It’s time to discuss what’s on YOUR mind and share YOUR struggles.


We’re still on vacation for a bit and thought we’d post an Open ‘Mic’ for you guys to discuss whatever you want until we get back.  

In case you didn’t know, or are new to our site, the open discussion is where you guys call the shots and discuss the topics that you want to discuss.

We know there must be some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about, share your experiences – or maybe just do a little venting.  

We appreciate it as it not only helps to share and get the input from others, but it also helps us with possible issues to address in future posts.  Thanks!

With that said, the floor is all yours!

Feel free to discuss anything…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • Have any success stories to share? Big or small. (We especially want to hear some of these!)
  • How has the Pandemic affected your life and your relationship?
  • Wanna share any lessons you’ve learned recently?
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  • What are you and/or your spouse doing to further the healing and recovery in your relationship?
  • What’s working or not working?
  • Has your therapist given you any good advice or exercises that the rest of the readers might benefit from?
  • What has your spouse done lately that really pisses you off?
  • What has your spouse done lately to make you really happy?
  • Tell us a little about yourself.
  • Everything and anything is on the table for discussion!
See also  Open 'Mic' Discussion #18

Please don’t be shy. If there is anything whatsoever on your mind, please leave a comment below.  And please reply to each other in the comments, as each person leaving a comment is not an isolated incident.


Linda & Doug


    64 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ #41 – What’s On Your Mind?"

    • Lauren

      After 18 years together, 3 girls (4, 6, and 8), my best friend and the person that put me on a pedestal left me for someone else, but without letting me know and making sure he blamed me and treated me like we were strangers. We were the most loving couple and people were in shock when he left, this was years ago and I just found out that he has been with the OW he left me for all this time, was able to come across information about trips, vacations they did together while I and his little girls were devastated. When I see the things he was able to do with complete disregard for us and also the way he chastised me and blamed me just so he could cowardly save his reputation and treated me like I was the worst mother and wife while putting a stranger before his own children I can only think that he is a sociopath. I try and try to think about affair fog, limerance, and all that but it’s been all this time and he never ever said that he was sorry or even acknowledge the affair. I see so many people here that had their partner asking for forgiveness and that would mean the world to me but he has been saying that we were done from day one.

      • Lorena

        My husband cheated on me. He says he is sorry and wants to work on staying together and moving forward. I asked him to apologize to me in front of the other woman. I feel like I deserve that. Will this help me begin to move forward? I mean he was willing to make a fool out of me, why not be willing to apologize to me in front of her to start giving me my place again as his wife? Any advice will be appreciated!

        • tryingtogetover

          I’m surprised I haven’t heard anyone else ask for this, actually. It could be an amazing last word. Or course it could also be super awkward. But even years down the road, I would love for my husband to do this for me. His sociopath ex mistress sent a message this summer (she hijacked a mutual friend’s phone) still looking for “closure” two and a half years later and this would be my idea of the only kind of closure that should happen!

        • cindy

          Hey Lorena,
          I can totally relate and know what you are talking about. My husband came out about 2 emotional affairs as he neared 54 and I was completely floored. We had been married for almost 35 yrs at that time and all I felt besides the obvious of incredible emotional distress was this stabbing pain of having been betrayed by my best friend and confidant. We have 5 sons and 1 daughter who also found out, not by me, but by a strange string of events, but he knew for the most part that I couldn’t get past his betrayal no matter how much he apologized or cried. He wrote 2 letters to both women and told them both that everything that he said was a lie and that he made it all up to satisfy his own selfish needs. I thought that might be a big healing point for me to see him give those letters to those women in front of me and it just happened that morning that my cat was dying and I couldn’t go with him to our newest real estate flip, but he decided that it would be that morning that he would just deliver the letters without me. I was devastated because I really needed to witness that for my own healing, but he just doesn’t understand or get it. Maybe because he hasn’t felt the betrayal that I have had to deal with, but he swears that he delivered them both. One in person but having to slip it under her door of her personal office and the other one he had to mail. I actually believe him, but it doesn’t matter because he again selfishly did what he wanted without any thought of how I would feel. My prayers are with you and I do Get It. We want so badly for them to Proclaim their love in front of anyone who is there that THEY DID US WRONG!!! They really are ignorant and selfish as well as lacking of Empathy. Something is truly broken in these men.

    • JD

      I left my wife of 26 years for a woman fifteen years younger than me. Enamored and believing I found new powerful love, I spent two years with her only to get a goodbye text message. I was devastated but at the same time realized that what was done to me, I did too my wife. Confronting her, she stated she found someone new and the pain of my selfishness was more evident.

      I’m working on me because I can’t love if I don’t love myself. My wife is trying to deal but this may destroy any chances asc we have fought brutally. I’ve devastated my fifteen year old daughter as well by walking out. I hate myself. I’m a fool. Played for one and am one. And I made a fool of my wife. I deserve all the pain and if it doesn’t work, I deserve that too

      • Losing Patience


        Thank you for sharing. My husband did the same to me, except that he is continuing to cheat, but refuses to sign the divorce papers he was served. He won’t give up our marriage, nor will he give up with affair. I moved far away and started a new life to get away from the pain, but it haunts me every day. I have not spoken to him in almost two years.

        My question to you is: are you doing anything to reconcile with your wife? Aside from “feeling like the fool” what has this experience taught you about your marriage? Your wife?

        • JD

          We are taking it very slow. I’m trying to find a connection with her because I disconnected from her so long ago. I want to rekindle that spark and remember all our good times. She still loves me, she says she waited for the old me to return. I’m trying, we need counseling, she is angry, I’m grieving the relationship and my stupidity which I want to forget. I’m also scared because my friends who helped me through this have told me that her new relationship will not work and she will come back to me. You see, the OW and I argued slot, I didn’t get a divorce fast enough for her even though she never gave me a timeline. She drank and I left and every time she said she was sorry I came back… Over and over. I taught her that I would return no matter what. I can’t do that anymore ever again. I recognize my low self esteem and the need for validation. I have to show my wife I can be softer and still find her desirable. I have to be there when she needs me but I feel like I’m not worth it. We have a date this Sunday, I’m scared but excited

          • Losing Patience


            Have you read Surviving an Affair, by Dr. Willard Harley, or visited his site MarriageBuilders? If not, I highly recommend both. Dr. Harley has amazing insight into the addictive nature of affairs and addictions in general (he used to work with addicts and specializes in behavioral psychology). He can help you understand why you kept returning to the affair and how to move forward with your wife and dealing with anger. You can email him and he will even send you a free copy of his book. If my husband ever returns to me (if I even let him), I am going to set up counseling with him.

