Doug explains how the emotional affair started.

how the emotional affair started

By Doug

Linda and I have been married for close to 25 years now, and there was not one single event that demonstrates how the emotional affair started with a co-worker.  Rather, it was a culmination of many things. 

Generally speaking, I would have to say that it was a combination of both of us taking each other for granted, falling into an emotional, sexual and verbal rut, and just being too “busy” to attend to one another’s needs.   Basically, the once strong feelings of desire and excitement were at the time very much dormant.

At the same time this was going on, there was a major scandal involving the owner of the business that I worked at as a sales rep.  To make a long story short, the owner did some illegal things, and it caused the office to close, and we were absorbed into a rival office. 

We had to pack up all our stuff and move to another office.  This was a major deal, and caused upheaval with many, many innocent people.

Unintended Closeness: From Colleagues to Confidants

Tanya was a top producer in the office who I talked to occasionally strictly for business purposes.  I thought she would be a good source of business, and I would stop in her office now and then to talk shop, but also talk about whatever other topics would come to mind. I would also help her with technical issues she was having with websites, software, or other similar issues.  She was attractive, easy to talk to, and we shared many similar thoughts and ideas on many things.

See also  Observing an Affair From the Other Side - Part 2

The ongoing scandal in the office brought us together more frequently as we discussed the happenings in the office quite a bit and how its effect was causing such turmoil with everyone involved. The economy was in the beginning stages of a horrible downturn, and we were not very busy selling anything, so we had lots of time to talk. 

It wouldn’t always be just me and Tanya, as several others from within the office would often join us.  I would spend at least a couple of hours a day immersed in deep discussions with Tanya and many others.

How the Emotional Affair Started: The Shift from Professional to Personal

The more we spent time together, the more the conversations seemed to change from just business, to other more personal topics.  I would discuss my family, wife, hobbies, etc, and she would do the same.  It soon came to light that she was having similar feelings and issues within her marriage as I. We would often counsel each other with respect to the very personal problems we were having at home.  Hindsight obviously tells me that this was not the thing to do.**

A couple of hours in her office turned into going out to lunch together, to eventually texting each other, and talking on the phone for lengthy periods of time. Many of the conversations were innocent enough as they were about business, or office issues, but many were about her husband, her family, and my wife or family.

It was very clear now that I was becoming emotionally attached to her, and she with me.  In a lot of ways, I was feeling the same way I did when Linda and I first met.  I felt good inside, and I felt good about myself, and I was just having a good time talking with another woman.  I admit I felt guilty doing so, but the feeling was hard to walk away from.

See also  How I Managed to Restore Trust in Myself

That is pretty much how the emotional affair started.  As you can see, it can be very easy for someone to fall into this type of situation.  There was no desire on my part, nor was I actively in search of this type of affair–it just sort of happened.

I will get into more of the story in subsequent posts.  I’ll also let you know how things eventually came to a head,  how the affair was discovered and how it devastated Linda.

**Linda adds:

“Yes,  the reason why this was such a bad idea is you were sharing personal thoughts about your marriage with someone else, where you should have discussed it with me. I know how difficult and uneasy this would have been.  However by letting her into your world you created a bond that should only be with your wife. 

You also may have found it very easy to share these thoughts, as she was such a good listener, agreed with what you were saying and offered such good advice.  Unlike how you perceived it if you would have shared them with me. 

I believe the reason she was so easy to share these details with was because honestly what you were saying did not affect her, there was no emotional baggage that came with your confession.  In contrast, if you would have shared these thoughts with me I would become upset, defensive, etc.,  because you were saying affected me personally, and would have hurt my feelings. As you mentioned she became very attached to you as well.  Another reason it was such a bad idea.”


    237 replies to "How It All Started"

    • Potter68

      I’m sorry Im not BUYING IT, IT does not JUST HAPPENED!!!!! Emotional affairs are built over time, and over time, there’s a point when you know it’s wrong to continue. ( That’s before anything at all happens that you would not do infront of your spouse) I’m not buying it just snuck up on me, or our marriage was not up to par, or I wasn’t even looking for it, either way, does that allow or give the right to cheat!!!!!!!That’s how all relationships and marriages start we all know that.! We all know that feeling, You know when it’s inappropriate and choose to saturate your own selfish needs,, stroking your ego is a choice…LYing to your partner is a choice, , calling, texting, flirting, touch, etc, repeating what you know is wrong is another BAD CHOICE….Of course it starts as a casual conversation but once you notice your talking w sparkles in your eyes, you know it’s WRONG and that feeling is WRONG. You choose to continue with these feelings and little by little cut off your loving spouse.. Your heart is pounding for the wrong person and do you say to youself , I ‘m married and not doing this or I choose to follow my uncontrollable childess selfish need. Either way you made a CHOICE. You let it EVOLVE into a sneaky, dirty, deceiving, LYING relationship outside your marriage, each time you talk, text, see each other, think of each other, or even have that feeling of excitment for them your are deteriating your years of bonded upspoiled foundation you built w/ your spouse, your kids and your extended family, your church, your GOD. It’s not like you didn’t know what was going on until it was too late and your in an affair, Oh my gosh, what just happened, over these days, weeks, months, years,, That’s BULL….These take time to grow and there’s enough time to figure it out upfront before you ruin your marriage. It JUST HAPPENED???? For the hurt partner to stand back and and try to absord the gut wrentching fact you are even looking at another women/man with that kind of emotion is devatsting enough, but to say it just happened is not accepting you have a human brain that is functional at a normal IQ.. It’s obvious I’m the hurt partner after 24 years. I’ve never let any flirting or conversation get out of control and that is by CHOICE. Because I could let it happen almost everyday at work. BUT I CHOOSE to acknowlege this and know, hey, I”M MARRIED wether good , great or not, I”m MARRIED, and take no interest in flirty remarks and words or let business become more than buisness. NO NOT ACCEPTING or NOT TAKING FULL RESSPONSIBLILTY FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND CHOICES ONLY MAKEs IT WAY WORSE ;eventually end in DIVORCE…Because you cant build trust back if the cheating partner can’t acknowlege I ‘ve screwed up. Yes I’m a grown up and made that choice. The longer the affair last the worse it is. You need to first admit it, accept 100% blame, and work on why you choose this path, how to help heal your hurt spouse if possible, how you ended the affair,etc,,,. But if it’s allowed to sneak up, well, I gues we should all be prepared to cheat and get away with that lying excuse. ….Just not sure how I’m to deal w/ they both still work very close together as the firehouse and think it’s OK. ALL IS WELL where gonna just be friends again…..,

      • admin

        You know, everything that you say is true. We do have choices and obviously some of us make the wrong choices. But affairs can “just happen” from the standpoint that one is not out actively seeking an affair, and simply lets them self get sucked in. Not everybody is as strong willed as you apparently. That being said, I’m sorry that you are apparently a victim of an affair. Hopefully, you can get some ideas from this blog to help save your marriage–if that is what you want to do.

      • Terri

        I completely agree with your anger. My situation is different–not that it excuses my husband the OW–but it began on the Internet. Met on poker on Facebook(Evil incarnate of the internet)she talked to him Jan 16th in the game. Then they would play and talk, and were “friends” for a couple of weeks, until I think their focus changed. She thought a skin cancer might be breast cancer, sick and needy, her husband sucks, I am so sweet, weak, and lonely, boo hoo. Be my big protector. He said it was not a physical attraction(pic)even now it is not about the short sexual relations they have had. She on the other hand thinks he is handsome, wonderful, great husband, dad etc…we was until her. Too bad her husband is addicted to XBox–she could have hooked up w/a single guy to have an affair in her own town, own damn country. But know, this emotional affair continued because she is “so nice, so caring, so insert adjective” that would make you fall in love if you are a vulnerable male. Yes, I did not meet all of his needs–I did not realize that his hints were really supposed to be shouts of HEY-I M GONNA LEAVE YOU AND FIND SOMEONE ELSE IF YOU DON”T GET IT TOGETHER. Had he communicated instead of trying to make me feel bad for not having a job, being emotional, withdrawing and doing my own thing to cope, I would have loved to go to counseling, read books, shower him with affection and attention all BEFORE this b*tch met him. But from what I have read this rarely happens in this type of affair–because it isn’t illicit at first, in our case, it is in cyberspace for heaven’s sake. I think my husband thought it was somewhat “safe”. But within one month he sent her roses for Valentines Day had quadruppled his cell minutes and fees, and thinks that he knew then that “she was the one he deserved” not selfish me mother of his kids partner of 24 yrs. I was told on April 18th and have been scratching and clawing my way up out a deep dark hole of deception, depression, anxiety, disbelief, pain, fear, and feeling of immense rejection–all because his words, “I want to be happy.” “Don’t I deserve to be happy?” Which was told to me and our kids in a totally ignorant, thoughtless way. PPL in this FOG are not right in the head. They are delusional and living in a utopian fantasy and should be put in straight jackets and locked up until their withdrawals go away and then be released back into the unsuspecting public and to their thunderstruck families. Just in the last couple of days have my emotions leveled off and I am having a paradigm shift. I can smile and think of the future with or w/o him. Letting go is freeing–when someone does not want to be held onto anymore. I just wanted you to see how fast all of this happened from 1st day to now 5 months. We are getting a divorce–after that it remains to be seen. I think they will be over. If I am unavailable he will find someone else. Or he might grace me with his presence again. It will be on my terms, my choice, and he will need to shift all of his paradigms!!

        • cassie

          I have to agree with the first post, but not out of self righteous anger. Unless we are mentally/socially handicapped, we are ALL able to say no. It doesn’t change the fact we are all in need of emotional salve in one way or another. Self -control is a fruit of the Spirit, which says to me that it is darn near impossible to have true self control with having a relationship with Jesus Christ. I dare say that we can all say “No” to emotional involvement with the opposite sex (that we’re attracted to) once or twice, but to always resist has got to be a super natural thing.Thoughts and opinion…. They’re like belly buttons.
          :-p None of us are exempt from temptation, but we all have the same opportunity to say no. Its much easier to say no though when God’s Holy Spirit is guiding you, and helping you make decisions.Just sayin….

          • Healing Mark

            Cassie, prior to my wife’s EA, all would consider her to be a very moral person with a true relationship with Jesus Christ. She is ashamed to now admit to having been overcome with feelings and emotions that were so strong, apparently, that they caused her to change from the person she was before the EA to the person she was during the EA. A person that my wife is a bit embarrassed to have become, but one that she feels God intended her to be as part of her journey through life on this Earth. Not that she is blaming God for the occurrence of her EA, but she instead recognizes that “things often happen for a reason” and she believes that God brought her AP into her life at a particular cross-road (she was about to turn 41 and she was just starting her second school year with all kids in school) and that the relationship they established, while eventually inappropriate and damaging to their marriages, was one that needed to be established and then ramped down such that it would not interfere with the respective marriages. Fortunately, my wife understood that adultery was never going to occur given her moral and religous beliefs. The problem was, she had no idea how damaging her EA could be, and was, until it was too late, and while she was able to end it with some reluctance and grieving, she was not very careful at covering up/destroying evidence of the EA such that I later discovered its existence thus sending our relationship and our lives into turmoil that is only now starting to almost completely subside approximately 9 months after D-day.

            • Let us go and make our visit.

              Where were your feelings at 6 months?

              My wife’s EA was announced to me August 1. While the EA has been terminated and all contact with the lying interloper severed in early November, our path to recovery is uneven. We’re better with each passing week, I think, but day to day conditions have more volatility.

              Although I’m sleeping and have regained my weight, will this horrible dark feeling inside ever go away?

              Is there really hope we can recover and find greater happiness together?

            • CookieMomster

              I feel for you. How are you doing right now? I found out about my husband’s EA March 2, 2012. It’s been nine and a half weeks and he still doesn’t admit he betrayed me. He says he wants a future with me, but if he never admits he betrayed me will I ever heal? Will I ever be able to get ride of this permanent case of heartburn I’ve developed? I agree with the anger of the first comment to this blog because even though my husband insists he did nothing wrong, he went to great trouble to hide his innocent relationship from me. They KNOW they’re doing wrong as they’re doing it. And yet…. somehow it’s all out of their control?

          • April

            True….. I don’t even know how people stay married when they are not believers in God and know how to give and receive forgiveness. As a believer it is still hard to have a good marriage and I can’t imagine not having His spirit available to help me through.

        • GracieD

          Well, my case was the opposite. He suddenly had psychosomatic disorders when I was pregnant with our first child. As he languished in bed, I fool that I was, (an accounts clerk, when he was a dentist) continued working to provide for us all, believing he was really unwell.

          When our son was born, he was still too unwell to work, and also too unwell to help with our son, so I had to work for longer hours to pay for child care and our household bills. Obviously, he was not so unwell that he could not ask the childminder to work overtime which I had to work additional hours to pay, to go screw the barmaid at the snooker hall to pay me back for being a neglectful wife and selfishly being at work.

          FU2, you passive aggressive asshole.

      • melissa

        So true… I also made the choice, several times over, not to reply to any ‘offers’ from other men and it was a CHOICE based on the fact that my marriage was everything to me and I would not do anything to jeopardise it. I was friendly to my co-workers but never flirted, I kept my distances if necessary. And now I’ve found out that my husband of 21 years has had an emotional affair for the last SIX years and I’m devastated. He refuses to talk about it and I can’t understand how HE could jeopardise our marriage so easily and for so long.

        We had some counselling but I’m not sure it helped that much (the counsellor seemed to think it was just a small thing, nothing to worry about and I should just enjoy the trappings of life together – travel, a nice flat, a nice car…).

        Things seem fine as long as I behave ‘normally’ (ie as before) but inside me, it’s turmoil. I can’t help think about the lovey-dovey notes he sent the OW, the meetings they had without my knowledge, the presents he bought her, the lies he told me. The fact that he told her we ‘weren’t communicating’ makes me sick (that old chestnut about ‘my wife doesn’t understand me’). We used to take a bath together nearly every evening and talk. I tried to be supportive, I gave him my trust as well as my love.

        I think he knows now that the OW used him for career help and advancement (and he must feel a total fool) but it was HIS choice to go for it and destroy our marriage.

        There are days when I think things will be OK one day. Other days a voice inside me says ‘I want a divorce’. I don’t know where I stand anymore – the trust I had in him has totally gone. The unconditional love has been shattered and my self-esteem destroyed. Not a good place to be. Will it ever get better?

      • Patsy

        I feel exactly as you mentioned about what happened with my husband and someone he worked with (make that worked for him). He convinced me that it was over and that he would avoid any personal conversations with her, that we needed the money and that there was no other choice but to return to his job. I believed him and I think that he meant to avoid her and did for awhile. Then…it started again. She came to him again about problems in her marriage and, well the affair started again, more intense (sex) than before. I wish that I had confronted the woman (too embarrased) and insisted that my husband ask for a transfer. If you have to, go into your husband’s office several times each week…during lunch. Keep an active profile and don’t let your pride prevent you from confronting the problem.

      • Sandra

        I am in TOTAL ageement with Potter68. We all have choices. What is so hard about sayin “NO”. It comes down to men like to have the attention of younger woman paying them attention and stroking their ego along the way.

      • Hockeynut

        I agree 100%.That is my first concern with my wife. This was her second affair in three years.The first one was with an old boyfriend. I accepted what she had done and took my blame in it too and we started to really get along and talk about situations we never talked about. My main concern was she was now still friends with her old boyfriends sister. I kept telling her it really affected me when she would talk to her or go out with her. I was not too concerned that she was seeing him because he was in Chicago and we were in New Jersey but i was concerned she would talk to him on her phone or maybe he would be in New jersey and i would not know it. Because of her girlfriend we grew apart again. It was just a matter of time before she got into a relationship with someone else.Now she is trying to sell me on the idea it was a mistake not a choice. I cannot move forward without her first admitting it was a choice not a mistake. How many mistakes will she make.I have so much to say but dont know where to start.

      • Lizzy19

        I’m terrified. My husband received a text one evening. Uncharacteristicly I asked who it was from. He gave me her name. I didn’t know what to say at first. I asked him why she was texting him. It was during a three hour power outage and she was jokingly asking if he could fix it. I told him I didn’t feel it was appropriate the two of them texted. He said they were just friends. As two couples we share certain things in common. Her husband has had two major healthy issues requiring surgery. My husband took care of their lawns. I had s nervous breakdown about the same time. My sister and best friend died in my arms. I’ve been responsible for my 95 year old witch of a mother keeping myself calm and living. Fulfilling her demands. She has never been wrong in her life. Her age, temperament and never being wrong is a difficult combination. So, it goes without saying I am never right. Back to my husband he’s negative also. Disagrees with anything I say. I’ll just say I always let him have his way. Peace at all costs. Eventually I just shut down. Hospitalization, ECTs, meds, and a memory loss of 5-6 months. Whatever. They have plenty to empathize with each other. Offers of assistance. Advice. It took me two times to be able to read their texting thread. There is nothing untoward. But his texts are pages long. This man does not text, talk, share feelings. I felt like throwing up. He called her “my dear friend” twice. I agree with you. They both know better. He would deny any wrong doing. We attend the same church. We live on the same street. I don’t trust him when he goes out for his “couple walks around the block or when he’s tapping on his phone. My gut says watch out. But I have no proof. And no idea what to do. Help!

        • GracieD

          Well, My A@@hole husband, just coming out of a yearplus long affair with Tootsie McTrashCan which he promised was a great lapse in judgement (!) and having he – says been miss-led by the OW who he was trying (!) to help save her marriage (yeay! blow job in the car park works every time – nothing like class!) two weeks later sent a message to his new Poopsie sans pantelons
          to say ” X (me ) is taking Sam(our 10 year old son) to her mum’s for lunch LOL! looking forward to sharing a few pre-game drinks in the sun. Where are you Babe?”

          The ass wipe then denies he was chatting her up or leading her on.

      • Paul H

        If only people new. ADDICTION! Addicts fail.
        I compare my like to an alcoholic at present. every day I have to choose my wife or the addiction.
        Everyday I feel trapped….stuck……grid locked.
        We make a choice yes but at that moment we hate the choice. We know that at that very moment our world will come crashing down, but it hasn’t yet! Very few intentionally choose to hurt.
        I didn’t and every day I am in pain due to that choice I made. I am still in pain and I am still fighting choices every single second of every day. I have no peace. All I feel is pain.
        Now I know it is not all about me…. It is about my wife who has been so patient, understanding and loving. She is in pain and I know I have caused that.
        I read post after post for help yet I still struggle. I fear the worst and see the worst but can’t seem to chance it. I cry out for help but I still wait. ADDICTION!!

        I long for the day when my wife and I are together at peace far away enjoying life. But then along comes the other illusion the other life. I try to stop it but their are no brakes.

        I have been married for 25 years with two children and nothing like this has ever happened to me before. No one has ever caught my attention like this other person. Yes my marriage was stagnant but I am the kind of person to fix not break. I tried to fix but was misheard.

        A connection grew with someone else and it developed into something wonderful. And yes I desire that life. However my wife is wonderful, loving, caring and so much more.

        I was totally honest with my wife and I have seen her slowly wilt away due to my cruel behavior which is not me. How could this happen. How could i allow this.

        I have tried to stop the connection with the wrong person, tried to fix my marriage and I want to I so want to. But love still keeps tricking me. Should I? Go on try it? has a sip? it will be good. You know it will.

        Amazing isn’t it when someone tell you that and illicit relationship has a 3% chance of working. So 97% FAIL…….. Yet all I see is 3% I will be in that 3%. I don’t even see the 97%. I will be in the 3%.

        I am addicted. I am in turmoil. I want to save my marriage but am struggling to do so. I am at present addicted and I do not want to be.

        A while back I wrote this:

        No distractions around. I cry.
        The pain is endless, morning, noon and night. It takes over my soul like a virus, spreading uncontrollably throughout my body.
        I ache.
        Will it ever stop? It feels like it will not.
        I fall to my knees again. They bruise, again. Bruise upon bruise. Pain upon pain.
        My heart yearns for the love I may never have. My heart yearns for the love I do have.
        I yearn as if for water to sustain life. But I am parched.
        My pain will not cease, my crying continues. The torture remains. My life becomes unrecognisable.
        I mourn.
        Question upon question, but no answers are revealed.
        I worry for loves that may venture alone in this world. I long to be with them. I long for them to be happy. But long to be by their side.
        To live and love together, forever.
        I am exhausted.
        My heart aches unconditionally. Dreams fade but dreams approach so rapidly I am once again knocked to my knees. The pain continues.
        I go numb.
        I grow weary. I grow lonely. Afraid of what is to stay with me for my destined life.
        I worry.
        The tears role down my cheeks and dry. Like dry rivers unable to feed the life around them.
        I fear what could be, but want, what could be.
        I have never been so afraid, ladened, burdened, bruised and damaged. Will I heal? I think not.
        I know now the power of love and the strength it has. It swoops in unknowingly and strikes you down like a mighty sword. I have no control, I am like putty in the hands of love but cannot attain it.
        On the dust I lay….. wounded, watching, hurting.
        No one knows my pain. Know one sees my pain. If only they knew. If only they could understand. But I would not wish anyone to go through this powerful, unrelenting torture.
        Trapped like a bird in a cage. Never being able to fly.
        I grow weak.
        I long for release.
        I understand my fate.
        Love is so beautiful, but so destructive. Believe me when I say. True love is mighty and compelling. It will take hold and it will possess.
        I hurt.
        I am in pain.
        I cry.

        • Julie Smith

          What has happened since you posted this?

        • True_Love

          Paul H,

          I am curious as to what happened to you. My H described his ADDICTION that took over him in summer of 2018 the same way. I suspected early on and watched his anguish. He couldn’t see mine because he was blinded by the ADDICTION. He admitted he had feelings for someone and didn’t know what to do with them. But then he hid them and their relationship. But I found out a year later and I made him go to a therapist. She treated him for ADDICTION. She broke the spell. But the aftermath has been hell. He came out of the fog and saw the devastation he caused. He now hates her, sees the true evil she was. He hates himself too. Heroin makes you feel good, but we all know where that leads.

      • K

        EXACTLY! Every single action is a CHOICE!!!! Doesnt sneak up on u. CHOICES TO DISREGARD AND DISRESPECT and betray!

    • Stacy

      This sounds almost exactly like what happened when my husband was contacted by an old friend from high school. After nearly 20 years of no contact whatsoever, she was suddenly his long lost love and best friend. It was all by phone and email because she lives in another state, but he stilled stayed up into the wee hours of many mornings pouring through her blog and composing emails to her. He confided things to her that he had never told me until I expressed discomfort at the amount of time and energy he was spending with her. He told me that he’d had one foot out the door for a long time (I knew he was unhappy about somethings, but he told me it was all job related, otherwise I had NO CLUE). I guess she “helped” him realize it was really me who made him unhappy. Luckily(?), she must have figured out that there was a bit more than “friendship” between them and her conscience kicked in. She cut off contact. He was angry and withdrawn for a few weeks, but gradually came back to me. Now, he’s more attentive and affectionate than he’s been in years. But I’m still frequently suffering periods hurt, anger, and of course, guilt for not knowing how to cheer him up when I could see how unhappy he was. While I’m very glad that we’re more open and affectionate with one another, I miss the security I once felt. So, I feel like I understand your situation completely. Or as completely as someone outside the actual situation can, and I look forward to learning from you and cheering on your journey together.

      • Maggie

        I know how Stacy feels exactly. My husband in his time of “depression and neglected” as “I was living in my own world due to work stress, kids school and exams, aging parent to care for, inefficient help at home, etc” went into Facebook and found his old flame from high school of 26 years ago. Started calling and texting every single day (weekends and holidays included) even when I am home. Granted that they did not meet as both stays in different parts of the country plus both are already married. We have two kids and the OW has none. It was an accidental discover in his mobile phone that I realized he was having an EA. No signs at all as he is home and asleep by a regular time. Only phone bills were increasing but not substantial. And I wondered? Where was I when all this were happening? Was I dead, deaf or blind? After all the physical and verbal fights, he mentioned that the OW suggested cutting communications as she saw no point in their EA as both are married and living in two different places. Granted that calls and texting were getting less by the time I discovered it after 2 whole months. Pain, anger, betrayal, hurt were all the same as others but Husband was truly remorseful and he, kids and I were crying together on the D-day. It is now 8 months past D-day and I am on the long, hard road to recovery but forgiveness and forget it all is a long, long way ahead. Still will get sad, weepy and depressed attack some days and need to hold back tears when at work. My only strength are my kids aged 13 and 9 whom I love so very much. Time will heal all wounds with God Almighty’s help and guidance. IT WILL GET BETTER.

        • GracieD

          Well, I’m not so lucky. I was a trusting fool. I had no objection to him going out with the boys and staying out an hour or two later. more fool me!

          I’d get stories like ” I only said I was playing tennis. It’s not my fault my partner forgot her shoes, and we went out for dinner instead.”.

          Another time – hang on =-Hang on – you’re throwing a paddy because you say her husband ruined your plans for Friday night – hang on – you are supposed to be MY husband, and her husband has first dibs. and anyway you have already been out three nights this week with her. You and I, on the other hand, have not been out three nights even this year! … “yes we have”. My birthday, your birthday. well anyway, by the end of the year we’ll have been out more than three times.

          Totally oblivious of the incongruous ratification.
          I have only been out with Tootsie Mc’ three times this week
          I’ll possibly take the house pig out three times by the end of the year. Vomit.
          Who needs this asshole

      • kghart

        I’m in a similar situation right now. My wife connected with her “first love” a few months ago and “fell” for him all over again. Fortunately, he’s lives in another state or she’d have already committed adultery. Like most I knew they reconnected and were talking but thought she was strong enough to get involved like she has. She, as all of us do, has a lot of emotional baggage from her childhood that has never been fully dealt with and this is just another attempt to escape the pain. I’m holding on right now and praying that she’ll wake up soon but all I can do at this point is take it one day at a time. This website is a Godsend.

    • michael

      I was there too.. And believe me, not a day goes by that I don’t blame my wife for her choices. But as a good husband who has the years invested in our life and children, I owe her the chance. I’ve known of her weaknesses. Her inability to take responsibly for things. That’s part of who she is. Who I married.
      I know in our case what happened was a choice she made. She was unhappy in her life, in her job, in our marriage and in me. And here a young love that she had as a kid, who was taken from her, found her. Or she found him I still don’t know. She saw it as a reconnection with an old friend. FB can go to hell. Than he started to look a lot better than what she had. And she made the decision to let it go further. But it did weigh on her. It did bother her that she was doing something wrong. If she hadn’t got drunk one night with her friends she might not have cried out for me and confessed what she was doing. She desperately need attention. And luckily he lives hours away and is married cheating on his wife. How much was he going to be able to give to her.
      But than we come to the taking responsibly for it. We are in our forth month of this and she still defends her actions by justifying it with the bad thing I’ve done. Not as much, but she does. She still replies in a lot of “I don’t know” answers and that’s the way I am or was brought up. But I see it as, if that wasn’t good enough before than what makes me think this won’t happen again. If she doesn’t make the choice to work on this, than its just like choosing to continue the lie.
      I feel your pain. But like the authors of this site have said, most, not all, don’t set out to cheat. It is a accumulation of events and feelings that put you in the wrong place and state of mind.

    • Potter68

      I agree most do not set out to cheat, but when it comes to accepting the responsiblity, I can’t accept It just happened. Phone calls, texts, trac phone, gift card, meetings? At some point , the cheating has to be apparent? when does one realize it’s cheating when you choose to call your new friend/lover, and not your spouse? I was responding to the above story, I would not be able to accept, my husband stating it just happened. … I also can’t accept him still working w/ her. I guess it could just happen again than… it already did 2x’s….

    • Michael

      And it was apparent. But like you, I don’t know what’s going on in her head. I don’t know day to day if she still thinks about him. I’m sure she does. But when they do stop and end it, either by choice or by the fear that they will loose everything, than they can begin to work on it if they choose. In some way, see the post about how would you accept an emotional affair, her personality doesn’t see it the same way I do. One of the things I liked about my wife was her independence. It gave me some independence to do things I wanted to do. I knew I could go out with friends and she wouldn’t worry about me hanging on or flirting with other women. She trusts me. But it is that personality that makes her see what she did as “not that bad, not cheating”. I know this is something we have to work on. If she wont it may come back as you said. But if you are saying he has done this twice, neither you nor your husband ever worked on it to keep it from ever happening again. If this ever happened to me again there will be no working on it. It will be over, because I deserve more. My kids deserve more. And so should you.
      As far as working together, that’s like giving a recovering drug addict the keys to the pharmacy. Your right, it didn’t just happen. It was a Bad Choice he made. But like a recovering addict you have to make choices to avoid putting yourself in a place where you might make another bad choice. The human brain works in different ways for everyone. You shouldn’t accept that it just happened, but you should understand it and work on why it happened. People make bad choices everyday. Not because they set out to. But because they haven’t been taught, or ever learned, that it WAS a bad choice. I’m sure somewhere in your life you made a bad choice. Think about it and ask yourself why you made that choice. It took several speeding tickets for me to decide I needed to slow down. But before that I made the choice to go faster than the speed limit. This was a bad and potentially life changing choice.
      Words for thought.

