A recurring theme on this site lately seems to be about healing from an affair from the standpoint of getting the cheater to do the necessary work that will help the betrayed heal and hasten the affair recovery process.

What’s become quite obvious based on many of your comments is that your spouse (usually a man) won’t do much, if anything, to help.

I’m constantly asked why this is.  Suffice to say that initially after the affair had ended I really didn’t do much to help Linda heal either.  Not until I figured things out in my own head and how what I did affected Linda was I able to give her what she needed.  The good news is that my not helping Linda was a temporary state of “dumb-assness” on my part.  Perhaps your spouse is in this temporary state as well.

So what does a cheater need to do to help you in healing from an affair?

healing from an affair
If the cheater does not learn to forgive himself or herself when it is necessary, healing from an affair all but stops.

First of all, the cheater must understand the pain and emotions that you have felt or are currently feeling so as to have a thorough understanding of your experience.  Without this step how in the world can the cheater give you what you need to heal?

Your job is to effectively communicate your pain and your feelings over time in a way that he/she will understand and empathize with – without necessarily making your spouse feel like a low-life-scum-sucking-maggot.

There can be any number of explanations for why a cheater might omit this step of understanding your pain and emotions, but as a result of this omission, frustration and resentment will continue to mount and healing comes to a screeching halt.

I believe that the reason might be due to your spouse’s inability to process his/her own emotions in an effective manner. If he/she cannot deal with what is going on in their own head, how can they possibly deal with what is going on within your head?

It is important for both partners to understand and come to terms with the fact that it is as natural and important for the cheater to work on their thoughts and feelings about the affair as it is for the injured to do so. I think that most of us are in agreement with that. If the cheater does not do this, the relationship can never really move towards healing from an affair.

While writing this post, I remembered that Dr. Gunzburg in his book, “How to Survive an Affair,” talks about how once the affair is out in the open, there are certain emotions that a cheater will wrestle with.  To be exact, there are seven of them:

  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Condemnation
  • Loneliness

I think that if the cheater has problems with dealing with any one of these emotions it can cause there to be a stalemate, but today I want to concentrate on the emotion of feeling condemned.

Wiktionary defines condemnation as “The act of judicially condemning, or adjudging guilty, unfit for use, or forfeited; the act of dooming to punishment or forfeiture.”   If you look the word condemn up in a thesaurus, you find synonyms such as:  belittle, blow whistle on, call down, castigate, censure, chide, come down on, criticize, damn, decry, denounce, denunciate, deprecate, disapprove, disparage, doom, find fault with, find guilty, frame, etc.

Gunzburg says that condemnation is a difficult yet critical issue for the cheater and often goes hand in hand with guilt – another powerful and potentially limiting emotion.  The struggle the cheater has as a result of feeling condemned is that of self-forgiveness.

Learning how to forgive one’s self and be compassionate with one’s self is difficult for most people. Gunzburg says, “We all expect so much out of ourselves that we don’t allow much space for this type of self-care. Self-forgiveness is especially difficult when someone has done something wrong, and in the process, hurt people that they care about, as is the case with an affair.”

The cheater can’t forgive them self so quickly and so easily that they minimize what they did. Those feelings of guilt exist for a reason. Trying to forgive them self so that they can get this difficult period over with isn’t helpful either. The cheater cannot get away with saying, “I’m sorry for what I did, now let’s move on and forget about it.” This attitude of quickly moving on minimizes and discounts their partner’s feelings.

However, if the cheater does not learn to forgive himself or herself when it is necessary, they will not be able to move on in the relationship. They’re stuck.  Thus the important work in healing from an affair all but stops.

Gunzburg goes on to give us some points that do not constitute self-forgiveness…

Six Misconceptions about Self-forgiveness

  • Self-forgiveness isn’t letting yourself off the hook.
  • Self-forgiveness isn’t a way to “one-up” your partner and put yourself in a position to blame them for not getting over it.
  • Self-forgiveness isn’t a lie; you have to feel it from within.
  • Self-forgiveness isn’t an excuse for you to do whatever you want.
  • Self-forgiveness isn’t a back-up plan for when you screw up.
  • Self-forgiveness isn’t forgetting.

Self-forgiveness is the ability to look at yourself, accept your own fallibility, and move on with your life, bearing your mistakes and your pain. Self-forgiveness is predicated on the idea that you won’t forget what you have done, but that you will use it as a means to improve your life. Self-forgiveness is showing yourself the warmth and compassion you would show to another person in a similar situation.

If you genuinely feel badly for what you have done and you have made the necessary internal changes to your character so that you are certain you would never participate in even the very earliest stages of an affair again, then you are ready to begin forgiving yourself. The pain and the forgiveness must come from your heart. If this happens, then you will be able to move forward with your partner.

 

I may be way off base here but I really think that one of the biggest issues when a cheater fails to do what is necessary for healing after an affair begins with their struggles with their own emotions.

So perhaps it’s not just a matter of them consciously not wanting to help in healing from an affair.  Rather, it could be that they cannot yet achieve self-forgiveness and this is creating a road block to further recovery.  In fact it could be any one of the seven emotions that they are having a hard time getting past.

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Gunzburg’s program, we did a review a while back and you can read it here.  

 

Opt In Image
Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful
Understanding Why Cheaters Do What They Do

Doug talks with several ex-unfaithful persons who share their experiences, thoughts and feelings.  They answer the most asked questions betrayed spouses typically have for the cheater.

 

 

    60 replies to "Healing From an Affair – Moving From Condemnation to Self-Forgiveness"

    • chiffchaff

      Thanks again for another well-timed and thought provoking article.
      Have sent the link for this article to my H, due to one of the 7 reasons listed above I don’t imagine he’ll read it, but it’s worth a shot as only this weekend he still seemed more concerned about whether or not I would forgive him as opposed to what he could be doing to help me move towards forgiving him at all.

    • blueskyabove

      Oh, man where do I start?  I honestly feel that we could talk for hours on this subject and I predict there will be a ton of comments on this post.  I could go into great detail about each of the seven emotions,  however;  I’m going to start with this statement:

      …making your spouse feel like a low-life-scum-sucking-maggot.

      Did Linda actually say those words to you or did you say them to you?

      I believe the idea that “I” can actually make “you” feel a certain way is a part of why healing is so hard.  This is not a trivial matter.  People need to stop blaming others for what they, themselves, choose to be offended by and take responsibility for their thoughts and emotions.  Of course, laying the blame on your spouse has most likely been happening for quite some time and been validated by your affair partner, but it would be helpful for the BS to have some concrete, fail-proof guidelines for dealing with this frustrating issue.  I realize this is difficult and I am certainly no expert, but getting the CS to stop blaming their spouse for everything has to stop before real communication can begin.  Better yet they need to pay attention to what they are saying to themselves and own up to it.  There have been many times I have wished I had a recording of what was actually said during a discussion.

