We have blogged a few times about what the cheater needs to do to help with healing after an affair, and the book “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair”  by Linda J. MacDonald, M.S., LMFT has been recommended by readers in the past as well.

We finally bought a copy and certainly feel that it is a worthwhile book to have – both for the cheater and the betrayed.  It’s a short book – only 96 pages – and a very easy read.  It will not take a person long to read it at all.

We also realize that getting the cheater to read anything about affairs can be a challenge, so we’ve summarized the qualities of those  who are most likely to be successful repairing their marriages after infidelity

Here is a link to a PDF copy of the list that you can download and print out so the cheater can read it in less than 3 minutes!

The qualities of someone who helps their spouse with healing after an affair:

  • They are non-defensive
  • Examine their motives for their affairs, without blaming their spouses
  • Accept their roles as healers to their wounded partners
  • Do not resist breaking off all contact with the affair partner
  • Show genuine contrition and remorse for what they have done
  • Make amends and apologize to loved ones
  • Apologize often, especially the first two years
  • Listen with patience and validate their spouse’s pain
  • Allow their spouse a lot of room to express feelings
  • Respect the betrayed spouse’s timetable for recovering
  • Seek to assure spouses of their love and commitment to fidelity
  • Keep no secrets
  • Do not maintain close ties with those who condoned the affair
  • Are willing to be extremely accountable for their time and activities
  • Frequently check in with their spouses as to how they are doing
  • Are aware of and anticipate triggers of the affair
  • Are willing to get rid of hurtful reminders of the affair
  • Don’t minimize the damage the affair had on the children
  • Commit themselves to a long-term plan for recovery, honesty, and spiritual growth

We hope this is helpful, but there may be more that can be added to the list.  If you can think of any other qualities for helping a spouse with healing after an affair, please mention them below in the comment section.

    132 replies to "Helping Your Spouse With Healing After an Affair"

    • Notoverit

      Okay, I re-read the “Healing Infidelity: Talking about the Affair ” after I read this blog because I have a major sticking point to my healing. I have repeatedly asked my husband what he and the OW talked about for hours. His pat answer is “I don’t remember.” He has never said he was in love with her; preferring to use terms like infatuation, obsessed and attracted (gee, what does that sound like?). He cannot give this a name – like a crush or something. Why that is important to me is probably because I want him to recognize his behavior for what it was, I guess. I think that knowing what they were talking about would give me an insight on the relationship between them. I could be wrong but that is what I think. I was wondering if anyone else out there is consumed with questions about what the CS and OW/OM talked about. I know the other post said be careful what you ask for but, hey, I have already been hurt. To me this is being truthful about everything. I am an information person; one who has to know everything about whatever I am dealing with – he knows that and repeatedly says he just doesn’t remember because it wasn’t important to him. I still want to know. Anyone have the same problem?

      I guess this is one of the things that might be added to the list of healing: Tell your spouse the truth about your feelings for the OW/OM if you are asked. I know some don’t want to know and I may be in the minority here. I am just having a hard time with someone ruining our marriage over inconsequential conversations (if I am to believe they were).

      • ifeelsodumb

        Same thing happening here, Notoverit!! He “can’t” remember, it didn’t mean anything, etc….The OW’s husband found out about the EA about 3 wks before I did…so I asked my H…”Well, what happened, what did he say to his wife”? All I get was, “Oh, he was upset and they stayed up talking all night”! Really?? Seriously? The OW’s husband finds out she’s been talking and texting an old BF…and that’s it? Her husband didn’t threaten MY H?? He didn’t have a few choice words about what the two of them were doing? He didn’t lay down some boundaries?? You mean, I’m the ONLY one who got upset by this…Really?? I mean, how can you NOT remember something like that??!!!
        And I’ve gotten the same answers as you…It was just talking, nothing important, can’t remember most of it, etc… He admits he was infatuated with her…but never told her he missed her, loved her, etc…yet, when her husband did find out, and the OW promised to not contact my H again…she lied to her H…and figured out a way to text my H going through her computer, so it wouldn’t show up on her CP bill!!!
        So , for two ppl. who were just having “conversation” she sure did go to a lot of trouble to stay connected with MY H…and he didn’t break things off with her after he KNEW her husband found out…so I have to ask myself, WHY??? I mean, if I’m to believe that it was “just friends having conversation”.

        • Melvin

          Hey again IFSD,

          Why? Because she made him feel good. An ego boost. The words aren’t important now.

          Welcome to my world. DW deleted all her messages to the OM. It was part of her hiding. I caught some left-over messages and the last few days banter. Those were damaging enough to make me think there were lots more. I got the same thing from her – can’t remember the words – don’t recall the conversations – we were just talking – nothing important – just daily stuff. After several months, it finally sank in. It was Not What He Said to her that was important but How He Made Her Feel. Like the teenager she once was, wearing his ring, carefree, with the whole world ahead of her. An escape from today’s demands.

          My aunt told this to me recently – “… it’s now what you said to me that I will remember you by, but how you made me feel.”

          How did the OW make your H feel ?

          • ifeelsodumb

            Hi Melvin…The OW made him feel like he was king of the world, She even told him, if you can believe this ” Your wife is living my life”! HA!! Like I told him…she wants THIS life, she’s welcome to it!!
            My H’s cousin, who is good friends with the OW, actually told my H, and I was there and heard it over the phone, that my H should write a book and give seminars on how a husband should treat his wife…because he is just soooo wonderful!! I’m “lucky” to have him..so she thinks! LOL!! If this wasn’t so sad, it WOULD be funny!!
            As of today, I’ve backed off…today, for the first time in a LONG time, he left for work,(he drives all over the area, going where a client needs him…hence LOTS of free time, with no accountability which he used to his advantage when texting and calling the OW…anyway, today I told him not to call me as he’s driving to see his client. Since D Day, I had him call me on the way there and on the way back,so I could talk to him to make sure he wasn’t tempted to call HER! It made me feel secure, but to be honest, I hated the fact that I was so dependent on him calling me! That’s just not me!!
            Before D Day, I’d walk him to the door, kiss him goodbye, and he’d call me to let me know he arrived safely and then he’d call me to let me know he was on his way home..we might chat for a few mins. but I didn’t talk to him the whole way home.
            But today he really hurt my feelings before he left… I had taken a quick look at this blog and saw this latest post and started to read it to him, because I had mentioned the book to him before, and even though he said to buy it, I haven’t, because I told him, YOU buy it, I’m tired of being the one to do everything to heal this marriage, of course, 2 wks later, and he still hasn’t bought the book…and he won’t either, unless I nag him about it, which I’m not going to do!! Sorry, a little off subject 🙂 …anyway, as I start to tell him about the posting, he opens up his phone and makes a business call….I got up and left the room, started breakfast and when he came down, walked him to the door, kissed him goodbye and told him to call when he gets there, that I’m fine, he doesn’t need to babysit me anymore! He did call me, about 15 mins later, and I told him that I’m fine, just call me when he gets there, and I got off the phone! I then got dressed, and went for a 30 min walk! To be honest, it felt good to take control again!! Each day that I make it, I WILL get stronger!! If he chooses to contact the OW, or any one else, then he will have made his choice…and I already know the choice I’ll be making…the balls in HIS court!! Sorry for rambling Melvin, I have no one to talk to…the few people who know, have been NO help to me at all….so I’m all alone on this, trying to muddle my way though…but I’m determined I WILL get through this, with or without my H’s help!!

            • Melvin

              No need to apologize. This can be a very good place to vent every so often. It helps to let it out.

          • ifeelsodumb

            Oh, sorry, forgot to mention….he deleted everything every day also…I never saw ANY text messages…nothing! So he’s covered in that area…who knows what he said to her…and her to him. Supposedly the 1,500 pictures that they sent to each other over a 5 week period, were ALL innocent…wink, wink….whatever!! He wants me to “trust him” that they were not “those kinds of pics”….yea, I’ll do that!! NOT!!!

            • SeeMe

              There is software you can install on his phone and computer that will allow you to see every text and all web searches. It is totally undetectable and you get the email notifications. Go to Webwatcher. I use this software and it is great. He can’t lie about anything when you have proof! I would only use this as a means to protect yourself from his lies so you can make an honest choice about your future. It also serves to build trust. It takes so much time, tears, and heartache recovering from infidelity. It is a rough winding road with thousands of crossroads…….be very wise and make no decisions out of emotion. Keeping a log and journal will help you remember events, thoughts, feelings, and reactions. It also serves as an outlet to vent!!!!!

        • Recovering Mommy

          IFSD, I often felt the way you do now. I thought I needed to know what all my H said to the OW. Disclosure for me occurred because I was checking my H’s email one day because we were waiting to hear from someone about buying a car and I found Facebook emails letting him now he had a message. So I was able to read everything the OW said to him. I always wondered what he said back to her. A couple months ago, I was casually checking my H’s Facebook account (with his knowledge). I do this from time to time. While looking at his private messages, I found the old messages he had sent to the OW stored in an “archive” folder. Apparently if you delete Facebook messages from your phone, it stores them in that folder. Well needless to see my curiosity was cured and all over again I had that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, even though what I was reading was almost 2 years old. I truly wish I had not seen it.

      • Laura

        I can tell you, that you are not alone. My husband has always stated “I can’t remember” when asked specifics as to what was talked about, how long has this been going on. It drove me crazy for the longest time until I finally told myself that I would never know. It doesn’t change the fact that he did it and betrayed the marriage.

    • SamIam

      Thank you~ I will be printing this and leaving it for DH~ thanks for the validation throughout the past months. It is so nice to know I have not gone crazy over this.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Sam, you’re not crazy…far from it!! Your CS is the crazy one, thinking you’ll just “get over it”!!!

    • Pippi

      Notoverit — I feel the same way. I’ve asked “what did she mean to you” so, so many times and I can’t get an answer. And, in many ways I’m stuck because I don’t understand the nature of the relationship. I can’t yet write my own “story of the affair.” So I make things up in my head that are most likely way more damaging than what actually occurred. I also ask “why don’t you want to be with her anymore” and the answer I get is “because I don’t” — makes me want to slam my head into a wall . . . over and over and over.

      • Melvin

        Hi Pippi,

        Sorry to hear of your struggles.

        That was my biggest stumbling block as well. “I know how he made you feel, but what were/are your feelings for him ? ” It took DW months to finally communicate this to me. Actually, I told her that if she had trouble putting these in words, then try capturing them on paper. The paper method worked for us.

        It wasn’t until I had an understanding of her feelings towards the OM (then and now) that I was able to begin truly healing and moving forward. I had to know – she wore his ring at one time, they were months from the altar before he ended it. I would have been crushed if she left me for him now. However, I love her so much that if this guy was going to make her happy and she wanted him instead of me, I would have ended our marriage (albeit reluctantly). Her happiness is a big part of my happiness.

        Best to you in your healing.

    • Melvin

      Thanks for posting this Doug. I’ve been been touting this little manual for some time Someone on this site recommended it to me. Think of it as the Reader’s Digest way of getting your CS to straighten up and fly right ! Short, crisp and to-the-point. And cheap to boot.

      • Doug

        No problem Melvin. I agree that it’s a great book – especially for the cheater. Since it’s so short and easy to read, there should be no excuses for not reading it.

    • mil

      I read actual texts of her saying she loved him and him saying he’d wait but he says this referred to waiting for the sex they’d lead each other on about and it would never have happened. He told her in one text that she was the last thing he thought of last night and the first thing this morning. Apparently, you can say anything you want in a text and don’t have to mean a word of it if you are ‘just’ playing a ‘game’. Cos he can’t deny what I have seen in black and white he plays it down as all being part of the ‘game’ and that apparently makes it all OK!! When I ask him why did he bother telling another woman a pack of lies he keeps repeating it was just a game to keep them both interested.
      There again, if they were so besotted with each other, why didn’t they choose each other instead of us spouses??? It is over 3 years since she came into my life and wrecked my past, present and future and I will never believe a word my H says ever again.

    • Roller coaster rider

      I thought this book was one of the best, and shared it with my CS. He was reading it, too, but unfortunately also still communicating with the OW (which I didn’t know about) and eventually slid right back into her bed (hence the reason we are getting divorced). So my recommendation for helping your spouse heal is to end the relationship with the AP, first and foremost. Am I sorry I took him back after D-day #1, only to have D-day #2 six months later? No because now I know I did everything I could possibly do on my end to save my marriage.

      • Anita

        Roller coaster rider,
        I know this a hard time for you. Use this time to take good care of yourself, and be patient with yourself as you heal. The worst is over, and that season has ended. There are many good books on healing from divorce. Forgiveness and time will bring healing. There is a new bright future for you, I know thats hard to see now, but you will. Eventually all this pain will be gone, and you will feel like who you once were again, but stronger.
        Just take one day at a time.

        • Anita

          Roller coaster rider,
          It helps to be able to talk to someone who also going through a divorce. When I went through my divorce, my brother was also going through his, for the same reason, his wife left him for another man.
          In the beginning, my brother and I would talk a few times a week on the phone, airing alot of grievances that we had felt about our former spouses. As we progressed through the different stages of grieving, the need to talk would be less and less, and our conversations, returned to normal about our own lives, instead of the exes.
          Venting helps while going through your transition.