      • admin

        Excellent advice Michael. Thank you.

      • melissa

        Again, so true – thanks for your words, they were enlightening.

      • Suburban chick


        You are very wise. Thank you for your comments. I’m a woman who’s playing with fire and wondering when I will gather up enough smarts to take my stick out of the fire and go home. It’s so exciting and I’m so connected and addicted to this man. He’s an ex-love and we’ve rekindled an intense, intellectual friendship after 35 years. He lives 300 miles away which is good, but internet, FB brings these people so easily into our lives. I want to keep this friendship, but keep ‘sliding off the cliff’ into forbidden thoughts and areas. I married. Very married.

        • Doug

          Suburban chick, take it from someone who has been there…the addiction will go away but you have to end the contact first.

        • India Sapio

          …ugh, I’m in exactly the same place… 7 months in, I am now starting to realise this is something I need to finally address, and I feel like it’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to do ever.
          I would go as far as calling it an addition, and while that’s no excuse, that’s still an explanation. I’ve been attracted to a few guys during my marriage, and I think that’s only natural. It was only when I met Him that my world started to crumble from almost day 1. Sometimes it does ‘just happen’ – for me it was chemistry that I had completely no control over.
          What I can do, is try to address it, and I will be working on it. But I can’t be responsible for feeling the way I do… some people are just tremendously compatible irrespective of when in life they meet. The trick is – what are we going to do when that someone comes into our life at a completely wrong time.
          Thanks for your blog and resources!

    • JABNEY

      I DO NOT believe that cheating “just happens.” My pastor always says this, and I deem it to be true, “Affairs do not just happen, it starts out as a thought and the if the person is weak and allows themselves to make the wrong/bad choice then it turns into an action.”
      For those of you who believe that infidelity “just happens” I would challenge you to take a much deeper look at the cheater (whether it be you or your partner) and untangle what is going on inside. As devastating as it is to be cheated on, you MUST look at the cheater as having the problem, because they do. Most often they are dealing with deep insecurities and issues (hole in their soul) that they are unable to articulate. If they are unable to communicate these with you or a professional, then the potential is high that their destructive thoughts will lead to destructive, self-serving choices/actions.

      • kghart

        That is so true. The relationship my wife is currently in has nothing to do with our marriage or the man she is involved with it has to do with her soul, which I failed to fight for as a husband. My marriage won’t be healed until her soul is healed and that is my constant prayer now.

    • Terri

      Well said Jabney

    • Kelly

      Your website is full of great information and insights. I am not married, but have been in what I thought was a commited relationship with a man for the past six years. About a year ago, I found out that my boyfriend had been sending and receiving very sexually explicit text messages to several women he worked with as well as a few old girlfriends. He also had a non-sexual relationship with two other women (mostly over the phone) that I knew nothing about.

    • Kelly

      When I confronted him, he lied and denied everything, only admitting to what he had done when I showed him the evidence. He has begged me to forgive him and says that I am the only woman he has ever loved. I have read everything I can find on infidelity. Since there was no physical sex involved, I am assuming it was an emotional affair. He tells me that he needed an ego boost, and he had no feelings for these women, just used them to get some sort of sexual response. He would tell them that he didn’t love me and that I wouldn’t have sex with him, when in fact, it was he who seemed to lose interest in sex. I read some messages where he made fun of my body, or the way I looked. Would you consider this to be an emotional affair? He did have a secret relationship with two other women that crossed the line in terms of sharing personal infomation, but he tells me the other relationships were strictly about sex with no emotional connection. We bought all the books, but he doesn’t feel like he had a true affair, since there was no love involved. Any advise you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    • April

      Dear Kelly, in my thoughts that is an emotional affair. People who have nothing to hide hide nothing. I would love to give you an advice, but I need one myself. I found that my husband has an emotional affair when I was 7 months pregnant with our second child. He was emailing his ex girlfriend who he saw very ocasionally because she lived and lives in a different state. Now we have a 2 years old and a 5 months old children. I never confronted my husband with the affair because of our babies and because I do not have any family members here. That is eating me from inside. What should I do?

      • Kelly

        I am not sure that I am the right person to give advise, but I do know how much pain you must be in. I would think that the only way to end his affair would be for you to confront him. If you don’t let him know that you are aware of what is going on, he may continue and it could escalate. I have read everything I can get my hands on in regards to infidelity and this website has been a wealth of great information. The postings let me know that I am not alone and that the feelings I have are shared by many.

      • Mike

        Confront him or it will eat at you if it means having to pack up and leave then do so.

    • April

      Thank you very much for for the support that you gave me in your responce. I am trying to read as much as possible information on the emotional affair problem. If we did not have our children, without a doubt I would confront him and defenetely not tolerating the lies regardles where could it bring our marriage. However, now I am afraid to be thrown outside with two little babies or they would be taken from me and given to him because his income is much higher and he loves them in cause of our divorce. I have nobody and he has his whole family here in term of help and support of the children. Of course, this is the worth situation that I can imagine in my head. But the consequences could be too high if I do not think through it carefully. May be I am totally wrong in my ideas.
      He is acting very normal, and I would never guess that he has that “little” thing with his ex-girlfriend over the internet, if my discovery did not happen by accident.
      Anyway, thank you very much for your responce. You made my day. I never discussed this problem with anyone. I feel a little better.

    • Kelly

      It’s nice to know that I made someone feel a little bit better. Just know that you are not alone, if you read the postings on this blog, you will feel a tremendous amount of support. I have read lots of books about infidelity, but I think you can get more practical advice on this site. Maybe you can get bits and pieces of information from other people that you can apply to your situation. If it helps any at all, know that I will pray for you to find strength and courage and make the best decision for you and your family.

    • Scott M.

      I look at this way, we both have culpability in where we find oursleves. Yes, I was dissconnected from the kids and her, yes I was full of my own ego and yes I did not have a good role model of what a fatehr should be. I admit and accept that. I am taking steps to redefine me as that is the only person I can work on.

      She admits her inability to communicate, to let her needs be known to me is also a reason we are here and she feels guilty that she she start complaining now about this. I also feel that deep in her soul she is not able to even understand why she feels it is better to intanalize something that to brng it out, but she feels that way.

      We both have admitted our roles in this. She just doent want to work on the relationship right now. Doesnt know if she ever will want to work on it. She wants me to focus on myself and the kids. She has to go this alone( except for the op she calls and chats or sees everyday, LOL) She is using him just like Doug used Tanya. He is an old flame from 20 years ago. She did say the other day “you still blame me for this”. I said i blame both of us.

      So, here I am in a land of nowhere. A Limbo. She not wanting to talk, but talking anyway as a way to appease me. She knows I need to talk so she swallows her pride once again and does something that she really doesnt want to do.

      She did say the other day that we can talk about anything and then she cried a little. Ironic she would say that, seeing as she cant or wont.

      I feel so sad for her. So sad for us. I can see it in her eyes. She is lost and doesnt know what to do next.

      • Jackie

        I feel your wife is exactly where my H was. It has been two years now. But what your wife is saying is what my H keeps saying. That I should work on me and the kids. That he needs to be left alone to sort this out himself.

        Only difference is I don’t thing the other woman is fueling the fire, so H has to face that this has all been a fantasy. Even knowing this, we are still in Limbo, he is still confused as to who he is, what he wants out of life, and where he wants to go with his life. He had also been mildly depressed and working too hard before the EA.

        After the rejection of the Affair partner, he became deeply depressed, but still not willing to stop his addiction to the fantasy. I say addiction, since I can find no other reason he continued to keep contact even though he admitted it was a fantasy. It must have fed the good feeling drugs that he craved to stop feeling depressed. Other major deaths in the family have occurred adding to H depression.

        Could your wife be depressed also?

        Wife needs time to sort the confusion she feels. Is the feeling she has for the OP really love, or is it a fantasy. She has a lot of guilt and shame. She knows deep down inside that she is doing something wrong, yet it feels so good and high to be with the OP. You will find when she is away from the OP for any length of time, things seem better between you two. That happened to me often when H had to travel. But when he returned to work and stress and seeing her, H would start blaming, withdrawing, and acting secret again.

        You need to work on being the best person you can be. The best husband, responsible worker and parent. Not just for your marriage, but for you and your life and kids. Now that you realize your mistakes, fix them. Keep your integrity intact.

        Allow her to work on herself, be the loving, caring H you once were. Give her some space if she needs it, but try to find ways you two can connect again. I think the connecting is the hardest part. I know it is tough right now. But she has to fix her problems and you need to fix yours

        Just offering some insight as to what I have observed over these last two years.

    • Dee-Dee

      So… I, too, am dealing with the affects of an emotional affair of my husband of (at the time)3 1/2 months. Yes, months. We were married in July, together for nearly 2 1/2 years total. Our relationship was a long-distance one; I on the East Coast, he on the West. Though the time we met was an emotional one for me (my brother had passed from a brain tumor the, and the yr before that a beloved aunt passed from complications of a 2nd stroke. She was only 13 yrs older than I), I was still thinking rationally. I would fly out for visits as my job, I had more time off. I didn’t mind; I loved to travel. Our friendship turned into a courtship…and when it was proposed that I come to live with him, I was still thinking rationally; weighed pros & cons – my own apt, the teaching career I just started, the start of my Master’s Program in Early Childhood Education… just everything I had of my own, incl family, friends, and a church community. I was faced with leaving all of that…for love. Then there was another twist, he had fathered a child with his ex-girlfried of a short-lived relationship saying that as our relationship grew he didn’t know she was pregnant til the day he was texted a picture of the baby’s born day and saying this is your baby. Having miscarried 11 yrs before and not sure of the ability to conceive and carry, I wondered what strange events these were. He said he wanted his family, me & the baby… Fast forward to present day…I was mommy since the baby was 2 1/2 mo old. Now it’s 2+ yrs later. He and I marry…and shortly after I feel we are distanced. Yes, we’ve argued in the past. I spoke w/ him re: spending time with me, being intimate, to not focus on life’s negativity so much, to tune in to “us”, work on our relationship…how we’ve gotten stagnant – everything I didn’t want us to be being young adults (in our 30’s) and being new to marriage. I was looking for passion, romance – that special spark that distinguishes bf/gf from husband & wife. I knew we had to grow as husband & wife, and that takes a lifetime…I knew he had a few ailments when we 1st got together, and some worsened and some newly developed. For better/for worse & in sickness and in health, right? Given all of this, plus his own family issues, I wouldn’t push for a lot of his time. I knew he was stressed and didn’t handle it well, though he told me he did. I knew his past, his upbringing, affects him, though he said it doesn’t. He said he could love both me and the baby…

      Early December, I woke up early one morning w/ a sickening feeling in my stomach. Felt like vomitting; there was pain. Couldn’t eat for fear of throwing up. I believe God revealed somethings to me, afterall, marriage is sacred and we are one (certain behavior of his was just magnifying strangeness, secrets). Uncharacteristic of me, I read his text messages. Saw 1 to someone over a month long of exchanges, don’t know about before then. Didn’t also look at phone log, they could have also spoke (I stay at home, he works outside the house). The messages had him being fresh w/ her, saying he was separating (to another he was getting divorced), comparing her to me… betrayed! dishonored!… We talked. But I don’t feel that it’s closed. I want my marriage, want to trust, but it takes effort by 2. So much more to put here as some may know. I have no fam or friends here. I’m alone… and sad. He doesn’t see it as an “affair”. He said she was depressed and said kind words to lift her up, that she broke up w/ her bf of 2 yrs. He used opp to discuss me… but he lied to her about what i do and don’t do. He allowed her to disrespect my name and position. Due to my faith, I’m trying to move on… but that insecure thing, well, 1 it’s not me and it doesn’t feel good. According to him, I’m chopping him down though I been at his side and defense during er visits and against his fam, respectively, listened to his complaints re: his fam & job, life period. He can watch his tv shows, play his video games, exercise for 2+ hrs…yet I don’t support him he says. I’m controlling, though truth is my suggestions we don’t do and I don’t have money or access to any… there’s no excuse to what happened. Nothing I could have ever said to him deserved that. Now, he’s been diagnosed w/ bipolar depression… and he likes to play the sympathy card and victim… being cheated on, esp emotionally doesn’t feel good. Guess, like many, im on the road to recovery – be it on my own or in my marriage….

      • Jackie

        You and I know his behavior is destructive, to you, your relationship, and your family. He sees it more as making himself feel good. The line of ,” I deserve happiness.” Which he claims to justify what he is doing, knowing something isn’t right.

        I also know that being bipolar can cause one to become promiscuous. But that doesn’t excuse his behavior. He is a mentally sick man who needs medication for bipolar depression. Depression alone can cause one to seek out affairs, just to make one feel better. The high that a secret affair gives you can be euphoric…but it is not a real relationship! The cheater might lie, cheat, steal…anything that will allow him to have his high on the affair. Affairs are addictive! I keep saying that affairs make more sense when you look at them as an addiction…like to drugs or alcohol. All the irrational words and actions fit the description of someone who is addicted.

        But how does a devoted loving spouse deal with the illness of the cheater, especially if the cheater is blaming the betrayed for their problem. This is often the pattern of addictions. They know they are doing something wrong, but won’t admit that they have a problem. The problem they believe is in everyone around them. No one can see it the way the cheater does except the affair partner who is also addicted to the affair. That is why most affairs don’t develop into real relationship. It is a relationship between two addicted people. When the “love feeling” wears off, you will have to take a realistic look at what you’ve done, who you are with, and who you are. Unfortunately that can take years depending on the cheater’s willingness to take a close look within himself.

        First deal with the depression. If H is bipolar he will likely be on depression meds for life. He will also likely experiment with not taking his meds when he feels well, causing another serious bipolar episode. I lived with a bipolar family member. This is a serious mental disorder that must be treated!

    • Jackie

      H also said it just happened. But he also said at another time he decided to “explore the feelings he was feeling towards her”. This made me realize, yes the relationship did just start to happened, but somewhere in the process, he decided…made a choice to continue and pursue those good feelings. So although the feelings may have just happened, I agree that there is that point that you recognize that, “This is wrong. Or doesn’t quite feel right.” At that point, one makes a choice. Then they make a choice to continue, what they know is wrong.

      It becomes a snow ball effect… next blame victim spouse and kids, justify the guilty feeling…lies to cover up what they know is wrong… etc. All of us betrayed spouses have the same feeling…Why did you choose that route? You should have come to me if things were not right between us. Escaping in an affair just makes things so much harder to fix the relationship, marriage, us. Now we must deal with the additional issues of honesty, trust, betrayal, shame, anger, resentment, guilt, depression, pain and more.

      I always felt the affair felt as if H dug a hole and threw us in. Now we are trying to find our way out of this mess he got us into.

      Yes, it is like an addiction, just can’t stop those good feelings that the affair give the betrayer. There is clearly a lack of self control here. My husband once said, “I seem to have a character defect.”

      Yes dear, you do. Can you please fix it now that you realize it?

    • Beluki

      Same thing here. My boyfriend of 3 years met his EA in October 2009. Locked his phone, lies upon lies, got a new email address so she could email him. He lost his job a month after her met her and blamed me for it – which escalated this EA. He said I got him fired because that morning I confronted him about never coming home and I had no clue who he was with. He wasn’t talking to me, never emotionally there for me. After the loss of the job he would disappear for days and be with her, whenever he would come home the lies were so elaborate I couldn’t believe it. She started posting things on line about him being her boyfriend, she was threatening me, and all along he was telling me they were just friends.
      Months passed and I thought I was losing my mind – I gained a ton of weight, missing work, he was NEVER around and when he was he was texting, emailing, and secretly calling her. He became good friends with her family, but kept telling me he loved me and that she was just a friend. He told me 8 times throughout the year that he wasn’t talking to her and he’s go a few days and she would send a text that she was lonely, or missed him, or loved him. Boo Hoo. Then they were back at it and he would disappear again, emotionally and physically.
      I finally asked him to move out in the Fall and he was depressed and proclaimed his love for me. A week after he moved out she was sleeping over, and spending all her time with him. And he’d lie about it – right to my face even when I had proof. Nothing physical – and I absolutely believe that he never was with her. But this is an emotional relationship. Tell me all this was my fault because I wasn’t affectionate enough, etc. I was floored. It all came to a head near the holidays – he was with me and I checked his phone after he one more time said he wasn’t spending time with her and wanted to be with me, and there were pictures of her in his phone and loads of text messages. Nothing scandalous, but no pcitures of me and all of her! I even found out he ditched me for Xmas to spend it with her and her family! She was posting online how she supports him because his girlfriend isn’t there for him emotionally and that he was always running to her. OMG! (I hate technology)
      That was it for me.
      Now it’s been two months and the lies continue. Just last night he came over and told me he wants me back and that he loved me, and that she was just a friend. I was hysterical. He told me that we need to work on us and I need to move on from it. I take ownership of not always being as affectionate as I could have been, or confronting him because of this crap – maybe I could have handled it differently in the beginning. But I swear I bent over back ward to have this relationship work. I’m tired of being used, lonely, self esteem so deflated I can hardly function. This girl is 15 years younger than me. I told him I don’t know what I want but I do know I will not go back to that mess. Then he told me another lie again….after all the professions of love. They were still hanging out and she was still sleeping over.
      I’m now going through the should I try to make it work and should I not and just look for what I deserve. And quite frankly I don’t think there is much to salvage – I deserve much better than this. No effort on his part although he claims he is trying. What a joke. I don’t want to take the rollar coaster anymore.

    • Jackie


      Try looking at the EA as an addiction your boyfriend has. Imagine that she is the bottle, and gives him a high. Then it makes more sense. He probably does love you, but he is getting a high on his fantasy with her. He has trouble stopping, even though he deep down inside he knows what he is doing is wrong.

      In Dorothy Tennov’s book,”Love and Limerence”, she talks about how being,”In Love”, is mother nature’s way of getting two people together to procreate. That in love feeling can last from 2 to 4 years, where you get a drug like high from being with your beloved. After that real love takes over where you see one another more realistically, seeing faults, and growing together. He probably felt this with you when you were first dating.

      Your boyfriend is on a,”high” feeling with this other woman. It is like a drug. He needs to stop seeing her, but he can’t or won’t stop seeing and thinking of her and how good it makes him feel.

      When you confront him with what he is doing wrong, he feels bad(shameful), gets defensive, and then blames you for why he is doing this. The blame is his way of rationalizing why he is doing what he knows is wrong. He has trouble facing his own issues. Confusion reigns. Is what he feels for the OP real love? Does he really love you? He really doesn’t know. He doesn’t know which is the true love. When he stops seeing her, he gets withdrawal feelings and depression. My guess he may normally have some depression.

      It takes lots of will power to stop. Like alcohol or drugs it is best to stop cold turkey. Again, like alcohol, when he sees or hears from her again, it starts all over.

      That is why it feels so much like a crazy roller coaster to you. It is! He is doing things that are not in character with his true self, but only he can stop the madness. He is hurting the one that he says he loves, but he loves that high feeling that the EA gives him.

      I’ve been with my H for over 20 years, and it has been two years since his EA. Luckily for me, the OP did not want the relationship early on. But still H wanted the fantasy, and high feelings the EA gave him. He admitted it was a fantasy. Even then he couldn’t stop seeing her, blaming me, the kids, anything he could, so he didn’t have to look at himself and what he was doing.

      H next went into a major depression, and has been taking medicine for it since. He seems like he is no longer in the fog of the EA, but is still dealing with his issues and the repercussions of the EA. Still has trouble talking about the EA, just wants to forget about it.

      All of our stories on this site are similar and yet different. But all of us feel the pain of the betrayal of our significant other. Don’t accept the blame. He could have talked with you and I’m sure like all of us we would have been more than willing to work our issues out.

      Be sure he treats you with kindness, caring and respect.

      Read a lot about love and relationships. There are tons of things in the library and internet. Not necessarily for this relationship. This is more for you and your future with or without this man.

      If he told you that you need to work on your relationship, get him to go to counseling with you. If he won’t, get books for you both to read and work on together. Start with,”Not Just Friends (Protect Your relationship from infidelity and heal the trauma of betrayal)” by Shirley P. Blass, PHD. There are also some great internet stuff on relationships. Throw this back at him and let him put his money where his mouth is.

      Should you move on? Should you wait for him to come out of the cloud? These are the tough questions all us betrayed spouses and significant others face. Only you can answer that difficult emotional question.

      In your case, be sure you both can work out these issues eventually, before you ever get married. I guarantee, these issues will come up again and again in your life if you don’t. You have all these people on this site as proof.

      I look at life as an adventure. These trials are painful but make you grow stronger, and make you think about what you truly, want and need in life. Life isn’t always easy, but it certainly can be challenging.

      Hope this helps you and others. We all just want some good to come from all this pain.

      • Angel


        My H has the same story as yours, the OW doesn’t really want him, although she still always contacts him, I think she is using him for her career advancement. He admits it is a fantasy, and yet, although he knows it defies logic, he still wants to try to pursue her and be rejected first hand.

        What really hurts is that he always says he does not love me any more, and that all he wants is his freedom. But his actions don’t say those; he hasn’t left although has verbalized that he wants to, and he cycles from treating me so well and being caring to being cold and distant.

        He is obviously depressed, especially when OW distances from him.

    • Jackie

      Addiction and Fantasy are the words that helped me cope and try to understand what had happened to H…to us as a couple. This is how I have grown to understand what has been happening these last two years.

      Your H, as mine, is unhappy and depressed. The EA makes him feel so good…he thinks it must be true love, just like when he fell in love with you. He needs the high that the EA gives him (a form of self medication) to feel okay. It makes him feel great. How could it be wrong? Another part of him knows he is doing something wrong. This feeling makes him feel bad.

      The confusion is that part of him wants what you offer but also blames you for not making him happy…driving him into the EA. He can’t seem accept that it is him and his unhappiness that is driving this need for fantasy and addiction to the high that he gets from the fantasy.

      The only way to relieve his guilt and shame is to rationalize that it is you and the marriage that caused him to enter the EA. It can’t be his fault, so it must be yours. This is where he starts to rewrite your history. ” I was never happy.” or “Have not been happy for a long time.” he might say.
      Even if he never expressed it to you in the past.

      He won’t or can’t admit that he could be wrong, and yet something doesn’t feel right. It must be everyone else who is wrong, and interfering with his happiness.

      My H kept saying he wanted his freedom, but never left. He also went back and forth being caring to cold and distant.
      If the other woman is feeding the fantasy, it makes the fantasy seem more real and harder to stop. In my case, I’m pretty sure the OW was not participating in the fantasy as my H wished. But even so, he still wanted to believe the fantasy and wouldn’t stop seeing her even though she wasn’t interested. I’m still dealing with H severe mood changes from day to day. H admits he doesn’t like the way he sometimes acts, and in the same breath says he is not ready to do anything about it. Is this rational thinking?

      Just wondering how long this has been going on for you?

    • Beluki

      Thank you for the information. In this case, I had enough and ended the relationship with him about a month ago. This past Thursday, as we were out tying somethings up and him asking to borrow money from me – he says to me “I’ve been thinking about it…all you ever did was ask me to get rid of her. What if I did it – said screw it – and got rid of her now?” I sat in silence. He then says “I suppose it’s too late.’
      Damn straight it’s too late.

      Happy I’m moving on.

      • Doug

        Beluki, I’m sorry that things didn’t work out with your relationship, but at the same time I’m happy that you’re happy! Best of luck to you!

    • Jackie


      I think you made the right choice. Your boyfriend needs to grow up. He doesn’t seem ready for a committed relationship at this time, and may learn in time that if one cares enough about someone, one needs to develop empathy to be sensitive to their feelings. Your boyfriend is still at the superficial relationship stage, where he thinks only about himself and his needs.

      I’m sorry for all the pain you went through. Life has a way of throwing us tough lessons that we can learn and grow from.

      That which does not kill us makes us stronger!

      I am happy for you that you are moving on. You deserve better.

    • Empty and Numb!

      Love it! “it just happened”! Load of bs but nice try!

      • Doug

        Empty and Numb, I totally agree with you on this one. Most experts confirm that the fantasy or the affair begins well before the first intimate conversation or lunch. It just doesn’t happen, but it is a good story if you are the cheater, they experience less guilt and the affair appears more special than it really is.

        I am curious could you explain what you mean by this comment. Thanks Linda

        The above is the character flaw I speak of. The responsible spouse always had to pull the boat and then when they were exhausted and tired of the inequities they shut down.

        The cheating spouse is no longer validated for being selfish and they set out to suck off another.

        • Kathy

          I am so glad you talked about this: “the fantasy or the affair begins well before the first intimate conversation or lunch”.

          I wondered how my H’s EA “just happened”. In hindsight, I realized that he talked about her A LOT. They were on some of the same committees together (like the Christmas party). He said she was “like a sister” to him. Although much of what he told me about her was unflattering to her, it makes me wonder if all of that was to throw me off guard.

          Thank you for pointing this out!

    • Laurie

      I would like to address the question of whether or not it is a choice to have an emotional affair. I am the emotional affair cheater. I can tell you that it did sneak up on me (it started with the flirtatious and flattering question, “Is there a husband?”). By the time I realized that I was decieving my husband, I was “hooked.” By that, I mean it was my “drug of choice.” It “worked” for me. If alcohol or drugs worked for me, I’d be an alcoholic or drug addict. So, like other addictions, your brain tricks you into rationalizing why it’s ok to continue with the behavior. That does not excuse it. But it explains it. And, like a drug addiction, stopping the behavior is not as simple as getting a “sense” that it’s wrong, then later “knowing” it’s wrong, and then just deciding to stop. By that time, it has taken on a life of it’s own. You’re brain is in such a fog, and it feels so good to continue, that you just do.
      Another thing I’d like to mention is what I read in the wikipedia definition of “Emotional Affair.” When I first read this one line, I didn’t understand it, but it “jumped out at me.” The sentence I’m referring to is : “The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage. ” That implies (or maybe even states directly) that I desired emotional distance in my marriage. We had communication problems. Originally I thought they were HIS communication problems. I now understand that they were OUR communication problems. I also now understand how the “role of the affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage.” Rather than turn around, face my life, face the communication issues, and address them, I chose to run away from my life. To run away from my husband. To get my “fix” which made everything “go away” for just another hour, just another day, … and eventually constantly by the time I was into the obsession phase of the affair.
      My husband and I are now communicating. I think a breakthrough for us was when he said, “I don’t trust you now. And I don’t know if I ever will again.” I said, “I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t trust me either if I were in your shoes.” We decided that for now, we could BOTH live with the fact that he doesn’t trust me. At that moment, I knew where he was, and he knew where I was. It wasn’t where we hoped we would someday be, but we agreed to continue our relationship with that discomfort.

      • Doug

        Laurie, I totally agree that an affair creates emotional distance in a marriage and often times the cheater is running away from their problems rather than dealing with them. In the beginning it appears to be the easier solution however we all know that the aftermath is hell. You describe the addiction very well, but could you explain what you were addicted too? Was it the attention, the lover, the rush, excitement or all of the above. what made you walk away? Are you afraid that you could be easily swayed back to an EA because it felt so good? I believe all of us fear that our spouses will become weak again and go back to their lovers or find someone else. I know Doug will never get the rush he did while he was in his EA and frankly that scares me to death. For me it is very difficult to comprehend, I can understand how it would feel good, but the guilt and realization of what I was doing to myself and my family would overshadow the good feelings. The lack of control would be too much for me.

