infidelity and suicideA few years ago a neighbor of ours husband had an affair.  Long story short, they divorced and now he lives with his affair partner.  In fact, we’re not positive but we think they are now married.

Well, the other day we were at a party and our neighbor was there as well.  We got to talking and somehow got on the subject of her ex-husband and their whole affair situation.  We were soon shocked to discover that the affair partner’s husband committed suicide as a result of the betrayal.

When you hear something like that it really makes the idea that “affairs can be life or death” jump up and slap you in the face – hard.  This person took his life and left 2 very young boys fatherless.  It’s tragic to say the least.

It also begs the questions… “How has this suicide affected the relationship between the affair partners (possibly husband and wife)?”  Do they feel guilty? Do they feel any remorse?  Do they in any way feel responsible for the suicide?  What will the mother tell the two young boys when they find out their daddy killed himself and start asking questions?”  There are probably a hundred more questions we could ask…

Unfortunately, we may never know the answers to those questions.  At least not straight from the horse’s mouth. The few times that we’ve run into the ex-husband around town, he has treated us as if he doesn’t even know who we are, so there is no doubt that we’re never going to have the opportunity to ask – even if we had the guts to.

This whole situation reminded us that thoughts of suicide often go hand in hand with the aftermath of infidelity.  It could be that the betrayed spouse is searching for anyway to escape the pain and feels that suicide is the only answer.  Cheating spouses as well might look to suicide as the answer to help them escape from their guilt and shame.

As we’ve said numerous times before, the betrayal of infidelity is a trauma, and any trauma can cause depression, anxiety, panic and a host of other emotions that can overwhelm even the strongest among us.  

We realize this is a real downer of a topic but it’s an extremely important one.  We do know that many of our readers have at one time considered (are considering) taking their own lives.  Because of that we thought that it would be a good idea to provide some resources in an effort to help prevent anyone from taking that drastic route.

See also  Obsessive Focus – Relentless Thoughts or Conversations About the Affair - Part 2

First things first…

If You Are Suicidal

If you are considering suicide, please, just call someone. Call a parent, a neighbor, your best friend, or someone you love. If you feel seriously on the verge, please call 911. They will respond lovingly and care for you. If you prefer anonymity, you can call a suicide hot line:

In the U.S. – Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). These toll-free crisis hotlines offer 24-hour suicide prevention and support. Your call is free and confidential.

You can also contact:

  • Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic
  • Hospital emergency room
  • Urgent care center/clinic

Outside the U.S. – Visit IASP or to find a helpline in your country.

Take Five Minutes to Read this Website:

If you are feeling suicidal and don’t want to make a call, please take five minutes and read this website:  It was created by a very caring person and  has some wonderful resources.


If You are Helping a Suicidal Person

If you are in a situation where you are trying to prevent a person from taking their own life, go to this website as it has direct and to-the-point information for helping someone who is suicidal:

Additionally, here is a good article to read if you’re dealing with another person who is suicidal:


Common misconceptions about suicide

FALSE: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it. 
Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” “I can’t see any way out,” — no matter how casually or jokingly said, may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

FALSE: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy. 
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.

FALSE: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them. 
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

See also  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair is Not a Quick Process

FALSE: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help. 
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.

FALSE: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea. 
You don’t give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true—bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

Source: SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education


Suicide Warning Signs

People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.


If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves.
  • Having no reason to live.
  • Being a burden to others.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Unbearable pain.


A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acting recklessly.
  • Withdrawing from activities.
  • Isolating from family and friends.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Aggression.


People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods.

  • Depression.
  • Loss of interest.
  • Rage.
  • Irritability.
  • Humiliation.
  • Anxiety.

Source, and for more information: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Click here for more common signs of someone who might be suicidal:


Ways to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings

Remember that while it may seem as if these suicidal thoughts and feelings will never end, this is never a permanent condition. You WILL feel better again. In the meantime, there are some ways to help cope with your suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Things to do

  • Talk with someone every day, preferably face to face. Though you feel like withdrawing, ask trusted friends and acquaintances to spend time with you. Or continue to call a crisis helpline and talk about your feelings.
  • Make a safety plan. Develop a set of steps that you can follow during a suicidal crisis. It should include contact numbers for your doctor or therapist, as well as friends and family members who will help in an emergency.
  • Make a written schedule for yourself every day and stick to it, no matter what. Keep a regular routine as much as possible, even when your feelings seem out of control.
  • Get out in the sun or into nature for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Exercise as vigorously as is safe for you. To get the most benefit, aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. But you can start small. Three 10-minute bursts of activity can have a positive effect on mood.
  • Make time for things that bring you joy. Even if very few things bring you pleasure at the moment, force yourself to do the things you used to enjoy.
  • Remember your personal goals. You may have always wanted to travel to a particular place, read a specific book, own a pet, move to another place, learn a new hobby, volunteer, go back to school, or start a family. Write your personal goals down.
See also  Discussion: How Do You Cope With The Negative Thoughts?

Things to avoid:

  • Being alone. Solitude can make suicidal thoughts even worse. Visit a friend, or family member, or pick up the phone and call a crisis helpline.
  • Alcohol and drugs. Drugs and alcohol can increase depression, hamper your problem-solving ability, and can make you act impulsively.
  • Doing things that make you feel worse. Listening to sad music, looking at certain photographs, reading old letters, or visiting a loved one’s grave can all increase negative feelings.
  • Thinking about suicide and other negative thoughts. Try not to become preoccupied with suicidal thoughts as this can make them even stronger. Don’t think and rethink negative thoughts. Find a distraction. Giving yourself a break from suicidal thoughts can help, even if it’s for a short time.


