It seems that most betrayed spouses are desperately trying to figure out the affair fog and what the hell is going on in the minds of their spouses.

out of the affair fogBy Doug

A good portion of my time for this website is devoted to mentoring people who are struggling with infidelity in some way.  And 99% of that mentoring time is spent with betrayed spouses (usually female). 

The vast majority of those betrayed spouses are desperately trying to figure out what the hell is running through the minds of their cheating spouses.

Their spouses are acting strangely to say the least.  The typical phrases I hear are “Where has the man I married gone to?”  “This is not the man I married”  “What could she possibly be thinking?”  “It’s like she’s a completely different person” 

And those are just the G-rated phrases!

Quite often the reasons explored for this unusual and often moody, hurtful behavior run the gamut from depression to midlife crisis to temporary insanity.  Perhaps all those are possible, but I like to attribute it in most cases to the “affair fog”.

Ah yes, the affair fog.  A curious and frustrating (for the BS) frame of mind the cheater goes through while in the midst of their affair.

Clueless Alien Syndrome – When Your Spouse Becomes a Person You No Longer Recognize


What is the Affair Fog?

A few years back I found this definition of the affair fog somewhere online.  For the life of me I cannot remember where, so I can’t give proper credit, but here it is anyways…

“The term ‘the fog’ can be described as being similar to being brain washed. The thrill of the affair envelopes the wayward partner in good feelings, and the excitement can be overwhelming. They feel a new high, a feeling of being in love. The wayward partner begins to rationalize with themselves in order to cover up their feelings of guilt.

They may have convinced themselves that their marriage was already bad, that their partner really didn’t love them, and that the affair partner must truly be their soulmate because he or she is the only one who understands them.

Next begins a repeated internal dialog of the rationalizations over and over again in their minds. It’s as if they become addicted to the affair, needing the constant high it brings, many times with total disregard for the betrayed spouse.

Over time, they really begin to believe all the lies they’ve told themselves. Their beliefs are reflected in their actions; loving to the affair partner, and angry and hostile towards the betrayed. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and soon, they are deeply entrenched in the fog.”

What Linda said when asked how she got me out of the affair fog…

Also a few years back, Linda and I recorded a session for the Affair Recovery Group where we addressed the affair fog.  Here is a transcribed excerpt from that session…

Doug:  In our situation, in your opinion, what do you think really worked as far as getting me out of the fog? Maybe give your opinion on some of the ones that I mentioned. Obviously, we know begging and pleading didn’t work.

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Linda:  Honestly, this is why it’s so difficult to pinpoint because most of the time, when you start doing the things like checking the phone records or talking to the [affair partner’s] husband, what happens is they end up getting more secretive.

Doug:  Or they get mad, and they get defensive. Then they go back to their affair partner and talk about it.

Linda:  In all honesty, I think most of the time, you’re not sure if the person has left the affair yet, so you’re acting a certain way but you don’t even know if it’s effective because they just become more secretive and they’re lying more.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint what I did that caused you to get out of the fog because I don’t really know when you got out of the fog.  I would say, six months later, yes, but was it my behaviors? I don’t know.

Doug:  I’m sure that it was. It was a combination of things. Everybody’s got to realize that no matter what you try, more than likely it’s not going to happen right away. It’s going to take time.

Linda:  No, and the consistency. I realized that because I was acting in a predictable way and giving you the safety net, that if I would have started behaviors that were unpredictable of me, I think that would have woke you up.

If would have started preparing my own life, with or without you, and just started doing some things on my own…like getting finances in order… I did start going out with friends a lot more, and I started taking exercise classes. I think that woke you up a little bit.

Doug:  Doing what they would call a 180.

Save Your Marriage with a 180

Linda:  Yes. But looking back, the thing that I did that I shouldn’t have done was I never stopped telling you that I loved you, and that I wanted to be with you. Even when I saw the phone logs in January, the next night, we went out with friends and had a great time. Most of the time, because of the kids, I acted like nothing was happening. I continued the pattern of our life like everything was okay.

Doug:  You’re saying that’s something you shouldn’t have done?

Linda:  I should not have done that. As I said, I stayed predictable. Our life stayed secure. Everything was okay. The only thing that was happening was I was a total wreck.  But that didn’t affect you like it should have.

But everything else…you’d come home, and I’d be there. It was just the same life over and over again. Honestly, I tried to even make it a better life than what we had. We’d go out more. We would be more intimate.

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You never had an opportunity to think, “Gosh. What would it be like if this was over?” You didn’t have to ask yourself, “Why is Linda pulling away?”

I wish I would have early on, just really worked on myself a lot more and said to myself, “Okay. If this works, then great.  But I’m going to prepare myself if I am not going to be in this marriage.”

I also wish I would have just said, “You are in this affair. I’m not going to accept it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this.”

I never told you I would leave you because you were in an affair. And I think I needed to be more honest with you, but I was afraid that if I was, you would leave. I was afraid to upset you.  And I was afraid to do anything that would look negatively on me, and I regret all that.

Is The Cheating Spouse Living With Regret?

Doug:  What you were saying about being intimate and going out and having fun and doing all that stuff, I do think cumulatively, that had an effect. It helped to re-establish a bond that we had and intimacy and kick-started our relationship again – and our friendship. I think that’s helpful. I think that’s all part of it.

But in a lot of cases – and again, you can’t generalize – I think you’re right. If you would have said, “This has got to end or I’m leaving,” or “I’m taking the kids with me,” “You have got to get out,” or whatever, I think that would have expedited the fog disappearing a lot faster.

That said, some people – quite frankly – don’t give a damn. They’re in the affair, and they think they’re in love, and they’re going to have the other person no matter what, and they don’t care. There are people like that.

But I think that even if it would have transpired and you would have left, or I would have left, or whatever, I think probably in two days’ time, I would have been crawling back with my tail between my legs because reality would have hit big time.

There are a lot of things that people have to consider about reality. There’s loss of your kids. There’s loss of your family life. There are all kinds of repercussions for these things, and none of them are really good.

Linda:   I also think those things are important, but I would hope that removal would actually maybe allow the person to see what their spouse meant to them.

Doug:  Yes. I certainly included that in there, as well. It would have made me think long and hard and say, “Geez. What have I done here?”

It may not be in every case. We’ve seen on our blog where people take a couple of weeks, a month, or whatever, but it seems inevitably, the majority of them do come back for that reason. I guess it depends on how thick of a fog you’re in.

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Linda:  A lot of the experts caution that even though you do come back, does the betrayed spouse want you back? After going through months and months of the fog, a lot of times, it’s just too much pain. The damage has been done.  The fog is the hardest thing to forgive and to get over.

If I would have confronted you and you ended it, it would have been so much easier to forgive. But when it continues while you’re aware of it and you’re dealing with your behaviors and the way you’re acting, that is so much for a betrayed spouse to handle. It’s so much pain.

What was happening behind my back, I think I could have handled a lot more because you weren’t walking in and lying to me. You were hurting me, but I wasn’t aware of it. But when I’m aware of being hurt every day, that is a really difficult pain to get over.

As I said, that is the risk. Not only that the cheater may not come back, but if the cheater does come back, trying to resolve all of that is difficult. The longer the fog goes on, the more damage that is done to the marriage. After a couple of months, if they’re still continuing the affair and in the fog, you have to start changing your behavior somehow.

A Therapist’s View of the Affair Fog

The Affair Recovery Group sessions were conducted with Marriage and Family Therapist, Jeff Murrah a few years ago. It was at a time that was actually quite crucial to our own recovery and healing.   
In one session, Jeff shares his view of the affair fog and how both the betrayed spouse and the unfaithful spouse can deal with it.  We asked questions and shared some of our experiences. 
You can listen to and/or read the transcript here:  A Therapist’s View of the Affair Fog

More stories of BS and Their Foggy Headed Spouses

We also had a discussion a while back on how to get the cheating spouse out of the affair fog.  Quite a few BS chimed in as to what worked – or didn’t work – in their own situations.  You can read the comments from that discussion here:

Finally, we would really like to hear from you about what you think has to happen to get the cheating spouse out of the affair fog.  The goal is for them to begin to behave more rationally and realistically.

If possible, we’d also like to hear from those of you whose spouse has emerged from the fog, and how you feel that was accomplished.  And if you’re an ex-cheater, please chime in on how you were finally able to emerge from the fog.

Leave your comments, experiences, advice, etc. in the comment section below.


    95 replies to "How to Get the Cheater Out of the Affair Fog"

    • TheFirstWife

      There is very little the spouse can do to change the cheater during the fog. That being said there are things the spouse can do that can cause further damage during the fog

      My H went back to the OW a second time as he was still in the fog. For two months I acted controlled and transparent. I did not want our kids to know and I was summer and they were not in school. No yelling in front of them. Normal life as far as they could tell.

      But there was nothing I could say or do to change his thinking or behavior. He told me the standard line “love you but not in love with you” and all that crap that goes along with it.

      I started to prepare for a divorce. I told him on a few occasions I am not standing in your way. If you want her be a man, own it and move out. That is when he would swear he did not want to leave. Yet he continued seeing her and for 4 months was planning on leaving me and I had no idea.

      So there was nothing I could do to change his mind or his heart. He had to come to that conclusion on his own. When he was telling me how wonderful our marriage was after DDay 1 and what a fool he was and how much he loved me, I believed it all. I was happy he had a brief affair and we were past it and still together. Until I found out he lied and was still with the OW and telling her he was going to be with her. We were over- marriage, life etc. and he was done being married. He was getting out.

      The only thing I can say is that I did not make a fool of myself or start drinking or acting like I was having a midlife crisis. I kept my sanity and wits and made good decisions.

      My only regret is believing him when he said it was over and that he wanted to be with me. I wish I had not been so trusting. I feel humiliated by it all.

      And now during the Christmas season it is in my face as the second DDay was 12/2.

    • Creston

      I think most, if not all BS’s would love to have a do-over and the chance to handle things differently. Me, I would have not reacted immediately to a strange text I accidently saw. I would find my “poker face”, investigated, laid low until I could see with my own 2 eyes whether it was indeed friendship that went to far or more. I would have confronted both, demanded he move out and only let him back if I was convicted it was over! There was a 2nd and 3rd DDAY but that was 4 yrs ago this January. I still have flashbacks and remain on alert.

      I am a lot different now and that’s mainly because of how his EA changed me. Stronger yes, but much more guarded, almost jaded. We have come a long way and he has worked hard to gain my trust back but I sure do miss the innocent trust that I once had!

      • Shifting Impressions

        I agree most of us BS’s would probably love a do over. But the thing to take into consideration is that after D-day we go into a type of fog ourselves. I know I went into a type of shock the day I stumbled onto my husband’s EA. My world fell apart that day…..there is no way I had the where with all to pull my husband out of his fog.

        It has been two years and I feel like my own fog is finally starting to lift. The funny thing is I feel like that started happening when I shifted my focus on my own well being and took a bit of a step back from it all.

        We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves…….I know what I know now about affairs. If I had that knowledge on D-day, I might have behaved differently but then again the SHOCK OF DISCOVERY is overwhelming.

      • Taking Control

        Yes! Damn, if I could only have had suspicion and investigated. Instead, I was all, “Hey babe, so what’s going on with you? I mean, there was this, and then that odd thing. Then, you started acting like This, so what all is there to know?”

        I didn’t even think about the possibility of her having an affair. Now, I know it was for the last several years. We had sex almost every single day, but for one serious shower day, when “She could stay clean for 24 hours at least during the week”.

        She had made a regular hole in our sex schedule to accommodate him!
        I would know more and more certainly if I had only investigated first, instead of trusting her.

      • Rosalyn

        Don’t we wish we could go back and have a do over. Knowing what I know now, things would have been very very different.

    • TheFirstWife

      The fog has a powerful hold on the CS. It is an addiction.

      What makes my situation different is that my H came home and admitted the affair. They kissed that night and he was do upset by his actions that he came home and told me. I did not over react. I remained calm and steady.

      And then the behavior escalated and he was walking out the door. He had a no contact with her for about 2 months.

      And then went running back to her in the fall. But lied about it and snuck around. But acted as if we were so good and wonderful. And I believed it.

      Dday2 was a shock but less so b/c I called OW to get answers on why my H was acting so crazy and irrational. Then everything started to make sense. All the comments he had been making to me was the start of his leaving. One night he told me that if we divorced that I was still hot (in my 50s) and tons of guys would want to date me. I looked at him like he was crazy. Who cares about that? Why would he say it now when things were so good between us? B/c he was planning on leaving me.

      So even though I was led to believe our marriage survived his affair in reality his sffair was not over. And he was in the fog. Major London fog. And there was nothing I could do.

      The CS has to come to their own conclusions and realizations.

      I say this b/c the few people that know about his affair would have bet $1mil he would never be that guy who cheated. I fought for our marriage with dignity and respect and with my head held high.

      Maybe I should have just smacked him.

      • Rebecca

        We have somewhat similar stories. Mine also admitted to me that he was having an EA, and cried and told me he was scared. He told me he didn’t want that, and that he wanted to stay with me and our daughter.

        He went mostly no-contact (she was a work ‘friend’), and then after a couple months, she threatened suicide. I, being the chump I am, told him to go ahead and talk to her that one time because she was in crisis. Surely her life was more important my “jealousy”. The affair started backing up again, but secretly, and turned into a PA.

        3 months later, I found evidence of the affair on his computer while he was out with her. I changed the locks before he got home, and sent his dad to tell him not to come back unless he was willing to end the affair. That was just over a year ago, and he never did come back. Our only contact is when he asks to see our preschooler, once every few months.

        • Sofia

          Rebecca that is so sad. You did exactly what I would have done because we are too nice. But karma is coming and I hope you get to see what happens to people who take advantage of someone’s good nature.

      • Rosalyn

        I can totally relate. My husband was acting very strange and very nasty towards me. It was totally not him and I was confused because I thought she had left town with another man. Turns out that was all a ploy to get me off the scent. She snuck back into town and it all started up with a vengeance. He says no sex but I don’t believe that. She was so screwed up mentally. Because of 2 abortions and now too old to have babies realisation that she will never be a mum had hit home. The fog was so thick. But I told him to go and be with her if he thought he could fix her. He knew he couldn’t and in the morning he told me he was staying with me. He just had to break the bad news to her. She tried to keep contact happening but I blocked her number and in the end she got the message.

    • Beckyb2

      I had all the lies to me about me and backstabbing two faced bullshit and I couldn’t stand any more so I outed my serial cheating husband on Facebook which made our kids mad at guess who NOT THE LYING CHEATER OR HIS MULTIPLE WHORES they were mad at me they blamed me for his screwing sewer rats boy was I hurt to find out HE set me up he played me and our kids off against each other. I outed his whores on their Facebook pages I had nothing to hide or lie about funny they shut down their pages as if that changed what they did or how nasty they were to me . My husband is a liar he has been his whole life . He got pissed off at me and defending himself and his whores must have been exhausting . Three weeks before my mother died ( yes this went on for over 7 months) I called his last whore and my husband was such an ass all he could say was he lied he lied he lied while this whore screamed at him all the things he said about me he NEVER wanted me to hear he just lied she didn’t she opened my eyes to the POS my husband chose to be after the (truth phone call) call my husband bawled his eyes out that night in his recliner . I’m sure he never shed a tear for my pain the pain he deliberately created and caused he was heartbroken at as he put it for ME forcing him to hurt an innocent real good woman ( I explained in detail I am a real good woman my mother and grandmother are REAL GOOD WOMEN and I for one am disgusted and offended and made me want to throw up at his daring to put a serial adultering street walking prostitute in his mind or my life as anywhere near a REAL GOOD WOMAN since we don’t cheat and screw other women’s husbands his whores all did just that) who did nothing wrong man I was exploding pissed off i told him I was the ONLY innocent GOOD WOMAN he ever had promised GOD to never hurt and him and his whore could hang themselves in hell . In that call I told her she was number 15000 she was screaming (he had online pics and smut porn hookups and whatever else he tried to hide) she was nothing special just a nameless faceless whore hole an overused worn out piece of rotten meat I told him he was dead to me he murdered the man I loved to have a whore stroke his ego and his penis . That was NOT a good time his whore actually was going to come to our house I said bring your retarded ni**er whore ass to my house I was waiting with my sons pitbull and I told her my husband and I that we were waiting with a pit bull (she was scared to death of ) for her she NEVER has shown her face she left state as I did inform her legally if I saw her face I would have her arrested she left NY and went to Houma La never to be heard from again. unlike the exNOTbestie whore who 4 years later had to act as if she had a right to ever contact any of our family when our son died 6 weeks ago . Six weeks ago I’m still calling my husband a liar for NOT forcing his whores out of our lives with the same ugliness he brought them in with he has not dealt with any of this crap and his sewer rats keep popping up over and over with their skanky smell spraying over my life so I continue to stand up for myself . At the funeral my husband did say he would not create a scene he would quietly remove any whore who showed up I simply told him I would call 911 he was NOT happy with my plan I don’t really care anymore what he thinks about my choices to his cheating.

      • TheFirstWife

        This is horrible.

        I pray for you and I know you are grieving. Prayers to you for all that you have suffered.

