a better person – not just a better spouse.

I feel the same way since Doug has worked on himself.  For the past year or so he began looking within and became aware of his shortcomings.  His revelations have allowed me to better understand him and the reasons for his affair

For the first time since Doug’s emotional affair I feel free. I feel we can finally move to the next level and put the past behind us. We now understand and agree how we evolved into this mess and are aware of what we need to do to never get there again.

Getting over an affair truly takes two individuals working together – yet separately – to reach a place of forgiveness and healing. Both parties need to work on themselves and love the person they have become and when they do… they can build a better marriage and secure a lifetime of happiness.

**Originally posted 2/16/2012 and updated on 6/16/2020



    203 replies to "Getting Over an Affair – Doing Work"

    • AJ

      Hello Linda, I am new to your site and it’s been about a year & a half since D-Day. That you for this post and all the others, they have been a great help to me and to my husband. When I found out about the affair, I started reading and reading and reading and I know it helped me so much but my husband couldn’t find a article or site that really told the cheaters point of view. A lady I met a couple of weeks ago, gave me your website and we’ve been reading ever since.

      Thank you and we look forward to reading and even sharing our own story with other one day.

      • Doug

        AJ, Welcome to the site and we’re glad that it has been beneficial for you thus far. We look forward to one day when you can post your success story.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Excellent post Linda! This is where my H and I are now…he’s finally working on himself and I feel so much more hope than I ever have before!
      There are two things I now know about EA’s…it DOES take time to recover, at LEAST 1 yr, no quick fix here and BOTH partners have to work on the recovery. Plain and simple.
      Linda, I know this blog can be painful for you at times, but what you and Doug are doing has helped soooo many people!
      I would have been lost without this blog…truly, genuinely lost!!
      I feel my time here is coming to a close…not quite yet, but I can see that as the weeks have gone by, I’m more excited about my life and my marriage and I can see my H has finally starting to do his part.
      I’ve met three wonderful women on this blog, that I feel I will always have in my life…friends that if not for this journey I would have never known, so I AM grateful that at this point in my life I’m finally seeing that there is more good that has come out of my H’s EA than bad…..and for that I will always be grateful… 🙂

    • chiffchaff

      another well timed article.
      why will my H not read anything at all or admit that he needs to look at the real reasons why he had his PA? He’s now decided he doesn’t need any therapy and this seriously worries me.
      He has come along way but now he spends the time he used to spend texting the OW with his nose in a computer game instead. Time he could spend working on us, reading useful stuff, but no, he still just wants to escape real life as much as possible.

    • chiffchaff

      we were in couples counselling after Dday#1 but he was lying then. He’s refused to go back for more couples counselling on the basis that ‘we don’t need it’ as everything is sorted out now afetr Dday#2 (when he stopped lying and finally stopped all contact with the OW).

    • chiffchaff

      I think my H may be scared of going back for couples counselling due to judgement issues about him lying so much. I’ve suggested going to a different person if that’s the issue.

      • Jackie

        Sounds a lot like my H. Although he had an EA. We also had couple’s counseling for a short while 3 mo or so. I thought it was very helpful. He thought it was intrusive, and forced him to look at himself and what he had become. He felt it did more damage than good, and refuses to go again.
        It is hard to take a good look at yourself, and the things you’ve done that have hurt others, you say you love.

        Early on, my H did a lot of reading. Now he also escapes like he used to on computer games. Lots of H do this, it seems. It seems to be a form of escape from difficult emotional issues…distractions from life’s difficulties.

        I’d wish he would work more on himself, but over time, we are about 3 years into this, I have noticed a more humble attitude, rather than arrogant and righteous like he had early on in the affair.

        It is still not over her, I know. He can’t seem to let go for some reason even though the other woman does not want to get involved with him. Life just doesn’t always make sense. And I take one day at a time.

    • Carm

      Thank you Linda, once again i am so confused today. My H is trying to do everything he can’t making changes looking deep within himself he really wants to change to have a great Marriage, but just cant get over it! It has only been 5months for me. I feel there is more he need to tell me but he tells he has told me everything. I have images in my head that just wont go away, i am so hurt that he did this to us. I known i need give it some more time but. Linda and Doug thank you for this site it has been a great help for both us we always compare our selfs to you and Doug.

      • AJ

        Carm, I can understand where you are.. This is a tough journey and just know that what you are feeling is normal, it’s ok to feel what you feel or not feel what you don’t feel.. People told me, “it takes time” wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the time so I won’t say that to you. Just know that what you are going through is normal for what has happen to you. I would like to offer my ear to you if you ever want to talk to someone you don’t even know about something so personal.. I feel that God has given me this experience and helped me heal so that I can give to someone else. So I’m here if you are ever in need of a non judgmental ear.

      • Still Confused

        Hi. I, too am so very confused, hurt and encouraged at the same time. It’s been 6 months since the initial discovery day and 4 months since discovering text messages that shed more light on my husband’s involvement. He told me so many lies before me seeing the text messages. Although messages weren’t too intense, they were painful enough that it hurts like hell that my H would be involved with someone on an emotional level especially since I was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer!!!. We’ve been married for over 13 years and he’s never done anything like this to me before. He feels terrible about this and ended it immediately as soon as I found out. We’ve been doing a lot better. But I still get confused, hurt, and fearful about the whole ordeal!!! Still painful.

    • Calis

      Hello Linda i am the CS and my wife and I are tryimh to work on our marraige and we had some success but are still veru much struggling right now. I had an EA that got intense with texting and seeing her at the for about 8 months. What a dumb ass. I never had any contact with her outside the job for fear of being seen so the texting was my main communication with her. It got to a point where i was going to have a PA with her. But i chickened out in the end. Then my wife discovered me. And now we r here. I told my my wife everthing and there is nothing else from this ordeal but she still has doubts that i had seen here outside tbe the compamy on lunch or for coffee. I tried telling her this never happened and i only saw her at work. Can you offer me some advice to help with our situation Linda.

    • D

      Great post, Linda. It’s a perfect example of what is meant when people say, “The marriage will never again be what it was after an affair.”

      In hindsight why would anyone want to go backward? The work you’re talking about is more than just bringing a marriage together, it’s about personal growth, maturity, independence … all of which makes us love ourselves more, which in turn allows us to truly love someone else. I would say that the majority of those engaging in an affair do so because there is something in themselves they have yet to connect with, or confront, or accept and so they literally run away to distract or ignore.

      I’ve been thinking lately that while my wife and I are in a good place, there is still something missing. There is still a journey ahead of us and it has much to do with self-discovery. I think what I’m dealing with is finding comfort with my own independence and self-worth. I don’t rely on her like I used to for love or affection and it’s weird that I don’t need her for that anymore. I still love her and she is there for me with love and affection so it’s not that I’m pining for her attention. It’s just that I don’t need it.

      It feels weird, but it also feels like we’re both finally growing up.

      • Let us go and make our visit.


        I can relate in so many ways to your post. I too feel like my wife and I are finally both growing up and I have the sense of “something missing” most days.

        I am 7-months post D-Day of my wife’s EA. The OM is long gone and our day to day family life is good and improving weekly.

        Still, my security is undermined by my wife’s disparaging talk of marriage vows and the second sense I get that she’s really not let go of the fantasy of the OM. I have invested much more in therapy, reading and self-improvement than she has. I seem to want this marriage more than she does, at least as demonstrated by our respective efforts.

        Your current situation sounds a lot like mine, but for me the status quo is not sustainable. Eventually I want the close emotional connection we enjoyed one year ago. I want complete confidence that my wife is in this for the long-haul.

        In my mind, if we don’t make substantial progress towards this goal by November this year, I think I’d be happier apart.
        I was previously depressed over work challenges and that eroded my self-esteem. The work situation has since improved and I feel really good about myself. And, that in turn, makes me feel unappreciated. I have been totally loyal to my wife, I’m very involved with our children, I make a good living, I am fit, I volunteer for my church and community, I am crazy in love with my cheating wife, I know that learning and listening and growing is the path to happiness. So, what the hell is her problem not to appreciate me?

        Would love to hear how you’ve come to accept your similar situation so calmly. I’m not there yet.

    • Lynne


      Yes, it sounds as if your H is definitely an ESCAPE ARTIST!!!

      Here’s what I’d say to you on the subject of MC…..if you’re not okay with where things are at right now in your healing, then things are NOT okay! Have you tried to communicate to your H that this is for YOU? Not for trying to fix him, but for getting you the peace, healing and resolution that you need so your can both move forward having learned all that you can from this experience.

      If my own H said that he wouldn’t go to counseling, and in his mind it was all sorted out, I’d be sorting his clothes into suitcases!

      Your H already made his choice to have a D-Day 1 & 2 (his needs), so now you get to make the choices about what YOU NEED. Fair is fair, right?

      All my best to you.

    • chiffchaff

      thank you Lynne for being so frank. I have told him that I want us to go for at least 2 couples counselling sessions for improving our communication and because I feel like I need it. We’ll see what happens next. I think he is trying but not enough for me or in ways that I can even tell most of the time.

    • Paula

      Linda, so well put, as usual, I guess most of us want to, “quit the pain, not the person.” And you’re so, so completely right with all of your points. Until the CS is prepared to become completely vulnerable, do the introspective work on themselves that most of us BSs do first, there really is little hope, little chance that we will feel a little confident that this won’t happen again. When the CS says, “oh it’s over now, sorry, it won’t happen again, let’s put it behind us and move on,” s/he needs to back that up by SHOWING the BS what s/he is prepared to do, what they have truly learned about themselves. I know this will be a bit depressing for many of you here who are near the beginning of this journey, but it can take quite some time, especially with men, sorry to seem sexist, but they have many more layers to unpeel than most women, because they are taught to hide emotions, toughen up, stay strong on the outside, etc, it is foreign to most of them to show vulnerability. For those of you who may be interested, there are a couple of videos by Brene Brown on youtube, regarding this very topic, sorry I haven’t pasted the links, I’m at work, and I keep getting my personal email link cut out on me. is one of them.

    • Lynne


      Thanks for the link–I just watched these and they are fantastic food for thought. It really speaks to why, particularly in this country, we numb ourselves from a multitude of things. I think affairs are just one other way that people numb themselves, much like an addict or over eater.

      As Oprah has long said, its time for the GET REAL challenge!

    • DJ

      Truly miraculous timing. My husband and I just talked about this very thing last night. I told him that I had come a long way, but would probably remain stuck where I am now unless he stepped up to the plate with self-discovery. Only then would we be free to be happy in our marriage again. I am going to email this to him. Thank you ever so much.

    • rachel

      My H had a comment of “I’ll try but don’t get your hopes up”! Well with that little tiny bit of hope, I felt like I was doing everything right but my H still didn’t feel any differently. Still disconnected.Not in love with me He had physical connection but no emotional connection and told me that he thinks that he’d rather be with someone with an emotional connection (ow) then a physical one(me) at this time in his life (51). Physical was in his younger years. So how do I move on from that comment. I have already cancelled 2 appts. with the lawyer because I just can’t bring myself to file. My H won’t because he wants me to look like the bad guy even though he had the E/A. And he won’t leave. Says that he will stay up until divorce day. This is slowly killing me. The hurtful comments are in my head constantly. He wants to find someone else to love, we’ve come to the end of our road, wants to be with someone who he’s emotionally connected with.
      My therapist keeps saying “take care of yourself” HOW??? I can’t think straight, or breath!! My heart beats a mile a minute. It’s only been 3 months it feels like years! I have a great support of friends. One brother knows and has been wonderful. And I need to tell my parents who will be literally SHOCKED!!! I know they won’t be disappointed in me but they really like him and I know they will be crushed. My dad just overcame bladder cancer and is cancer free for the time being. : ) After all of the concern and worry that they have had since June they now can breath easier and I hate to make them unhappy with this horrible news.

      • DJ

        I would not presume to give you advice but I would like to share with you my experience on working on yourself. When I was 3 months out, like you are now, I could barely make it through each day, and I was so afraid that my husband would actually leave me that I didn’t want to take the time to do anything just for myself. Time moved so slowly that it almost seemed to stand still sometimes. I was just paralyzed.

        I learned that at 3 months out, I needed to grieve and let out frustration. Through this I became stronger, and then I could work on myself by doing things that I enjoyed apart from my husband. I continually studied and learned and shared with people online, such as here on EAJ. I looked inward at myself, as this post suggests, to grow and learn.

        Some people tried to rush me. I could not. Linda and Doug were important in helping me see that this was ok. I needed to grieve. I needed to vent and let out my frustration. Then I was ready to work on myself. I still have to spend time on some days to grieve – like today. And that’s ok.

        I am praying for you.


      • D

        Hi Rachel,

        The third month is the worst – maybe for both of you. Just a thought, but one you might consider, that the frustration your feeling is really your lack of control over the situation. You want the pain to go away, to be back in that place of comfort and safety, but it’s just not going to happen quickly and it’s best to accept that and, yes, take care of yourself while time passes.

        How do you do that? Let the attachments go for the moment. Whatever is going to transpire will do so in its own time. If you and your husband reconcile it will happen. If you don’t it will happen and when it does you’ll be prepared for it. It takes time. So this is really an opportunity for you. He owes you one. Sign up for a class, indulge an interest, take a vacation, go out with friends.

        Taking care of yourself really just means embracing, or rediscovering, your independence. We all got along just fine before our partners entered our lives. We tend to forget about that. And no matter what happens we will continue to get along just fine. They do not make us happy. We just usually felt happier with them. Important distinction.

      • battleborn


        Let me tell you something about myself and perhaps it will help you. I found out that my father had esphogeal cancer the same week I found out about my husband’s affair. I put my problems aside to help my parents; it was not easily done, but they needed my help. When I got back home I began to work on my issues only to turn around again and go back home because my father passed away. I don’t know which was worse, the loss of one’s father or the “loss” of a marriage.

        Move to 6 months later, my mother had surgery for lung cancer. Another point in time where I had made the conscientous decision to put my parent before my marriage. Oddly, my decision seemed to bolster my ability to hold up to the rigors of the EA/PA. My momma just spent the holidays with us and is doing fine.

        I am in the same boat as you are. My Mom loves my husband, thinks the world of him so why would I tell her and add more misery to her life when she isn’t asking. I have not told my Mother or his parents about the affair, but I have decided that if they ask, I will.

        It is a deeply personal issue that requires a lot of reflection, but I know in the long run I made the right decision not telling my parents. As all parents do, they worry about their children more than themselves and my dad needed to take care of himself instead of me. I am not advocating lying or hiding the truth, but I just decided it was more important to let my dad use what effort he had into surviving than into helping me.

        I am telling you this because I understand and can empathize with what you are facing. I can only state what decisions I made and what I am comfortable with. You may make another decision and that is okay.

        Rachel, you will survive this challenge! Just remember to breathe.

      • Jackie

        I agree with DJ and D. The first 3 months were the worst. The uncertainty, fear, uncontrolled crazy feeling. If you have kids, you worry so much about what is the best for them and you, but don’t expect straight answers from your H.

        Trust yourself to do what is right for you and the kids. Husband is in LaLa land right now. Don’t do anything rash…Experts always say don’t do anything drastic for a year. It gives you time to access the situation better, see where the H is heading. Right now your H is in escape mode. I also suspect he is going through some sort of midlife crisis. He will act like he is an addict, lying, sneaky, irrational behavior.

        Please be careful what you say to friends and family. They don’t necessarily need to know details, other than you and your H are going thru difficult times, and that you need emotional support. Telling too much detail may come back and haunt you in the future. It is better to choose someone who doesn’t have much connection with your H, like a therapist.

        You are now on a trip of self discovery which will take all the strength you can find. Take care of yourself and your kids. Don’t focus so much on your H and what he is doing. (I think this is the mistake most of us make.) We have little control over what others do, but a lot of control about how we chose to react! Think of life as a learning adventure. Read about all sorts of things which will allow you to grow and enrich your life, and who you truly are. Books on midlife crisis, affairs for understanding, spiritual books for acceptance and growth, self help books for strength and confidence. Learn to love yourself again. Take good care of your mental and physical health. Become the beautiful, confident self that you once were.

        You will survive this no matter what the outcome. And this community will support you and celebrate your journey to loving yourself once more.

    • roller coaster rider

      D, I said just this week to one or more of my grown children who know about their dad’s EA/PA that now it seems that finally we are making steps to maturity…which feels pretty darn good after 40 years in our relationship! We know we have to do the work, and yes, a lot of that is individual work, but in our case there is work that we’ve never done together that we now are attempting to do. I’ve been able to express my desire to have a true partnership, and it’s funny that it has taken all this, plus five months of separation and divorce, to give us the freedom to explore our true selves. I never thought I would feel this way; I assumed I was destined to feel sorrow, anger, betrayal and outright hostility forever. Another odd coincidence is that one of our kids described his own experience during the past year as a “roller coaster ride” and he knows nothing of this website or my chosen name for posting on it! And I also, agree completely, D, with what you said about the lack of personal knowledge and acceptance and self-confrontation leading to the distraction of an affair. My H had a couple of ‘visits,’ completely uninvited, from the OW a couple of weeks ago, and thanks to the personal revelations and counseling he has had, was able to finally tell her he has nothing for her, nor does he want anything to do with her. Seems like a huge victory to me.

    • Sad

      Dear Linda, This post will help my H understand what I was trying to say to him 2 days ago. I said we have made a lot of improvements, but somehow I feel very stuck right now. I thought long and hard, and this was how I explained it to him: I have done most of the work that I need to do on my own ( i have also been initiating and leading all our recovery so far. )AND NOW I HAVE TO STOP AND WAIT – feel “kind of stuck” – FOR YOU TO CATCH UP WITH ACTIVELY COMPLETING YOUR PART OF THE WORK and be able to bring yourself to meet me at my level, THEN WE CAN JOIN HANDS AND WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD A BETTER RELATIONSHIP, otherwise healing will never be complete and we will be truly stuck.
      This post and Doug’s on introspection could not have come at a better time for us. Many thanks again.

    • Disappointed

      It’s been 3.5 months since D-day and it has been another week of one step forward one step back. My H continues to slowly emerge from the fog (no contact with OW since a few days post d-day.) Still dismissing EA as a flirtation not affair because no PA. Whenever he starts emotionally reconnecting he re-shuts down still blaming me for not “tending the marriage”. If you asked any friends they would say WTF? No one knows because I hope to stay together. I am doing things to change which he recognizes but resents for “why now”. I have tried to explain how the EA has hurt me but since he says he left because he gave up on us, he brushes EA aside. Was talking to my Mom. How is it that the one we love most acts in a way that changes us into someone we don’t even recognize and then resents us for not being the original person. I miss her, the me from the beginning. And I miss the him from the beginning. I don’t think you can go back but do think things can be better. But I don’t know how much longer I can wait and be blamed for everything including the EA. Being told I am too needy and he is stronger. What a joke! Then in next breath says all things considered we’ve done pretty well for 20 years, still loves and misses me (moved out after D-day). That there is a lot of good – took this long to hear that… He leaves for two week trip with sister next week. She wants us to stay separate and will be telling him what to do. He won’t necessarily listen, just makes me worry. But oh this takes so much LONGER than I wished for. I don’t know if he will ever do the work… Why would he since I am conveniently to blame?! I pray every day that his heart will open and that he will finally see his part in this mess. Told him we need why of EA so it wont happen again. He says no guarantees, never thought it would happen before… Sorry – long post. I see him battling within himself and confused. But I can’t help or speed things up…

    • rachel

      DJ, thank you for your kind words. This site is an amazing support for me.
      Linda, I neglected to compliment you on this wonderful site and yesterday’s post. I printed it out for my H but then decided to keep it for myself. I just reread it and it does give me little hope. His therapist doesn’t want me to e-mail him posts or print outs of E/A situations. I thought I was being helpful letting him know that we can BOTH work through this. We’ve been married for 24 years and something very hard to just throw away. I took my vows seriously and whould never do the hurtful things he’s done to me.

      I feel better this morning almost calm. My dr. is weining me off of prozac. This medication did not agree with me at all. One more week to go. It made me very agitated, on edge and very violent. That’s not me at all. My H doesn’t like my anger . He thinks that I should deal with what has happened. Easier said than done especially with the comments he’s thrown me in the last few months. If he would only say that we can work on our marriage 100% and go to couples counseling my prayers would be answered. That whole “fog” thing is so true. He’s become a man I don’t even recognize.

