Open Mic DiscussionIt’s actually been since early September since we’ve had an open discussion.  So, we thought it’s a good time for Open Mic #26 !  

In case you didn’t know, or are a new reader, this is where you guys call the shots and discuss the topics that you want to discuss.

We know there must be some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about, share your experiences – or maybe just do a little venting.  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!)
  • Wanna share any lessons you’ve learned recently?
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  • 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 team is going to win the Super Bowl?
  • 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.


See also  Discussion: Your Biggest Fears After the Affair

Linda & Doug


    173 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #26"

    • TheFirstWife

      Here is what is working for me. .For 2017 I have decided not to bring up the past.

      No reference to the affair.

      No references to past hurts or actions.

      I refuse to focus on his past issues.

      I promise to look at each day anew and stay positive and in the present.

      The past cannot be undone but I can remain positive for my future.

      So far it is working.

      • Robert

        God bless you for that perspective but it has got to be very difficult? I wish you well.

        • TheFirstWife

          You are right. Some days it is not easy but I have come to the place that if I let the affair or his choices take over it ruins my day.

          I had enough ruined days until I decided or realized my anger was hurting me. Ruining my day. And I decided I was no longer going to let it get to me.

          It was hard at first. When I would wake up from a nightmare where he is leaving me again – it used to ruin my week. Now I give it no thought b/c honestly the next time he wants to leave me, I will gladly help him back. LOL

          I just won’t get sucked back into the drama again. Ever.

          I think positive thoughts and it helps me tremendously. If I am negative it just drags me down.

          It is a mindset that took me 3 years to achieve. It was hard but it has made a difference for me.

          • Tired

            I completely understand this. I am doing this too. I am only hurting myself by going over and over the details. It doesn’t matter anymore. He is here with me so I must mean more to him than the other woman

        • Bluejay

          What a positive perspective that I hope someday I will be able to garnish the power to have. My wife’s affair was an online one with an old high school friend. My DDay was august 2 when I found some of the Facebook exchanges between the two of them. Maybe it’s way to early for me to be that positive but it does give me hope that I can reach that point at sometime. The feelings are still to raw and the hurt is still deep. It still consume much of my day to day thinking and yes I keep asking why? We have been married 27 years and four kids later and about to enter our last phase of life together. No she has made me reconsider everything about her and our relationship. Was it perfect before the affair, of course not but it was not terrible. I know I have to make some choices about our marriage and future but it still seems far away. Thank you for the positive view!

    • Shifting Impressions

      That is interesting that you posted that….my thought or question was “When is it Enough?” When do you stop asking for more details or keep making yourself crazy trying to figure it all out? After three years….maybe it’s just time to look forward instead of back. I just hadn’t posted yet….and there you go giving me my answer!!!

      All week long I have been thinking……it’s time to really let go. Enough already, I would really like that positive way as well. I have let the triggers have way to much control over me.

      • TheFirstWife

        I actually spent the last 6 months going over the past and I came to the concludion that:

        There are no answers that would change anything

        My H has made changes and things are different

        The lies that were told during and sfter the affair are not going to go away or magically disappear

        I need to be in charge of my future and happiness

        Instead of focusing on the negative I csn choose to change my thinking to be positive

        the future is here and now. Time to move on. I choose not to let the past define me or trap me.

        On to bigger and better things.

        • blueskyabove

          * The FirstWife and Shifting Impressions,

          Bravo ladies! Your comments about this very important decision you each have chosen regarding both your present and future life are incredibly important in determining your success and your happiness!

          This doesn’t mean it will necessarily be smooth sailing, but you each have shown a willingness to value yourself plus a belief in yourself that you can handle whatever lies ahead. I couldn’t be happier for you. What a lovely example you have each shown with this decision. Not everyone has the capacity to strive for such great heights.

          Michelangelo said: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

          I don’t know who first said the following, but I believe they must have had you each in mind:

          “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. Those persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

          May God bless you both.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Thank you so much for your kind words. From the beginning my prayer was that I would not let this make me hard or bitter. After three long years it is just recently that I am starting turn this new corner of letting go. Maybe others get to this place sooner but it’s a process that I don’t believe can be hurried or bypassed.

            I value the support and words of wisdom I find here.

            Actually, I think I simply got tired of crying and giving my power away.

            Thanks again, Blue

            • blueskyabove

              You’re welcome, Shifting Impressions.

              I’m not very good at words, but I can recognize an invaluable quote when I see it! And I’ve become pretty good at identifying whether or not people truly value themselves. Sadly, most people don’t. Their actions and their words give them away. They can beat on their chest and declare it to be so, but other people intuitively seem to know that the braggadocio is a sign of emptiness. People who love themselves don’t have a desire to compare themselves to others, don’t look for reasons to diminish themselves or others, and basically, have no desire to continue to hurt themselves or others. They just seem to know that it’s counterproductive.

              Don’t be so hard on yourself regarding your healing timeline. Be grateful you made the decision to bet on you. Some people will never ever reach your state of acceptance.

              Take care.

      • Robert

        I hate triggers!!! Has anyone figured out how to best deal with them and not just shut down?

        • TheFirstWife

          Hi Robert

          It can take a very long time to get past that.

          I have an aversion to jazz music thanks to my H’s affair. Some days he can play it and no reaction and other days it MUST be turned off.

          And we are 3 years past DDay.

          I think the triggers slowly fade away. What bothered me years ago is not a big deal, though I think there arecsome days where it all bothers you.

          I just keep saying to myself what is he doing now? What is reality now? Is he trying to make amends or change things?

          But in those moments when you are about to react I just leave the room or do something – anything – to get my mind off of the thought or feeling.

          Easier said than done I know. But I find just playing a feel good song is enough to change my focus. Or a good Rolling Stones song!

          • Robert

            Like maybe “you can’t always get what you want”???? I sincerely appreciate the perspective on triggers as my dday has been only 4 months old and the triggers still very raw.
            Have you ever shared your triggers with your cheating spouse? Is it helpful?

    • Corey H.

      I’ve been married 6 years, 7 in March. 2 years ago, August 21st to be exact, my husband confessed to having cheated on me with an ex a few times while we were dating and once with her during the first few months of our marriage. He said he doesn’t really know why he did it other than he did because he “could”.
      I chose to forgive because it happened so long ago and he really was a completely different man since then,we both had changed for the better , and our marriage had changed and became better too.
      The problem is…. I think he’s lying. Really part of me ‘feels’ like I know he’s lying. I know yall know exactly what I mean when I say that our entire marriage has been running through my head this entire time. Memories I didn’t know I remembered popped up constantly. I didn’t want the to, f that, but I had no control. Memories of suspicious crap. I just hope yall know what I mean.
      I feel like there’s more. As in he’s been cheating on me with who knows who or how many people our entire marriage even up to now, today even.
      I need help. I don’t investigate anymore I’ve been down that road it doesn’t help ME, it only hurts me.
      I just don’t know if it’s my gut or if it’s paranoia, fear, and distrust making me feel and think this way considering the circumstances. He’s adamant that’s all and he’s telling the truth but I believe he felt guilty confessed the bare minimum that he believed was forgivable to ease his conscience and justifies it with anymore will hurt her more so this is enough or he confessed hoping I’d leave him and confessed just enough for his parents and friends to forgive him and not think less of him and be able to blame the divorce on me also so his family and friends don’t think less of him.
      I don’t know what instinct is. Idk what to believe. It’s haunting me though two years later. Help.

      • Corey H.

        I feel so much rage about it. Like f you. I was loyal. I loved you so fing much. So fing much. I truly trusted you with my fing life. F you for this. F you. I didn’t fing deserve it. I don’t fing deserve it. F you. F you. F you. I would’ve done anything for you. F you. F you. I was looking for, I wanted, and I deserved the kind of love and loyalty I have for you. F you. I believed you. I fing believes IN YOU.! You stole from me. From my kids. F. You.

        • Corey H.

          And also. F all of you thinking about, are, or having a a hard time stopping an remotional or physical affair. F you all for that. This is what’s hard. Being faithful, loving, and honest is through sickness and in health till death do you part is what’s hard. Trusting another person with your life to never hurt you is hard. Putting someone before you and above all temptations is hard. I’ve gone 6 – 7 years fighting and doing all this and could easily go 100 more. Love is a choice. To love anyways is a choice. No matter how hard. It is a choice. You choose an affair even though it’s difficult to lie and cover up. You choose. You fing choose. Choose to love your spouse anyways instead.

          • TheFirstWife

            Corey. I am so sorry for you and know that all of us feel your pain. We completely understand. We have lived with the “gift” of being married to a cheater. And it really stinks.

            I would suggest counseling for you. It saved my sanity and my marriage. My H refused any help at all (typical cheater behavior) but I went for years. it helped me get through all of it.

            My H’s Mid Life Crisis affair was not his first. He had a 4 year emotional affsir he would never ever admit to.

            The first affair was swept under the rug. The second one was not as I refused to go along with that. But the last 3 years since his last affair came to light has been hard.

            You now look back and see things differently. The Rose colored glasses are off as my therapist said. You over analyze things (because that is what affairs do).

            Your self confidence is undermined. Your self worth is undermined. Your ability to trust is shattered.

            Now here is the but – the BUT that was the choice you face. Do you still want to be married to this man? Can you see yourself being happy with him?

            What would he need to do to make things better? Can you tell him this.

            It is hard to let go of the anger and rage. Trust me I know – we all know.

            You are probably right he did not give you 100% truth. But can you accept that?

            Mostly I made a choice to not live in the past but it took me 3 years to get here. I chose to keep my family intact. I chose to move past the pain and hurt and anger. I also choose to out me and my happiness first. Not in a selfish way but in a way that makes me fulfilled.

            I think counseling can help you. I hope you make the choice to go for YOU!

            Please know that your H’s choices to cheat are his character flaw and have no bearing on you. Please keep telling yourself that over and over. One day you will realize that little gem makes all the difference. It stops you from blaming yourself for his affairs.

            Good luck to you. Be positive about you and put yourself first. If you choose your marriage I hope it is a happy marriage for you. You deserve it.

          • Sarah P.

            Dear Corey,

            I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. If it is any consolation, all of the words you wrote have gone through my head when I have been filled with rage about my ex. You are not alone in feeling the way you feel.

            A very wise woman told me recently that each of us must separate our own actions and intentions from that of our spouse. She told me being a good person and working hard on the marriage cannot guarantee what I spouse does. I have always lived under the belief that if I am good to someone and do not cheat, that I will be treated the same way. I have a hard time accepting it as true, but it is true. People can choose of their own free will what to do and being good to others does not mean someone will return the good.

            I believe it is time to see a counselor because this is just too difficult to go through on your own. Finding the right therapist is essential because they have the tools to help.

            Otherwise, please let us know how we can help you through this.

            My best to you,


    • Hopeful

      I agree with all of this!! There were times especially after dday 1 one year anniversary that were hard. I had a lot of doubt. I questioned if I got the real answers.

      My therapist helped me a lot. He agreed there is a need to get answers and to heal and work through this all. But at a certain point will it help, will it make it better? I really decided I was spinning my wheels and dragging myself down. And for me no answer was going to make me feel better.
      My therapist told me he has plenty of patients where he finally recommends not staying together. At a certain point if the work has been done then you have to move forward. Of course with boundaries and still continuing to work on the relationship but not focusing on the affairs.

      I will say it comes up still once in a while but more in a reflective way or as a point of discussion. As time passes my husband is more thankful and appreciative than ever. And also at one point last year I decided I wanted to be happy and made that choice vs thinking about the past and his affairs. They already stole enough of my and our time. He was always around but I would say sort of detached at times out of shame and guilt. He is 100% in and working so hard so if I need to bring something up I do but really it is framed around the present and future not the past.

      Happy 2017!

    • theresa

      Every time I read another account of betrayal I feel my heart squeeze. I can remember the pain of each kick in my chest that left me breathless.. Each incident, each discovery, each lie. I berate myself for accepting the bullshit, justifying my inaction, doubting myself. This is my past and present. Won’t be my future.
      Do not ignore your instinct. God gave us this power to protect ourselves.
      Give yourself time to consider, time to decide what you can live with, what you will not accept. Time to decided how YOU want the rest of YOUR life to flow.
      Keep true to yourself. Do not give yourself permission to betray yourself and your beliefs.
      If you have questions ask them, you owe this to yourself. Be prepared for surprises.
      You and you alone are responsible for your own happiness.

      • Rachel

        Love this Theresa!