Coping with suicidal thoughts – PDF download with information on how to understand your suicidal feelings and how to develop a safety plan. (Consortium for Organizational Mental Health)



Now we don’t pretend to think that this is an all-inclusive, exhaustive guide on suicide prevention, but it will get a person started in the right direction.  If you are feeling suicidal (or know someone who is), visit these sites that are mentioned/linked to and by all means talk to someone (or read)  before doing anything drastic.

Additionally, if you have experienced suicidal thoughts in the past or are in a position that deals with this sort of situation, please share your experiences, advice, tips and/or resources in the comment section below.  This is important!


    55 replies to "Infidelity and Suicide"

    • Jen

      I had no idea my husband was having an affair. Things were not right or great between us and I tried to talk with my husband. Every time it was all my fault and I was his last priority. I did everything wrong. I even said to him multiple times why am I last and why do you hate me. He never had an answer. Yet how it all makes so much sense. One weekend I had enough and I decided this is it. He would be so much better off without me and he would take better care of our kids than me too. He has mentioned some study about overdoes and alcohol and prescription drugs. It was a side conversation but that started my research. I had dr appts all set up and a story and plan to get the needed medication. I had someone that would take me kids. I had letters written out to both sets of our parents so they would know how I was really feeling. And a letter to my husband. I had a long timeline to make sure I had time to do it before his birthday and a big family trip we had planned. In my kind I felt like he and everyone would be relieved to have me out of their lives and they would all be better off.

      My husband went out of town for a long trip with friends about a month before my plan was going to take place. This was the longest we had been apart since we had been married. And he kept calling home saying how sad he was a missed us. And I felt amazing. The best I had felt in two years. It was a total wake up call. We didn’t need him. It was not me who was the problem. I was happy, my kids were super happy and we did not miss a beat. It made me realize he was adding nothing to me, our marriage, our family. All of a sudden it hit me I was believing everything he was saying and it just built up on me. I should have never trusted him. I thought since i confronted him for years that what he had been telling me was accurate. So sad I could not see it. But I am thankful he went on that trip. He describes it as so sad and for me it was a transforming moment.

      Little did I know that he was in to middle of two affairs and had sought out online relationships too. One affair lasted 10 years and the other over five years. Looking back with hindsight it hard to give myself a break for not realizing. He always had excuses when I would talk to him about us. It was work, stress, sleep… It went on and on. And I guess he was really good at lying and being deceptive.

      Such a long road and hard to know how it will end…

      • Shifting Impressions

        So sorry you had to go through that…..thank goodness he went on that trip.

      • Tryinghard

        Wow Jen. I’m glad you saw the truth and didn’t do it. But I know exactly what you’re saying.

      • Fref

        I just want to die right now. A cheating wife ex-wife partner what ever she was I’d to much to take.

      • Jeff

        I’m so glad you didn’t follow through with your plans. In my opinion having an affair is one of the most selfish things you could possibly do. You not only destroy your spouse but your children and your extended family all through your selfishness. I pray to God that you’re healing from this terrible ordeal. God bless you.

    • Alice

      An important post – thank you for writing it.

      I do wonder if the unfaithful wife feels any responsibility for the suicide or simply looks for ways to blame her husband? (The same way the unfaithful blame the betrayed for the affair)

    • TheFirstWife

      I wonder how both the CS and AP or OW/OM can look at themselves in the mirror each morning without wanting to cringe. Or feel any remorse about what they did.

      Oh wait that would mean they are not narcissistic people who have a heart and a conscience. And even more important that they care about someone other than themselves.

      And why these OW or AP actually believe the lies and crap the cheater portrays the wife or spouse to be is beyond me. So many times we are portrayed as lazy, stupid, boring, uninteresting, etc. when nothing is further from the truth.

      I read that story and felt so bad for the deceased and children involved. Selfish actions and justifications for one person’s “Happiness” destroyed and shattered so many.

      I wish the deceased would have had some hope that he could survive the devastation and emotionally draining nightmare he was living. For so many of us we come out the other side in a better place and are truly happy once again.

      It does take time and it is hard but you can get there. It just takes a little faith in yourself sometimes.

      • Doug

        I hear you TFW. It is a sad situation. I wish I knew more about the whole situation with the OW and her deceased ex-husband and what really transpired. We kind of hesitate to really bring the topic up with our neighbor.

      • John

        I had an emotional affair for a month online… I can tell you that some people like me wake up and look in the mirror and absolutely hate what we see. I completely hate what I did to my wife and how it has affected her and my daughter. If I could take back what I did, I would do it in a heartbeat. I will not make any excuses for my actions, they were mine alone. It was my own miss communication with my wife that caused all of this. She did absolutely nothing wrong. I hate the pain I am putting my wife through. Suicide is so tempting as an option to end the shame and guilt I feel. Words truly can not describe the shame I hold.

        • Patricia

          Honestly, you must ry to forgive yourself, you made a massive mistake , you’ve realised it and value your wife now. Just write then in a letter how you feel , ask to be forgiven , DONT COMIT SUICIDE , you’ll only hurt them even more .

