how to handle triggers


This is the latest installment of our ‘You Decide’ series where you will provide your opinion on a fictional affair scenario. 

This time we’re considering a situation where Phil had multiple physical encounters outside of marriage – over 40 years ago.  His wife discovered one of his infidelities after finding some old letters stored in a box in the attic.  

Please read on and share your thoughts in the comment section on how to help this person .

It’s been two years…

Phil was a real lady’s man throughout his youth and into his early twenties.  He was also selfish, self-centered, egotistical and perhaps a little narcissistic. 

While dating his now wife, Sue, he often would be out with the guys at a party or bar, and would end up with another woman in the backseat of a car or at the woman’s apartment.  Unfortunately, this type of behavior continued for several years after Phil and Sue were married. 

But as he grew older he stopped this behavior, found God and re-committed to his marriage (perhaps really committing for the first time).

One day back about 2 years ago, Sue was cleaning out the attic and discovered a box of old letters.  In among the love letters between her and Phil she found one from some other girl that was dated just a few years after she and Phil got married.  The letter talked about a special night that she and Phil shared back then – more than 40 years ago.

Enraged, hurt, confused, Sue confronted Phil about the letter and he quickly confessed to a one-night stand with the woman.  Sue was naturally thrown for a loop and started questioning everything about their past.  She also began to question Phil about the past as well.

See also  Open Discussion: Lessons Learned From the Affair

Eventually, over the course of many months, Phil admitted to having several physical affairs during the early years of their marriage.  This obviously floored Sue even more.  She now waffles between wanting to leave and wanting to stay. 

Now, there were many issues that may have contributed to Phil’s poor behavior and decision  making, such as a rough childhood with little boundaries or accountability – which he is just now coming to understand.  But the fact remains that every instance of infidelity was a result of a choice that he made.  Phil now understands this 100% as well.

Phil is doing is level best to help Sue heal, and to be honest, they do have more good days than bad.  He is going to individual therapy, reading books, he’s remorseful, and he communicates in a safe fashion. 

How to handle triggers…

The biggest problem they have is when Sue gets triggered.  Phil gets lost.  He freezes up.  He doesn’t know how to handle triggers: the anger, or the sadness, or the resentment – or any other emotion.  This frustrates Sue because she needs him to respond to her in a way that helps her through the triggers. She feels that she can’t trust him to be there for her.

What does Phil need to do to help Sue with the triggers?  How should he respond so that Sue feels comforted, loved and helps get some of that trust back?  What, if anything should Sue be doing to help the situation?

You Decide!


    58 replies to "How to Handle Triggers – You Decide!"

    • Shifting Impressions

      I sometimes think that people have a tendency NOT to take affairs as seriously,if they happened many years ago….then if they happened recently. It’s to easy to say that was so long ago….does it really matter all these years later. But when you have been married as many years as Phil and Sue have, It would cause her to question EVERYTHING about the man she loved and trusted.

      Unfortunately, Sue has been thrown into a battle of epic proportions through no choice of her own. I can relate to Sue, since my own d-day came only two weeks before my fortieth wedding anniversary. The difference in my own situation was that the affair was happening in the present, but a year after d-day I found out he had another EA about twenty years earlier.

      The article mentions that it was many months after d-day that Phil admitted to many more physical affairs. So even if Phil was now recommitted to his marriage he lied and dribbled the truth, causing much more damage. It’s good to hear that Phil is going for counseling, reading books and trying to help Sue heal but in all honesty he has a hell of a lot to make up for.

      Here is my list of do’s for Phil when Sue has a trigger:

      Listen without interrupting
      Listen without judgement
      Be accountable for the pain you have caused
      Try to put yourself in her shoes
      Be patient
      Ask her what is helpful and what isn’t

      Here is my list of don’t’s
      Don’t make it about you, when she is sharing her pain
      In no way blame her for your behavior
      Don’t pull any of that “it’s to painful for me to listen to crap”
      Don’t say “I just want to move on”

      Phil spent many years being unfaithful and it will probably take many years to get through this. I find the statement “The biggest problem they have is when Sue get’s triggered” interesting. I think that is only one part of what Sue is going through. Even if Phil does everything right….she is left with much more to deal with.

      She is grieving the marriage she thought she had. She will wonder if she can ever see the good in Phil again. Will she ever, ever, ever, be able to trust him again?? She will have to deal with a gaping hole in her heart. She will battle rage and resentment.

      Somewhere through it all she will have to find a way to deal with some of the “triggers” on her own. I believe if we rely to heavily on the CS we are destined to fail…just my own opinion. If I would have shared all the rage, anger and sorrow I was experiencing with every trigger….I don’t believe we would still be together. I would have said words I couldn’t take back. I would have done much further damage.

      Some do’s for Sue:
      Get individual counseling
      Share with one or two trusted and supportive friends
      Educate yourself on infidelity
      Take care of yourself
      Allow yourself time to grieve….however long it takes.
      Try not to do further damage
      Learn to share your triggers in a way that Phil can actually hear them…such explaining how and why something is a trigger rather than acting out the emotions.
      Give yourself permission to not have all the answers about whether you want to stay or leave the marriage
      Ask yourself “What is true today?”
      Pour out your emotions in a personal journal.

      I think one of the biggest mistakes is in not realizing that this is a long and painful process. It simply cannot be rushed.

      • Doug

        Awesome advice, SI. Thanks for taking the time to contribute that!

    • Tired

      “The biggest problem they have is when Sue gets triggered.”

      I’m thinking this is coming from Phil’s perspective. I don’t think it’s Sue’s biggest problem. Sue’s problems are a lot worse than that. Like, who the hell have I been married to for 40 years?

      How terrible for Phil that he can’t handle the fall out of what he did. But it is not all about him and he needs to see that.

      I think Phil needs to show Sue the real him. Because she is grappling with the two sides of him. The man she thought she knew and the secret man she has discovered. She needs to know which man she is currently married to. Lying, stonewalling and avoiding the problem are not going to help. Only total honesty will.

      Often the failure to acknowledge feelings like anger, sadness and resentment is what got the cheater into this position in the first place. They couldn’t express their discontent or whatever, so they cheated. They took the easy way of dealing with the reality of life and relationships. Yes, it is not all rainbows. Then they get found out and they feel ashamed and they keep on lying so the truth of what they actually are will not come out. Because even if all the infidelities are exposed, the betrayed is still wondering what kind of person would adopt the role of lover and protector and then do this to them.

      Phil should try to understand what he has done was a monumental, soul-crushing moment for Sue. It is not about him. He should not try to minimise anything, he should answer questions honestly. He should not get all defensive when she gets upset with him. He should not make excuses. He should not say things like ‘it meant nothing.’ (Betrayed spouse hears this as: ‘our marriage was not that important so I risked it for a cheap thrill’).

      I agree with everything SI has said above.

    • TryingHard

      For the BS it doesn’t make any difference if the affair, physical or emotional, happened just yesterday or 40 years ago. She’s jumping on the speeding train long after he’s gotten off it. But YAY for him that he saw what he was doing and changed his ways.