    • Hurt

      I found out 6 weeks ago my husband was having an emotional affair with a work colleague. I found out as they had booked a hotel room but never actually went as I found out2 days before this was due to happen.
      Since finding out my husband given me access to everything, he has also got the work colleague transferred.
      He has told me about the affair but has not been completely honest as still finding out things now.
      His reasoning is he doesn’t want me to think it was more than it was.
      He says he felt unloved at home and was flattered by the attention.
      My argument is by lying about how often they were texting or meeting up it makes him look more guilty.
      When I do bring up the affair he gets angry and says we are going round in circles, but as I keep explaining every time we do go round in circles I find out more!
      I believe it was never physical and that he book the hotel as he was flattered someone wanted him.
      On good days since I found out they are amazing, but on the bad days they are horrible and I just want him to leave.
      I feel so hurt as I never in a million years thought he would do this.
      I know we were not putting on relationship first cos of kids and other family issues, but why didn’t he talk to me. Why did he go running to someone else.
      I can’t cope with the pain and don’t know if we can get through this.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hurt. I am so sorry. We have all been there. We understand the pain and frustration and anger and betrayal you feel.

        As this is so new please take advice from someone who has been down this road. Let me point out a few positives to you

        First, your husband has ended contact and had the person transferred. That is a sign that he has admitted his wrongdoing and is willing to make amends and put your marriage first. Many involved in an emotional affair don’t even acknowledge The affair or end contact voluntarily.

        Second he has given you access to his phone and that is a big deal as well. Many cheaters would never even allow that so early after discovery of the affair.

        Third, and this is based on my own experience and all that I have read on this blog. Most likely you will never get 100% truth. Once the affair comes to light, the cheater is in fear of the marriage being destroyed and the betrayed spouse leaving. Please note that the lying that may continue or the gas lighting or lying by omission is done by the cheater out of fear.

        I think that you have to take a step back and come to terms with what his happened. I’m not saying ignore it or sweep it under the rug, but just processing and understanding this did happen.

        It is hard to understand why your spouse would turn to someone else. One of my theories is they enjoy the ego boost and the flattery. It doesn’t make sense that their choices would be to engage in that way with someone else, because most often times they have a loving and supportive spouse already.

        I think sometimes these affairs gain momentum because the cheating spouse has the ability to be someone else. They can pretend to be a fun loving, carefree, happy go lucky person when in reality at home they are completely opposite.

        Please do not let your spouse bully you into believing that you had anything to do with this affair. My husband tried that routine but I was smart enough to poke holes in everyone of his theories.

        Please know your husband made a choice and that is his cross to bear.

        You may want to suggest joint counseling and if your husband refuses to go to counseling, please consider going will be an opportunity for you to deal with this mess and figure out how to manage the anger and frustration and hurt.

        Please do not be offended if your husband decides not to go to appears that most cheaters avoid it because it is so painful for them.

        I wish you luck and please continue to be part of this blog because I have to tell you that this blog saved my sanity and my marriage at a time when I was ready to lose it.

        Be sure to put yourself first, your happiness first, and your family as well. This is a time when your husband can no longer be number one.

        I wish you all the best. You deserve a happy marriage.

        PS my H’s last affair led him to ask for a divorce 2x in one week. When I found out about the affair I was livid. But we are still together and happy and doing well. But it took 3 years of fighting an uphill battle at times to get here.

      • Amanda

        My story seems very similar to yours. I will say there are better days than others as well. And my H didn’t feel desired and appreciated by me and found a collegue that thought he was… I would say to keep reading thing to help so you can see you are not alone. And if you can go to counseling to help you realize it is not about you then go.

        And I’m thankful for being able
        To see that 2 years isn’t still too long to be in all of this affair stuff. I feel
        Like we shouldn’t be stuck anymore and we should be progressing further. DDay was Summer of 15. We started counseling summer of 16. He sees her every day at work. He doesn’t text her like he did but she is still there and he emails her some. I’m not sure he is completly honest with me either but it could just be me being so sensitive to everything. He still Gets angry and resentful that we don’t have the connection that they did. I feel
        Like he is settling for me. I don’t Doubt that he loves me but I just wish he would try to fight for us harder. Make a choice for me because he wants me. He isn’t there at this point. He says he doesn’t know if he will be. Like maybe that time for that passion/lovey Dovey for us is over (married almost 18 years). I don’t feel that way. I’m still crazy about him and have been willing to forgive him And I am still loving and treat him good. He is just in a someone who lost their best friend..and it drives me crazy. It really doesn’t matter what I do or say. Even if I am everything he ever wanted at this point in my mind.

        Thanks for the continied thoughts and articles on this site.

        • TheFirstWife

          Amanda. So sorry for you. I lived with yoyr same situation. My H was missing his OW and treated me horribly and kept telling me he wasn’t sure he wanted to be married to me blah blah blah.

          When his affair resumed with the OW (part 2) and I found out I exploded with rage and told him to get out.

          And he knew hecwas out if chances and that is when he started working his tail off to keep us together.

          Sometimes they need a good swift kick in the butt. Too bad it takes that to make them see what is right in front of them – a good spouse and good marriage and family.

          I swear this mid life crisis thing is exhausting. And pathetic.

          • Barbra

            I’ve been there also. After 34 years my husband is having a mid life crisis. He was pictured with a woman for over a year. Our story is SO CONVOLUTED I can’t write it. But you’re right. They need to stop ruining the lives of his family for his selfish behavior.

    • theresa

      Putting yourself first is the first commandment. This may be the single most important thing you will ever do for yourself. And right now you need to look in. What you need for yourself and what you will not accept from this time forward.
      Understand that every one of your nerves is like a hot poker, decisions made now may not be the best for the long term. Try not to make any major decisions until you feel more in control.
      You owe him nothing, no consideration, no empathy, no trust, no support. He gave away those things that are a bedrock of a marriage. You have a right to get questions answered honestly. I think, without question, the single most destructive thing the cheater WILL do is continue to be dishonest. This word, dishonest, is important to me. It does not give the cheater any wiggle room. It encompasses the nature of cheating, infidelity, adultery, betrayal. It means lying, omission, tweaking, blaming others, justification, …….!
      Do not allow him to turn it around. He made a choice that under any circumstances was wrong. It did not “just happen”. They did not decide to reserve a hotel room, for a future date, in the spur of a moment.
      He took a vow, made a commitment, made a promise to be faithful. He broke that vow. There are NO acceptable excuses, reasons, circumstances.
      And unless you are lucky, there will always be more.
      That being said, from your story, and his responses there is room for hope. So many of us have found out further down this road. Earlier intervention made have had better results.
      Knowing the stories of other members of this club, what they experienced, how they handled it, and what works and doesn’t work is a huge advantage for those coming here sooner rather than later.

      First off, you’ve come to the section of EAJ that was created for those a little further up the road. Have you checked out the info for those who “have just found out”?

      Take a look at the programs developed by Linda and Doug.
      This section is a gold mine.
      No two stories are exactly alike.
      Don’t dismiss suggestions from others because their situation is different from yours.
      There are some ” universal” factors which apply to any given situation.
      There are other sources for help. Most of us have favorite books or other sites that we recommend, including a good list right here on EAJ.
      (There is sooooo much info out there. I consider this jewel (EAJ) the best. As such, I find recommendations from here the most meaningful,
      Like minds think alike.)

      I’m praying for you.


    • Hurt

      Thank you for your responses.
      I have brought up marriage counselling and he has agreed to go and said he will do whatever he can to make it work.
      I even suggested going to meet the OW and he has told me if he thinks it will help me then do it. By him saying this makes me believe that what he has said is the truth.
      What hurts more is it was all premeditated. I’m not saying a one night stand would hurt any less but if he had done that I know he hadn’t been planning to hurt me for the months it was going on.
      When I do mention about we were putting everyone else before our relationship he does tell me that is no excuse for what he has done. He is taking full responsibility (as he should!)
      I see he is in pain and having break downs but not because he wants sympathy but because he knows the pain he has caused me and the damage he has done to our marriage.
      I know he regrets it but that doesn’t stop the pain.
      Also I keep thinking of the what’s ifs and maybe if I hadn’t found out, and I know this isn’t helping and I know he can never answer these questions!

      • TheFirstWife

        We understand your pain. Right now it is all new and fresh and raw.

        But you have a few positives here.

        Keep focusing on that.

        Keep putting yourself first and getting boundaries set and your needs met.

        I wish you all the best. I hope your road to recovery leads to a renewed marriage.

    • Doug

      Not too long ago, Linda and our daughters all read the book, “The Girl on the Train” – and loved it. Last night Linda noticed it was available on demand. Linda was excited to watch it – as were our daughters – so of course we did.

      I know that TV and movies can really stir up triggers and memories, and boy, this movie most certainly could do that. Though it’s a pretty good flick, I don’t recommend a betrayed spouse watch it if easily triggered by such things or if your D-day was fairly recent. Just a friendly warning.

      That said, the fact that Linda read the book and wanted to watch the movie is testament to the fact that triggers, images and memories of infidelity (and the pain they cause) can fade away over time.

      • Hopeful

        Good for Linda! That book hit too close to home. I do not think it was that the story was the same but the deception and level of deceit and lies. It honestly made me sick. I just cannot see the movie. What is interesting pre dday I hard read gone girl and we went to the move for a date night. Well my husband no clue what the movie was about. He told me after dday it was horrific for him and he even stopped wanting to watch tv with me due to his guilt and shame. Crazy how he created this situation but then could not deal with it even though he had all the necessary tools.

      • Broken2

        It depends on the trigger. I haven’t been on this site for a long time. I went back to school and got my Bachelors in Chemical Dependency Counseling and start my internship in May. I have been busy working on myself. Just an update on my hubby. He now works in another state and the company is dragging their feet on relocation so we have been apart for 4 months (he comes home on weekends) and this has truly tested my ability to trust him. Recently some good friends are dealing with a long sexual affair and he the husband asked me how I got over it? I said I never will, that I have learned to live with it but the pain will always be there (kind of like when a loved one dies). It was a death. This interaction has also sent me to trigger hell as I have spent the last week crying and unable to function, so I guess my point would be it depends on the trigger. I too watched that movie without response. My neediness has caused my hubby to be mean and in turn cause me to be more upset. I was completely surprised that it was my husband told this other man that he cheated on me as he has never told anyone before. I deal with alot from him. He even called the other woman 10 months ago to tell her he got a new job after no contact for 6 years, she didn’t answer but it crushed me. So life goes on. Sometimes it is so tiring dealing with him.

        • Doug

          Hey Broken2! It has been a long time. Thanks for stopping by. I knew you were working on a degree and am happy to read that you achieved it and have otherwise been working on yourself. I bet that is really hard for you with your husband working out of state like that – especially in light of his continuing occasional screw ups. I hope that for the lion’s share of the time he’s trustworthy and that you aren’t triggered as much. Good to hear from you!

          • Broken2

            Hi Doug,
            I am hanging in there…eager to start my internship. I wont put my life on hold for him ever again. The OW just wont go away she is like a cockroach that never dies. I just looked at my hubbys Linked In site and she viewed his profile just today. Hurray.

            I do pretty good usually but I have to say this seperation is tough. In his defense he has been wonderful about telling me where he is and what he is doing. We also set up boundries which he is keeping otherwise he knows the consequences.

            • Doug

              That’s good to hear Broken2! Though it sucks bad that the OW is still hanging around. What’s her deal?

    • Puzzled

      This site has been a critical part of my healing. So thank you for that. I honestly hurt for all of you going through this and understand the anger, confusion, and every other emotion you’re going through. My D-day was somewhat two fold as I’m sure many others face. My wife of 20 years told me on March 15, 2015 that “she wasn’t happy & wasn’t in love with me”. This floored me. She swore there wasn’t anyone else and she was simply unsure of what she was feeling any more. I walked on egg shells as things continued to decline in how she treated me on a daily basis. I couldn’t get answers nor did she really want to talk about us. Hurt, lost, and confused can’t even touch my feelings. Our minister suggested counseling, which my wife reluctantly agreed to. She cried. She said that I was a good man and she wasn’t a good person. I thought she was just in a mid-life crisis and having a tough time with work. I asked her if there was someone else. And she said “never. There’s no body else”. However, the further she went into counseling, the worse things seemed to get. He was peeling back the layers and the truth was going to come out. That’s when she said she didn’t want to go back.
      Things between us vacillated between ok and awful. The gut punch came on June 12, 2015 when I woke up at 2:00 am and saw my wife send a text really fast and roll over quickly to seem asleep. That, unfortunately, was when my naive belief in things exploded in pieces. I won’t get into more details but there was the typical denials, half truths, etc. But I knew the truth. My world was imploding. Sadly, she still doesn’t realize that our two older kids knew what was happening. They’re college/late high school age. They’re smart and both approached me before I had even suspected anything. I told them “you’re mom would never do that.” A woman’s intuition isn’t just an “old wive’s tale”. Two daughters and they saw it and were trying to protect me.
      Fast forward almost 18 months: things are better. We are rebuilding and restoring what we had and trying to build something greater between us. I’ll never understand “why”. I still struggle with triggers. I still struggle with things that she said to me and how I was treated during her “fog” period. I wish that I could say my heart is healed but part of me holds back because of fear. I’ll get past that eventually. I’m certain of that. My wife finally understood what she did. Her EA wasn’t a big deal in her mind because it wasn’t physical and they were “just friends”. I explained in a lot of detail exactly how her EA started, progressed, and ended. She looked at me like I had read her mind. This site along with some others has given me great insight and understanding of EA’s and how the cheating spouse acts. I’m so thankful for that so I knew I wasn’t alone.
      I kept a list of things that my wife did/said and keep it with me. I’m thinking about burning them or giving them to her to burn. They are my crutch that I look to so I don’t fully ascend above this mess. My wife wants us back. I want us back. I hesitate because I still don’t know who it was. She said it was someone from work. My gut tells me it’s someone I know, possibly a “friend” of mine. I’m not sure knowing will help me or hurt me. Her refusal to tell me the name is my biggest stumbling block. We’ve come so far and rebuilt our marriage. Will this throw me back into another D-day or will it be the final piece of the puzzle that finishes it so we can put it in the box and back on the shelf? That’s my quandary.
      Sorry for the long post. I hadn’t verbalize a lot of this other than in my head. God bless all of you going through a new EA/PA and all of you who have been through this hell. For those of you going through it, keep battling every day. You are not at fault for this. You can grow from this. You can make it!