      There  is a reason why a BS feels as if they have to walk on eggshells around their cheating spouse.  It takes a lot of energy to have to constantly be aware of what the exact words are that you should say to your spouse in order to discuss the affair.  Knowing that if you don’t express yourself to the CS in precisely the best way or leaving the conversation open to more lies or lies of omission, is exhausting.  It would sometimes takes me days to come up with the “perfect” question, not only so I could receive a truthful answer, but also that he wouldn’t get offended and go storming off in a huff which would effectively shut off ALL communication!  I was fully aware that he really didn’t want to discuss his affair, but I was putting forth an enormous amount of effort in taking his feelings into consideration and was still being accused of “making him feel a certain way”.  In retrospect it looks like a manipulative ploy on his part, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject.

      • Doug

        Hey Bluesky, To answer you question about the “low-life-scum-sucking-maggot”… Linda never said it, and I never told myself that either – in those exact words anyways. You make a great point in your comment when you say that “…getting the CS to stop blaming their spouse for everything has to stop before real communication can begin.”

      • chiffchaff

        ‘stopping blaming their spouse for everything’ is a real problem for me too. I’ve got sick to death of being continually portrayed, still, as being an entirely negative being in his eyes. My H barely has a positive word to say about me at times and I’ve just got real sick of it now. He describes other people who’ll say what he wants to hear as ‘wonderful’ and ‘amazing’ but me? I’m ‘automatically negative’.
        However feeling confident enough to start telling my H that I’ve had enough of being told I’m negative, when that was something he exaggerated to justify his PA/EA, is progress in itself. We have an impasse until he can start being positive towards me and that means addressing why he can only see me in negative terms. I mean, if I am so negative and lacking in positive attributes then why the hell didn’t he go to San Francisco and shack up with the OW when he had the chance?

        • chiffchaff

          The OW is of course only described in glowing positive terms, if not in words in a lack of negative words about her. It must be awful for her to be so damn perfect.

        • chiffchaff

          If anyone is there I’d appreciate some help and advice right now.
          My H has just told me that he has recently felt strongly like contacting the OW again. He felt like this last week. This conversation occured because I read his work email and saw a lengthy email of yesterday to his best friend where this, and the concept/plan for leaving me was set out and what he missed about the OW was listed. He has told me that he knows that if he contacted the OW he wouldn’t be able to back it up. He explained that this meant that he wouldn’t be able to leave me. When pressed he said that he wouldn’t be able to leave me because I don’t want him to leave.

          He says he felt like that before the weekend, and felt differently yesterday and wishes I hadn’t seen the email. He says that looking forward from where his is now he feels that if he stayed with me he knows he would have an EA, not a PA, with someone eventually. He says he does not feel like leaving me today. He has told me that he has read this blog and some of my comments, some of which he disagrees with. He says he does not feel the way that other CS’s describe themselves and their thoughts on this blog. He does not want to post comments. He does not want to be examined as to his reasoning.

          Is this a ‘to be expected’ up and down scenario? Is this still the fog? Is such brutal honesty from my H a good thing?

          • Lynne

            Chiffchaff-

            How long has it been since the D-day for you? How long did his EA go on? It certainly sounds as if he is still in the fog, but at least he is making attempts to be honest with his “current” feelings.

            I think you have to ask yourself the question of how long you can continue to put yourself through this. In other words, what is your own threshold. Can you do this for another month, for three months, and so on. Until you draw a specific line with yourself about this, the cycle with your H will continue.

            He may wish you hadn’t seen the email, but you did, and you did see his ongoing feelings about the OW. When he says that eventually he will have another EA (but not a PA–what bullshit is he trying to sell!), this should be a HUGE RED FLAG! So despite his confusion between you and the OW, the above statement shows some pretty true colors. Do you want to live with him knowing this?

            IMO, there comes a time when you have to set yourself free from someone who is continuing to inflict deep pain. Perhaps a separation from him while he sorts himself out might be warranted. You absolutely MUST take care of you right now–you aren’t going to bring him out of the fog until he’s good and ready to look deeply within himself–only he can decide whether are not he’s willing to address who he has become, and also the choices he has made.

            Please choose you! When he sees you’re making your own choices separate from him, he might just wake up and realize that it’s NOT ALL ABOUT HIM right now.

            • Healing Mark

              I second everything posted by Lynne above. Just my male two cents worth here, but sometimes when the wife appears ready to move on, the husband recognizes the potential for losing his marriage and, assuming that he does not want to lose it, he begins to attempt to identify and stop actions/inaction that are causing the wife to be ready to move on. Needy, clingy and hurting women are not, not surprisingly, very attractive. Getting past the affair and taking steps to survive/thrive without your H may make you more attactive in his eyes and allow him to chose you rather than his AP. Good luck!

          • Anita

            Chiffchaff,
            Are you and your husband in marriage counseling?
            As hurtful as it was to see that E-mail, its a good thing
            you did, because now you know exactly what’s on his mind.
            It appears he doesn’t know what he wants, thats why
            the pro and con list, he’s weighing it out in his mind.
            Unfortunately you can’t stop him from doin what he maybe
            getting ready to do.
            At least for yourself get some counseling, even if he doesn’t
            go.
            I agree with Lynne’s above post.
            Also flip this coin around, look at it from a different angle,
            would you put him through this? I would guess your
            answer would “no” because you know how hurtful this
            is. Well you should have to put up with this either.
            However if you have the endurance to wait it out, there
            maybe??? a chance he will come to his senses, however
            sometimes they don’t, I am sorry I know that hurts,
            I was once told some very good advice, “prepare for the
            worst, but hope for the best!”

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              My gut instinct has red flags popping everywhere, after
              rereading your post again.
              Prepare yourself, start getting things in order, in case
              he flys the coop. He doesn’t have know this. At least
              you will be prepared and that will make less stress
              on you in case he does.
              The best that will happen is you won’t need it. Best to
              be prepared and smart. Again he doesn’t need to
              know you have your own back up plan.
              He had no problem, making his own plans.

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              Typo- It should say, ” You shouldn’t have to put up with this
              either.”

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              With him telling you he may have a future EA but not a PA,
              eventually. He’s telling you this, because he wants out.
              He wants to upset you enough so you will throw in the towel.
              Chiffchaff it time for you to start putting yourself first.
              Nobody is ever born married, and should singleness
              happen, you will do just fine.
              I do hope you can work this out with your husband,
              however the his statements and actions are questionable
              at this point. My very very best to you! Take Care of
              yourself!

