How is a hike in the forest like our affair recovery journey?

our affair recovery journey

By Linda

Fall is our favorite time of year.  So far, it has been a beautiful one with bright sunny days and temperatures in the 70’s.

Last weekend we took advantage of the weather, loaded up our trailer and went camping at a state park that’s just about an hour or so from our home.  

We suffered through the typical Friday rush hour traffic and arrived at the campground in the early evening.  Soon we were sitting around the fire sipping our adult beverages trying to figure out what we were going to do the next day.

Choosing the Trail

One of the things we always like to do when we’re out in nature is hike.  And this particular park had some decent trails, but most of them were way too short for our liking.  I’m talking about a mile or less in distance.  When we spend the majority of a day hiking, we like to do at least 7 to 10 miles. 

There was one trail that traversed around a lake – a backpacking and bridle trail – which was 31 miles long, so I decided we would do that one.  Not the whole thing of course.  It was settled…We’d wake up in the morning, eat some breakfast (blueberry pancakes) hike 3 – 4 miles, then turn around and hike back.  I had it all planned out.

So the next morning after we ate, we were getting ready to head out on the trail.  However, Doug wasn’t feeling it.  He injured his back last year pretty badly and he had a rough night on our less-than-high-quality mattress, and his back was killing him.

I said, “That’s OK, we don’t have to go, we can just hang around camp today or drive down to the beach instead.”

He replied, “No, lets go hiking.  Maybe my back will loosen up after we get going.”

So off we went.

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Mud, Ruts and Horse Poop

The trail was fairly easy for a short bit, but then we ran into some really nasty muddy stretches where the horses had carved deep ruts in the trail.  It definitely made for some rough going at times.  We also had to dodge several large piles of poop deposited by those same horses.  To be quite honest, the hiking kind of stunk up until then because the trail meandered between two roads and we could see houses and cars zooming by.  It wasn’t exactly the pristine forest that we were hoping for. But we kept sloshing forward.

Lost and Found on the Trail

After a while we got to a point where the trail forked.  The map that we had was horrible and didn’t show this fork, so we had a hard time knowing where we were at, which way to go, or how far we had already gone.  We weren’t lost by any means (since we could always just turnaround), but we just were not sure of where we were at (if that makes any sense).

Then we saw a little tiny sign hidden behind a tree that indicated that we were on the right trail and pointed us in the right direction.   Thankfully, it directed us into a thick shady forest, but at the same time straight towards a horribly steep climb.

I thought outloud, “Gee, I think we’ve gone about 3 miles or so, do you just want to start heading back?”

Doug replied, “Nah, let’s keep going.  My back is feeling better and we haven’t gone that far yet (according to his stupid Fitbit) and it’s just now starting to get good.”

A Rewarding Turn

So we kept hiking.

Eventually, the trail led us to the top of a ridge where the sun was shining brightly and I was starting to feel miserable.  I was tired, out of breath, hot and thirsty (for some reason we only brought two bottles of water). I wanted to quit.  But then the trail wound back into the shade and I felt I could go a bit further. 

I’m glad that we did because the trail lowered down into a ravine where there was a beautiful waterfall with some large flat slabs of rock for us to sit upon.  We rested, ate some lunch and let our dog play in the water for a bit.  It was a perfect spot!

After we were done there, we turned around and headed back towards camp the way we came.

And we almost never do this…As we were on the final stretch, we slowed down a bit, held hands and finished the hike together.

10 Elements of a Successful Marriage (How We Survived Two Weeks of Vacation Together)

A Mirror of Our Affair Recovery Journey

Later that evening while sitting around the fire, I mentioned how our hike that day mirrored our affair recovery journey.

At the beginning, it was me who was doing all the work.  I was doing all the reading.  I was scouring the blogs and surfing the Internet for anything that might help.  It was me who called the counselor.  I was the one looking at myself and my faults.  I was the one making changes. 

When things got hard I had to learn how not to pretend anymore.  I had to own my new reality. I had to learn how to process pain.  And I had to keep doing the work.  There were certainly times when I wanted to quit and stop the “climbing.”

Yet Doug Was Now Committed

He started doing the hard work and didn’t want to go back to the way things were and the way he used to be.

Yes, there were times that we each thought there were inequities – where one of us thought we were doing more than the other.  Times where Doug thought he was moving forward while I was feeling sorry for myself or times where I was finding my strength and power and had to prod Doug to pick it up a bit. 

