The Office Wife & Violating the Girl Code

office wife

Real Wives, Watch Your Back

by Sarah P.

A note: This is one of the most difficult pieces I have written for a while because it discusses a very gruesome topic that many of us would prefer not to think about. This will also hit a raw nerve with many women and I apologize in advance for this. However, sometimes things like this occur (and have occurred) and I would like to present an actual account of this type of affair.

I have met several women over the years that innocently joke about their husband’s “office wife.” These wives, looking from under their eyelashes, remark in a rather gamine tone, “She looks after him when I can’t—and truly she is a lifesaver.” I have seen the naïve look in the wife’s eyes each time, always bracing myself inwardly, and hoping against all hope that the situation doesn’t end badly.

Well, having an office wife is something I am squarely against. Why? Well, because, I am a “square” myself. But, if you consider recent statistics regarding extramarital affairs, you will find that 36% of people have admitted to having an affair with a co-worker. Although actual statistics are difficult to acquire since an omnipresent statistician, who sees into the bedrooms of everyone, (thankfully) does not exist.

Now, not all men have office wives and not all wives are naïve to the machinations of which their husband’s female co-workers are capable. Furthermore, many female coworkers are neither immoral nor open to being placed into the role of office wife. In fact, I would dare to say that most people aspire to living their lives from a moral foundation; and that many women within the workforce would not have an affair with a married man.

Still, there are just enough women in the workforce who plainly disregard the fact that a man is married. But, to make things worse, there are occasionally women who intentionally seek out a married co-worker for an affair, especially when he is in a position of power. But, the very worst of these women are the ones who hope to gain a promotion specifically by having an affair with a married co-worker in a position of power.

The purpose of this post is to present you with a real case study, if you will, about the damage one such woman caused when she targeted a married man in order to gain a promotion. The events I will describe happened in the early 2000’s. It is not my intention to reveal identities of the parties mentioned, to protect the innocent.

So, names, locations, and any other identifying details have been changed.

Thus, the purpose of this post is to present a bird’s eye view of how the trap is laid for the married man and how the events subsequently unfold. Hopefully, this post will provide some ‘ah-hahs’ for anyone who has wondered about the process of events regarding work affairs.

The Beginning

Soon after I began working at company X, my manager asked me to help screen some of the candidates our team recruiter was bringing in for interviews. He sent another woman and I to training courses in behavioral interviewing and then tasked us with facilitating different panel interviews and providing feedback.

Most of the candidates were great and we ended up recommending them for a place on the team. However, there was one candidate that we did not recommend and we raised concerns to our manager. During her behavioral interview, “Lauren” spent most of the allotted hour flirting heavily with our male coworkers. In addition to that, she took no pains to hide various inter-personal faux pas that had occurred during past employment.

As she smiled and flipped her heavily frosted blond hair, she described many instances of questionable behavior. Of course, some of the men on the teams, with glazed eyes, just nodded and smiled. It appeared that they were focusing on her appearance and not on what she was saying.

Still, most of the panel members decided that Lauren would not be a good fit for the team. But, when she sauntered out of her one-on-one interview with our boss, he was completely charmed. Though Lauren neither had prior experience in our industry nor a degree in the industry, she had the ability to charm almost any man that she met. Our manager, who was in his early thirties, was no exception. She was offered a spot on the team immediately.

Lauren had been recently married and though her husband also worked in our division, that did not stop Lauren from spending her days sitting on the desks of other male co-workers. No one was sure if Lauren actually worked – she was at work, but she never seemed to deliver any real work. Whenever anyone asked, she simply smiled, blushed, and provided an excuse.

The first time one of the women on the team complained that Lauren was not getting her tasks done, our manager joked that the woman was complaining because Lauren was “a beautiful blond.” (Now, that response is wrong on so many levels—but that is what he said. Years later, that manager happened to get fired when it was discovered he was having a sexual relationship with the team recruiter).

After a while, Lauren decided that she had bigger aspirations. Given Lauren’s behavior, it came as no surprise when several of us heard Lauren assuring her only friend in the office that she would have a position in management before the end of the year.

Though her statement was true to her character, we did not take her seriously. Since everyone else on the team had graduate degrees, more work experience, and seniority, we believed that she was suffering from delusions of grandeur. After all, the rest of us had gotten where we were due to an old-fashioned work ethic.

But the winds of change were blowing. Soon, our regular department director accepted a job with a start-up, and a new gentleman was hired to replace him. “Paul” was in his fifties and was happily married with six children. His wife, who was a very kind and unassuming woman, stayed at home and raised the ones who were still living at home.

Until office space was found for Paul, he was given a large cubicle right next door to mine. I spent most of my day keeping my head down and working, so it was difficult not to notice that Lauren was stopping by Paul’s cube at least ten times a day.

Turning on the Charm

Every day thereafter (and until Paul got his office) Lauren could be seen leaning into Paul and hanging on his every word. Everyone on the team noticed what was going on, but they figured that since Lauren was married to such a handsome and nice guy, she was just taking an opportunity to schmooze.

One co-worker noted that there was no way Lauren could be interested in Paul—after all, Paul’s hair was completely gray and he was about 40 pounds overweight (all in his abdomen). Then, there was the fact that Paul was almost 30 years older than Lauren, and happily married. She reasoned that Lauren was just brown-nosing, per usual.

Soon, it was announced by our manager that Lauren would be training for a supervisory role and that Paul would be her mentor. Soon after that, Paul got his own office with a closing door down the hall.

After Paul moved, Lauren would occasionally stop by my cube to make small talk. Really, it was apparent she was gauging my reaction to see if I had caught on to her. She would feign naiveté and say things like, “I don’t know why I would possibly be picked to be a supervisor! Oh I am soooo nervous!!” I would nod and listen. When she realized that I saw through her, she would promptly leave.

A few weeks later, Lauren was moved out of our team and given supervisory duties over a small team of software testers. We saw her leave each afternoon for lunch with Paul. In fact, one day as I was walking back to the office, I spotted Paul and Lauren walking hand in hand, whispering and laughing. After they spotted me, they dropped their hands and smiled.

Later that day, Lauren came by my cube just to “chit chat” as she would always say and she told me about how happy she was with her husband.

The next week, Lauren hired a new tester to her testing team. I noticed the new tester right away since she seemed glued to his side. Like her, he had blond hair and bright blue eyes. He was equally young, from the military, and he seemed to hang on her every word.

By that point, I had been promoted to project manager and was required to interface with her from time to time. Lauren would occasionally call meetings, but would use that meeting time to ascertain whether or not I noticed what she was doing. Once again, I listened to the tales that she spun, but stayed out of it, feigning ignorance. Anytime anyone in the office had complained about Lauren in the past, they were always ignored. I simply did not want to get caught up in these particular sexual politics.

For the next year, Lauren could be seen either spending work hours with Paul or with her “tester” named “Rusty.”  On the other hand, Lauren’s husband, who was quiet and focused, could be found in his cubicle working hard all day.

It was always amazing to watch Lauren in action. Anytime she went to visit the cube of a man, she would sit on that particular man’s desk with her legs spread. Most of the time Lauren wore tight pants or short skirts. The “gentlemen” on the team preferred to ignore it, but the men who eyes wandered could be heard talking about Lauren frequently.

One day, an announcement came out of the blue. Lauren had been promoted to a senior management position, reporting to Paul. That day, she could be heard around the office proclaiming, “I just don’t know how this happened! I am soooooooooo surprised!” A week later, Paul had also given her a service award, an accolade, which came with a trip to Hawaii with him.

For a little while, Lauren left Rusty in the dust and focused all of her time in the office on Paul. They could be seen going everywhere together, walking shoulder to shoulder, gazing at each other. Paul developed a kind of glow and looked as if he had won the lottery.

There were many times that Paul and Lauren were absent from their offices for long periods of time. When Lauren would return mid-day without her thickly penciled on magenta lipstick, we knew where she and Paul had been.

But…. All good things must come to an end.

It Always Ends Badly

One day I spotted Lauren outside of our corporate office in hysterics. The senior director of the marketing division, who was a woman, was consoling Lauren as black mascara ran down her face.

Soon, Paul’s office was cleared out and he was gone.

Because of my position at the time, I was privy to the details. Though everyone in the company saw Lauren groom and lure Paul (and that it was consensual), Lauren had filed a particularly venomous sexual harassment claim against Paul and Company X. Lauren alleged that the relationship was not consensual. Paul was promptly fired so that Company X would not get sued. To appease Lauren, Company X transferred her to the marketing division and gave her a senior management position.

Soon after Paul was gone, Lauren came out in the open with her (other) on-going affair with Rusty and her husband quietly and discreetly left her. After all, she provided more than enough dramatic flair for both of them.

Closing Thoughts

After this happened, I have to admit that I felt sorry for Paul. While it was Paul’s choice to have an affair with Lauren, it must be acknowledged that she was a force to reckon with, she knew that, and she used her physical assets to gain an advantage.

When Paul first showed up at the company, he kept his head down and worked. He was not flirtatious or inappropriate in any way. But, it was very apparent that the attention and ego boost Lauren provided to him was a very powerful temptation. It also must be noted that he never sought her out in the beginning. She came on strong and never let up until she was assured that a senior management position was in her immediate future.

Knowing what I know of men, many of them would genuinely have a difficult time if a young, tall, and shapely blond many years their junior decided to pursue them with the force of a hurricane. Now, this does not excuse a man’s behavior or absolve him of blame, but I believe it is something that needs to be taken into account. Sometimes people are all too human.

Though Paul lost his wife and his job, in and ideal world he and his wife would have taken the time to see a couple’s therapist. Genuinely speaking, I do not believe Paul was seeking out an affair.

Still, even when couples like Paul and his wife see a therapist, many times the man believes the reason for his behavior was due to loss of romantic love. Many men, in this situation and others, will say “I love my wife, but I was no longer in love with her”.

That phrase seems to be the catch all that some use as an attempt to absolve themselves of guilt and/or responsibility. But, this type of thinking requires examination.

If you think about it, when the offending partner says they love but are not in love, this is a fallacy.

Why?

Well, whether it is marital love or love for a child, love itself is a verb. Love is an action, a way of living, and a way of being. Love is something that we cultivate within our lives and within ourselves.

Love takes courage because love, if you are doing it right and for the long haul, asks something of us. Most of all, it asks us to behave in a way that is loving. This is especially true when we are extremely tempted by the fantasy of what it would be like to have an affair.

Being loving means sticking to the promises you made on your wedding day. It means putting integrity above your own selfishness and ephemeral desires.

So, if the offending spouse claims that he still feels love for his wife, it must not be forgotten that the offending spouse is not being loving or acting from love itself. But most of all, whatever the circumstance of the affair, a plan needs to be developed to lessen the chances of it occurring again.

Readers, what do you think?

Have you been through a situation where you or your spouse cheated with a coworker? Were you able to salvage your marriage?

Have you been in a situation where you knew a coworker (male or female) had sexual designs on your spouse? How did you address that?

In these cases, do you place the blame fully on the offending spouse or do you believe the coworker who heavily pursued the spouse is also to blame?

Share your thoughts!!


We’d like to thank Sarah for contributing to our blog.  She recently finished her Master’s work in clinical psychology and is currently working on her PsyD (Doctor of Psychology ) degree.

 

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100 Responses to The Office Wife & Violating the Girl Code

  1. tryinghard January 31, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Sarah
    This post dips it’s toe in the water of putting a lot of the blame or instigation of the affair on the OW. I think you are very brave to do it and I appreciate it. This story is similar to mine with the difference being that he hired the OW while in the middle of the affair. She begged him constantly for the job. My H knew right away that he had gone too far in hiring her but didn’t or was too scarred to change it and get rid of her. He kept putting her in difficult positions hoping she would quit. Of course in the back of his mind was a lawsuit. I know totally passive aggressive on his part. Now I put ALL the blame on my husband. Yes she pursued him and I don’t think he was actively looking to have an affair, and he used his most horrible judgement by taking her up on it. The BS cannot excuse the CS of that poor judgement and live in the “fog” that the OW was just damned irresistible. He could have and should have said NO. That being said, I have a lot of resentment for these women that offer themselves up on a silver platters. She needed a job at our business (I wasn’t working at the business yet) because she needed a raise in pay and benefits (LOL she had all kinds of benefits, not just Healtcare) and she saw her mark as she was working at a place where my H bought materials. She zoned in on the opportunity. She played her cards like a pro, hell he even calls her a pro. She was a bartender so she had plenty of practice.

    I worked in corporate so I saw plenty of these types of women described in your post. I saw them as pathetic but they always managed to get the advancements. I hate to use the term predators, but I honestly believe some of these women are very much like predators. Whether they are in it for financial or emotional reasons, they go after married men. And normally married men with money. I’ve seen the OW posting on a dating site called CitySex and she actually advertises herself as looking for a Sugar Daddy. I’m not saying all OW are predators, but in my case, this one was. Her own family members described her to me as a a money grubbing, bitch and they weren’t the least bit surprised she went after my husband. Too bad they don’t see it while they are in their disillusionment and are only aware of their agendas after it’s too late.

    I’d love to see more info on the psyche of these types of predator people. Hey maybe an idea for a dissertation???

    • Sarah P. February 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Hello TryingHard,

      Thanks for your thoughts!! Really sorry to hear about your situation. That must have been very difficult to deal with knowing that the OW was hired mid affair and that she was clearly a terrible person.

      As a rule, I put 100% of the blame on the cheating spouse. After all, infidelity is a choice.

      Yet…. in situations like these I see a gray area. If I would not have seen “Lauren” in action, I would have said men should take the blame no matter what. (And I do believe that this manager did need to take the blame and be accountable for his decision to have an affair with Lauren).

      Still, Lauren went a very long way toward putting intentional pressure on him until he gave in. There was so much more to the story that she did, but I had to condense it. The things I wrote about were only a sampling. She was ruthless.

      I agree with you that these women are a type of predator. It sounds like the OW your husband ‘befriended’ was also a predator. A couple of years ago I became quite firm in my belief that women like Lauren qualify for a diagnosis of anti social personality disorder. (Sociopath/psychopath…all the same thing). Lauren met the criteria for such a diagnosis in spades. Plus, her behavior was consistent. She wasn’t having an off week or an off month.(If her behavior was just for a period of time, then she would have been selfish, deplorable, and uncaring). But, she was like this for the entire time she worked there. Plus, many others came forward at one time and I actually sat in a few HR meetings trying to make sense of it all. Just one example: when she became a supervisor over testers, one guy on the team had very severe type 1 diabetes. It was known by everyone, especially anyone is a supervisory role. Lauren drew up a schedule where testers could only eat and use the restroom at certain allotted times. If someone asked for an exception, she would threaten them. Well, the diabetic asked for an exception and brought in a physician’s note. Lauren dug her heels in and told him that he had to abide by her schedule or she would put him on probation. (He was a new employee as well). Low and behold, after not being able to eat at certain allotted times, the poor guy went into shock and the ambulance was called. He survived and Lauren was called into HR. (Once again, I had to be there because of my role at the time). Lauren smiled, blushed, and turned on the charm. She literally said, “Ooopsie! Oh dear, I totally forgot about his diabetes! I have just been working too hard!” Then she laughed and faked concern and an apology in front of the HR manager. She was let off and the guy had to scramble to find another job because, after things calmed down, she enforced ‘the schedule’ again. That was extremely sadistic behavior on Lauren’s part. I witnessed many occasions where it was evident she took incredible pleasure in hurting people and even more pleasure in fooling people and getting away with it. Definitely a sociopath. As for a dissertation– great idea!

      Again, sorry to hear about the OW that caused terrible chaos in your life. What a horrible situation. Hope that all of it is (relatively) behind you and your H.

      • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 10:50 am #

        Sarah, you might have hit on a topic for a future post. Sociopathic affair partners! My husband’s certainly was, at least that is the opinion of our very experienced therapist after hearing all of the details that went on. This woman had a history of going after 10+ years older, married, successful men. She had a childhood history of her father being in a long term affair and her mother turning to alcohol to cope. She was pathological in choosing the most hurtful things she possibly could, so that when the affair came out there was maximum impact and hurt. She deliberately pushed for the affair to occur in our home. She manipulated him to take her to places that had special meaning for our family. She wanted to destroy not only my marriage but large pieces of my past and my happy memories of it as well.

        I do hold my husband responsible and he owns his mistakes. He has worked and is working hard to fix his mistakes. But I know too that she took advantage, very deliberately, of his deep depression. She admittedly manipulated their friendship over the line. He regretted it but lived with veiled threats of disaster if he ended it. Like TH above, he was talked into bringing her into the business he owned. That adds an unbelievable layer of complication. It brings legal issues to the forefront, and the spector of lawsuits and more. It exacts an even greater price.

        • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

          Hello ExerciseGrace,

          Sounds like your husband encountered a sociopath. While a childhood history on the OW’s part that included growing up in an alcoholic home with an absentee father (with a mistress) can be considered, these events in and of themselves do not cause sociopathology. These events likely provided the OW with a “template” on how to hurt people. These events probably brought anger to the surface and un-masked a predisposition to sadistic and immoral behavior.

