It’s time to discuss what’s going on, share your struggles, your successes and support each other.

open mic #45

By Linda & Doug

It’s been a while since our last Open Mic.  So, let’s do it!

In case you didn’t know, or are new to our site, the Open Mic 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!)
  • 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 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!

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.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

 

 

    29 replies to "Open “Mic” #45 – Share. Discuss. Support."

    • NavigatingTheRazorsEdge

      We’ve been married almost 30 years. At the beginning of the pandemic, he came to me and confessed he had very strong feelings for a younger coworker he worked closely with. He reassured me he still “cared” about me. It was “I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore” although he didn’t say the words. I was devastated. Looking back, we can both see all the things that lead to this disconnection and that we both continued equally to it.

      He wanted to stay married but wanted also to enjoy this “amazing” friendship. He wanted us all to be friends. The problem of course was that he was deeply in the limerence/affair fog and wanted to continue having her as his main emotional connection and me to be okay with that, not for us all to be “friends”. They were texting all the time. He was full of stories about how wonderful she was. It was excruciating. He thought if he exposed me to it enough I would get used to it. That was an unfortunate strategy.

      It came to a crisis point and we went to a gottman therapist. We did the evaluation and she said we weren’t good candidates because the affair was still ongoing (obviously). He was stunned. He refused to give up this relationship that made him feel so good and he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong because it was not sexual, he had told me about it and he wasn’t hiding anything.

      He thought I didn’t care about his feelings at all. He said they were not pursuing each other romantically but that she did enjoy his attention. He said he did not confide in her about his feelings or what was happening in the marriage and he could not see the issue and did not want to give up the good feelings when he didn’t know if we were ever going to work out. (he didn’t say that at the time). They were “just friends”. I felt he was pouring all his emotional energy into someone else when he really should have been pouring it into us and resented it terribly.

      I knew him well enough that I knew he would leave and not frame the situation as what it really was. I felt he needed to remember how good we really were together and that I needed more time to get us shifted. I agreed that if he would work on our relationship we would try to get to a place that a friendship between the three of us was possible – I really did try to be open to that. We went back to our therapist and after much discussion she agreed to start the process.

      Looking back, I think it was the right thing to do because he was so disconnected from me I don’t believe he would have come to his senses. However, it made for a very painful process. Our connection did grow again but in the shadow of the giddy connection to her. He was still very focused on keeping her in his life as a “friend”. About six months in, I could not take it anymore and told him it was over. A lot of damage was done up until this point that echoes today. He was still turned towards her instead of me. This time he was shook up and did not want to separate . He agreed to boundaries with her and giving up on the idea of us all being friends. This is when his connection to her started getting sorted out. She also got into a relationship a few months later and has moved in with the boyfriend so I’m sure that helped too.

      Cue the next 18 months of working hard in therapy, getting closer but having triggers because he still worked with her. He says now he sees how much he hurt me and is remorseful for what happened and that she isn’t as wonderful as he first thought. He says he is committed and doesn’t know what he would do without “us”. I do feel his love has shifted back to me and his feelings for her toned way down.

      But life is complicated and while we are so, so much better and more connected than we were, I still don’t feel secure while she is in the picture – I have never been able to truly settle because there hasn’t been a clear endpoint of the affair. We continue to struggle over occasional interactions with her, my inability to feel safe and his frustration with that. He feels he’s doing everything he can. We agreed he could keep his job and we knew no one would be 100% happy with this (me that he still sees her and he that he can’t be close friends with her). I have been trying to play the long game and keep building us up while waiting for his retirement which will happen in a few years but this has been exhausting.

      I am fearful that another crisis point is coming. He is a very much not a person to deal with his emotions until he is “on fire” and I think he’s going to be “on fire” pretty soon. She is leaving the company shortly and it will finally be a “no contact” situation. Up until now he’s had his daily fix of her and soon he won’t.

      I was initially thrilled but now I suspect we’re going to be in for a bit of a rough ride through a grieving process. I have clearly told him if he wants to remain in a relationship with me, he cannot be friends with her outside of work. Now the work friendship is ending. We talked about his social media connections to her which have always made me crazy but I have agreed to as long as there’s an open phone policy, he doesn’t interact with her in any way (text, Instagram, Facebook) and he tells me immediately if she sends anything to him. He does all this and I verify every now and then. Still feels like he’s getting his “fix”.

      Now that’s she’s leaving, I have said I’d like him to close these all down. He is resistant and doesn’t see the harm. He claims he’s been trustworthy, nothing is going to change, he won’t be contacting her etc and that I’m being controlling and telling him what to do. This does not make me feel good at all. I feel it’s the “open door”. He feels she’s ‘just a friend’ now and that she is just someone he’ll always feel connected to but he loves me and is connected to me. He says he’s entitled to his own feelings which of course he is but so am I.

      We are at an impasse over something so foolish. If he’d do this on his own my trust levels would increase exponentially. He says we don’t even know if it’ll be a problem yet. He says he would do the right thing if she does contact him and cut it off before it hurts us. I am afraid he will rationalize contacts as being no big deal while I then continue in this never ending hyper-vigilance..

      I am ready to hold firm on the boundary. I can’t do this anymore if it continues past the end of her working there. I need an end point even if it means its of my marriage. I am in it for the long haul, I am committed, I have given my all and don’t want to give up on this but I can’t continue if she is still in contact with him.

      We have a therapy session coming up in a couple of months (we have gone from weekly, to twice a month, to monthly to every 3 months) but I will schedule it sooner if contact occurs and this blows up.

      I often waiver over “can’t you just be happy with how good it is right now and trust that he isn’t going to fall back into it” and it is a struggle. He is wonderful in so many ways – we have rebuilt back so much. It’s too much to explain here – I’ve already written a book! But I just can’t be okay with it. And in my worst moments, his resistance poisons how I feel about him. I’m sure he says the same about my resistance to the friendship

      No one knows but our therapist. She has raised the issue of how hard it is for him to identify his feelings and deal with them. She has suggested to him that maybe he finds it hard to understand my feelings because he believes he wouldn’t feel that way if the positions were reversed and perhaps that’s denial so he doesn’t have to feel the shame of it. I do feel he’s unaware of feelings and how to process them which I think puts him at great risk when he interacts with her. I also feel he thinks he’s morally superior and would never let a physical affair happen but I also think pride goes before a fall. It’s very complicated.