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              Another thought is with your husband that may slow things
              down and may bring him to his senses is, tell him you
              want marraige counseling and if after x amount of months
              of marraige counseling you will then consider letting him go if marriage counseling doesn’t work out.
              Hopfully counseling will bring him back to his senses,
              and get your marriage into recovering.
              This way he has to earn his way out.

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              Follow your own heart, what do you want to do, its easy for
              us to sit behind a computer and give advice, however
              its very much your reality, your the one living this, and
              it can be very frightening. Take a couple of days to
              digest all this, and start making your choices.
              I have been through a divorce, A divorce means your
              permantly ending a marriage. Its not something that
              needs to be rushed into, slow down buy yourself some
              time until your ready to do this.
              Divorce is the last resort. Get some counseling first.
              After you have done everything to save your marriage
              and nothing has worked, then you will be ready to let go.
              Divorce is not a solution its a ending.
              Most people here have never been divorced, I have
              so slow down until your ready.
              Yes he’s talking nonsense, but thats not a reason
              to feel pressure to react either.
              Yes prepare yourself, so if this does happen, you won’t
              be left hanging.

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              Never issue a ultimatum, unless you are mentally prepared
              to follow through with it. My best advice marriage counseling to buy you time. It may not fix your marriage but
              it will prepare you mentally, to do wise choices for yourself.
              Some counselors can help you prepare to move forward
              with your own life. But however you maybe able to turn
              your marriage around. So slow down. You can always
              get a divorce, but you have only this once to save your
              marriage.

            • Anita

              Chiffchaff,
              When I issued my ultimatum to my exhusband, telling him
              to straighten up or get out, I was mentally prepared when I
              told him that, because within days he had divorce papers
              in his hand, however I was mentally prepared to sign them,
              I also moved to another state right after signing them.
              My words to him were “Bring them on”.
              Chiffchaff, Do not give a ultimatum, unless your prepared
              to end the marriage. Ultimatums are a last resort, and
              should not be used unless your prepared for a outcome
              that could end your marriage. Yes it could go the other
              way, but be ready in case it backfires.
              Thats why I suggest marraige counseling, until your
              ready.

          • blueskyabove

            chiffchaff,

            I agree with Lynne and Healing Mark. It is impossible for you to have any sense of safety while having to deal with the gobbledygook coming out of his mouth.

            My advice to you:

            – Meet with an attorney and get real clear on your rights within this marriage. I am not suggesting you file for divorce. I am merely suggesting that you find out exactly what your rights are and then state them. You are one-half of a legal, binding contract and are entitled to make decisions within that contract.

            -Start deciding for yourself what you will and will not accept within your marriage and then calmly, but firmly, inform him. This will probably be easier after you contact an attorney.

            I wouldn’t waste any more time and energy trying to have an intelligent discussion with your H if I were you. Clearly he is not able to deal with reality if he thinks he can treat a fellow human being this way without there being any consequences.

            I also wouldn’t waste any more time and energy trying to discover what he is still doing behind your back. It only causes you more pain and you already have enough information on his activities.

            Good luck to you, chiffchaff.

            • Paula

              bluesky, that is EXCELLENT advice! chiffchaff, the only way out of the pain is to do for you, keep moving, keep growing. Information is power, and I totally agree with blueskyabove about not wasting time or energy on his activities now. You cannot affect this, you can only affect you and your future. At best, he will get a shock, and realise you are serious, and he may lose you, and want to make the necesaary changes, at worst, well, we know what the worst is, but you will have good legal advice, and be stronger and more self assured. Self assured partners are attractive partners, easier said than done, but you can do it! I want to be attractive to ME, and proud of ME, so I do the work, put myself in uncomfortable situations, if necessary (eg, separation, counselling, asking for help from my solicitor, etc.) IT WORKS, I guarantee it – no one can guarantee the success of your relationship, but we can all guarantee our own happiness, if we work at it! Best of luck, I’m in your corner 🙂

          • Healing Mark

            Chiffchaff. In my experience and opinion, there is appropriate brutal honesty and there is hurtful, disrespectful and inappropriate brutal honesty. But with either, at least you get information that you can use to decide what the best course of action is for you to take (i.e., do you work to improve your relationship with this person or do you end the relationship and deal with what, if any, damage remains after it has been ended?). As to the ups and downs you describe, these were common while my wife and I were having problems and were not very often happy being married to each other which, not too surprisingly, was pretty much the case while my wife’s EA was in full “bloom” (yuk!). They were not going to stay common as we both decided to seek counseling to either end them and stay married or determine that they were something that we could not make go away in which case we would divorce. We both agreed that in order to divorce, we each needed to realistically feel as though we had done everything we reasonably could do in order to stay married.

            Interesting comment by Anita. My and my wife’s counselor felt very strongly that responsible adults should not divorce unless one or both have “earned the right to do so”. She also felt it important that we each had during our counseling period a goal to not only remain married, but to also be open to effecting changes in ourselves and our relationship that would allow us to be a happier married couple. She noted that if we did not have, or later no longer had, this goal, there was really no need to start or continue work on our marriage. Finally, since my wife had the affair and had expressed thoughts of ending our marriage (I didn’t really think about ending our marriage as much as I recognized that if it did not improve, it probably should end – little did I know then about the existence of my wife’s EA), our counselor thought it important that my wife convince me that she was committed to trying to save/improve our marriage and they had her bring me to our front door where she placed one foot inside our house and declared that she had one foot firmly planted with our marriage if not both feet, and would let me know ASAP if she ever got to the point where she had no “feet” in the marriage. I’m pretty sure our efforts to save/improve our marriage would have amounted to nothing had I not felt that my wife wanted to remain married as opposed to figuring out how she was going to end the marriage. And, again, our counselor, as well as me and my wife, felt fairly strongly that if one or both of us did not want to remain married, it was then time to start talking about divorce.

            Interesting choice of name for this site. A small bird. A leaf warbler. Wow!.

            • chiffchaff

              Thank you to everyone for their hugely kind and considered comments.

              I have a great friend at work (who has been through this herself) and was able to talk through things rationally with her before going home. I’m not in the sad phase that I was before Christmas, the doormat, turn yourself into the AP stage. I am so much stronger than I was, largely with the help of this site and the commenters I will say (Doug & Linda you are both so amazing for providing this forum when you really don’t need to). I have lost 3 stone, become very fit and am now (today) going to be interviewed for a new job that I really want. Many things have changed for the positive in the last 6 months (Dday#1 was Aug 11, Dday#2 22 December 11).

