A couple of years ago we received an email from a reader with an account of her situation dealing with PTSD after infidelity.  We had wanted to post her email back then but she felt that she wasn’t ready yet for us to do so.  Last week she wrote us again and decided it was time to share her story.

Here it is…


ptsd after infidelityIs There a Time Limit for PTSD After Infidelity?

by “mellowjello”

It’s been almost 4 years since Linda and Doug’s “D-Day”, and my husband’s and mine took place just a few months before theirs did.  Four years!  I can’t believe it!  It’s been almost four years since my soul was destroyed, since my heart was cut into a million pieces.  

After 45 years of marriage…not the best, but certainly not the worst either…the pain, both emotional and surprisingly, also physical, was indescribable.  Fortunately, my husband’s affair only lasted 3-1/2 weeks, but unfortunately for me it was with a young woman that was like a part of our family…like a daughter to me…someone I truly loved and had always nurtured and helped in anyway that I could.

My help consisted not only of emotional support and psychological help because she had emotional and psychological problems that were quite severe at times.  I also provided financial support.  I wanted my husband to love her as much as I did, even though he didn’t seem to care for her like I did, so I never told him of her problems such as bulimia, shop-lifting, compulsive activity, addictive behavior, etc.  I had such good intentions.

Then my world shattered.  I was destroyed.  I won’t go into the details of how he came back home to me, but he had an awakening and he came back to me.  I wanted and needed him to come home, but I was not the same person.  I couldn’t understand everything that was happening to me both emotionally and physically.

 He did his best to comfort me and to nurture me.  My “illness” frightened him, but all he wanted to do was to make up in some way for what he had done.  He made a commitment to me and I made one to him, because no matter what, everyone should know that it takes two people to make a marriage fail and it takes two people to make it successful.  

We clung to each other as my horrible symptoms continued.  I couldn’t keep any food down.  I was frightened to death to leave the house, thinking that everyone was looking at me and that they all knew what a fool I had been and that I couldn’t keep my husband happy in my marriage.

What Does Betrayal From Infidelity Have To Do With Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome?

I had nightmares of the other woman and my husband every night for over a month.  I would wake up in a sweat, then shivering that would start inside of me and my whole body would begin to shake uncontrollably. Next I would start to sob and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t stop.  

This went on almost every night for almost a month before things started to slow down a bit.  With the support of my husband, who never left my side during all of my recovery, I made it through the craziness.  

I am a very emotional person. Getting control of my emotions has never been an easy thing for me to do. During my recovery I have seen several therapists.  They all tell me that by thinking about her I give her power, but they can’t tell me where the “on-off” switch is so I can turn off my thoughts of her.  

At first hardly an hour in the day went by without my thinking of her and what she had planned over 10 years to do to me to steal my life.  Then slowly, I thought of her less and less.  Now, after almost four years, I still get triggers, but not as often as I used to.  

One thing that is difficult, is that because we were born and raised, and spent 43 years of our marriage in the town where she lives, naturally, there are times that we have to go back there for family doings, etc., and those times are very difficult. At those times I am reminded of her, and also afraid of running into her at the store, etc., I have to face those fears and I usually need to talk about it.  

What I am learning is that my friends and family are not only tired of hearing about her, but they worry that I may still be obsessed with thoughts of her and that I might be mentally ill.  It’s very painful knowing that I have no one in the whole world to whom I can just spit out my anger about her, and my wishes that she would fail in her life and her job.  I am also a spiritual person, who feels lots of guilt over wishing bad things to happen to anyone, even if it is someone who tried to “kill” me and destroy my life.

I have searched the internet for 4 years now looking for answers to why I can’t forget about her and the pain that she deliberately caused me.  She even admitted to my husband, the first time she kissed him, that she had been in love with him for over 10 years.  Somehow, I have been able to separate my feelings for husband, whom I love with all my heart, from the other woman (OW).

Somewhere I came across the explanation of “PTSD” (post traumatic stress disorder) and it seems to describe me.  Now, admittedly, I don’t have it as badly as some soldiers who have been traumatized in combat, but I have been traumatized…terribly traumatized!  

I know I can tell people that over and over and the ones who control their thoughts and their minds can look at me and say, “Just get over it!”.  Hearing that hurts more than I can say.  Everyone is different and my psyche has been damaged…no doubt.  

Intellectually, I know what I have to do to get over this, I know what I should think, or not think, about her.  Somehow, my brain doesn’t listen to me, even though intellectually it knows what’s truly best for me.  

Someone I love dearly…a family member…said to me the other day, that I should get over it.  I tried to explain what has happened to me and how I feel.  I told her about how my marriage is stronger than ever and that my husband and I have cultivated this beautiful love and respect for each other, and she had the gall to say to me that she thought that I was trying to talk myself into believing that.  

Getting Over an Affair: Dealing with Triggers

How hurtful that statement was to me, and how sad that she thought that I was actually trying to convince myself of my marriage and love success story.

I know one thing for sure, I will never talk to her again about my private feelings.  I guess I trust too much and it is the hardest lesson to learn that there are people who just don’t understand, or care about, my inner feelings.

What I am trying to say, or ask, with all these words is…is there a time that PTSD should actually be over?  

Even if there isn’t an actual medical diagnosis of PTSD, it sure feels like that’s what has happened to me.  It scares me that I am under the gun, time wise, to be over all this pain and suffering and never respond to any triggers or stimuli again.  I don’t want to go back to therapy.  I think I know as much as the therapists.  

Intellectually I understand what I have to do…it doesn’t work emotionally…I’ve tried it, over and over!  

All I want is to have someone I can talk to about my feelings.  Not a therapist…a friend, but I think I might be hurting the friendship by talking about the OW!  I want to stop it.  I don’t want to be set off by triggers.  I don’t want to hurt.  I don’t ever want to have another dream about her.  I don’t want to be afraid that I will see her when we visit our hometown. I just don’t want to have thoughts of her interrupt my life anymore.  I want to be free of her. 

Is there a time limit for PTSD?

I don’t think so and I’m tired of people judging me!!!

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    142 replies to "Is There a Time Limit for PTSD After Infidelity?"

    • livingonafence

      The estimated timeframe to ‘get over it’ so to speak for infidelity is 2 to 5 years. If you’re more than 4 years out, it would be normal to assume you’d be either healed (or as healed as you will get) or nearly there. Sadly, it doesn’t sound like that’s the case.
      Regarding your friend/family member saying that it sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself that your marriage is doing wonderfully, don’t be too hard on her/him. The way this reads you went from explaining how hurt you are by his infidelity to saying how great the marriage is today in a very short timespan. Most people would think that those two don’t go together.

      Honestly, and I’m not judging you at all – we’ve all been there – but if at this point you’re still this freshly wounded, you may want to rethink counseling. That sounds like someone stuck, unable to move forward. If you’re still at the stage where you need to tell your story and express your grief and seek understanding, this may be the case. NOT JUDGING but most are farther along at 4 plus years. Being stuck is something that can happen.
      I’m surprised given your statements about your H and his behavior.
      Of course, this was written about one specific subject so of course it’s about that. You may very well not bring it up often anymore. It’s difficult to say when reading a story.
      Whatever the situation, I hope you find a little more peace than you have. I hope that for all of us.

      • RS

        Wow Livingonthefence,
        It seems you really have chosen a side of the fence based on your response here. There’s not one thing in mellojello’s letter I can’t understand. It’s quite clear she’s conflicted about what she feels vs what she wants to feel (per societal expectations) and that society is not well enough informed on how to treat people who’ve been so betrayed and annihilated by their spouse’s thoughtless, selfish actions.
        I don’t mean to lecture you because it’s clear you have settled into your own situation and moved on. However, for whatever reason, many of us can’t. It’s like an open wound that won’t heal regardless the treatment received. People generally want to give advice “helping” the only way they can, but when the wounded person doesn’t “heal” or “get-over-it” fast enough, the helper is impatient and feels upset that their advice isn’t being heeded.
        To defend mellojello, her PTSD is something that will likely NEVER go away. My father was a survivor of Pearl Harbor, was on the dock at the time. He had nightmares EVERY NIGHT many times screaming or physically lashing out in his sleep. He clearly suffered from PTSD and never got over it, never forgot until he died. PTSD changes your core, seemingly even your DNA. You don’t just “counsel” it away. It becomes another phase of your life, albeit a horrendous one, that you learn to deal with as best you can.
        If people can accept that battles in war affect people, not just soldiers, then why is it so difficult to accept that a war within a marriage isn’t similarly affected resulting in the betrayed spouse feeling “she’ll shocked”?
        I personally am going on over four years now, and while I did not personally know the Ow I “met” her while seated on a flight which she happened to be on. She stood next to my seat for what seemed like forever while others ahead were stopped or loggedjammed. She knew who I was and never looked at me or spoke the entire time as I watched her nervous, guilty demeanor. That was the worst feeling and my husband was trying to crawl under the seat in front of him out of embarrassment or I don’t know what. Triggers are everywhere and can’t be controlled or destroyed.
        Hopefully, you will ponder these thoughts I’ve left here. Not all of us can stop the thoughts or triggers.

    • Gizfield

      I’m not a psychologist or anything, but I do think along the way I have picked up a nasty little case of ptsd. When I read the original article referenced, I thought this sounds just like me, but it was still a little off. I researched and found Complex ptsd and knew immediately that was what I have. It’s not recognized by the diagnosis manual as a separate condition for whatever reason. Anyway, it seems to get worse with time, not better. This lady’s story is pretty intense on that she was close to both of her betrayers. I’ve noticed that seems to have an especially bad effect on the BS. Also, previous unrelated trauma makes things worse, as in my case.
      I will say that there is a misconception that all mental damage can be “fixed” through therapy, medication, etc. the human mind is very complex and it doesn’t always work. I am very aware of all that has happened to me, acknowledge it, can even see the rationalizations behind it (ie, that it really had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the perpetrators) but it doesn’t help. It’s ingrained on a deep level, and nothing really seems to touch it. On the plus side, I realize my husband and his scummy girlfriend didn’t actually cause this, they were just some late addition Nails in the Coffin, lol.

    • Gizfield

      As usual, I didn’t answer the question. No, I don’t think there is a time limit on ptsd. I haven’t seen much encouragement in success rates in treating it either, at least not using any specific method. Maybe you just have to experiment til you find something that works. I personally haven’t found that thing yet. I knew I was in deep crap when I realized I’m not happier or less happy with my husband in or out of my life. It’s just easier, not better or worse. Since it makes no real difference, I’m taking the option of giving my daughter a better , happier life.

    • Paula

      Wow! Reading this was mind blowing for me – and it was not me who wrote this! But it almost could have been – I also was very close to the OW in our case, also “helping” her with her issues, being SUCH a Good Samaritan – and I also cannot seem to “let it all go.” Oh, and this went on all around me for fifteen months, not three and a half weeks. Also more than four years out. The only difference I see is that I stopped talking to real life friends about all of this around eighteen months in. I made it a rule, as I realised no one understands, and no one wants to hear your pain. Fact. It just makes YOU look like a crazy person (well, I AM! Now, don’t think I was particularly special crazy before any of this – just regular, functioning crazy, lol.) I also have dredged the internet, seen several psychologists and marriage therapists, a hypnotherapist, a psychiatrist – tried medicating, etc, etc. I also still have NO peace, and I also have some small amount of obsession about the OW – although not TOO bad now, at least not consciously, mostly sub-conscious, but still a lot of thoughts about how she walked in, took a dump and skipped breezily away. I just can’t stop the nightly – STILL – nightmares of them fucking, and/or raping me, laughing like hyenas. And like Giz, my crazy is worse now than it was for the first two years, when I was actually doing pretty well considering, and WE were doing great. We love each other a whole lot, but I released him from my hell, as I felt I was dragging us both into my pit, and it’s crowded enough in here by myself! I thought I was the only one still this messed up this far out. I am normally (or was) a logical, not-too-stupid, albeit pretty emotional person. I have never experienced anything even close to this, and I haven’t lead a blessed or fairytale life, there have been other major traumas and losses, rape, multiple miscarriage, sudden death of my mother in her early fifties, that kind of thing. I coped with all of them, quite damn staunchly, if I say so myself, looking back. Why this one to topple me? And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even her 😉 And I am like Giz, I am pretty unhappy with him, but truly, awfully traumatised and distraught without him. I still love him very, very deeply, and that totally blindsides me, I want not to! Great choices, and I am also trying to do the least damaging thing I can for our kids. I am very thankful he is working with me here, and has shown huge tolerance and patience. Makes it barely bearable. And I never knew this is what can happen to some people, as I thought as a logical and independent person, you just “move on.” You make choices. To be happy, and to live a better life. I make those choices constantly, minute by minute sometimes. Not better. Just goes to show what I knew! So damn frustrating.

      • Bowlus

        How are you now. Its been years since this post. I started my recovery fall if 2013.
        It’s been almost 4 years. I go feel better but still have triggers. I feel some people are more emotional vested than others. Do have deeper emotional repairs to do

      • Jane

        Hello. I’d be interested to know too. I feel like I am going mad. In November last year (27th at 12:38am to be precise) I caught my husband having a very emotional and physical affair, when his text alert went off but he was fast asleep. We had been married just three years the month before.

        Lots I could say but after he tried lying to me further claiming it had only been going on since the Summer, I knew there was more to find out…so I did some digging and lots of it. Mainly to golf clubs and to a golfing group he said he was in. Turns out they’d been f*cking each other since the months leading up to our wedding.
        Checking his emails, I found tickets they had booked in November last year for a week’s holiday to Tenerife in August of this year. They’d exchanged emails during our last holiday together in Puerto Pollenca “I just keep thinking how it would be if it were you and me here together.” And “…the holiday is over and I am on my way back to you.” Her text sent to him on 15 December at c. 11pm two days before they last met “Mmm xxx awkward xxx but who do you love xxx which?” I still hate her so much for that. And I am a Christian so I am not supposed to hate. Maybe I just hate what she did. Maybe I’m just fooling myself by saying that. I don’t know.

        On confronting him, he dropped her like a hot brick…and she, him when I got hold of her husband and daughter. My husband and this Kate Stubbins had an affair about 15 years ago when my husband was with his first wife. Clearly each dumping their young children on their respective partners while they went and scr*wed somebody else’s husband / wife.

        We’ve had counselling. Not successful. I’ve had it for about six months (feel like sending cheating, cold-hearted sl*t the bill which has amounted to over £600). My husband is desperate to see the guy I am seeing but therapist won’t see him until my sessions with him are done.

        Kicked husband out for four months. He bought a house. I bought a house. Now we’re trying to make things work so I will have to rent out the house I bought. Am taking anti-depressants. Have real up days and down ones – almost alternately. Videos run in my mind without me noticing that they’ve started up. I tell them to wait until later. Then I get angry, like I am suppressing something. I want to cry but can’t now.

        I feel VIOLATED. He said they did sometimes talk about me, and I know that would’ve been in bed after f*cking and as they lay there, holding each other, or on a walk on the beach (they went to Taunton a lot), on a country walk (they did those a lot), over a romantic dinner or nice lunch. All while I was at home emptying the bins or getting the shopping – including something nice for him from the butcher, even though I don’t like the smell as I’m vegetarian.

        He’d come home from yet another ‘golf trip’ and listen to my cr*p weekend of chores and taking my elderly Mom shopping and trying to keep our house looking nice. How much easier it would’ve been with two of us sharing. He treated me like sh*t while he was scr*wing her. I’d say to friends at work that altho’ I knew he could be selfish, his golf trips went from once or twice a year to about every four weeks as soon as we married.

        Now he can’t do enough and hardly golfs. I wish this depression and anger and feelings of violation would stop. It’s been nearly ten months since I saw those texts from the weekend. I am terrified that I will still feel this way two or three or more years from now.

        • Jane

          PS. It’s not like I never asked him for help – I did, even to putting a list on the f/freezer. Don’t just listen to me coming in struggling with the shopping – help me. Oh, he did – and then promptly dumped it on the kitchen table and sat back down in front of the tv, so I had to ask him to help me unpack.

          I said to wipe the bath and sink over sometimes because he used them too. It happened for a short while then dropped off…as expected. I gave up and got cleaners in.

          • Miranda

            Hi Jane
            Your story is so sad, and you are only ten months in. It’s very early days for you and there will be much to process still. I am 16 months on from discovering my husband’s two month affair with the woman I imagined to be a close personal friend. I am better than I was a year ago, but suffer from triggers out of the blue. for example, I am in bed feeling sorry for myself as I type this and wish I could pull myself together and enjoy the weekend. I am still with my husband and love him very much, although I simply cannot bear his company today. I am revisiting the anger at him turning my world upside down.

            Hang on in there, allow yourself your highs and lows. The recovery process is not linear. I find writing things down in whatever form I fancy helps: short story, poem, letter to the OW, etc.

            Your husband should be doting on you and surrounding you with the love and affection you deserve.