It was several months into our affair recovery journey – probably 2 years or more – before we felt we were moving in stride – together.   I’m grateful that I had the patience to wait for that moment.  And though there were times when we each felt like giving up, I’m also grateful that we never felt like giving up at the same time.

I would encourage you to take your own hike in the woods – hopefully together.  And be patient in those moments when you feel as though one of you is working harder or pulling more weight than the other. And watch for those moments when you’re hiking in sync, together.


    47 replies to "Our Hike in the Forest – A Metaphor for Our Affair Recovery Journey"

    • TheFirstWife

      Thank you for sharing. Very nicely said.

    • Hopeful

      Thank you for that. In the end that is what life is. I know now more than ever my husband is most thankful I did not leave him during his “affair years”. He was detached and not a great husband or father. I can say the same thing he could have asked for a divorce and never disclosed what he did. I am thankful we both have persevered during the toughest of times.

    • Falling Ash

      Thank you for the story…and the metaphor. OH and I have had many walks like this over the years, before and during the years of his EA. I often felt he wasn’t engaged in them at the time, but couldn’t explain why. Post DDay (2½ years ago), he is a different man, but still has a long way to go to convince me we are now walking hand in hand.

      We are going camping ourselves this coming weekend. Here is to some lovely Autumn walks!

    • TryingHard

      Linda-As I read your story I could visualize your hike. My husband and I have hiked and I like to hike alone. But now my knee has a torn meniscus, and I’m pretty sure my other knee is torn as well, gives me a lot of misery. So instead of hikes we take nice walks on the trails in our area in the woods. We are quite fortunate to have miles and miles of lovely walking and biking trails, luckily no horses!!! LOL I actually “hiked” too much when we went to Chicago back in August and am still experiencing pain 🙂 So I hope you and Doug can enjoy hiking for many more years to come.

      Your metaphor is right on and very encouraging. Thank you.

      • Doug

        TH, Time to get those knees fixed! Having bad knees sucks. I’ve had torn meniscus in both of my knees and had them scoped and now they give me no trouble.

        • TryingHard

          It does SUCK! It makes me mad because I think I can do things, walk 5-10 miles and I can’t. At least in Chicago I could hail a cab but out in the woods–YIKES, I’d be left. Anyway I had surgery on my left knee 6 years ago. It was a bucket tear and I think it’s torn again. Doc said my right knee is probably torn too. good news is I have a new, very handsome, young orthopedic surgeon now so yes I will def be getting it checked out 🙂 Makes being hurt fun!!!!

          • Doug

            LOL! Linda has a cousin who is a young, handsome orthopedic surgeon who lives in Chicago. You never know…maybe it’s him!

    • Looking forward

      When times get tough I like to come back and read this entry. It gives me hope. Last night was a bad one, so I return to read it again this morning. I noticed in pictures recently that my eyes look drained, lifeless, tired, weary. My face (even when I am smiling) looks sad. I don’t even know how to change it. I was walking by a Salvation Army bell ringer and thought I was smiling at him until he made a comment about “don’t look so sad”. We have actually been doing ok after passing our one year anniversary of DDay. Maybe it’s just this time of year since I was my saddest and still hysterical at this time last year. How does one break this cycle of gloom? How do you rely on the one who hurt you to be the same person to pull you along the hard path? I know happiness is on the other side of that answer, but can’t figure out how to trust it. How do we get life back in our eyes?

      • TryingHard

        Oh Looking Forward–I hear you. It’s not the smile across your mouth it’s in the eyes. The eyes are the dead give away.

        Sometimes I will pass a mirror, or look up when I’m washing my hands and it’s my eyes that give it away. The hurt lingers there. It just does and I’m so sorry.

        Doing “ok” is good for only a year out. Seriously. I know WTF I want to be over this right? not just ok!!! Doesn’t work like that.

        You break the cycle of gloom by telling yourself that being sad or bitter or worried or resentful or whatever it is for YOU–that it’s not going to rule your life. That when you start to feel that way you are going to sit and acknowledge it and not pretend it isn’t there like some big fat 800lb gorilla, but you are going to tell yourself it’s ok to feel this or think this for a while but it WILL not fill your day. You have much bigger fish to fry. You have many more things in your life besides your husband’s poor choices.

        But also give yourself time. Because and trust me on this, it’s 5 steps forward, 3 steps back. Recovery is NOT a straight line. It’s a wiggly son of a gun.