      • Untold

        Puzzled, beyond doubt you need to know who it was. It’s the only way boundaries and protections can be put in place to avoid it stirring up again. Your wife owes you the truth. Trust me. Three years after final DDay, three different counselors, I’m still struggling, we’re still struggling, because I haven’t gotten the truth of major events. Wife is a master of denial, deceit and counselors have shielded her, not insisting full disclosure and/or polygraph.

        Good luck to you buddy. It’s a hard road but you sound up to the task.

        • TheFirstWife

          I don’t know if I could have recovered from the affair if I did not know who it was.

          I cannot believe the counselor thinks this is acceptable. I know mine would have said that it would absolutely impair the healing process. And may make it impossible to move forward.

          That is about as bad as NOT admitting there was an EA to your spouse (which mine did for his first EA).

          i think the chrater plays with fire with that choice. It it not helpful.

    • SoManyTears

      My issue, today, is the amount of deception my CH had during his 15 mo long affair. The OW was an ex of his and a friend of mine. They BOTH deceived me, to my face, for 15 MONTHS. Someone messaged me, a month before Dday, telling me that something was going on. I confronted my CH and he laughingly denied. He had me call the OW and read her the message. She laughingly denied too. He sat there and watched me do it! A month later, I accidentally discovered over 43,000 text, 200+ phone calls and penis pictures he had sent her. They didn’t miss one day of contact in those 15 months. He still denies having had an affair. Says they were just friends playing a “stupid” game. During the affair, he would make fun of the OW to me, behind her back. He acted like nothing was going on and for 15 months slept beside me pretending we had a great marriage! How can I accept such horrible behavior? How can I even be willing to work on my marriage with someone that was so deceitful? How could he have kept a straight face with me all those months even when all 3 of us were frequently in the same places together? WHO DOES THAT?? I think something is VERY wrong with someone that could do that to another human being. How in the world do I deal with my disgust? Do ALL cheaters act like that?? How can he love and value me, yet act like that?

      • Puzzled

        I know how you feel. How can the person we trusted more than anyone do this? How could they look us in the eye and blatantly lie? I wish that I could answer this. I have come to the realization that I will never know the answers but I know that I was not at fault and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. It was her choice. Yes, things snow-balled and it became bigger than she believed.
        Talk it out with a minister, a counselor, a trusted (and objective/impartial) friend. You need to verbalize how you feel and what is going through your mind. It sounds like you have your answers so work from there.
        I have no doubt that my wife always loved me in word. However, love isn’t just a word, it’s an action. It’s how you treat someone. It’s how you act to demonstrate it. She was acting/demonstrating it through her EA. She had nothing left for me at home. But…she does show it now. She shows it every day. You cannot control how your husband will act. You can control how you act. Do you show grace, forgive, and rebuild? That is a daily challenge that can be a hard and difficult road. But, if you want to save your marriage, then FIGHT! Fight for it. Love for it. You do your best and see what happens. If things are revived, then enjoy the magic. If things don’t go as planned, don’t have regrets that you didn’t give your best to save your marriage.

        • TheFirstWife

          These are very wonderful thoughts.

          I wonder why people choose to cheat and then realize the error of their ways and THEN want the marriage.

          There is damage left in the wake. The aftermath is brutal.

          Not saying you cannot recover but there will always be that element of doubt left in the betrayed spouse’s mind.

      • TheFirstWife

        I understand how you feel. Betrayal is a hard thing to understand.

        I read emails where my H was planning on divorcing me for months before he even said anything to me. He did ask for a divorce but next day begged me to reconsider. Week later asked for another divorce and begged me to reconsider .

        During affairs people you know and love become someone completely different and Unrecognizable.

        I just don’t get it.

        I am sorry you have to deal with this. The betrayal just adds a whole other level of problems to the situation. Especially when the cheater goes to the lengths to gaslight and flaunt it in your face like that.

      • TheFirstWife

        Your situation of having a “friend” be the OW could be a deal breaker for some people.

        That is just awful. I was in your position where this girl pretended to be my friend to spend more time with my H. I was aware she was interested in my H but the games she played and stunts she pulled to spend time with him were unreal.

        So I understand you have even ore to deal with.

        Sorry you have to recognize you were friends with someone who had no morals or respect.

      • DistraughtandConfused

        Wow, I think our stories are very similar. My husband had an affair with a good friend of ours, both of our families were very close. She and her husband were in our wedding, and my husband and I are godparents to their youngest child! For years, she was my “friend and confidante” and I shared everything with her – including issues my husband and I were having in our marriage – BIG mistake on my part! I even allowed her to watch my kids (instead of sending them to daycare), and we paid her for it! All the while, she was angling to get my husband, and she succeeded. For almost 5 years they were in an affair – I confronted my husband twice, the second time with evidence I found in an email! I even sent the email to her husband. However, everyone believed them and I felt like the crazy one. 2 years after that, I finally had had enough and hired a private investigator – it took 2 months, but I finally got the evidence and actually filed for divorce because I was so scared that everyone would deny it again. I did not want my marriage to end, but I felt I had no choice. What makes it worse is that my husband up until the last minute was still trying to get us all to be close friends again (i had withdrawn after the email i found back in 2013). It just makes NO sense that two people could remain in a full blown affair and want the families and spouses to be friends? The two of them denied and lied so much it was scary. And then, after all of this coming out in May of 2015, they remained in contact – just went deeper into secrecy. I discovered this contact several times over the last 20 months, and every time my husband says he is ending it, but never does. However, he refuses to leave or file for divorce. I unfortunately have withdrawn at this point and I am not really sure I want this marriage anymore. I really do not understand why someone continues to remain in an affair but say they want their marriage? My husband does work on our marriage (though not enough for me), and his contact with her only usually happens on the phone while he is at work, but to me, any contact with her completely limits our ability to move forward. I too cannot seem to get past how two people can live with so much deception and somehow seem to carry on as if they have done nothing wrong?

      • Tired

        That is terrible. I am sorry for you. How awful to have your friend be there other woman as well! Carrying on for 15 months right under your nose is awful. No wonder you feel so betrayed. I was initially thinking maybe your husband didn’t consider it an affair, because men sometimes think it is not cheating if there is no sex. But the penis photos are unacceptable and is undeniably cheating. Who does that? Who wants to even receive a photo of a penis, lol? I wouldn’t think much of a man who sent one to me. You should post them on Facebook or send them to his mother or something. That’s way over the line.

    • Rachel

      Ugh, what a week!! My son was in severe stomach pain this week and to make a long story short he ended up having his appendix out. Waiting for the surgeon, yours truly was also at the hospital. His voice irritated me. I did not look at him or acknowledge him. I wondered what in God name ever did I see in this narsarsistic fool? He of course made this about himself. I cringed when we had to repeatedly hear his comments ” when I had my hernia surgery “… blah blah blah. This must have been said about 10 times and I just changed the subject and asked my son a question. He is so obnoxious.
      The day of the surgery he emailed me with an update. I already knew everything as the surgeon called me when my son was in recovery. His ending sentence was, ” it was nice to see you”.
      WHAT??? He knows he is getting under my skin, I know this is why he does this. Again, I didn’t respond. He’s such a fool, that will never change.

      • TheFirstWife

        So sorry to hear about your son. Hope he heals quickly.

        The ex, on the other hand, appears to have no hope for healing or living in reality.

        If someone doesn’t even respond or acknowledge you, how long does it take to get the message? I guess in some cases the message is ignored.

        I don’t know how you just didn’t smack him.

        • Rachel

          The first wife lol, I so wanted to. I’m sure my facial comments spoke louder than words. My son is recovering nicely thank you. I was feeling not well at the same time. Weird, so many people have told me “sympathy pains”. It’s amazing the connection and similarities we have. His girlfriend broke up with him for someone else. He took it so hard and still is hurting from it. She’s not with the guy she wanted. And now wants my son. My son wants no part of her. #similarities.

    • Theresa

      I think my husband had an EA with a woman at his old job.
      He no longer works with her. I don’t see communication with her on his phone but he stays up all night EVERY night with his trusty phone right by his side.
      He acts very affectionate toward me but gets incredibly angry with me anytime this comes up.
      He refuses to talk about any of it and refuses to accept it as an affair since he didn’t have sex with her.
      We get along fine and everything is fine (exept for his all night alone with his phone deal) unless I bring up any issues between us. Then he freaks out and gets super upset.
      I feel like it’s all pretend! Without resolution how do I move on from any of this? Without him acknowledging the hell I’ve been through this past year, how do I ever trust him? Without him working on any issues, how do we ever get past this? And how do I ever get him to do this?

      • TheFirstWife

        Theresa. I went thru the same thing for 4 years. When I sm done helping my son study for exams I will post. So sorry for you.

      • TheFirstWife

        Theresa. I was in your position. My H had an EA in the 90s with someone that I had met (via him). She acted like my friend.

        From the moment I met her I told my husband to watch his back because she was very interested in him. We laughed about it because she knew we were married but it was very obvious that she was very interested in being more than friends.

        It wasn’t until about three years into the friendship that I started to become suspicious. This was before texting and email however she always found an excuse to be in class with him semester after semester.

        After I became suspicious I would ask my husband what was going on and why they were having secret conversations and why wasn’t he forthcoming with any information. I can tell you that she was definitely interested in him, he was not romantically interested in her but yet kept aspects of their friendship a secret from me.

        I was ignored, stonewalled, gaslighted, and basically made you feel this was all made up in my own head.

        It finally ended one day when I exploded with rage and refuse to speak to him for two days. He finally got the message he could no longer have any contact with her. As a sidenote a few weeks before this, she called me to ask me if it would be OK for my husband to go with her to a wedding since she didn’t have a date or boyfriend at the time. (obviously that would be a NO!).

        In any event my husband never acknowledged anything that went on or that there was anything wrong with it.

        I guess my only advice to you is it is hard to reason with stupid. I don’t know what goes through their minds when their behavior is clearly unacceptable and pushing the limit. I know sometimes you just want to reach out and smack them and knock some sense into their heads.

        Too many people assume that if there is no sex it’s not an affair. Obviously we all know that’s just not true.

        I don’t know if I even have any advice to give you on how to get your husband to wake up and see what he’s doing and admit is wrong. Obviously he wants to make you out to be a crazy jealous spouse when in reality he clearly is disrespecting you by his actions.

        I know with my husband’s last affair which was three years ago that my finally standing up to him and telling him to leave was the turning point for us.

        I have told my husband that if I knew that sweeping his emotional affair under the carpet all those years would have led to him having another affair, I would have divorced him after the first emotional affair. Because I did not set boundaries or limits, he felt he could do it again and get away with it.

        You may have to take very drastic action with your husband to get him to even look at this situation from your perspective.

        If I were you I would take that phone away from him and as a typical cheater who is in an addictive emotional affair, The reaction will be like taking the drug from the drug addict. If you choose to do that be prepared for a reaction similar to a child’s temper tantrum.

        I just wish the cheater had some insight into how their actions can destroy their spouse their family and their loved ones.

        I wish you the best but forcing a cheater to acknowledge what they are doing is wrong is one of the hardest battles imaginable in a marriage. The cheater justifies their actions and their behavior is very self-centered. Unfortunately they use whatever excuse to get what they want.

      • TheFirstWife

        Theresa. I think your H is still having an EA.

        I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. It must be maddening for you to live like that.

        Maybe in a calm moment you can sit and talk with your H. Tell him that his continuing denial and continuing sleeping with his phone and all the other actions you see are undermining your marriage

        Let him know that if this continues without his admission of the EA and/or any change in his choices or behavior – then the marriage is going to fail.

