microphoneIt’s been 2 months since our last open mic discussion – where you guys discuss the topics that are most important to you. It’s time to do it again!

This is Open Mic #23 and 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.

Anyways, the floor is all yours!

Feel free to discuss anything…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • Have any successes to share? Big or small. (It would be nice to hear some of these!)
  • 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.
  • What’s your favorite TV show?
  • 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.


Linda & Doug


    103 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #23"

    • TheFirstWife

      What is one positive thing you did for yourself that helped you during these tough times?

      • Doug

        Great question, TFW. From the ex-CS side of things, meditation was a positive thing for me. It helped me to really get inside my own head!

    • TheFirstWife

      What is one good thing you did for yourself that really made you happy and worked for you? Is it something you did daily? Or once in awhile. Please share

      • TheFirstWife

        Sorry I hit publish before I finished the last thought.

        I see so many people going through troubling times whether illness or aging parents or children issues or teen age years or terrible twos.

        I was hoping to get a list of suggestions on things you have done to become more positive while your world is upside down.

    • Joey

      Hi TFW – I was with my ex for 14 years and along the way, I think we both lost our individual selves, leading me to work obsessively and her to have an affair.

      It’s been a little over a year since our last DDAY. We are no longer together. Last summer, I realized that I didn’t like who I was becoming. On the outside, people thought I was holding it together, but on the inside, I was holding my anger and frustration and letting her betrayal take over my life. Don’t get me wrong – I still think of the affair sometimes, but instead of trying to change and be the person she wanted me to be (afterwall, her affair was my fault, right? – insert eye roll here), I came to the point where I realized that I am a good person – a good friend, good son, and was a good boyfriend/fiancé, and I was not going to allow her to dictate how I see myself any longer.

      Anyways – I am too longwinded…. What I did was simply get back to the things that I am good at that helped me gain back confidence and quite frankly got me healthy both physically and emotionally. I now compete in triathlons – I joined a triathlon club and have made a new group of friends who are amazing and it’s something I do completely for me. I also do yoga, which has been a God send.

      I guess my only suggestions is find that something that maybe you have let slip due to life and family and struggles and reacquaint yourself with it – whether it be a hobby or workout class, cooking. And the most important thing – do it completely for yourself! Do this thing for you and you alone.

    • Bob

      Just wanted to recommend Beyonce’s new visual album, Lemonade.

      It is good art on many levels, but of relevance to us folks here, it is a raw, beautifully honest rendition of a person’s path through infidelity.

      The video takes us on a path from nagging doubt, to discovery, to anger, to apathy, to empowerment, and ultimately to redemption.

      And the redemption part is not too cheesy or too “happy.” It feels real. Like a couple that has survived this storm and is learning how to reestablish their relationship.

      It felt cathartic to watch. Especially the part where she smashes up some cars with a bat

    • TryingHard

      I want to watch the Lemonade video. What’s Jay Z thinking? For crying out loud he’s married to freaking BEYONCÉ!!! What more does that fool want?

      I know it’s the husband who made the vows not the OW and that’s beside the point. but I’ve got to think the OW got quite a kick thinking they were intruding on Beyoncé. It must have been quite an ego boost for her/them. Maybe not all OW think this way but I bet quite a few do. I think they get quite a kick being with the husband of someone they know has it all. Like they are special even better. And what fit? What there’s no one else available for these AP? Hardly. There must be some motivation to having an affair with a married man. Maybe they are hoping he will further their carter. If you have to put out sex to further your career you must not be very good at what you do in the first place.

      Beyoncé is pretty much a total package as a successful professional woman and person. Her husbands cheating has no refraction on her. Jay Z is a creep and stupid egotist.

      Also what the heck does Beyonce need him for anyway? I don’t think this ya the first time he’s cheated. Glad she’s rubbing his nose in it. I like her even more now

    • bor

      I gave Linda a call on this about a month ago. Just to summarize. d day aug 15 2015 length of affair 1 1/2 years first 13 months EA last 5 very physical 2 -3 times a week. She did not break contact he did on Sep24. She wrote him a goodby note that was not very reassuring. The following months of no contact had us trying to reconcile but with out any real guidance the Counselor I had to pick for us or she would not go sucks and i ended up doing individual and she did hers as well with this lady. Who turns out just discussed the marriage instead of the affair partner relationship and what she got out of it. I read and tried to give her as much help from this sie , books after the affair and many others. truth is she never mentally disengaged she said as much when she said she wanted to separate Friday after easter. Straight back to the AP on the phone. This prick even had the nerve to say you should be the husband she needs and if it doesn’t work out it always good to work on your self. This comes from a guy hiding what he is doing from friends and family, I told him if his moral compass was so straight he should let his EX wife and son know what he is doing. Four kids one disabled and he has no intention of marring my wife, but she is convinced that she deserves to be happy. her mother told me that. She has said she has no intention on reconciling right now. She is working on her energy stuff that makes her happy and focusing on the kids. Ok now here is the straw that may just alienate her from her parents now. My son and I are in Cancun for a stem cell transplant she did not come. If you are familiar with mort Fertel program( shed never finished that either)0-4 on things i tried to get her to work on with me. You get one 5 minute question at the end to ask. I wanted his counsel on wheter she should go to be with my son and I to support and reassure him. Mort was saying you should go and so did our CC but she has put the negative spin on all things relating to me and said i don’t think it will be good for him if there is too much tension. mort said take it to a third party that knows you both. OK her aunt and uncle both said go her parents said go. I asked her if we could ask our old pastors who known us for 13 years. I am not letting someone who is across the country decide what is best for my son. Are we seeing obstinate here? But thee real kicker is she did a phone energy session with her mentor who is in California. the same place as our ex pastors, but her advice that I should go alone and it was in my sons highest good if only i went. So her guilt as ann said must be very high and need to give her space. OK done. but how do i instill that I am better than the AP? I had a relationship coach help me with a couple of tips that should help many. When speaking to our CS try to remember what you say that is getting the right response and what is not getting the right response. this has helped me be for attentive in trying to remember and has a secondary effect of not being reactive. Just keep the conversations short but positive. My main goal is for her to give up this guy. Then I think we will be ok. If it carry’s on it will destroy all the healing that has taken place. I was shocked on that Friday of the news. She sent me an email on Wednesday about a wedding to attend for more dance practice. I think our CC put pressure on her for two weeks to do the apology letter to me and that wore her doen thinking about all the bad stuff she did and won’t admit to. and the AP finally moved a week before an hour south. Any wisdom for this situation?

      • TheFirstWife

        No wisdom only experience. You can call it mid life crisis or affair fog or whatever term fits. Plain & simple she is acting like a spoiled brat (as most cheaters do) and only wants what she wants. She has convinced herself she deserves to be happy. She has told herself her OM or AP is so wonderful.

        I am not sure who told these cheaters that the phrase “I deserve to be happy” is a justification to cheat but they all seem to use it.

        Plain & simple based on my experience. You cannot get through to her while she is in this “la la land ” phase. I tried everything with my H. I suggested counseling – he refused. I tried talking him to find out what was going on and why. He refused to answer any questions. Soooooo left to my own devices I kept on trying to show him what a good marriage we had/have. It was a complete waste of time. He even planned our 25th wedding celebration and it was so wonderful and special. And 6 weeks later he wanted a divorce from me. I hold him okay to the divorce. Then he told me it was a mistake the next day. I took him back. Then a week later he wanted a divorce. I was stunned. And then I found out she was in the picture (again).

        So I lived your pain and frustration. What finally got my H’s attention was my calling the OW and she spilled the beans and I then told him to leave. I was done playing yoyo.

        Boy did he wake up and started foing damage control.

        Until I was no longer going to be his support system and wait around like a puppy fig got him to decide what he wanted, I was going to be second fiddle to his choices on what HE wanted. Never mind right from wrong. Forget the kids & family. It was all about him deserving to be happy.

        You cannot make her change. You cannot reason with her. She will have a justification and rationalization for everyyhing. It is like dealing with an addict. It is not their fault it is everyone else’s fault. They are not to blame. ever!

        So my suggestion is she is reacting to your family medical situation in a bad way. She may not want to recognize or acknowledge it but I would bet it plays a huge role and affects her. But she is making wrong choices.

        Who abandons their family at a time like this? Huge character flaw in my opinion. Self centered behavior all the way.

        You can keep banging your head against the wall or stop getting sucked in. You are one person and you can only manage so many crises at once. I suggest for your own sanity and for the sake of your family that you focus on the ill child first. And you.

        I feel terrible that she chose not to be at your child’s bedside. As a mother I would do whatever it took and would put aside my own feelings for the sake of my child.

        My therapist would ask “what are you trying to hold onto?” Because when spouse does all the work and the other spouse does nothing , it seems like a very toxic relationship in that there is an imbalance.

        Unfortunately my experience taught me to stop trying to reason with someone who is not interested in the same outcome. Your line that if the AP were gone you would be fine is not always true. My H’s OW/AP was gone for 6 weeks and when she called him he went running back. And that is when he started to plan for our divorce. He may be gone BUT then you are up against the ghost or the perception of the OM that she has. And if in her mind he is all that and more, you are in a tough position.

        My prayers to your family at this time and all the best for a speedy recovery. God Bless you and how fortunate your family has you at this time.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Back to TFW’s question….what one positive thing did you do to help get you through.

      For me it was not any one thing but a whole list of things that helped me slowly be able to breath again.

      Here is my list:
      Cry…..don’t bury the hurt.

      Confide in a few close friends

      Read and Read some more about the subject of infidelity.


      Find a therapist just for you

      Find a creative outlet………for me this is huge

      Hang out here on this site………know that you are not alone.

      Remind yourself that you are VALUABLE and that the person that betrayed you diminished themselves not you.

      Note….these are all things I could do without my partner, things I do not have to rely on him for.

    • Shifting Impressions

      And just to bring up another topic…..after all it is an open mic

      What is one of the phrases that your CS uses that pisses you off the most????

      For me it’s “I JUST WANT TO MOVE ON” !!!!!!! Or “LETS JUST MOVE ON”!!!!