      That’s a tough thing to do and if he wasn’t getting any support i.e. a therapist, he was going by the most common advice and that is/was to say nothing, don’t bring it up, it’s over. Sooo I kinda feel for the guy and well boys are dumb. There I said it 🙂

      The BS will still go through all those years and wonder what the hell was going on and how could she have missed the signs. Like SI and Tired said she will look at him with new eyes wondering who the hell has she been married to all these years???

      Which brings me to a question for all of you out there both WS and BS. I know it takes infidelity to really formulate that question, Who The Hell is This Person I Am Married To??? Do you think ANYONE really knows who their mate is regardless if they have cheated or not?

      Gosh I feel for this woman because I too was made aware of my husband’s cheating 40 years ago with a good friend of ours when the most recent affair was exposed. It’s like he was finally getting it all off his chest or MAYBE he wanted to seal the deal that I would certainly divorce him once he told me that one as well??? It also makes me wonder if there were some he’s never confessed to. Dunno. God we humans are stupid.

      • Tired

        You are right Trying Hard. I don’t think anyone really knows their partner. Obviously once they cheat it all comes out and you start wondering who they really are. But before they cheat they were the same person, we just didn’t know they had it in them. I’m not sure there is an answer to this question. That’s probably why some people just call it quits and dump the cheater.

        I prefer to think the man I lived with before finding out about the cheating is the real him. And the person who cheated was a depressed person who did something stupid and regrets it. But what if I am wrong? My whole future is invested in this guy. I suppose we just have to accept that there is a risk to anything worthwhile in life and weigh up whether or not it is worth it to place your heart in their hands again.

        I am pretty sure that mine never cheated before. He was too obvious and too easy to catch. What worries me is that he has learned from his mistakes and if he were to do it again he would probably be much better at hiding it. Aargh. Hopefully he has also learned that there are consequences he did not foresee.

    • Assurance

      Loved every word of Shifting Impressions. Thank you!

      Agree with Tired. Well said!!

    • Nobody2U

      How does Phil give her back the 40 years he selfishly stole from his faithful wife? Had I known my spouse was a liar and a cheat 25 years ago I assure you I would never have married him. Now I feel lost angry bitter and mostly overwhelmed with a sadness that there are no words to describe. I hate him and love him at the same time. She can’t trust the stranger she married either.

    • Hopeful Future

      Your comments are great! Adding more info/healing advice for Betrayed And Wayward spouses.
      Unfortunately for both, for Sue, D-day is D-day, whether the affairs happened last week, last year or last century. Despite Phil stopping his bad behaviour and probably being a model husband for many years, he faces many agonising moments as Sue questions whether or not his transformation is genuine or an act.

      Phil needs to have A LOT of patience.
      Be 100% honest & transparent, not even tiny white lies.
      Hopefully he does show empathy.

      Much of the time I think he just needs to be open to doing a lot of “Listening”. That’s 1 thing I struggle with. My husband finds this very difficult. Although I have told him many times that of I’m triggered or just having a ‘down’ day, I just need him to be near me and listen while I verbalise anything I need to, often just babble, but important to me, none the less.
      I’m not looking for responses, opinions, arguments or anything in particular at all.
      I just need him close by, someone to listen as I get everything out.
      Even if I tell him it’s one of those times I just need him close by while I waffle on, he sometimes is on the defense immediately. To be fair to him, on these occasions, I don’t “use” the opportunity to direct anything towards him.
      I merely talk about how I feel, without actually mentioning the what, why, where etc.
      I reserve that for when I try to have an actual conversation with him specifically about the betrayal, and asknhim beforehand when’s a good time to talk. (It is silly though that is betrayed have to show HIM consideration, but we must in order to “up the chances” of him being receptive).

    • Sally

      So true!!! I wish I had known my ws was an addict and thus a liar and a cheat when I married him – it does my head in to realise I missed the signs even when we were dating!! And now he is never going to admit to anything as it’s been going on too long (15 years) – nor would he ever make it easy for me and our 7 year old to leave… it makes you reassess every memory and every moment – I can’t look at my wedding album or video anymore – all I can see is a naive girl about to make the worst mistake of her life..

    • Rebecca

      Let it go say your peace decide that you are going to make a new life together. She needs to take tine for herself without Phil not to punish but to satisfy her own life. Do things together plan a trip or build something take a class or dance lessons. Let go of resentment. Turn towards each other. She didnt waste 40 years and he didnt steal them from her he made bad choices and she doesnt have to own it by feeling bad.

      • Shifting Impressions

        It would be nice if we could just “not own it” by not “feeling bad”. But Sue has been betrayed by the one she gave total trust to. I believe she needs to go through the grieving process. I don’t believe we can just say our peace and decide to move forward without getting in touch with the pain and anger betrayal brings.

        Letting go, is a painful process that takes time.

      • Tired

        Hi Rebecca. This is easy to say, but much harder to put into action! I know this because I try to tell myself this every day. Phil did make bad choices, agreed. However, it is also very hard for the BS not to feel bad about it in general. Even if you don’t blame yourself, it still cuts you to the core that someone you thought was your lover and protector could do this to you. I struggle with this a lot. I refuse to take the blame for my husband’s bad choices, but I still have to wonder why the hell he would do such an awful thing. It is more about whether we can risk our hearts again with someone who has disappointed and betrayed us so badly. The words my husband said to me when he was involved with this woman still ring in my ears. He was so cold and callous. Now I’m just expected to forget it? Not possible.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Very well said, Tired!!!

    • Drego

      I know when I go through triggers I need my wife to dig deep and be there to comfort me. I Have asked her that when she knows I am experiencing a trigger I need her to come hug me and reassure me how sorry she is and how much she loves me. I need her to remind me of the present and our new future together . Unfortunately it’s hard for her to do this as many times when I’m having a trigger i appear enraged and this puts her off and she freezes and get frustrated . The more time goes on that she doesn’t come To comfort me I get even more angry. I have asked her that when she knows I am experience a trigger To show that compassion and it’s been hard for her. She often shows frustration is that a trigger is about two or potentially wreck our evening or moment together. I think this is very selfish of her. She has gotten better. So Phil needs to suck it up and dig deep. He needs to realize and appreciate how much pain he has caused Sue and know that her life has been changed forever. He maybe has and wants to forget about his affairs but now those affairs are stuck with Sue and if he is committed to her in the marriage he has to do what she needs.

      Sue, like I had to, can you try and not be so enraged and emotional when I trigger starts. That will help Phil be more compassionate

      Note: I am 1 yr 3 months since DD and doing better .

      • Tired

        Drego, I could have written this. My pain also comes out as anger, and as you say it puts them off. This is so selfish, and they don’t really understand how you feel because they are too caught up in not wanting to be reminded of their awful betrayal. My husband often says ‘it was nothing.’ Well he might think so, but it was not nothing to me. Perhaps they say this to make themselves feel better, or perhaps they did think the other person was nothing once they were out of the fog. However, it does not help. If it ‘was nothing’ why did they risk their relationship for it?