          After all, there are so many people who have grown up in similar homes. Many of these people became adults who were mindful of NOT hurting people precisely because their empathy allowed them to realize they would never put another person through what they experienced.

          So, it absolutely sounds like the OW in your H’s life was a sociopath. For anyone interested in this topic, I would recommend a book called “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout (a Harvard psychiatrist). Stout clearly presents stories about sociopaths who walk among us and who wreak havoc and debunks the myth that most sociopaths are in prison. (Most of the prison population is NOT made up of sociopaths). More commonly, they might share the cubicle next to you at work, or be in your daughter’s PTA, or be the successful professional everyone admires. They seem to be skilled about deflecting attention from themselves, gaslighting, and creating red herrings. One of the clear distinctions between a “normal” person (no matter how troubled) and a sociopath, is that the sociopath LACKS empathy. Indeed, he or she cannot comprehend what it is like to be in another’s shoes. It is such a foreign state of mind. It would be like asking a fish to attempt to put itself in the mindset of a human. There is no frame of reference. While they watch others and sometimes mimic all that is socially acceptable (in order to hide their real motivations), sooner or later they get found out.

          Everyone I know has encountered one at one time or another over the course of their lives. The destruction in their wake is the calling card they leave to let others know they have been duped by such a person. The advice I give everyone is, don’t try to understand them because there is nothing a normal person could understand. Attempt to recognize them and then protect yourselves accordingly.

          Sorry to hear about your h’s OW. You might want to provide him with some reading material on the topic of sociopaths. May he learn how to protect himself the next time around.

          • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

            Sarah, I purchased this book and I have read most of it. I did not mean to imply her family history in any way was part of her being a sociopath. It did add a layer of unresolved anger that I think she takes out on married men. I think she sees men who appear to be happily married as a challenge to prove her own worth. Sad and sick. Our therapist discussed this at length with him, in an attempt to balance the need for him to own his decisions yet see that he was also targeted and manipulated by a crazy woman.

            Two years after d-day, this woman anonymously (yet obviously) cyber-bullies me and our older two children. She sees herself completely as the victim, and myself and the children are to blame. Based on lengthy discussions with our therapist however, she feels that the real goal of the affair was never to get my husband to leave me FOR her, it was to get him to leave simply to DESTROY what we had. She feels that if he had indeed left, his AP would have moved on at that point. Mission accomplished. Thankfully we will never know for sure. Selfishly, I admit to some satisfaction in hearing her tell that all to my husband. That he risked everything dear to him for some psycho-slut that didn’t want him anyway.

  2. gizfield January 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    I work at a large company, probably 1000 employees, about 700 in office. Girls come in literally dressed like they are going to the club. That said, luckily, we have several options to anonymously report any unethical behavior. We usually have an episode or two per year where everyone involved packs their bags and is gone. Sometimes it’s inappropriate emails, sometimes they get caught in the supply closet giving a blowjob. They just disappear, never to be heard from again, lol.

  3. Peggy January 31, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    My husband had an affair with a co-worker. They were both married. Both joined the company at approximately the same time. Both used each other to help in the learning process and became an office “team” so to speak.

    My husband fantasized sexually about Laura for the 4 years they worked together. He had been doing this his entire life so that was a habit not unfamiliar to him. When a man or woman fantasizes about another for a long period of time the energy involved in that action is taken far away from any other relationship they may be in during that same time. The energy has been transferred.

    It has taken me 3 years to get my husband to the point of understanding that it didn’t ‘just happen’ on July 13th when he met Laura at Starbucks and proclaimed his undying love for her. It had been going on in his head for four years.

    My husband is a special case. He is severely passive/aggressive. It had only taken him one time in our marriage to be disappointed in my reaction to him on a very simple situation for him to begin to form his story of me. I was his Mother by the time he started the job with Laura. And that was only 6 years into our now 14 year marriage. A little background. We had no problems with each other. We rarely disagreed and spent most of our time together in conversation enjoying each other. We had a very satisfactory sexual relationship and it was my perception that we were very much in love with each other and had a solid marriage. I was completely in the dark as to his other side. He was a master deceiver and handled both lives very well. Not until the year of his active affair did I suspect that there might be a crack in our marriage. When I noticed the personality change in him and asked him what was wrong, I believed him when he said he was just tired of the work he was doing. I gave him more attention and affection which he happily accepted, but it wasn’t helping and by January of 2011 I needed more answers which was the exact time that Laura moved back to N.Y. and he let me in on his other life.

    But as far as this scenario goes I hold Laura equally responsible for the pain they both have caused me. She flirted back with him. She was in a loveless 14 year marriage at the time they both started the job. She complained about her husband’s drinking constantly. As an outsider I found it sad when I heard of her woes. But now I find it interesting that she was also a daily drinker. Laura told the office that she was getting a divorce in January of 2010. My husband, in his already obsessed mental state felt exhilarated by the fact that she would now be available to him. When I said to him after he told me about this conversation which was just a few months ago, “Why would you think that YOU were available,” he looked at me with a blank stare. It had not occurred to him that he wasn’t available for her. Our marriage in his mind was non-existent because he had already excluded me from his life and his fantasy was in complete control by that time.

    It has been three years this month since he confessed to his affair with Laura and only because she left him to be with another man. I found out later that during the time of their affair she was sexually involved with two other men. One 19 years old and the other her age of 49. Neither of them did she leave town for. Her final destination with with a very recent divorcee that she had gone to school with in upper N.Y. He divorced his wife of 20 years to be with her.

    My husband was devastated that she had left him so he figured he could come to me for help. That is how far away from a marriage he was with me. I had become his confidant and Mother who he knew would console him through his loss with no cognitive awareness of my connection to him or for my shock in finding out that my husband had been involved with another woman for 4 years.

    Office romances are extremely dangerous. I’m very conscious of them now. My husband has just started a new job and right along with the new job (as if I need this again) he has been paired in a cubicle with a very attractive woman who, too, is new to the job. This is how I am handling this. I have told my husband that I do not trust or feel that he is prepared for the temptation this might bring. He has argued with me, but I’m taking a stand on this now. I told him that either he goes to his superior and without revealing the obvious asks if he can be placed with a person with more experience for the added advantage of knowledge he may gain from that association and that he would prefer a man or he will have to find another job. He does have the advantage of doing a lot of his work from the home and I have told him that I will compromise and let him into my space if this scenario doesn’t work in the office. I’m an artist and I very much need my private space to do my work so this is a huge compromise for me to take to secure my sense of safety.

    I am quite aware that I can’t control anything outside of myself, but I will not put myself through anymore emotional turmoil than I already have just to prove how together I am. I’m not that secure and this isn’t working for me. I’ve spent 3 years researching and learning about human behavior and affairs and who I am and he is just starting to show up. I don’t need and he doesn’t need the added ‘test’ while we are in the process of healing from his affair. Because it isn’t working for me it should not work for him either. I’m learning that my needs should have value. A big one for me.

    Women know their abilities to manipulate men. That doesn’t mean that men or victims, but most are. I take no responsibility for my husband’s issues and his affair. He owns it free and clear, but all she had to say was ‘NO.” Did she have a lot to do with continuing his fantasy? Absolutely yes. It was still his fantasy that brought him to the table at Starbucks.

    • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      Peggy,

      I am shaking my head for so many reasons: your husband came to your for comfort when Laura broke it off, he assumed he was available when married to you, he was able to compartmentalize his life with you and with her, he assumed she was genuine, etc. It sounds like Laura was yet another female sociopath.

      I absolutely agree with your idea to ask your husband to get another teammate at work or go into your space and telecommute.

      When I was cheated on by my first fiance, I still loved him even after he left. When he attempted to come back later, I had moved on with the man who became my husband. One of my friends recently asked me again how I could stay away from my former fiance long ago while I was still getting over feelings of love for him. I told her:

      “While it was true I still loved him at the time he tried to return, I respected myself more. Because I respected myself more, I would not allow myself to return to such a relationship”.

      This reasoning can actually be used in many cases. For example, because you respect and value yourself more, you must insist that your H finds an alternative work scenario. You respect yourself too much to risk another such situation.

      If I were you, my alarm bells would go off. In fact, before I married my husband, he knew about every detail I went through with my ex fiance. We agreed that should either of us ever find ourselves in a situation where a co-worker was tempting, we would come to the other spouse and discuss it and make plans to deal with it.

      My husband works in a profession where there are a lot of women around. There have been several occasions when a coworker has flirted or made advances. He has always told them that he is happily married and then come home to tell me. I usually show up a couple of times a month with home baked goods for everyone at his work and know a lot of his coworkers. (Now, I do a lot of baking and it boosts morale when I bring in treats for everyone at his work. I also did this when I was single and then married and worked full time in my own corporate job). So, I continue to do what I have always done since the process of baking cakes and cookies is a stress reliever.
      (But gotta give them away too and spread the cake love!)

      Again, sorry to hear about your situation and it is the SMART thing to be on guard. If you weren’t on guard and asking your H to make changes, I would be sitting here wincing. Like they say, if someone has participated in a behavior in the past, it’s likely that they might participate in that same behavior in the future, for the good or for the bad. It’s best to remove known stumbling blocks. Why introduce a known temptation during the process of reconciliation?

      • Peggy February 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

        Thanks so much for your support Sarah. I’m still a mess every time he goes to work. But trust is a ways away from happening with me. He is resisting of course. He did try to get another desk but none were available. He says he would never get into that situation again, but like you know, it could easily happen again until he actually does get it and I am not sure he has yet. This is so hard because it’s been so long. Three years of going through this nightmare. He’s just starting to take it seriously. My sister called last night and told me I was an idiot for having any problems with this because it has been three years. Just because he didn’t have sex with her doesn’t mean he didn’t have an affair, but we all know most think that way. It just spins me around and out of control.

        • tryinghard February 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

          Hey Peggy

          First of all and listen to this YOU ARE NOT AN IDIOT!! Ugh this is the part that makes me so mad when others who have no idea what we are going through make these broad judgments. You are safe here to speak your mind and we don’t care if it’s been a day or ten years. Secondly, you don’t really “know” whether it was physical or not and really it doesn’t make any difference. I’m sorry your sister was so heartless to you.

          Also, I call Bullshit on the no other desk available excuse, JMHO

          • Peggy February 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

            Yeah, I, of course, have no way of knowing if that’s true or not. I’m thinking he never asked and just said he did. Once again, OMISSION.
            He really only has to be there for office meetings on Tuesdays so I’ll be seeing a lot of him now.

            My sister is one of those women who feels superior because she’s been married for 35 years. She doesn’t mention that she had an affair with her now husband while she was married to her first. Easy to forget that part. She’s always been very abusive to me. One of the two that I’ve created boundaries. The other would be my Mother. They are both clones.

            • tryinghard February 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

              Peggy
              OK well consider us your unofficial “sisters”. We won’t call you crazy, we promise! But I always say, Crazy is as crazy does!

              So it sounds like your situation is hitting a little too close to home for your sis to have any kind of empathy for you. We’ve all been there whether it was from a sister or a friend and their cold comments do not help! Matter of fact they make it worse. My BFF told me I just needed to get over it!! Well WTF why didn’t I think of that genius!!! Needless to say, she hears nothing now. I can’t risk it. So in our conversations go, How are you TH? I’m great!!!! On to something else. Yep you have to draw boundaries, especially now when your heart is so broken.

              • Peggy February 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

                I get it about friends. As if that’s not bad enough, they also think I must have done something horrible to him for him to have an affair because “EVERYONE LOVES STEVEN’. I used to joke with him before all of this that he needed to get his own TV show and instead of Everyone Loves Raymond it could be him.

                I find myself not answering the phone. I tried to take a break from my family 9 months after I found out. A little history, my Dad was very ill and my Mother is a nightmare and my lovely sister is to rich to come and help. She just sends money. I was taking care of him most every day. I asked for one month alone and the entire family fell apart. I was the evil one in there opinion. I can’t expect anyone to understand, but everyone knew how in love I was with my H. But, they are all takers and now I’ve found out that I don’t want to be the only giver so I’m stepping back. My Dad died a year after D-day. Today, actually. He died today two years ago. My Mother doesn’t even know how to put in a light bulb. She decided I would be my Dad’s replacement. I’m proud to say that I have managed to not go over to her house in a month. It used to be every other day. I hooked her up with a plumber and electrician and a housekeeper and a gardener. There is a man that lives down the street from her that will come over when she needs to replace a light bulb.

                My daughter told me just last week that I needed to get over it and that wasn’t the first time she has said that. And she was the one that literally threw up when she found out about his affair. Like I said, everyone loves him. Obviously more than they love me.

                Thank you. I’d love to have all of you for my sisters. I’ve been completely alone with this for 3 years.

                • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

                  Peggy,
                  I am sorry to hear about family members to get over it. I have one family member who has the attitude that we all need to suppress our feelings and get over anything that happens. I believe she says those things because she is scared of her own emotions and the emotions. The emotions of others threaten her since she has disconnected herself from the world of feelings for many years.

                • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

                  Ohhh Peggy, I backed away from everyone too. I had to choose who I would let in in relation to my h ea, I limited what I spoke about to my family, jic my h and I were able to make it through. Even though I did that, it still took a while for my family to see in him what they used to see in him, a decent man.
                  Yet friends, those that knew what was going on, are now long gone. I needed to get away from all the negative comments, of why do you stay etc. I felt my h ea, ruined a lot of our relationships with friends, as well as family. I honestly am so embarrassed about what my h did, that I often wonder who else of our friends know. Yet as we moved far away from everyone, I don’t see anyone now. My h still does though as our business is still there.
                  I do wonder when do you finally feel like you can face those people still in your life again, without feeling foolish or embarrassed? Or like it must have been my fault for her h to have an ea with ow.
                  We had my h relatives come up this way a couple of weeks ago, they wanted to see us. I just couldn’t do it. They know the ow, and all I could think of was, what they will tell her. I also didn’t feel like hearing one of the h of my niece and nephews step fathers, tell me again, no wonder he was with the ow, because you are fatter than what she is. I find he is a shallow. He told me that when my h and I were separated for a month at the start of dday for me with my h ea. I’m fatter again now, and I just couldn’t bare being looked at in a way where they go back and tell the ow, that his w is a fat sh*t again.
                  I would never get rid of the ow if that happened.

                  • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

                    Sorry that was supposed to say my nieces and nephews step father.

                    • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

                      Peggy, your feelings should not be overlooked and just bypassed as if you mean nothing.
                      You have been hurt, your sister does not understand, until they feel that sort of pain themselves, no one truly understands how devastating it is.
                      What I do,now is come here, when i want to get something off my chest, as I found no one I know understands. I can ramble and rave on here and everyone is supportive and understanding, we all know how it feels to also feel alone at times.
                      I used to say to my h, “the sun shines out of your ass, everybody loves you for some reason”. Well I haven’t told him that since his ea.

        • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

          An affair is an affair is an affair, whether it’s EA or SA.

          Plus, it’s one of those things that no one forgets completely. I went through betrayal 14 years ago and I still think about it from time to time.

          • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

            PS
            Sorry for the typos. Working on an iPad without a keyboard!

  4. Jrs January 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    My husband had an affair with a co-worker, as well. He is an attorney and his OW was a stunning entry-level employee at the firm who is 17 years younger than me. After he’d been there 3 months, they got chatty at the booze-filled, no-spouse, all afternoon holiday party. She started texting him and it went from there. It lasted 10 months. I found out about it after 7 months, he promised he had ended it, then I found out two more times he had not. Right at the beginning he started all the “I’m not happy in this marriage, I don’t know if I still love you” stuff and I thought it was my fault. I went to 6 months of counseling (he wouldn’t go) to change myself and be a better wife and then figured out what was really going on. I know very little of what actually happened during their affair because he would not talk about it. I only know what I saw in a just a few emails between them. He claims nothing physical happened but I don’t really believe anything he says.

    He refused to leave his job, and (although he said it was over) I think they probably continued carrying on to some degree for about a year, although greatly reduced since I was now aware of her and threatened to tell her boyfriend about what I knew. She left the job 18 months after I found out about the affair. The worst was knowing he went to work every day and saw her, worked with her, etc. It was torture for me. Once she left, it was a little better, but because his secretary was friends with her (and I’m certain she knew while it was going on) I felt very embarassed and humiliated. I still will not call his office because she answers his phone.

    As a result of what happened, I generally don’t trust his dealings with the women at work. He’s now getting texts from a very beautiful, very young, very flirty law intern. I only know that because I snooped his phone last night. He didn’t bother to tell me about her, of course. He claims he’s doing nothing wrong and he learned his lesson and never wants to go back to that time, but it’s difficult for me to believe him. Work affairs are the worst.

