getting over the affair
Getting over the affair is rough – really rough. One of the toughest things is the pain from knowing your husband declared his love for his affair partner.

If you’ve experienced infidelity you certainly realize that getting over the affair is rough – really rough. When the cheater has professed their love for the affair partner, it makes it even worse.

One of the toughest things for a betrayed spouse to deal with is the pain that is experienced from the knowledge that their wife/husband declared their love for the affair partner.  The discovery of this information cuts to the core of their very soul.

It seems that most of the time this information is discovered accidently via texts, emails or perhaps social media outlets like Facebook.  The painful words that are discovered play over again and again in the mind of the betrayed.

It’s difficult to accept that this professed “love” that seemed so special as to potentially risk losing everything, can be forgotten and simply tossed aside.  No matter if the cheater puts forth every effort possible, the betrayed is going to find it hard to believe that the “love”  for the affair partner is gone.  It is also the case despite the best efforts by the hurt spouse to move on and try to believe that there is love in the marriage.

How do you undo the damage that has been done from this?  

You probably won’t like this but the answer is that…you can’t. 

(Note:  So I don’t have to write this whole post using he/she and husband/wife, etc., I’m going to write this as if the cheater were a man.  Obviously, that is not always the case.)

Those statements of love for the affair partner will always be with the hurt spouse and she will replay them in her mind for a very long time.  The only thing that the cheater can do is try to prove to her that he loves and cherishes her and that he is completely committed to restoring the marriage.

See also  A Betrayed Wife’s Reflections on Her Husband's Work Affair and Her Decision

If the cheater is in fact trying to save the marriage and help the hurt spouse heal, he more than likely feels he is already doing everything possible to prove to her that he loves her.  However, it will take a very long time for her to trust the cheater and the sincerity of his feelings.

The cheater must understand that he has taken everything away from his spouse.  She does not trust him, herself or anyone else for that matter.  She is wondering if she was completely crazy for trusting him in the first place.  She wonders if she should have married him and if he has always been this way and she was just too naive to see it.  She basically doubts everything in her life right now. 

In the first stages of affair recovery, the betrayed spouse cannot comprehend how the cheater can be committed to the marriage yet fall in love with someone else, then suddenly stop loving that person and go back to the marriage and expect everything to be back to normal.  Most of us don’t love that way.  We are totally committed to our husbands (or wives) and even though we may not be happy all the time, we would never allow ourselves to feel that way about someone else – let alone have an affair.  So the cheater must understand why we have such a difficult time trusting their feelings and words right now.

As time goes on and the betrayed spouse’s emotions calm down and she begins to understand more about the dynamics of an affair, she will begin to accept that it is possible for the cheater to feel that way. 

See also  The Real Reason Why Men Lie and Cheat

It took me a very long time to understand the fantasy that surrounds an affair and the affair partner and how those feelings could never compare to a real love that is present within a healthy relationship.

It will take a long time and a lot of patience for the hurt spouse to feel “normal” again.  One can expect anxiety and panic attacks for quite awhile.  However, there are many things that a cheater can do to help.

Getting Over the Affair – Helping Your Partner Feel ‘Normal’ Again

For starters (and I’m talking to the cheater here), simply acknowledge her pain.  Tell her you understand why she is feeling this way.  Do not try to minimize it or fix it.  Just be there for her and allow her to ride it out.

Another is to be consistent in everything you do and say.  She is trying to trust you again and she is very aware of your actions and words.  Any inconsistency will produce fear and fear will bring the panic and anxiety back. 

Now she may act crazy at times and her actions will not be consistent (happy one moment, crying or anger the next), but your job is to be as kind and patient as possible.  You have to remember you are dealing with a person who has experienced a severe trauma. Every facet of her life has been violated.  She is acting like a person who has been raped and abused and it will take her a very long time to heal.

I know this all sounds like an impossible task but if you feel that your marriage and wife (husband) are worth it, it will also give you an opportunity to strengthen your love and give you the relationship you have always wanted. 

See also  Obsessive Focus – Relentless Thoughts or Conversations About the Affair - Part 2

Often times it is difficult for the cheater to give their spouses everything they need because of the shame they are feeling.  However, if they are able to put that aside and focus on their wife/husband and what she/he needs, the process will go much faster.  This is an opportunity for both persons to grow individually and as a couple. 


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The Cheater Must Become the Healer
“The Unfaithful Person's Guide to Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair”

If you want to discover the 24 healing ‘tasks’ that the unfaithful spouse needs to carry out, then you should check this program out now.



    68 replies to "Getting Over the Affair – Minimizing the Damage of “Loving” the Affair Partner"

    • tryinghard

      This is one of the hardest things to wrap my head around. The fact that my H told someone else he loved them. No I didn’t see it in an email or text, I asked and he told me the truth. Not only saying it but believing that he meant it. I think he did. There were many other things told to her, our private personal affairs that should have NEVER been shared with anyone. He says now that he didn’t mean it and only said it because she did. Words–it’s hard to tell which one he means and which ones he doesn’t mean. I know he loves me and always had, even during the EA. This is why he didn’t leave me. Our children were raised, there was no obligation to stay. I gave him chances to leave before DDAY and he didn’t. He did leave for 4 months but came back home to try and reconcile. It’s only been a 1 1/2 and it is still hard. The many words he has said are always in my mind. It’s trying to figure out which ones are true and which aren’t.

      Not a good day today. I saw the OW yesterday and I still shake my head trying to figure out what he saw in her. UGH this is hard.

      • LostSoulAtTheMoment

        it is.. so hard.. i have a 3 year old and have kept this all to myself i feel so alone… Husband works with the other woman and although hes been so good to me the things i found replay over n over its been 5 months since i found out and i thought it would have dimmed by now but it doesnt. it doesnt dim at all… 🙁 xoxo

        • Jules

          Lostsoulatthemoment – how are you doing? Looks like a year since your post. We are 1 year out from dday, husbands ea with coworker and they still work together. I wondered if that was still the case for you and how you are doing. My husband has been good to me too, trying to understand my questions still a year later. I tell him I am trying hard to live in the present, focus on how far we have come in the past year and not focus on the past. I don’t have any reason to believe he is lying about anything…he tries so hard to respect my endless questions about things and promises nothing but professional contact but it is tough. Just wondered what you have experienced! Hugs to you!!