        Do you feel that you can be trusted now? If so what has happened in your marriage that has made you less vulnerable? Sometimes the BS feels it is their job to keep the cheater in line. It is huge responsibility and sometimes we just want to give up and run away. I know that we shouldn’t feel that way but unfortunately that is the way it happens. Thanks for your insight. Linda

      • Saddenned

        I agree Laurie, I think it is an unconscious choice. I am the BS, but when my H told me what happenned, I wanted to know why (of course I was in panic mode and wanted to know what I did wrong), and he said, “it was a moment of weakness”. He said, “you and I were not connecting and she was telling everything I wanted to hear.” That is a tough reality, but there is truth in that. My counselor, worked on my self esteem with me and marriage counseling worked on us. When I am jealous, I can tell my H, I am jealous without accusing, just letting him know I have a bad feeling. One thing about communication, you have to learn to confront without accusing…this leads to a healthier marriage. Good luck.

    • alycon

      When I asked my H why he did it he said ‘I’ve not been happy with the marriage for a long time’ (even though I had been trying to explain for years that his neglect of it could result in major problems), ‘she’s nicer to me than you are'(despite the fact that he’d neglected me and treated me like dirt from the start), ‘I was punishing you for putting me through 16 years of hell’!!!!!!!!

      I was the one who was ignored, dismissed, neglected, unsupported, made to feel I wasn’t good enough because he was obsessed with actresses and women who ‘had achieved something ‘ (usually fame), had my need for his time, tenderness, intimacy and respect pushed aside.

      I knew she was trouble when he came home telling me she’d given him a DVD that she had filmed and asked him if he was married / had kids. I told him to give her the DVD back and stay away from her because she was hitting on him. HE IGNORED ME.

      I was aware we had massive problems for years before he did this and he refused to engage with me. It was always my problem, my attitude, that was the problem and if only I’d do what I was told things would be so much better, as far as he was concerned. Yet he complained about the state of our marriage and resorted to this. He blamed ME, dumped all the worry and baggage on my shoulders, expected me to sort it out.


      • KIM

        OMG!! Your writing sounds like my story. Our situations are so similar, and I’ve been made to think it was my fault for the last 5 years that this has been going on. I too knew right away what this was leading to. My husband is a Pastor of a church he and I started together, it was very difficult, alot blood,sweat,tears and sacrifice and we worked very hard together, for the first 2 years before the OW came to our church. He was impressed with her from day 1. And I picked up on it, and told him so(later) and of course he denies it. But when you say to your wife of 2o plus years, “Wow, so n so is a very pretty lady isn’t she?” He defends that statement now by saying he has often commented on other womens looks, and I have commented on other men’s looks. But somehow,call it womans’ intuition or maybe I just knew my husband extremely well, but somehow I knew right from the beginning. She came in January 2005 to our church and they sparked an instant friendship. She was single and and her live in boyfriend had just gone to prison in late 2004, and her only daughter was also serving a federal prison term.(nice huh). So of course she needed all the sympathy and tlc that he could give her because she was all alone. In May of 05, I notice all the cell calls from him to her. We kinda teased about her, but nothing serious was said until July. When I confronted him I he was angry and defensive. I told him I thought all the cell calls were inappropiate and unneccessary. He said fine, I won’t call her anymore unless you’re around or I’ll just talk with her at church. Well, that was the beginning of 5 years of lying, hiding, trying to delete the calls, arguments between him and I and even a couple of confrontations between she and I. And of course I get blamed for being the insecure,mean,jealous wife who doesn’t want her husband talking to other women. And it’s not even like that, my husband has always been a minister even before he was a Pastor, so that calls for people and especially women to want to lean on his shoulder. He’s always had female friends and has always been a phone person. But this woman and him are different. I let the calls go for several years until late 2010, I started looking at the cell bill again online and I was devastated. There were calls morning,noon and night, some as long as 90 minutes and sometimes as often as 3 or 4 times a day. He’s still in denial of this Emotional Attachment and only stopped calling her (from the cell) when I confronted him with the print outs of the calls. I still believe they still talk,even though she left our church, I think he calls her from work and from the church. He even had the nerve once to say he thought she was emotionally attached, but of course he wasn’t. I hate the fact that he only stopped calling from the cell after I confronted him and pretty much forced him to. But I still feel in my heart of hearts that he’s involved with her. Sometimes I wonder if he won’t admit to a EA because maybe it’s gone farther than that. I’m so miserable, angry, upset and confused all the time I just don’t know what I want to do. My feelings have been so hurt and I am very bitter and angry, sometimes I think divorce and other times I just can’t imagine my life without him. I need help and healing.

        • ifeelsodumb

          Kim..he’s a Pastor…you HAVE to go to the deacons of your church for goodness sake!! This is NOT the way a Pastor should act…heck, NO ONE should act this way but your husband is held to a higher calling then others! I can’t believe you’ve held this in for so many years!! I’m praying for you!

    • Carol

      Sigh. I’m so sad to find myself on this website. I found out my husband has been having an emotional affair with another woman. She is younger, talented, dazzling. He says he was instantly attracted to her and although she lives far away he pursued her by e-mail, texts, and phone calls. He met her several times while they were both in the same city (he was on a business trip) and they held each other and kissed (he says) in a romantic location. I found texts from him to her in which he said he was about to leave me and in which she was supporting him in that decision. Also texts where he was trying to up the sexual innuendo. Once he was confronted, he continued to lie about a number of the details of the affair. Then the next day he wrote to her breaking off all contact. (I wrote to the bitch too, telling her she’d wreaked havoc in four innocent lives, three of them the lives of children, and that she must leave me and my family alone. She wrote back, lying about what she’d said to him — I have the texts — and trying to get me to pity her for her bad marriage. !!!! The narcissism of some people.) He cancelled a business trip to the city where she lives. He took a week off work to attend to the house and kids. He has gone to confession, twice (he’s Catholic). He says I’ve been right about the marriage all along (I knew something was off all summer; I kept asking him to do something to work on the marriage but he brushed me off, implied it was my fault for wanting to talk about the relationship all the time, etc.) and that he was never 100% committed, which is why he did what he did, but now suddenly he wants to be totally committed again. Suddenly I’m the most desirable woman in the world again — but he hasn’t touched me in months; if I tried even to hold his hand he acted like I was a leper. (I am 5’9”, 135 pounds, fit, reasonably attractive — but to him I was repulsive.) My head is absolutely swimming. I thought this guy was totally reliable and trustworthy. We’ve been married 16 years; we have three kids. Now I find out he is capable of the worst sorts of duplicity. He fully admits the harm he’s done; he even got angry with his mother when she tried to excuse and minimize what he did. He is begging me to work on the marriage and give him a chance, but all I want to do is throw him out on his ass. *How* do people deal with this? How can I get work done, get my mind on something else? It’s been 8 days since I found out; I’ve lost weight, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate.

      • Jackie

        So sorry you have joined this unwanted club, but glad you found this site. I am 2 .5 years out from my H EA. I thought these thoughts might be helpful for you.

        Understand this is all about your H and his fantasy! He will make it feel as if it is about you and how unhappy you have made him…but it is really about him, and his unresolved issues.

        Your story is all too common. Everything you are feeling are normal for your awful situation. Your husband is hooked on the high that the affair gives him. He wants to stop, but has trouble doing so. Try to be understanding and non emotional when dealing with your CS(cheating spouse), because he is flip floping between blaming you and your marriage, and wondering maybe it is himself, for why he is doing something he knows is not trustworthy and wrong…totally against his integrity and character. But the draw of that high feeling of being “in love” is a very strong drug!

        Your goal is to keep home as a safe place to come to…even though you don’t feel safe any longer. Your CS is comparing you to her right now, and finding any reason he can to blame you to take the focus off himself. I know all this is wrong, but he is in what everyone refers to as “the fog” right now.

        It is okay to question him on what he is doing…put some doubt into his mind, but do this with caution, as to not allow it to escalate into arguments…this will drive him away and justify that, you are the witch and the source of his problems.

        Keep the kids in his life, especially if he loves being around them… they can be the glue that hold the couple together, since they are not a part of the affair world he has created.

        Mostly, don’t allow his behavior towards you or the kids to be inappropriate…that is abusive, hurtful, or harmful both emotionally and physically.

        You are now the only sane parent in your marriage. Do not accept everything your husbands says as true…much of the time he will say anything that will allow him to have his way. He is now acting like a adolescent child. He will often not be rational.

        Keep your emotions under control in front of him, especially if it causes him to react negatively towards you. Often emotional outburst just make you look like the crazy one in the family and again gives him justification for leaving.

        Affairs are very counter intuitive. Most things you would ordinarily do to solve issues don’t work in affairs, in fact they seem to make things worst. Read, read, read! This site is a excellent place to start.

        I found thinking of the affair as a form of addiction, like alcohol, helped me deal with the affair in a more productive method. That is, imagine he is an alcoholic and act accordingly.

        Best of luck!

      • Jackie

        When I re read your letter, it sounds like your H is really trying to come back into your life. He is making all the right moves.. no contact, trying to be committed…doesn’t seem to be blaming you. These are all very good signs.

        Yes, he cheated, lied, and became untrustworthy. But he is trying hard to do the right things again.

        No, you can’t just learn to trust him like before…only time will allow trust to reenter your lives.

        • Carol

          Thank you so much. I know I have a decision to make. As I told him, he has made his choices and now I get to make mine. (I have no problem with assertiveness, apparently . . . ) I am trying to hold on to that thought. It will be *my* choice whether to stay or leave now, *my* call. And time will tell whether he means it or whether he will slip back into his old bad habits.
          Thank you so much for your support. It means the world right now.

          • Jackie

            At this terrible crisis in our lives, we need all the support we can get. I, as well as many here, want to feel that all of what I have learned through the pain and devastation experienced, is for some purpose. Learning and growing…sharing and helping, gives higher meaning to our sometimes crazy human existence.

            • ifeelsodumb

              Ditto everything you said, Jackie! Unfortunately, we are all now members of the same “club”, whether we want to be here or not…I still struggle with that…that my H did this without even giving any thought to what this would do to me, how this would change my life and the lives of our children…sigh….

      • ifeelsodumb

        Carol….this is a horrible situation your H has put you in…I’m 10 mos into it and I have to admit, when I first found this site back in April, 4mos into my “sentence” I read a few of the posts, commented, then left!! I was shocked when I read Linda’s posts… I cried because I had just realized that this isn’t all over within just a few months…that I had YEARS of healing to do!! I was soooo angry at my H because of his selfishness, because of his lack of character, I now had this hanging over me!!
        If you can deal with it, stick around! There IS a lot of useful info on here!
        If your husband will, have him sit down and read this site…let him see the pain that others are in so that he can see the pain HE has caused you!! I should have done that in the beginning, but instead I ran away, thinking I could fix this on my own…but what’s so sad is that I HAVE been all alone these last several months! Tonight my H did read ONE of the posts on here…the one where Doug says the things you shouldn’t do after a EA…BTW,my H has done them ALL!! :/
        My H IS a great guy, he brings me flowers now, rubs my back when I ask him, tells me he loves me, etc….the one thing he STILL isn’t doing…opening up to me, which is what got us here in the first place!! He doesn’t show a lot of patience when I have my “trigger” days…oh, he’s patient in the beginning, but after awhile I can see that he’s soooo over me being upset! And that hurts!
        Everyday is different, you just have to learn to take the good days…embrace them, then when the bad days come, accept them, have a good cry, and know that there will soon be more good days than bad…I did read a really good book that has helped us a little…it’s called Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggrichs….you might want to look into it! Will be praying for you!

        • Carol

          Thank you so much. And thank you for the prayers, which I will send to you also. I’m sorry your H is losing patience with your sadness. Sometimes I think men have a really hard time with empathy; they can’t imagine what it would be like to have the same situation happen to them. I asked my H to listen to me describe for half an hour a pretend ‘EA’: I told him a story about me and a guy who was interested in me but whom I rejected (and whom I know my H was jealous of). In the story, I did exactly what he did but with this guy. That helped him start to grasp what it was that he had done. I will pray for you, honey. We have to stick together!

          • ifeelsodumb

            I agree, we need to stick together and support each other, through the good days and the bad days! As I enter the 11th month since D Day, I’m happy to say that I’m having more good than bad days…so maybe the old cliche is right “Time heals all wounds”…though I certainly can’t see this wound ever being completely healed…

    • Changes

      I’m glad i found this site cos i need a lot of advise as to what to do. I had an EA with a colleague last year, which lasted for four months. It was very very foolish of me and i beat myself up each day for the choices i made. My marriage was going through a hard time but it did not warrant me becoming friends with another guy. I had to end the friendship because the guy wanted more and at that time i had realised my folly. My husband found out after that and our lives haven’t been the same since then. He is still upset with me after a year of finding out, things get better for a while and then it gets worse. I am trying my best to get him to see how sorry i am but it’s not working. He keeps abusing me verbally and physically and at the moment, i am not sure when the next outburst is going to happen. I am always on edge trying not to do anything that will set him off.
      I don’t want my kids to grow up in a broken home, I know i made a mistake and i’m sorry for it. What can i do to make my H see this and move on with our marriage and make it work. I am very desperate now.

      • Carol

        Wow — physical violence is not acceptable no matter WHAT you did. I suggest you tell him that while you understand how deeply you hurt him, the next time he hits you is the last. Period. He can and should expect you to be patient for a long time with his anger, sadness, and resentment. My H sure as hell better show patience with me or he will be out on his cheatin’, lyin’ ass. But no matter what you did to him, he CANNOT hit you. Keep telling him he is right to feel anger, right to feel sadness, right to feel frustration at you. And he is. But he cannot touch you physically. Think of what harm THAT example will do to the kids. I will pray for you and your H.

      • Jackie

        Is your H willing to seek counseling together to work it out between you two? He needs to somehow see that his behavior is not helping either or you heal. If going to counseling with you won’t work, doing so by himself would be just as good. Unfortunately, most men won’t go to any counseling, or try and quit after a short while, saying it doesn’t work.

        Reading this site together, may help, but only if he is willing. Like most men, he is having trouble dealing with the bad feelings he has, and doesn’t know how to process them. Most men feel that the only feeling that is acceptable to feel or show is anger. He probably feels all the other feelings of sadness, disappointment, hurt, etc… but the only thing that comes out is anger.

        Sounds as if you are trying to do the right things now, after your terrible mistake, you ended the relationship with the OM after realizing the inappropriateness of it. You made a mistake, but somehow you need to get across to your H that the punishment he is serving you, doesn’t fit the crime. That you can’t change the past, but can either remain stuck or move forward.

        Funny, I have a CS who has trouble admitting his problem, and I am the one who is trying to make things work between us for our relationship. You are the CS who is willing to admit she made a mistake, but your spouse won’t seem to let it go and move forward. Is this that opposites attract? Or maybe we all have to do a 180 degree switch of roles here. Sometimes I wonder if I just gave up like my H did, would he pick up the slack and try to make the relationship work? For me though, H history tells me he will just give up and quit. You know your husband better than anyone. Trust your instincts on what you need to do.

        I agree with Carol though, no matter what you did, physical violence is unacceptable. If the verbal or physical abuse continues you must somehow remove yourself and the kids from that kind of behavior.

      • Healing Mark

        Physical violence is very unacceptable. Verbal abuse is also unacceptable, immature and unproductive. Thankfully, causing physical harm to my wife after I discovered her EA was never an issue. I will admit to being verbally abusive at times in the beginning (mostly calling my wife a cheater or adulterer and threatening to expose her to all of our friends and families), but with true forgiveness there was no longer anything to be verbally abusive about. As you might imagine, using verbiage that caused my wife to feel bad about herself and more ashamed of her betrayl was NOT conducive to getting over the affair and completing the steps we needed to take to make our marriage stronger than it was pre-affair, during affair, and post-affair.

        People make mistakes and if you are truly remorseful for what you have done, have given your husband many heartfelt apologies, and are acting in ways that should enable your husband to rebuild his trust in you, your husband needs to know that you have done your part to get the two of you to a point where you should be able to make a decision as to what you are going to do. Either you commit to not just remaining married, but to doing whatever it is that you can do to truly be happily married, not just for the kids but because you want to for them and yourselves, in which case your husband needs to do whatever he can to stop the behaviours that are in some ways almost as destructive to the marriage as the affair (counselling helped me, reading a lot about EA’s helped to as did sites like this where I could see where people were successfully getting over affairs and also the mistakes that many make along the way). Or, if genuine forgiveness is something that your husband just can’t or won’t get to (i.e., if the fact that you had a relatively short EA is a “deal breaker” for your husband), then you need to divorce and get on with your lives independently (relatively given kids) of each other.

        Again, until I genuinely forgave my wife, we were much like you and your husband (however, no physical abuse) with periods of time where all was good only to be altered by an outburst from me, almost always after an event that would cause me to remember the EA and the pain it had caused me and indirectly my wife and kids. I can’t begin to tell you what you need to do to make your husband understand that you are sorry and feel strongly that you will never overstep boundaries again. Only your husband can do that, so by all means ask him. Hopefully, he is mature enough and has the desire to tell you what he thinks it will take to get him to a point where if genuinely forgives you. This is what my wife finally did, at the same time that she told me that she could not, and would not, remain married to someone who had not forgiven her for her EA. I got it! I would not want to be married to someone who was constantly holding over my head something “bad” I had done in the past. I did not answer immediately, but instead thought about things for several days before sitting down and hammering out with my wife what I needed to see and hear in order to say the following words (more or less) to my wife (which we both agree in hindsight was vitally important to hear and necessary for us to remain not only married, but happily married): “The past is the past. We cannot change it, but we can do whatever is within our power to do to prevent the past from negatively impacting the future. You have communicated to me and shown me that you are genuinely sorry for what you have done and that it was very wrong. You have also done the same with respect to your commitment to never, ever do any of these things again. I genuinely forgive you and will do everthing that I can to not hold this against you. I cannot and will not forget that this happened, but I chose to not let it impact our marriage going forward, and believe that as time passes, the “triggers” that have been driving me crazy will occur less and less frequently and will have less and less of an impact on my feelings and actions towards you. I love you. I want to be happily married to you for the rest of my life. And I will work as hard as I can on not doing, or allowing to happen, things that negatively impact our marriage.”. After that we hugged, kissed and ….

        Good luck and, again, NO PHYSICAL VIOLENCE!!!!

        Healing Mark

    • Melvin

      Hello Changes,

      I can relate to your story– except from the other side. I am the BS and the husband. DW had an EA with her ex-fiance that lasted close to a year; the final 4 months were way out of control. We are 8 months past D-Day.

      Physical (and verbal) abuse should not be tolerated regardless of an EA occurring. DW’s big complaint with me was that she felt she could not talk to me and therefore felt isolated. So she found solace in the words and actions of her ex. She complained that I was “flying off the handle” too much. I now see she was right. Stress from my job and my volunteer activities caused me to be a grumpy bear, to put it mildly. Still no excuse for having an EA.

      Is your DH under a lot of stress ? Is this abuse recent and related to the EA? Or has this been happening a long time ? Your DH needs to understand that he has to control his anger around you in order to save his marriage. Once I realized this fact, that I needed to get my anger under control, I sought counseling. And made changes to my volunteering duties to reduce stress. I was lucky to find a well-respected marriage counselor who helped me greatly. Getting your DH to understand he has anger management issues is the first part. The second part is then to get good counseling.

      I still get mad at times because of her EA. A trigger really set me off recently. The difference now is that I handle these issues more rationally. Your DH should do likewise. We have a rule between us that, if there is an issue that makes us mad, take 24 hours before addressing it. This allows the angry party to calm down a bit before bringing the matter forward.

      Best to you and your marriage.

    • ifeelsodumb

      That’s beautiful, Mark…I hope and pray my H and I can get there some day soon! I told him today..I WANT to trust you…I don’t want to live like this, but YOU have to start doing your part to help me heal….He said he knows this and is willing to do that….so we shall see. Thx for sharing!

    • Changes

      Thanks for your advice, as i mentioned things got better after he found out and we talked it over. I told him everything that happened and how foolish i feel for letting the OM’s attention get to me. We seem to make some headway then out of the blue he gets upsets and all the efforts go down the drain. We saw a marriage counsellor but after a few sessions my H said he wouldn’t see him anymore cos he felt the counselor was siding with me. I have tried all i can to make him see the change but to no avail. His family has adviced him to try his best to let it go but it only worsens the situation. I think he wants to leave but is being held back by his family and the kids. I really don’t know what to do, i want the marriage to work but i can’t continue taking the abuse. He hardly talks to me this days and it’s killing me. I walk around not knowing when he’s going to get upset and start asking me questions, calling me names and hitting me. I am actually getting scared. I never wanted my marriage to be like this.
      He has anger management issues but how do i tell him to get help? As far as he is concerned I am the problem and I should get help

      • Doug

        This comment is from “Mark” and for some reason it came to my email:

        “Don’t mean to be mean but if he won’t address anger management issues and insists on using your affair as an excuse for his inexcusable behavior, then you need to see a good family law attorney.

        For what it’s worth, to avoid my wife from getting to a point where she felt as though the counselor was always siding with me regarding her EA, we saw our counselor independently before each joint counselling session. We also acknowledged that the EA was not the only thing that was making us unhappy in our marriage, and as long as it was no longer taking place, I was given ability to assure myself that continued contact was occurring, and I acknowledged that the occurrence of the EA was not in and of itself a deal breaker, the only relevance of the EA was for my wife to convince me that she was genuinely sorry for it and would not ever do anything like that again, and for me to as soon as I could to genuinely forgive my wife for her EA and put it behind us. What else we found helpful was for my wife and I to agree to a wash; her EA and my past verbal abuse. Neither of us would hold these over the other person’s head, but if either were to occur again in the future, my wife and I agreed that each would be destructive to the marriage and potentially cause us to end our marriage (actually, my wife understands that if she commits another EA or has a PA that we are done, done, done).

        Again, good luck with all.”

    • Changes

      Hi Melvin, In the past there wasn’t any physical abuse but there was verbal abuse. I work full time and contribute to the upkeep of the home as well as taking care of the home but he never appreciated what i did. He would go for days without talking to me when he got upset. He would go out with the kids and leave me at home. At a point in our marriage i felt he married me because he wanted to have kids. I tried my best to please him but nothing i did was right. At a point i stopped telling him what i thought was wrong in the relationship and i guess that is what led to this. I don’t want to make excuses for my mistakes, i accept the fully. I just wish he will see past this and make an extra effort to make things work

    • Melvin

      Hi Changes.

      This one is difficult. It appears you have done everything in your power to make your marriage work after the EA and he is still pushing you away. It also appears that he has anger management (AM) issues that he needs to admit to and work through. I suspect he may also have control issues as well. You will have to take a stand and let him know that physical/verbal abuse cannot be tolerated in any marriage. Urge him to seek counseling on his own to address his AM and control issues. Use his close allies (Dad, brother, best friend) to help convince him that he needs to address these issues. Or possibly a close friend of yours can talk to him on the side. Again, admitting one has an AM problem is the first step in fixing the problem.

      Finally, there are local organizations you can seek out that can help with spousal abuse. You may wish to pursue these avenues on the side.

      We all have the ability to change for the better. For some, it takes time for the light bulb to go on. Make sure you take care of yourself during these trying times. Rely on close friends and your family to support you.

      Best always to you.

    • Changes

      Thanks everyone! I will keep you posted as to how things are going.

    • ChangeisGood

      I just want to say that it is hard to see our marriages as having holes, until something happens. I never expected my husband to seek out someone else, but he did. I was the one he was always jealous of . If I was out with friends he would txt me to stay in contact, he would ask if I talked to anyone. He always keep me so worried of his feelings, that I actually stopped being the fun, outgoing person I was born to be. I truly feel he is insecure and this lead him to open himself up to someone else. It is like an addition, he really likes to be admired. And those of us who say we would never seek someone else out are comfortable with our selves, we don’t thrive on what someone else says about us, to us. He finally gets that..We went to counselling and that has really helped, sometimes I think it has helped me more then him. She gave me the validation for all of the things I thought of him and could not get him to realize. He has anger issues and was disrespectful to others. I really had a moment of saying the OW can have him, I am so tired of living this way.. But we worked things out. He worked with a counselor on his anger, she helped him see how it effected me. It has been a year and sometimes I just wonder at where we are now! It has changed him in ways that I never, ever would have thought possible. It has also changed me back to the person I was when we met. This was not the route I would have liked to have taken, but I was not given a choice. But we all make choices and i have decided that I am working on forgiving him, with his help of course….

      • Melvin

        Nice story with a happy ending. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Chrysanthemum

      I can’t believe the name “Tanya” was used on this webpage. Seems like she’s getting credit that she doesn’t deserve. I’m glad I’m not the wife in this case!

    • Chrysanthemum

      The most important word in a person’s life is their name. That’s why salesmen use it to connect with a customer. It means something.
      Having the other woman’s name on this webpage gives her value – that lasts.
      She can come here and see how well she’s being treated.
      What kind of respect is she getting compared to the wife? Which one is being cherished?
      Letting her have this prominence is NOT giving her up. Rather, it is more like salt in a wound for a betrayed spouse.
      Let her go! And then this webpage will be worth coming back to.

      • Doug

        chrysanthemum, you are correct, I think we put too much emphasis on the OP, spend too much of our recovery time discussing her and the details of the affair. The emphasis should be on us, our importance, strengths, etc. I admit I gave her and their relationship too much power and value and it definitely slowed down our recovery process. Making the shift has been difficult, believing that I am worth it and should be valued has taken some time. The advice I have for anyone who has just begun this journey, let the fantasy of the OP and the affair go and focus on the reality of the situation. Focus on healing from the lies and betrayal and completely forget about the OP, because they do not exist anymore. LInda

        • Holding On

          Thanks Linda! I need to be reminded of that. I told myself that this weekend. I am stuck in the “SIN.” My husband isn’t back there in that mistake…I am! I am so sucked up in the fantasy and what he said and did with her and what happened. How shocked and hurt I am by his choices. I am so stuck THERE. He isn’t anymore, but I am. At least today I am. Focus on the healing…I really needed that.

          I think that would be a beneficial post in the future, where we can all comment on what we wish we would have done earlier in the recovery process to help heal and move forward. It is easier to look back on and see, but maybe it would be helpful to “newer” people and even people farther down the road who need a different tactic or way of thinking of things.

          I am frustrated with myself because I am back in the pit again. H has been great to talk and listen, but actually, listening to me talking to him, I am sick of ME! I am sick of how I can’t let this hurt and pain go. I am sick of dwelling on how this is so horrible. I know he only wants me to feel better. He is so apologetic and trying so hard. I want to accept all of that, but I just can’t. I am sick of the constant thinking and then trying to “rethink” those thoughts into more positive thinking. It is exhausting!

          I took a nap this afternoon to escape so much of the thinking and dwelling. And now I can’ t sleep. Thanks for letting me unload a little here.

          • Anita

            Hi Holding On,
            I hope I can help. I wish even I had understood this a few years ago, but it was my lack of knowledge. You are hurting because of your husband’s past sin. The sin he commited was against God, and your marriage. Even though you were hurt by his actions, he did what he did because he gave into the temptation and it birthed sin. The temptation was the other woman. That’s where your pain is coming from. I know it hurts because he went to another woman, instead of coming to you. At this point , there is anger and pain and pain and anger,
            the only way out of this cycle is to forgive them. Forgiveness does not make them right for what they did. Its for you, by forgiving it releases the poison that you are carrying inside.
            They have moved on, but your left stewing in that poison if you don’t forgive them. Thats why God asks us to forgive others because he does not want us stewing in that poison.

            • Anita

              Holding On,
              The other woman has her own problems, her actions were out of desperation. Your the confident woman, you have upstanding morals. You do unto others, as others would do onto you. This other woman didn’t apply this, instead she is one of those people who hurt other people because they hurt.
              Forgive her and pray for her. Her past sin belongs to her.
              You on the other hand, you have love so you give love, that’s a
              wonderful place to be in. Don’t let other people’s sin touch that wonderful part of who you are.

            • Holding On


              I agree. I do need to forgive. I am working on getting to that point. I have heard so much that I am “required” to forgive all men. I know that. I’m a church going Christian. I’ve heard a ton that forgiveness helps me. It is really a gift for me, not even for my H. It’s for me. I know that. It makes me want it all the more. To maybe take away a lot of the hurt, pain, and anger I am feeling.

              It has been a literal block for me. I couldn’t see or feel how it was even possible. Back in September, I was flooded with compassion and could finally even feel like I could figure out a way to forgive him. Before, it was so odd how I couldn’t even wrap my mind about what forgiveness is, what it means, how to go about that process. It was so foreign. I just had never experienced something this hard. I have forgiven other “big” things in my life – sexual molestation, parental abuse, etc. This was just different. Maybe with it being my H, someone I completely put my whole life into his hands. Relied on. Trusted completely. Felt safe with. Chose.

