A blog member shares her thoughts on the importance of introspection on the part of the betrayed spouse with respect to where the marriage went off track.

introspection on the part of the betrayed spouse

By ‘Blindsided’

I am Blindsided. I chose this name for this site, because that is what happened to me. I was 100% blindsided when I found out, quite accidentally that my husband was engaged in an affair.

At the time – my D Day – I did not know that it was an emotional affair, nor had I ever heard the term. But that is what it was. An emotional affair, or in my opinion more accurately, an addiction that he could not escape for several months.

One night, 8 months ago, I “broke into” my husband’s computer to activate his Find My Phone app – He had literally disappeared, a man who is never without his phone, and tracking his phone was my last panicked attempt to find him after repeated texts and phone calls from me went unanswered over a 4+ hour period that went into the wee hours of the morning. I found an email thread between him and (what I now know to be) the OW.

I have never been so shocked at anything in my entire life. I thought my heart had been ripped from my chest. We had been married for 34 years, neither of us had ever had an affair, of any kind. We were, at that time, in a difficult stage of our marriage due to several factors, mostly financial. We had become roommates. We were struggling.

As I said, it has been 8 months, and we are doing better than I ever would have thought we could be. Maybe one day I will go into more detail of my story, but that is not the purpose of this post.

See also  The Real Reasons Cheaters Don’t Want to Talk About Their Affair

Introspection On the Part of the Betrayed Spouse – Here is why I wrote this:

While I have not read each and every blog post, there is one topic I have seen very little on, or have only seen in digging back several years in posts  – introspection on the part of the Betrayed Spouse.

The key to my current state of relative sanity has been the very difficult process (with the help of a wonderful therapist) to go back in time to when our marriage started to go off the rails – long before my husband’s emotional affair –  and to examine my part, his part, our part in the “emotional separation” of our now 35-year marriage.

Let me be clear: I do not believe his affair was my fault, nor does he. He 100% owns what he did. He does not blame me, though he made a stab at it early on.

I DID blame myself, for a very short time, but I got over that very quickly. HE made a choice. HE is in the wrong. HE lied. HE continued his affair for far too long.

AND the reality is, at least in OUR marriage, the number 1 contributing factor in his choice was how shitty he felt about himself, how little he thought of himself, and how desperate he was for someone to make him feel special, wanted.

4 Keys to Knowing the Affair is NOT Your Fault

He is working on understanding that he needs to do that for himself. But the reality is that in a healthy marriage, spouses respect, admire and tend to one another, and neither of us were doing that. We had an unhealthy marriage before he made that fateful, stupid, traumatizing, awful choice. And I had a part in that.

See also  Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair

I have visions of some of you screaming at your computers right now … and jumping right to the Comment section to nail me on this. Have at it. I understand.

I recognize my part in leaving him emotionally – again, this was before the EA, starting about three and half years before. We had/have a dire financial situation that tore all of the trust out of me – my trust in my husband, and in myself.  I took the coward’s way out.

I didn’t have the energy, or maybe better said, I didn’t reserve the energy for our relationship. I allowed myself to be numb, to simply put one foot in front of the other and exist. I allowed myself to settle for less than I deserved. I am guilty of becoming a roommate.

I didn’t want to work hard, I didn’t want to allow myself to dream, and have them dashed. I didn’t want to let him in – I didn’t know if I could survive another ‘hurt’.

He has told me that he didn’t think I wanted him. I didn’t think he wanted me either, and I did ask, but only a few times, and not that directly. So, I shut down too. But I am wide awake now.

None of my actions excuse or explain why he made his choice.

As we work to rebuild our marriage – or better said, build a new marriage – we have to work on all the problems, not just the affair. We need to face the history that brought us to this terrible place. The affair did not occur in a vacuum. There was a genesis, a metamorphosis of our relationship that in reflection is instructive as to how we need to create our future.

See also  Narcissism: The Difference Between Affair-Driven Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

I, like many of you, have spent the time since D Day in various states – too many to list, but summarized as – debilitating sadness, grief, anger and anxiety/trauma. I have made the choice to broaden my scope of healing so that this horrible affair does not define me, us, our marriage.

It is HARD – the hardest thing I have ever done. And I am strong, stronger than I ever thought I was (and until this betrayal, I never had a lack of self-esteem).

So while I put one foot in front of the other, emerge from the deep hole I have been in, if I am going to be successful, I need to be introspective. And I need to forgive myself before I can forgive him. That is my focus right now.

(Thanks so much to ‘Blindsided’ for sharing her experiences with us.  We love to share articles from our readers.  So if you’d  like to submit an article for us to possibly post on the blog, feel free to contact us about your ideas.)


