Open 'Mic'

Well, it’s that time again for an Open ‘Mic’ discussion.  You guys call the shots and discuss the topics that you want to discuss.

This is Open ‘Mic’ #24 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?
  • What’s going on for your July 4th?
  • 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



See also  Open Discussion: Can an Affair be Good for Your Marriage?

    113 replies to "‘Open Mic’ Discussion #24"

    • TheFirstWife

      Sooo recent developments. After almost 3 years since DDay1 my H has decided to get some counseling.

      This was all on his own. I just assumed he would never go.

      Specifically he wants to understand why he did this. And why he disrespected me with a 4 yr EA 20 years ago and his last affair that caused him to ask for a divorce numerous times.

      He also has recognized behavior patterns in his family that he wants to address. Example if you ask a question, they just don’t answer.

      When I confronted my H (for years) about his EA that lasted 4 years (back before anyone used the term EA) he would not answer any questions about what was going on. He would walk out of the room with no response.

      He realizes NOW how wrong and disrespectful it was. Back then – he didn’t care.

      So this will be an eye opening undertaking for him. Glad he did it on his own.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Now that is cause for celebration!!!!! Gives me hope that someday that might actually happen around here.

        • Strengthrequired

          That’s great tfw. I won’t ever hold my breathe with my ch going to see a counsellor, it just won’t happen.

      • Blue

        That’s awesome TheFirstWife! I hope he gets a good one and that it will make him a better husband and person. What was the catalyst to his deciding to go? Keep us posted.

        • TheFirstWife

          He is seeing someone he saw 3 years ago when the affair first occurred and he admitted it. He went 2-3 times and then quit. So he is returning to the same person and I think he seems good.

          My H decided to go b/c in the past I would say how much my therpist helped me through the affsirs 3 years ago and the subsequent issues that arose from the affair.

          My H recognizes (now) how he did a few things that were self centered on his part like never telling me where he was or what time he was coming home after work. Example: work related dinner which he would tell me about and he would say be home at 11 pm. Walk in the door at 2 am – sorry. No call saying going to be late. After 18 years of that behavior I moved on. Not sorry – just no consideration.

          Also I was up upset he decided to go to a social event without discussing it with me first. Again inconsiderate.

          And finally I am angry he continued to blatantly lie after the affair came to light and I told him I forgave him. If the OW had not sent me the email trail I would have believed him. Every last lie. And it was all lies. So I was angry one night recently that he never trusted me enough to truly believe I forgave him. And I said how sad that he never once, in 3 years since DDay1 and 20 years past his 4 year EA, did he ever come to me and say what he felt or tried to explain himself. Coward is the word I used.

          So after seeing some family behavior that was recently exhibited that he did not realize he also did, he decided to go get some answers.

          Unfortunately I have the answers. I told him I did not want something he was doing to continue (nothing bad just something that bothered me) -he didn’t like it. For once I was going to stand up for myself and not give in on something I strongly believed in. He was mad. Didn’t like being asked not to do something he wanted to do.

          One month later he meets the OW and a few months later an affair starts. He was mad at me b/c I asked him not do do something. He was turning 50 and was unhappy with his career and mad at me = his reasons for an affair. He says one has nothing to do with the other. So that is why he would sneak behind my back to go and do the one thing in 30+ years I asked him not to do. Just like a spoiled child.

          The OW was probably painted a very nice picture of me. Witch, controlling , demanding blah blah blah. Whatever. Turns out he has the major issues not me. I don’t lie & cheat. I am honest but loving and kind. I avoid confrontation when I can. I am very flexible on many things, others not so much.

          So he wants to explore why he did what he did. I hope he figures it out.

          • Hopeful


            That is great news. I know for my husband he has moved through this slowly. I thought since he did it and had time to process if even before dday since he broke up with these women that he was fine or over it sooner than me. I have seen he is delayed. Maybe repression, guilt, shame… Hard to say but I can see how it affects him daily and he says it will haunt him every day and all he does is work hard to be the best husband and father he can. It is crazy how someone can make the kind of decisions he did and now faces so much guilt and has changed so much. Hard to believe he is the same person. Not sure mine will ever go to therapy but I am happy with his progress and insights.

    • Carmen

      Several times I’ve seen blogs or replies that list reasons why the wayward spouse would engage in an EA or PA: they are immature, something that happened to them in childhood, they are selfish, etc. There is one reason I never see, and that is the one that I suspect is the root of the cause in my husband’s EA: he has strong feelings for this other woman. I don’t know how strong, it could be anything from a small crush to being out-and-out in love with her. But isn’t that a cause or reason? Someone finds themselves to be in love with 2 different people.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Carmen. That is interesting as I have not seen it but I eould consider “strong feelings” for another woman like an addiction.

        The OW is his drug of choice. Sorry to hear that. How long has it been going on?

      • Shifting Impressions

        I don’t believe that you wake up and suddenly “have strong feelings” for someone else. It’s the choices that he made along the way to get to that place. There were steps taken to get to that place…..that is where the selfishness takes place. Things such as flirting, sharing personal problems etc. In other words there were a lot of boundaries being crossed before he found himself “in love”. Just my opinion…..and I don’t have a lot of sympathy with someone that opens himself up to that type of situation.

        I’m pretty sure he’s not the first cheating spouse to use the “but I have strong feelings” excuse for betraying their spouse.

        • Carmen

          I should explain more. She was the female in a couple who were very good friends of ours, and he himself has never said that he had strong feelings for her. It is simply something I suspect. We have known them for a very long time and I believe it has been there for a very long time. At some point along the way, he decided to act on it so started contacting her when I wasn’t around.

          So my question is still this, isn’t this one of the reasons people start affairs? Why is it never listed as one?

          • Shifting Impressions

            The strong feeling thing is just part of the equation… has to open themselves up to that kind of thing. I think it’s probably listed….perhaps just different wording is used. There are all sorts of questions here….what was going on with her? Have they been playing a subtle cat and mouse game for the last several years? Was the allure of someone else meeting some deep need in him? Don’t let the “Strong Feeling Thing” distract you from the basic selfishness of this type of behavior. When reading about infidelity they mention the cheater saying they have found their “soul mate” in their affair partner. So I would think that about covers the strong feeling thing. It’s all part of the “affair fog” I think.

            Anyway that’s my take on it….not sure if it helps.

            • Hopeful

              Carmen and others,

              I am sure that can be the case just like there are a million reasons. In general though with affairs from my personal experience the relationships are built on secrets and lies and have no foundation. So maybe some people who cheat like their affair partners but is it reality or what they dream of or think the grass is greener.

              For my husband he said he never liked either partner it was just an escape. He knew so little about them and really did not care to know more. It was all an escape for him. He never wanted to spend more time with them and dreaded anyone would find out since these women are not impressive. He is not even sure if he was ever around either one without drinking which is telling to me.

              I think every case is different but at least in my experience my husband at least once dday hit was repulsed by these women. When he was in the affair fog who knows what his mindset was, I am not sure he knows.

    • Sidney

      Hey Doug…..just a little concerned as you haven’t been around for a while. Hoping it’s because you’re just busy with life and not something else serious going on for you.

      • Doug

        Hey Sidney, thanks for your concern. We have indeed been busy with life as well as just taking a little break. Currently Linda and myself and our 2 daughters are traveling around the beautiful state of Colorado. No wifi, no tv, just awesome scenery and some outdoor adventures. (Bear with me as I’m replying by cell phone)

        • Sidney

          Good to hear! Enjoy your family….especially in Colorado (that’s my stomping ground, so I’m a little prejudice)!! Happy 4th to you!

    • Becky

      I am at a loss my world totally collapsed yesterday. Monday I woke up at 3am and my husband was gone . I searched our house (an old 1890 13 room farmhouse) I even went to the car to see if he perhaps went out to get away. He was no where to be found. The police came out because my husband was robbed at the door of his coin shop by a coward with a handgun last Tuesday morning. My husband was traumatized he wanted to sell it and never go in that shop again. After our son dying in Nov.2015 we have struggled through the grief with our seven remaining kids . Yesterday after two days of searching by family and friends we had a couple of dozen helping to find my husband the police asked for fire and rescue to search . As it was to start I saw 8 official cars go by my house they were to search the neighbors barn. The search was called off . They found my husbands body about 500 feet up my road off the side in the grass . The armed holdup , he got away with 25,000+ in gold and silver coins and bars my husband was terrified by the robbery us the robber took the envelope with our home address on it. I am 5’1 100 pounds so my oldest son brought me a youth rifle as I am home with my girls and grandson during the day a lot. The rifle was missing on Monday. This thief sent my husband over the edge he terrorized and terrified my husband . I am sad to say my husband shot himself . This thief is now the cause of my family losing a husband ,father,son,uncle,nephew,grandfather and we now feel this nasty coward is a killer. May the thief never have a nanosecond of peace may his mind scream til he is dead. I thank you all for the help and support but I am no longer a wife I am now a widow . I will never have the answers I needed my husband took it all when he shot himself. The horrific days of praying he was ok now we live nightmare . I appogize as this is jumbled and not in order but this is my week of hell here in Berkshire,NY

      • TheFirstWife

        I am so sorry. Prayers for your husband and for you and your family.