              Then, after, I lost that feeling for a while. I am working back and praying. I know that I can’t forgive with just myself. I need a power bigger than myself to forgive this hurt. I need to be the vessel that will bring Christ’s forgiveness through me. I have the desire, but sometimes I am fighting the “hurt him like he has hurt me” mentality of this. On my hard days, I am so tired of working on this and so upset that I have to be doing this. I lash out.

              I am in a pretty similar spot to IFSD, I know I need to forgive, but I’m not there quite yet. I know it will happen. I am working towards it, and I think I’m close, but I know it hasn’t completely happened yet. My therapist said to me at one point that forgiveness is a process and sometimes it comes in bits and pieces. That really helped me. She said “What have you forgiven him for?” and I was stumped and couldn’t come up with anything. But when I thought on it later, I felt I could forgive for the lies, for even the plain talking, texts, messages. It is still the flirting and inappropriate relationship. Where she was a girlfriend to my husband. There was another “special” person in his life. That, it the block. But I’m getting there.

              Also, Anita, I wanted to say thanks for your sweet words. You said, “Your the confident woman, you have upstanding morals. You do unto others, as others would do onto you. You on the other hand, you have love so you give love, that’s a
              wonderful place to be in. Don’t let other people’s sin touch that wonderful part of who you are.” Sometimes in the process, you lose sight of the good in yourself and others. Thanks for the positive words to me. You don’t even know me, really, but took the time to build me up. You’re a special woman. Thanks.

              You also admitted to not being perfect and making mistakes in your marriage. That is no surprise. We all have made mistakes. We all can do better in some way or form. It’s great that you realize that and that you can look back on your past to learn and grow from and become stronger from and look to a good future. I think we are all trying to do this. Good luck in your future, Anita!

          • SuzieSuffers

            I was exactly where you are. My husband was being supportive and would hold me when I cried. I would even tell him it was my feelings about myself and my fears about how he might compare me to the other woman. How would I ever exceed the feelings of “love” he had for her? My fears overtook my life. Sometimes I even wondered if I was getting lots of attention “feeling so bad” and that’s the attention I had needed for so long and never had received before….I did wonder if that’s why I sometimes stayed in the pain. Not sure that was it, but needed to start evaluating what it was that was keeping me stuck. No matter what he said to me I just felt I couldn’t believe him. My counselor was telling me it was because he was not doing the work to become trustworthy, so nothing that he said to me made an impact because I didn’t really believe him and the action work never really showed up. BUT, being stuck in the “SIN” finally pushed my husband over the edge and HE is the on that is ending our relationship. Not because of the other woman, which he has been over for 2 years, but because I couldn’t get over it. SO PLEASE GO TO A COUNSELOR TOGETHER OR INDIVIDUALLY TO WORK THROUGH THE PAIN. REBUILD YOUR SELF ESTEEM AND TRY TO MAKE IT WORK BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

            • Holding On

              Thank you for your words of advice. We actually are in counseling together. My thinking today is pretty positive. We are going to make it. It is going to be alright. I am going to move past this and forgive and love. We will be better and stronger.

              I’m so sorry for your situation, SS. Do you think it is possible to renew your relationship with your H? Just sharing some of the things you have shared here with him? It sounds like you really want to be with him and love him, but that you are stuck somewhere. It sounds like he needs to do the trustworthy work to make you feel safe. I think on another post you talked about how you should have forgiven sooner or something to that effect. That is a horrible place to be in, to feel you have to “get over it” to be with your H, especially when he is not doing the active work to help in that.

              Last week, I said some pretty horrible things to my husband and we weren’t close. It was things I had to apologize for – untrue, lies to hurt him. During that time, I just wanted him to forgive me, and wanted him to get over the hurt I caused, and I wanted him to be close with me and feel close. It was a great eye opener to what my H must feel like with the EA. It was beneficial to see it from the other side and how horrible my H must feel with how I am feeling. It did make me want to try a little harder and make extra effort to forgive and try to love and try to make steps to be closer and make a new marriage in the NOW and not fixate on the past.

          • ifeelsodumb

            My goodness, Holding On..are we EA sisters or what??
            You said,”I am frustrated with myself because I am back in the pit again. H has been great to talk and listen, but actually, listening to me talking to him, I am sick of ME! I am sick of how I can’t let this hurt and pain go. I am sick of dwelling on how this is so horrible. I know he only wants me to feel better. He is so apologetic and trying so hard. I want to accept all of that, but I just can’t. I am sick of the constant thinking and then trying to “rethink” those thoughts into more positive thinking. It is exhausting!”
            I HAVE the exact same thoughts going on in my head, and my H is doing just the same as your H!! So why can’t I accept that he is TRYING and that he is sorry? Why do I need more from him? Some days are soooo good…and then the next day…back down into the pit I go!
            Would it be alright with you if I asked Linda to give you my email address?? I’d love to chat with you, someone who understands EXACTLY what I’m dealing with, and a sister in Christ also 🙂
            If you’d rather not, that’s ok too 🙂

            BTW, today I was in the car, listening to a christian station and they had a guest speaker, Dr. David Stoop, and he was talking about forgiveness…He said that even God had to process forgiveness, that when the children of Israel, King Saul, Miriam and Aaron, etc…turned against Him and betrayed him, that He let them feel the pain from their sin.
            God didn’t forgive them right away, that they had to suffer for the wrong they did, so that they learned a lesson…I was like WHOA!!
            I pulled the car over and grabbed a pen and started writing down as much of what he was saying as I could.
            He has a book, “Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves.” He wrote it in response to his own bad childhood, and he said it took him one year to forgive his father….And when he was asked, “How long should it take for a person to forgive a wrong done to them, He said that forgiveness all depends on the severity of the hurt”.
            That we all know that the Bible says to forgive, and we should, but that God understands that it takes a while to process what has been done to us, and depending on the circumstances, it could take 2-4 yrs!!
            I was so excited to hear that!! I’ve struggled with this issue for months, knowing I have to forgive…and wanting to, but it just isn’t happening as fast as I want it to! I’ve been so frustrated!
            So now I know…I have to process, grieve what was lost…my trust in my H, the firm foundation that I thought was my marriage, the fact that I was betrayed, not just by my H, but by two family members who knew what was going on and helped facilitate the EA…I have to just accept that this is going to take time, I can’t rush it and that’s ok…I hope this helps you, Holding On…I’m praying for you 🙂

            • Holding On

              I always wanted a sister 🙂 It does feel so helpful that someone else feels the same way I do. That I’m not completely off my rocker when I feel like I’m up/down/up/down and trying to figure this all out and deal with all these emotions that an EA brings out.

              I’d love to share emails with you.

              I really like what you shared about the radio program. That is comforting. Sounds like it is okay that we’re not able to forgive right away. It is okay that it is a process. We both have that desire, and we will get there. 🙂

    • ifeelsodumb

      I LOVE that, Linda!! You are soooo right!!! My H and I just talked about that last…the OW has been involved in our lives WAAAYY to long!! She is nothing to him anymore, I truly believe that…now though, we have to work on us…to make sure this never happens again!

    • May

      I think i might be on the brink of getting into an EA . I met this guy through work ( we dont work in the same place but he is assisting me on a project im working on) and our first communications (phone calls) a couple 0f months back were purely professional . But then , somehow it became a bit casual as we began texting , about work related stuff . then we discovered we had mutual friends . sometimes he would text and ask me how my day was and i would ask him the same and then the tone became flirty . I was addicted to the texting , we were spending the whole day texting and i couldnt focus at work . he is funny and nice and i was thinking about him all the time … it was all well till i found out from my friend that he is married and has a kid . i knew this texting must stop so i tried to keep the texts short and only about work . we didnt speak for the last couple of days , but tonight he texted and i replied and then were talking for 3 hours . He has never mentioned his wife and kid to me , and he has never actually said anything wrong i guess . but once , he did say ‘what are we doing? ‘ . Im not sure what to do 🙁

      • Jackie

        It is great that you are aware of your feelings and that you realize that you may be entering into dangerous territory. Because it sounds like you realize something doesn’t seem right with this relationship. You are right. Trust that feeling.

        If you are married or in a committed relationship already, you need to keep things profession and stop playing with fire… that is, stop getting emotionally involved with this man. If you are single, you need to find out if this man is married or not. This can be done by asking him, asking friends, co-workers etc…

        If you are both single and not in any committed relationship, there should be no problem pursuing this relationship, unless you don’t want to.

        If you are or he are in a committed relationship, both of you need to stop this behavior. It only takes one of you to stop this relationship from going further. If you look at this site, you will see the reason why you have to stop playing with fire. There are many good people on this site living in daily pain, anger, despair, betrayal, dishonesty, lies, etc… to give you hundreds of reasons to not continue on this path. Please don’t go there. Save yourself, and possibly the lives of the wife and kids of the other man.

        If you are in a committed relationship, now is the time to explore why you need to go outside your relationship to fulfill some unmet need you have. If you are single, you need to understand why would you want to get involved with a married man, when there are many single men who can devote completely to you, rather than choose someone who is already committed to someone else.

        Think carefully before going down this path. Good luck to you, and trust your intuition…something doesn’t seem right.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Walk away, May….in fact…RUN!!! Don’t do this to yourself…the fact that you are on here, asking for advice, means that you are a decent, caring person…don’t do something that you will later regret! And please, read over this site…see and feel the pain that we are all suffering because the CS didn’t say NO!!!

      • SuzieSuffers

        PLEASE don’t destroy this families life for the “quick” fantasy that you have. Tell him that you know he is married and that he needs to focus on his wife and family. That he is risking his family and have him look at the pain on this website. PLEASE be strong. As you have seen these types of affairs just never make it. You will be wasting your time and hurting deeply ANOTHER woman….a woman you might be someday, married with a husband that is straying. PLEASE…withdraw from this addiction and tell him that you won’t get involved with a married man and that it would be best that he not contact you. I know it will be hard, but remember someday you may be visiting this site as the BS. Send him this website.

    • May

      Thanks , i know im going to end it . Just not sure how yet because the project we are working on isnt over for a couple if more months and we need to communicate . Its difficult because he is so nice and not openly approaching me that way if you know what i mean . If i were his wife though i would be upset if i saw those texts and i don’t want to be the reason for another woman s pain.

      I wish that this was different , i know he is someone elses but there is something that connects us and im going to wonder forever about what this could have been 🙁

      • SuzieSuffers

        Tell him a story about a “friend” having an affair or something and how it destroyed their lives….and that the litmus test is that if your wife were reading any of these messages or standing next to you talking to me would she be upset. BE strong and live by your true core values. You are not a homewrecker yet.

    • Anita

      Communicate with the idea that his wife sees and reads everything and knows what you do with her husband.
      Your behavior needs to change also. You know what to do.
      He’s married.

    • ifeelsodumb

      May, keep the text work related…if he tries to get more personal….DON’T respond!! Trust us on this! My sister is now recovering from and EA that turned into a PA…she ruined a 35 yr marriage because of this!! And all along the guy was married with 4 kids!! He kept promising to leave his wife…my sister even quit a good job and move to his state, 2000, miles away! Even if there is a “connection” you can find that again…with a guy he actually has something to offer you….something other than a lot of baggage!

    • Anita


      AnitaHolding On,The other woman has her own problems, her actions were out of desperation. Your the confident woman, you have upstanding morals. You do unto others, as others would do onto you. This other woman didn’t apply this, instead she is one of those people who hurt other people because they hurt.Forgive her and pray for her. Her past sin belongs to her.You on the other hand, you have love so you give love, that’s awonderful place to be in. Don’t let other people’s sin touch that wonderful part of who you are.Comment awaiting moderation.

      Holding On,There was also a time when I was crying to God asking him why? I hurt so bad, I cryed for his help. This is what I learned,sometimes God lets us come to a place of brokeness, so he is the one to restore us the way he whats us to be. Before I did as I pleased, now I live my life by his word. Since I started doing that my life has changed, I am now at peace, I have joy, I want to be there for others. But I have to renew my mind daily so I don’t fall back into my old habits, and yes I do fall, and when I do it is because I got out of his will, but he is so loving and forgiving. Thats why forgiving others is so important.Its a choice I have to do over and over again. Its also a choice to stay in God’s will for us, or venture out on own. I have learned every time I venture out on my own, even though it might take awhile, I always end up in tears and I run back to God. Isn’t God Wonderful and Holy.

    • Anita

      Holding On,
      I also want to expose and humble myself to you and the others,
      I wasn’t the sweet innocent wife who did no wrong. I was full of pride and self rightousness. There are many things I could have done and and said that may have changed the entire course of my marriage. Yes my exhusband did wrong, and is responsible for what he did. But I also did wrong for not doing things that I could have done. Yes I am also responsible for the breakup of our marriage. My pride got in the way for not wanting to stay with him, I was full of self rightousness.
      However, I was full of pain, all I knew is I wanted it to stop.
      I prayed long and hard with buckets full of my tears. I always wondered why God didn’t restore our marriage.
      What I learned is God doesn’t get in the way of our own free will.
      However, he used that painful time in my life and turned it for good. Now I have a life that is filled with love, joy and peace.

      • SuzieSuffers

        Did your husband actually want to do the work to save the marriage? I think at some point my husband was giving me the talk about reconciliation, but he wasn’t taking action to rebuild trust. He has given up on us because he didn’t seem to want to do the work and I was caught up in the “vicious” cycle of understanding what he wanted from her (or them as the case might be) that I wasn’t meeting. He would always tell me it wasn’t me, it was his character flaws. That just being me was enough, although he had originally told me how fantastic she was as a person (still in the fog, but I didn’t understand that and whether he could ever see me as the love he wanted that exceeded how he felt about her)

        • Anita

          I really do not know what was in his mind. He worked with his affair partner, when I wanted to save the marriage. I had asked him to get a different job away from her and he refused. At first I was angery that he wouldn’t do that. But I guess it wouldn’t matter anyway, if he wanted to cheat, a new job would not stop that. Even if we moved, it wouldn’t stop him from starting a new affair with someone else. It was me who started to grow inside,
          and realized that I had no control over his actions. However, I didn’t have to put with his affair either. This is when he came with divorce papers. I was ready,when I signed them.
          I moved right away to a new state. What I remember at that time was, I had enough. Inside I had nothing left to give to the marriage, I was burnt out. The energy I had left inside me was reserved for starting a new life. All I wanted was to get over him, because once I got over him, the pain would stop and it did. We are friends now, but the love I had once for him is gone. What we share now is a mutual bond with our children.
          I have never regretted leaving. I am pain free now.
          My exhuband is remarried, to a lady he met later. For the sake of our children I hope his new marriage lasts. He is still their father, and any bad choices he makes, effects how my children feel inside. I love my children, so if they hurt, it hurts me even if are adults.

    • May

      You are right , I have read around here , and I think I knew the right thing to do even before that . I have decided to hand over my project to another colleague and take a short break from work . When I return , it will be over and I will have no reason to be in touch with him anymore . This is a situation i never ever want to be in again . Hopefully this will save all of us from a lot of hurt . Thanks for the comments . I needed a little push 🙂

      • ifeelsodumb

        May, GOOD FOR YOU!!! I’ll bet it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off your shoulders!! As a BS, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

      • Jackie


        You have made a very smart decision, that so many people here wished the other person would have done. You have saved yourself a lot of pain, time and heartache, by thinking before acting.

        It may save the wife and children a lot of pain and heartache also, but I doubt it. My guess is someone else will come along in the future that makes this husband feel good, and he will again act inappropriately to the other woman. Until this husband sees his behavior as a problem, he will not change his ways. This close call is really a wake up call to all, to look inside one’s self and find out why there is a need for the drama of an inappropriate relationship, such as an affair.

        Some day the right unattached man will come along in your life, who will be free to love and care about you fully and completely as you deserve. Don’t settle for anything else. You deserve a life of happiness unencumbered by someone else’s confusion and emotional baggage.

    • Huuuuurting

      Somebody!!!! PLease help!!! My husband lost his mind, left our house had a 3 month EA and is now sorry he did, and is now wanting to come home. We have 2 small children, and I desperately want him home, buuuut I just don’t trust him. He’s been making random conjugal visits and I pretty sure I’m all done with that now. I’ve started refusing to have sex with him, until he moves back in and we’re seeking counseling together. He told me last night that “This” is why men cheat, and that “My body is not my own.” 🙁 I just want things to be made RIGHT. I have NO desire to withhold from him, I mean…. Heck, I want it too! My heart and mind just can’t handle it anymore though. Thoughts and opinions please! (Preferably Biblical ones. :-p) Thanks!

      • Doug

        Huuuuurting, If you desperately want him to come home, which makes me believe that you want to work on your marriage, then you should let him come home. You can’t work on the marriage or build trust and intimacy if he’s not there! Put together a list of conditions (counseling for example) that he must adhere to, and open the door for him to come back.

        • Doug

          This is from Huuurting. It went to our email for some reason:

          “Doug….I do want him to come home, but I don’t feel comfortable having sex with him, until we’ve worked on our relation i.e. Counseling. Agreed?”

      • ifeelsodumb

        I agree with Doug, to make this work, and to heal your marriage, your H needs to come home. That being said…What concerns me is what your H said when you denied him sex…”He told me last night that “This” is why men cheat, and that “My body is not my own”….well, excuse me…but what a load of crap!!
        Men AND women cheat because they become selfish and think of NO ONE but themselves!! If they are feeling ignored in the marriage, or insecure or whatever… going to someone else is NEVER the right thing to do and they should be mature enough to go to their spouse and discuss what they are feeling!
        How about THIS verse “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself Eph.5:33…Did HE do THAT when he was having HIS EA?? I think not!
        If that is his attitude then I feel that he hasn’t accepted that the EA is HIS fault…and is trying to blame you!! Has he shown true remorse? Has he broken off ALL contact with the OW? These are questions you need to have answers to before you let him come home.
        Does he consider how YOU are feeling? Does he have patience with you when you are crying or having a bad day? Will he be willing to deal with you, and your up and down emotions when you have trigger days?
        This is not something that is going to go away overnight…trust me! He has to put you first! He has to show complete transparency, and has to be willing to answer questions and infinite patience…my H is a great guy, in spite of his EA, but even he would get frustrated when I’d have trigger days…and I could tell and that would hurt me even more!!
        There is a great book that has been recommended on here “How to Help Your Spouse Heal”…I would suggest you buy it and ask him to read it…if he TRULY wants to help you heal, and takes full responsibility for his actions, I would think he’d be open to reading it. My H hasn’t read it, he told me he would, he’s told me twice now to order it…but I haven’t and I’m not going to.
        I told him to order it….in the months after the D-Day, I was doing EVERYTHING to heal my marriage, reading books, reading this blog etc….he was sitting on the sidelines, watching me fall apart, offering a “I’m sorry, I screwed up, I love you” line every now and then…and lying to me about how much contact him and the OW actually had..this went on for months.
        So now, I’m not doing all the work, and since I took that stand about 6 weeks ago, he HAS come around, slowly but surely, but he’s still dragging his feet in some areas…like ordering that book and reading this blog!
        I asked him weeks ago to read this blog so he could see the pain that an EA causes..but he’s only read it one time, so I still have a part of my heart closed off to him…and if he ever wants all my love, then he needs to work with me to heal this breech of trust.
        I heard a Christian speaker on the radio yesterday and this is what I wrote on another posting,
        ” BTW, today I was in the car, listening to a christian station and they had a guest speaker, Dr. David Stoop, and he was talking about forgiveness…He said that even God had to process forgiveness, that when the children of Israel, King Saul, Miriam and Aaron, etc…turned against Him and betrayed him, that He let them feel the pain from their sin.
        God didn’t forgive them right away, that they had to suffer for the wrong they did, so that they learned a lesson…I was like WHOA!! “He has a book, “Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves.” He wrote it in response to his own bad childhood, and he said it took him one year to forgive his father….And when he was asked, “How long should it take for a person to forgive a wrong done to them, He said that forgiveness all depends on the severity of the hurt”.
        That we all know that the Bible says to forgive, and we should, but that God understands that it takes a while to process what has been done to us, and depending on the circumstances, it could take 2-4 yrs!!
        That is my posting from yesterday…I hope it helps you, Huuuurrting!!! Like me restate what he said,” Even God had to process the hurt that He felt, and to process forgiveness”…that was a real eye opener to me!
        We can’t just “forgive and forget” we need to grieve for what is lost….the trust we had in our partner, the hope for the future, because right now, the future looks very bleak, PEACE, because there is no peace in our hearts for a long time after this…. I hope you are strong enough to tell your husband that!!
        If you have a Pastor that you feel would understand, would counsel you wisely, go talk to him…I went to counseling one time and never went back….He was a nice guy, but not real helpful…I’ve gotten better counseling on this blog!!
        If you’ve never been a BS then you really can’t begin to understand how this feels….When I first started reading this blog, back in April, I only read it for a few days, then stopped! My heart just couldn’t take all the pain I was seeing and it shocked me that 1-2 yrs later, people were still struggling to forgive and move past this,
        In my arrogance, I told myself ‘Well, I’m a Christian, I need to forgive my H and move on…I won’t be like these others, I’ll read my bible, pray, and I’ll be Ok….what I have discovered is that, Christian or not, the pain is here, the pain is real and it doesn’t go away overnight.
        Yes, God has been there for me, in my darkest moments…and I have felt His comfort….but this is sin, and all sin has consequences…for me to just ignore what my H has done, would be telling him, “See, you did this, you sinned against God and our marriage, but it’s Ok, all’s good”…and that wouldn’t be right!
        My H has to see my pain, he has to experience it, because it now hurts him to see me this way and he has to KNOW that his sinful decisions have done this to us!
        So I would urge you to make sure your H is willing to take on the responsibility to help you heal….My H didn’t in the first 8-9 mos….and it really delayed my healing….Also, and again, I recommend this book on here all the time, Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs…they have a website Amazing book that has helped us sooooo much! Will be praying for you!! Keep us up to date on what is happening with you!!!

        • Doug

          IFSD, this came from Huuurting. It went to our email for some reason:

          “Thank you soo much.”

        • karen- 1.5 years

          Ifeelsodumb: Thumbs up!! Like button!! Going to share your response with my CS tonight. Thanks!!

          Karen – 1.5 years post d-day

          • ifeelsodumb

            Thanks Karen…we are all in this together, helping in anyway we can 🙂

        • huuurting

          Thank You! I feel you are SO SMART!!! ; ) I never in a million years imagined i would ever find myself in this position. It seems to be an epidemic though. Everyone has got their on story as to hy they’ve done wht they’ve done…..what ever happened to good ole fashion morals?!

    • huuurting

      The hardest thing about all of this, is feeling so “Out of control” There really isn’t a durn thing i can do, and its devastating.

      • ifeelsodumb

        I’m not so smart, Huuuurting…I’m telling you what I’ve been learning from my own experience, unfortunately…My H hasn’t been helping me recover at all these last 10 months…only in this last month has he started trying to understand where I’m coming from, and he still just doesn’t seem to get it!
        I’ve been on my own, while he sat on the sidelines and watched! What you are feeling is COMPLETELY normal….give it does get better, and I can say this after my H and I had a little falling out a few hours ago. I’ve learned to not stress over it anymore, it’s going to happen, not a thing I can do to stop it!
        I need MORE from him…not his “I’m sorry, I screwed up”…well, DUH, please tell me something I didn’t know??
        OK, here’s an example, my H had a business trip to make this week that required an overnight stay…I went with him, just to have some alone time and also because I still get a little insecure when he has to leave…so we leave, it’s a 3 hr trip there and back…do you think that even once he asked me how I was doing, did I want to talk about the EA.. were the triggers getting any better, what can I do to help you, is the EA blog helping you, is there anything new on there you want to share?
        Nope, not one word…we get along great as long as I’m happy and easy going and act like nothing is wrong!! He is over the EA and expects me to be able to just act like it never happened.
        You see, about 6 wks ago, we had a talk about his not helping me recover and I told him that it is HIS responsibility since he did this to me and our marriage….he responded that he knows that and he realizes that he hasn’t been there for me like he should have been.

        So I’ve been patient, waiting for him to ask me to read this blog with him, since that’s one of the things I told him I would like for him to do, since I believe that reading this blog will help open his eyes to the pain that an EA truly causes, but so far…nothing!

        He read it one time, about 3 weeks ago…and that’s it. And since he says “lack of communication” on HIS part, is the reason he turned to the OW, I have to wonder why does he resist doing something with me, that will open up our communication?

        So you see, I’m not so smart…I’m just a wife that is hurting still, 11 mos after D Day and wondering how my H can say he loves me, yet continues to hold off doing something that would make me so happy, and would help me heal?

        • Healing Mark

          I understand that we all need from our BS’s what we feel is necessary to get us to a point where we can give genuine forgiveness and greatly minimize, if not halt, the anger and pain we feel as a result of our spouse’s EA or, heaven forbid, PA. But in my opinion I believe that you are being a bit unrealistic in terms of your expectations from your husband, and that you should be able to heal without all of the “requirements” you are laying down. I suggest you put your hurt feelings aside temporarily and try to put yourself in the shoes now being worn by your husband (i.e., you become the partner that has had an affair and hurt your partner). If you were the CS, would you realistically be able to do all of the things that you want your husband to do, and would you realistically do some of those things (like randomly asking you how you are doing) just out of the blue with no prompting from your BS.

          My wife had an EA, ended it fairly quickly after she “woke up”, and was ashamed and genuinely sorry when I found out about it about 7 months after it ended. It took some time, and the completion of a process that just happened with mostly me working things out, but her contribution of true remorse, transperancy, actions and non-actions (mostly not interacting with the AP), and treatment of me as a husband that she loved as opposed to the husband that was secondary for a period of time while she was in EA fog. Our lives are, as you might imagine, vastly different now, but our marriage is stronger, my trust for her has returned (this took some time and when it was not there it was VERY HARD to be happy together as husband and wife), my forgiveness for her has prevented each of us from being in positions that would prevent us from having a health marital relationship (I, too, could not remain married to a person who was going to constantly hold over my head a mistake that I made). But had I expected that my wife do the things you apparently want, or say the things that you apparently want, there is no way, in my opinion, that my wife and I would be married today. The simple reason being that as repentent spouse that made mistakes in developing and continuing an EA, she could or would not have been able to satisfy your apparent “requirements” and, as a result, I would, it appears, not have been able to fully heal and forgive my wife in which case we would have mutually decided to get a divorce (very, very reluctantly, I might add).

          Examples. One, my wife could not do much more than acknowledge that she “screwed up” and that as a result of her lies and other mistakes she hurt me very much. This was done fairly reluctantly as she really fought (more in the beginning and much less right up to forgiveness) to admit that she did very much “wrong”. The “we were just very good friends” was spoken quite often, and after admitting that what she had allowed to develop and then end was an “emotional affair” (she hates the word “affair” as you might imagine), she would later pull a 180 when we were having heated discussions about it (go figure, but I get that her trying to get over her guilt would occasionally cause her to get defensive and attempt to prove, in each instance unsuccesfully, that she had done no “wrong”). My wife knew that she had hurt me, and knew that the hurt would come back at times as a result of triggers, but she wasn’t going to apologize over and over and certainly was not going to ask me if I was still hurting or if I was “over it”. She just needed forgiveness, and once I gave this to her (no way was this to ever allow her to do again what she had done to hurt our family with her AP), she was, amazingly, able to be much, much more like the woman that I had been happily married to for almost all of our 17 years together.

          Second, my wife would NEVER ask me if I wanted to talk about her EA. She wanted it to “go away” while acknowledging the damage that it had caused. I put myself in her shoes and would have wanted the same thing. Few, if any, people want to go over and over their mistakes. Instead, they just want to move on and do whatever is necessary to, within reason, rectify such mistakes. Sure, we talked about it when necessary, and after about a month after D-day that would only be after a trigger event caused me to react negatively and cause my wife to once again become defensive because, of course, she never really wanted to hurt me or our family and she was very, very sorry for all that she had done.

          Third and finally, I would never expect, nor insist, that my wife get on this blog or read any affair materials that she wouldn’t just, on her own, perhaps read (which was nothing). I certainly would have NEVER expected, nor perhaps wanted, to get on this blog with my lovely wife and read posts from Doug, Linda and others. As the survey indicated, very few people getting on here are cheating spouses. And I imagine that very, very few, if any, cheating spouses get on this site with their BS’s (you CS’s that have recently been posting please chime in). Again, an unrealistic expectation.