        And yes we want the one who caused it to make it better and he does have to do his part but in the end it’s up to US and not him. Yes he has to agree to lots of stuff I’m sure you’ve read it all right here but ultimately it’s up to you to love and trust yourself enough to get through this mess.

        I hope I’ve helped and tell that bell ringer to mind their own damn business!!!! Bah Humbug 🙂

        • Shifting Impressions

          Looking Forward
          I agree totally with what Trying Hard said. And yes it’s in the eyes….I actually had a friend tell me that they saw it in my eyes that something was very wrong, Another one saw that all my joy was gone. My son told me heard it in my voice.

          It’s been three years for me but the last few days have been very sad….the time of year and all that.

          But Trying Hard’s words are very wise.

        • Butterball

          I’ll tell you the secret. Google retinoids. I should be looking 10 years older after all I’ve been through this year and my husband definitely has been aged by what he has done even though I think he was seeking the opposite. But I started using the cream on my face a month ago along with sunscreen and I’m already looking a few years younger, and that is without it really having been enough time to really kick in its effect on the wrinkles or the pores, just evening out the colors and getting rid of scaliness I had so far.

          Just yesterday I started on my hands too. You have to look really close to see the liver spots just barely starting but I plan to stop them before they emerge.

          Let the younger OW get older, I’m getting younger and its a real boost to the confidence at least! 😉 I may cry every day but at least when I look in the mirror I see something I like.

          You’ll find pictures of people who used it online but they don’t really do justice to what you can see in reality because they simply don’t capture the skin at the level of detail that you can in real life.

          • Butterball

            There other thing I did was to my hair. I have mostly white hair at the roots but darker in the back but as it grows out it turns blonde. It looks like I was trying to hide my white hair with blonde dye and then just let it go and turn white again. It’s a mess of 3 colors. It looks like I was neglecting myself without even neglecting myself. I could actually dye it blonde but I still would have white roots so it seemed rather pointless. It would just look like it naturally does.

            Then I learned about something called purple shampoo. Purple shampoo lightens up the blonde so that it actually looks more white. I tried it and its subtle but really nice and blends the colors of my hair together better. Yes, it might make me look a bit older on the one hand, but at least it makes me look like I have confidence in how I look rather than trying to fight aging unsuccessfully and bringing more attention to the fact I am getting older.

            • Butterball

              The other thing I have done is I bought some makeup and I haven’t worn makeup in years. In fact, when I put on a lot of makeup in the beginning of our marriage my husband actually laughed. I don’t want to look like I am trying to attract him by changing. So I just bought some clear nail polish, clear mascara and some lipstick that looks natural. I want him to see me looking good without noticing I am trying to look good.

              The other thing is I bought a lot of new clothes. I didn’t go out of my way to buy lingerie or all that stuff that desperate women try to catch their men with, because I also know that won’t work with my husband. Instead, I bought a lot of nice new things that I can wear day to day and some sexy exercise clothes that themselves make me look really hot as he knows I am starting an exercise program and had plans to do so for some time so he can’t say to himself oh she is wearing this stuff to just try to look good for me, rather than just saying to himself, she looks good.

              Overall, I am trying to make positive changes that he will notice but without actually realizing they are changes to grab him.

          • theresa

            Another reason I love this site! It’s about our whole selves and the caring we have for each other. I’s more than the inside stuff. It’s the other stuff to help us feel good about ourselves.
            Doug, maybe we can introduce a thread on this kind of content. The forums don’t get much action these days nd there is a topic for similar content. I thknk this is a good place for short shots of our experience with…..
            What do you guys think?

            • Doug

              That’s a good idea for a discussion topic. Thanks Theresa!

    • TryingHard

      SI–try as I may I can’t get the sadness out of my eyes. And I know it’s there. People say things like “smile” when I feel like I am!!

      We can all move on to some degree or another but the broken sadness remains. As Duane said in his post “it’s woven into our fabric”.

      I’m not even sure if divorce or separation takes that sadness out of our eyes. I think it becomes a permanent part of us. But and a huge BUT that doesn’t mean that joy can’t be there too. Sadness and joy do not have to be mutually exclusive. They can live side by side. There’s so much more joy to be experienced. And I’m hoping none of us are missing out on that joy just because sadness is its neighbor.