      • Paula

        Rachel, just a couple of things from me. I was actually not TOO bad in the first 5-6 months, when I look back. I was gutted, ripped apart, but kind of coping, I thought that it had happened, and had incredibly low periods, but overall, thought it would all be a distant memory of a very, very bad dream soon. My OH was very remorseful, he had ended the affair before I found out, so had already doen a lot of deep thinking, and was already “out of the fog.” We were SO close, SO connected, he couldn’t believe how wonderful I was, and fell even more deeply in love with me. However, around the 6 month mark, I, very stupidly, attempted suicide, my OH found me, just in time (I’m so ashamed of all of this, and it is hard to share it) and he realised that I needed help. He booked and accompanied me to a psychologist, very tenderly, very lovingly. I saw her for a bit, felt I was back on track, then feel in the deepest pit of all around the 14-15 month mark. I could barely function, and I rang the shrink again. She saw me immediately, and referred me to a psychiatrist, who was lovely, and he prescribed meds for me, I tried three different types of anti-depressant meds, over a period of about, from memory 4ish months, playing with dose rates, trying new types, etc. I stayed on the last one for about 7 months, with little or no improvement (and a sense of being a huge loser for not coping, and needing to use the drugs) I had said to all that I didn’t think I was clinically depressed, just experiencing huge, overwhelming delayed and drawn out grief for all I had lost. I weaned myself off the meds, and did start to feel slightly better, started to regain strength by becoming a little introverted. After D-day, I lost 18kg, but on the meds, I regained 9 of them in about a month, and panicked – I couldn’t do anything to halt the dramatic weight gain, I exercised when I could, forcing myself, as I felt incredibly lethargic and unmotivated, almost completely stopped eating, and still the weight piled on! I just withdrew deep into my own self, dug really deep, and started to educate myself even further than I already had. I culled the friends who didn’t understand, those who gossiped about me behind my back, and turned to this site in desperation. I know it is very, very hard to hear (my shrink had told me that 2-4 years of recovery was “normal” – I didn’t believe that, how could you go 2 years feeling this bad???) but, unfortunately this journey is a long one, but I try to look at it, now, that I am finally making some progress again, as a period of incredible self-discovery, learning and growth. I know only too well the feeling you describe, of not being able to breathe, the panic attacks, feeling like there is no way out of the misery, the intense flight response. I hope it helps for you to know that no matter how completely awful you feel, you are not crazy, all you feel is normal, and it will pass, I promise, it doesn’t go away, but you do learn to cope better, you become and even more incredible person than you were to start with – and I bet you were one awesome human being! As one counsellor put it to me, you are feeling THIS bad, THIS intense pain, because you had a beautiful and wonderful relationship. You wouldn’t be feeling THIS bad, THIS desperate, etc if you didn’t love your partner as much as you do(did??) Your pain is an indicator of a good past, a good relationship, that is why you are here, still fighting for it. I know we can all help you here, keep it up, Rachel!

    • C.

      I’ve been reading over this site for the last couple of weeks and the information has helped me greatly. (It has also been helpful to know that I’m not alone in all of this.)
      I have never posted a comment yet, but I felt the need today. I found out about my H’s EA a month ago and there are days that I just feel completely lost. My H has taken so many positive steps, since I found out and confronted him. Contact between him and the OW was completely broken off, he admitted that he made the mistake and that it had nothing to do with me, it was his choice, we are going to counseling and he is working very hard on improving himself. We’ve been talking about things that have been problems in our relationship and working through them the best that we can…
      But, I still find myself very angry and hurt…I feel guilty though for having those feelings, because he is trying so hard to gain my trust back and repair the damage. He honestly doesn’t want to talk about the EA anymore, he doesn’t want to keep rehashing things we’ve all ready discussed, but there are times that I just can’t help it. My brain can’t shut out the mental images and my heart is still very broken.
      I also hate that I have no trust in my H anymore. I love him with all my heart, but I don’t trust or respect him anymore. He also can’t seem to really answer the “WHY” question, why did he do this, why did he turn to someone else…
      I feel I have the right to know the answer, but he keeps telling me he doesn’t know why and that he wishes he would give me the answers I need. (I just don’t know if I believe him, that he doesn’t really know the answer.)
      I just wish I could turn my brain off and move on with things, but I know that won’t solve anything, so I feel stuck in some ways.

      • Doug

        Hi C, Welcome and sorry that you are going through this. I know that you are hurting right now and feel angry, hurt and stuck, but having only discovered the affair a month ago you can’t really expect to be much further along than you are at this point. You will have emotional ups and downs for quite a while – that’s normal. On the positive side, you say that your husband is doing all the right things and is doing his best to help you heal. Though it might not seem enough right now, his continued actions will have a snow ball effect over time. That being said, your husband needs to understand that he has to talk about the affair regardless of how much he doesn’t want to – if that is what you need. Additionally, he probably needs some time to sort things out in his own mind as to the “Why’s.” Stay strong and take care of yourself and best wishes to you.

      • Jackie

        I felt to save you possible hardship, early on in the affair, I needed to comment.

        In the book,”How to recognize Emotional Unavailability and Make Healthier Relationship Choices, by Bryn Collins, M.A., L.P”, he says don’t ask your H “Why”. I have to agree with this, partly because your husband doesn’t really know why. This is for him to discover over his own time.

        By asking “Why”, your H feels compelled to find reasons right away, which may not be true. I think my asking “Why” caused my H to make up answers, and blame me, cause he couldn’t accept he did anything wrong…he is a very stubborn man, like many men are. I really believe you asking,”Why” causes more damage than good at the early stages in discovering an affair. Allow him to discover the why for himself.

        I wonder if others have an opinions about asking, “Why?”

      • Sam

        Hi C,

        I’ve been reading this site for several months now, and it has really helped me a LOT in my journey of recovery. I’m now about 8 months post D-day and there are days when I still feel like it all happened yesterday.

        I know this probably won’t help, but you should at least know that you’re not alone. My husband has been working very hard in changing his behaviour and saving our marriage, but to this day he still hasn’t given me the one answer that I think would make it all go away: WHY?!

        His answer is the same as your husband’s. He keeps telling me that he doesn’t know why. And when I ask for a reason, just one reason for all this, he just says “There’s no reason.”

        I’m sure you understand how much this answer frustrates me! But maybe it’s just a common pattern in an affair. The cheater isn’t thinking rationally and is justfiying all their actions.

        My husband keeps telling me he’s REALLY sorry and if he could go back in time, he’d take it back. Unfortunately, that’s not possible.

        Good luck to you! Good luck to all of us. 🙂

    • Alone


      I am a female cheater. I know so much of what you are going through. I am guessing from what I read that you are grieving your affair partner. I know it’s hard to admit that you have to grieve them. I grieved for months and could not do anything to work on my marriage even though I saw my husband in so much pain. I have crushed him. I know you are confused. Myself and some other cheaters wrote about this issue a couple of weeks ago on another thread – I think there was a thread on the cheater grieving, go back and look at the posts from a few weeks ago. I know you don’t feel you deserve any pity, because after all we made the choice to do this, so we have to live with the consequences and we need to fix the hurt we created. But my friend, as a female cheater I have pity for you. I know what you are going through. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. You are torn, scared, remorseful, confused, heart broken, ashamed, guilty. I hate myself. Honestly, there were times not only did I feel like I was dying inside, I wanted to. How could I have done this? You hurt this person you love and built a life with. And yet your grieve your affair partner. Who is this person you have become? Maybe I am way off base with my comments, but just what I gather from your post and my own experiences. I did as much reading here as possible and prayed for God’s help. I’ve read books, I’ve gone to a counselor. It’s taken me a long time to get to a point where I can work on my marriage… best wishes to you.

      • D

        Alone, I’ve often grappled with this grieving process. I understand that the CS needs to grieve, but coming out on the other side, clear of the fog, far away from the turmoil and pain, it seems the OM drifts into that territory of “a mistake” or “a bad dream.” I’m talking about situations wherein the CS wants to reconnect with his/her spouse. So I wonder, really, what was the affair really about and what is really being grieved.

        I have a a theory that the OM/OW represents a memory of one’s youthfulness or the illusion of either starting over or running away and so what one is grieving is not the person at all but rather a past they refuse to let go of. This is extremely simplified, of course.

        • DJ

          D – My coach has said exactly that – my husband’s affair was an attempt to relive his youth and the illusion that he was escaping the realities of life with aging parents and kids and all that. My coach said that youth and that sense kids have of the world awaiting them are abstract – too abstract for us to grasp and hold on to. So we form attachments to foods, songs, places, and yes – affair partners.

          That doesn’t mean it’s not a weakness in the cheating spouse. But it does explain some things.

    • Jackie

      Sounds like you are ready to grow up and learn some about yourself. You have just taken a step in the right direction. Keep going and discovering. Keep connected to your wife, she can help you out of this mess, if you are willing to do the work.

      Good luck.

    • rachel

      I have never heard that the cs could grieve for the ow? This does make sence, I guess. Maybe this is why my husband doesn’t seem to want to move on. But, he only saw her for 4 lunches about 1 hour each and text messaging. Could this be possible in this short of time? Love to hear some feedback.Thanks!!

    • Alone

      Hey D!

      I keep telling my H about your posts and encouraging him to read them. I even forwarded your post about the “A” on the OM’s window to him. We both really got a chuckle out of that, he said he would love to do something like that to the OM. I’m telling you, if they meet in public, it won’t be pretty. And, I promise it will happen one day…

      You make a good point. I’m gonna say something here about not letting go, I don’t know, might get me in trouble. One day I was thinking to myself, why is it taking me so long to let go of the OM? Then I had a thought I’d never thought before. If I let go, then that means this meant nothing, and I have damn near destroyed my whole life and every one in it for NOTHING. The thought of it terrified me… I don’t know, maybe this doesn’t make sense, but I’ve not been a person to make mistakes like this. I’m a perfectionist. Surely, I wouldn’t have done all of this to my H for NOTHING?

      • D

        Theodore Roosevelt once said that a person who has never made a mistake hasn’t accomplished anything worthwhile in his life. Mistakes are ok, but they belong in the past. Nothing you do in life is for nothing unless you don’t learn from it good or bad. Alone, you made a mistake. You can now learn from it and stop making it over and over again. ; )

    • Alone

      EP –

      The post that I was talking about was called “Getting ‘Unhooked’ from the Emotional Affair Addiction” back in January. I just went back and found it.

      I am going to admit something to you. I cried every day for 4 months. I mean it, I literally cried every day. I’m sorry to tell you that this is not an easy road. After my D-Day which actually was extremely traumatic and public, I, as my H puts it “collapsed emotionally”. It was terrible, so I really do understand what you are going through. It is so hard, and you do feel that you have to hold your emotions inside. You should not be allowed to “grieve” and furthermore, your spouse does not want to see you “grieve” for your affair partner. My H said I should be RUNNING away from the OM and RUNNING toward him. I just couldn’t do that for a period of time. What you said about feeling pathetic, I did too. I told my H, I feel so weak and stupid.

      You mention in your post that you feel talking to the OW will help you. I felt the same way – my contact with the OM was severed immediately after D-day. My H has told me point blank, if there is every any contact again, it’s over. There are no second chances in this regard. And I will admit to you, I did want to talk to the OM for closure. I had no closure. But if I want to make my marriage work, if I want it to survive there can be no contact. I did tell my H the other week that maybe after D-day, I should have asked to say good-bye to the OM. He said he can understand that, but it’s too late for that, now there is only no contact. I did write the OM a good-bye letter and of course didn’t send it. The day I wrote I had a lot of anger in me. It ended up being an angry letter but it did help. EP, if you want your marriage to work, there can’t be any contact with her. I know that it feels she would provide relief from your agony, but in the end you will only end up prolonging what you are going through, and could possibly completely end your marriage and will certainly hurt your wife. You can’t have that contact.

      I’m sorry, I hope you BS don’t get mad. I’m just telling you what I experienced and trying to help a fellow cheater. We have no one to talk to… and we are human beings and we are trying to fix the mess we made.

      I am really trying to work on my marriage now. My H doesn’t really think I should be reading on this blog anymore, it’s time to move on. There was a verse I found yesterday in a devotional I read “Deuteronomy 2:3, “You have circled this mountain long enough. *Now* turn north…” (NASB)”. This really spoke to me so much… But I know there are cheaters that need help, even if I get ripped for my comments. We have no where to turn. You really are “alone”… so EP and Erik, I will try to help if I can.

      I have to finish my post with this… I am so blessed that my H didn’t give up on me… I didn’t really deserve a second chance after everything I have put him through. I am so, so blessed. To the BS out there, I know we put you through hell, and for that I am sorry.

      • Let us go and make our visit.

        Alone – are you in love with your H again? How long did that take? What things did he do during the recovery process that were helpful or destructive?

        I am a BS — my wife had a six-month EA — that was terminated for good in November. We’re getting better and I have invested countless hours into therapy, reading and reflection, but she’s got a lot more work to do.

        Any advice on what I should avoid doing? Things you’d recommend that I do to rebuild her “in love” feelings for me would be appreciated. We both talked about our relationship being a 10 out of 10 only months before this happened. I got to believe a recovery is possible.

    • blueskyabove


      I think you may have a good point about the CS feeling pressed to come up with an answer even though it may not be true. Since they aren’t in a very good place mentally and emotionally it probably makes sense to them. All I ever got was “I don’t know”.

      I have a book by Bryn Collins with a slightly different title. I looked back at the things I had highlighted in the book and came up with these:

      -It’s as though knowing why someone made the choice they did will somehow make the pain go away and thereby solve the problem…Nothing will change simply because the motive for the action has been explained.

      -“Why” allows an emotionally unavailable person to stay inside his or her head as opposed to connecting with his or her emotions. Asking “why” allows for the very intellectualizing and mental tricks and turns that have kept the emotionally unavailable person emotionally unavailable.

      She goes on to explain further that the phrase “Help me understand” works better because you aren’t asking why your partner chose to seek another person. Instead, you’re asking about feelings and understanding…your partner’s emotional state of mind at the time the affair began. From here you can build some common ground for problem solving and finding solutions. She calls it a building tool rather than a tool of destruction. “Help me understand” is also a way of keeping communication open while getting them to take responsibility for their actions.

      In other books (unrelated to affairs) I have read over and over that asking “why” is pointless. It doesn’t matter what the other person did or didn’t do. All that matters is how you respond to the situation. That is where your strength and power lies. Deciding for yourself who you are in relation to the situation is positive and pro-active. Letting another dictate how you should feel is destructive.

      • C.

        bluesky, Thank you for posting that! Through other reading I’ve come across the ‘not asking why’ many times and it just frustrated me, because I wanted to understand why this happened. But, reading your post helped to really clear that up. Asking him to ‘help me understand’ is a great way to get to the real root of the problem. What he was feeling while the affair was going on and why he felt he couldn’t turn to me…
        Thanks again for your input!

        • blueskyabove


          If there is something I can share that might shave off days, weeks, or even months in the recovery/rebuiding process for another person then I am happy to help. I wish you the best in the days ahead. This can be a long, difficult journey with many stumbling blocks, but it is possible to come out on the other side better than you were before. It helps to keep that in mind while you feel like you are simply running in circles and getting nowhere.

      • Paula

        bluesky, that is very succinct, and to the point. I realised early in the journey that the “whys” weren’t helping us heal, I was already asking the “help me understands,” and I understood very quickly what went on with my CS, how alone and lost he was when our OW waltzed in to our lives, and to his “rescue.” I agree that it is a healthier way of looking at/dealing with it. However, it hasn’t stopped me mentally asking the whys, I guess. I even know the answers, but the blight on the landscape of our partnership is a large one, and I still find I have periods of great insecurity, because nothing is as it seems to me anymore. Just wanted to add that I am sorry if my comment from a week or so ago about multiple cheaters was offensive, I, in no way wish to make anyone’s “story” more difficult than it already is. I have enormous admiration for you and your H, and think the compassion and wisdom in your comments is of huge benefit to the many here who are in agony. Thank you so much!

        • blueskyabove


          Thank you for the kind words.  For the record I didn’t find your previous comment offensive.  To be honest, when I read that sentence from you I had to stop and ask myself, “What is she talking about?”. Then it came to me.  For someone who in the past has been known for having a mind like steel trap I have to tell you that this gave me an opportunity to recognize that my working on myself to “let things go” must actually, finally be happening.  Thank you for helping me to experience that in a most gracious way.

    • Alone

      EP/Erik : )

      I’m glad I’m helping. A couple more things…

      1) Read Torn Asunder by Dave Carder. It helped me a lot.

      2) My D-day, yes when you are discovered, was hell on earth. I posted about it here somewhere, I think under “why men and women cheat”. Very public, and very traumatic.

      3) I wasn’t thinking straight after D-day. Give yourself some time, before you make any decisions. If you make a decision right now, you may not be able to go back on your decision later and might regret it. I’m 8 months out, this is a long process so hold on.

    • rachel

      D- you must be a therapist or counselor. OMG YOU HAVE SAID IT!!!!! Memory of ones youthfulness!! That is my H!!! He can’t let go of the past. He isn’t in love with her from 30 years ago, HE’S IN LOVE WITH THE PAST. He gets depressed when he ends a job at work!!! I even forwarded your post because it is so unbelievable HIM! Thank you!
      Battleborn- my gosh we have such similar lives. Love your stories and advise.
      Paula- You are so honest. Thank you for you post. Gosh I wish we all could meet someday. You people have been so helpful to me. My therapist wants the link to help her other patients.
      Today is the first day that I didn’t feel like throwing something when he walked in the door from work. This is amazing progress!!! I feel calm which seems very strange! The prozac I think is finally leaving my body. Don’t get me wrong I’m as angry, hurt, confused as I was yesterday. Just not so full of rage. Maybe because of the posts from yesterday and today. I’m glad I cancelled the Lawyer. My head is not fully on straight. To make such a huge decision.
      And D, again you are right on I have lack of control over this situation. I am usually in control at all times. Now I realize that I have to be patient with my H. No questions for a while ( he only gives me the I don’t know answer anyways!) and no screaming!

      • Paula

        Rachel, good news 🙂 I promised myself no life changing decisions (ie divorce!) for one year post Dday, I thought I had to live with it, work on it, mull it over, and make calm, educated and rational decisions, good for you, I’m in your corner!

        • rachel

          Thank you, Paula! As of now we aren’t speaking. He’s very angry about my rage of the last two weeks. I packed more of his things and said that I will never trust him again. I’m sure that he has seen that the rage is gone. I feel so much better. Gaining weight and sleeping so much better. I’m still not able to make any life changing decisions. I will wait a year. Such good advise from such a good friend. Thank you!!!

    • Disappointed

      Your posts have helped me so much – thank you! My H is fighting reconnecting with me. I think he is disappointed in himself and a lot of the blame he directs at me is a deflection. He calls his affair a flirtation but says he is in love with her (tho has not said that for a couple weeks). I have been thinking for some time that he was clinging to his thoughts of the OW because if it was less than the great life experience he claimed then he has thrown everything away for nothing. I really hope he truly understands how much he has hurt me. I love him so much and want him back. But he has to let go of her.

      Ok here goes, a lot of BSs will have a fit… But I have been sleeping with my husband and enjoying it a lot and no I don’t think that will make him come home, but I like being close to him in some way. We were talking and he said that he thinks of it more as just sex because if he thinks of it as making love he becomes more confused. Now after I caught my breath from the enormous pain that statement caused me, I started to think about all he has to deconstruct in his mind…. He rewrote our history, he rewrote who I am. He inflated her importance. I have handled this with grace, understanding and patience. I have surprised him because he made me something I was not. I am and have always been his biggest fan. He told me 2 weeks ago that I probably didnt even recognize him any more… I think what he meant is that he did not recognize himself…

      I pray I can remain patient long enough… I want to be his safe place and I want to feel loved and appreciated because I am truly exceptional to him. I am real and I am fighting and I did not give up on him, not even after he betrayed me, left our home and with tears in his eyes told me in a choked up voice how much he missed her. I am the one who TRULY loves him with all his flaws. But I cannot do it for him, and I am not sure he will make himself vulnerable enough to open up and heal. The fog is lifting, but the introspection is oh so slow in coming around…

    • rachel

      Jackie, I just reread your post. Yes, my husband is in lalaland. Mid life crisis, yes all the way. It’s funny how you guys have more answers than my therapist. When I told her that I was filing it was “good for you”. No advise as to not to do anything just yet. Glad someone said that because I’m not ready to anything just yet. So fresh, so new, something that I’m seeing as a long road ahead.