              I got home last night after driving and thinking, and having come to the conclusion that I was going to leave my H as I didn’t want to put up with being treated as the cause of all of his problems anymore and if he wants the AP so much then she was welcome to him. We ate the dinner he had cooked for us then talked. I stated I would not accept going forward with someone who was determined to have another affair in the future. I would not accept going forward with someone who only stayed with me out of responsibility for the house, bills and dog. I wanted to be wanted, as simple as that.

              This is no longer about his affair, it’s about how he treats me, how he copes with stress, how he avoids thinking about and dealing with his problems in an adult way. He was able to accept that he has blamed me for everything that was wrong in his life and that he doesn’t know how to stop doing it. I am content to admit that I was part of the problem at times but I am not the whole reason and that if he accepts that then, and this seems to be the scary thing for him, if he accepts that I wasn’t to blame then who was? He was, and his affair was some f**cked up response to problems and not something positive and special anymore. But actually just a symptom of something much worse. While ever I am the person he can point at as the person to blame for all of his ills he doesn’t have to deal with himself. This is why he doesn’t want to examine what he’s done and continues to do. I don’t blame him for how bad I got, yes he was part of it and didn’t help, but I let myself become how I was, I don’t blame him or anyone else. But because I don’t blame anyone else for how I was I don’t expect someone else to magically solve all my problems in return. That’s being an adult and taking responsibility for your own actions.

              There’s much more my H would probably want to chip in right now, and he can, this site is anonymous and now I know he reads it – that’s great. I hope he gets as much from it as I have and develops into an adult before he does more damage to himself and others.

              I read an article yesterday that was a man talking about how he coped after his wife was brutally murdered, how he brought up his family. He decided early on that although horrible things happened to you in your life you didn’t need to be damaged by them, changed yes, damaged no. I have been changed, permanently, by my H’s affair, but I am not damaged by it. I will be fine.

              *group hug to everyone here* – you’re all great.

              And Healing Mark, having a man’s insight is really valuable, I hoped you’d comment. Chiffchaffs are great little birds. And I do alot of warbling 🙂

              Swam a mile this morning for the first time in 15 years and I feel great. I want my H to feel great too. If he can’t or won’t? Oh well. Not my problem.

              Love to all.

      • Lynne

        Oh Bluesky, I could have written those very same words from you above. With my own OH there have been periods of absolute exhaustion in communicating with him. I would spend several days thinking through the best way to approach a question or conversation–most often these conversations would end very badly. It’s amazing how one can think so carefully through the most respectful and supportive way to ask something (I would really think about it from both sides before communicating it), only to be told “I don’t ask things the right way”. In turn, I would ask how he would have preferred I ask the question or raise the subject–he would then offer me up a very indirect way of asking the question, and one that was a complete go around. This was particularly disconcerting because my H is one of the most direct people you could ever meet, but he does not take well to that same medicine from others–it’s all good if it’s not about him, but not so good when he’s in the hot seat.

        While I don’t know for certain that this is even concious on his part, it does suggest that he has learned this form of manipulation as a way to take the spotlight off of himself and his actions. In times of danger–deflect, deflect, deflect! For some time this worked with me (surely he figured this out!), as I would be so exhausted from being on the merry-go-round, I would just give up.

        After discussing this with my online coach, he suggested I read the book “Boundaries”. What he saw in me was that even when I told my H how something made me feel (rather than saying, you did this and you did that), my H would tell me I was wrong in my feelings or opinion. This book was like winning the lottery for me and totally shifted my thinking. I now better understand that I need to be clear with my boundaries and values, and that I can’t control his reaction to them, nor should I try. I had a conversation with my H not so long ago where I told him that I OWN MY FEELINGS–that he cannot debate them or decide whether I should be having them; they belong to me! I told him that I would no longer accept from him that “I didn’t say things the right way”, and that his response to me is up to him. He can decide if he wants to come from a place of defensiveness and deflecting, or whether he wants to come from a place of empathy, listening and engaging. He can respect that I have feelings and opinions without making me wrong for having them–and I offer him the same.

        My H called me a few hours after the above discussion and told me he had given it a lot of thought, and that he was committed to working to better hear me without the defensiveness and reactive behavior. This was a major step forward for us.

        • Paula

          Lynne and bluesky, as usual, your comments are eye opening, thank you. In simple terms, it takes a long time, and a lot of self reflection (from both parties) to get to the point where the CS is prepared to feel the pain, accept the wrong, and forgive themselves. In your case, Lynne, with the CS trying to reframe every question, IMO, that is just them squirming more about the “wrong” done – and still trying to avoid feeling the pain fully. It takes a long time for them to be able to “hear” you properly – just as it takes a long time for the BS to be able to talk calmly and coherently, with less emotive and “crazy” language – both verbal and body. It is VERY hard to accept that you have done something to completely rip the person you love more than anything in the world, apart, so I think CSs tend to skirt around it for a long time, trying to put it into a different context, in order NOT to have to bear the lion’s share of the “blame.” In our case, my OH took literally years to fully see that his actions were so damaging, forever. It helps immensely that he has felt my pain, we both thought he “got it” early in the piece, but it is only quite recently that he has become fully introspective, and feels the damage fully. He didn’t really do anything “wrong” before, he was transparent, very sorry, tried to help me “get over it” – but I knew it wasn’t enough. I neede him to forgive himself (although I probably didn’t know it in those terms.) The further work we have done/are doing has opened him up incredibly, and I didn’t think he was emotionally unavailable before all of this, he seemed like the ideal mate, close, loving, caring, connected. Amazing how deep the human spirit is, and how much this man has put himself through to help me with my fears, confront his own, and own what happened to us. I do love him so dearly. And the respect is slowly rebuilding.

          • Lynne

            Yes, I believe the key for all of is to NEVER STOP the willingness to learn and grow from one another.These affair situations are the true test of this! So many emotions from both sides, so much hurt and pain, so much self-protecting.In the best of situations we get past the early anger and shock of it all and then move to a real place of personal growth. Most of the healing comes once all parties calm down and can talk openly with mutual respect and consideration (and that respect thing is really hard when you’re in a state of wanting to strangle the CS). Clearly, this can only happen post-fog.