    • Peggy January 31, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Omission is a lie. Simple. He told me just last year after I had known about the affair that the OW had asked him out for a drink on his birthday just one year into the job with her. Because he didn’t go he felt it wasn’t important to tell me about it. His omission to that alone speaks volumes as to where his head and other parts were at the time even though he continues to try and convince me that nothing was going on at all until 2010.

      I have had this identical situation with a man I was working with way before I ever knew about his affair and I felt it was extremely important to tell him about it. Men love their secrets and fantasies. It’s death to trust. And my H is still struggling to get it. Just two weeks ago he omitted that he had a breakfast at work knowing that this was a huge trigger for me. His excuse was that he didn’t want to upset me. His responsibility was to be transparent with me and especially on social occasions that didn’t include me. Once again, a huge trigger for me because of all the times his office he worked at with the OW had parties and he bitched about how boring they were. Well I found the office party pictures and he was clearly not having a horrible time. Not to mention other spouses were in the picture and he always told me that they were for staff only. So he knew it was important to tell me about the breakfast and still after three years of going through this hell with him he decided to omit it hoping I wouldn’t find out which I always do. Once again back to day 1 and no trust at all. Stupid is what stupid does. I’m real tired of all of this. I’m sure you are, too.

    • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      Hello Jrs,

      Okay I am going to say some things that you might find uncomfortable and I apologize for that.

      If I found out that my husband had cheated in the past, lied about breaking it off, and then I found some texts from a beautiful and flirty intern, I would be concerned. In my mind, this is a boundary violation and one that could cause him to step over the line again.

      I am well aware of the various women successful male attorneys are exposed to on a daily basis. While I am not married to one, my aunt is an attorney and she was also married to one who cheated constantly. (Her story ended badly and the details were so terrible that nothing will ever be reconciled. Several lives have been ruined for good). Fortunately, I believe what she lived through is on the severe end of the spectrum since it was apparent he struggled with several addictions as well as narcissism. Thankfully, most women will never have to live through what she and my cousin lived through.

      Still, “three strikes and you are out”. You might want to strongly look into whether or not this is going to become a behavioral pattern on your H’s part.

      He is the one who needs counseling to look into why he keeps falling into similar situations. He is the problem, not you.

      Just like my aunt, you could be stunningly beautiful, talented, and successful. She was and continues to be an exceptional person. Yet, his affairs had nothing to do with her. There was nothing she did to contribute to the situation. There was nothing that she lacked that might cause him to look elsewhere. But, most shocking were the women he chose as mistresses. His most long term mistress was the exact opposite to my aunt in all ways. The OW was from BELOW the bottom of the barrel. His story stands as an illustration that an affair isn’t about who the wife is, or who the wife is not. The problem is within the man himself. (I was witness to what my aunt went through from ages 12 until the present day (my 40’s). We have a tight-knit family and the women stick together and support each other. Her story afforded me a window into a painful world from a very young age and it was probably the thing that got me interested in psychology in the first place. From the time I was in undergrad, I spent many, many hours talking to her about what happened since there will never be closure. The way it ended with not allow anyone to have closure and it’s traumatic.

      While it would be great for you to see a counselor again, it wouldn’t be with the intent to become a better wife. It would be with the intent of getting a professional sounding board to help you work through the feelings that his infidelity has caused. It appears that your H was good enough at gas-lighting to lead you to believe you needed to be a better wife.

      I call foul on your H’s behavior. Something needs to change and the texts need to stop.

      Hope you see yourself through this and soon. Just remember, it is not about you and you are inherently lovable. Lovability is something that is in-born and inherent within us; and not influenced or changeable according to the poor actions of others.

  5. Peggy January 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Also, I’ve been told it is extremely important to tell the OW’s significant other. The psychologist’s reason is, wouldn’t you want to know? Yes I would. And I was manipulated into not telling the OW’s husband because my H was afraid he would lose his job. I know it would have helped me to have been able to tell her husband. A little compensation for all the pain she has helped give me.

    • tryinghard January 31, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      Peggy
      No it is NOT for compensation for anything. You do it because it is the right thing to do! Yes he deserves to know as a human being that is being taken for a fool. He was afraid, blah, blah, blah, didn’t want to upset you, blah, blah, blah. He’s only afraid of being caught and upsetting himself. BTW I include my husband in this too. It’s not too late to tell her husband, IMHO.

      Yes there are lies or commission and lies of omission and splitting hairs on the difference is just gas-lighting.

      • Peggy February 2, 2014 at 2:03 am #

        tryinghard, I agree with you totally, which is why I did tell him and to add spice I also told the new man in N.Y.’s ex-wife about her, too. I felt she had a right to know that Laura may have been the cause for her divorce. Of course, I don’t know anything about their marriage, but I do know that Laura was still living with her ex while screwing four men at the same time. Total slut material.

  6. Jeddy February 1, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    When I was first married, I had (what my h and both called) an office husband, “Joe”. We were extremely compatible work-wise and adored each other – as colleagues and friends. We were both married, and I knew and adored his wife. He and i traveled together, we were always together. Always. We were viewed as a team, yet there were no whispers about us. It was a friendship. We told funny personal stories, but when I think about him, what I always remember is that there was no one in the world he loved more than his wife. Period. I knew nothing about his marriage, our spouses could have been a part of any of our conversations. I loved him as a friend and as an ethical guy. We laughed hysterically and never shared intimacies. It was a true friendship and our spouses worried about nothing, because everything was open. They knew we looked out for each other when traveling and frankly there was no attraction. When I had children and stopped working, they both visited. It was one of the most genuine friendships I’ve ever had, and our work was spectacular. But no line was ever crossed, and our spouses knew that. I think my h knew I wouldn’t make silly drunken choices with men on the road because I wouldn’t want Joe to be disappointed in me. We still think of him and his wife fondly. Frankly joe was a secure guy, 10 years older than my 23 years, I was a newlywed, and we felt so lucky to have each other. I think because of that relationship, I went very far in the company very young because there was no icky rumor trail that followed me. Because, wow did we see a lot of Laurens at that company. And of course my h found himself an ow in his business, and what seemed so good to him he now views as a disgusting episode in our marriage. We often compare my relationship with joe to his ea for all the differences. I also knew a woman who made $$ thru sexual harassment suits at more than one law firm, and destroyed family men who had not done anything wrong. It’s all really fascinating. Strong, loving, secure men do not fall victim, nor are they targeted. Married people who keep boundaries at work do not have affairs, because the barrier is there. I learned young that I could have a great close friendship and have integrity with a man, but again, he was a moral guy, and we both maintained boundaries that still allowed a true friendship and work relationship to thrive.

  7. EyesOpened February 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    And here is a perspective from the other side…

    I fell madly in love with my h my ‘star’ over 20 years ago. We had an amazing romance whilst he was poor and on his way up the career ladder. Then after around 4 years he reached a career high and he became arrogant and thoughtless as I continued to meet all his needs but he forgot about mine. Children arrived and I could no longer cater for every whim and demand he had and he became manipulative and unreasonable. He would dive into depression regularly, be inconsistent and the ONLY way to cheer him up was to have sex. It became a chore I didn’t want to do, but he would demand it more and more and life would be miserable if he didn’t get it. We had difficulties for a few years but had a second child and things got worse ….

    Then he lost his job and I had to return to work – juggling kids, work, sex, his delicate ego and depression. When I tried to talk he refused, when I threatened to leave he threatened suicide and I believed him and I continued to ‘perform’ not knowing how to escape. Life was grey, dark and miserable at home and I felt trapped and had no idea how to deal with it.

    Two years into returning to work and a co-worker and I that got on, worked on umpteen projects, events and trips together became ‘the other half of a great team’. We started talking , sharing difficulties we were experiencing at home and trying to help each other out. I talked to him as I did the females in the office and saw him and respected him as a friend and great colleague

    After a while he suggested we do trips or events together alone and I began to feel that I would allow something to happen if the occasion arose – so decided not to put us in that situation.

    That is where I should have ended it.

    What happens next is that I return home regularly to misery, demands and rudeness from my h. Meanwhile my colleague sends me uplifting, entertaining, flattering, ego pumping emails from his trips abroad saying how much he’s missing my company and being in the office with me. I am flattered. He admits he had a previous affair and is trapped in a loveless marriage. He says they’ve been married 17 years and he’s been unhappy for 15 of them. Somewhere along the line he tells me that his wife and he haven’t slept together in months. By this time I’m hooked! Here I am married to a guy who would kill himself if I don’t sleep with him daily and this other ‘work husband’ is telling me how dreadful his wife is but he’s staying for the kids – and how he can never make her happy – she doesn’t want him – she just needs him for money and being a father. Boom! The perfect storm. We have something in common and in two and a half years of ‘professional intimacy’ he hasn’t tried it on.

    In my mind.. My marriage was over, his was clearly over, he made me feel wonderful and didn’t demand sex – I could make him feel wonderful without sex – we declared our love for each other and planned how to leave our spouses without causing any hurt. (I know!!) I arranged special times for him and his wife (free hotel rooms separate from their kids at events etc – so I could see if he was lying about her not wanting to be with him – this and colleagues endorsing the fact that his marriage was on the rocks). Once I convinced myself he was being honest with me, the affair continued whilst we pondered on our perfect exit plan. We eventually became physical ( not brilliant for either of us but actually that just convinced me more that it wasn’t about that) I felt alive and turned on all the time and could go home and give my h the sex he so badly wanted – which made him generally better to be around. I convinced myself that my h knew I was having an affair but didn’t actually care because he was getting what he wanted. (Again. I know!!!)

    Think about it – I believed my APs lies because in my mind I didn’t tell him lies so I assumed he was being truthful too ( why would someone seek out companionship if their marriage was good ?) The ‘lies’ I presented him were more in things like my fastidious cleanliness and appearance around him (always trying to be perfect, once we were in the affair). The person I was lying to was myself not him.

    Then we got caught.

    Then I witnessed the pain.

    Then I discovered emotionalaffair.org

    THEN I learned the truth about affairs .

    Since then, I left my job. My h and I have had counselling up to the eyeballs and tried and tried and are still trying. My unanswered question is though…. If I didn’t matter to my h enough to change things when I was so unhappy and asked and tried BEFORE the affair … How is it that he can change it now (not suffer depression, not ‘be frustrated’ and stay awake all night) and still love me after the pain I caused? Why didn’t he try before ? Is this just because someone else wanted me and he didn’t want them to have me or is it because he really really loves me and just learned that when he nearly lost ‘us’? Why am I so brilliant now but not before?? ESPECIALLY as I have committed the ultimate crime? Why on earth would he want me still?

    I’m still having trouble reconnecting intimately with my h and he hurts because I did it with the AP but just don’t want to so it with him – or anyone else for that matter -( I do sleep with him, to keep the peace, but I’m quite happy to be celibate frankly)!

    Here is a thing I’ve realised. I’m so busy trying to suppress ‘wrong feelings’ that I think I’m suppressing ‘right feelings’ in the mix. It’s easier not to feel anything at all than get it so badly wrong again.

    Anyway – Just thought another perspective may shed some light on this dark subject.

    Also would like to add that I am absolutely not in anyway attempting to excuse my actions – as I’ve said before – I can think carefully about all my words and write what I think you want to hear OR I can write what I feel – and maybe just maybe someone will understand something that their cs is going through and be able to connect in a way they have not been able to before.

    I hate that I was so stupid and naive and am a ‘baddie’. I cannot come to terms with the pain I have inflicted on people (especially my AP’s wife). I hate the pain I have caused my h and my children and so so badly wish I could go back and erase this from all of our lives.

    • exercisegrace February 2, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      EO, the “perfect storm” is a very apt description and one our therapist uses often. People can have good boundaries, good morals and be everything they are supposed to be. Jeddy, you were fortunate, because situations can change and that closeness can tip over the line. My husband’s “friend” and co-worker of three years had some situations change and she (her own words) began to “pursue him aggressively” before he even realized the rules of the game had changed. She took advantage of a very vulnerable time in his life, when our business nearly failed, his father had died, a new baby arrived, a stressful move, and some real estate losses had created financial stress. We had a good marriage, but her flattering words began to carry more weight than my own, because she was in the same business. He enjoyed the ego boost he got from her. It had tragic results.

      Today we have completely new boundaries. Neither of us would ever even put ourselves in a situation where something could happen. No traveling alone with members of the opposite sex. Parties without spouses would politely be declined. We are much more intentional and proactive now about protecting the most important thing in the world to us, our marriage and our family.

  8. jeddy February 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Eyes opened – I dont see what you wrote as an excuse, you told your story honestly. Thank for your perspective – these things are never an instantaneous explosion but a series of unfortunate events that lead to something bigger and more painful than anyone could have imagined. My husband told no one, not one friend, about his ea because he knew it was wrong. If someone had said to him in march of 2013 “careful big boy, you may get sued for sexual harassment” I think he would have ignored them anyway. Until it imploded, he saw nothing wrong – and I may be wrong, but it seems like your situation was similar. I wish you the best, and thank you for sharing that.

  9. EyesOpened February 2, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Thank you Jeddy. I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

    I agree that being told mid-affair that what you’re doing is wrong, falls on deaf ears – because in your affair mind – ‘you’re the only two people that this has ever happened to’ and ‘no one else could possibly understand’.

    My first ‘dawning moment’ came on this site when I realised my story was so ‘common’ – and not the secret once-in-lifetime chance I’d convinced myself I was experiencing. Hence Eyes Opened!

    Good luck to you Jeddy (and all on here) and thank you again.

  10. gizfield February 3, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    Sarah P, I appreciate your opinion, but what is the specific benefit of assigning 100% of the blame for affairs on the Cheating Spouse? That personally to me seems rather harsh, and would definitely seem to make staying in your marriage more difficult. What my husband did was VERY wrong. But if I put all if it on him, he would just seem like a scummy cad. Not a pathetic, mid life crisis person who had just gone through a triple bypass heart surgery in his early 40s. His scuzzy girlfriend was more than happy to participate in an inappropriate relationship for her own personal gain. So yes, she gets credit where it’s due from me, just like he does.

    • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      I will chime in here too. The OW gets her share of the blame. She was fully aware that he was married. She fully admitted to him at the end that SHE was the one who pursued taking their three year friendship into the next level. She was aggressive and persistent. She willingly stepped between him, his marriage and his children. She pushed hard for him to see me as an undeserving nag. She pushed for him to see his own children as undisciplined brats. When he looks back he is appalled at how she tried to pry him further and further away from his relationship with his children. And it was all done under the guise of helping him deal with his depression. Doing what was “best” for him. Telling someone who is depressed and suicidal with a plan that they don’t need to seek help or treatment? They only need YOU? YOU are the answer? Words can’t even describe how sick and twisted that is. So I place at least half of the blame on her. Squarely.

  11. Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    Giz, , me too. The ow gets the blame too, not just the cs. Your right, otherwise, if we assigned all the blame into our cs, what would the point be in staying in a marriage with the cs, if we blame them for everything that happened. Yes what they did was so very wrong, but the ow, now they were only after what they wanted, the were in it for material gain, not for love of our spouses, They didn’t care who they walked over to get their prize.
    They didn’t care if the cs was depressed, if he was in a midlife crisis trying to figure out what the meaning of their life is, if anything it was a way in for the ow, to work at getting what she wanted.
    This ow, she is no way innocent at all, especially when they know the cs is married or attached yet keep trying to get in between of a marriage.

    • Jeddy February 3, 2014 at 7:38 am #

      I agree – my h’s ow was also married, mother of 4. I hold them both accountable, even though I don’t know her. Frankly the pain caused by other women in my life, female friends I trusted, has been worse than pain caused by men. The ea hurt me deeply, but I always think “how does a wife/mother do this to another wife/mother?” They used each other with no regard to the damage the wake would cause. And they hurt families and children, grand total of seven kids. I feel like I’m over the ea, I just can’t get over the selfishness and cruelty I endured while it was happening. She’s not a threat to me, frankly if he wants that mess of a girl, he’s free to go. But that he could lie and be such an idiot for 10 months is what I grapple with. I almost feel like his penance should be having to be with her, lol.

      • Peggy February 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

        Thanks Jeddy, that was my question. How do women do this to other women. Where is the society of sisterhood, I’ve got your back, women I thought I was a member of. It’s not as if a married man has ever come up to any of you before. Come on! Did you jump in bed with him just because he made himself available. I know of one time in particular in my past that I was approached by a married man who happened to be a co-worker, too. He acted like he just wanted to talk to me causally, but his body language was telling me a different story. You know how men can move into your personal space and you know what it’s all about. I told him if he wanted to have a conversation with a woman after work perhaps he should give his wife a try first. He backed off immediately. That’s why I can say all she had to do was say “NO”. It’s really that easy to get rid of a man. There’s always going to be another woman these guys can score with. In my case my H had been fantasizing about her for years. But he’s not that secure. If she had said no that would have been the end of it. If may have even stopped his fantasizing about her. It definitely wouldn’t have taught him anything and for him I’m real happy that he’s learned some seriously necessary lessons on commitment. But for me, not so much. I had already dealt with my issues prior to marrying him. Well, not all. I did find out through all of this nightmare that I was one of those that gave myself away too much. I have learned to create boundaries now with family members who were always taking advantage of me. But, it definitely is 51% the fault of the OW when it comes to both of them being married. Men are easily intimated when brushed off. Their egos can’t take it.