    28 replies to "Introspection On the Part of the Betrayed Spouse"

    • TryingToGetOver

      I totally get what you are saying! I was furious at first when my husband questioned “my part” in everything. My response was, “If you were troubled by my behavior, why did you have an affair rather than ask for marital therapy?” I really, truly believe the affair was 100 percent him and zero percent me. I think that is probably true for everyone on these boards!
      YET I can’t sit and preach that I am perfect and he is the one who needs to do all the changing. He needs to do most of the changing. But I have to reach out too. I know what you mean by “numb.” It is the opposite of being emotionally open. Being open to him and constantly starting hard but meaningful conversations has been a big change for me. It’s easy to keep putting one foot in front of the other, cleaning and caretaking and cooking and bill-paying and doing life on autopilot while giving each other a break and not discussing subjects we hate. Our marriage was plenty fun, but also plenty “surface” in the years leading up to the affair.
      Introspection is a necessary wake-up for a betrayed spouse. To steal a now-overused word, it helps to be “woke” in the marriage. Really eyes-open, hearts-open, fully paying attention to each other. Both people have to do that to make it all roll forward in a meaningful way! Thanks for the post.

    • Hopeful

      I agree also. I think the process is an evolution after dday. One article that was so well written and helpful to both of us was in The Atlantic and written by John Gottman. It is called Acts of Love. It touches on much of what I have read in his books but the article is a good starting point. It really talks about each person’s part in a relationship. I do love his and his wife’s work. I think it has been the most approachable from the wayward and betrayed perspectives. I like how it is scientific but also focuses on tangible actions.

    • Puzzled

      I think we all can agree that each experience is unique but it doesn’t change the outcome. Somehow marriage boundaries crumbled and our spouse, the love of our lives, became a stranger and helped smash the last piece. Some of us have reconciled while others have not. Neither road is easy. My heart hurts for all of us on here who have suffered through an affair.

      I’ve read Blindsided article twice now. I’m still wrapping my head around how I want to respond. But, I do understand where she’s coming from and how she feels. Forgiveness begins with our own hearts; and that means both cheater and betrayed. We must look inside ourselves to see who, as a couple, we were & what we want to become. Our marriages, figuratively (and for some literally), died. What do we do now? That’s the bottom line. Do we, as a couple, do the hard work to to build from the bottom again and create something great? My D-day is 3 years old. Some days it feels like a story I heard. Some days it feels like last week. Recovery is tough. Both the BS & CS have to take a hard look at what triggered the affair. I am NOT excusing the affair. But, somewhere we got off the rails and I am determined to never get off again.

      • Hopeful

        Puzzled, So true. It is odd how some days it feels like someone’s story and in the next moment it feels like yesterday. After the initial pain and working through that we both have tried to focus on the present. It is hard for me and sometimes I still get caught up in the past or what happened. I think that is natural. We have both said we wish we could erase it from our memory or go back in time so he could make a different decision. He says often though he is not sure he could be who he is today without going through this and taking our marriage to the brink. I did struggle a lot since after dday it was obvious he had changed and hid all of that from me through the years lying directly to my face while being asked pointed questions. He also lied to me when I would push to go on dates or when I suggested concrete plans to work on our marriage. He always had some reason we could not do that, now I know why.

        My husband has an idea of why it happened but nothing very concrete and really no good reason. He gets so upset since he says he knew he had it all but it was all him and his issues. And yes we work every day to build a new marriage. Some days it feels so hard or impossible or as if a dark cloud is over us/me. I just keep pushing forward doing my part.

        • Blindsided

          Hopeful, I love your last paragraph. Sounds like us. Some days there is this dark cloud that feels like it will never leave.

    • Grace

      When my husband’s affair came to light, he tried to blame it on me. I was too busy with our four kids, and so on. Early in our counseling sessions I put my foot firmly down on this. I told him that if he wanted to stay in the marriage and rebuild a new one, it would NOT involve looking back at any faults in the marriage. He gave up that right when he chose to cheat, ignore his kids, expose me to an STD, and wreck havoc on our finances.

      To be clear, I am not and never have been perfect. We are humans and we can always, ALWAYS be better people. Including being better spouses, parents, friends etc. I flipped the script and asked him…..what if I had been the one who cheated? What if…..instead of saying “look how hard my husband works to provide a living for his family and to allow me to be a stay at home mom”…….what if I had whined to some man……”my husband works sooooo much, I feel alone, he’s neglecting me, im basically a single mom all week”.
      See what I did there? PERSPECTIVE. You can choose to see things in a way that honors and respects your spouse, placing them in the best light. OR you can choose to see them as neglectful to justify your own bad choices. Because MOST of the time, the “revelation” of unhappiness occurs AFTER they have begun to cross some boundaries. We can ALL criticize our spouses. We can all choose to pick at their flaws. Or not!