      Please don’t tell me what I should have done, I am navigating this razor’s edge as best I can. Any support would be welcome. It’s been a hard go. I could use a kind word.

      • Vickie

        You sound like a very amazing woman to me. Your husband is clearly in a fog and doesn’t see this. I think he thinks he has you where he wants you. The old saying having his cake and eating it too. He seems to have no fear you will leave and everyone has their total breaking point and you will have yours too. Maybe he needs to know you will have a breaking point. Once you get there it is a point of no return. I was in a similar situation with my husband in a emotional affair. I found out rather fast . I couldn’t in anyway leave for several reasons and he knew this. I said cut off all contact, Social media, calls, texts and everything except if he had to be involved in a work meeting with her. And I wanted to know if this happened.I would ask if he was in any virtural meetings with her since he was working from home and he said know several times. Finally he confessed and he had no choice for her to be in these meetings. I said. If there is any contact sociss add Lily Iam done. I may not be able to leave but I will crump and in no way be invested in my marriage anymore. We did therapy with 2 people. Both were horrible and did nothing but excuse my husbands actions and made me feel it was my fault. It’s been5 yrs since the emotional affair, I still can’t completely get past this. My trust broken and without a effective therapist I feel nothing will change. I hope you can get back into your therapist and break the cycle while you are still invested. I don’t want you to get where I am, Without a good therapist I feel my feelings are somewhat dead. That’s not a good feeling. Again. You are amazing and I hope you can work through this so your husband can see this.

        • NavigatingTheRazorsEdge

          Thank you Vickie for your very kind reply. I am so sorry you’re hurting and after such a long time – that must also be exhausting. It really sucks.

          I have to say that the Gottman therapy certainly does not take the approach that it is your fault. In the beginning the focus was very much on the damage done by going outside of the partnership — it’s atone, attune, attach. We spent a really, really long time in the atone phase because it took a long time for him to turn the ship around and start turning towards me again. And I am lucky that he was willing to spend the time in therapy but of course if he didn’t he did know I was out the door.
          Also lucky we had a great therapist. Take a look at Gottman’s “what makes love last” book – that was the first book our therapist recommended.

          We will definitely be in for another therapy session – we have one booked for July. I just haven’t figured out if I need to pull the fire alarm yet and do an emergency session. I felt very discouraged when I wrote the post so thank you for the support you offered, it helps.

    • Annoyed

      I think an emergency visit to your therapist is in order. You are amazing! The way you’ve handled everything sounds brave and wise to me. I’d keep those boundaries. He’s still in the fog and you don’t deserve to be treated this way.

      • NavigatingTheRazorsEdge

        Thank you so much for the kind words – they made me cry a little bit. This whole thing is so unbelievably hard. I was very discouraged when I posted. It’s so nice to be validated, lol!

        We have a session booked in July and it might just be too far away. We’re in the stage where we’re trying hard to use the technique’s taught to us to be able to resolve conflicts ourselves because that’s kind of the point but this feels pretty big to me. I’m just not sure at what point to pull the fire alarm and get us back in session.

        I think I’m going to have to wait until first contact is made after she leaves – right now, nothing has happened other than his unwillingness to give up social media connections to her even though he has agreed to no contact via these channels. (It’s crazy, I know… I’m doing my best to work with what I’ve got). Once she leaves and she reaches out to him I will have a leg to stand on and say I’m not willing to have that happen – he has to shut the channels down completely. I know this assumes he’ll be truthful about it in the first place – and so far he has been honest about things.

        I am keeping the boundary of no contact outside of work and once she leaves there is no reason for contact at all. I know after all this time that if I don’t it just means I’ll be giving up on myself and I will be miserable – it’ll wind up ending us anyways. It’s so hard.

        We are great in so many ways or this wouldn’t be at all worth it. He has done so much of what was necessary to put her out of the picture and he says he does it because he doesn’t want to lose me. He feels he has moved her way back to a friend position and she is no longer a threat. He swears he loves me and is committed to me and knows he hurt me badly but is frustrated because he can’t change what happened, thinks we can only move forward. He thinks I am stuck. I don’t think I am. I think he just doesn’t truly get it. He is also very independent and hates any whiff of “control” – I can only work it from my side of the fence and say what my boundaries are and give him the choice of what to do.

        We’re in a weird place with him still working with her. Our therapist said she would never recommend what we are doing but it makes sense with him being so close to retiring. We agreed to some guide rails to keep us on track and it mostly works but the price is him never really letting go of her (I think and he disagrees) and me never settling. Therapist says we are doing a hard thing so we have to expect things will be bumpy until an endpoint is reached (originally retirement) so I guess I signed up for this.

        Maybe this is the last twist in the tale and we work through it to a clear place or maybe we’re on our way to the endpoint. I don’t know. I just have to keep breathing!

    • Vickie

      I do have a question. How does one find a effective therapist. My husband had a emotional affair 5 yrs ago. I still can’t work completely past it. He has done everything I asked and done everything to work on this. But I feel more like a roommate as my feelings are still vey lost. We went to two therapists. My husband saw along with me that both seemed to blame his emotional affair directly on me. They both basically said he stopped it so get over it. I was just in shock 2 different therapists acted this way. I have zero clue how to get feelings back for this very good man, not just mid trust . For Goodness sake it’s been 5 years. Why can’t I get past this.

      • NavigatingTheRazorsEdge

        Hi Vickie,

        So sorry you’re going through this. I think you may feel so disconnected because you haven’t been able to fully process what happened and why. Your old relationship died a painful death. You’re probably grieving it. I know I sure did. It makes perfect sense you feel this way after betrayal. Anyone would. You’re not past it because its not past for you yet.

        It’s so important to work with the right therapist. I was seeing a therapist for my own stuff when things blew up between my husband and I and we were lucky that she was Gottman certified and willing to take us on.