        I agree that the cheater needs to suck it up. They caused the problem and can’t just wash their hands of the matter and expect life to move on as normal.

    • Nearly Normal

      SI, spot on as usual. Your dos and don’ts should be framed on a wall.

      TH – wow, that is the issue, isn’t it? Who is this person? After decades of struggling with my wife’s affair(s), I still don’t always know and can’t always trust. The parenthetical plural there (“affair(s)) is because there are still questions about other affairs that may or may not have happened.

      The husband needs to do everything he can and bend over backwards in every way imaginable to make it as right as possible for his wife. I think we all agree on that. How to do that may be difficult, as she figures out all the things she really needs and wants to feel safe, loved, etc. That may take some time. Hell, after decades I’m still trying to figure that stuff out.

      Like you said, TH, stupid (me mainly, i think).

    • TryingHard

      Hi NN—. No your are not stupid. At all in fact. We just trust. We set the bar for ourselves and expect everyone else does as well. We though that whole “forsaking all others” was a given. lol we didn’t know that we had to keep reiterating it. Every year? Maybe on the wedding anniversary? Yikes.

      Oh yeah sorry i said boys are stupid cause really girls are stupid too ????. Boys aren’t stupid. Cheaters are stupid

    • Shifting Impressions

      I don’t know if this is true for anyone else but I believe the “triggers” can go on for years. Almost five years past d-day and then last night out of seemingly nowhere….there it is!!!!

      And I find myself much more reluctant to say….hey that was a trigger for me, than I did earlier on in the process.

      • HazyPurple

        It’s been over 8 years, and the triggers haven’t left yet. 🙁

        • Saf

          Thanks for helping me realize I am not crazy. It’s been 5 yrs since I found out hubby had an EA. Let’s just say I wish I could erase most of 2012/13.
          Talking about triggers, they’re not often anymore but still show up.. yesterday was one that came on when I went thru some old emails & found pics of texts he sent her , while I was sitting right next to him at the time.
          There are still questions he has never answered about it and doesn’t want too,and I think it’s unfair to me that he does that.
          I know I should delete those msgs of his texts with her but I don’t feel ready too..things are generally good now but I still have unanswered questions and I fell awful that I do. Especially when I have a trigger.

          • Shifting Impressions

            I don’t think you are crazy. Our partners cut us very deeply when they “chose” to betray us. Wounds like that take a long time to heal. It has been almost five years for me as well….and can relate to what you are saying.

            I believe the scars of what happened will always be there. We can become bitter or move slowly towards healing…our choice. But the one thing we cannot do is undo what happened.

    • TheFirstWife

      SI. I agree the triggers can still occur. And I usually don’t say anything at 5 years past DDay either.

      It doesn’t last as long and is not usually painful. It’s just “there” as a reminder.

    • Shifting Impressions

      TFW…it is what it is. I am not sure there will ever be a day that the triggers no longer happen.

    • TheFirstWife

      SI. I agree that triggers will never go away. They will always be there unfortunately.

      I think as the betrayed you learn to manage/handle them better.

      He had better not ever play jazz music ???? in my prescience again! That is the only strong trigger I still have.

    • TryingHard

      SI–I don’t believe after all this time that triggers ever really do go away. I get triggered once in a while and like you NO I do not tell him. What for? I really don’t want to talk about it and what more can he possibly say? Indeed, it is what it is.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Thanks Trying and TFW
      It helps, knowing I am not alone in this. It also helps knowing you both don’t bring it up either.

    • TryingHard

      Sometimes I feel like a big ole chicken sh*t weenie for NOT bringing it up but mostly I’d rather simply deal with it in my own way and not have him say something that may bring up further triggers or stuff I don’t understand that would make me have to think about his response for days. Does that make sense?

      It’s what I really like about this site is we don’t feel so alone.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        You’re NO Chicken shit …’re just wise. I agree about just dealing with some of the stuff in our own way. I don’t think the relationship could handle me bringing up every trigger. And yes what you are saying makes total sense….I feel the same way. He simply does not need to be privy to every conversation in my head. You know the one….the one when I still want to say “What the bleep bleep were you thinking???” “How the Hell could you betray me this way??”and on and on….

        It’s not that we don’t still have some difficult conversations ahead of us but I want to plan those conversations….plan the timing etc. I just don’t want to have those “trigger induced” conversations we had much earlier on in the process.

        I agree….all of you have helped me more than you can ever know….and continue being there for me.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Tired–Boy you hit the nail on the head. Yes, everything is a risk. Whether you stay or go, it’s a risk and the “what if’s” will always be there. I am not even making the argument for “better the devil I know”. Because if I were, I’d be running, FAST!

      Thing is I do know that devil. Yep he may be able to pull the wool again but somehow I doubt it. I’ve become way to smart and not naive or so self assured. I have to say even if I were in a new relationship with another person I would still be smart and not naive in that relationship as well. So what would I have gained had I left this relationship? I dunno. LOL just add this the the whole Mysteries of Life list 🙂

    • Satori

      So many thoughtful responses here.

      I think Phil is just like anyone who has been badly behaved and is still not 100% accountable.
      He is fearful / guilty and — in my view — still defensively reactive rather than truly responding to Sue from a place of empathy.

      Phil’s stress reaction to Sue’s triggers (fight / flight / freeze/fawn) has him stuck in his primitive brain. He needs to get into his pre-frontal cortex and start operating from there if Sue is to get a partner that is really connected and attuned to her.

      That’s why he goes into “freeze mode” or feels “lost” and cannot handle any emotional content. Phil’s narcissistic injury is such that his defence mechanisms will continually be deployed in primitive-brain response to feeling guilty re Sue’s triggers. Phil is still acting like a little boy.

      Excuses, excuses. Phil needs to get real and deal. lol. Or as they say where I’m from “Have a cup of concrete and harden up mate!”

      Sue’s triggers are her triggers, so ultimately she is responsible for how she acts when they occur, however the responsibility lies with Phil to make her feel emotionally safe so that if she is feeling unsafe or at risk, he needs to demonstrate beyond any doubt she is or can feel safe with him.
      Phil needs to swing in to action and be supportive. This is HIS damage to her after all.

      Triggers reflect unprocessed trauma and will continue to surface if the conditions apply.

      I’d be very wary if I were Sue. Phil has a lot more work to do!

    • Tired

      Hi Satori. I haven’t spoken to you before, but I have read your story. I was not using this blog much when you were posting. I am in a similar situation to you. I have no children with this man, although I have my own. Like yours, my husband had a relationship with a younger woman. The woman was a work colleague. We cannot have children as I am too old.

      What has happened with you? And how are you doing? Were you the same age? I’m older than my husband. He didn’t seem to process that until there were no offspring. And he is a doctor…

      • Satori

        Hi Tired,

        So sorry you are in this situation too. I feel for you if you are still in active parenting mode on top of it all. It is always hard whether children are in the mix or not. What is it with doctors and cheating?! Someone needs to do some research on this!