          Your not the first honest, you may even find your marriage improves because of this. .
          Your not the first to go on this path , you’ve had a wake up call, one day you’ll be glad you realised how much you love your wife .
          Please don’t make it worse, start by building up your relationship again.
          I’m not a believer , but , There for the grace of god go us all.
          Good luck and know you are loved

    • Shifting Impressions

      Great post….very informative. I do think we need to exercise caution at what conclusions we come to. There could be so many other factors involved….for example the betrayed spouse could have been dealing with mental health issues for a long time….perhaps even unrelated to the affair.

      I am in no uncertain terms condoning the betrayal BUT to say it caused the suicide….I don’t know. Most of us on site were betrayed but did not go down that path. In the end the person that chooses to take his own life…..makes that choice.

      • tryingtorecover

        I disagree SI- with “the affair didn’t cause this person to end his life” based on a collective of people who don’t and cope with spousal betrayal. It seems like an inaccurate assessment based on saying if some don’t …than it can’t be that…..

        The fact is spousal betrayal is traumatic and a life altering shattering event…I think we would be blind or in denial to say it can’t or hasn’t led to suicide. I

        There are many people with depressive symptoms and some commit suicide as a result of these debilitating symptoms and many others won’t…so it’s not to say that the depressive symptoms/disorder didn’t cause a suicide – same can be said for trauma!

        Having a spousal betrayal can result in PTSD or PTSD symptoms surely! PTSD can result in suicide for some people and others may not. There are many levels of severity and how one perceives the situation is a huge factor. This explains why some military vets who return from a war scene may suffer from PTSD while others may not. We all perceive trauma differently and it affects our brains differently.

        That said I totally hold the spouse responsible for injuring their spouses emotional well being. They may not have intended to purposely cause malice, though it was totally neglectful….As adults we have the capabilities and mind to make decisions that take into consideration others in our lives, community, and world….

        If a parent chooses to drink and drive with a child in the car they may not intend to harm that child, though it is neglectful and the parent is responsible for the child’s safety. Our spouses are responsible for creating safe physical, emotional, and spiritual space for himself/herself and the people they love. If they CHOOSE not to it’s neglectful…. and ultimately people are responsible if it’s neglect or malice.

        Lastly, I don’t believe the surviving ex-spouse feels any authentic guilt..She may express it to “save face” in community, but I believe she uses the same defense mechanisms she used to cheat to extinguish any guilt…Displacement – he had mental health issues for most of our marriage…He was unhappy… Putting this on him…

        People with narcissistic qualities tend to cheat…(sorry Doug) and they can change (good job Doug), but it takes a lot of therapy and strong desire to look internally. It sounds like this woman lacked that..

        • Shifting Impressions

          I don’t disagree with you, I just believe in excercising some caution in the conclusions we come to. Each case is unique…and without all the facts we really don’t know. For example some ex- spouses in a situation such as Doug’s post might be totally guilt-ridden over their ex- spouses suicide or perhaps not at all. Without knowing the whole story… can we really know.

          I need to believe that people can change and that they can feel true remorse for their actions.

        • Mister

          R there people who deserve death?

          • Mister

            I feel like one. I got cheated on. My wife of 8 years. We have a 7 year old girl. Iv never been unfaithful. But I’m a loser. Not fishing for compliments from people who don’t know me. Just don’t kno wat to do.

            • Jay

              Don’t hurt yourself, if there is anything worthwhile that I can share it is this- Pain that is not dealt with ends up being passed on to your children. They will sit and wonder why Daddy killed himself, and if it was their fault. “Why wasn’t loving me (your daughter) more important than stopping your pain? Now I will carry that pain and your absence for the rest of my life. Who will take me to the Father/Daughter dance at school, who will give me piggyback rides? Who will teach me how to drive? Who will give me a bear hug when I fall off of my bike and scrape my knee? Who will read to me and tuck me in at night? Who will help me thru my first break up with a boyfriend in high school? Who will set the standard for an ideal man that loves me?” Think about this long and hard. I know, I nearly did it myself, but the thought of my 11 year old son walking in after school and discovering the remains of his Mom dead in the garage from a shotgun blast, is just too much pain and trauma to put on your child. Life is hard enough, I know that I have to “push thru” and think of his future and the example I’m setting for him. I will not quit, I will not give up. He needs my presence in his life, Just like your daughter needs you in her life. You’re her Dad, you are her protector and provider. She loves you, don’t give up on her or yourself! God Bless You, Mister! ~BeeBee

      • K

        Sometimes, maybe more often than one would guess, it is the cheating spouse who becomes suicidal. That person gets less sympathy and less help.

        • Nancy

          Very true. Lost my husband, lost most of my friends, and the man I thought was my soul mate. Absolutely no support from anyone and I still wish I was dead most days.

          • TryingHard

            Nancy— no you do not wish you were dead. You want the pain to stop. Please you are more than just a wife. You have value and are loved I am sure. Can you find someone to talk to? A minister or a therapist or caring family member? If not please contact Doug and Linda who own this blog and they can help find you help for this pain you’re experiencing. I promise the pain eases but you must take care of yourself. Hugs to you Nancy. By the way I love your name. I always wanted my name to be Nancy when I was a kid ????