      • Strengthrequired

        Shifting, lol. Yes…. What about, I’ve blocked it out of my mind, I don’t like to think about it.

        • Strengthrequired

          Or I don’t remember.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Yes,,,,I don’t remember is right at the top of the list as well!

      • Doug

        One thing I used to say (other than what you already mentioned) that always made Linda very frustrated and angry was “We’ve talked about this a million times!” I must have said that about a million times! 😉

        • Shifting Impressions

          Yes that sounds like…..”I have already answered that” or “We have been through this already”.

          I guess if it takes million times it takes a million times………..

      • TheFirstWife

        Mine is the stonewalling and gaslighting. I have witnessed it for 30 years. When he doesn’t want to lie or engage he just shuts down and doesn’t answer.

        Example. When tell him for all of our married life he would say I have a dinner after work I’ll be home at 11 pm and show up at 2 am. No call I’m going to be late. No answer to his cell phone which I cslled around midnight. Just I’m sorry I should have called. No explanation as to who he was with.

        Maddening! When I would ask questions about his last affsirs or I voice my concerns even now about not knowing the full truth I get the silence. The I don’t remember that.

        Well damn I do remember that!

        • Ann

          My CH does exactly what you have described. When he doesn’t want to answer the question right away, he will either get on his phone and say he needs to answer this call right away, or he shuts down and doesn’t say a word.
          When my CH goes out to a “get together” his cell phone is always put on mute or he says he puts it in his truck so that he doesn’t loose it. Then when he gets home he say “oh yeah I should have called” and sometimes he throws a “sorry” in there too.
          I didn’t know it was stonewalling until he left me for a year for his first AP and when he wasn’t around I was able to open my eyes and see what he really was doing, and how he acts around people.

      • Tabs


        Just two days ago, my CS refused to talk about his affairs. When this happens, I usually get “What do you want from me. We already went over this. ”

        I keep telling him that all I want is the truth. Then its “I just want to move on!!”. End of conversation. I wasn’t even angry or yelling. AND, I’ve never gotten the truth.

        Has anybody come up with a way to keep the CS engaged in the conversation?

        • Strengthrequired

          Tabs, I’ve never gotten the full truth either, and I doubt I ever will. The same, just want to move on, doesn’t want to think about it.

          • TheFirstWife

            Which is why most CS don’t go to therapy. Because then they will have to face it.

            So bury your head in the sand and live in denial. It is a beautiful thing and works for so many cheaters.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Sounds so familiar……..is there a handbook for Cheating Spouses on how to stop the conversation dead in it’s tacks or what ????

          I would love to move on as well but as you said there is the matter of the full truth first.

        • TheFirstWife

          Tabs. I am not sure how long it has been since DDay for you. I am coming up on 3 years and I admit there are times when I have overwhelming feelings of anger and resentment from everything that happened (affair and residual behavior after affair).

          So last week I saw my therapist due to a lying incident with my H (not cheating but some other issue). I told him I feel so misguided b/c the one thing I was so attracted to my H when we met was that he was an honest straight up guy. And my therapist said it do he appeared. Maybe this is not new behavior but he was better able to hide it all these years.

          Ok do that was not helpful to me even if true.

          But I started thinking – why do we want answers from a liar & cheater when we know, based on past experience, they have not told the truth. Why is it so important to us as the BS?

          I don’t have an answer except to say after 3 years I am worn out being the cheerleader, fixer, sympathetic listener and wife of a liar & cheater. Even the first EA had not dragged on 3 years and the second affair for 1 year I might have been in a different place.

          But I am a doormat and kind and trusting and try to see the good in people, if possible.

          Unfortunately I am tired of this reoccurring situation where I cannot get a truthful answer on other levels. Great father and friend, good listener but there is something missing here if you cannot be honest about everything 100%.

          If the OW had not sent the emails to me I would have believed all he told me right after DDay2 and it was all lies, told to me to cover his butt. And I saw how hard he was trying and was so impressed and believed every word.

          Fool me once shame on you bFool me twice shame on me. Fool me 3x – ain’t gonna happen.

          I have pieced everything together and I know all I need to know. I am no longer engaging in the drama of healing and transpatency and all that goes along with it. He doesn’t have the capacity to man up on some things.

          His character flaw. Not mine.

          And now he can experience first hand all I put up with gor 30+ years. His dad is having some health issues and refuses to acknowledge or talk about any of it. He says he is fine and has no health issues. Complete denial. So now my H can see what it feels like to be in my position. And he doesn’t like the frustration and challenge and pain of it all.

          And I have stopped asking a liar and cheater who got that way by choice for any explanations. I am waving the white I surrender flag. I need to move past this.

          And if it continues I may just need to move on permanently. My sons are not babies and they will be fine. My therapist said so. At least he doesn’t lie.
          Meow off to start my happy day. ?

          • Tabs


            It’s been 5 years since the first DDay, but it feels like a life time. I’ve told my CS that I’ve done a lot of introspective analysis. When I ask him if he’s even thought about what he’s done, I get “nothing”. If I push harder, I get the usual “What do you want from me? Blah, blah, blah…” Call me stubborn. I’m not waving the white flag just yet.

            Chapter 1 – Avoidance in the Cheating Spouse Handbook. And, I’d love to take your advice and confide a few close friends. But like I’ve said in previous postings, one “friend” just decided to cut all contact with me after she told me about the affairs. I now do not, under any circumstances, say anything to anybody. That’s why blogs like this are so very important to me – shared experiences and values.

            Thanks all.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Yes, I remember you mentioning that. How painful that must have been. The support I have received has been a lifeline. Are you certain that there is no one else that would be there for you?

              Sometimes people see more than we realize. Two friends that I hadn’t known for very long saw a change in me. One said she saw something in my eyes and the other one said she saw that my joy was gone. Both had gone through painful experiences of their own and somehow picked up on my pain.

              Also my oldest son said he heard in my voice that something was very wrong.

              My sister also picked up that I was not myself.

              This blog is also very important to me but the love and support and words of wisdom from friends has been amazing..

            • Tabs


              I just don’t care to repeat the pain. I’ve decided to keep my CH’s affairs to myself. What I really need are friends who don’t know my CH!

            • Strengthrequired

              Tabs, I completely understand what your saying. I am the same. Lost friends due to my ch affair, now what I prefer is to have friends that don’t know.

            • Hopeful

              I have told no one. Just my husband and my therapist. I am not sure if the ow even know I know since he had broken it off by the time dday rolled around. I still wonder if his friends has any idea, his friend that introduced him to both ow passed away. He claims he never told anyone. But who knows who notices what. Friends have noticed my behavior at times and also comments about us doing so much as a couple. My husband’s friends have to notice. He drinks so much less and comes home by 10 if he is our. He never did this ever. For me I cannot see the benefit in telling people. If I knew someone had been through this then maybe but the benefit is not there. I think we would lose friends. I do not think my friends would not want their husbands hanging out with mine. Theirs are far from perfect but I think it is the fear of it could happen to me even though that never helps the situation. My husband and I were the closest couple we know out of all of our friends and it happened to us.

              Tfw I am so tired of how long this is all taking. We have made great progress at just past a year from dday one. I did so much work this first year. What I now realize is my husband is just now opening up not about details but about why deep down this happened and how he feels. For the entire first year he was in fix it mode with me. Now it has changed. It is good but I am getting tired. And it is sinking in this is really my new normal forever. After going through this I will never be 100% trusting or at ease. And I have a feeling we will talk about things in depth that most couples never do discuss. And over time I see us and our marriage evolving. Things are good but I do worry if I have the stamina. I think could it be better on my own or with someone else? But then again there are zero guarantees with anyone. I do feel sad he atoll my true happiness everything feels jaded. I am skeptical of people. That is really hard. I do try to see the good in this situation and that I am glad this all came out. I blamed what I felt in our marriage on me mainly because my husband blamed me and I took it. So that part feels so good. We are closer than ever. Only time will tell. Thank you for listening and being here.

            • Shifting Impressions

              The thing I gained from telling my closest friends was love and support. During some of my darkest days after D-day the realization that my friends are gold…..kept me going.

              We have shared each other’s struggles and the result is truly authentic and steadfast relationships in my life. I don’t have to put on a mask when I am with these particular women…..I get to be me.

              And surprisingly enough…..they have not been judge mental. They are not just good friends to me but are good friends of the marriage. I couldn’t have made it this far without them.

            • Hopeful

              I have gotten to the point of caring less about the details. And as far as a polygraph goes my husband is a mental health professional and has them administered for cases he works on ironic isn’t it? I brought up wanting him to take one. For me I was so tired of the I do not know response. What he told me is he really does not know. And when one is given properly it will only have maybe 6-8 yes no questions. That is not close to enough, I also finally decided that it would not give me the piece of mind. What it took for us was time. My husband was completely focused on making me and us better. His affairs went on for 10 years but one ow he only saw three times and the rest was email. He had broken it off with each before dday one. In his mind he was done with these and also forgot/repressed what he did. He remembers a few major things but all bad. He cannot remember which year the one affair started. He has no idea. He said he hated himself and just wished they would go away. That woman pushed him for his phone number for 3-4 years. In the end he made the decisions he was not drugged or raped.

              So now that we are past a year I see him really looking at himself. He was scared he would hate this life or not make me happy or be happy himself, he thought he had ruined everything beyond repair. I think because of all my work he is now able to take a look at himself. It is hard and slow. He is opening up. The really hard part is there are no guarantees but there are not any with anyone. I am getting a little impatient but I keep telling myself it took me a year and he needs to work though this. It is hard with our kids around a lot. We have made sure to keep it from them. Lots to work though still but just keep going,,

            • Shifting Impressions

              I respect that……we are all so different. What works for one doesn’t work for someone else..

              Yes, friends that don’t know the CH are a bonus for sure.

              I am just sorry you had to go through the pain of being rejected by a friend.