  12. gizfield February 3, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Lol , Jeddy, one thing I said in the past was that the only REAL karma would be for them to be stuck with their affair partner through eternity. The thought of being with my own affair partner of 20 years ago today is HORRIFYING, to say the least.

  13. gizfield February 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I also believe a lot of affair partners are Repeat Offenders, and probably sociopaths. I know my affair partner certainly was. He was a chronic, habitual, pathological liar. He cheated on every woman/girl he dated. He said or did whatever was necessary to get his way. He manipulated me from the time we met right before my fifteenth birthday. When I cheated with him, he actually watched me before he made contact. Found out how my marriagewas, to make sure I wouldn’t tell my H. He even came by and met him one day, on the pretext of being interested in an old car we had. I’m not saying this is lessen my responsibility but if you have never been involved with one of these people you cannot even begin to imagine what they are like. No conscience, no remorse, no true human feeling. Except maybe their children in some cases. Everyone is fair game.

    • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      Two words for that guy:

      Textbook sociopath

      • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

        Also, ladies, I do believe that the OW in these cases shares the blame.

        I blame the husband for not saying no.

        But, I do believe the OW (who is specifically predatory) contributes to the process and splits the blame 50/50 in these cases.

        I know that sounds like their is no difference, but there is a hair of difference.
        I blame the H 100% for not saying no. But, I blame the predatory other woman for her involvement in the process, and that is where the blame can be split.

        But, if to any of you that doesn’t sound correct, let me know! I may be incorrect
        in my viewpoint.

        What I will never understand is why some women do not participate in the sisterhood. I mean, just think, if all of us women stuck together, supported each other, and refused to betray each other, then the world would be a better place. Moreover, if ALL WOMEN said NO to extramarital affairs, we would have very few extramarital affairs. (There would always be some affairs because there are men who are extremely adept at hiding the fact that they are married and they go to great lengths to do so).

        It may be a case of wiring. I can think as far back as high school. Me and my female friends had the understanding that any other woman’s boyfriend was off limits. We had a pact that we would not flirt with the other’s boyfriend, crush, or date that person after our friend broke up with him. We were like minded and stuck together. It appears that all of us were literally ‘wired’ to have the backs of other women. We found it incomprehensible to hurt another woman in that way.
        I will never understand why some women hurt each other.

        • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

          Sarah, it is sheer jealousy, and envy, as well as believing if they use their body they will get what they want.
          Some women out there unfortunately will walk over anyone that’s stands in their way of getting exactly what they want, whether it be a nice cushy well paid job, or that life they wished they had, nice house, a hard working husband, father that loves his family, generous and caring, and willing to help others if needed, and the rich husband, (well at times they assume are rich) If this man is already married then they will pile on the self pity, work on all the ego boosting compliments, until they find themselves ready to strike.
          My h ow, made no attempts to hide the fact that she wanted my life, my h and my children. She wanted me to be alone, she wanted everything that both my h and I have worked for over the years to be hers and her children.
          Yet in a way as well, I believe she did not care if my h lost everything, because she knew he was a hard worker and would eventually give her what she wanted.
          These ow have their own motives one why they peruse a married man or even an attached man, yet one thing that it boils down to, is they believe they are deserving of whatever this man has and would be able to offer her.
          Unfortunately the man, just thinks it is about their good looks and charms, because why else would this ow Perdue them so aggressively, right? The last thing a man wants to believe is that it had nothing to do with them, it was all about what they could give.

  14. gizfield February 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    One thing I noticed after learning about my husband’s girlfriend is that she was very similar in a lot of way to my affairpartner. They were both “semi good looking” like that Van Halen song describes, went around giving mixed signals, that were continuously “misinterpreted” cause they wouldn’t do that. Always misunderstood, always the victim, always treating other people like shit, while trying to present the image of long suffering saints. My husband is even more guillable and naive than I was and believed it too. These people have learned what works with the opposite sex very well. Pursue, back off, pursue, back off. He claims she wasn’t “interested” in him but that is sure as hell not what I saw. I continuously text, call, flirt with guys I’m not interested in all the time. Riiiight.

    • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      Sounds exactly like my h ow, giz. My h ow would say to my h, when he moved back home after our month separation, “ask your w if she will let me still date you” I will be like a second wife.
      Wtf, are you serious…… If that isn’t deluded then I don’t know what is.
      What was she hoping I would say ” ohhh ok, if you want to see my h with my blessing because it now isn’t behind my back then of course, go right ahead. I would hate to come between the two of you just because I’m his wife, and you want to still be his girlfriend. Ohhh honey, you can share all I have with this man, with open arms, welcome. To the family”
      No friggin way.. Idiot…
      I honestly can’t believe the shit that comes out of the ow mouth. Yet I was the crazy one…. ” my craziness was not a genetic flaw, my craziness was brought onto me by their stupid behaviour”. ” I was being sent to the looney bin.

      • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

        SR……THIS!!!!!!

        ” my craziness was not a genetic flaw, my craziness was brought onto me by their stupid behaviour”. ”

        My suspicions and fear drove me nuts. I was physically ill, vomiting and developed ulcers. I was told I was making myself sick, as nothing was happening. In fact I was told I needed to be medicated for my crazy beliefs, before I ruined his business and his career with my “paranoia”. I reached a point where I could barely function, and he criticized me viciously for something that he was entirely creating along with his AP. He actually said at one point I should be hospitalized for being delusional. No wonder that when the affair was finally revealed, my first burst of emotion was one of RELIEF. I was sane and I had been right all along.

        • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

          ExerciseGrace,
          Wow. His lies were making you unwell, but your body was screaming the truth.

          What really bothers me is that he was gas lighting you in a way that could have destroyed you.

          The affair is forgivable but knowingly making you unwell and continuing to crazy make while he watched you fall apart really bothers me. He used that to cover the affair. It leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach since my ex fiancé did something similar. Luckily a friend intervened and outed the OW. She did some detective work through the grapevine and found out about the OW then told me.

          That’s the main reason I cut contact for good even after he tried to work his way back.

          His gas lighting was the final straw and unforgivable.

          • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

            Sarah, yes exactly. My body knew the truth. It was a horrible time. She took over our world. My husband had an emotionally abusive childhood that left him far less capable than I had ever dreamed of him not being able to cope with what was going on in our world. His dad had died, our business seemed to be failing and the list goes on. It also left him unable to set and keep healthy boundaries. Once she pushed the affair to the physical level, he was unable to lie to himself anymore and say they were “just friends”.

            His depression deepened to suicidal and I lived with a lot of fear. Afraid of where his friendship was going, afraid of what our ever-increasing arguments were going to push him to, etc. She had by this time talked her way into a business partnership with him and now things went to a completely different level yet again. Contracts and customers cannot be ignored. Now she was enmeshed in our livelihood. He says he felt trapped with no way out for a long time. He had told her from the beginning that he loved me, would never leave me. He told her that he didn’t understand why he had gotten involved with her in the first place. That is when she admitted how aggressively she had pursued him and over a long period of time. There was always an undercurrent of threat. That she would destroy his business, his marriage and his family if he called it quits.

            Our therapist says he was trapped in a corner, battling to climb out of a deep depression and end the affair (which he did on his own) I kept getting to close to the truth and he came out swinging to defend himself and hide his secret. The lies really do hurt the most. But I can see that he turned into someone so far from who he really is and who he had been for the twenty five years together prior to the affair. I look at him as mentally ill during that time. It keeps me going to see how hard he has worked to deal with all his issues so they never come around and bite us again. I can see how openly he lives his life, and how careful he is. It’s a long hard road for sure.

            • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

              Eg, I too look at my h as being mentally ill, because of his depression, midlife added on top. Now I too believe that my h was trying to work out how to get out of his es with the ow, I believe she held things over his head, you know through a lot of manipulation. Now I too was worried about how he would be, if I had left him, yet there I was suffering on the sidelines. So you get caught in the middle of wanting to help yourself and wanting to make sure that this person you married who was struggling in many facets of his life was going to ok. If you leave, and something happened you would have blamed yourself for walking away when deep down he needed you. Then how would you face your children.
              I can say that the ow, in our lives would not have had the strength to put up with what we had to put up with. My h ow even told him the same thing, I would have left you, she said.
              So what makes it different that she would still fight and hang onto a man that is not her husband? Most probably the idea of her looking like an idiot for being a home wrecker and not actually winning the prize was more hard to take then just walking away, with some shred of dignity, or maybe it was all just a game to see if she could win his heart, only to later on leave him after she broke his family, who knows, except the ow and what they were planning.
              Yet it all boils down to a man that was vulnerable and unable to fight off advances, due to his illness at the time. The thing is we know our husbands, we loved our husbands so what else was there to do, but try and help them through the most difficult point in their lives.
              So when you say, he helped himself get out of the dark hole he was in, I beg to differ. You were what helped him see the light. You being by his side showing him what love really is, is what helped him get through, as did I, and still am. The ow, she was dragging him further down, yet they called that love. Dragging a man or woman down to a lower than low level is not love, giving them all the ego boosts they gave our husbands, was not bringing them up, it was a way of keeping them down, because the more that got hooked, the more guilt those decent men felt.

        • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

          Eg, that is exactly it. It is the suspicions and the fear, that drive you nuts as a bs. It’s horrible, it is constant and just doesn’t give you the chance to feel without pain, and think about anything else, it is just there all the time. You know that you can’t be wrong, and then you question yourself, and your own judgment.
          You question the person you are, and are you really this pitiful excuse of a wife, that you can’t even believe in your h. Then you find out that you were right, and you feel relief, yet it doesn’t help with the anxiety and the overwhelming sense of betrayal that had been unleashed.

  15. tryinghard February 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Sarah,
    This is great information and I am going to order the book. The OW in my H’s life actually came home from school when she was a child to catch her mother in bed with her best friends husband!! Also her brother committed suicide. She has both a drinking and gambling problem. Do you think that there is a spectrum with regards to sociopaths ie as there is in autism?

    I know that the OW in my H’s life had no empathy. My H told me. She always wanted to talk about herself, her problems and how the whole world has really screwed her over. Now get this she never bad talked me. She was way smarter than that, but she was constantly bragging on herself and making herself very important in my husband’s life and business. Of course she knew she wasn’t but I think this was very smart of her to not say anything bad about me so he wouldn’t feel like he had to defend me. She wanted his time, attention and money but it was as though I didn’t exist to her or him.

    The day she got fired she was going to fire an employee in her department. Now this employee had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer and needed the job for the benefits. But she didn’t care, he was a threat to her, she was desperate and driven to assert her authority at work and she knew he would do a better job than she. Well he stayed and has turned out to be one of our best and versatile employees. She was fired and had to go back to work for her brother who did not provide benefits to her.

    Well, 2 years later, as Karma will have it’s way, she now has Stage 4 cancer. Some kind of rare, un-treatable cancer. Has had both a colostomy and cystectomy, total hysterectomy(including removing the vagina!!!) and has a permanent port to receive chemotherapy!!! AND she’s living off the state and being treated through medicaid!!! So while my employee got lucky and is cancer free because he got to keep his job and his benefits, she is terminal and suffering. I’m trying very hard not to gloat but I can’t help but recognize the irony!

    • exercisegrace February 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      Our stories have so many similarities. I think the childhood experiences just feeds anger into the already present sociopathic disease. It’s very interesting that she did not bad mouth you. My husband claims that his parasite did not say very much about me either. Her main comments were directed more towards what HE deserved, what HE was not getting in life (implication being “I” was the one not giving it, while she was more than willing).

      I don’t know whether to believe him entirely or not. At this point, I don’t think he has anything left to lose and I can’t imagine there is anything left to hide. I know he has blocked a good bit of detail from his mind, as he is so ashamed of that time. He doesn’t remember much of the hurtful things he said to me during that time frame, but doesn’t dispute them either. I do know that the harder I fought for our marriage, as my suspicions grew stronger and stronger, she did tell him I was only “pretending” to love and care about him because now I had “competition”. As I scrutinized their relationship more and more, she told him more than once that I was demanding and controlling.

      One last observation. Even he was aware, during the affair, that EVERYONE they worked with and ALL of their clients HATED HER. He would always say that and then offer up some excuse for her, which I would laugh about. I would list all the reasons she SHOULD be hated and he would squirm. On some level he knew what she was. So glad she has since PROVEN it and removed all doubt once and for all.

      • tryinghard February 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

        They are very similar. But I think a lot of these stories are the same. I think this is a very interesting subject about psychopaths/sociopaths. It’s so taboo for us to talk about because we come off sounding all bitter and crazy ourselves. The whole world wants us to think we did something wrong that caused our husbands to cheat because if they reallllly looked at themselves and their mates they may see some vulnerable cracks as well. I’m buying the book and as usual once I went over to Amazon I saw about 5 more books on the subject!!! UGH, Note to Self–No more self help books!!!

        • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

          Th, no more self help books, lol

    • Strengthrequired February 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      tH, it is ironic. What a horrible time she is having. I couldn’t wish that on anyone, not even my worse enemy. That is pretty sad, but as you said very ironic for her to have had no compassion for the person she wanted to fire, while he needed the job to help him get better, yet she ended up suffering a worse fate.
      Also to have her “v” removed now that is also very ironic that it had to be a part of her body that was taken from her.
      Interesting.

    • Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      Is there a spectrum for sociopaths? Absolutely! There is a spectrum of severity for all personality disorders. There is actually a lot of overlapping between some personality disorders. Someone can be diagnosed a sociopath but also be a narcissist. But, there is usually a primary disorder and a secondary. Someone like this would be described as having a diagnosis of anti-social personality disorder with narcissistic features.

      Here is a chart taken from Wikipedia from Theodore Million’s sub-types of ASPD:

      “Subtype Features

      Nomadic (including schizoid and avoidant features)
      Feels jinxed, ill-fated, doomed, and cast aside; peripheral, drifters; gypsy-like roamers, vagrants; dropouts and misfits; itinerant vagabonds, tramps, wanderers; impulsively not benign.

      Malevolent (including sadistic and paranoid features)
      Belligerent, mordant, rancorous, vicious, malignant, brutal, resentful; anticipates betrayal and punishment; desires revenge; truculent, callous, fearless; guiltless.

      Covetous (variant of “pure” pattern)
      Feels intentionally denied and deprived; rapacious, begrudging, discontentedly yearning; envious, seeks retribution, and avariciously greedy; pleasure more in taking than in having.

      Risk-taking (including histrionic features)
      Dauntless, venturesome, intrepid, bold, audacious, daring; reckless, foolhardy, impulsive, heedless; unbalanced by hazard; pursues perilous ventures.
      Reputation-defending (including narcissistic features). Needs to be thought of as infallible, unbreakable, invincible, indomitable, formidable, inviolable; intransigent when status is questioned; over-reactive to slights”.

      Personally, I think Million’s sub-types make a lot of sense.

      Do any of these sub-types ring a bell?

      As for the OW, they say that ‘what you reap in what you sew’. In my personal worldview, I do not believe that someone can live a life that is fully despicable and come out ahead in the very end.

      But, while her behavior was deplorable, the compassionate part of me says that it is unfortunate that she will be passing away without having had an epiphany, a change of heart, and a transformation. It’s always sad when people waste their lives and those of others and leave this world without redemption and without knowing about the nature of true and unconditional love. To live a life without ever knowing the nature of real love is surely a life lived in emotional hell. That is tragic.

  16. Jrs February 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Sarah-
    I appreciate your thoughtful reply to my post. What you said didn’t make me uncomfortable at all. I have thought often about whether this is a behavior pattern for my h, and I think it probably is. I fear the pattern is to be a little to jokey and familiar and not draw the boundaries from the beginning and things go from there. I have seen this “too familiar” and the omission behavior in our marriage for years before the affair happened. Of course, these women know my husband is married but that doesn’t matter. Most of them are, too. My h was raised by an alcoholic, philandering, tyrant of a father who came unglued at anything not done perfectly. He learned early on to tweak the truth and hide what he could and that behavior carried into our marriage.

    When I tell him these behaviors make me uncomfortable, he asserts he is not doing anything to compromise our marriage and he would never again go back to the affair days. When I ask why this girl would be texting him speaking in such a personal way (nothing sexual, just very familiar) he says he doesn’t know. I believe he is contributing to the back and forth and it’s an ego boost for him. He doesn’t see things the same way I do and insists he would have no problem if I were to get the kinds of texts he got from her. We will never know because I wouldn’t do that.

