forgiving the emotional affairLinda shares her process for forgiving Doug after his affair.

Recently,  Doug and I recorded a session for the Affair Recovery Group where we wrapped up the topic of forgiveness after the affair by sharing some of our own experiences and opinions with respect to this very important topic.

A question came up where I felt compelled to explain my process that I went through when I was working on forgiving Doug for his emotional affair. We figured it would be helpful to share with all of you as well.

Forgiveness was key for our recovery…

First of all, let me explain that I felt forgiveness was vitally important to our affair recovery.  The process for me was a long one – more than a year and a half – and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

I never thought that I would have to consider forgiving such actions that I could never tolerate, or thought I would ever have to consider forgiving in the first place.

At one point I even thought that it would just be easier to let the emotional affair go and move on. But I couldn’t.  If I didn’t forgive I would remain in pain and wouldn’t be able to move forward to improve our relationship.  Basically, there would have remained a wall between us if I chose not to forgive.

My process may not be what the therapists or infidelity gurus tell you, but it worked for me.  As we have mentioned before, it’s important to not forgive too soon.  Let your feelings and the pain guide you.  You will know when you are ready to forgive.

So here was my process for forgiving the emotional affair:

You must know for certain that the affair is over. There is no possible way to even consider forgiveness it the affair is still happening.  Doug showed his affair was over by being totally transparent and making a sincere focused effort to mend and rebuild our marriage. 

I’m not too proud to admit that I continued for a time to check phone records, computer history and such as well.

How to End an Affair – The Right Way

There needs to be open and honest communication about what happened during the affair and what led up to it. I needed to understand the reasons behind his actions. I think that this was probably the hardest to accomplish because I received the details in bits and pieces over time. 

It was also very difficult to decipher what was real and what wasn’t because of the inherent fantasy aspect of his emotional affair.

Figure out what you are forgiving. I had to get a handle on all of the lying, resentment, and other strange behaviors in order to understand why he was acting that way.  Was this the real Doug, or was this just an isolated incident? 

He had to show me that it really wasn’t his real character. Do not forgive the event.  Forgive the person.

Doug had to show me real sincere remorse together with an understanding of the pain his emotional affair caused me. There was to be no minimizing of the affair or the affair relationship.  They were not “just friends.”  One thing that we should have done but didn’t, was Doug should have actually verbally asked for forgiveness. 

Likewise, I should have done the same for my contributions to the deterioration of our marriage. Saying your sorry is just not enough – especially if the sorry comes with conditions.

Forgive yourself. This is almost an entire process by itself.  For me it was about forgiving myself for what went on in our marriage before the affair, and then for how I handled things after the affair. 

I took a lot of the blame for the affair and beat myself up about it as a result.  Becoming educated about affairs and practicing honest communication is essential.

Eventually there came a point after Doug’s emotional affair where all the pieces fell into place and I was able to forgive.

Almost immediately there was a tremendous sense of relief. The pain was diminished and I was able to look at Doug in a better light. It’s tough to always think of your spouse as a bad person who could hurt you in such a terrible way.

Forgiveness was the key to get me past this.

For those of you who have successfully forgiven your partner after the affair, please feel free to share what your process was in the comment section and what it meant to you. You may also want to click the following link for more posts about forgiveness.

 

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    72 replies to "My Process for Forgiving the Emotional Affair"

    • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr. Dan Boen, Doug_Linda. Doug_Linda said: My Process for Forgiving the Emotional Affair:   Recently,  Doug and I recorded a session for the Affair… http://bit.ly/i9pdVw […]

    • ruth

      For the last year I was on my way to forgiving until last month I found out that they have been having contact when I thought there was no contact. There will be no forgiving for a very long time now, if ever.

    • Norwegian woman

      I haven`t forgiven yet, but I will write anyway. I am still struggeling with trust, checking e-mail, computer history and so on. What is bugging me the most, is that allthough he seems transparant and tells me that this is something I will never have to deal with again, he never initiates talks. He still minimizes the affairs, he still can`t tell me what he felt and so on. It`s like a record playing; Now, I can see how wrong it was and sometimes his answers to my questions are answered as if he posessed this knowledge when he had the affairs. It is allways me that wants to talk, that have problems letting go. Suddenly words or situations pop into my head and my day is ruined and the more I keep it in, the angrier i get. And I have to talk to him about it, and his response is to reassure me that this is a stage in his life that is over…
      Some days ago I was so disappointed in him. Me, trusting him, is a big issue and there is a woman at his work that my stomack tells me to be aware about. Before christmas they had dinner delivered at work(all the employees were there) and the two last persons to leave the buildings that evening was him and this woman. He told me that someone had to take care of cleaning up and putting out candles and so on. Of course, I cannot accuse him for anything, but i told him that I did not like it, and that my stomack told me to be aware. He couldn`t believe what he was hearing and told me to stop being so sensitive, cause there was nothing going on. But I asked him to never ever get himself in a situation with her, that I could feel uncomfortable with. I asked him to avoid being alone with her both in private, job parties and at work.
      This week he told me that the two of them was arranging a party at work. I told him how dissapointed I was that he didn`t respect my wishes. He got angry and told me I was over sensitive and that he couldn`t engange in anything at work because I was paranoid. I told him that of all the women at work, the only one I have told him to stay away from was her. There are several women, and next week he is going to another town on a conference with two other female workmates, but I don`t feel worried at all. It`s just her. And he HAD to engage in throwing av party at work with her……
      So….. I really want to trust him again, but i struggle so hard with it because I feel that his response to me is superficial, allthough he is very loving and caring, and I see that he really doesn`t follow up being trustworthy. I know that if HE doesn`t understand his actions and feelings, he is in great risk at doing it again. And this last demonstration of him not taking my feelings seriously, was really a blow to me. I have had a couple of really bad days….

    • Lori

      Linda, I must say that this is a great post. You are very lucky that you and Doug were able to recover from the affair, I wasn’t so lucky. My pain is very deep and there isn’t a minute I don’t think about him and wishing things were different. I have forgiven him and I did want to work things out with him. We weren’t married and part of the moving on process included things that you mentioned in this post. However, because we weren’t married, it was easier for him to walk away from me, and me from him. He insisted that he remain friends with the EP, and not just regular friends, but ‘very special friends.’ He also has never addressed my issues and concerns and ever felt remorseful. He’s told me he’s sorry, but he only said it for hurting me – he never addresses the individual things he did that greatly affected me, such as: the negative names he called me, the lies and the sneaking around. Also, I don’t think I forgave myself – especially the part where I read his emails that discovered the in-depth knowledge I had to his EA. I thought I was wrong for taking a peak, although I didn’t need to look at their emails to know what was going on. It was all in front of me. I wanted him to read this blog, but he now thinks that he knows his boundaries with her and that they are just friends. He’s admitted to me in the past that it was an EA, but now has changed his mind. I wish things were different, but we don’t agree on this. And when I go to sleep at night, I think that he never really loved me, he never proposed, he had this EA from the beginning, but it stopped for 2 years, but then he went back to her; erasing our past. Sometimes I think I’m lucky that I wasn’t married to him, but most of the time I just feel sad. Being betrayed like this is one of the worst things in the world, and he doesn’t understand this one bit, because if he did, and if he truly loved me, he would have done the things listed in this post to help move us to forgiveness together! IMHO

    • karen k

      My journey to forgiveness of both my CS and the OP:
      D-Day of my H’s 2-year EA – May 28, 2010
      Rage, Hurt, Pain, Thoughts of Divorce, etc.
      Found this site (a godsend) – started research, reading, etc. on affairs
      Focused on taking care of myself 🙂 Realized it wasn’t my fault
      H broke off contact – with my prodding and help (tough love)
      Long, intense talks with H about EA and our relationship and what each of us needed and were not getting from our marriage
      Watched DVD on forgiveness
      H showed some remorse and asked a few times for forgiveness
      Lots more reading and research on EA’s
      Realized forgiveness was for me!!!
      Separate opportunities occurred to forgive both my CS and the OP (another godsend) – forgave both of them at different times – immediate sense of relief for me!!!
      Up and down days since then up till today – still having triggers, flashbacks, very slow-building trust but moving forward slowly in recreating my marriage.

      The only thing I might add to Linda’s post is from what I’ve read on forgiveness (not directed strictly at affairs) is that to heal and move on completely, you must forgive, even if the person doesn’t ask for it or show remorse. How this forgiveness affects or allows for moving on and continuing in a marriage where an affair has happened but the CS won’t take responsibility or see forgiveness? I don’t know. It’s so, so complicated by economics and children and many other issues. That’s why affairs are so devastating.

    • Jessica

      I don’t know how to forgive him. I keep bringing it up and I know it spoils the mood. If I go one day without bringing it up that’s good but the obsessive thoughts still continue in my mind. Its over with him and the OW. He tells me he lives me is a better dad then ever before but I just can’t believe he would be the cause of so much pain to me. Maybe with more time it’s been seven months now but at this time last year was when his EA started so now there are so many triggers

    • Beth

      It has helped me so much to read through all of these posts. I find this site shortly after I discovered my husband’s emotional affair 6 months ago. As many others have already said, it seems as though you have written my story. I never considered even the possibility that I would have to deal with infidelity, let alone learn how to forgive. My husband and I are in a pretty good place right now. We have been to counseling nearly every week since March and it is really helping. As you ahve stated, I have also had to look at myself and change who I was and how I contributed to the situation. My husband has truly worked to repair our marriage. It was a definite struggle in the beginning – he actually pulled away dramatically and continued to hide things. Over the last several months, he has taken responsibility for his behavior, the deception, etc., but there is a piece of me that believes he still may not truly “get it.” I don’t know if he understands how severely he damaged me or our marriage and I don’t believe that he feels the need to ask for my forgiveness. I think that he has already moved past it and it “over it” and would much rather never talk about it again. He has told me he is sorry and I truly believe him, but I don’t know if he is necessarily sorry for the right things. That is what is holding me back from forgiving him.

      I suppose my question is for Doug … did you ever really “get it?” If so, how long did it take and how did you get there. My husband and I no longer discuss the emotional affair unless we are in our counseling sessions (and that has worked out better for us that way so far), but I wonder if that is the right thing to do or if we should be talking about it more, to help us both move forward. From your perspective, what did it take for you to realize what you had done and how to make things right? My husband admits that he still “feels something” for the other woman and I wonder how long that will continue or if it will ever go away.

      Any insight is appreciated and I am already so thankful for how open you have both been with your experience!

      • Doug

        Hi Beth, Thanks for sharing, and I’m happy that you and your husband seem to be on a solid road to recovery. I’m horrible with time lines, so I’m not sure I will be of much help, but to answer your question, yes I do feel that I “get it.” I realize the irreparable damage I’ve done to not only our marriage but to Linda and her self-concept. That being said, I pretty much “got it” in theory right away, but early on chose to ignore it due to the emotional affair and the “fog” I was in. After the affair ended and we started our recovery process, over time, the damage I caused became much clearer and caused me much more guilt, and I guess you can say I “got it” more from a practical standpoint.