        • theresa

          Tabs, in my experience, the only way to have a discussion or conversation with more than one person vocally contributing to the effort and is longer than 3 sentences, is to limit the topics to be disscussed,
          I have tried to adhere to the “how to say it” guidelines.
          I ……
          “maintain low tones” (Conehead fans)
          Choose non threatening words
          Don’t accuse or spout out a laundry list of “issues”
          Acknowledge positive efforts.
          In other words, keep it light. As soon as there is a hint of a problem, anything that will make him uncomfortable, it’s lights out!
          And this leads me to the most recent utterance
          “Oh, right! So now I have to be mr. Perfect all the time!!!
          Not by a long shot.

          • Tabs


            I now ask single questions. They are usually just the yes or no kind. Even with that, there are times I get nothing. My CS will even change topics and not acknowledge the question. It’s things like this that I have to remind myself why I stayed married.

            • theresa

              I often think that his bluster, indignation, condecending tone, his air of martydom, impatient huffs, his counterattack on me, (and on and on) when hearing a question that had been asked and answered (both of us knowing his past responce was not quite honest), is because he can’t remember which version he has already used.
              I know what I have to do. There are things I have to say. I don’t give a shit how he will feel. No more questions. Straight up statements on how I feel after something he’s said or done. I’m not asking for any responce from him. There is nothing new to add to what has already been said.
              I will just walk away if he exhibits any of his usual tactics.
              But oh my God it’s hard! I know I’ve reached the end of hope. This is not what I’d dreamed of. Time to accept what I can not change.

        • Patricia

          My husband jumps in his truck and takes off. When he returns he gives me the silent treatment for a couple of days. Its been two years and we have only talked his affair twice. Ugh!!!!

      • Hopeful

        Lots of them… “I don’t remember” ” this is covered ground” he said that all the time when I would ask him questions after dday one then five months later dday two came and guess what all the questions I had been asking I was right there was more to the story.

    • George

      Its been 4 months since DDAY, and I could really use some guidance. The OM’s wife contacted me after generically uncovering a workplace PA between my CS and hers lasting almost a year. My CS has been yielding TT, progressively more damning things each time. Swearing that there is nothing more each time. For the first couple of weeks following DDAY, the OM’s wife was instrumental in breaking through the CSs’ synchronized bullshit. After that, the mutual support ebbed. I was left with only a gut feeling concerning what had been told to me and what little that could be independently verified. The gut feeling has never left, nor have the theatrics surrounding the simple question “Is there anything else I should know?”
      Two days ago, she revealed a long standing workplace EA following the same repeated question, and more theatrics and head games followed. The EA didn’t come as much of a surprise after already having scoured the phone records over her PA timeline confirmation and stumbled on a substantially greater number of communications to the EA. I grilled her then about it and bought her bullshit. My only genuine surprise is how vehemently she denies that that particular engagement ever went physical, only kissing in his car years ago. I know what affair revelation code that’s for. I have since obtained my top secret decoder ring.
      After four months of this roller coaster, I’ve reached my limit. The looking me in the eye and lying to my face over and over has been perfected. I have asked her, demanded of her, bargained with her, and begged her to tell me, truthfully, if there is anything else I should know. I do not believe a word coming out of her mouth, NOTHING that cannot be independently verified. And right now I have very little outside information to go off of. I am actually giving credence to a polygraph test as the ultimatum. Out of everything she “revealed” to me, I didn’t have prior knowledge of only three events. Everything else had to be pried out. I’m in uncharted waters now, and I don’t know how deep they go.
      The real travesty in all this are our two teenage daughters bearing witness to the spectacle. I never knew just how thin the walls in this house were or how much they eavesdrop. Both have been deeply scared by recent revelations and events. Arguments and heated discussions have been contained primarily in the garage, but I’m looking back now at just how much time I’ve spent (and/or wasted) out there with her, not paying nearly enough attention to the girls. Our oldest is preparing to start college classes very early. Our youngest has her own academic aspirations as well. My CS and I are on nearly equal financial standing, but were she to adhere to the terms set forth in the no contact rule, that would be a thing of the past as well as the kids’ collegiate aspirations.
      I have been with the same company for 16 years, and pursuing my own degree for the past five years. She was more than aware what we were working toward. Passionate inquiries have been made to that point and to the exact time that her understanding elapsed with no real answer.
      My question: is the polygraph excessive or should I simply just call this done? I have little faith in marriage counselors due to the OM WAS in counseling with his wife during this last four months of the PA with my CS. WTF, OVER? At this point I’m open to just about any suggestions. Thank you for your time

      • TheFirstWife

        Please read my response to BOR. It applies to your situation as well.

        In my experience and from everything I hsve resd here all the CS will lie about everything the BS cannot prove in black & white. If you don’t have proof of contact via email or phone bills they will not admit it or deny it.

        In my case my H swore up and down he was being honest after DDay2. It wasn’t until the OW in revenge mode sent me all their emails did I see he was still lying to me. He was trying to cover his butt and thought lying was the way to do it.

        If I had to look back and do it again I would try not to get sucked into the hole of the lies and drama thst goes along with it.

        Once you are removed from the drama you can see things objectively. Counseling for you is necessary during this crazy period.

        I continued to hold out hope my H would stop lying. We went 6 months over whether he loved her. He was planning on leaving me and asked for a divorce 2x and had one foot out the door. I saw in emails where he said O love you to her yet he denied to me he loved her. The arguments over that point was maddening.

        In retrospect I wished I would have stopped trying to get him to admit it and would have just said “I am sorry you are unable to be truthful with me”. Just cut off the drama. Move on.

        And when you remove the drama frm your life you can start to see things clearly.

      • TheFirstWife

        Also don’t give a bad rap to marriage counseling or counseling in general. If a CS goes to counseling and is still in the affair and lying and cheating – a professional cannot always change that and it should be a testament to the liar and cheating spouse, not the counselor.

        I feel sorry for the betrayed spouse who believed the CS is sincerely working on the marriage.

      • Bob

        Polygraphs are bs. And the fact that you are compelled to have her undergo a polygraph exam tells you everything you need to know.

        Either she’s going to start making changes to her life, tell you the truth, and help you heal, or she won’t. It’s up to her.

        Until then, do your own thing and take care of yourself and your kids. So what do you want? What do you need? Those aren’t easy questions to answer but hopefully trying to answer them will point you in the right direction.

        Good luck. Sorry this is happening. It sucks.

        • TheFirstWife

          I agree on polygraphs. I always remember the George Costanza line from Seinfeld. “It’s not a lie if you believe it to be the truth”.

          If you need a polygraph to get answers from your spouse, you are right it is not worth it.

          And if you continue to get lies and non-truth, you know exactly where you stand. I am just so upset it took me 3years from DDay to get it.

          I held out hope all this time for something I doubt I will ever get – a simple honest answer.

          I have forgiven. That is all I can do.

          • Strengthrequired

            Tfw, I think it would be very rare for any bs to get the whole truth. Think there would be so much we may never know. Think about it, whether a month or years in an affair, there are so many times they have been in communication, so many conversations had, we know that by just how Lo they would text, or call one another a day, the times they were together. Before I even knew of the affair, my ch spent five weeks with her in another country. I can tell you there are so many things in that time, I will never know. Then there is more than a year on top of that. Half the time I think it is a waste of time even trying to get the truth, because they never remember, selective memory.
            My ch can’t tell me there wasn’t more, I don’t buy that they don’t remember. They just want to cover their own ass.
            We are twenty five years married tomorrow, And I don’t even feel thrilled about it. Doesn’t feel like a milestone, when it should be. What a milestone it would be, if he was able to be faithful the whole of our marriage, would have meant more.

            • TheFirstWife

              Ahh yes the 25th anniversary. We were about 3 months from DDay1 and my H asked to plan our anniversary. Our 25th anniversary. I was sooo happy b/c I took it as a very positive sign.

              Dinner and overnight in an exclusive hotel and honeymoon suite. The whole thing was amazing.

              Turns out he had been back with the OW for about 3 weeks or so for round 2.

              Sooooo in my experience he has ruined my favorite song with his affair, ruined his birthday due to the affair, ruined Thanksgiving due to his affair, ruined our anniversary due to his affair because they are all now trigger dates.

              I hope yours is better and maybe you can find some joy for part of the day.

            • Ann

              I also think now that I will never know all of both affairs.
              I like you have our twenty fifth anniversary coming up in May, and it will mean nothing to me.

            • Strengthrequired

              Ann, my 25th was just another day, nothing special. There was no excitement. I used to look forward to our anniversaries, not so much anymore. No longer feels the same to me, Hope you have a enjoyable time.

            • Ann

              Hi SR
              I used to look forward to my CH coming home from work everyday. I used to get a smile on my face when I would hear his truck coming down the driveway.
              Now when I hear it my thought is okay he’s come home for another day.
              I hope your next anniversary will be brighter.

            • Strengthrequired

              Ann, I used to be the same. The difference for me now is, I’m happy to see him home, but I don’t call him much anymore to ask when he plans on coming home. I’ve told him, when he is going to be later than usual, it’s up to him to let me know.
              We did end up going out for our anniversary, but again, just another day. Hopefully one day, it will feel special to me again. I hope the same for you.
              These affairs really put a damper on those once look forward to days.

            • Ann

              Hi SR
              Before his affairs my CH would call me to let me know if he was going to be late or on his way home, and I would worry if I didn’t hear from him.
              Fast forward to now he will let me know where he is going but I don’t call him to see if he is on his way home or call him to see if he will be late for dinner. I wait now until he comes home and if dinner isn’t ready I let him know that I wasn’t sure when he was coming home.
              I don’t worry about having dinner ready for him now. If it is ready then okay but if I don’t even feel like cooking he then goes and gets dinner for us.
              I worry much less about him now and my situation with him.

          • TheFirstWife

            Should be now off to start my happy day. Not meow?