            Do you talk about things together? Screaming and shouting can get things off your chest in the short-term, but don’t really help either of you. Make space for discussion, go on walks, spend time together, have regular date nights. Remind yourself why you are still with him and take this as your strength to get you through. Good luck,

            • Jane

              Thank you so much, Miranda – I only just read this as I found it accidently again on the Internet. I shout far less now (altho’ apparently I yelled at him after some wine about three Saturdays ago but I’ve no recollection of it – found that wine doesn’t mix with 40mg Citalopram so have given it up for Lent at least!) I did write to the OW nearly a year ago. She didn’t reply, altho’ I said she didn’t have to, but I wondered if she’d received and read the letter and copies of their emails etc. I emailed her. She acknowledged she had received and read. I still have questions of course, and oddly enough I wrote to her for a second and last time yesterday, apologising but that it was part of my healing as I still had many questions and feeling of resentment and violation and gave her examples of why. It has actually made me feel better than the first letter but both have definitely helped.
              Steve can’t do enough, I have to say and is looking to book a holiday to either Tobago or Dubai and Mauritius which we’ll take in the next couple of months or so.
              That’s a good way of putting it – ‘revisiting the anger…’ – my Counsellor referred to it as ‘prodding it with a stick’ which I know but feels like it’s just there and I still have a weight within me when I fall asleep and wake up. I am praying it will pass soon now.
              Thank you again for replying – your words have helped.

            • Miranda

              Hi Jane

              It’s so good to hear that I’ve been of some help. I know talking to others who’ve experienced the pains of infidelity, often online, can be really valuable. Sometimes, you think your friends have heard enough, or there really is no one else to talk to.

              Your husband sounds like he is remorseful and working hard at showing you he cares. I’m pleased for the both of you.
              You are still in the processing zone – experts say allow at least 18 months, so take it slowly.

              40mg of citalopram is quite strong. I chose to come off mine because I wanted to ‘feel’ again – it did give my head a bit of respite though. You must do whatever’s right for you of course.

              We can, and do overcome betrayal. I’m living proof of this and I think you are too.

              Challenges come when we least expect them don’t they?
              My latest, is my husband losing his job. Thank god it didn’t coincide with the revelation of his affair – I dread to think what would have become of our marriage.

              Best of luck, enjoy your holiday!

        • Tiffany

          Dear Jane,
          My name is Tiffany
          I just hope your doing better, I wanted to say to you I am so sorry for your emotional trauma.
          My trauma was just ended about 4 months ago. But I have Chronic Trauma, meaning it has been reoccurring.
          There is Acute trauma that is a single occurrence that threatens your emotional or physical safety.

          • Jane

            Hello, Tiffany – I’ve just seen this -so sorry. I really hope you’re recovered as much as can be? It’s just over three years for me now – I’m always glad when October, November and December are out of the way because it’s Wedding Anniversary, D-Day and their last meeting respectively; I let our W/Anniv. just go by now and he’s had to accept it. He asked me to marry him again but I don’t want to renew my vows as it’s double-edged knife – the reason we’d be doing it is because… And I no longer enjoy the build-up to Christmas. The triggers are still quite clear. BUT, I saw something yesterday, a quote saying “It’s your time to feel happy again” so I am trying to take it as a sign. Again, hoping you’re ok…

        • E

          Hi Miranda,

          I went through the same thing. I think that finding a good therapist helps.

          I still have days that I have just moment of anger. I’ve been married for 20 years and found out that 17 of it he was with another woman and the woman was not who he said she was and basically helped raise my children. She was a good friend and at one point I thought she was better than my own sisters. I got a double whammy of betrayal and yes I have trauma from it. My therapist said that infidelity does lead to PTSD and that the time of the affair and that the person was considered family (but wasn’t) it’s even more of a trauma to go through. My marriage and my life to me are not real some days and constantly I have to make sure that I am doing one thing at a time and reminding myself to self care because since the truth well…. I did try to kill myself over a year ago and was a mess. Believe me, it does get better when you realize that the affair was not your fault and that the people who did it were selfish. Affairs are selfish, cruel and they create damage that can’t be unchanged.

          I write now, I write hate mail to my husband daily. I write things that I never would tell him to his face. I am still angry. Angry because of everything that I have to remember and 20 years is a long time to have memories especially when many of them include someone who was not suppose to be apart of them.

          Today we are working on our marriage. Yet, I’m damaged now and it’s been 2 years since I learned the truth. Little things trigger me, music, vacuuming the house did a month ago. I can’t look at my children’s baby pictures and don’t care about belonging or assets. I have panic attacks in large crowds. Basically I’m not who I was before and I know it. If I leave my husband which is still possible….. I’m leaving him with the memories and the assets so that he can sit and decide in regret how he messed his family up, his kids and everyone who knows him. Yes, the anger is still there. Yes, I’m still processing it too.

          I do see a trauma specialist that works with infidelity, and PTSD. So yes you can get it from infidelity.

          • Miranda

            Hi E
            I don’t think I ever replied to you. (August 2, 2018). I went through another low period just when I thought I’d turned a corner.

            How are you currently? I’m 4 years on and although I’ve been happy on and off, I’m crashing again.

            I was wondering how you are these days? Xx

            • E

              Hey Miranda,

              I had a rough Christmas because my son just couldn’t cope with everything because of self blame and tried another suide attempt. He spent 2 months is a psychiatric hospital, 3 month in a treatment center then a summer in a day treatment. So far in that 6 months my H has realized there is some accountability that he has to his family and we moved to another city and he went into intensive personal couseling, and again we almost filed divorce only to end up with a new CC and so far in the last 3 months I’ve been really good. Probably the best I’ve been in almost 4 years.

              I wouldn’t say it’s perfect. I cry more than i use to and I’m still pretty moody. It’s not easy when you wake up thinking about the affair and go to sleep thinking about the affair.

              How are you my friend?

      • Linda MacDonald

        My PTSD with nightly nightmares and uncontrollable shaking, etc. lasted 2 years. Talk therapy did nothing for me with regard to my PTSD symptoms. I could barely work at my job so lost a lot of income. It wasn’t until I had a type of therapy that accessed the right side of my brain that the symptoms went away. I highly recommend either Lifespan Integration or EMDR as two of the better ways to heal the trauma. It can be done. Also, for Christian folks, Healing of Memories, The Healing Timeline, or Theophostic Prayer are very useful. Whatever therapy you seek, it MUST work with imagery and the right side of the brain. Wishing you all the best.

    • Broken2

      Why do we always have to put a number on things? I think wherever you are in the healing process is right where you should be. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You have been through a major life altering event and although I am not a professional I honestly believe a little bit of the affair will always be a part of who we are. How can it not be? Those of us in the 2 or more years of dealing with this shit club can all say that we still on occasion have triggers about the strangest things, we still ask why, we still mourn, we still hurt but we have learned to understand and at best live with it. I know how you feel…I have been with my hubby for 40 years as well, 3 years past dday and I still have days I struggle….you know what…it’s ok. As long as you and your hubby are working it out and he is there for you and understands then just go with it. You can’t change the past, you can only learn to live for the now and do the best you can. I agree we do give the OW ALOT of power when we think about them but so far no one has figured out a way to turn off that switch…. Some things are better kept from friends and family members. I know it’s hard and I know what it feels like to be alone in your pain but unless you have someone in your life that has been through it as well…no one really understands. It’s an exclusive club we belong to. Anyways however long it takes…you will get there. There is no time limit on your feelings. Be good to yourself…you deserve it!

      • Recovering

        I also know that I will never be the “same”, and I miss the old me… the one who was sunshiny and didn’t hate the world… but I was wearing rose colored glasses and believed that people were inherently good… they aren’t. THAT will never change in my heart again… no matter how much time goes by… I am at over 2 years, and I would’ve thought that the nightmares and the freakouts and the paranoia would be gone by now too, but the thing is, when you lose all control of what you thought your life was, and you realize you don’t really have THAT much control over anything but yourself… THAT is what is killing me… and I think THAT is why it takes so long for us to ‘get over’ this stuff. We believed we KNEW what was real. I was married for 14 years to a man I believed thought marriage was sacred… to a man I thought I KNEW could never do something so sick… and yet he did… and I KNEW I would never stay, and yet her I am, still with the same cheating husband… I think it is this lack of control that we feel that prolongs things. The author, like myself, needs to learn to accept that we cannot control others, and learn to control herself. This isn’t easy – Lord knows I haven’t mastered it yet on any level… but I think that is what PTSD really comes down to. I FREAKED OUT over a minor scene in a tv show the other night, and it’s been over 2 years since my D-Day… I don’t even feel in control of myself, but in reality, I CAN control me… I just need to figure out how… and so does the author. THAT will give her some peace. She also has to accept that life will NEVER be the same… there will probably be triggers for the rest of her life… but she doesn’t have to let them control her!

        • KathyG

          Your post resonates with me and my situation word for word. I also consider marriage sacred. The infidelity in my marriage broke me. I had a serious breakdown, saw no hope because we also run a business together. I resorted to a suicide attempt. Ended up in a mental health facility for a week. That was another hell in itself. Felt so much shame because no matter what was going to happen to my marriage and job, I have 3 amazing children. So once home from the facility, I asked God for help. I told Him I realized this whole thing was way bigger than me and what I could handle. I took a long walk on a crisp November morning and found God in His creation and cried out the pain, and continued to for many days and weeks to come. But I also refused to lay in bed and let it further kill me. My walks turned into jogs, my jogs turned into runs, and I lost 25 pounds and now run almost 4 miles at least 6 days a week. Stronger on the outside and the inside.
          For me, my answer was to reconnect with God and make HIM the center of my life. I had the wrong ONE on a pedestal. I put him back on the outside of the circle. I know that whatever fails me, even if it this husband who has repented and begged to be taken back, and every day since has shown me this, I still will put my full trust and life in God’s hands. So when the pain surfaces again, and it does every day, I take a very deep breath and I pray to God to sustain me AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. We cannot control many things in this life including other people–even people who vow to love us forever. God unconditionally and forever loves us. And we are good enough–in fact, we are perfect in our eyes. Don’t let any other person make you feel otherwise. Typically the wounded hurt others, innocent people like ourselves. It’s on them.

          • Helene de Troi

            Thank you to all who share. There are so many similarities amongst so many betrayed, women and men, but I can only really see things as a woman myself. I think we need to look at the animalistic, caveman side of all this as the LEVEL of hurt and anger and fear, and everything else negative, seems to come from a very primal and visceral place. I fear losing my protector (even though I may own alot or have money), I feel losing my children’s protector (even though I may have a great job and full time nanny and inheritance.) Anyhow, I think it is all a big soup of animalistic instincts, cultural layers, social expectations, childhood / life woundings, no education in relationships, confusing biochemical lust with true love, confusing fantasty with reality, and chemical reactions with “soul mates”. (Not that a real soul mate cannot exist, just that a soul mate does not usually manifest in the hotel bar after many drinks at the conference cocktail party.) Other mix ups include having silly social ideas about what partnership/marriage is, being spoiled in general, wanting instant satisfaction from an instant age, wanting virtual satisfaction, from a virtual age, lack of moral and ethical discipline, social acceptance of infidenlity, Hollywood glamourizing of infidelity, endless superficial desires, self-centered and narcissistic social norms, Jezebel-energy websites like Ashley Madison, destoying lives, including thousands of children, with the click of a button, and finally people in general living as hungry ghosts lacking connection with Spirit, Nature, Others and even themselves. With much respect for all. WWGA WG1 (not political)

            • Miranda

              Some wonderful metaphors there, Helene de Troi.

              What struck me most was that we are ‘hungry ghosts out of touch with nature, spirit, etc.

              I certainly feel better when I immerse myself in nature, and when I meditate.

              I seem to have spiralled further downwards than normal and am not looking after myself in these areas as much as I should. I work, and hit the sofa, then bed these days. Walking, writing, swimming, and yoga – things I did regularly until fairly recently, have become ‘good ideas if I can be bothered’ – and I can’t. I’m not impressed with myself! I sit around exhausted, licking my wounds.

              I plan to walk the Camino Way next summer to try and explore who I really am and what is it I want from life. Part of me yearns for a single life away from my husband. Will that free me from triggers and the sadness that has seeped into daily existence? Is there someone out there who would love me and never dream of betraying me? I’m scared like you, of becoming financially vulnerable. I just missed out on a promotion at work and it’s pretty much a glass-ceiling there now. I don’t earn enough to move out. Financial security or exploring a new life? It seems I can’t have it all!

    • Disappointed

      I don’t think I will ever be the same. everything reminds me, I can’t escape it. I drive by the exits he takes to meet her, we have common friends, the type of car she drives, anyone who remotely resembles her, they met in walgreens parking lots and forest preserves, he bought her favorite chocolate bar, he bought her a sports team tshirt, took her to a local landmark, our favorite hotel, bought her a tmobile phone etc. triggers everywhere.and every movie or tv show has an affair in it. I go for surgery and 3 of the staff have her first name?! The hotel chains they used… it goes on and on. no one can understand that hasn’t been thru it. I have been emotionally abused for over 15 years. he has plans to be with the ow but is pretending NC. this will take years to get over no matter what.

      • Recovering

        La Quinta… and now Quality Inn logo looks almost identical, so triggers me too… and when I drive by a total skank hotel, I just want to send her a pic of it and tell her that that place is much more fitting… like the back of her car was, next to the baby seat… dumb whore… and I travel for work, so I have a meltdown almost every time I have to go out of town and stay in a whoretel… you are right… will take years to be able to handle… have never had Tai food and now may never because they used to go (which he said he was going with the guys to like I was dumb – was one of the things that made me suspicious, along with the Subway receipts that included a veggie sub… men eat meat… really? I never did buy his lame explaination there… ).. But on the same token, I almost want to torture myself by going to the damn Tai place just so it wont seem so ‘special’… same with the whoretel… I know it would probably almost kill me, but for those places not to bother me anymore, to desensitize me to them… am wondering if it wouldn’t almost be worth it!!

      • Jo

        Yes! This is me. I feel like I see her e eryegrte and I’m on my guard all the time. It’s like living in an edge of a knife.

      • Jane

        This is EXACTLY how I am. Motorway turns offs for Taunton (their main sh*gging place), Bristol where he first met her for dinner, I found out. Bristol Airport where they were going to fly from for their week’s holiday to Tenerife (5 – 12 August this year m- 2017).

        I see lots of women who I think look like her. Hotel chain of Travel Lodges was where they mostly used. The name Kate. There are lots of them. The mistress in Dr Foster is a Kate. Top ten names for women who are most likely to cheat is apparently Katie. I know that’s ‘dodgy’ but I see stuff like this all over.

        Dates dog me so much. The date / time I caught them, 5 August again when he first had a three night holiday away with her two months to the date before our wedding. The date I picked up our new cat while they were on their annual four night away trip for the year. The date I confronted him. I am sure these all of this stuff will never leave me. And I am sure that if I had just walked, they would be easier to deal with.

        What I can’t help feeling resentful about is that he and she will not have these things haunting them. They’ll just be glad it’s over and they’re still in their marriages. So f*cking unfair.

        • Rod

          Jane, are you still in touch with this site (no point in me saying anything if you’re not)? Thank you.

          • Jane

            Hello! I just came across this from an Internet search! I am in touch again with the site now. x

          • Jane

            Hello. I just saw this as I just popped onto the site again. Sorry, I see your comment was nearly two years ago! For me, it’s a lot like no time has passed – like I’ve slept-walked through the last 2.5 years or so.

    • JennyN

      One of the things I had to realize was that PTSD could be caused by situations not as extreme as war.

      I had it in my head that I had NOT experienced something like that, so I felt guilty that I might live with PTSD (I did not have this as a result of the affair). Luckily I had enough support on board when the affair happened that the PTSD did not get triggered at that time.

      There is SO much new evidence and treatment options out there that are finding can be helpful for PTSD. In some cases just knowing it existed helped to normalize the experience for me. Peter Levine has a great book called Waking the Tiger on this that helped.

      Also there is somatic therapy and a type of physical release called tension releasing exercises that has been shown to have GREAT help with PTSD.

      Finally there is no time limit on PTSD….that is actually the definition of it. When you take a hard situation and there is not a time stamp on the picture of it….so any situation you live in/through feels like it might bring you back to that time of trauma. That is part of why they think somatic therapy might help….PTSD is unresolved trauma and that it is not just your mind involved in it, but your body too that experiences it. When we just focus on the mind we are missing out on the other experiences it creates in its wake (heart rate changes, sweating, sleep/wake cycles) etc.

      This is such a big deal that studies are under way from the NIH on looking at treatment options for this (Stars and Strips the newspaper for the branches of the military just had a great article on it).

      Somatic experience is one type of therapy shown to help. I did a type called Hakomi which has honestly saved my life.

      Best of luck to all of you struggling with this. It is not easy, but it can get better. You just have to believe you are worth it.

    • Gizfield

      JennyN, what a GREAT POST. Thanks for sharing. Like you, I thought ptsd was related to mostly physical threat and was surprised to find there was other cases, like prolonged emotional trauma. I have read a couple of books on it, but not Taming the Tiger. I’ll make that next. You are absolutely correct about the physical component of this. It’s NOT all in your head. I had extreme anxiety attacks from my husbands infidelity. Still have sleep problems at times, racing heart, memory issues, etc. I wonder if being triggered by the adultery itself, maybe it was more the actual general crappy way he acted that reminded me of my first, abusive husband. other than hurting me physically, he acted in the same creepy abusive way. You are crazy, you are paranoid, no one will want you, blah, blah, blah. Talking about all this has done no good on the symptoms, including

    • Gizfield

      Continued…including talking to a therapist. I just got bored of it after a few weeks. I saw a trauma therapy office across town one day. Think I’ll try to set up an appointment. I think I read somewhere that ptsd is “a normal reaction to abnormal events” and that it is the only “mental illness” that arises from outside the person rather than internally.

