Looking back, I wish I would have written my letter to the other woman…

after the emotional affair

Photo by neroo2010

By Linda

I decided not to confront Tanya after the emotional affair for reasons I discussed during my talk with Dr. Robert  Huizenga. (You can listen to it here:  https://www.emotionalaffair.org/lindas-interview-about-confrontation-after-the-emotional-affair/)  However, after reading some comments on the subject recently, something really stuck with me.  The statement that rang true for me was, “I became real to the other person.”

During Doug’s emotional affair I would ask him if Tanya felt bad about the pain the affair was inflicting upon our family and myself.  He replied that she didn’t really think about it and that she felt she had always done what she was supposed to do, and now deserved to be happy. 

It would be naïve to think that she would have responded any differently.

Looking back, I wish I would have wrote her a letter telling her about who I was, about our family and about the man I have spent the last thirty years with. 

In the other person’s mind we, the victim, don’t really exist and perhaps it should have been my responsibility to let her know just exactly what was being destroyed by her being a part of our lives.

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So here is my very belated “Dear Tanya” letter:

Dear Tanya,

My name is Linda and I am the wife of the man you are having an emotional affair with.  I know you would like to pretend that I do not exist, but I am very real – unlike the relationship you are having with my husband.

I would like for you to know a little about our life, since you have never met me or our family, or have ever been in our home or shared meals or holidays with us. I imagine you feel as though you are so close to him, but honestly you know so little about his life – our life – that I feel compelled to share with you what your emotional affair is destroying.

A little history here…Doug and I met thirty years ago on a blind date, and to be honest, it was love at first sight.  From that day forward, we have been at each other’s side.  When we met we were only eighteen and we carried no baggage and we had our whole life ahead of us to discover who we were.  I literally feel as though we grew up together, navigating our way through life, figuring out our likes, dislikes, interests and passions.

The qualities that you find in Doug, will also be found in me. We have 30 years of blending together, perfectly complimenting one another with our strengths, weaknesses, commonalities and passions.

If you really knew us you would realize that instantly.  You would see how well we handle our lives around us.  From something as simple as working together every morning in sync to get the kids off to school, to how we have faced the mountains of challenges that life has dealt us over the years, to unconsciously knowing what the other is thinking.

We also have several traditions that we have celebrated for the last twenty-five years.  Every night we prepare meals and have dinner together as a family.  We have a pre-Christmas celebration where we eat dinner, watch our favorite holiday movie and sleep under the Christmas tree together.  For Doug’s birthday we prepare his favorite meal, and on Valentine” Day we bake a heart shaped cake and a heart shaped pizza.  Just to name a few.

Every night at bedtime for the last twenty-five years Doug kisses me and tells me “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. I love you.”  On my birthday he wakes me up cuddling and singing the birthday song, which has been another tradition for the last thirty years or so.

I could go on and on, but why bore you?  The point is your emotional affair with my husband not only threatens our marriage, but the essence of our very existence over the last three decades.  And you will not just be hurting me.  You will also be hurting Doug by taking these things – and much more – away from him.  You will also be hurting yourself, as I’m sure you share similar history and traditions with your husband and family.

You may feel at this point that you have the upper hand, but do you really think that ultimately you can compete with the love that we share and these traditions and history that define his life?  I know Doug pretty well and know that all these things, though they may seem trivial to you, mean the world to him. Eventually you both will snap back to reality and find that you indeed cannot compete and your relationship together will die a slow agonizing death.

If you have any conscious at all, you will back out and end this relationship with Doug and let him live the life that he really is meant to live – with me and his family.  Your relationship is only an illusion which will fade when Doug (and you) realizes what could be lost as a result of this emotional affair.

Please do the right thing!


    62 replies to "My Letter to the Other Woman After the Emotional Affair"

    • D

      Brava, Linda.

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      There are differences of opinion on whether or not it is good to contact the other party. In most cases, more negative than good often come from it. I have seen situations where it worked, in that the resolute spouse and the lover formed an alliance with the cheater on the outs. The intervention changed the whole dynamics. Most interventions do not go this well, so I typically don’t encourage them to be made.

      Your letter is quite moving and captures the relationship well. I find letters even more dangerous that doing interventions, since they have a habit of falling into the wrong hands, and sticking around longer than is good. Although your letter was on more of a positive note, most I have encountered are of the ‘attacking’ or ‘begging and pleading’ sort, which throw gasoline on an already hot fire.

      • Eagle2435

        My confrontation went well, partly because my wife had already decided that she didn’t want the affair anymore and had already confessed to me, although she lied about who it was with (she literally made up a fake person that I could never find) and didn’t really officially ‘end it’ – they were still ‘friends’ and could have continued the relationship since I had no idea who it was. I found out who it was without her telling me and of course now had a real person at which to direct my anger. My wife didn’t try to protect him and was fine with me confronting him.
        It also didn’t hurt that he’s 16 years my senior (so he’s a grandfather), shorter, skinnier, wimpy, and very unattractive. Without sounding conceited I hope, I am a tall, athletic, attractive guy. So, when I confronted him, he was visibly shaking during the confrontation – he was terrified. I actually got some satisfaction from that, even though I knew I wouldn’t hurt him physically because it would just cause more trouble for me and not help anything. (at least I wouldn’t be the one to attack – now I did try to goad him so I could ‘defend myself’ 🙂
        I believe that confrontation scared him so much he wouldn’t attempt any contact no matter how addicted he was to the affair, since he values his health more. 🙂 My wife is looking for another job but they still work together, and they haven’t spoken a single word since the confrontation. He even avoids any eye contact. (probably doesn’t hurt that I drop in from time to time as well)
        It also changed some things in my wife’s eyes as well. She was already starting to come out of the fog and realized that this guy wasn’t as great as she thought for a variety of reasons, and that when she compared him to me he couldn’t begin to measure up. (which she told me before I found out who it was) But confronting him changed it even more – now not only did she see that my character qualities were superior, but now she really saw me as much stronger physically, and conversely saw him as very weak. She snapped out of the fog right away after the confrontation and had more admiration for me, and honestly she now really feels disdain for him. Although she knows they’re in the same boat regarding what they did, he is unwilling to tell his wife. (which I will anonymously tell her when my wife leaves that job) Her mind is clear now, and the confrontation definitely helped that.
        Circumstances being different, my personality is that I would confront the other person no matter what – I don’t care if they were bigger, more attractive, etc. I’ll be getting in your face and it will be uncomfortable. But it may not have been as helpful for my wife and I’s relationship if she hadn’t already decided somewhat that she didn’t want to be in the affair anymore.
        So that’s my experience, hope it helps other guys as they’re thinking through whether or not to confront. If you want a confrontation buddy I’ll go with you lol.

        • Heidi

          So what do you do when your husband does protect his affair partner and her family ? He claims its because of his job He is the director and he slept with a subordinate who works directly for him? I say if he was protecting his job he wouldnt have jeopardized his job and everything else (his family, his reputation, his marriage) in the first place 🙁

      • Linda

        I have formed a relationship with the OW. I call her my frenemy and have told her that. My thought was keep your friends close, your enemies closer. I gave my WS the ultimatum in writing. I couldn’t take it any more and as a result I ended up in the hospital with a heart attack! We’re 4 months post D-day. I still have triggers but not like in the beginning. I am still trying to understand this attraction and from reading these posts I understand their addiction. My only salvation is that she lives 1200 miles away. They work for the same company and had conducted business over the phone. Too much to write but fast forward events in her life and ours gave them a connection and empathy. Three years after these life changing events it turned into an emotional affair and eventually a physical affair. Due to having to rake care of elderly parents, we were not able to leave and get away. I encouraged him to take a trip because I lived and trusted him. He ended up meeting her half way across the country twice. I feel like such a fool. How trusting and innocent I was. I found out something was going on, confronted him and he admitted his affair. He was planning another tryst before the holidays. He says he choose me and always loved me. I have a hard time believing he can live both of us. He has too much to lose and says he diesn’t want to lose
        His family. Our family and friends don’t Know. Keeping thus quiet hard. I have the support of a couple of my women friends. He says he still loves and misses her. Not having contact with her makes him miss
        Her more. I am in contact with her and frankly I find myself liking her. Neither one regrets their affair and will express remorse. That drones me crazy, I told her I will never forget it. I told him I will not forgive him until he feels remorse and wants my forgiveness. He wants
        His cake and wants to eat it. When I told him that, his answer was
        I never thought of it that way! I wonder how I can ever get past this betrayal. I’ve read this addiction will start to fade but 4 months later they both still say they love each other. I am 70 years old and he is 66. She is 56. He has to use Viagra and she questioned why he had to use that. I am attractive, 118 lbs. and have been a good wife and mother for 46 years. I didn’t deserve this and he had said I didn’t do anything wrong. I am a breast cancer survivor and have buried our child. I am tears right now thinking of this betrayal. I hope some more time will help put this flame out. He even thinks she looks like me and we’re a lot alike. We still talk about this but it’s usually me baring my soul. He says I read too many things that put ideas in my head. I told him and her are mistresses! Any thoughts to get me thru this?

        • tryingtogetover

          Couples therapy might help – there are plenty of tales of bad therapists on this site, but there are good ones out there too that can force him to sort through things in front of a “referee” who can hopefully spell out to him what his choices are – ie her or you. You’ve been through too much to put up with his BS. It sounds like he wants to get away with as much as he can without actually losing his wife so you may have to give him an ultimatum in the end, once you are sure you could follow through and leave if necessary. Hugs to you, you are entirely blameless and obviously as sweet and trusting as any fantastic wife could be.

      • Roberta

        I did write a letter and sent it to her. My focus was on telling her who I was as opposed to my relationship with my husband. I wanted her to have to see me as a real person. I didn’t tell my husband I had done this until over a month later, thinking he had been done with the affair for several months. Well, he hadn’t physically seen her but they were having an EA after a Physical Affair and they were ‘friends’ that kept in touch, unbeknownst to me….when I told him what I had done, he admitted he already knew as she had contacted him via FaceTime, was crying and had been very upset about what I had said….I hadn’t really focused on her at all and had been VERY magnanimous in how I spoke in the letter. She read the letter to him and he expressed to me that it gave him some clarity, that she felt victimized was eye opening and he ended the relationship soon after.
        I don’t feel it changed her thoughts about herself in any way. I naively believed that I could get her to see me as a real person she was willingly hurting, but she lives in a narcissistic fantasy land and there was no breaking through.
        I have made many mistakes in this process but this was one thing I did that felt left me feeling more powerful.

        • Darlene

          Would love to read your letter. I’m in situation as well as BW working on my letter while still in fog of depression.

    • Jennifer

      Good point, Jeffrey. I think if I wrote a letter to HER now, it would be an attack. Or something to the effect of ‘I’m a better person than you because I didn’t sleep with a married man.’ It has been better for me to forget about her and concentrate on my husband and me. I write letters to my husband all the time. Only recently did I actually give one to him and I think it turned out positively.

      • R

        Unfortunately the other woman in my case knew me and even commented to me before the affair started that my husband and I seemed to have such a great marriage (which we actually did). She had been to our house for meals, and we had been to her and her husband’s house. It just so happens my husband was going through a mid-life crisis when she came along and was an easy target. I did confront her after the (full-blown) affair was revealed. Although she told me she was sorry, she really wasn’t. I later found out she was still lying about things while “apologizing” to me. She has no conscience. I have seen her since the affair ended, and she acts like nothing happened. She actually thinks we should be able to be friends. There are some people (sociopaths) that just don’t feel anything. There is no remorse or regret. You can’t get through to them. Confronting her was good for me because I got a chance to see who she really is, but it’s very sad to realize she will never change and that she will eventually cause someone else the same type of pain she has caused me. I no longer despise her, I just feel sorry for her.