    • changedforever

      Thx for this post today….shared IMMED with my H (as I bought the book back in the summer & he STILL hasn’t finished it. So don’t expect your CS will buy it, and when bought, don’t expect they’ll immed read it.) This summarized list was great…I only wish i’d found this book soon after I found out about their affair…but it took me a couple of months to start buying books after the initial trauma, then the immed counseling, then getting a hold of myself. I told my H since he was cheating & knew he was…HE should have found all these books so as to prepare us for this ride into hell…not me!
      Luckily, he’s begun his spiritual renewing now…the 3rd leg of ‘the stool’ so I tell him: the 1st leg is the marriage counseling, 2nd leg is the strength training, 3rd leg is the spiritual support…worked for me & he’s got a matching stool now. His, however is stronger than mine because mine’s had the rug pulled out from under it so many times…

    • Paula

      Mmmm, so much frustration…. I think the reason why CSs are not pro-active about finding the books, reading the books, sharing the stories, answering the questions, is all about how bad it makes them feel to have to think about what they have done, especially to the person who was supposed to mean the most to them in the whole world. My OH said he couldn’t even remember the first time he slept with the OW, and to this day, I don’t have any idea how you could forget, I don’t mean the date, or the time, I mean the circumstances, where they did it, the fact that he did it at all. I told him that all that made me think was that for the previous 22 years, he must have done this before with someone else, because sleeping with someone who wasn’t me, after that many years, should have been something to remember! I think he is either an even better liar than I already know he is now, or he just is trying to protect himself from thinking about it, how it happened, what led up to it, etc, as it makes him feel revolting, weak and cruel, and he desperately doesn’t want to feel that way anymore, just like me!

      IFSD, I can feel your pain at the moment, it’s palpable, I wish we could help, we’re here for you, don’t worry about the “ranting” I’ve done it, it was the only place it could escape from me and I needed to purge it, get it out of me, as it festered and poisoned me if I couldn’t release the frustration and pain, and, for me, it was betteer here, on an anonymous forum, than in front of my children, my friends. And my OH deleted as he went, too, I now realise that he wasn’t before this was happening, and should have seen it as one of the many warning signs, although I do recall asking him why he did that.

      Changedforever, I love your shaky stool, don’t be ashamed of it, at least it’s still standing at the moment, in the hope of finding some solid ground, ever optimistic!

    • Notoverit

      Hi guys. Sorry I haven’t been on line to check the responses till now. So I guess we are all struggling with the “How did you feel about the OW/OM?” or “What did you talk about?” I have tried so much to quit thinking about it but the questions (unanswered) are still there. I wish my H would do what Melvin’s wife did and write it down. I think my H is in denial that he actually felt something for another woman besides me. He just keeps saying he doesn’t know who that man was who talked to the OW because it was out of character for him to do this. I am so conflicted about that statement – maybe he was in the “fog” and so goes the tale. He deleted every text except the last one from her (I found it and she was intimating more); he talked for hours to her at night and then at work; and he still called it just a friendship. She wouldn’t let go after he told her he couldn’t contact her anymore. She kept trying and I will say this, he hasn’t responded to her. She finally flipped out and he got to see her for the nutcase she is. Gee, I told him (when I first met her months before the EA started) that there was something off about her and that I didn’t like her. He remembers that all too well (I hate being right-LOL) Back to the subject, my H has never admitted to what he felt for this woman and that seems to stick in my head. Why it matters I will never know, but it does. And what they talked about for hours escapes me. How do we stop doing this when our Hs or Ws won’t say what they discussed? Then of course, because trust is non-existent, do you really believe what they tell you? Such a merry-go-round!

      • Holding On

        I go back a lot to what Healing Mark said. I copied it and pasted it on a word document. I do that a lot on this site, I find words that speak to me and what I need to know/remember. This is what he said:

        “But as to details of my wife’s EA, I learned of some from the evidence I discovered which pointed to the EA, and I learned of some directly from my wife. At some point in the healing process, I said to myself “Forget about the crazy things your wife did while she was a complete loon and experiencing feelings like she was falling in love again for the first time!” Of course the BS is going to have done hurtful things. Of course the BS is going to have lied to allow the EA to continue undetected. The fact that your partner became so emotionally close to another person while you are married to them really hurts, of course. But the past is the past. You can’t change what happened, and you can’t change (at least I couldn’t) the fact that what happened has caused hurt, and will continue to cause hurt if you let it.”

        I’ve continued to tell myself that…forget about the crazy things my husband did and said to her while he was in the thick of fog and those “new love” feelings. Especially if he seems remorseful, has stopped, is attentive and seems caring about your pain and your recovery and the marriage.

        It is really hard. I have asked my husband so many times about what the 3 hour phone conversations were like when I was away at my night job (Which ended last night – YAY!!), what they talked about during his lunch hour, the emails, the messages, etc. I get very limited responses. Daily stuff. Normal conversations. Mostly her talking. And he says he doesn’t remember much. I ask if his coworkers would think he was talking to a friend/sister or his wife when he was talking to her. You just have this strong desire to know what your SPOUSE was doing and saying and how he FELT about this OTHER PERSON who ISN”T YOU!! It hurts so bad.

        I still have questions, and more questions, and more questions that pop in my head and feel like I have to know. But sometimes, I really don’t. I’ve been able to step away from that huge pain and I feel pretty good. I’ve been able to say, THAT was MESSED UP. It was WRONG. He knows it. I know it. He is working hard to make it better and so am I. He says it will never happen again. And he knows if it does, I’m not staying with someone who will make those choices again, knowing the devastation it has brought me.

        Of course, on my bad days, most of my strong thinking goes out the window…but today is a good day. And I am thankful for that.

        Here is a good quote about that. It’s from Holly and I found it on a therapist blog about affairs:

        “For me, I know it’s still very early and there is still so much to process and get through. But it feels so good to just not feel horrible every second of every day.

        I remember fairly early in my sobriety, there was a day when I just did not want a drink at all. It was an amazing feeling, and I called my sponsor. She told me something that has stuck with me. She said, “This is a great feeling. Enjoy it. Realize that you may wake up tomorrow or in a few days and really want a drink again. That doesn’t mean that today wasn’t real.”

        I’ve tried to use that in this situation too. I am embracing the good days and positive feelings and I know that if tomorrow sucks, it still doesn’t negate the joy from today.”

        Isn’t that good. I’m enjoying my good day today. I’ve been fighting thoughts, but overall it is a positive day. Yay! 🙂

    • Atwitsend

      IFSD…..as read your post I could have sworn, someone else wrote for me. The deleting msg’s, the innocent picture (yea right), the just daily stuff not important enough to remember. Even down to the ccalls after get to work, on break, when leaving work. Sometimes I wonder does he honestly think I’m that stupid….
      Guess so he got away with it for over a year..

      Melvin,
      Don’t you want to know even some of what was said, things evidently she needed to hear to make her feel that way. Okay I failed him in giving him that ego boost he needed, but I wasn’t getting it either. I keep thinking if I had known he was so down, depressed, or feeling so bad about himself, I could/would have been the one to say those things. Looking back I was attentive but with kids, grandkid, housework, finances and just plain life guess it wasn’t enough, so how do I know it is NOW?

      • ifeelsodumb

        Atwitsend,
        My fear that I have now is…and I have been told this by 2 of the 3 ppl who know about the EA…”Don’t keep dwelling on it…if he wants to forget about it, do it, just move on!! When he comes home, have a smile on your face, otherwise he isn’t going to want to come home to you”!! Yes, this is the “GREAT” advice I’m getting!!
        And of course I’m thinking, ” Ok, great, that means I’m STILL doing all the work while my H gets to go about life as normal” and then that just makes me mad!!
        Do any of the rest of you feel like that? Is there a fear that if you don’t “get normal” again, he will go back to the OW or find someone knew? My H said to me on Tuesday, it was a meltdown type of day for me, after a great weekend, “I’m just tired of you picking at me all the time, ok? I can’t do anything right!!!
        And of course, my response was “Oh, poor you!! I’m tired of having this fear in the pit of my stomach, every single freaking day, that you are going to contact her AGAIN”…try living with THAT all the time!!!! It wasn’t a good day, as you can all imagine, since I know you all have been there!!
        He has promised me for about 6 wks now that he would read this blog. It’s happened ONE time, when I showed him the posting…I’ve told him, all the stories on here are different, yet they are the same! I want you to read this, to see the pain this causes… Of course, he hasn’t ever read it on his own and he won’t, he always makes promises to me, but rarely keeps them. My H has ALWAYS been the one to run from any type of conflict, leaving me to deal with it…it comes from his childhood, abusive family, etc…and to give him credit, he HAS started to deal with some family issues, instead of letting me deal with it…but when it comes to helping me heal, to helping our marriage…he only does something when I point it out to him, or when he knows I’m upset he’ll do it then…then it stops.
        I really wish he’d just GET IT!! If he wants this to go away, he HAS to work with me…ignoring it won’t make it go away…it will only get worse….why can’t he get that??

        • norrine fay

          Wow. I feel so dumb, its like you are living my life. My CS just does not get it and is so inactive its a joke. He only acts when I get upset about his lack of action or I stop talking to him because he has dismissed my feelings again. He can’t do any kind of conflict or problems and runs back to his mothers house. He is a middle aged man that acts like a child. There is no dialogue about his PA but when I push him he lies. I find out and the whole thing stars again.9 month since d day, Im exhausted. I have to accept he will not take responsibility or be truthful about what happened. Time to move on. It’s so hard though as sometimes I just feel so numb.

    • Atwitsend

      IFSD
      forgot to add, how is calling me when he gets to work, at his breaks and lunch and then again on his way home gonna help me. He was doing that same thing during the EA, talk with me just to check in then call her and talk till lunch over or till get home. These things really eat at me. Cause some things can’t help, because thats what he was doing then. So how am I supposed to know 18 months past 2nd d-day we are any better off

      • ifeelsodumb

        Oh my gosh!! You had a SECOND D Day?? No wonder you are still struggling!! How far apart were the 2 D days?
        I feel for you, Atwitsend….I really do…And I hear ya about trusting again…my H did the exact same thing!!! He’d call me to let me know he was on his way home, usually a 1-2 hr drive…then he’d get on the phone with her…and sometimes, if he had to travel a farther distance, he’d tell me he couldn’t talk because he didn’t have much charge left on his cell phone and didn’t have his car charger…and like a dope, I would say, “Well, you need to get a new battery, this is happening a lot”! Little did I know, he had been talking to her for 2 hrs, draining his battery life, and he wanted to keep what was left, so he could talk to her more!!! DUH!! Oh, and the times I’d call him, when I was at the store or something and he wouldn’t answer…so when I got home, I’d pick up his cell and it was on silent mode…and when I questioned him, he said he “forgot” to put it on ring after he finished with a client…and again, Ms. Ifeelso dumb…yea, that’s why I chose THAT name…would believe him, even though he had NEVER done that before!! Soooo many clues for me to see, and in my blissful state of trusting aka ignorance…I ignored them!!
        Then there were the pics she put on HER FB page of MY H back from when they were dating! I was livid!! I couldn’t understand why she put his pics, MY H, on her page, yet she didn’t tell anyone…all of a sudden there they were…I was on his FB and went to her pics…yes, I was curious, since I knew they had dated yrs before, and he had just met her again when he went home for a quick weekend…and here is my H, all shocked and he said “I’ll have my cousin call her and tell her to get them off!! And the whole time, he himself was in contact with her!! I asked him what he said to her the next day about the pics and he said that he told her I got really upset…her response, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause trouble…Yea, Right!!! But my poor, stupid, in a fog H believe her!!! Of course she meant to cause trouble!!!! She was staking her claim to MY H!!! Duhhh!!!!
        Was your H’s EA local…meaning does she live there, or long distance? Mine was 800 miles away!! Thank goodness!! Does your H act remorseful? I can’t tell with my H…he doesn’t cry…In 26 yrs of knowing him…I’ve never seen him cry! He bottles everything up….and that’s why I’m in the mess with him in the first place! If he would have opened up to me, I would have done everything possible to make him feel more loved, appreciated, etc….instead, he chose to open up to the OW…but he didn’t open up to her with his feelings…nope, he just told her what a bad wife I was, how I ignored him, wasn’t affectionate…none of it true, of course…but he made it that way in his mind so he could excuse what he was doing…I’m beginning to think men in general are very selfish creatures…they do this to us, break our hearts, then want to act like nothing is wrong…and when we want to fix this problem, they get angry with us…

    • Melvin

      Hi Atwitsend,

      Yes, at the beginning I desperately wanted to know what they were sharing (texts/pics). I tried to get her to remember but she said she could not. That was her repeated response. At first I didn’t believe her because I thought she was covering up – like she did all along. But as I said, it is more important, especially now as we repair, to understand what missing link he was providing and how I could fill that void. Does this make sense ? It’s not the words that are important to her, it was the feelings. I get that now.

      It’s really all about needs. She had certain needs that were not being fulfilled by me. Certainly the words are an important part of her needs but there are also actions that I changed that helped fulfill other needs. KWIM ?

      Do you know what his needs are that require fulfilling? Does he know yours ? If not, it might be time for a heart-to-heart talk. DW and I played a game recently where we each wrote down in private what we thought the top 5 needs were of the other. Then we shared them. We both hit 3 of 5.

