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

open mic #45

By Linda & Doug

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!
See also  Discussion – Have You (or Your Cheating Spouse) Taken Responsibility for Your Actions?

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

 

 

 

    42 replies to "Open “Mic” #46 – What’s On Your Mind?"

    • Wondering

      I have a question. I suspect that my husband is having an affair with a family friend. I want to confront him about it but am unsure how to best do this. What is the best way to confront this issue with him without being accusatory to the point of making hime close himself off to me? What are the best questions to ask to get the most honest response? Thanks so much in advance!

      • Dan

        Wondering – Sorry to hear you have suspicions about your husband. I had the same about my wife and tried to confront it numerous times. Here is the unfortunate reality (if your husband is in fact having an affair) he’s already lying to you so it’s highly unlikely he will come clean if confronted. The other thing I learned is that a wayward spouse builds many mental walls to justify / rationalize their decisions. If your husband is having an affair, he likely has found ways to convince himself that it’s either not really cheating or the cheating is somehow not a big deal or possibly justified. My advice, which is based on zero training as a therapist / counselor, is to reflect on what could be causing a disconnection in your marriage and try to get your husband to agree to counseling to address that disconnection. To be clear, there is no “disconnection” in a marriage to justify infidelity, however, affairs typically happen when there is disconnection in the marriage. In my situation, we were dealing with a teenage son who had emotional issues, which caused a rift in our marriage. If I could do it over again, I would have tried to get her into counseling to address the challenges in our relationship and restore our marriage.

        • Wondering

          Dan, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. What you say makes a lot of sense. Whenever I bring up my concerns about our relationship and ask him “if there is anything he needs to tell me…” he just gets defensive and angry and tells me I’m imagining things. All of that certainly doesn’t leave me with a very good feeling that nothing is going on!

          • Dan

            I feel for you. I’ve been there and I know it’s tough. Trust your gut and keep trying to get through to him.

            Everyone’s situation is different, so my experience may be 180 degrees different than yours. That being said, when my wife was deep into the affair, she was a completely different person. She had built up so many emotional and mental walls. If it wasn’t so painful, it would almost be comical.

            Once the affair was exposed, it took months (many months) for her to slowly break down those walls and start to resemble the person I knew and loved.

            If your gut is telling you he’s having an affair, as painful as this sounds, it may be better to keep pushing to confirm your suspicions. I bought a battery-operated and sound-activated recording device. I put it in her car for 1-day and the affair was exposed. It was a horrible day, but at least it was out in the open and we could deal with it. Looking back at my wife’s state of mind during that time, she wouldn’t have ended the affair relationship if I had not caught her red-handed.

            Hang in there and good luck.

          • Liz

            Wondering-
            I won’t bore you with my story but I feel like an expert in infidelity after what I’ve been thru. My biggest regret is not getting facts before confronting my husband. Without concrete evidence, he will lie and deny. No betraying spouse admits without absolute can’t-be-denied evidence. Phone records can be a good place to start. TAKE YOUR TIME. If you will take your time to gather evidence and basically build your case, it will unfold right in front of your eyes. They become emboldened by the “drug” of the affair and become very sloppy about hiding it. Once you have the concrete evidence, have fun watching him squirm. My favorite thing to say was, “me think thou doth protest too much!” Lastly- cell phones and social media have become the leading assist in affairs. I suggest checking his phone for the What’s App app, they can text outside your cell phone service and it has become mainstream. Good luck!

            • Dan

              Liz – Your post brings back memories of how I started to gather evidence. Here’s a list of things to check on your spouse’s phone (I only know iPhone, so if he’s using Android you’ll have to google.

              1. Messaging apps that don’t use cellular data (which means calls and texts won’t appear on your detailed cellphone bill). WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Google Voice.

              2. App installed on the iPhone but deleted from the home screen. A cheating spouse may try to throw you off by deleting the app from the home screen. The apps are still in the App Library. If you get access to the phone, scroll to the right on the home screen until you see the App Library. The Apps will be categorized by function. Swipe down and the Apps will be displayed alphabetically. You can quickly scroll down and search for the apps listed above.

              3. Another good check is to monitor the apps running in the background. This is easy to check on an iphone, but hard to explain in writing. If you don’t know how to do this just google “how to see what apps are open in the background on iPhone”. When I first suspected my wife was cheating, I noticed she never had any apps running in the background. I thought this was odd since I always have at least 5-10 apps open at a time. There are other explanations for keeping apps closed (eg. preserves battery life) but this could be an indication that your spouse is covering their tracks.