        I think I got there mainly through the conversations that Linda and I had where often she displayed intense emotions and pain, and how deeply my emotional affair has impacted her in so many ways. During these conversations she would often tell me what she needed, or at least gave me clues to what she needed to forgive and to heal. Was I always successful at giving her what she needed? No. But I think the effort was there and she realized that, and it helped.

        I think that you going to a therapist is great, but I also think that if you are having a hard time forgiving him, based on what you said, you need to have more heart to heart conversations at home. He may hate it, but if he realizes that it’s what YOU need and that it can only help you to heal faster and more completely, then he should be OK with it.

        It’s tough to say how long he will still have feelings for the OP as everyone is different, but as your recovery process continues and your marriage strengthens even more, I’m betting those feelings will fade away altogether.

        Two books I recommend: “Torn Asunder” (and the accompanying workbook) by Dave Carder and “How Can I Forgive You?” by Janis Abrahms Spring (both in “The Library” at the top of the page) really have some great info and advice on forgiveness and other related issues. I hope that helps! Best of luck to you!

    • suziesuffers

      I’ve been told that forgiveness is to never bring up the sin again. What does forgiveness really mean if we still are working through the pain and triggers of the affair and need to discuss it with our spouse? This was the biggest issue with my husband. Of course, he wanted forgiveness in order to NEVER discuss it again. Even though he said to me Forgiveness is not forgetting, his definition of forgiveness was to never bring up the inequity again…..so I guess I wasn’t going to forget his trangression, I was just never allowed to bring it up to him again. His issue was that I was talking about this all the time (and I was, his years of alcoholism and cheating…and then sobriety and cheating had destroyed whatever self esteem I had when we got married…..I had somehow lost myself and was defined by my husband even though I was very successful in my career, I had lost all my self esteem about my appearance and my personality in his eyes). He is divorcing me saying that my inquiries/investigations of his email and phone records were intrusive. That when I was crying about my hurt that even though to my face he was telling me how “real” I was incomparison to the affairs he’d had, that it endeared him to me even more because of my “real” emotions and heart……but that turned even though he never said anything to me until the divorce…that he felt I was reigning hell down on him by “berating” him about the affairs and everything he had done over the last 30 years (all the affairs I was now brave enough to address……and question his honesty about the ones never disclosed….which to this day I don’t know if I ever got any real truth). I don’t know what forgiveness really means at this point and how you work on the pain of the affair if you can’t talk about it.

      • Greg

        Very simple Suzie, you are right. It is not possible to work on the pain of the affair if you can’t talk about it and you cannot forgive until you have been able to get rid of the pain. What he really means is that he doesn’t want to feel the pain of having to think about what he did to you over all the years with his drinking and affairs. It is very painful for him and he doesn’t want to deal with it so he wants you to stop reminding him, failing at that he now wants to divorce and run away so that he does not have to work on himself. He would rather bury it in a box far inside his mind and never open it up again. Trust me on this one as I’ve recently had the top to my box blown wide open and am now having to deal with everything I put in there over the years. It’s painful far beyond what my wife’s EA was and sucks to the extreme. I’m willing to deal with it because I love my wife and kids too much to just close them off and run away. Your husband will have to decide what he loves more, you or protecting his ego.

    • Brianna

      I am going through a tough time right now too. My husband was deployed for almost a year. and i recently (3 weeks ago) found out he had been seeing someone from his batallion. He said it was never physical but i finf it hard to beleive him. I found an email he sent to her with a picture saying “its not much but something for you. Im going to miss you so much. I love you baby!”…..He was out of the hosue for 2 days and i told him i was going to try and get over it. Unfortunately 3 weeks later i still cant. He gets upset because i think about it and bring it up. He is still messaging this girl on a daily basis. He claims they are just frineds but i cant help but think otherwise. Today i gave him an ultimatum that if he continued to talk to her i wouldnt be able to move past it 100%. He of course got upset and said it was over and that i have issues to resolve. My question is wheter or not i was in the wrong when i told him i would try and was unable to. I think i tired to forgive him before i was ready. Idk what to do now. He has no where to go and we have a child together. I do not want a divorce but i also do not want to stay if hes not willing to let this other woman go.

      • Doug

        Hi Brianna, I’m sorry for what you’re going through. You are not in the wrong one bit. 3 weeks is no where near long enough time to remotely get over this. He needs to get a clue and understand the hurt he has caused you and agree to talk about his affair and what it means to you and your relationship. He also must stop any contact with the OW.

    • Gizfield

      The issue that needs to be resolved is him bringing another skank into your marriage. You have done nothing wrong. Stand your ground!

    • Brianna

      He refuses to talk about it. Get s upset when ever i bring it up and throws a fit. Everyone close to me that ive spoken to tells me i need to just move on because i deserve better than him. He treats me disrespectfully, goes out and doesnt come home till 5:30 in the morning drunk. I spoke to him today telling him i still wanted this marriage to work and he will not take responsibilty that he has issues also. Says its all me about how i do or say things. He gets irritated at the smallest stuff, has told me i was a whore and that i tricked him into being eith me. That we dont know eachother, and how he cant talk to me because we do not have the same experiences. Ive made an appointment to see a therapist to fix my self esteem issues because he has knowcked me down. My heart tells me to keep fighting but my mind is telling me to let go. I just dont know what to do.

    • Brianna

      Also, should i confront this woman. She knows hes married and has kids. Thier relationship started about half ways through the deployment. He says it just happened and that i was always unavailable to talk to him. He was in Egypt and i was here taking care of three kids (two from a previous realtionship) and working and going to school. He felt a connection to her and apparently still does. He claims they only talk about random stuff yet will delete the messages from his phone.

    • Undecided

      I am still reading through the advice on this website, never realising there were so many people in the same boat.

      My H has been in an EA for almost 3 years but they decided to meet last year. They were seen by a family friend on their 3rd meeting and he had no choice but to tell me, d-day was just over a year ago. I still have very bad days as he is in contact with her every day. He says he only talks to her about work – and his phone bills show that – yes I do look at them, that does not make me proud of myself. He has never stopped telling me he loves me and I believe he does, However, since before d-day he has been working out, lost loads of weight, wants now to go to a gym, go for meals with a friend – and I will let him go but I don’t know whether to trust him – it’s sooo hard keeping the ow out of my mind he has told me things about their meetings when I ask but is not open with me if I don’t. He says he doesn’t want to talk about it or her as both are irrelevant to him. How do you learn to forgive if they continue to have contact and how do you stop the jealous feelings? She is the total opposite to me physically, (younger and fat, and nothing to look at) he said it doesn’t matter what you look like but wants me to be ‘more of a woman- make up, heels, skirts etc’, which I have done, and do. Not long after d-day he said haas she been a stunner he would have struggled to stay.

      How do you stop being so wrapped up in what happened?

    • Undecided

      Misspell – should have said ‘had she been a stunner’

      He has not read any of this site, he is only interested in dealing with his own ‘problems’. Is there any point in staying together?

      How long after d-day did you come out of your ‘fog’ doug?

    • Shellz

      I am going thru a similar experience… My husband and I met a woman thru a mutual friend at a concert last month. She got pretty intoxicated and was hanging on my husband quite a bit. I admit it was no big deal because I am not a jealous person so it really didn’t bother me. I ended up FB friending her and said we should all hang out sometime again because we did have fun with her and our friend. Within a week I started to have this 6th sense something was amiss. I didn’t check up on him because it’s never been necessary. I have been thru the mill in 2 previous relationships where I discovered a great deal of social media and phone texts/calls with women that ultimately became lovers of the men I was with. But I have never had a fear of that with my now husband. So when I noticed he was saying, go on to bed I will be in soon and then not coming to bed for hours or early morning I had the immediate red flag go up. Last week I asked him who he was textng and he ignored me. Later that night I woke up on the couch and he was in bed. His phone was lying there and I looked. All of his texts were erased (he never does that and is notorious for leaving hundreds in his phone all the time) except for 2 new ones from a Man’s name .. one that said yes and the other said When? I got on our phone account and realized there had been nearly 400 texts in 13 days between the 2 of them, late at night and picture messages from her to him. I was sick .. and I knew right away it was this woman because she lives in the adjoining state less than an hour’s drive from us and I knew it would be her area code. I checked online and sure enough it was her. I was awake all night sick from what I learned but I didn’t wake him.. I waited til morning when he got up and confronted him. He confessed immediately and swore they had never met up and that it was innocent and they mostly spoke of the guy who is our friend (we are aware she is in love with him but he is not recipricating) … he admitted she sent photos of herself and had asked to meet with him and he says he declined. Regardless the deception of him speaking to another woman behind my back while I am in bed and going to such great lengths to hide it is eating away at me. Mainly because apparantly at no time did he ever feel he was doing anything wrong and that is my greatest hurt. He has apologized profusely, claimes he has ended the contact (as far as I know he has though he has a work phone thru his company and I am obsessing that he may be talking to her thru that phone and i have no way to check on that) … he swore it would never happen again and hasn’t happened before … but I am having trouble accepting it. I contacted the woman myself and she tried to lay blame on him but I let her know I was aware she was texting him first late at night and sending photos and she never responded again .. I have checked up on the cell records. I have no access to his email and FB and I dread asking because I am afraid of what I may see though likely he has deleted it all. It didn’t go on long and he knows I am the kind of woman who will find out anything so deep down I don’t think it will happen again but I don’t know how to let go. We have been together 3 years.. married just under 1 year and the last year has been rough for us. An accident, a home robbery, surgerys, time off work and medical bills. I was hoping our upcoming 1st anniversary would be a time to get back to where we were, renew a little bit, but now I dread even going home and looking at him. I want this to work out but I don’t know where to start.

    • Strengthrequired

      Shellz, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for what you have been through, but also sorry that you have found your way here.
      One thing that you need to remember and know, over 400 texts and pics through the night or day with another woman is not innocent. It’s not innocent when the texts are deleted. If it was innocent there would be nothing to hide.
      Your h needs to lose this woman’s number, and be completely open with you.
      I know you will get some great advice here. Hugs to you.

      • Jan

        Hi Shellz. My situation is so similar to yours. I just posted my situation, and I want to believe that my man really does love me but when I think about him wanting to keep in contact with her, I get upset all over again. He really doesn’t see that he’s done anything wrong (except the explicit email part). He can’t see why I can’t “let it go” because “nothing is going on between them, they’re just friends”.

        My heart is with you, I know it’s an extremely difficult position to be in. I was just divorced 3 years ago after a 30 year marriage, and I’m not inclined to put up with this. I will probably be leaving this relationship very soon, even though I love him.

        Good luck, hon!