    • Notoverit

      I would not do this, speaking from a BS point of view only. I would continue with the no contact period. I would not appreciate a letter from the OW and it would only set me off worse. Do your healing with your wife and forget the OW and her H. I am sorry but I see nothing good coming out of this. It seems to me like it would only cause more hurt. The vows you took were with your wife, not the OW and her H. Ask the forgiveness from your wife. Sorry, just my POV.

    • Rachel

      I totally agree with notoverit! Move on with this glitch in your marriage. It’s time for all to start healing,Ep.

    • ifeelsodumb

      EP…My H did that. He sent an in box on FB to the H of the OW.
      In the message he told “Sam” that he wanted to apologize for talking and texting his wife, he knows it was wrong and he was sorry!
      My H also included my cell number (not his obviously, my H had changed his number and I didn’t want to take the chance that the OW would read the in box and get his new CP number.) He told him if he wanted to talk to him in person, he would be willing to do that, and also to apologize via a phone conversation. We never heard from the OW’s H….
      I know for me, it really helped to see that my H was willing to stand up and do the right thing! It’s different for everyone though…My H did write the in box about 6 mos after Dday, so some time had passed…maybe the OW’s H decided he didn’t want to mess with it….maybe never got the message could be the OW got on his FB and deleted it…who knows?
      For me, as the BS, I really would have liked to have an apology from the OW telling me she is sorry…but the two interactions I’ve had with her…she tells me it was MY fault that my H talked and texted with her…so yea, she’s a real piece of work!!
      My advice…ask your wife what SHE wants…then do it! My H was VERY resistant, in the beginning, to in boxing the OW’s H…but we are Christians and I felt that he DID owe the man an apology, as he had wronged him…and after talking about it my H started to see that . Hope this helps!

    • Poppet

      Chiffchaff; i am the cheater in our relationship and I have had to face a lot of very painful truths about myself. I believe that an affair is often an escape from reality and responsibility, so it sounds like your partners retreat into video games and refusing to talk is still him trying to escape.
      I don’t know what to suggest, each person has their own fears, boundaries and methods of dealing with pain. Many men avoid talking about their emotions, so the prospect of willingly going into an emotionally painful area is a no no.

      We are now in a situation where I am determined to be the man I should have been, but my wife can’t believe me or trust me. How can I convince her that I won’t slip again?
      I told her it’s like I was skating on an icy pond and fell in, I’m on dry land now, and there’s no @%*+x way I’m going out on that ice again!
      I have been an INCREDIBLY STUPID man and I can now see that I had the perfect life.

      The pain felt by the betrayed spouse is often mentioned here, but the pain I have felt due to both the guilt and from having to watch my lovely wife in agony has been unbearable.

      I’m still struggling with why I made so many mistakes, my wife asks me nearly every day -WHY? -but I can’t explain beyond -escapism, stress, mid life crisis, a desperate need for flattery, etc. I am haunted by a quote I have known for years (but it didn’t stop me being an idiot); ‘When an older man falls for a younger woman, it’s not her youth he’s trying to capture, but his own.’

      • Jackie

        My H seems to be coming back around slowly, being more attentive, caring etc..but he still obsesses about the OW who won’t have him. He seems to need it as a crutch, along with the video games, and other escape methods.

        Besides his midlife crisis, he has had major deaths of close family members. All of this has added to his crisis.

        He too has asked himself, “Why he keeps making huge mistakes in his life?” I supposes it has to do with the introspection that he needs to do, which he hasn’t most of his life, especially when it comes to relationships and emotions. He has always coped with difficult emotions by escaping.

        My H has made similar mistakes in the past, before I ever met him, and now I realize he has always had a pattern of escape. I just hope for us and our kids, he learns this lesson so he doesn’t have to create pain within himself and to those who care about him. His stubbornness of needing to be right, definitely is interfering with both his and our moving forward.

        I think you have made the first step in the right direction. That is admitting that you have done something terribly damaging. From there, things will only get better, as you try to fix yourself and the damage done to those who love you.

        The most important thing is that you and your wife work together once again to rebuild your relationship to something even better than it was.

        It is always refreshing to hear from a cheating spouse, who realizes what he has done and wants to make things better again. Thanks for sharing your views. 🙂

      • chiffchaff

        Poppet – thanks for your comment, it’s very enlightening to see the cheater’s side of things from time to time.
        This weekend we both spent it apart, and for the first time I didn’t feel like I needed to contact or check in on my H while he was with his mates. I was quite happy just being me with my family and enjoying their company. I really didn’t think much about my H and left my mobile at home.
        How strange it was then to have so many texts and missed calls from my H on my mobile when I got back in. I found it really heart warming and was evidence that he was thinking about me even when he was with people who were normally people he ‘escaped’ with. It was the missed calls that really counted, he had wanted to speak to me. This reversal is great. However, I haven’t gone overboar and celebrated it with him, I just thought it was nice, didn’t reply but just gave him a call when the number of missed calls went up to 5!
        I have found (as people will have seen from my other posts) to think about myself as I know alot of BS’s do after Dday. But, when I do, and when it becomes natural, and when I accept that his PA wasn’t about me and my failings but about him and his failings, things get better. In small steps.
        Back at home last night after our weekend he was very attentive and loving. Wow, it was lovely to feel even slightly special again. A glimmer of light.

    • Alone

      EP –

      I am going to talk to you straight up cheater to cheater (sorry BSs, but please allow me this…)

      I did not reply to your post right away because I wanted to think on my response. I VERY much think that you and I have some very similar circumstances so please forgive my directness here.

      I think the reason you are asking about an apology email is that you know you that you should not communicate with the OW directly (I’m not saying you aren’t remorseful about what you did). But you have received communication from her and you know she is hurting. You are also hurting. You both feel liked your hearts have been ripped out., you are grieving.

      In my head, you and I both know that you should not respond to the OW. But as the OW who did go through the grieving process and had no closure, if the OM would have sent me a short message that said something like, I care for you, but you know we have to choose our families and go on from here, it would have helped me move along so much faster. I know many of the BS would advise to send a mean email to the OW, probably with your wife co-writing it with you to tell her it’s over, leave you alone. I don’t know your situation totally, but I know that I am a reasonable person. The OW is in pain just like you are. If you tell her, short and sweet, yes, I did care for you but we have to do the right thing for our families, what we did was wrong, and it is over, then I think she might understand. You don’t have to be mean in the email, just direct, and it would give her closure. So that’s what my heart advises you to do, but that is probably not the best advice. Because EP, no contact is really the best advice. If you have contact with the OW, without knowledge of your W, you may very well throw any chance for reconciliation with your wife down the toilet. The OW has already risked a lot to send you that communication. If you want your marriage, if that is what you choose, then no contact with her is the best advice. You and I both know it, that was just my heart talking… because I never had closure.

      So EP, maybe this is a little forward of me, but this is my take on your question. Regarding an apology email, i did apologize to his wife in person on D-day although I doubt it meant anything to her. My H and the OM were friends, actually we were all friends, but my H never received an apology from the OM either. I know some people might think the OW just doesn’t care, and that’s why you never get an apology. But in my way of thinking, I can’t make it right with the OM’s wife other than by leaving her alone to repair her marriage. That’s just the way I see it.

      I know you are struggling right now… there are two paths you can take here: your wife or the OW. That’s really what it boils down to. And you and I both know which is the right path for you to take.

      Pray for strength EP. I’m sorry you are struggling with this right now, I know it is hard.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Sorry, I don’t agree with you here…if my H had sent a note to the OW telling her that he cares for her…but we HAVE to do the right thing for our families…I would have been pissed!!
        Because this will ALWAYS be out there for the OW to read and re-read…and she would hold that close to her heart, thinking that she “lost” her one true love (gag!) and that the only reason he’s still with ME…is because, poor him…he HAS to DO the right thing!!!
        And really, once the CS’s head is out of the fog, that last communication between the two of them would in fact, be a lie…because they ARE staying with their spouse because deep down they KNOW that they are where they are supposed to be….that the EA is really just a fantasy, NOT true love! Just my opinion 🙂

        • DJ

          I totally agree. In fact, this very email is the thing that keeps me stuck in the past. My husband sent his OW an email that said that he would love her always, but they needed to do the right thing by their families, and the affair was dragging them down into the mud. He said he would pray for the day they could be free to be together, but until then it had to end.

          He has told me that he didn’t mean it. He was letting her down easy. Yeah, right. I can get past the lies. I can get past the betrayal. I cannot get past his love for her. This thing and this thing alone keeps me from moving forward.

          And for you, the cheating spouse, it will create a connection to the affair that will keep you bound as well.

          • unsure

            That holds me in the past also. My H had a short lived PA with a women he had worked with. Once he left the company they hooked up for a couple of days, she had a partner that she tried to leave and couldn’t because she loved her partner more. The text exchange was all about how they would ” love each other forever and always, we are one, fingers crossed that we get together someday”…. and H expects me to believe him when he said he did it to mess with her head, six months after the break-up he sent her another short “love you always, be happy.” To be fair, we were separated at the time, but when we reconciled I found the letters and text. We live in a small town and I still see her around and so does he, I wonder what they think when they see each other. If I was the OW after the love note exchange, I would always believe he loved me more!!
            Because my H denies it so fervently, I wonder how much love there still is. The PA happened about three years ago, I didn’t find the text exchange until we were back together about a year. (reminds me of Bridges of Madison County, but H is no Clint Eastwood)

        • chiffchaff

          DJ – my H did just that by email on Dday#1. He told the OW that he would always love her but he had to give me ‘a shot’ and that he would be in touch again soon. He denies ever sending that but I have shown it to him. He now says he has no idea why he wrote that, presumably it was ‘the fog’ again. Fear of losing her, losing me, losing his mind. Shit, sometimes I have seriously wondered why I stayed but always it’s because I love my H in a ‘stirring the oatmeal’ kind of way. He’s upstairs right now suffering from a high temperature and masses of self-pity (man flu) and each time I wander upstairs to check on him I think “I bet Dana wouldn’t have done this” and laugh. She would have dropped him like a stone if she saw him at his most pathetic, but I see him as a rounded human.

      • Notoverit

        Words of wisdom from Alone. I, too, read more into your question. Maybe incorrectly, but it seems like you just want to contact the OW through her husband. I know that sounds absurd but that is the feeling I got from your question – just a round-about way to contact her, to keep the connection while trying to look like you are being contrite. I am sorry but that is how I initially viewed it. From my BS point of view, it would be a very bad idea to write such a letter because it would only stir up drama. Let it alone and begin your healing with your wife. No contact is the best route (and that means her husband too). I am not in the situation of Alone or you, wanting closure (so I can’t understand it) but as a BS such a thing would be very hurtful to me.

      • Hurt&Insensed

        I rarely post on this site but me and my CS have gained so much from it. I am 11 months in now and hitting so many anniversary dates of the different D days leading to the final confrontation on 3rd March; that I am just not in a place where I can accommodate or empathise with cheaters. That is not always the case by any means but I guess my comment to you Alone, and other CS’s comes from that place. Rather than thinking about your own feelings or the damage you have done to your BS, it could be much more effective to think about how you would want to be treated in this situation. So, your husband has cheated, betrayed you for and to another woman. For the duration of the affair, he and the other woman have had all the choices over their lives and yours. You have had no choice because you were never told that the rules of the game had changed, but they knew! You were kept in your marriage by lies and deceit, not choice. When a whole world of pain is finally piled on your head and you are as low as you can get; would you seriously be able to tolerate your husband and best friend, telling the ‘enemy’ that she is really the special one but he has to do the ‘right thing’ and choose you? CS’s, I urge all of you to think more honestly about whether you would accept and tolerate the treatment you have handed to your spouses, even a fifth of it? Alone, and other CS’s, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to open up on this sight and my comments are intended only to contribute to your ongoing growth and reflection and to provide another perspective. My H has posted on here twice, but I want to encourage him to post more frequently for his own growth and to contribute back to a site that has offered us and many others, a lifeline at times.

    • Paula

      Alone, as the BS when the OW was a friend of both mine and my OHs, I think you’re right, no contact is the only policy, UNLESS the OPs spouse asks for contact. In my case, I wrote the OW (my “friend”) avery polite, empathetic letter that I did send, outlining that I understood the very real feelings involved, and that we would like to get together with her for some quiet, reasoned closure. This was many months after Dday, when she had been still texting my OH, and he had replied to most of them, with my knowledge, asking her to either please meet with us, or leave us alone completely, to try to heal. I told my OH on Dday, that if he needed to meet with her, to say his goodbyes, he had my blessing to do so, in a public place such as a cafe, or park, where I would be waiting a few blocks away to meet him afterwards, to end it properly, nicely, and FINALLY. He said he had already done that a month or so earlier, and didn’t take me up on my “offer.” The best policy, is usually to let sleeping dogs lie. In our case, it quickly became apparent that this sweet girl, who was “listening to my OHs problems, and being a good friend,” was a sociopath, and wasn’t going to walk away quietly. My OH was somewhat shocked at how persistent “and crazed!” she was. He did have some idea, but thought he could always talk her round. He was wrong, and this woman still tried to contact him after 2 years and 7 months after our Dday, it caused incredible stress and mistrust, as I thought he must have been somehow encouraging her for her to keep it up for so long! My advice, stay away, if at all possible!!!

    • Alone

      IFSD – I understand completely your viewpoint. Reading EP’s email and knowing what I went through myself, I know that EP is severely conflicted. He stated he is trying to turn his heart back to his wife. The OW needs to do this as well. I’m just telling you that right after d-day it is not always that easy for the cheater to do this even if it’s all in the world they want to do. Hence why people have multiple d-days. The truth of the matter is for a while EP and the OW might have to tell themselves this is the right choice until they get far enough along to KNOW it is the right choice. I’m not suggesting a love letter to the OW, just this my choice, my wife and kids. If she is a reasonable person she will get the message. In my case we had no other communication but I now realize that is ok it wouldn’t have changed our choices. Depending on the type and kind of affair, these feelings the cheater has are pretty intense. They can’t be turned off immediately even if you want them gone immediately like I did. Read EP posts. He is struggling with confusiOn and it is worse because he heard from the OW. I said on my email no contact is best, I was just talking with my heart knowing what it feels like to be in the cheaters position. And also, no one stays with someone they don’t love. Look at EP – he lOves his wife but is still torn. Later he will get clarity. It’s still early on for him. Thanks for allowing us.cheaters to talk.

      • ifeelsodumb

        OK, I understand where you’re coming from Alone….it’s hard as a BS to always see things from the point of view of a CS….but you saw right through EP., that he wanted to, in a round about way, contact the other woman!!! Good job!!!

        EP…it’s obvious that you are desperately sorry…and that you love your wife…there is a book that was suggested on here, my H bought it and it really helped him to see how he could help me heal…It’s called “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” by Linda Macdonald. Buy the booklet (only 96 pages) read it…then do it!! Best book he’s read yet, so my H says!

    • Lynne


      In your comment to EP (see below), I also disagree with the idea of writing the OW a note. It is obvious that this is something that would not be shared with EPs wife, therefore it would perpetuate the dishonesty. While I understand that closure in just about anything in our lives is important, this would be quite the opposite of closure for EPs wife. And having chosen to stay with your spouses, aren’t they the number one priority now? Wouldn’t it be safe to say that the OW already knows that he cared for her, that what they did was wrong, and that its time to do the right thing by their families. Choosing the path of an affair means you choose all that comes along with it–the good parts, the painful parts, and always the risk of being caught and an abrupt ending. It didn’t get wrapped up in a pretty package for the BS (it will take years of healing), so why is it so important that the AP get the benefit of tying it nicely up at the end?

      “If you tell her, short and sweet, yes, I did care for you but we have to do the right thing for our families, what we did was wrong, and it is over”


      My advice is not to write to anyone other than your W. In choosing to stay with her, she is the one that deserves all of your time and attention. It is unlikely the OWs husband will accept your apology, and you run the risk of bringing more pain into their marriage. At this point, you are the enemy, and your words will most likely fall on deaf ears.

      It is for the OW and her H to work through this on their own, without further interference, while you and your wife work on healing and rebuilding your own lives–it’s time to build stronger boundaries, begin to let the OW go, and gain better perspective about why you made this choice–to continue to focus on the OW only slows your growth toward becoming an even better man/husband

    • Lynne


      I do understand how you can care for (or be attracted to) more than one person–there may be many BS’s that don’t agree with this, but I do think it’s true. Our true character lies in what we do with this reality. It’s not a mistake to be attracted to another, the mistake is in acting upon it. The question becomes, why did I cross that line. What is missing in me or my marriage that allowed me to do this? What stops me from being able to sit down and tell my wife what’s missing for me–what it is I need to feel loved and cared for. Why do we rob the person we love from knowing what makes us feel special? Why would I take this and transfer it to someone other than my wife, by telling them all of my hopes and dreams?

      I think this is what defies logic for me in these affair situations. To be able to tell the AP what you need and want, what’s missing in your marriage, and your intermost thoughts and desires, but not be able to say them to your spouse. I see that a lot on this site–my spouse isn’t very emotional, not much of a talker, doesn’t share his/her true feelings…..but is this really true, as they often seem to be sharing all of this with their AP. I wonder what it is that makes the cheater feel the environment is safer with the OW/OM???

      Lastly, I am always surprised that the CS’s carry on thinking they won’t get caught. That somehow they can keep their affairs hidden, particulalry from us women. We women have an uncanny sense of when things aren’t right. If you take the risk of having an affair, I think you should expect to be absolutely expect to be caught. It seems that CS’s think they are better at hiding this than they really are–and I’m sorry to the men on this site, but most often, you really aren’t good at it! For anyone who’s even thinking about crossing this line, they should ask themselves, “how will this feel WHEN I get caught”?

      BTW, I found a series online on called Unfaithful…..anyone who is in the beginning stages of dancing around an EA or PA should really watch this first. I promise you you’ll think better of it!

      • Sidney

        Lynne…you are SO right!! The cheater really doesn’t think they will get caught. I guess you can chalk that up to that they really aren’t thinking straight. They are so focused on themselves that they really don’t think much of anything else. Scary thought.

        Oh, and thanks for the Oprah series….I’m going to look it up right now!

      • Jackie


        “my spouse isn’t very emotional, not much of a talker, doesn’t share his/her true feelings…..but is this really true, as they often seem to be sharing all of this with their AP. I wonder what it is that makes the cheater feel the environment is safer with the OW/OM???”

        I remember when my H was in love with me in those early days of dating, he was so open, loving caring, adoring, thoughtful, romantic, honest, and willing to talk about anything!!!! I think that is what attracted me to him so much. Was this just mother nature’s drug chemical, which makes one fixate on another and pledge full devotion? The intoxication of being in love makes one feel that their love object AP causes all these wonderful feelings. That is why people believe that they have found their soul mate. They feel that no other can give them this wonderful feeling, fix, drug. Is this true love? or just Mother’s nature way to get people to procreate?

        As the years progressed together, it is clear to me he wasn’t as honest and open as he was in those early days, but I thought he was. He just kept it all secret in his head, expecting me to read his mind. I’m pretty intuitive, but don’t mind read.

        I think over the years my H returned to his normal not “in love” state. He loved me, showed it, and everything was fine…until the mid life crisis thing hit. But it seems when someone is “in love” they are not really their true self…but a drug induced high self. This person is still trying to be his best self, and yes, if you are not living with them, it is pretty easy to hide the faults.

        My H EA was severed quite quickly by his AP, but still after 3 years he admits he is still obsessed with the love drug. He works with this person like many CS on this site. This fantasy affair is all in his head! His drug of choice for now. He knows it. I know it. But he seems unwilling or unable to kick the habit and allow us to be free from this fantasy in his head. He seems to somehow separate the two feelings for now as he tries to sort out himself while hanging onto the fantasy at the same time.

        It is not about the AP….it is all about what is going on in the CS’s head. It is the fantasy the CS creates for himself, with all his rationalizations and belief he adds to it. An altered reality. It is no wonder after a while it is so hard to sort our reality from fantasy.