        • Doug

          r, I imagine the betrayal was even greater because you knew the person and trusted that person to behave differently. I also can relate to the sentence about this woman causing someone pain. Just recently Doug admitted that Tanya had become “close” to someone else before she became involved with him, although I don’t know the details. The thought of her affecting someone’s life like she affected mine made me sick to my stomach. I wondered what kind of woman she really was, what void was she trying to fill in her life. Linda

    • jac

      This post rings true to me. I have been considering writing a letter to the OP in our story. I was wondering if anyone has found themselves in a similar situation. in our case my husband and best friend found themselves in the midst of an emotional affair that recently turned physical. I found out when i was confiding in her and at the end she told me she had to tell me something and admitted that she was in love with my husband. At that point i was calm and realiezed she could no longer be my confidante.

      Since then my husband and i have been talking and connecting and i truly am happier than i have ever been before.

      The only part i can’t fully understand is what to do going forward in regards to her. our lives are so intertwined with family, friends, kids etc.

      I keep telling myself I’m going to be okay and I can be around her but i saw her last week just a glimpse of her and I had a mini panic attack. This scared me a great deal.

      I should add I have been speaking with a counsellor and am seeing one tonight to help work on me.

      the biggest thing I learned is that by putting everyone elses feelings, needs ahead of mine i lost myself and i never want that to happen again.

      Thanks for listening.

      • Doug

        jac, thanks for commenting and sharing. I’m assuming that your husband and her have cut all ties with each other? If not, completely cutting off contact is a must, and it concerns me that since your lives are so intertwined with the OW’s that it could become an issue down the road. If it is impossible for this to happen due to your circumstances, your husband must be completely transparent and must abide by strict boundaries when it comes to the OW. Does her husband know? Keep us updated on your counseling session. Best of luck.

      • Bonnie

        I wrote a 24 page letter to the OP and gave her an idea of who I was (am), that I have passions and talents, skills and abilities, not to mention that I’m smart! My husband only briefly mentioned me to her. Told her how much she meant to him, how much our children meant to him but never once told her how much I meant to him (even though he told me so). As a result, she saw me as this blank-faced presence in the background of his life. I emailed my letter to her 6 months after D-day. I also sent it in the mail to make absolutely sure she received it (taking the chance her husband would see it and come after my husband). Then I dropped it until he did it again a few months later with a co-worker. It’s been 4 years and I have yet to gain back my full trust in him. We’ve been married for 30 years.

    • Nancy

      My husband of 30 years recently had an EA with an old friend of his after he retired and we moved back to his hometown. After I found out about it, he cut off ties with her, although she continued to send him occasional emails asking why they still couldn’t be “friends and just talk.” She lives in the same small town as we do, so it is possible that we could run into her at some point. I finally asked him if I could respond to one of her emails. In my response, I said that while as a couple we had hit a rough patch in our marriage ( adapting to retirement was a little more stressful than he had anticipated), we had re-committed to one another and I was sure that we faced an exciting and long future together. I also said that I did not see our paths crossing very much with hers, but that we both wished her and her family the best. My husband read it, and I told him it was his decision to send it or not. He did – and since then, only one email from her in the last 2 months. I felt at least maybe she realized that the secrecy that was probably part of the excitiement of thier relationship, wasn’t there anymore – and that I’m not some mushroom being kept in the dark about any contact from her. Maybe it made no difference to her, but the fact that my husband pushed send on his own helped me.

      • Doug

        Nancy, thanks for the comment. That’s an excellent idea that many could learn from.

    • Jenn

      I contacted the OP several times, and nothing worked. The ONLY thing that worked to end this was contacting her husband. It was a gut-wrenching decision for me, because I knew that this meant he would be devastated like I was. But now, my husband is back and we are working on the painful process of reconciling. I am so glad to have found your site, I have been looking for months for real life stories of those trying to make it–from both sides of the affair.

    • emiboots

      I have communicated several times the with OW, but I don’t have plans to do so again. I felt compelled to let her know directly from me how I felt about the situation and that I was concerned that she was being manipulated and used to a certain extent. My husband refuses to end contact with her; he says (and so does she) that they’re “just friends” now. So I’m pretty sure if I were to say anything more to either of them that I will be exacerbating a me against them kind of thing. I’m not interested in that. I know he feels this need to “protect” her and anything negative I say is going to push him away even more.
      Today – right now – I am very angry. I think it’s unfair and I don’t want to have to be the bigger person. I don’t so much have a problem with not bringing it up anymore, but I am not currently interested in cheerfully meeting his needs, today, either.

    • Rushan

      Yes emiboots my husband and the ow are also just friends and he feels sorry for her because she had to care for her mother and shelost her jo. but now she has a nice job and a nice house, he says he doesn’t contact her anymore but I have heard something and from that I gathers they still contact each other more so she than he and now I do not know how to react to that becaus I am not suppose to know they still contact. I am going to confirm it and then maybe oh I don’t know

    • jac

      Just a little update. Her husband now knows and he has forgiven her and I have forgiven my husband. the problem is she still wants my husband. She looked me in the eye and said she understood, that i still love him and want us to stay together and she knows that he has fell back into love with me but she doesn’t care. She loves him and knows better and knows that they will one day be together. I know that I am the one responsible for my happiness and I am working on myself each and every day BUT I still can’t help feeling like she just keeps taking and taking and wondering how she can be so Cruel. I know it’s because she does believe she loves him and it is slowly breaking me because as much as my husband choose to stay it hurts him that she is hurting and he is responsible….

    • Lostinlove

      The cowardly ways, it’s always been amazing to me how people who say they “love you” can destroy you. The OW in my case was an ex coworker of both of us, she is single and half my age which makes it terribly painful, not only that she would contact me now and again to say hello, talk about my family, ask about my husband! Along the way, she was texting him and he, her all day long, every day, except when he was off work. no communications if i were around, but when i was at work and he home…he would send me one note and her fifty! Just friends……those words make me sick now. When I discovered the affair, i sent her a text, asked her if she enjoy’s texting MY husband, she replied” why do you say it that way I text everyone”…so everyone look out. The bond of marriage is so thin in this world we live in, it takes all the romance out. Our marriage is still young, but had survived, devastating financial loss, a child with cancer, alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, and now emotional abuse and betrayal…..now i am trying to piece each day together, one emotion at a time.

    • Alecia

      Very touching. And truly a positive letter. Being negative and attacking would benefit absolutely no one. What I find wonderful about your letter is that in telling her everything that her choices are affecting you are in a way throwing all the good things about your relationship with your hubby in her face. She probably never stopped to think about the fact that you wake up together everyday or have traditions or inside jokes. There is also a good chance that most OW’s believe that the marriages that their affair partners are in are awful and tense and unloving. Sharing some of your examples let her know that there is a lot of love in your marriage. Potentially the stories she was fed or the truth she allowed herself to believe about Doug’s marriage was just obliterated by this letter.

      The few communications I had with my husband’s OW were negative. She came across as very manipulative, controlling, jealous and selfish. It often made me wonder why my husband wasn’t capable of seeing those things for himself! But I did eventually write a letter to her that I never sent. It took over a year for me to be in a place where I could even write it. But it needed to be written. It was a letter of forgiveness. And although my heart doesn’t always everyday feel forgiving the words of this letter bring me back to what is most important. The healing of my marriage. The moving forward instead of always looking back.

    • Kristine

      When I found out WHO the OP was (most of my H’s adultery was online) i did write out a letter. It would have backfired on me because my letter was to tell her all the sex me and my husband were having. I thought at the time that I would blow a little truth her way and let her know that her “man” as I saw her call him many times online was still sleeping with his wife. As if that would have bothered her. I naively assumed it would but I realize now it wouldn’t have. I don’t think she cared if he was or wasn’t since her goal was to just get us to be over at some point so she could have my life. She was willing to be very patient and once my H moved out she thought all was going in her favor. I also realize where my husband was at, it would have caused a closer alliance between the two. He would have thought I was trying to wreck all his happiness and she would have played victim, acted upset, like she was going to end it and that would have caused him to get angry at ME. I read the email to my mom THANK GOD and she said “don’t’ send that honey, you don’t need to clue her into anything else about you or your life.” Wise words from a wise woman. I hit delete and never sent it but you know what? I’m going to type one up now to her and send it to myself. It will be therapeutic for me to do so.

    • Broken

      I know this is an older thread but I am struggling with this right now. It has been 11 mpnths and lately I have felt this incredible urge to write the OW. Actually I did and saved it. The letter was very civil and I didn’t bash her at all. She pretty much disapperared the day I found out (thank goodness). I really just want to know what she felt her relationship was with my H. DId she love him? Did she see a future with him? How much time did they spend together? Did she know I didnt know she even existed? I guess more then anything else I need to know if my H is telling me the truth because he has answered all of these questions for her. Should I send it? Should I just let itgo? My h doesn’t want to talk about the affair anymore and I still need to at least occasionally. I do not trust him at all and I dont trust him to tell me the truth so I struggle with this.

      • Doug

        Broken, If you haven’t already, read the first comment for this post from Jeff Murrah. That might help you with your decision. You might also really look within to determine exactly why (and if) you really want to know all these things. Will it be beneficial to you, your relationship and your healing?

      • Kristine

        Broken I think you’re at where I was at last year when I wanted to email the OP. I wanted her to know the truth about our marriage and I wanted to know her side. This was when my H was still *in* the adultery. I didn’t trust anything he said and somehow thought I could find out the truth from her. Dumb of me now that I look back at that.

        Knowing her side would have only caused ME more grief because I realize now she was not in a position to HELP ME. She would have made things worse if she could have because she wasn’t coming from a place of sincerity and wholeness herself. She was a person who had no problem getting involved with a married man no matter what the destruction caused to others. Why would she want to give me any closure to help me beyond that? She wouldn’t have. She wanted my husband! She would have helped give me closure alright, closure on my marriage!

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming the OP for my H’s adultery. He had his part, I’m just giving her, her share of the blame. Why would you expect your husband’s affair partner to be in a healthy place to assist you in your healing? She’s not. She’s also not privy to what REALLY was going on. Her take on it will be one of EMOTIONS and FEELINGS. She’s not coming from a realistic place of what an affair bubble is and how your husband wasn’t even fully himself.

        My advice, is to write a letter to your husband’s affair partner and save it, don’t send it. I am SOOOOOOOOO thankful now I never sent that email. I will not give her another peek into my marriage or my life now that the door’s been shut and she’s on the other side.

        Consider that. What will YOU gain? The truth or her truth? Her perception or reality? Will you get healing or more pain. Why would you expect anyone who colluded with your husband in such a manner to do anything upstanding to assist you with what YOU need? Don’t do it! Write the letter, send it to yourself, print it if you want to and save it and then think on it. I bet in time, you will be glad you never sent it.

        The REAL issue and why you think you need to write the OP is because your husband isn’t giving you what you need. You NEED the pieces of the puzzle that are missing and they can only come from him. He can’t close the door on your healing until you say you’ve healed. Once you get THAT, then you won’t even be thinking about the OP! I know because by God, I’m there!!! 🙂

        I just found a book I wish I had found when my husband first returned but I don’t think that was in God’s plan. It’s called How to Help Your Spouse Heal from your Affair. Get it. Read it and then pass it onto your spouse. I’m not sure if you’re in counseling or not but I’d recommend that too. Focus on the Family has great counselors all over the US and you can call them for a referral.