      Best to you in your healing.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Melvin,
        Can I ask you…has your wife cried over this? Has she repeatedly asked you to forgive her..has she shown genuine heart felt remorse? See, my H hasn’t…of course, he has said he’s sorry, he made some bad decisions, etc. But I’m not sure I’m seeing genuine remorse on his part…when I get upset, or crying, he doesn’t come to me and put his arms around me and just say,” I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me” and just sit and hold me, he’s done that maybe 2 times in the last 11 mos….and that’s what I’m looking for…and I know it’s not easy for him…or most men, I guess….but you know, this isn’t about things being easy for him anymore…this is about him coming out of his comfort zone and into mine…and doing everything he can to make this better, since he’s the one responsible!!
        Just like I told you yesterday….I sent him off in his car to go to a client…and told him he doesn’t have to call and babysit me anymore…why can’t he see that for what it is? I want him to call me and say ” I know what you said, but I also know this makes you feel better, that talking to me reassures you, so let’s talk”! HE KNOWS THIS…but he doesn’t do it…so that’s fine, today I did the same thing…told him goodbye, call me when he gets to his client.
        It’s painful, it’s a trigger for me…but I’m done begging for his crumbs!! I don’t know what I would have done if he had told me that he still wanted to talk, if he told me I know this is a trigger for you, so let’s make this easier for you…but I do know it would have melted my heart towards him…but he didn’t, so today, my heart is a little more hardened against him…because I see the selfishness in him…and that saddens me…

        • Melvin

          Hi again IFSD,

          Sorry I missed this post. Just getting caught up – boy this subject has really taken off.

          “Does my DW cry over this? Has she repeatedly asked you to forgive her….has she shown genuine heart felt remorse?”

          No, not very much. After she read this manual (discussed in this subject), she did come to me in tears and apologized sincerely. After that, nothing. For my DW, she really wanted to just put this behind her –and us. It avoids her feeling bad.

          My DW has trouble admitting she is wrong. She would rather focus on the positives. Most men I know are also like that on the outside – they don’t want to be seen as wimpy so they show their masculine side. Don’t dwell on the negative.

          My only suggestion is to do what we did. Take some time to understand what needs you have that are most important to you. Is it being understood ? Him showing remorse ? Showing love in a caring way ? Then take some private time alone, sit down and have a heart-to-heart. You might just find out some major needs he has that are going unfulfilled.

          Best always.

          • melissa

            Great post, Melvin.

    • Jackie

      Like everyone here, H never would talk about what he and the OW actually talked about. I feel he realized that this infatuation was just that, a fantasy. She made him feel good about himself when he was overworked, somewhat depressed, didn’t want to share work related issues with me, and definitely going through a mid life crisis. H became so, obsessed and addicted (the fog) to how she made him feel…that is alive, young, energized, excited and motivated again. While expressing how she “understood him completely”, at the same time, H was trying to convince me, and himself, that “they weren’t bad people”.

      He was “in love”, that highly addictive, obsessive state of mind, that makes you feel wonderful. She basically made him feel good about himself…fed his ego, and he became hooked. In his eyes she could do no wrong…she was perfection. His emotional mind had taken control of almost all his rational thoughts. Half of what he said made no logical sense…but emotions aren’t logical, are they.

      Is this what CS are saying…that all they said and did during the affair, even though they spent a lot of time doing it, that it didn’t matter, or wasn’t important? It was like being in a drugged state. Was it real? It certainly seemed important to H at the time.

      I think of affairs like an addiction, to alcohol or drugs…does telling you about how wonderful his relationship was to the bottle in detail really make a difference? When he drank, how much, how he got it, how it made him feel…does it change the marriage any? No, the details don’t really matter. What matters is how his abandonment of the marriage, spouse, kids, and family hurt all those who believed in and trusted him. How he let everyone down, including himself, by escaping through an affair, bottle, gambling…to the point that nothing else mattered. How he thought escaping would solve all his problems, without regard to the feeling of those who loved and cared most about him. Everything the CS helped to create over the years…the CS was now quickly destroying, without very much thought as to what he was losing or doing.

      For me, even though the OW ended it right away…H couldn’t stop himself from the addictive feelings and obsessive thoughts which continued for about a year, while he constantly blamed me and the marriage for causing him to do this. At the same time he also talked about a “Character defect” on his part and recognized his depression.

      Although I too would like to talk about what was said during the affair, I know my H is unwilling, or unable to go there and relive his embarrassment and shame. I would like to clean and air our dirty laundry, H as usual, chooses to bury it and pretend it never existed. We both have different coping mechanisms, but neither are right or wrong. Loving your spouse is more about accepting them as who they are, but at the same time standing up for what you believe, so as to allow each to grow to their best potential.

      This has become a time of pain and growth for both of us. It has been a time to try to understand each other and ourselves, with compassion for our weaknesses, and to be proud for our strengths. Hopefully this is a time to fix ourselves and become better people who love and live with purpose and directions. A ship will float randomly and without purpose without someone steering, guiding and directing it. It is the same with a person’s life. We must choose to live it with meaning, direction, and purpose, in order to live a full and meaningful life.

      • Holding On

        Thanks, Jackie for your words. I have a couple things you have said previously pasted away 🙂 You really seem to have a handle on looking forward and taking those positive steps for the marriage. I loved the last 2 paragraphs about understanding and compassion and recognizing strengths and weaknesses in each other.

        Great things to ponder on!

    • InTrouble

      Melvin: Your 10:47 a.m. post is absolutely spot on. You sound like a very smart guy. I hope your wife sees that. “But as I said, it is more important, especially now as we repair, to understand what missing link he was providing and how I could fill that void. ” I wish my husband understood that (instead he is in complete denial about my affair).

      Random thought: It might make a difference what the relationship is between the cheater and OM/OW. For instance, if they are truly in love that’s a big obstacle. For me it is strictly an infatuation thing – nonetheless very difficult to put an end to. And I still think (although many would disagree, I understand that) that there is a very big difference between an EA and a PA. EA is fantasy land. PA is “get real, I’m willing to completely turn my back on my marriage” time.

      In regards to so many other posts on here: The cheaters are simply never going to tell all. No way, no how. Spy software doesn’t work either because, unfortunately, where there’s a will there’s way. I know if it were me who was the betrayed spouse that would be a very difficult thing to accept, and risky too.

      • Melvin

        Thank you. I enjoy reading your posts as well. I am certainly getting smarter with relationships. If I only knew then what I know now 🙂

        • JS

          Agree 100%.

      • Anita

        InTrouble,
        I agree with you that the cheaters are simply not going to tell all. No way, no how.
        My ex even told me he was never going to share every detail.
        That was my first glimpse that sharing the truth of “what once was between us” was gone. That was the missing link I needed to connect back to him. But instead he kept the truth from me, and the downward spiral began. In a marriage if you want it to survive, truth has to be told, no matter how ugly it is. Because then you rebuild from that point. When a fancy dressed up lie is told you have nothing to build on because it is all air. When the cheating spouse holds on to the secrets. The betrayed spouse is shut out. How does a marriage survive that, how do you trust again, if the cheating spouse won’t open themselves up. Here is when the betrayed spouse can give the forgiveness
        and know what they are forgiving, to be able to reconnect again.
        When cheating spouses holds on to their secrets, long story short they do not want to really reconnect themselves again to the betrayed spouse. This is a huge red flag! When this wall is put up and the betrayed spouse is not allowed to enter through
        it, that starts the beginning of the end.

        • InTrouble

          Anita – The way I see it (and believe me, I’m no expert) is that you are not rebuilding a relationship based on she said, then I said, then we did such and such. If you are trying to rebuild based on that stuff then I think you might miss the important things.

          • Anita

            Introuble,
            Your very right. Its hard to write about this, because its been so long ago, and time has healed that part of my life. I know in these post most everyone here is still dealing with raw emotions. I’ve had a few years to get over everything. My feelings during that time are different, from how I feel now.
            You probally have noticed that I keep talking about being divorced. I guess my message is, that it took me going through a divorce and healing from that, is what took all my pain away. When your in pain its because your still in love with that person.
            When I write in here its from a post divorce perspective. I see myself in almost everyone here I felt pretty much the same as all you do during that time in my life.
            But, I can only speak for myself here, and what everyone else does it their own choice.
            I believe there is a big difference from EA to an affair with both EA/PA . My ex was in a full blown affair, he wanted to be with
            his affair partner. My thoughts during that time was I also wanted to save the marrige, but as I progressed my feelings changed, I wanted away from him, to now where I would never put with a cheater. But thats the choice I made. Having lived through all this, my perspective now is if your going to cheat
            thats it, no second chance.

            • Anita

              Introuble,
              The reason I will never again give a second chance, is because a relationhip itself is not healthy, when there it an affair partner involved.
              For myself, I wanted a better life than putting up with a cheating husband.
              My exhusband and I are now friends, we get along fine.
              There’s the old saying we make better friends then lovers.

    • jewel

      I’m not sure you would all really want to SEE their conversations. I have seem some of my H’s and the OW and they are SEARED on my brain. The ‘oh my god I do love you’ and the ‘anon love’ and the shit shit shit after shit. I could reach into my head and scoop out the gray matter that holds these images. It’s not WHAT was said, it was the fact that anything was said at all. BELIEVE what is true. that the EA is based in fantasy, in air, in fluff. It means NOTHING. It is an ego based game. That is all. If your spouse is still with you, there is something tangible that they are holding on to. If you can find the patience, strength and grit to foster that, you have a chance. It is f-ing hard work. Everyday. The negative thoughts and emotions will keep coming back to peck at you, but hold on. As lonely as it feels, stay your own best friend. Look after yourselves. Grow, mature, BLOSSOM!!! Trust me, it’s the best revenge (not that i would advocate revenge 🙂 )
      Best wishes to all, peace and love. Thank you all for sharing your stories. You give me strength.

    • Rushan

      I also wanted to know what did they talk about, how did he feel about her. I also didn’t get answers. Only we talked about things and we were just friends but I can’t remember. I am also a personwho wants to know things and after nearly three years I can’t get any answers out of him, and we still hear from her and see her some time. but he says the affair is over.I stilldon’t know what to believe b ut try to live with it.

    • Alone

      Hi everyone,

      First, just reading all of this makes me sad… we’re all in therapy, we’re hurt, we’re tired. I feel this way and I’m a damn cheater – can’t imagine how you as a BS feels.

      In my case my H never asked what me and the OM talked about for hours. He wanted to know any physical extent of the affair, details about any sexual overtones, how long it went on, etc. However, he has not obsessed over the details about discussions we had. I fessed up to all of the details about sexual overtones and how long it went, etc., but wasn’t truthful at first about my feelings toward the OM.

      I will tell all of you the types of things we discussed in the affair: work, parenting, things we did growing up, what our childhood was like, our families, the way we were raised, what dreams we had that did or did not come true, finances, traumatic events in our life, etc. We also talked about interests that we had in common… things we liked to do together. We were around each other a lot, so some of the talk was future plans for fun things we could do with our families. We also joked a lot about all kinds of stuff. We discussed our spouses, but always did this in a positive light. There was no trash talking about our spouses, well at least on my end. The OM did trash talk my H, saying he didn’t treat me right. Anyway, as the EA progressed, after “admission of feelings” the OM began to talk about sexual things. I feel strongly that the OM wanted to push this to a PA, but fortunately we were caught before that happened.

      InTrouble, I absolutely agree with you that there are different kinds of affairs. For me, and I know everyone here will tell me I am in the fog, etc. I feel that I loved this OP which has made it difficult for me to let go and move on. No, I have not contacted the OM, no I did not chase the OM after D-Day — I have no right to. I have already created enough hell for his wife. I was ashamed of myself and still am. I just feel to use the words of the OM to my H “that our friendship got too close”. It’s that simple. We let ourselves develop feelings for each other and should not have let this happen.

      Melvin, I also agree that you are spot-on. I would like to communicate to my H several “voids” that the OM filled for me. I would like to tell my H so that we can work on that together. I know I am the cheater so it seems odd that my H would need to fill my “needs” or do anything for me. That doesn’t seem right does it? But in that book by Dave Carder, Torn Asunder he states that all Class II affairs (mine was very much a Class II) are created by emotional deficits in the cheater. Obviously, the OP was filling some sort of need and yes, he made me “feel good”. The reason that I haven’t communicated these needs very well to my H is that I don’t feel right doing it… he’s the one that I hurt. He should not have to “fix me”. I’m the one that should be leading the recovery, doing all the things to make my H feel secure and wanted and I am trying to do that. So, in a way, can you see that this leaves us in a little of a predicament?

      Last night I was laying in bed thinking about the affair. And I thought to myself, now that we are stable, not much has really changed in our marriage. That thought scared me… and I plan to talk to my H about a few things that should be different for us, so that our marriage can be better than before. Because I never want to go through this again, and I’m the one who cheated!

      I sure as hell wish there was an easy solution for the mess cheaters create. Thanks for letting me vent.

      • Notoverit

        I don’t know, maybe Doug can step in here and give us a perspective. Alone, you are a female – we tend to want to fix and talk and fix and talk, cheater or betrayed wife. I was told that men can’t talk and feel at the same time. They have to take time, ruminate and then talk. Well, mine’s stalled for nearly a year and I still don’t get any answers. So Doug, so you think that female cheaters act differently from male cheaters in the healing process? I know you only have one perspective, but you can read Alone’s posts and see how she is trying to work on this. All of us BS are not getting most of that from our CS. Just a question.

        Thanks Alone for sharing!