      • Holdingon

        If you only knew. It doesn’t happen like you think, not for me anyway. I’ve always said I was going to live forever, nothing could get me down, nothing. After my wife of 23 years got in contact with her first love and had been talking to him for almost 3 years before I found out, not sure if they ever got together in person, she says no, but she flew back home in may of 2013 and was about an hour away from him with me 800 miles away. I’m not stupid. When I asked her about it I was still calm, no yelling or screaming, I’m not a violent person, it bothers me for days if I hit an animal on the road. I asked her on Feb 2nd, our 23rd anniversary if we were ok, our last son had just graduated and moved out so I asked if we were ok since it would just be us now, she said yes that we were fine, it was Jan 30th 2014 I found all kinds of things by accident, I was still clueless. The thing that hurt the most was the pictures she was sending him on Feb 1st 2013, and many more before and after that, whenjoy I confronted her she went nuts, still says they never met face to face. But anyway, it messed up my mind so bad it felt like I was in a dream, it got so bad that I was trying to shoot myself with a shotgun, it happened so fast that I wasn’t even thinking, put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger, click, misfire, as soon as that happened I dropped the gun and was sweating so bad it was like I just stepped out of a shower and I was shaking uncontrollably, it was like it happened in a dream. I stepped outside and fired the same shell, boom, I was shaking again but not as bad. That has never happened again and I’ll do my best to keep my mind strong now so it never does. Sometimes it’s not something you plan, even the strongest mind can break. Anyway we are still together and we renewed our wedding vows on our 25th anniversary. She says she hasn’t had any contact for over a year, he tried to reach her last night, sent her a video of the back seat of his car, he had made a bed of roses, she has no idea I saw it, now I wait and see what happens, no feelings of suicide this time.

        • Barelybreathing

          Holdingon How are things going now?

        • Hector

          Get out! Nobody deserves to live with a monster.

        • Justice4LOVE

          I hope that you leave her. I don’t think many people love deeply … we’re very few. Give it everything. Maybe we’re unhealthy or maybe it’s love? … I don’t know … but reading your story, you deserve better and it makes me think so do I. From one broken heart to another keep holding on, suicided’s not the answer one day we will find a love that’s as great as ours, loyal, trustworthy, passionate and free. ❤️

    • I Understand

      I see how this can happen and feel compassion for those who suffer. Major depression is different from sadness. It can be debilitating and is not a situation of “mind over matter.”
      It is associated with shame and guilt in the sufferer.
      Those in this situation (and I’ve been there) deserve our compassion.

      • Patricia

        Indeed they do

    • Fragments of Hope

      I agree I Understand, and while betrayal may not ’cause’ suicide the level of fundamental trauma and breaking of core trust and sense of safety and self often causes massive anxiety and shock and later longstanding depression. Add to that, the feeling that the BS was not considered important enough for the CS to stop and think about their actions then the CS begins to wonder what’s the point. Personally, feeling for long periods that I could not cope and was ‘pathetic’ all the time made me take a negative view of myself. I was a mess, I didn’t even like living with myself, this was not what I wanted to be in the face of my husband’s betrayal, I wanted to be the strong person I had been drawing boundaries at D-Day 1.5 not the wreck that followed full disclosure and a second D-Day. Topped off with ongoing problems and negativity from my autistic son, life became overwhelming and while as a mother of four kids I would not commit suicide, I can perfectly understand how someone might feel that the grief and pain will never end and feel unable to keep dealing with it. Infidelity is a huge psychological trauma, the brain is programmed to make sense of data in terms of already existing assumptions and patterns (termed schemata) When these schemata are overturned, the brain must work full time to create new templates for us to make sense of things. Its a real, neurological and biological process that takes time. (So you can’t just ‘get over it!) I have found dealing with the new reality so difficult and dispiriting, While I, more passively wished I just wasn’t alive (rather than suicide) even now a year after D-Day 2 feel very overwhelmed and despondent and some days don’t know how I’ll keep going. I try to do something productive, inspiring or restorative every day but it’s a struggle and sometime I sink down into absolute despair. I am angry that society has a whitewashed view of the effects of infidelity. I have read some examples in the newspapers of suicide after infidelity and in the wake of the Ashley Madison dump we saw the suicides of the CS. I feel the whole Ashley Madison debacle was a missed opportunity to really highlight the emotional violence done to the victims of infidelity leading to anxiety, PTSD and depression as well as the physical harm through STDs and sometimes consequent cancer. I think its really important that articles like this one are published but I wish they were on a more mainstream forum where the public at large can contemplate the true cruel nature of infidelity.

      • TheFirstWife

        Amen! I have experienced it all as well. Next week will be 2 yrs that my H told me he wanted to divorce me. I did not know about the OW. He led me to believe it was just his choice not to be married anymore.

        I am happy in so many ways NOW.

        But the trauma I suffered led to a few really bad thoughts in the first few months of DDay1. I had PTSD for some time, anxiety, stress, weight loss, trouble sleeping and eating.

        Some days I wake up just sad. I have to pull myself out of it. It is the anger and resentment I was being thrown away for a 30 year old. Just like that. No remorse or regard at that time. Just his selfish choices.

        Coupled with a series of other issues where people just treat you poorly and work issues and all, there are some days that are tough. But I presevere and work through it.

        What makes it worse is how cheating is portrayed in the media and TV and movies. As my brother said it is like people have no morals anymore. He is right. People have children with 5 different men and think there is nothing wrong. No family values or morals.

        I just know I am raising my sons to be better than that.