        I know your heart is broken. Please help your children through this. They need you more than ever.

      • Shifting Impressions

        My heart goes out to you…..I am so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Strengthrequired

        Becky, I am so very sad and sorry for your loss. What a terribly awful thing to have happened to your family. I truly hope and pray they find these thieves. I wish you all the power and strength to get through this time.

      • Sarah P.

        Dear Becky,
        I am so tremendously sorry to hear about your loss. Please do everything possible to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. It was 30 years ago this year that my aunt’s husband shot himself to death. The whole story of his affair was also not resolved. It was a terrible time for her and my cousin but by the grace of God they got through it. Still, nothing can take it all back. I will keep you in my prayers and so very sorry I can’t send you a bunch of casseroles and condolences in person. May God be with you and your family during this time. Please seek out friends and family in your area for support. Big hugs to you, Becky,


      • Doug

        Becky, I didn’t see your comment at first as we were on vacation, so sorry for the delay in replying. I am so very, very sorry for your loss and you are certainly in our thoughts and prayers. I hope you and your family can find the necessary strength to get through this terrible ordeal.

        • Becky

          This last two weeks I’ve learned the depth of my husbands past went far deeper. More than two dozen women and many more online ones . The lies he told our kids have been thrown at me as accusations and my heart has been trashed just as he did my life and my character and my morals the damage to our kids has broken my desire to even stand up and defend myself against all the lies . My husband twisted every thing he did to them he made me out to be a horrible nasty person yet I am the one who raised these kids without his input or help 95% of the time . Now I hear myself described as a miserable bitch a two bit whore and a lying abuser I just said wow why did he do this and lie about everything to anyone who would give him what he wanted. I am so sick of it all how do I protect and defend myself ?

          • TheFirstWife

            I am so sorry for all of this. You deserve far better than this please know that.

            It appears your H had many problems. The evidence points to a person who didn’t love himself, let alone anyone else.

            He told these lies to help himself and that can be the only reason. After the trauma he suffered who did he turn to? His loving wife and family.

            I think the outcome of everything shows who he really was. His fears, despair, regrets – all of it – he could no longer face.

            If you can talk openly with your children you should. Explain his choices were misguided and how it negatively affected him. The lies he told continued and he could no longer distinguish fact from fiction. Explain how he lied to justify his actions to make himself feel better and how wrong it was.

            As for everyone else I suggest you ignore them and hold your head high. Be a class act and people will see for themselves who you really are. You cannot dispel the rumors and trying to fight them will only fuel the fire.

            In time the truth will come out. All of his lies will be exposed. It always does and then you can feel vindicated. But you won’t stoop to his level – you are better than that.

            Show your children what your H missed out on – a loving family and wife who only wanted the best for him. A wife who loved him despite all of his lying and cheating. A wife who was concerned after a traumatic event to be concerned and supportive.

            His death is a terrible shock to your family. And now you have to deal with the aftermath and the realization of all he said. Unkind hurtful things. Lies upon lies.

            I think a good therapist is needed. This may be too difficult to face alone.

            I am so sorry for you and your kids. My prayers and support to you during this extremely difficult time.

          • Shifting Impressions

            I have had you in my thoughts and prayers all week. How terrible that things are so much worse than you ever imagined.

            As far as defending yourself… me when I say the people that are your true friends and those that really know and love you will know the truth. You know the truth.

    • Nancy

      Background: My husband had an on and off PA with a person I thought was a friend. This lasted for 3+ years. This was 30 years ago and until he told me of this affair we still (very infrequently) socialized with her and her husband. My husband also told me of having a PA with another family ‘friend’ 20 years ago. This PA was on and off and lasted 4 years. Then he admits to virtually cheating on me since we were boyfriend & girlfriend (16 & 17 years old). We have been married for 40 years and are now in our early 60s. He initially revealed information last August and then more last December. Each time he would say that is all of it. So, he lied.
      Current: He has shown total remorse and takes total blame for ALL of his cheating. He and I have had counseling separately and together. He has been baptized and becoming active in the church. He has distanced himself from long time friends (who have cheating and drinking too much in their histories). He ‘seems’ like a new husband / human being. He was always a good father (he told our adult daughters about himself in December). It was all very hurtful!
      The Problem: I still do not trust Him. I feel like some (maybe all) of his admissions are half-truths and that there are still some bombs to drop even after I have repeatedly asked/begged him to tell me the whole truth. Now I am beginning to wonder what is wrong with me! Why can’t I just believe him? Why can’t I just appreciate the changes I have seen in him? Why can’t I let it go, try to be happy and just move forward?
      Note: I continue in my 2-year observation of (3) small nodules (too small to biopsy) in both lungs. I have been having CT scans every 6 months starting last year in June to monitor for changes in number and size. I have had CTs in 6/2015, 12/2015 and 6/2016 with no changes thus far! I am thankful to God Almighty! PLEASE pray for me.

      • Still Blessed

        Praying for you. What I’ve learned on this journey is the difference between sympathy and empathy. If you haven’t walked it, you don’t know it and I do know how you feel.

      • TheFirstWife

        Prayers to you. I have been in your shoes having found out my H had an EA 20 years ago that I always suspected but could never prove. He admitted it to the OW from his last affair 3 years ago. That is how I found out.

        So I know what you are feeling. EA if 20 years ago – this girl pretended to be my friend.

        Stick the knife in my back again. Turn it some more.

        So you are wondering how do you reconcile you have lived decades with a liar and cheater? How do you come to terms with reality now – knowing all that has gone on. And it doesn’t matter how much “truth” or “details” you get. Fact is your H is a liar and cheater and selfish etc.

        I had post traumatic stress for 2 years after my H’s last affairvthat almost caused a divorce. I constantly question how well did I really know him – we dated 5 years – met in college. He was the guy everyone respected that no one would think would be a liar & cheater.

        Your H has basically admitted to being a serial cheater. And NOW he wants to be the living and doting H. I would find that hard to trust as well.

        You are asking very good questions. Except for the fact that he has proven he is not the man you believed him to be and that is a hard thing to reconcile.

        You may Never trust him again. You may only trust certain things with him. You may get to full trust.

        Where I am I trust my H. He is a good father. He is a good person. He is financially responsible. He doesn’t drink or gamble or do drugs. However would I trust he wouldn’t have another affair? Not in your life – despite what I see and what he tells me.

        He is a good H and is trying to make amends every day.

        I just won’t be that misguided. Ever.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Please don’t be so hard on yourself!! There is NOTHING WRONG with you. I agree with TFW that it doesn’t matter so much about the details but he has proven that he was a liar and a cheater. Of course you are wrestling with the question of whether he is still lying.

        I am also in my early sixties and have been married for 42 years. I can trust my husband in many areas but he cheated and lied. I now struggle daily with my sorrow, anger and loss of trust. D-day was about 21/2 years ago.

        Please take care of yourself and realize all of us betrayed spouses are thrown into a battle of “epic proportions “, because of someone else’s shellfish behavior.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Of course I meant selfish not shellfish.

      • Hopeful

        Nancy I agree with tfw and si. I am not up to the same number of years but I have been with my husband 26 years and married 21 years and started dating before our 20’s. So all of our adult life we have been together. He had two affairs sporadically over 10 years overlapping. It was and has been hard for me to understand and process. I struggled with the truth and wanting details. What I realized is there will never be enough details. I am someone who remembers everything my husband is not even the best things in life. I talked a lot with my therapist about this. He felt I should get to the bottom as much as I could but he also said at a certain point I need to move on. And not in a bad way but I think his point is I was stuck and there is a chance I might never feel satisfied. And honestly for my husband at least from dday to 8 months he was so different he saw everything in a new way. So his view evolved as we progressed. One thing I did tell him after dday 2 is that he better tell me everything no more shoes to drop. I made it pretty clear if there were more lies about the past it would only make it more difficult for me to work with him. And also anything that happened should be told to me immediately. So if anything at all happens that he thinks I might find uncomfortable he better tell me.

        My guess if you cannot let it go something is holding you back. At 8 months i was still struggling especially with what you talk about. Doubting that I was told the truth, feeling like he was not 100% honest with me. It went on and on. I laid it all on the line with him and it was a turning point.