        • Notoverit

          Sorry, should be “do your think that female cheaters…”

      • SuzieSuffers

        Have you thought about going to a counselor to “discuss” how to build a better marriage. How to discuss wants and needs for both of you. I pushed and pushed my husband for details. He told me he couldn’t take the nagging about it anymore…in his mind throwing it in his face all the time. (although he talked the talk, never really worked on rebuilding trust) We were suppose to go to counseling to try to heal through our problems…..but money, time….delay after delay. It looks like he’s done and doesn’t want to make the effort to heal.

        • ifeelsodumb

          Suzie…then work on YOU!!! Back off and do what you need to heal, and let him see you becoming a stronger woman! It still boggles my mind how selfish these CS are!!
          My H and I were just talking last night about this…I told him that he hasn’t done his part to help me heal for 10 mos. now…He has done a little better in the last month, since I really laid into him about this!
          This is how I put it to him last night…I said ” Imagine I went to the DR. and he told me I had Bongo Bongo disease and told me I have to take ABC pills for the next year, if I wanted to get over this disease….what would you do? Hy H responded, ” I’d ask you what IS Bongo Bongo disease and what else can we do to help you recover”.
          I then said” What if I told you I’m not sure what it is, what has caused it…the DR wasn’t really clear, he didn’t give me many details…I was so scared and upset, I don’t remember to much”…He then responded ” Well, we’d go online, looking for as much info as we can to see what we could do to help you heal and what are the side effects, etc”…and that’s when I said “EXACTLY!!!!! So why aren’t YOU going online NOW to help me heal from this “disease” called an Emotional Affair”!!!!????

          I’m hurting, I’m sick over this!! And YOU are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for me to get “better” and it’s not happening!
          I NEED your help with this, and since you say that you love me and are truly sorry, then you WILL help me in my recovery!!
          My H looked at me and said, very quietly “You’re right, I understand”….so hopefully, my H FINALLY DID get it!!
          Today starts a new day, so we shall see…

    • InTrouble

      Alone – Your post made me so sad, especially the part about how not much has changed in your marriage, and the part about “the predicament.” How well I know. You are lucky about one thing, and that is that your D-day actually put an end to things. Time will heal you, even though it might not fix your marriage. What a mess.

      • Anita

        InTrouble,
        The one thing that I will always be thankful for, and this statement contradicts itself. When my ex came to me with divorce papers, yes it hurt and yes I was ready, I was thankful he had the guts to bring the divorce papers. Because we both knew it was time. I am thankful he didn’t string me along and put me through more heartache and pain. I moved to another state so we would not cycle again, being on and off.
        I got a chance to start over with a new beginning, and I believe everyone deserves that.

    • Melvin

      Alone,
      Thank you for sticking around and sharing. Your posts have provided me great insight.

    • Atwitsend

      Alone
      Thank you. You posted a short while back examples of text and it really helped.
      This post about conversations helps as well cause he tells me those things are the type discussions they had. To hear it from the otherwise opens my eyes, alittle.
      He also says he can’t open up about things said or shared causer he can’t stand to disappoint or hurt me any more than he already has.

      • ifeelsodumb

        My H says the same thing…trouble is…how do you believe them, after so may lies have been told?
        How have we all gone from rational, happy people to people who are happy one day, crying the next, feeling we have this thing beat and then the next day wanting to stay in bed with the covers pulled over our heads? Why is this so hard?
        This is a nightmare…it truly is!!

        Alone,
        I truly appreciate your postings….thx for helping us to see the other side…

    • JS

      Alone-
      Thank you for your honesty. I have a strong feeling that my H and the OW talked about the same types of things you did in your EA. And what breaks my heart the most is that I only ever wanted to be my H’s partner in life. All those things he shared with her are what I always wanted him to share with me. He has never been willing to connect with me on that level, but he did easily with her. I believe he is with me because of our kids and because I have supported him and our family financially while he got his business off the ground. I think he would feel too much guilt if he left, and I think he knows the much younger OW would probably not want to deal with our kids. I really think that’s why he stays. And oh how I wish so much he would talk to me about all those life things. I would love nothing more.

      I believe he truly loved (loves?) her, and although they are not still actively communicating personally (as far as I know), they still work together. I fear that every time he sees her or talks to her, the butterflies flutter and the feelings are still there. Their EA lasted 10 months. I found out about it after 7 months, and he assured it me he ended it. Then I found out 3 months later it had never stopped. I don’t think feelings that strong just go away.

      I wish you luck in falling back in love with your H and moving beyond your EA. Thank you for sharing what our spouses won’t share with us.

    • Anita

      JS,
      I agree with you that when the cheating spouse falls in love with someone else, they just don’t wake up the next day and discover those feelings are gone. It would be nice if it was that simple. I believe they have to grieve the loss of their affair partner. My ex also worked with his affair partner, they had a full blown physical /emotional affair. My ex refused to move to another job, told me” it was my problem.” Their relationship ended about a year after our divorce.
      Maybe if you have nerves of steel and can ride this out maybe your marriage can go in a whole new direction.
      For myself it let it all go, I was so tired and exhauted from it all,
      and my daughter asked me “why do you let dad treat you this way.” I chose to start a new life for myself. But everyone here
      will has to make their own choice. If I had to do it all over again
      and could go back to the first day I found out about the affair
      I would still choose divorce.
      My biggest mistake was I forgot to write his name our bed, poor guy, he just didn’t know where to go!

    • Anita

      I want to share a true story of love, of 2 middle aged people I know. The wife has a horrible physically challenged diease that leaves her wheelchair bound, she needs her husband to take care of all her ADL’s. She is not capable of doing anything for herself, she is totally depends on him. Yet this man is faithful, treats her with the up most respect, and is very proud of her. He gives 100% plus more of himself. I admire both of them.
      He is a role model. I also know of other couples that are this dedicated. How do these couples stay faithful and are happy even in the midst of terrible illness. When one spouse carries full responibility of everything from helping their spouse in the restroom, to bills, dishes, lawn, and working a full time job.
      Then there are spouses who cheat, and say their needs just weren’t met!

    • Anita

      In the above post the husband passed on not long ago he was in a serious accident, that caused many complications he just couldn’t survive. But he was a role model I will never forget,
      I feel I need to dedicate this post to him. He always said he loved his wife, and would do anything for her. It still brings tears to my eyes because, his wife was a very fortunate lady to have experienced a true love. She will always know when he left this earth, he loved her.

    • Anita

      I should also mention this couple lived in the same state I did before my divorce, my daughter kept in touch with them even after I moved. She told me the wife is now being cared for by a very dedicated sister who lost her own husband a few years ago. Its amazing how some people can touch our lives, in such a postive way. But then there are others!

    • mil

      Alone, are you willing to tell me how dirty the sex talk became and was it on texts or actually spoken by phone or even face to face? My H seems to find it easier to put words on text or on paper such as in cards and one of the texts I actually saw referred to him feeling randy at the thought of her in lace undies and she replied ‘you’re always feeling randy’. God knows what the hundreds of others said but I hope and pray they didn’t get REALLY filthy. Why that helps I don’t know but it’s bad enough as it is without the thought of them being obscenely intimate.
      Also, how did you manage to stop the moment you were caught? I had 2 more discoveries after I thought he’d stopped, the second of which was a secret pay as you go which he maintains after nearly 3 years that he needed to keep in contact about her boss who was having suicidal problems and my H was helping keep their practice going (that bit WAS true). He said he knew I’d go ballistic if I knew they were still in contact and because he now agreed to show me the bills for his contract phone he HAD to get the secret phone because of the crisis at the practice she was managing while her boss was off and part of his job did entail overseeing the welfare of practices in our local area.

    • Recovering Mommy

      Thanks for this post guys! My H does all of these things! You know sometimes, especially when healing from an EA or PA, when things are good it seems too good to be true and it makes you a little nervous. I find myself very skeptical even though post EA he’s given me no reason to. Reading this list makes me feel a little less skeptical.

    • Recovering Mommy

      I just want to say to all of you on here that are fighting to save your marriage, do not give up! The reward is so worth the hard work. I understand that your spouse may not be working as hard as your are on the marriage. And unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to change that. You just work on yourself. Pamper yourself. Do things that make you feel good about you. Spend time with your kids, if you have them. The best way you can help your spouse is to pray for them. I have really watched myself the last year and a half to make sure I don’t nag and criticize my H (which was a problem of mine pre-EA). I’ve worked really hard at showing him respect and love, even when he does something that is not deserving of it. The change in his attitude has been absolutely amazing. The bible tells us wives to be “of a quiet and gentle spirit” so that our actions make win over our H’s.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Sounds exactly like what is in the book “Love and Respect”…to much info to go into, but a husband craves respect, even if he DOESN’T deserve it…just like a woman CRAVES love!
        It’s a hard concept to understand…and apply!
        I’ve been applying the respect principle the last few days and my H HAS noticed…and trust me, I don’t FEEL like he deserves my respect after his EA…but as a Christian, I feel that this is biblical for me as a wife… And I’m basing this on the verse in Ephesians that says for a husband to love his wife even as himself, and for a wife to reverence, aka “respect” her husband.
        It’s not as easy as it sounds, and on my trigger days I want to just give up…but I know that we can make this marriage better than it was before and I love my H very much, and I can’t give up!

        • RecoveringMommy

          IFSD, I am in the middle of reading this book right now. So far the book really makes a lot of sense. It goes hand in hand with a bible study my H and I are leading right now as well. And I agree with you 100%. He DOES NOT deserve my respect. But I’ve done things to him to make me not worthy of his love, although nothing as drastic as an affair. And I’m sure some people on here will be offended by what I say but that is not what I’m trying to do at all. I am a follower of Christ and I believe what the Bible says. The whole point of the “love and respect” concept is that we are called to obey God above all else. And that means giving our H’s respect even when they don’t deserve it.

          • ifeelsodumb

            Hey Sue85, Yes, my H said the same thing…since the communication was either through texting or phone calls, he said he never really felt any guilt…it was just “conversation”. I’ve struggled to understand this way of thinking, so it really helps to hear from the “other side” about how your thought process was during the EA.
            My H now accepts how wrong this was, that he was pulling away emotionally from me and giving to the OW what was rightfully mine as his wife.

    • Paula

      mil, as the survivor of a sexual affair, who knows an awful lot of details, and am glad I do (I at least was able to get tested and treated for an STI!) I think that you are worrying too much about the content of the texts, etc. One of the things that is essential for any small amount of peace is to not focus too greatly for too long on the OP – I know that sounds great coming from me, but I know the issues are not about her, they are about how we got to this place, how he got so lost along the way that he turned to her, I see her as merely a prop, something he used to self-soothe. That doesn’t mean I don’t still try to analyse her, what her motives were, why she won’t talk to me, blah, blah, blah, but I know that this is of no use to me, the only way forward is with the two of us coming to some place of mutual trust and forgiveness, I do know I will never trust again the way I did, and I mourn intensely for that lost innocence, but I also know that I cannot affect the past, or other people, only my own obsessive thoughts, etc. And it’s a battle. I understand your need to know, I found that knowing the reality was helpful, to a degree, because my imagination made things WAY worse than the facts – if indeed these are the facts, you see, you will never really know, because he is a liar, and will lie to protect you from further pain, and to protect himself from feeling even worse than he already does. Knowing what Alone said/did with her AP doesn’t make that what your H did/said to his, they are all different. I also think that when you look back into your own past and recall things that you may have done that you regret, how your skin crawls, I know I feel a little sick remembering quite silly stuff that I regret, eg getting into a car with a drunk driver in my early teens. I try to avoid thinking about such things, just as your H does. He does need to confront them, but he must eventually be allowed to put those thoughts to the side, at least a little, as it must make him feel terrible (and rightly so, but not forever, at least on a daily basis!) I think you are still trying to work out if the affair became sexual, and that is perfectly understandable, as he’s lied about such a lot, what would stop him from lying about that. I don’t know how you stop the “research” – at least I KNOW what happened with my OH, it was a full-blown sexual affair, for over a year, retch! Having said that, it has affected me sexually, as I have very vivid “flashes” of them in very compromising positions during lovemaking, and it makes me want to run and vomit, not very sexy, lol!

      • Anita

        Paula,
        You are absolutely right, the affair parter is a decoy to what is wrong with the marriage. To reconize that is very important,
        and to understand that its the relationship in the marriage itself, that is unhealthy.
        I know some here will work on that relationship, and could very well have a happy heathly marriage down the road.
        I chose to go the other direction, and end my marriage. For
        me that was the right choice. I knew, I would never fully trust
        him again. I wanted a life where I didn’t have to look over my shoulder to see if he was staying faithful. If I have to work to in order to keep my spouse faithful to me, thats not a marriage.
        Marriage does take work, and I reserve that right for a husband who can forake all others.
        My exhusband and I are now friends, which is also important because we forgave each other, we both realized our marriage was unhealthy and made the hard choice to end it, but it was the right choice for us.

    • dazedandconfused

      I need some advice! My H tells me he doesn’t have feelings for AP anymore, that he is completely over her. Some time ago I had asked him to block her on Faxebook (he reconnected with her on Facebook – they dated in high school) and he reluctantly did it (doesn’t like to be controlled, wants to just move on and forget A ever happened, etc.). I asked him less than a week ago if he still had AP blocked, and he said yes.

      Tonight while he was out I logged into his Facebook account and AP was not blocked. AP has blocked me but not my H. I am so angry that he lied to me! It may well be the straw that broke the camel’s back! I also noticed that on Firefox (he usually uses Safari), the preferences are set to keep browsing history private. Big red flag!

      CSs, please be real with me? Does it sound to you like he is still involved with OW?