        The gottman approach worked wonders for us. They teach you about the sound relationship house and how to grow your connection to each other and get out of that “room mate” cycle of disconnection (we were there too and it totally contributed to the EA).

        You fill out a big questionnaire that helps pinpoint your problem areas and then get to work on them. I think alot of therapists aren’t really equipped to manage marital issues effectively even though they think they are (for example your 2 therapists)

        It was surprisingly simple things that got us to a better place in terms of feelings for each other. Learning about bids for connection, what constitutes “turning towards” your partner, what the 4 horsemen that doom a relationship are and how to fix them (contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling). About making “love deposits” to the love bank. Doing 7 sevens of fondness and admiration (this really had a big impact for us) and on and on.

        All of that happens only after you process the hurt from the infidelity first and you both figure out how you got so disconnected that there was room for someone else. It was hard, painful work and I do think you need a skilled therapist who can help you navigate it. We are still seeing ours and doing the work and as you can see from a post earlier on we are not all the way through it yet.

        But still, the good news is that you can get those feelings back if you are both willing. It is not impossible to turn the ship around but it does take real effort and lots of time.

        Hugs to you.

    • Connie

      Thank you for letting us vent: This is a long one. My husband had an EA over 30years ago. Back in the day when we weren’t really connected to the internet or cell phones! ( yea-the olden days). It was with a co-worker and I only became aware of it when I started receiving phone calls from his other co-workers. When questioned he claimed that those co-workers were just old biddies and he and AP were “just really good friends”. I bought it although now hind sight tells me, I shouldn’t have as he was always comparing me in a negative light to her. Always bragging how wonderful she was. About all the funny things they shared about. As the phone calls continued, I finally confronted him and begged him to stop his involvement with her. I expressed how hurt I was, how painful it was, that he would be so willing to share so much with another woman but not me. He promised to stop, but then 2 weeks later I receive a phone call from the AP, saying it hasn’t stopped and it’s not her fault my husband perfers her to me, and that I can’t keep my husband happy. Another confrontation with lots of tears and lots of anger for all the lies he had told me and all the deceit. Once again another promise, and once again (Gullible me) believing that this time he would keep his word. There was a huge discussion about everything and me asking what I was doing wrong and what I could change. On his part he claimed I was not doing anything wrong and they were “Just friends”. And that it would stop immediately, by the end of the week. On that Friday when he got home from work, He told me it was done. It was over. I wanted to believe and trust him so badly that I bought it. His pattern of behavior changed and he was more attentive and showing care and concern to me and he stopped mentioning her, so I truly believed he had kept his word. ^ months later he quit that job and moved to a different place of employment. I must admit that it still bothered me, during all this time, but he would not discuss anything with me. He always got defensive and angry and claimed “It’s in the past”, “Let it go” “Move on” This pattern of behavior continued for over 30 plus years, when ever I’d bring it up because there were a lot of things we were not dealing with, and that was a big one. I’d questioned, He’d get defensive, and tell me to “Let it go, it’s in the past”! I’d get hurt some more, I’d cry, He’d withdraw and stonewall me for days, weeks on end, even at one point refusing to talk to me, stonewalling me at every turn for over 11 months ( yes~ that long). Finally after I ran out of patience another huge blowup with ultimatums of choices for him to make, but I just gave up and buried that hurt dep in my heart. During this whole time, even though I had had never met his AP, I knew who she was and had accidental encounters with her. She was very confrontational and said many vile things to me. I always chose not to respond and walk away. She even at one point turned me into my boss at the Big Box store where I worked, telling him of my unprofessional behavior. Thank God, There were other employees near by who could back up the truth. But, it ended up leaving my job, because I was so freaked out by her viciousness. 3 years ago after experiencing a family crisis with my son, and dealing with all that stress, I chose to retire early to help out his family as much as I could. After things were back on track for him and he was receiving the help from the VA he deserved, it gave me lots of time to dwell on my issues with his affair that were never dealt with. One morning while watching a gorgeous sunrise, some thought flitted across my mind and all the bottled up raw emotions came flooding out, and it was an ocean of them. I cried for 3 days straight, and then shortly after that I ended up with another encounter, literally in each other’s faces. She spewing all kinds of new information at me, that I was unaware of and me spewing things I should never had said. After telling my husband about it and his totally dismissive attitude, that ate at me for a long time. I felt I needed to apologize to her, and because she had called me a few times, I had her number and ask if we could please make apologies. ( I know, big mistake, Hind sight is 20/20). She agreed, that we should all meet, but my husband would not support me or go along with it. He once again got very, very defensive, Told me that both he and she got over it, put it in the past and moved on and that I needed to learn to do that too. Well, I should have known better because that turned in a huge crapshow, I extending my forgiveness, explaining that I needed to find forgiveness with what happened so I could move on , and her spewing more details and vile names and vicious insults at me. let that in a puddle of tears. When I shared with my husband what all resulted and expressed that I wish he would have gone with me to support me because her husband was there and he was very supportive to both of us. He gave no response, refused to discuss it and stonewalled me for about a month. When I pushed him for a response he got very defensive, Blamed me and the marriage, told me that both he and his AP had moved on, put it in the past, gotten over it and that I needed to get over it too. I sought counseling and because he claimed he didn’t need any and could figure out how to fix our problems on his own it was a waste of time and money, I stopped begging him for support and to go with me. Long, hard road to walk alone, but I walked it with God by my side. Throughout this whole time, he continued to drag his feet. I bought tones of books, watched lots and lots of podcasts, took online courses, So grateful to have found this site. It’s been my lifeline. I did a lot of begging again for him to start reading the books, go to counseling, watch the pod casts to no avail, It took a long time and I don’t know what prompted him to start working on the healing process but he did begin to read the books and watch the podcasts, although still refusing counseling, but I was willing to accept that for that time. It finally seemed like we were finally on the right road to recovery so we finally went on a vacation for the first time in over 20 years. A nice quiet cabin on the lake where we could talk about our future and set goals and make plans. During one of our conversations, I think in a moment of his weakness, he let it slip that he had continued that Affair with her for another 6 months until he quit his job there. I was devastated and when I expressed this all he said “Sorry, I thought you knew”. Through out this whole time I have continued encounters with her, and each time she has been vile and vicious and verbally abusive, one to the point where she and a friend of hers followed me around a grocery store making cow and pig noises and me and making fun of my weight and my frumpiness. Yes, I have gained quite a bit of weight due to aging and stuffing my feelings with food, but I am learning to deal with my emotions in a healthy matter and I have been dropping the weight off. ( that insult really hurt though because my husband had mention my weight in the past and it really bothered me, so that set me off a little. I chose to not react to their childishness and left the store, which caused them to follow me to the door and laugh at me as I was leaving. Cried all the way home. I did share with my husband all the encounters, but he never said anything, no response at all , just a dismissive attitude. I contacted law enforcement but unless I had proof there was not much they could do. My husband finally realized that counseling might help him, but he never set up an appointment with anyone until I found one for him and set up the appointment. He went twice and that’s been it. Meanwhile I’ve had to initiate all our discussions, buying and giving him the books to read, finding the podcasts for him. I had thought we were making so much progress although i still haven’t come to terms with The last exposed lie of him continuing the affair. I have chosen not to do anything in the city where i know she lives. I avoid going anywhere near anything in or around that area. i feel like it’s her battlefield and if i enter it I’m fair game. A few weeks ago I was with some friends in a town that i felt was safe and far enough away from where she lived. Apparently not as she saw me but didn’t approach me (that’s a plus). But then I began getting texts asking me questions about if I knew the truth about him and what he was really like. Showed them to my hubby and ask him if he had gotten any. texts. He said yes, but then changed the subject to his boss, so I assumed the text was from his boss. ( stupid me). Finally the following day he came home and told me he had gotten a text and he assumed it was from so he didn’t respond, just deleted it. I was upset that he didn’t share it with me and let me see it. He didn’t feel I had any reason to be upset at all. He claimed he wasn’t going to deal with her, do he deleted her out of his life. Then the following day i get a ton of forwarded texts to him from someone (her or her friend) asking him if he told me the truth, If I knew all that went on, if I knew he was then one who instigated the affair, if I knew that he told her that when we were making love he fantasized about her and called me her name. did I know all the personal stuff he shared with her about us and how much he wanted to be with her and not me. I couldn’t comprehend it. I thought we were on the road to complete honesty and total transparency yet here he is deleting texts, not being supportive when I got the texts and asking for clarification. It feels like he is still protecting (even if it’s subconsciously) the fantasy of the affair and his affair partner. Every time something like this happens he always says, Next time i will support you I will defend our marriage to her, I will tell her that you are the one I want to be with and tell her to leave us the hell alone. But why doesn’t he then and now it feels too little too late. I love him but I don’t know how much more i can take, and I’m struggling .