              4. Siri Suggestions – if you swipe down on the home screen or click the “search” feature, iPhone will suggest the most frequently used apps. If your spouse is communicating with someone using a messaging app, it will show up here.

              I will reiterate what Liz said about concrete evidence. Your spouse will deny, deny, deny so you need solid evidence.

    • Crazy wife

      My situation is pretty messed up. My husband and I have been married for 13 years, and we have 6 beautiful children thank God. 6 months was my first D-day. My husband phone calls are all recorded so I listened to one and found out he was having a emotional affair with his assistant who is also married. He told me he didn’t want it and he wanted me. Well I went total crazy and did everything you weren’t supposed to, and It angered him for months it was a real roller coaster. I then learned to calm down and we were doing well. Then D-day 2 and her husband discovered that it turn physically!! I was so angry etc. The only problem is her husband let’s them to continue to work together. I had no words!! They are now back to the emotional affair. I’m so angry with her husband. Either he is in denial or just plain stupid. There is nothing more I can do I have been just working on myself, leaving my husband to his own devices. He has been more honest with me, and he really wants us to be happy together. I know deep down that some day this will be all over and I have been working on keeping my emotions in check. I will not leave him or make any ultimates at the present moment. I think he will have to make his own choice, and what ever he decides I will be here.

    • Dan

      I’ll play along with “Open Mic”. One thing that has really helped me through these challenging times is 20 minutes of (almost) daily prayer and meditation. Full disclosure, if I had read something like this 18 months ago, I would have rolled my eyes and discounted it as flakey and flighty, so ignore at your own peril.

      When it comes to meditation and prayer, it is more like going to the gym regularly to stay in shape, and less like going to the ER when you need immediate help. Stated differently, if meditation and prayer is done regularly it will help you through emotional ups and downs. If meditation and prayer is only done during emotional ups and downs it will be of little benefit.

      There are a lot of meditation apps available. I bought a $65 annual subscription to the Calm app, and it has all I need. I spend 10 minutes (almost) every morning doing mindful meditation and breathing exercises. If I have an emotional moment during the day, I spend a few minutes doing breathing exercises. It’s amazing how quickly I can get back in control. FYI – It’s good for marital stress, work stress, kid stress, any kind of stress.

      As it relates to prayer, regardless of who or what you pray to, I spend 10 minutes each morning reflecting on three things: 1) “Please” – where do I need help. 2) “Thank you” – for what am I grateful. 3) “Sorry” – how can I be better.

      When dealing with infidelity and recovery, it’s easy to become hyper-focused on the pain your spouse caused and the challenges of trying to repair your marriage. It’s important to make time to focus on restoring yourself. Let’s face it, if you survived the days after you first learned of the affair, you can pretty much “breathe” and “meditate” your way through anything.

      • Doug

        Hey Dan, thanks for sharing that advice. Though I was on the other side of the fence, I too found that meditation was very helpful during the recovery process. It really helped me to focus and to be more in the moment. I used some apps as you mentioned, but there are also a ton of guided meditations – for almost any purpose – for free on YouTube. I spent only about 10-20 minutes a day on it, but it was very helpful. It should be a part of everyone’s self-care routine, IMO.

    • wendy

      My husband is still with his affair partner and I have started the divorce process (read La La Land in the Affair Recovery Library). He now says he wants me to slow it down, still loves me and knows in his heart we should be together as we have been married 38 years. I told him he needs to end all relations with his “friend” and have seen no action. He works with his therapist and keeps saying he is working towards ending it and expects me to wait. At this point I can’t. I know I still have feelings for him and can’t understand why I even engage in conversation. Our marriage was fine basically until this old high school friend came back into his life 4 years ago.

      Is there ever a time he will show true remorse and action ? Can I ever forgive this? I don’t know if anyone can understand the situation and find it hard to share outside this group.

      • Doug

        It’s good to hear from you Wendy, though I sorry that this is all still dragging on for you. Hopefully., he will finally end his relationship with her and work towards rebuilding your relationship. Perhaps during that process -if it ever gets there – he will come to understand the pain he has caused and be truly – and actively – remorseful. But it’s certainly not a given by any means.

    • Doug

      On a joyous note…Linda and I became grandparents for the first time a couple of weeks ago! We now have a baby grandson who is going to be very spoiled by us. We also have another grandson on the way who is due in December. Exciting times ahead, for sure.