      • TryingHard


        Very well said. I couldn’t agree with you more. There’s so much in life we have to deal with, your autistic son, death of family, and just day to day living. And then throw infidelity into the mix, it is understandable that most of us just want to quit.

        I loved your analysis of brain schemata. I need to do some more reading and research to understand this. Having your own narrative thrown to the gutter and invalidated by the lies and betrayal is at the least life changing and at worst breeds thoughts of ending it all. It seems so hopeless when one is in the throes of discovery. One part of the brain says it’s unbelievable and the other says, believe it. I’m four years out and have finally come to a place of acceptance and maybe even forgiveness, whatever that it. I had suicidal thoughts. I Googled how and what to overdose. I stopped there. I got a hold of myself and started believing I’ll be damned if his lousy choices and character were going to be given enough power to end my life. Eff him, eff all of them. That’s when I instituted New Rules (thanks Bill Maher) and I have lived by them ever since. That’s not to say I certainly haven’t considered running away 🙂 But that’s a whole other topic, right.

        Hugs to you and thanks as well for this very smart post.

    • exercisegrace

      After going through the loss of two parents, nearly losing our business and a host of other extreme stresses, my husband became clinically depressed. His co-worker picked up on his increased vulnerability and admits she pursued him before he had any clue she had intentions other than their existing work friendship. He hid the extent of his depression from me. She had some depression issues of her own, coupled with a history of mental health issues she refused to ever discuss with him.

      As I came to realize this was a clinical depression, and not just situational I begged him to get help. Counseling, medication etc. He refused. Unbeknownst to me, he was suicidal with plan and that whore was actively encouraging him NOT to get help. She convinced him they would “make him worse” and she was the only person who knew how to help him. I am certain she knew a professional would tell him to end the affair and make him see that was only compounding his problems. It makes my blood boil to think he might have actually killed himself because she was too selfish,arrogant and narcissistic. If I ever needed proof this relationship wasn’t real or didn’t involve “love”, this would be the proof.

      I don’t condone what he did. I don’t excuse it. He doesn’t either. But I can see the relief he must have initially felt when a “friend” who claimed to understand what he was going through offered some help and advice. I can see the affair now as a sick means to soothe the symptom of depression. I think this was true for both of them. With counseling, he is better able to communicate to me how he is feeling when depression stirs in him. He has learned that as hard as it may be, that is the time to move towards me and open communication rather than moving away from me, and keeping to himself.

    • Scott

      So the next time some twirp cheater babbles about how his/her “happiness” is worth it, slap them with this article. Is cheater fantasy land really worth all the damage? It seems so much easier just to say, let’s get a divorce, than have drama, damage, ptsd, broken hearts and ripped up security and stability for kids (oh yeah, don’t forget the kids sometimes act out and commit suicide because their cheater parent’s happiness is so much more important than anyone or anything else). Good job cheater.

      One more devastating consequence of spoiled brat narcissists who insist on the world circling around their dysfunctional drama.

      • TheFirstWife

        Agree 100%.

        Unfortunately during the affair the spouse “believes” all the crap the AP feeds them. There is no breaking through that wall or barrier. You just have to hope they come out of it before the marriage is done. I do laugh at all the tears and drama after they are caught or found out. That part I had no sympathy for.

        Niw my H is extremely remorseful and wished it never happened. Hard to explain going back for round 2 when you saw what round 1 did.

        My children do not know. I shielded them 100%. Not their issue. Lucky we are still together.

        I know my H now wishes he had not done this. His mid life crisis almost cost him everything. How sad. Never felt the need to come and talk to me. Nope would rather humiliate me, destroy me, shatter me, ruin us, for what? A much younger OW covered in tattoos with more drama than a soap opera. And the sad part – I was attracted to him for his honesty and integrity and being a stand up guy. Since this is not his first affair I have been deluded and lied to for 32 years.

        And HE refuses therapy. Makes me laugh.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I know I’m going out on a limb here, BUT regardless of how devastated I was and still am over my husband’s EA….and yes, I asked myself “is life worth living?”…..I am still responsible for my own happiness. We choose how we respond to adversity. Is infidelity an incredibly selfish act? ABSOLUTELY. It is my choice how I care for myself and how I respond to the nightmare of betrayal.

      • Holdingon

        Careful what you believe, sometimes suicide doesn’t happen like you think, read my comment above. I would never kill myself over anything, it wasn’t possible, I sure got a surprise.

    • Rachel

      In a close town a women committed suicide after her husband asked for a divorce. Her husband asked her for a divorce and she then went missing. Then she was found. I prayed that she was ok and just needed to clear her head.I wanted to reach out to her and give her courage and strength. Let her know that she could make it. Our worlds come crashing down, ending so we think. We have so much strength to keep going and we need to keep going for our children. God bless her three girls.

    • triss

      The trauma of infidelity is easily the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and yes it’s definitely minimized in the media/ society. I wish I could say I was the victim but 2 years ago I was the unfaithful one. It’s only from being inside this experience that I realized how heinous and vile cheating really is and I feel idiotic for ever minimizing the act in my mind. My first real boyfriend and I moved in together after a year of dating, but started fighting and withdrawing a lot. Our sex life feel dwindled to nil and we would go out in different groups of friends every weekend, strengthening other relationships and neglecting our own. I ended up getting close to a coworker and feeling a strong attraction that made me convinced my relationship was missing a vital component…really I was just feeding a new connection with attention awe and intimacy and withdrawing from my partner. Anyways the sparks and new feelings of connection lasted maybe 2 months, and now I have dealt with 2 years (and I anticipate a lifetime) of anguish, depression, and suicidal thoughts over what I’ve done. I don’t want to be this person, I don’t want to be a cheater, but NOTHING I can do can change that I am. I don’t want to at all minimize the pain of those who have been betrayed but please know it is not true that all cheaters feel no remorse and just keep cheating throughout their lives. And there’s no way to escape it or move on from it because you know it was 100% your actions that brought you here. Everywhere you go, there you are.