        That one day you will no longer be patient or tolerant and the years of this behavior will have taken its toll. And it will.

        So sorry for you. It hurts like hell. I know.

        But if your H is willing you can get past this. We did!

        • Hopeful

          For us the phone was an issue even when I knew nothing was going on. One of the rules was I had every password and access whenever I wanted or I can pick up his phone at any time. And what I did is I showed him how many texts he was sending vs me and it was eye opening. We put in place boundaries related to his phone. It was all his friends or family but it was too much. Unless he is on call his phone is charging and not in the bedroom and if I ask him to put it away no argument.

          This reminds me of dealing with a teenager but now more than ever with technology taking over our lives it is an issue. I want to model acceptable behavior to our kids and I expect him to also. It has been a work in progress. If he is combative regarding his phone use I would be suspicious something is going on and he is not being transparent. Just think how a teen acts.

          And the idea of an ea not being a big deal is crazy. It violates the same things a pa does and I think could be more damaging emotionally. No contact is a must.

    • Rachel

      Why do these women pursue married men?? Granted they are not happy but geez leave the married ones alone!!

      • Hopeful

        They just have to be so different than me and I will never understand them. I mean it makes zero sense to me. I just could never ever consider it. In my case both ow pursued my husband hard. One for 3-4 years was relentless. She was patient enough to find out where he would be through others. She waited 3-4 years to get his cell number! I mean wow. He must have been at such a low. It is crazy he was so successful and doing great. It is sad and pathetic for him and them. Now I hear about it more and more men and women justifying and pursuing married people. I will never get that. I am still skeptical of others now. Or at least more cautious.

    • Rachel

      Here’s a Monday chuckle. The ex emailed me and wanted to know what the dr said about how bad the appendix was?? ITS APPENDICITIS YOU MORON!!!!!!!???? DELETE!!
      One more paper to fill out for social security and I will proceed to change my name and thankfully my email address. Oh happy day!!!
      Thanks for letting me vent!
      Have a good day all!????

      • TheFirstWife

        Rachel. If you have never responded to an email – gee how long will the ex take to get the message that you are not interested??

        i guess maybe he needs it spelled out for him. How annoying – I know you cannot wait for it to be over and a new email address for you.

        Hope your son is feeling better????

      • Sarah P.

        Thanks for the Monday chuckle, Rachel.

        I just don’t know what to say except I am shocked that your ex husband is so dense. Does he not see anything from your perspective?

        Also, where did the OW go after he was divorced? Was she no longer interested since he was available? There was a research study that showed 90% of the women in the study were attracted to a man merely because he was married. Talk about an upside down society. When I was single, I was one of the 10% who were NOT attracted to married men or even men with gf’s. Sheesh. I do not understand the 90% who like married men or why they feel that way.

    • theresa

      Let us know when we can virtually celebrate

    • TheFirstWife

      Here is my theory on why people choose to go after people who are married or otherwise unavailable.

      The thrill of the chase. The appeal of you want what you can’t have. The conquest.

      Because it is all about selfishness and “me”. What “I” want &/or need. As in “we are soul mates and fell deeply in love – well I knew he/she was married but we couldn’t help it”.

      I get offended when married men or any man makes an inappropriate comment to me. I lose all respect for that person. They may think it’s funny but I find it unattractive and disrespectful to the spouse.

      In no way does this apply to people who date and don’t know the other person is married. Most of them would not intentionally date a married person they are duped into it. That is fraud in my opinion.

    • theresa

      There’s a phrae I’ve been hearing alot recently, tv commercials, horrific news stories, lame, selfish excuses for almost anything.
      Why? “Because I can”.
      Just makes me sad.

    • theresa

      Have you had an “out of the blue” thouht that pops up just before a relevant issue surfaces?
      My OOB yesterday was (and it’s an old an tired excuse)
      “I never thought I’d get caught).”
      And of course, that led lnto the thought,
      “What would you do, if you knew that you would never get caught”!

      So many opportunities, so little time.
      And I bet this list is very fluid over time.

      • TheFirstWife

        There was a study or research done and the question was “would you cheat on your spouse if you knew you wouldn’t get caught”.

        Staggering number said yes they would.

        No morals or respect anymore.

        How sad.

    • Puzzled

      @TheFirstWife & theresa: this is interesting. I asked my wife “would you have stopped if I hadn’t caught you”? She said, “I really don’t know”. I think, with an EA, it starts small and light. But then things begin to develop and progress. Then it starts controlling their emotions (thus the term emotional affair) and it starts controlling who they are at home. They text/talk/email with the other person and then they have to come home and be “themselves” again. They get so wrapped up in the other life that it becomes their reality. They like this other-world and like how they can be whoever they have created. I’m glad the EA is over but part of me will always wonder those nagging questions of why and would it have ended on its own or progressed into a physical affair as well. Hopefully time will heal but these do torment me.

      • TheFirstWife

        Puzzled. Those are very good questions and observations.

        I think that you are right when you say that it starts off innocently enough. My H’s 1st EA lasted 4 years. Only the last year was i confronting him about this supposed friendship b/c that is when I found out by accident that things were going on I had no idea. He was not in love with her but she was in love w/ him and he enjoyed the attention.

        And it was disrespectful of him to keep this going on when he knew how I felt.

        I don’t know about your wife’s affair but I think things can escalate quickly. However one of the two should have realized it was wrong and stopped the relationship.

        I Mean come on, we are adults. We know right from wrong.

        And in case you are wondering my H’s last EA led to him wanting a divorce. They both swear there was no sex but they did kiss but the feelings led him to believe he was madly in love with the OW. He wanted a divorce to be with her (though he didn’t admit it to me initially).

        He tried to claim they didn’t have sex so it wasn’t as bad as other cheaters. Well in my book you cheated. You lied. Sex or no sex that is not the issue.

        His first EA he would never admit he did anything wrong because it was not sexual.

        Live and learn. Your spouse may never have acted on her chances for a physical affair. You just will never know for sure. But I believe my intuitions and gut however.

      • Robert M.

        Great observations indeed! Living them now.

    • Broken

      7 months ago I discovered my husband whom I’ve been with for 14 years (no children yet) was having an emotional affair with one of his employees. They continued their affair despite me knowing, he bought a second phone, and they continued on at work. He has since left his job, blames me for it and has rewritten our entire marriage as an unhappy one. We still live together and are generally kind/friendly with each other after months of arguments and tears but when I bring up our future he becomes very quiet and distant and still says he’s not happy with me wants a divorce etc. The ow is also married and she has 4 small children with her husband. The day after thanksgiving I decided to tell her husband about their affair when I couldn’t take the flirty and secretive texting anymore. Ever since then my husband hasn’t contacted her but she is still continuing to text my husband even tho according to her husband she told him she would stop and work on their marriage. I’m afraid my husband will give in to her and buy another secret phone to contact her and I have no way of stopping it. This whole situation has taken a huge toll on me physically and emotionally. There have been days when getting out of bed didn’t seem worth it. I had to take time off of work because I couldn’t stand to be asked how I was doing from patients without bursting into tears and I was making mistake after mistake. There is so much more to this situation, I could write a novel with all the details but I won’t do that here. Thank you for listening.

      • TheFirstWife

        Dear Broken. I am so sorry for you. We have all been in your shoes and understand your pain.

        Please google affair fog b/c that is where yiur H is right now. He is in a fog believing the OW (other woman) is the love of his life and she is so wonderful Blah blah blah.

        My H did the same thing – rewrote our marriage, blamed me for everything – HIS unhappiness, his dissatisfaction with his job, his angst about turning 50 – all my fault.

        I heard the line “love you but not in love with you” too many times. He wanted a divorce.

        And finally one day I said ok divorce me. But you are leaving and I am staying here with children and I get it. You don’t love me anymore. I was devastated b/c for 8 months I worked hard to turn it around.

        Guess what? Next day he came back begging and asking me to take him back. I said I would. Week later asks for a divorce again after a great week together.

        Then hours later begs me to take him back. This time I didn’t answer but found out he was still seeing OW.

        told him to get out. I now took control. And that was the turning point. When he saw I was out of patience and took control and was no longer going to out up with his nonsense, BOOM! Affair over. Never spoke to OW again.

        Begged for a 2nd chance. Has spent last 3 years making up for it. It hasn’t bern easy BUT he finally saw the light that I was no longer invested in our marriage.

        I finally was ready to throw in the towel and we were at the 25 year anniversary point.

        My suggestion is counseling. It saved my sanity. It got me out of bed to deal with teenagers in the summer with no school to distract them or me. I nominate myself for the Academy Award performance for best sctress in a drama whose kids have no idea the wotld is falling around her.

        If your H won’t go – go alone. My H refused to go so I went. It can help you figure things out and face the future and make choices and decisions that work for you.

        In a calm rational moment – tell your H you cannot accept this behavior from him. I confronted my H early on in his affair – her or me!! Pick one b/c I am not playing this game. He initially chose me BUT it was clear inside of a week he wanted her. You do not have to divorce or leave him – but you can set boundaries and start extricating yourself from this mess. I went out to dinner with my friends more and stopped including him in my plans. I uninvited him to a charity event I was organizing – he Made Sure to show up and be a part of the night. Very helpful and loving. I started developing my own social activities without him – and he noticed he was not included. Not mean – not nasty – just did things for me. He was no longer being put first. I stopped doing his laundry and errands and bending over backwards for someone who didn’t appreciate it (or me at that time).

        Believe it or not we are 3 years past DDay2 AND still together and happy. Better marriage in many respects and things have changed for the better.

        But it wasn’t until HE decided to end affair that anything changed. The affair ran its course. I also think my kicking him to the curb was a catalyst for his complete turn around in making our marriage a priority.

        I did all the work for 8 months with no effect or impact. Nothing changed. He sat back and enjoyed the attention of two women who wanted him.

        When I was done and ready to move on, boy did his head spin. Nothing like a good kick in the butt. I love my H and always will but I was no longer able to accept his crappy treatment of me.

        Now I come first – not mean but I make sure my needs and goals are met.

        And I still do not do his laundry and he doesn’t complain at all. He knows he is lucky I chose to stay married to him.

    • Hurt

      I seemed to have turned a corner the past few day (don’t know if it will last!)
      I have been bombarding H with texts and phone calls asking questions about the affair and realised that yes it was hurting him but it was hurting me more as I was obsessed and it was consuming me and it was not helping. We spoke about it and have now put a time and day when I can ask questions. If thoughths come into my head I just write them down and move on.
      My H realised how much he messed up as he asked “are we not husband and wife and working on our marriage” I told him “NO he killed that marriage the minute he started texting someone else, at the minute I can only offer him friends with benefits!”. He was really hurt about this but since then has put a lot more effort in.
      I told him that we have got our relationship back in the bedroom as I feel that’s the only part that he did not include her in as he was never physically involved with her. He seemed to think because we were intimately involved again that we were getting better but after I explained that wasn’t the case (calmly without shouting) he got it.
      He has said that he wants me back in every way and is willing to do what it takes. He has started planning dates for us, being involved with the children a lot more and doing a lot more round the house. He is sending me texts telling me how much he loves me and what I mean to him.
      Which is really nice to hear and see.
      I know it’s still going to be a long bumpy ride but at least I can see a positive and something to hope for with a clearer head!

      • TheFirstWife

        Congrats. Glad things are looking up.

        Keep thinking positive thoughts and hopefully one day the affair will be a distant memory.

        Glad to see your H is stepping up.

    • Puzzled

      Just curious for anyone willing to answer:

      Did your spouse share the name of their affair partner? I hate to think this is such a sticking point for me but it is. Things between my wife and me are so much better but part of me still feels jaded by the fact she is choosing secrecy of the man’s name. It’s almost like she’s choosing to protect him and her affair over honesty/transparency with me. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
      I appreciate any thoughts or perspective on this.

      • Doug

        Hey Puzzled, In my opinion, if she isn’t willing to provide a name, then she is protecting him. She must think that you’re going to contact him or his wife or something like that.

      • TheFirstWife

        Puzzled. I agree with Doug. Hard to get past the affair if she won’t say who it was.

        I had no idea my H was still involved in his affair until I called the OW and she told me. Her number was on our wireless phone bill. She had to fill me in on the details of the last 6 months.

        • Tabs

          My CH told me right off the bat. But that was only because the OW was a Chinese citizen, living in Shanghai. The Chinese “choose” their English names. There’s no correlation between their chosen English name and given Chinese name. My CH had no problem supplying a name when there’s an entire language barrier for protection.

    • Hurt

      I found out who the ow was but not by my husband giving into me. He told me some random name as he worked with the ow and did not want me making a scene at his work place!! I did a lot of snooping on my husbands phone down loaded messenger and sent the number a message she replied and bingo her name was attached to it!!!
      I needed to know who it was as I knew he was lying saying I didn’t know her! If I hadn’t of snooped he could of still been seeing her everyday at work. Instead I found out told him if he even wanted me to consider giving us a go he gets her transferred out. He did. I know this as i get him to print me off time sheets from work every week and can see she is at a different shop!