      Not once did my husband come to me and voice a single concern or complaint. Not once did he express that he was unhappy, or even act like it! But combine a crappy, abusive childhood with a woman willing to jack his ego sky high and there is a recipe for disaster. So no, in the aftermath of D-day I was not going to give him an “out”. I was not going to make it easy on him by owning mistakes in the marriage. Again, neither of us were perfect. No marriage is and mistakes are ALWAYS MADE. Here is the kicker! That’s what marriage is SUPPOSED TO BE! We are supposed to have each others’ backs and understand when the other one is struggling. You don’t jump off the Titantic for the Carnival cruise ship and leave your spouse behind. You assume the best and look for the best. You show them grace.

      So in counseling I told him…here is the deal. We are rebuilding a new marriage. We can make it up as we go. He had to learn to express his needs, heck with the childhood he had….he had to learn to understand he even HAD emotional needs and learn to express them. We both pledged to communicate better, to listen more actively. To take OUR OWN pulse. Be responsible for OUR OWN needs. That has to come first, because it’s not healthy to look to someone to “complete you” or fill the emotional voids of a scarred childhood.

      I held his feet firmly to the fire. No excuses. He had to fully own what he did and not blame it even slightly on what I could have done, not done, etc. Because that’s exactly what he used to give himself permission to cheat in the first place. He has learned to monitor his emotions and in the long run, it’s making him a much healthier person.

      • Hopeful

        Grace, So familiar. I was exactly like you and saw the best in him and others. I never once said one bad thing about my husband. I could have complained a lot like others. But when I had an issue through those years I always brought it up to him directly. I had friends question me about him, my kids would ask why he wanted to spend more time with his friends than us. I never once said one thing. I went above and beyond on a daily basis. If anyone had a reason to cheat it should have been me. He has said many times that he had the luxury of being married to someone he knew would never cheat on him and never let him down in any way. It was almost like I was too good. Interesting the friend that introduced him to both women fed into that narrative that I was too good for him. I think the cheating started on a whim but then he found anything I did to justify it.

        My therapist was awesome and told me that I gave him every opportunity and he threw those away. This was on him to work through and fix himself first. My expectations should be elevated and no give and take. This process is an evolution but my standards are really elevated.

      • Shifting Impressions

        That is so well said…I couldn’t agree more. Of course there are ups and downs in every marriage. That is simply life….it just isn’t roses all the time. Cheating when the going gets tough is an act of cowardice!!

      • Ladyfish

        Wow…this is my story too. 37 years of marriage to an immature man with childhood scars and no desire to face his own demons. He wore me out seeking constant validation. We rarely connected on a deep level. It happened just enough to make me stay. I became less of what I could be because every time I stepped out to improve myself, he would go off the rails, acting childishly and using insults and sullen behavior to get me to dial things back. I thought by doing that I was keeping the marriage intact. All I was really doing was growing resentful, codependent, and weary.

        He turned 60 in March of 2015 and was in midlife transition. He seemed depressed so I encouraged him to go to the doctor and check his hormone levels. He started testosterone therapy that week. 6 weeks later, when the T is at its fullest concentration in the bloodstream, he is targeted by a predator….a female narcissist who approached him at a wedding we attended. Whenever I was away from him, talking with friends etc., there she was….being sweet and seductive, touching his arms, giving him “the look.” I didn’t know this until after D-day which was December 2017.

        He had always had female friends so he saw nothing wrong with calling her and striking up a conversation. She fast-forwarded the relationship with her own brand of porn and then started sucking money out of him while psychologically abusing him at the same time. He was looking for validation since I had grown weary of his constant demand for it and she was offering it in bucket loads. He didn’t recognize her form of abuse because he had grown up with it.

        This has been the hardest part of recovery. He accused me of trying to control him for decades. I wasn’t, but he was looking at me through the lense of his narcissistic father and neglectful mother. If I said “please wear your seatbelt because I love you” he thought I was trying to control. It didn’t matter what I said or how I said it, he took offense. So what does he do?? He has an affair with a sociopath who really does control him and really does insult him and doesn’t even like him….and he stays with her trying to get her approval for 2 years and 8 months. We found out that she had at least 6 other men on her stringer at the same time. This has been so hard to wrap my head around.

        To add insult to injury I found out that the doctor he went to never tested him to see if he needed testosterone. Turns out he wasn’t that low. He stopped taking it in mid November of 2017 and came clean 3 weeks later when it was 87.5% out of his bloodstream. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Apparently, men taking HRT are 60% more likely to have an affair. It would be a great thing if Doctors would warn men about that. It might make a difference. I am not giving an excuse for his behavior but at the same time, I think it played a part in the initial ‘thrill” he got from her touch and seductive look.