    • Nameless

      My partner cheated for 7 months and I found all the pictures and comments and smiles in social media, IG. My partner knew I struggled a long time with mental health problems and still did this. Some people are selfish and reckless with others emotional vulnerability. I have been in touch with my community’s MH team but it’s not helping, nothing is. I already tried to hang myself but rope broke after I blacked out. I have plans to do it again. No, it’s not to hurt my cheating partner but I can’t bear the idea of ever being hurt like this again or trusting another single human being, EVER. Not in this lifetime anyway.

      • I hope You're still Here

        I am so sorry you have experienced this. It is so devastating when people do you value your mental health, weaknesses, susceptibilities, and vulnerabilities in a a humane, compassionate. You are allowed to feel hurt, but you are going to return to life. You do not have to worry about relationships right now if that is too overwhelming. That is okay. Not everyone ends up in relationships anyway! Many people are happier that way. You are GOING TO HEAL! I promise.

        It may take time, a lot of time, but it does get better. Life slips in you and you start remembering things that bring you joy. You start welcoming. your happiness again. You will get better. Please do not kill yourself.

    • Jay

      This is such crap. “Talking to someone” doesn’t erase the years of adoration for someone who has been cheating on you. If I call a suicide hotline, suddenly my beautiful wife never cheated? Doesn’t work that way. Instead I have to suck it up and take care of my kids knowing that the woman I adore doesn’t give a damn. It’s the right thing for them regardless of how much it kills me every day. They’re the only reason I’m still breathing and I sure as hell don’t need some stranger telling me things will get better. Nothing gets better. The pain just eats away until the end.

    • Michelle

      My husband cheated. Then died by suicide. A month ago next week. He never gave me the truth. Since his death i find more and more lies. Where he died he punished me by making sure i found him. So its not always the betrayed that kill themselves. Sometimes its the cheater. I was married to him 15 years. He punished me for his choices. I didnt even know. He was telling me i was a great wife. His 1 and only. I found out on my birthday. He killed himself almost 2 months later. Im not sure why he did kill himself. He never said. He told me he never realized the pain it has caused me. Not sure if guilt got him or that fact he couldnt lie anymore. The facts came to the surface and there was no more denying it. He never took responsibility.

      • Shifting Impressions

        My heart goes out to you…..I can’t imagine the pain you must be in.

    • A Ronin Wolf

      I’ve been cheated on a grand total of 6 times, 3 by my 1st ex, and 3 by my 2nd. The first instance, it was because she decided to let her ex-boyfriend move in when it was just me and her. Me not being the wiser one and her taking advantage of my generosity, you can guess what their motives are. The ex stole my ex from underneath my nose under the same roof. 2nd and 3rd instances were when I was stationed in Okinawa while she was living here in Texas. I’ve never forgiven her for that.

      2nd ex, Thanksgiving 2014. She was in tears when she phoned me while I was at the store looking for medicine to help me ease a fever I was under. 2nd time was just after my enlistment ended in 2016. 3rd time was in Thanksgiving week of that same year; this time emailing me a Dear John letter.

      My 3rd ex didn’t cheat on me, but decided to abandon me after living with her for 2 months. Last I heard, she got engaged to the same guy she divorced just before she got with me. Other than those 3, it’s been nothing but rejections before, in between, and after those 3.

      I find it hard to believe that a rationalization to cheat on a significant other would exist, and being cheated on many times, I can’t bring myself to accepting the idea that the cheating partner would even attempt to rationalize what they did.

    • AnonMD

      A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with an online mental health professor at an East Coast university. She is adamantly opposed to suicide and insists that every suicidal person can transform their life so that they can be happy. On her website, however, are thousands of comments from people who’ve been in the mental health system for years or even decades but who still suffer gravely. No matter what horror stores they share, this social worker professor either ignores them (or censors their comments outright as if this makes the pain go away) or responds in ways quite shocking for someone holding a PhD.

      In one response to one of my own questions about suicide, the professor replied that her interventions are meant for people … whom the interventions can help–that is NOT for the many, many people like those commenting on her blog who suffer from things like chronic poverty, terribly painfully failed primary relationships (with adult children, parents, ex-spouses…), joblessness due to age discrimination and other prejudices, ongoing painful social isolation despite their best efforts to change this… This was one of the most illuminating comments coming from a professional mental health practitioner I’d ever heard or read as it helped me to understand the otherwise often paradoxical treatment the “mentally ill” often receive at the hands of mental health and medical teams.

      Imagine if our care of cancer patients ignored or alienated those suffering from aggressive cancers. If, instead, our claims of success–of having the cure for cancer–rested on the success of interventions for less aggressive cancers known to have far higher patient survival rates. We’d all recognize this as an unacceptable selection bias distorting our assessment of the populational effectiveness of the given intervention. Thanks to the previously mentioned mental health professor’s assertion, I’ve been thinking more about how on the one hand our culture can place so much faith in the mental health system despite the copious patient horror stories and the stark fact that depression and suicide rates are increasing, not sharply decreasing.