            I’m happy to say that I have been hit by many lightening bolts in this process–you know, the ones that bring clarity to a situation and your involvement in it. For me, setting better boundaries with my H about how I expect to be treated in our relationship has been huge. I have now found that when I am clear and direct with him on what I want and need, he responds well to it. When it is something I won’t work to convince him of or argue about, it draws a line in the sand about me–of course, I do this calmly and respectfully, and not doing it in anger or frustration gets me much further with him. I no longer feel the need to try to convince him of what I’m saying, or that I’d like him to see it my way, it JUST IS! It’s amazing how freeing this is when you no longer tie yourself to outcomes and mutual agreement on issues. I now let his reactions be HIS reactions–I’m not in control of how he responds to me, I am only in control of being authentic with myself, and with him. Plus, over time, if he doesn’t find better ways to manage his need to manipulate situations in his favor, I have the choice of whether to live this way–to stay or to go. But again, so far so good!!!

        • DJ

          The book Boundaries really is wonderful. I’m about halfway through it now. I was never very bad about boundaries but this book really makes me think about how I handle all relationships. Great stuff!

          • Lynne

            DJ-

            Yah, it was a real eye opener for me too. I am really good at boundaries with family and friends (haven’t always been popular for this, but it’s important to communicate them), but I realized that my boundaries were pretty slippery with my H. Internally I blamed him for the things that were happening, but I was allowing these things to happen, so NO VICTIM here! Sometimes we blame people for what they are doing to us, yet we are letting them do it.

            I really get now that I’m only in control of me–and he’s only in control of him. He may not like the messenger, but he won’t be shooting things at this one. If I don’t communicate my feeling and limits, then shame on me! I don’t need to argue back with him when I disagree, I can listen and still stand strong on how I expect to be treated and spoken to. If he can’t honor them–well, consequences are a bitch, aren’t they?

            • DJ

              Lynne – You sound like James already! That’s wonderful.

            • Lynne

              DJ-

              I know–go figure, and after only three emails between us! I LOVE my Sherpa……in the most appropriate way possible, of course!!!

    • blueskyabove

      I also feel that if the betrayed spouse has trouble dealing with these emotions it can cause there to be a stalemate.

      Ditto for the betrayed spouse feeling condemned.

      Affairs are just so, so ugly all the way around.

      • Doug

        You’re right. It’s absolutely a two-way street.

    • Sam

      This made me (perversely) smile a little: “making your spouse feel like a low-life-scum-sucking-maggot.”

      Hahah. In a way, I do want my H to feel like that. I DO see him like that. And the OW too. In fact, during my original rage I thought of collecting maggots or earth worms, putting them in an envelope and mailing them to her with a little note that said: “I saw these and thought of you.”

      I’m glad I didn’t. I could possibly be in jail or a mental ward right now. 😉

      But yeah, all kidding aside – I do see what you’re saying, Doug. As always, thanks for this post. It’s very insightful and really helps me to see things from my H’s POV.

    • Anita

      Self forgiveness is very important for everyone, when my
      ex husband called me up on the phone about 2 years after
      our divorce after his affair ended, he called an apologized,
      for what he had done. I told him he needed to forgive
      himself and that we both needed to get on with our own
      lives.
      However, something I didn’t do, was also forgive myself.
      The part I hadn’t forgiven myself over was the fact I knew
      his prior history and chose to go against my better
      judgement. Even thought my ex wronged me with his
      affair, I still was responsible for not allowing myself to
      be taken advantage of again. On his last affair I didn’t
      stay for love, I stayed because of fear of the unknown,
      I didn’t even realize this until I wrote it on another post.
      I know why this take so long for me to get to this point
      was because I hid it under the saying of I was trying
      to do the right thing for my children and me, instead of
      admitting, I feared the unknown.
      So its not only the cheating spouse that has to do
      self forgiving, I realize there are many many layers
      that need to be peeled away for everyone.
      Thanks again.

    • Anita

      Doug and Linda
      Thanks a milllion times over and over.
      Even thought this post is about cheating spouses
      forgiving themselves, it also triggered something
      within my ownself, that I needed to forgive.
      I have stopped beating up my exhusband and blaming
      him, now I taking accountability of my own actions of
      past and looking at myself, and forgiving myself, for
      my own wrongs.
      I thought I had done that earlier, however I now can
      see things from a different perspective, and its
      peels away another layer of unforgiveness on my part.
      Forgiving ourselves is important!

      • Anita

        Another lightbulb moment just went off in me, that I
        couldn’t even grasp until this moment.
        Back when I stayed in the marriage for my fears of the
        unknown, and my feelings for my ex changed, and
        he felt the coldness I projected from that, I had build
        a wall around myself to proctect from any further injury,
        Of course our marriage ended, I wouldn’t let him past
        that wall. I was bound I was never going to be hurt
        again. Of course I got to blame the affair on him,
        and that was enough for me to stand in my righteous
        position. Sad but true!
        On his last affair, the moment I found out, I needed to
        end the marriage right then and there.
        He had prior history, and it wasn’t fair for him or I to
        continue forward, because neither of us were in
        a position to be giving to each other, we each had
        own wounds and we both were at total shut down.
        I wasn’t forgiving at that point and he wasn’t recieving
        the forgiveness on my part to open up and feel
        protected enough to let me in, and I wasn’t letting
        him past my wall, because I vowed no more was
        I going to be hurt again.
        Forgiveness is so so important for everyone.
        Affairs are so hurtful!

    • Anita

      I know without a doubt that my exhusband’s repeated
      infidelity was the cause in the death of our marriage.
      The why he cheated was because he was to young
      when we married, he didn’t know what he wanted,
      and wasn’t ready for a lifetime of marriage or
      fidelity.
      So now with all the forgiveness that can be forgiven
      to myself and to him. There is nothing else for me to
      do but let it all go! I think everyone else would agree
      to. But now the baggage from my past is cleaned up
      and I no longer have that load to carry.
      Doug and Linda wonderful site.

    • Anita

      Doug and Linda,
      This emotional affair site is wonderful for all those who
      need to vent and learn, and also its helps with healing.
      When I first came here, I didn’t realize how much more
      I would heal, but I have, to the degree I have nothing left
      to vent or say, about my past. This was a good use of
      my time this winter to get my part in the marriage annulment done, and also to come here to vent all those
      left over feelings from the past, because now I have
      those feelings out.
      Doug and Linda I wish you the best with your marriage, to be able to use your pain to help others with theirs.
      I am sure your both responsible for saving many marriages, that may have ended otherwise. Give
      yourselfs a big pat on the back for that, because you
      both deserve that.

      • Doug

        Thanks Anita. I’m happy that you have progressed so well with your own healing. We also appreciate all of your helpful comments and advice to others.

    • Anita

      Thanks Doug,
      I have also learned, that I need to stop writing about it
      now, so it does become a thing of the past. Other
      than talking to my pastor about the annulment and
      what happened, I haven’t talked to anyone for a long
      time, in fact a couple of years. That’s why your
      site was so great.