    • Hurting

      Hi, I stumbled across this site tonight because I too am having a hard time forgiving my husbands emotional affair. The thing that makes it very confusing for me is the affair ended in november 2011, but i just found out about it about 2 weeks ago. I found some emails that go as far back as 2008. The emails are of sexual nature and some lead me to believe there was physical contact. He denies that it became physical and that the situations they described were fantasy, but I find it hard to believe. The part that bothers me the most is he wrote poetry professing his love and they talked about being soulmates. He never said anything negative about me in the emails that I found. In fact, He wrote that he doesnt “have any real reason to turn away from my wife”. And then later wrote, “I have decided not to worry myself about this, and do what I feel is right…whatever that might be.” I know that he wanted it to become physical, and he has even admitted to me that he feels like he could have built a life with her. My confidence is completely shattered. I want to separate, but I dont want to hurt my kids. We just had our third child, he is 4 days old-talk about perfect timing, so i am an emotional hormonal wreck. Ive tried talking to my husband about it but he seems irritated when i do. And he defends their relationship. He considers her aa good friend and says she was there for him. He doesnt understand how that hurts me. I asked him to remove her from his facebook and to never contact her again. She is still his facebook friend. When I ask him to explain to me why. He says he doesnt see how thats important and that he loves me and we should just move forward. Im afraid that I wont be able to. He says that whatever I need to move forward, just do it. At this point I dont know what I need, and I think its pretty messed up for him to leave me emotionally like this. Its just making things worse. I dont know what to do. I just want to feel better for me and my kids. Any advice on how to heal without the help of your partner? Because I think thats my only option at this point…

      • Monica

        I discovered my husband had at least 1 or possibly 2 “confidants” in which he claims he only talked to her ( ill call them a her because of the fact that I dont have proof there was more than one)as a way of coping with the problems we had in our mairrage. There is so much pain associated with discovering your significant other looked beyond the mairrage to find happiness. My problem was that my husband never wanted to talk about it. At first when I finally found phone records and proff he had denied everything. Even when the proof was right in his face he still tried to dismiss it and finally claimed that nothing intimate ever happened. To this day he has never talked to me about anything just that yes he spoke to another woman for months ( obviously I had the proof) and she just offered advice and was a friend. At the time I was receiving anonymous texts warning me that my husband was having an affair to open my eyes. At the time I didn’t believe a word of it and changed my number. But the doubt had crept in and then I discovered the phone records. CountleSS rumors have gone around that he did have intimacy with so and so…..he denies everything and has begged for forgiveness of the EA and has said we need to forget the past and move forward to be happy as the “new us”. But I am tormented with the thoughts of what actually happened. How do I move forward and forgive? When I don’t even know what I am actually forgiving. 2 years have passed and it seemed like we were doing well. But just a month ago I eased dropped on a conversation he was having with a buddy and I heard him so proudly admit he had 2 chick’s on the side at one point and was bragging about how he had a way with words when I came to wooing a woman. Although he never said I had sex with X woman to me it was a blow especially since I thought the incident had stayed in the past and we were on our way to getting past them. I was shattered all over again only to discover how he felt about them and how his ego was boosted by the reputation that he had made for himself. When I confronted him he said he was exaggerating and when guys get togetter they say a whole bunch of “bull shit” and it’s just a male ego thing”. Never the less to hear it from his own lips drunk or not the damage was done and my wounds that were trying to heal were slashed open again. He has sworn to me that he is sorry for the pain he has caused me that all of that business is in the past and that the “new” us is better than ever and that I’m so beautiful and he don’t need anyone else. But my insecurities and my ego are sunk so low and I can’t get past the what ifs, what actually happened. And I find it so difficult to move forward and truly forgive. And as a Christian i feel terrible that im having difficult forgiving him. Everytime he walks out the door I panic. How can I live like this? We have been married for almost 13 years now and have 3 kids. The thought of divorce is so sickening to me. And I love my husband so much. He has promised that he’s sorry and that we need to move forward. HELP

    • Jan

      I am having a difficult time thinking about my part in the “email” affair that my man had with a friend of his that he has known for 25 years. They were never intimate (they were both involved with other people during the years), but the emails that they had been sending each other for 10 years “crossed the line” at one point.

      My man and I met 2 1/2 years ago, and for 11 months I didn’t know about these suggestive emails, where they would describe what they would do to each other if they were together (he lives in Canada, she lives in California), he told her he was thinking about her in the shower, she sent half naked photos of herself, she mentioned whipped cream, etc. etc. I checked his email for some reason (I’m not proud of that!) and found all these emails back and forth, and was totally devastated. They had also planned on her coming up to visit him for a few weeks, she had her plane ticket, and a few months before she was due to come up, he met me. He told her that she couldn’t come, because he had met someone special. She was pretty upset. (She is married to someone, btw).

      He told me that after he met me, he couldn’t figure out how to stop the emails back and forth and so they continued.

      He did tell her at that point that they could not be friends for a while until all this between him and me was straightened out. A few months later they were emailing again, but not the suggestive ones of before. Mostly her telling him that she wanted her best friend back, and why couldn’t I see that nothing happened between them, after all, she was 3000 miles away!

      I checked his email again and found that he was emailing again and he again told her that they could not be friends. Again, a few months later, he had initiated email conversations once again.

      I read about everyone’s affairs on this blog, and Shellz’ experience is very similar to mine. My man had 490 texts from her last month, and he sent 306, but they’re all erased. He does not think there is anything wrong with staying “friends” with her. I am grateful that I am not married because I am seriously thinking of leaving this relationship, because it is so difficult to think about him being in contact with her, and I did nothing to cause it, since it was going on before we met. Any comments?

    • Vickie

      Linda this article was very helpful for me. I found out October 2013 that my husband was having an emotional affair. I knew that he and I were not talking much but could not put my finger on what my gut was telling me and then one day, I just picked up his phone and of course it was locked and I figured out this password to discover this texting ordeal. I have never felt so many emotions In one split second. I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest. Then I was angry because I knew that my husband had been distant and I was so angry. I acted out of anger also, I went in and confronted him and of course he was like she is just a friend and I said that friends don’t tell each other that they love each other. He actually told me that he was trying to get rid of her and that he was glad that I found out because he was sick from what had happened and was very very sorry. I sat and watched him call her and she did not answer and then he texted her that I knew everything and that it was over and he did not want anything else to do with her. He deleted her number as well as telling her to delete his. And I went the whole day without saying a word because I was scared of what I might do. I was so angry. Then I received a text message from the Other Woman and she said can we talk sometime today, I proceeded to tell her on a text message back that I had nothing to say to her. The only thing that I said her was that she was married and had four children and that she should be ashamed of herself for what she has done to have family. She is a preachers wife and she had the gall to tell me that ” I did not know what it was like to be married to a preacher” that she was thrown into this marriage with him and that my husband had been a great friend to her by listening to her dumb whining stories which I could care less about. I finally told her to stay away from me, my family and my husband. Not to ever text me again because I will never feel sorry for a woman who is married that pursues married men. Come to find out she had two cell phones and was texting seven men at the same time she was texting my husband. I am still angry and it is 2015. But needless to say my husband has begged me for forgiveness. He said that she gave him attention. I will never take the blame for this emotional affair but I will take responsibility for the part of putting my kids first and their activities and letting my marriage fall to the wayside. That is one thing that I would tell young parents today. That it is important for you to parent your children and be a part of their actiivties but don’t let your marriage suffer in the meantime. It is what you have left when your kids grow up and move out on their own. Forgiveness, I have tried to forgive and move on. I do trust my husband now because of what we have been through with counseling and everything but I still have triggers and anxiety which I never had before. When I see her in passing in the small town that we live in, I just want to slap her, which I know that my husband should have never took that fork in the road and it is him to blame but in my book I look at it like this. She was married and she knew he was married and had children yet she kept texting him stuff like “if your wife does not appreciate you, she don’t know how lucky she has it. She was boosting his ego and seven others at the same time. He was guilty of enjoying that little fantasy. She did ask for more, and I saw the text message from my husband that literally said that I would never do that to my wife or my kids. Even though the damage that I had experienced was just about as bad as if he had slept with her. I am guilty of neglecting his ego and never told him how much I appreciated him for working so hard and I regret that and I now tell him every day how much he means to me and how much I appreciate him for what he has done for our family. Life is great but I still have my moments which I wish I did not but that is something that I think will take years to get completely over.

    • Penny

      My husbands EA played out in front of my face. I witnessed the progressio, I had many discussions with my husband about it and then one day I discovered they had organised a secret rendezvou. I confronted once again and through much discussion and answering questions and he has volunteered information, we are both healing. He has even goNe as far to thank me for “waking him up” he describes the EA like being hypnotised.

      She had kept telling him that their “friendship” was special and he believed her.he was on a high, it was like a rush.

      I had asked him, what is it about the friendship that makes it so special, and he couldn’t answer and went on to say they didn’t even have anything in common.

      He began to ask a few questions himself about the EA. He has become angry with the other person he feels as though he was manipulated by her rnto thinking they had a connection and when it became clear to there wasn’t he was angry.

      I have my down moments but the fact that my husband is being open and participating in the healing process, I feel confident we will over come this this. I have forgiven him for being naive enough to buy some OP nonsense.

      My advice for cheating spouse surrender to the questioning, tell the whole story even the parts that may look bad, go through the pain with your partner, comfort reassure and remember actions speak louder than word. Let them see you making the effort. It makes a world of difference it really does.

    • Wendy

      You have no idea how much reading about your story has helped me. It is so much like what I’m going through with my husband it’s scary! He has been having an emotional affair for 14 months. I found out about it 2 months into it but he could not give her up. He has lied to me for an entire year! I would discover it was still going on, he would swear he would end it, but just continued the affair and the lying. No amount of crying, yelling or threatening him would make him stop. He swears they are just friends but I know that’s a lie. Why would you lie to your wife daily to keep a “friendship”? I’m am still trying to save our marriage but it can’t happen until he ends all contact with her. Thanks again for sharing your story.

      • Dawn

        Wendy, I am in a similar situation. He has lied and covered this relationship, friendship up for a year. This woman knows he has been lying to me and has continued to see him. What kind of woman does that? He works with this woman and claims they are just “friends”. They have drinks off site, go to lunch off site, and go off alone on my motorcycle, always alone. I caught them once with her all wrapped around him on the bike and convinced myself it wasn’t him. The next day I read his text message from her that she finally got a comb through her hair.The image of it all makes me sick. He claims there is nothing happening. But he announces to me their anniversary is this August. I am furious, crushed, angry, devastated, and after 30 years with this man I don’t know who he is anymore. I found his love letters to her and over 100 pages of chat logs from work. How do I even begin to forgive him for all the deception and lies?

    • Beth

      Is there anyone still out there…..pain as I have never known….maybe just emotional but so real that I can’t ever see life again….we have married 39 year! Even he admits never saw this coming…………it has been four months and I am now on meds……great……..still in disbelief
      , and so unsure of what now?,

      • Strengthrequired

        Beth, I’m so sorry for you going through this. Understand it does get easier, but also if you read here, these affairs most don’t last. My ch affair lasted more than a year, this was more than four years ago. Thankfully we are still together, the pain does get better, with time. I know it feels hopeless right now, but read the blogs here, read about the 180 on here that so many have found useful. You need to start looking after yourself, get stronger within yourself, do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
        Get inspired by some of the betrayed spouses that have found themselves here, and just read the blogs and comments. So many have been where you are, and have come through the otherside, some still married, others have found a better life without their Cs.
        You will find that we all felt it was useless at the start, and when we felt our down days, there was somewhere, where we could post our thoughts and someone would offer that support.
        Your not alone, and I know you can find information here, that can help you.
        The pain does get better. Remember not all affairs last. Most don’t. You will find that here.