        God Bless! God does heal hurting marriages. Pray pray pray and trust in HIM, not your husband 🙂

    • Sane

      In my situation the OP works close (not same building) to my H job. She had been in our house meet our grandchild and set out to steal my husband. When he told her it was over she begged him to continue with the emotional affair. It took my H over 4 months to get honest about that. Also, OP is married, and her H works out of town. I can not grasp how a person can do this to other human beings. I would rather do more than write her a letter.

      • nm wife

        I am having a hard time coping with an emotional affair my husband had for over 4 months that ended when i found out 3 months ago . I have wanted to contact the other person so many times even though my husband cut off all ties with her. She lives in another state. the letter is as nasty as it can get towards her because of my anger and jealousy. however my husband has had to pay on this end and is doing every thing he can to make it up to me, I love him but i don’t know how to make the pain end. we have been married for 30 yrs. He regrets it all but i’m mad as hell and hurt to the core, how long will it take to mend my broken heart. I even feel sorry for my husband at times because of his sincere, heartfelt remorse. we cry together and i know he hurts for my pain. what what what do people do to cope after betrayal.

    • Mia

      I found myself in a similar situation, but what I did was contact the OP’s husband and made him aware of what I was burdened with. Needless to say it didn’t turn out pretty. She approached my husband and and thanked him for me ruining her marriage as if I really cared.

      • nmwf1

        Hi Mia, i was reading old blogs and i just came across this one you wrote about you contacting the op’s husband, I am impressed and frankly love the fact that it ruined the OW’s marriage or at least caused a lot of grief, I do however feel for her husband who is in our same shoes. But I have a lot of regrets because My D-day was July 3rd 8 months ago and I have stewed about contacting the OW’s husband or what ever he is, I just know shes been with him a long time , but It seems pointless now, I wish i had the guts in the beginning. But i was a coward, instead I sucked it up and drove myself crazy and obsessed about it. During a few of my rages which I still have from time to time, I scream at my husband to get her on the phone so I can at least vent my anger but he wezels out of it cause I guess poor thing,he doesn’t want to hurt her poor little feelings. F her and F him I’m the one falling apart and It pisses me off so bad that he wants to spare her feelings and his humiliation of calling her with me screaming, but who the hell is sparing my feelings. IT SURE AS HELL ISN’T EITHER ONE OF THEM
        !!!!!! sorry have to vent to you…….thx nm

        • tallie

          hahaha that is the best ! I love how you said F him and F her. Good for you.

    • NM wife

      well its now been a few more months since i discovered my husbands emotional affair, and i am not any closer to coping than i was in the beginning. i feel sick all the time. i have had fits of rage with him, i have had crying cessions with him, i have had heart to heart talks with him. It angers me to think this emotional affair is controlling my every waking moment of thoughts in one way or another. Everything in one way or another reminds me of it. I cant believe he did it and i don’t know how to get over it. what really bothers me is that he is being overly attentive to me and doing everything in his power to make me feel better, but I feel I love him and hate him at the same time. Honestly on a daily basis i want to rip his head off. And yet I cant bare to lose him. I cant stop the madness. I have lost 40 lbs because of the stress and i constantly lie to everyone that I did it dieting . What a bunch of crap the betrayed person has to endure because of a selfish act of a spouse who’s only answer for it all is I don’t know how it happened, I just got carried away, It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me. what a f—ing cop out. I hate what he did and I am destroyed.

    • NM wife

      Dear MIA i would love to do that but my understanding is that she has a boyfriend but not a husband. course that could be a lie as well. I mean really, what the hell makes me think anything he told me is the truth. I don’t understand how a person who has been married for so many years would risk his relationship for a cheap sorted affair. Not to mention i get the impression that he didnt see it as an affair. even though to appease me he agrees that it was. I mean really they both called each other around the clock and text message thousands of times and had phhhhooonnnnneeee sexxxxxxx. for GD’s sake. if that isn’t an affair i don’t know what is for crying out loud. I am a total LUNATIC at this point over this whole thing and I want answers from my husband that he cant seem to give. or won’t . And I want to give her a piece of my mind. Oh did I mention that she once dated him before we met. Really REALLY . And by the way I am no slouch even though i lost 40 lbs i have always taken good care of myself and dressed nice. I have always been a person who was aware of my husbands needs and made sure they were met . but apparently it wasn’t enough. i guess superwoman I’m not. Maybe phone sex was more exciting than the real thing. Oh boy I give up.

    • NM wife

      i just have to say Linda. you are much nicer than i can be. My anger is so strong I could not say something nice to this person if i tried because there is no way the OP is innocent. she knew he was a married man and that there conversations were behind my back and she had to know I didn’t know anything about it because what wife would put up with that for minute. All the sites say you should tell a trusted friend or trusted family member so that you can talk about it and get there input. Are you kidding me i am so ashamed of what happened that i can’t bare to let anyone know. Ours is (was) the marriage everyone envy’s . we are always together. was very happy, loving, the one couple everyone believes is untouchable, boy what a sham, I can’t bare to be the laughing stock since, conversations have come up time and time in our lives about this very subject and people would always comment on how we are so lucky. At Christmas this year at the family get together I pretended everything was just the same, but was absolutely sad inside, angry inside that I wasn’t enjoying a single moment of any of it. But with a big f—ing smile on my face. What a fa sod. Our family gatherings are large so everyone sits with others to gossip and of course, to add insult to injury the subject came up about of infidelity of others we know and for once i didn’t have much comments to make because I didn’t want to be a total hypocrite. After all its easy to give advice till it happens to you. Then you cant even give yourself advice because you to busy trying to overcome the betrayal and lies and the question to yourself of (Just where the hell was I when all of this was going on?) Sorry I have to vent and this is my only outlet thus far…..

    • Paula

      NM wife

      Don’t panic, and try not to be too hard on yourself, easy words, VERY hard to do! Many of us have been exactly where you are now. The crazed person you become is truly bizarre, I know, I’ve felt that way myself. I think you sound very similar to me, had a lovely relationship with your H, mine was gorgeous, too. His emotional and sexual affair of 15 months, with the ex-girlfriend (who cheated on him, with at least 4 guys, that I know of) who was a lifelong friend of mine – not a close one – just a member of the girlhood crew we all grew up with, but, who nonetheless holidayed with our family at our holiday home, came to all our parties, ate my fabulous food (without ever repaying the favour, BTW) stayed over at our house, etc, etc, completely floored me, gutted, wiped out, took me completely by surprise. She was too damn close, and then never had the grace to apologise or even acknowledge me after he ended it and she took it upon herself to let me know all about it, via text (gutless) about a month after she realised he’d “chosen me.” I was bereft, embarrassed, sick (they’d given me chlamydia – I’ve only ever slept with him in my lifetime.) But, you know what, even though all of these awful things happened, and we’re not healed yet, I’m okay. I still have periods of complete misery, but the anger has finally subsided somewhat. I don’t know if we’ll make it as a couple, it’s looking pretty precarious at present, but I know our friendship is intact, he is deeply embarrassed and remorseful, he loves me, I love him, we love our kids, and I’M OKAY. I know exactly how you feel about the facade you put up, I do the same thing, and I know about the discussion about affairs, it feels very uncomfortable. blueskyabove posted a fabulous comment today about self esteem and ego, and it is SO very right. I liken it all to the “pride comes before a fall” saying, we now have gained empathy for people in this situation, I rather fancied I knew how they felt, and the pain they experienced, I didn’t know it went of for years, some parts of it, for life, but I like that I am now not on my high horse, thinking I knew about something I had never personally experienced, through watching my mother’s pain, my friends’ pain. I wish to high heaven that I didn’t have to know this way, but there it is. That is not to say I thought we were perfect, but we loved, laughed, worked toward common goals, communicated (up until the point where he shut me out, and confided his fears, etc to her) and I thought we were “perfect” for US.

      If you are too embarrassed to talk to a trusted friend, that is where you need to find someone else, a paid professional, a church counsellor (I’m not sure how this works, as am not church minded) etc, as keeping up the facade is part of the reason why you are venting all of your anger AT your husband, it has nowhere else to go. That is not to say that he doesn’t deserve it, and he actually needs to SEE what his selfish actions have caused, feel some of your pain for you to move forward, but eventually there needs to be another outlet or release valve as well!

      I wish you all the best, and am glad you have found this forum, as it is a safe place to vent, and I’ve found it can soothe somewhat to understand that you are not alone in this most hideous of journeys.

    • NM wife

      wow, thank you for replying so fast, Thanks for reading my rant, truly i don’t know how to cope, This woman lives in another state and i believe him and her have not physically seen each other however because of the nature of the affair, phone s.x and all, I feel the betrayal and pain as if it were physical. But really i feel that if i didnt catch it when i did they would have eventually found a way to see each other. My husband is very remorseful and is going overboard to make up for the mess he has caused but my resentment is so strong right now. When i am out of controll angry at him, he breaks down. Sometimes i feel sorry for him, sometimes I look at him and want to attack him, I don’t, but i sure as hell feel like it. I really hate when he tells me it wasnt me i don’t know who i was, i don’t know what i was thinking, (really I suppose if the tables were turned he would buy that same line. really REALLY . Gee honey it wasn’t me who had phone sex with that person it wasnt me who sent explicit pictures back and forth with some guy. Do you think he would except that from me? not just no but HELL NO. There are days when I can pretend that i’m not thinking about it. because i really don’t want to push him to leaving. That would be salt in a wound, however there is not a day that goes by and practically not a minute that it is not weighing heavy. This whole thing cuts like a knife and i don’t even feel like me anymore. I am not the person anymore who felt so secure and so sure of myself and my relationship with the man i love. Where do i go from here? how do i get back that feeling of security, that feeling that is absolute, a feeling that i was the only one in his world or ever would be. He had another woman on his mind for months and i cant change it. All i can do is suck it up and get the hell over it. Oh and by the way, the worst thing i have found is analyzing the phone bill on line. I know it inside and out. i have obsessed over it, i have worked up stuff in my head. God help me, I am so overwhelmed with this f…ing nightmare. My Jealousy is out of control and i think i am at the verge of a nervous breakdown.

    • Myra

      I never sent the letter that I labored over for MONTHS – my letter to her was my therapy, and I did share a few versions with my husband – mostly to see if I got it right – would there be something that she would object to, therefore making my whole statement/letter sound ridiculous and not sink in? I am still not sure of the answer….my husband is a little tight lipped about some aspects of the affair…
      We are 2 and 1/2 years past the affair being over (4 month affair – out of town business – old HS girlfriend!), and I don’t believe they have had any contact with each other – if they did, it was early on, it took a while for him to come around to wholeheartedly work on us. I will say, in lieu sending it, I set my privacy on FB wide open so she could see my posts – I often used my marriage photo as my profile picture, and went overboard with pictures of flowers he sent me for anniversaries since the affair, selfies with the 2 of us, remodeled house photos (our joint projects) – on and on about how I love my husband, and he still “made my toes curl” after all these years – I wanted to make sure there was no doubt in her mind that we are indeed a “thing” and not to be interfered with. My husband had told her in a letter during the affair that he would see her again sometime when he was an old man – now that is dangling a carrot that a desperate woman can hold on to…so since that was said, I wanted to dispel any hope of them ever reconnecting. If I were to send her a letter today, it would say how much the affair humbled my husband to the point that he let go of his ego, and became a devoted partner with humility for his humanness – that his remorse and regret were a catalyst for change – that he couldn’t stand the man she had persuaded him to become – basically, that her grand scheme backfired more that she knew, by bringing us together more – that cheaters lose, and hurt themselves in the process. I will never contact her, because I believe she had a “power trip” around breaking up a good thing – never let them see you sweat….! Oh, and by the way, she “blocked” me on FB after 6 months (of watching my page, I assume) – I had never contacted her directly, so not sure what she was blocking – me from seeing her posts, or her from seeing mine 🙂 It must be the latter…. I still post with her in mind – damn, I need to stop! But our anniversary was last week…I can’t help myself.