    • exercisegrace

      For me, it almost harder to accept the fact that he did not mean the things he said to ME rather than accept the fact that he did not mean the things he said to HER. His criticisms of me and the kids during this time are excruciating. Yet he says he never stopped loving me, and that is why he worked his way out of the affair. I believe him, because he could have left long before I got truly suspicious.

      It doesn’t make it any easier for me to acknowledge that the affair fog played an equal role in creating a false sense of “love” with her and an equally false role in buying into the idea that I didn’t love him, didn’t deserve him, I was an awful wife, blah blah blah.

      Each day I just try and move past it. I am starting to regain my footing. I would like to say I don’t care what either of them thought about me back then. But it cuts to the bone how they rewrote our marriage and our marital history to suit their own selfish story and cover up their affair.

      So what do you do with that? Well I think you just have to believe that it is good to “know” something and that is what often comes before “accepting” something.

    • Disappointed

      There is no minimizing the love for the AP. My H says he loves and cares for me but can never recapture his in love feelings for me. Knows they are dead because he had them for her. In an ironic twist found out he is not the only one and that she is currently in an affair with another married man. My H does not know but I hope he finds out. She took his heart and never even wanted it. So much for working on her marriage for the sake of her children. Just after the thrill and the attention from someone who is not available. My H said he doesnt think about her any more but two weeks ago said he did. Such a rollercoaster ride!

      • Recovering


        Why have you not told your H about his OW’s affair with someone else too? Not that it would assure you that he would return to you, but maybe, just maybe, he would pull his head out and get it straight! He would KNOW what YOU are going through! That HE WASNT REALLY SPECIAL in that ‘relationship’! The OW clearly has issues and doesnt want a real relationship herself! I think you owe it to the concept of open and honest to tell your husband what you know. It affects his, and your, reality… just a thought and a suggestion…

        • Disappointed

          I have no proof, it is only hearsay. If he hears it, it needs to come from someone else. He won’t believe me I am sure. I am trying to find a way to make that happen.

    • Dave

      At various times, my wife has claimed it wasn’t real love and that it was real love. She initially claimed that she fell out of love with me before and during her affair, but now she says she never did and still loved me and desired me during her affair. …but if she thought she loved him and said all of those things to him, how could she think she also loved and wanted me? I think she’s lying. She’s really good at it, but I think she believes it is ok to lie this time (again) to “protect” my feelings.

      Can a person think they still love their spouse or desire their spouse while in the grips of the affair?

      • Recovering

        My husband SWEARS that he never stopped loving me during his cheating, but that he was lonely and didnt think that I loved HIM, as dumb as that sounds. Yah, jump in bed with a whore… THATS a good way to find out for sure if I love you or not!!! He still did some sweet things for me out of the blue during his cheating… mostly when we would have our time away from the whore… like over the holdiay breaks and such. It was like for him if she was out of sight she was out of his mind, but the second he got back to work and she was all up his butt with compliments and lovey looks… then my life got all grouchy again! He swears he never thought of her when he was with me, which HAS to be a lie but it is what it is… SHE was a lie, a whore, and a slew of other names and whatnot… HE was a lie, a whore and a slew of other names and whatnot… They get so wrapped up in the cheating that they have no idea what is really going in the REAL world!! Even after I found out about the cheating my husband said things that he swears now that he never said. I think he REALLY believes that he never said them, because now that he is back on earth, they aren’t true… but then they were, and those are the things that I cannot seem to get out of my head either!! It sucks. My husband said he used to think about leaving me for the whore, but then burst into tears at the thought of leaving. He said he “wasn’t ready to give up on us” and thought that once the whore was gone he could try to make us work (all unbeknownst to me though). I really think that is why they don’t leave us for the AP. They get caught up in some disgusting need of THEIRS, which has nothing to do with US, and internally they know it is all about them and not about us, so the feelings for us never really die. They just get buried. My husband, the night I found out, gave me the “I love you but I’m not in love with you” line, saying that we could be best friends and that he thinks that I am the greatest person, but maybe we shouldn’t be married… that lasted 2 hours while I was screaming at him, then we were both in tears!! He messed up his own head… I believe that all cheaters do this to justify what they are doing because they KNOW it is wrong and are being childish and cruel. It doesn’t mean she didn’t love you deep down, just that she sure wasn’t acting like it at the time!! Don’t give up! What she had with her OM was all a lie and fake and a fantasy, no matter what. True love is built in the real world on real lives and real experiences. They had none of that! You did!

        • ella

          to: Recovering,
          Reading your note was really helpful as I am going through many of the same emotions. My husband says he loves me and always did, he wants to fix our relationship. But his actions are not backing up his words. He says he just needs alone time to think?! He really has messed up his own head to justify his actions. I am at a loss right now, just in limbo.

      • tryinghard

        I don’t think she’s lying. She compartmentalized you and her AP and her feeling. She’s confused too and she did it to herself. I’m reading a really good book that helped to answer many of the questions I have/had in this regard. It’s call Not Just Friends. One thing I’ve noticed reading this blog is there is a common thread with all our stories. This book helps us to decipher all this confusion. The book says that when a woman cheats she has already detached herself from the marriage and marriage partner for whatever reason, and finds someone who fulfills that need that probably has nothing to do with you. Men on the other hand are pretty happy in their marriage and only detaches from the marriage partner after he has allowed someone else to take her place. Women tend to romanticize and justify their bad choices with the fact that well they just fell in love! We just have to decide if we can stay with someone who allowed themselves to “fall in love” with someone else while they were married to us. Good Luck Dave.

    • Rachel

      They are so messed up during the affair that they are aliens.
      They are in the fog, saying hurtful words to justify the affair, they are people that we don’t even recognize.
      I haven’t seen my H in about a month.I saw a picture of him yesterday. He looks gauntly, angry , and stressed. If that is happiness, I don’t want any. I showed the pic to my therapist last night and she said he is a very confused man.