    • Tabs

      My CH didn’t really seem to be an a fog and just cut all contact with the OW. He said he loved her, but I didn’t see hesitation in him leaving the OW. It almost felt like there were no problems leaving the PA. Right on the heels of the PA was an EA with a very young girl. My CH had a more difficult time leaving her alone. But this didn’t fit the classic “fog” charateristics either. My CH never said that wanted to leave our marriage, just have fun with somebody else. WTF!!

      I guess my fustration is with the lack of conscience. My CH knew the affairs were wrong and hurtful, but couldn’t see the harm in keeping a young, 20 something friend. To this day, I resent the younger OW more, even though my CH had a PA with the somebody else.

      • TheFirstWife

        It all stinks.

        Don’t you just want to smack them?

    • Tabs

      With all my might!! But wait… already did. It hurt my hand. My CH has an exceptionally hard head.

    • Falling Ash

      Tabs – like you my OH dropped the OW immediately I confronted him…after an 8 year “friendship”. The only fog he appeared to have was to think she was an innocent party. Innocent my arse!!!!! Only this week, his counsellor validated my view, stating that in her opinion the OW knew exactly what was going on and was lapping up his adoration. She was 23 at the start of their relationship, the same year I celebrated my 50th birthday, so I get you on the 20 something part too. They certainly know how to twist the knife, don’t they?

      • TheFirstWife

        Mine was 29yo OW when my H celebrated his 50th.

        Typical mid life crap.

      • Rosalyn

        Exactly. I have been told to blame my husband not the OW. But she knew exactly what she was doing. Stated out by spilling her guts to my husband about her partner, who was a man she had just stolen from another woman. A 2 time looser. She had cheated on her husband with this man who already had a partner. Then she set her sights on my husband and he was totally infatuated. She is such a good person he would say to me. She had aborted 2 babies because she tried to trap men with a pregnancy and they didn’t go for it. Now in her 40’s she had left it too late to have a baby and it had totally fucked her up. She was 40 my husband 58. He eventually woke the fuck up and she went on to marry the looser she stole from another woman.

      • Gary

        All this affair fog is nothing but fucking crap they do not respect you they do not love you they do not care about the consequences that is going to happen all of this affair fog is nothing but excuses for them to have sex with another person they have given up on their marriage and they are not worthyOf being with

        • HEM

          I totally agree. They want to have fun, enjoy themselves, that AP is the fun and the spouse is work. My husband had an EA with a work partner. Lunches everyday, hours of flirting, even when on vacation with us when I was pregnant with my first son. I was the work person, telling him to come home, help, clean, etc. The worst was when I called at some point and one of the secretaries told me that they had gone to lunch. When I called back about an hour later, same secretary said, “they are still at lunch, they usually take a couple of hours when they go out…”. Yeah, did not like that

    • IOtheMoon

      My wife began an EA after a trip out of town. I stumbled on her secret email account by accident and discovered a lengthy email exchange lasting months that was both emotionally and sexually explicit. When I confronted her she said she was depressed and disconnected. She said that I am attractive but she isn’t attracted to me. She said that it was a form of escape and that she would end it. That she loved me.

      I drew a firm boundary and said that I wanted to work on saving our relationship. I changed many behaviors, but she seems unwilling to meet me there. She keeps saying she is confused and needs space.

      Some recent behaviors led me to believe she was continuing the EA. I confronted her about it as well as her lackluster effort. She denies that she has continued the EA but that she has been in contact with the OM. That they are friends.

      I left and am now sleeping at a friends house. I don’t think she sees how much it hurts me. I don’t understand how one can come home and tell a person they love them and then engage in such lurid conversations via email.

      I don’t know what to do. How to shake her from the “fog” or how to take care of myself. Many of these stories are helpful. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this. I wonder, if/when the fog clears, how do you lay a new foundation of trust in the age of smartphones and computers?

      • TheFirstWife

        We have all been in your shoes. It is very difficult to talk to someone while they are in the fog.

        You have heard all the same stuff we all have. “Love you but not in love” and all the crap the cheater tells you.

        However it is difficult to reason or make progress while the fog and/or affair continues. And if there is any contact whatsoever you should not waste your time and energy on her or the marriage right now.

        You are wasting your time. Nothing penetrates the fog.

        Take care of yourself first. When you are strong and solid things will fall into place. I was lucky to have a great thetapist who kept me grounded and sane. To this day I see him as needed but the good news is that I can weather this crazy storm and still be a good parent and keep it together.

        This is not my H’s first EA and this one became a PA. He was kicking me to the curb but when I asked him to leave he realized I was out of patience. And that started the beginning of him changing.

        It is not easy and at times we struggle but I still love him and we get along well. But we continue to face issues along the way even 3 years later.

        You and your wife can get past this but only if you both want it. It can lead to a renewed marriage. I hope you can get there.

      • Throwit_far_away

        Out of interest IOtheMoon, where are you now? Did you work through it? Did she get back in touch? I have recently went through a very similar experience (but caught the messages much earlier) and left my SO.

    • Bestie

      I feel like I have tried all of the above to get my CS out of the affair fog, its been 7 months and he is going strong with the OW. I’m focused on myself and my kids and he continues to hate me and blame me for everything. He spreads so much lies and hate about me to his allies, its disgusting. And because of all those lies, they can’t even reason with him about everything he is giving up. I think its also the type of people he befriends. He only associates with shady characters he knows will agree with him and who don’t know us well enough to filter through his BS. My situation is a little bit different because my CS started the affair as an online thing, she is a long distance romance, he went to see her for 2 weeks where she lives, after what seems as maybe 6 months of knowing her via social media, they apparently got engaged, at least that’s what she declared on her social media, and while he is still married to me. After I found out, I told him it was over and served him with separation papers because I’ve been through this before and he never disconnects fully from women who he engages with. He’s been addicted to online porn for a while and a few times he went beyond just getting his little kicks. While I was busy raising and looking after everything in my house, he was busy looking after himself. I think its harder for him to disconnect from her because he is totally having his cake and eating it too. He doesn’t have to deal with any sort of reality of life with her because everything is still virtual. I don’t want him back, I can’t take him back after everything I’ve been through but he has abandoned his kids and his financial responsibility, my kids are just numb to everything he’s doing, (they’re teenagers) its literally like he’s a different person. After he came back from his 2 week rendezvous with her, he came back to live in our home as though nothing had happened. Eventually I made him realize he had to leave the house. And then he’s accusing me of turning his kids against him because they don’t respond to him and why should they. He’s slowly deconstructing their lives by ruining us financially. Um, no, your actions turned your kids against you. All that said, I feel like my kids need the dad back that they know. I looked after their needs while they were younger but he is their dad and he was involved in their lives. In our house its almost as if he’s dead because of how he’s totally abandoned us. He’s trying to punish me because I made him leave, but in the long run he’s also punishing them. Maybe I’m not handling the situation properly. I don’t talk to him, but sometimes my emotions get the best of me as I’m trying to deal with surviving this entire ordeal and I’ll send him a “how horrible can you be” text message. This whole situation is so emotionally draining. I want to move on but it kills me inside that he is out having the time of his life and showing no remorse whatsoever for the lives hes destroying. 🙁

      • TheFirstWife

        Wow is this awful. I was in your position but my H had affsir fog for 6 months and was going to leave me.

        However he was the one that came to his senses. There was nothing I could say or do to change his thinking.

        You are dealing with so many things – narcissistic tendencies, someone not dealing in reality, porn addict etc.

        Get a lawyer. Protect yourself. Document everything including his abandonment of you and kids.

        Ignore what he tells lowlife losers. Hold your head up and be the best mom and person you can be. That is your reward.

        And BTW this is all going to come back to him. When the next loser girlfriend finds out who and what he really is, it will came back to bite him. And the pattern will continue with one fake and phony relationship after another.

        These are “good time relationships”. Not real. Cannot last. Once it gets difficult or hard, one or other will bail.

        Does your H have ADHD or ADD? Sounds like that could be part of his impulse control issues and more.

        Best of luck. Get a lawyer ASAP and a financial plan B.

      • Doug

        Bestie, I agree with First Wife, but wanted to add that I think you’re doing the right thing. He needed to be shown the door. One thing that may help (though I doubt he will be willing) is some sort of divorce type counseling so that the air is cleared and your relationship with him can be such that the kids do not suffer any further emotional damage. Just a thought.

      • Gary

        He does not deserve you do not allow this man to treat you this way ever get rid of him and find someone that will love you care for you and respect you

    • Bestie

      Thank you both for your comments of support. I too feel strongly I’m doing the right thing. I just can’t figure out why I’m regressing in my emotional state. I was stronger when this first started. I keep drawing back to all the good memories and it makes me sad that my kids have such a dysfunctional secretive father who is likely now showing his true colours. I always felt that’s why he was unhappy, because he had to supress his demons for so long. He won’t hear or acknowledge that he has a problem so he’s always out seeking validation from women. Its always women. It always seems to start as friendship and its like if they bite, (to any kind of online sex chat thing or whatever) he would bite back. Because our relationship was failing. And I probably made it worse because every time he did something bad, and we fought I would really blast him and make him more insecure. So now the OW won’t even allow him to have anything to do with me, including any civil relationship so we can raise our kids. Why would she. He’s proven he’s a big liar and a cheat. She doesn’t trust him. And he deep down is having serious anxiety about what his future will be without me and his kids. I was probably like his mom, esp in the last few years. What a big mess. I believe he would have been totally happy living a double life but I foiled his plan. He definitely has some sort of deep psychological issue – ADD, ADHD or bipolarism. Something. But he will never bring himself to admit that because all his allies have validated him based on his lies, that everything is my fault.

    • Bestie

      Sorry and just to add, because she doesn’t trust him, he is going above and beyond to prove his love for her, posting it all over his social media, that his kids can see if they paid attention. Its a sad sad state. I am in disbelief this is happening to me because my kids are so normal and good. I feel like they are evidence we did something right.

      • TheFirstWife

        I hope you can gain some perspective. After dealing with my H’s frustrating behaviors, affair fog, continuing to see OW and blaming me for everything wrong in his life, I used to go to my wonderfully fabulous thetapist who would put me on the right path. I would ask him why can’t I get the CH to stop this or do that.

        His response? You cannot make people wNt something. You cannot rationalize with crazy. You cannot get anyone to see your point of view if they don’t want to.

        Sad to say your H has a support group who believe him. They have NO reason not to. Of course they are idiots but that is another conversation.

        Sooooo my point is my therpist would tell me the only thing you can control is your reaction to him. You can let yourself get angry when he lies or you can accept he is ALWAYS going to lie and move on. It is not new behavior. It his pattern. You need to accept it – that does not mean you agree or condone it but when you accept he is a liar & cheater and stop trying to change him and therein frustrating yourself, your life will be more peaceful and calmer.

        It took me 2 years to get to this point. If my H comes home and tells me something that I suspect is not 200% the full story, I metely look him in the eye and calmly say “I am sorry you don’t have the courage or respect to tell me the truth”. No fight. No begging or pleading. Not trying to change a situation or behavior. Just letting you know I know when things don’t add up.

        And when I get sick and tired of it, I will plan my next move then. Until then, it is his issue and his problem.

        And I am much happier this way. I don’t call him a liar. I just let him know the facts do not add up.

        Free therapy advice that could save your sanity. Your H exhibits addict like behavior. Unless he wants to change – which he doesn’t think he has a problem so he is not going to – you have a choice. Continue banging your head against the wall to effect a change (maybe) OR not engage in the circus and move past his drama. When you don’t engage any longer he won’t know what to do.

        No more hateful texts. He is using that to support his “evil wife” persona of you.

        Disengage from all of it. I am living proof it works.

        You are not going to change him. You can only change how you react to him.

      • TheFirstWife

        And the minute I took a stand with my H and told him to leave, there was an immediate change.

        Now? Almost 3 years later I make sure I am in control of my happiness. I make sure I am in control off my life. My theory is you are either with me or not. If not see ya. Plain & simple!

      • TheFirstWife

        Mid life crisis? My H had one. He became a different person overnight. Scary.

    • Bestie

      “I am sorry you don’t have the courage or respect to tell me the truth”

      I LOVE this. I am going to use it.

      And I’m going to get a good therapist to talk to.

      Thank you!

      • TheFirstWife

        Something my sister used to do when she worked in HS in a bakery. Sunday mornings there were long lines. People lie would start yelling at her if they ran out of an item like rye bread.

        She would just stare at them and never say a word. When they were done yelling she would not even acknowledge except to say “Can I help you?”

        They got no validation or acknowledgement Their behavior was ignored. And they looked like fools.

        I use this when my kids lie or my H lies. I say my one sentence and leave the room. Calm. No craziness. They may think I caved. They may think they won. I don’t care what they think I just called you on something without getting upset or angry. I win!

        • [email protected]

          Dear TheFirstWife,

          You’re advise is right on to what is going on with my Husband with his Emotional Affair with a younger office coworker.

          He became a different person overnight.

          This Fog article and your comments have cleared out a Lot of stuff in my mind, specially the part that he is blaming me to have destroyed our marriage and justifying him dating her, that is how he tell it.

          If you don’t mind I have a question:
          How did you control the Panic Attacks?

          Right now is affecting my work; I can’t concentrate, thinking about them.

          Many tks!

          • TheFirstWife

            I am sorry you are suffering through this. I lived through a 4 year EA my H had with a girl in grad school. Stonewalled and denied the entire time. From the moment I met her I told him watch your back she likes you more than a friend.

            When I finally exploded and did not speak to him for days he finally knew I was furious and ended it.

            That was 20 years ago. since I had no proof back then that anything happened and he denied it I had to accept it. I never mentioned it again. Ok then he has an affair 3 years ago. Started as EA but became more than that. They both state “no sex” but I don’t believe it.

            He admitted it and a few weeks later he ended it with her. But he was in the fog and it was awful. He was rude and nasty and everything was my fault – his unhappiness was all my fault.

            The fog was bad. A few weeks of that and we were headed for a divorce. The handwriting was on the wall.

            I was stressed and could barely function. I had an excellent therapist but I was sure he was leaving and I had no $ and children.

            The stress and anxiety was hard to face. He literally had 1 foot out the door and I was being compared to someone half my age.

            His affair resumed 6 weeks later with same OW and in 2 months asked for divorce.

            Even though he kept telling me how great our marriage was and how happy he was he asked for a divorce. I had to call the OW to find out the truth and what was going on. Imagine how awful that was – calling the OW and asking for answers as to why your H is acting crazy.

            When I found out he had been seeing her behind my back I reslized the affair was not my fault. I was not the cause of his unhappiness. His affair had nothing to do with me or our marriage.

            It was his bad choice and his unhappiness and his defective moral character.

            I then realized it never ever had anything to do with me. If you are telling me how perfect our marriage is and how happy you are – and you are cheating – I think that says a lot about the cheater.

            Unfortunately the spouse is the unwitting victim.

            Do not fixate on her – the OW. She is probably not better than you. Or prettier. Or smarter. Or someone who has high standards or morals. She is engaging with your H inappropriately.

            Deal with your stress and anxiety in a productive way. Don’t stress about the OW. She is not worth it.

            You cannot control your H’s actions but you csn control how YOU react. Start disengaging – that may make his head spin around.

            Don’t engage in conversations you don’t want to. When you become less available you may see a change.

            Plan your own social life – don’t feel obligated to include him in you plans. Let him start to see you are taking your power back. It will help you and your marriage.

            Hold your head up and be strong. Right now he is counting on you being a mess. It helps him continue the affair.

            My H unleashed 25 years of anger and frustration at me while in the fog. He told me I only married him to spite my parents. Hahaha so for 30 years I treated you like a king with love and respect b/c I wanted to spite my parents?

            Wow what planet are you on?

            We are still together b/c he realized at the last possible second I was leaving him. I was done with his crap and lies and cheating ways.

            Regroup. Recharge yourself. Biggest mistake I made was letting him be in control of us and me. Once I got my power back I changed for the better. And it made his head spin. When I was asking for is to go to counseling he said no. When I wanted to try and talk he refused. And I went along with it.

            Not any more. You can do this. Let him start to see you in a different way. Get control over your life and let him see a stronger you. Don’t play his game.

            You are stronger than you think. You can get past this.

          • TheFirstWife

            Once you feel in control over your life, with him or without him, the panic will start to subside.

            Right now you are fearful of losing him. You need to turn it around that he is fearful of losing you.

    • Victoria

      First wife you give such excellent advice!

      • TheFirstWife

        Only because I have been through it.

        My H was the guy no one would have ever expected to cheat.

        Unfortunately I, like you, and everyone here knows what it is like to be blindsided by an affair.

        The year this was going on my H came home from a business trip and I am saying we can get past this and he is saying I don’t want to be married to you anymore. The old line “love you but not in love with you”.

        The affair completely took over.

        We had a rough few years after that and I was ready to leave a few times I was so frustrated and fed up with his choices, behavior and continued lying.

        I had kids on summer break and every day had to pretend all was ok. I deserve an award for keeping up that charade for many months.

        In any event I always try to be positive and hope things turn around. I can tell you I wa lucky they did for me. But it was not even close to your situation. My H never left our home and even when he wanted a divorce the next day he would change his mind.

        He didn’t know what he wanted. And your H now may be “sure” this is what he wants. No kids, no responsibility, party lifestyle etc.

        But the day he is out in the street b/c she has moved on (and we all know she will) as he has no Job or $ or anything – he will do one of two things. Come crawling back or find another OW.