            • Strengthrequired

              Tfw, the same after 3 months from dday, we too went out to celebrate our wedding anniversary, 21st and it was beautiful as well. Nice weekend. I was so happy too, thought we had made progress, even the weekend prior he made a nice birthday at a restaurant for me with family and friends, he had never done that before. Turns out, he too just couldn’t let the ow go, took another year, as far as I know anyway. What he has told me.
              I have been thinking today, and about 15 years ago, I had a falling out with a friend, I didn’t like how she was calling my husband, yet wouldn’t tell me what she wanted to talk with him about.
              Well my husband would tell me how it is my fault, that I should talk to her, blah blah blah, he didn’t stand by me at all. Then I fell pregnant, my husband still acting in defence of her, then I find out he had been calling her and spending a long time on the phone, not sure how many times they spoke. About 3 months later, I lost my job, due to the company I worked for going bust, then not long later, my husband started not talking to me, ignoring me etc, and I had no clue why.
              I sat there crying every night, wondering what I had done wrong, and how he would stay up until all hours of the morning, to avoid me.
              This lasted a week, and then I miscarried, my waters broke, we rushed to the hospital, and were there within ten minutes of leaving home, by that time I had haemorrhaged. I looked over at my husband and saw the shear terror in his eyes. I ended up in hospital for a week. He was fine after that, being very attentive and loving. Then I saw the phone bill. While I was in hospital, after losing our baby, he had called my ex friend. After all the times he had said he wouldn’t call her, he did. Yet as far as I could tell, that was the last phone conversation they had.
              I used to ask him, if he had slept with her, but he always denied it, said he was just being a friend to her. ( at the expense of me, his wife).
              Looking back, since having gone through his last affair, I too have put things together, by his reactions, his secrecy, and behaviour towards me during that time. I remember coming home from hospital, curled up in a corner on the floor, just full of heartache, crying, and just no longer wanting to live. Although he was caring and loving when I came home, as well as protective of me, I deep down blamed him, for our loss.
              So you weren’t the only one that believed nothing was going on, because they said so. Yet having been through what I have, I believe, he was in an ea with my ex friend. That is a very harsh reality, yet he still denies it, and I have no proof. Except from now the latest experience.
              In which he lied through his teeth as well, except this time it turned out worse.

            • TheFirstWife

              I am so sorry for your pain. I know how it feels to look back and realize your H has been a liar and Cheater the entire marriage.

              In my mind if there are two incidences I know about then there must be more. My H traveled for business all over the world. I am sure we can piece it together.

      • Sarah P

        Hi George,
        I would like to chime in and give you an answer.

        Here is what you need to do:

        1. Try to figure out who your wife is at the core. Is she from a divorced family ? What is her attachment style with her parents? Is she prone to lying?

        2. If that is too much trouble, get some books on personality disorders and see if you believe she meets the criteria for one. I know you don’t want to see a therapist, but if you believe she has a personality disorder, I would schedule one session with a therapist for presenting why you think she has a personality disorder and ask them what they think. You don’t have to go to therapy if you want to.

        I think #2 is the most important point and this goes for everyone.

        If any of you are married to someone with a personality disorder, there is NO working things through. Personality disorders live life upside down and unless you also live life upside down, it’s a terrible ride. Same thing applies for addicts. If you are married to an alcoholic who is not in AA or rehab, there is no working things through. So I think that almost anything can be worked through as long as you are not married to a personality disorder. So that’s really the bottom line, if you are not married to someone with a personality disorder and if the cheating spouse wants to work it out and has insight, then I think you have a shot at staying. But if you are married to a personality disorder, then working things through is like beating a dead horse. You have to figure out how long you want to live a life of futility, because that’s all there will ever be.

        Not trying to be a downer. But, I am a straight shooter and like to give direct answers when I can.

        Otherwise, George, I am sorry that you are going through all this garbage with your wife. As a wife and mom myself, I am horrified about the way your wife is acting and especially how her actions affect your daughters. If I were you, I wouldn’t waste my time and I would look forward to finding a wife that cares (one day). I personally have very different views on married men who cheat versus married women who cheat. Women are very different than men and I really have a hard time specifically with married women who cheat with married men. Not only are they cheaters, but they are also spouse poachers of the husband’s of other women. This is my own personal view and bias, but when married women cheat with married men, I don’t think there is a lot to work out. Ultimately though that’s my opinion and many don’t agree with me. In the end, you only know what’s right for you to do because you know the whole story. So, think on it, but ultimately listen to your gut.

    • TryingHard

      The whole notion of needing ALL the truth. What does that really mean? If we buy into the fact that affairs are fantasies what is the truth?

      I think there are some things that the BS absolutely need to know. Who, what, when, where and hopefully why. You need to know if these used protection. You need to know if they are continuing the affair, you need to know if you are going to be exposed to STD’s, you need to know if the Cheater is truly invested in his commitment to heal the marriage and progress in your relationship. But what other details do you as a BS truly need to know? Does it really make a difference if he told her he loved her? Does it truly make a difference if you are reconciled whether or not he planned a future with her? Seems to me once there has been infidelity whether emotional or physical or both that’s really all a BS needs to know to make her decision. Everything else is trivial. Yes you need honesty about how many affairs they had during the life of your marriage. But what else to you really need to know that would be anymore of a deal breaker in a marriage other that they had sex and/or an emotional connection with another person?

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree with you. I think we really do know more than we acknowledge to ourselves.

        I just assume they had sex even though both him and the OW swear up and down they did not.

        I believe I got all the information I need. Unfortunately not from him but the OW.

        And I believe he lied about most of it anyway to make himself look like less of a _______(fill in the blank with whatever word you choose).

        At the end of it all for the rest of his life he can be the best husband ever. You cannot erase the fact he was a liar and a cheater.

        And then comes forgiveness. And once you are past that stage, there is nothing else you should need. That is everything my therapist told me. It is easier said than done. It took me 3 years to get it.

        I feel like I wasted three years of my life on this. Wish I would have done things differently.

        I wish after DDay2 HE would have done things differently.

    • Patsy50

      Yes I have heard many times in the days and weeks after DDay, that I ask the same questions over and over. When is it going to end! My response was always the same, ” it ends when I am ready for the questions to be over. He lost all say in the matter when he chose to have an EA. We BS will never get all the information we are looking for or even the truth but I do know, if you have some evidence of an affair then an affair happened and you now must decide whether both of you want to salvage the marriage or move on. If you decide to stay, can you stand to look at your CS everyday? Can you accept and forgive? Can you still find love for them in a new relationship. Cause it definitely will be a new relationship and hard work ahead for both spouses.
      It’s been 5 years now since DDay for us. And we have survived!

    • Falling Ash

      My OH has been having individual counselling since November last year (19 months after DDay) after being caught out lying to me, again, about a goodbye hug from someone at work who had potential to be another OW. This relationship began whilst still having the original EA (never got that far but he was starting to repeat the behaviours). I had asked that he have no contact with her other than strictly professional conversations about clients. He eventually owned up about the hug after I point blank asked him as my gut was telling me he was hiding something.

      The other week his counsellor asked him “When will it be enough?” I tried to get him to explain if she meant “enough” for me to forgive him for his EA and hiding behaviours, or for him to forgive himself. He wasn’t sure. I did tell him that his affair was probably something I was going to need to discuss (calmly and rationally, not screaming and shouting) for a very long time. He accepts that but still doesn’t give me certain things he knows I need from him, such as initiating conversations about difficult subjects. The onus always falls on me, and then I feel like the bad guy for always bringing it up.

      On a positive note, we have had some really nice times lately, getting me past the 2nd DDay anniversary, so it’s not all bad. I feel we are making progress overall, but it is not without many hiccups along the way. I still think about the affair several times a day and new questions occur to me all the time, much to my OH’s dismay I suspect.

      • Patsy50

        Falling Ash
        The cheating spouse usually doesn’t initiate conversations about their affairs. I know in my husbands case, If I wanted answers to his EA, I had to ask and definitely in a calm way and keeping it to a few questions each time I asked. But he also understood why I was asking these questions as we both wanted to rebuild our relationship and that it was very important to me. You are never the “bad guy” in this situation, ever. I am glad you are making progress and hope the best for you. Eventually you reach a point where you can think about the affair and it’s not that important anymore as long as the CS has shown he can be trusted and I have always found that in his actions not just in his words.

        • Falling Ash

          Thank you Patsy50.

          Can I ask how long it took you to feel that you had reached that point? The power to hurt of the affair is definitely lessening, but I am not there yet. He is working very hard at being trustworthy.

          • Patsy50

            Falling Ash
            I would say about three years. My husband worked with his AP so when he semi retired and she got fired with cause ( nothing to do with the EA) it made it much easier.

            We all go at different paces. Some in less time and some take much longer. I don’t think there is a set time. Only you will know when it’s the right time for you.

    • George

      On DDAY, my guts were as kindly ripped out as they could be by the OM’s wife, then confirmed by by my CS in four words. All of this was at work. Instead of heading home right after work, i met with her at a public place. She had some idea of what was going on, and i knew it would be far more truth than i would receive from my CS. Armed with what scraps she had at the time, i went home and confronted my CS. Ultimately i just wanted a very general, nondescript picture. That hope was flushed down the toilet after the first lie.

      Im not sure if she saw the end of my rope the other night or not, but i now know of two OM and that deep the rabbit hole went much deeper with the long term EA. Once again, she swears that there’s nothing else to tell, again. I’ve poked and proded in every conceivable way to procure any shred of independent corroboration, to no avail. That was an exercise in futility from the start. In spite of what she says, im certain at least one other of these OM’s was physical. The gut feeling will never really end. Some of you have the benifit of years of trust built up after DDAY. I dont have that luxury, and wish to God i did. Just knowing that going grocery shopping means just that, and not a detour before for something extra.

      I dont know how the hell you people forgave. I wasnt angry or even upset as she was telling me about the other OM’s. I was completely calm. I do love her. I do want to help her. I told her months ago, i cant forgive what i dont know about. Theres just so damn much there. Three affairs in one year at the last of it. Im not sure when so much is too much, or where that line is. My kids motivate keep me focused on where i should be. But is this the example? Can i actually do this after this emasculation. I bitten my tongue in every conversation since. I dont know how i can want to love, viscerally hate, hurt, help, heal, and stab and one woman all at once. But there it is. I dont know what is goi g to surface next.

      Youre dead on about the polygraph. That was desperation talking.

      • TheFirstWife

        George. We have all been there. This behavior is expected. I know it is maddening and frustrating but it is not out of the ordinary for the Cheating Spouse.