    • Losing Hope

      I am so thankful I started reading this site again.
      Its been a year and I feel like we are at a stand still. My H doesnt want to talk..just put it in the past. Just from reading these comments I know now what I need to do.

      All these months (mostly recent) Ive been walking on eggshells, trying to broach the subject carefully, planning out what and how I would say it so I wouldnt push him further away.
      We havent really talked about our feelings in 3 months. Thanx for this post!

      I cant heal. And as I just realized, he cant either until we learn how to talk about what we feel. Communication! Thats why this whole mess began…we didnt have it so Ive realized if I just sweep it under the rug now..This will happen again!!

      Im not going to be affraid to rock the boat anymore. This is my life to and I want to be happy and if he walks away because of how I feel than so be it..(just sucks)
      Worst pain ever! Good Post!!

      • Ifeelsodumb

        Losing Hope,
        Take it from me…DO NOT sweep it under the rug!! I did that 23 yrs ago when my H had an EA while overseas in the military…and now look where I am? He did it to me again!!
        I’ve learned sooo much from this site…and we are now in the introspection phase…and my H has revealed so much about his emotionally abusive childhood that I can NOW understand why he had the EA..and so does he!
        Yes, I STILL have my moments of anger and sadness…but it’s only for a short time, and then we get back on track!
        The last 14 months have been so incredibly hard…but I’m thinking that by the time we get done with this…our marriage will be better than ever!
        Yes, I CAN see the light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Disappointed

      @Doug – My H and I are in a weird limbo. He left a few days after D-day and there is NC. It is almost 4 months. He still says it was not an affair but a flirtation because there was no sex.1500 texts a handful of emails and under 2 hours of phone calls within 1 month. He is blaming me for the affair, saying she was the effect , but me not putting him first was the cause. I do not believe that is true, if anything I put him ahead of me or my needs. I do not know how to have real hope if he will not tell me what was missing or what the OW gave him. He has told me he is stronger than I am, that I am too needy. I find that ironic. He has not talked about the OW for two weeks. He is out of town on a family trip and has called me everyday and closed each call with I love you. I have too much time on my hands and have been going thru old papers. I found his first love letter to me. As I read it, all the words echoed the very little he has said about how the OW made him feel. It has broken my heart. She is married with 2 kids and broke of all contact almost immediately. But I don’t want to be the fallback. And as I say that, he still has not said he wants to come home. I even think he will want to keep his apartment because it is 5min from work vs 45min. He will not share details as far as what he got from the affair. He says he wishes he knew so he could tell me. All I know is I am SO sad and obsessed by all of this. If he were to come home I would want complete transparency as in ability to check phone, email, etc. I do not see that happening.I have explained that I want to understand and he only says there will never be any guarantees. I think that is a cop out. He is being more considerate, etc. I have not created huge angry scenes and have remained calm for the most part. But I find my pain growing instead of subsiding. My friends that try to help but only make it worse, telling me he was attracted to her fearless nature. Isn’t an affair an act of cowardice? Another that she looks similar to me, but the thin me of when we first met. I have medical issues that contributed to me gaining weight and he has never acknowledged their legitimacy. I don’t understand what we are doing any more. He won’t commit to me, but won’t let go. But I feel like he won’t let go of her either. Is he waiting to see if she and her H don’t make it? My mind is torturing me with every different scenario. I feel almost like I am going crazy. Am I doing the right thing to wait to process all my emotions until he is ready to fess up? And what if he never really does? In one breath he implies they were soul mates, in the next that he realizes he never really knew her? How long can this confusion last? I am so frustrated and lost and my pain and anger is growing.

      • Rachel

        Disappointed, boy our stories are so similar except my h lives here.almost 4 months. Said yesterday that he wants to work on us. Ha what a joke! Been trying to get in touch with him for 4 hours. Said he was busy working. Can’t answer my text message or phone call? Even from our kids??

      • Doug

        Disappointed, I’m sure that this is taking a huge toll on you emotionally. Your husband seems to be sending out some very contradictory signals. For one he says he loves you, but then stays away and won’t let go of her either. In my opinion he is till trying to figure things out in his own mind – but his mind is clouded by the thoughts of the OW. He’s conflicted. It’s tough to say how long this confusion will last but until he is over his addictive behavior he’s going to continue to frustrate you. In addition, until he figures things out I wouldn’t expect too much in the way of him talking openly and honestly about the affair. At some point you may want to consider an ultimatum. It’s time for him to $#!t or get off the pot!

      • Anita

        Disappointed,
        Even though my past is behind me, I hope I can offer a
        couple suggestions. Unfortunately I’m stuck at home
        today due to a stomach flu.
        I know how frustrated you feel, however you can’t control
        what your husband is doing.
        Right now he’s doing his own thing, living a life he wants
        doing what he wants.
        I don’t want to hurt your feelings when I say this, but your
        at home reading old love letters and crying over the echo
        of how he said the other woman makes him feel.
        Disappointed, you have got to stop doing that your hurting
        yourself more. Instead start doing your own thing, by
        that I mean get yourself involved in some good activites,
        that get you out of your home for a couple of hours.
        Waiting for your husband to return could take a long time.
        So instead of waiting for him live your own life, it wouldn’t
        hurt for your phone to ring and you being gone doing
        something that brings you joy.
        Right now he’s counting on the fact your at home waiting
        for him, and he’s out living his life to the fullest.
        You need to throw him off his fence, do your own thing.
        You will be much happier out doing things, instead of
        reading old love letters, please don’t do that to yourself.
        Also Doug is right, you may want to consider an
        ultimatum. That way he will know your serious, but
        if you issue the ultimatum, you have to follow through,
        otherwise it means nothing, just a bluff then.

    • chiffchaff

      A day after sending a link to this article, and saying it was the sort of article that my H has professed to be looking for (i.e. it’s about CS’s and their healing) – not a peep of a response from my H. With is par for the course. Silence is the normal way of things unless I bring things up and yet he will always say that he found our discussions very useful and constructive afterwards but never brings them up himself.

      Well, we’ll see how things go with me backing off. Having a down day today and feeling very negative about our prospects of staying together simply because I’m feeling the absence of affection badly at the moment.