    It’s a very difficult position for me. He is a wonderful, involved father. Our children are young and they adore him. Our family life aside from this is quite good. We laugh a lot together and this is our one (albeit gigantic) issue. The trust is very fractured and keeps getting chipped away. I feel conflicted beyond what I can explain. He just keeps saying he is doing nothing wrong. It does not register with him when I explain how my view of “wrong” is different than his.

    • Jeddy February 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      My h and I had a discussion about this yesterday. The ea is over, and has been for 5 months, but the ow continues to address him with a lot of familiarity. I dont think she wants him, i just think she’s very stupid and thick. She’s also married and her husband knows too. Because I have access to his email, I asked him about a note I saw this week. I explained that I don’t hold him responsible for her addressing him as she does, but I was curious about how he is handling it. We saw it very differently. She works for him btw. He thinks that addressing it gives it weight, let’s her see that he noticed (this week the email started “hey busy man!” I’d never write that to my superior, it’s unprofessional). I think ignoring it leaves the door open a bit – for her, not him. What a professional and president and CEO should do is respond immediately to her, not as an ex-AP, but as her superior and let her know swiftly and clearly that she is behaving in a very immature and unprofessional matter that will not be tolerated. I’d even suggest a bit of condescension frankly. The answer “I’ll deal with it” isn’t going to help us heal. Looks like a topic for tomorrows therapy session.

  17. Sarah P. February 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Jrs,

    That is a very tough position to be in. You have young children, you obviously like and love your husband, and your husband does not seem to even register that he is doing anything
    wrong.

    He is obviously not willing to discuss it and does not appear to have insight.

    What happened in his family of origin is a problem. It sounds like he grew up in an abusive environment. Now, this is not an excuse for an affair. BUT, I have found that if people don’t work through their past in a way that is deliberate, the past has some very interesting ways of influencing present behavior. Suppressing past harms does not work since these harms find their way out in the form of behavioral expression. Pressure cookers need to let off steam or they explode. There is no suppressing the pressure in a pressure cooker just like there is no suppressing past trauma. It finds its way out.

    Jrs, would you be comfortable setting new boundaries with him and explaining why?

    The point is, YOU are not comfortable with it. He cannot simply brush your feelings away just because he claims that he would be comfortable if you did the same thing.

    (I don’t believe he would be comfortable, but that is beside the point).

    You are not comfortable and he needs to respect your boundary because it is reasonable, given his past affairs.

    However, people do not become motivated to stop behavior (that they gain something from) UNLESS there is a consequence.

    So, what can you do that provides a consequence to his behavior?

    Right now, he is getting a pay-off by carrying on flirtations while not receiving consequences for his behavior.

    Any ideas on a practical consequence that you can provide?

    • Jrs February 6, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Sarah-
      He is actually willing to discuss it and stays pretty cool-headed about it when we talk. He listens and says he understands where I am coming from, then follows it with, “but I’m not doing anything wrong.”

      I talked to him 2 days ago and explained in detail the difference between friendships he has with “disclosed” women and the back and forth he has with these others. I explained to him how I don’t feel that the woman who works for him is a threat to our marriage. He was very open about wanting to hire her and with me walked through the pros and cons of her experience, what he needed, what she was looking for, etc. As soon as he hired her, he asked me to go to lunch with them both so I would know her and vice versa. It was VERY open and comfortable, and when they text about work outside the office (which is a necessary thing since is very mobile and in court a lot), he talks about the fact that they are texting, etc. She and I have even talked and chatted about pets, vacations, etc. I illustrated to him how this is a very different approach than the one he has taken with the intern. No disclosure about her texting him, no discussion about who she is and why she needs to be texting him at all, etc. I pointed out how easy it is for him to communicate with me in a way that puts me at ease and doesn’t make me feel threatened. I also pointed out how much he talks about his chats and texts with his male friends yet he never once brought up this intern. I told him he holds the power to help me move ahead in the marriage or he holds the key in keeping the wall between us and continuing to chip away at the trust.

      I also explained that “wrong” is in the eyes of the beholder. To me, it’s wrong to not disclose to your wife that an intern at work is texting you because she wants to go to lunch and talk to you about her life drama. Maybe to him it’s not wrong because he has no intention of anything happening, but it’s wrong to me because it’s an omission and it’s something I would never not tell him about if the situation were reversed. It’s wrong to me because it’s a potential gateway to the start of another affair. It’s wrong to me because if he did go to the lunch, he’d end up telling me a lie about who the lunch was with if he hadn’t been forthcoming all along about their texting.

      I wasn’t angry when we talked – I was calm and explained that this is a pattern with him. He chooses what to disclose, and what he doesn’t disclose is what gets us in trouble. He never even told me about the existence of the OW as a person or a co-worker until I found out about the affiar, yet I knew all sorts of things about other women he worked with. He semeed to understand when our conversation was over.

      Since then, he has told me about 2 numbers I will see a lot of texting with on our cell records, and he told me why they are texting so much. (He does not share details of his legal cases, as he shouldn’t, but he will tell me that a particular phone number is a case manager at a hospital, etc, and he’ll show me that as a contact in his phone.) When his phone buzzes in the evening, he’ll say, “This is so and so texting me about xyz.” For now he seems to get it. We will see if it sticks.

  18. Tryinghard February 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Peggy
    I’m sure they don’t love him more than you. They are so used to us being strong and being their rocks. And of course there’s a lot of taking advantage of our good natures as well. It’s hard when you’re a giver and rescuer not to do it anymore. They will get over it. Nylon need to take care of you. I’m sure you have plenty to say, we all do. They also can’t stand to see their “rocks” hurting. And really in the end they don’t know what to say. Of course the want ot over. But you do too and there’s a lot to work through before you do. Keep reading here and you will find lots of answers. Hang in there sister:). Huggggs to you.

  19. tryingtoowife February 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I have been reading all the comments and holding myself back, because of all the sadness and discomfort of memories attached to this subject alone. But I need to chime in too.
    My husband’s ow, was 100% damaged, sociopath. When she called to “inform me” of her affair with my husband, one month after he ended it, this act, which was not her final, on threats to him, that if he did not go back to her, she would destroy him and his family!
    – I told her on the phone: You are both selfish and actually you deserve each other. Neither ever cared for me and my children! Then she replied: Well! I have to think of myself first! I am the most important here!

    Then I told her that she could have him, I was not the one holding him back (DDay I believed we where were finished). And she said that “my husband did not love me anymore, and actually loved her.” So I told her (Truth). -He has just told me that he hates you! She sounded very surprised with a: Did he told you that? Yes. He has just told me that he feels disgust for you and nothing else! And I told her that “she was talking to the wrong person, I have nothing to talk to you about, you are not part of my life.” And I hoped never to hear of her again. I was so wrong!
    My husband told me, that he tried in vain, to make her see sense, and see that they could not carry on, but she would always reply with threats. When he finally had the balls to end, and after many phone calls which went from pleading to anger and threats, one night he agreed to see her and met her at a restaurant, where she made a scene and cried. She then told him, that she was abused as child by her dad. And he says that at that point EVERYTHING about her made sense. The chasing and offers of no string attached sex to trap him. Presenting herself first as a modern free woman, then turning to neediness, the selfishness, the I always get what I want attitude, self centered, and the inability to accept that he, finally had the courage to quit. Then when all was out, she harassed me as the cause of her unhappiness. She would silent call everyday, and I was trying to keep it secret from my children, I was nearly going mad with worries. She got him imprisoned interrogated for a day for harassment. He was released because I was the one (stupidly) to have replied angry to an e-mail, after a bad day, of her relentless persecution of me. I also got taken to the police station for interrogation and I received a caution. Not to contact her in any form for 5 years or I would them be charged formally. The solicitor advising me was shaking his head in disbelief at what was going on! But the truth is, although I hated this woman more then, than ever, I also knew that this order would actually protect me and my children against her. She could not contact us anymore! And my husband who already proclaimed his hate for her, and disbelief at ever being connected to such a low character, saw once more of her faces. The vindictive victim, punishing anyone that got in her way. My husband for not loving her, and me, because in her sick mind, it was my fault that he did not want her.
    Our first counselor who knew she was harassing us, told me before all this happened that I should be careful, because the ow, was for sure a sociopath, and I should have know better than feed her illness, I regret it. So now you know. This is the first time I talked here about it. It still saddens me having to go through this situation. The stress of my husband betrayal was hard and humiliating enough and then this.

  20. Strengthrequired February 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Tryingtoowife, my goodness what a piece of work she was. I would hope to think your h sees the true colours of this ow now. Hopefully with having her do this keeps him away from any ow from now on, hopefully he finally realises what he has with you and your children.
    How are the both of you now?
    You can see by how the ow is now, that if your h chose to be with her instead of you and your family, he would have been miserable.

    • tryingtoowife February 5, 2014 at 7:06 am #

      SR – Thanks for your reply – My husband was pretty sure of what she was when he finally ended with her. The month after she “informed” me of what happened between them, up to then he had suffered under her threats, he was a coward and did not tell me himself, as he was hoping that he would calm her down, and move on, and I would never know anything, but she had other ideas, and in spite of all the pain, I am glad it came out, but I wish it was him to tell me, and not in the way I found out. I still feel cold in my heart thinking about that day. So, she filing against him then me, was just the last drop. I must say that he was rightly, very supportive of myself, since he was the one to bring this nutcase into our lives. Considering what has happened, we are doing pretty well. We came a looong way, both of us working extremely hard to find some inner peace again. It has been a long time process to feel some kind of normalcy between us, and we have. This April it will mark 4 years of this hell. My husband is a good hard working man, good father and was a good partner, and I never in a million years believed he could do this to us. But as it has been mentioned here before, he was in a bad place in his life, after loosing a brother, then his father, pressure from work, midlife crisis. The S**t he got involved with, was well versed on the art of mistress, and chased him relentlessly, and he easily gave in, but “apparently” she fell in love with him, wanted him to spend on her, which at the time he couldn’t afford even if he wanted to, but he did a little and I hate him for that. He claims never tell her he loved her, because he didn’t, but his attitude showed her otherwise, especially in her sick mind. His fantasy land bubble popped when she changed from a promise of a scape la,la,la land, to demands, and this then became the same as his “real” life. My husband has done and still does all he can to help us to heal and asked me only to stay and give him a chance, and he asked me nothing in exchange, so he could prove that he really had got it and changed! I accepted to stay, until my eldest left Uni and the youngest is off to Uni, while we worked on ourselves, together and separately, and then at the necessary time, we could check how far we had gone. It is not long now until the time of our reckoning. I have to give him credit, as he has worked his ass off to show me his worth, and I have worked on myself too, we do a lot together again, and we are great together, and enjoy each other company immensely. My only concern is that, I have something inside me which feels broken, and no matter how good I feel about us, I can not fix it. I have not rushed my commitment or healing because I’ve been betrayed by him before we were married (one night stand), and I had promised just one chance and I gave myself fully to him after that, and we where very good together, so when this happened 19 years later, I was ready to leave , but with so much history between us… and the things I decided to do to my girls came first. He has always been a great father to them, and we were a very tight family, friends and family always looked up to us. Sad, so sad. He is the one that found this website which actually help me see that there was hope for us, otherwise I would be gone. He also was the one to book our first appointment with a counselor, and he also went counseling by himself. He rebuilt his relationship and trust with ours girls, and the only side effect is that they both claim they will never get married or have children, but I hope this will change with time, as they are both young for that any way.
      So, the same old story. We all know how it feels.

      • Strengthrequired February 5, 2014 at 11:05 am #

        Tryingtoowife, it is a hard road we tread, that’s for sure. Yet your h as you mentioned has been doing all the right things, yet I do know what you mean about still feeling that part of you which is broken. I think though it will take more time to feel that brokenness healed, so don’t be hard on yourself.
        It would be wonderful to just not feel that broken part of ourselves. I still hear my h at the start of his ea, telling me that I had damaged him!!!! My goodness, those words still ring so clear, and I still can’t believe I heard them, yet it was he and his ow that broke me.
        Yet all those dreadful things he used to say to me, he does not remember saying them. Lucky for him isn’t it, can I have a midlife crisis too so I can forget everything that happened, sat horrible things and just forget?
        My h couldn’t afford to spend money on his ow either, yet he did, I find it hard to not harbour bad feelings about that too.
        I at times question my ability to continue to stay, even though I love him, yet I keep remembering he was not well at the time of his ea, and my children are still very young, they deserve both of us together, and tbh, I’m just not sure I want to be without him, because I love him so much.

      • Paula February 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

        TTW, your story is so familiar to me, and like you, I have been reading this thread for a few days (although I do tend to keep away from here more these days.) I will be five years out from/into (?) this hell in mid May FIVE YEARS! My life is irrecoverably changed, I am a very changed person. Not all change is good, nor all bad, but I am less than I was, not more, and that is disappointing, as I have “done the work,” and continue to work on my personal growth. I am okay, but not the caring, sharing, happy-go-lucky, lover of life I used to be. Our OW is also a sociopath, I worked that out very early on. Like you, my partner ended the affair, and six weeks later, SHE very bravely texted me with the details. She was a childhood friend of mine, but sadly, also a multi cheating ex GF of CS. Permanently single. Very screwed up. She also stalked and threatened our family, made life hell for more than two years. Quite scary stuff. I got sick from what they shared with me, a cancer diagnosis directly due to one of the STIs I contracted (ME a one man only girl, that totally SUCKED!) but with a good prognosis now. My partner also did mostly the right things in the aftermath, a normally very reluctant self help participant, he found one of the counsellors, and attended any couples’ therapists, not with joy, but because he knew he must, he knew he must do everything he was capable of to try to repair the attachment injury he created in our once rock solid love (or so I was dumb enough to think!) He shared what he needed to , he kept/keeps in touch, he was/is transparent, he knows the hows and whys, who he was, why he was like this, has dealt with what made him this way, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah, and continues to live authentically. Four and a half years out, I am also of the feeling, that no matter how good a man he is, or was, or could still be, I am broken, too. It is not a totally smashed broken, but pretty close, I can function, I can achieve, but there is no joy in my life, it is like someone removed the joy functionality from my OS. We have separated three times but never any better, and I have done the mental calculations and projections, and I know my life would be considerably harder, and I think even sadder without my best mate by my side. I have lost every single important friendship over these last four and a half years, I still know some nice people, but there is no friend chemistry, the likes of which I had with four or five people prior to this life event. The ones who can’t understand, who have judged me for my decisions, for my pain, which I have kept under wraps to the public (including those supposed friends) for several years now. TBH, I don’t know if I can ever trust a friend again, acquaintances are lovely, friends make you too vulnerable – hey, I’m no idiot, I know vulnerability is the key to healing, I just can’t seem to allow it for myself. The OW betrayed me when I was the dick who was playing rescuer, NOT my partner, although he may have had a little of that going on towards the end, when the true psycho started to show more clearly, I was sorry for her, I invited her everywhere, I catered to her and for her – including her out-of-control-conceived-by-stealing-sperm-from-another-married-man son, I was the dumbass rescuer here, WTF?!!! I cared what happened to them both. I never really suspected a thing, not really, occasionally, I did briefly wonder, but was assured all was well, the problem being he talked about her and to her in my presence, and the about her was often none too flattering. She has completely different values to “ours,” and he often commented negatively on these unattractive traits (social climbing, poor mother, and money whore.) I also struggle with the idea of allowing someone who didn’t value me – despite my good character, my hard work, and my intense, stated and demonstrated daily – love for HIM – enough to not behave in such wrecking ball behaviour. My sense of self worth, “why would you give him another chance?” You see, when I do the hindsight maths, I realise that he screwed her again (after they had been broken up due to her infidelity for over a year) in the first weeks we started seeing each other – I was okay with that at the time “closure” and he was honest, and we were not “an item” yet, pretty casual – I wonder why I was “okay” that that happened? I guess I just accepted what he told me – he needed to punish her and he shagged her and then immediately told her to get the fuck out – she thought she was worming her way back in, but he was using her body and then booting her skanky arse out the door, take that, whore! Mmmm, of course now I second guess that. Then, I found out that my complete honesty – including the fact that I kissed another man once, a tad drunk, when our eldest was two and half, and he was away hunting for weeks, I was at one of my best friend’s weddings, and my guilt at that – was not reciprocated. He had attended a stag night in another city, a few years earlier, and the version of events, when I asked, was that “the boys” went to a brothel, in a state of drunken “comradeship” (hey, I am actually not a prude, young men, stag night, people do silly stuff, but we were “honest” and “talked” about silly stuff, right?) and some of the boys partook of the “wares” – mine was out of cash – this was in pre-history – mine didn’t have an ATM card – and one of the boys paid for mine, but when he got in the room, he struggled with the whole concept, it was not a turn on – and I DO believe this part – he had never done this before, or since – he then conceded to a “hand job,” which apparently felt bad. He told me this at the time – his “honesty” and once again, I was okay about it, we discussed it, I expressed my sorrow that he did this, but I understood the stupid peer pressure, etc, let’s not do that again, and he looked so disgusted, he told me it felt SO bad, he would NEVER do it again, it was a morbid, little-boy curiosity that even let him enter the brothel, as he had never been before, not really his thing (actually, it’s not, but he was young, drunk and full of boy-bravado and curiosity.) He had to find said financier at the actual wedding a week or so later – without me seeing – as I didn’t know about the lack of funds part, at that stage – and pay him the cash he owed, yuck! In the past two years, I have discovered this story is a partial fabrication. He did screw the hooker. Why lie? What is the difference to me to him coming in her hand, or in her……? At least in a brothel, safe sex was practised! Lies, my boy is a liar, and it didn’t start with this affair, he has lied for decades. BTW, the “financier” is someone I had a lot of respect for, another one of the “good guys.” BUT, he was married (most of these guys weren’t yet that night) and he also partook, I stayed with them in the UK years later when I went on my OE, “good guy,” yeah right. Liars and cheats, I thought I had good radar about liars and cheats. Guess what, not so! So, the therapy has been necessary, I think this guy is the good guy, but I can’t let the bad guy, who sounds appalling in my above description, go. He really is MOSTLY a good guy, a guy who has made human mistakes, but some of those mistakes have been fatal to our love, and to his own sense of who he is as a man, as a partner and a father. The saddest damage is to oneself. Yes, it is pretty bad what he exposed me, and our kids to, but what he did to himself is just tragic. He has a pretty good grip on it, hasn’t been suicidal, or overly depressed, but he is seriously disappointed in what he was capable of. At least he has processed it all, learned and improved. I have not improved.