        I am doing ok, thank you for asking. It has been the hardest year. STBXCH is still persisting with his phone relationship that he blew up our life for and has been dragging on divorce and financial stuff. The typical. He is in his early forties having the textbook MLC but I am very LC / mostly NC with him so it no longer matters and I no longer mind.

        There was a bit of an age difference between us, but he went for someone 15 years younger than me. LOL. I don’t care. Anyone who knows me knows he went for the massive downgrade. I’m all good with that ????

        We don’t have children but I have a feeling STBXCH is in for a new level of existential pain and probably several more decades of working ahead of him once OWhore starts demanding them to lock in HER insurance policy. Good times.

        If he’d stayed with me he would have been retired by 50 #Justsaying

        Hope you are going ok.

    • Tired

      Hi Satori. Thanks for replying. Well, they are always younger aren’t they? Usually a little less intelligent too 🙂 But all good times and no responsibility. So was our OW. Is it definitely over with you and your husband? I think ours was planning to lock in her insurance policy too. It never happened because we reconciled and I choose to believe that it was impossible, as my husband told me. Never mind, she found another man to oblige. Just terrible. Her doing that with the next man actually reveals the plot she had formulated. Because when she was after my husband she was posting very suggestive things about babies on social media. Like ‘I want one.’ Oh, surprise, she suddenly gets one with the next fool. You could feel sorry for these people, but…..Naaaaah. They are just evil.

      I don’t know what it is about doctors and cheating. There seems to be a lot of it on this site but I have not observed much of it myself.

      I hope your husband works his ass off for the next thirty years at least, if he is that foolish!

    • Satori

      Hi Tired,

      I don’t know about her intelligence — but she is as scheming / manipulative as anyone who knowingly destroys someone else’s marriage for personal gain. I don’t doubt she has laid all her traps already. She is a skinsuit as Sarah P. has written about in the spouse poachers article.

      It is plain creepy to not have known about someone who knew all about me and my entire life.
      It’s such a violation. The information, the online stalkiness she indulged in — before I even knew she existed — I feel deep levels of anger about that. Still have a lot of work to do on that zen like attitude.

      Sadly my marriage cannot be saved and it appears to be over with my cheater. I’m still grieving but I have more good days than bad — but that’s after a lot of very bad days in the past nearly one year.

      My STBXCH had the best life until he threw it away. Now he is a wreck. Such a fool indeed.
      I’ll probably never get over this but I’m trying. I hope you and your H can work through it and I hope he can do the amends and show the remorse.

      Hugs to you!

    • Tired

      Hi Satori. I am sorry for what happened. I know how you feel about her knowing things about you when you had no idea. I remember once, before any of this happened, my husband came home from work and said Slutface had seen me on facebook. We had a mutual friend. However she wouldn’t have seen this unless she was looking me up. I have a private account and she could not see anything other than the profile photos. I had met her before and I said to him innocently, tell her she can add me if she wants. I had no idea at all at that time. She never did. She added him though a couple of months later, and I was a bit annoyed about that and he deleted her. Probably made a fake account so he could continue this ‘innocent’ contact, I don’t know. But it seems she was very scheming, cunning as well. Later I figured out wanting to meet me was a bit like a burglar ‘casing the joint.’

      I know what you mean about violation. I feel violated that she intruded into my last holiday with him before this disaster by sending texts, and then later when we were trying to work things out she actually intruded into my home, sending messages and texts. I am more angry at him because he allowed it to happen. I still don’t know what he actually said about us. He will admit to nothing, but reading between the lines there was a lot he said. I feel so betrayed by that. It is very hard to forgive. And becoming a private detective in your own marriage? I never even imagined this was possible. I had so much trust in him.

      In some ways Satori, even though your husband left it might be less painful in the long run. It is so, so hard to recover the trust. When you want them back you don’t think how their behaviour will forever taunt you. It really destroys the trust, especially when they continue to lie. I think about it every day multiple times and this was over two years ago. He suggests you go to a new place…did he go there with her? She posts something on social media…was that about him? He wants to listen to some new music…did she like it? He suddenly has a new interest…was she into that? It goes on and on. Sometimes I thought I was going insane.

      So I wonder sometimes whether this is not a slow and painful death rather than a quick execution. In either scenario the cheater wins. In the first, they get this new exciting life. Oh, happy, move on now. Never mind that you destroyed someone else’s life. In the second, the betrayed spouse gets to suffer through all this lack of trust and eventually it ends anyway. And the cheater can assuage his guilt by saying you just couldn’t get over it. Either way, the cheater doesn’t feel any pain. After all, in the second scenario the cheater can always say it was my lack of trust that led to the failure of the relationship. It really sucks big time.

      I can only hope that your husband will eventually get his just desserts. I hope he is sitting alone one day when he is old and abandoned for a younger man…”Why did I let go of Satori? She would have taken care of me.” And by that time you will have moved on and have a wonderful life with someone with a brain.

    • Satori

      Hi Tired,

      Yes and yes to your astute observations. I am so sorry you had to endure all that. The things cheaters put us all through!! It’s unbelievable. But it helps me to remember our husbands allowed these OWhores to intrude into a sacred space — what a marriage is supposed to be. Our spouses defiled it. I don’t want to think about OWhore personally now, I will not allow her to consume my mental real estate. She knew she was destroying another woman and someone’s marriage. That’s all I need to know about OWhore.

      For me the real relationship / marriage killer was the continued lying and the maddening and ludicrous insistence after multiple D-Days that this woman was “just a friend” well after he had admitted to the EA and PA (he admitted to both).

      I refused to be marriage detective — I found out by complete accident. I was so clueless!
      It was like a higher power dropped the evidence in my lap. Haha sometimes I feel like someone was watching me from another dimension wringing their hands and *smh-ing* going “Why is Satori so clueless?! Let’s send her a MAJOR red flag, so she wakes up.”

      Thanks y’all but I’m WOKE now baby LOLOLOL. For real.

      My STBXCH was clearly having an affair (and this is way obvious too in hindsight) but such was my 100% trust that I never even considered he might be. In many ways finding out saved me too as the gaslighting was making me insane to begin with. That was the beginning of my complete breakdown. That was fun. Not.

      As far as the cheater wins all the way round, well, yeah, that’s the big problem. Unless there are consequences for what they’ve done to their spouse, there is no reason for them not to continue to minimise it (or, dangerously, do it again) therefore all your triggers will be a major pain for them to deal with. So they won’t validate or support you as the toxic shame just overwhelms them and so they have to put it somewhere else (read: anyone but them, but most odiously and devastatingly it will be at you) as they cannot handle it. It’s a failure of self image really.

      Btw, your spouse saying it was your lack of trust that led to the failure of the relationship is Gaslighting 101. It’s blame shifting crap. I would haul that in front of him and say this is where the work needs to be done by him. Stop blaming you for his devastating actions and moral failures.