      I don’t think I want to be married to someone who is such a good liar. He really had me fooled – acts like I am the woman for him, etc. The last contact he has admitted to with AP was in January 2011. He started NC then (or so I thought), because I was ready to leave him.

      I can’t stand this anymore!! WTF? Why can’t he just act like a man and be accountable for his actions? It shows a total lack of respect for me!

      • ifeelsodumb

        Wow…this is a tough one…if your H said she’s blocked…and she’s not….seems like he would know if he had blocked the person who has helped damage his marriage.. So I would ask him why he lied, plain and simple…but first, do some research on reading body language.. for example, if his hands are open, palms up, he’s telling the truth…palms down, aka Hitler salute, lying.
        Sadly, I used this on my own H while asking him questions about the OW…but first, I just talked to him in normal conversations, to watch his movements…I’m not an expert, but I can usually tell if he’s lying to me.
        As for the history…oh yeah, would be REALLY suspicious of that…there are programs you can download on your computer that will email you what is being looked at..I read about it on one of the postings on here…spycatcher, or spywatcher or something like that..you might want to do that first, so you have something to back up your suspicions…I agree though…if I ever catch my H doing this to me…we are over.
        Not living like this ever again…too much pain involved and I don’t deserve this! Best of luck to you, Dazedandconfused!! You’re in my thoughts and prayers!!

      • melissa

        Same thing happened to me on LinkedIn. Despite my request to ‘block’ my H’s AP, she reconnected with him and he accepted. I went into his account and blocked her myself but she contacted him by phone, leading to a second D-day two months later. It seemed he was unable to ‘let go’.

        The problem will all these ways of communicating via internet sites etc, it’s that it’s a minefield and it’s so easy for a cheater who wants to carry on cheating to do so, even if his/her spouse remains as vigilant as possible.

    • mil

      Paula, thank you soooooooooo much for taking the trouble to reply. I am going to copy and paste your post and keep it to remind me how ‘lucky’ I am. My H loves me to absolute bits and always has, that is one thing I know for sure. This is all a dreadful nightmare. We have hardly spoken all week as I had a particularly bad go at him midweek and said some damning things and I do, as you said, make up things to fill the gaps I think he’s lied about. This drives him MAD as he insists it was nothing like the great love affair I imagine it was. I have driven him so mad at times over the past 3 years that I really think he would have cracked at some point and said ‘yes I bl**dy did love her so there’. But through thick and thin and pushed to all sorts of limits he insists it wasn’t love, just a ‘game’ to liven up his boring loveless life (I was very cold towards him at that time which I now in retrospect put down partly to the menopause and he tried everything to get me to be a loving sexy, wife but I used to shrug it off). I even hacked into one of his work partner’s emails to see the content of emails sent by the OW to see if she put kisses on them as well, how pathetic, and got in trouble with the police as they traced our computer and this has caused a breakdown in his working relationship with his partners who were also my friends. I now no longer get invited to any work dos such as the Christmas party and my H refuses to go without me. But I still can’t believe that this man did all this in the first place!!

    • Anita

      Anita
      Introuble,The reason I will never again give a second chance, is because a relationhip itself is not healthy, when there it an affair partner involved.For myself, I wanted a better life than putting up with a cheating husband.My exhusband and I are now friends, we get along fine.There’s the old saying we make better friends then lovers.

      Introuble,
      If you read some other posts I posted awhile back, you will see
      that I gave my exhusband more than a second chance. His last infidelity, is where I had the most self growth, and my self esteem improved to where I knew I didn’t want to be married to him any longer. I wanted a better life.

    • Anita

      I want to thank everyone for sharing in this site. It has given me the strenght to do the last part of my journey. I have had
      a civil divorce for a few years. But in the church I belong to, if I want to get remarried in that church I need to have my marriage annuled. I came to this site, to reopen up my past so I could take an honest look at my marriage from a different point of view. I didn’t do this a few years ago, because I was to raw from everything that happened. Now that all those wounds are healed it allows me to be more objective. This last part is the hardest because I do want to remarry in the church, but its like digging up something that been dead for a long time, I don’t want to do it but it has to be done, and I have put it off long enough. I will keep posting as I feel the need. Thanks again everyone.

    • Anita

      When I first came upon this site it was by accident, and a couple of times I wanted to back out by saying everything was in the past, but now I know I want to get my marriage annuled.
      So now I come to this site because it is so excellent. Good Job
      Doug and Linda.

    • Alone

      Hi Mil –

      Sorry I didn’t reply right away. Been feeling under the weather. Also, I saw Paula’s post. I completely get what she is saying about the details and not really needing to know them. I will tell you thought, I am a woman. I would need to know every single stinking detail if my H has cheated. I would probably obsess over every word, every text, everything they did. So, I just wanted to tell you from the cheater’s perspective, I think your reaction and way of thinking is totally and completely normal, in every way. I KNOW I would do the same thing myself. I guess that’s why I always reply to these requests here. Of course this may or may not apply to your specific situation, but maybe it does.

      I had lunch with a friend this past weekend who just ended an emotional affair with an ex-boyfriend. Even though my friend is married, she has a lot of history with this OM. Anyway, I mention this because my friend knows all about my affair. And we were swapping stories so to speak — I was utterly amazed that the OM in her situation and the OM in my situation acted almost the exact same way and said some of the exact same things to us! It was nuts, it actually really freaked me out! These men don’t know each other, and yet their words and actions during the affairs were so similar.

      So Mil, to answer your question. I would say any sexual text, email, or conversation between myself and the OM was filthy – because it was flat out wrong. We should have never discussed any of those things. I will tell you this, the first conversation that we had regarding sex was basically this: the OM called me, and said, Alone, you are beautiful, you are sexy, I love you, and I really want to make love to you to show you how much I care. He said this type of stuff to my face many times. Anything that was more “filthy” was usually said via text or email. He did say a couple of those more “filthy” and explicit things to me when we were out somewhere with a group and alcohol was involved.

      ****So again, this may or may not apply to your situation. Anyway, it was all fantasy so keep that in mind, OK? Your H has decided to choose you, please be reminded of that.****

      I am going to send second replay about your other question – how did I manage to cut it off…

      • Paula

        Hey Alone. I think you are lovely. I really hope you can heal and stop feeling so bad abut yourself, you did a bad thing, briefly, but you’re not a bad person, we can see that here. When I said that you should try not to focus on the details, don’t get me wrong, I’m nearly two and a half YEARS out, and I still focus on the details way too much, but I do know it doesn’t help. You have to try to train your brain not to blame the OP, not to obsess, but don’t worry, I still do. I still have violent rape dreams, where they both rape me, in various ways, with various “tools,” every night, I don’t think I have had a night where I haven’t had one of those dreams. You would think you would de-sensitise to it, and stop, but I haven’t yet. However, I am okay, and I will be okay in the future, because I know that it is just a dream. We are not LETTING you post, we are all in pain, you are as entitled as any of us to post. I really hope your H is able to get a little past this, I’m sure he will, it’s just a very long journey

    • Alone

      Hi Mil,

      OK, to your second question. This is the hard question you asked, and I actually have spent a lot of time thinking of how to answer.

      I described by D-Day on another thread here. I really don’t want to recap it, because it was so pathetic, like I said straight from a cheap soap opera. It was extremely traumatic and embarrassing for me and everyone involved.

      So how did I cut off all contact after D-Day? Flat out answer – I had no choice but to cut it off. Let me explain… (Disclaimer: cheater rant ahead, please do not read if it will anger you or make things worse for you, I don’t want to cause more hurt, this is a place of healing):

      1. The manner in which the OM and I were caught was very traumatic. We were exposed to everyone – there was no hiding, no back paddling. Everyone knew we had crossed the line. There was no way to say “we’re just friends”. There were no excuses we could make, because he were caught red-handed. Hell, we might as well have been caught in bed together it was that bad. I will tell you, talk about PTSD. I think I actually had some of that – the way we were caught, the confrontations. It was terrible. So first and foremost, right after D-Day I was not thinking straight. I was trying to do and say whatever to diffuse the situation. That also meant not contacting the OM. If it has been a different type of D-Day, I’m not sure that the contact would have been cut immediately.

      2. My H made this 100% crystal clear: If I EVER contact the OM again, my marriage is OVER. He means it. This fear has actually played a big role in me not contacting the OM again. I am scared. Do I want to contact the OM? Truthfully, yes I do. But I’m not going to.

      3. I also know that the only chance for my marriage to survive is to have no contact with this OM. I have to give my marriage a fair shake. So I can’t contact the OM and he can’t contact me. I would also like to add here, that I think one reason that the OM and I have not contacted each other is that we are ashamed, because we know what we did was wrong. Underneath all this cheating, we are actually good people if you could believe it.

      Mil, the no contact rule has been very difficult. But I will not allow myself that contact. Someone had posted on this thread something about if affair partners say all those things, why don’t they mean them? Why don’t they leave their marriage? This is hard to admit… I did mean what I said to the OM. But bottom line, I am too scared/guilty to leave my H. What I did was TOTALLY wrong. What was I gonna say to my H — I’m sorry, good is not good enough? I just like this other person better? The kids will be OK, don’t worry? Get real. I’ve made some huge mistakes, but I’m not that cruel and heartless. It’s not all about me… there’s too many people that will get hurt if I left. I know I WAS TOTALLY WRONG. This is the worst thing I have ever done in my life… and I gotta spend the rest of my life making this right.

      I’m sorry if this post upsets anyone, it’s the cold, hard, ugly truth of the matter for me.

      And Mil, one last thing. Maybe for your H and this OW it was more of a game. Unfortunately for me, I feel that there were real feelings involved. But I don’t think all affairs are the same, so he may be telling you the honest to goodness truth.

    • Alone

      One last disclaimer here… having an affair was the biggest mistake of my life. Again, I know what I did was morally wrong and trust me, it has really destroyed everything and everyone in my life.

      I am being honest about my feelings here. Even though I still might be in the “fog”, I have no intention of rekindling the affair – ever. Like I said before, I’ve already created enough destruction is everyone’s life. Just wanted for everyone to understand that I know I was WRONG.

    • SuzieSuffers

      Alone…how long were you in the sexual affair? Just like an addiction it fires up the brain receptors to feel “high”…..so even though you think the feelings were “real”, it’s like asking an heroin addict if his feelings of euphoria are real…..well, induced by a drug more than the long standing deep committed relationship between two adults. Do you think the euphoria you felt with your AP will be hard to overcome in “comparison” to how you feel with your husband? Won’t you always be wanting that “high”…like a drug addict remembering their last high, even though the drugs are ruining their life they compare their “dull” everyday life to that of the drug high. Do you feel like you could ever “feel” more for your husband than your affair partner? Sounds like you are staying out of guilt.

      Doug, did you initially stay out of “guilt” while still in the affair fog? I’m sure it’s hard to be honest on this site without hurting or rewounding Linda with some details. Were you ever afraid that you wouldn’t get over the euphoria of Tanya vs. Linda? My husband use to tell me the difference was that I was “real” and although it felt good with her, it was a selfish high based upon fantasy of what he “imagined” she was more than what she really was.

      • Doug

        Suzie, I’m not sure what you mean by staying out of guilt, but I certainly rationalized what I was doing during the time I was in the “fog.” I would make myself think that our marriage wasn’t good, or that Linda didn’t love me, etc. All of which was a bunch of crap. Sure, we had out issues, but they were sensationalized while in the fog. I never was afraid that I wouldn’t get over the “euphoria.” In fact the thought never entered my mind. Much like your husband, I came to realize that what Linda and I have is real and what Tanya and I had was nothing more than selfish, fantasy and infatuation.

    • SuzieSuffers

      Thanks Doug for your honest description. I have used this site and the Linda MacDonald book extensively. Unfortunately, my husband was in AA and pushed for the “no disclosure” that may harm your wife, so it wasn’t until almost a year or more of my prodding that he finally started to acknowledge some of the details (of which I already knew and he refused to discuss). That made for a huge trust issue….I found he tried to connect to a “friend” invitation on facebook (while in fog of ended SA to another woman) and then scouted out craigslist again…REWOUNDING. So although his words were wonderful, his walk was far from helpful. So, I nagged and prodded for the truth because this wasn’t his first attempt at an affair, although the others were more attempts than success. This was both an emotional and sexual affair. He told me that he couldn’t take the questions, although he wouldn’t do the work to create trustworthiness. So HE has decided he is done. Although he doesn’t seem to be involved with someone else (although not sure), he has moved out. He had one meeting with a counselor and talked to AA people and has suddenly turned from reconciliation to a more permanent separation. So, of course I think this is my fault. That I pushed too far, although I think that if he was truly remorseful, he would have pushed for counseling (I was in the process of getting a counselor)….but instead his counseling is for him and not us. I feel it’s all my fault that I pushed and didn’t forgive quickly enough, but I seemed to be “stuck” as some of the BS have spoken of here….it was a vicious circle. I’d like to see more about how you put the past to rest…How did Linda do that and feel satisfied with the discussions you had….were you so completely honest in your disclosures that she felt satisfied…although I know she did say she asked the same questions over and over. I don’t think I missed too many days in the week that there wasn’t some discussion of the affair. Linda, what was your timeline for starting to let go of the questions?