      • Dan

        Doug and Linda – Congrats on becoming grandparents. That is fantastic.

        • Doug

          Thank you Dan!

          • S

            I had an affair 10 years ago. It started emotional just over the phone and texting but then turned physical. The physical only lasted a short time but the emotional lasted even after my husband found out. I hate I was stuck in but just couldn’t break my self away . I didn’t see him often or talk often but every now and then would feel the need to reach out . This went on for a better part of a year or more. But I did finally put a stop to it. And moved on with my spouse. My husband found out about this years later and we almost fell apart we went to therapy and it did help. We did the work and came out better than ever. But recently he has been having some fall back. Triggers are getting to him and he is te questioning the affair. There are so many details and timelines I have blocked or they have become so fuzzy yet I am trying to help answer anything he has. I am so blindsided by what is happening I thought we were so far past this. I guess I am trying to understand 1) how did it end up being emotional for so long why couldn’t I cut the ties 2)why can’t I remember so much of it to help my husband 3}why is it still so uncomfortable to discuss. I hate it I wish I could make it go away. I wish I knew how to help the triggers for my husband so many years later that still haunt his brain. Help!

      • Shifting Impressions

        So very exciting….congrats!!! I know what it’s like to have two grandkids so close together. Out first two granddaughters are two and half weeks apart. They bring so much joy and laughter.

        I think our precious four grandchildren were a huge motivational factor in my husband and I staying together after his EA.

        Have fun with those precious babies!!!!

        • Doug

          It is indeed exciting for us, SI. We intend to have a blats with them!

      • TryingHard

        Congratulations Doug. Grands are the best!!

        • Doug

          Thanks TH…I’ve heard that from a ton of our friends.

      • Nearly Normal

        Awesome! What a wonderful blessing grandparenthood is!

        When I struggled with severe depression and CPTSD from my wife’s infidelity, for years I could not have a simple happy thought. Any joy was always accompanied by pain or sadness.

        After some therapy, the first pure, unsullied joyful feeling I had was when my daughter sent me a picture of my second granddaughter’s ultrasound. It was such an indescribably beautiful moment.

        Now have 3 grandkids and they are a constant source of joy.

        Enjoy, grandpa!

        • Doug

          Thanks…You got that right! We make every excuse in the book to stop by my son’s house to see the little guy.

      • Patsy50

        Congrats Linda and Doug on becoming Grandparents. There is nothing else like it so enjoy them.

      • Cassilyn

        Congratulations! All grandbabies are a joy, but that first one is amazing! We are having our 12th grandchild in May and I’m as excited as I was the first time. I wish you and your wife many days of spoiling and unconditional love for your grandchild!

        • Doug

          Thanks! Since then we’ve had a second grandson added to the family. It seems most of our spare time is now spent with one or the other of these little guys. Loving it!

    • TryingHard

      Wondering—if you have the skills and can access his phone or the bills get all the calls and download to a spreadsheet. Sort the spreadsheet by phone number. This will be a good start. Or it could be useless if he has a burner phone.

      I once read an article by a PI and he said 99% of the time when he was hired on suspicion of infidelity the spouse was correct that in fact there was cheating going on and he proved it. I know it sounds extravagant and so 20/20 or Dateline but honestly cut to the chase and hire a PI. If it walks like a duck and quacks line a duck (and yes he’s walking and quacking like a cheater duck) IT’S A DUCK.

      Wondering i found an earring, about 9 months before his cheating was discovered, while we were cleaning his car. I showed it to him and demanded he tell who’s it was. He denied denied denied then gaslighted then said i was crazy that it was mine 🙄. Trust me he will NEVER admit when you confront him.

      Save yourself the grief and worry and hire a PI but start making plans and keep them to yourself.

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s God awful!

    • Lost and Lonely

      First, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS, to Doug and Linda, Being a grandparent is the greatest BKLESSING in the world!!! I have a concern about something my husband said to me about 3 weeks ago an it’s been eating away at me ever since. I had a severe trigger as we are still living in the house where he brought his affair partner(I don’t consider it my home anymore-just a place where I reside). We were discussing the emotional affair and he said to me, ” Well, can’t a guy have some emotional affairs and then still love his wife”? I couldn’t even respond to that, I was so hurt. I don’t know what to even think anymore. When I ask him this past week what he meant by that he stated “Just what I said”. I’m lost now. This really set me back again.