        Unfortunately for most of us it is out of character for the Betrayed Spouse to see and realize and know that the person they loved and trusted so completely would and does behave this way (badly is putting it mildly).

        That being said forgiveness can talk a long time or forever, depending upon where you are on the recovery path. My mistake was I showed my H I was willing to forgive and move past it and not dwell on it. His thanks was to cheat on me again with the same OW.

        If you lower your expectations you will be less frustrated and angry. Expect if you ask your wife about her affairs she is going to lie. Expect if you ask her (for now) if she went to the store that you may oral not believe her. Expect if you tell her I do not want you socializing with people after work that she may say she has to work late or it is possible she is working late. Only you can judge if you will BELIEVE her at any point.

        Right after DDay2 my H had a business trip for 3 days. I was anxious about it (the OW was not going to be there). His phone dialed me and I heard him talking to another woman from work. I was furious he did not tell me a single young coworker was on this trip. His reaction was I didn’t think it was a big deal and that I should have told you. DUH! He just didn’t get it.

        You need to take some stress off yourself. Try each day to do one thing for yourself. Coffee at your favorite place or a movie or good book. I found that when I stopped looking to my H to fix this mess and started relying on me to wade through all the crap and fix my reaction to all of this, I very quickly was in a better place.

        And when I justvran out of patience and told him to leave is when he realized I was no longer a yoyo and I was done. That led to some instant changes. A week before my IDGAS (I don’t give a sh&*#) attitude hecwas texting her from our bedroom.

        Do not let your wife decide how and when she will answer you. She is hoping you will go away if she stonewalls you enough. So you can continue to ask and be lied to and fall deeper into the black hole OR you can ask a question and when you know she is lying, you can calmly let her know you are well aware she is lying. Look her in the eye and inform her in a calm way that you are trying to resolve things but she is showing disrespect to you by lying. And it is ok to tell her you cannot accept that behavior.

        And then walk away. Out of the room or house. But set a firm tone the behavior and lies are not acceptable.

        Eventually you will need to decide your next step. But I wished I did not engage with my H when he lied to me. I wish I would have said I am sorry you continue that behavior and walked away from him. It would have saved me 3 years of anguish and frustration and being a willing participant in all the crap. I would become angry that he would stand there and lie about the affair, OW, etc.

        If I had removed myself from his presence each time he did it I think I would have been able to help myself. Instead I beat myself up over why he was still lying to me after all I had shown him (forgiveness, compassion, wanting to make our marriage work etc).

        When I finally stopped letting him call the shots I was able to move forward. He did not want counseling (never went). He did not want to try anything new to help our communication. He was going to tell me at the end of the summer whether he was going to stay married to me. He would let me know.

        And I went along trying to fix it, fix us, fix me, etc. the only thing that needed fixing was him.

        So I learned how to manage my reactions to him b/c that was all I could control. And it helped

        So when I believed he lied about something a few weeks ago I got upset. And it was then I realized I can only control my reaction. He swears he did not lie and I have no hard proof. But in my mind I believe I am not wrong and I moved on and chose not to dwell on the issue.

        And one day I may decide it is the last straw and I moving on for good. Keep lying and take that risk. That is all I can do.

        And I think that is all you can do too. Expect her to continue to lie. It is up to you to decide how You will deal with it. You can get angry and frustrated or laugh it off as predictable behavior. Your call.
        Mathis is all from 3 years of therapy. Free advice to you.

      • Sarah P

        Hi George,
        I need to chime in again. It sounds like your wife had several affairs. Here is what I need to say and this applies to everyone:

        1) We can’t save people from themselves.

        2) it’s not your job to help or heal her.

        3) I would not recommend (for the long term) staying in a relationship where you continue to feel emasculated.

        4) It is her (cheating spouse’s) job to work on herself and also on the marriage.

        5) it is also her job to put on her big girl boots and focus on what really matters– her children.

        As I said before, I personally have a tremendous problem with promiscuous married women, especially when it involves married men. It takes a very certain kind of woman to do this, let alone do it with different people. Many women are wired to defend their nest and children. That includes their relationship with their husbands. Her behavior really concerns me since it sounds like there have been several men. I am only saying all of this because you wondered where you might stand with your wife. But as always this is just an opinion. I know you don’t want to see therapist. But I can assure you that if you take the time to see a good therapist, they can be very helpful. You really need some kind of expert to be a sounding board.

        • TheFirstWife

          Well said and spot on

    • Tabs


      You could write a book!!

      I wish I’d heard your words of wisdom much earlier. I confronted the lies with anger and rage. My CH never said a word except “Are you done?”, which infuriated me further. I believed my marriage was over. When I simply gave up, he decided to come back into the marriage. In all fairness, I don’t know whether it was the OW dumping him, getting bored with him, or my CS deciding to keep his family. I’d like to think it was the later, but I really don’t know.

      • TheFirstWife

        I think we all could write a book.

        My H would look at me and say I sm sorry I hurt you blah blah blah but still not answer a question.

        I wish I was not sucked into the whole notion of “help me heal and tell me everything and be honest and truthful” drama. In reality I learned too late I could have stopped the cycle sooner and gotten off the train sooner.

        I was just sure we were different and I relied on his word he would tell me everything and be honest. I continued to allow myself to be disappointed again and again with his lies.

        Based on all my experience and everything I reas here I believe the CS wants to save the marriage. The question is why wont they just do the right thing? I guess honesty is too much to ask for.

        Maybe I would be less jaded if I wasn’t dragged into a three year circus. It can just beat you down at times.

        And I think it could have made a difference if I had used my power in the relationship towards more productive things and quit going round and round about lies and stupidity.

        I wonder what the difference would have been for me. Or any of us for that matter.

        George you have a chance. From my experience and all I read here the CS does not have the ability to be honest. Stop trying to get blood from a stone. It is futile.

    • George

      I wholeheartedly comprehend concerning the thoughts of we, she and i, are different. Maybe the same rules dont apply to her explanations despite the gnawing gut feeling. She still works with two of these OM’s but swears she keeps her distance, only having professional contact now. I cannot help but want to seek confirmation of what she has told me about one of these other OM’s. She says it would be detrimental to her employment, but im ready to pull the pin and let the spoon fly on this grenade. This OM’s fiancee appears oblivious and i have a pay it forward to repay to someone. My CS was not the only skirt he was pursuing from what my CS has said.

      She is looking at taking a different position within her company with normal hours and a normal schedule. She has worked nights at a virtual frat house for many years. This will mean a substantial deficit in income, but ensure no contact is maintained with either OM, or at least a major inconvenience.

      After the revelation of the 3 other OM’s has had time to sink in, im recognising the polar coaster ride again. Its different this time. A lot more IDGAF about things. It boils down to whether they were, in fact, EA or PA. The when being nailed down a little tighter would be nice. I cant really choke down an off and on roughly 7 year EA that never went physical. I just dont buy it, and it drives me bat s*** crazy not being told what it actually was. It really is just a pipe dream and a forever taboo subject for as long as i remain with her.

      Youre absolutely right. Know what youre going to be delt before you ask the question. It makes you not even want to ask the damn questions and walk the hell out. If you can go 3 years after DDAY and still know youre being fed a line of bullshit, it doesn’t give me much hope right now. Rereading her texts i saw the words move forward from her. It made me cringe. Here we go, just get over it. Blah blah blah, bullshit. I cant wait to do this blah so we can move forward. Blah blah blah, bullshit. Oh and BTW, there were three other OM’s.

      When we had been married for just two or three years, we had some acquaintances over one evening. It turned into a small house party, which wasnt uncommon at the time. After it wound down, most folks left, a couple were to inebriated to drive and crashed on the couch. The wife stayed up talking until she wasnt. I walked in on her and another guy before it had become irreparably serious. That image has been seared into my head ever since. He was less than politely asked to leave. That wasnt brought up again until four months ago. I keep going back to that thought on the three “EA’s”. It is maddening. And i know that even if i take the geographic solution, it still wont relieve anything. Not immediately anyway. My first wife did far less, and that baggage was with me for a while.

    • Antiskank

      I don’t know if my experience is any different than others… We are coming up to 4 years since the first D Day and our marriage is the worst it has ever been. I am seriously trying to determine how to end it.
      Although completely devastated at the beginning, I wanted to save the marriage, believing that the problems were all just due to the “fog” and “fantasy” and that he really did want to be together as he said. He insisted he loved me, We were doing a lot together, the sex was great, we were having fun. I was believing in him, trusting him, forgiving him but knew something wasn’t right still. He wouldn’t talk to me or answer questions. At almost 3 years out, when I pushed a little for answers, it turns out that it had all been a lie. He was still fantasizing about the AP even though their contact had ended long before. He didn’t really want me.

      Since that time, things have gone steadily downhill. He won’t talk to me about anything but trivial garbage – people at work, the weather, etc. If I try to talk about his I feel, he changes the subject or leaves the room. He absolutely will not disclose any information or feelings on his part. We can’t even discuss finances or household issues. No sex for almost a year, no closeness, no meaningful conversations, and he has now moved out of our bedroom as we prepare for the next steps. His only response to my suggestions of separation or divorce – “But I love you”. This is never followed up by any explanations or work on his part.

      Due to his constant lying, the horrific things he said to me and about me, his lack of understanding or empathy, his unwillingness to participate or commit to our marriage at all, his lack of real love for me, I feel I am done. It is not what I want but I see no other options. I never expected to get answers to every question that has plagued me but I am tired of the lies. If we accept the lies and poor behaviour, I feel it is condoning it, which I just can’t do! For forgiveness to happen the betrayer needs to take full responsibility. That means accepting what they did AND trying to fix it, committing to restoring what they have damaged.

      Maybe my frustration has overwhelmed my reasoning ability but I am feeling particularly hopeless of late. This site has been a lifeline for me on many occasions but I wish I hadn’t bought into the idea that all would be well and that the CS would miraculously rise from the fog a better person so that we could live happily ever after! Good luck to all, I am glad that most seem to be making positive progress.

      • TryingHard

        I am so sorry your husband has not progressed out of his fantasy life that was his affair. I believe battling the specter of the AP is worse than when they are there in real life.