      • Dave

        A while back, I looked at pictures of my wife during her affair (two with the same person actually, four years apart). In pictures she took with our son, she seemed happy. In pictures she took with me on those same days, such as trips to the park or zoo, she looks absolutely miserable. In pictures she took with him during her affair in the same time period, she looked so content and happy – bubbly. (He was “kind” enough to send them to me.) She says that she was confused and miserable because of what she was doing. That is what she claims now anyway. He remembers it differently of course.

        After she revealed the affairs, she lost 30 pounds and looked like death. Now she’s gained all the weight back plus an additional 30 pounds and she is miserable again. She has also been drinking and is constantly angry and upset. Her therapist is trying to help, but my wife is stubborn.

        I have forgiven her and I’m working to move past this, but the damage caused by her confession (and doing it in the first place), as well as my reaction to the affairs has caused a lot of damage.

        I didn’t cheat, but I did have beer and pizza after work with a mutual female friend who my wife finds threatening, and in my darkest hour, I went to a strip club for the first time in my life. I wasn’t impressed, but those have always bothered her, so I have to hear about it all the time now. (When I did it, I was feeling angry and vindictive. When I got home, I told her where I went. She said to the effect, you know I never wanted you to go to one of those places. I replied that I never wanted her to [have sex with] my best friend.

        Anyway, she is now playing the victim. I guess since I forgave her mistakes, I all I can do right now is hang on and hope she forgives mine.

        • Recovering


          Not that 2 wrongs make a right, but she doesn’t have a right to criticize how you handled your hurt! She knows you went to those places to get back at her and no other reason, or it would’ve been an issue before. We ALL do things in the aftermath of discovery that we are not proud of…. I know I did some embarassingly horrible things. She has always played the victim hasn’t she? Probably blaming YOU for her affair… thing is, victim or not, she CHOSE to cheat. We all have skeletons and things that make us vulnerable, but did you cheat? Did I? NO. She is NOT the victim! She is the perpetrator! Now it is time for the two of you to stand toe to to and decide if your family is worth saving, and if it is, to face what is REALLY behind those actions – the fear!! Good luck!!

          • Dave

            The pizza thing wasn’t planned. I talked about my situation and she talked about her’s, but neither of us were interested in each other. It was friends talking about our relationship problems. But considering my situation, it was a stupid thing to do…especially with how paranoid my wife is. She is certain that I’m going to someday “get revenge”. (which isn’t going to happen)

            The strip club on the other hand… yes, I did that one because I was feeling vindictive. Once I was there, I felt stupid and the place was…creepy. I have no plans and no desire to go again.

            Yes, my wife seemingly likes the role of the victim, although she will deny it to the bitter end. I don’t think she sees it, but I understand why she is that way. Her family is a family of victims. Her mother, sister, and grandmother had troubled relationships with terrible men, so she assumed that all relationships were bad and most men were no good or up to no good.

            We were having problems and I wasn’t a perfect husband, but I wasn’t a terrible husband, father, or man either. We were just feeling the regular pressures of life and being married, which built up over time. That is in part why she says she cheated. I wasn’t doting over her anymore, so when he came along, she loved it because that was what she wanted and thought she deserved. And it was easy for her to play the victim and he the white knight, because he was giving her an escape from her “terrible” marriage.

            For what it’s worth, she claims she knows it was all bullshit. …but then sometimes she still tries to turn it around on me, so it is hard to tell if she gets it or not.

            Our counselor and her counselor are both working to show her how NOT to be the victim anymore. I hope for her sake, whether our marriage survives or not, that she learns that being the victim is bad for her and her relationships.

            • Linda

              Dave, Doug and I are reading the book “The Healing is Mutual” by Deb Schwarz Hirschhorn. It contains a chapter on being the victim and how this kind of thinking can lead to destructive behavior (affairs, emotional/physical abuse, etc). It is an interesting read and provides information on how we hurt each other, how we heal, empowering ourselves and rebuilding a marriage. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

            • Dave

              Thank you! I will order it up today.

      • Angelina

        That is so true, my husband says he fell out of love, but when the fat Jeffery dumped him as he is professing his love I was good enough again…… he has made my life hell for a year, he insisted on having a professional relationship with her, it sickens me

    • chiffchaff

      This was probably second in the list of hurt for me, that my H had declared that he loved the OW. The lying and sneaking around was worse.
      My H was clearly ‘in love’ with her when I first discovered it as it was one of my first questions. He wouldn’t have kept her a secret if he didn’t believe he loved her. that was my reasoning at the time anyway.
      In recent months my H has admitted that he didn’t love her at all to start with, he just wanted to sleep with her. He went off to his conference determined that if the opportunity arose while he was away he would do it. She was available and keen so they did. He said he then became fascinated by her, in part because she kept sending him videos of herself talking about herself. This was happening when I had compassionate leave from work to look after him as he’d injured his back and was in bed for a week. so while I nursed him he was texting a woman he’d shagged. Nice.
      He said he’d first told her he loved her about a month after they’d slept together but hadn’t meant it at all but felt it was what she would want to hear. He then said it was easy to repeat it but he didn’t feel that he loved her until about June the following year, 9 months after they’d met. He said he didn’t feel that he loved her even when he went to stay in her apartment for a week.
      He also said that he knew after that week that if he kept it going he would eventually fall in love with her. so, there was no great love affair, love at first sight crap that she probably believed in and that they developed into their own relationship myth after discovery.
      I saw emails after discovery where he declared that he would always love her no matter what. It felt to me that in those early months after discovery his love for her grew to ludicrous levels simply because he was having to make a choice and failing at it. I know that’s what other writers on the subject say too. I personally feel like the fantasy of it all actually starts on the day of discovery not before. after discovery the CSs feel so bad internally that in the same way that blaming anyone else makes them feel better, the more ‘special’ the OP is in the head the more justified their reasons for doing what they did feel to them. As this justifying and blaming recedes in the face of reality then I think the fantasy probably recedes too, and they are capable of seeing their actions for what they were, just selfish.