    • Alone

      Hey EP – all of us need therapy bud!! We get it.

      Also, I think it was D that posted once, there is no closure, just no contact.

      Take it one day at a time. : )

    • Sidney

      You’re not a monster….you made a mistake. I think it’s a huge step in the positive direction to be here on this site. To me, that shows you are wanting to not only heal your marriage but also heal yourself. Which, by the way, you will need to do…heal yourself. Take deep breaths and focus on keeping your marriage (family) in tact.

      You are still in the fog….and that just takes time to get out of. You cannot rush that process. Keeping contact with the OW will prolong the process. Although no contact is hard, it really is the best way to clear your mind. I’m 6 months out and still think of the OM daily…..but….it’s not that ‘desperation’ feeling like it was. It does get easier.

      Ep, hang in there and good luck on this journey.

    • rachel

      Questions for a CS. Does the CS really believe that they aren’t doing anything wrong? ex. meeting the ow, texting and e-mailing?
      When does the fog end? Does it depend on the individual? How does the CS feel when they are in the fog? Do they have any feelings for the BS? Cause I’m not feeling any feelings from my CS!! Sometimes I feel that he hates me! Ugh! Long day of silence!

      • norrine fay

        Hi Rachel. My CS acted like he did not care. That he was going do what he was going to do no matter how upset I got. He was so emotionally distant I had to ask him why is he treating me like he hates me? I had done nothing to him. He seemed the more confused and upset I was the more he did not care. He was downright cruel at times and would do anything not face his responsibility. I feel he has used my disability and frequent ill health to cheat and then not deal with the consequences. It’s like I should accept it as I have had to depend on him for things. It is only after I called his mum, who has been blaming me for years for not marrying her son, can you imagine? That I flipped out and told him that if he does not start talking to me or treating me with respect I’m going to tell his mum as I have nothing to loose and I’m sick of her giving me aggro for her son’s lack of commitment. He started babbling like a brook, all of a sudden he is remorseful, its all his fault, started talking about his affair, how they broke up after arguing. I am still angry because i needed this infomation 9 months ago – d day. So now it feels immaterial and forced because he doesn’t want me to tell his mommy.

        It seems, from what he has been saying, the cheating was because he did not want me to move in with him. You’d think he’d say something. We had been together almost 11 years at the time and he asked me too when he first got the property 3 years before I finally moved in. so when I had problems at home, dad is bipolar and I could not take the anger and resentment that was aimed at me everyday., I just told him I need to move in. He now says he felt like he was not given a choice and would have looked like the bad guy if he said no. So I moved in and wondered why he became emotionally distant and resentful. If only I was a mind reader.

        Also the pressure to get married from both our families and me was too much for him. He could not cope. Rather than tell me he kept promising to get me a ring, go on holiday to plan our wedding and told me to pick dates. When he then wouldn’t engage or pretended like he had not said anything, it drove me crazy, I would start shouting and he would look scared and clam up. I would always feel bad and end up apologizing for losing my temper. Boy, do I feel a mug. I swallowed the scared little boy routine hook, line and sinker. I often wondered If I had not been so ill, would I be in this situation now? I loved him so much and thought he was totally supporting me through this illness – its been years. As soon as I got ill and had to give up work, he started an affair. I am so angry with his immaturity, lies and lack of honest communication. I am very angry with myself for being such a mug and feeling sorry for him. When will this angry stop? Sorry for the long rant. My friend and brother keep telling me to stop thinking about it and move forward. Easier said than done. I have to move out for my own sanity but worried about bills and ill health. Please can someone advise? Thank you so much. Linda and Doug, this website is a God send.

      • Sidney

        Since every person is different and every affair has different circumstances (although some similar characteristics) it would be hard to answer those questions in a general sense. I can certainly answer them from my perspective, but I’m not sure if that would help you to understand your husband.

        As far as the ‘feel like they aren’t doing anything wrong’ thing….I’d have to say that at times I didn’t. To me, the definition of an affair was having sex with another person, and since I wasn’t, I felt that what I was doing was okay. My EA never changed how I felt for my husband. It was almost like a second life so-to-speak…I could separate my affair from my real life….like the affair was an escape from my reality (if that makes sense). I know this sounds bad, but I didn’t really think about my husband when I was texting and emailing the OM. It was separate in my head. Also, the cheater is SO wrapped up in the situation, that I’d guess they aren’t spending much time thinking about their spouse. That’s a generalization…but from what I’ve read and heard from other cheaters, they all pretty much say the same thing. And I know that’s probably not what you as the BS wants to hear…..but that’s the way it was for me and I’m guessing others. An affair is a very self-centered act….and then add that to not thinking clearly….. Oh, and how does the cheater feel when in the fog?? It was intoxicating….you become a person you don’t even recognize. I look back now and can’t believe the things I did and said during that time. Almost embarrassing. So not like the ‘real’ me….although, I did find myself feeling like the real me had been ‘awakened’ because I felt like a teenager again. I was acting like I did when I was high school. It just felt good after years of being so responsible all the time.

        Sorry you had a bad day yesterday. The silent treatment is never fun. Hang in there….and…..I hope this helps you understand the mindset of a cheater…..and I hope it didn’t hurt you….just wanted to be truthful with you.

        • rachel

          Sidney, thank you so much for explaining and answering all of my questions. I have asked my cs many times and all i get is the “I don’t know answer”. He was disconnected from me during th EO, he said since he wasn’t having sex with her he didn’t think it was and affair. The words that have come out of his mouth while in the fog was not from him at all! Hurtful and so rude. He was feeling like he was in his 20’s again when he was having the EA hooking up with his ex girlfriend from 30 years ago. It was good times back then no responsibilities etc. He has a very hard time of leaving the past. Hopefully he will come around soon. I miss the old him. Thank you again for making things clear, Sidney.

        • Jackie

          Wow! What you said about being like a teenager hit the nail on the head!

          As the BS I felt like my CS was acting like a teenager. Completely irresponsible, rude, inconsiderate, secretive, dishonest, personality changed. He was someone who looked like my husband but acted like a stranger. This is the H who I thought was the most thoughtful, wonderful, caring person I had in my life. I felt lucky to have a man like this in my life. Suddenly, without warning, I had the opposite. Very scary.

          The complete disconnect was amazing. H just couldn’t care less about me or the kids…he was just in a world of his own.

          Is the anger towards the BS, because of guilt of the CS, trying to get the BS off their back so they can continue the affair, confusion on the part of the BS, or all of the above. To me, it felt as if it was a constant mixture of all of the above, switching constantly. I thought he had become mentally ill.

          I found the anger towards me the BS, very confusing. Trying to understand what was happening, and why it was happening, is practically impossible, when the CS himself has no clue.

          • ifeelsodumb

            Right you are Jackie!! I remember telling my sister that my H and I just seemed to be fighting a lot lately…and I didn’t understand why! That nothing I did seemed to make him happy…I think I even joked about there being another woman in the picture…never realizing that there WAS!!
            I think a lot of it has to do with their guilt…deep, deep down they KNOW that what they are doing is wrong AND selfish, and they resent US, their spouses, because we are a daily reminder of what they have become…a lying, cheating low life! At least that’s MY opinion 🙂

        • E

          Sidney, I appreciate your comments so much because it really sounds a lot like my H. He tells me that he never stopped loving me but he just “got lost” for a while. I think that he felt like he was leading two different lives as well. And Jackie and IFSD – my H was definitely not the man I knew – cruel and careless, reckless behavior etc. I even have a friend who after I told her what was going on she remarked “well that explains a lot … “

    • suzie suffers

      Roller Coaster Rider–Tell me a little about your story. How long was it from D day until you separated…then you were separated for 5 months before you were divorced….and that took…what about 6 months. Were you talking to each other during the separation and divorce. Did you ask for the divorce or your husband? Was his affair just an EA or EA/PA? How long did it last? Did he have move than 1 affair? So how did you start to reconnect? I’m currently in the process of divorcing. My husband the CS filed for divorce because he said it was because I couldn’t let go of the affairs…..He’s had several….. What is it that has really happened since the divorce and how did you reconnect?

    • Doug

      Ep, I know that you are going through a very difficult time and are very confused, however I would like to give you some things to ponder. I would like you to think about the feelings that you had about your marriage that you shared with your AP, the disappointment, not feeling valued, etc. Now think about how your wife may have been feeling about your marriage (even though she may not be able to articulate it right now). Could she have been feeling the same way about your marriage as your AP was feeling about her marriage? Could your wife also have felt unappreciated and devalued? If your wife had the confidence and security to voice those feelings to you would you have reacted the same way you did with your AP? Would you have been sympathetic and have validated her feelings, or would you have been defensive? You need to look at both sides of the story, you may feel that your marriage has been a disappointment, however you need to look at the effort that was put into it. The way you felt about the AP, and the reactions you had to her had little to do with love. I would like you to think about your past relationship with your wife…Did you validate her feelings? Did you listen to her the way you did with the AP and did you put as much time and effort as you did during your affair? I do not want you to think that I am putting the complete blame on you. I know as a BS your wife is beating herself up, I just feel that it is difficult for the cheater to come out of the fog and look at both sides of the story. Linda

    • rachel

      EP, Why couldn’t sit down with you wife and express your feelings about her and your marriage. I don’t understand why the WS has to go looking for the other person. The damage that has been done could have been totally avoided. Doesn’t the CS have any respect for the marriage vows???

    • rachel

      It’s all about attention! Enough said!

    • Sidney

      I can see that you are truly hurting and I am so sorry. I so understand about the going to bed and waiting and watching to see what was going to happen. I would go to bed every night and see if my husband would join me. He much preferred going to the basement, watching tv, and chewing tobacco as opposed to making love to his wife. After years of second place to sports center and copenhagan, I shut down towards him. If I EVER mentioned anything to him about how I was feeling, I would get the whole “it’s all about you isn’t it” speech and then the silent treatment for 3 days. So…in a previous post when someone asked why we wouldn’t talk to our spouse about our innermost feelings…..well, that’s why. So when a man came around and showed genuine interest in my life and how I was doing….it was easy to continue the texting. I suppose that was a huge part of it for me….acceptance verses rejection. Would I have loved for it be my own husband I shared my day with….my feelings….my fears….my hopes and dreams… thoughts? Hell yes. But you get rejected enough….and you quit trying. Is that an excuse to carry on an EA with another man? Maybe…I don’t know. Probably not. But at the time….it felt good and I felt valued and validated for the first time in years.

      I’ve gone over it and over it in my head on what would have happened if I went to my husband and actually said the words “I’m not happy ” and quite honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it. It’s not like I want out of my marriage….I love my husband….

      Sorry….didn’t mean to go off like that….guess I was needing to vent tonight…..bad night in the ole household….

      • ifeelsodumb

        So how are things NOW since you had the EA? Has your H changed in how he treats you? Do you feel that the EA helped your marriage..or hurt it?

        • Sidney

          Things are the same since the EA…..but, that’s because he doesn’t know about it. He never found out and I never confessed. However, I do have to say….and I know this goes against what I’ve heard other people say….but during my affair, things were wonderful between my husband and me. I’ve heard from others on this site that their CS was irritable, grouchy, picking fights, etc with their spouse during the affair, but with me it was the TOTAL opposite…..because I was happy. The OM made me happy and that happiness carried over into my marriage. I talked more, laughed more, was fun, was more attentive, and our sex life was fabulous. It was like my husband was reaping the benefits of my affair (sounds sick, I know)….but that’s how it was for our marriage. Once the EA ended, I was back being withdrawn in my marriage….I describe it as being back into my ‘dull-drum life.’ The excitement and giddiness of the affair was gone so I was back feeling like I was…..and my marriage was back to the way it was….

          • Jackie

            Why can’t the CS take the energy put into the affair, and bring it into the marriage. The excitement, the energy, the passion…by doing that things between you and your spouse can be make things exciting again. Or is it because the affair had all the excitement of newness?

            Love is a choice we make every day. To chose to love ourselves, our spouse, and our family.

            Were you not blaming your spouse because you weren’t feeling guilt? I never understood why my CS chose to blame me, the marriage, and the kids, as to the reason why he chose to cheat. I suspect it was because he felt he was doing something wrong and felt guilty and shameful. I just wished we could talk about it rationally like we had everything else in our lives before. Even before he told me about the EA, he was looking for anything I was doing that he could attack to justify his affair. I just was clueless as to why he was so angry at me.

            Then after D-day, he was angry because I definitely didn’t approve of him pursuing his AP. That is when everything got tense. I felt the anger at me was a way to deflect the blame and get me off his back. H became impossible to talk to without him being angry…and normally he is a rather calm sort of person.

            • Sidney

              The excitement, energy, and passion…I tried to get them from my husband. I wanted those feelings to come from my husband and not the OM. I tried to spice up the passion with my husband but would get shot down. All he would have had to do was to occasionally text me to tell me he was thinking about me….or respond positively when I sent him a racy text….but again I say….you get rejected enough and you quit trying.

              I’m not a counselor, but I would guess that your husband’s anger at you was probably a direct result of HIS feelings about things and not yours. The defensiveness was probably his coping skill…as well as the blame and anger. It’s not fair, is it….since you didn’t do anything wrong….yet you are made to feel that way.

              My guess is, when you asked why you never understood why he blamed you, the marriage, and the kids, is that he was needing a reason to justify HIS behavior. It’s easier to place the blame on outside reasons as opposed to looking inside himself for the REAL reasons he cheated. No one wants to look at themselves for their short-comings (especially men…in my opinion). He probably blamed his unhappiness on external reasons (you, the kids, the marriage). It is my belief that true happiness comes from within….not from external things. The external things are temporary…, for instance, getting a new outfit/car/hair-do etc OR how another person makes you feel. Those feelings are fleeting…..but true happiness comes from within. And the thing that sucks….is that I’ve found it’s hard to ‘find and maintain’ that true happiness. It’s our human nature to seek things out from external things to fill those needs.

    • Alone

      Hi EP –

      Listen I wanted to send a quick post to you. . I know that you are struggling with a lot of emotions right now. It will be very easy for you at this point to fall into a serious depression and have a lot of self hatred. I know, I’ve been there. I also know it is compounded by a very public d-day. It’s hard enough to deal with the shame as is, and harder when you have been exposed publicly. Right now you probably have a lot of people questioning you, suggesting to you what to do, asking you how you could have done this, perhaps really giving you a brow beating. If I may make a suggestion, just focus on your wife and what she needs to discuss with you. This is a very personal matter and it’s hard when so many people know what you have done. This is such a sensitive issue and people have so much anger as they should. I made the mistake of listening to every negative comment there was about the OW – and it has hindered my recovery because I internalize things in a big way. That’s why my H is encouraging me to stop reading this blog. EP, good people make mistakes. My affair, just like yours was never about looks or sex. In fact, my H is much more fit than the OM. My affair was about two people who developed a friendship. We began to share thoughts and feelings about various life issues with one another. In my case, not about our spouses so much as other hurtful life events. I began to build Inappropriate emotional intimacy with the OM. Again this was inappropriate and wrong, but we helped each other with several issues. The problem with emotional intimacy with someone other than your spouse especially of the opposite sex is that over time it can begin to lead to physical intimacy. It also, as you know, starves your marriage of emotional intimacy. That’s why when the affair is over, some cheaters grieve. Because we built emotional intimacy with someone other than our spouse. And that’s why it feels like such a loss. I was not prepared for this when the affAir ended. I did not realize that I had lost emotional intimacy with my H so it felt there was a Huge void.

      EP, I guess what I am Trying to tell you is that I know you are swimming in a sea of some very difficult emotions as is your wife. Try to tune out everything else other than what is going on with your wife. Because at this point the main things that you will need to do to save your marriage, at least from my own experience is to let go of the OW and focus on rebuilding emotional intimacy with your wife. I know that this is not easy. It takes a lot of time and hard work to rebuild this connection with your wife. And it is going to be hard for her as she has no trust and feels hurt and second best. When this all happened to me, I thought we would be healed in a couple of months. How very wrong I was. It is a hard road EP for all involved. But please know that you aren’t the worst person to ever walk the planet… That would be me! I’ll take this one for the team, ok? Seriously, pray, ask God to help you and forgive you. Listen to what your wife needs. Let go of the OW (easier said than done I know) and work to rebuild trust and emotional intimacy.

      Best wishes to you… I know there is no sympathetic ear for the cheater.

      PS – sorry for typos, I’m on my phone.

    • Bill

      I am also a CS who has done a lot of the same things you are doing now.  I would like to acknowledge a few things that I had to do in order to actually start the recovery process.
      I no longer “test” my wife.  When you watched your wife from bed you were testing her and  already justifying your starting down the road to an affair.   I had a case of conflict avoidance and therefore I never actually gave my wife a chance to respond to my concerns in our marriage.  I now work on those issues even when I know it may cause a discussion that I don’t want to have.  I am not always successful at bringing up every issue, but I am much better and it certainly is helpful.   I also did not intend on having an affair, but when my actions allowed another woman to give me the time and attention that should only have come from my wife, I had started down a road that was not easy to get off.  This I can tell you for sure:  Thinking kindly of your affair partner does not help in your recovery.  After all your affair partner probably never said NO at any time.  My AP was certainly every bit as responsible as I was and certainly just as manipulative.  

      Only after you get out of the fog can you start to do the right things.  Continuing to glorify your affair partner in your comments on this site keeps you in the fog and allows you to justify your actions.   Until you see what YOU and your AP  have done, you cannot start to consider yourself on the road to recovery.  If recovery is not what you want, then just keep doing what you are doing now.

    • Fist Timer


      Now hear is where I am stuck…. well more like I dont beleive hince I cant get unstuck….

      H says he was just freinds… Me well now I know it was an EA.. at first I didnt even know that there was such a thing after looking and looking I found out his “freindship” was indeed an affair… that is why all signs pointed to an affair just not PA..EA but none the less an Affair.

      So as I said all the signs were there that pointed to and Affair, he has been so adimit that they were just freinds, but all classic signs of an affair was there.. My point being, even thou all signs pointed to an Affair, and I have learnt that there is such a thing as an EA.. How do I beleive that it was and EA and not PA… it doesnt matter how many or what I say do… it still remains the same… he says “freinds” = EA..

      But everything about affair signs are both EA and PA are the same except EA never turned physical.. But the point it, I am having a hard time not beleiving him when he says it never became physical, to be honest I do not see how it did not.. And I am honest with him, that I do not beleive him.. I think with 100% no doubt in my mind that is was pysical.. Honestly that is the line right there.. the only diffrence is the actual sex.. everyother sign that a CS exibits is the same.. So how does a BS not supposed to beleive that there was intamacy.. there were so many chances to do it, what would had keep H from doing it, he already crossed the line once he got into an EA… nothing about his marriage or love for me stopped him… so there was nothing to stop it from becoming physical..

      To be honest, I think that he feels that it would send me running if I was to find out it was as PA, but an EA already did the damange, and with me feeling like this.. well an Affair already happened regardless.. an Affair is an Affair, he shared so much with OW, and in doing so –took so much away from me.. As you all know, there is things that are supposed to be between h and w.. and that lined was crossed when he got involved with OW… he still says freinds.. and I am going to try to attempt to explain to him about EA.. as I said, this was new to me.. and maybe he thinks it was freindship, I didnt know about EA, so I am assuming he may not either.. None the less it is cheating, but I am having a hard time with the EA and PA signs being the same… HOW does a BS beleive H when he says over and over and over again that nothing happened sexally, O but somthing emotional did happen that is for sure as I have found this sight so helpful in learning about EA.. but Im not sure if EA wasnt a PA…. Can anyone help me out on this? And how do I approach H about EA, since I didnt even know about it, but now I do, and this “freindship” he claims and the affair signs acctually points to somthing I wasnt wrong in the fact it was an Affair I told him hundreds of time it was an affair and he told me a hundred times it was just “freindship” , but to be honest, how to talk to him about what an EA is…. and how do I get past me thinking that PA is just as real a possibility… thanks

      • Healing Mark

        First Timer. Hopefully, some of the CS’s will be able to give you there reasons why their EA’s did not become PA’s, which might help you understand that for whatever reason, there are people out there that can cross boundaries that lead them to establishing relationships that we now classify as EA’s yet are able to resist the urge to add sex to the relationship. I was at one time in the same place you appear to be, and it was hard, since my trust with my wife was at an all time low and I was having a hard time believing anything she said, much less her statements regarding her EA. Looking back, I wish that someone had told me to do this, and I had done this, which is to accept the possibility that there might have been sex involved, get checked for STD’s if you feel the need, but postpone your actual decision as to whether or not sex was involved until somewhere down the line where, hopefully, your spouse has regained some trust with you and you are no longer in as much of the “pain fog” (new term?).