      I hate looking at my eyes in the mirror. I inherited beautiful bright blue eyes from my father. But behind my beautifuly inherited blue eyes, that are mine through no fault of my own, lies a void, a darkness that I’m afraid will never go away. It’s a scar of sorts. I try. I smile and use my eyes but deeply lies the truth. Always watch the eyes if you want the truth.

      Ooo and when people, normally men, say smile I could just scream “I am freaking smiling. Bite me”. No one ever knows another persons sadness.

      • Butterball

        I remember one time many years ago I was at a really low point with my husband. I don’t remember why. But I met a woman I hadn’t seen in a couple years and after talking with me about my life, she said, “You seem really happy.” I was really perplexed by that.

      • Looking forward

        TH I hate looking in the mirror now. I feel like I aged 15 years. I have bags under my eyes, wrinkles that weren’t there before, and just a general “droopiness”. And even days I think I am looking good, I catch a glimpse in the mirror at the mall I get the glimpse of the sadness I thought I had covered up with makeup. So frustrating.

        • blueskyabove

          Been there, done that and the results from said behavior weren’t flattering!

          Stop looking into the mirror until you are able to admit your magnificence!

          There is NOTHING that says you have to admit such negativism unless you desire to do so! There are plenty of BSs on here who want you to believe you are ‘less than’ but it’s up to you to either accept or reject that definition of you. You get to decide! Please, please choose you!

    • Rachel

      I hate it when someone says smile to me. Some days I just have so much in my mind smiling just isn’t in the cards. I never or would ever say that to anyone. I may say, ” is everything alright??
      This time of year is tough. You are smothered with Christmas Carole’s and decorations since September. Just a lot of forced holiday spirit.

    • Butterball

      Linda-I want to ask you about one sentence in this post: “He started doing the hard work and didn’t want to go back to the way things were and the way he used to be.”

      Before that, was he thinking that things could go back the way they were and wanted them to be that way again? Was it because he didn’t want to deal with what he had done and all the changes he had wrought on your life?

      My husband keeps saying nothing will change between us. That it will be like always. We’ve actually been apart the past few months (due to something that had nothing to do with our relationship) and I just don’t buy it as I am getting ready to go home again shortly. First of all, if he had wanted things to be the same as always, things would still be the same as they were but they aren’t. Secondly, because he himself has changed and that is what precipitated this. Thirdly, because I have changed as a result of what he has done. And fourthly, because I know to get through this and grow and have a better relationship we need to change, not hang on to the past.

      I guess I am wondering if it is normal for the WS to cling to the idea that nothing changes between them and the BS even though that is totally unrealistic?

      • Linda

        Butterball, I think that Doug eventually realized that our marriage was never going to go back to the way it was prior to his EA. He knew our marriage wasn’t perfect prior to it and to a large extent his actions and words were a large reason why. He finally got to a point where he knew he needed to change if our marriage was going to survive. I do believe that in many cases the WS just wants things to go back to the way they were in their marriages, and you are very correct when you say that is totally unrealistic. Linda

        • Butterball

          Thanks for your reply Linda. How did he (and you) change? Were the changes related to the after effects of the affair itself (e.g. more transparency about his activities) or was it simply seizing an opportunity or a motivation to make things better in your relationship?

    • Looking forward

      Thank you all for the kind support. I read another blog about not letting his affair “change you”. Easier said then done. I have done all the changing my hair, getting eye lash extensions, shopping…a lot…., reading self help books. But what I have almost come to be the saddest about, is that his affair has changed me. And not for the better. I was strong, confident, energetic, driven, productive, and so on. I’m sure deep down I am still all those things, but the self doubt voices in my head are stronger and taking over. Besides being a nurse I also have a degree in psych so I know all the psychobabble on what I am suppose to do to move forward. There is something in my heart that won’t allow it and I can’t figure out what that is (and another source of feeling like a failure because I can’t overcome and do what I know I need to do). I even told my counselor there was nothing she was telling me my head didn’t already know. My heart won’t let me. WTH??? why am I so weak? Why is sadness taking over everything? Why can I not prevail? Why am I not stronger? Why did it take an affair for him to want to be my dream man? Why didn’t he just want to be that man because he loved me? Why can’t I embrace the man he is to me now? Am I angry with myself because I feel like I am selling myself short for staying with a man who was unfaithful? Ugh!!! I hate having my picture taken now. I think it’s because I see the ugliness in my heart showing in my eyes, not just the sadness. I don’t like the person I have become. I feel like there is a civil war going on in my own head and soul. And I am probably sounding a bit crazy to all of you about now 😉

      • Shifting Impressions

        Looking Forward
        How could their affair NOT change us??? Of course we are changed. I like bluesky’s advice about breathing. I remember walking down the street often thinking “I can’t breathe” during the first two years after d-day.