      • Dan

        Lost and Lonely – Sorry to hear about your situation. That’s a tough one.

        Affair recovery is complicated because both spouses are looking at the affair from completely different perspectives. Spouses who both genuinely want to recover from the affair and restore their marriage can say and do things that seem logical to them but are extremely detrimental to their spouse.

        You have no control over what your spouse says or does, but you have complete control over how you react. Here’s an idea. Your husbands’ actions and words give a glimpse into his state of mind relative to the affair. You can categorize his state of mind into three buckets. Bucket 1 – He’s still involved in an affair. Bucket 2 – He’s no longer involved in an affair, but he’s trying to rationalize or minimize the pain he caused by the affair. Bucket 3 – He’s accepted full responsibility for the affair and the pain he caused.

        His comment certainly doesn’t indicate a “bucket 3” mindset. It’s up to you to determine if it’s bucket 1 or bucket 2. I would suggest the more important decision you need to make is where you draw the line as to what is acceptable, and what are you prepared to do if certain lines are continually crossed.

        If you read a lot of the blog posts on this site, you’ll notice a common theme with many people who have successfully recovered from an affair. The idea is counterintuitive; To restore your marriage, you must be at peace with getting a divorce.

        I don’t know anything about your situation other than you’re reluctantly living in the same house where the affair took place, and you’re still spinning over a hurtful comment your husband made 3 weeks ago. Based on that, I sense you either want to save your marriage, you’re very afraid of getting a divorce, or both. If that’s true, then my suggestion is to work within yourself to accept and be at peace with the idea that divorce is a viable option and set limits as to what is acceptable. If you aren’t in that mindset, then anything he says to trigger you will be magnified because you will deal with the pain of the comment plus the fear of potentially losing your marriage. If you take control of deciding the limits of what is acceptable and unacceptable in the marriage, then the triggers will be less emotionally charged.

        I digress, if I were in your situation, I wouldn’t engage in any intellectual discussion about the subjective differences between professional relationships, personal relationships, emotional relationships, or sexual relationships. If you husband had an affair, then all his relationships with women going forward must be professional. The reason for that is quite simple; it is what you need for your own sanity and well-being. If he can’t immediately accept and understand that, then you must wonder if he will ever advance to “bucket 3” mindset.

        Good luck

        • Lost and Lonely

          Dan, Thank you so much for your input. I love the idea of considering the 3 buckets. It has given me some insight into some choices I need think long and hard about making.

    • Nic

      7wks ago was my d-day. It unravelled as the OW contacted me. Turns out my partner was a cocaine addict & she was supplying & paying for him. He paid with his physical body & soul. Finances were extremely tight for us. She sent me images, videos & some of their texts. She lied saying she was pregnant.
      I was absolutely shocked to the core. I had no idea of any of this. I knew our relationship was off, I tried to fix this during this time without the knowledge of his other life. Crazy.
      He says he never wanted to be with her, was never attracted to her it wasn’t his intention to sleep with her. He feels he would never had betrayed me if he was straight & drug free.
      I’m not sure what to believe.
      He’s told me everything, wants to go to couples counselling. He’s doing drug tests regularly to prove he’s serious. He’s begging for another chance. In essence he’s doing all the right things and more. He’s struggling as he says he feels so bad for hurting me. He wants to get married & grow old together, he says ive always been the kne 4 him. We have children together.
      It’s nearly 10yrs together.
      She has been extremely persistent in harassment. He’s changed his phone number, blocked all social media. Harassed my family. She’s obsessed with him. He’s had zero contact with her.
      My question is, does cocaine affect people this way ?
      He says he was in a bad place before using cocaine & wished he spoke to me, he says he made the biggest mistake of his life, but can’t truly understand why he did it as he loves me so much.

      • Cassilyn

        Hi Nic,

        I have known people who were “trapped” by cocaine, and, yes, it does make them do crazy things they would never do. this is NOT an excuse for his behavior. He needs more than marriage counseling, he also probably needs drug treatment and substance abuse counseling.. I hope everything works out for you too. I’m trapped in a situation where I don’t want to leave myself but am having a difficult time with my husband’s behavior. Good luck!