            As the betrayed wife, I can tell you that what your wife needs more than you being softer and finding her desirable (although you should do this anyway) is concrete evidence that you are trying to rebuild trust and showing her complete transparency. But be yourself: the person you were before you strayed. That’s the worthy man your wife fell in love with and so desperately needs to know still exists. You have to believe this person is still alive and well. We all screw up. Muhammad Ali used to say, “you don’t lose if you get knocked down; you lose if you stay down.”

            Also, you probably also need to apologize to her for all of the mean, cruel things you said and did to her while you were in the “affair fog”. You probably don’t even remember doing these things, but you most likely did. I am still in shock by the emails I read in which he made fun of me to his mistress and friends. Some of the things he said and did to me are unbelievable. It was like invasion of the body snatchers and in place of my fun, sweet husband, a mean alien took over his body. When you see this side of your spouse, it scars you in a way that is so deep and painful. This makes me think that I made a horrible choice of a husband and that my “character radar” and “good person meter” are off; I feel like such a fool. I suspect that this is what your wife worries about most: that you will make a fool of her again. On your date night, I would like to advise you to be as open and honest with her as possible ( not the time to discuss the affair, but maybe time to discuss when to set up marriage therapy). Trying to play her, cover up anything you’re ashamed of with lies, any deception of any kid, and you are done.

            I wish you the best of luck. It’s not about finding another person to love. Love the person you have found.

            • JD

              Losing Patience,

              No, never read that book. Honestly, I never said anything bad about my wife to the OW. I was in night shift, she was a normal worker. We drifted, or I did. I met a female cop, similar schedule, she became my friend, 15 years younger. She stroked my ego big time and we fell in love or so I thought. Two years in and she broke up with me via text message. Wonderful person. I confronted her, told her it was all a lie and wished her a great life with her new boyfriend. I walked out on her while she stood crying, not I’m sure the tears weren’t for me. I have to fix my world and my wife’s and it’s going to be very difficult

    • Brian

      About 4 weeks post D Day and my wife was making no attempt to end her relationship with the AF. Our relationship was good as long as I didn’t say or do anything to burst her fantasy of having her family and her boyfriend. After reading Love Must Be Tough a week ago, I presented her with a letter last night that told her how much everyone loves her but that she had to make a decision and that her decision would be respected. She left the house and after an hour on the phone with her boyfriend came home to announce that she would be making arrangements to move out and end our marriage of 30 years. She said that she was no longer interested in the conditional love that I was offering her (not allowing her to continue to date within our marriage) nor the threats from the kids (pleading with her to stop destroying our family). She says she is not going to move in with the boyfriend because she knows all he is interested in is sex which she is not interested in giving him. Hoping God and all the family and friends who are telling her how wrong her recent decisions are can help her see through the fog. Sad day in our house today.

      • tryingtogetover

        SO sorry to hear. It sounds to me as if she is covering up her shame and trying to turn and blame you for loving her “conditionally” – aka respecting your’ marriage vows! You and everyone else knows what is right, but she is not yet ready to admit that she is wrong. I hope she gets there.

    • k

      This is a terrible question but in pandemic circumstances I am not having any luck getting help from anywhere else. Three years ago, my partner of a decade moved 2500 miles away with a woman I didn’t even know existed. He lied to his son and parents about why. He took up house with this woman and although he contacts me every few weeks to let me know he is miserable with her, he also says he has built a beautiful golden trap for himself and cannot get out of it.

      He broke up with her in 2018 and spent lavishly to make amends to me, promising to come home. Then reinstalled her there, then bought a house there with her. He still begs me to move there, even as recently as a few weeks ago.

      I am still raising my child from first marriage and she has no interest in where he lives. It was where we planned to live in retirement. He is living there with the woman he left me for, and that’s basically ruined the place for me. Which is a shame, because my family has lived there for decades. Now it is not just my place of home, but also of abject humiliation.

      In the pandemic circumstances, my job was terminated. I am now 100% dependent on my child’s father, which is humiliating too except his provisions now seem to be compensation for weirdly divorcing me when our child was very young. In another very few years that child will be 18 and potentially on its own. No guarantees, of anything, now with the world the way it is.

      My partner thinks everything will resume when my child is 18, that I will then move to where he is and we can be together again. I don’t know how anyone can think that 18 means parenting and family are over. I hate it. At this time, my child is the only reason I am still living.

      I have been in therapy for a long time. The least benefit of that is that I know when to shut the door on bad relationship. He continues to contact me anyway.

      I can’t even pay for basics here and I only found out a few weeks ago that he garnered enough money to buy a house. A friend of mine got pissed and scoured the internet to find out who this other woman even is.

      The other woman is 8 years younger. He tells me she might commit suicide if he tells her to leave, so, she’s not going anywhere.

      I struggle every day since he left, to not actually kill myself. It’s been 3 years of that, every day and night.

      Yesterday I woke angry, too early, and, thanks to my friend’s search results a few weeks ago, I looked up this woman’s mother.

      Her mother now lives in the house they recently vacated. Her mother lives within 20 minutes of them now.

      I’m not even mad about it anymore. I think the whole story is stupid, ugly, and definitely not anything I want in my life.

      But I don’t have will to live. It sounds stupid, but I have always wanted only to be a wife. I have loved and lived through so much, and done so many notable and wonderful things, and being married was one remaining thing to do, beyond parenting my child to a good happy stable adult age.

      She is literally the only reason I am not dead.

      I know that’s horrible, but this child is the only person who is vested in my living.

      This isn’t a medication or more therapy or diagnosing situation. This is too much hard life and lack of reward, complicated by pandemic deprivations and isolation.

      My big question to you all, after all that preface, is …why live? Why love again, if this is the result? I’m not ever going to trust another man enough to survive him too. It doesn’t work, if the worst of a person only comes forward after a decade of life investment.

      I can’t do it again. And I know I can’t leave my young adult child; I never would.