        From what you describe he has serious issues. Your request he seek counseling is the right choice. Don’t be surprised if he either refuses or goes just to shut you up.

        My H initially went to counseling twice and quit. He was going to fix it. We were fine. In reality he was seeing the OW again and he did not believe he needed it. I went in my own for years.

        I am now at a point where I can be happy with him or without him. And I think he knows it too. Years ago I could barely make it through an hour without crying. With therapy and support and this blog, I have confidence in myself.

        I proved in a crisis I will be strong and level headed and calm and make good decisions.

        I had to put my kids first and coukd not just give up and roll into a ball. When they err not around I did but it is a living hell living in a marriage that is disintegrating and you cannot do anything.

        That’s why I love this blog. People get it.

        If I gave marriage advice to any young couple – always have a back up plan and emergency $. How sad it comes to that.

        • Victoria

          You are absolutely right. How jaded this makes us. I’ve posted an update on another thread as now my husband has said he wants to marry her in the future and have kids with her so I need to divorce him. This was the day after he told me that he wants to come back to bursa, that he never intended to leave here and go to her. They are living in cloud cuckoo land. I’ve just got to figure out what to do next.

          • TheFirstWife

            You are in a tough bind. I would not give him a divorce so easy. I don’t know the laws in your country but do not let him steamroll you.

            I would drag this out for some time just to be sure this is what he really wants.

            Given that he has no job right now he’s not able to pay you child support or alimony. However that should not stop you from insisting he sign some type of an agreement that will have him pay child support for his children for as long as necessary. Whether that means through college or after, he cannot just walk away without living up to his responsibility as a father.

            Likewise, same goes for you as his wife.

            Perhaps when the party girl realizes she is going to be married to someone who in essence will be financially strapped the rest of his life, she may decide he’s not all that!

            One day when my H decided he was divorcing me I told him that I will never remarry so he should plan on paying alimony the rest of his life.

            Given that you have some assets, you may want to protect them from him.

            While your husband may want a divorce, that doesn’t mean you do and it doesn’t mean you have to just give it to him. If he wants it so badly, let him do all the work and make sure he gives you everything you deserve and more.

            Sometimes the only thing people understand is a financial impact.

            I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that for you and your children.


          Hi I will love to talk to you since you have already make it to the other side im 6 months from d-day at 1st I was the one waiting to fix things but he was in the fog now he is the one trying to come back but im so hurt….. he is trying to control me and manipulate me with $and our son.
          I have no friends or family no job since he never allow me to and with the pandemic lock down I haven’t had any luck.
          I read the text he claims to love her and he told her he wanted to spend with her the rest of his life..
          Now he claims he never mean it and he was only trying to take her to the bed (yeah like if that was easier to eat).
          He said now he know i wasn’t love

          • TheFirstWife

            I’m sorry you are hurting and yes it’s now 7 years and we are happily reconciled. The first 2 years of Reconciliation were not easy. Two steps forward and one step back as they say. But there were 2 things that helped me tremendously.

            First my H proved he was being honest and transparent. He also showed me somehow that he was making amends every single day. He was trying his hardest to put me and our marriage first.

            Second was he was proving he was changing. He was not looking for ego boosts from others. He was no longer a bit arrogant. He realized he had everything he wanted and needed and it was right in front of him his whole life.

            It’s a long process to full reconciliation. You need to get strong in your marriage by having self confidence and the willingness to change. I’m saying you change by re-defining your marriage.

            If you want to work at a paid job to build your own financial independence then your H must agree to it. If you want to see new boundaries like he has no social media or you have free access to his phone, he must accept that.

            Forgiveness takes a long time. You don’t forgive him and it’s swept under the rug. You forgive him for your own healing. Your own reasons. You are not forgetting. You are not giving him a pass or acting like nothing happened.

            Plan B. You MUST have a plan B. Financial access to all accounts and documents. Money in your own name. A clear understanding of what you are legally entitled to in case of a D. Alimony and child support. He pays half the college expenses AND not just tuition. Half of room and board and fees and semesters abroad and books etc.

            I demanded a post nup. Any $ in my name or certain accounts is not considered marital assets. It financially protects me.

            You have to be willing to face a possible second dday. But with a plan B in place, a change in power and control in your marriage and the ability to stand up for what YOU and want, you can have a happy marriage.

            You will never trust the cheater 100% but you can reconcile and trust 98%.

            The affair fog is a mighty grip On reality for the cheater. Think of the affair like an addiction. The ego boost. That “new love” attraction or high. It is powerful. It can make your head spin.

            Just like an alcoholic will do whatever is necessary to get alcohol, the same is true for a cheater. They are blinded by the reality of who the other man or woman really is. They believe (wrongfully) they have something special.

            It’s not real. It’s not reality. It’s a fantasy that the cheater believes is real. A sober rational person would never drink and drive. But in an altered state they believe they are fine. It’s the same with a cheater. They believe this new “ love” is real. But it’s not. They are just blinded at the moment.

            • Shifting Impressions

              I couldn’t agree more!!1 It’s so good to hear from you!! I hope all is well!!!

          • TheFirstWife

            Do not let him manipulate you.

            NOW is the time to get strong and assert yourself. If you don’t do it now you will have given up your power to him.

            You need to stand firm. No is an answer. You don’t need to explain yourself.

            Think of it this way. I learned this from my H cheating. He wanted what he wanted. I said no. He continued to cheat. When I finally removed myself from his game he was left with nothing.

            I’m not playing. Remember that as a kid? You remove yourself from his manipulative behavior. Read my posts on this thread. Tried and true solutions I learned the hard way.

            Read up on the 180. It’s 7 years and I still don’t do my H’s laundry. Or errands. I redefined our marriage and I stopped being a doormat and put myself first.

            He will clean up the kitchen while I sit reading a book. That is how far our dynamics have changed.

          • Shifting Impressions

            The First Wife
            Has giveN you some great advice. You can’t have your husband cheating plus calling all the shots!!

    • Working mum

      First wife your advice been great!!

      I’m in the early stages of affair fog- my H started to act weird start of November, secret calls and text, late nights usual stuff I got our phone bill saw a number didn’t know and searched on Facebook the girl he claimed to be just friends with…

      I approached him he denied I kicked him out he had no where to go he went and moved in with her… only known her over a month living together… he has admitted the affair.. I get the whole ‘she my soul mate, she perfect for me, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been’

      We have young children I know his affair started due to lack of attention becoming frustrating he is putting this woman before his kids.

      He is dressing differently and acting differently too..he even updated Facebook to show in a relationship with her before others even knew we were separated then he deleted me and blocked me since unblocked me hasn’t added me again…

      The confusing bit when he is around me twice he tried to sleep with me and most recent visit just kept try and cuddle me..:

      I’m so confused my headspace is confused I don’t think I want him back as he caused me so much pain but I do know I don’t want him with her and I guess I want him to want to come back if that makes sense..

      Trying the 180 my head is so confused.. I just think as long as he is with her I can’t move forward and why her?? Only coming up to two months knowing each other all moved super fast 🙁

    • Mark

      Hi Doug
      I am in my 3rd day of respecting my girlfriends wish to give her space.she is having a affair with a guy that is more than 1000kms away. They chat and text each, each night.(I Believe) this has been going on for about 5 months. but she has told me she has strong feelings for him. They have court up once and spent the night together but did’t have sex. the last 5 weeks i have tried every thing to get her back. I have changed to be a better me and am looking after my self a lot better. but it was the more i try to get her to see she was pulling a family apart and 2 kids lives. I think i was pushing her further it to his arms. I have not always been the best partner. i have not been supportive of her decisions. but i have also been there for her I’m not that bad when i wright down all the good times and things we have done is good. I think we can always do better. I have been begging her to stop contacting him and give me a chance to show her i can be the one she fell in love with. I feel if she did this we could rebuild a strong relationship. we are seeing a councillor. and she helps a lot. I’ve always been a quick fixer so its hard to give her space. but i need to. we have been together for 7 yrs and got engaged at xmas. but are separated now and she moved out to find her self. She said she want 6 months.She also tells me how much happier she is with out me. do you have any advice to what more to do?

      • Doug

        Hey Mark, Thanks for the comment and sorry that it’s taken me so long to get back to you, as I must have overlooked your question. I would suggest that you stop trying to “get her back” and instead focus your energies on yourself. Continue to work on yourself both mentally and physically and prepare for the long road ahead and for the possibility that the relationship won’t make it. Continue to be supportive of her but stop begging her to do anything as you can see that isn’t working. She needs to make her decisions on her own – and I doubt that she really moved out to “find herself.” Perhaps that’s a small part of the reason, but I bet she did more so that she could spend more time with the affair partner. I know that hurts, but that is probably the reality of the situation.

        • Mark

          Thank you for your advice Doug. She has told me last Monday that she has stopped contacting him so this might be a positive. I am moving on and focusing on my self. It’s just hard because she comes to our house( where I live ) manly because of the children.

          • Doug

            Yes it might be indeed. I hope that it is. Regardless, keep focusing on yourself – and your kids. Hang in there.

    • Mia

      I was dating an highly ranked law enforcement figure and things were not adding up so I researched and found out he was “happily” married the whole time. I found out his wife was a 3rd grade teacher found her email her Facebook page with recent happy photos of them he would always be busy on weekends but said he had his daughter on weekends I saw their home address and the home was for sale ! I never ever reached out to him again I ignored all his calls and emails to avoid any more lies I did not inform his wife I just couldn’t do it she seemed so happy with her kid and him and I just didn’t know what to do I feel bad I was lies to I never ever ever would date a married man not only did he say he was divorced for years he said he hopes to find the perfect woman for him and said I hope she exists and that he had not dated in a long time … But I never told him I knew something told me she would maybe believe him and he would just lie to her about who I was but my god I’m so happy I searched and looked into it asap within 3 months !

    • Angela

      I wish I’d walked on D-day.

      There’s no other way I know of, but to make them feel instant consequences for such actions.

      I simply took away the device my H was using to “play a game.” When I did it, he didn’t argue and he didn’t even attempt to sneak back on there, but it didn’t break his stupidity fog. Unfortunately, he’d driven the damage to hell and back before I got the resolve to take it away. I wish I’d done that on day 1, but the fear of losing them is so powerful, you’re terrified to demand anything of them because they are already showing you that you’re disposable to them, and you’re terrified of giving them the final reason to boot YOU! It’s wholly infuriating once you realize you had so much power to fight back and didn’t, and you realize they put you there and manipulated you to keep you there, too. That’s the part that stays unforgivable.

      Further damage is done by having to struggle through getting the truth. And you have to go through all that before love can even begin to start being felt again.

      Walk on D-day and don’t look back. When they come for you, tell them the marriage no longer meets your requirements and shut the door in their face. If you don’t, that’s what they’re going to do to you. If you wait until you get mad enough to do it first, the damage is done.

      • TheFirstWife

        Well I agree and if I had to do it over it would be different.

        And when I was going to D him after DDay2 (because 1 is just not enough to suffer through) – that is when he realized I was no longer going to allow this crap to go on.

        And it wasn’t as though the lies and truth were forthcoming. It was like pulling teeth but I hung in there.

        • K


          I have never written on one of these things before, but have been reading through your advice and feel to be gaining a lot from it. I wanted to know if there is a way to contact you via email..? I know that your last response was this past December so you may not even see this, but I am going through a similar situation and could absolutely use some advice. I am 31, married almost 3 years (together 9) with a new 5 month old baby. My husband was always extremely faithful, and during my pregnancy he took a job in another city and would come home on weekends, etc. I found out (6 months pregnant) that he was having an affair. He immediately quit his job but has continued to secretly speak to the other woman. In the last 7 months he has moved out, moved back, moved out again, tried starting over with me, swore to never speak to her, spoke to her, had relations with her, tried to work things out with me, moved out again, etc etc. It has been the most difficult time in my entire life. Add in that we planned for a baby and are now raising our beautiful 5 month old daughter, I am trying to be fair to him and not keep her from him in any way, while also maintaining my sanity and possibly my need to move on from him. I love him, probably too much. I have wanted NOTHING more than to fix us and move forward and be the great couple we have always been, but he seems to be all over the place and completely blames me for the problems in our marriage that lead to his affair. I didnt know we had problems so it all has been a total rollercoaster. Part of me thinks I should once and for all let this go and move on, figure out a schedule for him and the baby and move on without him, but I just cant even fathom that. At this point we decided he will move out, I told him he could stay but he said it doesnt work and he has no freedom there. But yet he wants to see the baby every night. I told him I will never be able to stop loving him if I see him all the time. And when I do go home and he is there, he is so short with me as if I annoy him or have done something wrong. I tell him I feel like he hates me, but he says he could never hate me. He swears he has no contact with the other woman anymore and that none of this is about her. One day he seems to be terrified to lose me, and the next he cant get out the door fast enough. It really feels like if I give him any inkling that I want to be with him, he doesnt care. But the minute I pull away, he gets a little scared. Sorry this is so long, I am a littler nervous to publish this to a website! Any advice will be appreciated, thank you.

        • K


          I am not sure how this works. I tried leaving a reply a little bit ago but it didnt seem to work. All of your responses and advice on this page seem to be so great, and I am going through a similar situation I could really use some advice on. Is there a way to contact you directly via email? Hopefully this reply works, bc my last one was very long explaining my situation and it seems like it disappeared.

          Thanks in advance, hopefully you will see this!

    • Chidinma

      In my case, I am the CS. He is probably cheating too but I don’t care or try to know or find out. He came to me that he has symptoms of Chlamydia and implied that I gave it to him but I checked myself and I don’t have it. He is still to let me know what his result came up to. When we started dating I was madly in love with him. 3 months in the relationship he went on a boys trip to paris with his friends. He was in constant contact with me, video calls etc. I find out later that there was a girl on the trip with them and he was sleeping with her before Paris , in Paris and after Paris. Long story short, I was willing to forgive him but he couldn’t cut her off. When she was messaging me nasty messages he couldn’t stand up for me. I left him but he never stopped contacting me. He eventually cut her off and I went back to him (well after falling off the deep end, booze drugs, sex and even tried out a relationship). When I decided to go back to him I told myself I have forgiven him and chosen to trust him. Even when the girl came back I fought for him. But I still feel the need to get some kind of boost from other guys (I don’t know what kind of boost). I flirt with guys and send nude pics sometimes(which he has seen before) but I never really get the urge to sleep with these guys. After I got back with him he got trust issues which make me furious. I think the issues stem the fact that he thought that because we were in contact we were still in a relationship. Probably my fault, I led him on somehow. But I always told him plainly that we weren’t. When I wanted to get in a relationship, I sat him down and told him that the contact had to minimize because I am moving on. For some reason he does not remember this conversation which baffles me. He keeps saying that he was telling people I was still his girlfriend but that does not make sense. We were only talking…nothing else! Anyway, we got back together, he proposed to me, I said yes (I just thought the wedding wouldn’t be right away and we would resolve our issues before the wedding). After he proposed, he saw the nude pics from before. I begged and apologized. We continued on but his trust issues just went out of control and I resent him everytime he thinks i’m cheating and everytime he accuses me of cheating, it drives me to go cheat. Everytime he wants to have sex, and God he wants to have sex all the time he is here with me, it;s like that all he wants to talk about (btw long distance relationship) with me I feel angry and grossed out. Everytime I start getting over that feeling and starting to love him again, he accuses me of cheating, I get angry and irritated and I go find comfort in someone else. Now we are married (family influence I think and I kind of got blackmailed into it by him and my older sister with the nude pictures he had seen before when I asked for us to postpone the wedding) it’s just a rollercoaster of accusations driving me to do things everytime I start falling back in love with him. Now I have been accused again but it’s different this time. I do not actually feel like cheating. I feel a tight pain in my chest, im finding it hard to breathe and I cannot focus. I feel like I hate the guy! He is supposed to move in with me in a few months and I don’t know how that will work. I regret getting married to him. I think of suicide quite often now. I even thought about packing a bag and just running away from everything and everyone and starting afresh. I sleep all the time (well Pot makes me sleep and eat but all I want to do everytime I leave the house is go back and smoke pot and sleep), I was very ambitious and I had all these plans for my career and for us but I’ve lost all the zeal. Everyone thinks i’m great and we are a fantastic couple so I guess that’s good. I don’t know…..I’ve thought about going to a psychologist but I can’t afford it. I’m struggling with finances as is, I can’t rub two coins to my name. I don’t know…..we’ll see how it goes.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. I will contact Doug to give you my email address.

      I completely understand what you are going through. Please know it is typical cheater behavior. He is trying to have you and the OW and it appears from all the back and forth he doesn’t know what he wants.

      I lived with that for 6 long hard painful months.

      Until DDay2 and I found his A continued. I thought we reconciled. He was still cheating.

      Get your plan B together b/c I fear you may need it. And if you reconcile I suggest a post nup as one of the conditions. Because if he continues to cheat you have financially protected yourself.

      You need a lawyer, accountant or financial planner and counselor and minister or priest (if you have one) and a good support team for you and your daughter.

      Read up on the 180. That is your next step after plan B is in place.

      And I’m not saying my confrontation w/my H stopped his A at DDay2. He had ended just a few hours before – but also told me he wanted a D the same day. He did not know what he wanted.