        • Nic

          Thanks Cassilyn, you’re 100% right, drugs do not excuse his behaviour. He started on the cocaine mid January , he suffered a serious injury in work 2019 broken neck & back. He was using cocodamol all the time as pain relief. I told him constant use is bad, he needs to exercise to increase muscle tone to support the bones. (I have a permenant spinal condition so I’m fully aware of the pain & coping techniques which I shared & supported with him) he was doing well until Christmas hit, no exercise no self care as we were preoccupied with 5 kids etc. He was complaining of pain at the start of January 2022. I home ed my 2 children 3 are from his previous marriage. He works away all wk, home every wkend with 5 kids every wkend. My kids are my priority always have been. He’s always been excessively needy, as in affection & attention, I’m more self relient. I suppose I did neglect our relationship as I thought it was secure & our time wasn’t as important as the family time. I noticed a change in his attitude in February 2022, I spoke with him, we had loads of deep conversations about our needs expectations etc, and for upto a wk it would be great, then back to square one. This continued up until d day 5th September 2022. Last yr was hell for me & my boys, I knew something was wrong, I tried to mentally detatch from the relationship he wasn’t a nice person, I started resenting him, I wanted to leave but couldn’t financially support me & my boys ,I started working again unfortunately it was only 6wks but he never knew. This is how bad it got.
          Once d day hit it was so traumatic. Finding out the full truth of those horrendous 8 months & all the details caused pdtsd, trauma bonding, I was ready to walk but stuck. I know if I didn’t have the kids I would have left. I decided to sell the house, he agreed, he has fought for this relationship in a way I never thought he could. He has been so honest the last 5 months. Full disclosure, he’s expressed himself deeply to me. Its crazy, as now he’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a man & relationship.
          We are moving very soon, fresh start, new job, new area. I’m hopeful & looking forward to our new start but im dreading the months to come, the ow says the physical affair started march he says April. I know so many details, got photo images in my head, got our birthdays, holidays etc coming up, knowing exactly where he was, exactly what he was doing on these dates last yr.
          I don’t know how to handle it. I feel I’m losing myself in the worry of how I’ll react when these important dates arrive. He’s tarnished these special times. How do I manage these events, what do I do. I’m not sure if distraction will be enough. Any advice or tips on how to handle this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Mel

      Thanks Linda and Doug.
      You’ve really done some good work and have brilliant resources.
      17 days ago my husband decided to go online. He tells me he was lonely and wanted to just talk. 9 days ago he told me about it. He said this married woman is his unicorn, his twin flame and he can’t live without her. He wanted us to become friends and talked of a future where the three of us live in harmony. Even having children with her! He was worried it would fester so asked us to meet, 3 days ago. Today, they have apparently decided to give each other space and he is heartbroken, he even threw comments at me like you can stop, you Win!
      I’ve done what I can to be supportive because I am his first relationship, he hasnt experienced infatuation before. But man this is hard.

    • Cassilyn

      My husband had a serious online affair last year that almost caused me to have a breakdown. He stopped…for a while. Then last week he told me he had not only found another online girlfriend, but is visiting dating sites just to chat with younger girls and look at pictures of beautiful women. We’re in our later 50s. For various reasons, he didn’t have the normal teenage dating years and now I think he’s going through a midlife crisis or something. He says that he doesn’t want to leave me and I believe him. We’ve been together 32 years and I don’t want to leave him. How can I handle all of this again without losing myself like I almost did last year? Has anyone been through a similar situation? How, other than leaving, did you handle it? He felt so bad about it and, not knowing what to do, gave me his phone to literally destroy and then threw his computer in the bathtub full of water. He gets a new phone this week. He’s 57, almost 58, and I don’t feel safe with him driving without a phone. I feel trapped between two situations and don’t know what to do. Any advice?

      • Nic

        Hi Cassilyn, can your husband have a standard simple phone, no smart phone no Internet?
        I think boundaries are needed and need to be adhered to. He has to earn your trust therefore needs to be truthful & honest at all times & do as you ask. Does he open up to you about his feelings? What’s he looking for ? I think you can’t really miss what you never had.. I would have a conversation with him about what he feels he gains from this online activity. I don’t understand myself but I’m sure there’s others on here with similar experiences who can give you better advice. Take care

      • Stressed to Succeed

        When I found out about my husbands affair it was because he had what’s called a ‘burner phone’, ie: a ‘simple phone’ that allowed him to have a random number and use a call card bought from a store to pay for the calls. No record of anything for me to find on his everyday cell phone. They also never sent texts unless they were in ‘code’ — texting was a request for the other person to make a call. And that’s when he’d go for a walk or a drive. Her goodbye message was “I’m calling to let you know that I understand you want the account closed. Please respond to this email, I just have a few questions regarding the account.” My husband also destroyed his phone on Dday. They are easy to replace. The computer, too. Everything that was on it is likely still being stored in a database somewhere else and is easily accessible again.