      But each day of living with the broken trust and broken facts, I feel more and more certain I won’t see another decade. I’m 52 this year and I can’t see my way into another week.

      Don’t say Meetup or that someone better will come along. I can’t stand strangers anymore, and if there is someone better, that person will have a hard time with me, because he’s very, very late.

      Sorry for the bummer long post. I am not at my wit’s end; I’ve been far past that end for 3 years now. I’m just this side of done.

      • JD

        Why live? Because he doesn’t deserve knowing you when your life over him. Your child deserves a mother and the love from her. He is selfish and he is using you to manage his guilt, stringing you along, giving you breadcrumbs of hope. He deserves no contact. Cut him off completely. Love your life FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS

    • Pam

      How long is too long for the feelings of hurt, distrust and anger to pop up and interfere with my peace? It’s been 7 years since my discovery of my husband’s emotional affair with a co-worker that lasted 3 1/2, years (1 additional year after discovering.) 6weeks after D day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, 1 year after D day I retired, the same year he was forced into retirement (consequences of the affair). Immediately and 3 years following retirement, we assumed the responsibility of caring for his elderly mother, sold our home of20 years, moved, lived in an RV while building our retirement home, and buried his mother. Obviously we have had outside distractions, however I did go to Counseling 6 months after D day and felt really good about the direction we were headed, only to learn the affair continued until he was forced to retire. I think I’m just now able to face and deal with the emotions I put on the back burner. I’m wondering if it’s too late to start from the beginning with your program even though it’s been 7 years? My husband did a lot of things “right” but looking back, I feel they were more for damage control than for me.

    • Losing Patience

      I am stunned by the selfishness of wayward spouses. Your wife sounds like she sure wants to have her cake and eat it too. This is going to sounds harsh, but good riddance to your wife. I would help her pack.
      I can relate because I read the same book and wrote the same letter and my CS moved out too. He came back begging several times, but as soon as the affair fog resurfaced, he was back with his homewrecker. I finally had enough and moved thousands of miles away. To this day, he says “I cannot divorce you” but he refuses to end the affair. I am going to pursue further legal action as soon as I am better settled in my home. Hindsight is 20/20 and I can see that our 15 year marriage has always revolved around him and his needs. I never realized how self-absorbed, narcissistic, stubborn, and immature he was (is) until I spent several months without any contact from him. The time away from your wife will help you understand what you deserve and will help you raise your standards.

      • Brian

        Losing Patience, that is exactly what she wanted; to be a cake eater. She had made 3 previous promises to the kids and I over the past 4 weeks to end the relationship and didn’t follow through. She always told us “I’m working on it”, all the while going out on dates with the AF and moving their chat conversation from iMesaage to Snapchat, changing the password on her phone, and receiving and saving half naked pictures of the AF on her phone. Fortunately, I realized through reading on this site and other resources that I was being a doormat and I got the courage to take a different approach. She told me again yesterday that she will end contact with the AF for the kids sake, but I don’t believe her. She is deeply entrenched in the affair fog and cannot see anything truthful in a clear manner. Hoping she follows through this time but prepared to make changes if she doesn’t. At this point not making a decision is a decision for the AF.

        • Losing Patience


          Smart man. Don’t believe her; she has proven that she cannot be trusted and her words are just that: words. Remember that cheaters lie so much, so often, they often don’t know what’s true anymore. It sounds like your wife is so far down the rabbit hole that she doesn’t know which way is up. I’ve been there. I’ve lost track of the broken promises and lies. The only thing I can count on with my husband is that he cannot be trusted and he never does what he says.
          Cut her off. Tell her that she is only able to communicate with you through a third party and you will only discuss the kids and finances. Don’t let her see you or hear your voice. Dr. Harley’s website (which I just recommended to another person) has a “Plan B” strategy that might work for you. Go to marriagebuilders. com and you will find it.
          As a person who went through this, I can tell you that you will be okay no matter what she decides. You are in control more than you think; she is not. She has no control over her actions and her addiction to this affair. It’s kind of pitiful. When I think about the mess my husband has made of his relationships, his job, finances, reputation, etc, he is a sad, sad man. I kind-of feel sorry for him.

          • Brian

            Two days ago my wife told me yet again that she broke contact with the AP because she hated the pain she was causing me and our kids. She said she logged out is Snapchat so he couldn’t contact her there. Last night she told me she hadn’t had contact with him for over 24 hours Today I saw on my Snapchat potential friends to add that she had created a new account with a rarely used email address that I had in her contact info. So yet again it was all a big lie.

            • Losing Patience


              I am so sorry to read this. It’s terrible that you have to do this kind of detective work just to find out the truth. Your wife is an addict–addicted to the affair and while she knows what she does is wrong and hurtful to you and your kids, she can’t stop. I would contact Dr. Harley immediately and see what he suggests you do: kick her out, cut her off, move away. I have no idea what he would suggest, but he will know what to do.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Is it ever really over?? I guess that’s my question of the day. It’s been almost 7 years since D-day and we have come so far. So I’m sort of numb today since I stumbled upon an email that my husband sent to the OW last week. I decided to just come out and ask him about it this morning and yup the first thing he did was deny and delete. He said it must have been an old email…..since the computer had been messed up lately. But, last night I had the presence of mind to look at the date the email was sent.

      He finally admitted It and we had a long fairly positive conversation. But I feel numb. Talk about taking a big step backwards. I think one of the things that hurt was how easily he lied to cover up his actions. I’m feeling lost.

      • Doug

        Man I sure am sorry about that, SI. What possible reason/excuse did he have to contact her after all this time? Regardless, I hope that you are taking good care of yourself.

      • Fractured heart, wounded beat

        Shifting Impressions,

        My first reaction is, NO!!!!! After 7 years?!?! Did you read the text of the email? Did it reveal his thought process? Did HE reveal his thought process (in a believable way)? As far as you know, how long has it been NC? Did he say he’d been thinking of the other woman? If so, for how long? Did something trigger it?

        I’m sorry for the barrage but I’m shocked this could happen after so long!!

        I’M SO VERY SORRY!!!!! 💔

        I think the struggle is the double life, the fact that they are willing and so easily hide FROM US what they are doing, giving NO THOUGHT to our feelings. For him to lie when confronted is infuriating but after so long and seemingly after understanding the depth of pain he’d already caused by his selfishness, the fact that he’d again have something to hide is……I just can’t even form an accurate description! But, I know that’s my biggest fear — more lies, deception, and duplicity!