    • Beth

      I found out about my husband’s affair with a coworker 3 months ago but the affair happened a year and a half ago. She kept sending him nudes and videos to him and He says she is not important. I am going to counseling, he doesn’t want to talk about it.
      But the 3 of us work together!!!! it has been very difficult to see her every day and not to attack her. Contacting her in any form is something that is constantly in my head, but I haven’t done. I just stare when I see her pouring some coffee. I want to leave some notes at her desk or throw coffee at her face, vandalized her car or tell the whole officee. I want her to feel some shame. She knew me and even talked to me as if she hasn’t done anything wrong, was she just checking if I knew? She knows our baby girl for God Sake.
      But everything I have researched is not to do it. Some say she has no shame and will not have it other say it will bring them together, and things like you are better than that.
      Right now just feel dissapointed, sad and without motivation.

    • AlmostHealed

      Here is the letter I wrote – it still hurts, and I feel so utterly taken for granted. Maybe someone will get some healing from reading my words. I never sent it – and I am so glad I didn’t because she doesn’t deserve to know how I suffered – she must think I am a saint for not going after her, and I have to say, I like the saying – never let them see you sweat. But here are my feelings, if anyone wants to read them. Its long, sorry!
      Private ramblings to My Husband’s Affair Partner
      As you know, I am aware you and my husband had an affair some time ago. You may wonder why I am writing to you after all this time and I understand why you would question this.
      I often wondered if you would get in touch with me to debrief me on your side of the story, and if there was a compelling or justifiable reason for you to go down this path that would help me understand why you chose to involve yourself this way in our lives. I wondered if you had remorse for the pain I went through as a result, or if you felt it was easier to focus on your positive experiences than to reflect on the lessons and regret from wounding another woman’s heart and marriage. Some women aren’t ready to face the anguish they have dealt another by their intrusion, and I can see why they may not want to think very hard about that.
      My husband has shared his thoughts and feelings about his missteps – we both needed to gain insight into his motives and weaknesses and to the whys and hows this happened. He has (repeatedly) expressed regret over crossing this line in our marriage and he owned his actions with remorse while he weathered my pain, disappointment and grief. His heartfelt apologies and his ongoing no-contact with you have been the basis for our healing and renewed trust.
      Up until your involvement, we were not irrevocably broken – this was not a failed marriage nor was this a foregone conclusion – divorce was never discussed between us, until the time when he could no longer look me in the eye. We both had our own relationship narrative and I understand how our stories may differ, but we were in the same marriage so perceptions may be different but the facts are not. We may have had issues but I hadn’t given up on him, and I truly believed he hadn’t given up on me until he stumbled down this path and could no longer gain his footing.
      Please understand that it is presumptuous to try and evaluate the availability of a man or the health of his marriage from the outside looking in – you can never know the whole truth from this limited perspective, even though he may act as if his marriage is unimportant and you may feel like you have a clear picture of this.
      Look at this from my point of view. Imagine that your husband is working out-of-town while you are busy with your responsibilities at home. While he is away, he suddenly becomes distant, defensive, detached, snarky, combative and barely able to communicate. Once he comes home, he’s accusatory and blaming with a perchance for deceit and asking to divorce me. His heart and mind had turned against me while I frantically searched for the man I knew inside. To try and reason with him was baffling with his justifications, distortions, combativeness, and lack of caring about my well-being or how I was dealing with this crisis. How would you think and feel if this was your husband? The pain and confusion at this time felt overwhelming.
      I’m not blaming you for the affair since he chose this too…. I am however holding you responsible for sleeping with a married man – my spouse. You acted without my consent in secrecy and had sex with my husband – clinging to the most precious person in my life in the most underhanded of ways.
      You may be thinking to yourself, “no one owns another person’s feelings or body,” or, “if it wasn’t me, it would have been somebody else,” or “he needed me – I was helping him!” or whatever you told yourself to help you feel OK about your choices.
      Did you imagine that you could simply pick up where you left off from your youth despite his marital status and your different life paths? I understand that you let him know that he had the qualities that you were looking for in a man – did you believe ‘being available’ was an important consideration? Did you allow your self-talk of “this was meant to be,” override your common sense?
      What did you believe would happen to me if he got completely wrapped up in your world? Would you encourage him to abandon our marriage so you could keep him around? Did you believe his risk to his life and future was worth it for him? You were casually gambling with his and other people’s lives, with little to lose yourself. To tell your married affair partner “this isn’t what I want” when he tells you he is choosing his real life, is imploring he change his entire life for your needs. Did you consider his needs and the needs of other people in his life? Were your short-term needs more important than…
      his decade-plus marriage,
      his love for his wife,
      his wife’s love for him,
      our offspring’s lessons on integrity
      and their loss of a stable father-figure,
      his self-respect and reputation,
      his financial health,
      the inevitable disappointment of his parents
      the respect of friends?
      Most of these considerations had already been compromised by this point and would continue to trash his life if he continued down this path. Did you understand the enormity of this request, and still feel that this was fair to ask of him while he was emotionally strung-out and vulnerable? Even if he didn’t seem to care or recognize this, couldn’t you? Isn’t this taking advantage at our expense? Where was your compassion? Surely you don’t feel a few months fling would warrant this kind of dedication, did you?
      What I didn’t quite understand at the time were the power of connection, desire shame and confusion. These blur the lines of wants, needs and life’s realities. Connection and desire made the desire feel right, while shame makes right or wrong a mute point. The resulting confusion of how to process these emotions ultimately led to his very chaotic mental state.
      The more he got involved, more he felt connected. The more connected he felt the more he used justifications against our marriage/me. The more he used justifications, the more shame he felt about his choices, face-to-face. The deeper the shame, the more he felt his missteps were unforgivable. The more he felt unforgivable, the more bridges he burned. The confusion and burned bridges made him impressionable and easily swayed as to the meaning of this connection, and how to proceed.

      You must have felt heartened by your connection, his bridge burning and ambivalence about his life and our marriage, and hoped these feelings may encourage him to stick around. This further distanced us while strengthening your bond. I was miles away and unable to reach him emotionally while he flip-flopped from justification to shame for his choices.

      His inability to live with the lies left him completely numb and empty. Your willingness to provide sex for sympathy in his broken state helped him feel better in the moment but did nothing for his self-loathing as he continued to dig a deeper hole. The burnout of the affair from the big-picture of deception was inevitable – this is the tipping point when the pain finally overrides the guilt, and he was left asking, “Who have I become?”

      It took some time to extract himself from this downward spiral.
      You must have realized I was reeling when he told me about the affair. I persuaded him to quit trying to hide and to come clean with the affair (in case you were wondering how this came about). I never intended to go “down to your state and kick your ass,” however. I could understand your concern, but I felt this was his issue – I gave him the space to figure it out and although at first, he faltered, it was out of my control – I could only cheer him on from a distance. He had free will, always – this had to be.
      Once contact with you was finally broken, you were forced to sit with yourself in a rather large karma debt that may have felt quite oppressive. It’s tough to justify your behavior to your true-self no matter how you try to spin it, like in your last email.
      Your illusion of respect was bogus – no one was given respect. Secret texts, sexual emails and clandestine meetings are fantasy and manipulation – not respect. Overriding your common sense by getting involved in another’s marriage and ignoring the greater good of doing ‘no harm’, failed any self-respect test. Observing his lack of respect for me at that time must have been a red flag for you – yet you still chose this?
      Of the beautiful life lessons you wrote about, I felt the destruction of several lives and potentially a marriage was the primary life lesson I learned.
      Complementing my husband on his integrity was ironic. Isn’t integrity doing what is right even when you think nobody is watching? Do you feel he did what was right for you or I…. or himself? Did you believe a man that values integrity can live with deceit?
      The laws of the universe are exacting. There is no such thing as something for nothing. There’s no deceptive relationship that can also be an authentic one. If you ask someone you trust and respect (or ask your heart) what is wholehearted and authentic about love under these circumstances, and you will have your answer – You don’t need to hear it from me.
      The vulnerability? No argument there.
      The feelings of pain of betrayal, lack-of-respect, feeling taken-for-granted and abandonment that I felt, along with my husband’s shame of betraying and violating the trust and confidence in our marriage, was in stark contrast to your feelings of value, safety, sustenance, and wholeheartedness that you wrote about. I imagine more negative feelings have surfaced since then – connected feelings tend to dissipate once the reality hits of lost connection.
      What is unconscionable to me is in the solidarity of sisterhood that you would not only sleep with my husband but then try to discourage his desire and hope to save our marriage and consciously thwart his attempt to grow from this. During this fragile time, I was searching for faith and sincere regret from him but he couldn’t express these things while you continued to be available. For you not to honor “no contact” on his first attempts to cut ties, and to repeatedly encouraging him to stay connected to you over the next couple of months kept him emotionally distant from me – We needed to heal then – we needed a break.

      I was increasingly bewildered at your fishing for contact even while he was back with me in our home. This was my husband of more than a dozen years – the person I loved and relied on. Your casually sending emails, pictures and texts while our marriage was deep in crisis and we were attempting to heal felt shameless. He needed to act secretively to communicate with you, which further broke trust. This was a confusing and fragile time for us – it was all I could do to stop the bleeding from this jagged wound in the underbelly our marriage without fresh reminders of what cut us. Watching them delivered conveniently through his electronics right to our home felt menacing.

      After helping to orchestrate our disconnection, were you trying to make sure our reconnection would fail as well? I needed your co-operation, not competition – He was gone.

      Affairs can be thrilling! Exciting! Full of drama! You have a co-conspirator – a new best friend! There is you and me against the world and our little secret mentality! Feelings of connection – confirmation of desirability – endorphins – sex! As an added benefit, there is competition with another woman – and for a while you actually feel like you are winning. You were able to discourage me from even wanting my husband back by leaving a trail of evidence for me to turn away from him in disgust, while he showed ambivalence – Win. From your perspective, who cares? It only increases your chance of success – so why not? Alienate his wife, while endearing yourself to him emotionally and sexually for the best chance of success.

      It’s all been done before.