    • Doug

      Last night Linda and I had our weekly Yoga class, and at the end of the session our instructor always provides a little time for quiet and meditation. This week he told the following parable, which I thought was pretty cool:

      An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

      “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
      “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

      “One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

      “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

      “This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

      The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
      “Which wolf will win?”

      The old chief simply replied,
      “The one you feed.”

      • Shifting Impressions

        Isn’t that the truth!!!!

    • Bluejay

      Can anyone share a perspective of if it’s a good idea to share triggers with the cheating spouse? The affair is 4 months old and the triggers pull me backwards every time I feel like I try to take a step forward. Should I share just how painful these triggers are?

      • Doug

        Without a doubt absolutely yes. The CS must know what your triggers are, how they effect you and what he/she can do to help you when you suffer a trigger. It also helps them to know so that they can learn from them and avoid/stop the behavior (or whatever) that causes the triggers.

        • Bluejay

          Thank you for the perspective. Very much appreciated! My dday was 6 months ago and I found very sexual explicit Facebook exchanges between the two of them. She said it had only gone on for one month. I took pictures of the Facebook messages as proof cuz I knew she would deny anything. If your a cheater you tend to be a liar as well I was right! But she had to come clean once I shared the pictures. My question is when do I get rid of the Facebook pictures or do I?

          • Doug

            Hey Bluejay, Good idea to take pictures of the FB messages. In my opinion, if you don’t need them anymore to get her to admit her guilt, then I’d get rid of them asap. Otherwise they’d always be at your fingertips to remind you of their interactions, which I would think would cause painful triggers and emotions for you.

      • TheFirstWife

        Bluejay. I think you should share them b/c it can help avoid an unpleasant experience.

        For me it was his car. I told him I would never get in his car again knowing the OW was in it. It was gone and sold in a week by my H.

        Also music. My H loves certain music and I do not. It is not played in our house. Ever.

        Some of the past triggers I have learned to ignore and some do subside (if that is any help to you).

        Try and explain it in a calm rational manner. Give him an article to read in triggers. My H did that on his own post affair and it helped tremendously.

        • Bluejay

          Thank you for that perspective as well. We have a similar trigger in that she was doing Facebook with him in her car as well. All of their exchanges went right to sex and masturbation. In addition, she facebooked in our bedroom, family room and obviously in our house. It honestly is all a trigger for me even to the point that I put our house on the market post the affair because I hated everything about it. Another trigger was finding sexual exchanges between the two of them on my birthday. Any suggestions on how I handle that trigger every year that it comes up?

          • antiskank


            So sorry you have the additional trigger of having your birthday involved. It can really be difficult to enjoy that day again. The affair takes away the enjoyment and the special feeling associated with many events and dates throughout the year. I know that many of us have similar experiences.

            The OW involved in my situation shares my birthday with me! She was born on my 17th birthday! While pretending to take me out for my birthday, we would have to stop by his workplace under some lame pretense so he could see his skank and wish her a happy day while I waited in the car, usually up to an hour! If I was given a gift, it would be followed by a stupid statement such as “If you don’t like it, there’s a girl at the office that would take it”! Didn’t make sense to me at the time, but eventually I figured it out!

            Our first D Day when I found out about his affair was on his birthday as we were preparing to go out with family for dinner. I had taken the day off to spend with him to take him to his favourite places. He was exchanging texts with her throughout the day. And of course we had to stop at work first so he could see her.

            There were similar issues surrounding Valentines Day, Christmas, and our anniversary. It became to difficult to keep track. If he wasn’t texting her or going to see her, he was locked away and masturbating as he fantasized avout her. I assume that he wanted to share the special days with her and would do whatever was necessary to have some contact. As far as it being a “special” day for me or for our relationship, I don’t think he even thought about me. As usual, he would do the bare minimum to get by and avoid suspicion.

            As painful as it is, I think we need to take back what is ours as far as special moments and memories. I choose to enjoy these days with my family. He’s more than welcome to participate but if he’s not on board, that is his problem, not mine. Try to make a point of avoiding negative thoughts or triggers and put all your efforts into making it a special, memorable day. (easier said than done, I know) Decide what you want to do for your birthday and make her aware of your plans. Make it a special day together. Build some new fantastic memories to squash the bad ones.

          • TheFirstWife

            I agree with AS. Don’t give the OW/OM the power.

            My H destroyed our 25th anniversary by being involved in the affair and still planning a very romantic evening for us.

            Now I really don’t feel like celebrating but I have to tell myself it was in the past and the reality now is so different.

            it does take time to get there and it is not easy!! But if you put some of it behind you it becomes less significant over time.

            I used to have Daily triggers but now it is far less. And when they occur they no longer send me to my bed for s day or hours.

            Keep positive thoughts though I do like reading about some revenge acts some people take. My H is lucky I would not behave like that but I do get a laugh. ????

            • Tired

              I think the best revenge story I saw was that a betrayed spouse got into the husbands phone and swapped the numbers of his boss and affair partner. I will remember that! ????

          • TheFirstWife

            My H got rid if his car b/c she was in it. When I found out I told him I would never get in that car again.

            It was sold in 2 weeks.

            • Tired

              We kept the car. It bothered me at first but his affair barely got off the ground and I think he only had her in there to drive her to her car after work, as that was what happened when the PI was filming him. I drive the car a lot and that would annoy her if she knew I’m sure. I did make him throw out the jacket he was wearing that night. Haha, it was his favourite.

    • Hurt

      Having a really crap day today. Spent most of the day crying. I feel like such a mug that I trusted my husband not to do this to me. I feel like a loser as I was not enough for my husband and I feel weak and pathetic for not kicking him out because I still love him! I’ve always been so strong when I’ve had to face shit but now I just feel like a sad pathetic woman that needs a man to survive!

      • TheFirstWife

        Hurt. We all here know and understand your pain.

        While you don’t state the issues I will guess that you either you found out your H has/is cheating OR that he has continued chrating when you thought the affair or contact was over.

        please know you were good enough for your H but HE CHOSE OTHERWISE.

        You are not to blame for his choices. He is.

        It is never too late to reverse your course and separate/divorce. Or you can choose to stay married despite his cheating and accept it as his character flaw.

        My therapist told me you can define your marriage. You can choose to stay married to an alcoholic or drug addict or chrater or gambler – you can accept the behavior and adapt. I am not saying you are ok with it BUT you can accept it will occur. If you can live with it you can still have a good marriage.

        Most here have had to accept their spouse as a liar and cheater. That can be hard. But not impossible.

        Just saying you don’t have to divorce him. You can work it out if possible. Unless it is something you really cannot tolerate or live with. always your choice.

      • Shifting Impressions

        It hasn’t been very long since you found out right? TFW is right we all understand your pain. The roller coaster ride of emotions that one experiences is unbelievable!!! Trust was shattered along with your heart.

        The process of healing is long, slow and arduous!

        Here is a list of what helped me:

        Coming to this site for knowledge and support
        Reading and educating myself on infidelity
        Personal counseling
        Confiding in a few close friends…..their support meant everything
        Writing down my feelings
        Allowing myself to grieve

        It has been a little over three years and we are still together….and yes my marriage and family were worth fighting for.

        There were many bad bad days and many tears shed… one day at a time.

        Thinking of you. Don’t let his poor choices make you think less of yourself.

    • Hurt

      Found out about cheating 8 weeks ago. Been about 5 weeks since the lies stopped (as far as I know) and no contact since the day I found out. Have checked as he doesn’t have access to phone in phoning him while he’s at work he is taking photos when at meetings to prove where he is at all times.
      Don’t know what triggered today but just had a really low day and was questioning everything about myself!
      I know it’s his doing but in my head today was trying to find justification for him doing it and came up with the problem was me! Which I know it’s not but sometimes when I get the thoughts in my head they are hard to get back out again!

      • TheFirstWife

        Hurt. I am so sorry for you.

        When my H’s affair first came out I believed it was my fault. He told me all that he disliked about me and why he felt the need to cheat

        Without my ow counselor / therapist I would have believed it. But fortunately I was a bit too smart to get sucked in to his black hole of lies and drama.

        Please consider counseling for you!!! if your H won’t go for couples counseling that is his choice. But you should go alone then just for you.

        It can turn your life around!

        • TheFirstWife

          Should be own counselor

          • Hurt

            Had first assessment with counsellor last week to assess what would help me. Told her the situation and waiting for her to get back to me
            Husband is more than happy to go to couples therapy but at the minute I want to concentrate on trying to get my head in a better place as I need to do it for me. Then further down the line when I can think a bit clearer we are going to look into bringing him into my sessions.

            • TheFirstWife

              That sounds like a great idea. I wish you all the best.

              Please remember you have options at every turn. And glad to hear your H is willing to go to counseling.

    • Tabs

      I shared my triggers with my CH. I figured my CH should at least hear about the pain he caused me and how many it affected my every day life. It was met with a lot of avoidance behaviors, but I reminded him he was ultimately to blame.

    • WhoAreYou

      My story is 2-sided. We’ve been together for 8 years. During the first year, I had an EA which I confessed to him. I’d decided to end it as to not lose my husband. Nevertheless he was so hurt that I think it was literally the Grace of God that he worked it out with me. I had a lot of self destructive beliefs and behaviors and between us we worked through them to a much better mental health than I’ve ever had before. I went back to college and achieved a couple degrees all with his encouragement and support. I thought we were perfect. Until recently I thought this when I discovered an EA he was having and hoping to take it further. Then I asked to see his phone and found what I’ll call several fishing expeditions- chatting up women hoping to do whatever it all led to. No evidence of a full fledged affair and adamant denials of such. This was just a couple weeks ago and we’re working through it. Read The Monogamy Myth which was helpful for perspective. I really want us to stay together with love and trust. I hope we will be alright. Lots and lots of talking. He felt lonely, neglected by me and flattered by others who gave attention. He and I are spending much more time working on our relationship. Deleted all social media contacts of the opposite sex. Not sure what is next though.

      • TheFirstWife

        I like your name WhoAreYou

        It describes how you feel about the other person in your life who had Cheated.

        Hope it works out for you both. Stay positive.

    • Hurt

      I think what my husband did has finally hit him. When we have spoke about it before there was tears on both parts and a lot of apologises.
      But the last couple of days he seems to of had a breakdown. He is having panic attacks. And even when we are not taking about the affair he is crying and apologising for everything he has done!
      My problem is it’s horrible to see him going through it but I can’t comfort him like I would of before and I’m also being very cynical thinking is this just an act!

      • TheFirstWife

        Dear Hurt. I am so sorry for you and understand every raw emotion you have right now.

        I went through the same situation and I think the anger and betrayal and hurt take over your caring compassionate side.

        You are hurt and hurting and there is no one to comfort you b/c your H cannot right now.

        We all get it. But now it is up to your H to show what he is capable of doing to repair this marriage. He needs to step up (even in small ways right now).

        And maybe you can just reassure him you still love him. Maybe he just needs to hear that from you.

        I wish you the best.

    • Bluejay

      Thanks to all of you for providing me insights and suggestions to my questions. You have been very helpful during a very ugly part of my life! Of course I have another question,

      My wife had the usual online emotional affair that started out as friends with an old high school friend, they stayed connected via Facebook for two years before it crossed the line. When it crossed the line it went way crossed! Very sexual with stories being exchanged morning noon and night. She definitely got caught in the whirl wind of the affair as it consumed her life and effected our marriage during a tough spell.

      Pretty much everything was shared during her affair. Our life, our kids, works stuff, and all the sex emails that two people could want. This went on for what she claims as one month before the dday happened. My gut says this went on longer than a month but she denies this. Whatever, lucky me that I married a cheater and a liar. This affair happened like the textbook says, “starts out as friends, progresses to sexual Facebook, then my wife suggests meeting at a hotel. During this affair there was lots of “I love you, you complete me, things happen for a reason, future planning talk, etc….”. My gut tells me they would have gone through with the hotel had the dday not interrupt the affair. She denies she would have gone through it because she felt she was in control of the affair and enjoyed the control of it.

      I am one of those people that wants to know the details because I feel that then there is no more unknown and no further lying involved. When I ask her to tell me the details she claims that she has forgotten most everything except what I happen to take pictures of during one of their sexual conversations that went on for multiple days. My question is, is this possible that she actually forgot what went on or what was said during the affair or is she just afraid to come clean and is choosing lying again. My counselor said that with emotional affairs the cheating spouse is emotionally connected and usually remembers a lot of the affair because it was so important at the time and that she is more than likely just lying again? Any other thoughts?

      How long before I can start to fully trust her again or will I ever be able to do so again?