        Yes….there is a civil war going on in your head….one that I believe most betrayed spouses experience. I know that is certainly the truth in my case.

        I have said over and over….there is an epic battle going on inside myself. My husband is very remorseful and doing the right things. But yes, the battle is there.

        One day at a time… does slowly get better….and the battle does ease up. It’s a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions but coming here helps. We are here for you.

      • Butterball

        You may feel you are going crazy, but it is normal.

        Throughout our life we change. Before his affair, were you the same person you were when you were a teenager? Of course, not. We go through stages and change. Sometimes it is something outside of ourselves that forces us to change. In your husband’s case it was his affair. That he wants to be your dream man now is what you should focus on. That it took an affair for him to realize it is a defect in him, not you.

        I’m sure you are like me and that before this all happened you said you would never stay with a cheater and you looked down on people who did the same. But before it happens everything is hypothetical. Now you are facing reality and you know what you want, so hold your head high and embrace it.

        I’d say stop reading the self help books. They all prescribe a formula and are trying to sell happiness and honestly that is the one thing that makes me feel the worst. Sites that give advice as if all we needed was this book and our lives would be ok. It doesn’t work that way. What attracts me to this site is the lack of some overarching one-size fits all solution that it is peddling. It seems to me more like a cheerleading site that we can get through it, each in our own way.

        I’ve been struggling myself with trying to decide whether I am being weak now or being strong and which is the best to be right now. I think we can look at it either way. You know why you feel weak, but you could also look at it as being strong. Not letting the affair destroy the good life you have with your husband, not caring what other people will think of you. Making your own choices. Embracing the good in your husband rather than letting your mind be consumed with the bad. You can look at these as strengths.

      • theresa

        This made my cry. BUT, it also made me feel that you reached out and touched me. Thanks

      • True Love

        Looking forward,
        If you are still here, let me know how you are doing. I feel the same way and I hope you or anyone else on this comment thread would post an update.

    • blueskyabove

      Looking forward,

      Before you do anything else, considering all you know as a nurse, all you have been exposed to, … breathe! Just breathe!

      I know it sounds simplistic, but I cannot express to you how important it is for you to just breathe! Not weak, shallow breaths, but full, life sustaining breaths! Fill up your abdomen. Breathe! Feel it’s expansion!

      Breathe through your nose to the count of four. Hold for the count of four.

      Feel your body’s expansion! And then…release. Release for the count of four…release completly. Feel the absolute total expulsion!

      And then…repeat. Over and over and over until you begin to feel the magic of total, uninhibited breathing!

      Let the act of breathing become your focus. Breathe in until you feel you are about to explode! Know that you are in absolute control of this! Don’t release it until YOU are ready! FEEL your power! KNOW YOUR POWER!

      There is nothing more powerful, more valuable for your psyche than to breathe! Do not underestimate the value to yourself of the simple act of breathing!

      I know you probably don’t understand, but I’m asking you to have faith in me, a total stranger…just breathe! Full, expansive breaths. Please trust me! I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve tried everything…the good and the bad. Just breathe! In and out. Full, life sustaining breaths! The Universe has not left you alone and powerless. You have abilities beyond your present knowledge. Prove it to yourself through the simple act of breathing! And then? See what happens next -and know that whatever happens – you can handle…just breathe.

      • Looking forward

        Oh how I needed a good girl power butt kickin! I was just listening to a song on YouTube about cheating, it was immediately followed by Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”. That’s the real me…not this pathetic victim with no self worth. I needed to hear every word spoken by all of you wonderful and intelligent women. I will breathe! I will go get Botox and fill in these new damn wrinkles, and remember that I am sexy and beautiful and stop wearing my yoga pants every day…lol. I know I will still have sadness but I won’t let it be my baseline anymore. My husband is lucky to have me and he knows that he married up ????. I just need to believe it too. Thank you so much for helping me work through this day. I have a hair appointment on Tuesday…maybe it’s time for a change.

    • TryingHard

      Looking Forward

      No. You are not crazy but this is crazy making stuff. Yes the back and forth and self doubt if you’re making the right decision.