          Sorry for being so critical. I don’t mean to be so, as there is so much I could write about you given your prior posts that would be very positive. I just think that you might be closer to getting over your husband’s affair than you think that you are. And, since the goal for most of us is to get over our spouse’s affairs, it’s very counter-productive to do things, or expect things, that make getting over them more difficult than they already are.

          Keep working for healing and forgiveness! You have my prayers and support where possible.


          • blueskyabove

            Healing Mark,

            IMO some of your comments were really condescending to IFSD. You seem to have a fair amount of “requirements” of your own regarding how she should handle her situation. One size does not fit all. FYI, I wouldn’t take kindly to your order(!) to “Keep working for healing and forgiveness!”, but then that’s just me. Also, if you were “Sorry for being so critical” then you might want to actually own your words. You didn’t. You suggested that you actually could have been kinder in your critique of her progress (or lack thereof) and chose instead to point out her shortcomings. JMHO.

            4+ years post DDay

            • ifeelsodumb

              Thank You, Blueskyabove….I don’t feel I’m being unreasonable…If he truly loves me and wants me to heal, why isn’t he doing everything he can to help me?

          • ifeelsodumb

            I think, HM, that what you have stated is very good…for you! But what I also think, is that since a woman is “wired” to love, it’s been a little easier for you to forgive because you have seen from your wife, true genuine love and remorse. I haven’t..and I’ll explain that later!
            IMO, and again, just MY opinion, the male BS on here are really having a little bit easier time moving on, forgiving faster, than the women who are the BS…and I think that’s because as men, you are wired to “just move on” and also, because you have wives, who by nature, want to love you and “fix” what is wrong, even if they are the ones who caused the problem in the first place….women are nurturers…we want to fix what is wrong, that’s why our children run to US when they are hurt or not feeling well, not their dads, and that’s why we can read over and over again, how the many women BS are trying so hard to “fix” their marriages and are doing all they can to make their Husbands, the CS, happy at home, until we realize, that we can do NOTHING, it has to come from HIM!!… In the book Love and Respect, the author really talks about this…that men don’t dwell on things, where as women get “historical” not hysterical,…and I had to laugh when I read that…because we do!! It’s part of who we are!
            Now, you seemed to have a problem because I have some “conditions” for my H…well, a bit of history here…this is NOT the first time my H has done this to me…24 yrs ago, while he was in the military, he had a 1 yr assignment over seas…our oldest was 14 mos old when he left..within 2 mos of him being there, he was with someone else…he SAYS nothing happened, other than holding hands and a kiss or two…would YOU believe that? He’s on a military base, no one knows him, there is no one he’s accountable to…and when he came home, we sat down, I held his hands and said” I know you were gone for a long time, there are temptations out there, is there ANYTHING you need to tell me”? He said,” NO, nothing”. Unfortunately for him, about 3 mos later a letter came in the mail for him, and it was from *****, the OW! telling him she missed him and that he was sooooo wonderful!
            I, as in ME, went to counseling, I was put on meds for anxiety….NOT my H…and I forgave him and moved on! I NEVER really asked him much about it, he assured me they were just AHEM, “good friends”, and I let it go…hadn’t thought about it in YEARS!!! I rebuilt my trust in him, we went on to have 3 more children….and You want to know how much I forgave him? I never even thought of the other affair until about 5 mos AFTER D Day in last January!!!! So can I say, been there, done THAT!!!!
            So yea, now I have more “demands” on him…and you want to know why? BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT!!!! That’s why!
            I have been a great wife and mom for 25 yrs before the EA, I carried most of the load, home schooling the kids, paying ALL the bills, cooking, cleaning, etc.
            He worked a job that required him to work a lot of over time, 50 plus hrs a week, so I thought it was my responsibility and I didn’t want to burden him with all of the other since he worked so hard, I cleaned the house, cooked the dinner, did his laundry, ran our son to trumpet practice, 45 miles away!! made sure he had a hot meal in the oven when he got home, and let him eat it in peace, bathed the kids while he watched TV and relaxed, etc….but you know what I think…I think I created a “monster” who got so use to me doing everything, that when he got a new job, where he works out of the home and in reality works about 20 hrs a week, and I started wanting more from him, helping with the home schooling (I’m HORRIBLE at math and was paying a tutor, where as he’s really great with it) and wanting him to pay the bills…did ya get the part where I’m bad a math..aka the checkbook wasn’t always accurate, and that stressed me out…and when he found out, it stressed me out even more!
            He then starts reasoning that I “didn’t appreciate him”..and he says that he has felt “for awhile” that we had grown apart. He can’t pinpoint when he started feeling that way, I’ve asked him, and he “just doesn’t know when he started feeling that way”!!
            I’ve never had any outside activities, and by that I mean, I’m not with a bowling league, or a quilting bee, or anything that requires me to be away from home, 2 or 3 nights a week….I mean seriously, when would I have time anyway?

            So heck yea, I have a few demands!! He PROMISED me he would read this blog…because I haven’t seen in him what I want to see, I just don’t think he gets how damaging an EA is!! When I mentioned the book that others on here recommended, HE told me to buy it…I didn’t ask him to read it or buy it, just mentioned it….and my response was, YOU buy it… And he still hasn’t bought it, and he won’t, trust me!
            Oh, and let me mention, three days AFTER D Day, we sat down, and I asked him what else did I need to know about the EA…so far, all I knew was what I had found on our cell phone records…a few phone calls in Dec. and a lot of texting…he told me I knew it all….yea, right! I found out, little by little, that those “few” phone calls, amounted to HUNDREDS, the text messages….thousands!!! The pics, thousands…all in all, he lied to me for 5 mos AFTER D Day….every month I found out something new…and all it did was set my healing back! He led me to believe that it was just a few innocent phone calls and text messages…I had to dig to find the truth…and from reading this blog, I know that’s very common…but still, it HURTS that he wouldn’t just tell me the truth…and his cell phone, How I HATED his CP! And he wouldn’t change the number, or the phone, even though I asked him several times!! He finally did it, 5 mos after D day…and he feels “bad” that he didn’t do it sooner, he just kept “putting it off”…
            He has admitted NO guilt during the EA…even though we celebrated our 25th anniversary during his EA…they weren’t doing anything wrong, it was just conversation, blah, blah, blah!! 1,500 text messages, 1000’s of pics, hundreds of hours of phone calls..and he felt no guilt!
            To be fair, he now says that he “see’s” how hurt I have been, and he knows he was wrong….but I want him to KNOW how this affects me and others in this hell called an EA and I feel that by reading this blog, he will finally GET IT!!!!

            My H has a history of burying things and running from things that make him “uncomfortable” and for all these years, I’ve let him do it….but not anymore!! He almost destroyed our marriage, he has broken my heart, and this time, he’s FINALLY going to own up to what he has done!!
            So, yea,HM, I’m doing all that you disagree with….this time he’s going to do it for ME…he’s going to look inside himself, see his selfish decision for what it is and work on why he would do this to me a second time!!! My forgiveness isn’t going to be so easy this time!

            RANT OFF!!!! :/

            • Anita

              When you stated you have no outside activities.
              My children were older when I divorced. Shortly after I divorced I discovered something about myself and I hope I can help you.
              When I was married, I also carried the main load of the responibilites, little by little my own identity, started getting swallowed up. I didn’t reconize it at the time, because I was to busy doing things for everyone else, but I forgot to nurture my own needs.
              After my divorce, I went from being so busy, too what do I do now. Yes at first it was nice to come for for air. Then the reality hit,” of now what do I do with my time”. It was at this point it hit me. I had lost my own identity, I didn’t even know
              what I wanted to do, I had held off on my own needs for so long, that I had to sit down for the first time and think about, who I was, and what I wanted to do.
              It didn’t take me long, but once I started to nuture myself,
              I started doing the things, I didn’t do when I was married.
              What is sad about this, is I know my former spouse would have had no objections, about me doing those kind of things.
              This is also sad, and humbling. I sometimes in my marriage would look to my my exhusband (at that time) to be the one to make me happy. Instead of me doing what I needed to.
              It was my job to make me happy.
              Tough and embarrssing to admit this, but I see now, the added pressure I put on him back then.
              It didn’t excuse what he did.
              Its been a growing process also for me.

    • Alone

      Ifeelsodumb —

      I don’t think you need to call yourself “dumb” anymore… I think you got this thing figured out. Good for you! : )

      • ifeelsodumb

        Thank you, Alone…I truly appreciate that… 🙂

    • Paula

      This is interesting, I agree with Alone, that “dumb” is not what IFSD is, but I also agree with IFSD that she FEELS so dumb, so do I. HM was just trying to help her with some of the things that worked for him, but I agree BSA, his comments didn’t work for me, it might just be a male/female thing. One thing IFSD is so frustrated about is that she can’t SEE her H making the effort she makes on a daily basis. Maybe he is, and it isn’t so obvious, but, I’m picking he has put it in the too hard basket, and hopes that if he doesn’t take it all out, unfold it and examine it all, it will just “go away,” as CSs desperately don’t want to feel any worse about themselves than they already do. My OH was/is pretty great about talking about it when I need to. He ABSOLUTELY HATES talking about it, but accepts that it is what he has done, and he has to live with the process. He reserves the right when things have gone on too long, or I’ve become overly emotional, and the talking is not helping that, to say, let’s give it a rest for now. I hate it when he does that, but I know he’s right, it is best to walk away a little and breathe! Everyone is different, we all have similar pain, but we all have different needs that need to be acknowledged, AND THEN MET. If IFSD is asking her H to help her by doing certain things, and he isn’t doing that, then how can she feel that he wants to help her, where is the trust re-building there? I found this exceptionally frustrating for a couple of years, most things were okay, but there were a couple of things that I flat out said I needed him to do, or not do, and he made up his own mind to do/not do these things, because in his opinion, he was right. He learned the hard way that this was unacceptable, I kicked him out, and told him why. It took a couple of these events for him to really understand this. He fully does now, and is incredulous that he was so dense that he didn’t understand my needs, even when I was directly explaining them, duh! That said, IFSD, unfortunately we can’t make our spouse do anything they are unwilling to do, again, I use the word frustrating, because it drives you insane, but you can’t. Keep it up, it took a long, long time for my OH to finally understand the things he was doing were keeping me stuck, he was still being selfish, and not wanting to do what someone else “told” him to do, he could sort it out his way, lol.

    • ifeelsodumb

      BTW, just so you all know…last night we had a little talk, it didn’t go well, but anyway, I don’t need to know about the EA anymore…I’m pretty confident that any feelings he had for her are all gone, and he does see that it was all about her stroking his ego, and as soon as she started telling him all her problems, he lost interest…he was in if for the admiration he was getting…anyway, Like I told him last night, the past is in the past…I want to work on US…so that this never happens again….and that’s the problem, he’d rather just go on like nothing has happened and I can’t do that!
      He told me about 6 weeks ago, “You’re going to see a big change in me, I promise”…. I’m still waiting….and again last night, he told me the same thing!! I told him to stop talking and start doing!! Talk is cheap!
      You see, I know this man, inside and out…it’s no longer about the EA for me…it’s about the fact that he ALWAYS takes the easy way out of everything and I’m refusing to let him this time!
      He professes to love me and wants our relationship to get better than it ever was…but he doesn’t do things for me that are different, out of the ordinary…he doesn’t THINK about what I need or want….Maybe I’m coming across as selfish…I don’t know…but he’s brought me flowers 3 times in the last 5 mos…and I love them, and I really appreciate him getting them for me….but you know, that is SO easy for him to do…stop, buy the roses, hand them to the wife and pat himself on the back because he did something nice…but I want him to do more…here’s an example, I LOVE cardinals…I mean, I’m crazy about them…I can watch them at the bird feeder for hours…and he knows this….now get this, twice in the last few months, we’ve eaten at Cracker Barrel….they have the cutest cardinal necklaces, pot holders, and now Christmas ornaments…do you think he’ll stop in there and pick me up something…I can already tell you..NO!!
      When we were in there a few months ago, I pointed out a hand painted necklace with cardinal on it…hoping against hope he’d buy it for me later as a surprise…he didn’t…But why not? He did it when we were dating…when we were newlyweds…so why stop?

      See, that’s what I’m looking for…I want to KNOW that he’s thinking about me, that he’s willing to go “out of the box” to show me I’m special to him…I know, I know…go ahead and tell me how ungrateful I am…that there are women the world over who would LOVE for their husbands to do ANYTHING for them!
      I’m sorry for whining…just having a bad day, I guess…but it’s almost like giving your H a list of what you want for Christmas and he buys you everything on the list…it’s a nice thing he’s done, but no thought at all involved…does that make sense?? LOL!! I feel so down today, sorry for writing so much….I’ll be quiet now!

    • Anita

      ifeelsodumb,When you stated you have no outside activities.My children were older when I divorced. Shortly after I divorced I discovered something about myself and I hope I can help you.When I was married, I also carried the main load of the responibilites, little by little my own identity, started getting swallowed up. I didn’t reconize it at the time, because I was to busy doing things for everyone else, but I forgot to nurture my own needs.After my divorce, I went from being so busy, too what do I do now. Yes at first it was nice to come for for air. Then the reality hit,” of now what do I do with my time”. It was at this point it hit me. I had lost my own identity, I didn’t even knowwhat I wanted to do, I had held off on my own needs for so long, that I had to sit down for the first time and think about, who I was, and what I wanted to do.It didn’t take me long, but once I started to nuture myself,I started doing the things, I didn’t do when I was married.What is sad about this, is I know my former spouse would have had no objections, about me doing those kind of things.This is also sad, and humbling. I sometimes in my marriage would look to my my exhusband (at that time) to be the one to make me happy. Instead of me doing what I needed to.It was my job to make me happy.Tough and embarrssing to admit this, but I see now, the added pressure I put on him back then.It didn’t excuse what he did.Its been a growing process also for me.Comment awaiting moderation.

      I meant to say (come up for air)

    • Confused

      I’m trying to figure out if my H is having an EA or is it just a friendship for him. I have met her and been friendly. I believe she is unhappy in her marriage and getting what she needs emotionally from my H. I have shared this with him. I believe he’s not physically attracted to her but likes her personality. They text daily for the most part plus FB. I have snuck his phone and read the text msgs. No flirtations. He states they are just friends. I feel she needs him emotionally. She needs to get that fulfilled by her husband. I don’t want to be that wife that can’t handle her H having a friend of the opposite sex but it weighs on my mind…

      • Notoverit

        Does he discuss what they are talking about with you? Are you included in this friendship? I know you have met her but are YOU included on her problems. Do you talk to her? This is a very bad road to go down if you are excluded. I would set the boundaries right now. Either we are all friends and I know when, where and how you talk to her or you don’t talk to her. Tough if he doesn’t like it. Let him read some of this blog about “just friends.” Yeah right. It may not have progressed to the texting all the time, the meetings, the late night phone calls etc. but if you don’t set the boundaries RIGHT NOW you will be joining the rest of us hitting our heads and saying stupid, stupid stupid. And she DOES NOT need your husband emotionally – you do. Tell her in a nice way that she needs to talk to a priest, a pastor or a psychologist but not your husband.

    • Confused

      Notoverit…Thank you.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Ditto everything Notoverit said! And what does the OW’s H say about this? Is he OK with all this texting and talking? Does he even know? Could you go to him and express your concerns?

    • Confused

      Ifeelsodumb…I don’t think he cares from what I can tell. He does know of their friendship.

    • Elliot Zovighian

      Doug & Linda,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It takes courage, and strength to ensure those circumstances, and through the healing process, become closer, and more in tune with one another.

      Keep sharing and inspiring other to do the right thing.


    • Roger

      My story may be the worst. It started many many years ago thinking that it was okay to cheat. My father was a cheater, my brothers were cheaters and most of my friends were cheaters too. My mother kept forgiving my father. Time and time again when she caught him even in the biggest affair or the smallest indescretion it seemed to me that it would blow over in a few days. My family seemed to be a conglomerate of cheaters which led to several divorces. My mother was married 2 times before marrying my father; my oldest brother was always in some turmoil with his wife including various separations and even abuse. My second oldest brother has been married 3 times & divorced 3 times. My younger brother has been divorced and is now on his third long-term relationship. I too was married and divorced after 17 years. It always seemed that my friends that were married had AP’s on the side and would brag about it. I did not cheat on my wife. We split due to other issues but after the divirce was final I went a little crazy and made up for lost time. I stared drinking heavily, got involved questionable antics and consorted with many women of dubious distinction. I was not proud of myself. I finally met the woman of my dreams and fell in love. We moved in together and I thought that I was the happiest man in the world. But after a short amount of time I began an EA with several (maybe up to 7 or 8) women I worked with and even kept in contact with the women of dubious distintion I mentioned earlier having EA’s with them as well. In the mean time I was neglecting the one woman I truly loved. I witheld sex from her because I was having performance issues and was ashamed because of that but yet kept up the EA’s with all of these other women. Of course she found out about them all and we had a Dday while I was out of town on a business trip. It all came crashing down and it took me a long time for her to even allow me to stay. I promised NEVER to contact these OW again. But I did. I was still keeping in contact with 3 or 4 of these OW. And she found out again. Again I begged & pleaded, and again she allowed me to stay. And, guess what, it happened again and again. She has no reason to ever trust me again. I have a huge problem with telling the truth. I love this woman completely but I need to find out why I did what I did. I’ve been to counseling before and have an appointment to see another therapist soon. I need any suggestions, recommendations and resources anyone can offer to help me. I’ve resisted reading the books she recommends and have not posted to this site much before, and let me say that this is a great site and from what I’ve read it seems that there are millions of people that need help. So thank you for your help in advance.

    • Huuuuurting

      Roger- I commend you for making some good steps toward sanity. It takes a real man to even admit that he has a problem. Counseling is a great step!!! I am a firm believer that Satan works in secrecy. And isolation = death. The best way to start coming “Clean” is to stop hiding, start talking, and find a good MAN to help hold you accountable. Nobody is invincible when it comes to temptation. We all need help and accountability, esp when we’re the weakest. I want to encourage you to read your Bible. Ephesians is a great place to start in my opinion. There’s no better example of how to resist temptation and live a truly FREE and peace filled life than Jesus Christ. 🙂 I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying that on here! :-p but hey…. You’re looking for help and that is what has helped our situation. I’m praying for you tonight Roger.

    • Hoping :-)

      I have decided to change my name from “Huuuurting” to “Hoping.” For all who are interested. 🙂

    • Anita

      You grew up around this type of behavior, and now your repeating the same pattern. You need to surround yourself
      with people who do not do this type of behavior. I believe if
      you put your faith in God, he will help you. But you have to do your part also. I would get in contact with a cleryman, he can set you up with the right people, who know how to get you started on the right track. It will be a life changing powerful journey, but it will be worth it, you’ll see. You will have nothing to lose,but you will have everything to gain, I’m excited for you.

    • Anita

      This will take courage on your part to step out and to allow God to break this stronghold on your life. This is a process, but you can be set free from this bondage. It all depends on how much you want this to happen. Following God, takes courage, but it is so worth it.

    • Jackie

      It is very hard to break patterns that have been formed since childhood, but you seem to recognize the pattern that has been showing up again and again in your family and life. This is the first stage to doing something about it…recognizing the problem. The next step is to do something about it. Going to therapy and reading lots of books and info on the subject will only help you to understand why you want to create such chaos in your life and to those you love.

      The next step is to come clean with your wife. It is not only your problem, but hers too. She has a right to know what is going on. Not only to stop the lies, but for physical health reasons also. You need to stop the lies, and sneaking around. It is a very destructive behavior to both you and your wife.

      Find a way to work together on this problem. Get to a place of understanding one another, sharing, caring, and being there for one another.

      Remove all other females from you life right now, except your loving wife, until you can figure out why you need these destructive games you are playing, and can control your impulses.

      Good luck! And be strong for you and what you really believe in.

      • Roger

        Thanks Jackie for the encouragement. I have came clean, finally, and it certainly has taken a load off of my mind, heart & soul. Although we still are on the edge of break-up I’m not carrying the burden of secrecy and deciet anymore. I have discovered that I love her more than myself and it seems that I was always putting my own want & needs before hers. No more. I’m tired of living a lie or a thousand lies and want her more than anuthing. I’m looking foward to my counseling session. I’ll keep everyone posted on how I’m doing.

        • Jackie

          You are welcome. It is a challenge to continue to live life with direction and purpose, rather than just doing what feels good. It is difficult to change one’s self but well worth the character building. This is not an easy path, but one you will be proud you made. We all make mistakes in life, but it is those who recognize and learn from them that gain the most. Have strength to do what you know is the right thing to do and good luck!

          You have the chance to break the chain of relationship dysfunction that has been handed down from generation to generation in your family. Do this for yourself, your spouse and your future family. With great determination, mindfulness, and perseverance, you can do it.

          Have strength to do what you know is the right thing to do. Good luck!

    • Anita

      Love your new name change. I agree with you about the Bible,
      I also read the Bible, it has answers for every life problem that comes along. I know of no other book, that has stood the test of time as the Bible has, the second coming will be the most wonderful day ever.

    • Matt

      I just found out at 6:00 am today that my wife had an EA that started in November 2010 and ended in August 2011 (she broke it off). I feel so many emotions that I don’t even know where to start . . . anger, fury, betrayal, nervousness, confusion, and so many other feelings, but most of all just a deep and abiding sense of sadness and futility.

      I woke up this morning to hear my wife crying next to me in bed. I asked her what was wrong. Are the kids okay, did you lose your job, did a loved one die, did the cat die . . . the fact that it did not even occur to me that my wife as feeling immense guilt goes to show how well she deceived me. I asked her if she had a secret Word of Wisdom problem (we are Mormons), and she shook her head. Then I asked the big one that I didn’t want to ask — “Is it about the Law of Chastity?”, and she just collapsed and let it all out.

      My wife said that she met the DB (use your imagination) while playing a Facebook game, and what started out as “harmless banter” turned into him and her talking every day (via facebook and texting) for about two months. In my numb state of mind, I asked for every detail about it, and my wife, through a torrent of tears, told me about taking nude pictures of herself in the bathroom (OUR bathroom) and sending them to the DB whenever he requested them. I asked her if she sent 10 or 100, she said she didn’t know, so I can assume it was a LOT. He sent some to her, also nude. She told me that their texts were explicit at times, such as “I want you in me”, and what not. They talked on the phone a few times, and since he lives in Oregon and we live in Utah, some meeting dates were brought up by him, but never realized.

      By March, they were sexting maybe once a week, and by May, the contact had broken down to once or twice a month. My wife won a river rafting trip in August, and she was gone with some female coworkers for 8 days. She said that while she was on the trip, she had a lot of time to think, and as soon as she got back she deleted her facebook account, blocked the DB on her cell phone, and said she has not had contact with him for the past four months.

      I should be impressed by that, four months on the wagon, but it does not erase the ten months of filthy, pornographic EA cheating prior to that. It would perhaps be easier to forgive her if it had only been a three or four day EA, or even a month, but ten months . . .

      I want to believe her when she says she is sorry and it will never happen again. I want us to be close again. She says that she didn’t feel close to me for a long time, and that she was unhappy (the usual lines fed to the victim), but when she left for eight days, it made her realize how much she needed me and the kids in her life, and it helped her break off contact with the DB.

      How can I trust her? She says “I am so, so sorry, I wish I could take it all back, and work things out with you from the ground up. I was so stupid and weak, and I wish it had never happened!”, all through a wracking sobs. She begged me to help her with the repentance process. All I could do is sit there in a silent, cold, saddened fury. I told her she needs to talk with our bishop NOW if she is truly serious about making amends.

      I am just so, so lost. I don’t know how to proceed. I want so badly to hold her, and rock her, and cry with her, and have us comfort each other, and forgive her, but I feel too damned devastated and shattered to take that step. My trust in her is completely and totally erased. I feel like I’m being sucked down a whirlpool. Please help us.

      • Notoverit

        First of all, read as much of this site as you can. There are definite stages you and your wife will be going through. Right now it is important not to say or do anything you will later regret. It is hard to think past this so early in the process but things will eventually get better for you. There will be good days and there will be extremely bad days for you. Read and read about emotional affairs. Go get professional counseling. Most of all, be kind to yourself. You are devastated and broken right now. It will take quite a bit to pick up the pieces and start all over again. The recovery process is hard and it will take work and commitment from both of you.

        Your wife is trying and it seems that she is being honest. Understand that for the cheater there is a lot of shame and guilt. I know right now you don’t care. I know I didn’t. But she is hurting too. Just try to understand that. The recovery process needs to focus on you. She has to understand that you need the comfort and the understanding. She had her fun and now it’s time to pay the piper. This is not about her, but more about you. Learn from others on this site, especially from some of the things that Linda has written from her perspective as a BS (betrayed spouse). Trust is lost right now and it’s up to her to win it back. Your wife has to be transparent with everything she does. She has to earn it all back because of her betrayal. Anger and rage come from the hurt. Recognize that. You are entitled to be hurt. Take care of yourself and your children. And know that we are all here for you!!

      • ifeelsodumb

        Oh wow, Matt….so sorry for you!! What can I say? This stinks that you’re in this position, EA’s are horrible and the after affects, well, it’s not easy!
        The best advice I can give….read this blog! It’s helped me more than counseling…and post often so that others can get to know you, and encourage you!
        I would say that the best thing about this for you is that your wife broke off the EA on her own, and in confessing to you, you can see that she IS genuinely sorry!!
        I know, that seems like a small thing, but you will find over the next several months that your wife breaking it off on her own will bring you comfort! To me, the CS showing genuine remorse and confessing what they did BEFORE they are caught, really helps the healing process start a lot sooner!!
        I wish I had that comfort…my H was “caught” because of a FB comment that his family member made that I saw and after 2 days of tears and silence on my part, he finally confessed to the EA!
        I know if he had already broken things off on his own if would have shown me that he really WAS sorry and had done the right thing!
        In my case, the OW’s H found out about 3 weeks before I did, and my H could have taken the opportunity to break things off with her then, but the OW figured out a way to text through her computer, so HER H wouldn’t know…and my H instead of telling her NO, this is wrong, you promised your H you wouldn’t contact me again, he fell right back into texting her…no phone calls, they didn’t figure out how to do that without it apperaing on her CP bill…I think!!! :/

        Anyway, my H is reading a booklet, I HIGHLY recommend you get it ASAP for your wife!!! I mentioned it up above, and YES, my H FINALLY ordered the booklet a few weeks ago…it’s only 96 pages, I have read it twice now and it’s GREAT!! Order it TODAY!! It’s called “Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda MacDonald…You are in the beginning of this long, painful journey….don’t make the mistakes a lot of us have made! This booklet WILL help you both!!
        And read this blog!! Start in Jan 2011 and READ!!! And if your wife is willing, have her read some of this also!! She HAS to know and understand how truly painful EA’s truly are!!!!
        Don’t do like I did…I found this blog in April, 4 months after DDay read a few postings and STOPPED!! It was too painful for me and I thought I could “repair my marriage myself”!! BIG Mistake!!!
        I’m starting counseling next week…I don’t know if my H is going with me or not…but I NEED this for myself, so I’m gonna do it! The ironic thing is…I start counseling on my 1 yr D-day
        anniversary!! I didn’t even realize the date when I made the appt. last month!! Maybe God is trying to tell me something??

        I wish the best for you and your wife Matt….today has been a bad day for me, my H leaves on a business trip tomorrow and I’m not handling it well….so I hope this doesn’t come across as to negative!!!
        It DOES get better, and you DO have some real positives going for you, she broke it off AND confessed all on her own, so try to hold on to those in spite of your pain!!! Sunday will be a year that I KNEW something was up….Wed. will be D-Day for me…is does get better…but it’s a slow process!!

      • Doug

        Since we are having site issues today, this came to our email address.

        Jackie says:


        “I want so badly to hold her, and rock her, and cry with her, and have us comfort each other, and forgive her, but I feel too damned devastated and shattered to take that step. My trust in her is completely and totally erased. I feel like I’m being sucked down a whirlpool. ”

        I am 2.5 years after D-day. Things are better, but my H has never been the same since the EA…he now often quiet, moody, depressed, and struggling with who he is and where he is going.

        Hold her, and rock her, and cry with her, and comfort each other…. What you need is each other. I know it hurts like no hurt you ever felt before, when someone you trust with your life has betrayed you like this. You don’t know who she is, or what she believes in any longer. I think the same thoughts are running through her head about herself.

        Understand that trust is something you have in many areas. Although you don’t trust her in the area of fidelity now, you may feel she is still trustworthy in areas like with money, with the kids, her job, etc… That is, there are still some areas that you may still feel trust in her. These are not to be discounted…they are a place of anchor and stability in which to rebuild your foundation of your marriage.