      • LisaE

        Connie, Affairs are the strangest and most hurtful of beasts! So much you said was so familiar and some of it was shocking (wonder how that could be seeing and hearing what I have)!
        Wouldn’t it be nice to have the thoughts and feelings that our unfaithful spouse has/had so we could have a glimpse of what they feel/felt. The opposite would also be nice, they could have the thoughts and feelings we are having of being betrayed. It would make things so much easier.
        I pray every day, sometimes multiple times for those going through this AND ESPECIALLY for those that have just found out–God help them!
        I understand to my core you loving your husband and not feeling that enough has been given to you by him.
        My prayers that you will get your heart’s desires.
        Lisa

    • Lisa E

      I discovered my husband’s “friend” on July 10, 2021. He finally admitted to a sexual affair with her in mid-August but could not tell me everything until December 2021. (I’m putting things in extreme short format)! This affair lasted 1 1/2 years and he was still communicating with her 2 months after he was caught. The grief, betrayal, and mental anguish has been overwhelming. How my husband cannot see the devastation is beyond me. He has tried to do the right thing but he is so on and off and wishy-washy.
      After months of yelling and lying, he admitted in December 2021 he bought her a Birthday gift. Another long story. Her BD is 20 days after mine (mine 7/6 her 7/21) and he forgot mine, but opened a secret account bought her a watch, closed the account once it arrived, hid it and gave it to her for her BD. (The affair had already been discovered when this happened). He will not say why he bought the gift. He comes up with the most ridiculous comments which I assume he thinks I am stupid! YOU KNOW WHY YOU BUY A GIFT FOR SOMEONE!!!
      When I need him to sit with me and be there in my grief, anger, hurt…he shrinks away.
      I have done things that are so opposite of who I am–drinking uncontrollably, taking medications to sleep, keep panic/anxiety attacks at bay, sleeping and crying for days on end. . .
      On Feb. 19th I committed suicide. I don’t say “attempted” because had my husband not found me when he did, without question I would be dead. I died and was resuscitated 3 times. For 4 days they were uncertain I would live and what damage there might be if I did. I am for the most part fine (meaning no physical or debilitating neurological damage).
      I tell this because the result still baffles me. When I say to my husband, I am in such grief and you don’t get it. His response has been, “Yeah, well I got it when I saw you hanging from the rafters!” I can’t understand that??? All that happened before the suicide and you didn’t get it until then…and what has changed?
      We started seeing a therapist that uses the Gottman method. I am not sure what to think yet. We have done the assessment and had our individual appt.’s. and seen her together twice.
      This week, for the 1st time since last fall, I spent a day out by myself. This was a HUGE deal for me! I would have horrible anxiety/panic attacks before. So to make these plans was a big step. My husband has accused me that I don’t want him to have friends or do anything. SO, another HUGE deal. I told my husband I was going to be gone from 10:30a.m. to probably 4:30 p.m. and he should call the guys and get together (this was 4 days before I would be gone). HUGE! For me it showed him I was trusting and wanted him to be with friends!
      He made no plans, telling me he doesn’t like to make advance plans! He then tells me he called a neighbor at 1:30 and they couldn’t get together but could tomorrow. SO, the man who doesn’t like to make advance plans made advance plans (duh)!
      Now, he tells me he will not give up partying! I was in shock! He is nearly 66y.o. and he tells me he feels it is entirely in order for him to “party” 3 times a week. He says, “call it a character flaw but I don’t feel anything wrong with this.”
      We were at the therapist the next day and, of course, this came up. This is the very way the affair issue came up before. My husband had friends that he would go out with. One moved back to Europe and so 2 were left. Those friend didn’t want to party as much and so my husband started going by himself and hooked up with a MUCH younger single group and eventually started an affair. He doesn’t understand why this grieves me!
      Because of my suicide attempt the therapist had to ask if I was o.k. to be at home.
      My husband tells her he is there for me and will be beside me—I sit alone.
      He left the house not 3 hours after we came home. He called the police to stop by and do a “wellness check” while he stood outside (about an 1hr. after he packed up and left). I haven’t seen or heard from him since. He didn’t take his phone (I had broken it), no call to see if I am o.k. –nothing.
      How am I supposed to view his commitment and care???? I am devastated!!!