      I sheeted that shit right back to my STBXCH. That’s all his to carry now!

      Yes to the moving on Tired. The fog these cheaters are in obscures any and all pre-frontal cortex logic. They are in baby mode: instant gratification. In the end, their bullshit happiness bid has nothing to do with me…nothing to work with there as TryingHard ????might say!

      • Tired

        Hi Satori. You are right that it is a failure of self image. My husband can’t bear to be reminded of it because he is ashamed and disgusted with himself. That seems to me to be more important than the fact that he has caused me major trauma. It is about him and how he feels about himself. This makes me angry. Let’s not talk about it because it makes HIM feel bad.

        To be fair my husband has not said that it was my lack of trust that led to the failure of the relationship. But he is very affected by the fact I have difficulty with trust now, and I do think that would be his excuse if he could not take it anymore. In truth, I DO trust him as he is now. As in I don’t think he is having any inappropriate contact with anyone. If he is it is definitely not in person. But knowing he was capable of doing such a terrible thing does not exactly inspire me with great confidence in the future. I THINK he was depressed and stressed at the time and did something very stupid that he is now ashamed of. But if the same set of circumstances were to happen again and there was an eager woman trying to ingratiate herself…would he do it again? He says he has done so much self reflection and that it would never happen again. But then, I never thought it would happen in the first place.

        I feel for you so much Satori because I lived for a couple of weeks thinking I had been abandoned for this woman. It was so gut wrenching. I was a wreck. Yet you are living this daily. I do not go how you have come this far. You must be very brave. When you said in one of your posts that you didn’t know if you would get over it I felt teary for you. Because I think that is how I would feel as well.

        You are right to not let the other woman have so much impact on you. I am trying to stop obsessing and it has become a lot better but I think there is a long way to go. She is certainly not worth all the stress and anxiety.

        • Satori

          Hi Tired,

          Thank you for the lovely thoughts — I lost a couple of posts for some reason and can’t recreate them fully but I’ll try to recap some things again below…

          I am not brave. I have been crushed by this experience. I’m in recovery and it’s a long, sometimes extremely slow process. Relapse always threatens to un-do me. It’s always looming.

          Being abandoned was the ultimate pain. I never felt anything like it except perhaps the loss of a family member. Being betrayed AFTER being abandoned was just the extra pain on top of the excruciating pain so I’m not sure how much more it added to the pain. If you know what I mean. It was all just layers of pain.

          And now I’m in the awful, devastating pain of deconstruction of our life in a divorce that I never wanted. I would have been loyal to the end of time for my STBXCH.
          I thought he was the love of my life. The losses are mounting: business, job, in-laws family, social circle and wider social impacts, finances, sanity. It’s a long list. That’s why I don’t think I will ever get over it.

          Thanks for your support though!

          — S x

    • TryingHard

      Hi Satori and Tired
      Yes it is bullshit and at times there’s nothing to work with. Not only call the bullshit but really know it’s bullshit maybe more nicely said obfuscation and denial and blaming shifting because these timid little creatures just can’t accept they’ve acted in horrendous ways.

      Satori i am so happy you’ve learned not to give to OW any mental space in your head and have placed all the blame squarely where it belongs. I spent over a year in therapy because i could not manage that on my own. It was freaking awful i was so obsessed. Not only did i know this bitch and she knew me, we weren’t friends, my husband hired her. So not only did she know about me she knew about my fsmily, my son also worked in the business, she knew about my business and my hisband was give her unprecedented authority at that business. This was a whole uneducated inexperienced former bartender!!! And once i went back to work in our business after he insisted i do after DDays 1and 2 i got to see her footprint EVERYWHERE. It was excruciating.

      It is so creepy to find out a complete stranger who has nothing but I’ll will for you and toward you have access to so much information. And exactly there is no one to blame but the person whom we were to trust the most.

      Satori i don’t know because my marriage didn’t end and yes we are doing good. But there’s still a lot there in the background. Everything that happens going forward is shaded by the infidelity. And don’t think Karma doesn’t have its way with them. It does. You may not get to witness it or even realize it’s happening but it does. No one gets to run roughshod over others without it coming to bite them back. You don’t even have to wish it to be so.

      The important thing is to live your best life with or without the cheater. Get therapy, take good care of you, love yourself first, have strong personal boundaries and consequences if those boundaries are crossed. It’s all hard especially if it goes against your grain. But little by Little and step by step you get there. Tired, i had to learn to detach emotionally from my husband. Not anything mean or overt. Not that i didn’t care or have compassion but i had to stop living in my idealized relationship with him and accept the real relationship. I had to stop putting all my emotional eggs in one basket. And like Satori said i had to stop playing marriage police. Not to say my attenae isn’t focused. I honestly believe if he started anything else again I’d know and if he did it wasn’t going to wreck me again. I guess I’ve become hardened.

      I’ve had enough heartbreak to last me a lifetime and well I’m learning that that is what life is about. Dealing with heartbreak because it will damn well happen one way or another. I’m glad I’ve become toughened up. And i know longer lament why me but i shake my fist and say Bring It On!!! I can take it!!!

      • Tired

        Yes I know what you mean Trying Hard. I actually feel very humiliated that he told OW things about me. He denies it but the comments she made do not make any sense if he didn’t. She was an expert on me it seems after having met me about 3 times and she spoke to him the whole time anyway. It is very painful to betrayed by the person you trust most in the world to look after you. I am trying not to think about her as much but it is hard.

        I am trying to get over it. I thought I was doing well, but finding out the new information has been a bit of a setback for me. Even though it was not anything shocking, it just has upset me that he couldn’t care about me enough to tell me the truth in the first place. I was no longer the marriage police but the detective in me was roused recently with this new information and I started putting my Sherlock hat back on again. I am going to stop doing this. It is not helping me or the relationship.

        In some ways she had to groom him for so long before she could even get him to have a meal with her. That makes me feel a bit more secure in that he didn’t just jump in. It took her months of conversation, showing she ‘understood’ him. Her relentless pursuit of him which was so flattering to him was just desperation. She had to wait for him to have a work crisis before she made her big move. And she didn’t get very far with that. I remember I didn’t like her the first time I saw her and being a woman I immediately smelled mate poacher. I remember being a bit anxious about them working together, and I even thought to myself the only way that he would ever have an affair was if it slowly developed and he was too naive to see it until he did something stupid. But I dismissed it, yet that is exactly what happened. My mistake was having blind trust. Never again. And his mistake was not opening up to me when he felt he wasn’t being heard, and being a little clueless about women in general. He seems to have been thinking, well it feels great to be so admired, but we are just talking. Then it was, just a text after work, then more texts, just grabbing a bite to eat after work. It is a slippery slope. And then after he came back home, she was happy to text him on the sly, happy with the crumbs of attention he threw at her. Desperate.

        When we were trying to sort things out can you believe the OW actually sent him an article about ‘manipulative women.’ It made me laugh that he read it and told her ‘that sounds like you!’ Major fail. Lol.