        I’M SO SORRY!

        I wish I had advice for you but I’ve got nothing…. However, if my last name was Soprano, I’d have some suggestions….


        • Shifting Impressions

          Doug and Fractured Heart
          Thanks for your caring responses. I honestly don’t know what I’m feeling right now.

          There was nothing wrong with the email itself……just checking up to see how she was doing through these strange COVID times. It was short and to the point. It was the fact that he broke the NC agreement and then lied about it. As far as I know there had been no contact since d-day, almost seven years ago.

          He says it was stupid and in no way does he want to pursue anything with her. I once again reminded him that I only want him to stay with me if that is what he really wants. He assures me over and over again that he wants the life we have together,

          He was sitting alone at the hauntingly empty airport waiting for his flight home and he sort of blames the whole COVID thing. I told him that really isn’t an excuse.

          You are right, Fractured heart…’s the lying and duplicity.

          Your Soprano remark gave me good laugh…..amazing how a little humor helps.

          • Fractured heart, wounded beat


            I’ll admit that your situation hit me at an interesting point in my own recovery. As such, I’ve really been thinking on it today. We betrayed have so much in common and yet our situations are quite different. One relationship is vastly different than another. One thing I’ve enjoyed on this site is the knowledgeable advise but the lack of judgment as to whether a person stays or goes. It’s such a personal decision and there’s certainly enough people in our lives who have opinions about the decision to stay after infidelity.

            I know this is somewhat silly but one thing that really annoys and hampers me in recovery at times is that I cannot KNOW what my H is thinking at any given moment. I have to take his word for it. His word isn’t worth as much after his cheating…. How differently would each of our situations have been if we’d known the destructive direction of their secret thoughts and actions before DDay1 (and 2, and 3…)? I know, what ifs, right?

            My point is that it is those thoughts that are kept secret from us that lead to the destruction we all know so well. It is those secret thoughts that risk our wellbeing again. (I told my husband at the height of this that secrets have power. I’d hoped that would inspire honesty from him, but no such luck then.)

            Please understand that I mean no harm or to foment hostility in your situation, however, I have been putting myself in your shoes today as if the same situation occurred with my H.

            I would be angry because:
            1) This interloper entered his thoughts and was allowed to remain there. (Anything beyond guilt, shame, disgust, and nausea is unacceptable.) In his alone time, thoughts should never have wandered there.
            2) As a result of thinking of this person, he experienced any type of concerned feelings. (If the OW were flattened by a bus, I would accept nothing beyond apathy.) I feel like any concern for the person who contributed to bringing his wife so much pain is another betrayal.
            3) As a result of that concern, he felt compelled to contact after all this time, “just to see if she was alright.” (ANY justification that led to this decision is unacceptable.) So concern for the OW takes precedence rather than concern for the wife that has already been betrayed and to whom you should be eternally grateful for giving you another chance you absolutely didn’t deserve!
            4) This action was hidden with the hopes that it would never be discovered. (But what hopes existed for a response from the OW? What ideal outcomes existed from that contact?)
            5) Upon discovery, once again, knee-jerk lying, hoping it would make it go away and then deleting the evidence. (An indication that nothing has been learned by this experience?)
            6) When lying fails, minimizing. Falling on the sword. “But I’m telling the truth now…..” That’s just too reminiscent of DDay.

            Again, these are just the thoughts I believe I’d be having in your shoes. We cannot read our H’s mind so the actions that manifest from those secret thoughts are what we have to go on.

            One incredibly painful aspect of this situation is feeling pushed to the outside, being kept in the dark while some interloper knows the truth. Being left out of a secret BY YOUR SPOUSE, one that harms you so deeply, while they share it with another. I remember feeling like I was left alone, destroyed, while those two shared giggles and pillow talk. Those moments were when I felt so completely gutted through this.

            Not knowing if those thoughts are still present but hidden is what keeps me untrusting, lacking security, and fearful that it will happen again. Not wanting another blindside is what keeps me hypervigilant. The horror of experiencing THAT moment ever again is what keeps the trauma so close to the surface when anything seems even slightly amiss (that feeling of having a sword thrust through your chest, unable to breathe, etc.).

            I shared your situation with my H. For what it’s worth, he said, “After all that time? There’s no reason for any contact unless he’s trying to spark something up.”

            I hope he’s wrong. Stay strong!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Fractured Heart…
              Trust me all your points are completely valid and many of those same thoughts have been running through my head. You putting them in point form for me is extremely helpful.

              We have been having some pretty serious talks around here……thank goodness he is NOT defending what he did. Interestingly enough I actually believe he’s not trying to “spark something up”. My gut is not screaming on that front…..and listening to my gut has served me very well.

              I actually think he kind of shocked himself. What happened is actually made him more willing to share what’s going on inside of him…..not easy for someone of his temperament.

              He is your typical “good guy” that everybody loves. Wonderful father, amazing grandfather, honest business man and he always goes the extra mile for people. We have been married for 46 years… I know the man well.

              We have worked hard to get through the last almost seven years and this is a huge set-back to say the least. Financially there is no reason that we have to stay together. The beautiful family we have built is another story. We talked about it this morning and both agree there is more good between the two of us than bad. We are worth fighting for. I love him with all my heart and actually like him as well Lol!!! He has committed to being more open and more proactive about initiating these conversations. Time will tell.

              Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts……it really helps.

      • Pam

        First, I’m so sorry for you to have your hard earned peace and trust shaken again.. I am in agreement with others, after so much time there really isn’t a plausible explanation for your H’s recent contact with his AP other than him feeling the need to regain some of the excitement he felt during the EA. He needs to do more introspection as to what/why he was feeling that need and why he acted on it…IMHO
        Second, I raised the same question in a post earlier: how long does it take? I just don’t know anymore…..
        The final D day for me and my H was 6 years ago when his AP/OW asked him to no longer contact her due to the pain it caused her and me. It ended, but because I feel like it was at her request, not mine, he really didn’t make the choice himself. Bc of many things that happened during and after Dday I feel like we didn’t address the underlying issues that caused him to cheat, I still have triggers.
        But back to “when is it ever over?”Yesterday, while changing over automatic bank drafts for our accounts due to our bank changing hands, I came across his life insurance and discovered he had put(and or left) his AP as his beneficiary! I confronted him, he said he’d forgotten and immediately took steps to correct. That discovery took me right back to the months immediately following the discovery and then the next 2 years peeking the onion layers of deception that followed.
        We now live in another area and have little contact with people from”back then” but now I’m almost to square one reliving those feelings as I bet you are too. I’m really sorry you have to have those feelings resurface. Indeed, how long is long enough?