      • RandomOptimism

        Lisa, I am so sorry you have been through all this. You have been treated so badly and he is not showing you the respect, care and acknowledgment you deserve. He is not with you in your pain, pain that is so understandable after years of being with this man, he has torn your reality apart. No wonder you are full of panic and anxiety, I still suffer that way too. Do whatever you can to build yourself up, do the things you love, spend time with supportive people and those you can have fun with. Find yourself again and when you feel ready think about what life might be like without him because at the moment he is really showing that he does not care. I went through a long process of waiting for my husband to get it. I feel like it would have been better for me and my esteem and self if I could have seperated myself from him and his selfishness long ago. Sending you good wishes.

    • Billy

      I feel for all that commented above, unfortunately I know how badly this feels.

      D-Day for me was 1/2/22, I had reason to be suspicious as I had seen some inappropriate texts that I obviously wasn’t supposed to see, one from a man in her hometown in another state where he was replying to something she said with “can’t wait to be inside you”. Who TF is this guy??? She played it off as an old childhood friend who was known for being inappropriate, when asked what message she sent to garner such a response I was told she commented on a softball game he mentioned on FB. I had to ask what she sent because there was no message history with him on FB messenger. That was August, and there were several disagreements about this over the next few months. Week after Christmas she was to go to her hometown to care for her brother after surgery, I asked when dropping her at the airport if she would see Mark her immediate answer was no, he’s in Cancun. When questioned about how she knew that it was clear she was lying. Great, I thought… She was tough to maintain contact with that week and on Saturday I just had a bad feeling so that evening I logged the desktop computer into her FB Messenger account. Immediately there are messages with a different guy who she had been messaging in the past – not what I expected to find. Those took place sporadically through the evening, each being deleted immediately. At 1:30 am the messages started from Mark. She never responded to a text I sent at 12:30 but answered his immediately at 1:30 am, he was letting her know when he’d arrive back from Cancun. He was looking forward to seeing her, but he wanted a shower first. Said he had a large shower with two heads and he’d pick her up and they could shower together? Just an idea he said. Sounds good she said. My world ended… It went on from there, I watched as they conversed in real time, again with messages being deleted as they went in and out. I watched, taking screen shots of each one. She offered to go to his house at 11 am the next day, he said whatever you want sweetie, I’m pretty horny though. She said she’d set an alarm for 4 am and he could come by to pick her up giving him her brothers address. After a few minutes of this I texted her, no response. So I FB messaged her and told her to check her texts. I also said to have a great time with him because it cost a LOT.

      My life has been hell since. The first two weeks I kept in all inside me. She swore nothing happened that night, nothing was going to happen, she was going to tell him face to face they couldn’t talk anymore. So, they had been talking since August? What couldn’t go on anymore? Even more reason for me to doubt her. So why would I believe that nothing was going to happen? At that point I got a therapist who calmed me down and gave me things to work on and think about. Was definitely helpful having someone to talk to because my wife refused to talk about it, nothing happened she said I needed to get over it. That continues to this day 🙁

      What’s different this day, nearly 4 months later, I know what I have to do and am ready to take action. I said to her on Sunday that she needed to talk to me and come clean, about everything – she needed to get the taxes done she says, we’ll talk later. It’s now Friday and she has yet to talk to me. I’ve reminded her, she says she knows; told her this has to happen if she wants to stay married to me, she says okay. What she doesn’t know is on Sunday I am leaving if the conversation has not happened. She’s done zero to make this better, not an attempt to repair the damage done, there’s no reason for me to remain.

      Back Story
      The texts had actually starting before we were married. I ignored the red flags and proceeded with the relationship; they were “one offs”, different people, different subjects but still questionable. This started when we were dating, my thought was hey, we’re older – mid 50s – we all have a past and I had exes before that refused to let go.

      After dating for a 1 1/2 years we decided to marry even though we both had said we’d never do it again; this was my dream girl, everything just clicked. I presented her with a diamond yet the texts kept coming, I would catch one every cpl months and maybe steam a little but then blow it off. WS was oblivious playing them off as just friends, inappropriate comments by people she knew from daughters soccer, on and on. There were two men that were constants, one guy she had dated – she said they had one date – and another a father from her soccer team whose relationship I still don’t have a clear understanding of. We were going to a bar to watch a football game, as we got out of my car her phone lit up with “wanna get a hotel room and chill?”. WTF?

      Another, we’ll call Tom, cuz that’s his name, seemed to be in pretty much constant contact. That’s the guy she said was just a friend, they’d only been on one date ever but stayed in touch. This one really irritated me, if you’re friends why is there no text history, no messages in your phone? I’ve got friends with years of text history in my phone? I made clear she could certainly have male friends, I’ve no problem with that but the friendship needs to be in the open, deleted messages signal something not on the up and up. She’d blame her phone for deleting them. Right…

      More messages from more guys over the following year leading up to the wedding. One wondering when she was gonna come back and (censored sex act)? Her response to that was that she was at a family reunion in PA, my family reunion while she’s wearing my diamond. That led to a sob story about he swears he has some video that he’ll show her kids? *the more I write this story I wonder why I continued and got to where I am today?