      • Doug

        Suzie, The first thing that you must understand is that none of this is your fault. Based on what I’ve read of your comments, you acted normally and were only seeking the truth and understanding you deserved in order to forgive and eventually move on. Your husband, though expressing his remorse and stupidity verbally, did not back those words up with action to build trust, respect and gain your forgiveness. Remember that forgiveness is for you, and if you were not ready to forgive, then that’s just the way it is. You can’t force it.

        Certainly no cheater wants to answer the questions, especially if like an interrogation every day for an extended period of time, but if a cheater is truly remorseful and wants to make amends and save the marriage, then he/she sucks it up and does what’s necessary. Yes it’s a pain in the ass and it gets very frustrating at times and there will be yelling and arguing perhaps, but it’s a requirement for healing. In our situation I’ve probably answered the same questions a hundred times it seems, and I still answer some of them to this day. So does that mean that she was never satisfied with the answers in the first place? I don’t know. As I’ve been honest, I think that maybe she just needs some reassurances every now and then that we’re OK, she’s OK and that we will be OK for the rest of our lives together. This happens rarely anymore…I’d say once a month at best. The type of questions evolved over time from wanting to know details and events, etc., to more about feelings and such so that we can continue to strengthen our relationship and make it the best marriage possible.

        One thing to note that I just thought about too, is that since I released information in bit and pieces after D-day, it caused a trust issue and lack of complete understanding on her part that she felt compelled to ask things over and over so that the complete truth came out. I’m not sure I answered your question, but I hope this helps!

        • ifeelsodumb

          Doug,
          I hope you truly know how much we all appreciate your complete honesty!! It really does help! 🙂

          • Doug

            Thanks IFSD, I’m glad it helps!

        • SuzieSuffers

          THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I’m in self blame so much of the time I feel like I’m drowning. Did I push too much? Did I expect him to be an open book and it felt intrusive? The questions are a mile long, but I’m copying and pasting you answer and will read it daily. I have to be stronger to face whatever comes.

    • Alone

      Hi Suziesuffers –

      The affair did not advance to full blown physical. Thank God!!! I do think I will have those feelings for my H again. I do love him. We’ve had a great marriage. it’s just taken me longer than I thought to come out of the fog. Of course it wasnt real. There was not going to be a good outcom to all of this. You just don’t see it like that when you’re in the middle of it!

    • mil

      Thank you Alone for your replies. Although you are ‘the enemy’ in that you are the cheater, your experiences seem to be common to us all. When you said you and your friend had identical reactions from your OM it backs that up. The excuses and what my H says are identical to what most BS on here get told by their CS. So do all CS feel the same OR are they all telling us the same fairy stories to cover their wrong doings and play them down.
      Have you admitted to your H that your feelings were real or do you, like my H, make out it was all a ‘game’? You see, I don’t believe it was a game, I think they did, at THAT time, have genuine feelings and this ‘game’ thing is a convenient get out.
      I know my H wouldn’t have ended up with her but how much further would it have gone if I hadn’t discovered?

    • Alone

      Hi Mil,

      I was really worried that my post might have upset you. So anyway, remember like Paula said, it doesn’t mean that your H did these exact things or said these things… it’s just what happened in my case. I do think for men in particular, it’s just an ego boost game.

      You make a good point about my friend. And let me note, besides myself this friend is the only other person I know that has cheated. It’s not like I am a member of a cheater’s club or something. She was there during my terrible D-Day and still chose to be my friend. That’s why she confided in me. Only myself and her H know what happened. She needs help.

      Here is what I think – the fact that my friend’s OM and my OM acted the same, you know what that says to me? It says, that this is just another textbook case. The affairs, they are all the same, it’s not special. It’s just people feeling infatuated and they end up saying the same things! All of these stories, they are the same! I really am starting realize that these affairs are not some great love story… it’s just a bunch of selfish, infatuated people.

      I agree with you Mil. Cheaters make a ton of excuses. I listed some of mine above. But I told my H, I don’t have an excuse that will ever make this OK. Period. I can’t undo it. It’s just that when you get caught on D-Day, you feel like you have to diffuse the situation. You think to yourself: I have REALLY screwed up. What can I do to fix this? So you downplay what happened, you downplay your feelings. You say you were friends, or it was a game, whatever it takes. Just to get you out of the hot seat. In my case, it didn’t work to well with my H, he was pretty damn furious. And you know what, I am so glad he was furious with me! He should have been!

      Mil, I could not be truthful about this with my H at first, right after D-Day. Mainly, because I didn’t want to hurt him more. But now, my H knows that I “fell in love with this OP”. My H is trying to give me time to get past that other relationship, but it’s not an indefinite clock. Time is running out…

      My H also wonders how far it would have gone if I wasn’t caught. I keep telling him it would not have gone to a PA. My H doesn’t believe me. He says we were close to a PA. I agree with what InTrouble posted on another thread about this. If you are having an EA, it’s like OK, this is fantasy. If you go full blown PA, different ball game altogether. In my mind, there is no turning back from a PA. In fact, here’s the sick and twisted mind of a cheater: The OM and I decided that we wouldn’t have sex unless, (ready for this crazy talk) “we had made a commitment to be together”.

      Even I can’t believe how stupid I was during the affair. Thanks for letting me post.

    • Sue85

      Alone,
      I have a question for you…..in your mind, did you feel like you weren’t really cheating because it was ‘only an EA’ and not a PA? I know the definition of what’s cheating can be different to different people, so I was wondering if you felt like what you were doing was ‘okay’ since the two of you weren’t having sex?
      Thanks.

    • Alone

      Hi Paula,

      Thank you again for your kind post. That really made me feel good on a day that was kind of bad. It sounds like you have been through so much, and have so much wisdom to share! I honestly can’t imagine all of the hell you have been through… I sure wish there was some way to make all of us be healed and feel better. I guess it just takes a lot of time and hard work. Anyway, thank you again for your words of support. You’re a wonderful lady, and we can all see that for sure!

      • Paula

        It’s fine, Alone, all those looking for help, here and elsewhere, are just human beings, looking for ways to love and be loved, for ways to contribute to society, not just take from it, many of these reltionships will heal, some won’t, but the PEOPLE have to heal, I don’t want to be broken forever.

        Just off topic, but something that made me smile this week. My dear stepfather, who loved my mother so very much, and made her a very happy woman (they married when I was about 21) died on Sunday. We held his funeral on Wednesday, and I am executor of his estate, so a bit of work ahead. His children came from far and wide, and his lovely friends, and we gave him a great send off. I spoke at the funeral, as I did at just 32 years of age when my darling Mum died so suddenly and unexpectedly at just 55. I said absolutely everything I wanted to, thanked him for being such a loving person, told a couple of funny little anecdotes, and feel at peace with my farewell. My OH was very quiet all day, and when we got home (it was a long day, “Pa” lived on an island which meant travelling by car and ferry for over 4 hours each way) I asked him if he was okay (he’d shed a tear with our children as the piper piped him out of the church, and they drove him off to the crematorium, my big, strong man, who never shows emotion, in public, at least). I thought he was mad at me, that I had done something wrong, when he held me and looked into my eyes and said he watched my strength as I spoke really beautifully, and how beautiful I looked, and how incredibly proud he was of me, and how inappropriately turned on he was by me, and he just couldn’t understand what the hell he was thinking during his betrayal of me, how amazing I am in every situation, except for the pain that only he sees. He doesn’t have a clue how he got so lost, I know this, I’ve known this all along. I just don’t understand why I’m not a lot “better” – I have a darling man who loves me to bits, who is so ashamed of himself, and so desperate to try to make it up to me.

        One of the really nice things that happened this week, is my mother’s very best friend in the world (who is a gay man) got back in touch with me. He is a gem of a man, and I’ve missed him (his long-term relationship broke up after my Mum died, he fell on very hard times, and he moved away, and I haven’t been able to track him down.) He rung our home, whilst I was at work, and chatted to my OH for quite a while. Incredibly, my OH shared our painful story with him!! I couldn’t believe it. What many of us BSs fail to realise with those CSs that are truly remorseful – and I know that isn’t everyone, some CSs are either still in the fog, or just unable to empathize, and will never “reform” enough to feel our pain – are in hell, too. I was very taken aback that OH shared this with “P.” P is coming to visit me next week, and it will be interesting, as I don’t know if I can hold it together, as he is like a parent, or maybe a very close uncle, to me. My own family don’t know this happened to us. P said to my OH, geez, what happened, I didn’t think you had that in you, I thought you were going to say Paula had the affair, not you, you guys were great!

        Over-sharing, sorry, but it’s been an interesting week. Off to the island with my car and trailer in the morning, have to clean up his house, will be a long day, then a darling friend’s 40th birthday party at night, endurance will be required, but it will be good to catch up with Pa’s kids while we sort his stuff out.

        • RecoveringMommy

          Paula, just wanted to say how truly touching your story was to me. My H tells me similar things all the time. It’s nice to know that there’s other people out there who can relate to the fact that even though we realize our CS is remorseful and wants to better the marriage, there are still bad days.

        • ifeelsodumb

          Paula, what a beautiful tribute to “Pa”…I’m sorry for your loss…

    • Alone

      Hi Sue85 –

      Good to hear from you. You hit the nail on the head. The OM and I absolutely used the fact that we weren’t having sex as an excuse/rationalization that what we were doing was OK. We even had conversations to the following effect “people in our situation, in this much ‘love’ would be having sex, we are being good”. We thought hey, if we aren’t having sex, it’s not really wrong, and hey we are not hurting our spouses.

      Case in point, on D-Day the OM tells my H that “it was hard for us not to cross the line”. I knew what he meant, he was trying to tell my H that we had been good, we didn’t have a PA. And that yes, we had tried not to let our feelings advance and get as far as they did. This really pissed my H off bad…

      Sue85, I also think that this way of thinking makes cutting off an affair or letting go of the OP a lot harder. I have thought to myself many times, we can go back to friends, we could still be in each other’s lives, we didn’t have sex, our spouses should be able to forgive us. Nevermind that I shared intimate details and hopes and fears with the OM, nevermind that I preferred to spend time with the OM over my H. Nevermind that there was growing emotional distance in my marriage. No, me and the OM, we were just “friends”.

      I honestly feel as I have posted here before, that a one night stand would be easier to get over. You would have no connection to the OP and there would be immediate guilt. In the case of an EA, it’s an emotional connection, so you don’t have that guilt. The OM actually told me on many occasions, I don’t feel guilty, because this is love.

      Big old fat mess.

      • Paula

        Interesting, Alone, because when my OH stopped the sex with his AP, he thought we could all continue to be friends, he invited her to a function we were throwing just a few weeks after he had ended the sexual aspect of their affair. Obviously, I never knew their “friendship” was more than that, even though friends of mine had expressed to me that they wouldn’t allow their Hs to have such a friendship, I defended them both, truly believing she was just a friend, after all, she was my friend, too, we went further back than even he and she did (ex GF of his) we both always have had close friendships with members of the opposite sex, and now that brings its own problems, was he doing this to me all along, etc, etc…..

        He now understands that couldn’t work, we couldn’t all just get along, and pretend nothing happened, and she ensured it by ratting him out to me a month or two later. As he said, if she had just been his friend, instead of him sleeping with her, things would be very different. He didn’t love her, he was attracted to her, he liked her company, she “needed” him, big, strong man to help liddle ole weak girly do all those MANLY things, like change a bloody lightbulb, for goodness sake. I believe him, it wasn’t love, but it was pretty damn strong infatuation and fantasy role-play, going right down the what-would-we-be-like-as-a-family road. He wished he’d kept her as a bit of a confidante, not a lover, but you can’t change what has gone before…. and anyway, you all seem pretty cut up about people that your spouses were too close to, so maybe that was what would have happened even without the sex, who knows?

    • Sue85

      Alone,
      I’ve talked with other people who were involved in an EA about this question too and they all thought like you (and me)….that since there wasn’t anything physical going on then it was ‘okay’ what they were doing. I guess the thought process was that by not having sex they were not ‘crossing the line’ of adultery……that the act of intercourse equated an affair whereas ‘just communicating’ with each other (via email, text, etc) does not. To any BSes out there….I would be interested in what your spouse said to you about this subject…..did they too feel they weren’t doing anything wrong since it was “just an EA?”

      I don’t mean to ramble….I’m just trying to figure things out in my head. So thanks, Alone, for your response!!

      • Michael

        Sue85,
        My wife did try to defend her communications by saying that was all it was. That “yes we have a Past, but we can look beyond that.”
        But if it was so innocent why did it take me 6 months or so for me to find out she actualy went to see him and spent 4 plus hours with him each time. The first time being the day after our second anniversery. After we have been together for aproximately 13 years. Why were the messages from him professing his love, “more than anything, more than any one”? More than his now third wife? Crock of shit.

      • Melvin

        Hello Sue85,

        I ran into the same stumbling block with my DW. She didn’t feel she was doing anything was wrong. Just 2 people talking. Ok. And those sexy pictures ? The clandestine meetings ?

        I did a lot of research and ran into this article: “The 10 Emotional Affair Danger Zones”. Basically, it is a list of signs that can tell how bad you are into an emotional affair. I was able to convince DW to read the list and answer yes or no to all 10 items. I took the list also and answered as I thought she would. We compared answers. We both hit yes to the same 8 of 10. If they lived closer, I believe it would have been 10 of 10. This showed her what an EA really is about and how dangerous it is to a marriage.

        There are several versions of this list. Do a Google search on these words to find it: “10 emotional affair danger zones”.

        Best Always.

