An account of one woman’s journey after catching her spouse in a work affair.

work affair

Photo:  Hanna Kuprevich

By Sarah P.

Recently, I was reading Quora and someone asked a question about why wayward spouses avoid fixing a marriage and instead choose to cheat.

This has always been a curiosity to me as well. If someone is unhappy in his or her marriage, it makes sense to tell a spouse and see an excellent couple’s counselor together.

Keeping a marriage together is just as much work as the upkeep on a property. People know that they must maintain the roof of a house, seal it, have a solid foundation, keep the siding in excellent condition, and tend to appliances like water heaters. They know if they neglect their physical home, large and costly problems most likely will develop.

The Gottman Institute likens marriage to a home and a couple must tend to the “marriage house” equally. Still, it seems one person in the couple is always more invested in the marriage house, even if there isn’t infidelity.

But, when it comes to infidelity, most people don’t think rationally about the process or the repercussions. Many even assume they will never get caught. Nevertheless, a lie cannot persist forever.

Featured Download: “The Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Affair Partner Now”

If you’re the unfaithful, get it, read it and carefully consider the advice. If you’re the betrayed, give it to your unfaithful spouse.

So what happens when you catch your spouse in a work affair?

Here is an account of one woman’s journey as well as her decision after her husband’s work affair.

“I saw trouble brewing in our marriage 10 years ago. I talked to him about it. I told him he had made a career decision that would drive us apart if he didn’t change course. He agreed, so we decided he would stay in his position for two years, and then move up in his company, something that was certainly available to him.

Two years went by. He didn’t express interest in changing his career course, so I reminded him of the agreement we had made two years earlier.

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He told me he liked the path he was on and intended to stay on it until retirement. I told him he was reneging on our agreement. I told him he was never home, I was lonely for him, I missed him, and I missed our life together. He told me he didn’t care; his career decisions belonged to him.

So I accepted this and adjusted my life. I understand my husband cannot be everything to me, and I understand that no marriage is perfect. I pursued new interests, made new friends, and created a life I was happy with.

Every year, I talked to him about my loneliness and my feelings of betrayal over his broken promise and my hurt over his greater commitment to his job than to me. He told me he is happy, and I should be happy for him.

This went on for 10 years…

I cannot go into more detail because I am starting to become upset. I’ll just say that during many of the years I was feeling hurt, lonely and betrayed, he was unfaithful.

He told me it was so nice to have someone in his life who truly cared about him. He told me how he loved having someone to talk to. He told me she is his best friend. He said when I found out about her, I ruined everything for both of them.

I don’t know why he said that, because I never told him to break up with her. She can have him, you see. The thing is, he wants to fix our marriage now. Why is your question. I’ll tell you why.

Why Don’t Cheaters Leave Their Spouses for the Affair Partner?

He took me for granted for decades. He used and misused my trust and faith in him, and he never, ever thought doing so would blow up in his face. If I divorce him, he has a lot to lose, and he doesn’t want to lose his comfortable life or his agreeable wife.

We have been married for a long time, so in our state, everything we have gets divided 50/50 in a divorce. He doesn’t want to lose half of everything. On top of that, I alone hold the mortgage to our home and land. In our state, this means that in a divorce, I keep the house and the land. If I sell or pass away before him, only then will he receive his half. He doesn’t like that.

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There are other financial losses as well. They apply to both of us, of course, but losing the ability to live in our home on our beautiful property is something he cannot handle.

So now he wants to work on our marriage. He doesn’t get it, though. I’m not lonely anymore. I don’t miss him anymore. I don’t want to spend time with him. My eyes don’t light up when he walks into the room. I don’t smile at the pleasure of seeing his face. I rarely make eye contact with him.

I will discuss the weather with him. I will remind him of his appointments. I make sure the bills are paid. I will never do or say anything to harm him. And when I’m emotionally and psychologically stronger, I will let him go.” (Post source: Quora, Mara Brooks)

My thoughts on the situation and how she handled her husband’s work affair…

Like many cheaters, they abuse the fidelity and dedication of a betrayed spouse. This woman’s husband abused her trust for 10 years. Then, when her husband’s work affair was discovered, the first thing he did was blame his wife for ruining the situation for him and his affair partner.

Her husband purported his affair partner to be “his best friend.” How many times have we heard that line?

This line is so common that, Shirley Glass, wrote a book about it called “Not Just Friends.”

Worse, sometimes wayward spouses are so deep in denial, they believe their own lies. Denial is not a river in Egypt; denial lives in our own backyards.

Yet, amid all the pain and broken promises, the wife did everything correctly by building a life for herself.