    • Still Blessed

      After 2 years my wife is remorseful, in counseling, doing everything “right.” Yet, I still feel like the second string qb. Her affair was with her “soulmate” first love. He used her for sex and left, yes, she wanted it to continue at the time but he “walked away” as she put it. I still feel like she is only “here” because her first choice isn’t an option. We have a 6 yr old autistic son so I’m not going anywhere. Everyone seems happy now but me … so frustrating, I just want to feel important again. Self esteem still rock bottom home, work, everywhere ….

      • TheFirstWife

        I think affairs always leave you feeling like a second choice. No way around it in my opinion.

        I always will believe I am a consolation prize. Even though he is trying hard I just cannot forget the most daring and hurtful things he said to justify his affair.

        Plus the disrespect I endured. Not a good feeling for sure.

        Sorry for you. I hope you get past this.

    • TryingHard

      Nancy–There is NOTHING wrong with you or your distrust in your husband. It’s unfair for someone to ask you to trust them when you are still coughing up water from trying to drown you!!! You will NEVER get back complete trust and that is just something we live with OR not…

      I just had my first CT scan this April and need to go back in 6 months to check again. I didn’t even tell my husband for a while. I needed to process the information. He actually acted kind of pissed I didn’t tell him. Didn’t ask many questions about it which I thought was odd but pissed I didn’t tell him. UGH whatever. I know if it’s something I will be dealing with it on my terms That’s why I didn’t tell him at first. I’m not too worried and besides what will worrying accomplish.

      Courage Nancy and quit beating yourself up. Accept what you know and try not to worry about the rest. Life is beautiful regardless. Hugs

    • TryingHard

      Did anyone listen to Tim Fedder’s (Mark’s Story) podcast that Doug and Linda sent out this week?

      UGH I listened this morning. Totally depressed me. Amazing how people CHOOSE deliberately to screw up their lives and their children’s lives. How a father and husband can so honestly delude himself into thinking his actions won’t hurt anyone because he didn’t think anyone would find out!!!!!!!!!

      He says he’s happy now but somehow I think he has LOTS of regrets. And of course he became a psychoanalyst! Is doing the right thing that freaking hard???

      • TheFirstWife

        Trying Hard. I read the document rather than listen. I liked the fact that it gave insight into a cheater’s mind. I agree it is maddening to realize people just cannot do the right thing.

        I appreciated the details of his process as to how he came to cross the line and become a cheating spouse. It appears to be rather easy to become a cheater.

        And what I realized is the next affair opportunity might be even right around the corner. And harder to resist.

    • Amanda

      My husband is having an EA on me. Was Physical with kissing last year but that stopped. I Caught text Btwn them–he was very remorseful and said he would stop. He did but the EA continues. She is his best friend, they have everything in common. She feels a void,etc. He has tried to stop communicating with her. I think it lasts a few days and he starts back again. I just found out that after he promised it was over he still sent her a few emails. He was going to counseling and made it through 3 times. The guy told him some biblical truths and told him he must stop all communications between them if he ever wants to work on healing himself and then our marriage. We have been married 17 years and have two kids. He is about to turn 40 and has been very dissatisfied with life. And he works with her and she adores him and gets him
      Like I never have. I have read many things and I see he is in the affair fog, I see that I have got to follow through with some tough love. It is discouraging to see all of the comments we where it went on for years. I am not sure how to keep up the pretense of a happy marriage for that long. I love him and I want to stay married but I need him to fight for us. He says he wants the same but doesn’t ever really break from her. I don’t know how I am supposed to trust what he says to me.

      • TheFirstWife

        I am so sorry you are going through this. I was in your exact place 3 years ago. Like you his affair ended (by him) but started up a few months later (same OW).

        While I stood up to my H and called him on his lies, I was still letting him call the shots. BIG MISTAKE!!

        Your H is counting on his life with you remaining as is while he tests the waters with his AP/oW. I let that go on for too long.

        His affair part 2 led him to ask for a divorce. When I finally stood up to him and told him to leave is when he dropped her cold.

        My advice is to get your finances in order. Make sure you have $ and then stand up to him. Be firm. He must either give her up completely or you are leaving him. Be prepared to kick him to the curb.

        If that cannot happen for some time then start disengaging from him as a way to save your sanity. He may view this as “see she doesn’t really love me” behavior but in reality he cannot expect you to be his loving wife while he cheats. He cannot have both.

        I worked so hard trying to rebuild while he was planning on divorcing me (I saw the emails in black and white). So put yourself FIRST – keep yourself intact. Find a good therapist for you. My therapist guided me step by step through this ordeal. He saved my sanity and helped me to see things clearly.

        I wish you the best. I hope he comes to his senses before it is too late.

        • Amanda

          Thank you for your reply and the advice. I am headed to see a couselor next week for the first time. I know I have to get some things in order and be strong. I do hope he “wakes up”
          And realizes all he will

          • TheFirstWife

            I hope you realize this is classic mid life crisis. My H was turning 50. Hated his job, his pay had decreased (which bothered him but I never complained) we had teenagers ((not bad kids but still teens)) and he was unhappy. It then spilled over into me/us.

            When the affair first came to light I had no $ and saw as he was ready to leave me and kids for someone he knew 6 months. he told me numerous times I not sure if I want to be married and the classic “I love you but not in love with you” routine.

            After 6 months of limbo I had saved $$ and had enough to live on for a few months if he did not give me any $. I had the divorce mediator lined up. I had switched all my bank accounts to my name alone, just in case.

            I had plan B in place.

            He came to his senses at the last possible second.

            The affair fog after DDay1 and the start up of the affair for round 2 was awful. Those months were horrific. Everything was my fault. His career dissatisfaction was all my fault. Yup blame me for it. I had nothing to do with his career but blame the wife.

            In any event my therapist said a few things that helped tremendously. First you cannot control him or his choices but you can control your reaction to his cheating or choices. When my H asked for a divorce I said ok. Honestly I cannot make him love me. If you want out then get out. Nothing I can do. I get it. She is better or more wonderful – whatever. He was shocked at how calm I was. I felt if I said or did anything mean or cruel it could jeopardize our future together, if we worked things out so I kept my cool.

            Second I started disengaging and having my own social life without him. Dinners with friends (girls not guys), read books, took a class and worked out. Did not invite him. Not done mean or nasty but “oh by the way having dinner with Ann tomorrow”. And I did.

            Third my therapist said the only way a marriage survives infidelity is if both parties want to stay Together. If either are on the fence it wil not work.

            Don’t let him call the shots. Don’t csve on yo him. I am living proof when I took my power back is when it all changed. He dumped OW and has gone everything possible to restore our marriage.

            Now he is afraid I will leave him haha

            FYIy H continued to try and lie his way out of everything. It would have worked but the OW in revenge mode sent me 300 emails between them. I saw for myself how he was planning to divorce me. How he lied to me. The true depths of his deception.

            He thought I would never find out. So we had even more issues the next two years about his lying about facts & details around the affair. BTW all the cheaters lie about facts & details. It is typical behavior.

            Good luck and hope you find s good therapist. It can make all the difference. Mine saved my sanity literally.

            All the best. And many men believe if there is no sex it is not cheating. My H had a 4 year EA 20 years ago. Denied it until his last affair which is how I found out he knew it was wrong. So don’t be upset if your H won’t admit his EA or anything he has done is unacceptable or crossed a boundary. Typical behavior.

          • TheFirstWife

            Oh and when my H begged me to stay and give him a second chance I had him sign a post nup. All $ in my name alone is not part of any divorce settlement.

            And he still has to pay alimony. And I owner on all life insurance policies so he cannot change any beneficiaries (me). Even if we divorce I am the policy owner. If he passes away I get the proceeds (between me & children).

            He tried to mess with the wrong person.

    • TryingHard

      I don’t even know what to say. I am so sorry and sad for you. Prayers for you and your family. Take care

    • Sam

      My dad went to a ‘Northen Soul’ festival (genre of British soul music; what he liked when he was a teenager). A friend of his that was there said he came up to him really hyperactive, not a sight of the OW or her family (tried to distance himself from them), embaressed by them? It’s like he’s having the time of his life and we (all of us) are sat at home devastated and miserable. It isn’t even the OW’s era of music, suppose she’s just going with it to please him and his passions… as does the rest of the family… if he went on his own I suppose the thought in her head of him cheating with another woman will arise… I mean, she can’t keep up this shrade of pleasing him (being a perfect housewife [which , liking his hobbies [which she for a fact I know doesn’t]) can she? How long does it usually take for the infactuation of the affair to wear off? or for the AP to show their true colours? I’m sure there was an page on here of “In love with being in love” (in affairs)… I think he doesn’t love the OW, he’s just using her for that “I love how you make ‘ME’ feel feeling”. When he stayed there the last time for four weeks he couldn’t take all of their bad traits!