      • Bob

        The pain is all to real. I’m sorry you’re going through this. No one deserves to feel the way you feel.

        What now? There’s no telling. Could get worse, stay the same, or get better.

        Amongst all the uncertainty, the only thing you can do is try to take care of yourself and find a way to cope. Meds are a way – a good way. You’ve been injured so medicine is appropriate. So is anything that makes you happy or makes you feel okay.

        That sounds bleak, but it’s the way forward to a better place.

    • Lindsay

      I just resently found out about my husbands emotional affair that happened almost 2 years ago. I didn’t find out from him, but one of his friends. I am struggling with forgiving him. I know deep down I want to be able to trust him again, but I don’t know how.
      This also isn’t the first thing to ever make me lose my trust in him. I’ve been contemplating divorce because it just seems like every time I start trusting him again, I find out something else he’s done.
      What do I do? I try talking to him about why he wanted to be unfaithful and we get no where. Everyday is different. One day I’ll be okay, the next is hell. I just don’t understand.

      • 2nd-time hurt

        9 years ago , I already forgiven my husband’s 20 months ’emotional affair’ with the secretary and he got his lesson by resigning from the good company. Despite he insisted that there was no sex involved. I chose to trust him, as I love him and my children than my pride.
        Last month, again, I discovered he keeps texting another staff or young colleague almost every 2 hours during office hours. All the concern words , explicit of emotions and non-work related text. He is not a warmth person but quite quiet in nature. Never shows his concern and care even for his own mom. Why is he showing so much care with someone else? Why keep texting in every detail of his life and share every interesting message , some with flirting messages to this woman. Why is her so special and need to invest his time in?
        I was so happened to scroll through the only name in his new phone and felt so disappointed, he betrayed my trust again. After hinted him on history no repeat, he immediately deleted the woman’s text by not letting me know.
        Without hesitation, I find it is time to pull him back from this. He apologized and told that no intention on those texts but merely platonic relationship…..he acknowledged his mistake and promise will come back cleaned.
        Well, I feel hurt. Again. Called me over-sensitive! Really? I do not think I m overly sensitive……

    • Anonymous

      Please help me if anyone is still out there. I am the one. I had the EA. It happened a year and a half ago but I only just told my husband because I couldn’t live with it anymore. And now I wish I had never told him. I can’t live with myself. I can’t live with knowing that I have destroyed the only person who means anything to me. I hate myself. I wish he had never met me and I were never born. I feel so helpless and hopeless.
      The EA lasted maybe 3 months. It was never physical except a couple hugs. But my husband will never be sure of that because I have destroyed all of the trust we had. I don’t know why I had become depressed out of nowhere. I was suicidal and emotionally detached from my life. And this guy who I had been good friends with (and who apparently had feelings for me for awhile) kept giving me attention and validation. And I’m a weak and pathetic human being. I eventually developed feelings too. We confessed our feelings to each other and decided to try and move past it since we are both married and love our spouses. But we still talked all the time, sometimes just about nothing but still sometimes about our feelings and flirting.
      But then I just woke up one morning and everything had changed back. The depression had been weaning and suddenly I found this guy repulsive and I absolutely hated him. I still do. I had asked him before this to stop talking to me all the time. He didn’t listen so I just stopped responding until he gave up.
      Then I guess I just hoped I would forget about it. At times I could. But it kept coming back. And my husband would ask me why we don’t hang out with this guy anymore and it killed me. I hated that my perfect husband was so nice to this guy, and to me. So a few days ago I finally confessed.
      My husband is trying to work through it. But I see how much pain he’s in and I hate myself. I wish I were dead. I can’t believe I would cause so much pain to someone so perfect, who loves me unconditionally. I don’t care if he looks through my phone every day. I don’t care if I never have friends again. All I want is to undo this. I just want him to be happy again. I can’t believe I’ve done this. Please help me. Please help me. Please.

      • blueskyabove

        Anonymous,

        I gave your post to my husband to read since he was the spouse who had an affair. It’s been a long, long time since his affair and the raw emotions have faded, but the memories are only just one thought away…for each of us. He, too, hated himself. He didn’t want to look at himself in the mirror. It was constantly on his mind and he imagined that every person he had contact with knew what a despicable loser he actually was behind the facade he presented. In other words, he was ashamed…which was pretty much the same feelings I was having about myself.

        There is a general consensus that the person who went outside the marriage is secretly pleased with what they have done, know exactly how to deal with the devastation they have caused to their marriage and they aren’t hurting at all. I don’t believe that. Some may be, but those who are sorry for their behavior are like you. They’re seeking help in righting a wrong and most don’t have a clue what they can do to ease the pain and suffering of their spouse. Unfortunately, Anonymous, there is very little help available for the one who cheated. But, in order for your marriage to weather the storm and become stronger, you both must heal.

        Speaking just for myself, there were a couple of little things my husband did that helped me in the early days after learning of his affair. He would ask me what he could do for me to help me, and he would acknowledge things I did that he appreciated. They weren’t big productions. Just something like, “Thank you for making coffee this morning.” It had been a long time since he had noticed anything good about me, and it got my attention. I didn’t necessarily openly accept it at the time, but in retrospect I could see that he was putting forth an effort to work on our marriage.

        Here are some commonalities amongst betrayed spouses.

        Trickle truth is debilitating. We want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…and we want it now! That’s what we tell ourselves. I can’t help but wonder though if we could truly handle all of it at once. Just my opinion.

        It would make all the difference in the world if the cheater would actually be the one to start a conversation about the affair instead of making us beg for information. It’s all-consuming for us. Every waking moment is filled with thoughts of our spouse and their affair partner. A good deal of which we just make up because we want some answers and our spouse isn’t forthcoming. (See trickle truth.)

        We’re scared. We may not all show it in the same way, but we’re scared. Some are more immediately angry than others, some are more vindictive than others, some are more cowering and unable to assert themselves, but we’re all scared. Despite our outward appearance, inside we feel powerless and unworthy of anything good in life.

        According to Drs. Sidney and Suzanne Simon who are authors of the book “Forgiveness, How to make Peace with Your Past and Get On With Your Life”, there are six stages of healing that we all pass through after a traumatic experience. They are:

        Denial, Self-blame, Victim, Indignation, Survive, and Integration.

        Reading their book may help you understand what you and your husband will probably go through if you choose to heal. Healing happens in fits and starts. It doesn’t happen in a straight line.

        I hope you realize that wanting to make amends won’t be easy and it probably won’t happen overnight. But it can be done. Your husband has things only he can work through…as do you. Everyone on each leg of this triangle has issues that need to be dealt with and acknowledged. Just the timing is different. Whatever was happening in your life before the affair still needs to be addressed. Above all, watch what you say to yourself. Regardless of whether or not your marriage recovers you still have to live with yourself. Acknowledging wrongdoing and beating yourself up are not the same thing. Obviously I’m not privy to your religious or spiritual beliefs, but I do know this – you are a child of God and God loves you. Your desire to take responsibility for your actions is commendable, Anonymous. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Bluesky
          What an amazing post……all so very true!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Anonymous I agree with everything Blueskyabove posted. You can’t undo what is done but there is some amazing advice there for you.

        My husband beat himself up for a long time as well over the EA he had. You have a long journey ahead but your true remorse will go a long way. You have to allow him to go through the painful process.

        It might really help if you can find a counselor to help.

    • Kasey

      I am so thankful that you all have created this site! I have been struggling with my husband’s EA for ~3 years now; like many others here, he works with her, and see the whole thing as simply a platonic relationship with a good friend. He just doesn’t get how much it cuts me to the core to know that he shares not only his work issues with her but also his personal fears regarding work, his position, things going on in his life. He meets her for coffee or lunch (or sometimes both) almost daily and he can’t see why that is a problem for me. He never shares this kind of stuff with me; has always maintained that he is a “private, introverted person” who doesn’t need to “talk about things”, that he simply works through things himself. Mr introvert apparently needed a friend and decided that he couldn’t confide in me?!?! My feelings are a roller coaster: from devastated to enraged. We have 3 children and he is a great dad (could spend more quality time with them but they all have good relationships with him) and I don’t want to ever damage their relationship with him. I just feel like I am about to explode. He denies that there is anything wrong, they are “just good friends” blah blah blah. I just want to scream. I have felt so neglected for so very long and I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life (I am being treated). I have complexly let myself go. He never notices me anyway so why try? And I hardly know the person I see in the mirror, 100 lbs+ overweight, going bald due to hereditary issues and I just want to puke. No wonder he doesn’t notice me. And yet he waits up for me every night, no matter if I tell him I have a “headache” he won’t take no for an answer and it is just easier to just lay there and take it. How did I become such a pathetic doormat? I don’t want to do this anymore, any of it, and yet leaving him or leaving this earth would devastate my children and I refuse to do that to them. (My parents didn’t split until I was 22 but i could cut the tension in our home with a knife for a decade before that.). Thanks for this opportunity to vent; that at least someone here will understand.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Kasey, I’m so sorry to hear what you going through. The book NOT JUST FRIENDS by Shirley Glass is an excellent read. Maybe try focusing on taking care of yourself….do it for you.

      As for laying there and just taking it EVERY NIGHT…..perhaps you need to ask yourself, why you are okay with that. Your needs are real and valid.

    • Karen

      Hi everyone,
      I’m having trouble with my partners EA.
      He confessed to me a month ago that he cheated with one of his old friends who he used to love.
      Only a kiss but with a lot of emotional attachment to it.
      He went back to his home town to visit his dad without me and he said he wanted to see her because she was an old friend. But as they talked old feelings came back and they talked about their feelings to each other all night and ended it with a peck.
      He said that after that night all he wanted to do was come home to me.
      And he says he doesn’t love her. He was just confused with old feelings.
      But I can’t stop my mind from thinking that he is only saying that because she is married and they can’t ever be.
      We are not married but we are engaged, live together and have a daughter.
      We weren’t at a good place at the time and were constantly fighting. So I don’t know if that lead him to having old feelings come back for her.
      What hurts me the most is that he admitted he told her that he wanted to be with her.
      But he said he just wasn’t thinking straight when he said it.

      I can’t seem to let it go. I need help in learning to forgive. Mainly myself because I feel as if I’m not good enough.

    • Mark

      I have betrayed my wife not once but twice and she is now leaving me.
      The first instance involve fantasy type texting with a woman at work. The second with the same woman after a small break.
      The second instance lasted a long long time and my justification was I was helping her through a rough patch in a hostile and abusive relationship. it felt good to help someone and it felt good to have someone ‘kneed me’. The texting continued and went on despite my wife loving me and caring for me despite her suspicions.
      I can come up with many excuses and am seeing a psychotherapist to see if I can change my behaviour.
      I have read the posts of angry wife’s and some on those who can forgive but can anyone tell me if my wife will forgive me?
      can anyone tell me if my wife will ever come back too me?
      Sorry if I sound desperate but I need hope and guidance.
      it has only been a week and don’t know what to do.
      I don’t know how to tackle this, be quite, open honest, tell everything, tell nothing….