        I believe I would know too if he was doing it again. It always comes from the gut, even if there is no evidence. We spend so much time with these men we can just sense when something is off. It’s non verbal.

        I don’t think I could bear to work with the other woman. How awful for you TH. I hope you fired her!

      • Satori

        TH, YOU ARE A LEGEND ????

        This is such a great summation of the good, the bad and the ugly of the EA/PA.

        I had posted a long reply but it posted and then… not sure what happened or why but it disappeared… Doug has not responded yet so for now I’ll just say this is perfect.

        And, as ever, thank you for being you. You helped me SO much to get to the point where my recovery has actual traction and forward motion as opposed to complete inertia and stasis. For that I’m eternally grateful.

        — S xx

    • TryingHard

      Satori. Sorry lost my train of thought in that paragraph. What i wanted to say is I’m not sure since i am still in a relationship with my cheater but i agree with Tired. I’m still NOT positive i made the right decision. Yeah this many years later. Doesn’t happen a lot and I’m mostly in a good place and not really even certain if it was the infidelity that is in question but maybe the simple longevity of our relationship. Forty eight years I’ve know him. Married forty three ????. So I’m not sure that the universe wasn’t trying to send me a message too that many years ago.

    • Satori

      Hey TryingHard,
      I wrote a long reply to you — it posted (originally) but it has since disappeared!
      Wondering if Doug can find it and re-post…?

    • TryingHard

      Hi Satori
      Actually I read your reply and then I went through a big purge on my emails and your reply was one of them and then I couldn’t remember what thread your post was on!!! UGH!

      LOL thanks for the compliment but actually hardly a legend on any level. It’s a common theme because although some of our IRL experiences vary the plot is the same.

      I think Tired put it very succinctly and I totally agree and can relate to everything she said to you with regards to living through this devastating experience.

      I was left too. And although he came back, I will NEVER forget that pain of him walking into our home and announce he was leaving THAT DAY with no warning whatsoever beforehand. It’s the emotional equivalent of a tsunami or a DDay or a rear end accident. There’s too many euphemisms to list for the experience, but we all know what it is when we see it and empathize when someone else is going through it.

      Indeed NO. You nor any of us here will ever be the same. Emotionally or financially. Gee all that money and ticks taken from our hearts! How can we? And no we never get over it. But we grow and learn and get on despite the scar. Some days the scar is hardly noticeable and we can cover it up with a little spackle or makeup. And then other days it freaking throbs in our face. I think this is true for many of us despite the good intentions of thinking/stating we are OK. I like to fake until I make it too 🙂

      I’m glad to see you back here at EAJ and I know you’re in the middle of hell right now. I hope you are taking good self care and I know you have good legal help. Since you two own a business together the whole divorce thing may take a while longer which makes it that much more painful. I am certain had I/he chosen divorce I probably would still be going through it and it’s been 7 years!!! UGH I’d have pulled all my hair out for sure. LOL I wouldn’t have gone done quietly as I’m certain you can probably guess 🙂

    • Satori

      Hey TryingHard,
      I am right in the middle of hell now, so there is only one option and that is to “keep going”.
      No wonder Churchill said that. And I would not expect you to go quietly haha. But no one should go down without a major pushback at the very least. I’ve been fighting for my life, my future and most of all my sanity. The whopping costs of all this though. Seriously. I would never have guessed back on D-Day.

      As I posted, my pushback was a bit late but it has been effective. And I can see the hard part of the R journey too and why you and Tired are wary though, but in a way it’s safer. You know, the old drive slowly with the fog lights on type of approach exists for a reason.

      I remember when in the early days I believed I could logic STBXCH out of his affair fantasy fog and his sullen reason for not reconciling or at least going to MC was literally put back onto me with him saying, “You’ll never trust me again”. Ignoring the obvious me-centricity by him of that statement, I replied, “But how can you reassure me you would not do this again?”

      And without even a second’s hesitation STBXCH looked me right in the eye and simply said “You could be assured it would not happen again.” The End. LOL. Like, I was supposed to simply take him at his word and nothing more. And it was assumed by him that should be perfectly ok. I mean, His Word would be or should still be good enough for me even now when he had been exposed in an Actual Live Affair…EA/PA and endless deception / betrayal / disloyalty. He offered no other collateral or corollary, no safeguards or transparency measures to support this. Most aggravatingly of all was the obliviousness to the irony and to the implications underpinning the delusionality of the statement, i.e. the hubris of it. And yes *big sigh* the entitlement.

      LOL. As I think about that. What a narcissistic little fuck he is.
      Clearly I’ve swung back into the anger stage of my grief cycle today haha. Just in No Mood.

      So yeah. The R Game. Not sure how you ever switch off or at least turn down the volume on the “woke” part of who they revealed themselves to be. Or if you ever should. And my brain is a Jedi mind-tricking beast. It can go down endless rabbitholes investigating permutations and combinations of what ifs and second guesses so I am certain that the R game would have been too much for me. I am not sure I have the requisite calm marathon in me!

      Kudos to you TH and Tired. You are warriors.

    • Tired


      Good old Churchill. I hope your pushback works. There is nothing worse to me than the cheater getting off scot free and suffering no pain and then taking you down financially as well. I hope you succeed. I hope you win all of your assets because it sounds like you are the one who established the business and made a success of it. It would be great if your cheater ended up with nothing, but with modern laws that is likely not going to happen. So I hope you get the lion’s share!

      Where are you? Are you in Aus? I got the feeling that you might be for some reason.

      I also got ‘you’ll never trust me again.’ Or actually it was the OW telling my husband I would never trust him again, which he parroted back to me. I think she was right, yet she used that as a reason he should leave me, My husband also said ‘It will NEVER happen again.’ Well that remains to be seen. I do trust he is not up to anything now. But knowing he was capable of such deception does not exactly inspire me with confidence. I definitely will not EVER trust him blindly again, that’s for sure.

      I was under the impression that you did not reconcile before it ended? But it sounds like you did. What happened? Now you are saying there was a physical affair as well as an emotional one. I didn’t think there was from your other posts. Did you find this out later and he admitted to it?

      They just expect us to believe that they will never do it again. It is not so easy, as I mentioned before. Getting back with them is fraught with difficulty because you don’t fully trust them and never will ever again. Sometimes I think a clean break, although very traumatic and shocking might have been the best thing. I would have been 2.5 years out by now, and probably would have restored some of sanity. However, I’m still living it.

      Exactly, we have seen who they revealed themselves to be now. So is my husband the husband I always knew who I never would have thought capable of such behaviour? Was it just a one off stupid reaction to a life crisis? Or is this who he is at his core? A liar and a cheat. Those are the questions that will forever plague me. It is hard to feel safe. So sometimes I think it would have been better to have just gone our separate ways.

    • Satori

      Hey TryingHard,

      Sorry for slow reply… I did not receive the alert for your post!