      • TheFirstWife

        Dear Sam. This is heartbreaking. Most dads woukd LOVE to have a child/family like you.

        Acting hyperactive is not good. Could be a sign of drug use.

        Your dad is caught in a whirlpool – he doesn’t know what he wants right now and cannot make a decision and doesn’t seem to like any decision he has made – leaving your mom, being with OW or any of his choices.

        He appears miserable and could be making things worse if he is drinking and doing drugs to block his pain.

        Your family may be better off temporarily if he is not around. Not a good picture to view of him in a downward spiral.

        I hope it turns around soon and he gets back on his feet and gets himself straightened out.

        Before he loses it all.

        Keep the faith and pray.

        • Sam


          It’s like he’s just replaced us all with them: going to the places we went with him, doing the same things we did as a family – I seriously think he’s had a major nervous breakdown… Her (she’s litterally the woman he’d discribe as the woman of his nightmares: short skirts, tattoos, lowlife area she grew up on – and her family are the example of people who he’s always make fun of for years, and he’d say: If I had to live like those “scrotes” and “gypsies” (which is what he’s called them infront of us and all his friends) he’d kill himself: he actually said to us when he came back to us a second time, when he dumped her (without even telling her) that he’d kill himself if he had to go back living with her and their family – I think he’s scared of her, or she has some info on him that we don’t know about, that he doesn’t want us to know either…?

          We all thought he was on drugs when he was pressured to make the annoucement to us about his EA with the OW, then he left… and yeah, he has been drinking massive amounts (when he shouldn’t be since he has a stomach ulcer and has to take tablets for it). He has put lots of weight on to the point that he need new clothes…

          He hasn’t even told any of his customers, neighbours or friends that he has moved out because of having an affair… embaressment? shame? His customers for his business just call us and we have to expalin what he’s done. His own mother (who has Dementia; who he hasn’t seen for an entire year) is now having fits due to the stress of it all, the doctor says… Sometimes when she is acting up I feel like driving her to their slum of a house and letting him and her look after her… she (OW) used to work in a care home so she should be okay with his mother’s condition. The OW got fired from her job because she was stealing from the home… and that’s why she’s working in her friends Chip Shop (tax free – we think, [feel like reporting her to the goverment, as I do him]… I’m evil, I know lol).

          His friend said that he saw him twice thoughout the weekend; once on Saturday, which he just said “hello”, and then on the Sunday completely ignored him and his parter… “Loses everything?” He basically has lost everything: his children, his loving wife of almost 30-years, his parents (he step-dad said he wouldn’t speak to him even if he decided to come back now), his has ‘dropped’ all of his friends bar one, who he works with and this friend says he never talks about anything apart from the work they are doing at the time… “stonewalling”, as someone put it on here.

          Also, I (and everyone else) thinks that this tennent/OW is a moneygrabber – she’s better off by almost £500 now since she isn’t paying him rent, since she is living with him. I think she and her kids are thinking “if I drain his ex-wife and kids, I will get a home of my own (she’s never owned her own home in her life), and I will have money in the bank (he’s made her think he is ‘loaded’ with cash, when he isn’t). I don’t think she even ‘loves’, or ‘cares’ for him for that matter… and I think once the divorce is finalised and she dosen’t get the house or money she is envisioning she’ll drop him like a ton of bricks.

          OFF TOPIC: is there a place you can sign up for a user name on these message boards? or has it been disabled now?

    • theresa

      Has anyonemread THE SCRIPT ?. Even though it’s a painful subject there are some laugh-out-loud to myself gems.
      Way back when, when I thought it might help, I asked him to read a few scenarios. I knew it was a waste of time when his response to one of the vignettes was. “I wasn’t that bad” Oh yes he was!
      My next lesson was “Oh yes he would!”. One of my lists consisted of words, behaviors, reactions I considered UNACCEPTABLE in a loving, respectful, safe, honorable, kind relationship. There were two columns. And, I bet you can guess what they were. Yup, they were pre and post Dday. YES he would or NO he wouldn’t. Needless to say, there was a significant difference between the two columns. I’ll admit to being shocked. For about 90 seconds. Then I was angry!

      (One of my self discoveries was that it was important for me to have something “real” to process and evaluate my perception. Writing it down, saying it out loud,, seeing it, hearing it! Denial was easier if I was just having conversations with myself inside my head.)

      He has not seen this list. But there have been times when something from the list comes up and he says “I would never do that to you!”. Oh yes, you did! And when in discussion, he assigns a degree of “badness” (I did this, but I would neved do that?)

      So, to the betrayed, do you have a list?
      To the cheater, what’s on your list, how many YES’ s do you have?
      To the newly discovered betrayed, make a list, and remember, yourmold world is gone.

      • TheFirstWife

        I have not heard of this. But I venture to say you are right that there is before DDay and after DDay.

        Example. My H traveled extensively with his job. Week days he was away from home either out if country or out of state. So while I always knew he could cheat on me I never thought he would. Now I just wonder how many times he did b/c I now see things differently. He could have had many many one night stands. I have no proof of anything and I also don’t think he would admit any of it.

        But my list would be very different now. Too bad.

      • theresa

        Haha. Old world

    • Tabs


      My CH also travels extensively for business. And, like you, even though he had the opportunity, I never though he would actually cheat. But he did. I also learned that he didn’t have to travel away from home to cheat. It’s been a long 5 years since Dday.

      However, just this year, he started traveling again, at least once a month for a minimum of a week. That’s a lot of time away. All my internal alarms have gone off. I have that sickening feeling that something is amiss. There’s no evidence, but I know my CH is smart enough to learn from his first rodeo. I have confronted my H about my fears. My CH says he understands, but hasn’t been able to say or do anything to turn that internal alarm off. I feel stuck: Damn if I do. Damn if I don’t. Help!

      • TheFirstWife

        Tabs. You are right. They do not have to travel to cheat. My H’s affair was right here in our city.

        Now when my H has to travel (usually 2 days max) every 6 weeks or so it is different. He gives me his flight and hotel info and calls me twice a day as well. On his own doing. Calls me from airport to tell me when he will arrive home. Total accountability.

        However I am smart enough to know he could still cheat. But I don’t feel like he will. I believe he is sincerely trying hard to make up for the past.

        But I would trust my gut instinct every step of the way. If you feel something is amiss you are probably right.

        But are you going to get proof? Or will you wait until it comes to you? There is always a slip up which will give you an opportunity to catch him (if it is going on).

        I agree – damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

        However I believe I have gotten to the point where it would be the kind of situation where I would almost have no reaction (if another affair developed). I am so over it all.

        It would be a quick divorce. Not even a conversation. Just action. I have run out of patience on this.

        Where do you think your suspicions arise? Because of past affair(s), opportunity, his lack of remorse and/or transpatency? Do you think it is driven by insecurity or anxiety?

        Or is that little inner voice telling you something is off? Sometimes our fears can lead to irrational thoughts. But often times we need to listen to our gut feelings.

        Is this travel unusual in duration? Same city every month? Does he act different when he returns?

        Do you feel him slipping back into some behavioral pattern or mode as when he was in the affair?

        I hope you are wrong here. I really do. But I believe you areike me and would rather know and face the truth.

        Good luck – keep us updated so we can support you here.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tabs. A random thought. Can you travel with him at all? If so bring it up and see what his reaction is.

        The look on his face might be a “tell”.

        If his plans suddenly get cancelled you have your answer.

        Have you tried putting a secret app on his phone that records all activity. There is a website to go to where people can hack into his phone and tell you all that has occurred – emails and numbers etc.

        Just a few suggestions if you really need to know.

    • Tabs


      I hope I’ve “grown up” enough to just get a divorce if there’s another affair. Enough is enough. I also hate the idea of spying to get more details. Same reasoning. Enough is enough.

      I do wonder if his travel is just a trigger.

      I am taking your advice and recommending that I accompany him on his travels. I am 1/3 of the business and would like to see what the hell goes on in some of these meeting… or so my excuse goes.

      • TheFirstWife

        Good for you!! That is a classy move done with your head held high.
        I hope it works out for you. Maybe you can use the time for some romance.