      • Rachel

        Mark,
        Specifically we can’t say if your wife will forgive you. Or stay with you. If your wife doesn’t it’s your own fault. You were MARRIED!!!! That means you don’t involve another person in your relationship/heart!
        Your wife needed you not that other women with her bull sh*t desperado story. Should have let her solve her own problems not your job.
        I may sound harsh, but come on?!?!? Weren’t you aware that you were betraying your wife? Didn’t you think of her at all? The hurt you have caused will damage her forever.

        Sorry Doug.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Mark
        Thanks for sharing. Rachel is right, we can’t say if your wife will forgive you.

        I’m not sure if spouses that cheat realize the depths of pain and despair of the betrayed spouse.

        The only advice I have for you is that you take the path of honesty. Be open and upfront. Try and understand why you did this. Be willing to listen to your wife’s pain. Show true remorse. You can ask for forgiveness but you need to understand that forgiveness is a slow process. It has been four years since d-day for me and I am finally getting closer to forgiving.

        The worst thing you can do is lay blame on your wife, demand that she move on and push her to do anything she is not ready to do.

        Get help for you…..work on yourself. Educate yourself on infidelity. Be accountable for your actions.

        I guess that’s actually quite a bit of advice.

        Thanks again for sharing….I hope the best for you.

      • Jay

        You said you betrayed her twice. I am sure she will forgive you if you just contacted her twice. I am always interested to read about forgiveness – why people need it – does it make a difference. I guess if you love her you will work hard to get her to come back. But then if you really loved her you wouldn’t have done it. I am sure you and the psychotherapist will work out if you are actually “in love” (with your wife or the other woman). PS I just realised you did this to help a woman in an abusive relationship which has caused your wife to now be in an abusive relationship, how ironic!

    • Beach Girl

      Not sure if anyone still reads this. I’m really struggling. I found out about 10 months ago that my husband of 13 years was having an EA. It had only been going on for a few months, but it devastated me and shattered the trust I had in him. It’s been a long, painful 10 months. He took full responsibility and severed all contact outside of occasional work-related meetings that occur a few times a month. He continues to apologize and to tell me that he completely regrets everything that transpired. He is adamant that their text messages and time alone talking never crossed a physical boundary and I believe him. My problem is that It’s almost been a year and I’m still struggling with the pain and mourning the marriage that I thought we had. He has asked for my forgiveness and says that he feels pretty strongly that in order for our marriage to survive, I need to forgive him. I know he’s right, but I just don’t know how to get past the pain and the hurt. Does forgiveness mean that it no longer hurts when I think about all of it? To forgive him, does that mean I’m okay with it all now, because I’m so far from feeling that way. My self-confidence was destroyed, I feel depressed and sometimes wonder if I can ever feel the way I used to, about him and about our marriage. Please help.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Beach Girl
        I am so sorry you have to go through this. Your pain is completely understandable. In my opinion forgiveness is a process. Your husband can ask for forgiveness but should not be demanding or pressing you for it. It has been four and half years since d-day for me and if I’m honest I know that I have not come to the place of complete forgiveness yet. As time goes on I am getting closer…..it’s as if I’m standing on the edge of forgiveness but just can’t quite get there yet.

        I would suggest that you don’t put pressure on yourself to forgive either. Allow yourself to feel the pain of his betrayal . Allow yourself time to grieve. It takes time to regain the trust that has been shattered. Ten months is not very long. Give yourself time.

        Do you have someone you can talk to? Perhaps a counselor or close friend. This is just to difficult of a valley to walk alone. Also it really helps to educate yourself about infidelity. I found coming here and hearing other peoples stories really helpful. There is lots of good support here.

        All your feelings are completely normal. We have all been there.

    • J

      This has been such a helpful website everyone who is recovering from an EA has different stories, different lengths, different way their partners handled it. I myself I’m a victim to an EA and I myself have cheated I cheated first it was a drunken night When I got extra wasted and left with a coworker to a bar thinking he was gay, to come find out he isn’t and he kissed me and we made out for a while. My boyfriend found out, my boyfriend and I have been dating for 7 years but I came clean to him that same morning. And told him what happened. He gave me cheap forgiveness, forgiveness without really forgiving just in hopes to move forward, and I was mean and told him if he was gonna stay with me we were never to talk about it and that he needed to get over it. I had friends validate me saying I should be allowed to kiss someone after 7 years without realizing the emotional pain I had caused. I stayed with him to find out he had an emotional affair with a lesbian at his job a couple months after I cheated, in where it started out just friend he himself felt safe because he thought she was lesbian, they ended up talking on the phone for hours, phone records show 25 calls all varying in length from 60-88 minutes and more. I now understand the emotional pain I cause it’s the worst pain I have ever endured and we tried working it out but like many of you, I want the truth all the truth and he doesn’t want to tell me maybe cause he doesn’t want to hurt me. I know he has told they talked about my cheating and she herself got cheated on and both vented on the feeling of it. He says she was his therapist in a way. Although I know it was emotional affair because he deleted all the calls and messages, so I know inappropriate things must have been said, he insist he never told her he liked her and that he stop talking to her when she directly compared herself to me saying she was a downgrade that’s when he realized how wrong everything was going and he started to distant herself from her. I cannot forgive and I have decided to move on, we fight all the time and our relationship became extremely unhealthy I myself struggle with a rush of doubts, question, and wondering what really was their relationship, and how deep was it really he has said things like they had chemistry and he did have feelings for her and this all just hurts me to the core and I can’t understand how he even loves me. I know EA are fantasy cause you get to see the best of the people you share your deep emotions with and they give you a good response but you don’t know this person, their dark sides, and who they really are. The EA has been detrimental to me and I lay in pain and looking into the abyss of this EA. I don’t know if I should move on and rekindle later if this is the best route or to fix the problem now in efforts that we actually get through with it. I hope everyone who is reading this that god heals your pain and that we direct our love to loving ourselves and coming out as stronger and better people out of this. Obsessing over it also does not help, and to me I have found distancing from my partner is helping me think clearly. I just hope we don’t end up drifting away from each other. But I feel like walking away is necessary for him as well to understand the consequences to his actions. When I thought he was leaving me I panicked because I realized how wrong I did him and him getting back with me I feel did not teach me a lesson as it should have been thought. He forgave me quickly cause he didn’t want to loose me and now that I’m worrying this I feel very awful cause he has been beat so much as well. Karma found its way to me though and I was left to feeling the same pain he did and it’s terrible worst feeling I have experienced.

    • Sami

      Why forgive? I’m not sure that I know how to nor that I want to. I myself have been dealing with cheating husband. Once all the way and just recently emotional cheating. Of course it meant nothing, talked about nothing …same blabla story they tell. They can never tell you why they did what they did. I’m not a professional but I’m 100% positive it’s attention. Its man that never grew up enough to realize that daily life does not feel like a fantasy. I’m not saying that people don’t deserve a second chance but we are people that have been cheated on need to help ourselves. We need to be who we were because with every hard time they brought to us they killed us just a little on the inside. Yes, we are all still in love and can’t imagen our life’s without them but we need us. If we loose ourselves and their demons become ours that is not life, for us nor them. As painful as it sounds it just might be better to invest you energy in getting better and loving someone else then stay with someone who hurt you. i as a human don’t feel that I have the power to forgive. God is the only one that can forgive. I’m also positive about the fact that forgiving my husband will not make me feel any better nor help me move on. I don’t know why I’m still here where I am but I’m sure that every day I’m getting closer to moving on.

    • Can’t Forgive

      Hi Linda & Doug,
      Oct. 1st marked the 3rd anniversary of D-Day and I have not forgiven him. Don’t know if I can.

      1. The day after I had major cervical surgery he brought me home and then made an excuse that he had to run to the store for me, 45 minutes later he returned- in reality he had gone and me her in “their parking lot” and he got his BJ. This continued everyday for 2-weeks until I was mo ole.

      2. He threw his daughters under the bus. They begged him every week for 3 months to quit his job but he wouldn’t- he wanted to remain friends. He wouldn’t even listen to his own flesh & blood.

      3. I think to this day he resents that I ended the affair and he wasn’t able to “sit” down with her and end it.

      4. E says he’s sorry & remorseful but I don’t feel he’s sincere.

      That’s just a start.

    • DE

      Hi Linda! It has been over a year since I learned of the EA. However, it has only been 10 months since the EA ended. My husband was ‘fence sitting’ for 6 months. Most of that time, he continued to lie to me, stating it was over, blah-blah-blah. Then right before the holidays, he sent her an email 100% ending it. He shared this email with me and even though I should’ve felt relief, it just fueled my disappointment even more because he confirmed the last 6 months of my life was just more lies. So, in reality, the affair ended 10 months ago not 1 year +. He struggles with this reality when I am having a difficult day.

      When it comes to Forgiveness: I have a difficult time conceptualizing what Forgiveness truly means. It is so abstract. How can I take part in an action that I mentally cannot grasp? I have tried explaining this to friends and my therapist but I feel they don’t understand my train of thought. Is there another way to look at Forgiveness or another Verb that can be applied? I have read a ton on Forgiveness but it just does not speak to me. Am I the only one that thinks this? Yes. I want to move forward. I truly believe I am and We are moving forward but I am not sure when I will truly know that I am ‘over this’. What does Forgiveness truly mean?

      • Can’t Forgive

        I feel the same way about Forgiveness. My husband’s affair was a one-sided physical affair – it started as an EA in Sept. 2014, became physical in January 2016, D-Day #1 was Oct. 1st 2016, D-Day #2 was Dec. 21st, 2016 and the final D—Day was Feb. 16th, 2017 so there us so much and he’s “hurt” because I can’t forgive him. He’s hurt? What have you done to me?

    • Rachel

      Six years have passed from my divorce, something that I thought I didn’t want. I thought I could recover and forgive from my ex’s affair and stay together. As the years have quickly passed I still am hearing of my ex and the women he was with during our marriage. Boy did he work a lot of overtime!!!! Now it all makes sense. He was hooking up with his women, I was home with the babies. Entitled narsarsistic POS.
      And now I breathe easy and love my life! The stress I would have had to deal with if he had decided to work on our marriage.
      Over the years he has contacted me to go out for drinks or coffee. My lawyer put an end with NO CONTACT!
      He’s not with his “soulmate ” that he left me for. She didn’t leave her husband. He’s with another ex girlfriend. He’s leaving her because she’s gained weight.
      Please know that divorce isn’t an easy road at first, but getting “you” back is the most amazing feeling you’ll ever experience. We only get one chance in this world, make it about you, not them!

      • Doug

        Great stuff, Rachel.. Thanks for posting! Glad to hear that you’re doing so well.

    • Sorry doesn’t cut it!

      I’m still here struggling everyday and guess it’s mostly to spare my children the hurt, shame & pain of divorce. Married 27 years and discovered signs of suspected infidelity in 2017. After discovering more, my D Day was in April’19.
      He confessed all. He has been unfaithful for 22 years of our married life and been with 30+ women. All this despite us having a very happy marriage and incredible sex life! So words can’t even begin to describe my pain. He is desperate to save the marriage, maybe I’ll just bide my time, enjoy the great privileged life we have created until…….who knows. Most people always want what they can’t have and then when they finally get it, enjoy it and feel entitled to have it all, want to then stay show remorse because of course divorce is too expensive!
      My husband’s reputation and family relationships will never be the same when this secret gets out.
      He is in therapy for sexual addiction but he had the opportunities present themselves and a huge ego to satisfy, so why not! In my book, it’s pretty simple. If you truly love and respect your partner, it’s easy to say NO!