      Suicide is understandably an uncomfortable subject. But censoring people from talking about their feelings regarding suicide (when done respectfully and legally) only makes matters worse. In medical school, we learned that people’s experiences of their social lives affect their physiology–their biology, including their brains. And we’ve known for decades that abandonment and lack of sufficient (individually determined) healthy social interaction can very seriously impact health and survival even more than other public health threats like cigarette smoking and obesity. There is also ample data that males in particular suffer after a divorce or break-up–due, scholars find, in part to post-relationship disruptions in their support networks.

      All of this, especially in light of psychiatry continuing to be unable to provide hard biomedical evidence that depression in general and suicide result from a particular neurological disease, argues that suicide is often a deeply pained response to a life that’s too hurtful for the individual to bear. What many suicidal people need is to be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. To be listened to without judgment and platitudes. To be SHOWN, in ways devoid of threats, that they matter rather than being lectured to that effect. And to be nurtured safely so they feel support when they can’t hold themselves up. After traumas like a major infidelity or spousal abandonment or divorce, these can be very hard to come by for many. This blog’s author is correct that most recent research does NOT support the guess that most suicidal people were “mentally ill” when they committed suicide. The authors are also correct that suicidality is not itself a necessary indicator of mental illness but rather tremendous pain, often due to a person’s particular life circumstances like especially significant betrayal or abandonment.

    • m galardi

      im pretty sure my wife had affair for 5 1[2 years my wifes mother moved in with dementia we barely had sex or communicate with each other so I sleept in my office when her mom died I thought I heard buzzing sounds in her room did no what was going on but then I bought a spy cam here I left it on an when I checked it out in blurry film look like my wife naked second time our cheats were masde to people began to lay on bed cam stop no motion that’s when I started checking things were left in my closet that weren’t mind an couple shirts that look like my friends were there she ton cloths in closet said they were my daughters on more blurry make people in my office wife has big breast she was always naked then kept findind stuff one night went off wan ted to hurt her but couldn’t prove it kept calling me nuts took to docter for anxiety then the first night we had sex I thought she was a pro she did everything I beg her to do while married always had excuse well you wanted me to be this aggressive oral etc see I leave for work every day at 4 o clock my nfriend leaves hiss house same time some of the films on my clock in office say 545 am I out decoy in back door I got home it was moved im only one who uses it thinking about bad things but its not worth it the worse is the first encounter behind my back plus she is the last one to say no thank you

    • davidnance

      We live in Colorado. My wife went to a one week a year scrapbook retreat for ten years. She developed a close relationship with a lesbian who also attended. Several years ago the lesbian lost her partner. My wife was emailing, private messaging, and calling the woman, etc.

      Once I came home and my wife was on the phone with the lesbian and when she hung up my wife said,” I love you.” To me this phrase has romantic meaning and is normally reserved for spouses, kids, and parents, not for friends.

      During our fight after the phone call at me saying, you would be really mad if you knew I slept in the same bed as her. (apparently where traveling to the site a hotel stop involved sharing a bed). I think this comment was just to rub salt in my wound.

      But I do not know. A lesbian loses her partner. A lesbian seeks a replacemnt among her friends. My wife maintains she has only hugged her, kissed her on cheek, and told her she loves her.

      WHAT ? Only a really innocent naive person would think these actions did not have a deeper meaning. Maybe my wive is a repressed lesbian who would not come out to spare her birth family and not violate religious tenets.

      We have been married 30+ years and I need to decide if I need to leave my wife.
      I feel my wife is infatuated with this woman.. Once time she told me I had never met such a woman, strong, joking and having strong opinions. I have met women like this and the stereotype is mid 50’s, lesbian, kids out of home, divorced, feels screwed by the system, etc.

      What really set me off when my wife told me this lesbian invited her to take a three weeks trip with her to New Mexico. This is pretty much the behavior groomers used to get access to their prey, small trips, etc. . The lesbian is attempting to break up my marriage.

      When I explained this woman was a wedge in our marriage my wife eventually agreed to stop communicating with her. However, she frequently complains I made her break up with her friend.

      constructive comments

    • Hector

      There are laws that prevent (or at least try) people from hurting others physically and even verbally. But no government care for those of us who are mentally raped by this behavior and never become the same person again. For me it’s been 5 years of the mostly horrible mental pain you can imagine (yes, maybe some of us are weaker than the rest). Lost my company and my health (both physical and mental). Put my family and friends through some devastating pain as well. After tens of thousands of dollars spent in all kinds of therapy and medication and here I am, trying to find the courage to end this horrific pain. All I can say is that hopefully one day there will be a law that at least scares people a little into committing this horrific act (there is always an option of ending a relationship before cheating ) . I know that people like me who gets shattered by this are a very very small percentage of the population, but still some of us are worth saving.

    • Peter

      The pain, the shock, the embarrassment, the humility, the shame, the fear of the future, all of these rock your soul and split every cell in your body. It was a body blow I will never forget. The shock of a blindsided act of infidelity was heart breaking enough but the trauma that followed was enough to drive anyone over the brink of sanity- his whore demanded money – extortion- demanded money or she would have his hands broken ( he is a surgeon) he paid her… yet for years she tormented our home with phone calls. We obtained a court ordered Criminal Protective Order restraining order which cost $30,000. The whore continues to torment us. She is a home wrecker. If prostitution were legal these extorting whores would be in jail.