        I can only speak to what my wife explained to me, and it resonated with me b/c I think it is how I would feel if I found myself having developed incredibly strong feelings for another woman while married. What she said was, yes, the topic of having sex did come up a few times (initially a punch to my gut, to be sure, but then again, I’m not surprised that this would eventually come up). However, she and her “good friend” decided that if they had sex, they might ruin this great friendship that they had (and also the fantasies they had about what the sex might be like – YUCK!). Also, they could fool themselves into thinking that what they were doing was nothing harmful and simply a wonderful friendship and not an “affair” as long as they did not have sex together. They recognized that sex outside of marriage was cheating and wrong, and fortunately they did not want to cross that line. If you think about it, if not having sex with your EA partner keeps, in your mind, your relationship from being something wrong, and you don’t want to be wrong or otherwise have to change/end the relationship, then not having sex becomes an attractive “goal”.

        The other thing that helped me to believe my wife when she said that she never had sex with her “friend” was the fact that my wife cares, like many of us, a great deal about what other people think of her, especially her children. While some of the things she was doing with her AP would likely have been frowned upon by our friends, and would have been embarassing to her if our girls knew about them, she felt like she could always point to the “but we didn’t have sex” component and that this would somehow make her not look as bad. But if she actually “cheated” while married she felt as though she would lose a lot of friendships and in any event a lot of the respect she had from those who knew and/or loved her. Finally, neither my wife nor her AP feared losing their marriages over their EA actions/feelings (after all, they were “just good friends”), but both felt (in my wife’s case likely correctly) that they would almost certainly be divorced if they were caught having developed a PA, and for some reason they also felt that they were more likely to get “caught” if they started having sex together (I never understood this, but I’m sure glad they felt this way).

        As to getting your spouse to understand that what had developed was an EA, good luck! Not surprisingly, my wife hates this term. Even with our counselor’s evaluation that what she was doing with her AP was harming our marriage and our family, and the objective proof of the same that was undeniable, my wife still struggled with acknowledging that what she had been doing had been harmful and hurtful. Actually, she quickly accepted the hurtful aspect, but over the first 6 months she would go back and forth between acknowledging that what she had was an EA or otherwise “wrong” and denying that she had had an EA and that her relationship with the AP was “wrong”. Quite frustrating, really.

        I don’t suggest this really, as what I note below is in my opinion a better “solution”, but at one point I compiled a list of questions for her to answer where a couple of “yes’s” would mean that the relationship in question was one that we would classify as an EA. I threw in a few that I knew that she would have answer “yes” to given what she had shared with me about her “friendship” (smile!). But there were many questions created by relationship “experts” that she was also going to be answering yes to. She reluctantly took this “test” and admitted to having answered yes to just about every one of the questions. While this did not exactly convince her that she had had an EA, it did put an end to her insisting that she had done nothing wrong with her AP when she had to answer “yes” to the following question: “Honey, would you be hurt right now if I answered even half of those questions the same as you?”.

        At the end of the day, my wife and I agreed that it didn’t matter what we called her “friendship” and it didn’t matter whether she or anyone else would view it as having been “wrong” (thankfully, this put an end to us arguing about this!). What mattered was how it affected me, our marriage and our family. Right or wrong, it affected all of the forgoing negatively, and thus had to stop. Interestingly, my wife and her AP had started to see that what they were doing was hurting their respective spouses, marriages and families, and they ramped down big time on contact and each went for marriage counseling (not together, of course!). Notwithstanding this fact, my wife still fought for quite some time after D-day the notion that she had done anything wrong. For her, it was harder to admit to me that she had developed a damaging relationship than it was to admit to her/our counselor that she had done this. And also to her sister and her 2 best friends. Oh well…

        God bless you First Timer as you attempt to heal from the damaging relationship your spouse has apparently developed. Remember, it’s not so much whether it is or is not an EA/PA, but how it has affected, and continues to affect, you and how you deal with it moving forward with your lives is what is most important.

        • Sam

          It’s insteresting to read all this from a man’s POV. I’ve read that an EA affair REALLY affects women much more than men; and that a PA is what a man could not forgive.

          My H has actually said that he could definitely forgive me if I had a “secret friend that I had coffee with a few times.”

          I’m not sure if this is true, or if he’s just trying to justify his actions and downplay the situation. I don’t think he fully understands that it’s not about the coffee, or the ‘friendship’, but about secrecy and betrayal.

          He has apologized so many times, and yesterday he even said “This was a horrible thing, and I wish I could go back and erase it so it wouldn’t hurt you so much!” but he still maintains that none of it is as bad as I make it seem.

          He feels that it’s the way I’m telling the story in my head that hurts. However, I don’t think this is a “story”. This is reality.

          • Lynne


            Same here–my H said that if I had been the one having the secret lunches, emails and phone calls, we would have had ONE conversation about it, then we would have moved on with no further discussion. At first I thought, sure we would have (sarcasm), but then I realized that he’s probably right–he’s been in DENIAL about whether his was an EA, so of course he would go into DENIAL about what I’d done–it’s just such a happy place for some!

            • Lynne

              ……this is the same man that told me he only saw his suppossed EA as “One Incident”. So I ask, is 5 years of secrets, lies, and ommissions just “One Incident”? Or perhaps just more denial of reality. Hmmm, there’s “the truth” and then there’s “the story we tell ourselves”!

          • Justsad

            This is my H. He doesn’t see the relationship he had with the OW the way I see it but he does see how much damage it caused and how he hurt me…so whether we agree on what to call it I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as we agree that it had to end (because of the very negative impact it has had on our marriage and our family) and was wrong to have in the first place. Which we are in agreement on this now that he has thought about what it would be like if our roles had been reversed in this mess. He actually has said that if the shoe was on the other foot he doesn’t know what he would do….leave, stay, beat the guy up…he admits he would never have handled it as well as I have…and personally I have had some really less than stellar moments. So he has told me he is thankful I am still here even when I am blasting him for the damage he has caused.

            He has said if he could he would go back and never have let it all happen. He wishes he could take it all back and make everything right again…a do-over, now that he sees it for what it was….an inappropriate,boundary crossing, ego stroking relationship with someone who was not his wife. Sadly, unlike the games you played when you were little life doesn’t allow for do-overs…you can’t unring a bell. He acknowledges this and also the fact that he fully gets why I have no trust and don’t believe anything he says now. I think he sees that the dishonesty is just as big a piece of the mess as the stupid OW is.

        • Lynne

          Healing Mark-

          I just wanted to say how much I truly enjoy and appreciate your posts! I like the way you process your experience, and how you evaluate what is important in this journey–and what is not.

          I have no real interest in getting caught up in the detailed specifics of my H’s EA. There is no doubt he made poor choices, but to focus on the depth of his EA, and whether they talked about the potential for physical interaction, (I remain pretty confident that is was not a PA from things I read, heard or saw), is somewhat irrelevant to me. My thinking is, I may not like the past, but I can’t change that any of this happened–DONE!. What I care about is what this has done to our relationship, as well as where and how we grow from here. What he did was wrong in my own book of boundaries, and while he may not always see how damaging it was, what matters is how I see it, as it relates to my values and expectations in a marraige. As I’ve said to him, your boundaries of what you might be willing to accept/not accept from me might be different, but I OWN mine. This has certainly created some really good conversations for us around what we are both comfortable with, as well as in what cases our relationship would end, should these lines be crossed going forward. I am not a D-day #2 kind of gal, nor would I ever tolerate a new D-day with another. Any new “friendship” would tell me that my H had learned nothing from this experience (or that he was just a tool!). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see this happen in a million years, but we each control our own destinies–we can”t make anyone do anything, they have to want to.

          Again Mark, thanks for your wisdom 🙂

          PS–Damn, wish I’d have thought to have my H take one of those tests (there are a bunch of them out there), so he would have been able to see in pretty black and white terms that he had been in very slippery territory, rather than debating it with me!

    • Fist Timer

      The way I am seeing it is like this

      PA signs – sex = EA signs

      And there is no way of knowing if the PA acctually took place, unless you walk in and see it with your own eyes. And I never seen him in “action” but what I seen to me it was very close… I dont buy the we was just talking crap. just like I didnt buy the whole freindship crap,, I was right it was an Affair…. EA or PA either way it was an Affair and all the signs was pointing to it.. SO how does a BS beleive H? The only defining line between EA and PA is sex? And I just cant stop myself, and try to beleive him with he says NO, it never came to that…. so I think I need some help here!!!!!!! I was so sure it was an affair, before I found out there was such a thing as an EA…………

    • chiffchaff

      Had another discussion last night with my H about him doing work on himself. He says that when he feels backed into a corner or starts to feel low self-esteem about what he’s done then he will start to forgive himself for it as a way of feeling better. Forgiving himself will involve finding someone else to blame for why he’s feeling down and focusing on them. He says he didn’t realise until his affair that he did that so he doesn’t need any therapy to help him. He just has to avoid feeling bad about himself instead!
      He said that I had borne the brunt of how that ‘dealing with it’ manifests itself and he doesn’t want to examine where that comes from or find out better ways of dealing with with low self-esteem.
      How should I deal with that? I have no idea. I can’t be his therapist.

    • chiffchaff

      My H also says that he’s stopped reading self-help books because they make him feel depressed about our chances of recovery. That they offer no assistance for ‘us’ at all beyond showing him how deluded he was during his PA/EA.
      We tried the ILYB book but he’s lost interest in that too. He says this was because it then went on to discuss how virtually impossible it would be to reciver from an affair if you were both at the ILYB before it happened (which we were).
      Are there any other books worth reading that help in the post Dday, acceptance/limbo phase we’re now in? I feel like we’re past the immediate trauma stages, I (as BS) am more confident and vocal, he is (slightly) more contrite and out of the fog, but we’re both feeling a bit lost about what else to do apart from giving it some time. any ideas?

      • Doug

        Chiffchaff, I guess since it’s early in the morning, I can’t seem to figure out what ILYB stands for. You might want to try Not Just Friends, HOw to Forgive, Survive an Affair, etc. Check out the books in “The Library.” Most are post D-day type of books.

        • Chris

          Doug- Pretty new here, but I was wondering if you or anybody else could suggest any books on self-discovery and how to look inside yourself for answers to all of the difficult questions. I really need to work on myself and my communication so I can start to fix all the wrong that I’ve done…

          • Doug

            Hey Chris, Unfortunately I cannot pinpoint any one book on self-discovery or how to look inside yourself, though I’m sure there are many. You might want to do a search on Amazon. One thing that can help you is to read some of the stories in the comment section and understand the pain that the BS goes through and start to ask yourself “Why did I do what I did?” I also meditate on a daily basis which typically puts you in a relaxed, thoughtful state where you can try to figure things out. There are plenty of books on that subject out there as well as other web-based programs. Additionally, I think you mentioned in an earlier comment that you’re going to be seeing a therapist, so perhaps your counselor can help to guide you in your journey to self-discovery as well. Best of luck!

    • chiffchaff

      ILYB is (I love you but I’m not in love with you) sorry! We’ve read the Not Just Friends too. I’ll have a look at the others, many thanks Doug.

      • Doug

        Oh, I got ya. Have you read, “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful?” Very easy read – only about 100 pages.

        • Sam


          I have to ask you… how did you become such a good sport about all this??

          My husband still refuses to admit he had an EA, refuses to read any of the books or this site, refuses counseling. He has asked for forgiveness, swears he’ll never do anything like this again, and is REALLY trying to work on our marriage (he’s more attentive, more loving, we go out on dates, etc.) However, I feel that one of the reasons I can’t move on is that he still doesn’t see things from my POV and won’t read stuff when I ask him to. He says the more I read this stuff, the harder it is for me to “forget the whole thing”

          What he doesn’t understand is that I will NEVER forget. 🙁

          • Doug

            Sam, The main motivation is that I owe it to Linda – and to myself – to figure out why I did the things I did and to become a better person as a result. Though this site can sometimes bring up past pain and keeps the affair somewhat top of mind, it has been a wonderful learning experience and has been very therapeutic for both Linda and I. Reading the stories of others has allowed me to see the sort of pain an affair causes and has given me the determination to make amends and to create a better relationship with Linda. Besides, I really am a pretty good guy! 😉

            • Lynne


              YOU ROCK! And yes, you do seem like a pretty good guy–I’d like to find away for you to work with all of OUR MEN! Which by the way, have you ever thought about a separate blog/website/group for CS’s that is run by you? From where you started as a CS to today, I think you could be a huge resource for those folks (on the cheaters side) who want to grow and learn from this experience.

              And also, a question for you……why do you believe that most (not all, but many) CS’s want to escape from digging deep and looking at why they made this choice? What’s the fear, particularly with men? And for those men that have felt justified because their needs weren’t being met, and now have a tremendous opportunity to have these conversations with the BS, why do they often bury their head in the sand and refuse to deal with it all.

              I know these are BIG questions, but as a man, I wonder what your perspective is on this. I know there’s a lot of guilt and shame, but it seems that so much opportunity is being squandered in the name of self-protection and denial.

            • Doug

              Lynne, Thanks! I never thought of my own blog, but I do see what you mean. I have a lot on my plate right now so I hope that they can find me and get some benefits from this site for now. Could be an option down the road though.

              That’s a good question. Could it be that most male CS are rather shallow to begin with? I was for sure. I also think that we’re just wired differently and most of us were never really taught or encouraged to get in touch with our emotions or our inner self (at least from my generation). Mars and Venus type stuff here, but women tend to want to know the why’s, how’s, where’s etc, while men just want to fix stuff. As an example, I’ve worked for several female bosses over the years and when a problem arose, they would want to find out who to blame for the problem. Who did what, why and when rather than just trying to correct the situation. That frustrated me to death, but unfortunately we men tend to look at relationships the same way. I’m sure there are many other reasons, but that’s all I can come up with for now. 🙂

              I think if the CS really understood that by doing so it could not only help them to make some real beneficial changes in all areas of their lives, but also could help make the healing process for their spouses quicker more and complete – which is what they want in the first place.

          • Notoverit

            If he didn’t have an EA then what did he ask forgiveness for? These CS, apart from you Doug, seem to want to just get it over with. I never gave up. I kept at my husband (he now remembers what I did for a living – prosecutor) until he started to realize my POV. That worked for me but then some Hs aren’t so easy to deal with. My H was contrite from the first day; he just didn’t know the ramifications then. He does now.

            • Jackie

              My H definitely was not contrite at all. He was defensive, blaming, attacking, in denial, and sure of himself. He was convinced everyone in the world was wrong except him. He had found his “true love” and wanted everyone else to go away and leave himself with his wonderful fantasy love feeling.

              Today he still gets defensive when he feels bad about himself.
              He got into this EA because he was unable to understand his unhappiness within himself, his fears, loss of youth, etc… and was unable to express it to his wife, the person who cared most about him and wanted to share in his difficulties.

              Definitely interrogating my H, would have just drove him out the door. I suspect for many of the CS here, it may be the same feeling.

              It is hard to understand your H, when he himself doesn’t understand himself.

            • ifeelsodumb

              Same here, notoverit!! He was contrite, but had NO idea the work involved for recovery…and the level of pain I would be in! And it’s funny…my son just told me the other day that I should have become a lawyer, that I’d be great at it!!
              That when I talk, I make sense and he can see the point that I’m trying to make…and that I don’t stop until others understand where I’m coming from!! Wonder how my H feels about that? LOL!!

            • Justsad

              My H is similar to Sam’s H in that he does not believe he had any kind of emotional connection to the OW. In fact he broke his promise of no contact to verify/ prove to himself that he felt nothing for her. Yeah, he is not always the smartest when it comes to following what I need. He openly admits it was selfish of him to do it but said he feels a sense of peace since he didn’t have any feelings one way or the other to his email to her or her response. (Yeah he feels peace, I feel betrayed all over again…brilliant move on his part.) He continues to apologize to me for not seeing that he was taking time from our relationship and putting it towards his “friendship” with her. I have taken to calling it his Ego Affair…since he admits he liked the flattery etc. he got from her ( she initially was quite standoffish to him while their companies were working through a business deal…he decided he wanted to make sure she “liked” him…guess she decided she did). He says they never talked about anything other than work and stupid stuff with what I consider definite flirting mixed in. He contends he did not seek it out to replace me in anyway…in fact he wasn’t thinking about me at all ( yeah ouch, right?). He says he means that in that he had no issues with me, loves me, and just never saw the damage that this relationship with this OW would cause. I say since I knew next to nothing about her that speaks volumes as to somewhere inside he knew it was not a good idea yet let it go because he liked her attention.

              He sees now how it looks and how awful he has made me feel…he has been contrite from day one as well…yet still has screwed up over the past 8 months by thinking he knows best how to solve the problems he has caused in our relationship. So his apologies are for not seeing what he was doing, for breaking my heart, for breaking promises, for letting another woman into our lives, for being stupid and selfish, but yeah not for having an emotional affair. He has said he will not ever let a friendship build with another woman after seeing and living through the damage it has caused to us.

              After more thought on his part, he feels that he took the friendship part of our relationship for granted. (This is huge for him, as in the past I have told him he takes me for granted, that the comfort level of our relationship was so great that he didn’t ever need to worry that good ole me wouldn’t be there keeping home running. He always denied this in the past but now sees that yes he had taken me for granted. He apologizes for that too.). We were in the daily grind of a busy life with two kids and he travels extensively for business and he said he let the friendship grow with the OW and realizes he should have been making sure that the light, fun part of our relationship had been nurtured. We did have somewhat of a disconnect due to the travel schedule he keeps and me being the one who keeps everything running at home.

              He is sorry, I have known him for a long time (almost 24 years…married for 16 years), he wants to make this right but we are now at an impasse because though I hear and see how sorry he is, I am angry that he was dishonest, that he failed to keep his promise to me about no contact (after 7 months of me working so hard to get to a better space…way to sabotage my recovery) and I can’t see how to get the trust back. He knows all this and promises he will do whatever he needs to do and will wait for me forever to forgive him and love him fully again. To which the bitchy me told him not to make promises since his track record for keeping them pretty much sucks. And yet I can’t picture my life without him in it.

              All that was pretty much my longwinded way of saying I can see what Sam’s H is apologizing for even if he doesn’t think he had an emotional affair.

        • chiffchaff

          Thanks, yes, I’ve read that one and my H has read some of it in the past (pre-Dday#2). He won’t read this blog either, basically he’s very arrogant as well as an escapist type. He’d rather read fantasy novels and play video games than work on us most of the time.
          This blog keeps me sane most days.

          • Jackie


            All the things you have written here on this blog, I could have written myself. My H sounds just like yours in his responses. And I, sound just like you in wanting H to work on us, read books together, etc…when all he does is escape through computer games and fantasy books.

            I know even for me, I got tired of how to fix your marriage books when H just didn’t want to work so hard, didn’t want to look at his foreign emotions, basically didn’t want to look at himself.

            H is also not into spiritual books, meditation type books. The way I saw it was that he doesn’t want to reminded about what he had done…wants to forget about it, wants it to go away. It is very hard to look at your faults, especially one that goes against everything you once believed in. What kind of person does it make you? Who are you? Do you like who you have become?

            The obvious answer seems to be, if you don’t like what you have become, work to make yourself a better person. This is what you and I see. But we can’t force our H to do the work. In fact when we do, H digs deeper, gets angry, blames, refuses to even look. It is the contradictory way of thinking.

            I think you need to stop asking him to do the work to fix the marriage. He has to decide on his own that he wants to do this, in his own time.

            I found it best to just let my H be, let him mope if he wants. Give him space. Don’t criticize him much. Don’t baby him. Instead sincerely compliment and appreciate anything he is doing that I like. Just be pleasant to be around. Happy doing things you enjoy.

            It is clear that you (me too) are obsessing about repairing your relationship. This is no healthier to the relationship, than him obsessing about the OW. We all need to stop living in the past and live in the present.

            I know you want to move forward, get out of all this pain. But you can’t force it. It has to happen in his own time frame. Unfortunately for both you and me, H time frame is a lot slower than we would like.