    • Mike

      I don’t know if this will help me but given so many people in the same boat maybe I can get some input on how I should treat my situation. I found out in mid December last month that my fiancé had been emotionally cheating on me for 4 months. I proposed to her after 5 years of being together in mid September. Which at that point she still continued to the relationship with this person for an additional 2 months as my fiancé. She says she was looking to see if anything was missing, If there was something that she could have wanted that we didn’t have and to do so she chose to converse with this man, sext him, send him pictures and flirt him. She says what she did had no feelings behind it and that she really does love me and meant it when she said yes to me, but I don’t understand how she continued the relationship even after our engagement. I was her first boyfriend and I don’t know if I can justify her actions. She said she ended the relationship late November after realizing there was nothing missing and that the guy just wanted material for his own pleasure. I even know the guy, seen him at parties, but she always said there was nothing between them. He lives a couples states away and all they ever did was text with a couple phony calls. We’ve gone over every text between them and every picture sent. I just find it so hard to imagine someone doing something so selfish just to confirm a curiosity over the real thing in front of them. I find myself thinking about all the words sent between them, all the betrayal and I don’t know if I can continue with someone who could do something like this. I told her she could have ended it with me to go and see this curiosity through, to do it the decent way, the true way, but she chose to be a cheater because she said she didn’t want to lose me. I love her more than I have any women in my life, but because I thought I knew her. Now I don’t know what to believe in anymore. I don’t know who I just got engaged to. She said she will do whatever it takes to make this right and is willing to do whatever I ask, but is it my effort here that needs to be provided? Shouldn’t she be the one to show effort and to seek forgiveness. She begged me for the second chance, but I don’t know how to forgive her.

    • Rachel

      Dear Mike,
      Your fiancé is being extremely disrespectful to you. Her excuses are lame for wanting contact with this guy and should have absolutely no contact with him. I see many red flags and take it from me red flags shouldn’t be ignored. Sorry that you are going through this, it’s hard having someone else in your relationship.

    • Kat

      I found out my husband had an emotional affair with a woman at his work this weekend. He recently has been promoted and this woman is his employee.My husband and I have been through a lot in past three years. I lost my job, we found out he had a 5 year old daughter with another woman . It happened before we were together. I also had a miscarriage last June and was very depressed. He told me the emotional affair only lasted a few weeks a couple of months ago. It happened when I first became pregnant and we were fighting all the time. This was before we knew for sure. He told me he ended it when he found out.He told me she has been blackmailing him saying that she would tell the big boss if didn’t make it physical. He has told me that he has said no several times but she continues to blackmail him.That she threatens to quit even though they are short staffed. He has told me that she said he toyed with her emotions.He told me the affair was all verbal banter and that he regrets it. That he couldn’t live without me. That he was stupid for risking what we have. I have lost all trust in him. I had no idea this was going on and it hurts that he lied to me about it. I want to forgive him but I’m not even close . I never thought he would betray me. I hate the idea of bringing this new baby into a rocky relationship. I told him our relationship needs serious work, but he seems to minimize the damage this has caused. How can I learn to trust my husband again?

    • Candi

      My husband had a 2-year emotional affair and then 10 month physical – one sided – he was the receiver. It was a co-worker and there was ample time for them to do their dirty deed from the end of their work day until I got home. It started Sept. 2014 and ended D-Day #1 on Oct. 1st 2016.
      We started counseling Sept. 2017 and still go every 3-weeks. I HIGHLY recommend seeking out a marriage counselor. Ours has helped tremendously. I only trust my husband 98% and I have not forgiven him but our marriage is better than it was the previous 30 years (we’re married 34 years). Make sure the counselor is certified in marriage and family counseling and Gottman Counseling.
      Good luck! It is a long road but if you’re both committed it’ll work.

      • Mike

        Hi Candi, thanks for sharing your progress. My fiancé and I are actually in the process of finding a counselor as well and hope to get some help soon. This gives me some hope that we can get to some kind of normal state in our relationship again. I also don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully trust her 100% again, but this makes me hopeful. Thank you!

    • Shar

      I have been married to my husband for 31 years. I found out Feb 1 that he has been having an Emotional affair for about 6 months with someone we both know very well. Her daughter and our daughter have been best friends since 1st grade and still are, about 15 years. We have been on many vacations and celebrated many milestones together. When she went thru breast cancer 7 years ago, I was there for her, bringing dinners, goody baskets and comforting her after her treatments. OW divorced her husband 2 years ago and had a boyfriend before the divorce. I discovered text/sext messages on my husbands phone to her, It was mostly one sided on my husbands part, him telling her how sexy she is, and offered to take her on vacation and spoil her, said some nasty things to her what he wanted to do to her, she said no, but, also said things like “you’re so cute”, when he said she was hot, or if she said no she would add LOL to it. If that was me I would have said HELL No. STOP TEXTING ME OR I WILL TELL YOUR WIFE!! I think the worst thing he said was he called her his love, and that she is his soul mate, if she said yes he would leave me in a minute. When I confronted her, she blamed him 100% (so did I) saying she blocked him a few months before, which she didn’t really, only for a day. Said she didn’t want him to be texting her, she said no when he asked her to meet him. I talked to my husband, he said it was just a fantasy, he didn’t mean those things he said to her. I didn’t believe him , I knew he was lying to me. We started therapy, separately, at my request, had a few sessions. Then we went together last week, he finally admitted to wanting to screw her after I told him he was still lying about his reasons for his betrayal. I asked him about all the other text messages to her, he didn’t remember what they talked about, just asked “how was her day”, because I don’t call him at work and ask him how hes doing, or I don’t take HIM out to lunch, I told him he doesn’t do that with me either. I told him I need the truth, to know what I’m dealing with, and I still don’t think hes being truthful. How can I forgive him when he’s still not honest? I am sad, angry, heartbroken, feeling unwanted and like his 2nd choice. He told me if I didn’t let myself go and gain weight, we wouldn’t be in this mess, I told him he’s not exactly Brad Pitt, but, I loved him anyway. I’m really trying to get thru this, but, I can’t stop thinking about what he said to her. I don’t know what to do anymore!!

      • Joana

        Shar, I hear your pain confusion distress anguish and what every woman and Man who experience this feels. I too wanted to know the truth, but the truth will hurt and that’s okay. We are angered and sad because underneath all that is a feeling of rejection. An emotional affair is a roller coaster but believe me you will get through this awful time. Feel it cry it out but don’t forget to be okay with it all. It’s okay not to be okay. Underneath a betrayal like this is a bigger issue. For me realizing that my relationship had more issues than the betrayal itself was hard, but something wonderful has come out of it although it took us a while to be where we are at and even then we are still healing but we did move on from the betrayals. It doesn’t come fast it’s a slow slow train but it will change your relationship for the best. Learn to find yourself love yourself and get some space, this is a different journey now. And the pain is unbearable it’s hurts so much but just know every feeling you experience is to teach you something it’s a chance for you to grow and although it might not be clear what this awful experience is trying to teach you it will be clear in the years to come. I’m sorrry Shar I share your pain with you. Take care of yourself be strong this too shall pass. Hope this message at the minumum makes you feel supported.

        • Shar

          Thank you Joana for your kind words, I really do appreciate it. I can’t talk to my grown kids(3 daughters) or my sister’s about this for obvious reason’s, so thank you for getting back to me. I know I’m not the only one going thru some kind of betrayal and my heart goes out to each and every one of you! it’s been almost 2 months since I caught him, I have time to think on our marriage issues, lack of communication being the major one. But, that had been getting better, or so I thought. He had been picking arguments with me, pointing out things I wasn’t doing, really now, I know he was comparing me to the OW. He only apologized to me one time, he said he loved me also (once) the day he was caught. But, he hasn’t said or done anything proving he truly loves ME and not her. IDK how for him to do this. Maybe declare his undying love for me on his knees every day, but, something desperate, cause he had no problem telling her how he felt. He was pretty drunk when he sent the last text to her, the one I saw. Our therapist got him to admit he has a drinking problem, although he was texting her when he was sober too and I don’t know what those text’s were about. But, I didn’t see the other texts previous. I don’t really want to text the OW again, she will tell me. Ow is a big flirt, has to the center of attention especially with men, doesn’t matter if they are married, I think she would get a thrill out of telling me, and I don’t want to go there with her. I feel like I’m stuck in a big black hole that I can’t climb out of. I mean how can I move on when I can’t move? Thank you again Joana for the support.

          • Joana

            Shar,

            Everything you just wrote about texting her or not texting her what he told her, I know exactly where you are. Having experience this I wish someone would have told me how to handle it better. It’s hard to move, man to even live is hard. It’s the worst form of rejection when someone you love and you have spent decades with betrays you. Let me remind you it’s okay to be rejected feel what rejection feels like, don’t run away from the pain, but you have to move. Allow yourself to feel everything you need to, but, remind yourself the thing you love to do. That has to be the most important thing of it all. Focus with all your will to at least try to focus your attention on other things. I’m sure there are a lot of things you’ve always wanted to do for yourself. Now is the time. And keep talking about it. You have to understand that love is bigger way bigger than wanting to experience a sexual or even new relationship with someone. We are so silly to think the grass is greener on the other side but let me remind you the grass is greener where you water. What he experienced is a fantasy, we don’t know OW intent, if she was just playing with him what kind of fucked up things is going on with her, he doesn’t even know that. It’s all an illusion it’s a fantasy and that’s what cheating is, it’s not based on real life, it’s a hidden relationship that can’t live in the real world. Marriage and love that’s real life that’s day to day that till death do us apart. Human beings are not perfect at all we do mistakes we do things we don’t mean because underneath all that is really pain we never processed as kids. Your husband like you’ve told me has a drinking problem and underneath those drinking problems is a big set of feelings he has been disassociated from feeling. The most interesting thing about us humans is we are built on feelings but dissoaciate at a very young age or are not thought how to express them. Believe me when I say your husband loves you, this is not all about you this is problems with him. But also when it comes to the relationship you have to understand that you are at no fault yes but you do have to be accountable on how you have contributed to him treating you in such way. And his is something you have to come to terms within yourself as why you’ve alllowed that where does that come from. It’s a lot of emotional deep diving. I found Medidating to be my go to during these times. the brain im sure that’s all you can think of and that’s normal but find something that stops the brain from thinking so you can reboot and get some energy. I’m so grateful you found this sight and that I have been able to read your post and respond. Thanks Shar. Keep sharing keep talking about it, and yes you don’t have to share it with family till you are comfortable with it. Besides it’s best if you talk to professionals and others who’ve been through this for now.