    • JennyN

      I just finished a type of training around therapy (I am not a therapist).

      They had two whole sections on “normal” reactions to trauma.

      It was an amazing, eye opening experience….to realize that so much in my life was normal….just overlaid with trauma. Also trust me when I say this….I did NOT have a lot of “big T” trauma , meaning I had not had challenging things done to me.

      When I was operating from that “normal” reactions to trauma my whole life was in upheaval….adding an affair in would have sent me over the top. Luckily I had the opportunity to work with that trauma first….then the affair came, and not that it was not challenging…it was, but I did not have a trauma reaction on top to deal with.

      They are finding biological reasons in our brains for how PTSD happens. Stress hormones cause the amgydala (sp?) to short circuit and in that moment a time stamp is not created for the stress. This is not something we have control over, but we do have the right to get help, support and ultimately be happy. There are many therapist that specialize in trauma, methods etc. We are each worth getting those needs met.

    • Gizfield

      Again, Jennyn, very interesting. I downloaded some samples of books on ptsd and there Was one one theory about how animals, maybe a deer, for example,, experience trauma but dont have an emotional stamp on it, so that it gets released, but humans do and they get it stuck in their body.

    • JennyN

      That is what the tension releasing exercises are supposed to help with (animals shake it off is the theory).

      I took a class on that later in my healing and found it helpful, but I think I had worked through the worst of it already (so I don’t know first hand).

    • Mandy

      I have learned that PTSD is not uncommon among those who have been betrayed by a spouse. The intense shock, sometimes a series of shocks (as in my case) does it. You said you just want to talk to a friend, not a therapist. But there are realistic limits to what you can expect from even the most patient and understanding friend. The right kind of therapist or PTSD support group can really help you learn how to get the betrayal and the OW out of your thoughts, and to not be triggered (or at least not so much).

    • Teresa

      I, too, had PTSD from my husband’s affair. My d-day was the monday before Thanksgiving. For 6 weeks, I barely ate (lost 20 pounds) and shook like a leaf. I thought I was just cold (it was November-December). My therapist told me that I wasn’t cold, I was suffering from PTSD. He taught me an acupressure technique to let go of the negative, emotional charge. It seemed silly but actually worked.. It’s called Tapas Acupressure Technique. You can get free info about it online. Google: TAT.
      Good luck.

    • Gizfield

      I thought I was the only one who called them Whoretels, lol. I managed to “take back” the entire state of Florida so I guess anything is possible. I do think the more head on you can be with these “triggers” the easier it gets.

      • Exercise grace

        Please please please tell me how you took this back. I am struggling to reclaim territory.

    • Patricia

      I thought I was the only one feeling this way. Never thought it will be so hard. Sometimes I think about giving up and leaving my husband although he is with me right now, he doesn’t want to talk about his affair and stays quiet when those triggers come and I start making questions. Its like he wants to erase everything and keep on as if anything happened. I know he feels bad about what he did, I just don’t know if I will ever overcome this experience.

      • chely5150

        I believe the reason that I have struggled
        with my c-ptsd for pretty much the entire time since d-day. It’s always with me, but doesnt always trigger me. I too have a spouse that would prefer that we never speak of “his” mistake again. While in many ways he has worked to improve our marriage (focus on us and the future) he does very little to demonstrate any empathy that he understands what this has done to me or how i feel. I was afraid that he was going to walk out that door and never come back. He had said he wanted a divorce and i told him fine with me, but to be,assured he would pay dearly for his poor choices. She was a former co-worker of his, may years prior we went to a bbq at her house(she is married and we both have two sons the same age). She was always nice and we shared a couple of similiar interests, I never saw her again, but occassionally my husband would mention he had spoke with her about work type stuff and i never took it as anything more. I dont know if he (on d-day), changed his mind about divorce, saw how much he would have to payme if we divorced, or she wouldn’t leave her husband for mine. Or no reason except I am good supply, for my covert narcissistic husband. After years of slow covert emotional abuse and an attempt to divorce several years prior, I had decided that I was going to improve things by being positive and nice (it was working , i thought, things had improved, family members even commented good to see us getting along better to accidently found something that lead to my d-day. It was the worst day of my entire life. The wailing that came from my body the next half hour or so was like nothing I had ever heard come from the deepest part of my shattered soul. Not only was I covertly abused by the nicest abuser you ever met, i now was dealt betrayl and infidelity in my marriage to him, but I realized i didnt really know the man i was married to but I had already fallen back in love with him.
        Everything that I read beginning that day indicated that he would most likely leave me, i discovered the length and frequency of their contacts ( still dont know for sure but the phone calls began close to 10 years ago, im sure ill never know how long or the entire truth EVER. When he decided that he wasnt leaving, I thanked my lucky stars, so many others wrote about how their husbands just basically left everything (including kids) behind and never looked back, so i thought i would be the bigger person and make the choice to forgive him and the affair, as long as it was in the past. I could do this I was the better person, who would show him grace and forgive him. Look forward, be nice and it will all be fine. And despite outwardly appearances that it was now in the past, I began to be triggered by LOTS of things. It did not help that he has the perfect job -come and go as please, take unscheduled emergency days off whenever wanted, i was unable to contact him sometimes due to being in a mfg facility and it was 2 hours away from our home, but the absolute worst is the technology that each of us carry that could supply endless, pornography, hook-ups, anonomus sex partners ready to fuck at any given moment, andvthe ability to HIDE all of it from me easily. When the triggers started, he showed no sympathy for my pain, it was like he only felt sorry for himself being caught and swears to this day that they never met in person, i dont believe that for a minute. I am postive you think just leave the schmuck, but i just couldnt leave him, i still loved him, i was/ am bonded to him, by the slow methodical way covert emotional abuse works. I tried to not trigger, stopped watching tv, listening to music, going outside, never spoke with anyone without crying uncontrollably (and I had told no one, so iwas all alone with my pain for the first 3 months) AND i had forgiven him. I knew it was more for me than for him that I forgave, so I tried but the triggers wouldnt stop. So I would pretend it was all good and act like we had put it behind us. But reality was that I was still deeply hurt, obsessed with her and realized my husband was most likely a lower level narcissistic sex addict that may have been unfaithful our entire marriage. And the worst is the things that seem to just pop up, even when not looking that indicates he is still in contact with her, though i simply cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt this is true. So I trigger in silence still to this day. We do lots of things, together, plan for our future, retirement only a couple of years away, we go on vacation, have purchased new cars, have a lovely home, have great sex. I went back to work, have become much more independant, less dependant, lost the 50lbs that a lot of betrayeds speak happen without even trying and look better than ever. So why does it still affect me so much that I have NO peace of mind in my left in my life?
        I believe for me it is i chose to forgive him too soon, too easily, i never got to release that pain and anger, the part where the primal screaming, howling abused woman lived. I am no longer the same person, i have happy times in my life, love my job and a few close friends. Love my husband and dysfunctional family very much, but I don’t trust anymore. Even those i love and I realize that I possibly will never have peace of mind or feel safe, again.
        And the obsession wont stop either, her, him, the lies, the pain. While i’ve learned to manage/hide it is always there. Just leave him -you are screaming at me. But i cannot bring myself to do it, even thoughI know i should. So my answer to those still in the early days of discovery is don’t forgive to easily/soon. You have to work through the pain and anger WITH your spouse if there is any hope of moving beyond infidelity and remain married. See a counselor (hard to find good ones) if you can find the right one for you.
        I dont exactly know what my future holds. Covert emotional abuse is so subtle and hard to describe, years of the chinese water torture, drip, drip, drip, it wears you down and boosts you back up. After 4 years and new rings and privately renewd vows on our favorite beach at dusk, all the wonderful ways in which we have tried to make it all go away, still dont take away the feeling that he will walk in the door on day and dicard me like they say all narcissists do. His Dad never left his Mom and im sure this abuse is handed from one generation to the next. I am frightened for my adult sons and the relationships they will have.

        I apologize to everyone for the length of this but I had a need to speak up and warn those in early days of discovery. I read somewhere once , that if you stay with a man after infidelity you are choosing the man that he is -who he really is on that day of discovery because that is who he REALLY is. In my case a lying, decietful narcissistic cheater, who though very capable of lighting a candle prefers the darkness.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Chely5150 Thank you so much for sharing your story….I am so sorry you are still in so much pain. I agree that it’s not a good idea to forgive to soon for all the same reasons that you give.

          I read a book that was really helpful to me. IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred M Reilly. We really can’t control what our spouses do but we are in control of our own response. Something really shifted in me after reading this book. It has actually benefited me in all my relationships.

          Perhaps you did forgive to soon….but that’s in the past. There must be some way to deal with what is going on between the two of you today. Perhaps personal counseling for you would help.

    • forcryin'outloud

      I don’t want to get windy her because I could wax on about this forever and I lack the acronyms at the end of my name. According to my psychologist there is not a time limit on PTSD and if you have suffered with it in a previous trauma, even if it went undiagnosed, another trauma can help it rear it’s ugly head again.

      Also, I want to say I don’t believe you “get over it” I think you just learn to deal with the fall out better as time goes forward. Of course therapy, reading and dealing with the aspects of the issues is necessary in moving forward.

    • CBB

      I to have and probably still am suffering from PTSD but just knowing what it was made a huge difference (look up the neurologist explanation) We were doing quite well ather 1,5Y but I only needed cross a car like her’s, hear her name (we have a friend with the same name!) And I would flip. My h thought I was going crazy (and so did I) and almost gave up. I tried to explain it but it’s a bit difficult to grasp. But now I know i’m not crazy; its just my defence mechanism I let the emotions flow, I go back to DDay, and when it all calmes dawn I try thinking of something nice (I have a picture of my kids on my phone

    • CBB

      I try to grasp their love and remind myself of how important they are. I must say (2,5y down the rd) I don’t start crying when I see the same kind of car or here her name. It still reminds me but with milder emotions. Go after them confront those feelings and try to find a comforting thought to ease the pain (My therapist started EMDR-therapy , didn’t need long to grasp the idea, it took a while but it helped). There will probably always be triggers but try to find a way to diminish the intensity of the emotion. I don’t think any trigger has gone after 2,5Y but only a few still make me flip , completely relive or have nightmares. I’m convinced only professionals or someone who has lived it can understand and help. Good luck and don’t give up!

    • Peggy

      Well, you just described me, how I feel, my family’s reactions to me, my spirituality that conflicts with my need for revenge. My PTSD.
      I had just come back from a trip to China when H decided to have his fantasy fulfilled with his co-worker. I didn’t know at the time, of course, and I was seriously suffering from PTSD from the very tranmatic trip to China. I knew something was wrong and made every effort to be present for him, watch baseball with him, make love to him. He had always been my focus so none of what I was doing was any different than before, but I felt a separation between us that had never been there before. A year later, after she dumped him for another man she had also been seeing, he told me he had fallen in love with her and I saw and felt the pain of his rejection from her at the same split second that my mind went numb from the shock.
      What I struggle with is dealing with uncaring family members, his passive/agressive behavior and it’s been three years now and finally he has realized that he needs to participate in OUR recovery. I’m broken beyond understanding. I wonder now if I can ever recover because it’s been so hard to be alone with my pain.
      Like you I don’t want a therapist to tell me I have to own 50% of the blame when I know for a fact I couldn’t have been a more loving, attentive and caring wife than I was before this horror.
      Having never in my life experienced jealously, that has been a hard one. Nothing like feeling 15 at 62. It’s ugly and horrid and I am getting better at dealing with it, but could have spent the rest of my life not having felt it.
      Three years is a long time to be alone with such immense pain and agony in my heart and soul.
      I’m sorry for your pain. I hear all the time, why can’t you just get over it? When you have made the deep commitment to another person and find out that he didn’t it’s just more than I’ve been able to bear. I’ve read over 100 books. I have a library of articles and audios that would make a couples therapist jealous. I can’t find myself in most of it. Some times it really is true that it’s really not a shared problem with the marriage. He can’t find anything that I did wrong in our marriage either, but that doesn’t take the pain away from his ability to create a story about me that made me into the evil one to give him permission to want someone else.
      He’s now very sorry, regretful and starting to look into his passive/aggressive ways of dealing with me, but the damage is done. Now I know it will take me to heal myself before I’m able to be me again.

      • Shutdown

        Peggy it’s been over 15 years for me. We’ve been married 43 years. I’m 61 and he was my first love at 13. I’ve never been the same and I refer to myself “the old me” & “me now” even though I went through massive abuse prior to this wh. The was not his first but it was with an employee our kids age so I felt so old and defeated. Not one day goes by that I don’t think of it. Suicide hits my brain like a slamming door but I have realized
        nobody is worth it. But everyday I have nightmares and really awful ones that are very real. They don’t just include his infidelity but I feel like I’m torturing myself because everything he ever did to me is still an everyday nightmare! My health is bad, I’ve gained weight and I just feel so bad! If I knew where to go to a PTSD group I’d go in a minute but everyone knows who we are here and I’m so embarrassed! I never go out. Remember I’m going on over 15 years of this madness! My grandchildren are all i keep sane for. I do love him but I’m still so angry. The sad part is that NOW I’m 61 and he’s nice to me! He killed me years ago or at least my spirit! I know I need help!

    • Shellster66

      Wow, Peggy, I have been exactly where you are. I’m 62 and dealing with PTSD from H’s affair. It’s been almost 3 years but I still struggle. I old appreciate any words of reassurance that things will get better.

      • Peggy

        Hi Shellster66, I wish I had good news on this front. Is it our age that is hindering recovery from this? I was just turning 59 when he was having his affair with a 49 year old. There are so many triggers and they are getting better. I just recently found out that the OW was having sex with two other men at the same time she was having her “innocent fun” with my H. Slut comes to mind. She walked away without even a confrontation from me. No closure. I lost my home, the respect I had gained from family members, (that’s a long story, but really not relevant to this issue), my work which was as an artist because he used it to excuse his affair, and you know all the rest. Identity, self worth. I feel as if it’s age related in a lot of ways. When we are younger we know we have a future and can start again. At 62 we should have been enjoying getting older with our husbands and sharing this transition together. Now I’m feeling ugly and old because I was replaced by a younger model. At 62 I shouldn’t have had to worry that much about how I look. I should be just enjoying the passage of time, giving wisdom to my grandchildren and being there as an example of how great it could be to get older. I can’t imagine wanting to be with another man. Starting over. Learning someone else. I know that’s what kept me in this relationship. I’ve lived alone and loved it, but I’m not so sure I’d love it now. The panic attacks are hell. In my case, it only took him 3 years to get his head out of his A–. I know it would have been much better for me if he had done what he needed to do sooner. I still have to talk myself into getting in the car and going anywhere I need to. Losing 25lbs makes me look better in clothes, but not so pretty naked:) These are things that younger women don’t have to think about. I can say that I have finally been able to begin to paint again. I lost everything I had worked for in my art world because of his affair. It’s like a CEO quitting his job and disappearing for 3 years and then coming back and saying, here I am and everyone wondering who he is. Not an easy feat to accomplish at 62. I tell myself everyday that I’m okay. I put one foot in front of the other and smile at everyone I can. When my grandchildren and great grandchildren come by I love them with vengeance. But when I’m alone I so miss my home. I had hundreds of birds I fed every day and a pet duck that was injured (he couldn’t fly and way born in my backyard I had to take him to the pond in the neighborhood because I couldn’t bring him to my rental) . I miss the tree I had that I saw every morning when I woke up. Material things, yes, but they made me so happy and I lost them all because of the affair. All the friends I thought I had have gone. Who wants to be around someone that cries every day. No one can relate. I don’t cry every day now. I am trying very hard to find what it is I was supposed to learn from all of this. Possibly to not love as deeply. Put myself first? That’s an odd one. I have always thought of others needs before my own. I think that comes from being a Mother. I write a lot. I have never kept a journal until the DD. I’m in it 1100+ entries.

        I can say for sure that when he woke up I could feel it and it did make a difference. I have been very resentful because of the time that it took him to get there, but that’s an exercise I’m working on to rid myself, be in the moment and try like hell to enjoy it. I’ve asked him to make me paint and not allow me to hide because I know that’s what I need.

        Has your H come around and found remorse yet? Is it real because you know in yourself the truth. My H told me he was remorseful for all these years, but when he finally was, I felt that. You need to truth your gut. It’s gotten you this far in life and they can take everything else away, but that has to be trusted by you for sure. It really messed with my mind when he would say what he thought I wanted to hear all I knew it was him faking it. My gut told me even though I tried so hard to believe him. But when he truly felt remorse I felt the difference.