    • William B

      Hello Firstwife,
      I know it’s been a while since we spoke, so I thought I’d just give you a short update. I’m still the last kid on the playground; still no date night, still no time alone or anything special. If you recall, I drive for a living and I’m damned if I do and damned I don’t. When I drive, I make good money to help pay the bills, but I feel like I have to start dating her every time I come home, so there is not much intamacy or lovemaking. If I don’t drive, we have trouble paying the bills and she gets stressed out about it, so there is no intamacy or lovemaking. Well it has gotten worse.
      My physical came due, which I must have to drive. My doctor didn’t like one of my test results on my heart, so she wouldn’t clear me to drive. I’ve got 90 days to get the test numbers up before the next test. In the meantime I’m working in the shop, but I’m having to pull doubles to try to make enough to pay the bills. So now I’ve got being gone too much plus the stress of not being able to pay the bills working against me…… So I just decided to give up. I’m putting my head down and going to work to cover as much as I can with the bills. Now she’s upset that I’m spending so much time at work. I can’t win. Hell, I can’t break even. Just wanted to let you know that I’m still above ground, but I’ve given up on trying to fix what can’t be fixed for now. As long as the locks aren’t changed when I come home at 3:00 am, I’m okay. But I have lost my side of the bed to the damned dog. Oh well….

      • TheFirstWife

        I am sorry to hear that your wife cannot see what is right in front of her. So many would be grateful to have a spouse who loves them and cares about providing for them. No matter how many hours it takes.

        I hope your health improves so you can go back to driving. At least it will give you peace of mind to pay your bills. Does your wife work?

        Maybe she can pitch in financially with a job.

        I am sorry your marriage is not a partnership but appears to be a lopsided relationship. I feel bad you have the “dammed if I do and dammed if I don’t” mentality.

        That is no way to live. Please try to find some happiness or joy in your life. You deserve it.

    • theresa

      Hi Doug. Hope the vacation has been going grseat.

      There has been posts of “# Bests” lists. I think it may be time for re-run.

      Tabs, as TFW so elegantly put it “TRUST YOUR GUT”.
      How many times has your gut has been wrong?
      There is alot of nfo to help you manage these kinds of suspicions.
      But for now take a look at this. Dr. Frank Gunzburg is one of my top go-to guys. This site is where to find his very wise insights.

    • Tabs


      Very interesting article. I especially agree with the part about mistrust and suspicion being debilitating. That old saying “Been there. Done that.” I’m trying my best to keep it together. Really didn’t like turning into mush.

      So, I will be traveling with my CH. I didn’t even ask if I could go. I just presented the bill, put on a big smile, and said ” Won’t this be fun?!” I’ve not heard any comments from him, but he was surprised. I’m waiting to see if the hotel reservations change.

      • TheFirstWife

        Wow! That is awesome. You took a very high class approach to your situation.

        I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to have seen his reaction. I wonder what was going on in his head. Was he freaking out or just totally fine with it? Time will tell

        • Tabs

          I was trying sooooo hard to be calm, cool, and collected that I couldn’t tell if he was freaking out. It didn’t look it. But then again, cheaters are very good at acting as if nothing is wrong. You’re right, though, time will tell.

          • TheFirstWife

            Good for you!!!

            When is the next trip scheduled?

            I think you are doing the right thing here.

            I do hope it turns out to be nothing – but you are playing your hand exactly right. Not accusing him of anything and giving him the benefit of the doubt.

            And you are right – cheaters will never let on if anything is amiss.

            I just wonder why cheating spouses want to stay married yet continue to cheat. It all seems so juvenile and makes no sense to me.

            • Rachel

              They want to stay married and cheat for the thrill of it. The attention and the ego boost.

            • TheFirstWife

              Good response. It is as simple as that.

    • TryingHard

      Tabs–that is awesome. He didn’t say anything?? No emotion or excitement or happy? Nothing?

    • Tabs

      His response was a little slow. But then again, it’s hard to say since my adrenaline was pumping. He didn’t seem overly excited or happy, just mildly surprised (…perhaps a little excited). I’m waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks. If I know my CH, he’ll carefully think things through, to the point of overthinking. The next few weeks will say everything.

      • TheFirstWife

        Crossing my fingers for a good outcome. ?

    • Never thought I'd be here

      I have just recently found out about my husbands EA. We have been having a difficult time in our marriage probably about a year now. He went through some training last year for his dream job and he was out of the house in another state for 6 months. I was in full support of the new career and busted my but to support him and keep the family going. When he came back my once slightly overweight, humble hubby now was thin, in great shape and had a large ego. My happiness for him in this new job helped me in dealing with these changes and realizing it is just another step in our journey. As months went on my husband seemed more angry. He was quick to yell at me and our kids and just didn’t ever seem like he wanted to be home. I shut down completely, avoided conversation and any physical intimacy because I just simply didn’t like my “new” husband. He had a lot of anger toward my 20 year old son (from a previous marriage) due to my son being lazy and just not doing enough around the house. I admit that I didn’t handle my son right, I was still treating him like a child.

      I started to get a bit suspicious a few months ago that something was going on. I looked at my husbands phone record and saw numerous texts to one certain number. I did some research and found out it is a women he works with at his part job job (not the dream job). I confronted him immediately and also her via text and voicemail. She told me that she was simply “a shoulder for my husband to lean on” it was just a “friendship” and nothing physical ever happened. She said my husband loves me very much and she will end the friendship immediately so that we can repair our marriage. My husband also swears nothing physical happened and honestly I do believe that part. This EA lasted only a few months but I believe in my heart it was just the beginning to what could have been the end of my marriage.

      Things now have been really great between my husband and I. We have been able to discuss all the issues that led to our marriage being in a bad place and work on those issues. We are honestly happier than we have been in a very long time.

      My problem at this point is my anger about him confiding in this woman. Also, he still works at this part time job so he is around her. When he is working there I feel so overwhelmed with anxiety, stress and anger and I am afraid I am going to end up throwing everything away because I just can’t deal with it. I just found out this women recently got engaged! While I know it is just my anger I really want to tell her fiance about her communication with my husband. Please help!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Never,

        Well, I say keep watchful eyes on your husband. I have seen situations where if a mistress is confronted, she will smoothly lie to the wife and reassure the wife all while placing a dagger in the wife’s back. Engagement does not mean anything and a lot of people can ‘boomerang’ back to each other. Is this part-time job a ‘must’? How many kids do you have and how long have you been married?

      • TheFirstWife

        I hope it truly is over. Since he still has contact with her I would be very careful here.

        The emotional attraction can lead to an emotional addiction. That is where it can get crazy if the addiction is being fueled by her constant attention and support. It can wreck a marriage.

        Google affair fog and you will see what I mean.

        Just b/c she is engaged doesn’t mean a thing.

        I hope it works out for you but just know if he wants to continue his interaction with her he can use secret apps, Skype, etc. to avoid detection.

        My H was very loving and kind for months and carried on his affair. So just be aware.

    • Lynsey

      Hello Never Thought,

      So sorry that you are in this situation. As Sarah P. and TheFirstWife mentioned, be very aware. My H told me it was over, then proceeded to be more stealth, creating a new secret email account, continuing the lies, etc. The affair fog period is pure hell. And DO NOT trust the OW. How could anyone? She knowingly enters into an affair with a married man. She will lie to you. You’re H will lie to you. She is in it for something, whether just because of her lack of morals & integrity and/or also to get something (money, gifts, etc) out of him. YOU should be your H’s moral support and a shoulder to lean on, not the whore. There has to be no contact with the OW before you and your H can ever get back on track. No excuses! Good luck, and keep us posted.

    • TryingHard

      Becky– I am so sorry for all this. I cannot imagine.

      Thing is you don’t defend. Your family and friends who care know the truth. Your kids are hurting and looking for answers or someone to blame because it’s the easy thing to do. Don’t defend or talk too much. Stay quiet. Everyone needs time to heal And remember, you can’t argue with stupid. They will only drag you down to their level and beat you up with their experience. Hugs to you

    • Becky

      From horrible to sewer rats the same hoho wrote on the memorial page for my hisband on the funeral home website. I texted the owner to remove the post as it was placed by one of my husbands whores. Thankfully she removed it (the woman who runs the funeral home has the same first name) talk about too much! I also sent a message to the sewer rat to never contact my family to keep her nasty nose outta my business. The sickest stupidest lowest forms of life keep acting as if they have a right to insinuate her garbage into my life AARRGGHH . Please pray as Saturday is the celebration of life and I’m already gritting my teeth and biting my tongue hearing how great he was how honest and so kind and caring and helpful. I am left with over &100,000 in debts (part from casinos and hotels and dinners and gifts and trips for his whores while I have no gifts no trips nothing ) and not enough assets he had no business license no tax is so I have an illegal business I can’t even sell. I’m screwed.

      • TheFirstWife

        Saying a prayer. Hang in there.

      • TheFirstWife

        I think you need a good lawyer to see if you can get out if paying his debts.

        See if you can find a good therapist to get you through this ordeal.