        At the same time, he is finally doing the introspective work he has needed to do for most of our marriage. He is working hard and discovering who he really is and how he really feels about us and me and himself. He is developing his talents and being far more open and loving. He is learning and I am learning and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I am encouraged. It still hurts so much every day but I have good days now and that wasn’t so in the beginning. I am now pursuing a degree in psychology so that I can counsel those who need to recover from affairs and also for those who need to recover from psychological abuse. One day I may be thankful for his affair but I’m not quite there yet.

        He engaged in a lot of cognitive dissonance to justify his affair. He convinced himself that I was controlling and he convinced himself that he wasn’t having sex because his penis wasn’t in her vagina. He knows better now and even admits that the first time he called her he was cheating. It’s a nightmare I never thought I would have but I am hoping it will turn into the marriage I always hoped to have.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Thank you for sharing your story. I will never be “thankful” for my husband’s EA which I discovered just prior to our fortieth wedding anniversary. I am only thankful for the lessons I have learned along the way.

          All the best to you in your pursuit of your psychology degree….I am sure you will have much to offer.

        • True_Love_91

          My H was also targeted by a narcissist sociopath. He was under her spell for a year. Tomorrow will be 1 year from Dday. I suspected within the first few weeks and since she was in our social circle, he insisted they were “just friends” and she acted the part when she was around me and the rest of our friends. These sick b*tches can smell a man in MLC. He even said he caught stuff in conversations with her that she admitted she watches couples and looks for kind men in good marriages. He’s always had female friends and trusted her because she befriended me as well. It’s all part of the game. She was also married and admitted her H doesn’t treat her the way my H treated me. He also realized she had a group of other “interests”. He was never attracted to her before she threw herself at him one night when I was out of town. She turned on something in him and he became addicted to the thrill of another woman desiring him. She also psychologically abused him and he didn’t understand why he couldn’t end the relationship even though he “had the perfect wife at home”. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “stays with her trying to get her approval”. I will share this with my H.
          We are doing really well, although I have lots of bad days. I cried for 3 nights in a row at the beginning of the week. We are both 55 and have been together 33 years and will be celebrating our 29th anniversary in the fall. Not going to let a narcissist destroy us!

          • Ladyfish

            I feel the same way. Not going to let that psycho-bitch destroy us either. While I was writing my last post, my husband was still cheating on me with that nut-job. He had just learned to hide it better. He was better but things were starting to go south between us when I caught him again in July of 2019. At this point, he knew I was not going to give him room to mess me over again. I contacted the AP’s sister who was known to have cut contact with her and she was very helpful. He was ready to see the real “Darla.” Her sister showed him a huge paper trail of forged checks, fake police reports, frivolous lawsuits, and many stories of the horrible things she had done to her daughter, parents, and siblings. It opened his eyes. After that, I tracked him for a year without his knowledge. I knew where he was at all times. I was def not staying if he saw her even one more time. I found out that he had been having intercourse with her but very infrequently and always with her long t-shirt on. She only did it grudgingly and always complained about it, saying he got off too fast or he was going to fast/too slow, would never kiss him, etc. She basically used it to humiliate him and he was always willing to “try again” to see if he could please her and get her approval. After finding out about the intercourse I insisted that he get tested for STDs or we would not be sleeping together ever. The test came back positive for Hep B. Fortunately, he no longer had it and I never got it but she must have had a very high viral load to have transferred it to him because he had been vaccinated. Anyway, we found a CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) and he was forced to do a full disclosure and take a lie-detector test. That’s when the other stuff came out. He had slept with several women during his pot addiction days in 1986 but stopped when I had threatened to leave and take our daughter with me. I thought our problems were just related to the pot but it was pot and sex addiction. He controlled it after that until Darla showed up. Anyway, many will say I am crazy to have stayed but things are finally really great between us. He has grown so much and our CSAT is a big part of his recovery from his past. He also found a camaraderie of men at an SLAA meeting locally that he could connect with. We rarely argue anymore and he realizes what an ass he was and how blessed he is to have me. He tries to make it up to me every day even though he says he never can. I believe he is for real this time but if not, I will be OK. I have grown in the process also and can see my way clear if it doesn’t work out.

    • Rose

      Great article, Blindsided. I’ve been married 33 years.