  • She stated her needs several times. When her husband went back on a promise, she started moving on emotionally.
  • She pursued new interests
  • She created new friendships
  • She cultivated new ways of finding meaning
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The betrayed spouse also has her eyes wide open and understands it’s her husband’s materialism that has caused him to want to work on the marriage. The betrayed spouse understands her husband’s lack of sincerity. Most of all, she understands she will need to move on.

When You Decide to Stay: Dealing with triggers and the issue of trust while rebuilding your marriage.

More  thoughts…

This is an example of one betrayed spouse’s experience after her husband’s work affair. I really like that she was proactive in the beginning and built a life for herself. This is something that is necessary for betrayed spouses to do simply for their own well-being.

The other thing I like about this account is that the betrayed spouse understands – no matter how painful – that her husband does not have pure motives in terms of working on the marriage. This is important to know so that expectations can be set; it’s a form of self-protection to know where you stand as a betrayed spouse.

This betrayed spouse has also become indifferent to her husband and indifference is good for her, since she (the betrayed spouse) knows the marriage is over and she must leave at some point.

If any wayward spouses are reading this article, please take note that you don’t want to be in the position where you no longer light up the room when you walk in.  If you do have a change of heart and want to reconcile with your betrayed spouse, you may be beyond the point of no return. Don’t let indifference settle into your marriage if you desire to reconcile with your betrayed spouse.

Wayward spouses, you can prevent indifference from occurring by actively working on giving your betrayed spouse what they need. Ask them what they need, rather than assume what they need.

All in all, affairs are never worth it.

 

    12 replies to "A Betrayed Wife’s Reflections on Her Husband’s Work Affair and Her Decision"

    • Sarah P.

      Betrayed spouses… is there anyone out there who is staying in a marriage AFTER becoming indifferent to a wayward spouse?

      • Nic

        Maybe I am, tbh I’m not sure. dday September 2022. His affair was march-sept 2022.
        I knew something was off, he wasn’t meeting my needs, he wasn’t nice, etc, I decided I had enough & tried to detatch from him, I was actively planning on leaving.
        Dday was such a shock I was confused as I thought I didn’t want him. But I was devastated. I’m not sure why I was and still am so distraught.
        Is it love ? I really don’t know.
        The thing is, during his affair he never stopped wanting me. Actively lusting over me.
        He started using cocaine jan 2022 she was supplying him. He paid in kind. Does this make a difference? Should it ? This is confusing. I feel one way then the opposite I’m up & down , in & out like a yo-yo.
        He’s actively trying really hard. He’s been almost perfect since Dday.
        Maybe I should just give it more time, maybe time will tell me what if i really want him.
        We have kids, we’re moving house, planning a fresh start but I’m not sure what I want.

      • Kittypone

        Yes, Sarah….I am….you know my story. You know how hard you worked with me personally and how invested I was into working my marriage. I spent 5 YEARS in therapy just to be able to gain myself back. Well, I gained myself and I decided he was no longer worth my effort. He certainly didn’t invest himself into therapy (we went to couples therapy for 2 years, and it was like talking to a brick wall). His affair ended because SHE ended it and after 6 years, he finally understands that she was nothing more than a fantasy, that his declarations of undying, eternal love did not withstand the test of time and distance and that ultimately, their relationship couldn’t have worked out because of their differences. However, NOW that he sees that, I am NO LONGER INTERESTED in what he has to offer. Mind you, he has never actively tried to win me back, in fact, it’s been almost 2 months since we had any intimacy and he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it….what am I to think???? I am a faith-based woman and I do not believe in taking an eye for an eye, so I don’t think I would purposefully enter into an affair just to give him payback, but I AM feeling lonely and wanting closeness with a partner…..I have warned him that if he keeps this up, he WILL lose me, I am biding my time and getting my finances together to make an ultimate decision and he won’t see it coming.

    • Sarah P.

      Betrayed spouses: what is the number one emotional that you deal with on a daily basis?

      Anxiety?

      Numbness?

      Sadness?

      Regret?

      Aloneness?

      Stress?

      • Lisa

        Hi Sarah,
        I live with regret. Thinking I wish I had seen the signs and got out long ago. He’s so sorry for everything and trying hard to put it right but my heart broken. Maybe time and hard work will heal the pain. I’m working on me

        • Anonymous

          Hi Sara I’ve had a lot of emotional break downs some days are good some days are bad. I try to keep faith hoping god would separate them. Unfortunately, they work closely together on projects this is my main painful hurt . He has 1 year and a half to retire and we are trying to work it out with boundaries in place, however it has not been easy for me but I have been working on me.

    • Still in Pain

      Hi Sarah-
      At some point daily, I become angry that my wife committed adultery. The anger doesn’t reach a high level as it once did.