      • Healing Mark

        Chiffchaff. If at all possible, please communicate to your H the fact that you are having a down day today and are feeling so negative due to your feeling that there is an absence of affection from your H. Us H’s typically (or never!) cannot read minds very well, and after the discovery of an affair, it seems like (this is according to my wife) for some time the BS is always “down” and the main reason for this is, right or wrongly, attributed to the affair. If your H wants you to not feel “down” and wants you to not feel negative about prospects of staying together, he at least needs a chance to stop doing things that are causing you to feel this way, as well as a chance to potentially do things that will cause you to stop feeling this way. Finally, understand that you are at a stage in your relationship where it is not easy for so many reasons for your H to give you the affection you apparently want. It should help to understand this, and to communicate to your H that you understand that this is a hard time for him to be as affectionate to you as perhaps both of you would like, and perhaps you guys can agree that becoming more affectionate is something that he really wants to become and that baby steps may be all he is capable right now of taking. But if you feel that he wants to be more affectionate, and will try to be more affectionate as he is more and more able to be as time passes following D-day and you each heal more from the affair, then perhaps you will not feel so “down” during this time when your H is not being as affectionate towards you as you would like.

        Few things are as frustrating to a husband than seeing that his wife is feeling “down” and not knowing what he might be able to do or say to make her feel better. And, right or wrong, many of us H’s think that we are being affectionate enough towards our wives to only later learn that this was not, in fact, the case.

        • chiffchaff

          Healing Mark – thanks again.

          Yes, I told him that I felt the lack of affection badly (I describe his kisses as parrot kisses, like kissing a beak) but mainly because this came up last night due to the other crap that erupted yesterday. His lack of affection combined with not feeling wanted is miserable at times and at times it has really got to me. It’s basic affection, like being hugged, stroked or kissed without being prompted, because that would also make me feel wanted. He scores two home runs for one action.

          I feel down much less often than I used to, mainly because I have an array of coping mechanisms to pull me out of it (swimming, walking, hoovering!).

          Depending on how things go over the next few days I will try and be more direct about my needs but without being ‘needy’ as such.

    • Carol

      Does anyone else have a hard time mustering sympathy for the cheater? I feel like a terrible person sometimes, but I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for what my CS is going through, given that I’m the BS and didn’t ask for any of this! He says he feels terrible guilt and shame. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, of course, and I can see how guilt and shame could be a stumbling block for his healing. At the same time, I don’t have the energy to tend to his wounds, which are, after all, self-inflicted. Am I just being selfish here? He keeps saying he is ‘shattered’ by what he did. And I know that it must be good that he realizes the pain he has caused, and it must also be terrible to think of your actions and choices as the cause of tremendous pain to others. But I just don’t have the emotional energy to tend to him! Is that bad? I feel like I have my plate full trying to get through each day (almost 5 months past D-day), much less try to help him.

      • blueskyabove

        Carol,

        It took me about six or seven months past DDay before I began to recognize the terrible things my H had done to himself. Before that I was totally wrapped up in my pain. I wouldn’t worry too much about what you are feeling at this time in the recovery. You recognize where you are right now in regards to his pain…that’s enough. The compassion will come.

        I actually think the guilt and shame are necessary for him to work through on his own if he truly wants to change. Without them why bother?

        Tend to your own needs first. Take care of you. You are not a terrible person. You are not being selfish.

    • Lynne

      Chiffchaff (and for all of us), I think this might be an important reminder………..

      Life Law #8: We Teach People How to Treat Us

      Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.
      Strategy: Own, rather than complain about, how people treat you. Learn to renegotiate your relationships to have what you want.

      You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don’t. This means you are partly responsible for the mistreatment that you get at the hands of someone else. You shape others’ behavior when you teach them what they can get away with and what they cannot.

      If the people in your life treat you in an undesirable way, figure out what you are doing to reinforce, elicit or allow that treatment. Identify the payoffs you may be giving someone in response to any negative behavior. For example, when people are aggressive, bossy or controlling — and then get their way — you have rewarded them for unacceptable behavior.

      Because you are accountable, you can declare the relationship “reopened for negotiation” at any time you choose, and for as long as you choose. Even a pattern of relating that is 30 years old can be redefined. Before you reopen the negotiation, you must commit to do so from a position of strength and power, not fear and self-doubt. The resolve to be treated with dignity and respect must be uncompromising.

      The worst thing you could do is make a lot of noise about changing things, only to revert to the old, familiar, destructive patterns. To talk about change and not to do it is to teach that person to treat your statements and declarations lightly. You will teach him or her to be patient, confident that you will soon give in. Where your relationship standards are concerned, commit to yourself that, although it may be difficult to effect change, you must not compromise. To compromise in this area is to sell out your most precious commodity: YOU!

    • Anita

      Lynne,
      Excellcent point, There have been a few times in my life,
      even at my job, I told someone, in these exact words,
      “Look I don’t treat you that way, and I expect not to be
      treated that way either, unless of course you want me to.
      That very statement, shuts them down, and the look on their face is shock, most of the time they apologize.
      It works because it sets boundaries.

    • Rachel

      Does anyone know the different stages that a BS goes through after an emotional affair? Perhaps a book also? I feel like I’m at a stand still. I now use the famous words ” I don’t know”.

    • Greg

      Hi, been reading this site for a few weeks but haven’t posted until now. I have to say that this subject touched a nerve for me. I was so furious with my wife for the first week when I found out about her EA that I was unable to talk to her about it. All I did was spend the week digging in to everything I could find out about the other man and what exactlyw as going on. I hacked her work remote access account and read every e-mail between them, put key loggers on all the computers at home, down loaded a location tracer program on her cell, and a GPS logger on her car. I discovered in that week that it had been growing and going on for almost a 10 months to a year, found out where he leaved, what cars he drove, dug up every bit of background info I could on him and his family. I was planning on how to take the kids and leave and basically destroy her life. As you can probably guess I tend to anger somewhat easily.:) I also know this so I also took that week to calm down and think about why it happened. I was able to look back and see that it wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing and that we had driven each other apart. Our communication was pretty poor and when we did tryt o communicate it usually ended up in silence or yelling. I waa able to look back and see that she was unhappy with me and I was avoiding dealing with the problem we had. I had/have porn addiction but had never really worked on it, she was mad about thing my mother did early on in our marriage and was blaming me for them instead of her and I was resentful of her for doing it and became condisening of her. I always assumed that she was very strong emotionally and should be able to handle it where what she was able to do was hide her emotions so that they wouldn’t show because she thought I wasn’t supportive.