      None of us had anything to do with our spouse’s affairs. That is absolutely correct. Whatever excuse or reasoning they gave you, it is ALL ON THEM. They made the choice. In my H’s case, the first A was because he thought I WAS having an A. He just assumed (makes an ass out of u and me, right??) because he saw a co-worker hug me and kiss me on the cheek. He NEVER ASKED. He started hanging out at a bar and pursued a barmaid there. He felt “entitled.” I didn’t even learn about this assumption until 20 years later. He had all the proof he needed, apparently. And, this goes back to the rest of our marriage. For years we never argued or discussed anything at all. Our friends and relatives said what a perfect marriage we had, never arguing, etc. And I can see now that some of that WAS my fault…but he was a screamer. Bring up anything uncomfortable and get screamed at.

      His second A…he compartmentalized that so much that I didn’t even figure into the equation. She needed his help (he THOUGHT) and so he was going to rescue her. For 2 years. Even when I found out 3 months in and he promised no contact. And when I found out it went on for another year and a half. He said “I couldn’t tell you because you wouldn’t understand.” Oh, I understand perfectly.

      The third one was definitely my fault. (insert sarcasm here as Sarah would say) I TOLD him to contact his cousin that he hadn’t seen in 40 years. I just didn’t know she was a psychopath who was going to send him naked pictures.

      He has refused to talk about any of this. Consequently, I am done. That is another long story about why I am still in the same house, but there is no more discussion.This last January was the last time I will beg, plead, and cry for a discussion about the issues. There is no more understanding. There is no acceptance. And there’s no more work being done here.

    • Kay

      Blindsided is right!! Even though I felt something was off with my husband almost immediately I never in a million years thought it was an affair.
      And yes like others here has said I couldn’t see my part in anything because in my mind things were good and I was truly happy. But through this almost 2 year recovery I have learned so much. And despite the scars of the affair I am in a much better place. I understand things about myself and our marriage I honestly wouldn’t have looked into otherwise.
      One of the big learnings is the difference between pleasing and loving and I can see how much I did for my husband out of what I wrongfully thought was my duty. My now I’ve learned to enjoy time with my H and it does make us both happier it this shows in even a better sex life, which baffles me sometimes.

      We’ve been together for 23 years and most of the couples we know are long divorced or miserable. They have had their marriage tested in other ways including illnesses, finances, etc.

      And I have learned it’s not so much how your marriage gets tested but your strength and willingness to fight. And while I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand the affair emotionally I can honestly see how we have both fought for our improving marriage.

    • Devastated

      Hello! I too was totally blindsided. I knew my husband had been helping a young girl at work with some problems but I had no idea it was an affair she is 30 years younger than him. My husband still to this day says they are still friends and I am way off base! This was a man that I was totally in Love with and he was the best husband anyone could ever ask for and all I ever did was praise him. When I questioned him about all the calls and texts on our phone bill he told me none of this would have happened if we were connected? I am in total agreement that he totally needs to own the affair and if something was wrong in our marriage he needed to talk to me. He told me people don’t talk about things like that. He has become very rude and ignorant to me and won’t work on anything and won’t even try to move forward. I am beside myself I have try counseling and purchased the Marriage Boot Camp with Mort Fertel and he won’t do anything to end the relationship or work with me. Unlike all of you my husband still to this day won’t apologize for any of this and I can’t see him trying to work on our marriage. Thanks so much for all of your posts!

      • Hopeful

        I am so sorry Devastated. It is the worst going through betrayal but then to have your husband continue to treat you this way. None of this is easy no matter what the path but this is horrible. I know you have tried counseling but I would suggest searching for the right one to help you. I have not been through the exact same situation but for me my therapist helped me figure out what I needed to do. We would even sit down and talk about exactly what I needed to say to my husband every week just to work through this. For me I decided to give it my all and I realized at a certain point I could not control my husband and what he chose to do. My therapist ended up being the perfect fit in guiding me along this path. I looked for a licensed therapist that specializes only in betrayal. I traveled 1 1/2 hours each way for my appointments. For me that was a huge question if we were going to stay together. From how you are describing it your husband is still caught up in it all. When I tell my husband what he told me the 6-12 months after dday he does not believe me. I know for my husband he was caught up in just doing damage control and trying to not make himself feel so horrible. And my husband who had two affairs had broken it off 15 months before dday with both ow. Even doing that all on his own he had his own narrative in his head. You deserve answers and a resolution. Only you can decide if it is worth staying and continuing to work on your marriage or moving on. Also keep in mind we are all in very different spots in this recovery. I am at 3 1/2 years plus. If you read back a ways it would be a different story. My husband lied to me for the first five months minimizing everything he did. He was not sure he wanted to still be married and was trying to not hurt me and save face. Nothing is logical about what is going through their minds. Focus on you and what you need. Another thing I did was I kept a daily journal. This helped me a lot with talking with my husband and therapist. I think it is good if a husband goes to therapy individually and as a couple but sounds like you are not at that point yet. My husband did not since he is a mental health professional. But he wanted me to go.