    • Jitsulady

      D-Day #1 January 31st -2022 – walked in & heard a women’s voice talking to my husband on his phone.
      Lies , lies, for 7 months . Life was hell!
      My Full disclosure DDay #2 August 2
      8th 2022.
      How do I feel every day.
      Sickness insides my whole body.
      So very sad of his deceit & disregard , total lack of respect .
      Aloneness. No one to talk too & understand what you’re going through.
      Shame. Shameful that I didn’t listen to my Gut , & questioning him more when thoroughly the sex stopped and his disinterested in our marriage dwindled. Blaming myself thinking it was my fault he didn’t want me.
      At this time , my husband is working very hard in counseling to understand what led to his breaking our marriage vows.
      His counseling led to issues growing up.Sex addiction to porn. This does not excuse his choices in his life.
      He also is taking a course for the wayward spouse , with a group of men and mentors
      As long as I see growth in his life , to help him & our marriage build an strong foundation, makes me feel SAFE.
      If I didn’t have love for him , to rebuild our marriage (Build back better)
      Then this would be a different story ending.
      This site has been a God sent to me and my husband.
      Many blessings to you Sarah , Linda & Doug.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Jitsu Lady,
        I am sorry to hear what you have been through and grateful your husband is getting help.

        What support systems do you have in place for yourself?

        Blessings,
        Sarah

        • Jitsulady

          Good morning Sarah ,
          I did a 13 week, Affair Reovery Hope for healing course, with a group of ladies.
          Knowing you’re not alone , and each story is different , helped me find a little comfort during such a horrible time.
          As of this moment, I have no support system. My family does not know , nor his.
          One co/worker , whom I have known for 16 yrs, is my asst. We work closely together
          The day after D.D #1 , I went to work and broke down & sent home.
          I wanted her to know why I might have broken moments. Which was a lot. I trust her.
          She got transferred to another store , which is great, for moving up. Did .my job in her growth.
          We keep in touch. Both busy lives.
          I haven’t done individual counseling as of yet , nor couples. As he is working on his “why”.
          Since I am struggling to get passed how someone who supposedly never stopped loving or wanting you , during his affair , could so carelessly throw you away , and not think twice that it was wrong. & keep.doing so until getting caught .
          Maybe it’s time.

    • Cynthia

      I am the betrayed spouse. Day was September 16/2020. We are still together. We have good moments… like you would with a brother or male friend. We were together as a couple for seventeen years. I thought he was my best friend, my soulmate. We built our dreams together and he trashed them an me. The property we have was mine before we got together but I welcomed him with open arms and he invested time and money into what is here. We have many animals. I am in a spot where I don’t think I can connect deeply any more. I have been hurt far too badly. We have done both individual and couples counseling. He has no idea of the pain he has caused me. He gets angry when I try to discuss it. Says I am tormenting him by bringing it up. Yet he is all lovey dicey and falling all over himself to do things that he thinks will make me happy.I have been practicing self care. Meditation and journaling help. I have taken up guitar. I am doing mosaics and geocaching. I spend a lot of time with the dogs and horses. He and I also do things together. I enjoy it but the meaning isn’t deep. The trust isn’t there and I am always on guard. He expects everything to be just dandy and it is so not.
      So I am getting my ducks in a row so that eventually I will be on my own and be free of this lead weight. In the meantime I am enjoying getting to know me.

    • Dan

      Cynthia – I think your post resonates with most betrayed spouses. Repairing the immediate damage from an affair is one thing; long-term healing and restoring the relationship is another. Like you, my wife and I have good times together. For the most part, the affair is behind us. However, that deep connection we once had is missing. Everything is good between us as long as we pretend the affair didn’t happen. Like your husband, my wife gets defensive when I bring up anything about the pain from the affair. She thinks I’m trying to “hold it over her head”, which I’m not. It’s hard to put into words. I don’t want to torment her about the affair, and I’d like to put it in the past, however, I can’t simply pretend it didn’t happen. When we have issues, it’s always the same spiral of events. I will internalize something and withdraw for a bit. I’ll try to self sooth, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. My wife always knows when it’s happening. She’ll leave me alone and ignore it but will eventually ask if everything is okay. If I bring up anything related to the affair she gets defensive, and then we’re down the same rabbit hole we always head down. The crazy thing is this spiral could be avoided if my wife just gave me a hug and said some encouraging words as soon as she recognizes I’m having a “moment”. Maybe that’s the crux of the issue. In those situations, she knows I’ve internalized something about the affair, and she doesn’t want to be reminded of the affair. I don’t want to be reminded of the affair either, I just want her to acknowledge that in that moment I need her to make a connection. To me that’s how trust and the relationship can be restored.

      I wish you all the best. I truly want to restore my marriage, but the lead weight all betrayed spouses carry may get the better of me over time.

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