            I don’t recall how long it has been for you since your D-day.

            Instead of marriage and relationship books try this one. It is fascinating read, and may motivate both of you to improve yourself.

            “The Longevity Project” by Howard S. Friedman, PhD. and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D. Surprising discoveries for health and long life form the landmark eight-decade study. Excellent book on health habits of long living people.

            It takes you away from the relationships books, but focus on good health, healthy thinking, and healthy relationships with yourself and others.

            • Sam

              You know Jackie, I was just reading your comment and it really stroke a chord with me. My H is REALLY into spiritual books and has been reading them for a long as I’ve known him. In fact, it was this “spiritual” search that started his friendship with the OW. (She reads all that stuff, and that’s how they started talking!!!)

              I am NOT into meditation, yoga, spirituality or any of those new-agey things. I do, however, believe in being a good person. My heroes are the Dalai Lama and Ghandi. I feel that they truly embody the ideals they preach.

              Perhaps the biggest hurt I have is that my H said he could relate to the OW on a spiritual level, that they could share and express on a level he doesn’t get to with “most”. (I guess that would include me.)

              Eh, anyway, I feel that being a spiritual person is NOT the same thing as reading spirituality books or meditating at 5am. What’s the point of reading about and/or discussing lofty ideals and values if your behaviour doesn’t actually live up to any of them.

            • Sam

              BTW, I should add that the OW is married and has a 3 year old at home. He was born with a disorder and she was always complaining to my H about how she couldn’t accept that she was on this “journey”, how she didn’t know if it really was the plan the universe had for her. She’d also make fun of her husband and how he used to pray every night – and she wanted him to pray silently! (What kind of person makes fun of someone’s prayers??) My H would simply try to comfort her and wish her joy and “light” in her life.

              When I remember the content of their emails, I just want to throw up. What a fraud, the pair of them.

            • Jackie


              It really amazes me how hypocritical CS are. CS just don’t realize how much damage they have done to what was once a beautiful relationship. In their desperate search for happiness, they carelessly destroy something very precious.

              My H was the most honest caring wonderful H, or so I thought. Having an affair was something I know he never thought he was capable of. But once he was possessed of the “love drug” he was acting like a junkie needing his continual fix. He had become someone I just didn’t know any longer. Very scary.

            • Sam

              I have told my H that I don’t know who he is; that I don’t recognize him and he’s not the man I married! Sometimes I actually wonder if I never knew him at all, or if I just imagined him to be a certain way for all these years, and it was all in my head.

              My biggest fear is that I was delusional; that the wonderful relationship I thought I had never actually existed.

              The hardest part is that, aside from this horrible time in our lives with the EA, I thought we were happy. He’s a pretty decent guy. I’d say he’s a nice guy! But now I’m afraid that he’s a phony. I feel like everything he ever said/did was a lie. I know I’m being extreme. I’ve been told by my sister not to blow this out of proportion. It’s just really hard to know what’s real and what isn’t.

            • Justsad

              Sam, these are the exact same things that I am thinking! And I would describe my H as a great guy, personable, fun to be around etc etc. I told him the same thing…that I don’t feel like I even know him anymore. I told him that I thought we were happy and had a fine relationship. He tells me we did and do, that he wasn’t unhappy. I have constant brain chatter going on in my head questioning everything I thought I knew. Because I certainly never thought any of this would happen in my happily ever after marriage.

            • Sam

              Same here. Even though my H has said “Well, we weren’t perfect. No marriage is perfect.” He’s also said we’ve had our ups and downs – and I know this is true.

              However, even at our lowest “down” I NEVER considered finding comfort outside my marriage. It’s just not something I’d do. I always thought that no matter how bad things were (they were never horrible, btw) we’d be ok!

              It’s sooo hard to understand why he’d feel the need to develop a friendship with OW. I feel like I’ve been robbed of something really special. We can never go back to that place – before his EA. We can never have that clean, awesome relationship I thought we had. He says we can have something better, but I’m having a hard time with this. It’s like spilling red ink on a beautiful white silk shirt. Sure, you can wash it and the stain might (mostly) come out, but maybe the shirt will still have a tiny little spot that will never come out, or maybe the shirt will turn out slightly pinkish. It’s just never going to be your perfect white shirt again.

              It makes me angry.

            • Justsad

              Sam, you could be in my head you say the exact things I am thinking! I told H that it will never be the same and he is adamant that it can be better. I feel like the specialness, the exclusiveness, the sparkle if you will that was just ours is gone. I like your analogy of the stained shirt…the fabric of our marriage is forever changed. And I hear ya…I am angry too!

    • beeleave

      I am poppets wife, for what its worth, he has posted a couple of comments about his extreme guilt and sorrow for having caused me so much pain. I am stuck and do not know how to move forward. I have been following this blog for a couple of months now.
      I first found out about my husbands PA September 2011. Three weeks later I found out he had had an 8 month affair with a student 30 years younger -he was 52 at the time ( I am 41). We have been married for nearly 20 years. I have also found out that in our marriage after only 5 years he had a one night stand. We have three children and as far as I knew everything was great. We have been seeing a therapist, but I find I am just not coping, I have very dark days when I feel like I do not want to live any more. I have loved my husband so much but now I am not sure what love means ?
      He says he has never stopped loving me and this is the bit I find so hard to believe, as i know that my love for him meant that there was no room for anyone else. I really do not know what to do, this mess is so big that it is slowly killing me. My H has been so so sorry since D day and has done thousands of things to make me feel more secure, no Facebook, no twitter, no phone, no going out, he says he wants to dedicate the rest of his life to me and make amends for his terrible crimes, I believe that he would do this. Please can anyone give me some advice, how do I move forward?
      I am losing weight rapidly, my hair is falling out and i sleep only a handful of hours a night. Why should anyone put up with this? How can I live with this enormous boulder of infidelity?

      • blueskyabove


        My heart goes out to you. This is a really difficult time. I understand the not wanting to live anymore and I’m fairly sure that most, if not all, of the betrayed spouses here can relate to the pure devastation you are feeling. Thankfully, you arrived here at EAJ. There are a lot of kind, caring people that can relate…especially Doug and Linda who had the compassion to start the blog for others.

        I would like to add that it is a real plus in you and your H’s favor that he, too, is here. Most of the BSs participating on this site would love for their spouses to have taken the initiative in the healing process…so it is a good thing that he has done. I admit that although I recognize his name I am not that familiar with what he has written. Unfortunately, there are just too many hurting souls on here to remember them
        all. Maybe you and he can help us change that. It is still with great reluctance that I welcome you to this world. I wish we had met under different circumstances. Take care.

      • Sam


        Hang in there, sweetie. You’re not alone in this. Many of us on this board know EXACTLY how you feel. Truly.

        I’m having the same problems: lack of sleep, weight loss. I’m extremely nervous/anxious, and I have developed high blood pressure since this whole mess started.

        What really helps me is thinking about my kids and how much i LOVE them. Nothing, and no one – affair or not – can take that away from me. When I hug them and see their pretty smiles, I feel peace.

        I know you feel like life is not worth living. I’ve had days (more than I’d like to admit) like that as well. But remember that you did nothing wrong and you deserve better. You deserve to be happy. This site is helping me a LOT in dealing with the horrible pain in my heart, and I believe it will help you, too. If you need to talk, remember that we’re all here to listen.

      • Jackie


        It is very hard to comprehend why what you thought was a wonderful spouse, could suddenly go off and have a long term affair. The lies, deception, trust…make it very hard to recognize the person you once believed in, with all your heart and soul. Both you and your H are confused as to what is love, how he could have done such a thing, especially if he says he loves you. It goes against everything that love represents. So of course there is confusion in with both spouses. (My H just concluded maybe he just didn’t love me, then blamed me, our marriage, and the kids to justify his cheating actions. He basically rewrote our history, like so many other CS here have done.)

        You are still in a state of shock from this nightmare that is unfortunately real.

        What helped me a lot was getting a therapist of my own, so I could try to get a grasp of my emotions better. Keeping involved with the kids and their activities as needed. Exercising like walking, getting outdoors into nature, yoga, swimming, whatever you like to get the adrenaline up…seemed to help enormously with moods. You may need a little medication temporarily to help you if things get really difficult for you, and you become stuck in depression.

        Writing in a journal also helped me a lot. It allowed me to express myself freely, and not have all the thoughts going round and round in my head. Once I got it on paper, I didn’t need to keep thinking about it again and again. I also read and read and read all kinds of book to help me understand, and also self help books to help me find direction and purpose again in life.

        Do the things you love just for you, such as hobbies, old passions that you haven’t had time to do. Both you and your H have lost your sense of purpose and need to find it once again.

        Appreciate and look at the good things that are in your life. Your kids, that your H wants to help you get better, that the PA has ended, your H is remorseful. You are in a much better position with both you and your spouse working it through. So many of us here wish our CS would be willing to help us heal, would open up, rather than blame, deny, or pretend nothing has happened. Try not to focus on the bad things.

        Life will get better. Through this pain, you will, grow and change, for the better. Good luck! We all care, and wish you a speedy recovery, and safe journey.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Since I’ve been on the crappy journey…yea, not a nice word, but I believe in calling it what it is…crappy…..anyway, I am ALWAYS impressed when a CS posts on this blog!
        My word…I’d give ANYTHING for my H to just sit down and READ this blog without me reminding him it’s here!! So I say to you…celebrate the fact that Poppet IS here…obviously VERY sorry for what he has done!!
        That IS half the fight…getting your CS to admit they are wrong and then to take the steps to help you heal!!
        It took MY H 11 months, 1 week and 2 days to FINALLY get his act together and realize I can’t get better without his help!!
        And the sad thing about that is, I don’t have to just forgive him for having the EA….I now have to deal with the anger and pain of his sitting around, watching me cry and grieve the loss of what I thought my marriage was, while he did NOTHING!! The pain of THAT is almost worse than the pain of the EA!!! I have suggested to my H that he post on here…and the answer was a big fat NO!!!!
        So celebrate that your H is HERE….and go on from there!

        • Jackie


          Totally agree with you. After 3 years, my H is still trying to get his act together! He is having so much trouble healing himself, that he has a lot of difficulty helping me to heal. His constant remark is if I am hurting too much, he can leave. I DON’T WANT HIM TO LEAVE. I WANT HIM TO WORK THIS OUT TOGETHER WITH ME!!!! But he doesn’t know how…so his solution is to again just run away.

    • Lynne


      I am so sorry you are here, but glad that you joined us. This is quite a journey, to say the least. I think coming here is a good thing to do–for both of you!

      While I’m sure you have intense feelings right now for your husband (both good and bad ones), the fact that he is here reading and contributing is ENORMOUS! And particularly given how fresh this is. I would give the world for my H to show that level of commitment to his growth and mine.

      Yes, this is a life altering event, but doesn’t define your life, nor who you are. Have you and Poppet been to counseling together yet? This is crucial toward your healing. Use us to help better understand what happened, as well as a safe forum for getting your painful feelings out.

      Also, the fact that your H is being completely transparent is HUGE. As you know from reading here, many CS’s are still guarded with their emotions and sticking their heads in the sand. If there is any thing you can possibly look to as a positive right now, his openess and regret are very positive signs.

      This will take time–be strong for you and your children–and know that you have our absolute caring and support.

    • ifeelsodumb

      You’re “LOST” without your AP?? You seriously feel that way? Really?? You have your wife there….hurting very badly, I assume?? How do you think SHE is feeling?? Why don’t you focus on HER and what SHE is feeling…instead of yourself?? I’ve said it on here numerous times…the reason an affair happens in the first place is because the CS is being VERY selfish…and not to be harsh…but it seems like you are STILL being selfish!!
      I’m a BS and I have to be honest…hearing you go on about your AP like that…makes me mad! Because I KNOW how your wife is feeling right now because I’m walking down the very same path!!
      You need to stop OBSESSING over how YOU are feeling and concentrate on the PAIN that your wife is in! I think if you do THAT…you’ll see your AP in a new light…you’ll see her as the person who cared NOTHING for your wife, and was just as selfish as YOU..and I’ll bet that your AP isn’t crying over what she did to your wife either, and has NO concern over the YEARS of pain that your poor wife is going to endure as she deals with your betrayal!

      • ifeelsodumb

        I should have added…I think it’s GREAT that you are here…reaching out for help…it takes a lot to do that, especially as a CS, so I don’t want you to feel that you aren’t wanted here, because I know this blog can help you…but you have to realize that the pain for a BS is soooo hard to recover from…and what you are feeling for your AP is NOTHING compared to what a BS spouse feels!

    • beeleave

      I really appreciate all the comments and kind words, today has been slightly better and I am feeling less angry. I know I am lucky to have a husband who is totally sorry, he has even left his job and is now working from home so that he can support me at every hour of the day. Last night he even slept at the bottom of the stairs for a few hours to make sure I did not leave the house in the middle of the night, we seem to do lots of our talking at night, this is probably why I am so exhausted.
      BUT I still find it so hard to think that such a kind loving and special person can have done so much wrong. He says he was in a fog and was deluded and just needed flattery and the fact that somebody 30 years younger fell for him was addictive.
      We have been to a therapist together, she was brilliant and really helped, she knew how it felt as her husband had an affair 15 years ago, they are still together and she gave me hope because she says they now have an amazing relationship. We have had to stop going to the therapist as we ran out of money, we are only just managing to pay our bills, we decided a financial stress was one stress too many on top of all the other mess.
      Its a really strange time, on the one hand I am totally devastated and on the other hand I look at my husband and know I love him so much. I realise it is early days and I have months ahead of me where my emotions will be all over the place, but I now feel better for sharing my story.

    • Paula

      beeleave, well done, you guys. I am in the same boat, lovely, lovely man did an awful, awful thing, see, “they” were right all along, good people do do bad things, lol!

      We’re further down the track than you guys, but I have been you. It is still hard, I’m still exhausted by all of the constant work, but we’re still here! We have done therapy, then stopped, then again. We are in the process of a new type of therapy now. I hope this is not a pattern we have to go through forever, we can’t afford it either! You know full well the cyclical nature of this. You feel better, then you fall back in the holes, it’s unbelievably frustrating, because when you are “good – ish!” you can’t imagine why you would “let” yourself feel down again. Our current practitioner is a proponent of the Crucible Approach, more commonly known as Passionate Marriage. It is interesting, we are making some discoveries – about things we thought we had a good handle on. At our first appointment, the therapist said to my OH that he could see that he is a very emotionally intelligent man. I KNOW! That’s why I chose him! But guess what, he STILL had an affair, what’s up with that, LOL!! Amazing what normally intelligent, successful, wonderful people are capable of when they are under pressure, or feeling lost and alone.

      Keep posting beeleave, it is a painful journey, but I believe you and Poppet will come out of this better people, with more knowledge, more compassion, etc. It is terribly hard, and terribly sad, you’re doing really well! Good for you guys, keep talking to each other.

    • Poppet

      Paula and others, thanks for your kind, understanding words, beeleave and I have taken real encouragement from your comments. I was worried that we would get mostly critical replies in the vein of; ‘Leave the cheating bastard’, but those of you who have written are intelligent and have an understanding that the whole affair thing is not a simple act needing a simple solution. I am still staggered by my own actions and have done much soul searching.
      I have always placed high importance on being considerate -but I behaved in a totally inconsiderate way.
      I have always though of myself as quite aware -but did some things without any awareness.
      I have always seen myself as one of the good guys -but have been firmly planted in the bad guy camp now.
      There are so many contradictions to my personal view of myself in this situation. It is hard to face.

      • Sidney

        I hope you continue to read and post on this site. As a former cheater myself, I find a sense of healing from the posts. It’s a form of therapy for me and I hope you continue to post here on your journey of healing your marriage.

      • Healing Mark

        Poppet, don’t beat yourself up! Everyone makes mistakes. Those who learn from them and avoid them in the future are the ones who understand what is important once they have recoginized, or been made aware of, the particular mistake. You are not in a “bad guy camp now” but are instead one of the many persons whose particular mistake is to cross boundaries that should not have been crossed given the relationship that they are in. Again, keep the past in perspective, and reflect on it to the extent that it is beneficial to you becoming a better person going forward.

        You know that you can’t change the past, and that the decisions that you made have caused damage to your existing relationship. So try to understand where you were in your life and in your relationship at the time you decided to invest more of yourself than perhaps you should have in a person other than your spouse. The key, in my opinion, is to move forward as the best person you can be. And, hopefully, this means also as the best partner you can be to your spouse. Success, in my opinion, is not whether your marriage survives and improves after the discovery of an affair, but instead when the result of the affair is the creation of lives for the CS and BS that are better than they were before the discovery of the affair. For some (hello, Anita!), the result is the ending of a marriage but hopefully for the affected parties, or perhaps just the BS (damn you CS’s; just kidding, sort of), a better life going forward. For others, in an insane way, the result is a better relationship going forward, as issues preventing a better relationship are dealt with in a positive manner that perhaps would not have been dealt with but for the discovery of the affair. For those hurting BS’s out there, don’t rush it, but understand that what you want is the foundation for the potentially happiest life going forward, and that may or may not include the CS. If the CS is not doing anything, or much, towards helping you recover, perhaps a continuing relationship is not meant to be, which could have been the case even w/o an affair. And if the CS is doing a lot to assist with recovery, but you just can’t get past the affair, then perhaps the relationship is not meant to be, which again could have been the case even w/o the affair.

        This is just me, but at a point after struggling with feelings that most BS’s have struggled with, I simply said “f_ _ _ it” and decided to stop focusing on the past and looked at my wife and asked myself “Is this the woman that I want to live with and continue to give my love to?”. The fact that I had trust issues at that stage made answering this question a bit tricky. And had my answer been “no” I would have started in motion all that needed to take place to end our 20+ year relationship. My answer, instead, was “yes” notwithstanding the damage caused by the EA so, to hell with the EA, this is who I want to be with, and who I will be with, at least until the answer to the question above becomes a “no” (although it will take a lot for the answer to change which, I suppose, is why our vows included “for better and for worse”!).

        Goodnight all.

    • Lynne


      None of us want to be here—but like it or not we are! Without this EAJ community, I don’t know where I might be. I am very appreciative of everything I can learn from both sides, from CS’s and BS’s. I am always happy when a CS joins us here, as it improves my insight and shows yet another CS that really wants to learn, grow and contribute. I applaude you for your above comments and for having the willingness to put yourself on the line to help the rest of us

      I am a bit wistful, as I which my OH would be this open to baring himself, and that he were more committed to self growth. Instead, I have the “you know me, I’m trustworthy, honest and loyal” kind of man……that’s mostly true of him, except for the part where he had a secretive female friendship of 5 years–UGH!

      Again, thank you.

    • Chris

      Today my wife (BS) and I (CS) had our first therapy session. Wow! I knew and still know that we have a lot of work to do, especially myself. But it was so refreshing taking this step TOGETHER and beginning this process TOGETHER. Our therapist said that 90% of couples that get into therapy are already too late because too much water has already gone under the bridge. But she said she doesn’t see that with us. She sees a lot of love and two people who want to stay married to each other. I think that gave us both a lot of hope. We both know it’s going to be a daily struggle and going to be a very painful journey. I realized after that first session today that we will make it no matter what because we both want to make it. Along with the sessions we’ll be attending, I’ve started reading a couple of books. One on how to be better at opening up and one on self discovery. Along with these tools and this website I am doing a lot of work that needs to be done. Unfortunately it should have been done a long time ago and it took me doing something so terrible to realize it. I will forever be sorry for what I’ve done and I am going to do everything possible to bring us both to a better place…

      • Doug

        Chris, Glad to hear that your first session went well and that you both seem committed to save your marriage. If you don’t mind, let us know what books you are reading and we can consider adding them to our library on the site.

      • Healing Mark

        My counselor also told my wife and me after our first session that she saw a couple that was very much in love and just needed some assistance with communication and other relationship areas that we had let decline to the detriment of our ability to be as happy together as we had once been. It was very important to her that we both be fully committed to re-establishing what had previously been a better partnership and remaining married. She also felt that what we had described to her as our problems with each other and our marriage was nothing insurmountable and much less bothersome to her than what she oftentimes experienced after an initial session with other couples.