      So even though I had given him the ability to leave many times – he declined. But would go back to treating me horribly a few days later.

      So DDay2 I told him I was D him b/c I could no longer live with him cheating. And he was free to be with the OW and I was not standing in his way. I was very calm and rational. No yelling.

      I said my 2-3 sentences and left the room.

      He never saw me with an “I don’t give a crap attitude” towards him before. It I held my ground for months. I told him to leave. He said he did not want to b/c he wanted to R. I picked up the phone and told him on X date you will go to a friend’s house until you find your own place.

      Not open to discussion. I said my 2-3 sentences calmly and left the room.

      He beefed for another chance. So I appeased him b/c I did not think we would last and I wanted my financial protection. So I demanded the post nup.

      I made sure he knew if he sat at the dinner table with me and children it was a privilege and a gift and don’t count on it.

      5 years later – we reconciled and we are happy. He changed. He works hard every day to make amends. I see it.

      But I am his wife. I do not do his laundry or errands or cater to him. Those days are gone. I refuse to e his “mom” and take care of him like I used to. I did everything to make his life easy. Not any more.

      He took advantage one time too many. And I won’t back down. And he is so happy to still be part of this family he doesn’t care or complain. He finally gets it.

      I redefined my role as his W. I do not back down any more. We argued once for 2 hours over an insignificant item. It was the principle of it. And after two hours he agreed I was right. That it is disrespectful to agree to something and turn around and do the opposite. Before the A I would have backed down in The first 5 minutes.

      I did this to protect me. Not to end his A. Or stop him from cheating. For my own peace of mind. I could no longer function under the black cloud of infidelity. I needed to save myself first for my sake and that if my children.

      He was no longer my priority.

      Hope this helps. I come from a long line of strong women. I became my mother. Strong focused and determined. Determined to make my life happy again.

      • K


        Thank you SO MUCH for your response. I appreciate it more than you know, as much as it terrifies me to read that you think I need a lawyer, etc. I am so not ready to go down that road. We have both said we wont do anything permanent yet, but when he gets mad he always throws things in my face. I am DETERMINED to be happy with or without him, but I would be MUCH HAPPIER with him. It pains me to think 1 year ago we were on a family vacation, I was pregnant, we were happy as ever. I dont know how this has happened. Do you know if I will get your email address sent to me? I have written a very long response but feel very weird posting it on here all about my life. Thanks in advance!


    • TheFirstWife

      K. I suggested the lawyer so you know your rights just in case.

      So you have some idea of what you are facing – like if you split up and it’s a no fault divorce state – what is the % you get for alimony and what % for child support etc.

      I did not mean to imply you should file for D. But know what your options are in the future. You may want to plan differently for your future based on the information.

      I hope he wishes up soon. Just know for now you need to get yourself away from his infidelity – that will save your sanity.

    • K

      You’re absolutely right. I think you may have been the best thing to happen to me right now. Everyday I wake up knowing I have a full day ahead of feeling pretty crappy for the most part. Like I said in my first post, we decided Sunday he would move out. At first we decided he would stay there but soon after he said he felt like if he did that, we would jump right back into where we were in our relationship and nothing would be fixed. But he has stayed at the house every night since then. First he stayed bc I had a bad cold and he helped through the night with the baby for 2 nights. Last night he went out with friends after work and came home very late and I was irritate but tried to just let it go. One of our problems is he thinks i dont like him going out with friends etc, so I have tried very hard to work on that. But I also dont want to be a doormat. I have explained to him that I feel like he no longer respects me, which he says is absolutely not true, but actions speak louder than words. He texted me today to tell me about something he has going on with work. Its like he wants to talk to me about his life sometimes and im ok with that, but I dont know where I am supposed to enforce boundaries. Like I said, he is still sleeping at home. I like him at home, so its SO hard to feel like I have to tell him to leave. Even though I know thats whats best, and I told him I do know that. I want to prove to him I can make changes on my end, but he doesnt seem to want to prove to me that I can trust him again. He states he has no communication with her, he has no desire to speak to any women right now, but he also is exhausted by us and doesnt want to work on us. And I get it bc I am exhausted too. But I just dont know how to act. I dont want to be mean to him, I want to just focus on me and the baby but its very very hard. I believe when he says he loves me, I do know he does. But how can someone be SO in love, SO on board in a marriage, so all about his wife and making a family and then all of a sudden be SO completely different? He loves our daughter more than ANYTHING and I know that, and he knows he is a good dad but he also chooses to go out a lot and stay out until 3am and then claim he has no freedom. I do not get it. Its like im suffocating him just by existing honestly. I think its his conscious. I think he feels deep down that he should be doing things a certain way, but then convinces himself no, I deserve to be happy. I wasnt happy in our marriage so im justifying doing the things I want to do.
      My life has been turned upside down. Sometimes I feel very positive. I feel like if I just let go he will come around and wake up and see what hes losing. But maybe he doesnt even know he is slowly losing me. Maybe he thinks I will just always be here even though I truly wont. I feel like im just being chipped away every day. Some days things feel good, he will text me, the convo goes well, carefree, and then we both get home from work and its like the site of me is just annoyance to him. He told me sunday I shouldnt make him dinner, I shouldnt do his laundry, he can handle it all himself. And then he texts me Monday and says he will stay at the house since im not feeling well and he will pick up dinner to cook for us….Am I losing my mind or is that confusing in itself? One year ago today we were on a family vacation, I was pregnant, we were happy and excited. Now I dont even know him. I dont know how long he will continue sleeping at home or when he will say hes leaving, or hes found his own place, or what happens next. Im truly living in limbo, with a 5 month old baby, and the love of my life, who no longer looks at me like he used to. When we met I had just graduated college, gotten a good job, I was starting my life and he was impressed by me. He was impressed by how close my family was, he became a part of it and he loved it and it was like he felt such pride in me as his girlfriend, 5 years later as his fiance, and 6 years later as his wife. Here we are almost 9 years later and its like he has completely forgotten who I am, and I am finding it hard to be myself when I feel like im losing a limb. Had he pulled this crap before the baby I probably would have told him to kick rocks, get his shit together, and get back to me when he woke the hell up and realized what a mistake he was making. Instead, Dday happened during pregnancy, I was hormonal, emotional, scared to death, and unsure how the hell I was supposed to maneuver through this. I chose to REPEATEDLY try and try and try. And i felt like I was completely doing it alone. And now he says he has been trying to, but honestly I do not see that at all. The ONLY time I saw any effort from him was when I kicked him out a few weeks ago and he became extremely scared. Said he promised to get better about helping with bills, promised to finish the work around the house he started months ago, told me he was absolutely terrified about losing our marriage. And I let him back in 6 days later like an idiot and soon enough, it all falls apart again. I dont know if the OW and him are back to speaking, im sure they are, but even if not, sometimes I wonder to myself, if this is who he is, do I even WANT that? I told him I see now that we want different lives. I want a family life that he used to want and he no longer wants that. He got upset and said that is what he wants but he doesnt want it on someone else’s terms. I told him it seems much more like he wants the bar life. Work, go to the bar every day, and come home and see the baby, feel like im available even though he doesnt care all that much, and then do it again. He talks about how he wants to do all these adventurous things and he doesnt want to be held back, but hes not doing anything like that. Hes spending his time at a dive bar down the street. which is exactly what he was doing when he was working out of town, hence how he met the bartender OW. Sometimes when he says things to me, theyre so horrible, I literally sit there silent and wonder WHAT AM I DOING? How is he rewriting history SO much and saying these things and feeling ok about it? It is SO BIZARRE. Will he EVER come out of this fog he has created or is this just the new reality he has created? This is a man who loved me more than he loved himself. Someone who would literally do ANYTHING for me. I knew he could easily write off other people, but never me. It was like I was the one real real real thing in his life. And then he met this OW and everything changed. his view on me became totally negative, and that started to change recently. He started to see me again and enjoy me, and now again the last week its like nothing I do is right. Every thing I say im worried is wrong. Am I coming home too early? Am I staying in bed too long in the morning with him? Am I making myself too available? am i answering his texts the right way?….All things I NEVER cared about before. All things he may not even think about, but that I OBSESS over now bc I just want him to SEE ME again. I wish I could go back to 2 weeks ago when he was terrified and texting me nonstop and I was being very short and sticking to my guns. Hell, I wish THE FIRST TIME I saw a text from her 8 months ago I had kicked his ass out and let him see what life was like without me before the baby came. So then he could see clearly he does miss ME when he doesnt have me. I have done so much reading and have handled this so calmly from DAY ONE, I almost regret it. I wish I had lashed out and told him to F off and get out of my life. Instead I stayed calm all the way through and tried to think rationally and now im still in this situation, completely unsure of our future. Right now I can only go off what we discussed Sunday, which was us not working on things, separating, him looking for his own place, and supposedly not staying at home. Although he has been. So I dont know where that puts anything, but i just cant focus on what hes doing like this. I dont even think he thinks about this the way I do. I feel like he is just going on with his days totally fine. He says hes not, he says its so hard, but he seems totally fine, whereas I pretend to be fine but im falling apart inside. He was SERIOUSLY the best guy ever, before the OW. And I know hes still in there somewhere, but maybe his love for me is just not what it was. I dont know how, but maybe thats the case. Im sorry for rambling!

    • TheFirstWife

      K. Seriously I am married to his twin lol.

      My H never complained he had no freedom. He would tell me if he had a work dinner or working late (or traveling etc). The issue w/ my H was he would tell me be home by 12 pm and show up at 3 am with no call or courtesy. Complete disrespect.

      This went on for years. I begged pleaded discussed etc. after 9-11 when people went to wok and did not come home you would THINK he would get it.

      Well that stopped after DDay2. He realized how disrespectful it was. I very rarely said “no” to him to being out with his friends without me. Not an issue.

      Until he met the OW in a bar.

      And then he stopped or curtailed his bar nights. He was not a big drinker but he realized the error of his ways.

      K – I’m telling you this b/c I could never change his behavior. He admits now that my requests to please call if late was very reasonable. But he refused to do it b/c in his words “he didn’t like being told what to do”. Hahahahaha – asking someone to call if they are going to be 4 hours late is so off the Wall.

      Second / I put up with his disrespect far too long. Between the As (2) and the being constantly late (by hours and hours) I was a doormat.

      Now? He calls me or keys me know if his damn train is late. Because he knows I won’t toletste anything else.

      And I have my DDay2 showdown to prove I will do it.

      Don’t be me. Don’t live with the disrespect. I’m not saying D him. But right now – having been through your exact situation – your H cannot do what he is doing. Leaving you in limbo is unfair and it’s not a game.

      It would be better to tell him that you love him dearly but you must separate until he decides what he wants – 100% commitment to you or else there is no reason to continue being married.

      You can co-parent and be the two best parents not living together IF IT COMES TO THAT.

      But right now – you are being manipulated and used. You are his wife. He married you. You come first. If he cannot make that decision – then you need may have to make it for him.

      So sorry for you. I hope he comes to his senses.

      BTW – after your married – what was his schedule in terms of going out with friends? Different than now?

    • TheFirstWife

      K. The other thing that I said to my H during his A and A fog and false reconciliation and the times he said he wanted a D – was this.

      You have to make a choice. It’s her or me. And he would swear it’s me. But I would challenge him and tell him his actions don’t show he really wants to be married any longer. His words were always “I want to be married”.

      But actions don’t lie. And 2-3 days later he would tell me he wasn’t sure what he wanted.

      But he was a coward. Too chicken (or too confused to know what he wanted).

      I lived mine that for 6 months. Our 25th anniversary came around and HE planned a really nice overnight at a top hotel. It was so romantic. I thought we turned the corner. I thought we were past the A.

      Less than one month later he wanted a D (yet again!?).

      The A fog (the state yiur H is in) will make you crazy. I literally thought my H started using drugs he was so out of character.

      And he has never used drugs and I have known him 35 years. His emotional state was that rocky.

      DDay 2 was my turning point. He literally walked in the door and out of the blue wanted a D. No fight had occurrrd. No argument. Just walked in and demanded a D.

      And a few hours later I told him he no longer had any control over me or my life b/c I was done playing games. I was D him.

      The most hurtful words I ever said. In 25 years of M the “D” words was never used.

      But it was the most defining moment b/c I took back my power and restored my self esteem. And then I was calling the shots.

      The OW was history and he was doing everything possible to make amends.

      In no way am I recommending telling your H you want a D unless you are prepared to do it. Unfortunately I was.

      But 5 years later after DDay we have a great M. None of the past issues have resurfaced. No disrespect. No lateness.

      It can be turned around. But it was my H’s idea to change. Because he chose to stay M.

      No talking or therapy or pleading or crying had any impact unfortunately. But I know my cutting him loose and telling him he was free to go and I was done being a yo-yo in this M had some impact.

      It finally got through. I hope it does for your H. Before it is too late.

      The next time he wants to go to a bar until 3 am tell him you will get a babysitter and join him. See what happens then.

      Do that a few times and see what happens. Could be he is no longer that interested in going out . Lol

    • K


      Youre absolutely right, they are twins! Just this past weekend, Saturday night he said he was going for drinks with a friend and would be home by 8. Around 9:15 he sent me a text saying “be home before 10”. He didnt get home until 11:30, which honestly doesnt bother me, but what bothers me is that he is so unaware of how unreliable that makes him for me. He is constantly saying Oh ill be home early. Then he doesnt come home until way later and doesnt think its a big deal. It is like he tricks himself to believe he wasnt out that long. Yesterday, he said to me that he had been invited to a concert Saturday night, and I said oh why didnt you go? And he was like “I wanted to be home with the baby”..and I looked at him and laughed and I said “but you went out.” and he was like “well ya but I wasnt out late! The concert would have gone until like 1 at the earliest”. He continues to convince himself he is making all these great choices. It blows my MIND. Last week I had a suspicion that he was continuing to talk to the OW, and I had a minor blow up. I said “I know youre still talking to her and I cant do it anymore.” I walked away, he followed me and said I was wrong but I shut the bathroom door and got in the shower and then I told him I needed a breather and i went for a drive. The rest of the night we were okay, his dad was here so I knew we wouldnt discuss it, we didnt discuss anything and it was a decent night. I didnt want to talk about it. Then the next day he sent me a text after I left for work asking why I thought he was still speaking to her. I said to him “you are a grown man. If you want to be with her then youre going to make that choice and im not going to stand in your way.” and he said I was wrong again and I just let it go because I have no proof. I do think he is in communication with her though and im honestly afraid to know for sure bc I know what it feels like to see it with my own eyes in his phone, and I dont want to do that to myself again. But I also just hate this. I feel like I am beginning to hate him, so I am SURE he is continuing to see me negatively. Yesterday he asked me where all my friends have been. And he CONSTANTLY asks me if I want to go do something with my friends and he will keep the baby. Its like he is literally trying to push me out of the house. When all I want is to do things with HIM and the baby, like we would have been doing prior to all of this. But if I say that he says “WE DONT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE TOGETHER! THATS PART OF THE PROBLEM”……..its so very frustrating. He doesnt even see it, he doesnt even see all the things were missing out on as a family bc of him. I wish people could hear how highly he speaks of himself and how he will choose to be home with the baby over doing anything else, yet this past week alone he was in the bar 4 nights. He accuses me of hiding my phone from him, as if IM DOING SOMETHING WRONG, when he hides his phone morning to night. And he is on it a lot more this week which is why I am under the impression they are back speaking. And honestly, part of me is like who the hell cares. Let them talk. If thats what he wants then he should go have it, bc I know im better than all of it. But I get so upset bc I know if he is still speaking with her, he should in NO WAY be living in our home. Even though I know right now we are not working on our relationship, we are just kind of co-existing, it is still disrespectful of him if he is speaking to her, and it only continues to put me in a negative light because he just thinks im always around, its like I annoy him. Yesterday he left to go get something he left somewhere. When he wasnt home around 45 mins later I said forget this. I got the baby in the stroller and I went for a run. And then I got in the car and went for a drive. He texted me and said he would be home in 15 mins. I didnt respond, and I continued driving, just listening to music, thinking. I went home around an hour later and he was there cooking dinner for everyone. I was very standoffish, not mean, just did my own thing. And when I do that I can always tell he gets a little curious. But i knew waking up this morning that it would be right back to me feeling like im some weak girl and he calls the shots. I dont know why I feel that way, I dont think thats how he sees it. I acted pretty blah to him today. I didnt really want to talk, I said I didnt feel good and was going to work from home. And now I feel like hes just gone to work and is thinking “gosh shes so miserable”. But im SO sick of just trying to be so happy and so upbeat all the time around him. I KNOW in my heart he shouldnt be here. He shouldnt be living here. I know that. But I keep telling myself just stick it out a little. Wait and see what happens. Continue trying to do your own thing. STOP focusing on what HES doing. Even if he is talking to her. Right now, him and i are not “a couple”, so I am just trying so hard to stop getting so worked up. But everyday I think to myself, I would probably be better off alone right now. When he doesnt have me, he seems to finally wake up. But im afraid that if I let him go again, he will finally be done and not try. I want him to know the door is open for him to leave, im not keeping him here. and I think he knows that. We discussed him getting his own place might work out better. But he hasnt mentioned that in a week and just has been staying here. I dont know how many times ive told him “you want a different life than this one, go have it” and he says thats not what he wants, he just doesnt want to be controlled. Yet he CONTINUES showing that what he does want is this other life, going to the bar, hanging out with people I dont even know. And you nailed it when you said the drug thing. When this all started happening, I was SERIOUSLY concerned he was doing drugs. I had NO CLUE how a person could change in this way. It blew my mind. And it seems like at moments he is completely out of the fog, he seems to be here, himself, wanting to be here, enjoying it. And then sometimes its like I do ONE thing and he becomes irritated and I can ALREADY see the wheels turning in his mind of like wanting to get out. I dont want to live like this. I dont want to live with my husband and father of my child just bc it makes it easier, even though he may be emotionally cheating still and im getting no affection, im walking on egg shells, I dont feel loved by any means. I feel like an annoyance. I have NEVER felt this way with him. Some days feel good, and some days feel like absolute torture, and I dont know if its in my head and I make it worse by getting in a weird mood, or what. He KNOWS he is free to go. But what he doesnt know is that right now I honestly just dont even want him here. I dont want to be around him. And if I said that to him it might be a wake up call, but then again, I might regret it 10 mins later and regret saying it. Its easy to say I dont want him here, when hes here all the time. The minute he walks out and when he will be back becomes uncertain, thats when my insides feel like theyre falling and I want to just curl up in a ball. I wish someone could boost me up EVERYDAY and tell me like “youve got this today. Stay busy, work hard, be nice to him, be upbeat, DONT worry about what hes doing on his phone. Worry about what YOU need to do in these 24 hours.”…..I wake up and read the 180 instructions almost daily just to motivate myself. But acting them out is a whole other story. EVERYTHING seems fine until I start to think about the OW and the fact that he may still be talking to her and disrespecting me to my face. THAT sets a fire inside me and I just cannot help but start to ask him questions, which annoy him and he starts saying :”This will never end. This will never work”. But God forbid he ever try to prove me wrong. God forbid he EVER show me his phone or prove himself. No way. And I believe it is because he is lying still. And I just hate it bc I TRULY know I am a good woman. I know I am a good wife, I know he has loved me TO DEATH until all of this, I know this OW in reality does not hold a candle to me. I do know these things. I know if I cut him off emotionally from me completely he would prob struggle, whether or not he would admit it like he did before I dont know, but I know he would feel it. I know down the road he would regret it. But its like I just continue on thinking okay maybe we can just be friends right now of some sort and then start our relationship over in a new way………….But I just dont know the right moves to make living in the same house. I could stay busy ALL the time, go be with my friends, when in reality, I want to be home with my baby. Even if its just her and I and he isnt here, I want to do what I want to do, and not constantly feel pressure to be busy and be out of the house just to make him wonder. Its EXHAUSTING. I just want to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. I work out, I want to be healthy, I want to be a great mom, and he can continue living whatever life he wants. Is this at all possible to do under the same roof without hating him? I feel like im losing my mind.