      We had gone in to a vicous cycle of blaming and not dealing with our problems and it lead up to the EA. I didn’t forgive what she had done and never will but I can understand how it happened. I found out from a letter from a co-worker sent to the house. The letter was done out of spite and hurt since the co-worker had had a PA witht he other guy previously and he had moved on. What hurt the most is that the whole thing was blown open at her work about a month before and the other guys wife got a letter at that time as well and confronted my wife over the phone about it. It took the co-worker a month to find our home address and send me a letter. It infuriated and embarassed me that everyone at her work knew about it but not me and I had met many of her co-workers over the years.
      I do have to say that finding out about all of this was helpful though in that it forced us to actually really communicate and talk to each other about how we fell and what we think about things. We have both been in seperate counseling for a few months now and are setting up couples counseling sessions. We know we would like to stay together but aren’t sure if we can. There are a lot of diferences between us in how we think about things, how we react, in our upbringing, and our cultures, she’s Japanese and I’m American, so we know we have a lot to work out to see where it all goes. Overall I think we have made good progress for the past 7 months, wish we had made more but then I’m male and impatient. 😉

      Ok, enough rambling from me. All I can saw to the others in this situation is take you time and don’t expect it the healing to go quickly, it may never heal, but you have to keep the communication open and even if the truth hurts take it in, process it, and see if you are able to deal with it. That’s about all you can do.

    • NowWhole

      I find that the further away my emotional affair was in the past, the more remorse I feel. My marriage keeps getting better and better, and my wife and I love each other more each day. Really. But I get sadder that I behaved this way.

      It has been almost a year since that short affair–less than two weeks long– and I look back with such regret that I was so stupid, selfish, and immature and caused my wonderful, amazing wife so much pain. Because the affair was so wrong, I also look back on it differently than other relationships in my past. I have a fond emotional memory for past girlfriends, but I CRINGE and feel so awful whenever I think about what I did and about the woman I became involved with. No fond memories at all. I met her through work–she was the complaining party in a case. She found me attractive, and lured me with lots of flattery, and I ate it up. But she really did a snow job on me. She was very manipulative, but at the same time, had this “poor pitiful me” thing about her alleged health conditions, which I now think were psychological and a way to get my attention. She even tried to make me feel guilty when I told her I wouldn’t leave my wife for her! The two other colleagues at work who dealt with her were amazed that I could not see how manipulative she was. One colleague actually thought she was the most manipulative person she’d ever met. But I was too blinded by the flattery and attention to see that.
      THIS WAS BY FAR THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I EVER MADE! I wish there were some way I could prevent people from making the same error I made.

    • Lynne

      Now Whole-

      Bless you for how far you’ve come….and for the discoveries you made about why the OW was so appealing to you. I think this is what me most hope for with our CS’s–that they will do the work to learn what they were getting out of it–as they say, knowledge is power.

      On the subject of EGO, this is such a powerful thing. Unfortunately, It is often the thing that controls and guides us. And no surprise that when manipulated by someone who feeds it, we can become addicts–it’s the drug that leaves us wanting MORE! That is why I believe cheaters are just like addicts and it’s so hard to walk away from the fix. I do not excuse this behavior, but I do get it. When these opportunities present themselves (as they do for all of us), it does take strong character to set limits and walk away. Some of us just know this, and for others, it sadly takes a horrible experience to get the lesson.

      When I hear on this site of CS’s that are still in the EA, or are still making occassional contact (or saying they think they’ll do it again), it is pretty black and white to me–those people have learned virtually nothing from this experience, as their egos are still the driving force in their lives. I think this tells you everything you need to know about your spouse and and whether you can safely move forward with them. When you so need to get the strokes from others to feel good about yourself, it suggests that this person has no understanding of how to find this within themself.

      Sure, we all love positive attention, but when it comes at the cost of destroying your spouse, the only hope is serious introspection and months of therapy. IMO, if they are not at least taking baby steps in this direction, out they go!

      Thanks for sharing your message Now Whole!

    • Lynne

      ….and to add a bit more to the above, I believe this is what sets cheaters apart—those that work at introspection and getting the lesson are likely “one time” cheaters. Those that learn little, and who continue to let their ego guide their way, will most likely become “serial cheaters”

    • chiffchaff

      Anita – I think you’re right (again 🙂 ) – the CSs who learn nothing from the situation they’ve put their families in and refuse to look at the reasons behind their weak character are destined for serial cheating. My ex-H definitely falls into that camp as I can now see that since I asked him to leave he’s trying to say the right things for me to relent and ask him back. He thinks he ‘knows’ that I will eventually take him back if he keeps on with the right words for long enough but what he doesn’t realise is that I’m in the mindset that he doesn’t exist anymore.

      The nice man I married doesn’t seem to exist, he’s been replaced with a manipulative, self-obsessed hurtful hedonist. I would never have entered into a relationship with a man like he is now so why would I entertain being married to such a man? Being by myself, or with someone nice, would be far better.

    • Anita

      Hi Chiffchaff,
      I wish my best to you. The most powerful thing I learned
      from my own journey, is to trust God, and give all your
      heartache and pain over to him. I have also learned
      I can give God all my worries and let him take care of me.
      I also learned the power of forgiveness, and how to love
      others, even in the midst of my own heartaches.
      Chiffchaff, I know you will be just fine, and if you put your
      trust in God, he will turn all these things into your own
      good. I see this all the time in my own life, which I am
      very blessed. My very best to you!

      • Anita

        Chiffchaff,
        I can only speak for myself and my own experience.
        When I got married I went into it with my heart in the
        right place. Was I perfect wife, no because nobody is
        perfect. However I did my best and gave my best,
        and I was only responsible for my own choices.
        When my exhusband chose to do repeated infidelity,
        it broke my heart and his last affair caused the demise
        of our marriage.
        I had to look deep within myself to look at what may have
        caused him to have repeated infidelity, and when I was
        writing about my relationship for my annulment, my
        answer become very clear. My exhusband and I were
        very young and married because of a pregnancy. Neither
        of us at the time of our marriage were fully mature, nor
        were we experienced in picking a mate for a lifetime.
        His infidelity was his way of dealing with his own pain,
        of a choice we made so many years before.
        He wasn’t ready for a lifetime of marriage or fidelity.
        So infidelity become his choice way to exit the
        marriage.
        My biggest beef with my exhusband was, had he been
        truthful from the get go, it would have saved me years
        of heartache and pain.
        However my children were born in that union, so in that
        repect, I would do it all over again to have my children.
        So all in all when we get hurt and relationships end
        forgiving is the best healer with time.

    • Anita

      Chiffchaff,
      I know I rambled on about my own past, and each of our
      own experiences are different.
      However in the end, I had to forgive my exhusband and
      myself, along with the whole situation.
      So if my annulment is granted, I will be free to put this
      behind me once and for all.
      So I am currently waiting the outcome of that, I was told
      it could take several months to a year. So in the mean
      time I am patiently waiting.
      However going through an annulment process has given
      me a deep deep level of understanding and healing that
      has allow me to learn from this whole experience and
      yet come out happy in the end of it all.
      My best to you, no matter what happens it will work out
      for your own good, if you trust God!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.