        Our counselor had a similar comment about counseling success in instances where “too much water has already gone under the bridge”. Her take was that when this was the case, the “success rate” was quite low, but she also attributed this to the fact that, as a result of too much harm having already been caused to the relationship, one or both of the partners was either unwilling or unable to fully commit to remaining married. She also advised us that in her professional opinion, one or both of us needed to “earn our right to end our marriage” which my wife and I took to meaning that we would only end our marriage once we felt that we had done everthing that we could reasonably do to make our marriage work and after careful consideration came to the conclusion that it would be best for one or both of us to no longer be married to the other.

        Can’t believe I’m happier married now than I was before my wife’s EA. But as happy as this makes me today, I sure as hell wish that I never had to experience all that I have had to experience as a result of my wife developing an EA and me later discovering its existence following numerous protestations to the contrary by my wife (if I hear “But we’re just good friends” one more time I think that I will scream!)!

        • Let us go and make our visit.


          How long did it take for your wife to give you the real deep apology for the EA? And how long later do you think it took her to release her feelings for the OM? When was she able to say she was “in love” with you again?

          My wife says she’s “here” and has terminated contact with the OM, but won’t talk about our future much and makes statements about not believing in marriage vows anymore. I think the issue is that she’s not “in love” with me anymore and she harbors deep feelings for the OM.

          We are in marriage counseling, individual therapy and doing a workshop this weekend. We once had a strong, passionate relationship that was noted for being so good by friends and family. She still says she “loves me more than anyone” but often says she’s not attracted to me.

          Trying to stay calm and move ahead.

          • Healing Mark

            Let us go and make our visit. Good questions.

            1. “Real, deep apology”? The first one was pretty “deep”, but the first one that came after she finally acknowledged that not only had her relationship been such that it caused me pain, but also that it was such that it clearly should be categorized as an “emotional affair”, came approximately 5 and 1/2 months after D-day.

            2. Release of feelings. Tricky, as I know that she still has fond feelings for our “friend” even today. I think the infatuation became apparent and faded quite a bit when my wife and her AP decided to shift their friendship from an EA to something less “emotional” (?). This coincided with my wife and I seeking counseling for the first time. However, on D-day, she was still begging for a “closure” meeting with the AP, which he wouldn’t do for some reason, and email correspondence related to her begging and her hurt as a result of his less than nice behavior is what led to discovery and admission. So I would say she still had some fairly strong feelings at that time. But the time I got the “deep” apology, I feel fairly certain (we haven’t talked about this specifically, as I don’t want to talk about her feelings toward the AP – their not ignored, just no need to talk about them) that her feelings had diminished such that they were no longer anything remotely close to the “fog” feelings.

            3. She never got to a point that she said or felt (so she says) that she didn’t love me. I’ve gotten a couple of “I love you but don’t “love” you” comments, but she has thereafter backed off of these but I know that she has struggled to get her arms around exactly what our “love” is since the EA developed, ended, was discovered and we struggled to heal our hurt and marital damage. Good news is that we are happy and whatever her love is for me it makes both of us happy and firmly committed to remaining married.

            I understand that developing loving feelings toward another person is going to impact your feelings towards your spouse. My wife questioned if her love for me was enough to stay married to me, or whether b/c she developed such feelings meant that I was not the right person to be married to. Counseling helped her see things certain ways in this regard, and fortunately she desires to love me and be loved by me in order to be as happy of a person as she can be.

            Thanks for asking and good luck.

    • Chris

      Thanks, Doug! The self discovery book is called “The Buoy” by Gudbjörg Thóroddsen and the one on opening up is called “Opening Up – The healing power of expressing emotions” by James W. Pennebaker. Both very very good so far!

      • Doug

        Thanks Chris!

    • Disappointed

      My H continues to blame me for everything. I have decided that I will give this until the end of the year and then I will have to walk away. I will lose everything I hold dear. We have a small nonprofit and I cannot just be business partners with him I still love him. He’s had no contact with her for 4 months after a month of texting. Cried to me how he missed her and only she has same idea of what a great relationship is. We are separated and he is starting to shut down again. Having a bad day and hope wearing thin.

      • Jackie

        I remember when it was early after the EA D-day. When H was pursuing the AP, I felt he couldn’t care less if I were dead or alive. In fact, if I were dead, it would make it easier for him. H even told me he had found love and that I should go out and find another love too. He abandoned me and our kids. We all felt he was there physically, but definitely in another world mentally. The rationalizations were intense and sometimes so irrational that I thought he had become mentally ill.

        “She” understood him perfectly, she thought he was great. I didn’t do this, or something that happened 10 years ago really upset him.

        When she ended it after a month. H went into a deep depression, and continued to blame me for all the problems in our marriage, and why I drove him into an affair.

        I later discover, she was married and how he admired her when she said to him, “She won’t tell her husband about all this because she didn’t want to hurt him.” I thought to myself, “So what does this admiration say about my H character? Is he completely irrational, that he just can’t see anything he does or say?”

        Your H is likely going through withdrawals right now. He misses her and the high feeling being in the affair gave him. He is confused as to which is really love. He is irrational at times, and makes no sense. He loves you, but he is obsessed with the AP, infatuation, that “in love” drug like high, that is like being on cocaine.

        My H lived here all that time, and he was hell to live with. The tension was so high. The teen aged kid were definitely confused as to why Dad was acting so weird, saying harsh things to their mom, and them, when normally Dad was such a wonderful, righteous, caring, understanding person. Then he became selfish, controlling, indifferent, acting like a teenager. I would joke that I had 3 teenagers, and H was the worst.

        I tell you all this because that first 6 months were horrible! Things started to get better when I stopped taking what he said personally. I had to, and still do after 3 years, be very careful about not shaming and blaming H for what he had done, otherwise he would get defensive and attack, and I would get defensive. Then all conversations would shut down.

        The blame towards you, has to do with the shame and blame H feels from all that he has done. The battle with distancing and shutting down would go off and on for the full 3 years. But as time has progressed, slowly it feels better and better. More and more connection, and less shutting down.

        Speed of healing has to do with so much on the CS part. CS needs to really end the relationship, no contact, look deeper into themselves, and work with you on your relationship. All these things need to be done in a certain order for them to be done right. When done wrong, they prolong the pain, limbo and make you go in circles muddling your way through the affair maze. For example, interacting with the AP, starts the cycle all over, back to square one.

        By the way, since you have been married for 20 years(same here), could your H be going through a midlife crisis? Mine definitely had been. He has almost all of the classic symptoms of one, including the affair.

        • Disappointed

          @Jackie – You always bring me comfort – thank you! I think it was a midlife crisis more than about her. In real life they never would have worked. He never wanted kids and she haas two. She felt neglected by her hsuband who is a workaholic and she a stay at home Mom. I think she told her H out of anger. I think they both beloved they were in love and since my H wont tell me anything I dont know what they thought would happen. Maybe for them it was perfect as it was. Only one month. Once I caught them she called the whole thing off. He has periodically shown some introspection, but the past week said he was tired of “our dance”. I am still waiting for the chance to do what I need to do to heal. I feel like we are accomplishing nothing. Small signs of him trying to take care of me for a change, but not much more. Not very many deep talks in recent weeks. Feel in limbo. I want him to actively choose me, do not want to be settled for… No idea what will happen. One minute think its over, next a glimmer of hope.

          • Jackie


            For me, it went back and forth for a couple of years. Sometimes it felt hopeless, then I’d get glimmers of hope, but mostly it was lots of limbo, confusion, and indecisiveness. H just couldn’t commit to the relationship, because, he kept feeling there must be something better out there…that we were missing something. Uh, yeah, H wasn’t participating in our relationship.

            H is not capable of caring much for you right now. If he has truly cut off all ties with the AP, he will be going through painful withdrawals. You need to take care of you. Give him the space and time he needs. I found my impatience made things worst, and slowed down his introspection. He would just turn his anger and blame on me instead, and focused on how bad we were together. Just go on like everything is fine and great with you.

            Things did get incrementally better after the first 6 months. And I do mean “incrementally”. It was like 1 to 2% better each month! And now after 3 years, I’d say it was about 50% better. A friend once told me, “You want the changes to be slow. If he changed overnight, you’d wonder if he really made any changes at all.”

            These are things that in retrospect were really helpful for me. Be the best person you can possibly be. Set an example of being a person with high integrity and standards. Don’t allow yourself to take any abuse. Don’t accept any blame that is unreasonable. Remember H is rationalizing his behaviors, he isn’t necessarily speaking the truth. H is speaking “his” truth as he creates them in his mind. Which by the way, he really believes to be the absolute truth. Also do everything not to argue or fight. It creates an environment that H doesn’t want to come back to.

            You will never go wrong with with being the best person you can be. Over time as he comes out of his withdrawal, and fog, H truths should begin to change…then you will feel more hope once again.

    • Jane

      I am the CS. The EA lasted for six weeks, 8000 texts and two dates. When my DH found out, I cut off all communication with the OM. I think I was lucky that the emotional attachment was severed so easily and I am very thankful for that as my DH is who I really want to be with…even though my deplorable decision to engage in such activity in the first place would indicate otherwise. Anyway, as the CS, seeing the extreme amount of pain the EA has caused my DH {how did I NOT expect that?! STUPID!!}, I want nothing more than to show him how wrong I was, to take away the mountains of hurt I created, to be the wife I should have been being all along. Is that even possible? I mean, is it possible for me to be anything but disgusting and despicable to him? I mean, I know it is “possible” but I guess what I’m saying is I have no idea how to do that.

      • Greg

        Jane , read through many of the topics on this site and you will see a pattern emerge on what almost all BS need to recover from this. Mainly it is complete honesty and transparency, you will need to tell him everything a not try to hide anything as it will come out later no matter how hard you try to hide it. He is going to want full access to you phone, email accounts, all of them, Facebook and any other site passwords, and you are going to need to check in with him on where you are going and when and how long it will be. He is going to be hurt, angry, and untrustful of you for awhile, how long I don’t know but expect somewhere on the order of four to six months at least. Both of you will need to talk about what led up to the EA and why. If you cannot figure it out go to seperate or joint counseling to get help with it. Be prepared for a lot of work and for it to be emotionally draining. You have one advantage in that it seems men are able to forgive an EA much easier than women are, a physical affair is the opposite so if it got that far you will need to let him know as when it comes out all the work prior to that will be destroyed. He is also most likely going to assume that it was physical even if you say it wasn’t and the transparency is the only was you’ll be able to convince him otherwise. Just remember it’s going to hurt but you have to look at the long term goal of wanting him back. Good luck.

      • Ifeelsodumb

        How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald…it’s on Amazon, around 10.00 only about 98 pages and the best book out there that tells you EXACTLY how to help your DH!! Buy, read it, and DO IT! Oh, and re-read it until it sinks in! And tell your H EVERYTHING about the affair, DO NOT try to hide anything! He WILL find out, and you will be dealing with even MORE lack of trust…believe me, I went through this myself…and it sets you back so much!!
        I’m the BS..about 15 mos out from DDay, and this is the most painful thing ever! The EA will be the number one thought in your H’s head when he wakes up in the morning and when he goes to bed at night!
        Read through this site, it will help you out a lot!

        • Jane

          Buying the book right now! Thank you both for the tips–they are JUST what I needed.

          For the record, there was NOTHING physical {not even a slightest brush of the arm}, he knows {and is checking} my emails. I’ve canceled my FB account and am prepared that this will take some time. I hope he won’t give up on me just yet.

    • IMB

      Hi, this is my first post. Is there a blog about working with the AP? I am a cheater. It is very difficult.

      • Doug

        IMB, when you way working with the AP, do you mean working for the same employer?

    • IMB

      Yes, in the same office, albeit on different floors but I see her perhaps once a day.

      • Doug

        Hmmm…I do not believe there is specific post related to working with the other person. Do you have any specific questions that I (or others) might be able to help you with?

    • IMB

      Thanks Doug,

      I am interested in the experience of others who had a work affair and to establish if seeing and having some interactions with the AP make reconciliation with the CS spouse difficult or worse. It is very challenging and seeing her does create triggers for me.

      • Doug

        First of all, you are still in the “fog” and need to get yourself out of it. Your relationship with the OW apparently meant more to you than it did to her since she has moved on with another person. Perhaps you can use that as a motivating catalyst to snap out of it.

        Total no contact will help you to accomplish this as well, as will attempting to reconnect with your wife along with some therapy.

        I realize that no contact at work can be difficult but any interaction with the OW prevents the healing of the primary relationship and keeps your mind on the OW.

        What are the chances that you can find another job, or at least be transferred to a different department or something like that? Linda mentored a person whose husband was in the same situation so her husband told his boss about the situation and the boss helped make it so that their paths never crossed at work. Is something like that possible?

        Regardless, outside of that happening, you need to make a conscious decision that your marriage means more to you than the memories of the OW and the affair did. If it does, then you will be able to put forth the necessary efforts to get yourself out of the fog and eliminate the chances for contact with the OW.

        You may also want to read the post on limerence:

      • Healing Mark

        IMB. Does your wife know about your feelings for the OW? Was it a PA or just an EA? Do you have the ability to get counseling?

        Trust you found the post on limerence of interest. Amazing what our heart and brain can do to us and allow us to do to ourselves.

      • Notoverit

        IMB, my H worked with the OW; she was a nurse and he is a doctor. Almost impossible for him not to interact with her about patients ( she was not our employee – worked at the hospital for the hospital). HOWEVER, I told him that he was not to talk to her other than in a professional manner, i.e. regarding a patient and that he was NEVER to be alone with her or be seen talking to her without others around. That was about as much as I could do. It pissed me off that she was still around, chasing him and annoying me. I think you can work around the OP but with DEFINITE parameters about what the CS can and can’t do. It helped me to feel more comfortable to have rules while having the OW so close to my H. It was still difficult as long as she was there. Just know, that it is very hard to accept any contact but where work is concerned there has to be some concessions. Just be sure that it is above-board and nothing personal if there is contact. My H would hold up his hand and walk away when she tried to approach him in a personal manner. He didn’t talk or acknowledge her. Eventually she lost it and got herself fired.

    • Healing Mark

      IMB. I think you already know that having some interaction with your AP will make reconcilliation with your spouse more difficult, if not impossible. I feel certain that I have read before where in many instances the CS has had to get another job to facilitate zero contacts with the AP and allow the personal healing of the BS to effectively begin and to also allow the process of rebuilding the marriage to effectively begin. I believe that I have also read where a CS felt it necessary to change jobs for a reason you have identified above, that is, to avoid other co-workers from finding out that there was an affair in place that has now ended. Yes, people are usually not so stupid as to not see where two people who used to act the way they did while the affair was ongoing are now acting quite differently toward each other and correctly conclude that this change is not one that you would expect if the affair participants had really been “just good friends”.

      I feel for you dude! Yours is a cautionary tale for persons who may be tempted to have an affair with someone they work with. Get to work updating your resume.

    • Greg

      IMB, it is possible to do but only when you have no feelings left for the AP. My wife still works with her AP, they are in different departments and different floors so not having contact is easy enough to do. It was hurtful for me that they still worked together for quite a while and I still don’t like it but she has been forthcoming in telling me about his attempts at contact after the affair became public knowledge at work and to myself. Since she was then out of her ‘fog’ stage and had to look at him for who he really is she was able disassociate herself from him and each time he would try to contact her she would either ignore him or repeat to him that she wanted to work on her marriage and he was not helping by trying to contact her. Eventually he got a clue and has stopped trying. You need to go complete no contact with your AP and get yourself in counseling to see why you did this and then get marriage counseling to try and repair your relationship with your wife. Just realise that with marriage counseling the affair will more than likely come out and you will need to deal with your wife’s reactions to it.

    • IMB

      Healing Mark, it was both EA and PA. It was very intense. I have never experienced anything like the withdrawals I had initially. Thank god for this site. It was brutal. It is easier now but still very challenging.I am attending IC and MC.

    • IMB

      Doug, Greg and Healing Mark – thank you.

      My remorse has yet to appear. This is worrying my BS because she further doubts my commitment to the marriage.

      I am causing her ongoing pain because I have had my eyes opened to the passion of an A. and I can’t seem to fully let it go.

      Passion, as I have experienced, is a double edged sword. I think I may be a passion addict.

      The pain of rejection is the downside and the euphoria of the A. was the high. OP and I agreed ending the A. was the right thing to do.

      Why can’t I be happy or at least content with my marriage even if it does lack passion.

      Is the danger of passion what drives me?

      I am doing IC and am trying to work on it. My parents marriage lacked passion. Also my father had an A. and stayed for the children. He stayed 20 years too long. I seem to equate love with passion. Passion has caused me untold hurt in the past.

      I still crave it despite the hurt the A. caused BS and me.

      OP NC is impossible as we work in the same organisation, albeit on different floors.

      I worry that the rejection I feel cannot be processed as she initiates non business conversations every so often and in an open plan office so it is difficult for me just to ignore her. She touches my arm when we talk.

      Logically I should let everything go but I can’t. Why am I still holding on when it prolongs the emotional hurt for me and for BS.

      I feel that I cannot give BS 100% commitment right now. To say otherwise would be dishonest.

      I feel emasculated by OP. Head says let her go fully. Heart won’t let me.

      My instinct let me and my BS down once already.

      Why can’t I be happy with with I have? BS is there for me.Why am I jeopardising everything?

      • Jackie

        The affair is like an addiction. It gives you something similar to a cocaine high. That is why you need to stay away from your AP. Since you work with this person, keep everything business like. No personal talks, do not let yourself spend any time alone with the AP.

        Once you get hooked on the affair drug, it is very hard to let go, because it makes you feel so good.

        You ask all the right questions. Reading books and going to counseling would greatly speed up your understanding and journey through the mess an affair causes in the lives of those you love, or once claimed to love.

        My H refused to do these things even though he admitted the affair was a fantasy, and the OW wanted no part of the fantasy. H became more depressed and seemed to feed off the affair drug to keep himself feeling good, at the expense of his wife and family.

        Now three years later, he is better and we are better, but he still admits that he is obsessed about the OW. Because of the EA, H has missed out so much because he was in his fantasy world. His teenage kids have lost a wonderful father, because his mind was always elsewhere, as he blamed everyone including the kids for why he had the affair. This once highly respected father and husband, is slowly coming back, but the cost was greater than he understands. In those 3 years, H was irrational, hypocritical, and irresponsible…this has caused much distance with everyone in the family, which will take years if ever can again be restored.

        Please do yourself and all those who love you a favor, stop thinking only of yourself, like a drug addict…..stop all contact with this OW. If you have to, change jobs. If you can’t, use your self respect and will power to keep any contact completely business like. Learn from other peoples mistakes here, and don’t prolong the agony by continuing the affair.

      • Ifeelsodumb

        A long story but I’ll make it short as short as I can…My older sister “Lisa” met a guy online 7 years ago…they started a friendship, which then turned into an EA…it lasted 6 years, until my bro in law had enough…he told my sister he wanted her to move out, this after trying to win her heart back….but my sister’s “friend” was more important to her….she even admitted to me later that she was sooooo ‘in love” with her AP that when she and her H went out to dinner, she would be texting the AP under the table!!
        Anyway, her H ended up forcing a separation…with divorce as soon as possible!
        My sister’s AP then told her he was “in love” with her…gallant hero that he is, (GAG) he wouldn’t tell her that while she was still “married” to my BIL…because it wasn’t right!! Hellooo??? What part of a 6 year EA was right???
        Anyway, my sister then flies over 1500 miles to finally meet her AP…the relationship turns into a PA that weekend…my sister flies back home, quits the GREAT job she has had for over 10 yrs…packs up and heads out to the love of her life!!
        Only problem is…the AP is married with FOUR kids!!! BUT, his wife doesn’t understand him, he’s been miserable for YEARS…and he really, REALLY feels that they are MEANT to be together!! ((again GAG!!!))
        So my sister in living in bliss, sharing the AP with his wife…yes, he didn’t give up his family for my sister, and after about 5 weeks my sister realizes she’s made a horrible mistake..she calls me crying, I convince her to pack up and leave, we will help her out financially, but she HAS to leave him….My sister leaves the AP, begins the drive home, he calls her and BEGS her to come back, they are meant to be together, it will be different, etc…my sister, who really is a VERY intelligent lady, goes back…and this continues for another 11 mos, back and forth several times…before my sister FINALLY realizes that this guy is NO good, he is selfish and cares ONLY for himself!!
        My sister is now divorced from my BIL, and she now realizes that she really did love him, but he remarried within months of their divorce,,,,she lost the house that she had lived in for 30 yrs…she is in debt for thousands of dollars, (the AP hardly ever worked so my sister paid for all the expenses, signed a lease for an apartment in his state, then left and got stuck with THAT lease, then signed a lease in HER state, and changed her mind a few months later and went back to the SB(scumbag) leaving THAT apt. and that lease as well, she maxed out her credit cards… bought him a cell phone on her plan…and got stuck with that. bill….her credit is now ruined…she can’t rent a decent Apt. because she has the two leases against her…
        Oh and BTW, the apartments she left? They are suing her for payment…she is at a temp agency because no one will hire her because she started and quit several jobs because of this jerk,…her reputation is ruined….several family members, including our mother, want nothing to do with her… her grown children have distanced themselves from her…she is heart sick over what she has done, the guilt is immense and she cannot believe that she did all of this to her children and grandchildren and our elderly mother!!
        Oh, and the AP, last I heard, he was still living at home, blaming his wife for his unhappiness, calling my sister, asking for another chance!! Thank goodness she is FINALLY out of the fog!!
        IMB…run, DO NOT walk, RUN away from you AP NOW!! Nothing good comes out of this…nothing! Your wife loves you and you have treated her with the utmost disrespect!! If she hasn’t left you at this point….you should go home, fall on your knees and worship the ground she walks on and thank her for her love and grace towards you!
        And yes, I guess that comes across a bit harsh…but I am myself recovering from betrayal…and it’s awful…just plain awful and you say yours was a EA/PA. AND you still work with this piece of %$##??…God help your wife!!!