        I know right now it all feel so meaningless. That your world has collapsed and you haven’t really did anything to deserve this kind of treatment. That life is so unfair. But life is really more about growing, changing, adapting, accepting, caring, and loving. This is your chance to prove who you really are and what you believe in. This is when your true faith comes into focus.

        Find what good you can in her: That she confessed to you, she feel bad about what she has done,

        It is good she confessed to you and wants to fix things, these are all good signs. If you truly love her, try to understand that she is probably going through a lot of pain herself. I always imagined that if I were going to have an affair…I must consider myself out of my mind, lost, desperate, and in need of a lot of help.

        I would say, this is more about your wife’s weakness in character, allowing herself to get caught up in this emotional affair. Affairs are highly addictive. Studies show how falling in love give one a chemical high similar to a cocaine addiction. So what you are dealing with is her addiction to this man and the excitement of the fantasy.

        I found thinking of the affair as an addiction made it much easier to comprehend for me, because I found my H so irrational at times, often defensive, angry and blaming me for causing him to have the affair. These are all common results of addictions, as the addict tries to hang on to the good feeling the addiction gives him to escape looking at themselves and the
        damage they doing to everyone around them. Do all you can to don’t go
        there with the anger and blaming. In the initial stage of discovery, it is okay to get angry, but the constant defensiveness, anger and accusations
        will get you nowhere and create and endless spiral towards divorce. Don’t
        go there!!! Keep things feeling safe to open up to one another. Warning:
        This is very hard to do under the present circumstances! Try hard to
        remain rational rather than emotional, even though this all feels so emotional (because it is!)

        There is also the withdrawal symptoms and depression of the CS(cheating spouse). This will make the CS want to seek the high of the fantasy again.
        It can be quite a vicious cycle.

        As for you, take very good care of yourself. Your wife is in no shape to take care of you emotionally right now. Be there for your kids, because they know something is going on between their parents even though they won’t say anything…they can feel it too. Keep doing the things that make life special to you as a family. It may feel like a farce right now, but over time you won’t regret it.

        Exercise, do things you enjoy, be with people who love and support you, do what it takes to maintain your own mental and physical health. Watch what you say to friends and family…once said, it can’t be taken back! They don’t need to know all the details for them to know you and your wife are going through some tough times right now.

        You and your wife have a long journey of healing to do. Most of all, don’t give up. That is what your wife chose to do, when she started the affair…she tried to fix her feelings by escaping into a fantasy affair, rather that work directly to address the problems in the relationship with you.

        Many of us are here to help you on this journey that has been thrust upon
        us. Good luck! Be gentle with both yourself, and your wife.

    • Melvin

      Hi Matt,

      This must be a double-shock, coming just after Christmas (a time of joy).
      The good news out of this is that your DW confessed on her own and ended it herself. My DW started acting weird and angry, that is when I suspected something was up. I had to find out on my own and I eventually told her I knew what she was doing while the EA was still in full bloom. This made it much harder on both of us as she had to end it, get over him, as well as remove herself from the fog. It certainly took more time that it should have.

      You will go through a lot of emotions at the beginning. Anger and disbelief are common. Read this site, it has a lot of help/advice. And get the book “Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda MacDonald”. It’s a short book and a very quick read. Browse it first, then let your DW read it. Finally, it may help both of you to enter counseling of some form (professional or church).

      One question I have (as it was an issue in our healing) is why didn’t she feel close to you and why was she unhappy that caused her to stray ? I know DW had issues with several of my actions/behaviors that caused her to start an EA. I have made great strides in being aware and controlling this negative side of me. Make sure you are aware of any issues she has/had that you can fix on your side.

      Change can be a good thing if one is willing to “Make that change” (nod to Michael Jackson).

      Best to you in your healing.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Jackie said, “Watch what you say to friends and family…once said, it can’t be taken back! They don’t need to know all the details for them to know you and your wife are going through some tough times right now.
      YES….I would advise you to NOT say anything until you can calm down….don’t do something you will regret later…very few people know about my H’s EA…and now, a year later, I am SO grateful that I kept it quiet!!
      So if you say anything at all, make sure it’s to someone who will keep your confidence and not shame your wife….a few months from now, you’ll be glad you did!!

    • Melvin

      Ditto with ifsd. Choose your confidants wisely. I also chose to keep the whole EA quiet and I am glad I did. This site was a big help in letting me vent when I needed to. In the long run, this will become a “blip” on the radar of life. I am still convincing myself of this.

      Best in your road to recovery.

    • Sue85

      So sorry you are having to deal with this. As I read your post, what stuck out to me was the fact that your wife confessed and showed genuine remorse for her actions. She recognized what she was doing was wrong and ended it. I’m not justifying what she did….but the fact that she ended it on her own is huge (in my opinion). Most EAs end because they are caught and ‘forced’ to end it. Your wife’s was not. She chose to end it and by confessing to you is crying out for help. That may not be a comforting thought to you at this point because you are hurting, but please keep that in mind as you start the healing process.

      Jackie was right when she said an EA is addicting. It sounds like your wife loves you….she just got ‘caught up’ in something and it spiraled out of control for her. I know that may sound ridiculous to someone who has never experienced it, but it’s true. An EA is a powerful emotional stronghold….and once entangled, it’s like you don’t even recognize yourself. I know, I know….sounds ridiculous to someone if you’ve never experienced it.

      But Matt, please believe your wife when she tells you she is sorry….it sounds like it to me from your post. She is crying out for help. Good people make bad decisions.

      Best of luck to the two of you on your road to healing.

    • Holding On


      Sorry you have now joined this group, something you probably would have never imagined. I am also Mormon and am 6 months out from catching a photo message on my husband’s cell from his facebook “friend”. It is devastating. I am sorry you are entering this “roller coaster” of emotions that will continue.

      I agree with the others, I think it is a positive sign that she cut off all contact on her own, blocked his number and quit facebook. Unfortunately, by her confession, she is lessening her guilt while you get to just start on your journey. If you feel like hugging and holding and comforting, let yourself do that, but also tell her your desires to pull away. Be honest about the torn feelings you are having. I think seeing your bishop as soon as possible is a good idea. Also, try to go in together, a united front is good for her as well as you. Look into counseling for both of you or individually.

      One thing that really helped me in the beginning was praying to feel love for my husband. In the beginning months, my love for my husband bloomed and I know it was in direct correlation to my prayers. That added blessing of “love” has unfortunately tapered off, and now I am facing the hard ups and downs without a very big feeling of love (actually some feelings of deep disgust and hate at times), but now I am in a bit better place emotionally and mentally to think through….not always…

      I would also say, in the beginning, as I read this site, I thought “These people are in so much pain and hurt months and months later, this won’t be me, I will be able to forgive and move on!” Maybe because of my faith? Not sure why I thought I would be different, perhaps just the desire to not be in the pain I was feeling for very long. However, this is a PROCESS. You will jump around and around the many stages of grief over and over. But you can and will make it through. This is my hope and I have enjoyed reading the many positive messages of hope and love and advice from people on this site.

      I don’t have much advice besides that, but I enjoyed reading what others have written to you, I have learned again. I needed to be reminded again of many of them. It is ultimately a blip in many years of marriage, good people do bad things, people get caught up in sins, and to try to control the negative spiral and work together in the NOW, because the past can’t be changed, as much as we AND our spouses wish it could be.

      Hang in there, Matt.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Good advice Holding On!! As I have previously stated…I read this site back in April…then left, thinking “No Way”!! I’m not going to be in THAT much pain a year later! I’ll get through this on my own”….Uh, BAD decision!!
      It IS a process and unfortunately, one that we weren’t asked if we wanted to go on, yet here we are!! Just hold on to your love for your wife Matt… it DOES get better…over time!!

    • Livingthroughit

      I have finally found a resource that I wish I had known about a long time ago! Here is my sad little tale…

      My H moved out in Sept. Our marriage hasn’t been awful but it hasn’t been great either. He finally tells me he has been unhappy for a long time, has felt like room mates but he never bothered to share this with me. He says the classic “I love you but don’t know if I am in love with you line”. When he moved out he basically ran away. He had very little interaction with our 3 kids and has left me to manage our household on my own.

      Now that I am finally able to put a name to it I know that he had an EA in 2005 with a co-worker that I discovered when I got suspicious about how often he was logging in from home to check his work email. I confronted him and it took awhile but I eventually trusted him again (hard because he is a elementary teacher and works mostly with women). After he moved out things were going ok and we were starting to make some progress until I saw an unusal post on his FB wall – when asked he said she was an old friend from HS who reached out to him because she was having a bad night because her husband is leaving her. Long story short, since then end of Oct he has been talking to her 10-20 times a day at all hours of the day and night – when I was so worried about him not sleeping it was because he was up all night on the phone with her. And he started talking about divorce, he wouldn’t tell me he loved me, he wouldn’t hug or kiss me – all things he has always done so I knew something was up and checked his cell phone bill – I was floored.

      I finally full on confronted him this weekend and told him that he needed to stop talking to her because he needs to figure out where our relationship is and he can’t do it if she is present in his life. She wants him to rescue her from her own situation when he can’t even work figure out things in his own life. Thankfully they are hundreds of miles apart. He said they are talking less and I believe him (and that was only after I pointed out to him that he could be called as a witness in their divorce and I think the OW’s soon to be ex would be crazy enough to do it) but it is still more than he talks to me, his Wife! We are still married no matter what our living arrangement is.

      I have told him now that I know he was unhappy and I was unhappy, we need to put the past behind us and work on making a good future, for us and our kids. He is hesitant but I after confronting him this weekend, he seems to be a little more open to moving forward which surprised me because that is the first time I have been openly angry towards him.

      My question is now that I have told him to break off contact, can I keep questioning him about it or do I just need to let it rest for awhile?

      I am so glad I found this place. I already have found solace in my mixed up world.

    • Jackie

      “My question is now that I have told him to break off contact, can I keep questioning him about it or do I just need to let it rest for awhile?”

      This is my opinion about questioning him. If he keeps getting defensive, blaming, and in denial of any wrong doing, questioning too much may cause a vicious cycle of anger, arguments and defensiveness for both parties. Try really hard not to go there. It is very destructive to your relationship. I would keep my questions in short sessions, only one or two questions. Be sure your attitude is that of understanding, rather than disagreeing with what he has done. Do not interrupt when he is talking, let him finish. Then you can try to clarify by repeating what you think he said.

      See how he reacts to these short sessions. If he is willing, maybe you can ask more questions. I have found with my husband, I would get so upset because he kept blaming me on why he was unhappy and why he choose to go outside our marriage for his emotional fulfillment, that I would get defensive, and emotional, while he was angry at what he called my interrogating him. It is very tricky, since the CS is often high on his love addiction with the affair partner. It is like a drug. Try hard to remain calm during question and answer sessions. If you can’t remain calm, take up the conversation at a later time when you both have calmed down. You don’t want to say things you will regret later.

      Place love and understanding at the front of your mind when conversing about these difficult subjects.

    • CookieMomster

      Jackie, Thanks for that advice from a couple months ago. That’s where I’m at right now. I have so many questions but my H is in the place where 1) he insists he did nothing wrong, 2) does not admit what happened was an EA 3) blames me for what happened, and 4) still defends the OW. It’s VERY hard not to push for answers and finding the patience to do so is extremely difficult. I have, on several occasions, really messed up the progress we were making by pushing too hard, but on the other hand, it’s hard to see where we are making real or fake progress if we aren’t addressing the real issues.

      • Jackie

        Like your name. It is very cute.

        It has only been two months for you since D-day. This is a very, very, slow process for most CS. It wasn’t until after about 6 months before I saw improvement in H behavior and this was after numerous counseling sessions for each of us, as well as joint counseling. H actually ended all counseling sessions after 2 months and refused to go to any more, H feeling they weren’t really helpful for him. I continued on my own for my sanity.

        It is VERY hard not to push for answers! The most natural, logical thinking says, if H doesn’t want to be in this relationship, then we should end it. But it is not so easy. H at this point has no clue what he wants! By pushing for answers he either must:
        1. Make them up.
        2. Protect himself and attack.
        3. Give up and end the relationship to stop the bad feelings.
        4. Confess H has no idea what he is doing or wants in life.
        5. Run and hide.
        6. Bury his head in the sand and hope it will all go away.
        7. Admit he was wrong and try to solve the problem created.

        I’m sure you can think of many other reactions CS have to a BS pushing. But you can see there are so many responses. Many of the responses are not so good for you.

        Understanding that most H, can’t admit they are wrong, won’t seek help even to ask directions, can’t show weakness, etc…you might then understand why H who are CS usually choose to blame, attack, deny they did anything wrong…it is a stubbornness that doesn’t work well in relationships. Relationships are about giving, caring, supporting, compromising…for the well being of the other and the relationship.

        Work on being the best you, you can be. If H can’t see how wonderful you are, that is really his problem. Just like this EA, he caused it, he has to resolve it. There is little you can do to speed up this process, but unfortunately, there is a lot you can do that will slow it down.

        I suppose that is why working on yourself is the most productive thing you can do. Get your attention away from trying to fix your H. Let him fix himself, and you fix yourself.

        Affairs are so counter intuitive. For some reason the direct obvious approach just doesn’t seem to work where affairs are concern. Perhaps it is because we are dealing with the irrational emotional side of the brain, rather than the rational conscious thinking part of the brain.

        H needs time to allow his rational brain to converse with the emotional irrational part. Give him space to do so, by not pressuring him for answers right now. H is in a very confused place right now, and it will take him some time, meaning months, to slowly sort it out. It has probably taken H years to get to this state in the first place.

        Is it possible your H is going through a Mid Life Crisis?

        • Linda

          Jackie, What a great, informative comment. So many of us receive the advice that we need to work on ourselves. I tried to do that, however at the time I never really understood why. Thank you for clearly stating why our focus should be on ourselves right after Dday and stop trying to control or change the cheater.They really need to figure everything out on their own.

    • Ruth

      Man! I read these stories and it’s amazing how similar they all are to mine. Fb can die as far as I’m concerned. My husband met his person on fb through a group site that supported another cause. I knew he was on there all the time. In fact, before this all started, I knew we were in a little bit of turmoil in our marriage. I started praying for a stronger marriage and working on myself. My husband pulled further and further away. I even asked him if it was someone else. I finally found out after telling my pastor my suspicions. He asked if I had checked the phone bill out online…bingo! She lives in a different state and had never met her, but was about to. that’s when he told me he’s never really loved me, and he’s been unhappy for years. Saw the efforts I was making and was annoyed by them. Funny thing was when she described her husband to him, it sounded just like my husband! I told him that too. Its been 2months since he called it off. He has promised cpunseling but now Wont go. He went on depression meds, but says hes fine (depression runs in the family and he was diagnosed in college, but refused to take them). he tells me he can’t move on until I trust him again. Two months? Seriously? And he still acts like that phone is his baby. We have 4 little beautiful girls that he says is why he’s here. Hd contradicts himself all the time. He has extreme highs and lows. I feel like a battered wife. Make me feel as low as he can, then lift me up and try to apologize. It’s very hard! I’m starting my own counseling in a couple weeks and hope he will eventually join me.

      • Jackie

        Sorry you have joined this club, but there are many people here who have gone or are going through what you are. Yes the stories are all similar and yet different. Your H seems to be in the confusion state of “what is love?” Long term marriage is clearly not all fun and games, especially if you have the demands of little ones.

        That feeling of being,”in love” is clearly intoxicating. Just remember, this is really more about your H than it is about you. Don’t accept many of the negative things he says to you as facts. Most of the time it is H confusion and rationalizations speaking. Be the best person you can be. Try hard to understand rather than attack when he says all those negative things about you or the marriage like,” he told me he’s never really loved me, and he’s been unhappy for years.” It is amazing how CS just say the worst possible things. These are the words of the fog, rationalizing, and justifications for his actions which he somehow knows are wrong, but just can’t admit it to anyone including himself. Understand it is his unhappiness that is speaking.

        Be as neutral and understanding as you possibly can, in spite of the craziness that is now going on in your life. And be sure to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Most of all don’t allow him to emotionally or physically abuse you or your girls.

    • agn937

      I joined this site in the hope of finding somebody to talk to during the times I feel like I am going crazy. I read “How It All Started” in the hopes that I would understand what happened in my own personal life.

      I am a 43 year old woman. I have been married for almost 25 years and I am the one that had the emotional affair. We kissed once, I don’t know, does that qualify as more than emotional affair? Do I have excuses as to why I did it? Of course I do! But I am not here to find blame, I am here to understand why I allowed this to happen? My husband does not know about my affair. It started at work, the other person and I had a common interest, and we loved talking about it. It went on for about three months. He broke off the relationship with no explanation to me, and although I know this is the right thing to do, I am now stuck in an emotional turmoil. I can’t stop thinking about him. I think I am doing fine but then something as little as a song on the radio will bring back a whole lot of feelings and all I want to do is contact him. I am trying really hard to stay away, I have gone as far as requesting a change of assignments at work in order to avoid him, even though I still see him occasionally. I want to do the right thing for my marriage and I am here asking for help and advice.

      • Letus

        It’s good you’ve come here. I applaud you for that. I am writing as a betrayed husband who’s wife had a very intense six-month EA, also with kissing, hugging and hand-holding (which is what it is — physical infidelity — not sexual infidelity).

        We are about 10 months post D-Day and are on the path to recovery. It’s going to take years before we’re 100%, but the other man is gone and my wife has stopped lying to me.

        Here’s my advice if you want your marriage to have the best chance possible:
        -No contact – quit your job, change your company, delete all contact info, throw out all reminders, and don’t associate with others who will bring you in contact with the other man.
        -Honesty – tell your husband everything quickly (dribbling the facts is counterproductive) and emphasize your remorse and commitment to making the marriage work.
        -Therapy – get an individual and a couple’s counselor ASAP. You’ll both need it once you drop the bomb.
        -Children – if you have kids, you need a strategy for the revelation. Unless the situation is dire, kids don’t need to know anything in my opinion, as it only needlessly undermines their sense of security.

        Best of luck. Read “Divorce Busters” or “Getting the Love You Want” — both will be life changing for you.

    • agn937


      thanks for your frank response to me. I know I really needed to hear that even if I am not ready to hear everything.

      On contact: I am trying very hard to cut all contact with this person. It has now been 8 days since the last text message. However, I am struggling with the emotions I feel. I think I am doing fine and then a song will come on the radio that reminds me of him and all I want is to call or text him. Quiting my job is not an option. I am the breadwinner. I have however taken steps to change my assignment so that I don’t come in contact with him. For now I might see him in passing once or twice during the day, soon it will be down to maybe once in 6 months to one year. I know it is not ideal but it is all I can do at this time. Maybe other possiblities will come later.

      Honesty: I don’t think I am ready to tell my husband about the affair. I am afraid that at this point I am an emotional mess, and his reaction to me will only send me back into this man’s arms (or worse somebody else’s arms). I agree I need counseling, and that’s what brought me to this site. I hope to be able to get that soon.

      I realize that most people on this site are on the “other side” of the affair, and struggling with different emotions than I am. I will check out the reading you reccommended and hope that it will help me get over this confusing emotions I am dealing with.

      • Anita

        You have choices, you can make a good choice and stay
        away from this other man, which you are doing now, or
        continue down a path of destruction, which will destroy you
        and hurt others.
        If the radio is a trigger when certains songs come on, then
        turn it off. There are many other things you can listen to
        besides songs. You have control over your thoughts, and
        actions. You can choose to change your thoughts when
        this other man pops into your mind. Where the mind goes
        the man/woman will follow, so right thoughts leads to
        right actions.
        You mentioned that your afraid your husband reactions will
        send you back into this other mans arms or worse someone elses arms, rubbish, you have conrtol over your
        thoughts and actions. Believe me when I say, you have
        conrtol over how you behave. An affair is wrong, therefore
        stay away from this other man.
        Counceling would help you and your spouse, an affair will
        not help, it will only create more problems on top of the problems that you need to deal with. Deal with those
        problems and leave the other man alone.
        This other man can’t fix the issues that are within you,
        however you can, and it starts with right choices and

        • Anita

          You don’t need an affair, instead you need a better self image. A strong confident woman doesn’t need an affair.
          Pray and ask God to help you to become strong in your weaknes towards the temptation of lust. Do not let this weakness overcome you. We can do anything through Christ who strenghtens us.
          You need to focus on your marriage, by doing that your
          not giving way to lustful thoughts.
          If there are problems within your marriage work with your
          husband to resolve them.
          An affair will only create more heartache than you can
          imagine, and in the end you will see the deception that
          lust brings. Its a high price tag and the consquences are
          not worth it. You are already feeling some of the deception
          with this other man breaking off this affair, he’s just not that
          into you, nor should he be, your a married woman of 25yrs.
          Be a strong confident woman and focus on your marriage,
          you will be much happier then what your feeling now with
          this other man ending your affair.

      • Name (required)

        agn937- The fact you’ve come here suggests to me that you know what’s right and that you’re honestly struggling with intense feelings. The good news is that these feelings are normal of new love–a hormonal rush desired to get us to procreate–but not indicative of true love. Those same feelings are intensified further by the illicit nature of the whole thing. Trust me–all of us–even all of us happily married have the potential to have these feelings for another person. What’s created your problem is that you’ve allowed this normal process to happen outside your marriage and now you’re wrestling with an intoxicating addictive cocktail of hormones.

        You need to find loving friends and counselors who will give you straight-talk. The hormones have taken hold and your judgment is impaired, especially around your long-term goals. You need sympathy, but you also need support to regain your clear head and remember the many reasons why family and marriage are important to you.

        BTW, most cell phone companies allow for phone numbers to be blocked in both directions for calls and texts. Have your best girlfriend set it up and not give you the password.

        And you do need to tell your husband. Soon. It’s just not fair to him.

        Truly — good luck. You and your husband have an opportunity to grow from this experience. This is one of life’s great tests; with determination and a recognition of your current state of mind, you’ll succeed.

      • Healing Mark

        agn937. I disagree with those who feel like you should inform your H of your feelings for the other man. It seems like this subject has been addressed on this site and you should find that posting and the related comments insightful in this regard. You should also, of course, be able to find other places where this topic has been debated, and there are, like so many things in life, truly pro’s and con’s with a disclosure such as this. Now, I’m not suggesting that you lie about these feelings if your H asks you about them. Or, at least if you do lie, by ALL MEANS do everything that you can do to get rid of any evidence of your EA/PA, including call and text blocking so that nothing unexpected pops up on your phone. As for personal email, any email addresses you know of for this man should be noted as spam and you should fairly regularly delete all of your spam messages.

        My W found herself in a position apparently fairly similar to yours. The nasty side effects of her EA, including my gut feelings that something more than “just good friends” existed and that my W was lying about how close she and her AP had grown, were making our relationship something less than desirable (we fought all the time and really badly which was so foreign to our marriage prior to that time). I finally suggested, and she quickly and willingly accepted, that we start joint and individual marriage counseling (little did I know that she or the AP or both had decided to ramp the EA down to a more normal married persons friendship). Our counselor recommended that my W not disclose the EA at that time as it would no doubt have made working on our marriage difficult, if not impossible. The counselor also correctly pointed out that the fact that the EA had been ended would make it easier for us to improve our marriage (heck, just ending it made our lives so much better as my W began to return to being the woman I knew and loved before the EA and her transformation to someone I to this day still do not recognize). The counselor recommended that at some point in time my W should confess to her mistakes and the temporary strong feelings she developed for the AP, but neither me nor my W agree that this is something she should have ever done. We feel this way for many different reasons, not the least of which is our experiences of having to deal with the EA becoming known, which almost all sucked terribly. I still rue the day that I found out about the EA on my own, and my W is still perhaps the most apologetic about the fact that she did not “destroy” all evidence of the EA and certain things that went on as a result (part of the evidence was an ongoing string of text messages that discussed the fact that my W had still not had a chance for a final meeting to say goodbye before moving on to little or no further contact, and my W would typically delete such messages but for some reason she did not, and my usually careful W also failed to delete all emails she traded with her AP – but apparently delete most damning ones – and some of what she left in her inbox rather unequivocably pointed to the existence at a time of an EA, something my W has since admitted to and apologized profusely for).

        I don’t envy what you will likely be experiencing now that this has happened to you and given the laudable course of action you indicate you plan to take. My W felt horribly that she really did miss her AP and that breaking off the relationship was hard and did not make her feel good like she thought it might do. In hindsight, what my W and I feel as though may have been the best course of action for us would have been to start counseling, get to the point where we felt as though our marriage was as strong as it was before the EA, if not better (or reach a point where we felt as though we had done everything we reasonably could to save our marriage but concluded that we had not been sucessful and that divorce was the best option for us at such time), and for my W to then admit that my gut feelings had been right, that she had lied to me, that she had hidden things from me, but to not go into too much detail about the strength of her feelings for her AP, or the EA itself, but to sort of instead rely on the fact that we had improved our marriage, and the fact that she would have clearly at the time of such disclosure ended the EA and not re-established it for a reasonably long period of time. That would have been so much better than the hell we have had to go through due to the fact that I found out about the EA on my own rather than have her come clean, and my W and I both agree that had I not ever suspected that anything was “up” with her relationship with the AP, that no disclosure would have been ever need, nor advisable, again subject to my W doing everything reasonably possible to ensure that the prior existence of her EA ever become known.

        Good luck and hope you find this site helpful.

    • agn937

      Thank you everyone for your honest answers to my post. Although most of you are telling me the best thing to do is to tell my husband about the EA, I don’t feel like this would be the best for my situation. I have taken steps to get into counseling (just myself for now), and then I will follow my counselor’s advice. There are problems that my husband and I had before the EA that we need to work on. If I told him now about my EA then the marriage will be over for sure and I still want to save our marriage.

      Healing Mark, I really appreciated your advice to me, especially since you were on the other side of the affair. I have taken steps to remove all evidence of the EA. My communication was mostly through text messages, and like your wife, I deleted the most damaging ones but not all of them. I don’t know why!!!! I wish I could explain it to myself! Today I went through my phone and deleted every single message, as well as all the pictures I had. I also blocked him on facebook and I am working on blocking texts and calls. Altghough my mind knows that these are the right things to do I am not sure why it is so hard to follow through. Getting these replies helps reinforce it in my head that IT IS what I need to do, and it gives me that little push that I needed to actually sit down and do it.

      Yesterday was rough at work as I had to see him in passing, but I am anticipating that that will change as of Wednesday and will no longer have to see him (requested change in assignments). Like I said in a previous reply quitting my job is not an option, and I can only pray that this does not jeopardizes my job. Even as I write this I am amazed at how clouded my mind was during this whole time, how I jeopardized so much for … nothing… The only thing I got out of this whole EA is pain and suffering.

      Yes, I do find this site helpful and I appreciate everybody’s advice. Please continue to keep me in your prayers.

      • stillbroken

        you take your decision as it is the best for YOUR situation right? just like when you decided to have affair.. i do think its selfish and you’ll never be a better person from it.. your husband has the right to know the truth and the right to make decision of your marriage too.. by not telling him the truth you’re trying to fool him twice.. and as a person who believe in karma, i wish you good luck from that..

    • Anita

      Wouldn’t the truth set you free, and give you the freedom to
      breath. Even if there are consquences, isn’t better to face
      this now, instead of later.
      Why carry the guilt of this when you can confess it and ask
      for forgiveness.
      Its your life, but its going to take lots of work to keep this
      hidden and much counseling to help with your guilt to
      keep this secret.

    • agn937

      Anita, thank you, I am not planning on keeping this a secret forever, just until we work other things out. If I wanted to end my marriage I could just tell my H now and be done, because that’s where this would lead.

      Stillbroken, I am sorry, I guess you are on the other end of the affair and it hurts, I know how much, because I have been on the other side too. You know, that karma thing you believe in, I guess you are right, here we are full circle. But you are wrong when you say that I made a decision to have the emotional affair. I DID NOT wake up in the morning and said, you know, today I will have an EA. I actually can’t believe it happened to me! The reason I am getting myself in counseling first, before I say anything to my H. is because here I am 14 months after I found out about my husband’s affair (and his was more than talking and holding hands), but instead of getting myself in counseling right away I carried, and still carry around, a lot of anger and resentment. Maybe that’s what got me in trouble, who knows. I just know that I am still willing to work things out. I don’t know how it will all end, I just know that worse things than this were fixed before.