      • TheFirstWife

        BlueJay. So sorry for you. Learning of a spouse’s affsir is like having a nightmare you just can’t wake up from.

        It up-ends your world.

        Glad to see you are in counseling. That can help save your sanity. And give you answers when the cheating spouse is not forthcoming.

        My H had an EA in the 90s before there was a name for it. 4 years. His last affair 3 years ago was definitely mid life crisis and he asked for a divorce 2x in one week. They had plans to e together. However he ended the afffair 2 days before I found out.

        He lied for a long time about details even though I begged him to be honest. I was devaststed b/c I thought he was answering my questions honestly and truthfully. Until the OW sent me the emails. He made it out to be she pursued him when it was the complete opposite. I had written proof and he still denied it. I saw emails where he wrote he loved her – he denied that to me. I saw emails that he planned to divorce me and he denied that too!

        My point is the cheating spouse lies for a number of reasons. I think some is fear – if the CS told the truth they think you will leave them.

        Another reason they lie is shame and guilt. I Think they do remember facts and details but are embarrassed to admit it.

        Honestly I was so fed up and disappointed in my H due to the continued lying after I found out about his affair I was ready to leave him. It was like dealing with a child at times. Maddening. Frustrating.

        I tried calmly explaining why I needed some details from him. It worked only about a year later but by then I had all the answers b/c I saw the emails.

        Soooo my point is you can ask all the questions – but you probably have 90% of the answers already.

        As a woman my opinion (and this is my opinion based on observations) is that men & women cheat for different reasons. Women are more emotional than men as a general rule.

        My point is your wife had an emotional connection and she remembers the details. She is lying to herself (and you) if she states otherwise.

        My H gave me a lot of I don’t know answers. This went on for a year until I quit asking questions. Why? I was only hurting myself trying to get blood from a stone. He was not going to be honest about some things for whatever reason and it was only hurting me.

        Time to move on. Too many I don’t know answers and I used to call him on it. Completely frustrating.

        The CS just doesn’t understand the importance of truth.

        I hope you can see your way past this and get on a better path. There is a typical pattern of behavior on the cheater’s part after the affair and this is one of them.

        Trickle truth / you will get bits and pieces over time.

        My H went through an obvious mourning period after the affair ended. He was still in love with the OW. That is the affair fog stage. That could be happening now as well. Be prepared.

        • Bluejay

          The FirstWife
          Thank you so much for your insight. This site has been a god send as it has helped affirm many much of what I have read about the cheating spouse.

          I realize that my life will never be the same for a decision I had zero involvement in but will I ever be able to completely trust her ever again or will there always be that doubt or suspicion?

          I feel like I have a wall around me that I never had before around my wife and I am sure it is a natural defense to protect myself. I understand why it is there but I absolutely hate this feeling especially when its around the person who I gave everything to and did everything for. She was always my best friend and partner in life no matter how tough times were. Obviously she did not have that same feeling.

          I shared many of my triggers with her the other day and I was very surprised to how little of an impact it had on her. I honestly did not know what to expect but it felt like it should have been more than what she did. I hate how this has consumed my life my thoughts and my feelings 24*7. It is such a waste of my life and time that I feel at this point that it might be best to cut rope and move on with my new life.

          Lots of thoughts swirling in my head but trying to let time heal some of my wounds and gashes!

          • Shifting Impressions

            Blue jay
            It has only been six months right? It’s been over three years for me but I remember how it was at first. It took a long time for my husband to get what he did to me. It consumed my life as well and some days everything seemed more about him than it did about my pain. In other words he had is head up his ass for a long time…..but slowly slowly he started to understand and show true remorse.

            The dribbling of the truth….a second d-day….yup had to go through that too.

            My best advice is to take care of you……and educate yourself. Surround yourself with a few supportive friends and get some counseling.

            And yes come here… has been and still is a life-line for me as well.

            You don’t have to know whether you will stay or go right now……’s okay to not know. Give yourself time.

            • Bluejay

              Shifting Impressions
              Thank you so much for the feedback and suggestions. It’s greatly appreciated.

              Yes it has been 6 months for my dday. She has not been good about remorse and full disclosure. We are planning to discuss this in more detail this Friday. I have given her pretty specific asks of what each might look like but we will see if she can handle the conversations. I am not holding my breathe. I believe she is ashamed, scared, and afraid I might leave if I know the whole story.

              One other question. The day of dday, my wife had to tell our kids what happened. Her language that she used was that she had improper on line conversation with another man. She did not use the EA word. Is this a big deal or not?

              Greatly appreciate any thoughts!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Blue jay
              It’s all so difficult isn’t it.

              In the beginning, after d-day we set aside an hour a week to talk about the EA….he avoided it if possible….I felt like I had to fight for that hour. Putting a time limit on the discussion was very helpful. Unfortunately my husband was not willing to go for counseling individual or couples. I found that very hurtful….so I went myself.

              I kept notes for myself of some of those conversations and was often hurt and disappointed. But slowly slowly we made headway. Regarding remorse….he said the words and I know he was sorry for the pain he caused me…but it took a long time for that remorse to become genuine. So much became about his own shame and pain. It seems to be so classic how the truth gets dribbled out in tiny bits. So hurtful but the more you read here, the more you realize how common that is.

              About the children, a lot depends on how old they are. At the time of my husband’s EA my children were adults. There are some good posts on that subject.

              For me, one of my daughters came to the house the day I accidentally discovered emails revealing the EA. I avoided her by going to be with a headache but a few days later she just knew something was very wrong. She is in the mental health field so has been a rock for me. My oldest son also just knew something was very off… a year later we talked. He said he could here it in my voice. So yes in my case I thought it was better that the kids knew what was going on. But they were adults and have been supportive of both of us.

              My husband is really a wonderful person and an amazing father… some ways that has made the pain worse but it has also been a great motivator in fighting for my marriage.

            • Bluejay

              Shifting Impressions
              Thanks again!!

              We have four girls between us. Ranging in age of 27-25-23-21. All very mature but I feel my cheating spouse soft petalled the discussion with them and only called it ” an inappropriate conversation” rather than calling it what it was. A full blown emotional affair.

              I feel i have to burden the entire tornado and hurricane of emotions, feelings, pain, torment, tears, etc. while she sits on the sidelines watching me go through this.

              I do not want to hurt my girls at all but I feel as if they should know the truth and might have a better understanding of what I’m going through.

              After three years do you fully trust your spouse? Can you ever really fully give yourself to them again?

            • Bluejay

              Shifting Impression
              Thank you again!!!

              I have zero interest in ever hurting our four daughters but I feel as if my cheating spouse soft petalled what she actually did by calling it “inappropriate conversations” instead of telling them she had an emotional affair. Our daughters are 27-25-23-21 and very mature.

              I feel as if I am the one that has to burden all of the pain, emotion, hurt, tears, etc while she sits on the sidelines feeling she got away with something. Especially since she has not come clean and claims to have forgotten much of the affair. I say BS!

              After 3 years do you ever reall fully trust your spouse again? Can it ever feel the same? There are times that I have a hard time looking at her not thinking about how disgusted I am at what she did!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Blue jay
              My husband did exactly the same thing…..two of my four kids knew and he took it upon himself to speak to one of our sons that didn’t know. Of course he only told him “we were having problems”. So then I was put in the difficult position of talking to my son….which I did.

              And yes, they have a way of “forgetting” which is total BS for sure.

              My kids were about ten years ahead of yours in age at the time of d-day. They all said whatever we decided to do they would be there for both of us…….pretty amazing.

              My oldest son said he was so angry “for” me….that really touched me. Then he actually went to his father and told him how angry he was for doing that to me. My son is the most non-abrasive and non-confrontive person you can ever meet and yet he went to bat for me…..that was amazing to me.

              After three years, I still don’t fully trust….but slowly it is getting better. Don’t be to hard on yourself. I found this to the most difficult thing I have ever gone through in my life.

              There is a huge grieving process that one goes through….It is a roller coaster ride of emotions.

              I had a couple of really close friends that supported me in the most amazing way.

              Also, this is a really good place to come and let out some of your frustrations. We all get it.

              Hang in there.

      • TheFirstWife


        I understand how you feel about your life being shared with a stranger.

        My H, who doesn’t communicate well with me, shared intimate details of our life with the OW. About our children, photos of our children etc. this girl was all over social media and dragged me through the mud after my H ended the affair.

        That violation was a huge wake up call for me. I no longer trust my H’s instincts and do not have confidence in his ability to make choices in some areas.

        I now have myself financially protected as a result of his affair. I had to protect me and children if he ever did this again.

        He has no claim or access to money in my name. I changed all of his life insurance policies so he cannot change the beneficiaries. I bought a new vehicle in my name that I paid for with my own $.

        He can walk out the door but I won’t be financially vulnerable ever again. A few years ago when he had one foot out the door I had no money to my name and I had no idea if he would give me any or pay the mortgage.

        Eye opening experience to say the least.

        You think you know someone until you finds out you really do not.

        My H was the kind of person that no one would ever suspect he would be a cheater.

    • Tanya

      Does anyone else feel their husband wanted to get caught? Mine is a dreadful liar and it was so obvious he was up to something. So I hired a PI and caught him just as his EA was about to become physical. Even when he was caught he did stupid things like leaving the notes the woman left him in his jeans where I would easily find them.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tanya. That is an interesting observation.

        Either he wanted to get caught or he’s just not that bright to not get caught.

        • Tired

          It’s both! He is intelligent. But I think for men, flattery is everything. I don’t think he wanted to get caught. Or maybe he did. I knew there were problems with the marriage before this happened but he never said anything. Maybe he hoped by being cowardly and not saying anything that these problems would come to the fore. That seems to be his nature. Even now that it is discovered he seems to be so angry and defensive when I ask anything. I think it was only an emotional affair but I don’t know for sure. He is still with me and as far as I know he has no contact with the cheap skank he worked with.

          • TheFirstWife

            Tired. He is angry and defensive because he is acting like a toddler who had his favorite toy taken away from him.

            He is angry because he had to give up something he wanted or light.

            I suffered through that for 6 to 7 months with my husband. He tried to claim he ended his affair the first time but in retrospect she ended it and he was devastated.

            What fun it is to watch your husband mourn the loss of his girlfriend.

            It is hard to know what your husband is really thinking. I hope he maybe willing to go for counseling with you but if not, you are left to struggle with this on your own.

            Perhaps maybe you should find a counselor just for you. When my husband refused to go with me it was a lifesaver for me that I had someone who could give me good advice and keep my sanity and weights intact through this horrific ordeal.

            I wish you all the best and hope you find some way of dealing with this.

            • Tired

              The first wife. Thank you. Mine did end the affair. But only after he realised that things were never going to get better between us until he did so. I’m not sure it was still an affair by that stage. I think he was just trying to let her down gently. However the continued contact was hurting us because I did not know what was going on. He was not in love with her. But he was I think in love with the image of himself that he saw in her adoring eyes.

              She has just announced on social media that she is engaged to some poor sod. This is a relief because I can finally stop obsessing that she will contact him again. Her engagement annoys me because she was willing to destroy my life and take my husband when she so easily got over him anyway! Only 12 months ago she was posting sad song lyrics in an attempt to win hubby’s heart. I am tempted to find out who the unlucky man is and inform him of her lack of respect for marriage. I hope her situation will make her think about what she did. And I hope the fiancé cheats on her with someone with similar morality!

    • Lost My BF

      Does anyone have any thoughts about having sex again with the cheating spouse? It has been a half year and I am finding it difficult to have the same sexual feelings toward my wife after she had an emotional affair.

      Not to mention I find it difficult to look at her the same and without a doubt I have wall around me ensuring I protect myself.

      Any thoughts?

      • TheFirstWife

        I went through the same thing. Hard to look at the person the same way after betrayal and lies, etc.

        I think you have to ask yourself if you still love her in the same way. Do you still fund her sexy, interesting, attractive and all that. Or do you love her but not in a sexual way.

        If you can be honest with yourself than you may find the answer. Maybe you cannot get past the hurt and damage and your marriage will never repair itself and you will live like brother/sister forever.

        Is that satisfying to you? Can you live like that the rest of your life?

        Do you think you have the ability to break down the walls and really have the emotional commitment again? One of the things I learned from my therapist is for the marriage to be successful you have to be “all in”. We had many discussions on this topic because as he explained, if you’re not all in your chances of success are diminished.

        I had to accept the fact that I could be Hurt again by him. I had to accept The possibility of future pain. But I was willing to risk that to try and make our marriage work and try to get back to where we were.

        Luckily for me it has worked out.

        Perhaps you might speak to someone who is well-trained in this area. It may make a difference in helping you re-commit and open up to your wife.

        It may be that your wife has not given you the confidence and emotional support that you need to recommit to your marriage.

        Wishing you the best and I hope you find some answers.