      We were to get married in Grand Cayman, on the beach, during a cruise. The week before I was at her house and was walking out the door, her phone was on the table there and it lit up with a text from Tom, he answered Sure. Her text prior had been “Want to get a Christmas drink?” My response was what the hell, you ask him for a drink? This friendship is supposed to be in the open, how about WE ALL go get a drink? She said that’s what the “intent” of the text was so I ask why doesn’t it say that?? Tom NEEDS TO GO! The night before we left on the boat a text from Tom pops up, with what I considered an inappropriate meme, this led to a fight – she had told me she cut it off but apparently that was a lie? Rather than cancel the wedding she insisted and promised it was over, there would be no more contact. So we cruised and married.

      The messages never stopped. I’d catch one every so often and blow up and then let it go. I’ve been tolerating this behavior since the beginning, I need to own that. I should have shut them down or the marriage down before it happened. She was messaging guys from years ago I’d find. Is she addicted or just don’t care? Still don’t know.

      I know she won’t talk to me about it, and I’ll be leaving on Sunday. After reading what I wrote here I’m curious as to why I just don’t leave now, what an idiot I’ve been. IF you made it this far, thanks. Turned out to be quite the book didn’t it? The floor is open for questions/comments. Be kind, this is tough. 🙂

      • NavigatingTheRazorsEdge

        Billy, hugs to you. That sounds really terrible. You have been through a lot and it would be enough to make anyone be ready to pack their bags.

        It sounds like you love her and you did your very best. Be gentle with yourself about the past and accepting things from the beginning. You wanted to make it work and you turned a blind eye. Love makes people do crazy things.

        I think you’ve done the right thing by connecting with a therapist. Use that support to help carry you through this difficult time. You need to take good care of you right now. You sound exhausted by it all.

        Take a deep breath. Choose to be on your own side. You’ve given all you can give. You can’t be the one doing all of the work to carry the relationship. You deserve a partner who loves you and does the work.

    • Denise

      I found out about the affair last July. A couple of weeks before our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was someone from work. Started as texts then phone calls. Things weren’t great with us, but I thought we were going through a rough patch. We would fight, and he never wanted to talk.

      Long story short, I saw a number on our phone bill that he had been talking to. Talking for hours all day everyday. So I sent her a text. She denied it, and I told her to leave my husband alone. I confronted him, and got the “we’re just friends” After our anniversary, he told me that it was pretty much over. I believed him, of course. About a week later, I found out he was still talking with her and I left for a couple of days. One night he had to take our dog to the emergency vet (my dogs ok). He left his smart watch at home and it was unlocked. I looked. I couldn’t find her name, but the last text message were to her(under a different name). Thats where I saw him tell her that he loved her. WTF!!! When he got home, I cornered him and made him tell me everything. He told me that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. What a blow that was! We talked and I decided to stay because he agreed to work on our marriage.

      We were spending time together and he eventually started telling me everything. He stilled blamed me for things that I had done and had an excuse for everything. I let him know that I wasn’t giving up without a fight,but it wouldn’t work if he was with her. He’d tell me he didn’t’ want to lose me and he didn’t think things would work out with her in the long run. He was making an effort with me and we had been getting along better than ever. But…he was still spending as much time with her. That hadn’t changed. This had been going on for a while now. I finally came to a point and I gave myself and him a deadline. He didn’t know when it was, but he was going to have to choose. By the time we got close to the holidays, we had a routine. His daughter lives with us the majority of the time and we decided not to tell her. So he was always there when we had her. He would be home with me at least one weekend night. I made him promise he would be home for the holidays. After Thanksgiving she planned a weekend away with him. Things started to change between us. I felt like we had taken 2 steps backwards. When the new year came, he started spending more time with her. He was only home when his daughter was. We were fighting more, and it was like we were starting over. We had been arguing and I brought up the fact how he always forgot we had plans and he’d make plans with her. I got pushed aside every time. He’d comment how he didn’t want to hurt her, but he had no issue hurting me. I had pushed my deadline to the side and forgot about it. I thought things had been going well, minus the couple of mishaps. Then a couple of months ago, we got in a fight and he told me he didn’t want to hurt me anymore. He didn’t want to be with me. He chose her. I was devastated. This hurt more than finding out about the affair. I’ve been lost ever since. Its affecting my work more than ever. I should probably mention that we haven’t been intimate since before the affair. He was tired or I was. I noticed it wasn’t happening, but ignored it I guess.

      Thankfully, I had found this online group and others before this happened. I’ve tried to find a counselor, but I’m now on my 3rd. Their answer is always when I leave and get divorced. Thats not what I want at all. I don’t know what to do. He wants to hang out with me but he wont give her up. As far as he thinks, I’m doing ok with us being done. I keep telling him that we wont ever be friends because she wont allow it. I know it bothers him when I bring up how this is our last birthday together or holiday. Part of me thinks I should just give up. I’m really having a hard time with all of this. The affair has been going on for over a year now. Sorry this is so long.

      • Vickie

        I am terribly sorry for your pain. I pray you can find a therapist or someone to help you through this. You deserve so much better than the torment this man continues to bring to yourself life.

    • Still in pain

      I wish that my wife, and her ap could live and feel the hell they created.
      It’s been 5+ years for me since discovery and I still have flare ups.
      We have both met with individual therapists and upon discovery my wife ended the affair.
      We were working towards our 25th year of marriage when discovery occurred.
      She began an emotional affair with a college partner that led to a full affair a couple years later.
      Her story is she agreed to meet with this individual to discuss abortions she had while they were in college. During this meeting she became emotional and somehow it led to sex between them. She has steadfastly said she never intended to meet for sex – just closure over the abortions. Afterwards they remained in phone / txt contact nearly daily for over a year. She admitted that her ap suggested another sexual meeting but she declined because “that’s not who she is”
      I was notified by an angry family member of her affair and upon initial confrontation she denied anything occurred except for meeting to discuss the abortions. After I researched our phone records she finally admitted that during their meeting “he touched her”
      Where I seem to be stuck at is we both are devoted Christians and have served in ministry for over 30 years- the hypocrisy, the failure to honor our wedding vows. Then, if you were not intending to have sex, how did you get undressed?
      I admit that I still have some anger and disappointment.
      Her therapist suggested there was something lacking in our marriage that allowed her to be vulnerable. I’m ok with that except- I never made the choice to have an affair because something was lacking. The fact then that she remained in contact with the ap.
      She says she regrets terribly her poor choices but where do I /we go from here. We both have said we are committed to our marriage but the hurt is still present.
      Any help, suggestions or positive dialogue is appreciated.
      Just as a point of reference their affair took place in 2015

      • Shifting Impressions

        Still in pain
        I’m not sure if the cheating spouse every really understand the pain and destruction they unleashed when they chose the path of infidelity!! Your therapists comments speaks of blame. It always amazes me when they do that!!!!