        Make yourself do what doesn’t feel good that you know is what ordinary people do. Force yourself. It’s the only way out of this hell. Get up every morning and make yourself feel beautiful. Whatever that takes, know that you are and that there are many other men out there that would see that. I only say this because I know how hard it is to do. I know I’ve aged 10 years at least in the last 3 and at our age we really can’t afford that:) I’ve even done the laughing thing and it does work. Make yourself laugh when you are alone. Force a smile on your face when you are alone. It’s habits that can rewire your brain because our brain has been rewired now to feel sadness and unhappiness that we didn’t have before. Be around younger people as often as you can. They will feel your love. The love you want to feel for your husband. The energy of that is still inside. I have begun to actually give small amounts of money to those that stand beside the street. It makes me feel good. I don’t care what they use it for. It makes me feel good to give. Do whatever you need to do to remember feeling happy. It doesn’t matter if today you can’t leave the house. Try again tomorrow. Whatever your symptoms are just keep working at reversing them one day at a time. Let me know how you’re doing. Sharing definitely helps. And sharing with someone of the same age makes that difference. I understand you. I feel your pain and I’m here to listen.

        • Shutdown

          Omg Peggy! Such a great post. You really made me feel like you felt how I feel.

    • CLV

      I believe I began to experience the anxiety that caused of my PTSD since way before I even saw more solid signs of betrayal. At least two years before I began to notice texts and phone calls that he denied having, he had gone for a motorcycle ride and returned well after midnight, smelling of what seemed to me to be the odor of sex. Earlier that summer, we had attended a graduation party in Michigan where we met a woman who lives in our area and owns a motorcycle. A year later, we were in again in Michigan and Mary needed a ride either to the airport of elsewhere because her husband had left without her the day before. My husband was supposedly going shopping, and was leaving just as Mary was getting a ride from our friend. My father-in-law seemed positively giddy that my husband was leaving at the same time as Mary, and even lied and told my mother-in-law that he was giving a ride to an elderly friend so she could visit her daughter. No one told me that ahead of time ! Later that summer, when my husband began to exhibit all the signs of a troubled person….anger, starting arguments over nothing, emotional separation from me, long hours online and switching to another screen when I entered the room…. I feared he really was having an affair. In February, we vacationed with the family who had hosted Mary in August. Our friend told me that Mary would not be invited to their next daughter’s graduation party. When I asked why, she said because Mary had tried to have an affair with a married man that I knew. We were interrupted and I did not get the chance to ask who the man was. When they were leaving, she asked me if I had met Mary. I told her I didn’t think so, thinking it was a different friend she was speaking about. At that point, she told me my husband knew her and that she liked sailing and motorcycles. I believe she was trying to help me, but at that point I just didn’t see a direct connection to my husband. A couple of weeks later, when I began to see his guilt rising, I asked her who this woman was. She denied ever telling me anything, even though her husband and daughter were in the room! We are now estranged from this family because I cannot stand to be around them, knowing they have ALL chosen to hide something from me. I finally had a panic attack in April that sent me to the hospital for observation. Even then, my husband did not tell me anything! Every day was filled with dread at what would happen next. One morning, he was having one of his nightly violent, thrashing dreams of guilt. I lay there wide awake, wondering what he would say in his sleep. You guessed it – he cried out the name MARY, sounding like he was crying. When he woke, I asked him who this Mary was and he said he didn’t know anyone by that name. He has a cousin, an aunt, and two or three friends by that name, but his first answer was that he didn’t know anyone named Mary! The pain was starting to kill me. I lost 20 pounds and could barely function. I started to look for anything that would give me clues as to who Mary is and what he was doing with her and where. I found his cell phone password, went to his account online where I found a phone number that was repeated numerous times over nine months. I should have called her right away, but panicked and texted him at work. He drove home. We cried and held each other while I screamed at him. He said my discovery made him finally feel relief, but the trauma is not over for me. It’s been 1-1/2 years. He swears THIS woman – NOT named Mary but. Kristine – was just a friend. So I wonder daily why, if Kristine was only a friend, did he hide his relationship with her. I believe he had an affair with Mary and told Kristine about it. Kristine is a very caring, religious woman and I think he turned to her to help him to get over his guilt from his affair with Mary. How do I get him to talk to me and tell me the truth? I went to two sessions of therapy alone where the therapist told me our marriage is doomed if he does not participate. He refuses, saying we will get stronger by just loving each other and plan for our future together. I am terrified there will only be this future….one of me having flashbacks and spending the rest of my life wondering who Mary is, what they did together, what she meant to him, where they had sex, how often they had sex, and how often he thinks of her now. He has far fewer dreams now, but each time they wake me up, I listen for him to say Mary again. No one should have to live like this.

    • MelMel

      I’m at an airport so this will brief. I have an official PTSD diagnosis from my husband’s EA. I am going to start EMDR soon. If you are a spiritual or religious person you may find some hope and encouragement in a book called Transcending Post Infidelity Stress Disorder by Dennis Ortman. For a ton of information on PTSD, it’s effects on the brain, various treatment modalities, and a lot of hope I highly recommend changeyouchoose.com. I am 23 months out from DDay and still shake, sob, have disordered eating, pretty much all of the classic symptoms of PTSD. I wish all of us the best in our search for help and healing. So many smart people here. A lot of hard won wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

      • Daisy

        Had it gotten better? I’m 2 years and 8 months since D Day and am not functioning well. It makes me ashamed because he was sorry and has done good things since. I just can’t help but feel like it’s the kids keeping me with him. 🙁

    • Peggy

      Well, my H that I said got it continues to say awful things to me and 4 weeks ago I had a heart attack. I guess my body had had enough stress after 5 years, one him having the affair and 4 finding out what it’s like to be married to a passive/aggressive nightmare. I have a lot of information about PTSD, too. http://www.yourlifeaftertrauma.com is a good place to start. Watch the YouTube videos she’s done. Linda and Doug post her work on occasion. There’s no excuse for anyone who won’t tell the truth about what they have done to you and expect you to be okay. I also know it’s close to impossible to get anyone to change if they don’t choose it themselves.

      I’m still going through it and it’s been 4 years since D-Day. If I had the means to leave I would already have done it. The heart attack was a huge wake up call for me. Being victimized and just being a victim are two different things.

    • Teresa

      I can’t tell you how this site has helped me. I thought I was going nuts. I thought I was alone but I’m not . Reading through all your comments has made me feel that I’m not alone and I’m normal. That’s all I really wanted. To know I’m not crazy. Thank you

    • Recovering still

      Everyone is different but it takes yrs to get over the affair and the OW. My best friend and husband had an affair 4 yrs ago and I still struggle with my own self worth. I don’t thunk of her much at all and don’t have the PTSD like some have written about but I still have pain from the wound. Hang in there everyone. Be good to yourself and if you need more therapy so be it. Don’t suffer alone.

    • HonorGentle

      I’m 3 years into recovery from my wife’s affair.
      I can say this about my recovery, it’s not going as quick as I want it to but then again, what’s the rush; she carried the guy in her heart for 20+ years.

      I have learned that the same neuro-pathways for happiness are for sadness. They can not co-exist. I literally switch my thinking when I start to feel bad. I stop thinking about the affair and the parties involved to a memory about the sound and joy of lots kids swimming and laughing in a swimming pool during the summer.

      It took a lot of practice but it’s paying off. I have less angry moments and less times of sadness.

      ***Your thoughts create your emotions. If you want to change your emotions, change what you’re thinking. It really works.

    • Carol

      Don’t even know if this thread is still open, but it should be due to the large percentage of PTSD like symptoms after infidelity (over 75% of us I read), the horrible damage and suffering it causes, and the fact that it is so misunderstood! My story in a nutshell? 40 + years of marriage – finding out in the last 7 of numerous liasons, including a 10 year affair. By all accounts I shouldn’t even be alive- lol. Here’s the interesting thing tho- I had a brain scan – the psychologist said- wow- have you had a head injury? I said- nothing physical – does psychological trauma count? He said absolutely! Apparently, I now have way too many “delta” waves, meaning parts of my brain have just shut down to protect me. PTSD is a real, physical illness, so don’t listen to uninformed people – listen to your gut. I was helped by neurofeedback, but mostly by my H finally “getting it” and making huge amends to help me feel safe again with him. A new movement is underway to change post infidelity treatment from “marriage counseling” to a more trauma based model. Amen! We are all pioneers blazing a new trail- let’s keep telling our stories!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Carol….I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My d-day was two weeks prior to my fortieth anniversary…..so I get that part.

        Thanks for sharing that info….that is really interesting.

    • Carol

      I think a lot of us rush to forgive too easily- we think it’s the high road and our therapists/ clergy encourage us and we are raised to be “nice”, sacrificing, mature, etc. while in reality we have given up our souls. When I finally learned to be assertive, state my needs, and be willing to walk away (impossible, you say, after 35+ years of marriage) but I finally got up the courage to consult a lawyer and look for apartments, and state my boundaries; ie, if you don’t respect me enough to tell me everything I need to know, really get my pain, become 100% transparent, and humble yourself to make serious amends, i will sadly have to leave to save my own soul. That’s when he finally started to get it. I just couldn’t live with an inauthentic relationship anymore. Its taken 7 years of relentless boundary making, but we’ve finally reached a light at the end of the tunnel. Triggers? Still. But much less, and now I can expect instant empathy when I do. I think my amygdala is finally quieting down. The book Worthy of Her Trust was the life saver book at the end of our journey. I highly recommend it. I am sending out hugs and well wishes to all!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Carol
        I absolutely agree with everything you say….what’s the point of a relationship that’s not authentic.

        I will check out that book for sure.

    • The other woman

      According to this, I am stuck. I definitely think I have PTSD, the memories of the clues leading up to discovery are distorted as to time and place. I can’t remeber which things happened first and I can’t remember the date/yr it all happened. As best as I can recall it was about 10 years ago and I still have a breakdown every 3-4 months over it. Part of it is my husband won’t admit he was wrong* to hide his friendship with my sister, my sister who I used to speak to several times a week, until their affair started and then I never heard from her. I saw the phone bills of them calling each other, the calls coincided with him leaving the room when ever she called…..all the lies, deceit….how many times did I say to my husband I hadn’t heard from my sister in weeks and he just shrugged, when he had talked to her 2 or 3 times that week…..

    • Shifting Impressions

      The other woman
      I am so sorry you had to endure the betrayal of two people….your husband and your sister. Were you able to get help for yourself??

      • The other woman

        I’ve tried, isn’t helping. I feel like my life is ruined. They just moved on as if nothing happened and forgot about it but I can’t. I will never trust anyone again. One therapist told me if was my fault for not setting boundaries in my marriage, guess some people need things spelled out. there’s a lot more to the story that I didn’t include, the huddles whispering until I entered the room, my husband disappearing for hours and not telling me where he was…I feel so stupid for trusting them. To this day, my husband won’t tell me what they talked about or why they hid this “friendship” from me, he would rather keep their secrets than ease my mind. I’m so sad and hurt, I don’t see any way out of the despair……

        • Jane

          Hello TOW – I know your comment was a couple of years ago nearly – I pray you’re healed some. What you said about heir secrets – it’s what still eats me about my husband and his crone. All the tings they talked about, where they went, even how they ‘did it’. I won’t leave me but could well be different for others and I pray for you it’s different.

        • E

          Hey TOW,

          I hope things are better in your life. I’ve been there with the double betrayal and it’s awful. I hope you got a different therapist because nothing was your fault and i hope you know that.
          It took me a few years to finally register this in myself, especially because i held deep guilt in the truth because i felt that i had allowed the lies and deciet to happen…. Guess what i learned…. I wasn’t at fault, i wasn’t the one who lied and brought pain to my famil. So, you didn’t either and i hope you are finding peace.

          I know your post was a year ago and I’m glad to see that Jane also wanted to see how you were doing. Somedays i go to the blogs here just to reassure myself that i can make it through the day. I’m glad you posted today Jane.

          Hang in there TOW, The tiggers don’t go away, the pain stays just gets better to handle somedays.
          Trust is a complicated thing once it’s gone. Rebuilding it is hard, and with double betrayal i can understand if it doesn’t come back especially because both of those involved were close to you. It’s an awful feeling.

          Be good to yourself, your not alone.

          E

    • Shifting Impressions

      The other woman
      You weren’t the one not setting boundaries…..your husband and sister were guilty of that.

      Please don’t give up on getting help for yourself. We can’t control what others do but we can control how we respond. Of course, you are sad and hurt. But I entreat you, not to give up. Never forget….you are worth it.

    • Deborah

      I feel the pain of so many women who have posted on here. My husband had an affair and 18 years later I am still living with the pain when he and that bit*h have got on with theirs lives. We did not sleep with each for several years before and after this happened each time i tried my husband pushed me away and each time this would hurt me a little bit more. I knew he had feelings for someone else but was told these were in my head and nothing was going on but I just knew. He asked me to move out of our home and that he did not love me anymore which I did after 2 days we saw each other and he told me he did love me and asked me to move back home part of me now wishes that I didn’t and we had had just split up. After returning home he slept with that bit*h for the first time 6 weeks later whilst still pushing me away. They then slept together 2 months later when I found out. Even on that day I still wanted him to sleep with me which he didn’t. I would say we slept together maybe twice a year for about 7 years. Why I did not leave him in this time I will never know. The bit*hs mum even told me all this and them sleeping together was my fault. This is something I have lived with and belived all this time. I breakdown over this maybe 2 – 3 times a year. My husband will not talk about it. I feel like they both just laughed about this behind my back. We now sleep together but i dont start it. I don’t have any feelings for myself I want to hurt myself badly I don’t look after myself as I feel I’m not worth it. I don’t spend much money on clothes I have put weight on. I dont like myself most of the time. I have now got to the point that I don’t know what feelings I have for my husband. I have been told this week that I havd ptsd and it has been suggested that I have emdr. I am going to give this a try as I don’t want to live with pain anymore. I am always tired as I don’t sleep probably anymore. I want to start living my life again. I have lost touch with all my friends as I don’t trust anyone I won’t let anyone get close to me as I don’t trust anyone all I do is just push people away from me so they end up disliking me. Hopefully with treatment the pain will ease

    • Al

      3 years out. I still have triggers. I have anxiety attacks. I still wake up in the middle of the night with them…still have mind movies….over time I’ve lost all feeling inside me. I don’t ever have feelings for my kids. I’m a freaking empty shell. But I smile and live a normal life. But inside I’m shattered and screwed up. My wife blamed it all on me. Her childhood sexual abuse issues wrecked our marriage. She never sought help. And then the affairs….well that’s my fault to….she took all her problems and turned it into my fault to justify her actions. Now she says she is sorry. I’ll never give her or any woman 100 % of me ever again.

      • Carol

        Al: Don’t give up hope- it took almost 8 years to heal from learning my H had been having a 10 year affair and affairs b4 that our whole marriage (35+ years!). Speaking from the heart, authentically, and not trying to shove it under the rug is what ultimately saved us. It’s different for each couple. Now I’m facing open heart surgery and it was a real wake up call for both of us – remember life is short – never take each other for granted. How would your wife feel if she lost you?
        They all have to come to the moment of clarity where they realize what they’ve done and will do anything to help you heal. If she’s not there yet, keep the issue on the table (gently- there are many resources out there to help guide you) and don’t settle for less. I’m rooting for you!

      • Untold

        Hang in there Al. I know how you feel – also a male 3+ years after last DDAY. it still sucks, I grieve daily and work to power past it. I used to be so highly motivated, ambitious. Much of that is gone, some from just being older (mid 50’s), but some from having the rug pulled out after 25 years of a good marriage. Wife in denial still, inadequate remorse/repentance, and unable to own her stuff and how deplorable her behavior was. Maybe some day I’ll feel different, but right now I can’t say it was worth staying and fighting to keep my marriage and family together. But we can continue to seek and find our own rewards and life satisfaction despite them.

    • Ouch

      I was married for 10 years with the wife having an ’emotional’ affair after 3 years of marriage. We worked through that and I accepted the behaviours that she felt had contributed to her wanting an affair, and I thought we were relatively happy after that.

      But then at the 9 year mark she began another affair with my 18 year old cousin, someone who I had known since birth and helped out with fixing cars and camping trips. This was emotional AND physical, they would sleep together when I was away on work trips or organise me to look after the kids whilst she stayed at his rental house. We had a tight budget at that point and she would spend the money we allocated for groceries on expensive lingerie for him. She denies that she cheated on me because in her view each time they slept together she had “decided that we were over” and so it wasn’t cheating. Despite the fact that it occurred whilst we were married, in our marital home and marital bed, with us continuing our own intimacy after her sleeping with him. And it was more than once. She will STILL not admit that she cheated on me.

      She left me two years ago, after a year or so of confusing and difficult interactions, and what made her leaving worse at the time was that I didn’t know she had been sleeping with him and he was one of my main ‘supporters’ after our separation. I now think it was because of his guilt. I gave everything I had to work towards a reconciliation after she left, for her sake and the sake of the children and I only found out about his affair with her a year ago. I had to take two weeks off work to just cry. Now family events like Christmas and stuff are horrible, because he is always there and it reminds me of it all the time.

      She had another affair shortly after she left me, with a Christian pastor who was married and had three kids of his own. He was counselling me and her for a ‘reconciliation’, whilst pursuing his own affair with her, telling her that he loved her and would leave his wife for her. When I found out about his affair with my wife I didn’t know WHO to trust, if a wife, cousin and pastor can do this to me then there felt like no hope at all. She divorced me, against my wishes, and we had to do all of the asset splits, sell the family home etc. I had to move to another town in a cheaper home. She has had MANY partners since she left me and the children have been introduced to several of them. They are very confused as to what love is.