        Focus on healing with your children as they need you. They are just as lost and cannot understand this.

        And ignore the losers out there. They may praise your H up and down but that is their experience. They probably have no idea what he truly was as your H and father.

        Hold your head high. Smile and nod and be a class act. Your children need to see a good role model right now.

        Let the sewer rats slither off to their next victim. They will certainly find one but don’t engage with them. It will help you keep your sanity don’t put anything in writing they can use against you. Protect yourself.

        I hope you can get through the service with your sanity intact. God Bless you.

      • Sarah P.

        I am so sorry for everything you’re going through. Please, please, please get a really good attorney who will take your case pro bono. Even though the other women in this situation are complete strangers to me, I have a deep dislike for them. They had better stop messing around in your business and they need to leave your family alone. They need to crawl back under the rock from which they came. They have done enough harm and now to think they are still messing around in this situation is unforgivable.

    • theresa
      • Shifting Impressions

        I thought it was an interesting read and could relate to it. But and here is the inevitable but….she is only what, two and one half months past d-day. I believe there is a whole process that one simply cannot by pass or speed up after the discovery of an affair.

        There are stages of grief that are inevitable. I have followed this site for over two years and it seems that most of us are left to fight an epic battle even when the cheating spouse is doing a fair bit of the right thing. I see the roller coaster of emotions that we simply cannot by pass.

        Laura and her husband sound like that they are moving in the right direction and I would say the same about my own situation……but it was months before I felt I could even breath. And now two and one half years later…..we are in many ways in a good place but….the journey has been long and arduous and there is still more to work through.

        Reading it just made me feel like it was premature to pronounce how well it was all going. Just a feeling I had after reading this story.

        • TheFirstWife

          Agree 100%.

          And when the CS continues to lie and undermines the effort to move forward, that can set you back.

          My biggest complaint (after just passing 3 years from DDay1) was that my H was trying to turn it around and be forthcoming and hinest and finally start to repair our marriage.

          However when the OW sent me all the emails between them, I found out he was still lying to me. And I was so angry that I believed him. All of it. Every word.

          So they are in the very early stages of recovery and I hope it continues.

    • Sarah P.

      Just had an epiphany based on First Wife’s comment. It’s one of those epiphanies that I feel stupid for having because it’s so obvious. If men are capable of caring on an affair for any extended amount of time, they are also capable 100% fabricating what happened during the affair as well as fabricating remorse. I think the point is, unless you have hundreds of emails like the first wife’s has, there is never going to be the objective truth available. This may sound mean and even like I am going overboard in my recommendation, but, I would not trust anything that the wayward spell size as being true. When I am talking about the truth, I am referring to the objective truth. It seems to me that wayward spouses deal in white lies and half truths. If you have the means as well as the inclination, I would encourage each of you to gather as many outside facts as possible. My opinion is that people who have affairs are living a giant lie in the first place and they have to lie to themselves to even carry on living the way that they live. If a person cannot even be honest with himself, now on earth can he be honest with anyone else? So, that is my epiphany and it’s one of those things that should have been obvious to me but was not. I think that when people have integrity, we know that we ourselves are trustworthy and so we have a hard time even getting into the mindset of those who are opposite to us. So we cannot imagine that someone would continue to lie after they have come clean

      • TheFirstWife

        And thanks to Doug and Linda and this blog and contributors to this blog, I learned it very common behavior.

        I wish it did not have to be that way. But in the back of my mind I always wonder “so what did you leave out?” Based on my experience and what others have posted, lying is part of the CS’ behavior after DDay.

        I knew my H was lying to me 1 week after DDay1. First lie was the OW was a very casual thing and it just happened. One week later I saw the e-card he sent her for her birthday and I knew this was no casual thing.

        So I have always thought my H was a stand up guy and honest. I could not have been more wrong. My point is that my H will never tell me 100% of the truth. I finally accepted it is never going to happen. But it took me 2 years to come to grips with it.

      • Shifting Impressions

        This is a huge part of the reason working through everything is so difficult. We the betrayed spouse are on a wild goose chase trying to “piece” everything together.

        It’s a huge shock when you have been with someone for years (over forty in my case) only to discover that they are capable of lying to you, to that extent. Yes, that the cover up and lies continue to some degree is a huge pill to swallow.

        Trying to rebuild trust is difficult to say the least.

        • Sarah P.

          Well, I can only imagine how difficult it is after 40 years. I think there is solace in realizing that your entire marriage/life was not a lie. You lived honestly and morally. I know that almost all men in these situations love their wives dearly and live double lives. In their minds what they have with their wives is real, true and authentic. It’s a great paradox. I think some almost see having a physical relationship with another woman as simple as brushing their teeth. The act of brushing their teeth does not affect their marriage or the sincerity of their love for their wives or even their desire to stay with their wives. In their minds a physical act does not negate or even effect their relationship. From the betrayed spouses perspective this could not be further from the truth. But in the wayward spouses mind it doesn’t affect anything. I get the impression that many men can literally separate things in this manner. A physical affair in their mind doesn’t affect their marriage. It’s no more than a blip on the radar that doesn’t even impact the big picture. But from a wife’s picture that blip on the radar ruins the entire big picture. It’s like someone takes a beautiful, classic painting and then sprays awful graffiti over everything. That’s what the wife sees. But the husband still sees the same beautiful painting with a tiny little mark that is hidden somewhere. Two different perceptions and experiences. I think this is why it is sometimes difficult to get a wayward spouse to see the proverbial graffiti that has ruined the whole painting.

          • Sarah P.

            Wanted to add to the above with another analogy. Men view cars and boats kind of like they view women. Has anyone noticed that? Because when they get a car or a boat they usually call her a “she.” I grew up sailing but my husband didn’t grow up with any kind of boat. We bought a 30″ Bayliner and I was the captain. The bayliner had all these problems with the engine and so we were bringing it back and forth to the marine mechanic. The male mechanics always called the boat a “she” as well. So when the boat got fixed the mechanic would say: “she is purring like a kitten and loves it if you go hard on her engine. Yep. She sure is a beauty.” Uh huh. Anyhow, it turned out that “she” was too high maintenance and we sold “her.” Good riddance. I dated this guy in my early 20’s who was proud of his red, Mazda Miata sports car. He named “her” Medea and he was always talking about Medea as if “she” were a real woman. That didn’t last but not because of Medea. He was a flake and I hope Medea’s cold, steel body was about to keep him warm. Doubt it. Anyhow, I sometimes think men see cars like they see women. And so when they rev up a car’s engine to purr it’s just as impersonal as revving up the other woman’s engine. When they go from car to car, driving each one hard, it doesn’t affect our relationship with them. And so I think some men think we should almost see other women as just cars they are trying out for the day. After all, we are the primary minivan so why should we worry! (Sarcasm)

            • Strengthrequired

              Sarah, have you noticed, when they buy their beloved car, that there is still something that is not quite right with it. They always have to do something to make it better, faster.

            • Sarah P.

              That is so true! Even the best car is never good enough and needs to be fixed.

              I dated this other guy who spent just about every waking moment polishing his car, vacuuming the interior, putting Armor all on the seats, and finding things to fix. I can tell you he did not put even 10% of that effort into our relationship and he would get so upset if I wore the wrong shoes that might damage the floor mat. Even 6 months after we broke up, he would call and ask why I broke up. I would say, “your car and those other women you cheated with…” But, it did not compute. He could never get it through his head that he did anything wrong.

            • TryingHard

              Hi Sarah
              I love your analogy and totally agree. I also put the ability to compartmentalize as he has a beautiful swimming pool in his back yard that he loves and adores. But one day he’s hot and tired and he’s passing a pond so he swims in that pond. Doesn’t ;mean he wants to give up his pool but the pond swim was so wild and different for him and made him remember his youth when he and his buddies would use the old tire swing and swim in the local watering hole.

              I’m certain there are many more analogies that people can come up with. And coincidentally this ability to compartmentalize is something I spoke with my therapist about and wanted to get your take on it. Maybe you could even write a post about it.

              I get the whole analogy and how men can just flip the switch and make like it’s no big deal the affair for them. However there are many men who don’t have affairs and don’t want to and their marriage really suck. They just don’t cheat. Empirically just what is this phenomena that men in particular have the ability to do this??? Are they just less evolved than women?? “Ugh me caveman, me want what me want…”.
              Where and when is it women’s/wives place to say “hey asshole don’t do that shit. You’re wrong”

              This ability to compartmentalize is so bizarre to me as I see everything related to one another. As in “No man is an island unto himself” right??
              Are people no longer learning this concept in church, synagogue, mosque and even school?