      • Recovering

        My husband said that he told the OW just once that he loved her, but that it was more in a luv ya kind of way. I didn’t care! I was livid… we went like 6 months before I wouldn’t get mad at him when he would tell me he loved me. She was totally ‘in love’ with him… was the text I found “I love you sooooooo much!”… wanna throw up thinking about it. I don’t agree ChiffChaff that keeping them a secret is real love, and I have used that one on my husband. If he REALLY loved her he would’ve left me for her. He didnt. If he REALLY loved her he wouldn’t be afraid of everyone finding out after I discovered them. He was TERRIFIED. If he REALLY loved her, everyone would know about her, like they did about me, because he would be PROUD of who he was with. She is STILL a disgusting secret he hopes NEVER comes out. If they had something REAL like love, then they wouldn’t have had to hide and sneak around, and they could’ve told myself and her husband about their being together. None of what they had was love. They used the word like it didn’t mean anything… like sex means love! Like the excitement meant love, yet she knew really nothing about him other than his work life! She didn’t know ANYTHING about me! The last night they were together they were at a bar (with other work folks – they couldn’t be seen in public ALONE cause someone might find out – LOL!) and I texted my husband a sweet lovey message (dumb me, I didn’t know he was cheating) and she got all mad at him and said to my husband that she thought I was a horrible person… He said “I never said that”, and the battle ensued. She made fun of my sweet text, and I think that is when he finally started to pull his head out of his butt!! Then of course I jerked the rest of it out of his butt when I discovered the texts that night and awoke him from his slumber with a start!! She didn’t even ask him once the next day how HE was doing since I had found out (and he looked God awful that day, too!). I even asked him when he came to my work to have lunch with me that day if she had asked how he was, and he said no. I was quick to point out “man she really CARES about YOU”… the dig was mean but it pointed out the truth, and I really think helped my husband see what WASNT really ever there… Love is a glorious thing to be celebrated – cheating is not love. It destroys a person’s family, reputation, career, and sometimes their entire life. People who can do this knowingly to someone else can’t possibly love them – they love themselves.

        • lost again but not forever

          So right this was a very selfish act. Only thinking of themselves. The family suffers also, So if they were really in love with there spouse an in the marriage this would not have taken place. I believe the spouse gets to comfortable in the relationship and says why not . He will not know. Excitement, Emotions run wild then. Im still in the shock mode. Married 33 years..Divorice is in the forefront now. Her christain counlsler told her not to tell me of any details. And that is what eating me up inside.
          The guy she cheating with was a friend of mine a respectable police officer for 30 years. He was asshole behind my back too. He died of a blood disorder a few years ago. Now my wife of 33 years fesses up.Great

    • Broken2

      I heard moderately attracted to her, she thrilled him and never judged him. A whole lot of crap. I am pretty much to the point where I could care less what he “felt” about her. She means nothing to me and if she is soooo special then he can have her. She is a fantasy. I have pretty much recovered from this one…there will be no recovery from another just homelessness on his part!

    • crios

      Linda great post i continue to learn and understand many things from you and Doug. I am the cheater of an emotional affair. I know nothing i do will ever change those horrible actions i committed and many times I am extremely ashamed of myself in every way, So it is difficult at times to help my wife heal, i know i am the only one that can make amends for the hurt i have put on her. Its been a little over a year since d-day and we have been working thru it, i thank my wife for affording me this opportunity. Great post thank you

      • Linda

        crios, Thank you for the kind words. I know it is difficult to figure out what your wife needs to heal, however just by being aware of her emotions and displaying patience and kindness is a positive step in the right direction. Good luck.

      • justbecause

        Thanks for being her Crios.

        My H and I are 7 months out. I think he feels as you do but is not good at communicating it. It is good for me to hear you feel as you do.

        I keep wondering what the OW thinks about. Does she think of the EA at all? Does she think of my H, of me? Does she feel ugly, horrible, remorseful? I hope so.

      • Tryinghard

        I have asked my husband if he thinks about the OW and he says only with hate shame and disgust for his actions. I believe him. Am I right to? Do you think of the OW with fondness?

      • tryinghard

        I have asked my husband if he thinks about the OW and he says only with hate shame and disgust for his actions. I believe him. Am I right to? Do you think of the OW with fondness?

    • rachel

      Your blog brought me back to early december of 2012, guess a year ago. My H kept telling me that i am not the victim and to stop acting like one??? Wasn’t I? He had the affair. He declared his love to his ex girlfriend. He’s the one that said he is leaving our family to be with her.
      I thought that made me the victim?

      • Recovering


        Yah, we ARE the victim’s of our partner’s cruelty, and it sucks! THEY cheated, and blame us! So nuts! I had my pity party for about a year, and played victim for a year too. My husband pretty much said the same thing to me, to which I threw in his face that it was HIS fault that I was so nuts back then… And despite it being true, now I don’t feel like the victim, at least not most of the time!! ;+) ! I do still have my moments. In reality I AM the victim of their lies and deceit, but I have control over NOW to a point because at least the truth is out and I am not living in a lie anymore. I can choose how to handle my life from here – good or bad. I am trying to face this disaster head on. Trying to focus on how my husband and I can do better together, and trying to get that “meant to be” feeling back, despite him being a child for a while… It is so hard for me to remember sometimes that he didn’t do what he did to hurt ME, but to try to fix something in HIMSELF. Yes, he ultimately destroyed who I used to be, but in fighting to get myself back and fighting to keep our family together, I am hoping to minimize vicitim time. My husband tried to play the vicitim… blaming his affair at first on that “you didn’t listen to me and she does”… “I didn’t think you loved me”… blah blah blah… there is not one damn thing that I could have EVER done that would have made him go and screw the whore! NOT ONE! Yes, the BS IS the victim and the Cheater is the perpetrator, but do you want to live feeling helpless forever? I don’t! Funny how stealing someone’s shoes is a crime but stealing someone’s husband seems to be an okay thing to do… Society today…. ugh!

        • Emily

          So you refer to your husband as “him” (not the whore and liar that he is), but refer to his choice to bed as “the whore”?

          Easy to lash out at her and tiptoe around the real perpetrator because apparently you didnt mind his actions. Pitiful. He will do it again because he hears you bash the women and forgive him.

        • Emily

          No one is stealing your husband….he gifted himself to them. Please deal with the facts and stop lashing out at women who didnt take vows to love protect and cherish you and be faithful.