        This site is great with so many helpful people with a lot of knowledge keep reading and posting. We are here for you!

    • Anon

      My H had a 4 year EA with a girl. Refused to admit it was wrong or inappropriate.

      My mistake was allowing him to call the shots.

      Another mistake was hoping he would admit it to me. (He didn’t)

      My mistake was thinking I needed him to admit it even though I had proof.

      I should have done the 180 and told him I will no longer accept his cheating and disrespect.

      Then I should have gotten counseling for me to figure out if I should have separated or divorced him.

      Next conversation (suggestion here) is you tell him you know what is going on and it has to stop. And if it doesn’t you will have to see if you can accept his disrespect and cheating.

      It’s not a discussion. You leave the room. If he tells you “you have no proof and you don’t know what you are talking about” you do not respond.

      You don’t engage with a liar. You will not win.

      He died it want to see your point. He won’t admit you are right.

      Get your plan B together just in case. And don’t say anything to him.

      Start your own social life. Don’t do his laundry or cook his meals. Stay out of the house as much as possible or if you are home engage in your own things. Do Not engage in activities or things with him.

      He needs to know you are not tolerating this.

    • Hopeful


      I thought of you the other day. My husband out of the blue started gushing about how happy he was with his life right now. He said he was proud of the husband and father he is. He has no regrets beyond trivial things like helping out with household things at the most. I said that it is hard for me to understand at times how he acted for so long and how he is now. That it is such a dramatic transformation. He caught me off guard since he started talking about growing up and he said he imagined what type of husband and father he would be and he got so far of track from that. I was really taken aback he has never mentioned that but I found it very interesting that he sat and thought about that as a kid/teen. This was long before I knew him. I guess for me it made more sense why he pushed to have kids. I also said it was confusing during “the affair years”. I said I knew things were off at times but then things would be so great. It was a real roller coaster. He said it was hard for him too and basically he was battling who he had become. He said all he wanted to do was not to be that person who was cheating.

      I just found it all so interesting that he opened up like that spontaneously. For me it never gets easy but I do feel some comfort that he is so happy yet he does not loose site of what he did. I know he is taking it seriously still. I think our situation as we have talked about is complicated and odd for many reasons but have led to a better recovery. Thanks for always being here!

    • Sarah P.

      Hi Hopeful,

      Wow!!! That is terrific that your husband disclosed some things about who he wanted to be and thought about his experience before you met him. It’s even more fantastic that he did this in a natural way. He started looking inside without being forced.

      These are all very good signs. I still have the intuition that you are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of him talking about what his childhood and teen years were like, versus the story that he has either made up in his mind about his childhood OR thought his childhood was like versus someone else’s narrative. It’s a strong intuition I have about your husband.

      Always happy to be here. Hopeful, I have a question I wanted to ask off-line. It’s all good stuff and and thoughts I have and you don’t have to provide an email address with your name. Even if you do, all identities are confidential. I will tell Doug what I wanted to ask you about and he can email you and tell you what I am thinking and if you are comfortable emailing.


      • Hopeful

        Sure Doug can email me your question(s).

        I agree very interesting and especially all unprompted. I knew you would appreciate this.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Blindsided,
      You wrote a wonderful article! Thank you for telling all of us about your experience. I sure hope you and your husband are able to keep progressing in the right direction and it seems you will. I am always so happy when readers are willing to contribute articles and share hard earned wisdom.


    • Blindsided

      Thanks Sarah! I felt I needed to say some things, and took the opportunity to send in the guest post – appreciate that it was published. It gave me a platform to speak my truth 🙂

      My husband and I are progressing in the right direction. There are ups and downs, some surprising triggers and flashbacks that leave me gobsmacked, and best of all moments of truth and revelations from my husband that (though difficult to hear) give me some peace simply in the knowing.

      While the moving forward is what we are working on, it is imperative to look back as well – not to ‘punish’ or beat-a-dead-horse, but instead to gain understanding and take the learnings. I love that you say ‘earned wisdom’ – I feel I have worked hard and earned every bit of it.

    • Sarah P.

      Hi Blindsided,

      Thank you for speaking your truth. All of us can learn from each other. It feels like we all have “puzzle pieces” of earned wisdom and it’s great to share them.

      And yes, knowing the truth sets us free from much of the burden.

      I don’t think wayward spouses can understand the extent to which hiding the truth can damage a relationship. If a betrayed knows there was an affair but has no details as to the nature and extent, it can create a kind of hell within the mind of the betrayed. They will wonder if they got an STD, if they lost money, if their spouse loved the other person, if the spouse was communicating with the AP on important days (like holidays and bdays) and a million other things. These thoughts can make a betrayed feel like they will come unhinged.