    • Candi

      Shar, I too know how you feel. My husband had a 1-1/2 year emotional affair starting September 2014 and then it turned physical in February 2016 (one sided – he was getting the pleasure) for 10 months before I called him on it on October 1st, 2016. They met after work in the parking lot of a big box and got into the back of his car because it had darker windows. My hubby and OW texted too and my hubby was deleting them. Seven months before I called him on it I told him, “ who ever your texting and deleting had better stop”, he grinned and said that he wasn’t. My hubby too said he couldn’t remember what the texts said. Her’s the kicker – my hubby paraded the OW in front of me for almost a year. It wasn’t until I had major cervical surgery and he left me home along for 45 minutes to meet her that I started getting suspicious. In the summers my hubby and I enjoy classic car shows, festivals, summer concerts, wine fests, beer fests – you get the idea and everywhere we went Mary (OW) had to go. I am not kidding – she was with us 7-days a week, and when her hubby was off work the 4 of us hung together. Not only did she spend 4-5 hours with us in the evening she joined my hubby’s gym so she spent 2-hours with him there and then he’d meet her after 3:30pm to get his rocks off (her hubby went to work at 3pm and I didn’t get off until 5pm; her hubby had Tues/Wed off and I Sat/Sun) – the perfect storm.
      We actually had 3 D-Days: #1 Oct 1st, 2016; Dec. 21st 2016; and Feb 16, 2016. He too said he loved me, never planned on leaving me BUT he wouldn’t leave his job because he couldn’t leave Mary. I asked him to not talk to her but he “couldn’t stop talking to her because she was his friend”. So Dec. 21st was come to Jesus screaming match and finally on Dec. 27th he quit. I had blacked and deleted her number and FB account so he couldn’t contact her directly. On Feb. 14, 2017 my hubby gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a heartfelt card (so I thought) and dinner plans – one problem – he wanted to be with her. So, Feb. 16th he was given an ultimatum- me & our daughters (28 & 26) or her.
      In September 2017 my hubby suggested counseling – as I said HE suggested it. We found a great counselor – we still go but mainly once a month for maintenance and to iron out an issue or to that has come up.
      So here we are 3 years and almost 7 months and I still have triggers, I still have meltdowns but the biggest is that I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN HIM. He asked just recently if I had forgiven him and when I told him NO he said that hurt him – I laughed in his face and said “it hurts you? Too bad! Take a moment and think about the hurt you gave me and how long you hurt me by parading her infront of me – thinking I was too stupid to notice. I noticed but I was giving you enough rope to hang yourself. Now go away, leave me alone and sulk that I haven’t forgiven you. It could be a cold day in hell before I forgive you.” It came up in counseling and I to.d him I had questions for him where he previously said that he could remember – how do you not remember, either you answer with the truth or you’ll burn in hell.
      It takes time, a lot of time, don’t be rushed into feeling “okay” when you aren’t. You’ll get through this – on your terms! Good luck Sister!

    • Candi

      Shar, P.S. = my hubby and I were married 30 years when his affair started. His reason, “Here I am a 58 year old balding man with a stomach and here is this woman that is 10 years younger and she is interested in me. I never intended for this to happen. I didn’t know how to stop it once it started.” Hmmm …. excuses, excuses, excuses – he admitted he knew it was wrong but he enjoyed it and didn’t know how to stop. He also admitted he knew that if he got caught it was all going to go to crap but he never thought he’d get caught — they never do think they’re going to get caught.

    • Shar

      Thank you Joana and Candi, I’m trying to figure out who I am anymore, after I quit working when my 3rd child was born, I have been wife, mother, volunteer in the P.T.A, room mom, girl scout helper, nurse, cook, now grandmother of 4, I miss who I was before raising kids and babysitting grandkids. I have no idea what interests I have, I need some ME time to figure it all out. I made sure my children were taken care of and my husband too, but, now I know my husband does not even appreciate the fact that I gave up part of me and I never complained about it because one of us had to. The OW worked as a waitress in a diner part time, she has a very foul mouth, the words that come out of her is terrible even in front of the kids when they were young would make a truck driver blush. I found out from my daughter last year that OW gave them alcohol on a few occasions enough that they were drunk, starting when they were 15. I was so pissed, I mean who does that! The mother of the year, just wants to be best friends with her daughters friends. Did I mention she is 12 years younger that us, (we are 54,) she wants to be the center of attention, going to the bars party girl, just does not want to grow up, this is who my husband wants to be his soul mate. So pathetic! He asked me a couple of days ago if I’m working on forgiving him, I said it’s hard when I can’t get his words to her out of my head, he just walked away, he never wants to talk about it, even in Therapy he doesn’t want to talk about it, he wants to discuss all my failures and what I did or did not do that led him to her. UGH…I I hate that he did this, I don’t know if I even like him anymore. Are you both happy with your husbands, or is it too painful every day, is it worth it staying with your husband’s and trying to work thru the betrayal? I don’t know how to tell if he even wants to work on this with ME. He thinks when I bring up the EA it’s just beating up a dead horse, and it won’t help, but, I need to talk about it, and he won’t. Thank you again!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Shar
        My heart goes out to you. I understand where you are coming from. D-day for me was about two weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary. It’s only been two months since you found out. I would think you are completely devastated.

        In my opinion there is simply no easy and quick fix. In the early days the BS is simply too broken to even begin to think about forgiveness and “moving on”. And on the other hand the CS still has their “head up their ass” and gets busy stone walling and blame shifting and would like nothing better than to “just move on”.

        I think at this stage of the game the BS has more power than they realize and unfortunately are too devastated to use the power to their advantage. We all have a bottom line in our relationships and you have to figure out what you need in order for your relationship to survive. For me “not talking about the EA” was simply not an option. That’s just an example, of course. Looking back I wish I would have “insisted on counseling”. I was a puddle on the floor and did not recognize my own power in the situation.

        I read everything I could get my hands on regarding Infidelity. I confided in a few very trusted friends and I went for some individual counseling as well. I also spent many many hours on this site reading everyone’s stories.
        I recognized very early on that not matter how worthless his betrayal made me feel…..I WAS NOT WORTHLESS!!! I am far from perfect but absolutely was NOT TO BLAME for his poor choices.

        Looking back (it has been almost 7 1/2 years since d-day) I believe the most powerful statement I made to him was “I only want you to stay with me if that is what you really want. It will break my heart is you decide to go but I will survive!!” My husband became very quiet and answered me saying he wasn’t sure if he would survive. I decided no begging him to stay etc. At this stage in my life I have to much self respect.

        I am also a mother and a grandmother. I also put most of my energy into raising our family. I know where you are coming from. These past years have been a long hard journey.
        For months I couldn’t sleep and I cried daily for almost three years. When the crying finally stopped a deep sadness was my constant companion. I allowed myself to grieve. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I thought of at night. Some days the anger was the only thing that got me through. The CS has no idea what they unleash when they betray their partner. It’s not only the fact that they cheated but that they lied over and over again.

        I say all of that to say this…..take care of you. Ask yourself what you need. Get help for you. We are here for you.

      • Candi

        Hi Shar, As I said the OW was 10 years younger than my hubby and he was enthralled that a “younger” woman had an interest in him. My hubby started a new job in August 2014 and she started in September 2014 and now starts the EA. First thing we need to know is that my hubby was a huge flirt. He would flirt, sometimes extremely sexual in nature. right in front of me so I have no doubt that hubby and OW started the flirt tango from the first day. They had to ride a shuttle from the employee parking lot to the main building so they had a good 10-15 minutes on the shuttle every morning. Anyway, about 4 months after their first meeting the OW told my hubby that she wanted them to be “exclusive”, “go-together” like boyfriend and girlfriend. She too wanted to go out on dates in the evening and told my hubby that she would do anywhere he wanted, do anything he wanted. They could dress up or dress down. My hubby said he laughed it off thinking she was kidding – but she wasn’t. Apparently she let every woman at their employment know that my hubby was hers and he was off limits. If any woman tried to talk to him the OW would step in and talk for him. As time went on they became closer and closer. I did not meet the OW until October 2015 when her hubby was having a birthday party for her (again I did not know this woman even existed nor did I know she had joined his gym in June 2015). When my hubby introduced me I got the coldest stare and she walked away – ignored me the whole evening. My hubby said “that’s strange she’s generally very nice and I jokingly said, “she must be jealous of me”. We both laughed it off but I had a small knot in my stomach because something just wasn’t right and my gut was right. As I said the physical affair started in February 2016 when her hubby had to attend a 6-week training academy 300 miles away so he couldn’t come home. Starting with the last day of school my hubby and the OW were inseparable. As I said before she went EVERYWHERE with us. She even came over for dinner a few times. As the summer progressed my hubby was letting his guard down and I started making notes and on Oct. 1, 2016 I woke him up from a dead sleep and asked him point blank if he and the OW were having an affair – he looked up and without hesitation said YES. I was absolutely devastated I decided I was making no harsh decisions but now I drove the bus and I was in charge. I will always be in charge – I was taken for a fool once but there will never be a second time.
        I have a lot of details about my hubby’s EA/PA only because our counselor TOLD him we had to have a Q and A and he had to answer. So I gathered my questions, we set ground rules about no yelling, no screaming, no name calling and no walking out. We shut all our blinds and curtains and shut off our phones. For the next 3 hours I grilled him, he answered and I took extensive notes. The next day I typed up the answers to the questions. There were a few that he gave me an, “I don’t know”, “I don’t remember”, “how am I supposed to remember that”, etc. My whole premise has been how can you not remember your 2-1/2 year affair.
        It’s been 3-1/2 years now and my hubby says I should be over it. Our counselor tells him that he cannot control how I feel and why I feel.
        Yes I stayed – I loved him – it has taken a lot of work, tears, and doubt. It took me almost 2 years before I actually believed him when he would say “I love you”. He also wanted it to work out – as I said he was the one who said lets go to counseling, he told me to pick a counselor that I thought I would like. I still have days when I’m sitting at a stop light and I burst into tears, or a song comes on the radio or worse – a TV show where there is, or had, an affair.
        NO I have not forgiven my hubby, don’t know if I ever will. As I told our counselor I’m afraid that if I say I have forgiven him that that is like giving him a free pass to do it again, “Oh she has forgiven me, she’ll forgive me again.” – I don’t know if I can. He has taken so much from me: my self respect, my self confidence, my self-esteem. I afraid to leave the house and leave him alone because I’m afraid he’ll find another woman (although he has “promised” me he will never do it again because he almost lost everything). I’m anxious if by chance I do go out without him.
        My advice – don’t give up on yourself, since this discovery is still fresh don’t throw in the towel yet – remember our D-Day was October 1, 2016 and we finally went to counseling September 2017. Give it time. If he doesn’t want to go to counseling you continue without him. I will give my hubby some credit – in counseling he raised his hand said, “I am guilty! It is all my fault! It had absolutely nothing to do with you.” He has never blamed me for him having an affair – he has always taken the blame.
        Good luck and let us know how you’re doing.