        • Shifting Impressions

          Thank you for your concern and understanding. That must have been extremely difficult to find that he put the OW as his beneficiary. I imagine there will be some difficult conversations over that one.

          I’m feeling calmer than I would have thought, finding this particular email. The one benefit (if you can call it that) is that it has reopened some really good dialogue regarding the EA. He is more open to talk than he ever was in the past. He is feeling like an “asshole” and extremely remorseful. I know what you mean about peeling back the layers……this has reopened some of that process and he is actually acknowledging that as a good thing. He shocked himself and is looking at this as a wake up call!!

          He has promised of his own accord to be more open about his feelings and process. He actually wants to be more proactive in this area!!! THIS IS A FIRST….and we have been married 46 years.

          But I’m not holding my breath……TIME WILL TELL!!!

    • Lynsey

      Shifting Impressions, I am so sorry that this happened to you after 7 years. I wish I had good advice for you, but please know that you are in my thoughts as you sort through this situation. I am 8 years out from D-day and to this day still do not fully trust my H….or anyone.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thank you for your kind words. It’s hard not to be able to fully trust, that’s for sure.

    • digital age

      Wayward spouse here. I’ve been missing something in my 25+ year marriage and when the opportunity arose to pursue the OW, I took it. My story; met interesting woman on a lengthy vacation (without my family), just prior to COVID-19 outbreak. We quickly got to hugging and kissing after laying out the only ground rule; no sex. Managed to stick with the ground rule, but got very emotionally attached. Lots of drama and risky behavior that was exciting on vacation. We shared many personal, private thoughts and feelings. Vacation ended after a couple weeks, but texting and talking on phone did not. Amazed at the level of emotional, but unrealistic and irrational, depth to which the EA went even though we were not physically in each others presence. Digital age.

      A few months pass after vacation with 1 real attempt to call off the affair, both myself and the OW knowing that the emotional affair was inappropriate for me since I was married. I sought advice from a couple trusted friends who both recognized this was not love, but something new and exciting and described quite accurately as limerence in the literature. The friends’ advice was to cut off contact with the OW, recognize I was making a mistake, delete correspondence and if necessary seek personal counseling. They both thought “no need to tell spouse”, if I could just end it with OW. That didn’t work for me, I tried the “lets stay friends” approach with the OW which only last a couple weeks before I was obsessively sneaking in texts and calls and being emotionally unfaithful again. It got to the point that OW wanted me to separate from wife, and then we would find a way to be together. I wasn’t sure what I wanted. Running off with the OW was a nice fantasy that I entertained with her, but did realize that I needed to come clean with spouse regardless of what I wound up doing. Seemed as though I knew I couldn’t make a decision without talking with my wife about what I was going through, how I was struggling and trying to understand what she might want given what I’d done and that we had been pretty distant with each other.

      Spouse and I had the difficult conversation of how I had fallen for the OW and that I was in an “affair fog”, I didn’t use those words, but this site has it characterized well as exactly that. I brought forward the confession, I wasn’t “caught” or confronted, but confrontation was probably immenent. Spouse knew something wasn’t right, but wasn’t sure it was another woman. It took me a couple days of talking this through with my wife to realize that I didn’t want to leave her or the family and that I seriously needed to get my act together.

      It was very difficult to take the first step and tell the OW goodbye. I knew this needed to happen and my spouse insisted that it should happen soon. The OW was also waiting to know how the confession went and was hoping that we’d be separating soon. I needed to do this to get my life to go where I wanted it to and that I wouldn’t be in contact any further with the OW. There is lots of advice out there about how to end an affair, in the end my wife and I agreed that a ~10min. goodbye call was to be the end of what had been months of lots of time interacting each day with OW. I did make the call and while it was hard to be firm and somewhat cold about the goodbye, it was done – so far successfully, neither has attempted any further contact. I know it was the right thing to do and really the only way to resolve the mess I’d created for myself. In the end I know this is best for the OW too as this relationship wasn’t doing her any favors.

      The confession to wife and subsequent goodbye to OW was about 2 weeks ago now. I know for sure I made the right decision for me; however, its not easy. Beyond the infatuation I did enjoy the OW as a friend too, so there is a sense of loss and remorse. Now the process of rebuilding my marriage is front and center. I really need to work on me and what it was that I thought was missing and why I so quickly fell for the very addictive feelings of meeting someone new and exciting. I know repairing the marriage and changing my behavior is going to take lots of work, but I’m committed to doing my best. The information on your site is helpful for me.
      Thanks for providing the space to share.

      • JD

        At least you didn’t do what I did and end up looking and feeling like a buffoon. Karma showed me and I got a taste of the hurt I did to my wife .

      • k

        You knew that “friend” all of a few months. No friend is going to push you to leave your wife and family. That is not a friend, that is manipulative and predatory. Also a person with low self esteem, if willing to settle for a guy who even considered chucking over two decades of marriage for a chick he just met.

        You have to look at the level of integrity that joyride “friend” really has. Scour your lens and filters: that’s a predator, and/or a sob story, and if you trust it even for a “friendly” hello or remembrance once in a while, your discernment is needing calibration or overhaul. Whatever that was, it was a fantasy all the way to the core, which was illusory.

        Study up on what the human brain kicks around when we think we are attracted to or in love with someone, or even just “friends”.

        If you crossed the line and only stopped short of sex, that’s still a mighty transgression. It’s your responsibility to notice when you are slipping and to then turn the same kind of focus, feeling, sensuality, bid for intimacy and connection TO THE WOMAN YOU ARE MARRIED TO.

        Be honest. With your wife and with yourself. Beware any woman who wants to be friendly with you. The intimacy is supposed to go to your wife. Any other woman except maybe your blood kin is going to be a question mark. Not just because of what you might think or feel about it, but because of what is going on in the third party’s head.