        In my own experience recovery is a long, difficult and often lonely journey. I’m sure I cried everyday for the first three years after d-day. There were many sleepless nights. By the fourth year I was left with a deep sadness. It was often one step forward and two steps back.

        Baby steps….slowly and I mean excruciatingly slowly we made it through. D-day was in 2013.

        What kind of things are you doing to help with your recovery?

        • Still in Pain

          Shifting Impressions,
          Thank you for asking what am I doing to help with recovery. My time seems to be stretched. I started a new job and we have recently moved so my last session in therapy has been about a year ago. However, I’ve recently found a new therapist in my area to work with.
          Additionally, I enjoy the area of work I’m in and find time to exercise once a week. At least a couple times a week I’m also able to see the grandkids.
          I believe there is further healing needed along with finding a place for the anger and disappointment that I have.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Still in Pain
            It sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Seeing the grandkids was something that kept me going as well.

            I went for some therapy as well, but to be honest I found that coming to this site probably helped me more than anything. I also did an awful lot of reading on the subject. I also had the support of a few close friends and two of my adult children were particularly helpful.

            It is a long hard journey, there is no doubt about it. Even if the CS does many of the right things we are left fighting a battle of epic proportions!!!

            Looking back, I’m glad I stayed. There was too much good in the relationship to just walk away. As time passed it’s no longer the last thing I think about before falling asleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up. The scars will always be there but the pain has slowly gone away.

            I hope the best for you.

    • Don

      25,years after her affair began, 22 years since it ended, I find a birthday card to her ex affair partner on her desk. When I confront her she blows it off as no big deal, tells me I’m over reacting, and restates the affair was my fault to begin with and my neglect drove her to him both times. How do I get her to understand how wrong this is. I forgave the first time but am not sure I can again.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Don
        The fact that your wife still blames you and takes no responsibility for her own actions speaks volumes!!! I’m not sure what you do with that!!

    • Annoyed

      I think an emergency visit to your therapist is in order. You are amazing! The way you’ve handled everything sounds brave and wise to me. I’d keep those boundaries. He’s still in the fog and you don’t deserve to be treated this way.

    • Anon

      Hoping this thread is still active as I am in desperate need of advice?!

      My partner of 12 years has had an affair with a colleague.

      It was an emotional affair for nearly 18 months to begin with. Whilst I am not excusing his behaviour the ap is incredibly manipulative and eventually became emotionally abusive. He first started talking to her because she had befriended some of his friends at work. This entire time was spent going through cycles of her being demanding or verbally abusive, my partner feeling upset and blocking her, her being ‘nice’ and him talking to her again. The entire time he said that he wanted to work on our relationship but every time he tried to get away from her she tried a different tactic. The first time, she promised just to be friends with him, the second time she started giving gifts and cards to his friends to pass on to him, then she tried to convince him he was unhappy with me, then she changed her shifts and breaks at work to match his, then she repeatedly messaged him telling him I was toxic for him, then she started getting the same bus home as him (even though she drives). Then ultimately she was messaging him up to 40 times a day, regardless of whether he replied, telling him that he was toxic to our relationship, and that he should get with her because he had already ruined our relationship by talking to her.

      This last tactic ultimately worked because he packed his bags and left me to stay with his brother after I had a panic attack. He said so many things that didn’t make sense and almost seemed brainwashed. He told me that she had explained to him that he had never really loved me and that even though he felt like he did it can’t be true because he had spoken to her. He also said that she had explained to him that she was a nice person really she just gets angry when he doesn’t do what she wants.

      It has now been seven months since he left and he has been contacting me on a regular basis since he left. Since Christmas he has been telling me he wants to come home and sort things out with me but has seemingly done nothing about it. At one point he broke down and said that he was so scared of her he feels unable to cut her off. She is also friends with a number of his managers at work and he is scared of the repercussions. She has befriended more of his friends, whilst demanding that he cut others out of his life, and he has said he is worried that she will turn everyone against him.

      He tried to cut things off with the ap in April but she told him that he would never be able to have his life back because he has ruined things beyond repair with me by talking to her. She told him that he is such a terrible person that he would never be able to have a relationship with anyone, but she was willing to look past this and accept him if he agreed to be with her.

      This morning he broke down a bit on the phone with me. He said that he feels like he is stuck in limbo because he really wants to come back and work things out but he feels like he doesn’t deserve it. He said that he is scared that even if things can be good between us again that what he has done wrong will always be in the back of his mind. He feels ashamed and stupid. He worries my family will hate him. He did talk about trying to seek out a counsellor but basically it feels like he has given up.

      I don’t know what to do – is all hope lost, should I just move on without him? Is this a normal feeling/response for people who have cheated? Can it be overcome and are there any specific tools/methods that can help? Is there anything I can do/say to provide reassurance?

    • Eli

      I want to share my story. My husband is 56 years and im 39 years old and we have been married for over 15 years. I trusted my husband until April 2022 that is the date when i found out that my husband who is 56 years old was having an affair with the new neighbor Amanda Gil 202 w 100 n in jerome id for one year. She moved from texas two Christmas ago. I met her in April 2021 and since then my husband and her started having and affair. Can you imagine she is over 30 years younger that him. She doesn’t work and has a kid. They spent over 3200 text messages per month. What kind of good woman steps into my house on my bday and gives me flowers knowing that she is fucking my husband. My husband andI have a daughter and thanks to Amanda my daughter ‘s relations with her father is broken. I just hope and pray that the rest of my neighbors don’t fall for her when she knocks their doors and pretents to be a nice neighbor by bringing them cookies.