      If you felt the need for these tumultuous emotions to sustain you, so be it – but it is the shadow side of true love and will burn you out every time. It exacts a toll spiritually, emotionally, and physically, while spreading negativity to everyone else sucked into this vortex. One thing I have learned – true and lasting love is built slowly on a foundation of trust and respect – it is not rushed or stolen from another family’s home.
      My husband didn’t return to our marriage under an obligation based on his integrity as you may have believed – he loved me and always has – this affair was an unfortunate chapter in our lives and part our life lessons.
      “Home-wrecker” or “spouse-poacher” are not great aspirations or legacies – I would argue these are some of the worst karma generators out there. In fact, this rarely turns out well for anyone involved, least of all the affair partner. You don’t get a man that is worthy of your trust by giving him a pass on his morals – but you will get the one you deserve in the long run. What you had was a broken version of a magnificent guy… what I got back was a humble, deliberate and intentional man determined to make things right between us and grow from this and for that I am grateful. Your involvement (paradoxically) helped seal our ongoing connection by making us face our issues head-on before it was too late.
      You may have felt dismayed by his sudden severing of communication in the end but isn’t that how it goes when married couples reconcile post affair? (and they usually do). Your show of dismay for being disrespected by the impersonal way he severed ties was laughable. The final ‘no contact’ was the long overdue renewed respect for our marriage and me. When you play games that are based in lies and deceit, how do you expect to be treated fairly?
      I have been a victim of many, many atrocities in my lifetime. This wasn’t like any other backstabbing episode because the wreckage was spread out over time and distance – much like a train wreck. The first impact was being robbed of the connection in my marriage; next the integrity of my husband was dragged down the tracks as the twisted metal of doubt cast concerning the viability of our marriage around the issues of trust and respect. I was left in a mangled heap, trying to make sense of what seemed so senseless.
      In the end, I have channeled my pain from this experience into self-reflection and appreciation for life. Our marriage needed a wake-up call – and thankfully we were still recoverable enough to get back “on track”. This attests to the well of faith and strength that I carried for us that kept us viable.
      I hope you will use this letter as an opportunity to reflect on your role in our unraveling with humility so that you may find the grace to recognize your part in the pain from this deception. There is the bigger life-lesson than what you learned during your involvement which may be a bit harder to grasp but is fundamental.
      One cannot know what is needed for remorse until one understands who has been affected, and how….I hope this adds the needed clarity.
      May you go forward in truth and peace in your heart.
      His Wife

      • Muddling through

        AlmostHealed, I wrote to you below, but didn’t click the right button to make it show up under your message. I just wanted to add that the paragraph from your letter where you write:

        “What I didn’t quite understand at the time were the power of connection, desire shame and confusion. These blur the lines of wants, needs and life’s realities. Connection and desire made the desire feel right, while shame makes right or wrong a mute point. The resulting confusion of how to process these emotions ultimately led to his very chaotic mental state. The more he got involved, more he felt connected. The more connected he felt the more he used justifications against our marriage/me. The more he used justifications, the more shame he felt about his choices, face-to-face. The deeper the shame, the more he felt his missteps were unforgivable. The more he felt unforgivable, the more bridges he burned. The confusion and burned bridges made him impressionable and easily swayed as to the meaning of this connection, and how to proceed.”

        is exactly what my husband describes that he went through during his affair (except you put it so much better!). Thank you for describing it so clearly.

    • AW

      The heck with sending letters to the OW. TELL THE HUSBAND!! Why should she get away with an affair. Let them suffer too! I have my reasons for saying this.

    • Muddling through

      To Almost Healed
      Thank you so much for publishing the letter you wrote to your husband’s affair partner. It has really helped me to read it. You write beautifully and eloquently. I too wrote, and did not send, a letter to my husband’s affair partner. It is 9000 words long. She was a (former) friend of mine so there were a lot of things connected with that that I wanted to express in words. I found it therapeutic at the time to write the letter (I wrote it 2-3 months after our D-day, which is one year ago next month).

      However, I still struggle at times with the fact that she has no idea how much damage she did. She is pretty clueless about the whole thing – as evidenced by the messages she sent me after I found everything out and the ‘explanations’ and justifications she wrote in those, which I did not reply to as I didn’t want to enter into a dialogue with her. So I struggle with the fact that I haven’t put her straight on so many of the misconceptions and self-absorbed nonsense that she seems to believe – similar to many of the things you write about in your letter. In my case, the OW was married too. I take strength from the fact that you didn’t send your letter either and say you are glad that you didn’t. Deep down, I think I know that sending the letter I wrote would not really achieve anything either. I need her totally out of my life and sending the letter would not help to achieve that. Thank you for posting what you wrote.

    • Myra

      Awwww! I read these words from my letter and didn’t recognize it came from me! Glad that it resonated with you.

    • Kittypone

      D-Day for me will be 2 years this February…..after finding out, H promised he would break it off and only blocked her from FB….he never really intended to break it off for good, he was just buying himself some time…..I made him hand over his phone and discovered the dozens of pictures he had sent her as his “good morning kiss” to her…..you see, they have never met in person as she lives 2,300 miles away….she found him on FB and started pursuing him for “counsel and advice” based on what she saw in his profile and him, being the dumb man they become when in a mid-life crisis, gave her the green light to pursue him and then, the pursued became the hunter…..I sent her a text message which I promptly deleted but it made its way to her nonetheless, so, she went over backwards trying to apologize to me and reassuring me how she was backing out of it because she knows I’m the right woman for him and no one else, blah, blah, blah…..a month and a half later, they are still hot and heavy with their affair so, I became the most dedicated private investigator you could ever dream of and even though she doesn’t even acknowledge she is married in her FB profile, I did some digging and found how to contact her husband, so I did…..I called him on the phone and had an hour long conversation with him giving him many details of THEIR private life so he would know that I was the real deal and not a prankster…..it went like a dream….he works out of town a few days a week and that is when “wifey” would blow her phone texting and calling MY husband….well….when HER husband found out he was being cheated on, he ratted her out to HER family and called her out for the whore she is…..wouldn’t you know it? She came crying to MY husband saying to him “thank YOUR wife for ruining my life and destroying it”!!! Like she was an innocent victim in the whole mess!!!! At that point, I was starting to give up on my hopes of ever restoring my marriage, but the satisfaction it gave me to speak to her husband and unmask her to him only compares to the satisfaction of sending him the video she had made for MY husband for his birthday telling him how she couldn’t wait to be face to face to him to really tell him, to his face, all the things “he inspired in her heart” and how much she cares, loves, adores him, thinks of him and dreams of him all the time….how she can’t stop thinking of him and all that bull crap….well, hubby got to see his wifey declare her undying love to another man and I wish to God he gave her a good piece of his mind for that….so, we’re my actions rash and immature? Maybe so. But the satisfaction it gave me to mess up their “perfect” affair and air their dirty secret justifies all the heartache I went through with the whole betrayal. I still don’t trust my husband, but she ended up breaking up with him because the fantasy element was becoming a nightmare with both spouses now being aware and controlling of their time and phone use….so…get that, you harlot!!! See who won in the end!!

    • Tryingtogetover

      Kittypone it sounds like you handled things exactly the way you needed to. I pray your H is being remorseful and trying to rebuild – or that you are ready to happily move on from Mr Fantasy Man if this wasn’t enough to wake him up! You deserve all good things going forward.

      • Kittypone

        It’s been a year since your response, and almost 3 years since DDay for me; things are better in my marriage, but nowhere near healed entirely…..I am STILL in therapy after all this time, STILL having to take medication, and STILL don’t trust my husband any further than I can throw him…….it APPEARS that the affair is over and that there is no more contact, but he still is not as transparent as he should be, so, there goes what little trust I could have in him. After I sent the OW husband’s the video she had made for MY husband, she called my husband asking him to have ME call HER so the situation could be sorted out…..we spent 3 HOURS on the phone and of course, she made herself to be this needy soul who regretted ever meeting my husband and to please tell him to never contact her again……exactly a week later, I recorded them having steamy phone sex, there goes the “tell-him-to-never-contact-me-again” dupe……all this to say, not only was I the first one to contact her after DDay happened, she initiated a second, even more personal communication between us, it STILL didn’t make the affair stop dead in its tracks, it fueled it in some desperate attempt to keep it alive, but, at the end, it couldn’t keep something together that didn’t start from a clean foundation, so eventually, that rotten and putrefact base had to crumble down at some point, AND IT DID….. only thing that still hurts and pains me is that this whole ordeal broke something irretrievable in me, and it doesn’t feel like it can be put together again…..do they HONESTLY think that just an “I’m sorry” will literally patch up everything back together again? I still feel so dead inside and it doesn’t look like my feelings for him will ever come back again……

    • Soul Mate

      I confronted the parasite on dday before I confronted my husband and have absolutely no regrets.

      When someone attacks me behind my back, no bullshit excuse that “she didn’t think of me” because any woman knowingly messing with a married man thinks of the wife period! Just like a burglar scopes out it’s mark, they don’t want the homeowner aware that they break in, and if they can sneak in and out while they are sleeping (unaware) it’s a “special accomplishment”. So does the spouse poacher who thinks they are the better woman because they can steal the spouse away from the betrayed. It’s a sick game period.

      My husbands AP was texting him while we were in bad at night. My husband told me that she asks about me a lot. What he was doing with me. When was I going to fall asleep, was I home, in the shower. Did I look at his phone. PLEAZE!

      When these people say they don’t think of the betrayed they are straight up lying. Knowing that they are hurting someone is part of the sick excitement they get in taking what it is that doesn’t belong to them.

      If my husband had sided with that wench he could have packed his bags and leave and I told him that when I got finished letting her know just what I would have done and still to this day wish I had. At that time and til this day I don’t regret confronting her. And then writing her a polite letter 5 months later to let her know every word my husband said about her to me as well as who we are and what I could do to ruin her life if she ever decides to contact my husband again.

      No threats that would cause me legal trouble, just truths that only she would never dare to reveal to anyone.

      And yes, if she had been married, I would have told her husband too. Because the truth is, if she were a married woman, she obviously didn’t “think about her husband” so why should I?

    • Surviving2019

      Beautifully written Linda. Your letter inspired me to write my own. I will probably keep it for myself, it is not my style to confront someone and I do not think it will help my situation at this moment. At the very least, it was cathartic. I was able to get my feelings down in writing. There is no anger in my letter, just the truth.

      After 28 years together I discovered my husband in an EA. He did not stop contact and told me that he was not happy, and needed space to figure out what he wanted. We have built a beautiful life together raising 3 amazing children and were making plans for our future. I was blindsided. I did everything wrong, cried, followed him around like a lost puppy. You name it, I did it. The first month it almost looked like we would reconcile. We became intimate, and at least I was working on making some changes. The contact with OW continued and I am 99.9% sure it has turned into a PA. He denies that it isn’t anything other than phone calls, but I know better. Believe none of what they say and 50% of what they do…..

      We are 12 weeks in. He is on the couch and has been for 2 months. I have moved his things into the guest BR. I’m not sure what the future has in store for us. I was a bit of a doormat the past few months, trying desperately to save my marriage and allowing my husband to have his cake and eat it too. I continued to act as his friend, sharing morning coffee and dinner, buying little silly things- special grocery request, etc. All the while he was getting deeper into his affair. Of course he was! He had the best of both worlds!

      As I learned more about 180, charging neutral, and getting a life, I began to make changes. My husband noticed and reacted immediately. I stopped initiating phone calls and texts a month ago. I began to detach, stayed busy, and became a bit of a mystery to H. It is hard! It’s uncomfortable, but I am feeling better about myself. H continues to call and text me. My responses are friendly, but short. He does a lot of “temp checking”. He is trying to leave me little crumbs- H-“I never said our marriage was over. People separate and work things out. This is not about someone else. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Maybe I ended it with her….” It’s hard, but I’m not buying any of it. Actions speak louder than words.

      This week was my breaking point. He continues to create a web of lies and contact OW. I basically told him that he is my best friend, and we continue to act as friends, but we can’t be friends right now, not while he is in a relationship w/OW. He was visibly annoyed and upset. “I’m not in a relationship with her, blah blah blah…..” He claims he is just trying to keep things cordial with me, when you live with someone you check in, that sometimes it is just out of habit. I told him that I appreciate that he thinks of me, but it is all too confusing for me right now, that as long as he is in contact with OW, I cannot be his friend. He left for work in a huff and texted me a half hour later…… Called last night and asked if he could bring me home dinner. I almost get angry when I see his number pop up. It is so much easier to try to move forward when he leaves me alone.