      I still have to interact with my ex-wife each week on behalf of our two children, whom we co-parent. People are sympathetic to a point and then they tell me that I have to get over it. I want to get over it but it’s so hard to!!

      How long will it take for me to heal? Has anyone been through something like that and is further down the track and can give me some advice? I am relatively happy as a single father but I can’t stop the shakes or nausea at even the THOUGHT of another relationship. To put myself in a position where I can be hurt again seems like lunacy.

      • Miranda

        Ouch!

        This is messed up, or rather what your ex-wife did to you was messed-up, and severely too. You poor, poor man.

        You have been victim to a series of appalling events and the common theme was your wife as perpetrator – thank goodness you are now divorced – though quite why you didn’t divorce HER on the grounds of adultery isn’t made clear. No matter, you are unshackled.

        Your question “does PTSD have a time limit?” is relative and depends on how long it takes for you as an individual to recover (some of us are more fragile) and, how much effort you are willing to put into this. Eating well, exercising, seeing friends, spending time with your kids are all important measures you need to take towards your getting through this in one piece. You need to be kind to yourself, allow the sadness, the anger, the tears to surface but regain hold of what is also important and that is your entitlement to a happier life now. Step by step you will lead yourself out of this and I am guessing that after a year you will have gained some perspective, 2 years down the line, much more…until one day, you’ll suddenly realise that your trauma will have dissipated. That doesn’t mean that you will lose the sadness, but that comes with living. Happiness luckily, comes along at intervals too.

        It’s worth mentioning that triggers can lie dormant and often, when you think you are over it, BAM! it’s back. But your recovery period will be less and less each time until one day, it does not own you, you own it and you can choose to be affected or not.

        Your kids are getting love and support from you which will help them through this confusing experience. They will see their mother for what she is when they are old enough to understand. They must form their own opinion of her. Just be a good dad and don’t bad mouth their mum even if she is not acting as she should.

        I’m no expert so this advice, though well-meaning is not conclusive – though I have suffered betrayal and PTSD is a real part of this – I am offering you the advice that I would have liked to have received.

        Best of luck

        The worst is over. You have your life back, and great kids. Keep going and go easy.

      • Tiffany

        Dear Ouch,
        You have such emotional trauma and I am so sorry for what you’ve been through and still going through.
        The difference for you is you have Chronic Trauma. Chronic Trauma is when you have gone through a physical or emotional threat and it is reoccurring. It didn’t happen just once, it happened over and over again.
        Acute Trauma is when it only happens once.

        I have been through so much with the man I love, of six years. I moved in with him August 2012- he was not divorced totally. I never pushed him to leave as he seemed unsure of what he wanted. I would hear him tell his wife he loved her.
        He had another woman other than me, (I didn’t know) he was living with. He was a fireman and would work weird 12 hour shifts or say he took extra overtime.
        Well long story short we lived on his best friends property. I found out he was seeing his best friends wife. Well it gets worse, they lived two football fields away from us. His best friend and his wife, along with my boyfriend and the other woman, were involved in orgies together.they would have these two football fields away at their house. He would hide his truck at the small grocery store where my children and I would do our grocery shopping, and the owners and some employees were involved in the orgies. Also where I got my car fixed. I was so humiliated to find out that I was the only one who didn’t know. Up to 70 people surrounding me and my children knew about it. I felt so sick, I couldn’t leave because we had a business together that was my sole income. I had to suck it up for my kids.
        He made me get her coffee one day when she appeared in the yard. Before I knew about her. And apparently their were rules about the orgies that you weren’t supposed to meet up outside the group. As soon as I got a full confession from him I called her husband and he was furious, I could actually hear him screaming at her from between properties ????
        I am a monogamous person, I never saw it coming. I grew up southern baptist. I don’t believe in church anymore, I know God is with me, but this was the event that turned my religion inside out. There were other things that happen to get me to this point as well with church.
        I am currently digging my way up out of this hell. And it’s mot easy because I too have chronic trauma.
        Just love yourself and think about this, empower yourself in knowing you can walk away if you want.
        I am currently shedding 20 lbs from my emotional eating, and enjoying my kids who are older now.
        He pleads with me to stay, but I am very mean to him at times.
        I dont want to treat him this way, it’s not right. He tries so hard to make it up to me.
        I am not very receptive and as I continue into my third round of therapy, I am looking to overcome this and stay with him, because I do love him.
        But I will not stay with him and treat him poorly if I can’t get over this.
        It means it’s over if I can’t get over the past.

    • Carol

      She obviously has serious emotional issues.
      I don’t have a crystal ball, but since I know there are many, many women out there who don’t have serious emotional issues and are wired for fidelity, if you keep your heart open, in time you will be in a happy, stable relationship. I’ve seen it over and over. Wishing you all the best.

    • Ouch

      Thanks Carol and Miranda,

      I appreciate your kind thoughts. I am doing quite well all things considering, the kids and I have a lot of good family time together and looking after them has kept me grounded for the most part.

      Miranda,

      That’s what I’m finding, that I think I’m doing well and them BAM, something will trip it. The main thing I feel when it is triggered is fear.

      Also, I didn’t divorce her for many reasons. I made my marriage vows and would never, ever break them, no matter the reason. I wanted the kids to have a stable family and would almost give my life to give that to them. She would turn to me for help and comfort each time that an affair was exposed and that would give me hope that she might be sorry finally. Because I just really struggled to believe the reality of what was happening, it just felt surreal that someone could make vows to love until death parted us and then do that to me. And because I truly believed that it was my fault that she did it all. She told me many times all of the reasons why I wasn’t enough for her and that she didn’t want my love or support, she told me often that I would never find someone who would put up with me or love me and I didn’t see any reason to disbelieve that, if I couldn’t be enough for her then why would I be enough for anyone? It makes sense to me.

      • Miranda

        Ouch

        She did a lot of damage didn’t she? Some might say she is a born manipulator.

        When people say cruel things to others, they are often projecting their weaknesses onto someone else. This is a form of denial, or a reluctance to accept that they have ongoing personal issues.

        It sounds as if your ex-wife has a lot of problems and was relieving herself of the burden by shovelling them on to you and saying, no this is how you behave, not me.

        You are, and were never responsible for the decisions she made, nor were the accusations she flung at you ever true.
        By using her energies to hurt you, your ex-wife was able to exonerate herself thus making her infidelities acceptable to herself.

        Only they never were of course and she had to repeat the cycle again and again to avoid feeling shame.

        Time to set yourself free Ouch. That part of your life is over, you are no longer subject to her abuse.

        Move on, take time to heal, be aware that the Bam! moments will appear occasionally. Notice them happening, don’t react, and wait for them to pass like a storm cloud.

        It is hard for you because you still have to communicate with the mother of your children, do this calmly and methodically, do not indulge her. She is an element of your past life, so just because your kids are part of her world, does not mean you have to be.

        Love yourself and you will get there.

        One thing I did was to write a series of letters telling the OW how I felt. The letters were often sad, or angry. I never sent them, just burnt them…but I always felt like I ‘d gotten some of the poison out.

    • Ouch

      Miranda,

      Thing is that I DO still have to be a part of her world. I don’t have a choice because of the kids. For example, she doesn’t have a job and lives off government parenting payments and the spousal support that I have to pay her because we had children together.

      Earlier this year we organised that I could have the kids an extra night each week, bringing my weekly time with them to 3 nights a week. This effected her payments and so she rang asking to change it back but I was really enjoying the extra time with them so I said that I would prefer not. After crying about it she then threatened to take me to court and take the kids off me permanently, she has said in the past that “even if she was a jobless alcoholic she would still be given the kids because the mum always gets them”, and unfortunately in the culture that we live in I have seen this to be true quite often so I don’t want to risk that. I agreed to have them less so that she could get more money (at my expense). My whole stomach contracts in fear whenever I have to interact with her. I think I could heal much easier if I did not have to talk with her again.

      I like the idea of writing letters out to express how I feel. I’ll do that.

    • Miranda

      Yes, try the letter writing as a way of expressing the emotions you withhold when you communicate directly with her. Do you run, or have a physical outlet? If not, think of an activity that fits into your routine. A strong mind and body will benefit you in countless ways.

      Plant some vegetables, or salads, with the kids perhaps – get pleasure from watching something grow – a good contrast from the negative issues in your life.

      One day, when the kids are older, you will be set free from her entirely.

      Good bye, and good luck.

    • Carol

      Yep, life will eventually move on, you will have learned many lessons and they will be woven into the colorful tapestry that is your unique life story. Don’t mean to wax so philosophical, but I was obsessed with my H’s infidelities and bad behavior for 8 years until I was hit with another challenge – a life threatening heart problem. Now, 3 weeks post open heart surgery, I am putting things in perspective and so’s my H. He’s been the best caregiver ever. My health problem was like a huge bitch slap reminding both of us how fragile and precious life is. If you keep that wonderful integrity and stay kind, I can almost guarantee you will reach a place of peace and gratitude for your one beautiful messy life- all of it:-)
      Carol

    • Ouch

      Thanks Miranda and Carol,

      I’ll keep moving forward. I do go to the gym and I restore old furniture for fun, I get a lot of satisfaction from these activities as a positive outlet.

      Goodbye and thank you for the words of encouragement.

    • Miranda

      Carol

      That is a refreshing truthful way of putting it. I love the ‘huge bitch slap’ metaphor. Life can deliver a good right hook when we least expect. I’m learning, like you, that a blow to the stomach can be quickly followed by a kick on the shin. We need to stay in shape!

      Hope you continue gaining strength and maintain your healthy perspective on this beautiful, messy life.

      Miranda

    • Miranda

      Ouch

      You sound like such a nice guy, and you seem to be doing all the right things. I really hope it all works out for you.

      With love and warm wishes for the future

      Miranda

    • Kathy

      When I started reading this the tears came immediately.. it’s been almost 1 Year and I love him so much he’s the love of my life my soul mate we’ve been together since I was 14 years but at times the pain is so raw and unbearable that I almost want my heart to stop beating just to get a break from the pain.. I forgive him but I don’t know how to get past the pain, heartache, gut wrenching destroyed feeling.. someone help me/us get started with recovery

    • Al

      We’ll its getting worse. 31/2 years out. Depression and anxiety attacks. Mind movies. Break downs. Went to marriage counseling for 11/2 years. Wife went off and on for a year. I get electric shocks at night went I lay down. I got an appointment with a mental health professional. Maybe that will help. We never had very good communication and this affair isn’t talked about. Mostly cause she says she can’t remember. Mmmm. She is on Prozac now for her depression issues. I tried Effexor but that made me suicidal and I quit it. I’m quite a mess. She has the ability stemming from her CSA issues to compartmentalize her problems and shove them into the back of her head and forget it ever happened. That worked for her until it resurfaced during perimenopause. So that coping mechanism didn’t work. But she’s trying it with this issue. Can’t understand why it just won’t disappear. But it’s time I sought better help. And if a happy life means she’s not in it then so be it. I put up with her secrets and lying for 30 years. All her coping mechanisms did was make me feel like something was wrong with me. 30 years I felt like a loser because of her hidden problems. When she would freeze up during intimacy it made me feel like I was the problem. I feel sorry about her childhood. But I’m also angry that her “handling “ of it damaged me also. I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t ask for this. And 31/2 years later I’m a freakin mess.

      • E

        Al,

        I’m with that debate myself.

        Married 20 years to someone who lied for 17 of it.

        I’m in therapy.

        I’m at a point that being without him feels better than being with him. Yet we are still married so I am still attached and I feel like I’m trapped. So- I believe in change and soon it will happen.

        So, You are stronger than you believe.

        Happiness is from oneself not others.

    • Miranda

      And if a happy life means she’s not in it then so be it.
      Maybe you have answered your own question here Al.
      3 1\2 years is a long time to still be experiencing major anxiety. You shouldn’t be a ‘freakin mess’ anymore.
      What do you do to fulfill your own life outside of the relationship? Your happiness should stem from the stuff you do as an individual, a relationship is for sharing that happiness not crushing it. Xxx

    • KB

      I totally understand where you are coming from. I am going on a year now.. I just want it to end and people keep telling me I won’t let it. They have no idea what I am dealing with inside…

    • John

      My heart goes out to you hun. I too suffer daily with everything you have described. I was about 2 months into my first marriage and noticed my wife was on her phone a lot. Facebook has become a thorn in my backside. As I know millions use it to cheat. And since you can hide your activity from others it is almost like FB is coded for this vile activity. I am a year out and have lost my job and my sanity because of her actions. I can not fully enjoy my new relationship because of these fears and triggers. It sucks to live this way feeling broken and powerless to this disorder. I wish I was able to get counseling but still don’t have insurance. Good luck my dear. Please know you are not alone in this horrible nightmare.

    • Carol

      Just reread all the comments. It’s obvious there is an army out there of the “walking wounded” due to infidelity. Ptsd is the only way to describe it. Thank God for forums like this; otherwise we would all feel as though we were alone in this world, b/c frankly, in my opinion, most therapists who specialize in marriage counseling are not equipped to handle the ptsd part and can actually do more harm than good (i think I’ve been thru 8 now and it’s been a mixed bag but none of them really knew how to address my PTSD issues). I found one who does EMDR, just started with her, so we’ll see. I am encouraged to see that the profession is moving forward after a study came out finding that at least 70% of wives met criteria for PTSD after finding out about their husbands infidelities (probably the same % with husbands, just no studies that I know of yet). Subsequently, an association has sprung up to train mental health professionals in how to deal with a spouse’s ptsd issues first rather than just “marriage issues”, which often worsens the psyche of betrayed spouses. I believe Barbara Steffans is the founder if you want to Google. Getting help shouldn’t be so difficult! Good luck everyone!

    • E

      I read many more of the comments as this thread has people who feel like I do. A year ago I was in worse place than I am today. It’s about finding the best therapist for yourself not just for the marriage.
      My husband and I did about 6 months of therapy together. There are still communication problems and mostly it’s because he hasn’t fully accepted his responsibility and accountability. These are still baby steps for him.
      Everyday is two steps forward and sometimes a few steps back. I’m not angry like I was in the first year after D-day.. mostly it’s because I’ve worked on so much within myself.
      I was extremely upset after I found the truth and it led me down a trip of self harm, suicidal behaviors and attempts and tried to destroy and take everything from my husband. His reputation, his kids, his livelihood… this was wrong and I know it now which I feel regret over. It’s a long painful process of relationship recovery after an affair.

      In my journey of finding a therapist I looked for one that specialized in marriage and family therapy, anxiety, depression, infidelity issues, death and it brought me to something that I never in my life would think about in this journey. Eating disorders. Yeah, they treat eating disorders with the treatment as PTSD.

      In my aftermath I lost 80 lbs extremely fast and when I get triggered I’ll stop eating. That’s what brought me to her office. Now it’s not for everyone yet I read articles that infidelity causes relapses or misdiagnosed women with eating disorders.
      Self harm is another symptom of PTSD. Emotional deregulation as well. Both of which I work with every moment of every day. I have limited trust and I am always anxious. I make a daily goal list, I journal every day, I started painting again and working with clay. I read an article about healing ptsd with pottery and clay. I’ve been doing that since February and it’s been beautiful.

      Now, it’s been over two years since D-day. I’ve been seeing her since April 2017. I’ve learned a lot about myself and coping skills and learned that I have worth, I’m a special strong person and I’m a survivor. Doesn’t mean I don’t have two separate calendars one for the workweek and one for trigger days. (Which I have a lot of) currently I’m in the best part of the year August-October so my goal this year is to strength as the holidays approach.

    • emily

      Hi, I am sorry to hear about your loss. I know how terrible it is when someone betrays another person. I was the person betrayed when I discovered my boyfriend’s indiscretions. We’re no longer together, but my grief took a toll on my body. I suggest that you don’t wish ill will on the other woman and to stay in a safe place. Avoid her and anyone associated with her. I was angered and sad when I discovered that the other woman would “get away with it”. Her gloating and her misinformed “entourage” was beyond anything I could bear. Solution: Forgiving him is powerful. What worked for me is forgiving him and thinking of him in good ways..which, believe me, took YEARS to do. I thought what Jesus went through which was also hard because I’m human and I still couldn’t let go. I still can’t sometimes. When I grieved and forgave him repeatedly, I finally felt free. I had hope. During my grief, I found new friends and hobbies. I sincerely hope you can do that too.