    • Hurt wife

      Linda, great post. My HB has never admitted telling the AP he loved her but I don’t believe him. He is having NC, be sent her email in my presence, he has been loving, supportive and we are reading books and communicating more. I just have difficulty trusting what he says given he was such a good liar. I had always thought myself an intelligent person, I like others here were so easily deceived so how do I know what is real and what is not now. The AP was an ex and from 25 years ago so I have this sense that there has always been some unresolved feelings and I don’t feel safe, when is this AP going to rear her ugly head again! This is hard to minimize.

    • ocanas

      This is one of the hardest things for me, as I read all the “I love you and I don’t care what happens” and all the “I wish I could change our circumstances (both being married and with families) and be together” that my Cheating wife wrote to him; that even after 1.5 years after D-Day, those words resound in my head very often – as I know they were true at the time (being completely in love with the other person). Glad to see those words will never leave me, so I don’t waste my time trying to get rid of them and rather focus in not allowing those memories to make my present a miserable one.

      • Tryinghard


        We girls romanticize love. Like in the movies. We think its real but with reading and therapy we learn it is all just fantasy. I hope your wife is doing that. The sex for woman is NOT that important for us. Maybe when we are young but the sex is what connects us. We know we are pleasing the man and hope that makes him feel closer to us. It doesn’t. In an affair the men are using us for their sexual fanatasies. I hope she knows that she was used.

        • ocanas

          Thanks Tryinghard, no reading and no therapy AGGGGHHHH!, she knows she was used as the OM was doing the same with another married woman at the same time ! – it was a very hard pill for her to swallow. If no therapy and no reading continues I will have to depart – as I feel she’s as vulnerable to fall again as she was the first time – because sha has not dealt with the. Issued that drove her in that path the first time. Thanks for your perspective on things.

          • tryinghard

            Well she should be even more disillusioned with him then because I am sure she is seeing this as he cheated on her. HAHAHAHAHA. My H’s AP did the same thing. He was crushed. That really made me happy. She had been lying to him as he had been lying to me so I say Just Desserts or Karma right. He found out about her boyfriend the day after he left me because her boyfriend called him. That fact really lift the veil and put her in a very bad light for him. He saw her for the money grubbing dog she is.

            I hope you can encourage your wife to get help or at least read books. Only you know what the right decision is to leave or stay. You are right because once the “dust settles” if they don’t change their thinking and find their moral compass thru a lot of self introspection they WILL do it again. Sooner than later.

            • ocanas

              Hahahahaha! – I found the whole situation ridiculous (plus many other things) Tryinghard. On top of that, 30 years ago when they were dating, my W left him b/c he had cheated on her !!! – there are people in this world that do not learn their life lessons. I (like you) enjoyed when my W learned that the OM was cheating on her this time (same as 30 yrs ago!), but at the same time it was very hard to see her feeling worthless and used and all other regular emotions that you go through when a fantasy gets hit by reality – I was ambivalent for a long time.

    • Ryan

      I am the cheater. I want to save my family, but the writer got one huge thing wrong that stands in the way of all healing: I am still in love with the other woman. I cheated once, but the emotional infidelity was years in the making. What are you supposed to do when you are a better match for the other woman? I am not going to be with her anywa (in a moment of strength I told her to go to her family), but in spite of all my best intentions i am not certain I could turn her away if she came to me right this minute.
      I am heart broken. Is that impossible to understand? I didn’t ask to fall in love with someone else. It was never about sex. I know I wronged my wife, but I am still in terrible pain. And I can’t bring myself lie to my wife and tell her she is the only one I love. I love her like a friend who I dying want to hurt, but I can’t forget the other woman.
      I am going insane and hurting my family in the process. And there is nothing i can do to stop it. I don’t see the other woman. I don’t talk to her. How am I supposed to make these feelings go away and fix my family?!

      • jessica

        How are you feeling a month later?

        • Ryan

          A year later things are better. I love my wife romantically. I am home. I am happy to be with my family.
          I still miss the other woman. There are days when I miss her terribly, but I get through them. My wife still hurts a lot. All of our differences seen more stark and significant than before, but we still love each other. I have hope we will get through.

          • Lynn

            My husband is exactly on your situation right now. He fell in love with the OW but chose to be with me and his two sons. He says he loves me and wants to try to rekindle what we had. I do see him crying when he remembers her and it breaks my heart but I try to be as supportive as possible in this transition. Sometimes I feel like a doormat or a second choice. He says I am his first choice. Everything is just so new and we are still in a fog. How did you do it?

      • Angela

        Ryan we are in this same situation please give us some advice. My husband of 30 years cheated after I was emotionally unavailable and at work too much and he told me it was happening that he needed more. He grew to love her and told her that but we are trying to make it work but he can’t stop completely thinking about her. We have only loved each other been together since 13/14 so we don’t know how to stop loving someone or break up. He is having dreams and feelings and we r sure we want each other but there is a piece of him with her. Help advice anything?

      • Doug

        If everyone truly thought about what you wrote and understood the logic behind it, all therapists and counsellors would be out of a job tomorrow. I have long believed that all that nonsense about affairs just being “fantasy” or “limerance” or this or that etc etc are complete BS to give their clients hope where there is none or very little. If a single person has strong feelings for another, it is called love. When a married person gets the exact same feelings, it is called Limerance and Fantasy. 80% of all marriage cousellors have been divorced. LOLOL 50% higher than the average.

    • Sidney

      If only it was as easy as turning off a switch. Since you are dealing with feelings, it will unfortunately take some time for them to go away, especially since you have such strong feelings for the other woman. I’m glad you want to save your family….and in order to do so, you’ll need to adhere to the no-contact rule with the OW. Even the slightest communication with her (a text or email) can send you backwards on the healing process. To focus on your family means just that…..focus on your family. Try to guide your thoughts on them instead of the OW (easier said then done, I know). One thing that helped me was to keep a journal of all my thoughts and feelings. For some reason, writing it down helped. Then eventually, my journal entries became fewer and far between. Find a way to connect to your wife and focus on that….even if it’s something small like agreeing to having coffee together once a week.

      Hang in there. The heart broken/insane feeling you are feeling WILL subside….just give it time.