        Which you honest to God cannot know or even guess at after only a few weeks or months. She laid a trap for you and she’ll do it again to some other dude. If you like that kind of story or how it makes you feel inside, there’s plenty of fiction on television to do the trick.

        Don’t be the trick.

        • JD

          Absolutely, I was the trick and she monkey branched me. I see how dumb I was

        • digital age

          K, thank you for the response and yes it is amazing how one can be delusional when in fantasy land. I don’t need to elaborate, but suffice to say there is more to the story that I had to really let my brain play tricks on me. I appreciate that you took the time to respond.

          • k

            digital age, thank you as well, for sharing your truths out loud here. My partner just bought a house with the other person, so I am smarting. I don’t mean to be rough or tart.

            I think it’s a real blessing that your situation there was relatively short. For what it’s worth, I learned in a premarital relationship that even when someone outside it caught my eye or fancy, it isn’t that difficult to reframe and redirect the attraction back to my partner/spouse. And maybe I might feel mad about it at first, because it feels like “obligation”? But really it is just a discipline and acting in full integrity. I carried that ethic and skill into marriage, and :/ got cheated on and left for someone else. So my hope is that you and your wife can work together to keep and protect the love you have, and have built.

            My in-laws have been married 65+ years. My father-in-law assures me that love is worth the work we have to put into it over time.

            Thanks again for sharing your story and also for not being put off by my answer or tone. It may sound like I side with your wife, but I’ve been on both sides; I know what it’s like. All best to you, and really, it’s a blessing for all parties that it didn’t go further. Keep knowing yourself, I think for me that’s been key.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Digital Age
        I believe that the cheating spouse regularly underestimates the pain they have unleashed deep inside their spouse. I really respect the fact that you respected your wife enough to tell her the truth. That you understand that she has choices to make as well, as a result of your betrayal.

        Educate yourself on affairs and understand that there is a very good possibility that you have broken something very deep inside your wife. You have a difficult journey ahead of you.

        • digital age

          SI – thank you for responding. I know I have a tough row to hoe now.

      • Hurting

        As a betrayed wife you made the right decision.. my husband had a very intense affair 19 yrs ago. I confronted him when I had proof. He called the OW and ended the A .. I called OW and told her to stay away .. and I told my husband I called her .. he then called OW and apologized for my phone call .. that ended the contact for about 6 months and OW had a friend call him and tell him how much she missed him .. (we were in counseling both individual and couples..) my S called OW and resumed the A. She was now in his mind (justification) a good friend . no contact other than he would go to a pay phone and call her, he had very little contact with her except for phone calls weekly from a pay phone this continued for 6 years.
        In our Counseling sessions he continued to lie about some of his earlier contact with the OW ..3 yrs out he admitted to one event I my gut told me he was lying about .. our Counselor told me my husband was still lying and to divorce him .. I thought my husband was protecting something he loved so I justified that lie . The contact with OW began in 2009 when we went on vacation and my S invited OW to the same place .. he met her for a few days and they spent the mornings together as he told me he was doing hot yoga and bike riding 20 miles .. the next time they met the A became physical again .. she picked up a second cell phone for him as he never called her on his cell only from a pay phone. He and OW saw each other for 3-5 days about twice a year until last year .. I felt him start to pull away in 2009 .. but didn’t find any thing that added up ..
        Last year on our 50 th wedding anniversary we took a trip and I began to have strong feelings of abandonment.. then I saw him go into our bedroom and close the door .. watched him put something in a drawer .. next day found the 2nd phone .. confrontation ..he admitted to having a “best friend” and that it was same OW told him to leave marriage was over .. he told me again was ending A ..and asked for a year to prove that he was sincere about breaking off contact.. so now 14 months later we are still together .. he has been upfront about all his contact with OW even going back to the earlier A with her .. he was this woman’s knight in shining armor.. he was supporting her.. bought her a condo, car .. the list goes on .. he was successful in a business venture and was able to move money around to give to her.. I have told him he is free to leave .. we are both back in Counseling different counselors .. and so far it appears to be working .. the OW has tried calling .. I had a lawyer write her a letter.. so everyday is hard .. I obviously am hurting I am thankful that my husband is finally being truthful.. some days are OK others are awful.
        My telling you my story is be aware the OW in your life may contact you .. they have no self esteem and are pond scum ..they want my or your wife’s life ..

        • digital age

          Hurting, thank you for the reply. I do appreciate the story and warning that the OW may try to contact me. I hope that doesn’t happen, but I think I will be more prepared now.

      • Trustless

        DA –

        I have a lot of respect in that fact that you recognized and took action to stop what was happening. We both know that doesn’t mend the hurt that it caused and wish you well in that process.

        I agree with those that said this woman was not your friend.

        Good luck in the repair process! I hope you can both find healing and peace of mind.

    • Losing Patience

      I am having a really bad week. I thought I was handling things fine–I moved three thousand miles away, started a new life, new job, great place with lots of friends around– and my depression finally went away. This week, tired of being lonely and get half-truths from an estranged husband who won’t end the affair or our marriage, I joined an online dating site. I don’t know if it’s the possibility that once I start dating I will not want to ever return to my marriage, but I was back to the panic attacks and stress I had after DD2. I have no appetite, I am super stressed, and I am depressed again. I have no idea why this is happening. I’ve had several nice gentlemen reach out to meet up, but I have no interest.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Losing Patience
        I’m so sorry to hear that. Do you have someone you can talk to?? Are you seeing a counselor, that can help?

        • Losing Patience

          No, I haven’t seen anyone about this recently and your question is a good one because I have been thinking about how badly I need to talk to someone.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Losing Patience
            I hope you do…..this is just far to difficult to manage on your own. Your husband has you living in limbo by not giving up the affair or giving you a divorce. No one deserves that. Have you received any legal advice regarding getting a divorce?

            • Losing Patience

              Shifting Impressions,

              I filed for divorce after the first DD, but wayward husband wanted to work on the marriage, never telling me that he hasn’t ended the affair. Later after his mistress found out he was still “seeing” his wife (the nerve of the man!), she demanded he countersue me for divorce, which he did. The legal work went no where, as I did not have money to pursue it and he wasn’t interested in pursuing a divorce or even a mediation. He is in a state of paralysis and can’t make any decisions.
              I have scheduled an appointment with an infidelity specialist for Friday. Wish me luck.