        • Sue85

          Melvin,
          Your post gave me a smile because I’ve seen that article you mentioned and yes….took that check-list quiz too. And yes, I too scored high (can’t recall right off the top of my head what the actual score was). It was a good article in that it gave a label to what was going on in my life.

          Has your wife now acknowleged what she did was wrong? I think what Linda said about true healing doesn’t occur until the CS acknowledges what they were doing was wrong. Best of luck in this process for you and your wife.

          • Melvin

            Hello again Sue85,

            A smile is always a good thing. I like smiles 🙂

            Yes, my DW has acknowledged her wrong doing. It took a while. She had a hard time accepting the severity of her actions. I agree with Linda – acknowledgement has to occur in order for the BS to begin healing.

            The healing path for me ended up being three major steps (hurdles) The No Contact rule was the first step. The checklist was the second step – it got her to identify the danger of her ways. And it took over a month for her to agree to take the checklist. Immediately afterwards, she became sincerely remorseful. She later heard a John Tesh radio show talk about EA’s and the problems they caused. She said this also helped her to understand what she was doing was wrong. Finally, the third step was getting her to tell me how she really felt about her ex (AP). Not how he made her feel but how she felt about him. That last step wasn’t easy for her (or me to hear). And it wasn’t until I understood her true feelings for him that I was able to begin healing.

            I know she is re-committed to me – and us. My biggest hurdle now is rebuilding the trust that was torn apart. She has a very social job she loves (and I am happy for her – I really am). I guess I am paranoid that she will fall prey to another “schmoozer”.

            May I ask, are you and DH on a positive track to healing? Or are you still in a “limbo” state with questions and doubts still present ? And also, how far are you from D-Day ?

            Thanks again and best to you on your journey to repair.

            • Sue85

              Melvin….Hi. I’m glad your wife has acknowledged her wrong doing and your relationship is moving towards healing. I think your 3 steps sound good….and I’m glad your wife was willing to abide to them.

              To answer your questions about my situation….there was no D-Day. I ended the EA…..almost 3 months ago. It’s been hard and I miss the OM, but it needed to be done. Neither his spouse…nor mine are aware of anything. I am glad they did not get hurt. I starting visiting this web site a year ago when I was smack-dab in the middle of it and I needed answers from others who were experiencing similiar situations. However, I found very little on the internet on EA from the cheater’s perspective. As you know (from your previous comment on how you researched EAs) most sites are identifying EAs, characteristics of EAs, and recovering from EAs (from the BS’s perspective). And getting support from the CS’s side is difficult because it’s just not something you talk about with friends!!

              And as far as my marriage is concerned…..I honestly think if you asked my husband about the state of our marriage, he would say nothing was wrong. Me, on the other hand, think we have very little connection. But we don’t fight so I think he thinks our marriage is fine.

              Probably more information than you wanted to know…sorry for the ramble. Good luck to you, Melvin, on your recovery path!!

      • tryingtoowife

        Hey Sue. I think that man can find a feasible excuses for their actions in an A, whatever they are. Women to, but women are more emotionally aware. I tend to see here that you females ‘cheaters’ are more willing to open your hearts and try to understand what emotions made you act as you did.

        The truth is, I believe that, vulnerability was there and when you do the first move towards the affair, you had already crossed the line, many times with your AP, even before the A started. So where to start? Was it the first deep look that you gave each other? Or the first time you shared private information? Or wen you met each other, and made an extra effort to look good, and lied about your whereabouts to your H/W? Or was it when it became sexual talk?

        In the end, only acceptance of both parties, that nothing will make sense per se, and if there is love there still, work towards building a new relationship is the way forward. IMHO, and build a all new life. I find it very hard to let it go the old, dead relationship I had. It has been one of my hardest struggle.

        My husband excuses were. It was only sex. “I never felt anything for the OW. I was fond of her, but I never felt love or infatuation for her”, and she ‘knew’ it.
        Simple is it?! Should I feel better for his words? He says – because I NEVER stopped loving you. The hell I don’t! I don’t even believe that is possible to be so shallow!

        In the end, all of us have a theory of why it happened. From the betrayed and the Cheaters perspective. That is why we question and question, is the desperation of trying to match, what we used to believe to what our H/W are telling us, how it was in their mind, and why they acted as they did. One day, you ‘cheaters’ made a little choice to accept something that started the huge picture of the betrayal. So, how was I in my husband mind that time?

        As a betrayed, that have made incredible changes to our lives to at least try to give us a chance, I can see myself never quite having no questions, but I will hopefully not need to ask them anymore, as nothing will remove the pain that my husband PA caused. We have to find a new life, because I have been changed forever, so a new life, shouldn’t be so bad after all. With him or without him, I will get there. Good luck to you Sue. God give you peace in healing.

        • Doug

          I remember about a couple of months after we began this website (a little over a year after dday) Doug was contacted by a talk radio station that was doing a segment on affairs. They wanted to interview him about his EA. I am not sure what they asked him but his reply was “it was JUST and emotional affair” How he said it made me realize how little he understood the pain his affair had caused me. I believe for the next year we focused on that very subject. I knew we couldn’t move forward until he truly understood how much his actions had hurt me and our marriage. I think what finally got through to him was reading how other people were affected by their spouses affairs. He realized that I was overreacting or crazy, that everyone was acting and feeling the same way I did. He was finally able to feel my pain and help me heal. Linda

          • Doug

            When the AP begin talking about becoming physical they have already crossed the line. Even though the act has not been performed they have created the fantasy in their heads. The conversations about how wonderful and magical it would be, but how they are being faithful to their spouses, etc. makes the anticipation even more exciting. In reality if it did become physical it may not have been so perfect,maybe awkward, and full of guilt. Keeping that image and fantasy in their heads can be just as harmful to the cheater’s recovery (or getting over the AP) than if they actually did it. Now for the BS it would add to the pain of the recovery. Linda

    • tryingtoowife

      Yes, Linda. I agree with you. The betrayal starts LONG before the cheaters are able to see it for themselves. A text, e-mail, a call….
      The rest, the consequences are poured all over here for everybody to witness.

    • Sue85

      Thank you all for your contribution to this topic. I think Dr. Phil said that if you wouldn’t do something in front of your spouse, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all. So, yes, I too believe that the ‘crossing the line’ begins with the first text/email/etc that isn’t appropriate communication (ex: work related, child arrangement related etc) constitutes ‘crossing the line.’

      Linda, I think you are right when you said that until the cheater acknowledges that “just an EA” is as hurtful to the spouse as a PA, then real healing can’t take place. From all that I’ve read on this site, I now realize the magnitude of pain, destruction, and hurt that results from ‘just an EA.’

    • Atwitsend

      Melvin
      Ty for your earlier post and the last one especially. Make I ask, how you begin healing and were able to over come your wife sharing with honesty her feeling for the OP?
      You did note that it was hard for her to share and hard for you to hear, and maybe it’s because I’m a female but I have a hard time with my H having such “love ” for another person.

      Alone
      you are a brave woman, to open up with such honesty here, maybe you could help me to understand from the otherside of the A. How you are moving forward with your narriage and till have such strong feelings for the OP? I find myself wondering if the OP my H was involved with is having a hard time getting over my H. I find myself wondering if she is feelling the way you are, because from your post of example conversations and text, there are a lot things in common with your EA and my H’s.

      • Melvin

        Hello Atwitsend,

        To answer your questions, I began healing after I understood DW’s feelings towards her ex, after she apologized sincerely and promised to end everything with him. That meant abiding by NC. These three actions were necessary for me to start putting the pieces back together. The key part is that she has re-committed to us. Also, I must add that I made substantial changes to control my anger management issues.

        Am I able to overcome the fact that DW has a secret and deep affection for another man, her ex-fiance ? Not really. But I now understand where she is coming from.

        I do realize it was very hard for her to share that part, mainly because she doesn’t want to hurt me. I know he has a certain place in her heart. She still has deep feelings for him. That was hard to hear and accept. With all this said, she is putting goof effort into us and is avoiding him. He is out of her life. That gives me some solace. I know she is working hard to regain my trust.

        We had a heart-to-heart talk this morning. She did most of the talking and I like that. She reiterated her commitment to us and told me she has not initiated any contact with him (he as called her twice since). She has wanted to, especially on his milestone birthday in April. Fortunately, a close girlfriend talked her out of it. She even mentioned the healing manual again.

        It is a day-by-day rebuilding process. A long and winding road. It’s not like a light switch that you can just turn off and everything is as it was. It’s more like a dimmer switch that brightens and dims regularly. Fortunately for us, the light has been brighter recently 🙂

        Best to you in your healing – I hope things work out for you and your DH. Feel free to comment back.

    • Paula

      OW texted my OH again, this morning, more than six months since last contact – two and a half years since end of affair. I don’t get it, how the hell does she think she can do that when she will not talk to or acknowledge me? What planet is she on? And why is my OH even contemplating replying? I just don’t understand any of it, still. Are some people just straight out bad? I always thought it was just a case of normal (good?) people who did bad things, not so sure anymore, there are all kids of evil, I guess.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Paula, why does she even have his number??? That was one of the first things I told my H…change the number and the phone!! Of course, it took him 5 mos to do it, which hurt me a lot, but at least now if he hears from the OW or the 2 cousins who helped set him up with her, I will know that he had to of somehow contacted them…and then my marriage will be over!
        I think your OH should text her, setting up a time to meet for coffee…and YOU show up with your OH, showing a united front, and tell her to butt out of your life!! That’s what I would do…and enjoy every minute of it!

        • Paula

          IFSD

          I have posted about this before, my OH “decided” it was too much trouble for his clients if he changed it, I told him he was wrong, and it took him two years to understand this, he has apologised profusely, is now angry and disappointed in himself for not realising the damage, and we had some fourth party sending her letters and texts, which kept making OW send texts to him, blaming me for the harassment (oh, poor her!) Of course, it wasn’t me, but madam was right, I was wrong, as usual! This went on for two years. We have tried to set up meetings with her several times, first within the week of D-Day, my OH was really good about this, he understood that I NEEDED to talk to her, and he backed me up completely, but she is unrepentant and completely sure she did absolutely nothing wrong, and that I am a madwoman, so why would she meet with us, I even went up to her house one day, she had been my friend since childhood, so I wanted her not to be threatened by me, so I took flowers (I know, pretty weird, but I wanted to come across as non-threatening) and when she answered her door, I said, let’s talk, let’s not be enemies over this, but she slammed the door in my face, and issued me with a (fake) restraining order. I don’t want to see her anymore, I really wanted to up until quite recently, but I know it will get me nowhere, she will NEVER see things from my perspective, she was my “friend” for 32 years, but now apparently denies this, WTF!! She is quite a strange bird, and is really just an oxygen thief in my book, so I can live without it! I know that all the “extra” stuff, the received texts, the fact that my OH didn’t immediately do what I asked him, told him I needed, many other factors, have delayed my healing, so does he. He wishes now he’d read more, been more aware of his actions post D-Day. I guess he was so sure of himself, that he was doing the right thing, but now he is very angry that he didn’t “get it” at first. This is a man who was very confident in himself, and his actions, all of his life. He is successful, and thought he had a handle on things, including the idea of affairs. It just wasn’t going to happen to him. He had a breakdown, and all of his “normal” behaviours went out the window, but the man I know and love is finally back, and he is looking back on the trail of destruction, in horror, wondering what the hell happened, and working his butt off to try to make it happen. He has come very, very close to losing me a couple of times, and it has all hit home now. Took a long time, and a lot of tears and pain, but we are back on track, but it’s still a long climb from here.

          • ifeelsodumb

            I am sooooo thrilled that he FINALLY gets it!! I wish my H did! Give him a hug from me and all the other BS, for finally seeing that what he has done is so destructive!!!! In spite on him being a CS..he really does sound like a great guy! 😀 And it goes beyond saying that YOU are a wonderful person, who I admire so much! You are so full of strength, to endure what you have…and to even reach out to the OW like that…wow, simply amazing!
            And the OW isn’t a strange bird, she’s a looney bird!! MY word, she has some major problems, doesn’t she?

      • Anita

        Wow Paula,
        That does take alot of nerve on her part. Its shows that she
        has not moved with her own life. I think the best reaction is no reaction on either one of your parts. Ask your husband not to reply to her. Its shows then, that you both have moved on and are happy. By not engaging, it shuts her down. Otherwise she gets power when you react, then it ends up your playing her game. You want to give her nothing. She’s looking for a weak link to enter into your lives again.
        Paula this other woman is desperate. I guess I do not understand woman like that, other than she has huge problems inside. When your healthy inside you don’t do destructive behavior, to yourself or others. Pray for your enemies, God can do more with her, than anyone else could. She is really not someone I would fear. Instead I would feel pity for her. Who
        in their right mind put themselves into a situtation where it is so destructive for themselves.

        • ifeelsodumb

          Anita…..very wise words!! I hope one day to be where you are, full of forgiveness…both for my H and the OW…

        • Paula

          Anita, thanks, I know, I have known she was screwed up most of my life, but it didn’t stop me empathising and spending time with her, I just never thought my OH had any feelings but contempt for her. He says he didn’t until he got lost, and there she was, ready and willing to listen and have fun with, when I was too distracted to listen to him, and give him enough of my attention. Just bad timing, I think. I know she’s nuts, but it still hurts. I feel pity for her, too.