    • Adee

      This thread is very old now so it may be too late to add my voice in any meaningful way. However, joining in may be a bit therapeutic. I hope so because I’m really stuck 9 years after my wife had an affair with a man at a school she worked at. I was abroad when she informed me on the telephone about what she was doing. She felt guilty and wanted me home to help her stop. I came immediately but then she found out she couldn’t. She then tried to cheat with him behind my back for several months but each time I found her lying she cried and promised it would stop, but she couldn’t and the merry go round carried on. I felt she was killing me by a thousand cuts and begged her to stop, but she couldn’t. After 3 months my wonderful, beautiful dad died very suddenly. I hadn’t been there for him at the end because I was so desperate to keep her away from this man who she saw everyday at the school. The day after the funeral she went to have some time out on her own and promised she would use it to reflect and mend our relationship. I let her have that space even though I desperately needed her to be with me right then. I woke up 2 nights later at 11am and I knew she was cheating with him. I drove to the place she was supposed to be staying and she wasn’t there. At 4am I called her mobile. She lied and said she was with a girlfriend but had to admit she was in his bed right then when I said I would drive to her girlfriends house to see her there. Why did I put up with her lies over and over again? I loved her and wanted her to stop. Each time I tried to leave her she would become hysterical and beg me not to. She swore she loved me and would stop. But, she was addicted to the guy. It was like a drug and she had to have her regular fix. After 6 months I discovered her texting him when we were away together to try and sort things out. That was the final straw for me and I walked away. Voila! That was the moment she decided to stop seeing him for good and begged me to forgive her. Oh God. She was true to her word and has done everything she can to make amends for what she did. I wish I could stop the pain inside me which is continuing to ruin both our lives. I have all the symptoms of PTSD. I can’t breakout of it and I still experience all of the agony and fear and pain from those 6 months 9 years ago. We have now been married for 37 years. She has been the most beautiful, kind and loving person to me and all my wonderful family. She continues to regret what happened and only wants me to love her in the way I always had. I want to. I really want to. But I am slowly being broken inside by the never ending stream of reminders and triggers and I can’t find my feelings again. It’s like being isolated inside a glass container. I can see but I can’t feel. I now have reached my crisis stage. I don’t know what to do and can’t see any point in trying to get better. I’m stuck. My wife loves me and I love her very much. We should now be at our most prosperous and happiest time. We could be. It’s all there, except for my failure to forgive, forget and to move on. So. At least I’ve shared all that. My advice to anyone who struggles to do that after their partner cheating on them is to either leave immediately or, if you can’t do that because you still love them too much, go and get support from a PTSD therapist. Don’t leave it too long. It will get worse and worse.

      • E

        Hi Adee,

        It’s not too late, I still watch the updates because even though I’m working on my life and getting back my emotions to something stable I still need support too.

        It’s a painful spot to be in when you are working in your marriage and feel stuck in your head, your heart and your soul. If you are not seeing a therapist now I would recommend one because it sounds like there are some unresolved emotions. (when I say issues, triggers are a horrible thing, I get them still often). In fact a month ago when I saw this blog for the first time my husband and I were heading in the direction that was negative after working for 2 years on trying to save us. This was based on forgiveness. I finally forgave.
        Today, we are in a better spot and are communicating differently than we have before, learning about each other and finally working on getting past the pain. It’s still there and the pain I was told by my therapist may stay there for me for the remainder of my life. It doesn’t mean I want to throw anything that could be something special away because I am not working on finding a way to feel again.

        With not receiving help for so long I can see where the emotions are inside the glass container. I still have many days where that is the case. Each day is different and brings something new I didn’t know about myself. Do I still get mad about the affair, of course and I also realize it happened and I can’t undo the past and change it. Meaning I have to accept it for it is and work on what it means for my own journey in life and my own happiness. I love my husband and want to make it work. Doesn’t mean that some days I’m not ready to run either because I have been there even just a few weeks ago. The triggers are still there and happen often. I now am more aware what triggers me and when I feel triggered. What’s different now is the communication I am having with my husband about the triggers and emotions and we are working on things together, not apart.

        I hope you can find someone that can help you work through releasing some of the pain and working through things internally because everyone needs happiness even with the pain. Happiness is within yourself and only you can give yourself that not another person.

      • Carol

        Dear Adie,
        After 9 post infidelity years with my husband (married 43 years), after seeing countless counselors, going to several weekend workshops, researching over 100 books, and after thousands of hours of conversations, “do-overs” etc etc etc. I’ve come to the conclusion that probably a majority of us never quite recover completely. We are told it takes about 2 years. I think that’s cruel, bc then those of us who eagerly await that 2 year mark which never happens are then doubly disillusioned. I stayed bc my H made most of the required changes, we can’t afford 2 places, and we grandparent like a well oiled team! But the scars will always remain. What’s helped me the most? Bringing up my triggers, not hiding them, having someone other than H to talk to (ie, therapist), journaling, and focusing on my own interests. There’s no happily ever after. But there are still happy moments. Cherish them.

        • E

          Hi Carol,

          I’m with you on things and glad you wrote in today. I will see my therapist for as long as it takes and maybe forever because there are things with the triggers that even if I speak with my husband about them it’s not as easy to work through with him because sometimes it’s just being in his presence . Trust is a delicate thing especially with the aftermath of an affair. I’m past the 2 year mark, I feel more of myself. However, my husband’s transgressions were more than just a person sleeping with a stranger. The lies are more damaging because it impacted my children who are teenagers and adults. I actually knew the mistress and she lived with our family under these lies. So the memories are far more deeper and strangle any holiday or anniversary for me. Which 16-17 year affairs with deep lies and pain in my complicated and delicate situation (my therapist calls it that) will definitely trigger any day of the week and can happen anytime.

          The greatest gift for me was taking my power back, learning to forgive and learning the difference between pseudo forgiveness and real forgiveness. (the mistress has not been forgiven yet, and I have not immediate plans of this- feelings are still pretty raw and painful, I just want her to stay far away from my life, my family and especially my husband due to her toxic nature).

          The happy moments are something that you have to also allow yourself to feel and take, because working through things and trusting yourself with those happy moments is another process that if not worked through in therapy hurts the recovery.

          I don’t think that recovery takes 2 years and that it’s done, I think you can feel more stable and like yourself in 2 years depending on what is going on in your life. The pain is still raw with many things, yet because I worked on things that I enjoy and my own recovery it has made it easier to work through things.

          I think every story is different and I know that there are things years from now that will hit me that I haven’t worked on. I know because I’ve had that situation even a few months ago while vacuuming my house.

          Things I suggest to help and have helped me. Exercise, go on a walk, learn and practice yoga,read about mindfulness, learning self care and eating right and taking the time to savor the food, the world around you and to grieve,learn to meditate, write your feelings and thoughts, even hateful ones in a journal, reading about PTSD and how it impacts affairs, finding an old passion and following it, learning to breathe. do things for yourself. Seeing a therapist that specializes in affairs and PTSD.

          E

          • Shifting Impressions

            E and Carol
            Thank you so much for sharing…. Both of your posts are filled with compassion and wisdom.

            I am also of the belief that the recovery process is long and arduous! There simply aren’t any shortcuts….oh how I wish there were.

            I am almost at the five year mark….and doing relatively well. But there are still those moments. I am forever changed….infidelity is a bell that just can’t be unrung.

            Adie…I wish you all the best. Sometimes I wonder if we stop feeling because it is just too scary to feel again.

            I know that after almost five years I have not yet totally forgiven….it’s like I stand at the edge of forgiveness afraid to jump. But one thing I know….as time passes I get closer and closer.

            • E

              Hi Shifting Impressions,

              Thank you for your reply comment. I learned wisdom in the last year especially. Some of the wisdom was that I learned that forgiveness is more complicated with PTSD caused by an affair. Much happens when there is the confusion of emotions and jumbled thoughts and constant triggers. In working through them over the last 2 years and self reflection for how everything has been since the first year after D-Day.
              The first year as a blur of personality changes within myself and anger induced revenge, extreme mod swings and I was terrible for which I regret now. The process of forgiveness was daily and still is daily. Sometimes hourly and by the minute depending on what day of the week and if I have a trigger pop in. There have been months where I have said nothing at all and that my silence was worst than the yelling and fighting. Months of isolation, several suicide attempts and pain. I chose forgiveness because it was the moral choice for me.

              5 years is a long time, and my heart is with you all the way. Forgiveness is your own time and your own choice and no one can tell you how and when is the right time. Affairs have more than just the action of sex, it’s about lies, manipulation, stolen time, memories and much more.

              With my therapist we worked with the concept of radical acceptance because to forgive you have to also acknowledge and accept that it happened. It’s a painful process because in the aftermath and at times you can sit in a world of disbelief and that disbelief is what causes the mind to ruminate. The idea that your life is a lie and having to figure the truth from the lies and tell yourself your not crazy and that your in a dream world. With radical acceptance it helps to change that so that you can see past everything and it makes it sense.

              Since I have severe anxiety now and have to slow down many of my thoughts and actions to focus on what I am doing at that moment even folding a towel as slow as a turtle (which is another thing that combats the PTSD because it is focus on being mindful), if I’m rushed in my life, my actions etc it can trigger me and then it’s awful and on a bad day I won’t leave my office and cry all day.

              I forgave my husband for many things with the affair and past transgressions.I haven’t forgave for the lies, those are far different in my thoughts and feeling right now. All the bad life choices that were made and happened were there covered in lies to mask the guilt and shame from an affair knowing it was wrong and damaging. He sees his ways and is trying to be a better person, and not lie, cheat and manipulate. He’s more helpful, more compassionate and more willing to talk and be honest with me. This is a big step and I can’t promise it is permanent because I lack trust in many things still.
              Forgiveness doesn’t mean the trust is there or back either. trust earned and is easily broken. Forgiving him for the affair actually brought some closeness that wasn’t there before and he knows that I am still working on forgiveness for the lies because in truth the initial lie that he created for this painful situation is one that is harder to get over then the affair.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Thanks E
              It’s a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But, in my marriage there was so much more good than bad. My marriage was definitely worth fighting for.

            • E

              Shifting Impressions

              The journey is hard. The journey is life changing. The journey is worth fighting for as long as the spouse is also wanting to fight for it with honesty and self discovery too.

        • Carol

          Been there, felt that. Please know that you’re not alone. Do not give up- be very aware of those little “bumps” of joy that you feel every so often- and capitalize on those. They will grow. But don’t beat yourself up when you have a bad day. There is an army of us rooting for you!!

    • Adee

      Thank you both for sharing your experiences. As others have said in this blog already, knowing that you aren’t alone is a real comfort. No doubt I will keep going. I have a great deal to be thankful for. I have done a lot of running away and getting rid of triggers. Wish I hadn’t now because I gave away or sold so much that was precious. Too late now. So, I need to keep going forward and hope that one day I will work it out. The mind is an enigma and hoping to be able to control emotions is a challenge. Holding on to love is the only hope there is. Thank you. Adee

    • E

      Adee,

      I’m glad you found us.Just so you know I’ve very in tune with wording sometimes. Most of that is based on triggers and trust issues.

      I’m not suppose to control my emotions anymore I’m suppose to acknowledge them and state that I feel a certain way and why.My therapist and I have worked over the last 18 months to get to a point where I am not shutting down and sitting in confusion or trying to control the glass jar full of chaos inside. It’s because I have been like a brick wall of only anger and apathy for many years and was before I knew the truth.Just after D-day I was not even close to having a human emotion that was stable. Believe me, there are days still that I am confused and not sure what emotion I am suppose to feel. So your not alone, your special, you have worth.

      E

    • Alan

      4 years out. I’m on pills that numb me but I still have anxiety attacks and depression. I have electric shocks at night when I lay down and try to sleep. I went to counseling for two years. My wife is happy. I’m a zombie. I trust nobody. I have no feelings. I live day to day with waves of depression. I can handle no stress. I’m a mess. But I stuff it inside and smile. This is my life. This is what her affairs have done to me. I didn’t ask to be this way. I don’t want to be this way. I have armored my heart and I will never be hurt again. By anybody. I can’t function. I lost a $35 an hour job. Haven’t worked in two years. I feel destroyed. I laugh but I feel no happiness. I feel an eternal emptiness. I long for the day I crawl in the box and it ends.

      • E

        Hi Alan,

        I’ve been there. I still have days like that. I don’t know if it ever goes completely away. I had a trigger yesterday and cried and knew that I felt sadness. A year ago I would not have understood that and probably would have acted out of anger towards someone or myself.

        I also for about a year couldn’t keep a job and honestly if my daughter wasn’t on my case I would have lost the current job I have months ago.

        I’m not on meds, I decided not to use them or take any for my own reasons and probably need them. I have severe anxiety.Currently, If I could I would never leave my house or office because the idea of meeting new people or going new places is terrifying for me. Before D-day this was not the case.

        I feel emotions now, doesn’t take the pain or change what happened with my H’s Affair away. It does let me know that I am a human and that I need to be nice to myself because I didn’t make the choices and I live with the consequences. It’s not fair, it’s not right. I get that. It doesn’t mean that I also have to give more of my own happiness and joy over to it.

    • shona

      This thread is old, but I see there are many new ones that have added, so it’s encouraging to me. I don’t know where to start, except that I couldn’t stop reading the comments and thinking, omg, there are other people that are going through exactly the same things as me! Up until a few days ago, I thought I was just going crazy and the devil was just stealing everything from me. I never considered PTSD from an affair, but I know without a doubt that’s what I have. H and I have been married 18 1/2 yrs, DDay was 3 years ago and I’ve felt so ashamed that I have gotten worse, in some ways, than better. Back story-I was molested all of my childhood from my father, parents divorced, siblings and I separated then back together. I had counseling as a child and felt I was okay when I got married. Very much in love and sex wasn’t a problem until children started coming. Then, I felt fat and unattractive in my own body. My H didn’t mind, but I subconsciously felt unwanted. H was always working and after I lost my job, stayed at home with 4 kids. Became depressed, didn’t do housework, I did take care of my children, though. When someone offered to take care of kids so we could go on a much needed date, he would decline because he didn’t want to be a bother. I would agree so as not to cause a confrontation, but I would feel he put other people’s needs before mine and our children’s. My main love language is quality time and I needed that. He had known I had been molested from about the 3rd month of marriage, but didn’t know who it was, because my dad and I had restored our relationship and I didn’t seem him a lot and didn’t want him and my H to have a strained relationship. Well, about 7 yrs into marriage, H felt like I was pulling away, although I never ever denied him in bed. Problem was, I had a messed up outlook on sex and didn’t know how to be the one to instigate the first move, so he started feeling unwanted. There was hardly any non-sexual touches, we never dated, basically we were taking care of the kids and bills and forgetting our relationship. We became like roommates; still sleeping in same bed, sex maybe once or twice a month. Then he became addicted to porn. He confessed and cried and I felt sorry for him and naively thought it would just go away if he talked to someone. Pastor did counseling with him and knew I’d been molested and thought he knew it was my dad, so he let it slip and H confronted me. He was so angry and I knew I should’ve told him, but was afraid he wouldn’t want me. I was relieved he knew, thinking we could move on. Went to two counseling sessions, but he didn’t seem interested. I think if I’d have kept going to counseling, I could’ve changed my perspective on sex and things would’ve gotten better. They went from bad to worse. He had bad feelings against my dad, blaming him for our problems, but I felt he took it out on me. He told me he hated my dad (never have I heard my H say he hated anyone) and he started pulling more and more away from me. After H’s mom passed (she was his life) then my step-mom 7 months later, H withdrew completely. Again, I naively thought he needed time, but time is not always our friend. Shortly after, abut 14 yrs into marriage, he slept around with about 8 or 9 whores from local college (he had gone back to school) within about a 10 month period. He stopped because he actually still had some conscious left in him and knew it was wrong. Confessed to me a few days after my oldest’s 13 birthday. He sounded sincerely distraught and I begged him to stay, not wanting to explain to my 4 kids why daddy wasn’t there in the morning. I felt we could work things out, since he wasn’t having an affair at the moment and wasn’t in love with someone else. He said he cared for me as the mother of his children but wasn’t in love with me. I lost 14 lbs in 3 days, had to take couple days off of work and finally sought the counseling I had needed. He went to a few sessions of counseling by himself, to sort out his own problems, but grew disgusted with the guy because he just kept talking about his ex-wife. I spent hours in counseling over the next year. (Btw, haven’t been intimate with H since way before the adultery.) Long story short (I don’t know how to shorten stories, sorry.) We separated, are currently co-parenting children between 2 homes. He feeds kids, helps me pay bills (he paid cash for me a fixer- upper mobile home) and I paid off my van. We get along, but communicate very little. I’ve done everything I know to keep a good attitude and work through the pain, but I know he blames me partly and hasn’t forgiven me. I’ve grown stronger in my faith and closer to my friend, family, and mostly my kids, who are all teens and preteens now, but I think I’ve had delayed PTSD. In the last year, I have dealt with anger, self hatred, hate toward H, paranoia, heart palpitations, anxiety, headaches, the list goes on. The more I pray for God to take these things away, the more I deal with it. Oh, I have moments of happiness and I hold onto these moment like a life-line, dreading when they’ll end, because they always do. The one good thing I’ve gotten from the pain is that I’ve had a lot of self discoveries. Those Ah-ha! moments when I suddenly realize why I’m wired the way I am and why things happened the way they did in our marriage. I’ve become stronger, if I can just get through this terrible phase! I literally thought I was going insane. Started having irrational fears that I would go to his house and find him with some woman. Or I’d see a vehicle similar to his, parked at a random house and almost have a wreck, trying to see the license plate. Stupid stuff that turn out to be nothing, but I can’t help myself. He started a new facebook account days after DDay and won’t add me, so I scour his page and list of friends every now and then (it’s not set to private) to see if anyone new pops up. I then determine whether they’re family, too young, too old, too ugly, or too happily married. Then I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s become an obsession. He says that I wouldn’t know any of the OW and they’ve all moved on after school, but when I’m having an especially bad day, I see certain women and think, does she look like someone he’d be attracted to? Ugh, I’m just glad to know I’m not alone, and sad to know I’m not alone, because this shouldn’t happen to anyone. That’s why marriage is sacred! I have kept my vows, because I still have some hope that this nightmare will end. Even if he divorces me, I want to honor God.