    • Joana

      Hi Shar,

      I am not happy and I am not in a happy relationship. I’m not sure if I can ever be happy, I have endure a lot of emotional, physical and even molestation twice as a child. I’m naturally not a happy person from all I have endured. I am an emotional abuser, and I have borderline personality disorder. I have narcissistic tendencies and my relationship has been suffering for a long time because of my actions. My husband on the other side doesn’t know how to express himself how to tell me no, he has become a victim and he has contributed to my behavior. My husband had an emotional affair because I made out with this guy at work for like two hours. We are figuring out how to care and cater to each other. For example my fear of abondament is so big I need constant attention so my counselor has suggested I have a picture of him on my phone. We are working every corner we can but I’ve learned he doesn’t hurt me purposely and I don’t do it purposely either. I learned people shame and guilt can be so big they shit down in order not to deal with it. I’ve learned in a relationship crime on crime is done. It’s enviable we are just imperfect humans. I’m doing everything I can to establish a healthy relationship. It’s been two years and a half since that happened. And I’m reading books on emotional abuse, control, and finding out what a borderline personality is what to expect but my husband wants to work things out. He works a lot so right now he doesn’t have time to even really talk about our relationship. I’m healing doing yoga everyday meditating and finding myself. Reading books on anger management I stop drinking 4 months ago I’m maturing digging in to my traumas and learning how my brain functions and why I hurt so much. My fear for abondment makes me get controlling, my control comes from not having a good childhood my life was crazy as a child. And I feel unloved and need attention more than the average person does but I’m working with it. I’m learning to listen and have emphathy. At the core God has changed my life. A relationship with God is truly what is saving me. And I’m not sure if my husband and I will make it but when I meditate I manifest the life that I want. I manifest healthier relationships with more love and kindness. I manifest that I don’t give up and that I at least keep doing the best I can for me till I can be better for others. This is a hard road it’s not easy but I hold on to hope so tight that I come out of this a better happier person more in control of my feelings because I want to have a healthy family one day.

    • Shar

      Thank you Joana for sharing your very personnel history with me, my heart aches for you too. I hope you find the peace you so deserve, and it sounds like therapy is bringing out a lot of emotions and realizations and you should be very proud of yourself for self reflection success! I know I have a long way to go. I had a very happy childhood, very loving parents who loved each other endlessly and very loving siblings. We lost my mom 3 years ago to cancer, and we miss her every day. My dad is doing well, but, he misses my mom like crazy, he said he still feels her around him all the time. I thought my husband and I had that too, maybe thats why this is so difficult to process, idk. Candi, your husbands OW sounds like a nut job, seriously. Is she delusional, telling people that he is her’s, knowing he is married. Yes, my husband was a flirt too, but, only when he was drinking. He flirted with EA OW on many occassions, not sexually, but, it was his tone. He also flirted with other women, friends wifes, but, no one took him seriously, just ignored it. I wish someone would have said something to him, because it never did any good when I said something to him. I like the idea of writing my questions down, he probably won’t answer saying he doesn’t remember, so, I might have to ask the OW… He admitted to texting/sexting her, but, he denied it was an affair because nothing physical happened, he said there is no such thing as an EA, it took the therapist to try to explain it to him, He still thinks its BS. He apologized to me for talking to OW, not only the sexual stuff, but, they compared me to her ex-husband, saying crap like they are the ones who tried to keep their marriages going, and me and her ex did nothing. Such horse shit! The two of them are the ones who devastated their respected marriages. No marriage is perfect, but, for gods sake he come to me and talked to me before talking to OW. I asked the OW on that first day I found out about EA, why she didn’t tell me, since she was one of my closest friends, and if it was one sided on his part. She told me she was trying to save my marriage, cause she knew if I found out it would hurt me. She said she loved me and I was the nicest most kind person she knew. Now, the texts I read from that one night(cause he deleted the others) he was saying all the damaging things, she told him no when he wanted her, but, she also added lol and “you’re so cute” after. Also, she was fishing for compliments, he said he wanted to meet up with her, and she said “your bad you are happily married”, he said “no not happily married any more,” she said” LMAO”. When he said “just say the word my pet and I’m out of here in a hot minute”, she said “stop, LOL”. he said “no, I can’t, what I say is true, I’d start over with you any day. I truly think you are my soul mate, don’t you ever wonder?” OW said “How crazy you are”. When he said “I’m crazy for you S….. J…, you don’t have to love me a whole lot, I have enough love for both of us”, she said You are so cute!” So, that’s not all of it, it was a long conversation with more of the same crap. I know she isn’t innocent in this like she is trying to tell people, yes, she told her ex boyfriend who she was still living with , cause she didn’t have any where to go. She told her son who is 15, who knows us both very well, and is very close to my daughter. OW told her best friend, who told her to block my H, which she did for a day, cause they have been texting each other for months. Of, course when I found out he said he deleted her from his contacts and Facebook. He said he loves me and wants to be with me, but, I don’t believe him. He agreed right away to therapy, but, I think he didn’t think the therapist would call him out on his betrayal and confront him in detail about it, I think he thought we would discuss only what led up to it, and justify what he did. I need to know what else transpired between them. That rang true with me Shifting Impressions, about my CS wants to just move forward as usual, forget the EA even happened, He does have his head up his ass, because I can’t move forward until I know his true feelings, because I am so confused, about his feelings for her and for me. I don’t know for sure what would have happened if the OW said yes to him, and is he only with me because she said no? These are things I need to know, even if it hurts me, how can I move forward with him? One of the first things I said to him, was if he doesn’t want to be with me any more then I don’t want to be with him, I told him it would hurt like hell, but, I would eventually be ok. He said he loved me and wanted to be with me. God, it’s so hard! I cry when I’m driving, at home watching T.V, I still can’t sleep, night time is the worst, my mind keeps replaying their conversation over and over in my mind. He has ruined so many vacations for me, we go to Florida every year, he texted her he wanted to take her there and spoil her and make her fall in love with him, Ireland (where I was born) we wanted to take a trip there, but he told her he had a dream of them flying over Ireland and joining the mile high club, PIG! I really don’t know what I’m going to do, we will still go to therapy and see whats left of this marriage, I feel so sick, and hurt, I don’t know how our marriage can survive this. Sorry, this is really long comment. But, thank you ladies for listening to me ranting on and on, I appreciate each of you, and I pray we all have some form of peace and comfort!

      • Candi

        IMG_6196.JPG
        If this doesn’t show I’ll try another way

        • Shar

          Sorry Candi I’m not seeing image or picture.

    • Candi

      Shar, There was a meme I wanted to share with you, and it says “Cheating isn’t always physical, flirting, or kissing. If you’re texting a woman and your partner is uncomfortable with it, but you think it’s more important for you to keep the other woman’s friendship, That’s Emotional Cheating.”
      Prior to my hubby’s affair he had many, many female friends – probably more female than male. I never worried – I knew all these women. What did bother me and my hubby always blew it off was whenever we were in a crowd, didn’t matter where, and we were standing in a group he’d always start sexually flirting with the other women AND then he’d start talking to others about, “can someone talk to Candi and ask her to give me more sex”, I’d be embarrassed, angry to the point of tears and he’d be standing there laughing – like it was a game. When ever I’d say anything to him about it he’d get pissed off and say, “I was only kidding”. I knew his sexual flirting would get him into trouble someday – but I figured it would be with a husband/boyfriend but I never thought it would be an affair. Another point is that my husbands friends were more important than I was, yep, his friends took priority – over everything we did. I was like number 7 or 8 on his list. The first 3 on his list was her mother, our daughters, and our dogs, then his friends and I was always last. He never thought about me.
      I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned over 3-1/2 years:
      1. Make NO rash decisions. Those are the decisions that you regret later. You need time to get clear your head.
      2. Keep going to counseling/therapy. With or without him. It was almost a year when my husband suggested we go. You need it to regain what you’ve lost and baby, we’ve lost a lot. You need it to affirm that you are not the cause of his affair, it’s all on him.
      3. Keep a journal of your days. Be honest with yourself in it. Take it with you to counseling and talk about it if the discussion turns to one or several of your entries.
      4. I was the one who blocked the OW cell number, then deleted it. She had enlisted the help of another male friend to break up our marriage so I blocked and deleted him too. There were a few other women he worked with that they were all friends – they were not involved in trying to break us up but it didn’t matter. I blocked and deleted them too.
      5. I blocked the OW and her accomplice on FB and deleted them, and again the same with the other friends.
      6. I set boundaries. I never had boundaries on him before so it took months for him to accept those boundaries.
      7. I highly recommend not asking the OW about the EA. She’s going to tell you what you want to hear and you need to break all ties with her.
      8. Make a list of your questions then when he is willing and ready to and answer you’re ready to ask.
      Our D-day was Saturday, October 1, 2016. He told our daughters that Monday evening and naturally they were extremely angry and didn’t talk to him for a couple of weeks. My hubby would not leave his job nor stop talking to the OW because he said, “she’s my friend and I can’t leave her”. Everyday our daughters begged him to leave his job but he threw them under the bus by staying. He always had an excuse for them as to why he couldn’t leave. He always asked her how she was doing, how was things at home, and how her boys were doing. He never asked me or our daughters how we were – one reason why I can’t forgive him. Her and her boys (high school age) were more important. When he finally decided to leave he had to ask another one of his female friends (who knew what had happened and I trusted her) if she thought he should leave his job – of course she said yes and he even questioned her. He left on Dec. 27th – so you see from D-Day on 10/1 it took him until 12/27 to decide to leave BUT it didn’t end there. Things were going well, so I thought, until Valentine’s Day 2017. He gave me flowers, a beautiful card with a beautiful sentiment about working things out and moving forward HOWEVER about noon he started treating me like crap, his attitude had changed, he was mean and I knew he missed seeing her. We went to dinner that night and he was detached from the whole evening. A couple days later he admitted he wanted to be with her on Valentine’s Day. Since my hubby always considered Valentine’s Day a Hallmark holiday and I had never received a card from him until February 2015 (by this time he had been talking and seeing the OW 6 months) I was devastated again. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back – he was given an ultimatum: me or her , simple as that. If he wanted to continue and think about being with her and wishing he could see her I’d give him his wish but that would mean he left his key, took his clothes and I’d take his pension and his daughters would never talk to him again.
      From D-day until we had our 3-hour marathon Q&A I had received a lot of “I don’t remember”, “I don’t recall”, “I don’t want to answer that”, “you’re badgering me”, Even D-day when I asked him questions he would say, “I don’t remember”! A funny now for me was after my hubby told me that he got pleasured in the back seat of his car in parking lots I asked him what lots and he said, “I don’t remember” – I looked at him and said, “You get your cock sucked 2-3 times a week in the backseat of your car and you don’t remember what parking lot you pulled into – try again!” I got the deer in the headlight stare and I think he realized how stupid his “I don’t remember” was – he spilled the beans.
      Oh yes she was a nut job. I’m still friends with her hubby. She decided she didn’t want to stay married so they divorced, he wanted to go to counseling but she didn’t. My hubby found out from a very reliable source that the summer of 2016 when she was doing my hubby she had 2 others she was taking care of too. When she wasn’t with us she was with one of the other guys. When my hubby was telling me about the other 2 men I asked my hubby, “How does it feel to be cheated on?”. He got my point. All in all her hubby found out that she had had 11 different men from Sept. 2014 until they divorced in November 2018. HAA HAA HAA
      Anyway Shar – stay with it, stay strong, it is a long long road. You are going to have your bad days and worse days but remember you are stronger than you think you are.
      Glad I’m here for you. Talk soon

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