      • Doug

        One cannot create chemistry where there is none.

    • Mary

      My husband just confessed to me last night. He has been carrying on with the sister of a friend of ours for 4 months. She’s a city chamber of commerce member and doesn’t want her reputation destroyed. She and my husband insisted that I speak with her so she could apologize (WTF?). He put us on speaker and I listened to her story; had already heard his and know that the truth is somewhere in between. I feel numb. I love my husband. I want to recover from this and he says that he does too. When I noticed something was off with him a month or so ago, I made a point to try to be kinder (I can be harsh) not knowing what was going on. He was planning to leave me for her but realized that he loved me and wanted to stay. This is when he confessed EVERYTHING. She was preparing a room in her house for my daughter!!!! I demanded that he have NO CONTACT AT ALL with her but she’s been working with him on his business plan. I told him to just screw the business- it’s not worth it. I just know that I need to vent and he gets all defensive when I ask details or for clarity. He has no right to critique how I mourn. I am the one who has faced an emotional death. He has a lot of anxiety and I think some depression. He is a nervous wreck and doesn’t seem to be mentally strong. I, on the other hand, am strong.

    • Sarah

      I have been married and now single . because I won’t put up with none of the things all of you married woman put up with stop using the kids as a excuse . you are scared to start over again so u constantly manipulate and scare your husbands into staying with u instead of letting him go ,and be happy your missing the whole deal about life. your here to help and have forgiveness in your heart. with out that your as guilty as the other woman stop pointing fingers so what u are married what do u think divorces are for you love many times in this life. you can’t make someone love u. if the man stays because of your demanding ways he will just die a very unhappy man. the problem is with us married woman u can’t understand that he fell in love again . we come from a legacy of woman Moses was born from a mistress believe me been their done that I was chested on the man really do fall in love all over again. this is something a married woman will never except , and this is why the other woman have to take the blame from these type of married bitter wife’s once a cheater is always a cheater . he may not do it with that woman again but it will be another yes it is disgusting. remember it is always a better man always the ow is usually a lonely chic who is just looking for love . a lot of times a married man will pursue that Lonley woman into a relationship it’s not that they take your husband. they been manipulated in to the relationship and a lot of times the man don’t say he’s married, also the married man will tell the wife about his new woman cause that’s what she is the problem is the wife don’t want to except that it’s over don’t think for 1 minute after u have caught them that it stopped they will find a way to contact each other because the married man has fallen in love all over again . why would u think it’s a fantasy that’s taking the easy way out to think that , cheaters are cowards u will never know deep down inside how that man really feels about the new person . a lot of times when a married man can’t be with the new love 1 part of them die inside sorry to say this but this is the reality truth their are all type of affairs. U just have to know which one your dealing with . i was a wife and I got out get out why u have a chance. u do not want to catch aides or h.i.v all because u have kids and don’t want to start over don’t forget wife’s we are in a different time now u will love again. if you only understood how beautiful it feels to love again after being hurt so bad, we are humans and God understands us all be strong u never know how strong u really are until u start all over again. God blesses the broken hearted

      • Doug

        Agree 100%. The things betrayed spouses will do to keep their men are insane. Why not tie them to a tree in the front yard and leave out a bowl of water and some jerky? Easier than all the years of spying and manipulating to get them to stay. Just let them go and find someone who loves you dearly.

    • Cindy

      I need your advice. My husband had a four month affair. Prior to the affair, they were friendly since she was his barber. They knew each other for three years and then one day, it clicked between them. I found out about the affair and confronted him. When I did, he told me that he loved her. That she was there for him when I wasn’t. That it wasn’t that easy to turn off his feelings and all of sudden become ‘happily married.’ He has stayed in contact with her. She calls him at work and they also text. He is very secretive about his cell phone and even hides it. They do not call each other on the cell because the calls can be tracked one the service invoice. They want to keep their communications secret. When I asked if he still talks to her he told me less and less. That the frequency is decreasing. Well, I learned otherwise. In a two week period, where he said they spoke not at all, there were twenty phone calls. I can’t event begin to count the text comments because he hides his phone but by the secrecy of the cell, I can imagine that it is frequent.

      A few other facts, they took their affair into our home and into our bedroom. My husband agreed to purchase all new furniture and to completely redesign the bedroom. He was and is very remorseful. The OW has a host of emotional insecurity issues and plays on his sympathy. But, regardless, my husband knows the fact that they communicate rips and gores my heart. So my question is, does he love me and should I stay. How do I get him to stop talking to her.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I know you say he is remorseful, but until he is willing to stop all contact his remorse is of little value.

        Only you can decide whether to go or stay….but, things like hiding his phone and continued contact would be a deciding factor for me. You can’t make him do anything….you only have control over your own actions.

      • Emily

        So he is a victim of the OW manipulation? No. He is a cheater. You cant do anything to make him do anything. Maybe save yourself and get out. In your bedroom….how can that ever work again?

    • Devoted wife

      Hi everyone. I am sooo lost, confused and angry. I have been with my hubby 6 years, married 2. We have been trying for a baby since nov 2014. Last year we decided to try with iui as we still wernet succesful. He was very supportive through the months and after every failure. After a few momths (july) we decided to stop the iui. I was very upset, crying all the time and was in a very low point in my life. We went for counseling and the therapist told in on one of the sessions he went to that he should leave me as there was no passion in our relationship and everything was revolving around having a baby. October 1st 2016 i found a text on his phone that she was happy to see him again and had a good time. I confronted him and he admitted that he knew this girl from years before and run into her on the 20th september 2016. He said they went for a coffee twice but nothing had happened. I was so angry I took a few things and left the house. He begged for me to stay at home and work things out but I couldn’t forgive him. not at that point anyway. A month-and-a-half later we talked things through and went back home. In that month and a half he continued going out with her and later found out that he kissed her but never slept with her. They stopped talking as she has blocked him on the phone because she said that he would never leave me and that he loves me. He always said that he had feelings for her from before he even met me and nothing ever happened with her. I forgave him and we try to work things through. We went on holidays and we had a good time but he seemed to be a bit distant. He wasn’t as chatty as before and I felt that his mind was somewhere else. When I asked him what was going on he said that even though they’re not talking anymore and that they haven’t talked in 6 months he still thinks about her sometimes and what his life would have been like if he left me. As soon as I said to him go find her and have that mindblowing relationship that you have im mind and told him I would contact an attorney to finish the marriage his face went blank. The next day in the morning I found a note on the table saying you know I love you and he had a 🙁 and kisses. Yesterday he said to me that he’s so going to a therapist to help him get past this whole situation and that he loves me but feels that he’s not in love with me because he has her on his mind. I am very confused as in what to do because I still love him. I know that he loves me but is the relationship too damaged to stay and work things out. Can he fall in love with me again? can he find the passion in our relationship? Help!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Devoted Wife
        Only you know if your relationship is worth fighting for. Perhaps try with a different counselor.