      • Hurting

        Hi .. right now concentrate on healing yourself .. look to meet potential friends who have similar interests .. give yourself time before dating .. see a lawyer about a divorce.. This time is about you .. you had a bad experience and healing takes time .

        • Losing Patience


          I actually made a decision to do all of that last night, with the exception of a lawyer. That will happen when I can afford to do it.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Losing Patience
            That sounds good….I wish you all the best on Friday!!!

    • Jodie Smith

      When does the pain stop? I seem to be in this roller coast of emotions! Either crying over everything, or angry all the time. Especially when I ask questions as to why the affair happened. I usually get I don’t know! And then an argument happens. All I want are answers and I feel I will never get them.

      We have both agreed that we want to work on our marriage, but at the same point I wonder why? He has apologized, but if I ask the question why, then I’m living in that moment. It really makes me wonder if I have fully forgiven for the betrayal. It also makes me wonder if I really want my marriage.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I feel your pain…’s a long and difficult process, there is no doubt about it. You don’t say how long it’s been since d-day.

        In my opinion forgiveness is a process. And yes we need to ask ourselves the hard questions such as “if the marriage is what we really want”. It’s okay to have all of these doubts and feelings. It’s okay to grieve the loss of trust and feel all of the anger and pain.

        Take care

      • Trustless

        Jodie – In looking back at the old open Mic conversations, I remember reading yours back in July of 2020. Perhaps because the timing was similar to mine and I was asking the same questions you asked.

        I eventually stopped asking questions as I was given the same answers over and over. I’m in a bit of a better place now. I’ve learned how to control much of the emotional reaction those “non-answers” give me.

        Hope you have found a better place as well.

    • Trustless

      Hello –

      It’s been just about 10 months since he actually admitted to the affair. It was by his account, Less than 2 months that he was involved with her. He had an accident leaving her apartment and that “opened his eyes”. Previous to that day, he had been on me endlessly about being in love with my Ex still. He was going to a therapist about this. One day he accused me again. I said, “what can I do to make it more comfortable to you. I will send you the passwords to ALL my online accounts. In return I want you to give me access to your online phone records.” I did this because I long had suspected he was accusing me because of his own behavior. Over a period of two weeks, he gave in more and more and eventually the phone records reviled that he was “talking and texting” 5 different woman, including his ex wife, another that he had slept with while we were broken up for 4 weeks, a cousins wife, a local truck stop attendant and the one that he was currently having sex with. There is so much to the story, but at that point he finally admitted the 2 sexual affairs and the other E.A.s. He then went into intense therapy and took a good look at himself and decided that he didn’t want to live that way anymore. He has been on the straight and narrow since then, about 10 months. I have access to all his accounts. His phone records show he isn’t talking and texting anyone inappropriate. If he is, he is using an app that I don’t know about or has a burner phone.

      I don’t trust him. I’ve chosen to give him a chance and try to move on, but I do not trust him and truth is, I might not ever. I’ve been to a counselor and feel I got very little out of it overall, other than I have to understand that the “why he did it” doesn’t matter as long as he has changed. I disagree and feel the why is a huge issue that needs to be determined as much as possible. He said the why is “because he was a shitty person”. That’s a given, not a why.

      Where are you in your recovery? Looking back, where were you at 10 months post DD? I have good days and I have bad days. When I try to talk to him about any detail, he tells me I’m living in the past and should focus on the future and that he has changed for us. This infuriates me more. I feel like he shouldn’t have a say in how I deal with it. He also tells me I should be moving forward faster than I am. What has your experience been at 10 months? thanks in advance.

      • k

        This will seem a sharp and snarky response, but I don’t mean it that way. The truth is that I no longer remember 10 months from that time.

        Years out from it, if I could advise my then-self now, I would tell her — and you — to hold that man accountable in all ways. When he says you’re not healing fast enough? Instill a new rule: he pays you cash equal to each of your therapy sessions, up front. He doesn’t just pay for the therapy; he pays you equal the money to go to it and through it. Every session.

        Something something investment, here. He’s the reason you need it? He can pay you to do it.

        If I had, I’d be sitting on $$$K right now. No joke.

        Some of his words sound like beliefs that can be calibrated through marital counseling, if you can find a counselor who is smart and sure. They’re not exactly a dime a dozen.

        Some of it sounds irredeemable. This community doesn’t seem specific to porn or sex addiction, but that’s the havoc in my story and that’s what your h’s behavior and attitude sounds like to me.

        For sure, it sounds like *he* has a TON of self work to do. That’s not on you, so when he tries to make you seem the problem, tell him No.

        If it does have a porn addiction component, Covenant Eyes has a good recovery guide for wives. It’s sort of just a starter, but can be helpful to confirm you’re not crazy, your feelings are natural and reasonable and very common, and to provide some direction and guidance on how to handle or negate the gaslighting and projection.

        Wishing you the very best; trust your own sense, and seriously, make him pay cash to you for whatever recovery you are pursuing. He has to invest in it somehow and in a way that affects him so that he understands he’s really hurt you.

        • Trustless

          k- Thanks for the reply and no, I don’t feel it was snarky, just honest, which right now I can use. Although I tend to agree with you that there is some sort of addiction (given the number of relationships he had going on) to sex..or maybe just attention and the thrill of the chase? At any rate, there certainly was something messed up inside him.

          I suggested that he pay me for all the therapist appts that I’ve gone to (he did pay the clinic for most of my appts already) and told him I wanted to be reimbursed at the same rate he paid for the appts and he went to the bank and got me the money. Lol – not that it’s funny, but it still makes me laugh.

          He is working on himself. I believe that, but no one can ever say for how long and to what extent. I did actually see him cry tears the other night though, which is a first. So that leads to the bigger question, can a person like him really make a lifestyle change?

          Again – thanks for the response. It’s good to get others perspectives.


      • Shifting Impressions

        I also found it completely infuriating when he would say he “just wanted to move on”. It has been close to seven years since D-day for me but I remember those first years well.

        That first year I found it hard to sleep and was completely devastated. I’m sure I cried everyday for three years. After that I was left with a deep sadness. Slowly and I mean very slowly I started to allow myself to be happy again. I found it to be a tremendous roller coaster ride of emotions…..often one step forward and two steps back.