              No one acts alone in this world that what you do doesn’t have a huge ripple affect to thousands of people. Heck the experiences of my fellow BS’s and other commenters (yes that means you OW’s) here on this site have had a profound impact on my life and attitude and psyche.

              I guess I’m just naive but I will never understand how someone can compartmentalize something so underhanded and nasty as infidelity. There truly has to be something very broken in them.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Trying,

              I like that analogy of the pond swim compared to the beautiful pool!
              And it is even more true because the pond contains mud and pond scum. So, when he is with the other woman, he is basically swimming around with pond scum and mud. How fun! (Sarcasm)

              As for the men who are in crappy marriages and DON’T have affairs, I have a theory for that. If you have read that Why Men Marry Bitches book you will remember that a lot of men like a challenge. I don’t know if the author says that outright but it is one of the things I got out of it. A woman who is full of drama and makes them unhappy gives them a challenge to overcome or at least try to overcome. She provides them with something to battle. It gets their adrenaline running and occupies their mind. I think this is the case for some men who stay in unhappy marriages and don’t cheat. Also, if the guy has a low self esteem he might feel like a saint putting up with such a woman. He can look at her and think she is more broken than him. I think other men stay in these marriages and don’t cheat because of religious conviction or because they are wired to be more monogamous than the average guy.

              As for other people’s negative actions having a ripple effect and harming many, you are preaching to the choir. I have never understood why some people are capable of harm especially knowing full well that they will be harming people. The thought of harming anyone makes my heart sink and my stomach churn. I think of the butterfly effect when I think of someone harming another. That just makes it all the worse. i believe some people genuinely are not bothered if another is harmed. I also believe that many people are capable of great harm under certain psychological conditions. I think of the Milgram experiment from the early 1960’s. People were asked to send an electric shock to a person in another room. At first, the participants resisted but they were told over and over again by the experimenter to keep going. Every single participant sent a shock to the other participant and 65% of the participant administered the highest amount if voltage possible to the other participant. Now, in reality, the participants were not sending shocks and the person in the other room was basically an actor hired to scream in pain. But, the participants administering the shocks did not know this and they “shocked” the person in the other room despite cries of agony. It should also be noted that there were some participants who got up and left the experiment because they refused to “shock” the person in the other room. So, this data was from the people who stayed until the end of the experiment. This is just a summary. If you want the details of how and why the experiment was done here is a link:


              Anyhow, my point was that it seems that many people are capable of pretty nasty stuff under the right circumstances. But, people who have their wits and integrity about them ask questions, think it through, and refuse to participate, even despite pressure. Luckily the shock experiment showed that there were people who got up and left despite the authority figure ordering them to harm another. They exist. But it seems a large part of the population can be swayed to do harmful acts under the right circumstances. This is a real shame.

              I took the Meyers-Briggs personality test the other day to see if I had changed since the last time I took it. I could not help but wonder if there are personality types that are more prone to affairs than others. It turned out that my personality type values loyalty and doing the right thing above all else. I thought that part was cool because that means there is a group of people who have unfailing loyalty. But the bad news was that my personality type (INFJ) makes up less than 1% of the entire population!! I was so bummed out when I read that!

              Has anyone else out there taken the Meyers-Briggs and what were your results? Any other INFJ’s out there? 🙂
              I took the free test at:

          • Shifting Impressions

            In our case it was an Emotional Affair….I don’t know if that makes a difference in your analogy.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi SI,
              Good catch! I would say that the analogy does NOT apply to an emotional affair. I believe emotional affairs have very different motivations and are different from physical affairs in the way that the man processes them. PAs I think can be processed as the male mind as something that is as easy and is not even thought about just like brushing one’s teeth is not something we to obsess over. They don’t out their heart and soul into PA’s. I think emotional affairs begin with trying to fill an emotional hole within the guy himself. No one external to any of us can fill profound emotional holes. Loved ones can enhance our lives but they cannot make us “happy” if we are not happy to begin with. Feelings of happiness in the beginning of a relationship, where a person was not happy before, are accounted for by the neurochemistry of infatuation. But, that does not stop some people from trying to get their needs fulfilled outside of themselves. If a man has a deep, emotional hole that he cannot fill within himself, he will look to his wife to fill it. He may feel that she fills it for many years. But then one day she no longer fills it. So, he goes looking for a bandaid instead of addressing the psychic injury that causes the void. That’s when a guy can be vulnerable when another woman comes along who seems to fill that emotional void. The OW is no more than a band aid in these situations. I think that is one driver for the emotional affair. I think another driver is insecurity and a third driver is any kind of major life stress. Once again, the emotional affair has nothing to do with what a wife allegedly lacks or does not lack. It originates within the man himself. The emotional affair supplies a kind of emotional “feed” for the wayward spouse while the physical affair can mean as little to the wayward spouse as brushing his teeth or blowing his nose. It’s just a function. So, for all of you out there who have been through physical affairs, just picture the other woman as a used up Kleenex full of boogers when you think of her. That should at least provide comic relief, if only for a moment. And for all of you who have been betrayed by an emotional affair, you can picture the other woman as nothing more than a used up, dry old band aid. Picture these things each time the OW comes up in conversation. You can have a little chuckle for yourself and leave your spouse wondering what on earth you are laughing at. It can be a little inside joke for all of us on the site.

            • TheFirstWife

              I disagree as my H’s OW started as an EA and went to a PA but they only kissed. However he was ready to divorce me after kissing her.

              She admitted to me they did not have sex. They were only physically together 8 times in 12 months. And on her revenge email she wrote to my H she said she was so happy she did not have sex with him. So I know it is true.

              BUT he was planning to divorce me and spoke about divorce numerous times.

              So I admit there can be distinctions between a PA and EA. In some cases the CS isn’t emotionally invested and it is strictly a PA with no attachment.

              However for many CS the emotional affair is the driving force that can lead to a PA. But it can also lead to years of cheating as it is like an addiction in many cases.

              In any event it doesn’t matter. It is all cheating. It is wrong and detrimental to a marriage.

              And it doesn’t matter if the OW is aggressive and pursues the MM or stalks him or is relentless.

              The H needs to be strong and committed. No means no. I don’t care if the OW is sprawled naked across his desk. They should be repulsed and outraged. No reason to succumb unless you are a coward and weak.

              As I have said when guys come on to me I am immediately repulsed. I think they are pigs. Not interested and not attracted in any way.

              So this article somewhat excuses the CS. The OW is aggressive – avoid her. Look at her character. She is pathetic for chasing a MM in the first place. What does that say about her?

              It takes a strong person to avoid temptations such as food, alcohol, drugs, porn, etc. affsirs are also on that list.

            • Shifting Impressions

              I agree…..I will have remember the band aid thing.

        • TheFirstWife

          So true about trust. That is something the CS just doesn’t understand.

          They think “see how things are now” and “I am being honest”. Well sorry to burst your bubble but you acted in a way to cause your spouse to question everything.

          As you said the depth and length the CS goes to carry on an affair is a shock to the BS. To find out you were with someone for so many years and this is what went on and you didn’t even know (as the BS) – well that is a shock to the system.

          My H continues to make me shake my head in amazement (and not in a good way). In one week I had two such experiences. The second was a no brainier in my book. He rides his bike bee live in a highly congested traffic area in the suburbs. So I found out in Safurday he does not wear a bike helmet and didn’t think anything was wrong with that.

          So I mentioned personal safety is important. I comparedvl it to getting in a car and not wearing a seatbelt. You just don’t do it -,you put on the seatbelt. His response? Well it is a law thst you must wear a seatbelt and it is not a law that I have to wear a bike helmet.

          Boy was I upset. He just didn’t get it. I also assumed he wore one and never dreamed he would be so careless. So my point is you THINK you know the person you married after 30 or 40 years.

          And then you find out you never really knew them at all.

          That is the part the CS will never understand. They just don’t see what that does to a person.

          • Sarah P.

            Very good points, FirstWife. I also wonder if someone men are natural risk takers and so not wearing a helmet or not buckling adds an extra element of the unknown. My dad doesn’t buckle up regularly and my mom and I are always on his case. But, he has a different reason: he fancies himself a rebel and says no government agency can tell him what to do. (How immature!!!!!) That kind of attitude was excusable when he was 18, but it no longer excusable for someone in his 70’s. Yet, he has never grown out of that mindset and he does not know when rebellion is appropriate and when it is just plain STUPID. I always tell him that rebelling against the seat belt law only harms him– and doing something that harms him makes no sense at all!!!!

        • Doug

          SI, Just curious…Did your husband have a history of lying or telling little white lies throughout your marriage? If so, lying is probably natural for him and now he’s simply using it as a means of self-preservation.