      Trigger warning ahead for betrayed spouses. The next section is for wayward spouses. I am going to explain the gory details of why disclosing sex is essential. Betrayeds will want to skip it because it is a bummer of a topic. There is no happiness or joy to be found, so it’s for waywards.


      If there are any waywards reading, I URGE you to tell your betrayed spouse the whole truth. Especially if you have had sex. You don’t have to tell really hurtful and in depth details. For example, I don’t think a wife wants to hear that affair partner preferred a certain sexual position. (CRINGE and vomit! On the other hand, if the wife has a gallow’s sense of humor, I am sure many nicknames for the other woman could be derived from this knowledge.) But, rule of thumb is, wife needs to know if there was sex: penatration, oral, manual. It all counts. My first serious relationship was in college. That guy told me oral sex did NOT count and that I was “not allowed to break up with him” just because he had oral sex with a rotating group of female study buddies. He said engaging in oral sex was not cheating. IT COUNTS since cancerous HPV can be transmitted through oral sex, as well as herpes. Both the cold virus kind of herpes and the sexual kind. One time I got into an argument with someone because he said it doesn’t count if someone gives someone cold-sore based herpes (HSV1) while performing oral sex. He said if he had cold sore based herpes on his penis, it “did not count.” LOL!! A herpes outbreak on the genitalia is still HERPES. It does not matter if it is oral herpes. Then, there is HSV2 (genital herpes). Someone can get genital herpes on their face. So, that nasty cold sore outbreak on someone’s face could be genital herpes. The two kinds can show up in either place. A betrayed spouse needs to know. And in fact, you can kiss another person who has genital herpes on their face, you can pass that along to your spouse. NOT cool. What betrayed wife/husband wants to know that the new cold sore on her/his mouth is genital herpes from the other person? Well they don’t want to know, but you owe it to them to know.

      A word from a doctor: if you have any kind of genital lesions (HSV1 or HSV2) you must tell your partner. Doesn’t matter which one it is- full disclosure.

      Also, siphylis never went away and cases are on the rise again.

      Bet you don’t know that siphylis causes brain damage and can even cause dementia. That’s no fun is it?

      Hmm… wonder if the uptick in cheating has to do with undetected siphylis, which can be undetected and lay dormant for decades. If it’s out there causing brain damage, that can certainly explain why a large part of the population appears to have gone crazy. There is a small city in my area near a large metropolitan area. Many syphilis cases originate in this small city and spread out from there. They are able to track siphylis outbreaks in my state roughly based on people moving out of the small city into other areas and infecting places that never had siphylis. The cooties are REAL.

      So, waywards – you MUST tell your betrayed spouse. Even kissing counts!

      And one more horror story about herpes to reiterate the fact that you OWE it to your betrayed spouse if you even kissed the other person. Any kiss on the mouth counts.

      For example… a real case of the horror story that is herpes and this is more common than you think: Dick and Jane grew up and got married. Jane got pregnant. Dick met a new coworker, Suzy, and it was nice to have Suzy’s company. They started an office flirtation, which turned into a couple of nights French kissing in Suzy’s car. Dick got a painful cold sore and realized it came from Suzy. Dick
      snapped out if it and realized that he could not have an affair. He broke it off with Suzy and cut contact. Then Dick transferred to another department. Meanwhile, life went on and Dick kissed Jane despite his cold sore. Dick and Jane’s baby was born and the stress of the birth caused Jane to develop a cold sore as a new mom. Dick got the cold sore again too and Dick absentmindedly kissed the new infant on the cheek. The baby contracted the cold sore (the herpes virus). The baby had no natural immunity to the virus and later died from complications of the herpes virus.

      Urban legend? Nope. This happens to babies around the world and even in the United States.

      So, wayward spouses, I urge you to tell your betrayed spouses as to the nature of the affair. There is no such thing as a harmless affair.

    • Longroadhome

      I learned on Sept 21st of 2018 that my husband was involved in an EA with a woman he met through his job. She does not work with him but, they would be in personal contact multiple times per week.
      It was “just a friendship” for a month or so and escalated to her giving him a long, more than friends, hug. He said he kept his hands on her hips instead of drawing her in, as it shocked him. The next time he saw her he told her that their relationship could not “go that way”. He kept his distance from her at that point but continued to talk as friends for 5 more months. She sent a pic of her on vacation and said, “I know why we are friends…so we can come to places like this some day”. Eventually, she must have felt guilty because she sent a hidden private message to my husband (it’s how she requested that they communicate instead of texting) that she was going to tell her husband everything. My husband told her it was a bad idea to tell him because the OW said he was jealous of other men and felt like everyone was trying to sleep with her. She spoke sexually about everyone in her town and often joked about sexual things with my husband. He said it made him uncomfortable but, he liked her personality, sense of humor and all that she had overcome in her life. She did tell her husband who called my husband and swore profanities at him. He took control of her phone and Facebook account blocking and unblocking my husband but, not me.. My fear is that she is not over my husband. Her husband is angry and bitter and she must be comparing him to my husband and wishing she were still able to see him. My husband and I are working at repairing this mess. It was completely out of character for him. I’ve added my name to his Facebook page and he has blocked her and her number. I’m afraid she will contact with a fake profile or phone from a different number. My husband says it’s over but, it’s not over for me. I deal with it every day though it’s getting better