        If you don’t try, you will never know the answers to the questions you are asking. If it doesn’t work out you will have the peace of mind knowing you did everything in your power to make things work.

        Many of us on this site, thought things were so bad we would never make it through….yet somehow we did and are still together. These are very hard decisions….don’t be hasty…you don’t have to have all the answers right away.

    • Emily

      Dear Devoted Wife,

      I think maybe you should examine what the therapist said. Also, what do you want? He seems like he is willing to take you through the ringer. Is that what YOU want? Not having kids with him is probably a blessing! You can leave free and clear.

      He says himself he isn’t in love with you. You cannot make him be in love. He is preoccupied with someone else and thats a bad sign. Either way think of this: winning him back will likely end your immediate pain, but you will be setting yourself up for lasting pain and depression for years to come.

    • Emily

      This may not be a good candidate for being “still together” though. No kids and he tells her he isnt in love with her. Not looking good and emotional suicide, this one.

      • Shifting Impressions

        That line about loving her but not being in love with her….is a very classic line. Many CS use it while in the affair fog. And many couples do work it out…even after saying that.

        This is a decision, only Devoted Wife can make. She simply hasn’t given enough information for the term emotional suicide to be used.

        • Emily

          Shifting impressions call it what you want to but it’s messy and if she’s going to accept it it’s going to set her up for emotional pain and suffering for years to come. At this point she could cut her losses move on find someone who will fall in love with her and not claim to not be in love with her but someone else instead. I don’t buy the affair fog it’s still extremely abusive to her if he was hitting her we would tell her to leave right. Emotional abuse can be worse than physical abuse. I’m not into making excuses for her to stay and deal with abuse.

    • Emily

      Every time a man has an affair we make excuses for him call it a fair fall call it this call it that either way we just want to stay. And psychologists just want to make money so they tell us to stay so they can get endless counseling fees.

      What if he does it again and then this time contracts HIV? We still going to say it’s an affair fog?

    • Emily

      I mean call it Affair fog or whatever sorry for the typos.

    • Emily

      And my term emotional suicide…thats my take on it. Just like you have your take.

    • Shifting Impressions

      In no way do I condone infidelity. I know all to well the pain the Devoted Wife is feeling. Whether she chooses to stay or whether she chooses to leave…..she will have to deal with the pain of the betrayal.

      Marriages do overcome infidelity……’s an extremely difficult battle….but it can be done. This is her choice…no one else’s.

    • Emily

      This is her choice but she asked our advice on a public forum. I am givimg mine. I feel she would do better cutting her losses. Many people know all too well the pain of infidelity so thats not unique to you.

      Marriages usually do not fully overcome infidelity as evidenced by you on this post. I have friends who have been through it and they may say they overcame it but they continue to be haunted and depressed by it. They continually look over thwor shoulders and feel less than. I also have friends who cheated. They are still cheating even after seeing the devastation it has caused. This is why I feel she would save herself by leaving.

      Also, HIV is real. It does not forgive or make your marriage stronger. You didn’t address that. Its too risky. I have heard horror stories about cheaters who have given their spouses this disease. People who have been cheated on who stay only make it easier for their spouse to do it over and again. Many times people say their marriage is stronger because of infidelity lol but what else are they going to say? It helps them save face to themselves and their friends and gives them a false sense of well being and justifies their decision which usually just amounts to they were afraid to leave.

      Hey thats what I believe but I am one who likes to live in reality and not fantasy. Let’s all stop fooling ourselves about these men, and wasting our time and lives only to find out 10 more good years and 3 kids later, he has been loving someone else…just like he showed us early on.

      We as women may fool ourselves that a man can “learn to love again” but that’s us projecting our feminine romanticism onto them. Men do not think, operate, behave, or love like women. We need to stop already.

    • Emily

      “That line about loving her but not being in love with her….is a very classic line. Many CS use it while in the affair fog. And many couples do work it out…even after saying that.”

      Why do we explain it away when a man says he isnt in love with us anymore? Why cant we just believe him and say ok good bye? We say instead “he didnt mean that its just a line he used because he is in an affair fog.”

      Affair fog…..he is screwing another woman so good that his mind is literally blown. And….we want him back? Lol nah….he can go.

    • Devoted wife

      Thank you both for your honest opinions. Before i met my husband i never accepted an infedility. They were out the door as soon as i knew what they had done.
      And its not as if i accept it now. I believe what he told me about how far the relationship went and that they did not sleep together because he is the ome who came to me and told me that he was confused and that he was still seeing her.
      Am not scared to move on and i know that i might find someone else but i also believe in the vows that we told each other. I know he has been trying to sort out his head. He knows that what he felt is only temporary and that feeling would dissapear in tje forst few months.
      I guess part of me just doesnt want to let go of what we had before we trying for a baby. I ll give it some time and see how I feel.
      Again thank you for your replies. X

      • Emily

        Im sure you don’t want to let go but if you read accounts of women with this sort of thing, they say this a lot. “He said they didnt have sex.” Why do you believe him? How is his head so in a fog if there was no sex. As adults, sex is what pushes people over into the fog. Its emotional and physical. Personally, I wouldn’t believe him. I think he is doimg half an admission. He doesn’t want you to know the full truth because he thinks it would be more devastating. He makes the non sex seem like the relationship is less damaging and you would be more apt to forgive him and allow him to “work this out”.

        Its working for him.