          • Shifting Impressions

            No, he didn’t. Perhaps that is why I found his dishonesty so shocking. He is a very caring, hardworking person. He is well liked and dearly loved by his children, friends, co-workers and siblings. He has a strong moral compass….and lives his life by it.

            I could really relate to your audio “Inside the mind of the unfaithful”. I think I got the title right. The question about a “good person” having an affair. I actually got him to listen to that!!!! I am hoping that he understands how important it is for him to understand the Why of what happened. I have backed off and am hoping for the best but I’m not holding my breath.

            He has always been one to avoid confrontation of any kind and has not been honest about his feelings……that would be the type of lie he would be guilty of.

            I do believe the lies were a means of self-preservation for sure.

            There is a certain amount of subtle manipulation and gas-lighting that I am much more aware of now. But much of that is probably self preservation as well.

            By the way thank you so much for that audio…….very helpful for me.

            • Doug

              SI, Well then I’m pretty sure that another main reason (in addition to self-preservation) he took to lying was because he is so non-confrontational. In his mind it was better to lie and possibly get away with it than be confronted, argue, etc.

              I’m glad you liked the audio – and that you got your husband to listen to part of it. I hope he got something out of it as well. Thanks for the kind words and for your contributions!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Doug, for sure that would be another reason.

              He actually listened to the whole audio twice and had me print off the paper copy as well. And I only asked once if he would be willing to listen to it. Shocking….I know!!!

    • Sarah P.

      Erg. Sorry for the typos. When I do long comments, I usually dictate. My dictation program loves to change the correct words into incorrect words and I can’t catch it fast enough!!! ?

    • theresa

      I agree it’s early times in their journey. I am embarrassed to say it’s 6 years since I realized that my marriage was not what I thought.
      It was my decision to wait for the empty nest. And empty doesn’t come close.
      There has been no significant, sustained changes over time
      I did not handle this situation well since the beginning. Had I done what Laurel has done I can’t but help feel my life today would have been better.
      I remember the “Pre-cana” classes the RC Church required before the marriage ceremony. It was like all the intro to classes in college. I considered it more of a nuisance than anything that could help us in the future in preventing problems or navigating through troubled waters.
      And to make it more palatable, it skimmed over the important bits. I dug ours out. It was clear there were he/she differences in our responses, and the need for good communication.
      And that’s where it ended.
      Today’s society seems to foster self indulgence, makes it easy to do so, and makes it easy to walk away.
      All the help comes after the horse got out.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Theresa. Great line about help coming after the horse is out.

        So true.

        My H knew he was unhappy and hated his job, career not working out, etc. He didn’t try to face it but masked it with an affair. He is trying hard now but like you said, the damage from the affair is done.

        I was fine with my H not communicating with me. I accepted him for who he was. I felt if that was his only fault I was lucky. He did talk about things just not often which was OK by me.

        So when he felt disconnected from us he blamed me!!!! Not so fast here – I talk you don’t. I refused to accept blame for his affair from day 1. He tried to justify it by blaming me.

        So yes now he is doing the hard work and goes to therapy now but it is all after the fact. But I guess better late than never.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I also wish I would have taken a tougher line right after D-day. But it’s understandable. We refer to the “Affair Fog” regarding the CS frame of mind. But I believe that there is a “D-day shock” that hits the betrayed spouse with a vengeance upon the discovery of an affair. Looking back there are few things that I would do quite differently but I believe I literally went into shock.

        We took those type of classes before we married…….
        Hell, the man even taught those classes for several years

        • TheFirstWife

          I took a tough stand with my H 3 weeks after DDay1. I told him it was her or me. Hecwas texting and emailing her in our house. Behind my back but still in contact nonetheless.

          So he had told me he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be married and would let me know at the end of the summer what his decision was.

          So I confronted him one night in July – her or me. i stood up to him. He was so shocked he chose me.

          I knew he was lying but I allowed myself to believe it. Big mistake!!!!

          Nothing changed. Except he had no contact for 2 months but when she called, “Mr Knight in Shining Armour” went running back.

          So my standing up to him did nothing and the affair continued underground. Until he asked for a divorce a few months later. And then I found out they were still together.

          So I stood in front of him and did not fold.

          It changed nothing. Except he blamed me for his unhappiness. I was standing in his way of getting what he wanted. He acted like a spoiled bratty 2 year old.

    • TryingHard

      I can relate to what you are saying about your husband. I think it’s so important for seemingly “good” men to lie. Yes they are so honest and good in so many ways and then they do the most horrible thing. The cheat. They can’t stand it thinking that someone thinks poorly if them so the lie and cover up and minimize and obfuscate to protect their cherished image of themselves. While we the on lookers are saying “look the emperor has no clothes”
      My husband used to say a curious thing. He would say “you lie to make yourself look good”. It’s taken a lot of therapy to finally solve that curiosity. What he was doing all those years was gaslighting me by projecting his bad character on to me.

      Sadly for all those who need more truths, this is all you’re going to get. Their like stroke patients. If they haven’t gotten better in the first six months by coming clean, they aren’t going to do much more explaining. They just want it all to go away

      • Shifting Impressions

        This is why I got so much out oft the Audio “Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful”. Also it is such a common thread on this site……we just can’t get the “whole story”.

        Rather than make myself crazy, by obsessing over all the details of what happened when and where, I am trying to focus WHAT IS TRUE TODAY.

        Yes, he needs to figure out why and I would love to have more understanding. But I can’t do the work for him. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink

        So when I find myself starting to obsess and believe me I do still fall into that pit after 21/2 years, I ask myself What is True today? Is his remorse real? Is he still lying? I try to bring myself into the present and deal with what is happening now.

        I agree about how they lie to make themselves look good….much easier for them to make us look bad.

    • TryingHard

      Doug and SI
      Is the audio you’re talking about “Marks Story”? I don’t see an audio on yhis post

    • Believe

      My wife had a 1 year and a 2 year affair from 2011 and it ended in Jan 2015. We’ve both been to a therapist but the therapist had a death in the family so she’s taking a break. However, she recommended her colleague therapist who lives about 1 mile from the affair partner. I decided to go to her colleague therapist and face my fears about being so close to the AP home. It still hurts so much because i know where they were intimate, i know she sent him pics of herself and the messages she went on google search. Things she searched were like “sexy messages for my lover,” “i want to kiss you right now”. Needless to say i believe she was not thinking straight. She said she felt special with him and also did not feel good with him because of the guilt. She knew it was wrong but she thought she was in love with this married man. I’m hanging in there…if it wasn’t for my 2 daughters whom i love so much – i think i would have divorced her. Taking it one moment at a time and one day at time.

      • Doug

        Believe, I’m truly sorry that you’re going through this. Hopefully since the affair ended your wife has been remorseful and has been doing what she needs to do to help in the healing and rebuilding process. Keep hanging in there and best wishes!

        • Believe

          Hi Doug. Thank you for the encouragement. She is not doing her bit in helping the healing. She cannot handle the difficult/uncomfortable issues and she’s not the type to take things head on. I’ve learned alot about myself when going through the difficult issues with her. However, she hasn’t learned much. She refuses to go to therapy again. We went for about 12 sessions over the 2 year period since i found out. I realise the therapist or myself cannot make her do things. A lot of times when i speak to her she just stonewalls. The therapist taught us communication techniques and i would want to implement it but she seems very reluctant. I initiate we talk about the affair and she has not once initiated in the 2 year period to talk to me about the affair. I guess she is having her own personal demons to deal with. I’m busy with mindfulness meditation and it has helped a bit. So there’s a lot i need to keep doing to heal. In summary, i wish she would deal with her issues as it could help her to help me. However, i’m not relying on her to heal as i’m staying focused on myself.

    • Amy

      After three years and changing countries my husband still cheated on me with the same woman. I tried everything possible for the marriage to work but I guess he is unable to change. There is no motivation to work towards the marriage from his side. He admits that he and the OW are both selfish people and he is unable to change. For last 1.5 years he swore of not being in contact with her but when I went out of town to meet my brother last week, my husband called the OW to visit him and she did. Even living in different countries could not stop the affair!!

      Any way , I have asked him move out for good now as this case is hopeless. He still wants to live with me and the kids and says he does not want to be with the OW!! I mean I think he has some serious mental issues! But I am convinced now it’s best for me to move on and make my life and my kids rather than stay stuck in this mess.

      It’s always difficult to let go but some times things need to end for some thing better to come. I wish all of us who are struggling because of the pain the affair caused, find peace and happiness.

      • TheFirstWife

        I am sorry to hear this. Please know thevaffair is like an addiction that the CS just cannot control.

        I think you have given it your best. Sorry it wasn’t recognized by him. Please know you deserve better.

        I am sorry for you and your children and I hope you find peace and happiness in the future.

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