      At this point I am starting to get my ducks in a row. I have created a budget for separation, I am opening up my own bank account today, and creating a to-do list. I truly want my husband to wake up, yet I need to dig deep and consider if I want to continue to be married to this man. I don’t want him to leave, but I cannot go on living like this. I think it would be best if he leaves. He needs to figure out what he wants, what the is risking. I guess I’m just not sure if I want to approach it, or just wait until he brings it up again?

    • Sarah

      This is, in my opinion, a dumb way to approach this. If your husband really “cared” about all the little things you listed he wouldn’t have strayed. You are not taking any ownership of this at all and what’s sad is blaming someone else for your failed relationship feels better then looking at this singing “loving” husband and saying “what the actual hell are YOU doing to let this go?” How did we get here after all these “amazing” memories and what did I do to allow him to even have a need for an emotional affair partner. I’m certain he keeps her involved because he gained something that you couldn’t give to him, try focusing on what that might be instead of what she has done “to you”. And try putting yourself first, your making women look sad and weak.

      • Soul mate

        Sarah, Sorry, in my opinion women who have affairs with married men make women look sad, desperate and no integrity and sexually deviant.

        There is no excuse for betrayal, lies and cheating. If a man is in such need of anything in his relationship, he needs to man up and work/ address it with his spouse on the issue. This is called integrity of which is keeping vows made to others as well as honoring a signed contract, which is what you do when you get married.

        If a man confronts his wife about an issue and has made his best effort to get that issue resolved, then man up and leave the relationship honestly. Affairs are a cowards way to cope.

        Honesty….honor, integrity, compassion, truth. No ellicit affair involves any of these most important attributes. The female AP only gives the cheating man exactly what he really is lacking at home. Validation for his reckless, selfish, abusive, immature and cowardly behavior. And she lusts after it.

        She is the woman dishonoring all women, not a betrayed wife.

        There is many reasons for an affair, but it all boils down to 2 people selfishly indulging in pure sexual deviant selfishness, at the expense and destruction of others lives period! And those 2 people are the cheating husband and the skanky woman who destroys her moral integrity by indulging/coconspiring in most base of deviant behaviors. Lies, cheating, sexual promiscuity and abuse both emotionally and physically of others.

    • Janet

      hi, could i ask why you are assuming tanya doesn’t think about you? maybe i missed info by not reading the whole story (this web has a long story in many pages it seems), but i honestly find you are also having a fantasy about who tanya is. you assume she doesn’t think of you or your family (by starting with sentences like ì know you would like to pretend…’ how do you know so much about her if you haven’t met her? why is your fantasy of tanya that negative?

      I also find the whole concept of emotional affairs in the internet too concentrated in the married couple. it’s sad that the man or woman who ends up from being a friend to having feelings for somone who is married can’t find resources that fit their perspective. why is that? when your pop up appeared on the left and asked me if i was the unfaithful one i clicked on that and then the options were for the married person not for the other man/woman. you didn’t think someone who got involved with someone who was married would like to learn as well?

      I’ve been involved in an emotional affair with a married friend and it was all so subtle and slow. And i was the one who placed boundaries, broke all the romanticism by saying we were only in a chemical high and it would pass, and that even if we had that ‘love high’ i never would want to be with him, bc that would be a horrible beginning of a love story. I felt heavy, guilty and tried to make him dislike me, we tried to stay friends which ultimately couldn’t happen because the whole thing is really a mindfuck more than anything else. I’m sure I’m not the only person who is ‘the other one’ but still feels they took that as a bigger infringement than the married person. Especially if we consider most women i know hate emotional affairs more than physical affairs, and usually men think more the opposite way (although this is just statistics of course). But i would say most ‘other women’, when affairs are emotional and not sexual, feel heavier then the married man does, and try their best to control the whole thing. whatever happens statiscally doesn’t really matter, the thing is Tanya is Tanya and you can’t assume she didn’t think about you. Maybe she thought more about you than about him. This is how it went for me, I can’t be the only one.

      Also, the married friend i had feelings for and he for me had been recently cheated on by his wife. Which i think is also common, to have an emotional affair after one has been cheated on. Emotional affairs are basically about talking and finding understanding outside of the relationship, so I think in some cases it is a bit cathartic. maybe more for the married person than the other perosn, who, at the end, always feels bad and feels they lost time by trying to not slip into an affair and mantaining a friendship that is already doomed, It is quite hard when some chemical reaction in the brain that you can’t control makes you lose a good friend. I’m sure you would also feel heartbroken in some way if you were in Tanya’s shoes: at the end, love is basically a chemical reaction that happens. If one controls it enough when it happens in bad circumstances so it won’t do that much harm to others, it still stays in your brain and you are left to deal with that alone. It is r hard, even when you try hard to no fantasize it. When i dated this past year while being in that love high, i couldn’t really open myslef to the people i dated. It is also hard to have your brain hi-jacked and have that interfere with your personal life. You realize you have to wait for a while until it gets easier, but it takes a really long time. I hated my brain for a whole year, and my dreams. I jsut wanted to ahve him out of my system but all i could do was meditate and exercise and journal. dating didn’t work, it felt dishonest.

      I’m bisexual, the wife of the friend i had an emotional affair is also bisexual, and i also feel advice about emotional affairs usually erases bisexuality, which is really hard for me to not call out because it is everywhere in the internet, advice about being careful with coworkers and friends of ‘the other gender’. But I don’t have a gender that is ‘dangerous’ and one that is safe, i just have to be very aware when attraction starts to happen. But it’s discouraging that when i try to learn about emotional affairs i feel both the ohter man/woman and bisexuality are completely out of the subject. I am hurt as well, i think more than him and her because i helped out to make their relationship better as i was a friend for some time before the feelings happened, and helping someone you love in their relationship hurts a lot. And if i try to avoid this from happening again in the futre by sticking to one gneder i wouldn’t have friends. So i just have to be more aware when i have friends that are in relationships or married, that’s all i can do.

      It’s so hard to be a friend and become a secret and try to stay level-headed when your brain is hi-jacked by love and give good advice and then break the friendship and lose a friend. It’s also really ahrd to realize how out of control these things are and how much it limits freedom in friendships.

      When the emotional affair was starting to feel in control, like we were back to being friends, out of the fantasy, the whole thing stressed me out so much bc i found out their relationship was a lot worse than what i thought at the beginning. I got out of it all because it was staritng to interfere with my sanity, honestly. But at the same time I felt relief he was not an option because i think if he ahd been single we would have started a relationship that wouldn’t have been good for me. But because he wasn’t available, the thing ‘only’ was a chemical reaction, a lost friendship, and ultimately a mindfuck i have to recover from. I tried to help and keep the friendship but if i had broken it off from the beginning i probably would have been a happier person now. But what happenned and how long it was happened and one can’t go back in time. I started therapy as this triggered a lot of thigns from my past. I’m now understanding slowly how and why i got into such a mindfuck.

      Also, i have a sad love history and i must say that sometimes one has to be careful about the concept of emotional affair as it is sometimes a way for abusers to control their spouses. this happens a lot, it’s a way to isolate one’s partner. In loveisrespect.org they talk about how emotional affairs as a concept is problematic. It’s worth to check and contrast: https://www.loveisrespect.org/content/emotional-cheating/

      I’m really not saying anything as any statement, I’m jsut saying things are complex, and everyone involved is human, so you don’t have to be so rough on tanya if you don’t know her. Each person’s story is different. We need to keep an open perspective on such a delicate matter, it can be dangerous to make blanket statements. When one is betrayed (i have been in the past) one is so hurt that one wants to put that hurt somewhere. It’s sad it often goes to the other man/woman, not only because not every other man/woman is one specific kind of person but because also it can provoke in the marriage a feeling of us vs. her/him that is one of the slippery slopes to abusive relationships. This whole issue is complicated and should be talked with a therapist, that’s what i mean. It’s not a b/w issue and each case is different. Also by getting individual therapy isntead of only relying on internet advice, one learns what these connections and betrayals mean, and one can grow from them and learn about oneself.

      What I have learned from this fantasy love is that I’m not ready to have a relationship and I want to understand and process all the similarities between this situation and the ones my parents were in (they had a really bad relationship that affected all of our family). And I also learned that whenever I find someone i want to be in a relationship with, I will tell him/her this story so we can talk about what to do if such a thing happens. I think emotional affairs are very common, one doesn’t have to be scared about it happeneing but one has to talk about boundaries before such problems arise.

      I’m obviously not Tanya, I am me and this was my specific story, but I’m sure each story is complex and personal. We’re all human, we all make mistakes sometimes, some people try to correct it more than others but many try to do their best. And in these situations, everyone is susceptible to get hurt. Betrayal hurts like hell, i understand that. But healing comes when one sees the complexity of it and is open to different perspectives. I listened to this song today that both my parents used to listen to

      🙂 It reminded me how situations that provoke a crisis feel so similar to everyone involved in hard situations.

      • tryingtogetover

        Hi Janet I read your story weeks ago and meant to leave a comment because you laid out so much personal turmoil, I wanted you to know that you’re heard. It’s true that these boards assume male/female relationships and furthermore married, fairly far-along commitments, and finally, most people on here are the ones betrayed. But that makes it all the more important when someone with a different perspective, like yourself, comes on and shows another side of the story. I am sure being pursued by someone, and knowing that your only choice is to break the friendship completely in order to save THEIR marriage, comes with it’s own pain and frustration and a feeling of being used. In your case you were not out to be a homewrecker and were put in a terrible position, so you’re saying to consider that Tanya (the false name for Doug’s EA partner) was in the same boat. I think their situation was different but the idea that a spouse pushes the other woman/other man into an affair, by claiming the marriage is bad for instance, IS probably common. A common phrase the cheating spouse seems to use is “the marriage is basically over” or “it’s like we’re living together as friends/roommates there’s no romance anymore” and that makes the affair partner think one thing when the reality may be another—it’s the cheating spouse using manipulation and I agree it is both devastating for the person cheated on and for the AP being pulled into something under false pretenses. Anyway. Thank you SO much for your perspective, I like reading all the ways to look at things. And love the Indigo Girls!

        • janet

          hi, thanks for replying, as i wrote before i didn¨t read your whole story because it seems to be laid out in many different pages, but i still feel you¨re making a lot of assumptions, not only in your post but in your reply to my comment. I´m afriad you didn´t understand me at all: I didn´t say that tanya was in my same boat, that would actually be opposite of the idea i was actually trying to get through: that neither me or you or even your husband can know who is tanya, because each human being is complex and these situations are messy, so i feel it´s unfair to put people in categories and judge them if we don¨t know them. Maybe it is hard to accept how many unanswered questions these situations provoke so people look for easy answers and comparisons, but it is more honest to accept we have to live with many unanswered questions. And I¨ve been betrayed in past relationships so i also have the other perspective. And the wife of my friend had cheated on him on all her past partners so I don´t think in this situation finding one single victim is that easy. And no, not every cheating spouse in an emotional affair is following the cliché married man script. Emotional affairs are often about people feeling lonely and falling into a slippery slope, not a manipulation plan. And emotional affairs are also often a way of escaping abusive/controlling relationships as one connects with a friend and realizes there is a way of being appreciated and feeling free. I repeat that it is a harmful idea to consider cheating, especially when it is emotional, as something we can judge in a categorical way. It is also harmful to judge people one doesn¨t know as you do, you judged tanya without knowing her, you judged my friend without knowing him and determined my role in this situation, This is exactly what i said was unfair from your post.