        Are you both in therapy? If not, I urge you to start couples therapy for the two of you and individual therapy for him to deal with his addiction. Be sure to find therapists who special in infidelity and also pornography addiction. I can’t express enough how important therapy has been for my husband and me. There is zero excuse for him to be doing these things within the new relationship boundaries that I imagine you may have set up with him last year? If so he’s breaking his agreement to stop his online addictions. It’s very possible that he could (potentially) be involved with interactive online porn or taking a next step and meeting with someone in person. I trusted my husband WAY too much. He admitted an emotional mostly online affair with an old classmate but the whole time he was having a decade long in person affair with another woman who was pushing him for a divorce and remarriage.

        Like my own husband, he truly does want to be with you, then he will agree to therapy and do the very hard work that both of you need to do.

        My husband and I were also married 35 years when I found out. I understand how scared you are and the anxiety you are feeling about how this affects not only you but your wider circle of family and friends. My husband is truly a changed man and I am so grateful.

    • VALW

      It’s the “GHOST” of it all that has left lasting effects on me as well as all of the lost innocence of the “love” that we were supposed to have between us as “one flesh”.

      I truly believe in two people becoming one in a marriage relationship just as The Holy Bible states.
      There’s a oneness that happens and occurs between a husband and wife. A binding that in a sense can never be truly broken especially if there’s real love that has existed between the two.
      An affair rips that apart! It’s immediately felt there’s an immediate impact. I can’t fully explain nor understand it completely but it’s there, there’s a feeling of something between the husband and wife being torn a servering that occurs mind , body, and spirit. Something God didn’t ever intend getting between the husband and wife.
      And it’s painful. It’s painful for BS and yes for the CS. It was evident upon my CS he was in a hell he created within his own self. It was hard to watch, and feel. What that affair did to me ; It tore my soul and spirit up. It really ruined me for a long time. It took away so much innocence. That may sound stupid to some people but that’s one thing that has stuck with me. And him too in fact. It’s weight he carries and that I see in his own eyes.

      He hasn’t come near forgiveness for himself let along dealing with any of the why’s and how’s of what he truly did or how ugly it all was. He had an affair with a woman for 3 whole years, becoming an entire different man doing things he never saw himself capable of. Let along me , I didn’t know his capacity to harm or how great it could be or go or last. And although I know we are supposed to dwell on or think about the AP as the BS ; I still do. She nothing like me , she was mean and hateful and into very dark things and dark spiritual things and dark sexual things. She came after me and my family members and my children. She stalks us still today. She is a very venomous creature to say the least. The relationship she has with my CS was ver volatile. Dark there were fights of great physical violence and she even tried digging his eyes out and she blacked his eye and yet he kept going going back for more. She put him down verbally and she used him in every way. But he couldn’t stop until he spent the night with her on our home property on our anniversary and my birthday Aug 14th and 15th 2022. Then he said he came to himself just looking at her sitting in the floor of the shack he had just had sex with her in. He said it hit him like a ton of bricks that she was evil and so was he for all that they done to me. He said he saw her in that instance just for what she really was , the biggest mistake and problem of his life that he personally had ever created. That’s when he ended it. Told her then it was over and it never should have been and he hated himself and she had to go and that he wanted her to leave town and never come back or bother him again. It has stuck.
      She’s gone now. But she stalks us through social media and my family and his and still tries to be an issue.
      I don’t let it get to me anymore.
      What does get to me is lasting damage I feel is done to my husband and myself. I’m a forgiving person. I’m a faithful person. I’m the kind of person that treats others as I desire to be treated. I love with all myself and I commit wholeheartedly.
      But I’m not blinded with it. I see things the way are. I see truth and accept it.
      He has hasn’t wanted help. But I do. I have my first appointment tomorrow. February 6th with a counselor, but affordability may be an issue with no kind of insurance. But I’ll make it somehow.
      Thing is I guess I just want others to know affairs aren’t what they seem for the CS or the AP either one and then there’s the BS that get triangulated into it all that has come find a way some way to come out it a whole person still. I’m worried mostly about putting me back together before I can make real life decisions and future life decisions and choosing a lifestyle and way of life that’s honest and morally right and spiritually right with my Biblical values and beliefs.
      I’m not sure if my marriage relationship will survive this and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
      I know I miss the man and friend that I thought I did have in him. I miss the innocence and the love I thought we did have. I miss many things about the life I thought we had and who we were.
      I don’t miss the lies and I don’t miss the excuses.
      I don’t miss the mindless that it brought and the pain and great grief I went through to get here on the other side = acceptance.
      The next things going forward are about me. I understand and recognize I can change my life my stuff my story my decisions Only myself can I change and what I choose for myself. I understand I have to make the choices and changes for myself to have the best possible chance at a life I personally value and want and desire to have.