        My H and I rarely discuss the affair or A P anymore and when we do it’s always how can I be sure you won’t do it again or if she makes contact will you tell me? His go to answer is that “because I love you”. Well I’m certain he still loved me during his affair so the I love you doesn’t hold much water. And I remind him of that. I love you does not answer my question. I’ve learned words are nothing without actions and it sounds to me that your husbands actions are not matching his declarations of love. People who love one another act lovingly. Moving out of the bedroom for me would be the last straw along with his confession that the OW was still in his head.

        Look there’s no doubt with regards to their love. But people “love” their pets, cars, homes and shoes. Heck I even love my food processor!! People are NOT appliances or pets. We are deserving of respect and conversation and meaningful relationships so his bullshit pat answer “but I love you” should be taken no more seriously than his conversations about the weather. And it’s even sadder that this is his only redeeming quality, that he says I Love You. I think that’s called a one trick pony.

        His proclaimed “love” for you is that you are the glue that keeps the status quo that is his life. And that’s what he really loves. And maybe he even likes to see himself as the martyr for giving up the “true love” of his life for the marriage. And doesn’t that just make him some kind of a moral superhero?

        Were I you I’d start disconnecting from him emotionally. I’d talk to an attorney and empower myself. If you aren’t working find a small job or take a class. Make the bedroom he deserted your own. Hell paint it pink if you like!! Get all his shit out of there and replace it with things you “love”. Start sending him the message you don’t care anymore and you are moving on. And more importantly when that dribble “I love you” oozes from his mouth put your hand up and walk away.

        His fantasy life reminds me of the widower who when his wife was alive all he did was disrespect her and deride her in front of others. But once she was dead she was a saint. Your H is still living in his affair fantasy even though the real person is long gone. He needs a therapist but you know what? He likes how he is. He likes his fantasy world. He’s a freaking Walter Mitty!! I’d show him the door and encourage him to go find her again before it was too late. Kindness and understanding doesn’t work with some people. They need to have a cold bucket of ice water to wake them up.

        Good luck to you dear one.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I am so sorry to hear that.
      Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if they would miraculously rise from the fog a better person, but for most of us I just don’t think that’s the case.

      It’s a long painful and arduous journey and I often find myself in the pit of despair as well. Thinking of you.

      • antiskank

        Thank you TH and SI for the kind thoughts. I admire you for rising above the crap that takes over our lives after the affairs. Some times I am sure I can do it but I don’t think that’s possible without him doing his part. I am tired of the avoidance and what I see as his selfishness, disrespect and apathy. His declarations of love really mean nothing to me as I just don’t feel it, especially after all of his lies and the time elapsed since D-Day. I also believe that he just says it because he thinks it’s what I would want to hear. Wrongo, buster!!

        It was at my request that he moved out of our bedroom. I wanted him to see it as the next step on the road to divorce. I have been the nice guy for much too long and need to get my life back, with or without him. If he is going to make an effort, it must be immediate, I have waited too long already. I have been distancing myself from him emotionally for quite a while now but it is still very difficult to walk away from a marriage that you have been in for over 40 years. Well, at least, for me it is difficult. We have been together since I was 16. It seems every time I think I would be better off without him, that little tiny bit of hope rears its ugly head. Darn it!!

        Interestingly, since I kicked him out of the bedroom, he is starting to get worried and wants yet another chance. I told him that as long as he is still in the house and still alive, he should be trying but I would not hold my breath or make any guarantees of his success. It would have to be a massive effort on his part for me to even consider moving forward with him. In the meantime, I am working on getting my self back and trying to enjoy the little things in life again. It is certainly a long haul, isn’t it?

        I am in a much better frame of mind to make logical decisions now but I’m taking it one step at a time and watching for progress. I can’t get used to the idea that the affair and resulting mess will always be with me for the rest of my life. Do we really get over it or is it just something that you try not to think about? Even those of you that are doing well in your relationships now, does this linger in the back of your mind still? Is it just because my CH has done nothing to help me repair the mess that it still front and centre for me?

        • TheFirstWife

          Hi AS: we have been on this blog together for about 3 years. Seems like longer than that though.

          I think you have had a mom&dad Kent of reckoning that if this is all he can do and this is as good as it gets than you would rather be separate from him. Now separate doesn’t require a divorce but as you stated you are pulling away emotionally and starting your own life Good for you!

          If you are not feeling it or seeing what you want to see from him, then you are right to start easing out of the marriage.

          He had years to get his act together and for whatever reason he didn’t. Sometimes I find that sad. How can a grown man not know how to fix the damage and if you don’t know then get some guidance or help from a professional. Is that so hard to figure out?

          As I said when you put yourself first and start focusing on what you need them it all falls into place. I spent too much time focused on my marriage instead of focusing more on me. But when I finally stopped going to therapy to fix my marriage and focused on getting to a better place I was finally happy. I didn’t care anymore about the marriage.
          So I know where you are coming from.

          Good for you! It is sad to see the marriage end (if that is what it comes to) but you can’t stay where you are. That is unhealthy for you.

          • TheFirstWife

            Darn auto correct. Not mom&dad. S/b moment of reckoning

        • Patsy50

          I have been married a longtime also. 45 years this Oct. It’s been 5 yrs. since husbands EA.
          We are doing well in our relationship but I do believe it’s because we both have done the work together to get to this point.
          It’s an event in my life that’s imprinted forever and can be looked upon without anymore pain or bitterness. You can forgive but never forget. You can trust but never blindly.
          Early on in the beginning, the hardest part for me was mourning for my husband as I knew him. As we worked together on the new relationship it became stronger.

          All the best to you

          • Broken2

            Patsy….thats exactly how I feel. It will never be the same. Life has left a scar that will never go away. I too mourned the man I thought he was. He is still trying to convince me he is that man. To little to late. In my case I don’t really think I love him anymore, we are more like friends. Its been almost five years for me as well. Life goes on…

        • Shifting Impressions

          I seem to be wrestling with many of the same things…..we were 17. We have been married for 42 years.

          It does seem to be an ongoing struggle. The struggle seems mostly to be with my own thoughts. I also wonder if the pain will be with me forever.Will I ever come to a place of forgiveness?

          We are relatively crisis free at the moment and treat each other lovingly….not wanting to do any farther damage. But my fears get the best of me some days and, well round and round it goes.

    • redpill

      My question is: after an EA (as either a BS or CS) did any of you have an awakening to realize that you didn’t want to save the marriage?

      That is how I’m feeling now. I’ve been separated from my H for almost a year and we’ve both been working on ourselves, have been supportive co-parents, jointly own a business together, have spent time with our extended families together, etc. We both feel we’ll always love one another in some way, but I think we’re both getting at the point of being ready to let go of the marriage.

      I think the EA, though painful and unreal, has been a surprising gift, especially now that the fog ended and we both did introspective work. H and I took time to rediscover who each of us really is in our core instead of going through the motions of a happy, public marriage when we each were alienated inside. We both had childhood abandonment/neglect issues and were both people-pleasers and we numbed out our emotions by throwing ourselves into distractions (same with the AP of the EA). I was living an upright, community-focused life and was denying the fact that I felt trapped, phony, and empty inside.

      I’m 46 and think H and I (and our daughter, age 10) all have a brighter road ahead of us without staying married. EA was like that pill that got us out of the Matrix. I now feel real.

      • TheFirstWife

        I think another poster AntiSkank has posted those same feelings.

        As my therapist put it, you no longer view your spouse in the same way after an affair. The Rose colored glasses are off.

        Some marriages just cannot be repaired. Good for you for recognizing it. Your child will be better off with two parents that are happy and good parents than an unhappy household.

        I questioned my therapist about my kids and divorce. He said my kids will be fine. They are not babies anymore and we will survive if it came to that. That’s freeing to me.

    • broken hearted

      It has been I year since I confronted my husband about his affair. And nothing has changed for me he moved out about 7 mos ago. He has said so many hateful and hurtful things to me in the last year. He says he no longer sees her. But once again I caught them out to diner a couple weeks ago. He says it was by chance not on purpose. He has physically abused me on several occasions. I didn’t turn him in or fill a report. He still chooses to say and do hurtful things to me. But once in awhile he will say he loves me and always will not sure what to think or do anymore.

      • Doug

        Broken Hearted, So sorry to hear about your situation. You need to do whatever you have to in order to be safe – emotionally and physically. You should not stand for that abuse any longer. He’s telling you he loves you and doing just enough to keep you from leaving, but I’d seriously consider it if I were you. Talk to your attorney to determine your rights and get your ducks in a row asap! You deserve to be happy and safe.

      • TheFirstWife

        You caught them out to dinner and it was a coincidence? I am sure that is a lie.

        I am sorry you are in this position. Physical abuse is not a good sign in any relationship. Please protect yourself.

        Get your plan B together – therapist, attorney, financial strategy and all the rest. Be very prepared if you file for divorce or get a restraining order. He will be vindictive and retaliate.

        Once you show him you are moving on he may become angry or irate. Be careful. Protect yourself.

        You will find yourself in a better place once you are away from him. I wish you the best and please keep us updated.

        God Bless

      • Sarah P

        Hello Broken Hearted,
        I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I know it’s especially hard since your H has beaten you down both emotionally and physically.

        I am not going to mince words. I think it’s really impossible to stay in a physically abusive relationship. Since I have been a teenager I knew that physical abusive would be a deal breaker for me. But, after I got my Masters in clinical psychology, I found that the literature on this topic supports my view. But, it’s not so easy for a woman to leave someone who is physically abusive. On average, a woman will show up at a woman’s shelter six different times before she leaves. That’s six times of leaving and going back. Sometimes battered women are really looked down upon because they don’t leave. But, I don’t look down upon them because I know there are two very good reasons that they stay.

        They don’t stay because of the kids or the finances or other things like that that we might think of.

        They stay because:

        1) They have been through the cycle of abuse many times and during the cycle of abuse, there will be a time when the abuser becomes very content, kind and usually offers gifts and praise. This phase is sometimes called the romance phase. During this time, the abuser says any hitting, pushing, slapping etc will no longer occur and that whatever he did that was abusive will never happen again. His goal is to instill hope in his victim. Take a moment to google the cycle of abuse.