      Sorry its so long.


      • TheFirstWife

        K. You are in a very tough position. I am a bit older than you (my children are teens) but here is my observation. I have seen this scenario many times w/ my friends. Some spouses (women included) do not grow up and mature after they have children. By that I mean they still want to go out and hang out etc. as if they were single or not a parent.

        Unfortunately you are being responsible and he is not. That is the first issue.

        The second issue is the one I cannot figure out and it makes no sense to me (or you). He encourages you to go out and he will stay home, but yet does not want to stay home with you and your baby. Seriously?! What is that about?

        You have done everything possible – you have tried discussing it. You have told him he needs to move out. You have told him he can be with the other woman all he wants.

        Yup Yup and Yup. I said and did all those things. I was calm and practical and told him if he does not want to be married any more (after 25 years) – feel free to go. I am not stopping you.

        But yet he refused to leave. And he would be nice for a few days and then it would start again. I have lived EXACTLY what you are living.

        Here are my suggestions:

        1. Appointment with a D attorney to find out what the laws are in your state and what you are entitled to. You get a % of his pay for alimony and child support. It would be good to know what it is. I am not saying file – just get an idea in case you need to file.

        2. Get yourself a good therapist or counselor. One who can guide you through this storm. My therapist saved my sanity and was a good fit. Of course I was very unprepared for the “ILYBNILWY” speech a few days later and demand for a D a week after DDay1. But I was being calm and level headed.

        3. Do the 180 the best you can for yourself. Just to protect yourself. It can be very little things – but whatever you need to do is better than nothing.

        Now comes the hard part.

        4. Calm and rational confrontation. Here are my suggestions:
        a. You tell him you want to talk openly and honestly. BUT if he chooses to lie then the conversation is over. And the minute he lies and you know it – you calmly tell him that you expect him to be honest with you – no matter what. And that you know he is lying. DO NOT ASK IF HE IS LYING. You tell him you know he is lying and that you are expecting this conversation to be honest and truthful.

        b. You tell him that you have noticed that he is not willing to be a family. He does his own thing and he encourages you to spend time alone but that you do not see him trying to spend time together as a family. Tell him that this is not what you expected when you married and had children. Again, if he lies, you tell him that you are expecting him to be honest. NO YELLING! Calm and rational.

        c. You also tell him that you have noticed that the two of you are on two different paths. He chooses to go out 4-5 nights per week to the bars and hang out with people you do not even know. You understand that he has made this choice, but unfortunately it is not OK with you. NO YELLING!

        d. You suggest MC for you as a couple. To help you both get back on track. DO NOT mention the A or EA or whatever he is doing. Tell him your communication efforts are not working and you feel you need help resolving the differences and making things better in the future.

        These are the things I did with my H. The Red Flags were he refused counseling. Why? He was still cheating. None of this worked for me but it laid a foundation that I was willing to look past the A and move forward. Unfortunately he used all of my suggestions against me with the OW. He would tell her what I was doing and saying.

        But it is a calm rational approach. If he declines to discuss honestly, refuses MC and will not try to compromise, then you will soon realize you have nothing to work with. Whether he is cheating or not is secondary – what is most important is that he is not putting the M first.

        At some point you will get tired, beaten down, worn out, emotionally exhausted and tired of playing some sick twisted game where the Cheater gets to call the shots. Which is what happened at DDay2 for me.

        I told him I had nothing left to give him. I loved him but I could no longer live with his infidelity (having been told in one day that he wanted a D, didn’t want a D and wanted to be with me while dumping the OW and trying to cover it all up so I would have no idea). I told him he no longer had any decision making ability when it came to me and I was D him. And I left the room.

        He never expected I would call the OW that night (before the D conversation) so I knew he had been cheating. The whole six months I thought we were R.

        IF you end up having to tell him the M is over, YOU NEED A PLAN. Its called the Plan B. It is important to have your $ in order, your paperwork in order, access to all financial records, bank accounts in your name alone so you have $ without having to rely on him. You need to know WHO is leaving the house, you need to have a plan on some custody and visitation schedules, etc.

        Your Plan B may need to be instituted by you. You have told him to leave but yet he does not. He is manipulating you (like my H did to me). But at DDay2 he knew he was no longer able to do that. I had complete control and I was telling him what would happen. I told him he had to leave. He decided he did not want to. I picked up the phone and made arrangements for him to stay with a friend until he found another place. I told him he was free to live with the OW for all I cared – I was not stopping him. I really no longer cared.

        You cannot tell your H to leave and not enforce it. You lose all credibility and power. If you say something you have to mean it and stick to it.

        If you decide to try and R at some point, you need to come to an understanding between both of you as to what your M will be and look like. If you no longer want him to hang out in bars w/out you present, then you need to clearly state that during MC or in your talks to him. It is not about control. It is about respect.

        You need to get him to see that he disrespects you. It took me 20+ years to get my H to see that his behavior was disrespectful. But now he freely admits it – but at the time he was saying “yes I will call if I am late” but never doing it.

        Just know you cannot change him. At some point you need to accept him for what he is and if the M cannot work, then he ha made his choice and then you must do the same. Sorry to say.

        Your baby needs one functioning happy parent who is going to put the child’s needs first at all times. And a happy emotionally stable parent alone is better than the hell you are living in now. Trust me – I know what you are going through. It is horrific – but I cannot imagine it with a newborn baby.

        I hope any of this advice helps you. During the conversation, you do not yell or get upset. You remain calm. You acknowledge when he is lying to you. You may have to end the conversation if he continues the lies b/c you will go nowhere.

        And do not mention the OW for now. This is about you and your M and his choices and behavior. The discussions about her can be addressed at MC or in another conversation.

      • TheFirstWife

        K. At the end of all of this, he can choose his own path.

        But my suggestions are to get you out from dealing with his choices that undermine the M and disrespect you. Your issues are more than just the A.

        Though I wonder WHY he needs to spend so much time out at bars – come on, 4-5 nights a week is excessive. He may be having more than one OW or just enjoying the flirting.

        But we all know that bars, single men and women (out without their spouses or significant others) and alcohol can be a lethal mix of temptation and possibly more.

    • k


      Youre absolutely right. I really told myself I would do this 180 and stick to it, and then again this week I asked him to show me his phone and told him I know he is speaking with her, even though I dont know that. He wouldnt show me his phone but said hes absolutely not speaking to her and hasnt in almost a month. He said I am wrong and that he doesnt want this to keep coming up but also said it shouldnt matter, as we are not working on us right now regardless. But he was very adament they are not speaking. I said to him that I just do not want to be disrespected anymore. He understood that, he did not get mad, he just was very clear that they are not speaking. And part of me believes him, and part of me thinks you may be right about a possible different woman. Which, if that were to be the case, I would completely cut ties with him. I know we are not “working towards reconciliation” right now, but I am not living in the same home with him if he is speaking with other women. He is here every night, I dont really have any reason to think there is someone he is seeing, but clearly anything can happen. I told him it is time for me to focus on what I want out of life for myself. And he understood. He has been good at keeping in contact with me, although its like once throughout the day, but if he has to work late he informs me, things like that. I want SO BADLY to do this 180, I have moments of such confidence where I feel like im going to be fine no matter what, and then I have such moments of sadness where I feel like this is just the worst situation and will never get better and that if I feel this bad then he must too and must think our life at home is miserable, etc. I get so many thoughts in my head that just completely consume me and it is so frustrating. I know my own value, yet I feel like I constantly have to prove it to him, when I have never felt that way before. I am trying so hard to stay busy to make him wonder what im up to, but its just exhausting me to feel like I always have to be gone when he gets home, or be doing things. I know im supposed to be living my life for me, but its more like im living my life TRYING to do what I think will open his eyes. When I do go do things, I know hes curious, but hes very good at not asking questions and trying to act like he doesnt care, but I can tell things get to him. I need to do the 180 and completely stick to it. I need to TRY to just be positive and focus on ME and the baby, and stop focusing EVERY WAKING MOMENT on what hes feeling and how bad this situation feels. I dont know where his head is right now, but clearly were still just cohabitating and not doing anything to get us back on track. I need to give him his freedom and show him im ok giving him that freedom, but then I have moments where I feel like im being walked all over. Maybe I should give myself a time limit of trying the 180 FULL FORCE, and if nothing changes after a month or so maybe I need to tell him to leave, if by then he hasnt. If I feel this way, I am sure he feels this way x10. Im afraid that living together like we are is going to make this worse, its going to give him a bad taste in his mouth of what its like to live together and when he does leave he will only feel relief instead of sad like he did when i asked him to leave a few weeks ago. I dont want him to look at us living together as roomates, but right now when were not working on us, thats basically what we are. I read opposing things, that its good to live together bc the communication continues, and then that its better to separate so they can see what theyre missing. When were home together and hanging out, things are fine. We laugh, we talk about normal things. But sometimes we dont say much of anything and I usually do my own thing just trying to back off him. im just so confused. I know there is no right way to do this, but gosh I feel like my life is just in SUCH limbo I dont even know if I should invite him places or tell him plans I have as far as this weekend bc im just so afraid of pushing him away. and if I dont invite him then im afraid he will throw it in my face and say it hurt his feelings. I should just be honest with him and tell him I dont know what to do and where we stand, but im so sick of bringing things up and watching his face just fall in annoyance (sometimes). Sometimes, he wants to discuss stuff anf sometimes I can tell hes immediately annoyed. Which I get bc I feel the same way. I wish we could just have fun, We were for a while there after the separation and now it really just feels so blah. I need to STICK to the 180 and FULLY DO IT, It is just SO hard, Im so afraid of pushing him away by me pulling away, Im afraid that ill pull away and give him all this freedom and he will just take advantage and feel really great doing things without me. Its so scary. Again, I wish SO BADLY that a few weeks ago when I asked him to leave and we left on decent terms and he reached out multiple times a day and was terrified to lose me, I wish I had stuck to that and continued to let him feel the loss of me. Bc now I feel like thats done with. I feel like he wont ever feel that way again. Is that stupid? I am so afraid he will feel his life is better without me in it somehow..I dont know HOW WE GOT HERE. How im SO insecure now when I never was before.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. I am sorry he has destroyed you. But then again most Betrayed Spouses are destroyed and devastated by the infidelity.

      But now you are in limbo. Your H is not reconciling or fighting for the M AND claims he has not spoken to the OW in a month or so.

      But yet he is still living the single Life (somewhat) by handing out in the bars with people you don’t know, you are not invited or included and he puts very little effort towards your feelings.

      NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING you do will push him away. You Hs r to stop thinking like that.


      it is not you. It is him.

      You can live like roommates doing exactly the same thing. He’s happy b/c he can continue to disrespect you and your M. And if he wants some fun or conversation from you – he knows he will get it.

      Or you can take some time to decide WHAT YOU WANT!!

      But no matter what – I dare say your H is a coward. His actions are showing you what he wants. The fact that he “can’t decide” is a bunch of nonsense. He is just too cowardly to say it. So he waffles between the singles night at the bar life and being M at his convenience.

      My H early on was hoping I would demand a D so he could be with the OW but not have any blame. Because if I said I wanted a D (in his mind) I ended the M. In his mind his A had no impact or reason for the D. ????

      And I wonder if your H isn’t trying for the same thing.

      But no matter what you do – his decisions are his own choices and he cannot blame you for any thing that happens as a result of his cheating. He may try to blame you.

      But he chose to cheat.

      And if he leaves you or you separate or D – it is his choice. Nothing to do with anything you do or do not do. I know where you are right now.

      Trying to be “perfect”. Trying to win him back. But nothing you do will influence him. It is up to him to decide.

      Do not let him blame you for any results – b/c that is blameshifting and cheaters love to cast the Blame for their A on everyone else.