    • Carol

      Shona:
      Don’t worry- no PTSD infidelity story is ever short- lol! We’re all wired to our ancient brains (specifically our amygdala) which after a life threatening event (I don’t care what anyone says- infidelity is a life threatening event to our irrational brain areas) remains on high alert for future threats; hence the “crazy” thoughts about other women, cars, anything that may resemble what was happening when you first found out. I’m glad you found this- I had been thinking I was the only one too as so much I read said my marriage could be “better than ever” in about 2 years. Well, congrats to those people. I’m not one of them. Your comment about hanging onto good moments is priceless- I need to get back to my “journal of joy”- grandkids, sunsets, friends, great books, tap dancing…I’m not going to let my marriage drama deprive me of my whole life! Hugs!!

    • Graham

      I,ve just spent another Friday evening alone. 16 long years of them. Read your Posts , at last I don’t feel alone, just found this Site

    • Graham

      Worried, Seems A Female orientated site ?

    • E

      Graham,

      Your not alone. Doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Affairs impact everyone and you can feel safe here expressing feelings. I’m not going to judge you or your story. We are here for support.
      Glad u found us.
      E

    • waddawadda

      It is now 27 years since my wife’s affair with a “friend” was discovered. We ended up getting divorced and then her new relationship fell apart after only four months of them being together full-time. It took another three years before we got back together again and we finally remarried five years ago. For the most part we are happy in our new relationship – the whole sordid affair helped to rewrite the rule book but I still have 2-3 bad flashback dreams a week, suggesting I have PISD that I have never dealt with. I think a part of this is that I still don’t know all the facts and those I do know are dubious. I just want to know the truth – when did it start, how did it progress etc. The affair went on clandestine for nearly 3 years – a sequence of lies and deceit that would fill a novel. During the affair and even our trial separation she still kept me on a piece of string, seeing me when she wanted to, sending me gifts and even having sex with me. I worked out that she must have been having sex with me and him on the same days sometimes. How can I still love her?!

      Her attitude is – this happened nearly 30 years ago so get over it. I just can’t.

      • jim

        Wow
        Your story is familiar. My wife had an affair 6-7 years ago. We decided to stay together but I still have sickening thoughts of them performing “the act” I can’t get that part out of my mind. Am I weak that I did not divorce her?. We have been married 44 years and were in our 60’s when she decide to screw this guy. I cant get over this. I have some good days but think of this every day since.. PTSD? We have been to 3 counselors since and I still carry the pain. Yes what was my part, I get it however we still fight over this after 6-7 years. Would like some feedback apart from the canned therapy I have been given. Would it be bad to divorce her now? Should have done it years ago but feel stuck. I am 68 years old and it still hurts. I do still love her.

        • waddawadda

          What has helped me immeasurably in the fight with myself, has been to embrace the principles of stoicism. The stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus said: “a good man cannot be wronged by a bad man, and yet he brings charges as if he believed that he, though a good man, were being wronged by people who are wicked.” That you were betrayed, he is saying, is not bad because that is simply impossible to happen. A good man cannot be harmed a bad one.

          Seneca provides a way to evaluate our response, saying – “It is not right to pardon indiscriminately,” and “we must therefore take care to distinguish those characters which admit of reform from those which are hopelessly depraved.”

          The Daily Stoic offers this advice:

          In response to betrayal, the Stoic is first, not surprised, because they understand the vicissitudes of life and know that betrayals are part of life. Second, they respond with grace—without anger, but with understanding. Third, they look inward: Not allowing external events to upset them and if they do, they work on that (let go of those things you cannot control, such as the thoughts and actions of others). And finally, they decide whether that person should be pardoned and what role they should have in one’s life—if any—going forward.

          Hope this leads to a journey of self-healing.

    • Carol

      Lofty goal. Although I consider myself a stoic, this last betrayal smashed my last stoic nerve. I’ll continue the serenity prayer until the day I die…:-\

    • TryingHard

      I haven’t read all the comments but how is the letter writer doing today in 2019? If she still needs someone to talk to i am here. I know what it feels like to have literally NO ONE in real life to talk to. We betrayed at EAJ is as good as it gets for some of us

    • Ds

      PTSD is real. And debilitating. It rocks your world. You cannot. Control it in the beginning. I am so glad. This article came up because maybe my stupid husband will finally get it. I had three DDays. Dec 18th, he comes home to tell me that he lied and didn’t go to a Christmas party but went to dinner with his PA because she is Jewish and couldn’t make Christmas party on a Friday night and they kissed. He told me this because her husband found out. I looked at him in disbelief and had to actually ask with tongue. He said he started having. Feelings for her 3-6 mos ago. I was puzzled 3 or 6. Then he tells me she is a swinger, she has had multiple affairs but all they did was kiss. I never believed that, but he stuck to that story Five months later , I told him no one believes you. He said okay we started kissing in October. Next week i find out in a very unscrupulous way that they had been F%^ing since October. Three DDAYS. There so much more to this story. She was having affair with his junior partner and a plastic surgeon. He said he didn’t love her. How could someone be with someone like that,if they didn’t have intense emotional feeling. This was May. I trashed her office. And told him quit his job, which he. Did. But I feel like he blames me for making him vulnerable to having an affair. He blames me for everything. We had some extrinsic issues in our life. I was. Distracted and I knew it. I knew something was wrong I made changes, tried to get him to have sex with me. Everyday I told himI loved him, he was my rock, thatI was in love with him i even. Flat out asked him who are you F^&(ing because it. Isn’t me. He lied made. A big stink like i was crazy. Post DDAY one First five months filled. With lies .i told him no personal contact, only professional. I have since found out, they kept talking and who knows what else. Who knows how long affair really was. She gave me two STD’s. Still he lied. Told me i must have always had HPV. He argued like a lawyer for him to still be “friends with her”. This skanky, swinging whore. He didn’t end it, in fact they were planning a get away. It’s been four months since he. Left job. From the beginning I had PTSD, flooding,triggers, night mares, ruminations. I don’t believe a word out of his mouth. He cant stop lying. He lies about calling his mother, what he ate. Anyway, he is still defensive,angry and frustrated every time i have a trigger. Couples. Counseling isn’t helping . I told him so many times what i need. Reassurance, care, tenderness, empathy,remorse. He just doesnt. Seem to be able to. Do this. He wants to know why I haven’t been. Able to move. Forward lol. Can you believe this. I am like its. 10months full of lies, lies and nothing of what i need. He. Told me his therapist said he i cant move. Forward and stop thinking of him as a manipulative liar our marriage is doomed. WTF. I wonder. Does he tell his therapist the truth, because he lied to him and our couples counselor for first five months also. I get trickle truth but this is. Too much. Every time he gets defensive, angry and starts yelling , what I hear is “there is more” and I am just trying to cover it up. I feel so much pressure from him , from his. Therapist, our counselor to move forward. Two weeks ago, I left session crying and i don’t want to go back. PTSD IS A REAL THING AND ITS AWFUL. I was. Almost committed, lost 13 pounds. I’m small. I look like im anorexic. Last night, I looked at him and said i want. A divorce. Then i slept like a baby. Why cant i. Move forward? Because you are a liar Who is Unable to help me and makes me feel like I am to blame.

      • Miranda

        Oh god, this is awful. I am so, so sorry you are suffering like this. None of this is your fault – you believe me don’t you?

        You are the priority here. Are you getting emotional support from friends and family?

        Your husband has to leave the house whilst you allow yourself time to collect your thoughts.

        PTSD is absolutely real. Four years on, I’m still triggered, and find myself sliding in and out of depression all too often.

        However, your situation jolts me wide awake today.

        I hope you kick his lying arse all the way down the street. He needs to leave, pronto.

        Do not let him turn the tables on you anymore. He is, as we are fond of saying in the UK, a total c_ _ t.

        Get rid, now.

        M xxx

    • E

      Hi Ds,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re not doing well. It took 3-4 years for change in me yet the triggers are still there. In the first year i lost like 80lbs. I couldn’t eat, barely slept… Was constantly angry and everyone and everything. It’s hard. This blog helped me because I’m able to share my thoughts and sorrows and do it with those that can relate and understand. Hope you have your own personal therapist too outside of CC because i found it more helpful especially working with the triggers and my own pain along the way.

      My therapist has been a rock with me and if you aren’t seeing a personal therapist alone dealing with couples couseling is harder i feel. My H and i tried couseling that first year and it didn’t go well. My anger and his ambivalence affected everything. It gave perspective yet didn’t move us forward.
      The last year of my life i don’t think i would have made it without a personal therapist because my teenage son attempted suicide 4 times and basically my husband finally had a wake up call with accountability. Since December we moved to another city far from the AP and believe me it’s been such a difference even in my son since school started. With the move we found a new couples couselor and she specializes in PTSD and infidelity so we have a different therapy process that we both have responded well too.

      My tiggers are less but they still linger. I cry everyday, I’m cautious with music, restaurants, the date can matter… The triggers are worse in November to March and everyday still is a struggle.

      • Miranda

        Hello E
        I’m really sorry to hear about your son. I hope he finds new focus and strength.
        It’s really upsetting to hear he’s suffered all this.

        Affairs are wrecking balls aren’t they? Causing so much devastation – no one can truly understand how much collateral damage there is until it happens to them.

        My son, now 16, was very damaged by his father’s betrayal. The OW was not only my best friend, but the mother of my son’s best mate. Their friendship was destroyed.

        He was hitting puberty at the time I discovered the affair in 2016, and it all went pear-shaped for him. A bright, happy-go-lucky boy, he became his own nemesis. He was kicked out of school for wracking up behaviour points, and his education has taken a back seat. He’s still lost, has no real friends and is clueless about what he wants to study. (Just pulled out of A levels, and walked (swearing at tutor) out of the B-tec course he chose to replace them last week. Currently deciding if he should do an apprenticeship.)

        I’m angry with my husband and the OW for destabilising him and being the catalyst for this self-destructive path he is now on.

        Grrr!

        I’m still with my husband – like you I think?

        Things went really well for us for a couple of years as we both made the effort. My son’s worsening decline has
        made me pull away from my husband and I find it hard to be civil most of the time, no matter how hard I try. I just blame him for all the things going wrong in our family.

        I think I’ve been in a mild depressive state for a year or so. I don’t want to take anti-depressants and am just waiting for things to kick-start back into place – which is what normally happens, it’s just taking a lot longer right now!

        Some of it is hormonal, but in all honesty, I’m feeling quite alone. The dust has settled in our little community. My husband has bounced back, moved on and wants me to be happy also – but I’m still wounded, tired of pretending to everyone that I’m okay.

        I lost my best friend, and don’t really have anyone I can be truthful with. We were quite irreverent and I miss that. A lot of our shared circle of friends have drifted to the ‘dark side’, i.e. closer to the OW and her husband. They are a very sociable couple and can afford to throw lavish parties, and invite large groups of people to dinner. These things are reciprocated, and of course, we have fallen off people’s radar.
        I can’t invite people here because the house isn’t tip-top as I have no energy to keep it as clean and tidy as I’d like.
        When we do go out with friends, I often cancel last minute (like tonight!) as I feel so flat.

        What a moaner I am! I do get fed up with myself. To think I used to wish my social life would calm down. Now I’m mostly in at the weekend, watching a film, husband in the other room listening to music, or like tonight, out with the friends I miss like crazy.

        Sorry E, I can be very humorous and bright, just not right now.

        Best wishes to you and your family

        M xxxx

        • E

          Wow miranda,

          Your story is so similar to mine. I worry for my son and he the nosedive too. I would be okay with him finishing school and just finding his own path. He seems likes he’s starting to head that way.
          As of friends, i choose not to have any, my trust is so wounded the idea of hanging out with anyone i too would cancel last minute. I just don’t want to open up a part of me to have the betrayal all over again. It’s just a lot of mind of matter.

          I finally broke down in December and started an antidepressant, one because i was l st and spiraling down the rabbit hole with my son’s hospitalization and i needed something to make me more aware. (Do your own research on them too)

          I am sorry you feel trapped right now. I suggest a book called “gifts of imperfection” by Brene Brown. That book changed my life and opened my own soul to myself.

          It sucks feeling lost in a world where you’re suppose to be the direction and strength for you son. Your son is also screaming out for his father whom he’s angry at…. It’s hard to love yourself when you hate the half that makes up part of you and also is in pain himself because not only did is father cheat on you, he cheated on him and he feels it.
          My H has been focused on getting my son back on track. He’s been solid with him and deeply involved, the idea the CS has to help the BS recover also works with the children too….

          My heart is with you. Keep focusing on one moment at a time.

          E

    • Ds

      I do have my own personal therapist. I took last week. Off. Because I’m tired. I’m tired of everything and. I just didn’t want to hear myself. I feel like quitting therapy all together. I just still cant believe he did this. It makes me sick. I used to be happy go. Lucky,optimistic. He ruined. Everything. Nothing will ever be the same.

      • E

        Hi Ds,

        I’m so sorry your having a hard time, affair are ugly disasters of selfness and i hope it gets better for you. I often feel that being happy is a hard thing because i don’t feel that i deserve it when logically we all do deserve it. I carry a deep sorrow myself and i don’t laugh as much as i use too.
        E

    • Ds

      Hi All,

      Miranda, dont be a hero. Take the anti-depressants. They saved my life. It doesn’t mean you are crazy and it doesn’t have. To be for. Life. Take. Them until you feel like yourself again. You are worth it and you. Shouldn’t have to suffer so much pain. It’s not a character flaw to admit you need medication. I am proud. Of myself for admitting I needed something to help me deal with the depression and anxiety. I. Laugh Miranda. I work, hang out with a few people I trust. I have pretty much dropped peripheral friends. I dont have the energy and I don’t have the where with. All to deal with people in my inner circle who are not aware of my situation. I am only 10months since DDAY 1 and 5 months from finding out just how disgusting and depraved my husbands affair was. I dont think I love him anymore. I still think he is lying. I asked him to take a. Polygraph and he freaked out. For him everything is fine unless I am triggered. Then if i start talking about. Affair, I am met with defensiveness, anger and frustration. I worshipped this man, did everything for him but. The one time in our entire marriage I became distracted he has a F^%%^ing affair. With a whore. Worst yet, I think he may have loved her even. Though she. Is a swinger and was f^&ing his junior partner and a plastic surgeon at. The same time. I knew. I was distracted and tried everything. , talking to him , wearing lingerie, I even confronted him about possible affair. He yelled and screamed and walked out. Still, I didn’t think he was having an. Affair. Who knew i had to worry about an orthodox Jewish woman. I have told you small snippet. Ofmy story. There is so so so much more. But with the. Help of. My psychiatrist and anti-depressants, i. Live a semi normal life all things considered. Please let me know if this helps you. Good luck. I will be praying for. All of us

    • Sorry doesn’t cut it!

      My D-Day was in April’19.
      In short, I stumbled across a few things, investigated further and had my fears confirmed. I then urged my husband of 25 years to come clean. He confessed to multiple affairs with co- workers, a family friend, prostitutes & casual hookups. This happened over a 20 year period, during our marriage.

      You can only imagine what I am going through! All this was revealed to me and here I thought we were so happily married with the most satisfying and enjoyable sex life.
      My husband is remorseful, is going for therapy and says he wants to save our marriage. However, he is convinced that I will never forgive him and seems to be giving up because unless I can give him signs of some hope for a healed future together, he kind of feels why bother to work on things.
      So, now I have to shoulder this responsibility. Give him encouragement to make him believe we can get through this or separate.
      I don’t know if I can forgive him for the enormity of his betrayal now or ever. That is the truth!
      I see very little effort from him trying to win me back, trying to make me fall in love with him again……I love him as the father of my children but also question if I still love him as a husband, friend, soulmate……etc. When we talk about triggers I have, my up’s & down’s which change hourly, he sees it as me punishing him and rubbing things in his face. It’s nearly 18 months since he last acted out and almost a year since he went online to interact with women. I have full transparency and do believe him in this regard. I guess my expectations of how I want him to show his remorse and rebuilding of trust is a problem.
      He can’t cope, can’t function he says on a daily basis with me holding onto this anger and disappointment I have for him. Mostly I guess I’m keeping up appearances for our family and friends. I don’t trust confiding in anyone other than my therapist. No one understands unless they have been through it. And although the trauma and suffering seems to be the same, whether it’s just pornography; a short/long term affair or a sexual addiction, we will all progress and cope in different ways. Why is it that I found it easy to love and be faithful to my husband and he has done and behaved as he has. How do you stop the thoughts of feeling foolish and resentful of the co-workers and family friend who all knew my husband was married and had a family. Where has common morals and decency gone?
      This whole situation (that was of his own doing) is overwhelming my husband. He is weak and full of insecurities and complex’s. Will he ever change, can he heal himself, who knows.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Sorry doesn’t cut it
        I am so sorry you are going through this. It’s barely six months since d-day!!! I don’t believe for one moment that it’s your responsibility to give him encouragement etc.