        2) But here is the real problem: any kind of physical abuse, where someone goes through the cycle of abuse several times, create something called a trauma bond. Trauma bonds can be harder to break than regular bonds built on love and compassion. By the way, affairs can also cause trauma bonds especially when the affair is on-going and there are several D days or partners. So, you are dealing with both aspects of a trauma bond and that makes it even more difficult. Please take a moment to Google trauma bonds as well.

        I have a profound amount of compassion for you and I am very sorry about your situation. I know how hard it must be even if he is out of the house.

        It may not seem like it, but him leaving is really the best thing that could ever happen to you.

        In fact, if you actually left him for good, you would find that he would start abusing the other woman and glorifying you. This is how abusers operate. So there is a lesson that once again the abuse is not about you. The abuse is about something very broken within him that he chooses not to address. I have found that many abusers have a personality disorder. I would also go as far to say that all personality disorders engage in abusive behaviors toward others. Sociopaths are the worst.

        There is an interesting website called lovefraud.com where the owner of the websites post many of these stories. In fact, if you read the website you will see that a lot of the men who were abusive also have affairs and become violent. The Woman’s book, not is the owner of the website, is pretty unbelievable. What I mean is even though it is not a work of fiction, it could be a screenplay for a movie where it would be unbelievable to think these things happen in real life. But, in her case they actually did happen.

        I hope that you can start to reframe things and see that his leaving can actually allow you to have a life of your own. But, I also realize it’s going to be hard.

        Here is a question for everyone:

        Would any of you be interested in reading an article about trauma bonds?

        If not, please let me know what kind of articles everyone would be interested in reading.

        Many blessings to all…

        • TheFirstWife

          I have never heard the phrase trauma bonds. I would be interested in more details on that topic.

        • broken hearted

          Thank you for your input it was very helpful. In 35 yrs my h. never laid a hand on me until now. All the hurt and anger his has since I found out about his affair is all towards me. He puts so much blame onto me for anything and everything. Anything that goes wrong in his life is my fault. People see him with her and that’s even my fault because they talk. I am a business owner in a small town and he is a farmer. So people respect and know me very well since people have found out what he is doing they have told how much of an arrogant asshole they think he is. And that they only put up with him because of me. His mistress on the other hand is the lowest form of society her kids are in prison she can’t keep a job and my h has been paying her bills out of our account for 2 yrs. But yet he tells me that I am nothing but a low life welfare recipient M.F.C. who has done nothing but suck off of him for 35 yrs. But yet it’s his mistress who doesn’t work and he supports plus he has paid for her an attorney to get her out of a dui. Funny thing is I don’t drink and now last week he himself was arrested for a dui plus he totaled his truck along with it. So they both have alcohol issues and now she insist on texting me to and blaming his wreck on me. And was pissed off that I wouldn’t bail him out of jail. She said if I loved him or cared for him I would bail him out. The bond was 2000.00 I had asked our children if they wanted me to bail him out and they said let him sit there and maybe he would realize with he has done. Maybe I forgot to mention but the truck he was driving was our sons. And it only had liability insurance on it, so now my son is out a truck. But I was the one that paid for it in the first place. But to have the ow contact me now about him I’m done.

          • TheFirstWife

            Broken hearted. I feel so sad for you. You have put in decades of love and trust to get this?

            Hete is what my therapist would say.

            If you have given it your best and tried to make the marriage work, then you can walk away without deep regrets b/c you did your best.

            Some things you can live with and some you cannot.

            I think you are smart and strong and you know it and he knows it. His behavior is typical. My H did the same thing. Everything wrong was my fault. He said deeply hurtful things including “I only married him to spite my parents”. Really!?

            In any event you know your H has issues (alcohol being the biggest). I hope you can see your way out of this mess.

            I feel bad for your son who is without a truck. He is being dragged into this mess as well.

            I think you did the right thing not bailing your H out. He needs to start learning you are not a doormat. Won’t that be a painful lesson for him.

            Hold your head high and get a plan B – lawyer, banker and new phone number! This way the OW can’t call you

          • broken hearted

            to the first wife.
            Thanks again for the words of wisdom. By having two business’s we have a lot invested together. My son works with him and he know that anything I do at this point would hurt my sons future. My main concern in all of this is my son and I would never hurt my son in anyway. My H keeps telling me what kind of mother would F over her own son. But it’s him that is hurting his son. Not only his but our daughters as well with all the things he’s doing. I told my son his dad is like a child he can do and say anything he wants to me because he knows that there is no ramifications for his action. Because I refuse to hurt my sons future. I think given enough time he will hang himself and this dui is just the start. So if karma bits him so be it I don’t wish him any harm. I do love him but can’t take the pain and abuse.

            • TheFirstWife

              I understand what you are saying. It is hard with the businesses.

              My concern is that the business could be implicated in a lawsuit b/c of his DUI.

              My H had an affair with a co-worker (she was an outside contractor but he managed her). When I told him the affsir could have resulted in a lawsuit he looked at me like I was crazy. Something he never thought of before. STUPID!

              I now have a post nup with my H. Any $ in my name is not part of any divorce assets. Signed and notarized. All legal. And I have amassed a good sum of $ to protect me. My car is in my name. Separate credit cards. No joint accounts except bank.

              There may be things an attorney could offer to protect you and children without a divorce. Physical abuse could be a contributing factor to restraining orders, injunctions, etc.

              Not trying to start a war but you need to be three steps ahead of him. For your own sanity and financial well being.

            • Sarah P.

              Wow, TFW, I am absolutely impressed with your actions, specifically the post-nup.

              Anyone reading this needs to listen up and consider getting a post-nup agreement just like TFW. Honestly, I did not know that such a thing existed.

              TFW, do you know the laws around post-nups? Is it a state-to-state thing? How did you get yours done? What would you recommend other wives put in their post-nup agreements? I seriously think a post-nup agreement is a GAME CHANGER for wives out there.

            • TheFirstWife

              Post nups are tricky. Mine was drawn up by a lawyer. It can be contested is signed under duress or certain other scenarios.

              However they are legal. Mine was witnessed and notarized. It basically states certain accounts are mine and not included as marital assets. It is $ I earned and my 401(k) account.

              It was my request that if he wanted me to stay after DDay2 then I needed this to feel financially secure. He had asked for a divorce a few weeks before. I said Ok to it because I just couldn’t make him happy and I saw it.

              Who knew it was b/c OW was pressuring him to be with her. And that is where he was headed. He chose her.

              So when he decided to stay married I was highly suspicious and I told him after DDay2 to leave b/c I could not stay married to someone who would do this. And BTW he asked for a divorce as my SIL was dying (not even 50 and cancer took hold and she passed in 3 weeks). Sooooo needless to say I had a lot going on at once including teens to worry about. And him and his affair.

              Really too much at once for one person BUT I made it through somehow. And I have the post nup which is still valid.

              Part of my condition of staying married. When he first had 1 foot out the door I had no $ to my name and I wasn’t even sure he was going to pay the mortgage or bills. He was leaving me high & dry.

              So my BFF told me to get this done and my lawyer friend wrote it for me for free. All legal.

              I worked for a divorce attorney for 5 years and I didn’t know this was possible.

              But it protects me and kids if this ever happens again. Next time there are no discussions or reconciliations- it is just over.

            • TheFirstWife

              Also the laws vary from state to state on marital assets etc. best to have an attorney consultation to find out what the laws are.

              But they are legal. Pre nups and post nups and whatever you agree to between 2 parties is valid as long as there is no duress or undue influence in signing the document.

              It is not something I wanted to do. It was something I had to do. Unfortunately.

            • Sarah P

              Hello The First Wife,
              Thank you for sharing your story about the post nuptual agreement and how you did it.

              Out on the internet I have read many comments by men that they feel like as soon as they get married a woman is just waiting to take them to the cleaners. This is true in some cases and there are some really unkind women out there. But, I believe more often than not it is the woman who risks being dumped because of an affair and having assets withheld because of the OW’s influence. It’s such a frightening proposition when a woman has taken a multi-year break from the workforce in order to raise a family. I think that every woman who has been through an affair like this should look into a post-nup agreement. I don’t understand the number of people who are so cavalier about marriage these days. My parents are still married as are my husband’s parents but I have many friends who are the product of divorce. I have several who went from living in comfortable middle-class families to living in a one bedroom apartment with their moms and wondering where they were going to get dinner. This was because a man decided to stop paying child support even if his wife was an innocent party. That is, the ex-wives I am speaking of never had affairs on their husbands and stayed home to raise children. I am really grateful for laws that garnish a man’s wages. While I know that there are women out there who abuse the system and to use their husbands and then get divorced, all of the majority of innocent women out there should not be punished for the sins of a few. I remember when I was distraught over my ex fiancé, my mom said that I should be grateful that I wasn’t 10 years into marriage and three kids later. He had used force to kick me out of our mutually owned home so that the other woman could move in. Of course, I had to find that out through the grapevine two weeks after the fact. He was too much of a coward to tell me. Anyhow, I do believe that my mom is right because my ex fiancé showed absolutely zero integrity in how he dealt with the break up and I do believe that he would’ve been capable of throwing me out on the street with kids. Unfortunately, there are men who will do that when they are in the affair fog and not thinking straight. So, after a long drawnout physical affair I do believe it is in the wife’s best interest to draw up a post-nup agreement.

            • TheFirstWife

              Well it sounds like you dodged a bullet with the ex-fiancé. He showed his true colors – lucky for you.

              I have mentioned 2 prior relationships. One was when I was 19 to 22 yo. Someone I knew from grammar school and we dated after HS. He drank waay tooooo much and was verbally abusive. We did almost marry except I listened to that little voice that said “Run!” So I ended it and never looked back.

              I then dated a serial liar & cheater and womanizer. I was young and so naive. We only dated 6 months but it was an eye opening experience having never met someone like this. He actually dumped his pregnant girlfriend to date me (unbeknownst to me). What a narcissist he was.

              So There are all kinds in this world and I think that you have to be prepared for the hand you are dealt. My H and I are self made and no one handed us anything. We both paid our way through college, masters degrees and bought our own houses with no parental help.