      I think it’s okay to have empathy for the CS but not so much that it destroys self empathy and breaks down the insights needed for personal life decisions and changes that need discernment and discovery to be made for ones own best interests.

      That’s what I want anyone in my position to understand right now , do what it best for you to give you the outcome that is truest to thine own self and your personal morality and values and spiritual needs , set the other stuff aside the marriage, the emotional entanglement, the feelings , the relationship with the CS and make a good decent relationship with yourself, one that you can be happy with when you look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and know you are loving yourself and who you are and what you truly stand for.

    • Stressed for Success

      I have a question about over obsessing about the affair/affair person. Some background since I’ve never written here but have searched and searched for success stories. I’m especially interested in 3, 5 and 10 year milestones.

      It’s been a year and a half since our D-Day when I discovered my husband’s burner phone, something they did to keep their spouses in the dark.

      My husband (36 years of marriage, two adult kids) had an eight year affair with an also married-with-kids work colleague. For four years it was an incredibly intense emotional affair and over the next four years it became sexual but because of certain constraints, including covid, they were ‘only’ able to have hotel sex 8 times. Not that it matters really but I do believe that last fact because he has literally told be with exquisite honesty every detail I’ve asked about the affair. I also need to share that for many years we thought we had a beautiful marriage and talked about it often… but it turns out his childhood wounds and needs for validation and fawning over were something this other woman new would draw him in. The limerence was real — 15 years before they started the emotional affair she told him she wanted a relationship with him and he declined, but never told me.

      OK. So… We have been in therapy since two months before I discovered the phone and we have both worked really hard. He has learned so much about himself, and I can honestly say that he is 100% committed and incredibly supportive of me. He’s so introspective, nonjudgmental and loving… he’s really my dream partner. Except he cheated on me.

      I was doing OK through most of the first year after D-Day but was sadly diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease called Lichen Sclerosis. This has thrown me for a loop mentally and physically. We had not resumed intimacy and still haven’t, partly because of the LS. I KNOW that I am feeling like I’m the victim and it’s completely affected my outlook. And now I’m obsessing about the affair person… big time. I’ve written her so many letters that I haven’t sent, I’ve figured out where she plays in a tennis league and want to just show up and confront her. I fantasize about sending her husband an anonymous letter. I go through bouts of crying and not sleeping for 24 hours straight. I can’t seem to shut it all down no matter how hard we are working with our therapist.

      So back to my question… how long have the betrayed partners here cycled through obsessive thoughts? Have you been able to shut them down? Did you practice anything in particular to help yourself? Advice welcome.

      I want to start building a new relationship with this new man. My rings were packed away years ago and I consider our marriage over… however I do believe I’d like to create a new marriage moving forward and he does too. But I am STUCK in this awful cycle though… that has less to do with ‘us’ and more to do with this woman.

      Success stories please!! I’m desperate for them!

      • TryingHard

        Stressed—I’m 12 years out exactly this month this week. We went to couples therapy. He too was very committed to me and the marriage. I was dead focused on recovery for both the marriage and myself. His affair was long term and in his infinite
        “ wisdom” he’d hired the woman into our business. I say our but i wasn’t working there at the time. I did however interact with her as an employee. Very loud low class person. He actually left me for her. Then he saw the real person and came back to reconcile when he saw what she was and what he was going to lose for her. Gone 3 months.

        Early it was HELL for me and probably him too. But we managed to get through it. At around the 3 year mark i became completely obsessed with her. Now mind you he “laid her off” from our business when he decided to try reconciliation. That didn’t help. I was OBSESSED. So much so i went back into individual therapy for over a year. It helped a bit but boy i had to work on those obsessive thoughts by myself. It was hard. I seriously would fantasize murder. I just went with it. But damn that was scary!!!