      • K


        Oh absolutely, he has blamed me for SO much. He says he knows he was wrong and he wishes he had never even given in to affair, etc, but that he felt unappreciated in our marriage and wishes he had spoken up. He says he felt like I controlled everything and everything we did was on my terms and I didnt respect him, etc etc. But he never made any of this clear to me until AFTER the A and him telling me he wasnt in love with me anymore, then changing his mind 2 days later, then changing his mind a few days later, over and over and over until 2 months later I realized he was having the A all along and I had no idea about it. I cant even BELIEVE it has been so many months of dealing with this. It is absolutely limbo and it is HELL. I think at first he definitely wanted me to end it so he wouldnt feel bad about what he was doing, but now part of me feels like if I end it he will be angry but then a little sad and then just go out and find someone else. I cant explain it, I do know he loves me, but its almost as if he doesnt realize how much he loves me until he no longer has me. When we first separated for the most part he seemed okay, he wanted to come here every night to see the baby, but he would leave and he seemed to be fine and it killed me. Then after a month or so of that (or maybe 2, I dont even remember at this point) he said he wanted to start staying the night to help me more, which happened to be after I told him I was moving on with or without him. Then soon after that we started to have sex again, then things started to move back to us being together again and I think it spooked him as soon as I pressured him to not be out too late and stick to his word about things. Then he saw the OW again and I found out and made him leave. (Which was about a month ago now) And We had a very lengthy, crying convo, which ended with a long hug and him apologizing and saying he knows its all his fault and he wishes he could take it back and maybe down the road we could be okay and we decided no Divorce or custody arrangements, that he would give me some time and we would make a schedule for him and the baby. And that week he just seemed to be so distraught, texting me non stop, telling me how scared he was about everything, how hes not ready to divorce, etc. (Ive told you this so im sure I sound like a broken record) and then I let him come back home and the whole cycle started again of us slowly morphing back into our relationship and he gets scared saying its going too fast and hes afraid everything will go right back to what it was. And honestly, I do understand where hes coming from with some stuff. Its hard bc we have such a young baby, I have a large family, things are always going on, and its like we just go right back into a routine and hes thinking “gosh, this isnt what I wanted to get back into”, and I do get that. But its also a part of life, schedules, things going on that we should be a part of TOGETHER. So again, after a few weeks we decided he would leave again, which was 2 weeks ago, and he never left. And thats fine, I mean I dont even know. GOSHHHHH. It kills me every, single, day. He leaves for work and I just immediately feel like okay, heres another day to get through. And my job is busy, but clearly im still constantly thinking of this. What will after work be like today, will he go somewhere, will he tell me he has plans tomorrow, will it be a bad weekend? I have a party for my brother Saturday night, which a year ago, would be an absolute given we would go as a family. And yet I havent even told him about it bc im terrified he will take that as an opportunity to make plans to go see the OW, or go do something else without us, or me inviting him will be turned into me trying to push us right back where we were. Or me NOT inviting him and hes left out and im inconsiderate. I think im just going to tell him about it and say if he would like to join us we would love it, but I have a feeling he isnt going to and then im going to take it personally. When im starting to think none of this is even about me really. Its not him TRYING to hurt ME, its him just WANTING other things MORE than he wants the marriage. Things outside the marriage is much more appealing to him right now than things inside the marriage, and that sucks. But its not necessarily him hating me, like I have felt. Its more him having these perceptions of me and the outside world, totally different then he used to. Which makes me think hes still slightly in the fog. Even if he isnt speaking to the OW, his head is still fogged FOR SURE with what he wants for his life. And I know THIS isnt what I want for my life, whatever it is he is doing. I dont want a husband like this. I dont even know what “this” is, but its not what I want. But I LOVE HIM, And I love who he is, and I just dont know where that person is anymore. Sometimes I see it and sometimes im like woah who is this. I got home last night and he was home from work and he was in a great mood. I think he had probably gone to the bar for a drink or 2 which again, I dont mind in moderation, but he was happy and nice. I mean its not like we ever hug or anything like that, but we chat, we get the baby ready for bed, we sleep in the same bed. His phone went off a few times last night when he was asleep and I was VERY tempted to look at it, but I didnt. Because I just dont want to be that person. Even though I know right now I have every right to if I want to, to see if im being lied to and kick his ass out, but I just am again, TRYING to stick to this 180, and if I can stick to it and somehow show him with my actions that I am doing my own thing, maybe he will become curious. Part of me is TERRIFIED that I will start to solely focus on me and the baby and stop asking him questions about what hes up to, and he will take advantage of that and start doing whatever he wants as if hes not married and start to enjoy it and fall more and more out of love with me. Thats terrifying. Like even though right now were not reconciling, were living in limbo, together, not a couple basically, but he has still been home every night, we discuss things, he lets me know if hes running late, those type of things….I dont know. I have always been the one person in his life thats a complete constant. I have always been the most important person to him, I know he has loved me more than he loved ANYONE in his life, like I was just the one thing that really mattered, and now I feel like I dont matter and im so confused by that. And I feel like my value just decreases for him everyday we continue living together in a way. Its like im just here, I just exist and as long as he can come home to see the baby and feel like im still around, then he feels good to live whatever life he wants. And its these thoughts that deter me from the 180, bc when I have thoughts like this I just want to tell him he should go. But the 180 specifically says no matter HOW you feel today, do not show it. Only be upbeat in his presence and show that you are moving on in your life. BUt how the hell do you “SHOW” that youre moving on in life when you have a 5 month old baby that you are trying to get on a schedule and you have to be home pretty often and he sees & knows that.I feel like in this ENTIRE situation I have not been given a shot. And when I was, I didnt take it. When I was pregnant and this all first happened, I should have absolutely stuck to kicking him out. And I didnt, and I will always regret that. But I just feel like ive been CONSTANTLY given the shit end of the stick. I read things that say “you have more power than you think”, but I seriously feel powerless. When I made him leave and he felt devastated, I felt like I had power. I felt like i had FINALLY gotten him to see the light. And then I lost all that power the minute I invited him back. I want to be this busy person ive always been and do all these things, but im realizing that I did all those things before bc I felt so secure in my life having him as a husband. I felt like I could do anything bc we just supported eachother and we had eachother no matter what. And now im alone in a way, with a baby, with a “husband” that isnt sure that he wants to be a husband anymore. I feel so vulnerable and im always assuming hes just walking all over me and I dont even know if he is. Im so sick of being worried that every day a new bomb is going to drop thats going to make my stomach drop and upset me. Im so sick of being sad! But at night when were hanging out, it feels okay. I dont know. I dont even know how ill EVER trust him again which is a whole other issue in itself. Even if we did reconcile and moved forward, how would I EVER get past what hes done and all the texts ive read and the things theyve said to one another. How do you get past that? I dont focus on getting over that right now, bc we may not ever get there anyways. He may never want to work on us, especially if we continue life how it is right now. I dont know how he feels about this, but in my opinion this limbo sucks. We arent loving to one another, we arent affectionate in any way, its just got to be making things worse and worse. Maybe he feels differently, but I doubt it. Its like the more we live like roomates, the more his feelings for me will dwindle I feel. Yet, why arent MY feelings dwindling? I see what he does and I KNOW I dont want a husband like this, yet I still love him and would want to work on it…..WHAT?! Whats wrong with me? I just want my husband back. Im so much better than this. I deserve so much more than this. I have GOT to get a hold of myself. Do you think it is possible to commit fully to this 180, while he is living here, and he will see it and maybe open his eyes? I dont even know what to DOOOOOO at this point.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. There is nothing you can do. Unfortunately that is the truth. There is nothing you can do to change his mind. Or get him to make a decision. Or get him to see his mistakes.

      Everyone here will tell you the BS is powerless when it comes to the M and the CS.

      You are very smart. I can tell from what you have posted you truly understand this is all his doing.

      And you have also posed how the 180 is necesssry for you. To protect ourself.

      I too went through the limbo stage but I was getting the “I want a D” discussion. I would just say “ok” to him b/c I knew I could not change his mind. But for some reason he would change his mind – and then regret would appear and two weeks later he wanted a D (yet again).

      What is terrible is that your H is keeping you in limbo and not putting his M or you first.

      It’s OK IF he doesn’t know what he wants. But it is not ok for him to drag you down the black hole of indecisiveness with him.

      You are waiting for him to make a decision.

      I made that poor choice and I let him justify his A as my fault. I allowed him to be mean and nasty.

      I heard from my H of 25 years that he told me I only married him to spite my parents. 25 years I loved him and have him the best and that is what he told me!! He slid accused me of having an A with a co worker 25 years ago. Hahahaha the stuff that come out of his mouth was unbelievable and so far from reality.

      Don’t be me. Don’t hit rock bottom b/c someone in your life has decided THEY are confused and don’t know what they want.

      As my friend from south America says – if you don’t want me – I don’t want you. And her H knows she means it. He would not dare test out that theory b/c she would dump him in a heartbeat if he cheated on her.

      It is fine if you decide the M no mo get works. But you man up and be real. You tell the spouse the truth. You don’t cheat.

      This situation is unfair to you. You are not HIS support system and back up plan. You are his W and deserve to be his #1

      • K


        Thank you for another dose of great advice. Last night was a big one. He went out after work, didnt call or text me, didnt come home until 2am. I had enough, limbo stage is just too torturous for me. I cant live every single day not knowing where his head is and then have him come here every night like were a family. It just feels so wrong, I feel like we will end up hating eachother. I know I was feeling that way, even though when were together its nice, the minute he would leave I just felt crazy. I felt like he was having his cake and eating it too. Living like hes single but still getting to come home to me and the baby every night. So, when he arrived home at 2am last night I lost it. I said it was disrespectful for him to not send me a quick text just saying he wouldnt be home to help put the baby to sleep. I told him his actions show he doesnt care about me at all and that he wanted a different life, and I told him to go have it. I said go live the life you want to live, just stop coming here afterwards. Leave me out of the equation. I told him he told me he would give me money weekly and finish the things around the house and he hasnt stuck to his word. He got really angry and said I dont do anything around the house besides feed the baby and that he could do what I do….(so untrue but whats the point), I said “Okay, well YOU DONT, bc youre NOT HERE”. I told him his actions show he wants a different life, he wants to be in the bar most days after work, hanging out with people I dont know. I said to him that when he met the OW he became a bar rat bc she was a bartender and he went to her bar everyday after work, and now hes doing that same thing at home, just without her involved. He basically blew me off and just kept saying ok whatever ok whatever. I was shaking I was so angry. He went and laid on the couch and sent me a text saying lets finalize a divorce. I told him thats fine, do what he needs to do and ill sign. Then he texted me and said he would be out of the house asap and said “so you dont think im fit to be a part of the baby’s life?”….and when he says things like this I dont understand bc I never said that. Sometimes I feel like he just wants a way out, to escape. I responded to his text saying “You want a different life, and you should go live it. Im removing myself from it, not the baby”. and he said ok then remove yourself. Then he went on again to say he would be out of the house asap and asked how we will go about scheduling the baby. I said to him we will make a schedule and I will leave when he comes to spend time with her, and once he gets his own place we will go from there…..I dont know if any of what I did was the right decision, I just know I have to gain control of my life. And living in limbo, walking on egg shells day in and day out was not a way to live. Im sure im going to be extremely sad and depressed about this in a days time, I know its going to be so hard. Its much easier when he is apologizing and texting me and seems remorseful. Right now it seems like he could care less, He is probably thinking to himself “I knew she couldnt handle me going out. I dont want to live under her thumb.” When thats not it at all. Its RUDE to go out all night and not even inform me when we live in the same house and im at home raising the baby. Its just rude, and he knows that, but he twists it all up and justifies everything he does. And now im of course TERRIFIED he is going to run off to OW. He will have his freedom now to do whatever he wants, answer to no one, and im TERRIFIED he will love it. And Im also terrified he will rush into a divorce, when we have both said all along we didnt want to do that yet. But he lets his anger take over. I feel like this was the best move for me right now. I cannot continue feeling like im being walked all over, and I dont think he knowingly walks all over me, but its just how I feel when my HUSBAND cant even treat me like his wife. I cant wrap my head around it all still. I would of course hope that one day he will open his eyes and see this for what it is and see how much trauma he has caused, but I really doubt it. He has completely convinced himself he is
        doing everything right and he has justified absolutely everything, and he seems like he could care less that im asking him to leave. And I just have to stick to my guns I guess, as hard as it is. As hard as it is to come home everyday to a house completely alone without him, I know i have to stick to it. I also have to stick to the 180, for myself. I absolutely do NOT want to divorce him, I love him more than anything, but I just dont even know this person right now sometimes. I dont understand it. And he has been gone all day and of course my mind goes to wondering where he could possibly be, but I just have to get used to wondering that, bc now he wont be living here anymore. ANy and ALL support of this decision is welcomed. I really hope I have done whats right.

        Thanks so much,

      • Cynthia

        Eleanor Roosevelt once said ” No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” Work on getting stronger. You have a good head on your shoulder and remember your daughter needs her mother because you are the stability in her life. It sounds like your h is irresponsible and immature because he acts like a selfish overgrown toddler. Remember your daughter will see him as a role model and someday when she gets married she will consider the way he treated you acceptable behavior from her husband. Im sure thats not what you want. There is a saying “the best thing a father can do for his daughter, is to love and respect her mother” and obviously even at her young age she senses tension. You might want to have that talk with him and explain with the situation the way it is she may begin to think its normal to be miserable because one parent is conflicted and cannot seem to grow up Just dont put your life on hold for him anymore You are better than that and so is your daughter! Stay strong

    • TheFirstWife

      I am so sorry it came to this. But…….

      unfortunately you were heading down this path. He said he didn’t want a D. He said he was confused. He said he did not want to be controlled.

      Yet he did nothing towards trying to restore the M. He would be nice here and there but then cold, distant and non-communicative other times.

      You told him the lifestyle he wants isn’t fair. It’s not a M. Did he fight for you? No! He threw in the towel.

      From his actions the last few months it appears as though you were headed to this point anyway. You just sped up the process and got yourself out of living in limbo.

      I think you did the best thing given the options you had. He did not appear to be doing anything positive for you or your M.

      And you just know – deep down you know – you could have kept your mouth shut for the next six months and he would be coming home @ 2 am more often. That is the life you would be having. If he’s making that choice NOW – when your M is in need of life support – then he would most likely be making that choice 6 months from now. There is nothing to show otherwise that anything woukd be different.

      If he goes running off to the OW – well that is on him!!! No self respecting person jumps into another Relationship the next day. No caring respectable H does that – and I would venture to say the OW has been lurking in your M the past few months. He made that choice. Nothing you said or did can justify or excuse him running to OW.

      I dare say he won’t be home tonight either!!. How convenient for him.

      She’s not been complete gone if you ask me. Which is part of the reason you are in limbo.

      If he cannot see the disrespect – well then you don’t need a second child to raise. You need him to be a man. A partner. A team player. A father.

      Not a bar hound who can’t or won’t pick up the phone and continues to disappear. Either he has a serious drinking problem or many OW or something. His behavior is unacceptable!!!

      Good for you for standing up to him. No matter the outcome you will look back and be glad you did. Because you will know you had your baby’s best interest at all times. You know he is unreliable. Dishonest. A cheater. Selfish.

      And you cannot live like that. You deserve better. And the fact he never has done anything to make amends shows you EXACTLY who and what he is.

      I keep hoping he wakes up and gets it. But he is running out of time very quickly. He is just st the point of no return and the fact he threw in the towel so easily is not a good sign.

      • K

        I am having SUCH a horrific day today. I am abnormally sad, like a new low. I dont even know why. We had a huge blowout fight on Monday. I AGAIN accused him of talking to OW, he swore he isnt, hasnt, doesnt want to. Is sick of me accusing him, said I made him leave the house and hes out and he doesnt care anymore, etc etc. He said a TON of stuff, as did I. But he gets very worked up and says a lot of things out of anger that really hurt me, so I ended up walking away from the argument. I dont even know why I started it. I dont know why I am doing anything I do these days. I see something online the OW posts and I just get completely set off. I feel SO all over the place. When we left after the argument he texted me that we need to end this. He said that I am too impatient and I will never be convinced he isnt speaking to her. He said he doesnt know why I keep thinking that but that I am wrong. He then apologized for all the things he said to me and said he is just sick of fighting about something that isnt happening (him talking to her). He said he feels bad putting blame on me and that he said a lot of things he regrets. These were all text messages he sent me, and I didnt respond to any for the rest of the day. He texted me again the next morning asking when he could see the baby and I offered for him to see her that night, and he again apologized for the things he said to me. He said no matter how hurt or upset he is, he shouldnt say rude mean things to me that arent true. I thanked him for apologizing. He came over last night to see the baby and I went out to dinner with friends. We were cordial, didnt say much to eachother. But he did end up staying the night on the couch. We didnt discuss it, I think I just made it seem ok so he did. He left very early this morning for work and will be gone for 2 nights working in another city. He sent a text this morning just asking when the baby woke up. Im sure thats all I will hear from him today. I think when he goes out of town my mind goes WILD. Im TERRIFIED he is lying to me and is going to go somewhere to see her. Part of me really does believe him when he says they arent speaking. But part of me just puts so many random puzzle pieces together and thinks he is lying. I am just totally losing myself. I am going to go speak to a therapist, I think that will help. I bought the book Divorce Busting, and I started reading it last night. I dont know if when he gets back in town he will come stay here or what. Im SO terrified of getting the next text that says “we need to file for divorce”. Or him telling me he isnt going to stay here, even though I JUST KICKED HIM OUT. So why would that upset me? I think im still SOMEHOW so shocked by all of this, that everytime he does something that shows me he is pulling away, Its like being kicked in the stomach. Even though Ive known about all of this for 7 months now and weve been going through problems for 10 months now. I dont know a normal timeframe, I dont know if there is one. I just know the longer we go on like this, the more we are forgetting who eachother really is. I dont understand how I can still love someone this deeply after all of these things and how angry I am every single day. I also wonder what he meant when he said that I am too impatient. I am assuming he means that I want things to go back to how they were too quickly. Which isnt true. But I also cant just live in limbo if he is giving me no inkling that we will have a future. Its as if inside he was thinking we would end up back together after a while if we just let things play out, but now ive ruined that by constantly pushing and pushing. I just dont even know what is better, lliving in limbo or living apart. I know that today is the worst day I have had in a long time. Maybe bc he is out of town. My mind truthfully runs rampant, its horrible. HORRIBLE. I want him to fight for us. I feel like sometimes he wants to but then sometimes thinks its too hard, and then sometimes he just doesnt want to at all bc he is so sick of me. I dont want to lose myself. I want to be me. I want to show confidence, I want to do the 180 and truly DO it and live my life to show him im still the woman he fell in love with, but I cant seem to do that. I cant get out of my own head and out of my own way. I hate the feeling of waiting for the next bomb to drop. I feel like him bringing up divorce is whats coming next, any day now, and Im at the point where I just have to tell him thats fine and he can do it and ill go along with it. I would hope he would change his mind, but I just cant beg. I didnt think I was being needy at all, but after reading somethings I see that thats exactly how ive been. Needing him to do all these things to live up to what I want, and he feels controlled. But I also dont want to be walked all over and disrespected. How do people turn this situation around? I cannot understand. I cant even IMAGINE us being goofy and stuff like we used to be. At this point It seems so far, and thats crazy to me. I know that HE has to be the one to want it, HE has to be the one to want to reconnect with me, I know I cannot make him want that, and any effort to make him want that is only going to push him away. But its hard to be my nice carefree self when I feel like my life is on fire. I dont even want to focus on all the ways hes hurt me, I just want to feel okay in my own skin right now and maybe he will see that and feel a connection again, regardless, I cant have days like today. This sadness is TOO much.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. I’m sorry you continue to go through this.

      It is a nightmare that keeps reoccurring.

      I think your H has unreal expectations on how to reconcile & heal the M.

      So let’s pretend he’s not talking to the OW. Again I think she is part of the problem but not the whole problem or ALL the problems.

      And let’s say you NEVER again mention talking to her.