              I told my H a few years ago when he first wanted a divorce that I hope he is prepared to pay alimony for a long time b/c I will never remarry. Sometimes the only thing people focus is on $. So my theory is document the cheating and hit the guy in the pocket.

              I am not looking for a free ride or put anyone in poverty but if you cheat on me, kicking me to the curb for a 20+ yo tattooed drama queen I can assure you that I am not going to take it lying down.

              I may be kind but not a pushover. To my credit I have always managed our finances, taxes, mortgages, investments, college funds etc. if we divorced he would be financially clueless. The only joint debt we have is our mortgage.

              And BTW if you want the spouse to remain the beneficiary of any life insurance it must be written in the divorce decree in some states. Soooo I changed all his life insurance so I am the policy holder. For my children’s sake I am protected there too. He can dump me but no OW is getting his life insurance proceeds unless he takes out a new policy.

              And he will be paying the premiums on the old ones too. There is an old saying “screw them before they screw you”. Amen to that.

            • TheFirstWife

              I should point out that I am the policyholder on all his life ins policies. Legally he cannot change anything as it is in my name. He is the insured and I am the beneficiary.

              If we divorced and he remarried his current wife could contest the beneficiary and inherit. That is NY law. Even if I am named it must be spelled out in divorce decree that as the ex-wife I am to remain beneficiary.

            • Sarah P

              Hello TFW,

              I say GOOD for you! There is also that old saying that says we teach people how to treat us. You are teaching him to treat you well and if he does not, there will be enforceable consequences.

              I think when people are self-made and had to work hard for every $ then the prospect of giving up some of it to a tattooed drama queen is just all the more infuriating.

              Same story here– both my husband and I put ourselves through college and grad school. I worked 2-3 jobs on top of that. We never got any help to purchase houses or any lump sums. But, I never expected it either. It would infuriate me to see someone try to come in and take what we have built through hard work.

              There used to be a lot of societal deterrents when a woman wanted to target a married man. States used to have alienation of affection laws so that a wife could sue, social circles and entire towns used to shun the other woman, and there were so many other things that served as deterrents. But now, people are so laissez-faire about infidelity and I do believe some women out there look at infidelity as a Disney ‘fastpass’ to get on the good rides without waiting her turn. Infidelity for these women is the fast track to a better life without spending the years required to build a good financial situation and home. Nope, the wife has done all the hard work and helped her husband spend years building a solid financial situation and a nice home. Instead of the other woman finding a single man and spending the years and work building the same, she swoops in and tries to steal what belongs to another. I truly believe women who do this are not good people. A good person lives by moral rules and waits her turn. Therefore, I have a very special pet peeve when women try to take short cuts through spouse poaching.

              TFW I am so glad that you did everything you did with the life insurance and post-nup. You are really an example for all women who have had their lives almost destroyed by these psychopath mistresses. (Yes, I did just call other women who are spouse poachers psychopaths and I know the mental health field would not agree with me, so this is solely my opinion).

    • Pat

      Broken Hearted

      I am so sorry you are going through this. Being emotionally and physically abusive is never OK.
      One time to is too many! Stand your ground and report him. Get a protection order against him, if possible. As Doug said, you need to do whatever you have to to do in order to be safe. This is not love, it’s control! And you could be in danger if it continues

    • TryingHard


      No, you never “get over it”, one get’s through it. It’s there but not always and somehow I have managed to put it all on him. I’ve let go of whatever I thought was my fault or cause that he choose to have an affair. BUT my h has been awesome in this whole recovery process. It’s been 5 years and our relationship is better than ever because he’s been paying a lot of attention to me and giving our marriage and me the time, love and respect it’s always deserved. Some people are slow learners. They have to get to a point of almost losing everything and trust me I made no bones about it. I was ready to divorce him. And yes I do know what it’s like to be in a very long term relationship. Ours started in 1969 for crying out loud. Didn’t make a difference to me, still doesn’t. People change and people change their minds. I can change my mind too. Don’t care how much water has passed under that bridge. He treats me like crap I am gone.

      I think you will be just fine. But to have any kind of meaningful marriage h has to get his head out of his a$$.

    • Believe

      Hi all.
      I find that I’m always the one initiating things like let’s go to the therapist or can we talk to resolve our issues, etc. My wife who had 2 affairs spanning 3 years is not the type to initiate things. When i talk about our issues she goes quiet or she reacts in anger. When i talk about less comfortable issues like her work and family and then she will comfortably talk. I believe there is no effort on her part. It does not help she is a very negative and anxious person. She feels hopeless about our chances. Maybe i am doing something wrong that makes her feel these feelings. I pray that i can focus on myself and not try to fix her.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Believe. You are not doing anything wrong but trying to get answers to try to help.

        Unfortunately the cheating spouse usually views that negatively.

        Most posters on this blog will tell you spouses have had multiple affairs, will not go to therapy or marriage counselng or want to talk about details or why it happened. It is typical behavior and I swear it is in the cheater’s handbook (haha).

        As an example my h denied an 4 year EA. But did tell his last OW about it (and she told me he admitted it to her).

        I suggest you take care of you. My look back of 3 years is that I wished I would have focused more on me than him and our marriage.

        When you are good and healed and strong then things fall into place for you.

        And I believe even if the Cheater foes answer questions they are not always truthful. Stuff is left out or not mentioned to cover their butts. So what is the point?

        As an example. Both my H and OW swear there was no sex between them. They kissed but nothing more. He spent at least one night at her apartment. Do I believe them? Absolutely not. I don’t bring it up b/c I am sure I will be lied to again. I have moved past it and it is not important any more.

        I tried for two years to get answers to help us heal. They were vague and not the whole truth. I was making myself miserable over it.

        So I decided to move on. He is not my focus. I am. I need to be happy. And I am. I have gotten to a place (with therapy for me as he initially would not go and now I am happy he never went b/c it worked out best for me) where I am good with him or without him.

        I love my H and wish him no harm. We are together but I believe most marriages survive affairs b/c of the victim of affairs not b/c the CS does anything.

        All the best to you. I hope you find a great therapist and focus on you.

        There was one male poster who gave his wife 48 hours to come clean and answer questions and admit what she did. she didn’t or refused to help start the healing process and the husband got a therapist and then the next day filed got divorce. He moved on immediately when he had a sense she was not willing to participate in doing anything.

        I think he saved himself from all the anguish and heartache I have suffered the last 3 years. Frustrating to say the least.

        Good luck and I hope it gets better.

        • Hopeful

          Tfw and believe,

          I agree with tfw on everything said. My husband never wants to talk about his affairs. He hates it and as he says they were the lowest points for him and he did not want to remember or glorify anything that happened. So when I ask when did it begin he says the fall but he is not sure which year. Granted his affairs were sporadic and went on for 10 years. He says the guilt, remorse and regret are so strong. We really spent the first year of me asking questions and trying to figure this all out from my perspective. And I really focused on me, I can only help myself. And I really got far. Now that I am moving further along my husband has finally started to focus on him. For him pushing it into the back of his mind and trying to forget about it was how he was dealing with it. I only went to a therapist but that helped me a ton. Now he is reading books and we are discussing them. It is not easy but what I told him is if he wants a second chance then he needs to work at it. He has changed many if his behaviors and attitudes and they have become habits but I felt he needed to look deeper than that. So that is where we are now. But we could not rush it and things happened slowly. And really I went through the process and now he is.

          Have you seen a therapist for yourself? Or read any books. Many highlight differences between men and women. Of course these are not always true or exact but I think it can point out how women and men view affairs when on both sides of the situation. I think seeing my own therapist has been the biggest help. I was upset at first my husband was not willing to go but in the end I think it is best. Through all of this I know I can only control myself and my actions. I am not responsible for my husband’s decisions and actions. I can talk to him about what my expectations and boundaries are and we can agree on that but in the end it is up to him. That has been hard to feel the lack of any control but it is reality. And for me I wanted to try everything and work as hard as I could to redefine and save our marriage. I knew if I did that I would be true to myself and not have any regrets. For me that helped get through the bad days and enjoy the good ones more. No matter if we stay together or not I know I can be sure I did all I could.

          Good luck believe!

          • TheFirstWife

            I went to therapy but he did not. I am in a good place.

            Our marriage is good in many respects and he does get it – the trauma and pain and things he has done in the past that contributed to the upheaval.

            He realizes his choices and behavior were wrong but at least he finally gets it.

            Therapy saved me and my sanity. I hope our future is brighter and happy and we can stop living in the past. But that is up to him for continued truth and being trustworthy etc.

            I have gotten to a place where I am good. I hope he is with me but I know I could make it on my own if I had to.

      • Sarah P

        Hi Believe,

        You got your answer in your last sentence where you said, “I pray that i can focus on myself and not try to fix her.” I will venture to guess that your wife has a pre-existing anxiety disorder. This would indicate there is a deeper problem. The affairs seem like a kind of acting out and I wonder why she is acting out. Still, if I were you, I would focus on what it is you need both to be happy and in a marriage. If I were you, I would ask yourself what you are getting out of the marriage. Until she works on her ‘stuff’ she cannot bring her whole self to a marriage relationship. That requires she do the work, so your best bet is to do your work and as she sees you change, it will likely inspire her to do work as well.

    • TryingHard

      Sarah I would love to read about trauma bonds. I think to some degree all BS are victims of this. Myself included:(

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TryingHard,

        I think I will need to write an article on them then. They are pretty important and I believe they are one of the reasons that it is so hard to leave a marriage where there has been an affair. I will ask Doug when and if this is an article to work on.

        All the best to you and hang in there,

    • TryingHard

      Broken Hearted

      I am frightened for you. You have some very unstable people in your life. Your husband and his girlfriend. I hope there are no weapons in your house. I truly believe your life may be in peril. I hope you get away from him and the sooner the better.

      I don’t think a wreck or a DUI is going to bring him to his senses as I don’t believe he has any!! I don’t know what it will take for him to realize he is screwing up his life big time with this woman I hope you can get out of this marriage with yourself, your sanity and your finances somewhat in tact.

      Good luck to you. Find a good lawyer.

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