      • Anita

        Its good that your going to get into counseling. Both of
        you could use some marriage counseling right now.
        Forgiveness is going to have to come from both of you,
        along with new boundaries. You both have a long
        road ahead of you, but I do know of a couple where they
        both cheated on each other at different times, and their
        still together, they forgave each other and agreed
        they both done wrong and agreed to leave it in the past.
        My best to both of you!

      • Healing Mark

        Agn937. Given that your H had an affair first, I can understand why you committing one could lead to the end of your marriage. I can also relate to your statement about not wanting to have an EA. My W also did not seek out the feelings and attention she started getting for and from her AP. Yes, she was guilty of making efforts to get closer to this person, and of sharing personal information that should not have gone outside her relationship with me. And guilty of hiding the extent to which this relationship was consuming her, and of lying to me several times when confronted about it. I must say that when her EA was finally confessed to, it was much better for us that she had ended the EA, re-committed to our marriage and participated in individual and joint marriage counseling sessions, and that our relationship at the time of the confession (involuntarily prompted in my W’s case) was soooo much better than it was at the time she ended the EA (as may be the case with you, our relationship was the least happy and fulfilling as her EA was winding down, in large part due to the negative impact on it by the EA).

        Check out the following for more affair confession discussions: ; ;,8599,1820942,00.html.

        Good luck!

      • Teresa

        If no one else knows about the EA, then I’m on the side of NOT telling….as the BS I can tell you that this is the most awful thing to recover from…as you well know, since your H has already had an affair and you have never recovered from it…14 mos is NOT enough time to recover from ANY affair so I can now see WHY you had the EA, because you haven’t recovered from the pain of HIS betrayal and you were a betrayed spouse first, BEFORE you became Cheating spouse!
        You’re correct to get into counseling….I wish you luck as you recover as a BS AND then a CS!
        Also, I’d like to know…has your H ever shown true remorse from his affair? Did he try, as so many men do, to just sweep it under the rug and not help you heal?
        Your self esteem was at an all time low after his affair, so I can understand how easy it was for you to be taken in by the OM…but give your self some credit for breaking things off on your own, seeing that it was wrong, and taking the steps to help fix your marriage!
        I soooo wish my H had had the strength to stop his EA when the OW’s H found out…but he didn’t, I feel if he had, it would have helped in my healing..a lot! Please post often, let us know how it is going for you!

      • stillbroken

        i’m truly sorry to hear about your husband’s affair.. i’m not againts you or anyone here but i dont agree with the statement that having an affair is not a decision.. yes, of course you didnt wake up one day to say you want to have an affair.. my husband had an affair and i said bullshit if his affair is not his decision.. when 2 person getting close to each other, its bullshit to say that the two of them or one of them didnt know where the relationship is going and the affair ‘just happened’.. both of them realize where this might be going yet both of them didnt stop their action but continue to do the tango.. not deciding to get out from the relationship before the line crossed and after the line crossed is in a way a decision to have an affair.. if you have 3 months affair means you have 3 months to make a decision every single day to get out from the affair, indecision to get out is a decision to have an affair.. even if you’re the passive one, you still make a decision to receive the attention and not get away.. every move we make in this life is a decision so i say its bullshit that months affair is not a decision to have an affair.. if an affair truly is ‘just happened’ then we as human being should forgive them easily.. but we dont.. because we know that they could and should make a decision not to process the affair but they failed to make that decision and that’s a betrayal

    • Gizfield

      Agn937, the best course in your situation is complete honesty with your self and your husband. You say you only got pain and suffering but if you hadn’t gotten something you would let it go. I understand not wanting to tell your husband. You are off “scot free” as well as leaving the the door open to further contact. Your husband csn help you with that, trust me. It’s time to an adult and do “adult” things, not what is easy. Secrets destroy relationships, period. Any secret you feel the need to keep is what you need to tell.

    • Gizfield

      Agn937, I also recommend finding the article on limerence and reading it, cause it describes what you are feeling pretty well. This guy sounds like a player, and you were easy prey.

    • Paula

      Agn937, I am still unsure about telling, or not telling. Before I was cheated on, I would have definitely been in the tell at all costs camp, now I’m not so sure, but I do know that you can’t not tell, and then decide to tell later – that is much worse, because as the betrayed, we then look back on all the time that has passed between the beginning of the affair, and “now” as a lie. If you don’t tell now, you never can, believe me. If you are wanting to keep this secret (and I don’t recommend it, it will eat you alive) you have to keep it forever. There is a man on this site, who has found out about his wife’s affair from more than a decade ago, and he is in crisis, as much as the recent affairs, probably worse. I hope you understand this. I also believe when you are still confused about the OM, you need to tell, to get rid of him as “an option.” It helps to close the book on the affair, and gives you a starting point for recovery, whatever that looks like in your case.

      • DJ

        I agree with Paula. Waiting till you finish counseling would only make him feel like the counseling was all part of the betrayal. I would feel that I had been made a fool of, even by the counselor.

        Many of us believed we would never stand for cheating, and that we would have left immediately if we found out our spouse was cheating. It turned out not to be the case for so many of us. It is definitely the hardest road I’ve ever had to take, but I prefer the truth over being made a fool of, and I stayed.

        • Healing Mark

          DJ. Had I not suspected that something was up with my W and her AP, and had I not asked my W in front of the counselor if she was having an affair, I don’t think that I would have felt like our marriage counseling, began after the EA was ended, and began as a genuine attempt to get past the unknown (for me) EA and to save our marriage, was a part of the betrayal, or that I was made a fool of. I, too, believed that I would never stand for cheating and would immediately leave my W if she cheated, and I believe that I would have done so if there was evidence of a PA, children notwithstanding. And I will leave if another affair occurs. My experience was that when my W and I began marriage counseling, I suspected the existence of an affair, and questioned my W about this with our counselor, and my W lied and said no affair had occurred. She justified this due to the fact that nothing physical happened (ok, they held hands once). She then confessed to our counselor, who advised to disclose the existence of the affair but only after we had decided, if this were the case, to end our marriage (no way was my W going to follow this advice!), or after some passage of time with no contact and other objective evidence that the EA was over and done with for good and after our efforts at improving our marriage had had some success (my W claims that she was going to do this, but did not get the chance as evidence of the affair was discovered before she could confess).

          Yeah. I was initially pissed that I had been lied to, and I was a bit disappointed with our counselor, who was otherwise excellent and deserves a lot of credit at guiding my W and me through some pretty difficult times. But I understood the reasons for lying about the EA at the time, and accepted the fact that it would have been even more difficult to get over the EA if beginning to get over it would have been so close to it having been ended and during a time when my W and I were having real difficulties with our relationship not related to the EA. The EA was hard enough to get over and to forgive my W for it after discovering its existence for about 5 months (about how long I suspected) just over 8 months after it was more or less ended (minimal contact for a few months after “goodbyes” and no contact for over 5 months until a few texts right before I found out about it).

          There are many types of lies that we find in our lives. Some would say that they are all bad, but ask Jim Carey about that! A lie of omission, with good intentions (to facilitate attempts to save a troubled marriage), is one that, in my opinion, should be entertained. Now, just so there is no confusion, if a spouse senses that an affair might be present or have occurred, and questions the other spouse about this, I believe that the best course of action at that point is to acknowledge the other spouse’s intuition and effectively confess to the affair. But better to be doing so at a time where the affair has been ended, and this can be proven, and at a time where the suspecting spouse will know that the CS has recommitted to the marriage and is trying to make things “right”. Even if in doing so the CS has been hiding the fact that an EA occurred in the past. I can think of a lot of things worse than being told of the existence in the past of an EA by a spouse who had acknowledged problems with the relationship, sought counseling and made honest efforts to improve the relationship, who had demonstrated their belief that the EA was wrong and should never happen again by their actions post-EA, and who had demonstrated their belief that many of the lies and deceptions ancillary to the EA were also wrong by chosing to apologize for them as a part of the prior EA disclosure.

    • Paula

      Agn937, just read about your H’s affair, I’m so sorry. I also agree that you don’t wake up one day and “decide” to have and affair, unless you are a complete narcisist and totally screwy. Sounds like your EA with this man was probably intensified by the feelings of betrayal you were carrying and not expressing to the world about your H’s affair. Someone to make you feel good after feeling so bad. Especially as your EA is so soon after your H’s affair. My best to you with your counselling, may you have found the right match for you who can help you make some well-considered decisions.

    • CookieMomster

      I’ve been watching this thread with great interest. Agn937, it is great you’re here looking for help. The help you’re looking for needs to be on your husband’s behalf though also. First of all, if you’ll look around this entire site you’ll find that Paula’s advice is so usually spot on you can take it to the bank. It has been for me. Telling the truth now removes the OM as an option and living with a lie is never good… for yourself or your marriage. Also, the fact that the OM broke things off with you suddenly doesn’t necessarily mean he was a “player”, but maybe it means he came to his senses before you did! Maybe he could no longer make that daily decision to choose you over his wife. If that’s the case, I commend him for that. The very hardest thing for me, at 110 days post D-Day, is the knowledge that my husband made a daily decision to choose to have hourly contact with another woman. I know that this doesn’t “just happen” because when I put myself in that position, I realize that no matter what kind of hurt and anger that would have driven me to do such a thing, I would have woke up the next morning horrified by my own actions and could not have continued with a second, third or fourth day of it. My husband, on the other hand, CHOSE to continue his EA every singe day it went on. You can choose so many better things now…. your husband, an honest life, and a path forward into something better than the hell you’re experiencing now. I’ll pray for you and wish you and your husband both the best of luck on this journey. It will be painful but worth it!

    • agn937

      Hello everyone,

      I was overwhelmed with all the responses I received to my last post and I thank each of you. I realize you don’t know my “full” story and therefore things I say or may want to do might not make sense to some of you. I chose not to say anything at first about my H. affair because I did not want to sound like I was making excuses for what I did.

      Teresa— when I found out about my husband’s affair and confronted him about it he became quiet and did not talk to me for weeks. I was the one that pushed hard for our marriage to work, I practically begged him to start talking to me. I remember during those days telling my best girlfriend that I feel like I was the one that had the affair and I am being punished by him with his silence, when it should have been the other way around. When my husband did start talking to me it was like the affair never happened. It was never mentioned again by him and I was too scared of “the silence” to mention it again. This is where I feel I went wrong. I should have gone into counseling instead of moving on, because in my head his affair never ended. At the time I had my EA, my husband had not been talking to me for months, because I had confronted him again about things that seemed suspicious to me.

      This OM was somebody that I worked with. We never discussed mine and my husband’s problems. To this day he has no idea what was going on. Our so called affair took place in view of other people and it was so subtle that nobody knew what was going on. We talked about hiking, cars, you name it. Our conversations lasted 15-30 minutes at the most, in his office, with the door open. I lost 20 pounds in one month during that time, and he would say things to me like “you look sad today is everything ok”? I never told him my husband’s story (as a matter of fact nobody at work knows about it) but I felt that he understood me, and he would say things like “hang in there, you are tough”, and I somehow got addicted to that 30 minutes of happy talk and that phrase, and I kept going back to his office day after day. I knew (as I am sure he knew) that the feelings were getting deeper but it was like an addiction, the more I said to myself I will stop talking to him, the more I got pulled into it. Then one day his door was closed but I chose (yes I made the choice) to go in anyway, and as he hugged me we kissed. He was the one to break the relationship right after that day. He is single and had nothing to lose; he was just the more level headed one and knew this had to stop now before it’s too late. And as much as it hurt me I am thankful for that.

      Gizfield—I never even heard the word limerence before but I looked it up and found the articles very interesting. Thank you for telling me about it. It made me understand some of the feelings I am struggling with right now.

      I realize this is a lengthy post, but I appreciate everyone’s comments, even if I don’t agree with all of them. At this point I am where I am in my journey, and yes, I will make the choices that I think are best for my situation. The reason I need counseling for myself first is because I feel this goes back to before our marriage, and that I need to fix ME first before I can understand anybody else.

    • KelBelly

      Today has been 3 mo, 22 days, and 11 hours hours since D-Day. I had to do the math to know that but there are some days that I feel every moment of it. Please bare with me as this is going to be long.

      Our marriage has had many strains in the past seven years since his return from Iraq and me coming down with a mystery illness but we were turning a corner when I found out about his online affair.

      It was his birthday and I saw he had left his facebook page open so I was going to leave him a message saying he had been hacked by the birthday fairy when I saw a message from a gal that was not a friend of his on facebook nor did they have any friends in common and she felt comfortable enough to call him hon and say how she missed him. My husband at this point had been becoming very distant so this for some reason set some warning bells off for me. I let it go though because it was his birthday and I was cooking him a home cooked meal.

      Well that night came and I served him his dinner and he could not put his phone down. I joked around with him and told him if I wanted him to eat his dinner cold, I would of served it that way. After a few minutes of being ignored, I got up, took my plate to the kitchen and went to bed. It took him 15 minutes to come ask if we were still going to watch a movie. I said I was tired and going to sleep and he went back to the living room until early in the morn.

      The next day we pretty much spent the day not talking because he was in his phone so I found that gal on facebook and sent her a friend request. Finally that night, I looked at my husband and told him that I hoped that whoever was in his phone was worth it and went to bed. I decided at that point to see if she had written him back because she hadn’t excepted my friend request and that is when I found that he had changed his password. Well since he was so into his phone, I sent him a text and asked who she was. That was my D-Day and ah-ha moment that my marriage was in serious trouble.

      At first, I was relieved that finally I knew what the problem was in my marriage. I figured, it was just a little sex talk and she lived many miles away and he was so remorseful and they had only been talking a couple weeks so what was the big deal. Well, thats before I found out that husbands and the woman they cheat with lie!!

      I made him show me the chat room they were in and with some investigating, I was able to recover their conversations and OMG!! talk about being hit in the gut! What was suppose to be just a couple weeks of talk turned into 7 weeks of telling her he loved her, that we were just room mates, that he was only staying until our son graduated. He was her knight in shining Armour and that he was going to prove to her every day how much he cared for her.

      What makes this all so hard is that we were in counseling, going on dates, and really working on our marriage while this was all going on. He even spent the night of our anniversary talking with her after we got back from going out and having a wonderful time with our friends.

      I can go on about everything but you all know the heartache because you have either lived it or caused it. I am so in love with my husband and have been working so hard on getting past this but there are days that he will say or do something and I am sucked right back to that day when it all hit. He has been amazing in so many ways since this all came to light and he is doing everything in his power to show me how much he want to work it out but some days, I go to a dark place and its hard to leave.

      I have hit a very angry phase and I am working at trying to get past it. I had to get away for a couple days and clear my mind because i was just causing to much hurt to him being home. That is how I found this site and I am so thankful to see that I am not alone in this rolle rcoaster battle. Thank you for letting me share.

      • Doug

        Welcome KelBelly. Thank you for sharing your story. There are lots of supportive and helpful people here so feel free to ask questions, etc., and read as many posts as you can. Best of luck to you.

        • KelBelly

          Thank you Doug. I feel like a drug addict with this site. It feels like I have been in a whirl wind for sometime and being able to find this site has made me feel like there is a chance of everything slowing down and finally coming to a stop. I know that it is a long process but one I am ready to go through for my marriage.

    • Lily

      So its been just over 2 months since I found out about my husbands EA. Things had been difficult for us for a long time, I’m a SAHM, he works in the auto industry and had lost his job several times. With the mounting financial pressure on both of us we drifted apart, were annoyed with eachother most of the time and didnt spend any time together. I tried individual counselling, looked for a job, tried a home business, but whatever I tried it didnt seem to be enough. He was called back to his job and things seemed to be going ok, not good but not horrible, then I got pregnant with our 3rd child which he did not want. We went to marriage counselling together and after our son was born we both agreed that now that he is here, we were on the ‘same page’ and that although things were not good, they were on their way to being better. Then in an attempt to help financially, I was going through our money to make a budget and I found a large sum of money taken out of our account, thinking it had been somehow stolen from us, I asked him if he knew this money had gone out of our account. He heaseitated and admitted, he had lent it to a girl at work. A girl that I knew he was good friends with, a friendship that for no specific reason other than my gut feeling, that had made me slightly uneasy. I couldnt get this out of my head and eventually I asked if I had anything to worry about with her. He got angry and denied there was anything and I felt horrible that I had just accused him of cheating on me and guilty because I knew he would never do that to me, no matter how badd things had been between us. I had all but forgotten about it and a few weeks later at our first couples baseball game (something we had joined in an effort to spend more time together) this girl showed up at the game, and didnt say one word to him. The next day I asked him why this good friend of his, someone he could lend so much of our money to didnt say one word to him at the ball game. It came out that he cared for her, she listened to him, she understood him, I was a good mother but a bad wife, they knew a lot about eachother, she was there for him etc, etc. They texted, called eachother, email eachother and such. Theyd spend lunch and breaks together, they’d meet before or after work when I thought he was out running some errands or visiting his parents, or doing his sidejob of building decks. This had been going on since last summer, so all through our marriage counselling, most of my pregnancy. Then it came out that 2 weeks after our son was born he kissed her…. At this point I didnt belive him for a second that he hadnt slept with her. I kicked him out that night and prepared to raise my 3 kids on my own. Over the weeks we talked a lot, he wont say he loved this girl but he considered leaving us for her.
      I eventually asked him to come home, he wanted to work things out, I felt I owed it to our children to try. He’s been off work since and has just gone back this week. I’m going crazy thinking of him working next to her all day long, that I think I can trust that he isnt interacting with her but that I had thought that before and was completely wrong. What gets me is that we were trying, or at least I was trying to fix our marriage, we were in counselling, I thought I was happy after the birth of our baby, but it all turns out to be a lie. He’s ruined the birth of our son, I’m forever going to remember my pregnancy as a horrible stressful time that he was so horrible to me, and the time after he was born that I felt blissfully happy, was all fake too… I feel like I can never forgive him for that. I’m still angry, hurt and confused. I honestly have no idea if we will survive this.

    • Teresa

      I’m so sorry for what you are going through…I’m 21 months past Dday…and doing pretty well so I’m not on here as much, but I just wanted to respond and tell you that if DOES get better, but only of your H is willing to work with you and help you heal.
      You didn’t mention how things are now, since he came home….is your H remorseful, is he in counseling?
      Please remember…this is NOT about YOU!! This is about your H and his own shortcomings….whether its low self esteem, selfishness ( I personally feel that a cheater has a level of selfishness that is bone deep, and until they see and admit that, no proper healing can happen!) Again, this is ALL about your H, he did the deed, now he needs to own it!!

      Two great books that I would recommend to you to read immediately…
      How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda . Have your spouse read this one ASAP and then do what the book says!
      When you read it you will know that you aren’t crazy, that anger is normal and that this is a VERY damaging event in a marriage!
      The other book is “Just Not Friends” by Shirley P Glass. I haven’t read the book, but have been told that it’s one of the best ones out there for affair recovery!

      I don’t envy you in the fact that your H has to work with the OW…have you and your H sat down and talked and set clear boundaries?? If not, you should do that immediately!! If your H balks at that, then I’d be very concerned!
      And if the OW is married, I’d let it be known that ANY contact that you find out about you WILL tell her H!
      This is all about protecting you and your children!
      Read this blog, post often so others get to know you, there are some great people here, a nice support system!

      This IS hard, and it takes awhile to heal, but you CAN, as long as your H works with you and not against you! No contact is an absolute must! You sound like a pretty strong lady…kicking him out was a smart thing to do, IMO, let’s him know you won’t put up with anymore crap! Wish I had done that right after Dday, I think my H would have stepped up to the plate more if I had!
      Best of luck to you…take care of yourself and your kids, that’s whats really important right now!

    • Teresa

      Sorry, the last name didn’t show up…the authors name is Linda MacDonald

    • HappilyDivorced

      I just signed up on this website. What got me here today is the fact that my now ex-wife signed up here about 4 years ago. She signed up because after we agreed to get a divorce and separated, I got involved with a woman for about 2 months. She accused me of cheating on her. She told me she started researching here for reasons why I “cheated” on her. About 1 year into the divorce process we changed it to a legal separation. During this process she confessed to me that she had an affair with a co-worker. She said he called her his “work wife”. Swears on a stack of Bibles she didn’t have sex with him. Suuuurrrreeeee right you betcha. What man doesn’t have sex with his “wife”? Well it finally hit me the other day that she got on this website because she was the one who had an affair and felt guilty about it and was doing it because of her actions, not mine. Well, after 3 years of trying to reconcile the relationship it became clearly apparent it was never going to work for either of us. So I went back to court, put the divorce back in place, hired an attorney, gave her 110% of everything possible that there was to give, even though I was entitled to half of the assets, and it was final over one year ago. Today I couldn’t be happier. I am living the dream and can’t believe how good my life is now. During our marriage of over 30 years I never had an emotional affair with anyone. I had character defects, problems of my own, cheated on her by having quick one night stand encounters but there was no emotion involved and all that, that were my responsibility for the failure of the marriage. She had her’s too. I am not here to throw her under the bus.After all there are two sides to every pancake. So I am here to read up on this issue. Learn from the past and take steps to not let anything like it happen again. Sometimes ending a relationship is the best course to take. Till death do us part does not necessarily mean the death of your human body, but the death of the love, respect and friendship that was the foundation of the relationship in the first place. For me the best way to heal the relationship was to lovingly end it.
      Any comments you may have are welcomed. Thank you!

    • strengthrequired

      Happilydivorced, please don’t take this the wrong way. One night stands are cheating, it shouldn’t be sugar coated to be any less. If any sort of cheating is thought to be ok, then don’t get married, don’t settle down, it’s not fair for your spouse.
      When you are married, you give yourself faithfully, if being faithful is not something you feel you can do, then marriage should not have occurred.
      If you love someone completely, then there is no need to test the waters elsewhere, and lying about sleeping with others putting your loved ones life at risk, just for a quickie.
      If you didn’t completely love and honour your w now ex, then you should have manned up left her while she was young enough to find someone that would cherish her the way she needed. You could then ave been as happy as you are, living your life continuing the one night stands.
      If you truly want to find happiness with someone special now that you are free too, don’t cheat…..

      • strengthrequired

        I’m not saying that your ex w isn’t still young enough to find that true love now, but maybe she would have found someone that would have been honest to her in everyway, maybe you would have found that one special person that would have had you stay true to yourself and her.
        Maybe years wouldn’t have been wasted on a lifetime, that was filled with deceit and dishonesty.
        Cheating is disrespectful, it hurts the ones you are supposed to care about. The only person that appears to benefit from the cheating is the cheater.

        • strengthrequired

          I hope I wasn’t too harsh on you, and by the way, if your w did also have an affair, the same goes with her, she should have left you first, not start something while she was still married to you.
          Two wrongs don’t make it right.
          I do hope you can find that one true happiness where you will feel complete.

          • HappilyDivorced

            Dear strengthrequired,
            Thank you so much for your comments, I appreciate them very much. Let me explain one of the issues in our marriage. I am a sober alcoholic and will have 7 years sober in Alcoholics Anonymous in a few days. Seven years ago I concentrated my life on sobriety and recovery. My now ex wife focused her life on her insanity as a codependent spouse of the alcoholic. She went to Al-Anon even before i went to AA. Problem for her is that she never surrendered herself to the program. I did. We grew apart and the relationship died a painful death. I tried everything I could to admit my wrongs, ask for forgiveness, made living amends and cried and sobbed my eyes out praying and begging for forgiveness. Forgiveness never came. Punishment continued every day all day to the point I could not take it for one more second. In Al-Anon they have a “Do’s & Don’ts List”. The first thing on the Do List is Do forgive. She never forgave me. One thing on the Dont’s List is Don’t keep bringing up the past. My past hurts and harms and one night stands were brought up every day from the moment I woke up until I passed out at night from emotional exhaustion. I got recovery and she got sicker. The disease took it’s toll on the family. I knew that she would not change. I could only change the things I can, and that’s myself. I did the only thing I could for my happiness and ended the marriage.

    • strengthrequired

      Congratulations on being 7yrs sober, you should be very happy and proud of yourself. It takes a big person ti admit their faults and to repair themselves so the future does not impact the lives of others in a downward spiral again.
      I’m sorry that your marriage, no matter how hard you both tried to fix things ended up making things harder on the both of you.
      Unfortunately when there has been someone hurt so deeply it takes a strong person to forgive and to move forward with their lives together. It all depends on how deep the hurt, on both sides to how long recovery will take.
      As you see here many of us are years past our ddays and the pain although in the past still hurts to touch, when triggers occur. Yet if we are able to connect emotionally and find that true connection of desire and passion and love we had for our spouses prior to our ddays, prior to when all the hurt started, then trust can start to rebuild and a more fulfilling future with the person we love can be had.
      It does need both sides to work on it though, and as you know first hand it hasn’t been an easy ride for you or your ex w to have parted ways.
      Keep working on yourself, don’t give up on becoming the person you know you can be, the person you have worked on for the past 7yrs just because your w couldn’t.
      Keep working at bettering yourself, don’t sink to somebody else’s level, show pride in yourself, show yourself full of dignity and self respect, and your life will continue to get better.
      Thank you for sharing, again I’m sorry your marriage could not withstand and conquer all that it has had thrown at it.

      • HappilyDivorced

        Hey thanks for the wonderful words. I have done extensive study on the topic of forgiveness. This is the key to all of it. Forgiveness is an act of love. When God forgives us, after we ask His forgiveness, it is forgiven forever and always. He will never remind us of our wrong. It is for Him as if it never was.To not forgive is to desire justice and justice is punishment. I was suffering a life sentence of punishment for the wrongs I did in our marriage. We do not grovel and beg over and over again for forgiveness every day from God. Neither are we to grovel and beg for forgiveness every day from a spouse. I had to finally understand that the un-forgiveness and punishment could continue until I died.
        That is not a healthy love relationship. It is a sick insane dysfunctional destructive relationship that is not what God wants for us. The Serenity Prayer taught me that I could not change her. I can only change myself. I also ask God grant me wisdom to know the difference between her and me. I also learned that I had choices. I can choose to stay or I could choose to end it. I went to a Psychiatrist for several months before my final decision to end the relationship. H asked me to write two lists. One of all the bad things in our relationship. The other was all of the good things in it. We went over the lists. The bad things on the list were numerous. The good was only a couple things. He said I had a decision to make. Either frame the bad list and put it on my wall, or burn it. Needless to say I understood what he was telling me. Be proud of it or put a stop to it. I did what I had to do for me. I forgave her, asked God to forgive her, I forgave myself and asked God to forgive me. I made the right decision and have never been happier. When we forgive, we live the rest of our lives as if it never happened.

    • Horrible Confused

      Six weeks ago I received a Facebook message from a guy I knew around 25 years ago. I had been friends with him on Facebook for years with little to no interaction other than the annual happy birthday or liking a post or something. Never really gave him much thought before the messages. So I ignored the first couple of messages and then finally responded thank you to a compliment. Next thing I know we are talking about old times and he is telling me how he feels about me. I was intrigued but still remained adamant that I am married. Somewhere in all of this now I talk to him daily and we discuss primarily our sexual desires with each other. I have no idea how I got here. I love my husband and I am sick with guilt but I can’t wait until I can talk to him again. I do not see him, we talk only on Facebook. A couple of days ago he sent me his cell number and email address but I have no intention of using it. I know he wants things to be physical but knows I am married and would not risk losing my husband. I don’t know what is wrong with me! I cannot tell anyone what is going on with me for fear my husband will find out. Not sure i have the strength to end this. From what I read this is considered an emotional affair. I have tried to mentally dispute this but the truth is the truth.

      • HappilyDivorced

        Do what I did. Pack a suitcase and hit the door. Worked for me. Be true to yourself. If the marriage isn’t working it isn’t working. “Working through” it, is torture. It helps no one and completely pounds home the guilt and shame for one, and continuing punishment for the other. 25 years was a good run. If you aren’t happy you aren’t happy. Be honest with yourself first.. You are responsible for your happiness. Happiness is an inside job. You must be happy in your own skin. No one can “make” you happy. You might think someone makes you happy but that is dependency. Be independently happy, and another like minded person will appear. If having this man as your lover is something you want in your heart, then go for it. You have to go through pain to find true happiness. Obviously the spark of excitement has burned out after 25 plus years. Now it’s time to step up to your plate and get what you really need. Spark, excitement and get what you really deserve. Change is good. If you don’t want to be a door mat for your current husband, then get up off the floor. Meet the new man, become lovers, and all your girlfriends will go WOW! They will be so jealous.