      So that issue goes away.

      But then what?

      You barely communicate. He comes to see the baby and not you AND the baby. He goes out till all hours and doesn’t tell you.

      He had you in limbo. I know you are desperate to save your M. I was too. I would have done almost anything EXCEPT allow my H to openly date the OW, wait around while he made “a decision in two months” or allow him to blame me for the A.

      At DDay2 I realized I was a doormat and since for the third time he wanted a D / I finally told him it was OK by me but I was D him.

      But it only worked b/c my H decided a few hours before that he was ending the A. He suddenly realized what an idiot he was and how screwed up he was.

      In your case – your H wants a M on his terms. You can only save your M and live happily ever after if one of two things happens;

      1. He gets his head out of his butt and realizes what he has done. He commits to reconciliation and helping you heal AND being the guy you married.

      2. You agree to his lifestyle – he comes and goes when he pleases, you don’t ask questions, he hangs out in the bars without telling you, he comes home and sleeps on the couch at whatever time he chooses and you are there with never a question or doubt if he is cheating.

      Your confrontation with him was to try and get your M off life support.

      You are tired of living in limbo. He has no right to put you in limbo.

      You have every right to decide what YOUR life should look like.

      But right now it may be too difficult to manage all these decisions. You have tried. You have done everything. But he’s not interested (right now).

      Suggestion on a new approach: speak with a professional. Get your self together. Not you & him. Just you.

      Stop focusing on the M. Just know you will be prepared down the road for whatever happens. Stop trying to fix it or him.

      It’s like the 180 but a lesser extent. You are not “discussing” anything. See where it goes. You take a step back. No texts or calls or emails or contact from you. YOU let him contact you. Respond only if you have to.

      While he is gone / keep yourself busy.

      But re/read 1 and 2 above. Those are the two choices you have. The first will not work unless he decides to do the necessary work.

      How sad he chose to cheat during your pregnancy and after. He will regret it one day. There is no excuse for cheating and doing what he is doing. He is very selfish.

      And you are doing everything possible to give him a chance.

    • K

      Thank you so much. Its funny you said those 2 options bc during our argument the other day he said something like “we will never get past this unless you see it my way”, or something like that. Saying we wont ever be able to move past this unless I magically wake up and see that im this controlling person who didnt appreciate him, etc. And I admit to my flaws, but its hard to look back at those flaws when im sitting here dealing with a man who had another RELATIONSHIP during our marriage. I told him he isnt even sorry about it and he got really mad. We were both really mad. It was definitely the biggest argument we have had in a long time. Your advice is great and its so right. its exactly what I need to do, and I know it. I am just SO NERVOUS about the next bomb dropping being him saying its finally time for a D for real this time. And I dont know what I will do bc I will be absolutely devastated. Part of me feels so confident sometimes, I feel like he will wake up and see hes insane to leave the marriage, especially when im working so hard to try to make it work even after what he has done. And sometimes I feel like when all is said and done, he is going to finally see this for what it is and see how WRONG this affair was and how much he has disrespected me. But then I think about the OW and its like everything comes crumbling down around me. I lose my confidence, I become so angry I cant see straight. I think to myself that I know he sees me in a different light than he sees her, I know the type of woman I am, and the type of woman that she seems to be, and I cannot comprehend WHAT it is about her that he was willing to risk it all. And I wonder if he will be with her if we permanently split, even though when I bring her up he says things about her as if he doesnt care about her, but I think back to the texts I read between them in January and I just want to melt away. You just told me not to obsess over her anymore and here I am completely obsessing. I really hope I can follow your advice, Im going to reread your response over and over. I need to get a grip. I never thought my life could take this kind of turn, and when it took this turn, I NEVER thought that this many months later I would still be in a position of heading towards divorce, when I know thats not what I want, but I fear he will do it just bc he doesnt know how to fix it and doesnt want to right now. Sorry for rambling, this has been such an awful day.

    • TheFirstWife

      I can only say from experience that I don’t want to be right – I want to cross my fingers that sooner or later he will wake up!!!!’

      My experience (and for so many beyrayed spouses) is the same as yours. Trying to get someone to see the mistakes they are making. Trying to help them. Trying to be supportive.

      But the cheater continues to push us away. They don’t want our help (or anyone else’s help).

      Remember the A (or whatever he is doing) is like his drug of choice. His addiction. It comes first.

      He is saying he doesn’t want to change. He doesn’t want your help. He won’t answer questions. He won’t get counseling. He doesn’t want to help you in any way.

      He is being selfish. And I laugh b/c he is controlling YOU but puts the blame on you. Typical cheater move by the way – blame everyone else. Justify and rationalize the cheating and lifestyle choices in any way necessary.

      It’s good to have a place to unload. I did it find this site until after DDay 2. So I was alone with my counselor. It’s all I had.

      I learned you cannot help anyone who will not help themselves.

      I hope you find a good counselor to support you through this.

      Again I think there is more to this story. And I think there is a reason things have changed so suddenly. There may be many OW not just the one he is no longer “talking to”.

      He is expecting you to give in to him. If I told you the outlandish things my H said to me during the A you would ROFLMAO.

      Seriously crazy stuff. I thought he was on drugs at DDay 2. It was so bad – I had to call the OW to see if she knew what was going on. I kid you not!!! How screwed up is that?

      And when she told me they were s seeing each other it explained everything.

      I have been in your shoes. My H expected me to be on board with his new “lifestyle” of being a cheater. He thought I would wait for him to decide what he was going to do. I played along b/c I had no $ to my name. I needed 90 days to get my finances in order.

      By the end of 6 months I could have lived a year with my children if he didn’t pay me a dime.

      Wait for him – sure. Let him try and shovel that crap now – he looks back and admits he was a jerk!!! He cannot believe he even said that to me.

      For you – I don’t know how to get you out of limbo except 180. Or just don’t engage with him except about finances and your baby. I just don’t know how much longer this can last.

      Because it is not a M. That’s for sure. And one day – if this continues – you will throw in the towel on him. You will get worn down and be emotionally empty.

      That is where I was st DDay2. I only lasted 6 months and I needed to get out.

      Your H is playing a dangerous game – I keep hoping he wakes up soon. He is destroying a family – but then again he doesn’t care.

      How sad.

    • K

      Youre right, he doesnt care, and that is unbelievably sad. Especially when it used to be ALL he cared about. its crazy bc I know him so well, to think he doesnt care seems almost ridiculous for me to say, but when you look at their actions, clearly he doesnt care. CLEARLY. He texted me last night when he was going to bed, and of course in my mind im still wondering if he is where he says he is, but im not asking questions. I havent heard from him today, which is upsetting because normally he would text in the morning. It makes me wonder if he is with her, but then I think theres no way. But of course theres a way. Of course he could be lying to me. Its all hes BEEN doing, so why do I still always give him the benefit of the doubt as if he is above it. Its so weird. I cant IMAGINE lying to someone the way he has lied to me, I dont even think he sees it as lying anymore. I think he convinces himself of things. It blows my mind honestly. I read something by Jack Ito, one of the many articles I have found over the last 7 months that seems to help. And he said in it that a man having an affair can fall back in love with his life, but it doesnt depend on how good his relationship is with the other woman, it depends on how good his relationship is with his wife. Given equal emotional connection, his investment in his wife and family is much more important than any investment in the OW. And he says as a wife to get your husband back you have to be loving but not a doormat and respected but not mean. And I read these things and just cant seem to accomplish it. I go from being extremely nice to him, to being bat shit crazy and screaming about OW. I so badly dont want to be disrespected by him so I am assuming things and (like him and her talking) and I am flipping out, in hopes he will see I wont be a doormat, but then a day later I calm down and I want him around and I am more myself. I wish he had any idea how this feels. He said to me a few weeks ago that when we first separated, after a little while he was convinced I was seeing someone else, so he kind of knows how I feel…..and I was like umm? Well, no you dont know how I feel. Bc if you thought that you were wrong, I on the other hand have read texts, seen proof, lived through this hELL that doesnt seem to ever go away. Im hoping that today and yesterday feel SO awful bc he is out of town and its just making me crazy, I am hoping once he is back in town I will not feel this horrible. Bc this is absolutely awful. I dont seem to know how to achieve and stick to ONE thing. Its like, do I want to be my laid back self and just stop bringing everything up and just hope our connection can grow without all the anger and just push my fears aside and stop bringing it up and try to be patient even if he IS seeing her and just focus on us getting along for now. Or should I try to just not be around him and let him know im mad and skeptical and dont trust him and know I deserve more.
      My ultimate goal is obviously for us to be together and work through this, but i cant make him want that. Im willing to do and try just about anything on my end that I can in order to hopefully help him want this marriage again, I just dont want to be disrespected and walked all over and its hard to know if thats happening when I dont know what I can trust., He told me in May (I think it was May) that he admires me when he sees me doing things for myself again and that it reminded him of the woman he fell in love with. And that was when we were actually living apart and i was trying to do the 180. I need to DO iT. I wish I could stick to it. The anger of the OW totally throws me off. I wish I could control it.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. You are doing fine!!! Best possible given the home you are in.

      From what I have read he is a typical cheater. We BS call it the “cheaters manual” b/c the behavior is so darn predictable.

      He accused you of cheating. (Mine did too)

      He continued to lie

      He blames you for the A

      He refuses to answer questions

      He is not transparent

      He expects you to dig serrp the whole thing

      He expects you to “get over it”

      He continues to manipulate you

      We have all been through some aspect of the above I some way shape or form.

      He is acting like a typical cheater. I’m not saying he is cheating now. I have no idea. It would not surprise me though.

      I hope you have a counselor or someone you can see to support you. I think that is the only advice I can give.

      Just remember – he is addicted to his new lifestyle. Living the single life. Hanging out in bars. doing whatever he wants.

      Those are his choices. And he doesn’t feel like he needs to change.

      So sorry for you. I wish you could get out of this nightmare somehow.

      • K

        When theyre addicted to it like you said, can ANYTHING help them come out of it? The only time it felt like he did was when I really made him leave and he felt remorseful and upset and was scared and I would barely speak to him for 4 days. Thats the only time it felt like maybe he was seeing things clearly, and then that quickly went away. And If I keep kicking him out and letting him back im like the boy who cried wolf. I dont know if when he gets back in town he will stay here or not. I have no clue. But is there anything I can do that can get him out of this addiction, or do I just have to try to focus on me and do the 180 and hope he comes around and opens his eyes.

    • TheFirstWife

      I’m going to be honest as painful as it is.

      I learned this the HARD way during my H’s A. I thought (like you) that I could change him.

      I learned I could not. I knew him 30 years and saw him in front of me and he was a completely different person.

      That is why I say As are like addictions. The only thing the cheater sees is their own selfish needs and desires. Even if it’s wrong. Even if illegal or in our case, immoral and against the M.

      The cheater does not care.

      It’s all about them.

      The stupid thing is my H was ready to run off into Fantasyland with the OW. For a stupid infatuation. He was so blinded he could not tell the difference between love and lust/infatuation.

      So your H has chosen a different lifestyle. I don’t know if there is one OW or more (or any).

      But my prior post to you was he wants a M on his terms only. You rug sweep his A, never again ask questions, allow him to wander in at all hours of the morning and expect no answers about where he has been etc.

      I am telling you this to help you avoid the six months of hell I put myself through thinking I knew my H well enough to “fix” the situation, end the A and reconcile.

      I was completely wrong on that. At the same time I had a child involved in an emotionally abusive relationship (bf/gf).

      So I had the same issue with two people in my household at the same time!!!

      I learned that sometimes, as painful as it is, you have to let people make bad choices. You have to stop trying to reason with people who only want one thing – an A or alcohol or food or cigarettes. You cannot get them to change UNLESS THEY WANT TO CHANGE!

      I know how maddening that is. I know how frustrating and devastating that is to hear.

      But I think for so many spouses/partners, you can tell the CS the A is over. They can tell the OW/OM the A is over. But if they don’t want it to end them the CS will find fine way to continue the A.

      Unless and until the CS decides to end it. Then it sticks. Then it’s over. But it has to be their idea.

      So yes at DDay2 I told my H I was D him. But he had already ended the A. I don’t know if my D him had any impact b/c he could have taken that opportunity to leave me to be with the OW (or anyone else for that matter) but he chose to stay.

      And finally he committed to R – true R.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You can kick him out, 180 him and have no contact as much as possible. It will protect YOU from his poor choices and lying. But it may not impact him to change anything.

      He seems unwilling right now to make much effort. Not sure why.

      What the hell happened to him?

      • K


        Its been a few weeks since ive written. Those few days were SO bad for me, I really was backsliding emotionally and it was getting to me. I completely committed to 180 and immediately started feeling better. He got back in town after the 2 days, I am about 95% he was with her, and he came here as soon as he got back and I ALMOST had a meltdown but I walked away and let him spend time with the baby and I went into the bedroom. He has been staying here since, but on the couch. He has initiated sex a few times and slept in bed a few times, but the majority of time on the couch. Its like him proving a point that were not a couple. Which in my head makes me think hes telling OW like “ya im at the house for the baby but I sleep on the couch”. Its my thinking that gets me so upset. He is going out MUCH more lately, out until 2am, even though he will text me and say hes on his way home, and then not get home until hours later. And I dont say a word. And the next morning im upbeat and positive and ask no questions. i know its allowing him to cake eat and have things very easy, but I just have to focus on only myself and the baby for now. I get nowhere asking him questions. like you said, I cannot change him. I will never be able to control what he does or make him see things the way I am, his perceptions right now are absolutely screwed up. He sees me one way and has painted this picture in his mind, and that will not change at all until im detached enough to where he has to face that im no longer controlling him, im no longer holding him back, and somehow hes still feeling the way hes feeling. Im not the source of his problems, although he has made it like I am. And if im there calling the shots. ,telling him to be home, telling him to do this or do that, then he can continue to think “shes doing this, shes making me feel this way”. So im done. im giving him his freedom, im asking no questions. he can live whatever life he wants, and for some reason it does make me feel better. I feel good about myself. Im working out, im a great new mom, im getting in great shape and everyone is noticing, and hes waking up most mornings hungover. I am beginning to think theres OW in our city as well, why else would he be out all hours of the night. But who knows. I cant prove it and if I go looking ill drive myself insane and thats not fair to me. I will end up being the one that got away if he lets me get away. We got into a massive fight prior to me doing the 180, I think i told you about it, and he texted me after saying “we have to end this, you are too impatient and youll never be convinced im not talking to that girl”….I never asked what he meant by me being impatient, but I think he basically just wants time to decide what he wants. Which is that fair? of course not. But im kind of in the same boat right now. Why would I want a man who wants to live the way he is living. I dont know where his head is right now, I dont know if hes leaning towards divorce, but I do think hes still talking to original OW and im sure she pushed that. Im praying time is on my side. im praying that if we can give eachother time then we will be able to build a new relationship. But maybe im wrong. Maybe im allowing him too much freedom and he will just love it. But theres nothing I can do. I can kick him out for sure and maybe he will be sad for a few days, but im left completely devastated, thinking of all the good times we used to have. When here in the house at least I can see hes out, hes drinking too much, and he may not be the man I want for my life anyways. Its crazy, some days I feel SO good, and some days I feel SO awful. Sometimes he asks me questions where I can tell hes curious about things, and then its like the majority of the time he clearly doesnt care bc if he did, he wouldnt spend all of his free time away from me. Who is this alien life form that has taken over my sweet loving husband who wanted nothing more than to be with me?

        • Angela

          I’m a couple weeks late to this conversation, but have you considered telling him to stay home with the baby one night because you have plans? Get him to do it and don’t answer any questions about where you’re going. Dress nicely and just leave the house for several hours. Go to the library or the mall and just disappear on him. Make him wonder what kind of life you have going on without him. It will bring him up short. Sounds like he knows that he is all you have and takes it for granted. Park your car at the mall or similar place where you can disappear from him easily if he’s the type that would follow you, because if he knows what you’re doing and you spent the evening alone, he’d be even more sure of your devotion and actually become worse than he already is. Just my two cents. Best to you.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. I’m glad things have calmed down a bit for you. At least you are not having yelling and screaming matches daily (not good for the baby or you).

      I think you are doing the right thing for now. Absolutely smart on your part. He is in the baby’s life. You are not stopping him from being a cheater/drinker/party boy.

      Asking no questions is good too (and smart). He may be saying “I’m not talking to the OW” but he’s not saying who he is talking to until 2 am. Not that it matters anyway.

      You get to the point if “no one cares” b/c you don’t. It’s indifference. It’s not hate or love. It’s more like he’s there.

      And sooner or later you will decide what you choose to do. Stay. Divorce. Separate. Whatever you decide.

      But please do not allow this to go on too long. It’s not fair to live this way – he is either in or out. And you can tell him one day “it’s okay by me if you want to leave. I’m not stopping you or controlling you. You are free to make your own decision”.

      Because you do deserve better. Much better.

      His behavior appears to be those of an addict / whether drugs, alcohol, etc – whatever. The signs are there. I’m not saying he is – but he is acting like one.

      The more you detach and live for you and your baby – the better things will be for you. I hope you can see this.

      Your main focus is providing a warm living environment for your baby.

      Proud of you – you got this!

      It hurts. I know it does. It’s hurtful what you are living with. But at this juncture you don’t have much of a choice. You have tried everything you could. Nothing worked or changed him.