      • Tired

        Lost my BF. I don’t have any answers here. But yes, affairs will change the way you feel about them. I would never have an affair simply because I could not bear to have my husband doubt and mistrust me the way I do him. The thought of losing his respect is just horrible to me. It’s a pity our partners did not think about this before doing their dastardly deeds

    • Hurt

      I’m only 9 weeks in on dday. I’m just wondering if the ea ever stops being the first thing you think about when you wake and the last thing you think about at night? Also do you ever stop hurting from the fact they put someone else before you?
      My H is doing everything right. He is even going to counselling. He planned a gray Valentine’s Day by taking me to where we had our first date. He is being thoughtful and doing things without being asked, planning dates and making sure he is doing everything he can to help me through this. And we are really connecting again on every level.
      But I just can’t seem to move past that he put someone else first and it’s always in my head. Do these feelings go or become less as at the minute all I think about in 20 years am I still going to be thinking I’m married to a man who had an affair?

      • Shifting Impressions

        It’s been a little over three years and yes there is not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. But it is not nearly as raw and painful as it was in the beginning,

        There is a lot to grieve…… takes time. I also believe that coming to a place of forgiveness is a process. Am I there yet??? No, but I’m closer than I was a few months ago.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hurt. I am so sorry for you. I understand how you feel.

        You will have triggers that will affect you. One minute you are fine and the next you are a heap of emotions crying on the bathroom floor.

        I think you need to look at a few positives. It appears your husband recognizes that he made a terrible mistake and he is trying to make amends. More importantly you need to feel that he has been truthful and honest with you.

        You need to feel that this is not just going to be a small phase where he bends over backwards to try to make amends and then reverts back to his old behavior. That would be devastating for you.

        If you are in counseling together that can be a huge plus for your marriage.

        I hope that you realize that time will help you tremendously. But for now you need to learn how to manage things that cause you to think of the affair. You will see overtime that some triggers will no longer affect you. I also think that your reaction can help you overcome some of those anxiety ridden moment.

        I wish you the best and please stay connected to this blog for any questions or support you may need.

        • Hurt

          Hi TheFirstWife.
          I’m not sure how long it has been since you H EA but from the replies you have posted it seems to have been a few years.
          Do you still obsess about it? Do you still question him? I’m just wondering because from what I can gather you have truly moved past it and you marriage is in a good place.
          At the moment I believe we can get through it, but it’s the worry that it will always be there and something I always think of when I think of my husband and I don’t know if I could cope with that.
          I also worry that I’m making it bigger than it was. The texting went on for about 3 months and meeting for coffee was once a week for about 6 weeks (so he says!). But to me even if it was one text or one coffee he didn’t tell me about it was still lies!

          • TheFirstWife

            Hurt. In no way are you making a “big deal” about this.

            Your H disrespected you. He went behind your back and met someone. Even if he had said he was meeting so and so for coffee, but not telling you the full details and depth of his relationship is wrong.

            My H told me for yesrs during his first EA nothing was going on. In his mind mo srx = non affair and not cheating.

            Just not true. Here is the test for everything in your marriage – if you would not do it or say it if your spouse is standing next to you – then you know it is wrong.

            Stick to your guns – even if it is a one time event it is still cheating.

      • Tired

        Hurt. It’s been 15 months since D day here, a little over a year since the final contact. I still think about it every day. Your husband is trying at least. Mine just wanted to sweep everything under the carpet. I think it is probably shame, but it makes me feel that he doesn’t understand the enormity of what he did. He has said to me ‘it was nothing’ and ‘she meant nothing.’ But to me it was definitely not nothing. I still have ups and downs, but I am dealing with it better now. Most days anyway. I think men think that if it wasn’t physical it wasn’t really infidelity. However, I don’t think my husband would like it if I was going out for dinner with another man and hiding it! And buying secret phones to contact people etc. the worst thing about all of this is that I thought I married a man of integrity and honour. I couldn’t believe he was capable of such deception, but now I know that he is. I’m so disappointed.

        • Hurt

          I think that’s one of the things that hurt the most the disappointment in him, that he could do this to me. Did he think that little about me? Through everything we have been through I never thought in a million years he would do this to me. I even use to joke to friends that if I found out he was having an affair I would chop it off!
          I know when friends and family talk to us or say things about us they say we belong together as we are (were) so much alike and so close. How looks can be deceiving!

          • Tired

            Hurt. You sound just like me. I used to say the same thing about chopping it off. My husband said to me once that he was not thinking about me at all. And I think that is really the crux of the matter and probably for your husband as well. He was thinking about him. When I look back I don’t think it was me at all. He was crashing. He was depressed that his career was going nowhere. A woman came along and boosted his ego and that made him feel good. It was more about the way he felt about himself. He was disappointed in himself. he blamed me for the affair but I don’t think he really believes that. These were just the excuses he made so that he did not have to see himself as a lying cheat. Yes, there were problems but he could have said something rather than acting like a petulant child.

            • Hurt

              My husband isn’t blaming me, he takes full responsibility for it. He admits he was a selfish you know what. All he thought about was making himself feel better. Two weeks before I found out we were having issues, we hardly spoke, but he met her on the Monday was away the wed and Thursday was texting her constantly and then met her on the Friday instead of coming home to deal with the issue! The Friday night we had a major row I said we can’t carry on like this and we said we need to focus on us, all the next week he was home on time putting effort and just when I thought we were on the right track my world came crashing down as that Friday I found out! He went to work on the Saturday and she was there and told her I knew and had his phone and then came home once he realised how much the shit had hit the fan! Since then there has been no contact with her, she has been transferred from his work place the next day. I have access to everything. He is doing everything I ask him to do yet it’s still there constantly. Even though they were never intimate I get images in my head. I’m making it into the live story of the century! He keeps telling me he never wanted her like that she just made him feel good about himself it was someone to talk to and someone to listen to! He tells me he never loved her or even thought he did he tells me he never had any intention of leaving me. What I don’t get why risk your marriage then?

            • Tired

              Hurt. Completely understand you. We were fine until a week before this happened. Over the weekend he started picking fights with me, hinting there was someone else. I knew who it was. She had organised nights out with me and him so she could find vulnerabilities to pick on. She waited for something to happen to pounce. So after that weekend he had a big career disappointment. That was her moment to take advantage. Because he had been behaving strangely I hired a PI to follow him. And he caught them on film…her throwing herself at a very guilty looking man. But still, he was there immortalised in his stupidity forever. Although my husband is very angry I did this, I’m glad I did. Because I saw that she was the aggressor and that he didn’t look that into her. She was just there.
              I know what you mean about images. Me too. Even the thoughts he might have had upset me.
              I think they never thought they were risking their marriage. Until they got caught and had to deal with it.
              My husband was transferred and the woman fired when all this came out. He is no longer working there.
              One of the things that made me so angry was his announcement that this woman ‘understood him.’ She didn’t even know him. She probably ‘understood’ the person he wanted to be.
              Is there anywhere to thank Linda & Doug for this amazing website? Reading their blogs has really helped me a lot.

            • TheFirstWife

              Hurt. Please Google affair fog. It explains in detail what the cheater is doing.

              Yes “the OW” understood him. Yes she is wonderful. Yes the OW is perfect.

              It is a relationship based in delusion. Not reality. She doesn’t know the “real” him. She knows the lie he is presenting as him.

              She is not dealing with finances, bills, kids, job issues, in laws, illness, family issues or death.

              It is just party time and feel good time etc.

              I wanted to just smack my H when he would tell me things about OW. She is this and she is that. Finally one day I said if you want a 30 year old girl covered in tattoos, drama queen with issues – well I am not 30 – I am with you for 30 years.

              But please feel free to go ahead and be with her. I am not standing in your way and I will not compete for you.

              That turned his head. He didn’t like the fact I was able to just be calm about it.

              It is hard to deal with your spouse during the affair fog.

            • Hurt

              The problem is she is not 30 years old. She is touching 50 a couple of years older than my husband and over 10 years older than me.
              I think I’m finding that hard to deal with as well. Someone younger more attractive with no responsibilities yes but not someone over a decade older than me with a husband at home!

            • TheFirstWife

              It is not about looks or money or personality. Married people cheat b/c they mistakenly believe they are getting something from the affair partner they don’t or can’t get from their spouse.

              the affair partner gives them an ego boost or thrill. A thrill they probably don’t get from their spouse as it is old and “been there done that”. The cheating spouse gets an ego boost which they fall for snd mistake for the “true love soul mate” syndrome as I call it.

              My H’s OW was not in great shape – not to brag but I look better than her at almost twice Her age. It was about my H and his ability to lie and reinvent himself and be something else and get a thrill out of lying and sneaking around.

              It is like having your first crush in junior high.

              It isn’t real life but theu get swept away by it.

              My therapist told me he has seen more families become destroyed by mid life crisis affairs. My H is a smart guy but did he honestly think this relationship would last?

              He actually told her (via email) that if he loved her then his friends would love her. Trust me I can think of a few if his friends whose wives would never tolerate my H’s OW.

              I still laugh at that one. That is how delusional he was.

            • Tired

              Hurt. It is definitely not about looks. In my husband’s case the woman was very unattractive. Even the PI made jokes about it. The affair wasn’t really even about her at all. He did not love her. She was his friend at work. She was just there when he had this crash and took advantage of the situation. She flattered his ego and made him feel attractive again. I had not liked her since I had met her and I indeed warned him about her. However he is very naive and dismissed it as petty jealousy. At that stage they were just friends. He has always been a poor judge of character…everybody is wonderful. He just can’t see anyone’s flaws. Like cheating with a married person…er, that’s a whopping big character flaw.

              I think I would have a hard time if my husband had booked a hotel. How do you feel about that? Of course in my case I threw him out of the house and changed all the locks on the day I found out, so he had to go to hotels. He then rented an apartment which he lived in for about two weeks lol! I have only his word for it that she did not stay over. My husband I think would find it awkward to get someone into bed…I know how he was when we first met. But I don’t trust her at all. She is the type who would have made the first move if she wanted to. And being a man with only one sexual partner all his life he probably would have done something. But I don’t want to think about that.

              I think my imagination has made this whole thing much worse than it is. But that’s because he won’t talk. Some of the other poor people on here have had spouses sending filthy photos and saying they loved the person, leaving them for the other person. Now that would be much, much worse.

            • Hurt

              Finding out about the hotel kills me but if i hadn’t it could still be going on!
              I have to believe he wouldn’t of gone through with it but will never know for sure! When I confronted the OW she also told me it was never physical and wouldn’t of slept with him.
              He says it was an ego boost that someone else wanted him!
              When he started the affair he had just found out he hadn’t got a promotion he was promised and I was in the middle of a stage of depression!
              It’s definitely the imagination that makes it worse.
              The week before I found out he had been making an effort he hadn’t seen her that week (apart from once a work), he told me he could see hope for us and wasn’t going to the hotel and that would of been it over!
              I really want to believe this I just wish he had finished it before I found out then I could of known for sure!

            • Tired

              Yes I know what you mean. My husband claims that if I did not catch him that night he felt so guilty that he would have stopped it on its own. He probably likes to believe that, but I know him well. He is a people pleaser and with her personality she would have pursued him and I think it may have ended in a full blown affair.

              When I threw him out I in some ways gave her leverage. He had nowhere to go and it was easy for her to further manipulate him. “I’ll book a hotel for you.” “I’ll lend you money to set up a new place.” And this is exactly what she did. Of course, she had to go with him to choose furniture etc. she was trying To step into my shoes! it really peeves me that he allowed her to go on this power trip at my expense. She had absolutely no shame at all. Although apparently when he told her he loved me and wanted to work things out she said she felt stupid. Well you know what? I’m glad. So she should. She is apparently engaged now just a little over a year later. So after running rough shod over my feelings and trying to get my husband to leave me for her because she was so in love she got over him pretty fast. Very genuine there. I can only hope her future husband meets a manipulative woman like her in the future when they are going through a rough patch. Karma!!

            • Tired

              Hurt. How did you find out? It was an emotional affair right? My husband’s was. Or to the best of my knowledge. But it hurts so bad. Thinking he would rather be with her than with me is painful. More painful than him having a one night stand. Men don’t seem to understand this.

            • Hurt

              Yes when I found out it was still an EA. I found a hotel booking for 2 days after I found out! He has told me he had no intention of going. Don’t know if I believe that as I never would of believed he would have an EA. But I do know what he is like when it comes to being intimate and after 12 years together he still gets embarrassed about things when I talk about stuff so as much as I don’t know the man who had the EA I still believe the man I married couldn’t of become some stud who had the balls to go through with it! Not that I’m saying he isn’t good in the bedroom!
              I know what your saying about a one night stand at least that way there wouldn’t of been the intention to hurt me it would of been a spur of the moment thing rather than planning all their little dates and texts when he was at work or when I left the house to go to work, (I work evenings so there is always someone here for the kids!).