      But you know what? You don’t have to make any decision about staying or leaving today. You don’t even have to tomorrow. And right now, this minute you are where you are supposed to be.

      Infidelity turns your world upside down and inside out. Nothing you thought was real seems real anymore. But you are real. Your memories are real because they are yours and no one gets to define that for YOU. Your husband does not define who you are. And his actions don’t influence how you are going up live your life or define YOUR story.

      Lol oh yeah I know all about the retail therapy. Botox, fillers etc but I did that stuff for ME not to keep him but I did it for me. And I’ll do it again too. I don’t go six weeks without a color or trim on my hair. I do it for me.

      Do you keep taking care of you. And yes it wears you down. I’ve got chronic IBS and panic attacks as a result of PTSD from my trauma. Some days are worse than others. But there’s mostly good days. And they come more often.

      I think I made the turn when I realized I was in charge of my story and future joy. Not him. I took my power back. I demand respect and cherishing behavior from him. I don’t let it slip. I KNOW I’m worth it and he better know it too. I love showing him how much I appreciate him. Respects a two way street. I used to do everything for him to my demise. I let myself be a doormat. No more. I was ok with it too. I liked myself, I liked my life but I like my life better now.

      Yes I see the lines and I’ve earned everyone of them. Does make me any less beautiful and I am certain you are beautiful too. Wrinkles be damned!!!

      You lift your lovely chin and KNIW you are not alone in these feelings. We’ve all been there. My sofa is soaked in my late night tears and self blame. Until I said no more!!! No more. No more blaming myself for his poor choices. He owns it all by himself.

      Once you get to that pint then you get to decide if he is making the correct actions to change and be the kind of husband you deserve.

      You’re going to be ok. I promise you. One way or another. You will be good. Hold your beautiful head high. You are not alone in this and you are NOT crazy

    • TryingHard

      Gosh BlueSky I don’t think ANY BS here make another BS feel “less than”. I think we are all pretty supportive of each other.

      Did I miss something?

      • blueskyabove


        It was an opinion, no more, no less. Not everyone sees everything the same way.

        • TryingHard

          BlueSky–I got it 🙂 Just curious that’s all.

    • TryingHard

      Looking Forward— I love my Botox Doctor!!! And fillers dong hurt!!

      Yes get the hair done. I did mine today and I got a new pair of shoes in the mail, OK IT WAS THREE PAIR, but who’s counting??? They are going to look great with my new girlfriend jeans !!

      Yep that’s why we are here to kick butt and lift that butt up too. No more pity parties!! We’ve all been there and it sucks. But we are in charge of how long we are going to let things suck.

      Get out there and Roar. We are mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore right?

      • Looking forward

        Heck TH, maybe I will learn to give Botox injections myself. I am a trauma nurse so that would help give me a break and lighten up my job a bit…along with my forehead ???? And no one ever counts shoes! Thank you!

    • TryingHard

      LOL Looking Forward– no self injecting Botox!!! I’ve seen some very poor Botoxed women who’ve gone to bad docs that miss the mark. LOL think Bells Palsy!!! You treat yourself right and find a good plastic surgeon that knows where that stuff needs to go!!

      • Looking forward

        Lol not for help others feel pretty 🙂

    • TryingHard

      Sarah P
      I guess you could say I took a hard line approach. I certainly wasn’t passive.

      The first thing I did was secure a bad ass lawyer who served him divorce papers and a restraint order from entering our home and taking anything else out. He was served within 3 weeks of leaving me. I did all the cliches. I emptied the bank accounts and opened my own. I wasn’t working and I wasn’t sure if he’d cut me off penniless. I had 3 charge cards with over $ 50k of credit line in them. His name wasn’t on them and he tried to cut those off to no avail LOL! Girls get your own credit cards!!

      The day after he left I threw all his clothes and shoes on the driveway and soaked them with the hose. Hey it wasn’t gasoline so don’t judge me!!

      The day after he was served with divorce papers my SIL with whom he was living called me and told me he was crying all night saying he’d ruined his life and he wanted to kill himself. The next morning I went to the plant, snuck in thru the back door, grabbed two guys and walked into the office. When low and behold I walked smack in front of the OW. I blew and insisted she leave. Haha you should have seen people running. He stood by her and told me she didn’t have to leave. I made a voile threats that this was my business to according to the law and if he didn’t want my badass lawyer up his ass destroying a business he’d worked 30 years to build he better tell the bitch to leave and sit down and talk to me. She left. I flipped her off on the way out!