      But you are NOT allowing him to cheat. You have told him how you felt and what you expect. You just are not reacting to his cheating. Big difference!

    • K


      Thank you so much for your response. They always make me feel so much better. Ive had a very weird week. Ive been working in the office for a new site launch at work and it feels good to be with people, but everyday around 1-2pm I would get VERY emotional. EMotional enough to where I would have to go into the bathroom so no one would see me cry. Its been very strange. Something triggers the thought of him and whats happening and all of a sudden I couldnt control my thoughts and my sadness. Its all so upsetting. I love him so much. Sometimes I feel like he is feeling positively towards me and then sometimes I think he really cant wait to just get out the door. He still is at the bar everyday after work and comes home at night. During the week im usually still awake when he gets home, he will usually get home right before we put the baby down for bed. Last night he texted me and asked if I wanted him to pick up dinner, which was nice. We have such pleasant conversation when he gets home and we will usually hangout together with the baby and laugh and have a good time for an hour or so before I go to bed in the room and he heads to the couch. My biggest fear is that what im doing is somehow wrong and will come back to bite me for being so nice and giving him so much freedom. But really what else am I supposed to do? I am truly sticking to the 180 for the first time and I think thats a positive thing for me, and like I said before I know I could tell him to leave the house again and it may open his eyes to not having us, but its all just more of the same. So im just going to stick to this 180, be CONSISTENT in my actions and reactions as much as possible and see where it gets us. He has started to be gone on the weekends, where he will go out Friday night after workfor all hours of the night and then go to work all day saturday (supposedly) and then go out saturday night all night. It reminds me of when he was first seeing OW, he would do ANYTHING to be out of the house and away from me, even if it wasnt to see her. He just wanted to be away, and it seems like thats what he is doing now a days again, but thats his decision I guess. It of course makes me assume theres the OW, or more than 1, but it does me NO good to focus on that or assume things in my mind and drive myself insane. And I know that, its just near impossible not to. I do fear nights that he starts to not come home at all. Because that is something I will have to handle differently. But i do feel like he tests me, does that seem plausible? Sometimes I think he does things to test how I will react. Maybe Im totally wrong. But i do feel that way. I know he thinks im being fake and im just letting this all happen bc I want him back, but I think hes starting to pick up on me doing things for myself. He makes sly comments sometimes. Like I had a t shirt on one day, and it was a manly shirt, and he asked where I got it. And the next day I had another t shirt on and he was like “where are all these t shirts coming from?”, bc theyre just old t shirts and he hasnt seen them on me before so hes curious. As if I got them from another man or something, ya right. I do get kind of afraid he is convincing himself im speaking to another man and then he will just get deeper and deeper with OW, or other WOMEN, but I guess thats also something i shouldnt worry about. I do think its a positive thing that he chooses to come home every night, but I hate that he sleeps on the couch, and i hate that he comes home so late some nights. Its really like a stranger, and the minute he walks in the house and we start talking about our days its like oh here he is, heres the man I married. And then the next morning he leaves for work and I immediately wonder what im in for for the day. What will he do, where will he go, who will he see, will he text me (he never does anymore unless I do first), will he go out tonight, will he drive to see OW a few hours away and then come back home as if nothing happened….my mind races with questions and it sucks. It is Friday now so I really dont know when ill see him, if he will come home and hang out at a normal time, or if he will stay out until 3am, or if tonight will be the night he chooses to not come home at all and test that out………He is being very nice to me, he seems positive when hes around me and its like were roommates that get along great and raise a baby together and a dog. We havent had sex in almost 2 weeks, and I feel like when that stops its easier and easier to get into the friend role. But then Ive read that right now we should be friends again and build a new relationship………I know im rambling, I just feel good that you said you think im handling this well now and what im doing is the best thing I can be doing for now. I sure hope he comes around. He has to want it enough to try, and hes DEFINITELY not there yet. He clearly isnt worried enough about losing me to where he feels like he needs to make a change. Right now he still doesnt care if he loses me. So we will just keep going. Hopefully this fog clears at some point. I am not going anywhere for now, but he doesnt need to know that. I am willing to continue going through this hell if eventually I can continue spending my life with the man I love. But THIS MAN isnt him.

    • TheFirstWife

      K. Thanks for the update.

      You have made some very valid and crucial points:

      This guy is not the guy you married

      This guy is not H material

      This guy is testing you (I believe he is) and not for any good reason IMO

      You cannot change him

      You recognize the reason for the 180

      You are NOT doing anything wrong. Please trust me on this (and everyone else here who would give you the same advice). Nothing YOU do is going to destroy your M. Whether you argue or beg or plead or ignore or act nice or are too calm – none of this will have any impact.

      Now your H may use any of this as an excuse. But it is an excuse to justify his own behavior (as in I went out all the time b/c you acted like you didn’t care). Not true, not valid and not acceptable. It’s all an excuse for him.

      So is his snide comments that you seeing another guy. That’s HIS guilty conscience talking.

      You are giving him every opportunity to repair the M. He is choosing not to. I think at this point he has multiple OW and is making bad choices – but they are his choices – not yours.

      At some point if this is too painful and nothing changes – you may want to decide to separate. This is not fair or good for you to live in limbo. Waiting for him to make a decision can only last so long.

      The longer the 180 goes on the more likely it will be that you will no longer have hope of Reconciliation. Sad to say.

      Get your plan B together now. Start preparing just in case. You need to be prepared b/c you have a baby.

      And if he’s NOT worried about losing you – trust me b/c I have experience in this – he may continue this pattern indefinitely.

      My H thought I would just take him back after his 3rd time asking for a D in 6 months, leaving me hanging and in limbo and letting me believe we R while he was still cheating. When I told him I was D him – well reality set in and he realized he took ME for granted.

      Funny how he accused me of that – well he did it to me but worse. I can tell you that DDay 2 for him was a real eye opener.
      He now has a new respect for me AND he knows I could walk out the door anytime b/c I am strong enough to do it.

      Best of luck – keep posting -I honestly believe in my heart you are doing the right thing. You tried everything else. Nothing changed.

      Now you are just trying to co-exist and live peacefully. You make no demands and ask no questions. If he holds this against you then he is a twisted and sick person and then you need to run far away. I’m serious on that – sorry to say

    • Kgirl

      Thank you all for sharing here. It makes my journey/nightmare a little less awful!

      January 4, 2017 I saw a 5 second call to H’s coworker (whom I ALWAYS been uncomfortable and suspicious about, as she is a known who*e and homewrecker in his workplace. She’s destroyed several marriages during her 30+ year career there) on his cell phone log. It peaked my suspicion enough that I went to the cell store and asked for as far back as they could go with detailed logs. Walked out to my car, started looking at them and thought I throw up right then and there. He had just gotten his first smart phone in September, and I had stalled that as long as possible, as I had feared something like this. We had just gone to a workshop for troubled marriages thru our church at the beginning of December and celebrated our 25th anniversary in October.

      I phoned a friend who had worked there and knew this woman. My friend came to me and let me sob on her shoulder while she told me how she and her H had gotten thru an affair 30 years before, which entailed him moving out and in with the local bartender. He eventually got sober and moved back home and the salvaged their marriage. That evening my H came home, I showed him the bills and said “This sh*t stops NOW!” He looked remorseful, and then surprised as I took his phone, put it on speaker phone, called her and said “Deanna, this is Kelly and I’m calling to tell you to STOP TEXTING MY HUSBAND”. She was surprised and said OK. I insisted we go to marriage counseling, and for a year, my counselor & I proceeded to tell him he wasn’t meeting my needs. Fast forward to February 24, 2018 when he told me “I love you but I’m not in love with you. I’ve felt this way for years. We live as roommates. (He has ED, so…..).” As you all have experienced this pain, no need to go into great detail. I begged, pleaded, threatened….you know, did everything I shouldn’t have! Shortly after I found an organization that tries to help save marriages. They do weekend workshops a few states away. I asked him if he would be willing to go, and he said yes. Before that could happen, we had a 2 week Hawaiian vacation planned, and the day we returned my mom died! 🙁 He was nice during that time, as a matter of fact he’s always been “nice”.

      A month later we went to the workshop. It seems that we’re high on commitment but low on intimacy and passion. He’s very quiet and doesn’t share much with me, so….. He won’t put in the work on the follow-up things we’re supposed to be doing. Talked to a coach on the phone from this outfit 3 months after the workshop, and when asked if we wanted to save our marriage, I responded a resounding “Yes!” H…..”I don’t know”. Swell…..

      The holidays come and go. He buys me gifts as usual. The only contact we have is a “obligatory” hug every morning from him as he leaves for work before me. Still in the same bed. Very few know we are having issues. He would be the VERY LAST guy you would suspect!!! Valentine’s Day he gives me a card apologizing for his lack of emotion, his emptiness, unhappiness, etc. BUT….writes he hasn’t given up on us yet! I’m so happy I cry when I read this. A few weeks later we talk with our coach again, and when asked how things are going I reply “They seem to be getting alittle better” (or so I thought). Keep in mind all this time, the OW is STILL reporting to him at work. Tells us that he has no contact with her outside work. The coach tells my H, “not many women would put up with H still working with OW” (Yea…I’m a patsy ). We live in an area where good professional jobs are few and far between, and he is 5 years from retirement with the state. I say I’m trying hard to trust him. Coach assigns us a book to read together. Great! H has not cracked the book yet, 6 weeks later.

      Saturday morning laying in bed, I ask “So how do you picture retirement?” He says nothing and talks to the cat. Ouch! I check his phone an hour later and manage to access his work email, where I find emails back and forth the weekend before with the OW from work. SERIOUSLY?! WTF??! I ask about them calmly “Are you in contact with Deanna phone, text or email?” Looks me dead in the eye, and without blinking says “No”. I think that’s the part that did the most damage. The flat out, ice water in his veins, lie. I told him “I know you email her”. He goes on to whine about how he has no friends at work except her. Boo Frickin Hoo! I tell him it’s not appropriate. “We’re not getting better like you think we are” he says (from our coaching session). He tells me I need to find someone “who will love me like I need and deserve”. I say “If you want out of this marriage, YOU’RE going to be the one to make that happen, as I WILL NOT!” I was calm and collected, until I started talking about that I was worried about how his dad’s impending death will affect him, then I cried.

      Fast forward seven hours later, and we’re walking into an awesome 55th surprise party including 40 family and friends that I’d been planning for him for three months! Wow! Talk about feeling like a major sap! On the upside, later I talked about how all of those there were married, except a widow, sadly single, and his wicked divorced female cousin. I also asked if he thought if there were more positives or negatives if we were no longer “WE”. He answer “negatives”, so I guess I’ll cling to that!

      I guess all I can do is work on ME and try to be the best place for him to be! Last year I lost and then gained 30lbs. I just get so much comfort and enjoyment from food, it’s my only solace (besides God). I’m glad I found this blog, so I could vent safely! Thank you again for sharing your stories!

    • Brian

      Thank you for this. I am almost 3 weeks after confronting my wife about my suspicions of her emotional affair. During that time we have experienced so many of the topics in this blog like gaslighting. I have been an emotional roller coaster and have been doing everything I can to win back my wife; from begging and pleading, to showering her with love, to contacting her AP to tell him to leave her alone. I have even pushed our kids, who are angry with my wife for her ongoing affair, to give her extra love out if fear that if she feels unloved that she has no reason to stay. All of my actions have done nothing to move her away from the AP. In fact she has gone out on 2 dates with the AP since D day and has moved their conversations to Snapchat to keep them secret. Over the last couple of days, with help from articles like this, I am realizing that I have been a doormat and have allowed my wife to be a cake eater. As I look back on their iMesaage conversation that I saved before it was deleted, I realize that my behavior to try to save the marriage is the exact opposite of the flirty, mysterious, confident behavior that she is enjoying with her AP. I am being the exact opposite of what she is finding attractive in this other man. In addition, I have been trying so hard that I have told her that she can keep her AP and her family too. I have come to realize that as long as she is in the fog I cannot love her enough or do enough for her to want to save our marriage.
      I have purchased “Love Must Be Tough” by Dr. James Dobson and am reading through that. I’m already seeing a lot of similarities between what he says and what is happening in our lives. Once I finish the book I plan to discuss a game plan with our adult children. Regardless, I will no longer be a doormat.

      • Anon

        You will never regret standing up for yourself. That much I know.

      • Johnny

        Me, almost five months, passed already. Doing almost the same with you too, apart from, I never contact the AP neither push my son to it, though I have letter from my son, plead to my wife to love his Papa (Me) & stop the affair.

        Yeah, whatever we do is seems very wrong. & whatever we did before, in the marriage is a death sentence, already.

        Day by day I am grown weaker & more weaker. For the same of this marriage I plead to give at least a year, but nothing is improving, after 5 months past, & at the same time, their relationship is growing stronger & more stronger.

        So, I guess, both of us, in dead end street & whatever we do in future, the outcome might be the similar.

        As for the trick, I think & come into conclusion that only a million or more of cash & with save us, period.

        • Johnny


          *Both me & Mr Brian*

    • Angel

      I wish I had walked out in the first 60 to 90 days of his online obsession affair with someone else. I feel like it would have pulled him out of his affair fog real quick and made him do a reality check but now I struggle with guilt and anger at myself because it ended up going on for years and years and years afterward because I did not have the backbone to do that. My big fear was that if I left the other woman would appear at my door within hours because she had obviously already replaced me online right in front of my face at home so I know he would have had no problem seeing her face to face if I wasn’t here especially after finding out he was making secret phone calls to her and never did tell her he was married until I inserted myself in the situation and made it known that he had a wife.

      • Anon

        Doubtful your leaving would have stopped the affair.

        Your observation that you would have been replaced may be accurate.

        But had you left you would not have had to watch the affair continue for years.

    • Angel

      I wasn’t clear on that…sorry. I did, after 4.5 months put my foot down and deny him access to having contact with her, but it led to further problems with me always feeling like he never chose to be with me, as I was the one who chose to stop being humiliated, instead of him refusing to choose me, then there were years and years of his denial, stonewalling, fights and further verbal abuse causing so MUCH more collateral damage. Also including the fact he carried out other basic lies for so long, I eventually came to the point where I will never be able to believe he was faithful, even though he has never wavered from saying he felt anything for her, he has never admitted to anything I don’t have black and white tangible evidence of, such as phone records, just left me feeling that if I can’t prove it, I know he won’t admit it, honest as he seems to be now. At the time it was happening, his growing disconnection from me and lack of empathy for years makes me believe he just intended to stonewall and ignore it as long as necessary, thinking I’d let it go. We are just now, and I mean literally in the last couple weeks communicating in a real way, but the relationship may be so damaged now, it’s unfixable and I have a lot more additional trauma to deal with, from fights, lack of empathy, being called jealous or crazy or hysterical, I don’t know what to believe, and I’m so much farther past it, with him just now beginning to absorb the absolute terror, trauma and other effects. I’m just like eye-rolling 🙄 “why now?”, after I’ve healed enough to completely see a future without him, why now? Why not back when I was DESPERATE to fix it instead of completely ambivalent? Why did you literally WASTE the prime time that the window was wide open for reconciliation, instead of literally waiting to really “get it” when the window was closed down to the last millimeter, only furthers the feeling that I’m completely taken for granted and will likely never know the truth. Like I said, he’s never waivered from saying he felt absolutely nothing for her, but he also never waivered from anything I can’t prove in black & white, tangible, irrefutable evidence.

    • Ronald

      QUESTION? For context, I cheated and my wife and I worked through it. I always look back on the fog, having come out of it, and say WOW. It is such a neat (I know some wont like that word choice) experience to feel how messed up my thinking was.

      ANYWAY I counsel people now, nothing structured but friends and 2nd connections. I have a close friend that cheated and is not 18 months post him coming clean and his wife calling it quits.

      At that time, 18 months ago, He walked into rehab wanting to win his wife back and he walked out with a girlfriend. My question is this, Someone that is continually making the same poor decisions, will they come out of the FOG??

      My assumption is that in order to come out of the fog, you have to start making better choices. If not, you could continue to prolong the fog.


    • Nicole

      Just like they tell people who live with an addict.
      You can’t control it, you can’t cure it, and you didn’t cause it. The only thing we have control of is how we respond to their behavior.
      The best advice I’ve received is to respond with dignity, and grace and be vulnerable. Refrain from name-calling, put-downs, demands, and ultimatums. That’s the hardest challenge when dealing with someone who is hurting you, your marriage, and your family.
      Express that you love and support anything they do with you, your marriage, and your family that is dignified and respectful to themself, to you, and your family. And that you can’t support anything they are doing that you find unloving and disrespectful to themselves, you, your marriage, and your family.
      Just like addiction, cheating doesn’t discriminate and happens among people of all ages and genders. Many non-religious individuals consider it morally unacceptable. Most people do not tolerate cheating in their relationships, and it’s a common reason for divorce worldwide. Cheating can create misunderstandings in relationships, causing grief, depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in the betrayed partner. These problems can lead to a breakdown in communication between couples and divorce. It’s even higher among affair partners who try to move forward as a couple. Knowing if they will do it with you, they can do it to you.
      Take care of yourself. Let them know that you’ll be okay with or without them but that you love them and you would like to do this life with them.

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