        • tryingtoowife February 10, 2014 at 7:17 am #

          Paula is true. Our stories are very similar. I also like you, in this process found out that my H met, danced with, and kissed a young woman he met in one of his work trip abroad. I at the time had a 4 month old baby, and a toddler at home, and looking after my own business. I used to think that then we were a lovely, close family! His explanation was that he was relaxing after a days work in a difficult situation, foreign language, politically dangerous country at that time, at a bar he relaxed and it happened (bullshit!). The way I see it? Double life. One where he was adored father and husband and totally trusted. He enjoyed that glory and kept acting in his other life, pushing towards the limit! And both lives cohabited without collisions and all was fine (until the day they collided and collapsed!). And I? completely ignorant of this situation, believed the story I was living. I have never wanted anyone else and only loved and wanted him. Now looking back, it feels like a mirage! Where was I? How much more did I not know? He swears there is nothing else hidden. He swears his love was “real”.
          You have been through so much and with bravery! I see where this situation makes you feel beaten. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Having the moral scars is hard enough to work on, and yet added to that you are also dealing with the physical scars too! I can see that this is very difficult situation!
          I wish I had a magic word Paula to make you feel better, but unfortunately it seems that that is it! Our lives changed forever, and we have to find out ourselves what works for us, trial and error, work, work…
          Fortunately I have never met the OW. I have never seem her either, although she has been around me, and I hate the feeling that one day I was watched by this S**T, it fells creepy, a day that for the first time in our life together, I went to kiss him, to congratulate him for an achievement and he turned his face for a face kiss instead. I was puzzled to say the least. Things I can not forget!
          I am not psychologist (would I be able to help myself if I were?) but I think that the idea that we lived with lies for so long, makes the world we had a place that it is difficult to feel as real. Yes, we loved we were loved and we built our lives, BUT we were also oblivious of this other side of their lives, their lies, so we were not living a complete story. We are also challenging our own understanding of forgiveness. How many times did we preach the usual – “One chance and on the second one you are out!?”. Now we are left with all this knowledge and it is bloody hard to see someone working so hard to be with us, when we were ALL theirs, ALL the time in the first place! So, why now? Why break us first? How was it possible to keep putting us aside and coming back, look us straight in the eyes and talk about love? I understand the part of, after doing something you wish you had not, you pretend “to yourself” that it did not happen, but why let it happen in the first place?
          In spite of I am saying here, I am well, we are OK. I worked I changed, I learned. But there is not end to the inner sadness of being broken, the doubts you have bubbling in your mind alerts are endless ! The gut that is in constant watch over every situation, places you go through,conversation. The physical awareness that you have been transformed. The nit picking for the best you can keep from a situation that in itself does not present any goods. But we are survivors! We have been forced to see the deepest of ourselves and good or bad, we got to know ourselves as no one will ever know. This a life work, with or without our H. Time will tell. Always thinking of you and wishing you the best Paula

          • Paula February 10, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

            Thanks, TTW, actually, I am okay, too, despite the way my words come out sometimes. I don’t believe my guy lived a double life, we have gone over it millions of times, I think he made a couple of bad calls, knew they were bad calls, and vowed to never involve himself in destructive behaviour again. Unfortunately, he still didn’t have the self awareness he does today, and when we hit a tough spot, twenty years after his first screw up. He behaved in a reactive fashion, somewhat “blaming” me, or in other words, justifying what he felt he somehow had a right to do – but only briefly – then he found he was entangled with a sociopath who wouldn’t let him go, he tried letting her down, he tried being “mean” to her, he even tried paying her off, he couldn’t seem to extract himself “cleanly,” as she constantly threatened him, and by default, at least at first, me and then our children. There was a very stressful double life whilst this was going on, but he generally hasn’t been a compartmentaliser, just found he was really good at it when he “needed” to be. If I could fix the sexual dysfunction, I believe we have a really good shot at a happy and fulfilling life together, but I am nowhere near fixing it yet. Just embarking on new couples counselling – third session last night – we haven’t been near this for nearly three years now, so is interesting to come at it from the perspective of more time, more experience, more knowledge. EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy. Is definitely stirring the pot again, and probably why I am back here, lol, but I think it needed to be stirred, as I am not healed, and the therapist believes my attachment injury has never been healed by him – despite his best intentions, and all our previous work, he is an avoider, it gets hard, and he withdraws, even when he wants to help, it is kind of all he knows. It is not a physical withdrawal, as he is great with the physical comfort, it is an emotional avoidance, “look away, think about something else, I am putting my fingers in my ears to try to distract us from the pain.” Interesting stuff. I hadn’t seen it this way, as he has been available, and has tried all he knows and all he has read and been pointed to. Of course, ours is a little complicated by my own “stuff” from the past, in desperately trying to avoid being let down, after seeing so much of it around me, growing up and in our friends’ marriages that crumbled around us over the decades – by talking, talking, talking to him about my feelings, about my fears, about what I was good at, what I was sure would be really tough for me (betrayal being one at the top of the list, along with sexual health and safety.) Contracting diseases from them has made this an even more poignantly emotional journey for me, one of my biggest fears in life, the reason I didn’t sleep around when young, like all my friends were doing. We are like you, minus the sexual intimacy now, very close, we enjoy each other, he tells me how much he loves and appreciates me, and my efforts to keep our love alive and our bond intact. He makes huge efforts, too. But, the taint does hang over it all, and there is a bone weary exhaustion at all the effort and alertness – or just plain mindfulness. Trying to find the joy chip, like a needle in the haystack, lol! Building a completely different life, different career options, different friends, different needs and desires, it takes some getting used to when you are still grieving what you had, but it is doable, we are living proof of that! And to all of those so-called ex-friends, I like to think we are a good example of what true love and care means, unlike the stupid saying, it does not mean never having to say you’re sorry, it means, SHOWING each other HOW you are sorry, but that you can do better, and you WILL do better. I just hope they never have to learn the lesson this way. They can smugly sit and admire their reflections as much as they like, most of them are already looking at smoke and mirrors, long may the ignorance leave them in bliss 😉

            • tryingtoowife February 12, 2014 at 7:37 am #

              Glad! and off course I understand Paula! Normal life carries on while we are working on it! Most of us here (long – terms) have found fun and some degree of happiness again (some full happiness!:-)), in spite of nagging persistent feelings. If there was nothing good in our relationship, by now we would have decided, all would be sorted, all in place! Here is a safe place to write feelings as we are working on, and the finger sometimes is faster than our thoughts. What I gather from your posts here is that there is lots of love between you. It is usually the case, and after all the work we have done, and thanks God for that! Something good to rely on!
              I am glad you are again trying therapy, somewhere there you must find some peace, in one way or the other. I myself, am thinking that I should go back to therapy, as some things about ourselves as a couple are being sorted, I have some new things bubbling in my brain about my own self, and we probably should go back to therapy as a couple too, as I find that these days we NEVER talk about the affair, and this is OK, if this is genuine lack of need, but I am always afraid of falling into old behavior of avoidance, so I am always watching us like a hawk. Will see. For now I want to enjoy the good days, and nurture them while I am strong. Also my analogy of double life, it is not as if H was doing this things daily, but just that he knew something that would affect US, and I did not. His omission of this encounter abroad and the reasons as why this could happen, gave him a secret, and put me in a situation where I really had no clue that there was the risk. I also believe that, that behavior weakened his resolve when the opportunity presented again in his life, and he “fell into the long term affair”. For me at that point in our life, I lived with a mirage of my H. We told ourselves often how glad we were that we met and made a life together (I am a foreigner here in the UK!) and that this made our love and resolve stronger because of barriers we had, and how our lives would be so different without each other! And my idea of an “almost perfect” marriage, “my other half of the orange, placed in the other side of the world”, but I found it!!! shattered! Perhaps I was alone in my finding! But this is my biggest hurdle yet to overcome/understand/accept. But as I said, we are OK, we are enjoying life, working on it, as it happen. I know you are too. Good luck to you, and all of us here really!

  21. Peggy February 5, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    I’ve read a lot about sociopaths and psychopaths because I questioned if my Mother was and if my H was, too. I found that my H was seriously passive/aggressive with narcissistic characteristics thrown in. Here I was telling him every day before he left for work how nice he looked. I constantly told him how grateful I was that he understood how important it was for me to pursue my art. I was feeding into everything he should have been working on, but neither he or I knew. He told me that he hadn’t loved me for years. It was the “in love feeling” that he knows now only lasts less than 2 years that he wasn’t feeling so he didn’t think he loved me at all. Then he made a horrible story about me in his head so he could excuse himself for wanting another woman to be ‘in love with’ again. For three years he has put off working on our marriage. That’s the passive/aggressive part. He would say he’d do this or that and never do it. He even used my art to the point that I just now am doing my best to get back to painting. But something has happened. Possibly that I told him very calmly that if he didn’t get on board and participate in the rebuilding of our marriage that I would be forced to get a divorce. I know he did feel terrible about what he had done to me and the things he has said out of anger, but I don’t feel that he has reached the feeling of complete remorse yet. He’s been hanging on the side waiting for me to change. He said he’s been in denial. Also P/A BS. But I’m sensing a shift in his body language when we talk. He’s been less defensive in the last couple times we’ve talked about the affair. He could be coming around. And he did finally read the book I gave him on passive/aggressive behavior and admitted that he found himself in the description and he’s been pretty upset about it. He says that he’s now doing his best to sense when he feels that way and he’s trying to change his reactions.

    My Mother has never touched me or told me she loved me. When I say I love you Mother (was not allowed to call her Mom) she says, you should or she says nothing. When I was very little she started telling me that I made everything up. That’s called Mirroring. She makes everything up. Even more so now as she’s gotten older. Granted, I had some very strange experiences when I was a child, but I didn’t make anything up. When I was raped by the janitor at 9 years old I couldn’t tell anyone. I knew they would all say I’d made it up. I had the same feeling when my cousin raped me at 16. It took both my Mother and Dad a year to finally realized that I wasn’t making it up when I said I couldn’t hear. I was deaf for a year from German Measles. They got angry because I kept saying ‘what’ so I finally learned how to read lips to manage my life. I was 7. My Mother used to say that I was the pretty one and my sister was the smart one. I was always hurt because I didn’t feel stupid, but that’s what she thought about me so being a child I figured that I must be. At 45 my sister had a complete face lift and liposuction all over her body. She would call me up crying because no one was telling her how beautiful she was. When I finally told my sister years later about our cousin raping me she was jealous. I was so shocked by her reaction. She said why didn’t he want to rape me. Seriously? But it’s all from being told she wasn’t the pretty one. I think she has suffered from that statement more than I have, but I found out through college testing at 30 that I was actually very smart and I was seriously dyslexic. So that helped me. How cruel that my Mother would say those things. I’ve learned to understand that my Mother was extremely jealous of her sister. Her sister was absolutely beautiful and my Mother wasn’t. Her parents were all screwed up, too.

    This history of being told I made everything up has caused me to question everything I feel and say. You probably all have studied psychology enough to know that learned behavior prior to 7 years of age is in your head for life and will always be something that needs to be understood and dealt with.

    I can say that I’m fairly certain that my Mother has serious mental issues and probably is psychopathic. My husband has been very toxic to me for years now, but he isn’t a psychopath. He does have empathy where my Mother never has. He does consider others, but he admits that he has been extremely self absorbed for as long as he can remember. My Mother only thinks about herself always.

    Also I want to say thanks. I called my H on the issue of sharing his office cubicle with another attractive, younger woman. I told him that my new sisters have said its BS and I didn’t really believe that he had asked to be given a different desk. He denied it, but today he came home and told me that his boss did find another desk that he could use and he is now surrounded only by men. So whether he didn’t ask or not when he said he did, I got what I needed. I was seriously amazed at how much stress it took off of me.

    If I’ve learned anything it’s that our needs matter. This is the first time that my H has made a concerted effort to show me that they matter to him, too, by making this change that I needed to feel safer. It was hard for me to ask for this and I also know it was hard for him to request it. This may be my first win/win in a very long time.

  22. Strengthrequired February 5, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    Peggy, yay, for the win/win, with your h having men all around him. Has to feel better for you.
    I’m so sorry for all you have been through, what a lot you have had to face. Again I’m sorry.
    I do hope all works out well for you and your h, you need stability in your life, you don’t need anymore pain.
    I’m glad you found us here.

  23. Jeddy February 5, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    I’m having a setback this week, unexpected trigger. Came out of a parking garage thru a hotel lobby, saw the lounge and had an anxiety attack. My sense was ‘don’t look, he may be in there with someone’. I have no idea if hotel lounges were their “place”, but my brain took me there. Now I have anxiety about going downtown, I may head in today just to face it again. Also found out that the ow was married before, and left her husband for his brother who she’s married to now. She’s all about family, this one. So I’m not sure if her 4 kids are cousins or brothers or both. I’m so disgusted with my husband, I feel like I don’t know him. And I had a good January where I felt like we could make this work. He’s trying hard but frankly I feel like I’m degrading myself to be with him. I just hear him saying how happy she made him and what a good person she is. It ended months ago, but he basically spent 2013 trashing his family to be with her. Because I can say it here, I feel better than the whole lot of them, the h, ow and my boundary-free in-laws. I can look down on them because they’re garbage. I’m not proud to admit that, it’s really arrogant, but to think he chose her over our family and our marriage is revolting. Hes not a man, hes a cowardly cliche. Again, I feel like I have to choose between breaking up my family or losing (more) respect for myself. It’s a lose lose. I went thru papers from last summer when we spent a fair bit of time apart (I took the kids to a vacation house, he commuted a handful of times). One of my questions to him was “are we going to use this separation to see other people?”. He wrote “no we will not”, but of course he was. And I didn’t because we had an agreement, a marriage. I feel like I’m back to square one emotionally, I have a feeling he thinks I’m choosing to go backwards. Someone throw me bone, please.

    • Redemption February 5, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Jeddy,
      I share some of your feelings and am sorry there is so much turmoil in your life. I have felt some of the same things you have expressed in my own marriage. My H also put his ow before his family. He dismissed our daughter with the words “. . . have a good life” when she challenged him and the ow over the affair. Now he says he never meant to be dismissive of her – right! Just had to play the big man in front of his AP. He doesn’t believe me when I tell him how much power he gave the ow with that statement to our daughter. She (the ow) must have felt truimphant that not only had my H walked away from me but was also willing to give up his daughter for her also. He still thinks he was in total control.

      But has he bothered to apologize to either of children over his role in the affair? NO. I cannot understand why not. (We are 2 yrs post d day now.) I have told my H how his infidelity has harmed his daughters relationship with others (doesn’t trust many males and doesn’t feel good enough for some) and that just within the last month our son stated to me that while his relationship with his father has now improved, he still can’t get over one thing – that is his father’s betrayal to me. (And I am sure by extention to him and his sister.) I have to take it that my H can’t see the benefit in some form of apology to his chilren about his role in the affair. He can’t seem to put himself “out there” for them.

      As to the “she is a good person” bull crap, I could scream. I have heard it more than once myself. I have explained also the logical reasonings as to why this ow is less than, but my H still believes “she is a good person” and it is obvious to me that he still see’s something positive about the time he spent in the affair. Does anyone know of any good reading material, or otherwise, that addresses this? It makes my blood boil in so many ways. He has stated he doesn’t want to be anywhere but with us, his family, but how do I reconcile that he still harbours positive feelings about the time spent in the A? If I try to push my reasoning on him about the obvious logic of the ow’s less than stellar character, etc. he just says I hate the ow and that if he were in my position, he would hate the om too. I try yet again to explain to him that it’s not about hating the ow (although I do loathe her) but about him. How does he not see how harmful his thinking is?