      Well that conversation went no where and he was a complete asshole. Even stuck his hand pout to shake mine when I was leaving. I told him to go fuck himself with that hand and get ready for the fight of his life. Get too as I would be suing her too.

      A couple weeks went by with little to no contact until I threatened to give one of our dogs away because the dog was so crazy since my h had left. Jeez you’d have thought I was threatening to give away a child. Anyway I couldn’t handle the dog. He kept running away and messing in the house. Plus I as not eating and not sleeping and not taking care of myself. All I did was cry all day everyday for a month. I’d like to say I wouldn’t have gotten rid of the dog but I was not bluffing. He loves that dog we still have him, but I was in no mood. I would have given the dog away out of spite and been glad to do it. My sons and his sister pleaded with me to allow him to get the dog so after about 10 days st a very posh kennel I capitulated and let him get the dog to the tune of an &800 boarding bill.

      I went NC for a while. He kept coming up with bullshit reasons to contact me i.e. taxes, bills etc but I ignored him. Finally about a month after he left I went on a 10 day trip to California by myself. He started calling me. He didn’t even know I was gone. I talked to him and he said he was really confused. I showed no sympathy. I let him know what I expected. He told me he ended the affair but she still worked for him. He lied. He hadn’t ended the affair. But we started talking and went on dates. He still lived with his siste 6 doors down from me.

      Around 11 weeks after he left we started MC. Unbeknownst to me it was a false attempt at reconciliation. He told me and the MC that the affair was over. He lied. I suggested he see her individually so he could tell her stuff without me there. It was funny because whenever we would talk he would bring up terms of settlement. I made it clear that I didn’t need to talk and wouldn’t talk MY legal matters with him. I had a great lawyer for that. Well one night I got so frustrated that he was still living with his sister and we were going to MC and the OW was still working for him and nothing was changing. Two days later I packed up and left again. For Colorado this time

      I can’t even begin to tell you all the physical, emotional, spiritual, and personal challenges I faced on that trip. We were still talking and texting but getting no where. My husband faced a health issue from stress and I packed up and started my drive home to help him. Stupid yes!! Well Li and behold on my drive home I couldn’t contact him and I called my son who drive down to the OW house and he was there. I was pissed. He said he ended it. He lied.

      I got home on a Thursday afternoon and he and my eldest son tried to come over to talk to me. I screamed like a banshee. I warned him I was done, over it, moving on. I was going to shower and go out that night and hook up with the first man who would look my way!!! I was pissed at my son too as he was being all Switzerland because good old dad was buying him off. I was pissed at everyone. No one was off limits to my wrath!! On my drive home he told me he wanted a divorce bi said fine. You’ve been lying this whole time anyway. Leading me on trying to butter me up not to reem his ass in a divorce. It was a false reconciliation for the past 8 weeks. I was furious.

      Well he came back a couple hours later in tears and insisting he wanted to reconcile. Yes he’d lied but he was done lying. He wanted to earnestly go to MC and and fix our marriage. He wanted to move home. I let him. 90 days after he moved out.

      We went back to MC the next week where she offered to mediate our divorce bi set her straight and told her I didn’t need that service and if she couldn’t facilitate our recincilliation I was fine with her. I still had my bad ass lawyer. OW was still working for him. I wanted to consult a lawyer how to fire her without recrimination. But I live in an At Will state. You can hire it fire for any reason. I found this out. Not him. He didn’t lift a finger to get legal advice in this regard. I did it and jet him know she HAD to go. Period. Still nothing. One week later over a long 4th of July weekend we were cleaning his car and I found the throw away phone. LOL you can only imagine what ensued. And she was fired the following day. I was there for the event. I packed up her desk and we met her in the parking lot. We’d gotten to the office about an hour before she was due in. Here she comes in all her glory, wet hair and all. He tells her she’s “layed off”. WTF layed off!?!? Chicken shit. Then I hear him mumble “I’ll call you later”. I’m thinking just to sift soap it. I was wrong. He was still LYING. Shocking I know.