    • tryingtoowife

      Paula. The rule of no contact AS WE and YOU KNOW, means absolutely not even replaying to the OP contacts. If your OH does not understand it yet, perhaps this, was one of those women intuition that is holding you back in your healing, holding you back from feeling totally secure with him. Do you mean that he is thinking of replying to her text? Perhaps one of the rules is to ask him to change mobile phone and house phone number so not to give a chance to evil to act. You are an amazing woman Paula. You have been thought so much! Hope that your OH really understand what he has to do, not to hurt you again and make you feel a bit safer in this instance. Wishing you all the best.

    • Paula

      tryingtoowife, Exactly, I have told him this, he asked me if he should reply, I was pretty wild, I very calmly said, what do you not understand about no contact? He gets it, but gets worried he’s doing things wrong all the time. We realise that he should have changed his munber, I asked him to do this at the beginning, he wouldn’t, he is now annoyed that he didn’t, he’s a long way down this path now, too, he knows he did things wrong, what they were, and how it has screwed me up, which has stunted my healing, but I was just venting at how he even asked me if he should reply! Thanks for your concern, though

      • blueskyabove

        Paula,

        I thought I was the only one still having to deal with the OW continuing to periodically email my spouse. In the past four years his exAP has probably sent a dozen or more emails. The last two were October 13 and 22. He never responds, but they still have the ability to affect us at the time…although with less and less intensity.

        WE decided early on after DDay that he should keep his email address so we would know if she attempted to contact him. I have gone back and forth on our initial decision, but I will say that every time she contacted him, it has confirmed for him who she really is and what she is capable of doing. Ultimately, I haven’t had to do anything…she has made herself look bad.

        In an earlier post today you questioned if there really are “bad people”. I know people (especially BSs) want to be understanding and forgiving and kind, but there are people in this world who have no conscience. Chances are we all know at least one. They are not as uncommon as one might think and they think you (universal you, not you personally) are stupid and gullible and deserve whatever happens to you.

        Sidebar: While I’m on this subject I would like to voice my own particular dislike of people insisting (usually a CS altho’ Willard Harley also comes to mind) that I would choose the same options they chose if given the opportunity…or in other words ‘have an affair’. No I Would Not! That’s like saying I would do the same thing as Jeffrey Dahmer the cannibalistic serial killer or Ted Bundy who raped and murdered multiple women, or even Adolph Hitler. I understand the need for justification of unwanted actions, but I really resent being lumped into the mix in order for them to feel better about themselves.

        On another note at least you can be grateful your OH “asked you if he should reply!” and did not go behind your back.

        blueskyabove
        4+ years post DDay
        Rebuilding

        • DJ

          blueskyabove,

          I wanted to write to agree with your statement about people saying we would have an affair if given the same circumstances. NO WAY in hell! I have been in similar circumstances and have had the opportunity, too. But I chose a different path – a path where I could live up to my beliefs.

          • RecoveringMommy

            I agree with DJ! That’s just an excuse to ease the guilt the CS is feeling. No marriage is perfect because it is made up of imperfect people. I think it’s safe to say that any spouse in any marriage has had a reason or problem that would make it easy for them to turn to another person. But us BSs chose not to cross that line. After D-day, it would be very easy for us as a BS to justify a revenge affair but yet we did not.

            • Paula

              Fully agree with all here, I just KNOW I couldn’t do this to someone, I know this deep down in my soul, and it isn’t just since it happened to me, I’ve always known it, however, my OH says he knew it, too, but somehow he got to the point of doing it anyway, which is the part I just don’t get, and it scares me, how can you ever trust again when THAT person does this, not some sly, always looking guy!! I even had a marriage counsellor try to make me “admit” that it could have been me, that was strange, in the end I had to say, “oh, yeah, of course” – just to shut her up, because she was like a dog with a bone about it, saying things like, “but if you were feeling very neglected, and someone, maybe at work, paid you all the attention you craved, you would probably do it, too.” RIIIIIIIGHT, I bloody well was feeling alone, desperately unhappy, neglected and unloved, and, guess what, I didn’t turn to someone else, I was just trying to hold it all together for the kids. Maybe she had been in that situation herself, and did, and was in some way trying to justify her own actions, “see, everyone does it/could do it.” Who knows…..

    • Paula

      oh, she was texting to ask where she could get her son a particular thing, knowing full well that we have one, that we use on the farm, and I guess, hinting that we might sell it to her (it’s a big ticket item, and not easy to find, especially second-hand.) He wondered if he should tell her off, not help her, ie: why can’t you leave us alone, in the form of, “if you won’t talk to Paula, you can’t talk to me.” I had to re-iterate that ignoring her is the key, as every reply has just kept her in the loop, seemed to encourage her that he was “still her friend.”

      I told him last night that I feel like he hasn’t been on my side, in my corner, I can’t see that he is, or has been mad at her for the pain she’s caused me, and I get that it’s because he takes full responsibility for it, he started it, but I would have liked to have had him good and mad at her for her part in my pain, and he’s never shown this. He understands, but feels like if he’s mad at her, he is shifting the blame, and not owning what he did. However, if anyone hurt anyone I love like this, I would be good and mad at them, and I’d let them know. I was mad at her when she cheated on him, all those years ago, and I didn’t even really know him very well, he was just her boyfriend, who seemed like a nice enough guy, that I’d met a few times in the university holidays, but I thought her behaviour was nasty and cheap.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Paula,
        There was no reply button on your statement above, about you not doing this and the counselor trying to make you say that anyone could have done what you OH did…let me tell you..THAT IS NOT TRUE!!
        I had an opportunity in 2009 to have an EA…it was a guy I met on FB….I’m very interested in politics and he was in a group that I was in….He would compliment me on my looks, intelligence, my knowledge of all things current in the world of politics, and yes, it made me feel so good!…BUT the difference here was my H knew ALL about it!!
        I would chat on FB with this guy, all while my H sat right next to me on the couch and we would discuss what the OM had told me…there were a few times when me and the OM chatted and my H wasn’t there, and I felt soooo guilty!
        I didn’t know anything about EA’s then…had never heard of an EA…but I KNEW when I was starting to think about him during the day, wondering if he’d be online that night, that this was bad….so after about 6 wks I told him I didn’t think we should FB chat anymore…of course, he didn’t feel we were doing anything wrong…but in my gut…I KNEW!!
        The OM blocked me on FB….. and I was so hurt that someone could be that mean…lol!! I guess HE was looking at forming a “deeper” friendship than I was! I had a friend who was in our group call me and explain just how these “groups” work, and she told me stories of marriages that had been destroyed because of FB and chatting in groups!! She laughed at how “innocent” I was, because this was such a foreign concept to me!! But I really didn’t know!

        I even told my H about it and he said he was glad that I wasn’t talking to him anymore, that it did “bother” him…and I was like, well, why didn’t you say something?
        Because I was feeling like my H didn’t care that much about me, if he was ok with my chatting with a guy on FB and that really did bother me….and THAT is the reason we are here today…My H does NOT open up and discuss his feelings…it’s from his childhood, abusive, alcoholic father, mom who treated him like he was stupid and doted on his younger brother, which she STILL does by the way! My H gets socks for Christmas…IF she sends anything at all…the baby bro gets flat screen TV’s!!! My H just recently had a birthday….he got a card…4 days late!! No phone call, no gift…nothing! Our son had a b-day the day after my H’s….she never even acknowledged him…this is the kind of family he grew up in!
        So I’m here to tell you that it IS NOT the norm for every spouse to cheat of they get the opportunity…I could have, the compliments were wonderful….but I loved my family tooooo much to do that to them and I knew that it wasn’t right…so I stopped before anything could happen!

        • Paula

          IFSD, I know, I’ve been in situations, well, one in particular that stands out, where I could have cheated, had I been “the type.” It would have been so easy, no one would ever know, but I would have known, and that was something I was not prepared to live with for the rest of my days. Having said that, I think it is very easy to come across all righteous, maybe we could, I think my OH had a breakdown, and did things extremely out of character, maybe with enough stress, I could do that, too, but I SERIOUSLY doubt it.

          • ifeelsodumb

            After all we have been through these last 2 yrs…I say NO we would NEVER do this, no matter how much we are tempted! I’ve seen and felt the pain first hand, as have you, Paula…so no, I think there’s no way we’d do this!

    • changedforever

      Paula, I believe what he may really mean is should there BE a reply, period. Not necessarily by your H. Here’s where I am going with this: my H & I have/had an agreement. ANY contact he receives from the OW or the others he flirted with/had EAs with over the years wll be answered by me. With some exception, he is showing me the contacts. & I am answering them. But not all. My H had 8 mths of contact with the OW. He had the full blown affair with, thru a secret IM acct they shared…when I found out about this finally, that set us back to square one (this was my 2nd DDay.) Somehow you have to ‘celebrate’ that he told you about this…even if it was in a convoluted way….hope this helps.

    • Paula

      chnagedforever and blueskyabove, I have known about all of the contact over the past two and a half years, he has told me and shown me everything, and I think I am finally believing that he has shown me everything, lol! I told him no replying, but he did it anyway for nearly two years, with my knowledge, he showed me the replies, none were caring or loving. I replied a couple of times early on, it didn’t help, he knows this, they weren’t abusive replies, just ones asking her to leave us to rebuild. I am pleased he tells me and shows me, although sometimes he says it is hard to do so, as of course, you do tend to churn away inside after contact, and he hates what her texts do to me. And you’re right, she has proven herself to me a nutter to my OH by this behaviour, however, it didn’t stop him sleeping with her one more time, 6 months ago, when I kicked him out (again!) And that, I still struggle with, I know why he did it, but really, what is wrong with him??

      • blueskyabove

        I don’t know what to say, Paula. My heart goes out to you. No wonder you are still struggling. These things are just so ugly and destructive. Surely there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I refuse to believe all the pain and turmoil is for nothing.

        blueskyabove
        4+ years post DDay
        Rebuilding

    • changedforever

      I did change our home phone # and his cell number AFTER I discovered their affair…but he called & texted her from his new cell number anyway….within the 1st week after DDay. I knew this but couldn’t stop him…I only blocked him from being able to make or receive calls to/from her number. But I guess I was so caught up in the trauma following DDay & all the weekly marriage counseling sessions 1 year ago, I thought that I was able to deflect all the contact …but now I know I should’ve changed his cell # again….which is what we are up against now: unfortunately, he continues to receive calls from a BLOCKED number. H found out there is a way to decipher the number from which he is receiving those blocked calls (even had 1 ring his phone @ 330am one morning….) can’t be a telemarketer calling at that time. I think we both know who it is. I sometimes wonder if the BLOCKED calls coming in were initially a ‘reminder’ to check the secret acct they shared up until this past June. I’ll have to ask him that. Amazing all the damage that was done over their EA/PA 10 week affair….

    • Paula

      changedforever, I agree, even my OH said (later) that if he had changed his number, if he’d wanted to, he could have bought another secret phone (he’d been reading about people doing that.) He wanted to keep it, and see what she did, I think. He did show me an awful lot of messages over the next two years, sometimes she’d go three months, but sometimes they’d come in little comet-showers of contact. In some ways, I’m grateful, we both know for sure she is nuts, and there’s been nothing I don’t know about, I’m pretty sure of that. He was up front about telling me when they met in April, and answered honestly, immediately when I asked him if they’d had sex, even though he was queasy about doing so, and we were separated, it was really none of my business (when I’d kicked him out, and told him it was over, for good.) So I don’t think he lies anymore, I’ve even noticed it in everyday life, he doesn’t even tell white lies to anyone anymore. He says he never wants to tell another lie, ever again, even in those situations.

    • Alone

      Paula, wanted to send a quick reply to you. I loved your story… And kept thinking about you I actually just had a death in my family and got to be there at the end when someone I loved very much passed on to a better place. Such a heart wrenching yet peaceful moment when they take that last breath. . Anyway I know I’ve missed a lot of good reading the past few days. But can’t really handle affair recovery + grief right now. Especially when as the cheater you lose someone you love. You have to take yet another hard look at yourself and all the mistakes you’ve made. Anyway just wanted to say hope everyone is doing well. I’ll be in touch.

    • Alone

      Hi atwitsend –

      Just now getting to reply to your question about how I am getting over the OM. It is very hard to move forward in my marriage. I’ve been so depressed and confused. Here is my process for getting over him.

      1. Pray for Gods help with these immoral feelings. I have literally asked God to take these feelings away from me.
      2. No contact. Period.
      3. Facing the rejection I feel from the OM head on. Realizing he might have promised the moon and stars and said a million compliments. But bottom line… He didn’t love me. However, my H has always loved me and chose me. What I have with him is real.

      Atwitsend, my H says he hopes the OM is sad and depressed the rest if his life. I wondered why you asked this question. I am sure the OW in your case struggled like me not sure how much. Just keep in mind women are more emotional. I think that’s why it’s harder for us to get over the OM. The OM says all the “right” things. You believe them. Stupid, right?

    • yohy

      Alone, I am mesmerized by you. I am the cheater. I find myself asking myself questions as what the heck was I thinking to destroy our marriage, our family and our friends. I had a full blown affair, it was SA and EA!!!! I hear a lot about the fog, I guess you could call it that. I look back and see how crazy I truely was, my words, my actions! I ended it with the OM, and feel only complete disgust by my relationship with him. I have no desire or need to go back to that. That time period makes me feel ashamed, dirty and so out of charactor of what I believed in. I feel I can truely understand the pain I have caused my H and all of our family. It breaks my heart to think I could do something so horrible to my best friend of 20 years. Thank you for your posts.

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