        I went for individual counseling because my husband refused to go for counseling. I confided in a few close friends and educated myself on the subject. I think coming here and reading the different stories was really helpful. This site became somewhat of a lifeline.

        It took about two years before I saw true remorse in my husband. The conversations were difficult and painful. So often he just wanted to move on.

        He has absolutely no right to tell you that your recovery is moving too slowly for his liking. In my opinion there is simply no shortcut. Give yourself permission to grieve….to feel the pain. Stuffing it all down will just backfire.

        Take care…..we are here for you.

        • Trustless

          S. I. –

          Thanks for your response. Its nice to be in a place where I know others have felt the pain I have. Its a crappy common thread to share but it a common thread never the less.

          Fortunately, he is doing the right things. When I first backed him into a corner, he denied it all, gas-lit and blame shifted and stone walled. He lied, he had his mother scolding me, he tried just about ever tactic to not have to admit it. When he finally did admit (what I knew all along) he was sexually involved, I was sitting in a meeting with colleagues and he text me. It was just another cowardly act on his part to not have to deal with the situation. The first full week that he held out on the admission, he was 7 hours away, holed up at him mother’s house and who knows, maybe even his AP’s place. For me, that torture of lies and deceit and trying to make it my fault, is far worse than the actual sex act. I believe that there is something evil in a person that can do that. Perhaps that is why, I’m ambivalent to believe his change is for real. Time will tell and I often wonder if he, after what he has done is worth the waiting around for him to prove himself.

          He went to a counselors appt early this week and came home and apologized for pushing me, for expecting me to be on the same timeline as him and so maybe he will keep that in mind. I struggle with him telling me how anything should be his way. The other day he said to me “you really dont’ care about my feelings do you”. I laughed out loud at him. How in the world could he even think to say something like that?

          I’ve been working with a counselor as well and we’ve done a few appts together. COVID slowed that process down, but we will start up again in a week.

          I am taking myself back. I’m going to take the time I need and I’m going to be myself and I am going to worry about me. He’s going to have to walk a thin and narrow line for a long time, maybe forever if he wants to be with me. He made his choice and now he can deal with the ramifications.

          Again – thanks so much for your comments. It is so very important to know that there are others that suffered and made it through!


    • Pam

      Trust less
      I want to piggyback in SI’s response as our story has many parallels especially the length of time since final D day. If I’d been aware of this group and it’s insights, at 10 months post Dday, my responses to my husband would have been very different. and perhaps my recovery shorter. I was feeling as you but didn’t have the support nor self assurance to confront and demand the behaviors and actions you are. Bravo to you! I was midway through cancer treatment and reconstruction surgeries at our 10 month point and discovered the EA had not stopped, only slowed. It took his forced retirement and leaving the area for it to end. In that regards you are ahead of the game and I admire you for setting boundaries and seeking support early.
      All of this is to say, from my perspective 7 years out, the sooner you set boundaries and expectations the better but there is no timetable. Not trusting 10 months later is absolutely normal, only you can tell if his actions and responses are helping you regain your trust. You work through what you need from him at your pace, not his.
      My husband still does not want to talk about the EA but now it is more about reliving his shame.
      My best wishes to you both.

    • Trustless

      Pam – Thanks so much for your reply. I’m so very sorry that on top of your illness you had to deal with the ramifications of his selfishness. I hope that your health is good and you have found joy in life again.

      I’m not sure where you found the strength to get through all of it. It is so exhausting and draining to just deal with the infidelity, let along the physical illness. You must be a very strong willed person.

      I am strong willed and I fear this might be the thing that won’t let me move from ambivalence to trusting again…an example…when he says “I was a crappy person then and I did have an affair, but I don’t know why.” I do not accept this as him “owning” it or taking responsibility for it. To me that is an admission. Nothing more. We had a fight about it the other day…and this is what I said…”when you exchanged phone numbers…you made a choice and did it because you wanted to. When you engaged in texting and phone calls…you made a choice to do what you wanted. When you put yourself in a position to be with her…same story, right up to having sex. Your desire, your choice. So don’t insult my intelligence by telling me you don’t know why”. He did finally say yes that he would not have done it if he didn’t want to. Although he still says he doesn’t know why. I’m just so fed up with the lies and lies and lies. I do think he is trying to change who he is and he said he finally realized that he needed to one day after one of his early counseling appts. He said that he thought about his daughters being with a man like him and decided that would be the most horrible thing in the world. Hmm. No kidding and big epiphany I guess.

      I have stopped worrying about his time line. Reading the responses here, I realize that no one can tell me when or how to get thru this. lastly him. Time and his behavior will tell me…but again, I think of the what ifs often and struggle with making myself available to that world of hurt again.

      Thanks again!

    • Connie

      My spouse cheated on me. He’s acknowledged what he did. Apologized, but has made little other effort toward healing our marriage. i have gone to counseling myself ( he feels it’s not needed), but have since had to stop because I’ve maxed out my credit card going and being on a fixed income, it;s hard to make ends meet. I’ve had to initiate everything from broaching the issue to counseling for myself, to buying marriage self help books, but I do not get much input from him at all. I’ve journaled all my thoughts, and shared them with him. Because usually when I try to talk to him about it, I get stonewalled and shut out, I’ve written him letters, sent emails and that’s all I get from him is that him and her ” Got over, put it in the past and moved on with their lives, and I need to do that too”. Then he tells me that If I would have done something like that to him he would have forgiven me. Well, I have forgiven him! and I faced her and forgave her too. Not because they apologized (because she didn’t) or that they acknowledged it, but because I love my husband deeply , and my heart needs peace. He wouldn’t support me when I went to do my forgiveness (for lack of a better word) confrontation, because he said she already got over it and wouldn’t remember and he didn’t want to hurt her or get her mad. That was very hurtful because to me it seemed that he still cared more about her than he does me (even though he says he wants us to heal and save our marriage) He’s called me her name when we were making love. Another hurtful thing. I’ve tried telling him that sometimes memories will trigger my hurt, and I need to talk about it. He won’t listen. He thinks just apologizing is enough and I need to get over it. I feel like when you are the one who was betrayed, you will be forgiving over and over and over again, maybe several times a day, because of the triggers that can happen at any time. A thought, a word, a feeling: the hurt is always there. I feel like I’m doing marriage alone. Sometimes, I feel like I should just get over …US.. and move on with my life to heal alone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.