      • TryingHard

        Part Deux!!
        So I’m foolishly thinking all of July that the affair is over. We are going to MC weekly. I’m keeping my eyes opened, he seems content even happy to be home. And we are talking daily but he is loath to talk about the affair. LOL even offers to buy me a Mercedes Benz if I drop it. HA I’ve never wanted a Mercedes do I dont drop it. July 31 we plan a trip to CO. That sat he worked and I was at my friend’s house. I tell him it’s good but I still have suspicions and that when I get back from our trip I was going to GPS his car. aaarrrgh. Wish I’d have done it sooner. He was still seeing her. He’s says only 3 times since she’d been fired but they were talking A LOT on the fax phone at the office. Fax lime because he thought I couldn’t check it. Fact was I wasn’t checking any phone records

        So as we are drivingto go to CO on 7/31 he tells me EVERYTHING. can you imagine that trip!?!? Including how he’d just been with her the day before were to leave. She wanted to continue the relationship. She was going to buy him another phone. But that night she called him and left a one word voice mail “amazing” and that was it for him. He knew she’d tell. He’d told her never to call his cell or when he was with me and she did.

        That was it. The last time he saw or spoke to her. Supposedly. And I know no different. I got the GPS, I key logged his computer, I went back to work every day at the business, he was never without me. I’m still not convinced there hasnt been contact and by God if I ever find out there was/is my former wrath will place in comparison.

        So yes we are together and in some ways our marriage is better than ever. I think?? But who knows what evil lurks in the heart of cheaters

        Now while I took a firm stance I did a lot wrong.

        I should have hired a PI right away
        I should not have let him move back when he did. Because when I came back from my Colorado trip I was stronger than ever to move on. He broke my defenses but I was so worn out!!
        I should have pushed my lawyer for discovery and pushed his too to supply it.
        I should have made him very uncomfortable with the idea of what he was about to lose. Me especially.
        I should have bought that damn GPS sooner.
        I should have made him call her and tell her it was over just as I and our MC insisted. He didn’t.

        And I’m sure there’s a lot more I should have done when given the opportunity but I didn’t. I was tired of being scared and sad and anxious and I wanted my marriage. I didn’t want to let everything go out of my own pride and ego.

        But I will say I have not made it easy on him the last five years. Especially the first couple. I held his feet to the fire.

        Sometimes I wish I’d have divorced and just let the chips fall where they may. It would have been a long drawn out expensive divorce and destroyed a lot of lives. People I cared about would have gotten hurt. I didn’t have the stomach for it. And I still loved the asshole. And as they say you trade one set of problems for another. Who knows what those problems could have been either.

        He’s done a lot of things right. Ive not made it easy in many respects. He knows I will never forget or completely forgive. I put up with no disrespectful actions, attitudes or behaviors. None. I’m different, he’s different, our marriage is different. I have boundaries and he knows what they are. Cross them and you will know. And I try very hard to reciprocate with appreciation for him and what he does for me and love and kindness. If that’s not enough for him, he knows where the door is.

        But mostly I’ve learned so much that if I find out he’s been in contact with her or started another relationship with someone else , this time I won’t care. I won’t shed one tear. I will make one phone call to my badass lawyer.

        So anyone reading this knows me or the OW and has info I say bring it on. There is reward money in it for you because I’d love to know if there has been.

        That’s it. Long I know and to think I’ve left out tons more. LOL stay tuned. Really I could write a freaking book.

    • True love

      Trying hard,
      Would love an update from you too.

      • TryingHard

        Hi True Love
        Aren’t you kind to reach out. I am doing well. My discovery was in 2011 and since that time I’ve done a lot of healing and a lot of self discovery. I’ve decided my marriage is what it is at this point. Sometimes I feel like I am waiting for something but I’m not quite sure what I’m waiting for if you know what I mean.

        I’m not going to lie. his infidelity has permanently damaged our relationship. To this day I do not trust him. I trust him enough to live with him but I still know what he’s capable of so I live with that fact. Is it great? Probably not but I’m not sure the alternative is either.Some times still I wish I’d have divorced him and maybe that’s just a fantasy.

        Probably what has helped me heal the most was leaning to detach emotionally from him. I no longer feel those intense emotions with regards to our relationship or him. And that has been probably the biggest positive change I’ve made for myself and how I face living with him and continuing our relationship. With that I find it’s easier to detach emotionally from him.

        I think I have forgiven him but forgiveness has not been a top priority for me and I’ve long since moved on from that notion. It’s just not important to me. In the same breadth I don’t feel any need to hold a grudge or punish him either.

        So pretty much I’m doing what the rest of the world is doing. Trying to adapt to this new way of life and dealing with all the challenges that aging brings. Aging for both me and my husband.

        I hope you are doing well too True Love 🙂

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