        Eventually the obsessive thoughts stopped. Then she got cancer and died. Easy peasy right?? Nope as dead as she was i hoped she was in hell! Then and rightfully so i focused on his actions. I had no one to “blame” but HIM.

        From then on i focused on who he is. His short comings and FOO issues etc. he wasn’t going to change. I need to be smart and observe what was happening and while NEVER completely trusting him he is who he is and so is my marriage. Is it great NOPE but it’s not awful either.

        Since 12 years ago so much of life’s problems/opportunities have happened to us that I’ve taken my focus off the affair and just get through life. I mean a lot of challenges and good opportunities.

        It sounds like your health condition is a big challenge for you both. I hate hearing there’s no intimacy because that’s a big part in rebuilding. Isn’t there something you can do to be intimate again on some level? I think we’re probably in the same age group but i know the more you don’t have intimacy the more you do t and won’t have it. I insist on it!!

        My advice is ride the obsession wave but give yourself a limited time. You know the more you deny yourself the thoughts the more pervasive they become so just go with it but tell yourself you aren’t going to do it all day. Watch a movie, knot, cook, go for a walk, play with your dog, call a friend ANYTHING to distract from the obsession. Chose a place you can do it. Bedroom, shower, office, closet then leave that place and leave those thoughts. Out loud say STOP. Look in the mirror and say STOP. Trust me it works 😂

        Look you suffered a huge trauma and huge betrayal. Eight years, that you know of, is a long time!!! So much to process. Traumas often bring on illnesses such as you’re experiencing. You must take good care of yourself to get well.

        I hope I’ve helped. I wish you courage and strength

        • Stressed for Success

          Thank you, TryingHard. It sounds like the wave I’m riding is a familiar refrain. Yes, intimacy would help. It’s tricky right now with my LS (it’s a pretty horrible disease and there is no cure, just get worse) but we just aren’t ready at the moment to experiment. I will think about your advice to keep busy when those obsessions are rolling in. I’m so fortunate he’s committed. I need to find my way there.

    • still struggling

      Dear stressed. We’ve been married 36 years this coming year. I still am struggling with obsessive thoughts. So many…so many…so many… His affair was emotional but he said it would have turned physical had he not lost his job and found another one. His affair was over 30 years ago, and when I found out because his affair partner called me and made fun of me and humiliated me because I couldn’t keep my man and she could make him happy. I about died. He showed no remorse, no apology and no defending of me or our marriage to her. After much turmoil between us he promised to stop. and I believed him. but he refused to talk about it, refused to deal with it and when I’d bring up the subject of the affair he’d get defensive, yell, and stonewall me for weeks and months on end (literally 9 days short of a full year one time), so I just stopped bringing it up and just buried everything deep in my heart. Finally something inside me just exploded and every single emotion I kept buried for 30 plus years came flooding out like a volcano, and he was basically forced to deal with it. It was very hard as he was so mad at me for not getting over it because both he and his affair partner got over it and moved on and I should be able to do that too. Wouldn’t at first go to counseling alone or with me because he didn’t need it- he was fully capable of figuring it out on his own. Still waiting for that. Come this past October while on vacation ne let’s slip that he didn’t stop the affair when he promised me he did, and that he had continued it for another 8 months until they both got fired because her husband went to the owners of the place they both worked. He kept that lie hidden from me from me for over 30 years. Feels like our marriage was a waste of time and energy for me. I developed a bleeding ulcer and severe anxiety, and on top of that fact that his AP’s husband passed away and now SHE HAS CONTINUED TO HARRASS ME he has not once defended me to her or done anything to get her to stop, I understand the illnesses Trauma causes. You have suffered immensely for a long time. I wish your courage and strength in your journey. It’s hard and everyday you have to promise yourself that you are worth it and keep going. It will improve. I know I will survive and so will you! I’ve also done the Looking in the mirror and forced myself to stop obsessing and repeating to myself that I am strong, I am willing and I will survive. Trying Hard is so right It truly does help. I wish you love, peace and happiness on your healing journey to recovery.

      • Stressed for Sucesss

        Thank you for your thoughts! Yes, my auto immune disease was triggered by discovering the affair. There is no cure and I have a rough road ahead with that. In the near term though I want very much to try to stem the obsessive thoughts. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do in my life!!

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