      • Kevin

        The same thing happened to my wife and unfortunately, within four months of texting, emailing and calling her old boyfriend she chose to end our 22 year marriage to pursue her new found love. If you say you love your husband end it now. If you’re having problems in your marriage and unhappy as Happily Divorced suggests, at least give your husband the benefit of trying to work it out in counseling. By all means, come clean at some point and don’t let him discover your affair. That’s the worst feeling in the world to find out the women you thought you knew and loved has been sneaking around behind your back having an emotional affair.

      • Xterra

        Hi HC,

        My wife of 13 years contacted her first love through FB last summer. Over the course of the next 5 months, things progressed exactly how you mentioned, then escalated. “Luckily” I found out before they had a chance to meet, as I believed the EA would have turned physical. I believe you are in the EA “fog” where you are addicted to this person (as my wife says she was) and need to realize this and start to wean yourself from the OM; if you want to work on your marriage. As many people on here have stated, marriage IS hard work; and with hard work and love and caring for the other person, your marriage can be at a better place. But YOU need to decide what is important to you – your husband and marriage or the other man – you can’t have both.
        When I found out and my wife snapped out of the fog and realized that she would be losing our home, kids, and marriage, she realized that the “grass wasn’t greener” and recommitted to making our marriage work. We have put in the hard work required, and we are in a better place now than before the EA.
        As much as you are tempted to contact his cell number, don’t do it. My wife texted the OM over 4,500 times in a month and the bill was so high, she lied to me about the phone bill. She used the excuse that our daughter had gone over on our usage and that I would be angry, so she threw the phone bill away! Their sexual conversations eventually lead to Skype sex, something my wife is horribly ashamed of now, as we do not know if their mutual masturbation has been posted on the world wide web or not.
        If you start texting the OM, you will “need” to have the phone with you at all times. I became suspicious of my wife of never leaving her phone, but trusted her. My wife even texted the OM when she was sitting next to me! I was suspicious, but trusted her. After she snapped out of the fog, she couldn’t believe how disrespectful she was to me in doing these things. Like you’ve mentioned, the guilt ate away at her and she lost a great deal of weight, but she had to constantly be aware to keep their secret hidden – a lot of work and stress that she is happy it’s over.
        If you can’t tell your husband what is going on, then you are in and EA. Trust me, this hurts just as much or more than a physical affair. If you want to make things work with your husband, end it with the OM now and save all the hurt, anger, depression, shock (all the emotions that will come out once your EA is discovered).
        You are being extremely selfish (my wife admitted to this) and thinking only about yourself. You need to think about your husband and the damage that will be caused once it is found out – believe me, it will be found out. It might not be now, but the time will come.
        Sorry for the long-winded response, but I hope you get my gist.

    • Horrible Confused

      I have been doing a lot of self analyzing and what I am unhappy about in my marriage can be worked through. My husband lost his Father at the beginning of this year and has pulled away emotionally and physically from me. I have known my husband since I was 14 years old and have been able to always talk to him before. I believe he needs to work through his grief and I need to not take his pulling away as rejection. Perhaps counseling would help. I am still struggling with letting go of the other man. I guess since you aren’t physically doing anything you lie to yourself that you aren’t really doing anything wrong. Thanks for the feedback. It made me take a hard look at why I was receptive to the other man.

      • Xterra

        Sorry HC,

        I should have read farther down the post. You are exactly right when you say ” I believe he needs to work through his grief and I need to not take his pulling away as rejection”. This might be the time for you to reach out to him and help him through his grief. He NEEDS to know he can count on you to be there for him, but you have to let him know that you need him as well.
        Hope things work out! Good luck!

      • Horrible Confused

        I must share something that has come to light in my ordeal. You know how they say the grass isn’t always greener? Well in my instance this couldn’t be more true. I found out (sources cannot be revealed) that the other man suffers from PTSD and ED. Now I am NOT happy that this man suffers from these things at all. He served his country and is a hero in my book but it goes to show that you could end up trading one set of problems for another if you are not careful!

    • Cookiemomster

      I’m sitting here waiting for the phone call from my brother-in-law with the umpteenth update of the day about my dear sister. My parents made it on time but it looks as though my niece’s flight will not arrive in time. My sister is dying while I type. I spent the afternoon choosing her gravesite. Seven weeks ago she was fine! The cancer they discovered just six weeks ago has progressed with a shocking aggressiveness. She has unhappily put off her own happiness, putting up with a bicoastal marriage so they could financially enjoy their retirement in better shape. WAKE THE F**K UP PEOPLE!! If you’re cheating on your spouse, stop it! You can DIE from a broken heart. If you’re being cheated on, insist it stop and FIGHT for what’s yours. We are not guaranteed one more minute on this planet and if your marriage holds even an ounce of importance to you then put every bit of effort you have into recapturing what it was that brought you together in the first place then cherish it with every particle of your being. It’s been 18 months since I found out about my husband’s EA and although it’s still the first thought on my mind when I wake up and the last thought before I sleep, I must say I do not know what I would have done without him today and I told him so!

      • Forcryinoutloud

        CM, I am SO sorry you are in the midst of losing a dear loved one. You are so right about “waking the fuck up.” This life, our lives are more important than immediate gratification. As my Grandfather use to say, “short time here, long time gone.” You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Sympathies to you and your family.

    • Gizfield

      I, too, am so sorry to hear this, Cookie Momster. Prayers to your family.

    • HappilyDivorced

      For me it wasn’t a matter of greener grass. The pasture was dead pond aver grown with weeds. Our marriage had failed completely. Hopeless irreconcilable differences. Stick a fork in it done. She joined this website in an effort to understand why I was having an affair. The only problem was that i was not having an affair. She was. She was deeply involved with a guy at work. He called her his work wife. This was not surprising to me. In fact it was a huge relief. It made it clearly apparent to me it was time to end it for both of our sakes. Divorce was done over a year ago. I have no regrets and I am at peace with my own heart.

    • Carol

      My husband decided to get in touch with his girlfriend of 40 years ago, in another country where he served in the military. His opening note to her: I fell in love with a beautiful young woman and have thought about her a lot over the years. I was wondering if you are that woman?. He told me he just wanted to get in touch with her so we could see her when we visited her country. This started almost a year before we took our trip. I found out because I happened to see some emails between them that had an intimate feel. Learned later that he had snuck out to be with her on our trip,and never told me. He claims that he tried to get us together, but his meets with her were planned and he never told me about them. Over the last few months, I think I now know all. I mostly believe that they did not have sex, but the emails between them were of the “I love you, I’m crazy about you, and I’d like to make love with you again, too”. He told everyone that he just thought it was cool to have a friend in another country, but this is so not “friends”. He even tried to convince me – as did she – that we could all be friends. Bs! I’m still in the shock and hurt phase. In all other aspects of our life, he’s a loving and devoted husband. So I’m trying very hard to believe that this was a lapse in judgement. He’s finally apologized, cut off all contact with her, and has asked what he can do to make it up to me. I don’t know the answer to that. I asked him if the situation was reversed, what would I have to do to make it up to him? I don’t want a divorce, but it’s hard to see that I can ever love him as unconditionally as I did before, and I’m afraid that my feelings will destroy us as surely as if he had decided he wanted this other woman. A little part of me is afraid that he is just staying with me because he doesn’t want to be alone and she isn’t really available, plus he would know that our friends and family would think he is a creep for hurting me this way. I’m still trying to work my way out of those emotions, and sure hope the light of day is there soon.

      • HappilyDivorced

        Carol, When the relationship has died as yours has, that is the time to bury it and move on with your life. It is time to start on the Suitcase Solution. Pack your bags, and go. Don’t look back. Let him go. it is obvious he is totally consumed with his former hooker. The only thing you can change is yourself. You will NEVER change him. I was married for 31 years. My now ex-wife had a work husband. He called her his work wife. That’s ok with me. You want each other well fine, you got each other. Now go and be happy. He wants to stay with you because you are his comfort zone. He can control you just like the TV. Now you are living with a lying manipulating a-hole. He is manipulating his hooker and manipulating you to get what he wants. He is selfish and self centered and cares for no one except himself. Sounds like he could be an alcoholic too from his actions. If he drinks, he is most likely an alkie. If you like it, then quit complaining. If you don’t like it then do something about it. I had to wake up and smell the coffee and realize that staying together for all the wrong reasons was a sickness and a disease called co-dependency,. It is treatable. I had a psychiatrist working with me before my final decision to divorce was made. He told me to write down a list of 10 bad things she said and did to me. I said what, only 10?! So I did that and brought the list to our next session. I went over the list in detail. He said I can do one of two things. Go buy a picture frame for it and hang it on the wall and enjoy it. Or burn it. I got it. As soon as I got home I burned it. Then I hired an attorney. My divorce was finished almost 2 years ago and I can tell you I do not regret it at all. Since then I have met the most beautiful wonderful woman who takes care of me like i could never have even dreamed of. I take care of her too. I am living the dream beyond my wildest expectations. But it all started the day i walked out the door with my suitcases in hand and never looked back. If I can do it so can you. Now just do it ok. In two years you will be happier than you ever thought possible.

      • Strengthrequired

        Carol, if your h has cut off all contact then he is trying to do what is right. This road we choose to travel is not an easy one and not for the faint of heart, it is hard. If you want your marriage then you need to know that there will be setbacks, there will be days where things seem so wonderful, it is just a day by day process.
        They say do not make any decisions in the first year, because emotions are run at a high. Once the dust settles, you will know what to do, you will know what you can handle, and you will see changes either good or bad which will make your decision easier.
        If you love your h and he is doing everything to prove to you that he does not want to lose you, then you owe it to yourself to see if it can work, with out any regrets.
        Saving a marriage can work, it just needs two to male it work and just takes one to break it.
        I’m sorry you have been through this, and I don’t believe you are complaining, you are in pain, your hurt and confused, that’s why I say watch all the right things your h does, give yourself time, healing doesn’t happen overnight.

    • Gizfield

      Kind of harsh, Divorced. I dont think any of us on here are qualified to diagnose another person’s marriage as “dead” based on what you read here. It’s great you are so happy but not everyone will be.

    • Gizfield

      Great post, SR. as usual.

    • Gizfield

      Carol, I doubt your husband spent the last 40 years pining over this woman, which is probably what you think. He knew he would be where shewas, and based on his prior knowledge of her, he also thought she would be receptive to advances from a married man. Like my husband called his GF, “the path of least resistance.” He’s not going to tell you they had sex cause he knows you can’t prove it.

    • HappilyDivorced

      OK good replies here so far. OK maybe it’s not dead yet, but close to it in my book of standards. The wound is deep and the bleeding will continue. Sure you can forgive him, try to trust him, wait it out for god knows how long until the billion dollar debt has been repaid and you are satisfied, or not. Sure he has some ‘splainin’ to do but guess what. If his lips are moving he’s lying. So go ahead and believe a documented liar and let me know how that works out ok. Just sayin’, in my marriage, I had to do what i had to do for me.If you want to learnb to cope with it, then pay attention to others. If you want to take control of your life and leave a lying cheater then do what’s got to be done. Thats all I got for now!

    • Strengthrequired

      Happily divorced, I’m happy to hear that you were able to move in with your life and find someone that makes you feel good and loved.
      May I ask! Was your marriage all that bad after being with her for 31 yrs? I am glad you found someone.
      I do find it harder for women to leave their spouses, especially when young children are involved, and with no income to help support herself and her children. Some may even worry on what impact it may have if they divorced their husbands.
      I can tell you, we truly love our husbands, not all of these men are still lying, some of these husbands are truly trying hard to work on their marriages. (Look at Doug, he is a huge role model for cheating spouses)
      A lot of these men have gone through depression and midlife crisis, they made terrible mistakes that hurt not only us but their children, but it doesn’t mean they should be tossed to the side, because they are no longer good.
      I’m sure none of us like being here, in this position as a bs, but if you see something in your marriage worth fighting for, you fight for it, if you don’t, then you make that decision to leave.
      A lot of us here have seen our marriage as worth fighting for, our husbands worth keeping.
      It is a hard road, to return to being able to trust, and as hard as it may be to believe our husbands do have that true love for us and do regret their choices. I would like to believe that if I had made the same mistake my h had, that he would fight for me, just like I have him.
      I can understand how happy you feel being able to move on, how much your ex wife hurt you, it is a terrible thing to devote your life to someone, only to have it feel as though it meant nothing to them. That I’m sorry. Please though don’t make us feel bad because stayed with our spouses, good or bad, we made our choice to try, and whatever comes of it, whether we stay or leave, I’m sure it will end up being what is right for us, as leaving your ex w was for you.
      That is all any of us want is to find our happiness, we all deserve that happiness and peace in our lives, just as you have. Some of us hope that it is a happy ending with our cs.

      I do appreciate your words, and yes, you do give us plenty to think about, it also isn’t something that we haven’t thought of before, lol. For me, I just can’t imagine though my life without my husband.

    • HappilyDivorced

      Thank you to strength required for the kind words to me. I totally understand how it is with a cheating spouse. I was a cheating spouse too. I am totally guilty your honor. I accept my punishment. For me it was a life sentence of un-forgiveness and justice and justice means punishment. My ex wife had an affair too as I said before. I did not know it until I saw this website on her computer while she was not around one day and took a look and discovered she had a lover at work! Surprise surprise surprise! WOW! How about that! Problem is she never fully admitted it all to me as I did with my flings. Yes I had a few girlfriends over the course of several years of separation and not living together. I was in LA she was in Ventura County. It was a long story but I admitted my sins in full detail and we talked about it in depth and at tremendous length until I just couldn’t talk about it any more. Then the discovery of her lover at work. I always wondered why she worked so late and got home so tired and unaffectionate towards me. Thats because she was getting worked over by her lover after work and apparently at lunch time too. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I had a sense of great relief that took a great burden off my heart. OK what goes around comes around. I got it. I know what it feels like. It hurts. She never asked for my forgiveness. Ever. I did. I begged, cried my eyes out. Asked her what can I do to make it right. What can I do to gain your forgiveness. I learned a great deal by studying the subject of forgiveness in depth. Forgiveness is an act of love. If you love the person you forgive them absolutely completely and with no strings. Just like God forgives us when we ask Him for forgiveness. Then here is the catch. Two things must happen. One is that the act in question must never be repeated ever again. Second thing is that the act never be brought up in any way shape or form ever again. Both parties live the rest of their lives as if it never happened. That’s forgiveness and living amends. Amending the behavior and let the action of not repeating it is what restores trust. That’s the hard part. My ex would bring it up EVERY DAY, by waking me up in the morning asking me questions about “her” while I was still asleep. Then the interrogation would continue all day, every day, relentlessly. This went on for over two years. There were times I would tell her that I wish God would let me die right now and take me to Heaven so this questioning would stop. She wouldn’t stop. Never. In the end I believe it was her constant obsession with the whole thing that was her way of provoking me into divorcing. It made perfect sense. By her provoking me to get the divorce, then she can get all the sympathy she loves from her friends regarding what I did to her and what a jerk and an a-hole I was. Never mind her part in any of it. It was a perfect move for her. The magnificent suffering victim! There are two sides to every pancake and both sides make the whole. Our pancake was burnt to a crisp. It was completely destroyed. The destruction was complete and irreparable. Sure there are many relationships that are savable. This website provides a great service in furthering that outcome. But at some point reality needs to set in when it becomes clearly obvious as in my case that it will never be repaired. When it set in for me, it was as clear as a spring day what I had to do for me. I lovingly and humanely ended it. My attorney cost me thousands, and I gave her 100% of everything which I was entitled to 50% of under the law. Not only did I give up everything, at the last court hearing she would sign the settlement agreement right then and there if I paid her another $2000.00 on top of the many tens of thousands she got. I gladly paid it because it was worth it. I am worth it. Yes 31 years was a long time. I can honestly say we spent the last 15 years of it in marriage and family counseling. It didn’t work. Time to let go. Thats all I have right now. Thanks for letting me share. If you can work thing out then work it out ok. I am kind of scarred from my deal and have a tough opinion on these things but that’s ok. Maybe my opinions and experience can help someone. Blessings to all!

    • Strengthrequired

      Thank you too happilydivorced, again I’m am so sorry that your marriage ended the way it did, I’m sorry that your your w was unable to be faithful to you, after also feeling the hurt of what being a bs feels like. It is a terrible pain, and I am so sorry you had the experience of feeling both sides of the coin.
      I don’t know what to say, but I can’t imagine your wife coming out of the marriage as a victim, mistakes were made by both parties not just one sided. Your ex w chose to have an affair, she chose to not give you the details that would help you both save your marriage.
      I am sad for you, that it ended the way it did. Yet I am also happy that you have found your way out, and into a relationship I hope will bring you true happiness.
      I honestly can’t imagine hurting my h the way he hurt me, it is a pain I wish on nobody, as it can literally destroy you from the inside. So to want my h to feel that, there is no way.
      I may have moments where I wonder if we can make it, I never had to question that before his ea, yet it is definitely a reality for me now, yet I think my h, my family is worth trying to make it work.
      There is one thing that I would hope for and that is to remain, no matter what the outcome, in a caring, respectful relationship with my h, I don’t ever want him to be out of my life, whether we remained married or not.
      Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sorry for how your marriage ended, but I am glad that even by accident, that you found this site. I am sure that there will be many people that come in here and will. Be able to relate to what you have been through, and you sharing your story, just may be what they need to hear.

    • Rachel

      I feel both parties need to want to work at the marriage. Divorce is so difficult and the pain is constant. I wanted nothing more than to keep my marriage. The work and healing would have been tremdous. How do you work on a marriage when your husband has been in contact with his ex for 25 years? I was willing he was not .
      Now being divorced for four months the pain is still there. Anger yes. It’s hard. Divorce is easy now. Quick fix.
      I have found a very kind man who has been thru the exact same thing. We are both healing from our past. We both took our vows seriously, too bad our ex’s didn’t .
      But we will move forward. It’s tough, we each have difficult days at different times. It’s nice to discuss and try to help each other.
      Divorce isn’t all roses and hearts even when you find someone else. It’s a process.

      • HappilyDivorced

        Rachel good for you! Some people say I am kind of harsh, but sometimes people need a smack in the face to wake up, know what I mean. All situations are different. I met a woman that was married 3 times. First h was 20+ years ago, lasted 6 years. She and him married way to young. Second h was a con man big time. She didn’t know about his scams until a couple years in the marriage, then she got a call from the Royal Canadian Mtd police looking for him. Buhbye. last h died a few years ago. We have been friends for almost 2 years. I met her at the tail end of my divorce which too 3-1/2 yrs to finalize. We have been a couple for over a year. It is amazing for both of us. No plans for marriage as it is a legal status that would benefit no one and only create legal problems neither of us wishes to carry. So we are happy and life is great. Sometimes in a damaged marriage, divorce is a real option, when it becomes clear it can not be repaired, as was yours and mine. Best wishes and way to go!

    • HappilyDivorced

      Thank you Stregth req,

      Here is a morning meditation copy and paste of an email I got this morning regarding forgiveness:

      “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.
      — Thomas Fuller

      Often we’re afraid to forgive others who’ve hurt us because we believe that, in doing so, we are permitting what they’ve done. This is not true. When we forgive, we are saying, “I pardon you, I give up any claim for revenge, you are no longer an enemy.”

      Relationships are not all black and white. We can forgive people and still not want to spend time with them. Forgiveness is for ourselves. It is a housecleaning of the heart. It feels good to sweep out the resentments and bitterness, lift up the windows, and let in the forgiveness.

      Today let me offer forgiveness, either silently or out loud, to someone who has hurt me.”

      As I said before, I totally forgave her, unconditionally even though she never asked for forgiveness. I begged and pleaded on my knees for forgiveness from her which never came. It was clearly obvious at that moment in time when I realized this fact and the decision to stay or go was on my desk. I had to go rather than live out the rest of my life in punishment being shamed and guilt tripped and embarrassed every waking moment. That is what I call violence and torture. I will not be abused and tortured by anyone ever. That’s a line that will not be crossed. As far as her victim hood mentality, that is an aspect of her mental disease. Our oldest daughter was seeing a psychiatrist regarding things the X said to my daughter. The good Dr told her that her mom was “clinically disturbed” and that her actions and behavior was her mental problems manifesting themselves, and that she should not take them personally or seriously. He victimhood image was her drug of choice and it was stronger than heroin and more destructive. So with her issues, not my pig and not my farm.I focus on myself and ask God to bless them and change me. Gotta go for now! Thanks for your great words!

    • Brian

      After reading all the comments from truly hurting people and seeing how destructive adultry can be it prompted me to do what ive never done that is open up to anyone about how deeply my wifes multiple affairs have completely broken my heart.
      I married my wife when she was 18 and I was 25 and soon discovered she was pregnant and had our son within the first year of marriage. Soon after our wedding I started noticing she was not happy and let me know it regularly but I prayed for her thinking its just that she young and married with a kid on the way and it scared her so I tried my best to give her the freedom to be with her friends as much as possible even taking her to her x boyfriends house where she was very good friends with his sister. Well that turned out to be a big mistake because you can guess what happened there,she stated sleeping with the old boyfreind all though i didnt find out until years later when I when she had a huge change of heart and told me about all the guys she slept with and even had an engagement ring from one of them and the last one was my freind who I let stay with us with his family because they had very hard financial trouble. Needless to say this tore me to pieces and I was disgusted with her but through it all I loved her completely and knew she was still in there somewhere so after counseling and praying and noticing a huge change in her I took her to the beach for a weekend and asked her to marry me again. She said yes and we were great for years but through all that I also started getting sicker and sicker I had 27 operations and im in constant pain and had to take very strong meds which robbed me of practically all my testosterone so i became depressed and weak and could barely function. after a few years of this she pretty much gave up on me and I just found out she has been seeing someone for the past year and its destroyed me!now we are just people in the same house and Im lost as to what to do now!

    • Hope

      I don’t really know where to start other than I need advice from anyone who has been in my situation. My husband was once the kindest man with morals and I could never fault him in anything. We had an amazing marriage with great communication and we both would still get heart flutters after 14 years together. He was also an amazing stepdad to our kids. We were so in love! But then that all changed when he started working with the OW. We moved to a new country and started our new jobs beginning of September 2014 and with that came a lot of stress because there was so much for us both to learn and the hours we worked were horrendous. The OW and her husband were the first people we socialised with. My husband however, did not like this woman to begin with. She was his line manager and difficult to communicate with, cold, abrupt and rude, which I also found her to be. He came home a few weeks later though saying he felt she was just difficult to get to know. Then we had the first invite to their place for dinner. Just weeks later he came home to say that he hoped I didn’t mind but he had opened up and told her how difficult I was finding it at my workplace. I didn’t think anything of it because I trusted my husband but I know now that this was her way in. Fast forward to November 2015 to the day my husband told me they had been having an affair at their workplace. He said that it had finished months before, had only lasted 3 weeks and that they both knew it was wrong and decided together it needed to end. He agreed to work on our marriage when I asked but said he couldn’t promise anything but would give his best effort. He wouldn’t leave his school until the end of the school year, which sickened me but he did hand in his resignation and got a job at another school ready to start September 2016. We appeared to be doing really well. He told me that none of it was my fault and that it was as simple as this; as he fell in love with her, he fell out of love with me. After a few months we started to get closer again, were intimate and communicating well. We were excitedly planning a holiday home because we hadn’t seen our family for 2 years and had our first grandchild to meet. Then in July, a week before we left for home, he told me he could no longer do this anymore, he was in love with her and wanted to be with her. They were meant to be, etc and had continuously been having their affair while he led me to believe we were doing so well at mending our marriage. Once in our home country he told family members including our children, what he had done, how disgusting he had been to me behind my back for months, I had done absolutely nothing wrong, he still loves me and cares for me dearly but is no longer in love with me. All of this was done with me there. Our children told him that while he is in contact with her they want nothing to do with him. He was a dependent on my visa and so was deported back to our home country within a few weeks of returning. With me pleading to just go home and get her out of our lives and make a REAL effort at mending our marriage, he still stuck to what he had decided. The OW wanted to meet with me and after several texts from her I agreed. She told me coldly that it is not love…how could it be when they have never been on a date and only know each other from work she told me. I asked her then what does she think she is doing because my husband how thinks she is his true soul mate. She told me she feeds his ego because she likes what she gets back. He makes her feel wanted and she likes the attention. Her and her husband have a severely autistic daughter and she told me that she will never leave the country to pursue him so I have nothing to worry about. I asked her why she wanted to meet with me and she said it was to get a different perspective. I asked her to get out of our marriage but she obviously hasn’t and has managed to talk my husband into pretty much having no contact with me while he does all he can to get back over here on another type of visa. He recently told me he feels she is worth the risk of losing his kids and grandkids for….really? I have told him that no one is ever worth that risk! Her lovely and heartbroken husband also wanted to talk to me and told me that their marriage has been on the rocks for years. He also told me that he holds no grudge against my husband because he knows how his wife works as they were the result of an affair themselves and it’s his comeuppance. He said that his wife would have sussed my husband out; great husband and stepdad and passionate about kids with special needs (this is my husbands job) and then started manipulating him. No one at her school has ever liked her, she has very few friends and people are shocked at what my husband could even be attracted to. Although she is in her early 40’s as we are, she looks closer to 60, is extremely underweight, which my husband has never found attractive and in fact she is the complete opposite to what he has ever been attracted to. No one gets it! His closest friends caught up with him before Christmas and told me he is a shell of the man he used to be, has aged, looks incredibly stressed and sad, is wracked with guilt and still puts me up there as a great wife, etc and says none of it is my fault. They say though that the saddest thing of all is that he looks sick. They are all saying that the only explanation for the nicest guy to do what he has done is a midlife crisis gone terribly wrong. They can see that the guilt is eating him up but yet he is so set on being with her regardless of losing seven very close family members! He met up with our son just a few weeks ago and our son said the same thing! He said his dad is obsessed with this woman and barely anything he said made any logical sense. My husband told him that he still loves and cares for me greatly and lies awake at night unable to sleep due to worrying about me being in a foreign country on my own and the guilt he feels for hurting me so much. My son told him he’s an idiot and that unless he wakes up and changes his ways soon then that is the last time he will talk to him. I desperately want my marriage back. I just don’t know what to do when I know this woman is no doubt putting me down as she was in emails she had sent him just eight weeks after he started working with her. Everyone that knows her well has told me she is a real piece of work but he just does not see it! They say my husband is a fool for falling for the fantasy she has pulled him into. How can this happen to a great marriage? We were so happy and he admits this to everyone who now knows. Please give me advice on how to fix this mess. He is just not the same man anymore and this breaks my heart because all I dream of is having back my husband and my happy life regardless of how hard an effort I have to put in! Please, any advice!!!

      • Angela

        Gosh, Hope, I know this hurts like hell when they won’t let go of the AP. Best I could tell you is work on your self-esteem. You feel like you need him there to do it, but you really don’t. You sound like an amazing woman with an amazing career and much to be happy about, but when someone is doing this to you it’s hard to value yourself or your accomplishments in any way. Whatever you do, don’t provide him the path back to his AP. I think she is gaslighting you and he is trying to gaslight everyone. Focus on yourself! They created this rut for you to live in, but nothing requires you to live in it. My thoughts and prayers are for you.

    • Angela

      I’ve been hanging around on this website for 3 years now and I’ve read this post several times previously. I re-read many of them several times because I find that as we progress in healing, we can get a new insight from something we’ve read before. This time, though, I just wanted to share a good laugh I got. I had never noticed before that this post was dated the same day my H and I got married! I could take it to mean something good or something bad, but what I got was the memory of the day we got married, and how we had just finally admitted to each other we both wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, after 2 years of being with each other constantly and living together. It was a 2nd marriage for both of us and we were ecstatic at finding hope with someone else after previous divorces. We said (paraphrased) “I know you’re the one” and “Yep, so are you. What are we waiting for?” and literally got up and went to the courthouse to be married right then. We bought a bottle of champagne and went back home to the home we’d purchased together months before that to celebrate. My H was not involved in an EA after all, there was something entirely different going on, but after he’d lied to me I simply believed for a long time he’d had an affair he was just never going to admit to. Nonetheless, we suffered every stage of betrayal, every trauma and shock that goes along with it and an additional level of anger and emotional abuse for me because I was making a false accusation and he simply couldn’t see how in the hell I could think he’d ever do such a thing. He literally had to reach a point where he could see what I was seeing (what he was letting me see) and finally got that empathy for my view. I’d been betrayed alright, just not for an OW. It still wreaks havoc on a marriage and still produces the same devastation. I’m just grateful for spotting that date and getting a good memory from it today!

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