      My pushback worked to free me. The anniversary of my year of hell rolled around and I imposed heavy consequences for 7 days straight. Every day a big pushback of some sort and finally it broke him. He only offered to settle after that sequence of events. So this was the point it would have worked to R however there was not sufficient evidence to me that my H was truly done with the EA (and yes the PA). It was a long distance A, however I felt unsafe in the sense it was a very very big risk for me to take based on all the available evidence. It’s an easy thing to start up an EA like that again by phone and I did not feel there was a way for me to be certain he was done with it even though he said it was a “disaster” and “the biggest mistake of my life”.

      Put simply, on balance even despite his professed remorse and tears etc, I did not feel ‘worshipped’ enough. To me, it just seemed that things had not worked out with the EA-PA for him so I did not want to now be the second choice. I felt like he would not value me if I simply rolled back especially after last year giving him all that time to make his mind up, I lost months being reasonable and trying to be supportive. It did not work. He now says “the fantasy (of the A partner) did not match the reality”. To your question, my H had admitted to both on D-Day#1. And yes, in Aus with his A partner overseas.

      In the end, I did get the lion’s share — only just settled last week after very long protracted legal “Mexican standoff”. Which was every bit of pain I had expected. But I survived it. It’s signed and done. I’m still sad though. It did not feel like a win and tbh I feel like the legal aspect was my H inflicting more pain on me. The whole thing was a shit fight that was none of my making and I have considerable anger around that. I hope it will fade in time.

      But as you said “we have seen who they revealed themselves to be now”. I’m just devastated that is who my H turned out to be. I would never have guessed or suspected he would do many of the things he has in the last year. The cognitive dissonance is real and your questions in that last para were the same as mine because of that. They keep me awake at night. I’m so sad for both of us though as he proved to be the weakest link and that has brought us down. It is so hard to feel safe. And that is why I did not R with him. I know there are no certainties in life but I don’t need extreme concerns or doubt either.

      I hope your H is worthy of keeping you TryingHard.

      • Tired

        Hi Satori. Thanks for replying.

        Countries aside, with modern technology an affair can rekindle at any time, any place and worst of all, without your knowledge. I’m glad you came out the victor. I really do hope you F him over financially.

        I remember you mentioned in a comment that your brother made about your husband. Your brother said that you were too strong. Other commentators took this as you being blamed for the affair and shot this down. But I think that your brother was right. I think that your brother’s assessment was probably correct, especially coming from a male perspective. I have thought this all along about my husband. He was so willing to fall into an affair with a simpering fool. However he has always told me I am strong. Yet those were the main criticisms when the affair was happening: i was controlling, I would be ‘ok’ if he left me. I was strong. I think in some way they are emasculated when a woman shows some courage. This is not true of all men, only those with a low self worth, in my opinion. In these ones they take everything you say as a direct attack on their self worth, rather than what you are actually trying to get across. And that’s because they do not value themselves. That is my husband’s problem.

        My husband actually said to me that I stopped him from seeing his friends. Well that was complete rubbish. I organised dinners with his friends year after year for his birthday because he never contacted them and they never did either, or only occasionally. That was the only time he ever saw them. Eventually I stopped. Interestingly enough, that seems to be the time he quoted that he had been ‘unhappy’ since then, although this only came out AFTER the affair. So did he cheat on me because I didn’t organise a bloody birthday dinner? I failed. Every time I had organised a dinner he would whine that he didn’t want to go!! But then he would go after being coaxed and have a good time at the end! There is no pleasing some people obviously. It tells me something about his personality. I think the other woman brought that out in him too…he needs to feel needed. Otherwise I’ll thow a tantrum! Not sure how much longer I can put up with this man child!

        I suppose we just have to accept that some people are really emotionally f’d UP and immature.

        I’m glad your husband said the fantasy of the affair partner did not match the reality. I am sure it never does. I mean, we could have told them that, lol. But mine probably didn’t get to that stage and is still fantasising about the future, even if it is not with her. And that is what you have saved yourself from Satori. I will never know. Good luck to you. I’m sure one day I will wish I had been as wise.

        • Satori

          Hi Tired,

          There are so many similarities with the things my H said that your H has also said to you.

          Ah yes, the “strong” criticism. I was “controlling” too. Literally hilarious shit.
          I agree with you that it’s entirely related to low self worth.
          Put it this way, I was probably even stronger when he met me and hell to the yeah I am sure I was controlling in certain ways — it is hard to be successful without some measure of control over your life. Anyhow, my ‘package’ suited him just fine for 15 years or so until vague / unspecified parts of it were needed as an excuse to jump ship to OWhore.

          I also now see these criticisms of me as projections. I re-framed every statement and it came to the truth. HE controlled the relationship by being out of control and keeping me in a spin with his chaos. He saw himself as weaker so the only way he could beat me and my “strength” was to deceive me and betray me so I was de-stabilized. In his affair he began to perceive himself as stronger but that was only for having drained me through our relationship, which I now question if it was ever a team effort. It seems it was purely a competition in his mind to ‘win’. How sad. Especially since now he truly is a loser.

          You write: “In these ones they take everything you say as a direct attack on their self worth, rather than what you are actually trying to get across. And that’s because they do not value themselves. That is my husband’s problem.”

          I would go as far as to say this is A Thing — someone who has deep-seated personal issues who perceives anything said as narcissistic injury rather than just another human speaking to them in a brisk, no nonsense approach or what I would call a “let’s get on with it” communication style. Who has time to cotton ball these baby men just to do everyday basics that need doing? It’s not and was never a criticism but how can you help someone who needs everyone else to blow smoke up them and flatter them relentlessly every minute of the day. Apparently even OWhore wasn’t up for doing that in the end. LOL.

          I got the “you don’t let me see my friends” crap too. Noting he blew off his friends in a foreign country to have an extra-marital sexual relationship with a seriously inappropriate person. So when he had the complete carte blanche opportunity to hang out with his friends, he didn’t! Enough said.

          Basically, they take anything and flip it. It’s all part of the dishonesty. I have notes of it all and reading over it is as depressing as it is great therapy to remind myself why I have decided to move on. It’s not easy. I miss him / my marriage every day, but it’s not the REAL person I’m missing, just the one he presented to me when it suited him to do so. The person he could easily be while I was busy performing like a barking seal creating our life together. Yeah well this bitch, ahem barking seal, is getting very busy organising my own life now and I’m looking forward to a year’s time when things will look very different again.

          My mantra now is that it is never too late to please myself. I’m done with the pleasing everyone else phase!

          Good luck to you too Tired.

          — S x

          • Tired

            “In his affair he began to see himself as stronger…” Hmmm. Yes, I have never seen my husband behave so strongly as when he was caught. He had all the power and knew it. And he rubbed it all in my face. SHE did this, SHE understood that. Apparently she had all the answers and I didn’t look very good in comparison. Whatever. Then he came back with his tail between his legs.