    • Mark

      Infidelity can be deadly. Ten years ago my wife of 42 years had an emotional – turned physical – affair with her boss that lasted a few years, but ran it’s self out as they sometimes do. He was a manager of the nuclear medicine department at a local hospital. The details I got out of my wife on D-day, which was this last April 2020, strongly suggested he had at least one other previous affair with a different employee under his authority. When someone uses their work position to take advantage of another in a sexual manner there is an extra layer of disgust. Needless to say I experienced the worst heart-breaking pain imaginable. In the heat of the moment I sent a short note about the affair with my wife, and the possible affair with the other employee, to his wife with the full intent of ratting him out. His wife confronted him and confirmed with me days later that the other affair did happen as well. Two weeks after D-day, and certainly not part of the plan, he took his own life. I can only assume he couldn’t live with the guilt and shame. All the people involved – three long term marriages complete with children and grandchildren – knew each other socially and considered each other as friends. At the news of the suicide my wife made no fuss and shed no tears. I, on the other hand, suffered remorse, and wonder if I should accept any responsibility. I have not found very much written about this sort of complication with affairs, and would appreciate some feed back.

    • F this life

      This article has confirmed to me that’s my partners suicide was all my fault.
      After a 5 year relationship with 2 kids my partner hung himself knowing I would find him. This happened 3 weeks after he found out that at the beginning of our relationship I had a one night stand.
      I loved him deeply and wanted to grow old with him and have a big family. I never cheated on him after that one mistake but i guess knowing that,that happened destroyed him.
      Anyway now I’m suicidal and have to wait until my kids are adults to kill myself too. I have to be punished and suffer the rest of my life for my mistake, but at least raise the kids to adulthood.
      And when I finally get out of this shit life hopefully my partner will not hate me on the other side of death.

      Anyway thank you, this article definitely confirmed to me its all my fault.

      • Doug

        F, I’m sorry that you are feeling the way you are, but your partner’s suicide is not your fault. Use some of the resources mentioned in the article and get some help: In the U.S. – Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). These toll-free crisis hotlines offer 24-hour suicide prevention and support. Your call is free and confidential.

      • Mark

        Dear F this life,

        I agree with Doug. Had I known my wife’s boss would take the action he did I would never have ratted him out. Please get help. Life is so precious and we all make mistakes at some point. I have tons of remorse for what happened, and yes I am still struggling with it, but nothing is so bad that taking your own life is the answer. Again, please, please get help right now!!

    • Brandon

      I’m the one who cheated not physically but through text and my wife left me she’s 30 weeks pregnant and we have a 4 year old together also so I’m a fuck up done with life I have no one anymore no one to call I’m done!

    • Mark

      Dear Brandon,
      I’m not sure how a person can commit infidelity with text alone. Please elaborate. If everything that we process mentally or through our hearts is considered relevant, a whole lot of people are in serious trouble. Having said that, it is better to sensor our thoughts because sometimes our actions do follow them. At any rate, suicide is not the answer!! Please get help.

    • DazedAndConfused

      Thank you for this post… I’ve been reading a lot for you guys since D-Day (1 week ago) and have found a lot of this helpful. I’m due with my second child in less than 6 weeks and am an absolute wreck. I would be a lie to say I haven’t thought of ending it all… I’m scared to go through delivery and raising a young child again but thought I was doing it out of love for my husband who has been an amazing Father to my daughter since her infancy although he is not her birth father (we are wrapping up a termination of parental rights and stepparent adoption as we speak). I’m so confused and angry and feel worthless. I’m fearful of post part I’m depression as I went through it with my daughter and have been barely able to get out of bed or sleep since D-Day. When I sleep I have nightmares of my husband being with other women. I am seeking therapy now and plan to talk to my OB about the revelation and depression but have definitely thought to my self how much easier it would be to disappear once our second child is born. I have a couple large life insurance policies that would still payout in the event of my causing my death as I’ve held them for years beyond the “suicide clause”. It’s hard not to think that I could replace a depressed mother and spouse with a new level of financial security for my family.

      All of that said, I have plans to address both my mental health and husband’s affair but the thought has definitely crossed my mind and I can easily see how simple it could be for someone to replace these negative thoughts with action.

    • Wendy

      I was in a 13 year relationship and one she left me for her ex. I was thrown for a loop. When her and a friend came to get some of stuff I popped a bunch of pills. I was in a comma for 2 day’s. Partner stayed for about a month then left anyway. I was devastated. She totally destroyed me. As a result a year later I jumped into a relationship and it just happened to be with a narcissist. Stayed for 8 year’s. I got out of that relationship about 4 months ago. My ex wants me back. I don’t know if I can ever trust.

    • Corey

      I disagree…I called 911…the cops showed up…and even though I was bleeding (seriously bleeding from my wrists and neck…the threw me to the ground…even though my hands were up and i had no weapons…i had 3 cops on my back screaming for me to stop resisting them!!
      Again bleeding profusely and me admitting I give up….they treated me like a criminal and made me feel like I was nothing more then an issue they dealt with harshly! …so before you give hope about 911 caring …realize ppl that want to end it and call for help are treated like skum!!!

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