        You need to take care of you….I imagine at this point in time you are still in shock and are experiencing an excruciating amount of pain. I would think that you are still in a state of crisis. How can you possibly reassure him of your forgiveness etc when at this point you probably have no idea if you can ever forgive such betrayal and deceit. It’s okay to not know the outcome. Your husband should work on things because it’s THE RIGHT THING to do whether you give him encouragement or not. Take the time to take care of you first. Give yourself permission to grieve the terrible wrong that was done to you. Give yourself permission to NOT have all the answers. Ask yourself what it is that you need and want. Talk to your therapist about your needs…your pain etc.

        None of this is your fault…..it’s not your job to fix your husband. I beseech you to take care of you.

    • Ds

      Dear sorry doesnt cut it,
      I have a very similar situation. Because of my husbands affair and all of his lies, lies that continue to. Come out 10 months later,i find it very hard to let my guard down. I don’t trust, believe or forgive. What ami. Forgiving,if the story changes on a. Daily basis. I, too thought. We had a solid marriage built on trust, love Nd fidelity. When i finally found out the true scope of his affair, i had a nervous breakdown. His affair was with. Co-worker. Just found out last night the first five months were he was lying about the sex, depth and commitment to this whore, he was still attracted to her and missing affair. The first five months were all about him. His psycho sexual issues, addiction to masturbation, frequent massage parlor visits. I feel like i dont and never knew him. He quit his job because i was at another breaking point. I knew from snooping and. A PI that they were still talking personally. I hate her guts. That bitch came to my house for a party. She knew he loved me, but pushed anyway. Oh and i love the “ i made a mistake”. You are a choice a hole. Now he wants to know why i have trouble moving forward. Maybe because i. Keep getting slapped down. He recorded our. Conversation the other night to. Prove how much i interrogate. Him. When we listened back he turned to me and said I am such an A hole. Is that how i talk to you? Yeah jerk thats how you talk to me. Defensive, angry and frustrated at my PTSD, triggers, flooding and ruminations. The first five months I felt like his therapist. Are you kidding me? Like yours my husband is weak,full of insecurities. Can’t get a job and had pity parties frequently lol. Oh,i am. So sorry for you. Maybe if you hadn’t made a “ mistake” your life wouldn’t be shredded to pieces.

    • Ds

      Plus, i am deathly afraid his is a narcissistic sociopath. He ticks all the boxes, behaves. The way. A narcissist does. I think he lies to his therapist and our couples. Counselor. I am really on the verge of giving up.

    • Beth

      I feel for everyone here who has experienced a cheating spouse. My husband of 12 years at the time went through a dark time as he calls it, he was severely depressed due to multiple deaths over a few years in his family and he said it eventually got to him. He turned to drugs, pills, quit his job, cheated on me multiple times with various women, reached out to his ex, left me home every night worried about him, was angry, violent outbursts I think were from drugs, lied, had dating accounts on websites, stole money i had for bills, the list goes on. This went on for about a year, but I didnt realize how bad it was for about 5 or 6 months. After I did catch him, he denied everything, blamed me for everything and just kept up his new lifestyle. I was forced to work 3 jobs at one time to try to provide for us and our 2 kids. I was afraid of setting him off, he was a totally different person than I had married. I didnt even recognize him anymore. I didnt recognize myself either. I wasnt eating, wasnt sleeping, my stress was so bad that i lost 20 pounds in a few short weeks. My kids were suffering, they could see dad wasnt the same anymore. I needed out. Finally five months after I had proof of him cheating, I had saved enough money in a bank account he didnt know about to get the hell out. I packed the kids and left to move across the country where we had previously lived. I did beg him to come, thinking if I could just get him out of the situation he had gotten himself into that he could get better. He always had an excuse not to go. I dont think he really thought I’d leave. But I did. It was so hard, but at the same time I has instant relief. I had tried everything I could to save him but nothing worked, all i could do now was save myself and my kids. We lost almost everything we owned in the process, 2 cars got repossessed, the only furniture I was able to bring with me was our mattresses and TV. I started working, trying to get our lives back on track. After a few months he said he was coming home. I didnt know what that meant for us, but I knew if he could get better that would be good for my kids to have their dad back. And I loved him, I wanted him well. When he got home, he had lost 90 pounds. He started coming down off the drugs within a day or two being home. After a few weeks he seemed more himself. He got a job and has been working since. It’s been 2 and a half year now. Although I let him stay, I had this mentality that I had to get my life in order so when or if anything like this happened again, I could support myself and my kids. I applied for college. Finished my prerequisites, and got accepted into an RN program. I am now in my second semester. I cant say our marriage is great, but it’s good. He goes to work and comes home. No suspicious phones numbers have called his phone, he is himself again. But I am not who I once was. I have anxiety daily. Some days are worse. I am so suspicious that he will cheat on me again, that he will hurt me like he did. I cant get the ex he contacted out of my head. I feel that he must love her more than he ever loved me if he even thought to get ahold of her after so long. It eats at me. I cant sleep some nights, sometimes I feel like I hate him. I dont really, but I hate what he did to us. I hate that he could hurt me like that. I fear that he is with me for the kids and not because he loves me. So many negative thought go through my mind that it is hard to concentrate on what I need to get done. I feel like this pain and fear is driving me crazy. I dont talk to anyone about these things, but I will write letters and then destroy them just to get it off my chest. I want to get better from this, but I dont know how. I feel like this pain will never go away.

    • Ds

      I think counseling would help you greatly. Living with constant pain is not good for you or your children. I cant tell you what to do about your marriage and i too have not made a final decision. But you have all the right tools at your disposal. You pulled your self out of a bad situation and now look, you are about to become an RN. But your not taking care of yourself mentally or emotionally. I am suffering from severe PTSD or PISD. I have a therapist and a psychiatrist. I am 14 mos post DDAY and I am worse in some ways better in a few. It took me along time to really, really accept that I am mentally ill. It doesn’t mean that I will be forever. I am on medications. Some days my H says all the right things but I see snippets of a very selfish egotistical man. Some days I am scared to death of him.. 15 months ago, he was my knight in shining armor. Today my eyes are open and clear and I see that same man but my perceptions are totally different. What he CHOSE to do when he decided to break every vow and take what was mine and give to someone else, had changed me forever. I used to know how my story would end. Today, i have no clue. I have to give it to God and take one day at a Time. You showed great courage and strength to move cross county. Have that same courage and strength to get yourself some help for you and your children. God bless you and children. Get help. It wont hurt and it might make you better. Good Luck

    • Roberta

      Hi I came across this as I’ve been constantly looking online for advice, I’ve been with my partner 9 years. We live together we have a business together. 4 weeks ago I came across evidence that he was already in a relationship for 3 months before dating me, ( I had no idea about her) he continued to date both of us for 7 months. Till he ended his relationship with her, he says it was such a long time ago, he wasn’t thinking straight then, hecis not that man anymore. . But as soon as he realised he wanted to be with me he ended it. He has been faithful for 8 plus years. But for me it feels like my world has been turned upside down. I left our home the same day. Didn’t turn up at work. I’ve moved back to my family home with 3 of my grown children still share. He has showed remorse and is willing to spend the rest of his life making it up to me, I didn’t believe him about dates so I contacted the other lady who had no idea he was seeing both of us for 7 months. She confirmed the same dates for when he ended things and she has had no contact with him since the beginning of 2012. I’ve seen him once when I went home to get clothes as the first time i left with nothing i was so angry. He arrived home early as i was leaving, cryingvad asking me to forgive him. We spent all night talking, me shouting, screaming, both crying. I left the next day and haven’t spoke to him since. He calls me constantly. Leaves messages. Last night I lost my temper telling him he had done this he had broken us. And he had to leave me alone to think about what I wanted to so. But I xant think straight. As most of you after seeing what she looks like i keep visualizing them together. As I know hes spent nights at hers then nights with me. It’s only been 4 weeks. Since I found out. Yes for him it was 8 years ago. But for me its here and now. I’m at a loss to know what to do. My childrens father cheated on my throughout our 19 years together, I was only 16 when I met him. And thought staying with him was what I had to do for our kids. He beat me on a regularly basis also. Thatscwy with my partner now, it’s so hard he has always treated e like a queen. He’s never raised his voice. That’s why it hurts so much how could he do that in the beginning?

    • R S

      Roberta,

      I’m so very sorry to hear of your turmoil. It’s one of the worst things to discover the person you trusted, loved, and lived with betrayed you so callously. And yes, it was callous. After enduring a terrible marriage for the sake of your children you deserved so much better. My daughter went through a similar marriage and finally divorced him, because she no longer wanted her kids to see it.
      That said, you have an opportunity to reconcile with your partner who seems to be truly remorseful. I realize it’ll take a very long time for him to regain your trust. I would urge you to try. What I’m going to say next will give you a whole new perspective…
      This January, my husband passed after being ill for several months. He cheated on me over our years of marriage and when I caught him on his cell phone 4 years ago, I thought my world ended. While he stopped his “bad behavior”, and he tried to prove his love for me, he never totally resolved my need to know about certain people he’d brought into our lives.
      I became his caregiver/nurse for 4 months, even while in the ICU for a month. He died leaving issues unresolved, questions unanswered. Life is a precious gift. I know now that he was aware of his condition and never told me until it became obvious. My focus shifted in a heartbeat to caring for him. During his stay, he couldn’t communicate well since he had coded, was resuscitated and ended up in a coma for over a week. Once he woke up he’d been intubated and couldn’t speak, he likely had some oxygen loss which affected his brain.
      At the end, he did recognize me and was shocked to know he was dying. Can you imagine having to explain why the doctors couldn’t save him and him not being able to fully grasp it? My heart is broken that I wasted so much time trying to fulfill my needs and not just “move on”. Now I’m left with the questions and it’s turned to anger at times. I should be in a different frame of mind, but I’m lost without him. 38 years we were together, and it took 4 months to lose him permanently. Consider how you would feel given what happened to me. Don’t live with regret. Resolve your issues, both of you. Go forward and endeavor not to look back. Speaking from tragic experience, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

    • Roberta

      I’m so sorry for your lose, life is definitely to easily taken from us, especially with what’s going on right now, I have thought about nothing else but them together, but I know he loves me, and I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone, he is struggling to cope with his guilt by what he done all those years ago, his son contacted me to say how much his dad is struggling, I know how he’s treated me for 8 years after his 7 month infidelity. I had open access to everything his phone, computer, bank. I think if he had of started the relationship with her when we were dating first it would of been different, ( not that it makes it right) that he started one with me then ended it with her. With lockdown it makes it hard as we cant see each other to try to resolve things, as it’s not something you can do over te phone its gets too heated and I hang up with angry. I know I dont want a life without him. And thank you for sharing tour extremely sad story with me, it has helped me to make the decision to try again with him. I really do wish you all the best in your life, you deserve to be happy again. I will keep ou updated on how things go. Thank you so much take care xx

    • Ds

      Roberta, right now you area in an acute situation and cannot think clearly. You are in shock. You feel betrayed, lied to and disrespected. All of us have been there. I am a ear and a half out and i am still struggling. Mostly because my aHOLE husband handled the disclosure of his affair in UCB a selfish, self serving, disgusting way. Thats a whole other story. I am in counseling and have an additional therapist because of my PISD or PTSD. I never trusted anyone and he knew he was the only person I trusted. I still cannot get her out of my mind. I want to harm her. She knew me, us as a couple. She is an orthodox Jewish women who swings and has many affairs. To sum it up this bitch is crazy. He found all of this out mid affair and continued. I wound up with two STDs from this bitch. I feel like i was raped, forced to have sex with all the people she had sex with. Tats part of my story. But your husband was dating both of you at the same time and it sounds like it was prior to full commitment, am i right? If so, then perhaps you can think of this as a time where he was deciding who he wanted a life with. He choose you!!! He has been committed to you since he made that choice. Most of us here have been married or in committed relationships for years, giving all we had to our spouses when they selfishly decided to have their cake and eat it too. They made a choice to blow up our lives, their lives without a blink of an eye. So maybe, just maybe this is a little different. You both have built a life together and he has been faithful since then. Maybe you can see it as a time that he was unsure but once he was sure he never looked back at her, only to you. Don’t ruin your life over something that happened prior to definitive commitment. Try and work it out. This is coming from some one who was almost committed, on meds, has three therapists and a psychiatrist. Can i tell you something, I think you guys can work through this. For your sake and your children’s sake, go to couples counseling and see if you guys can repair and reconcile. I know you feel like you have been hit by a tsunami, i know you feel you cannot trust. I found out Dec18 2018, then on May 2nd 2019 found out he had been lying for months still working with this skank that they had a full blown sexual affair. It’s the same feeling but not the same situation. Get you own therapist as well. I wish you luck. I, in no way mean to belittle your feeling but i am trying to say that i see hope here

      • E

        Hi DS,
        I hope things have gotten better for you in the last few months. Big hugs to you.

        Roberta,
        I know your in pain. I’ve seen a therapist for over 3 years for PTSD or PISD… It’s the same pretty much. My triggers are less. The pain is still there. It’s not easy to get over the lies. Please look into finding a therapist to work out things because it’s a lot to work out without one.

        Big hugs
        E

      • Roberta

        Thanks Ds, I suppose I was so mad I sidnt thinknabout it like that, thank you so much for writing this to me, it has really helped me to see this ina different light, I answered his phone call last night and got loads of my chest, then I read what you had wrote and he started crying saying he is so glad someone else has said the same thing to me as he did. It will be hard to trust him again. But I have decided I dont want to live without him, as soon as lockdown has been lifted we will be able to meet and talk probably. Because wewere so busy me working in those first 7 months we only saw each other a total of 38 days. So no it wasn’t a committed relationship. I did contact the other woman via fb, as I didnt believe his dates, but she told me she was in a relationship with him 3 months before he met me, 7 months later was when he ended it, so yes for 8 years and a 4 months he has been faithfull to just me, I am looking forward to moving forward from this, and trying to get back to our normal life, he knows he has work to do to gain my trust, and he has said he promises to spend tbe rest of his life making it up to me, again thank you for your advice it has helped me tremendously. Lots of respect and love to each and everone of you fir helping each other in these dark paths we go through. I wish you all a speedy recovery and all the happiness in the world . You all deserve to be happy love roberta xxxx

    • DS

      Read my post again. I have three therapist and a psychiatrist. I take a plethora of medication and i am starting EMDR. And I am just starting to feel better 15 months later

      • E

        Hey DS,
        I’m glad ur starting to feel better. It’s one moment at a time isn’t it.

        E

    • Ds

      Yes, one moment at a time.

    • Ds

      Roberta,
      I am so happy for you. I am glad my words helped you in a positive way. I have a good feeling about this. My God Bless you both and. A life time of happiness.

    • DaughterOfInfidelity

      Hello,
      This is going to be a different type of post. I was not cheated on, rather my mother was. I am in my early 20s and am seeing the effects of infidelity. My dad cheated on my mom a couple years ago. He yells every time she brings it up. So they act like nothing ever happened. My mom is in her early 60s. The affair has destroyed her. She is still not able to sleep and is experiencing extreme insomnia. She has not slept for three days as I am writing this. She can not leave him for financial reasons, but I know she is very unhappy.
      My question is- how can I help her? I’d very much appreciate feed back from women and men who are in her shoes. I do try to hangout with her and try relaxing things at night. Thank you!

      • TryingHard

        Daughter–How sweet are you to do this for your mother. Yes your mother is in deep distress. Not sleeping or over sleeping is a result of her anxiety. And that’s what it is for her. Anxiety. I remember during discovery I would awaken with my heart beating so rapidly. The stress hormones were raging. I tried to take sleep aids to no avail. However I did take melatonin and that did the trick.

        Let her have your shoulder to cry on but don’t act like you have the answers for her. She will have to find those answers and it’s a slow process. She could become way too dependent on you and that won’t be good for you or her. Can you encourage her to see a therapist? That will be the most helpful for her and give you a break too. Also can you get her out of the house to exercise i.e. taking walks in nature preferable. During my difficult I found this most soothing. I even took up hiking 🙂 Somehow being outside and breathing the fresh air and hearing the birds sing and watching nature change reminded me that life goes on no matter what.

        I hope I’ve helped and I’m sending you big virtual hugs for being such a good and loving daughter.

    • RS

      DaughterOfInfidelity,
      You almost sound like my daughter. This is a very tragic circumstance. I forget sometimes how my kids were affected, mostly feeling helpless to make a difference. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s much you can do except to listen and redirect, gently, the focus away from the pain and devastation she’s feeling.
      I was 58 when I found out about my husband’s “bad behavior” as he put it. He never really apologized or really understood why it nearly destroyed me. I’m 63 now and never did get the resolution or answers I wanted. He died this year. We never got real reconciliation or even a goodbye. Speaking to your father will be very uncomfortable for you both, but I implore you to discuss the betrayal aspect with him (not the sordid details). Get him to open his mind to the damage he’s done and is doing to your mother and you. It must be stressful for him to not resolve this terrible betrayal and keep the lies going. Tell him life is too unpredictable to leave things as they are. I hope this helps and I really hope your mom can get some sleep, exercise, and be aware of effects on health. Never tell her to get over it or move on. It doesn’t work like that. It never goes away, but it can lessen over time.

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