      • True_Love_91

        She is a narcissist. I know your post is 2 years old, but I hope that she is out of your lives. See Ladyfish’s comment and my reply above. They are sociopaths.

    • theresa

      I originally posted this on the discussion blog #33. I think it fits better here.

      “I don’t know what the trigger was. We were cutting down our christmas tree. It was a beautiful day, beautiful place, found the “perfect tree”.
      And up pops the question. How many times did I miss the red flags? How many times did I dismiss subtle warnings from those around me? How many times were there changes in our relationship dynamics? How many times did I trust too much? How many times did I not trust my gut?
      I did not try to figure the whys. For this time it was just about the whats.”

      Not once did I feel any responsibility for HIS choices. Not then and not now. Before discovery I had no reason to question my decisions.
      After discovery I question every decision I make. I still don’t blame myself for his decisions. But I have changed my reactions / responses to his behavior and I resent the loss of my old loving, trusting, happy, confident self.

    • Soul Mate


      I too have been thinking a lot about the very same things over this past weekend. It was my birthday Friday and for whatever reason I awoke in the morning with a tremendous feeling of relief. I’m wasn’t sure why the feelings as I’m still experiencing horrible nightmares I believe are caused by the experience of trauma of the very thoughts you describe, yet I awoke with a profound sense of peace and happiness. It’s been 14 months since my Dday.

      The weekend went much the same as yours. Beautiful flowers and a nice present from my husband. We did lunch and shopping on Saturday, made love that evening and decorating on Sunday, then it started to snow. Beautiful full snowflakes, like a present from heaven to wash away all of the pain I and my husband have experienced over the last 14 months. As we both stood and watched through our window, it covered our world with silence and a beautiful white blanket. It felt to the both of us like a cleansing. Of peace. A renewal. We both felt it and expressed it to each other. The security of our annual Christmas traditions. The comfort of our home. But most of all we felt the security in each other and what we had built. Our Oneness!
      We both felt it and it was Wonderful!

      Suddenly all of the doubts, the emptiness, the questions, the feeling that I needed answers melted away. Maybe it’s fleeting (I pray not) but oh! how wonderful it felt! I refuse to think it will be temporary and I refuse to let the EA interfere in my life any longer. Time to move forward no matter what happens.

      At that moment, I realized that it’s time to let all of the dis-function and immense pain caused by the EA go. That holding on to the thought of unanswerable questions and the regrets of self reflection and ignorance of what was going on in the past does no one any good especially to my “SELF”. To dwell on those things only prolongs the pain and agony caused by the infidelity.

      I now understand that choosing to stay with my husband is a “gift to him” as he says, and in choosing to stay, I also have to accept the fact the EA happened, but I don’t have to continue to live it everyday. I no longer have to let it infect my psyche to the detriment of my values, dignity, grace, happiness, personality, inner beauty, intuition and the future happiness in my marriage regardless of what the future brings. I’ve decided that what I want is to be happy for myself no matter what happens. And I want my husband to be happy as well.

      My husband said something to me last night while we were reflecting on our experience over the weekend that had a profound affect on me and almost makes me feel we have traveled the dark path full circle, and arrived right back where we both belong. In the light! Together and Happy! Looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

      He said “I love you and I always have. You are a part of me I could never be without. And when I die, I want to know that you will be holding my hand, and that I will finally have your forgiveness”.


      • True_Love_91

        Soul Mate,
        That was beautiful. I hope we get to that place soon. Tomorrow is 1 year from Dday. I am hopeful. We are doing pretty well. Had a good session with the therapist today. Feeling like I am getting strong enough to let this go. His affair lasted a year almost to the day. I was suspect after a few weeks. I was keeping a journal from that point with my observations. I told my H, I would need the year. I would need to go through the seasons. I might need to extend that through this summer, since that is when the affair started and I didn’t know the full story on Dday. It took a few months for full disclosure. I anticipate some triggers on certain days and events and I guess I should try to plan for ways to get through them.

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