      Wow, how does your H’s ow live with herself? How can she destroy the lives of two men, two brothers? And she would call it love? It would appear she doesn’t value the sisterhood or the value of family, it’s all about her obviously.

      Wish I had a bone to throw your way Jeddy. But I do understand your statement “I feel I am degrading myself to be with him”. I have not been able to reconcile that feeling yet either.

      I wish you well and hope you find some of the answers you need. Take Care.

    • tryinghard February 5, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Jeddy
      I feel for you and I could have written this post. I have felt every one of those feelings and thought those thoughts. You are a good person with integrity. A lot of people aren’t and unfortunately we are married to some of those people. We have to remember though we knew what we were going into. I must say you are still early in the recovery, although I’m sure it doesn’t seem like it, and these feelings, thoughts, triggers, all of it is very, very, normal. You were lied to , cheated on, betrayed, gossiped about and blind sided by someone you had total trust in. Trust is not going to come over night or for that matter over just a few months. It’s a day by day experience. Keep reading, keep going to therapy, keep getting support from folks like us. You will take 5 steps forward and 5 steps back. If you keep educating yourself and taking care of YOU, soon you will take 5 steps forward and stay there BUT there will be other things that happen that are just stained by the experience of his betrayal. Only you know if you can or want to stay. My H has the same lovely traits of being a master manipulator, adept liar, his family are certifiable, and yet I’m 3 years next month to DDay 1 and still question myself. This is no road for sissies and we all have reasons for staying and the resounding reason for leaving is our pride. Yes indeed why on earth do we stay??? The number one question I ask myself is, Will my life be better if I go? Some days I think yes! others maybe not. It’s really a very tough decision and sometimes it’s one made on a daily basis.

      I hope I’ve helped and please do not feel alone in this life experience. Some days are grand and some are just shit! I had one yesterday. If I hadn’t been so tired I swear I would have packed my car and driven as far away as I could have. Hang in there sister!

  24. Gizfield February 5, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I struggle with this on a daily basis as well. The thing that has taken the hardest hit is my sense of commitment. My husband would be shocked if he knew what I really think. I believe he knows on a subconscious level because he looks really worried

  25. Gizfield February 5, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    When I am not my “usual happy, chipper self”. Doubt I’d be happier if I left anyway. Most single people I know bounce from relationship to relationship, looking for the perfect one. I KNOW my daughter is happier, and that is enough for me.

  26. Jeddy February 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks guys – it helps to know I’m not alone, but there are so many of us, it pisses me off that this happens so much. It’s only been 5 weeks or so since he confessed, even though I have documentation showing the budding romance bloom over 2013. Hundreds of pages. I saw a lawyer in February of last year, basically bawled my eyes out on her floor in fetal position telling her I was worried about the marriage and terrified, but no way was there another woman involved. Partly right, she’s no woman. Anyway, the lawyer looked at me pitifully and said to just collect as much documentation as possible. So I did. It’s like a romance novel. A bad one, between a con man and a trailer whore. He’s a terrible writer, she’s partially illiterate. The dilemma is I love this man and I have for 27 years, but I don’t love THAT man, and the fact he could do what he did, with HER, makes me want to walk sometimes. She not only left her husband for his brother, she had an ea with her boss’ late husband (my h stepfather) and her boss’ son (my h). Wha????? But really, she’s a good person. Is my son next? And what does she have against my mother in law, pursuing the men in her life? My MiL adores her btw. Still. And they all work in mental health?! I feel like I’m living in crazy town. We relocated here 18mos ago, and my heart and gut told me it wasn’t going to end well. I’ve decided to leave this place after school ends and go back home where I have support. I should have stayed there, I didn’t need to move for him to have an affair. I’ve let him know my plan, and since we’ve lived apart and commuted many times over the years, it doesn’t mean we need to divorce. He needs to make this move work for me. I also told him that since being married no longer means not dating others, an expensive divorce wasn’t going to be necessary, and since I’ve been out of the dating pool longer than he has, maybe he’d have pointers for me to get back out there. Or was keeping it all secret-like more tinitillating? Since he’s the pro. I don’t like who I’ve become. So much acid oozing thru my pores. I’m so grateful for this forum today.

    • tryinghard February 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

      Jeddy
      WOW your family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional too!!! Join the club, you’re in good company.

      So seriously do I have this right? This trailer park trash had an affair with your FIL, your BIL, and your husband??? Does your MIL know she’s doing all the males in your family?? And if so, she likes it?? WTF?! Yes hide your son if that’s the case.

      When my H was in his delusional state while in the middle of his affair he told me to go out and date, he wanted me to, he didn’t care. Of course I didn’t as that was the LAST freaking thing on my mind as I was physically and mentally melting down (I didn’t eat for two weeks!). Yes the words still resonate in my head. Lots of the shit he said resonates. I have no explanation for their behavior other than they were/are pretty effed up people. Who knows why and we can search FOREVER trying to figure that one out. I don’t thin divorce is the worst thing. I think cheating and playing someone for a chump is the worst thing a human can do to another (other than pedophilia). Sounds like you have made life very easy for your husband as did I. Well like I ask myself, how’s that working for you? I’ve become much more selfish and taking care of me first. I’ve worked very hard on my marriage and I don’t think there is much more I can do. I know there are no more books I can read and I’m still in therapy. I am so ready to move on from this with or with out my marriage. You have GOT to give yourself and your marriage some time. But that time needs to be spent on a lot of self introspection and really examining your marriage and your role in the marriage. While there may not have been anything negative that you did to contribute to the breakdown of your marriage, and we all contribute to it good or bad, you did not make him have an affair. I’ve looked at my marriage inside out and upside down and all I can come up with is I was a naive wife who trusted her husband. I was good and giving and not demanding. I let myself be a doormat in the name of being a good understanding wife. Now I am a good understanding person who puts HER needs first. I call BS when I see it. He doesn’t like, he knows where the door is. I told him just the other night if he couldn’t stand the heat he could leave and I would be fine with it. He knew I meant it too. So yes I see a lot of good changes in him but it may be too late. Time will tell. Hang in there and don’t give those stupid triggers too much power. You will get there too with or without him!

    • Peggy February 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      When you said I have loved this man for 27 years, but not THAT man I completely understand what you are saying.

      I had my H on such a pedestal for the entire 10 years prior to finding out about his 4 year affair. He was everything I knew to be good for me.

      Who is that man I was married to? Finding out all his deceptions and lies to me was just more than I could take. I loved the man I was married to in, I suppose, my illusion, but I didn’t have a clue who this man that told me he was in love with another woman was. He was nothing like the man I knew just the day before.

      My husband told me right off what a good person she was. Boy did he find out how NOT a good person she was when I dug into her life. Three men she was screwing at the time she was have her “innocent fun” with my husband. And she broke up 2 marriages. He definitely feels like an idiot. But he picked her over me. And she’s still out there having no remorse for anything she did. Their last conversation was all about my H telling her what I was capable of doing, basically protecting her from me. There was no closure. She cut herself off of Facebook, LinkedIn and every other way that I could contact her. She got off scott free and that has been an issue for me.

      Yes, keeping it secret was way more titillating. That was the word that my H used to describe how it was for him during his affair. Of course, all I got from that was that I’m not titillating.

      Now I feel that my entire marriage has been one lie after another and nothing was real. I don’t even feel married anymore. It’s so confusing. I loved him so much and he lied about everything and who he was. What does that say about me that I wasn’t able to see through any of his lies? It makes me question my ability to know anyone or be able to ever choose people as friends. If I can be so fooled I can’t trust my own judgment now.

  27. Peggy February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    My H has said he is suicidal so many times to me. He tells me it’s because of his guilt over what he has done to me. Guilt maybe, but about him not because of what he did to me. telling me you are going to commit suicide only says to me that you aren’t going to do it. People who actually do it leave notes for after the fact. When I told him I wasn’t going to sit around and worry about him committing suicide and that if he did I would be okay and not to worry about me, he stopped saying it. He uses any means to stop me from talking about HIS affair.

    Because he is P/A whatever I share with him that I’ve learned he won’t do because I told him about it. He’s getting better about that now. And I told him I would really love to not be his Mother and psychologist anymore. I’m trying to not share everything with him that I learn now, but it’s hard because that’s a knee jerk for me. That is what our relationship was based on.

    And you talk about no more self help books:) I have a library in my kindle that is up to 250 now and a row of physical books all on psychology, relationship behaviors, affairs, and how to get over them, you name it, I’ve read it. I’ve read so many books, listened to so many audios and watched so many videos by professionals who say that if you do this or that this will happen that I can now say that most of them are not correct for me. And I doubt I am a special case. I know who I was in my marriage. I knew to work at it daily and I did. He was a seasoned liar and seriously damaged. I was naive’. That was my worse offense. I totally believed everything he said. My bad! I don’t need any longer to look at what I did to contribute to the demise of my marriage. I am totally comfortable in saying that I did nothing. If you could draw out a perfect profile of a great wife you could draw my picture. I know this because I have been married quite a few times and I learned from the mistakes that I made in the past. And even when I say that I still picked him so I hadn’t figured everything out yet, but nothing did I put on him that would cause him to be unhappy. I keep telling my H that if we would read anything together and shared our feelings and thoughts about what was being said we would be working TOGETHER.

    Monday I got a call from a good friend I had gone to school with who lives in CA. I haven’t seen her in 15 years. She was in town and wanted to get together. I was so excited. I haven’t had a minute with another woman in over 3 years because of my depression and never going anywhere. So I asked her where she wanted to meet. And here it comes. She was in Tempe. Tempe is the town my H and his OW worked together. She suggested Starbucks which is right down from her hotel. The same Starbucks that my H professed his undying love to his OW and then went out to find the perfect card for her to tell her that he wished that he had met her before he met me.

    Okay, now I’m saying to myself, YOU CAN DO THIS. I went into a complete panic attack. I told her I’d get back with her and got off the phone immediately. My heart would not stop pounding and it has been three years. Well four years since HE did this.

    I can’t even drive past a Starbucks without a reaction yet. And as if I hadn’t already put myself through it on the phone. I went into my obsessive mode and google mapped her hotel to his office and Starbucks. I’d never done that before. I obsessively scanned out how far away from the front door of his office was from the front door of Starbucks. I imagined them sitting at a table inside holding each other’s hands. I know this because he told me every single detail of it. I spent 3 hours going completely out of my mind only because she innocently suggested a place near where she was staying.

    I tried everything I could to muster up the strength to actually go there and then I said no. I gave her another suggestion closer to me and midway for her. We had a great time. We talked about kids and jobs and high school and reunions, which has been the only time I’ve seen her. It was a wonderful time being with a girlfriend, having a drink, being in public and smiling and laughing.

    We are just doing the best that we can each and every day. He did this to me. I have the responsibility to help myself. I don’t wear victim well so on good days I fight it off. He had more of a responsibility than I do because he was the one that did it. He is getting in touch with who he was, the whys of what he did and moving slowly forward at healing himself, but he still has the responsibility to help me with me and to be patient with me while I’m going through what he has done to me. It’s taken me three years for him to finally understand the dynamics of his responsibilities and my win yesterday was huge. So I guess I should mark that on my calendar and hopefully start filling it up with good things now. My old calendars are filled with nothing but phone calls noted, how long, what days they were together, what he was doing when I was doing this or that. Talk about obsessive. I had never understood the emotion of jealously until now. I’m dealing with having to get over that. He gave that to me. I’m doing my very best to concentrate on the wins now and hopefully I’ll get more.

  28. Recovering February 6, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    My husband’s OW was a co-worker…. he spent WAY too much time in her office, when she wasn’t even really directly involved with HIS job! She would go to retirement parties for people she didn’t know, and that is how my husband ended up with her. They would act like children at work, playing pranks on other people. I know, I heard the stories… I to this day can’t believe he told me all about their antics. I told him at the time that it was childish and shouldn’t he be working… well I didn’t know ALL then, but I was not comfortable with the situation, and I told him so. Later even asked if he was cheating, which of course he denied because I didn’t have proof… They would go to lunch together, and I would see the receipts… she would get a veggie sandwich from Subway… and he would lie when I questioned him about it… Real men, the men he worked with, wouldn’t get a veggie sub! SERIOUSLY! Man he must have thought he was either REALLY smart or I was really dumb!! Same thing when he went to the Tai restaurant! The GUYS wanted to get Tai? Am I really that stupid? Whatever… anyway, she was married too… apparently to an ‘abusive’ man… omg someone for him to rescue!!! Wahoo for him!! Anyway, she is such a liar! Even after I found out about the affair she didn’t leave her husband. It’s been 2.5 years, and she is still with him, though she can financially support herself and her children… so he is SOOOO abusive you call my husband an A-hole when he dumps you because I found out and then go BACK to the “abusive” man. Give me a break!

    Anyway, I don’t not believe in women’s rights – am a woman after all who works full-time, has a degree, and a professional certification, but I do believe that there should be much more separation between men and women at work!! Because clearly people cannot control themselves, and there is no REAL punishment to them for destroying other people’s lives… Selfish children… is pathetic, really… And now him being at work makes me paranoid!!! Nice!! I appreciate that hubby!

  29. tryinghard February 6, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Is it me or does anyone else find it curious that mostly the OW are in “abusive” relationships and the CS are married to frigid women??? Oh yeah the OW in my H life was married to an abuser too. I guess that’s why he paid for her divorce!! Big freaking hero. HA!

    I guess these little men just really think they are all prince charmings riding in on their white horse being the big hero and rescuing the damsel in distress. Well I quit believing in fairy tales a lllloooong time ago. Too bad he didn’t.

    All these pathetic OW/CS stories are nothing but sad cliches. Too bad the next group of cheaters and betrayeds aren’t on this site to learn what NOT to do when these situations.

  30. Strengthrequired February 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    I noticed that TH, it’s funny how all these ow are abused by their husbands, yet find it so easy to chase after another man, and a married man at that. Of course our cs had to be the super hero.

  31. lea February 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi!

    In my opinion, ow (in my case too) are victims in their prior relationships to affair, because that is how they perceive themselves: losers. And to prove themselves that they are not they target people who are happily married. It is ego-boost for them when they manage to entrap and separate such pairs, proving themselves “they are better than the wife.” In doing so, they do not really care whom they hurt or what are the consequences.

    Sadly, as recently my h told me, ow bring more pain and suffering upon themselves by such actions in the long term. And that is the truth at the end. Do we really want to be like them keeping the feelings of being victim? It has been 2,5 years since my Dday and somehow I came to a place where i do not want to keep feeling hurt. It affects me the worst, and then the relationship I have with my h.

    I wish all of you to come to peace with affair so that you do not suffer!
    Hugs

  32. Sarah P. February 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    To All,
    Reading the last post about how it seems most OW are in “abusive relationships”. Have noticed the very same thing.

    So if your husband has come to the rescue of one of these OW in allegedly abusive relationships, tell him this:

    “If you want to come to someone’s rescue, come to mine. If you want to save something, save your marriage. If you want to be a hero, then be an honorable husband”.

    • Rachel February 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Sarah,
      I loved that too!! My ex rescued his sole mate . She was miserable in her marriage because her husband drank too much.
      But he didn’t give a hoot for me when I had a nervous breakdown because of what he did to me. He was actually mad at me because I had lost so much weight and my boobs shrunk.
      What did I see in him?????

  33. tryinghard February 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    Sarah P
    I love that. It almost made me cry. My H is trying so hard to do all these things for me. He is very kind, and gentle with me, he goes everywhere with me (except Pilates :), and we do almost everything together now. He rarely makes a decision with out talking it over with me first. I do see so many positive changes and I know I’m just really scared that he will stop and go back to being the other Mr. TryingHard 🙁 When we talk about the affair, he always says “that was the old me. I don’t do those things anymore. I don’t want to do those things because you are my life.” Why did it take getting so involved in the pathetic OW and bring that hell and turmoil into our lives for him to see he had everything he wanted and needed right in front of his face?

    • lea February 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Because that first of all they took us for granted; and secondly that was a way for them to deal with their own childhood/personal/etc issues. For some even after dealing with affair is hard to admit that they did wrong, so it is “easier” to put blame on spouses. And that is really sad :((

  34. Sarah P. February 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    I will never accept that the innocent spouse is to blame. While it’s great when a woman takes an honest look at herself and finds out what concrete action she could take to grow emotionally, I would never displace the blame onto her (the innocent spouse). I know too many women who have been married to terrible people, but they still refuse to find an affair partner, no matter how painful the marriage. While a man might like to blame his wife for his affair, that is simply a convoluted way to take his actions out of the spotlight and to defer accountability. By the way, this is just my opinion. Not everyone will agree with it and that’s ok.