          I think judging people and situations we don¨t know creates harm in already harmful situation and already hurt people. It is a lot more healing to focus on healthy/unhealthy dynamics, and see if the relationships in messy situations are healthy or unhealthy. This is what emotional affairs should lead us to. I can ask myself, was my friendship healthy if it was secretive and i developed feelings for him? The answer is it was obviously unhealthy so i did well in breaking it off. If one spouse became involved in an emotional affair, they can ask themselves: is this emotional connection healthy? is there a way to make it healthy? is my marriage healthy? could i make it healthy if it isn´t? if a spuse discovers or is told that there is an emotional affair, they should also question if they¨re marriage is healthy. questioning if one¨s marriage is healthy is a lot more productive than focusing on the other man or woman if they¨re out of the picture already. thinking about the other man/woman can be an unhealthy distraction to the real issues. it is easier to just get angry at this stranger, but at the end, you are only postponing the necessary insight on who you and your spouse and the dynamics between you are. You don¨t need to know if the other woman was manipulative or naive or lonely or insecure, you need to know if your husband is manipulative or naive or insecure or lonely, if you are manipulative or naive or insecure or lonely. And god, so many questions can start happening, but questioning on tanya is only leading to postponing pain by inflicting pain on a stranger. And that is as fantasy as the fantasy your husband might have had. you can¨t solve a fantasy issue with another fantasy.

          An the answers to all the questions about oneself and one¨s relationship are difficult and personal, one canniot generalize, and probably needs a therapist to explore them as they might be very difficult to discern without an objective outsider¨s perspective. But if we try to find easy answers and put people in boxes, we will just prolong the pain, or hide it, or not learn the biggest lesson in these situations, which is insight, and accepting how hard it is to get to know others, even if they are very close to us, and how hard it is to know ourselves as well.

          So please, stop putting people in easy categories. humans are complex. betrayed spouses are hurt but that hurt can be explored in its complexity instead of making us be judgemental to strangers. I need time to find my own answers and I¨m aware of that, as i needed time to find answers when i was betrayed. It isnt that one guy was manipulative, another woman was a victim and another woman (me) was used. Its jsut not that easy, if it was that easy we wouldnt need time to figure it all out. allow people to think what things mean instead of giving them a script. each situation is different.

          i think reading what is healthy, unhealthy and abusive is a good first step after these emotional situations, both for the cheating spuse and the one who was cheated on. for me, what is real love and what is real friendship, etc. emotional affairs can give us clarity inside the mess: the aim is not keeping a friendship, stealing sb that is married, running away with the ow/om or saving one´s marriage no matter what. the aim, for anyone involved in these situations, is to have healthier relationships: to feel free and safe. to grow. to learn what is healthy love and what isn´t. that can stay with us for life. that is the important question.

          • Soul Mate

            Greetings Janet,
            It is good that you seek introspection in regards to your experiences with adult relationships, however I think you are being a bit short sighted when it comes to the folks here on this website. You seek understanding for your own faults of which most here will never understand. Most of these folks have been married for several years, some most of their lives to the person who has betrayed them. They have children with them, homes with them, their life savings are with them. They have dedicated their lives, made sacrifices for and put up with a lot of shit from them. But they never cheated, were faithful devoted and emotionally there for them. And they never, not once, betrayed their cheating spouses. So you are right, there are many different dynamics that go on in a persons life which brings them to their personal crossroads. Ultimately, your experience is very different than most of ours therefor, in my opinion, you really have no experience nor validity in understanding what it feels like to be betrayed in such a way. Yes, you have experience, but it is very different. It is clouded in validating your own bad behavior so yes therapy would be a very good thing for you.

            I as a woman whose first marriage ended after 10 years of numerous betrayals and severe abuse, his alcohol and drug abuse, and then after 5 years as a single mom is remarried and have been for the last 28 years can tell you that in my experience, yes the AP is a selfish insecure person, I’ve known them, seen them in action and such as you describe yourself when they knowingly involve themselves with a married person regardless of what that married person tells them. I can also tell you that attraction to another does not lead to fantasy or dreams you can’t help not unless you indulge yourself selfishly in it. There were many instances of men while I was single and as a married woman who pursued emotional and physical affairs with me throughout my life and I can personally tell you that if you are a person with integrity and self respect, it is a huge turn off. It will make a friendship do a 360 in a heartbeat if you are an honest emotionally mature human being. Just recently my husband best friend who is married to one of my best friends started to pursue me for an affair. I had to tell him no, he was drunk, many times. We have all been friends for years. I immediately told my husband and my husband confronted him, as a friend. It is now all out in the open between all of us, he has apologized but I will never, ever feel or trust him again because of his lack of integrity and his willingness to use me to betray his wife and his best friend (my husband) and ruin my friendship with his wife and break up my marriage. Personally I can’t stand to look at him anymore, I resent him for choosing me to relieve whatever childish midlife urges he has. What truly amazes me is that she (his wife) does not hold anything against me. Maybe it was because I was honest from the very beginning and was frankly appalled by her husbands behavior.

            So yes, the AP deserves the anger of the betrayed. Because they selfishly chose to involve themselves in inflicting pain and ruin on another. Sometimes death even. Does Lacey Peterson or Shanann Watts and her dead kids ring a bell? When affairs happen it causes severe harm to the one who is betrayed in every way. And if that faithful person and the cheating spouse chooses to stay and fight for their marriage, then the other person will ultimately become the enemy of the marriage hands down as it should be. As any thief and rapist is an enemy, so are they. As it should be therefor it is.

            • janet

              im sorry you suffered. there is a lot in your message. first of all, please dont call me short-sighted. from my perspective you are so hurt you didnt read my words thoroughly, and i’m afraid this page validates pain in a way that makes pain grow instead of untangling it. that is why people seem to be reading things in my message that i didnt write, that i never did, bc they read through the lenses of the pain they are feeling at the moment.

              First of all, you were in an abusive relationship for ten years and im sorry you went through that. Ive also been through that and I was betrayed as well during that time. And if you want to re-read me you can see how i wrote that i know how betrayal feels and i understand different perspectives. So this that you wrote: ‘you really have no experience nor validity in understanding what it feels like to be betrayed in such a way.’ is not true. I did therapy after being a victim of abuse and after being betrayed. I had therapy now, years after, because this last story triggered me. And I can tell you, after being in an abusive relationship, or after being with an alcoholic, therapy is of most importance, and it’s never late to fix those wounds. So i hope that if you didnt do it back then, you can find the means to do it now. Therapy is great. You deserve it.

              You read me looking for points in which we are different when we are actually quite alike in our stories. I had an emotional affair w my friend bc he was going throu a difficult situation and that difficulty situation made us have feelings for each other. It is common to confuse a deep bond with love. We never said I love you. We never tried to have an affair. We acknowledged sth was happening, i told him we needed boundaries, he thanked me and kept those boundaries in place. He was struggling with things and so was I and we hepled each other during months until that helping started to backfire. We stopped being friends because it became unhealthy. I begged him to tell his wife and he wasnt sure and i ended up telling her. The AP of his wife (she cheated on him before we ahd feelings for each other) also was the one who told him, not his wife. And still after being cheated on, he didnt try to have sth with me. If he had tried to do sth with me, I would have acted as you did with your friend. Instead, we tried to mantain our bond. He said sorry to me. He said I was right and we had somekind of affair and that he had caused me pain without wanting to do so. He’s working out things with his wife. Their situation was of double-cheating so i guess it’s also specific (and her cheating was physical and she kept the AP as a friend). So they r have a bunch of issues to solve and I hope they solve them well.

              I am dating now and I’m enjoying it. I’ve been single for 5y after my abusive relationship and I think I also took on my friend a lot of issues which is typical after an abusive relationship. It is a bit of a cliché as they said in therapy to get involved w sb who is amrried after going through abuse. One is scared to get in a real relationship so one is more vulnerable to develop feelings for people who you can’t have a relationship with. Many ‘other women’ were/are victims of abuse’. Many others aren’t. Many people who get into emotional affairs are trying to escape an abusive marriage. Many others aren’t. We cant make blanket statements. Each situation should be explored in therapy. It isnt important to keep a family household or keep a relationship because you have children, finances or have invested a lot of time in it. It is important to have a good relationhip and a good family, because everyone in the family deserves happiness. That’s what i think people here should be focused on.
              Still, I get the anger. Anger is part of the process so I dont mind that sb takes out on me things bc i was honest here if that makes them think about things. I don’t think assuming things about me that aren’t true, as the poster did and you did a bit, helps though. Bc misreading and assuming sounds more liek being stuck in anger that having anger as a part of the process. There are ways to get anger out of the system that are better for you and for other people who might not deserve that anger at all.

              I never cheated on any of my partners. I never tried to break a relationship. I try to do good, really, and I also tried to do good in this situation. I didnt want to be with my friend, i managed to go through a chemical high without fucking up my life or other people’s life. That’s the best I could do once I was aware of the situation. Many people are bothered by the idea that chemical highs of love happen and that love isnt always neatly under our control but thats how brains work. Just as you can get depressed, or anxious, you can develop a love high. Your actions are under your control, but being depressed or ‘in love’ sometimes just happens. And all you can do is stay strong and go through it. Real love, which is much mroe than chemicals, is about having a good healthy relationship with someone. And i wish I can find that one day.

              As I read you, we really have more things in common than anything else. You say you were married for ten years with somebody who didnt treat you well. I had a secret-bond w a freind for a year. It took me a year to get out of an unhealthy situation. You know how hard unhealthy situations are to get out of. I had a 4y abusive relationship and I did therapy and still feeling come up, and i have to check in with myself to see if the danger, anger or sadness, come from the present or past. This is quite common and can take a long time to figure out, and it’s ok if it still happens sometimes. Please take care of yourself. I r believe this page is not the best way to deal with traumatic situations, I hope you find a professional that can help you deal with the pain. You deserve to feel good in your own skin. You sound like someone who tried really hard to always do the right thing, and help others, and i think you deserve sb that helps you heal well. And I hope it doesnt bother you but i r feel, when reading you, that we share similar traits. Im sure if you had an itnegrity crisis bc you developed feelings for someone you didnt want to have feelings for, you would have tried to do the right thing and go through therapy to understand why your sense of integrity got shattered for the first time.

              And on your current problem w your friend and your husbands best friend, I feel we all deserve friends we can trust and shouldnt have freidns we dont trust. Thats my personal opinion. But i hope u and ur husband find better friends after that bad experience.

              Thank you for the food for thought and wish you best.

    • Phoenix

      I think the betrayed spouse should write a letter or confront (safely) the AP if they need it want to FOR THEMSELVES. Fighting for your spouse can be an important step for personal healing…”I know what you are doing. The person you are having this affair with is married and has children at home. I love my spouse and am fighting for them and our marriage. Back off.” No matter if the marriage survives, you as the spouse have tried, loved, and fought for your marriage. It also makes sure they have heard directly what is actually happening.

      Writing a letter is ok too in my opinion. Whether you send it or not, it helps you get the feelings out. Again, I think confronting or not, writing a letter or not, is all for you, not your spouse or the AP. Writing about your marriage reminds you what you value and cherish about it, what strengths you and your spouse and your marriage have even though there are problems. Writing about yiur anger and hurt and what is doing to your marriage and your family, gets it out in the open which is important in healing. And maybe it will help you realize traditions that have fallen by the wayside, things you can work to improve, or find hope again.