            I’m sure he will resent me for this. I’m sure he thinks I ‘made him’ come back. Or that will be the excuse when the next spouse poacher comes along. Because of course, I was always so controlling. You are right when you say that you have to be controlling in some aspects. If I had not made some key decisions we would not have had what we have today. Because he can never make a decision. Even sending a text to someone is hard…I need to check it for him to make sure it is ok. I mean, really? Who does this? I fire them off without thinking too much. I don’t really need to have them vetted first! I’m glad he didn’t ask me to vet all the texts he must have sent to the other woman. Hold on, it probably wouldn’t have worked to his advantage there! Hahaha.

            Yes, I was stronger too before I met him. In fact, I put a lot of my hopes and dreams aside because I thought it was more important to have a family with him. Did he want a child when it was possible? No. Does he want one now? No, he is ‘coming to terms with it.’ But that very issue was a key factor the other woman used to get him on side. It was however the first time I had heard of it. Cue for the next potential spouse poaching cow to take her lead.

            • Satori

              Oh no Tired! Say it ain’t so. He taunted you saying those things? Just wow.

              Even your scripting texts for your H shows his lack of confidence, or maybe learned helplessness perhaps? I’m not sure, but as you say he had no probs texting when he could do so covertly though, right? So messed up.

              My understanding about abuse and power relations is forever changed by my experience as a BS. Not abusing power that one holds is a sign of strength and integrity. Any partner does hold power in an intimate relationship whether that is keeping private matters as private, knowing secrets and or history of the other person. There is a fair playing field in matters of the heart and the rules of engagement are such that everyone knows without having to specify. Cheaters trample over every bit of both by their betrayals and deceptions and then have the supreme arrogance not to own it or throw it back on everyone else. But the Cheater shoots an own goal in the end. They have outed themselves.

              I hear you about the hopes and dreams. It is hard to make plans for anything when a person who claims to be on your team seems to change with the weather. You mention key decisions you made, but as he probably had very little buy in but it in all likelihood still benefitted him, so hey all good. It’s good for THEM — and that’s all they think of. It’s not about what’s good for you, unless you rewrite the specifics of the relationship expectations from the ground up and be clear about getting your needs met. Only then can one see what the Cheater is made of.

              That also means they are a fair weather team mate, and in no way to be trusted when the winds turn stormy i.e newest mate poacher arrives on the scene or a situation arrives where “all hands on deck” are required. Or even when the opportunity presents for them to accept someone’s advances and they can get away with it. When I looked at all of that on balance I concluded:
              This person is now too high a risk for me. I had tested my STBXCH over this past year for all these issues and he came up wanting.

              This is why I’m setting my sails windward and heading for new horizons.

    • Satori

      Oh so sorry my dear Tired, that reply was also meant for you! My sincere apology… I was pre-coffee here when I wrote that reply and I fully meant you to be mentioned as I answered your questions but had scrolled onto the previous post from the lovely TryingHard. *smh*

      As you can tell it has been quite a full on couple of weeks. I’m a tad scattered at the moment lol

      Sorry again, I really appreciated your reply Tired and I also hope your H is worthy of you too!

      — S x

    • TryingHard

      It’s not that you are too strong, it is that they are too weak!! They are also most likely jealous in which case society labels strong women with directions and SKILLZZZZ as emasculating their male partners.

      Of course to all this I call pure and utter bullshit!!!! BULLSHIT because yes as Satori said this strong smart assertive self confident stance sure worked for him until he decided it didn’t because smoopie came along and well being the sniveling helpless little creature he could easily impress gave him the opportunity to find fault with YOU in order to justify his tacky choices and behaviors! Don’t go changing and thinking oooo if I come off to strong or too assertive or too smart or too self confident I am going to scare him off. Look if anyone is scared off by those attributes I say GOOD, they weren’t right for you anyway!

      Ha I heard that controlling crap too. Again what a load of bullshit. Attaching the term “controlling ” to the betrayed is a dog whistle for cheaters. You throw that term around enough it’s going to eventually stick because who isn’t controlling in some aspect of their lives. So get this when my h was gone and we were going to counseling and he was talking about moving back in he came over one morning. I had just made a smoothie and I offered some to him. He said he really liked it to which I responded “well if you move back I can make this every morning for you for breakfast”. LOLOL you can only guess what he said right??? “ooo there you go TryingHard, controlling everything again” Really??? So offering to make a smoothie is controlling??? WTF?

      No in fact my offering to make him smoothies in the morning was an act of love and caring and he simply couldn’t handle that I could be loving and caring after what he had done to me. Guess what though, I’ve never made him a smoothie for breakfast after he moved back 🙂

      Satori, I did not realize your H had in fact was trying to reconcile after he came out of his fog with regards to the AP. Did I understand that correctly? Oh man so he decided she wasn’t all that and tried to get back with you? What a bugger! Yes isn’t that every woman’s dream to be the second choice??? Karma is going to not be so good for a while to him I’m afraid. Too bad so sad.

      And of course my H isn’t worthy of me 🙂

    • Satori

      Trying Hard, that’s a slow clap from me for that post!
      Make me smoothies for breakfast please. I’d be happy to be controlled like that.
      “Attaching the term “controlling” to the betrayed is a dog whistle for cheaters”.
      Preach it sister. ????

      Being called controlling is now officially a trigger for me. It’s massively unfair not to mention misogynistic. Likewise being called “strong” and no I’m NOT going to change. Being strong saved my own life. In fact my STBXCH saw how strong I could be when I rejected every pathetic offer he made me both legal and personal in the last year. As far as my being strong: don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. That will always be a mistake.

      To recap, the first approach / offer occurred when he asked me to have dinner (this was just pre-Christmas) to discuss “what would be required to reconcile”. He had already been to see a lawyer so his legal pursuit had not been called off, which I believe showed he was trying to work out which option would work best FOR HIM. I gave him a hefty to-do list that included among other key action points, a post nuptial agreement and rehab.

      After STBXCH realized he wasn’t going to be able to slide back into the old comfortable relationship without penalty (consequences), he backpedaled and tried to re-frame the dinner as him just wanting to “see me”. I was astounded. And offended that he would lie about that after he didn’t get what he wanted. It was an eye opener that steeled me for the next steps.

      And this was just before Christmas too, but when there was no wrapped Tiffany forgive-me-blue-box on my doorstep for Christmas, nor even a simple heartfelt card of remorse, just a one line text hoping I had a nice Christmas day “with family” (#irony #alert) it was clear there was going to be no real effort expended in fixing anything.

      So began my journey to freedom.

      The recent approach was after the legal / financial settlement. He was crying, sobbing, a real mess. He had visited OWhore in her country for three weeks in May (to celebrate the anniversary of the affair beginning one presumes) which had turned out to be “a complete disaster” and “a huge mistake”. He further said “I should never have gone”. That was when he told me it had all been “the biggest mistake of his life” and that he was “very very sorry” bla bla bla. And that he had not been in touch with her since he returned. Too bad, so sad as you say. Very sad.

      Fog lifted indeed.

      Yeah-No, not going to be anyone’s second choice.

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