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!

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


Linda & Doug




    29 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

            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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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