    • Soul Mate

      First let me say thank you for your response and I am glad to hear that you have moved on and are dating again. We may have been through similar situations, however my life has been very different in many ways. Number 1, I remarried and have been married longer to my current husband than I was to my first. He and I raised all 5 of our kids together from the time they were very young, had soul custody of all 5, 365 days a year as their other biological parents were very absent from their lives. They are grown now and are now, married themselves and we have been blessed with 12 beautiful grandchildren. My current husband and I have enjoyed our marriage together and were always very close for many years until my husband suffered a sever head injury from the result of an attack. Since then he lost a job (he was an executive), tried to start a business and failed and ended up taking a job that paid half of what he had been receiving before. He started to drink heavily became depressed, insecure, mean, detached and I watched the very loving man I knew completely change in front of my eyes way before his affair. 2 1/2 years ago I found out about my current husbands emotional affair with a coworker and this is when I came to find this website and it has been the best thing for me. You see, when I found out about my husbands affair, I was going to make him leave and destroy that POS of a woman who attacked me behind my back and believe me when I say, I could have and would not have one iota of remorse. There is absolutely no therapy that would have helped me at that time. Trust me when I say this as I’ve worked in the mental healthcare field for many years it would have made matters worse. Sometimes you have to find a way to work through traumatic events on your own to discover the strength in yourself otherwise you will end up dwelling on and running to another for answers all your life. That being said our stories are very different. Yes, you can’t help that you are attracted to someone but you absolutely can and should control who you fall in love with. To me it is very childish to think that you can’t help who you fall in love with. It trivializes the very idea of love. Affairs are never about love and always about lies, cheating and secrecy and above all selfishness. I can tell you from experience that if you truly are being abused, you would be afraid to do any of what I just listed. Or it could very possibly be that you (the married so called abused cheater) is just as abusive or emotionally void. Who the heck would find that attractive is beyond me.
      So I will close with this one thought; yes this website has been a godsend for me and many like me to use as a sounding board and to know that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings of being betrayed. But also, I do think that one could also become addicted to their own pain and resentment and could possibly use this site to fuel themselves if not aware of what they are doing just like running to a therapist every time you need an answer for your own or others behavior. Dwelling on anything over a long period of time is never healthy. With that being said, I don’t visit here as much anymore and am not thinking about the affair that much anymore. However I believe that this website needs to be here for others that have just experienced or will experience their dday. I am very grateful for Doug, Linda and Sarah for their selfless sharing of time and experience and hope they will continue in their very good work. I have chosen to move forward too. To let go of the side of the pool I was so desperately clinging to and explore new beginnings. Thankfully it is with my husband. Peace.

      • Kittypone

        Hi, Soul Mate;

        I relate SO MUCH to your story, except that this is the only marriage for both my h and myself, our kids are just of us, and we were married almost 28 years when he had his affair. I felt like you were telling my story when you said that you could’ve destroyed the OW without a pinch of remorse, and I see myself in that scenario….my rage was so great, that I would’ve readily committed homicide and not looked back…..my rage wasn’t helped by the fact that my h refused to break off the affair and kept making excuses like, “oh, we are in the process of breaking up”; “we are getting there” and such bullshit (who ever has to work it up to “break up”?) because he didn’t REALLY want to break it off, he was just buying time to see if he could have his cake and eat it too, except for the fact that I was cornering him everyday about it and he had to make a choice…..he didn’t get to make it because the harlot he was with broke it off with him first, as she is also married and also had a lot to lose….I developed such bitter hatred for this woman who dared to come in between my h and myself; yes, our marriage had flaws like everybody else’s and yes, we could’ve worked on those a little harder, but at the end of the day, it never occurred to either one of us that we wanted to end our marriage…..then, along comes the viper who entangled my h (who happily allowed himself to become entangled and enthusiastically assisted into his own entanglement) with I am so “helpless” and “desperate” in my own marriage that I need a hero to save me……good-for-nothing manipulator……it’s now three years later, and here we are, almost back to square one in the sense that even after all the marriage counseling, mentoring, therapy and self-help, I can’t help but feel empty, indifferent and somewhat bitter…..I can’t seem to recover any kind of loving feelings towards my h, we are still together under the same roof, but with very little intimacy or closeness……in my heart of hearts, this marriage is over….

    • janet

      hi soul mate! i dont want to compare abuse stories, i feel when one is abused it is always hell and that victims of abuse do best when they hear and believe each other’s pain. So I don’t think comparisons or assumptions help. I also dont think calling sb POS helps, or comparing AP to rapists is fair and there were a few other comments that seem disconnected and well, could be TW for victims. So i disagree with some of ur vocabulary but i choose to see it as a part of processing pain and feel you’ll find more appropriate words the more the pain goes away. I’m not fighting w you or with this page at all, I just really feel that trauma leaves people raw and vulnerable so it can be easy to take one general easy answer and stick to it in that moment instead of looking at one’s personal situation with the deepness and consideration any difficult situation needs.

      Maybe also, because you work at mental health care, you are feeling your situation doesnt deserve as much personal attention as i guess you see other people struggle with harder things? Although I do share your opinion on that sometimes traumatic experiences can be prolongued in therapy, I think it depends of the particular traumatic experience and the therapy one chooses to do. Betrayal is a trauma that can really get a lot better in therapy, as its often confusing because it involves many things like self-esteem, broken trust and difficult anger, and those issues can be separated and explored in a safe place, and all of them can improve a lot with the right help

      The more I know abt your story the mroe I wonder if you are giving yourself what you need. The story about your husband, as you put it, sounds quite concerning: ”My current husband and I have enjoyed our marriage together and were always very close for many years until my husband suffered a sever head injury from the result of an attack. Since then he lost a job (he was an executive), tried to start a business and failed and ended up taking a job that paid half of what he had been receiving before. He started to drink heavily became depressed, insecure, mean, detached and I watched the very loving man I knew completely change in front of my eyes way before his affair. ”

      First of all you talk about good marriage and love in the past, as if you r missed the person he was before the head injury. and the after-description of him as Insecure, mean, detached, drinking…. that doesnt sounds like a person who is fulfilling your needs at all, but as a person who could be causing you a lot of pain and difficulties. I know there are cases where a brain injury makes people become emotionally abusive and become a different person, but those cases don’t involve alcohol and affairs. I dont think any therapist would tell you to excuse those behaviours because your husband suffered a brain injury. Also the way you said before that a lot of people here are different than me because they are married, have children and have put up with a lot of shit in their marriage sounds really worrisome to me. Nobody should ‘put up with a lot of shit’, and having children or finances together isnt a reason to put up with shit. One can forgive a bad behaviour, but i find ‘putting up with shit’ sounds more like a sacrificing continuos past investment that is a big red flag of an unhealthy dynamic.

      Has your husband been in therapy? Has he stopped drinking? How do you cope with his detachment? Your situation right now sounds a lot harder than this story i wrote abt and went thru last year. i am concerned you might be thinking a lot abt the emotional affair and the OW to not think about all the other problems that seem to me even more painful. Also is your husband still friends with his best friend who tried to cheat on his wife with you while you cant even look at his face and will never trust that person again? If that’s the situation, that also sounds difficult.

      Again, I really do think that your problems and feelings deserve some attention and support and maybe some untangling? You can always tell a therapist you jsut want to order your thoughts and not get into traumatic subjects (by only mentioning them briefly so they follow you) if you are scared of re-opening wounds or getting stuck in tender places.

      And again, Im sorry i repeat myself on this, but it is clear to me you are either reading me r fast or through a lense of pain or something is going on, because again, you wrote things about me that are not what i wrote. You write: ‘Affairs are never about love and always about lies, cheating and secrecy and above all selfishness. I can tell you from experience that if you truly are being abused, you would be afraid to do any of what I just listed. ‘ I understand the first sentence but the second one seems to stem from a missreading of my comment.

      I wrote I was in an abusive relationship and have been five years single since it ended. I wrote I never cheated on any of my partner. I wrote true love is more than a chemical high: I dont think I trivialize love at all, I just acknowledge its chemical part. In a long term marriage, you usually have a chemical high in the first years (the honeymoon phase) and if you have more than that you can sustain a marriage that is based on trust and friendship and a love that is less chemical and more mature.

      I don’t really think anymore about all this story I went through since some months with much emotional attachment, but I do remember that when I wrote the comments you replied to today, I was trying to untangle what happened, what i could learn and how to feel the pain. I feel your comments today show you might need some time and help to also get things untangled and process your pain and find all your needs met. I really hope in a few months things get a lot better for you and thanks again for helping me think about important subjects. Bw and take loads of care.

    • TD

      I would NEVER confront the other woman. In my mind I would not want her to know she had any power at all to destroy my marriage, my family. Two individuals involved in an affair are not thinking straight in the first place and she wouldn’t care about our past, family history etc… She would not “Do the right thing”. In her mind the right thing would be continuing the affair with my husband because it’s right for her. She would simply tell herself she would make new traditions.
      The other woman in my case was a woman my husband worked with. She already knew he was married, we went on vacations, had children etc… She did not care. After I found out and my husband swore he loved only me and wanted to work on our marriage (and yes, he continued to lie and gaslight and give me trickle truth for quite a while) I was often forced to be around her due to my husbands job and I acted as if all was well. Did I feel that way on the inside? Absolutely not. We finally had to get the right counseling and at that point our marriage started to improve. The more we improved as a couple, the more she pursued him. Once she texted him and I was so completely tired of her by then. I asked him for his phone and texted back. “Hi this is TD, I have his phone for the day and I will be glad to give him the message tonight.” Nice as can be. It took her a good ten minutes to respond (she must have been so surprised) her response was friendly too but my gut tells me she was furious. My real intention was to let her know that I had access to EVERYTHING and those private texts she thought she was having were not so private. That, as his wife, I could see them too. It worked. She did not text him again for a very long time. She would call him at 9:30 at night, when we pulled into the parking lot at church, on vacation, any time she felt like it. She was smart, it was always something to do with work or her needing his help. She would call him for things that were completely unnecessary and for which she had previous emails with the information. Anything to keep her in his mind. “Hi, I’m here”. When I asked my husband to tell her to call during regular business hours and that she was calling to much, ( 4 to 5 times a day, everyday) he did, but the next month her phone calls doubled. As he and I got closer, she tried everything she could think of. She manufactured reasons to talk to him and she recycled behavior. She would be the all go non stop great employee, then she would be the southern belle and need help, then she would get sick and tell him about her illness, then she would be all go no stop again. She finally semi gave up and transferred to another state in the same company (which is what we were waiting and hoping for) so even though we are not completely rid of her yet she is far enough away. I asked him to delete her from the a well known work website, which he did, but she still trolls his page and comments on everything he posts. She tried messaging him on this site not to long ago, he showed me so now I comment on everything he posts as well. Of course she wanted information for “work”. He answered her back in an email, gave her the information and did not allow her to start a conversation though she tried. I expect he will hear from her again sometime soon. She doesn’t seem to be able to go very long without “needing” something. He always shows me and most of the time does not respond.
      Could I have kept this up forever while she was here? No. But I was not going to lower myself to her level, fight with her, throw myself on her mercy or let her know how much of a threat she actually was. I absolutely refused to give her that kind of power.
      My husband is not a bad man, he has grown and we have grown together. He made a mistake and hopefully he will not make another one. Time will tell.

    • Veronica

      Confronting the AP will not have any affect on the relationship. The AP has no conscious, no self-respect and cares about no one but themselves. They know exactly what they are doing and if anything it will result in them pursuing your spouse even more as it seems to give them a thrill. You will not feel better at all!! It will create more hurt and confusion as to why your spouse is doing this to you.

    • KateW

      How would you handle the situation if the person your husband was having the emotional affair with was your best friend AND lived directly across the street….(does it get any worse than that???)

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