    • Becky

      Well in MY case, my h actually made me LEAVE MY OWN HOME -and within 2 days, he had the affair partner living with him. (She was 19 years old at that time, he was 38) and finally – 14 mo later – his now 20 year old affair partner, who I left our home for, so she could live in my place (after 15 years of marriage) , dumped him and found a boyfriend (she was not married, but left her current bf for my h, when she and my h got together 14 mo ago), and cut ALL ties of communication with my h, cut him off of her social media, and said all kinds of bad things about him (apparently that she was telling people ALL along while she was with my h), like he was beating her, manipulating her, and acting like a “ possessive lunatic” with her. We live in a small town, and during those 14 months that he discarded me for his affair partner, taking her to Paris for New Years, and all over the globe to “show her the world”, I was hearing through the grapevine, that she was telling people ALL ALONG that my h was abusive, and was trying to leave him, but didn’t want to “be alone”, so she stayed with him. I talked to her ex bf (the one she LEFT to get with my h), and he told me, ow came begging for HIM BACK a few months before she broke things off with my h, and she told her ex bf that my h was abusig her, and he said he knew she (ow) was lying, because based on what she said my h was doing to abuse her, she didn’t have any marks or anything on her body or face, given the timeframe she claimed it happened in, and discounted her as being crazy, and told her to get lost- she was never getting him back- she LEFT HIM for my h, after all.
      Fast forward 3 mo later- after ow or ap, now left my h one day and cut all contact- and has a new bf- now my h has contacted me- to come home, and live in our home again, and try to work on OUR relationship, and he has also since admitted he gave me all kinds of BS reasons as to why he was kicking me out/leaving me 14 mo ago- but he has since finally admitted (duh- which I knew ALL along) that he was leaving me for this 19 year old girl.
      He has expressed his sincerest “I’m sorry’s” and “I am such a jerk for doing that to YOU” and he has also told me that I am a “much better person” after the last 14 months have forced me to become more independent -as he was with this ow during that time I was on my own.

      He has been telling others what an idiot he was to “leave a good woman like me In the dust” for a little “whore like her (ow)”, but now I am dealing with him grieving over this little 19 year old girl every day, because she abruptly cut all contact with him- when she found someone else )much like HE did to ME, when he kicked me out for HER! So now I’m having trouble with his grief process over this young ow, as he stated that she was NEVER good for him, and that she was a pain in the butt the entire time they were together anyway, unless of course he was taking her on one of his world class tours like to Paris, where, “she was on her BEST behavior”. So now, when he grieve her- 3 months after she left him, all he remembers is the “good times” they had. And I understand that is normal at the end of all “affair relationships” it’s like letting go of a fantasy… but nearly every day- he wil bring up – usually when I do something “good” like clean the living room the way I always did, or cook something he always loved, for 15 years, he will tell me how SHE (ow) NEVER would do these things for him, he has even said I just “love him so much better and more naturally and without conditions, like OW couldn’t do— so, How do I help him get OVER this fantasy girl? It’s like he KNOWS she wasn’t good for him, and even SAYS WHY, but he always slips back and remembers the few “good times” they had- and when he does- he becomes a pile of mush! He is having So much trouble staying “present “ with me, because everything with me wasn’t always a rose garden or a trip around the world, like it was with his fantasy ow… any advice would be good.

      I’m sorry for the long post, but 3 months post-affair, I’m struggling to compare to this ow, because I’m “just plain old me” which my h LOVES, but he LEFT ME FOR a fantasy- that i never could, or will, compare with .

    • Shifting Impressions

      So how does that happen, that you would leave the home? How does it happen that it becomes all about him?

      What about you? Where is your power in this relationship?

      My advice is to get some help for you. This isn’t about poor him. What about you? You deserve better. He needs to WIN you back….NOT the other way around.

      He needs to take his pity party elsewhere!!! It is not your job to help him with this. He needs to figure out why he would treat you so badly!!!

    • Looking forward

      There were a few red flags. Looking back now there were quite a few but we were in a bad place and I loved him and trusted him. This time the flag stood out but not in the way I thought. We were Christmas shopping last year for our 5 children (2 mine from previous one his and 2 together). The sign said $25 off a $100 toy purchase if we sign up for this app. I’m not a coupon girl but that is totally worth downloading an app. “Give me your phone mine is dead”. The man I have loved for 10 years pulls out his phone and stands directly in front of me for a very uncomfortable and awkward amount of time in the toy isle of target while he obviously deletes things. Its Christmas time I have things to do and get done. We go on our merry little way. The next evening after kids were in bed it popped into my mind and I asked him what that weirdness was about. He said he loaned money to my sister’s husband and he knew I wouldn’t be happy that he didn’t talk to me about it first. I bought that explanation for like an hour. That’s so weird. I wouldn’t have been mad. Why would he hide something like that? Maybe he gave them a lot more money then he said. Something is off about this. I log on to the bank account to see and there it was. A charge for a restaurant. A specific restaurant. The one we only go to for special occasions but this charge is for 3 days ago. He was working late that night. It had been going on for 4 months. She was a temp at his job. I know everyone there. Its where we met when I worked there too. They must have kept it pretty quiet. He has done everything I ask of him some things without me even having to ask like initiating no contact. The things I am struggling with are those little things that I’m sure he didn’t realize would be extra hurtful like his choice of resturants or that he did tell her he loved her. I hate that he got to the point of seriously contemplating leaving me, leaving our children. It bothers me how easy it was for this man I thought so highly of to throw all his morals and values out the window for a romp. But was it? Maybe it was more. He did tell her he loved her. He didn’t end it on his own he ended it because I found out. Does he think about her? Is he thinking about her now? She cared about him. Enough to send presents to our home. How did she get our address? Enough to show up at his job 2 months after he said he never wanted to hear from her again. Luckily I was there. So does he love her still? I guess I will have to trust my gut that yes he messed up but he does still love me and isn’t just staying for the kids or any other reason. We both neglected our relationship I know that. If I worked outside the home it may very well have been me in the affair. Some days I talk to him about my insecure thoughts other days I keep them to myself. Its a year out and I think about the affair everyday still. I don’t let it ruin my day or mood anymore but it’s always there. I can say that our relationship is better now than it was in the year leading up to the affair.

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