      • Devastated

        Eli, my CH is 72 and I am 71. Married 50 years. D-Day was March 22,2022. We had just got back from a trip to the coast. His phone was charging, he was out in his shop. It dinged 3 or 4 times, so thining it was important I checked. What I saw has changed my life forever!
        Naked videos of my cleaning lady pleasuring herself on her bed! I was so shocked, I never looked at any other texts. She was a family friend and had been cleaning for 15 years or more every other week. I immediately marched out and confronted him! He admitted it and said it was just sex and he never stopped loving me, but how can I believe that!
        We both stopped all contact with her that very day, however she kept texting me to try telling me her side of the story. The affair had been going on, on and off, for over 6 years. Mostly when I was at work or gone and he was there. He sad she was always talking about how horny she was and of course, he was there!
        She also said it was just sex! Said it was friends with benefits! Shows what a bingo she really is.
        My H said he was glad I found out cause he was trying to end it. She said she was wanting to stop but didn’t know how to quit! For 6 years! I found that hard to believe!
        I found out more from her, which I took with some disbelief. Trying to make herself look better and blaming most on him.
        I was devastated over the whole thing! He took all he blame and said he was ashamed .
        I cried all the time and couldn’t eat or sleep. Him too. We talked about it a !ittle, but I was too upset. He answered most questions, but said he didn’t want me to get more upset.
        Unfortunately, 2 weeks after X-Ray he had a heart attack that required a 4way bypass surgery. I’m sure the stress we were living caused this!
        Then, still recovering from this surgery, he got sick and another surgery in May discovered stage 4 cancer!!!! He is now very weak and awaiting chemo to start!
        So, I am struggling thru reminders of the affair on my own. I try not to stress him, but every once in awhile, if I’m having a bad day, I will make a comment so he knows I’m still hurting over it! I don’t want to stress him more. The triggers are plentiful, since it happened in my house! I’ve thrown out the bedspread and sheets from our bed!! All I see is them frolicking around on it. I could ruin her as she works for a agency that helps take care of older people too.
        I give you credit for putting her name,etc. on here. I’ve thought of warning her other cleaning clients, but I haven’t! I also found out one older gentleman she cleaned for left her his house when he died!!! Was she trying to get rid of me, I don’t know what to think anymore! She has texted me to find out how H is doing. I just ignore her. Can’t be friends anymore!
        I find I have to stay busy to keep my mind from dwelling on the unpleasant! Can’t just sit and watch a movie or tv. Everything is about sex and cheating these days! So, I read and garden!

    • confused1

      10 1/2 years since D-Day #1. Still with cheating spouse. Lately I’ve really been struggling feeling like a “sloppy second”. Things I was never allowed to do (text him while he was at work even if it was about our kids, ask him to do things around the house, etc), he allowed her to do. Thousands of texts while he was “working”. A “honey do” list of projects for him to complete for her. He doesn’t understand why I won’t initiate texts with him and am short in my answers when he texts me. He doesn’t understand why I won’t ask him to do anything “man-related” around the house (that’s a topic for another day). It’s because I don’t want to sound like her. Can anyone relate? Can anyone help me with this feeling?

    • Connie

      Yes, I can totally relate. Going on 32 years since 1st D-Day for me. Never had time for me . Always too busy. Always lie upon lie upon lie. Always felt like I was a single parent living with a room mate. Never would work on healing, never would discuss his affair, it was always my fault, our marriages fault and he didn’t want to deal with it. It was a family crisis with my son who was suffering from PTSD after 7 tour in Iraq and Afghanistan that the wall of frustrating that had been building in me finally blew up and all hell broke loose. I told him so many times that some day he was going to push me beyond the point of caring. Now that he did and I’m healing and leaving him in the dust, he wants to jump on the healing train, see the counselor he’s been refusing to do. He can’t understand why I don’t want him hanging all over me. He doesn’t like the fact that I’m a strong independent woman that has done for myself for so long, I know no other way. He wants to help me, do everything now. He can’t figure out that I’m strong and independent because he gave me no other choice. I’m not sure how many second chances I should give him.

      • Confused1

        Hi Connie,
        Thank you for your reply. So, in 32 years, his affair has never been addressed? Have there been multiple infidelities since the first one was never addressed? Do you wish you would have left 32 years ago?
        I’m so sorry we’re even having this conversation and I’m so sorry to hear about your son and his battles. Thank you and him for his service.
        I can really relate to being a single parent and being strong and independent because it was the only choice you had. For me, that independence is what made him feel like less of a man…which led to the affair. 🙄 I felt like I had 3 children instead of the 2 I gave birth to.
        So, he is currently hanging all over you and wanting to work on things? About 4 months ago, there was another situation that I was not comfortable with. I explained very clearly that I would NOT do this again. I consulted my attorney. CS has been doing a lot of work on himself. Will I ever trust him? That’s the $64,000 question. Will it ever be enough? I don’t know. I’m taking it day by day. Watching his actions versus his words. Just feeling like a sloppy second is what I’m struggling with so much right now.
        Again, I am so sorry that we are even having this conversation. And I thank you for your reply. Sending you strength and peace.

        • Connie

          Yes, I do wish I would have left 32 years ago. Because during all that time whenever I brought up the affair to him he would deflect blame me and our marriage. Get defensive and loud. Ignore criticize me for not letting it go stonewall me (one time for almost a whole year 11 months 17days). By then I had caught on to his little game so I continued to converse with him ask questions talked about things let him know about my day. He never once responded to me. It kind of became a competition I feel to see who would cave first. It was me. I laid down and ultimatum. Then he tried to make me feel guilty like it wS my fault because he had to walk on eggshells around me. Now he has finally acknowledged and taken responsibility for what he’s done and is finally after 14 years of begging and pleading is seeing a marriage counselor this week. He expects me to be happy and excited about it and is rather disappointed that I’m not but to me it just feels like too little toolate. I’m 66 years old this year and I feel like I’ve spent have my life waiting on him. I’m sorry your going through so much h turmoil too. No one can ever understand the hurt they caused their loved ones until it happens to them. I always think k come judgement day God is going to be welcoming a strong group of warriors into the promised land because we’ve already lived hell on Earth. So yes I wish I would have had the courage to walk away 32 years ago

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