    • IMB

      Thanks Jackie,

      I know you are right. I have to stop thinking of myself. It must be very hard for you seeing me giving out about my difficulties. It was my fault and it is my mess. It is a fantasy and it is an addiction. The emotional self and the rational self are at odds with one another and I need to assert the rational side.

      • Jackie

        Actually I’m at the stage where other people’s actions don’t bother me much. I’m just tired of all this nonsense and wish H can get his head together and stop wasting his life and time on all these methods to escape from his pain.

        I love my H dearly, and just want us to have the best life we can together. I try hard to accept him as he is, but in times like these my patience is wearing thin. Three years is a lot of time to waste on an affair, when you could instead be having the most wonderful marriage with the person you originally fell in love with years ago.

    • Healing Mark

      Jackie. Enjoy your comments, expecially the one above. Just curious. How were your children somehow responsible for your H’s affair? It’s usually a bit crazy to blame the BS for the CS having an affair (BS may be responsible in part for acting or not acting in ways that leave the CS feeling in ways that arguably make them vulnerable to the advances of another person, but only the CS can be responsible for accepting such advances and otherwise taking part in either an EA or PA). But to blame the children? Wow!

      Take care.

    • Jackie

      Healing Mark,
      My H was really going through a major mid life crisis. He has at least 90% of the symptoms. The kids were teenagers at the time and were either too busy, or starting to withdraw. They didn’t want to do things with Dad, each had a mind of their own. I think H started to feel unneeded, old, and unwanted. Of course it was all created in his head. We all love H to bits, and thought we had a great family.

      So all these feelings led H to fall for someone when he was vulnerable, depressed, and overworked. H didn’t seem to understand that this was just a normal stage in our lives where the kids were learning to explore, and we were all changing and adjusting to the new personalities. I kept saying I had a house hold of teenagers, and my H was the worst.

      H was attacking everyone, but mostly me, the BS. But now the kids just don’t trust their dad as they used to. H became too unpredictable, disrespectful, judgmental, and angry, so the trust was broken for the kids also, even though they knew nothing about H’s EA.

      • Healing Mark

        Jackie. So sorry this has happened to you and your family. Kudos to you for not creating further damage by exposing the EA to the kids. However, as you note, the effects of the EA are so far reaching, and so damaging, even when the spouse or others know nothing about it. The behaviours you describe we ones that my W was engaging in during her EA, and they were rubbing off on me, and we finally both stepped back and saw what was happening, knew that we could not live that way and should not live that way given damage to ourselves and our children, and thankfully began taking steps to end our unexpected nightmare, the first one being an end to the EA. Amazing how much easier it is to be happily married when your spouse is not invested emotionally with another person, and even then it’s not all that easy at times!

    • Disappointed

      Last weekend I asked my H if he was still in love with the OW (NC almost 6 months) . He said he “no longer has those feelings whatever they were”. Somehow I do not feel better because he did not look me in the eye when he said. I know I need to stop talking about her, but it hurts so much. He devastated me. Anyway, now he has sunk into a deeper depression and says he feels like he did right before this mess started. I think he needs professional help but will never seek it.

      I am seeing a counselor and have lost 56lbs with an equal amount left to my goal. My weight gain was proportionate to how unloved and invisible I let him make me feel. I am feeling good about what I am doing. We are separated – he left right after D-day. I love him and want him back, but no longer to my own detriment. I hope he will come to his senses, but am doubtful as he would need to change. My next step is to find a new job so I can keep the house if he does not recommit and come home. Today I almost feel sorry for him. I am trying to be patient. I want to ask him if he is depressed because he misses her or at least that feeling. I will do my best not to ask.

      • Jackie

        The question of whether someone is “in love” with the other person, is a difficult one, since it has different meaning to different people. Love has so many forms, from loving things to loving people, to loving children, spouse, and that euphoric high of being infatuated, in limerace, or obsessed.

        I think I like to use obsessed because it is less romanticized as all the other words we use, and evokes the feeling of the uncontrolled addictive nature of affairs.

        Whether H is depressed or not, and whether he will admit to it or not, makes asking rather a useless question. My H was often depressed, but didn’t want to admit to it. And if he admitted his depression, he still didn’t want to take any more medication for it. People have to want to fix themselves before they will seek help. And some just don’t want to ask for help, cause they fear showing any weakness.

        Personally, I believe it takes a strong person to admit that they are out of control and need help…and most of all are willing to do what it takes to get better. I believe this is when true strength of character shows…to know when you need help, to get the help you need, and be willing to put in the effort to learn, grow, and heal.

    • Disappointed

      My H had been on Prozac for years and went off it cold turkey two weeks before he crossed the line with the OW. I think it was a contributing factor, but maybe I am kidding myself. Thank you Jackie – you are one of the people on this site that seems to understand my situation and brings me comfort and insight.

      • Jackie

        It is not surprising that H went off the Prozac, then crossed the line. When you think of the affair and how it makes one feel, it makes a lot of sense. Who needs to take drugs when you are on an affair high? So what if it is a fantasy and that the CS is irrational. They think the AP is the cure for all their woes! Who cares if they are hurting everyone they once claimed to love…now they found “true love”.

        Sorry for being so sarcastic. I just wish CS could see how irrational they have become, but the only one they believe is the AP who is also not thinking rationally. It is two illogical, irrational people clinging to one another. No wonder relationships like that rarely work out. No one is thinking straight. Scary!

        I’m glad my words can be some comfort for you. It is nice to know that all that I have learned from this nightmare, can help others on the path to healing also.

        I always loved these lines, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger!”

    • Disappointed

      Last week I had dinner with my H. He drank too much and proceeded to tell me how he is perfectly normal, not broken in any way and that I am messed up. He is the CS. Not enough introspection here.

      • Jackie

        He was drunk and if he is still in the fog, you will have learn to believe in your rational self. If I learned anything these last three years, it was to trust myself.

        When someone is “under the influence”, whether it be alcohol, drugs, or the drug of an affair, they are not rational. Listen to what H has to say, decide if it is an irrational comment, and if it is, push it out of your mind and disregard it.

        Part of my difficulty, which I believe is yours also, is in the past, my H was the most rational, honest, trustworthy person I knew. He was also the most honest person I knew with the highest sense of integrity. So much so, I thought no one could live up to his standards.

        During the affair, he was completely the opposite. I didn’t know who this man was that I was living with. It was hard for me to go from trusting and believing everything he said to me was true, to realizing that I had a irrational man, who made no sense half the time. It was difficult to sift through the truths and his rationalizations (or his truths in his head). He could say one thing in one sentence, and his next sentence could be saying the complete opposite. Confronting them would often cause him to get angry and accusatory. Sometimes, it would not.

        If someone were not in their right mind, and told you, “The sky is green and the dog is purple.”, would you believe them? You must set your filters, and believe what you know is true. Trust yourself. As I told you before, you are the rational person right now, don’t believe everything your H says to you. It will drive you insane if you try.

        My line to myself was often, “He is not making sense again. I have to ignore these comments for now.” Then I’d busy myself with something I enjoyed doing, or exercise to get the tension out.

    • Disappointed

      How can he still be in the fog 6months later with NC? Says his feelings for her are gone “whatever they were”. I forgot to tll you the best paart. In a disdainful tone of voice he said: “you and I were never soulmates”.I of course fell in the trap and asked and you and she were? He replied, “it never got that far”. Classic midlife crisis. When will he stop running away and talking out of his @ss?! I am taking care of me but am SO frustrated. With any luck he will finally kill my love so I can walk away. This is torture.

      • Jackie

        Disappointed and Rachel,
        Every CS has their own time line as to how long it takes for them to come out of the fog. My H was 6 months in heavy fog, next 6 months, in 1/2 fog, and it got about 2% better each months after. This was not progressively better either. It was more like some days were good, others were bad, but general overall progression was positive. After 3 years he is out of the fog, but still obsessed as I know it (I got tired of asking him where he was in his head). Now I just don’t care where his head is concerning his obsessing as long as the kids and I are treated as we should be, with love, caring, and respect. H is the only person who can take care of his problems and obsessions.

        It has been three years, and the OW was not fueling the fire, except about 1month after D-day. With the OW involved, I imagine it takes an enormous effort to stop the EA. Since the OW was not involved, I could only direct my anger towards my H, rather than blame the OW. The blame in most cases fall on both the CS and OP.

        So after 6 months, while H was in half-fog, H was still very difficult to talk to and still often blamed me and the kids for his unhappiness. I believe it is the “what is love?” question that CS are sorting out during this period. The “in love” feeling is so euphoric, especially for a depressed mid-life man who often turns to addictions to make himself feel better.

        It was 6 month after D-day that I just stop talking to H for a couple of months. As I told H, “I stopped talking to you, because I didn’t want to hate you.” Which really what was happening, because he was constantly blaming mainly me for his unhappiness, and why he compromised his integrity to have his EA.

        I never hated anyone in my life. I am a very loving, caring person who is very sympathetic to the pains of others. It was very hard for me to feel HATE! for anyone, especially the person I I love the most. I felt it would have been easier to recover if H had died, than feel the hate I had for him at the time. This was when I knew I had to stop talking to him. I couldn’t live in hate. It just wasn’t me, nor was it how I wanted to live. I felt it was poisoning my mind and body. So I just stopped talking to H, except for concerns with the household or the kids.

        In the past, my H had personal standards were set so high, that neither I nor the kids felt we could meet up to them. Then after his EA, and all H standards went out the window! He had two standards to live by in the fog state, one for himself, and one for everyone else. He could do what ever he wanted and answer to no one, while everyone else was expected to maintain their high standards. Everyone around saw the hypocrisy of it all.

        Rachel, my H also couldn’t follow a conversation, and was often distracted within himself such that the kids just stopped talking to him, since he was not mentally available. I think he was generally depressed and distracted by his mental confusion and unhappiness. Often he just stared out into space, and we felt it safer to leave him there that pull him back into conversation.

        When you think of it, who doesn’t want to fall in love. It is a wonderful feeling. But when you are married, it means abandoning everything for that fantasy rush. It is completely irresponsible. Especially because when one is in that feeling, they are often willing to give up everything (spouse, family, kids, home, job, etc…) Most CS come to their senses sooner than later…others later after way too much damage.

        Disappointed, I agree it is torture…emotional abuse…emotional torture. H is not in his right mind right now. Give him time and space to sort out his head. Every time you ask those “Us” questions, focuses his attention on you, when he needs to focus his attention on himself and sort out his confusion. I find this prolongs the agony. That is why they say, “work on yourself.” You will heal faster and H will heal faster.

        The approach that worked best for me was to remain understanding, kind and loving…even when his words were like venom. I looked it more as if I was dealing with someone who was mentally sick.

        Read the book “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age by Daniel G. Amen.” It talks about how when your brain isn’t functioning properly, that it causes all kinds of personal problems…like poor decisions and affairs. Makes a lot of sense. The other good thing about this book, is that it is more about how to take care of you.

        • Linda

          Jackie, I totally agree with your advice. The BS needs to stop thinking emotionally for the CS. They need to stop asking questions about the AP and about how they feel about you. Their focus for the time being needs to be completely on them. They need to figure out why they did what they did without any prompting or advice. Talking about other things allows them to remain free from thinking about their issues. I kept the affair and Tanya in the forefront too long, it took all the pressure off of Doug to focus on his behavior. They really need to think and feel on their own.

    • Rachel


      You and I are so similar with our H’s MLC. I heard the same thing from my H that he and I were never soulmates.He says it’s not about the ow anymore. He can’t move on because of my anger that I have towards him about the e/a. How else does he really expect me to act? He is a changed man. Even my kids have a difficult time having a discussion with him because he can’t follow a conversation. I do think part of him is still in that fog.
      Mine talks out of his ass daily. He denies saying things or he’ll say ” oh, I said that way back in June”. So I am suppose to forget that he told me last june that he wants to fall in love with someone else???
      Right now I am working on myself. I am a much calmer person when there is no contact with him.
      I’m getting names of attorney’s from friends. I want a SHARK!
      I asked for two things from him last week. One please get another therapist for himself. His current has not yet helped him positivily with our marriage. Second I would like him to find a couples counselor. Both of which he has not done.Which clearly tells me that he doesn’t want to.
      I don’t want to go to a lawyer with such anger because I am afraid I’ll just immediately file.
      I am working on my “hate letter” to the other women. I feel that this is healing for me.
      As far as him killing my love for him. I’m half way there.
      Good luck, Disappointed. You know this isn’t our fault. But really how much can we take.

    • Disappointed

      18 years ago today my H asked me to marry him. Now he wants an open marriage with no expectations or no marriage at all. I am so sad. He says to stop blaming the OW, that I did this. Says she was the effect not the cause. But all I feel is replaced and cast aside and that is with NC for 10 months. Says no one will ever know him as well as I do and yet walked away. I am his biggest fan and supporter. How could he cast me as a villain? Praying for a miracle that will never come.

    • Gizfield

      So sorry, Disappointed. I read something on Facebook today like “cheating on a good person is like throwing away a diamond for a rock,”. Lol, I like that. My husband took exception last night that I had changed the contact name for him on my phone to “Liar”. he doesn’t mind being one, but he sure as hell doesn’t like being called one. He waited several hours to start crap with me after I went to bed. comment at the time www “you need to change that shit” then he was Mr. Nicey Nicey. We’ve ben feuding all day. Well fighting before and after work, no contact during, thank god. I’m about to set this guy loose to pursue his rock. They deserve each other. Now hes decided hes not leaving. Wth???? I’mnot forgiving or christian enough cause I’ve caught in him contact with his TRAMP for the last 3 years, off and on.I need to forget ask that and forgive him. Uh huh. Claims he told her not to call last time I caught him 2 months ago and threw him out. All should be forgiven, you know. Lol. I’ve been called crazy a lot today and hesbeen lording it over me hes better than my dead abusive alcoholic first husband. “nobody has ever treated you better.” Sad, but true but thats certainly not a distinction, lol. Oh, and now he has accused me of having a boyfriend. Trust me, that is the last thing I will ever want. Lol.

    • B

      I’m a husband who’s wife cheated on me for 3 months. It’s been a month and a half since it ended and I found out. It ended due to the other guys wife snooping in his phone.
      Anyway. I’m absolutely gutted. I never in my worst nightmare would have thought my loving wife could do something like this. Over that period of time, I thought something was going on but kept telling myself it was just me. I’m not one to check her phone or anything like that. I completely trusted her. How stupid do I feel now!?!?!?
      For the first 2 weeks she hid everything from me. It was only a few weeks ago that she came clean.
      Now I’m just devastated. I can’t describe the pain and hurt. I’m just a complete mess. She says she loves me and it was a huge mistake. Says she never thought of ever leaving me. But then how does this happen? I’m so lost. I still love my wife deeply. But everything I thought… is this possible?!

    • Anon84

      This is going to help me today. I’m starting to lose confidence in coming out on the other side still married because of his lack of confidence. In my mind I can’t help but think, this was done to me, if I feel that I can move past it and start to heal than he should be confident that things are going to be ok. I can’t give him any more reassurances than I already have and I can’t help but thinking that’s not what he wants. That he wants it to fall apart because he feels like that is what he deserves. But I keep having a sinking feeling that he wants it to fall apart so he can be with her.

    • Pistachio

      It’s been about 4 months from D-Day. My H’s affair occurred for over 2 years. Just to give a little background history. When the affair started in early 2018, we were engaged (already for 2 years at this point) and we did not live together. We agreed we would move and live together after marriage since this required moving to different area. I guess at this stage it was easy for him to constantly lie about his whereabouts since we weren’t physically together and he would lie about working when he was spending time with the OW. We married in late spring 2019 and went on our honeymoon shortly after. After our honeymoon I returned back home as I had a family member in hospice care. We didn’t move in together until late summer 2019. I was quite stressed with adjusting to this completely new life. This new area is 9 hours away from home, I had no friends or family, I had no job. I figured my H was stressed and also adjusting to his new job. I was trying to be the best homemaker I could be at this point since I wasn’t working. I did feel as though something was off and it felt like we were really just roommates. I was so ignorant and blind not to see what was happening right under my nose. He would always be at his computer or on his phone. Again, I figured it was work related. I couldn’t shake off my gut feeling so I had to do some digging. I confronted him I discovered all the information I needed right at the beginning of the pandemic and isolation orders were just starting to become into effect. Great timing. The conversations, images and videos have burned into my memory. I disclosed the information to my H and he ended it right away with the OW (to my knowledge) with NC. I needed to leave for a few days to process everything and see if I even wanted to give my H a second chance. After much reflection, despite the fact that my H hurt me beyond anything I could ever imagine with his betrayal, I decided to give him a second chance. I feel as though we didn’t even give our marriage a shot to begin with. We have so much history together. I can say I gave it my all and if it works out, wonderful. But if it doesn’t, then I can say at least I tried. I am hopeful that we can move forwards from this though.

      Hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it. I feel as though I was stressed beyond anything at the point of my wedding. I quit my job (which I loved), finalizing wedding details on my own, family problems with my dying family member. My H was not there for me at these times. I later discovered he wore an item that was gifted from the OW to wear on our wedding day (which he wore in many times afterwards). That is all I see when I look back at our wedding photos. I also discovered he was messaging her throughout our whole honeymoon and wishing she was there. I have difficulty looking back at these “happy” moments in my life now. I feel those are completely taken away from me. How can I not have triggers? Why did he even go through with the wedding? Their affair continued into our marriage as they would be in constant communication and on the phone. They would physically see each other every time I went home to visit my family and friends.

      I’m trying to understand the affair fog and the addiction portion of an affair. I’m trying to see our wedding as my H being in this fog, but deep down he knew what he wanted since he did still marry me.

      We are trying to mend our relationship at this point. I’ve been reading multiple articles and I’ve found this website very helpful (thank you Linda and Doug). H and I have been having discussions on a weekly basis. We are doing introspective work to find the underlying meaning of why the affair occurred (I still don’t have an answer and he doesn’t know either). I know we have a long road ahead of us. I’d love to have some positive guidance from those who have “made it to the other side” and became stronger after recovering from their affair. Thank you!

      I guess I’m struggling through a few thoughts:
      – I still have this overwhelming sadness inside me and I wonder if it’ll ever go away
      – I feel as though I have been robbed of any “happy” memories of my wedding. I have been robbed of my honeymoon memories. My views on marriage are completely tarnished now.
      – How do I regain trust after it’s been completely shattered?
      – My H is doing all the right things, but I can’t seem to let my guard down. I need more but don’t know what it is I need.
      – Does he really want to be with the OW? He has states he doesn’t and only misses her as a friend. Then the next question is, how long will he grieve for?
      – What helped reassure you/what did you need from your ex-unfaithful spouse to show they were completely dedicated to mending the relationship?
      – What helped you move forwards?

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