  35. jeddy February 7, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Peggy I hear you. I spent 6 hours today reading my husband the emails he had written the ow. He actually wrote to her the night of my birthday how miserable I was.
    Omg my wife is so ungrateful for her birthday dinner and crying about our marriage. Wait until I tell my girlfriend about this! Hey jackass the fact that you have a girlfriend is why your wife is crying. For 8 months I suspected and cried and he lied. But our marriage was a mess because of me. Im exhausted.

    • Peggy February 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      The constant obsession will slowly leave. You’ll find that you don’t have to do it every day. Maybe just once a week. For me now after three years it happens occasionally. I have a file on Laura. I have collected every picture I can get my hands on and when I am at my most destructive I go and look at them for a long time. It hurts me. I’m hurting me by doing this and I know it, but it’s rare now. I’m still not able to send the file into the trash, but I’m hopeful I can get there.

      I have so many triggers. My H has complained that everything triggers me so how is he supposed to be aware of them all. Well, consider the reasons why. Everything you did with me you did more of with her. The way he approached her was identical to how he approached me. The words that he used were the identical words that he used with me. The date that he approached her was the exact date 10 years earlier that he came to me. Then he bought me a card professing his undying love for me. Her card was more creative, but he found it. Imagine how hard it must has been to find a card saying I wish I had found you before I married my wife? I get sick to my stomach just walking past the card section in any store. But one day I made myself go in there and I found a very similar card. He had to have spent hours looking for that card for her. Starbucks in on every corner in town. Every day that he left for work and I told him how wonderful I thought he looked. He dressed for her not me. I really love him in white long sleeved button down shirts and slacks. He puts those on now and my heart starts racing just knowing that never did he wear those clothes for me, but for her. Even when we went out to dinner he always ended up in jeans and t-shirts for me, but he dressed wonderfully for her. Everything of him was for her not me, but he accepted the compliments and continued his lies for years. Yes, everything is a trigger with me. One more thing I have to now get over myself that he gave me. He wrote her love notes every morning so she would have them to read when she arrived at work. Where were my love notes? I wrote him love notes and left them in pockets for him to discover during that time. That makes me sick to my stomach to remember and I do remember now every time he leaves for work. So much humiliation that I am now faced with that I have to go through and get done with because of him not me.

      And we all do have to do this if we want to have ourselves back and not insane anymore and it will happen because we are important. We all have a larger purpose in life other than suffering from what was done to us by someone we love.

      My H says that he was so immature when he was in his affair. He knows that now because I explained it to him because I did the work and I studied. He has learned only because of what I brought to him to help himself. He has given me nothing in exchange but a hug in the morning and a sad face to look at. He would never have known about her other men if I hadn’t been obsessively searching out everything about her.

      But now I’m ready to leave him alone to himself. I understand that I can’t change him to fit me now. He has to do his own changing. And if and when he ever does that I will then have the opportunity to make a logical and rational decision on whether or not I want to stay with him. I have my own private time line and this time I am keeping to it. If it doesn’t happen then I will have to make a decision for good and either accept him for who he will always be if he doesn’t change or leave him because I know I won’t be able to live without the trust and safety I need to not just survive but thrive in my life.

      I’m angry that it has taken me so long, but I’m doing my best to give myself a break and understand that this has been the most excruciatingly painful experience I have ever endured in my entire 62 years on this earth. I’ve lived through rape and still born babies and death of people very close to me, witnessed a small child get run over in China and no one stopped to help and none of those instances has touched my heart and soul with such depth of agonizing pain as this has.

      Be kind to yourself. Know that it will take time with or without him and know that you are a beautiful woman who has a soft and loving heart and you will not be mentally ill for the rest of your life. You just need some insane time as a time out to heal.

  36. Sarah P. February 7, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    Jeddy,
    Wow. That is truly unbelievable– the fact that he turned you into a mess by his lies (when you knew the truth), ruined your birthday dinner, and then goes on to email the OW about your alleged ingratitude about your birthday dinner. I read all these accounts (and also remember what happened to me in 2001) and think that when men cheat they are simultaneously mentally ill. What rational man does these things? It’s like they are living in a reality that is so opposite from our own. The mental acrobatics that cheaters must do in order to cheat (while still considering themselves good people) and while silently blaming their wives for their own behavior is hard to comprehend. It’s even more disheartening when the OW sits there and listens. From the time I became interested in dating when I was in high school, it was always a turn off if a guy had a girlfriend. It would have made me physically ill to make a play for someone who was in a relationship. I could never hurt anyone in that way. It makes me sick to think about causing pain to another. So I will never understand why some women heavily pursue and seduce married men. Frankly, I wish we still had a culture where people were made to feel ashamed for such wrongdoing. That type of shame is helpful because it can make people think twice. But it seems like we live in a day and age where if you hurt people and live a terrible life, you can get your own reality TV show with a hefty paycheck just for misbehaving in front of a camera. I do believe in old fashioned moral values and believe that there should be some kind of social penalty for hurting others. Right now, it’s just a free for all and many people do whatever they want to do regardless of the lives they devastate.

  37. Peggy February 7, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    I just got back from the first BAN meeting tonight in Phoenix. There were 5 people. Two men and three women. Listening to their stories was a heart break and one of the other women described her H and he was identical to mine. But what I really got out of it was that every single one of those people were all so loving and giving and all of them have had their hearts broken, too. One woman found out she was pregnant and 28 days later found out about her husbands 2 year affair. She cried the entire time. I felt so badly for her. All of them were young enough to be one of my kids and I just wanted to take them home and hold them so they could feel safe.

    The guy that arranged it said that he had a lot more people contact him that would be at the next meeting. We were all very sad about that. It was good to be with people who knew and understood, but I was surprised that none of them seemed to have studied much about affairs. I’m such a walking talking encyclopedia of knowledge now that it was hard for me to keep my mouth shut. I went right into fix it mode again so I caught myself. Typical that I can think of things that might help someone else, but I’m still going through it myself.

    When I got home I talk to my H about it and we actually talked in adult mode for a change.

    It’s a good thing to have a place to go and talk openly.

  38. lea February 7, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    Jeddy,
    Sorry to hear that! But why should you torture yourself with reading those emails? It is important to remember who you are, and no matter what, you are not to be blamed for his choices and actions.

    Sarah,

    CS are very rational during their affair: to rationilize their behavior, to lie, to manipulate, but the only thing that changes is their priority and commitment. It is has turned from family and wife to center on him and his “happiness” and “deservedness”.
    About OW, they are never passive parts in the whole mess, they are, as you wrote in the article, the very active part, except where they are truelly lied about married part.
    In respect about the culture, it all comes down to too much selfishness. Interestingly when each person would act according to the golden and silver rules no one would be cheating.

  39. Jeddy February 7, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    I’m only five weeks in since dday – I read those to get the truth in black and white, and I read them to my husband to show him that what he told me and how he treated me during his ea was horrific. The ugly truth in black and white is easier than the pretty lies. I never have to read them again, but I’ll keep them in case my lawyer does – she’s the one who told me how to get them. I need to know over and over that I didn’t toss my marriage away, he told me over and over that I was crazy and the problem. Trust me, the pain I felt reading those was nothing compared to what my husband felt, so it was worth it.

  40. Tryinghard February 7, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Jeddy
    I totally get you reading the emails. As bad as it hurts it is imperative to know what you are dealing with. Some people don’t want to know but for me I needed to know every detail. By making your husband hear you read those emails it drove home the point and I’m sure quite frankly embarrassed him. They need to be embarrassed by their thoughtless and damaging behavior. You were the last person he ever wanted to see those emails, his dirty laundry. Now despite all those hurtful things he said and did and you know about you can get ready to forgive him. He knows you know everything and despite it all you are ready to forgive him, love him. I think it should be a. Ig relief for him to know you know everything. No more secrets.

    Sarah
    It’s the mental acrobatics that the CS has to perform that I am so amazed. My H is a pretty docile person. It is so out of his norm to have to mentally work that hard. I just don’t get how he kept up that farce for so long. I guess it’s my bad because even though I had many red flags I blamed myself for being a drama queen. Well I guess I am said queen because there was a whole lot of drama going on right under my nose, I just didn’t trust myself enough to investigate it. Mentally I’ll is right, downright delusional and manipulative. But how does one go from being mentally ill to no longer being mentally ill? Seems to me mental illness is permanent or is it trasnsient like a physical cold?

  41. Tryinghard February 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Jeddy

    Indeed he should address it. The OW addressed my H in the subject line of an email”how do I love thee”. Supposedly as a joke. I made him address and boy did she get pissed. Ha the affair was still going on but fading. Despite the fact that he’s her superior she was his affair partner. You are walking a very tight line because she can sue for sexual harassment. Doesn’t make a damn bit of difference it was consensual. She will will find a scum lawyer that will take her case and your husbands business will wreak a lot of havoc. Yep good subject for tomorrow’s session. Good luck

  42. Patsy50 February 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Sarah,

    Great post!

    I could relate to many parts of your post. My husband had an EA with a coworker, 30 years younger then himself, three years ago.

    I am glad to say we are doing good and have salvaged our marriage of 42 years, with no outside therapy. A lot of book reading and coming to this site was a god sent.

    In my case husband and I had marriage issues that were not addressed for a while, no communication, things were getting stale in our marriage of then 39 years. And along comes this blonde, young, flirty coworker, boosting his ego, making him feel young and wanted again and there you have it ….. an EA is born. So we all had a part to play in this EA mess but it was my husband who chose to get involved.

  43. FrankLee February 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    This comment cracks me up: “One co-worker noted that there was no way Lauren could be interested in Paul—after all, Paul’s hair was completely gray and he was about 40 pounds overweight (all in his abdomen). ”
    My wife is about to leave me for an Israeli Tour guide who was an IDF hero 35 years ago( in her mind this guy who by the way was injured is Wolverine). He has a big bulbous nose his hair is gray and he wears it like Ronald McDonald and then everything else above. He is 6’2″ I am only 5’9″ but I am in pristine shape and I am 51. I have almost no body fat and I am ripped and muscular.
    She fell in love with the fantasy of eventually living in Israel and abandoning her family and traveling as an assistant tour guide and not worrying about anything…She is a total fool. I have learned that when a woman gets wrapped in her emotions and played by a charlatan, there is not much you can do except let her crash and burn. What makes this worse is that she is Menopausal and afraid of getting old. She works out so much that she still can compete and win Fitness Figure Competitions against 30 and under. She’s a top level medical professional and could any man her age she wants (Single), but no she gets this guy who chances married women while being married and leaves his wife for her.
    YOU NEED A BLOG ON WHAT TYPE OF MAN WOULD PURSUE A MARRIED WOMAN, WHILE SHE IS MARRIED AND HAS TWO CHILDREN. I don’t give a hoot that she says she started it..I would tell her NO, Leave your husband get a divorce and call me.

  44. Sarah P. February 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    FrankLee,
    Just wanted to chime in since you are the lone male voice on this commenting thread.

    I am very sorry to hear about what you are experiencing with your wife. It must be very difficult.

    You and your wife would appear to be well matched in appearance, but her behavior would certainly indicate affairs are not necessarily about appearance.

    From the little information you provide, I would venture to guess your wife might be extremely insecure in who she is. She might attempt to quell feelings of insecurity by doing whatever it takes to remain youthful looking. One of the reasons she may have cheated with the NOT good looking Israeli tour guide is because there is no way on earth she would feel insecure standing next to him. She will always be the more attractive one by leaps and bounds, even as they age. He probably worships the ground she walks on due to their incredible mis-match in appearance as well as their mis-match in career mastery and experience. I know that might sound strange.

    From what I have read, women cheat for entirely different reasons than men. From what I understand, many women cheat because of how a man makes them feel emotionally.

    Now that is a generalization. Everyone has their own reasons.

    I am also wondering if in your wife’s case there might be a deep seated psychological pull toward Israel. (That is if she is ethnically or religiously Jewish — or perhaps a strong Christian). That would explain the Israeli tour guide part and why there would be a pull toward staying in Israel. In that case, much of it may not be about the guy but about a strong pull toward Israel as she ages. In my own personal circles, a pull toward Israel is very common among my friends and family members as they age. There is a sense of incredible belonging when they visit Israel, versus remaining within small Jewish communities in the United States. (Some self disclosure on my part– I have an ethnically Jewish mother and a Christian father and a fully Jewish husband). So there have been many within our circle that either dream of moving to Israel or have moved there. I am wondering if your wife is dealing with more of a pull toward the country itself and the Israeli tour guide is just her vehicle or excuse to pack up and move there.

    What I can say for sure is that when men or women have affairs, it has little to do with their spouse and more to do with an implied psychological or physical need on the cheating spouse’s part. It might be cold comfort, but I do not believe this will be a long term thing on your wife’s part. Right now she is living in a fog of fantasy that has nothing to do with reality.

    Now as for the kind of man who would persue a married woman– I would say that men who do this might be narcissists. In your wife’s case I am guessing the tour guide sees an opportunity to use your wife. In his mind he probably thinks he hit the jackpot and is happy to use her. So for someone who is prone to using others, the act of taking advantage knows no bounds. Again I am sorry you are having to deal with this incredibly stressful situation.

    Ladies on this message thread, any other ideas that might add clarity?

    • Tryinghard February 22, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Sarah P

      Great points. Especially the angle about the Israel pull. I’m glad you are making the argument to franklee about the looks. Very insightful.

      I do think it’s much worse for the marriage when it’s the wife who is cheating. It’s cheating but she has already left the marriage. Women put everything into their relationships and for her to make a decision to cheat she is emotionally gone from the marriage a long time before the cheating happens. She may wake up and see her mistake but it will be too late. Most men cannot reconcile themselves to the physical aspect of an affair where I think women focus on the emotional aspect and betrayal rather than the physical act. We judge our husbands affairs very subjectively. We put ourselves in the shoes of the OW many times. What was SHE thinking when he told her he loved her? She believed because we believed it, etc.

      I do believe its important to jump to the legal step right away in these cases. Sometimes it speeds up the awakening. It did in my case.

  45. Peggy February 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hi Franklee,

    I bought this program for two of my three sons. Both their wives had multiple affairs. The guys name is Kevin Jackson and his website is http://www.soyourwifecheated.com. He talks to men in male language which I have appreciated. I kept a copy. It seems I have the need to find anything and everything connected to information on affairs. In the last 4 years myself and my two sons have suffered from our spouses infidelity. Kevin Jackson went through this himself so he knows what you are going through.

    My youngest son is all about body building and looking fit. He picked a wife who liked looking at herself, too. She obviously liked other men looking at her as well. She became a nude model after their divorce. There is some serious emotional issues involved and for women it goes deeper. We all know men get better looking as they age, but women definitely don’t. I’d say she couldn’t handle the competition with you and like Sarah said, needed the attention to be all about her.

    My youngest son was a Marine for 13 years, lived through 3 wars and her affair is what took him down. I really feel for you. I know the pain both of my sons have experienced. I know what I’m experiencing. Men handle it differently than women, but I have discovered that we are not all that different in our personalities. Most of the betrayed are the givers in their relationships and because we give it becomes boring to the takers and they want more excitement than being truly loved. Both divorced their wives. This was the second time around in 15 years for my older son. He did it right, kept the kids out of any emotional displays and moved 4 blocks from his house so the children didn’t have to be away from friends and schools in order to spend their time with him. I’m happy to say my youngest didn’t have any children so his was a clean break. He’s still not over it. I can’t even mention my situation with him. He spent 2 years drunk and putting his fist through walls. He’s extremely tall and strong. But he would never touch a woman, thank God for that or she’d be dead right now.

    I do hope your wife wakes up sooner than later. Like Sarah said, she’s still in her fog stage. Once she wakes up she will probably run back to you if you are still available.

    Gender has nothing to do with pursing someone who is married. It’s all the same game. My husband’s lover was married and I found out when I went on my obsessive stalking of the OW that she was sleeping with three other men while having an affair with mine for 4 years. She’d been married for 20 years and had a teenage daughter. She was all about getting fit, running, eating right and dressing sexy. Basically doing what she could to show men she was available for some fun. As she put it to my husband, we were just having some innocent fun. It’s been a long time since I was in high school and that’s what she wanted to feel like. You can imagine just what I’d love her to experience. Call if mid life crisis or just being a slut, but she caught my husband at the perfect time in his life when he was very much vulnerable in what anyone else would call his mid life crisis, too. Personally, I don’t buy into any of that. It’s just selfishness on everyone’s part that’s involved in affairs. He doesn’t get a pass because she was available. He was the one who did all the pursing. She just accepted his offer. I guess after 3 sexual partners what’s one more for some more of that innocent fun.

    We are all here for you. I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

  46. Paula February 23, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    My two cents worth, FrankLee. Peggy, Sarah and TH, all FANTASTIC points! Just wanted to add that with men who have affairs with married women – competition – they feel like they have beaten the husband. Look at you, younger, fitter, more financially “successful,” probably better looking, but, hey, look at ME – I WON this clever, beautiful woman off this guy. Man, I feel like THE MAN! Ego.

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