    • Bluejay


      It’s been 6 months for me and it is still the first and last thing on my mind everyday. When I wake up in the middle of the night it is because of what my wife did. Her affair has effective me 24*7.

      I would describe you still in the very early raw stage of post dday. Your heart has been shattered along with everything you thought you knew to be true and good.

      I wish I could answer your question but I have to believe the rawness fades away and you learn how to deal with the reality of the affair. I believe it will come down someday to a choice that we have to make to move on and not let the fact of the affair consume so much of our life.

      Take care of yourself and be sure to read, journal and confide in close friends.

    • TheFirstWife

      To Hurt, Blue Jay and Tired.

      I am just 3 years since DDay 2 with same OW.

      I think about it often as well but for different reasons. I know she is no longer in his life b/c the 3rd time she tried to start up the friendship (as she called it but it was an affair) my H did not respond. However I did and politely asked her to leave us alone. She responded by sending me all the emails which was further proof that my H continued to lie his way out of this affair as well.

      FYI he had a 4 year EA in the 90s that he never admitted to. At least not to me but he did admit to the last OW.

      So yes I have done things to protect myself. My car is in my name. My banks accounts are in my name. I have my own $ should he have another affair. And if that were to happen and did leave this time, he is leaving with no opportunity for a second or third chance.

      My H had a mid life crisis and was unhappy with his career, job, etc. his solution was an affair. He asked for a divorce numerous times. I finally agreed to a divorce b/c nothing I did was working. He refused counsrling – but I went alone. BEST CHOICE I MADE!

      I have forged my own life and I now put me first. Not in a selfish way but I gave him everything over the last 25+ years. Freedom, accepted him for who he was and did not try to change him. I encouraged him to golf with friends and play tennis and enjoy some “guy” time as he worked hard.

      I thought we were a team. I thought we had each other’s back at all times.

      What a sucker punch it was to find out otherwise.

      I worked hard to accept my H for the liar and cheater he is/was. I now look at him diffetently. I have to because I have been burned more than once by him.

      So I think the difference for me is that I had 2 years of counsrling and I came away better and stronger. His affairs were his choice. Doesn’t matter the reason. It was just the choices he made.

      So I then had to make choices to be able to stay with him. One is having some financial security for me. He was walking out the door and leaving me with no $ and I had no idea if he would give me any.

      I learned that in the middle of a crisis I will be level headed and make good decisions.

      And when pushed far enough I did tell him to leave. i took MY power back.

      I am not mean or nasty or vindictive. The anger that I have is with myself. I was a doormat and nice guy and accepting and just went along with things to keep the peace. Most stuff wasn’t impirtant to argue about (in my opinion) but when I had to stand my ground I did.

      My H’s affair started b/c of midlife and he was mad at me over something I dtoid my ground on. He knew he was wrong but acted like a child and just did it anyway.

      Lo and behold 3 weeks later his affair began. He made it happen. He pursued her. He tried to lie and say it was all her. I believed it until I saw the email trail and then I realized how deep into the lie he was.

      In any event I make my happiness. I chart my life’s path. And you are either with me or not. His choice.

      I don’t have triggers as often – a few here and there. But it will always hurt me.

      But I have found happiness and believe I would be happy with him or without him. Because I make it happen for me.

      I hope this helps. We were on the brink of our marriage ending and I did a lot of hard work to get past it. My H only started therapy last year – 2 years post affair.

      I have had to accept many things – and yes the rose colored glasses are off. i do not look at him the same b/c of the trauma he put me through. I had PTSD for 2 years. Over it now.

      I don’t worry about him cheating again b/c it is no longer important. He knows that if I have even a suspicion that our marriage is over. It could be completly untrue but if I have to ask then we are finished.

      Everything is black & white now. No gray areas and no second chances.

      I hope this helps you.

      • Tired

        The first wife. Your story is a horrible one. Your husband pursued the other woman, was in love with her and wanted a divorce. How you managed to pull yourself together is amazing. I don’t think I would have had the strength. My husband’s actions were a silly fling by comparison and yet I was still devastated. Of course, part of the problem is that I only have his word for it that there was no more to it. But even if there was more sometimes I think that wouldn’t matter. What matters is the deception and betrayal. Even sex couldn’t be worse than that.

        We have discussed counselling. It’s not as though my husband is against it. We just haven’t gone. It could perhaps teach him how to talk openly about his feelings. One of his excuses was that he couldn’t tell me things because I get angry. There is some truth to that, but of course it is no excuse for infidelity. He needs to be able to be more assertive instead of bottling it all up, blaming me and then exploding.

        • TheFirstWife

          Tired. It is a pretty awful thing I suffered through. Plus I had to walk around and pretend everything was ok b/c my children were on summer vacation and home every day. Even more stress.

          Plus his 4 year EA from 20 years ago he would never own up to.

          Plus his 25 years of no accountability on his whereabouts. He would have a work function and say he would be home at 11 pm and show up at 2 am with no phone call.

          Complete disregard to me.

          And the asking for a divorce multiple times in 6 months leaves permanent scars b/c of the way it was done – out of the blue. No warning or rhyme or reason.

          I have emerged stronger from this thanks to a wonderful counselor. My H is no longer my Rock or go to guy. I rely on me and me alone. I now put myself first and make sure my needs are met and I am happy.

          I am proof that you can get past infidelity. My H is now different and no longer behaves in a disrespectful way. He is present in our marriage and sets his own boundaries willingly. Calls me when he is out and lets me know where he is etc.

          It has been a very tough three years. But at least he is finally getting it. And that has only been in the last year. Finally.

          And yes my H did not talk to me and kept everything bottled up and tried to blame me for his affair. Except I would not let him.

    • Tired

      You are an amazing woman the first wife. I don’t know how you did it. I’m glad your husband is towing the line now! You deserve it. And that’s probably what he saw in that change in you.

      I think I will take a lead from you and work on myself too.

      My husband is still depressed and still in his career turmoil. I feel his mid life crisis is not over and until it is I can not feel safe. At the moment he is extremely self absorbed. He is so focussed on ‘making it.’ Everything is about him. I am trying to support him but at the same time I am very resentful that I am still suffering from his affair and I feel bringing it up only makes things worse. So I suffer in silence. Thank goodness for this blog. Tonight I came home from a very stressful work day hoping to unwind. All I heard was an angry man ranting about the unfairness of the interview he attended last week and how he is doomed. I do feel empathy with him, but I also feel he is playing the victim and that it is not helping him. Yet if I say that it would make him angrier. He is not helping himself. He has a job, but his career is not going in the direction he wants it to. This was the real reason for his affair, but he preferred to blame me rather than face these issues. Aaah. I’m ranting now. Thank god he has gone to bed and I can have some peace.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tired I understand where you are. My H had his job for a year after DDay. At one point I told him I think you are going to be fired. He denied it. And that same day he was.

        I was supportive to him and kind. BUT I also was not worried. Because I had ME I could rely on. I felt my self confidence and strength restored.

        I started disengaging from him during those horrible months of his mid life crisis. Not mean or nasty but getting my own social activities or volunteering. Doing things I liked. Realizing my social life did not require him to be a part of it.

        I know how it feels to be in your exact place. H hates his job, blames everyone else for his unhappiness etc. I asked my H to go to counseling together – he refused during that time. I went alone and for me. My H only wanted to go to joint counseling when I was about to walk out the door. He was grasping at straws to do anything to keep our marriage together.

        So if you restore your power and take a step or two back from his drama it could be better for you. If he comes home cranky or upset about work ask him what he plans to do. What steps is he taking to change it. Don’t let him complain and play victim to you. Cut his complaining short by stating “what are your options to change this?” If he cannot be productive or outline a plan then remove yourself from the conversation.

        You don’t owe him anything more than what you are willing to give. If he is crabby and you don’t want to listen, don’t. It is that simple.

        Try to get him on a more positive note. Keep suggesting counseling to him.

        When my H was fired he realized it was not the end of the world. He had his family and everything else was not that important. He would have rather resigned and found another job but the events of the last year (affair, almost divorce) put it all in perspective.

        I no longer do my H’s laundry, or his errands, unless I choose to. I decided to redefine our marriage and I am no longer the person who picks up after him. I used to do everything in our house (as he travels extensively). Not anymore. My free time is not spent on him – it is spent reading or relaxing. Case in point – he had some repair work around the house and it involved painting. I did not offer to help and did other things.

        Normally I would have painted b/c I know he doesn’t like it. Redefine!!

    • TheFirstWife

      Tired. That same reason was the genesis of my husband’s affair as well. He was working at a company and was very unhappy and was not sure the direction you should take. add to that the fact that he was turning 50 and was not happy with his salary created the perfect opportunity for him to start an affair.

      Of course I did not know this at the time because my husband would never speak about things that were bothering him. All of his friends have the same observation of my husband. That is avoid The issue, deflect from the topic, and then make a joke and MoveOn.

      The only thing I can tell you is that he would joke about turning 50 but that was it.

      I think what made things worse for him and us was that he had deep feelings for the other woman. while he knew it was wrong and he did admit it to me, his emotions lead to anger on having to end it. When they reconnected a month or so later, the affair took on a life of its own.

      At least I had the benefit of an excellent counselor. It is helpful to me that I remained a solid person, I didn’t react and do anything crazy and I tried my best during the entire ordeal to be loving and supportive towards my husband.

      At one point when we decided to divorce, I remember telling him that I was concerned about him and at the end of the day, I just wanted him to be happy. I made it clear I didn’t want to divorce him but I had to accept the fact that you no longer wanted to be married.

      If anything should ever change and I decide to end this marriage, at least I can look back and say I did my very best and that I was always kind, loving and respectful to him.

      At least I do not have any regrets and feel that I’ve always treated him well.

    • Puzzled

      @thefirstwife: I think your last two sentences speak volumes. This is the same as what I decided with my wife. No matter how she treated me, no matter what she said to me, no matter the hell she was putting me through: I would love her. I wanted to make sure that my kids saw a loving & dedicated husband and father. They needed to see how someone should respond in a bad situation. I would not let her decisions and actions dictate who I was. And, until I did this, I was stuck in the self-pity rut. It’s nearing 2 years since D-day 1 (when she said she was unhappy, had been unhappy for years, loved me but not “in love with me”). D-day 2 was when I discovered there actually was someone else; but that’s another story. I’ve made great strides personally. Our marriage is improving every day. But I’m still not all the way there and I’m not sure if I ever will be. That’s the toughest thing for me.
      But for those of you who are just at your D-day. Please know that others are here and can help you through this. This is not the end of your story. You have a say in how the story ends.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Yes….this is not the end of one’s story and yes we have a say in how the story ends!!! Those are really powerful words. A really good reminder that we have choices. Thank you.

    • TheFirstWife

      My therapist has said a “successful” divorce is one where you tried your best and gave it your all but just could not make it work.

      Puzzled – I don’t want you to believe I was a push over during his affair. I did confront him and try to talk with him and help him. When they secretly resumed the affair and I thought everything was better – I still cared about him and loved him and supported him.

      But the “I have had enough of your crap” mentality came out in full force at dday2. I was calm and rational and direct. I never threw anything or cursed him or acted out in front if our children or disrespected him in any way.

      But I made it clear I was no longer helping him put our marriage back together b/c he lied to me for a whole 60 days when I was expecting him and relying in him to be truthful.

      So yes I have not been mean or vindictive or disrespectful. But I have financially protected myself and family. I have made sure he knows exactly where I stand on this type of behavior in the future and if I have any suspicions, even a suspicion, there is no conversation / it will be over. He has no more chances.

      And yes please know everyone has options. You can choose to remain with a serial cheater as long as you know what to expect and can live with it. If it makes you thst unhappy and cannot accept the Cheater is making choices that have no bearing on you (as the spouse ) then you should not be married to that person anymore.

      It is a choice. As an example I have told my H if he was an alcoholic and I tried everything I could to help him and he was still an alcoholic, I would leave him. Same with affairs. Some people can live with it and some cannot.

    • Tired

      Why do women stay when they know the cheating is still going on? I could never have put up with the cheating going on under my nose. When I caught my husband the first time I threw him out and told him if that’s what he wants then go. It was hell for me because I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t contact him at all. I made a word document and every time I was tempted to send an angry text I typed it on there instead. I booked an overseas trip with one of our old uni friends. I didn’t know this at the time, but during this period the OW kindly decided to help him get an apartment, even going so far as to lend him the money. Of course she was also there to ‘help’ him buy furniture. What she was really doing was trying to step into my shoes, the filthy spouse poacher. And my silly husband fell for this manipulation. In his mind she was just a kind person trying to help him.

      This period lasted about three weeks. But the time apart was invaluable because it made him get out of the affair bubble. She was no longer filling a void. Now there was a bigger void and he realised that she couldn’t fulfil him at all. She was his inferior intellectually, and the only thing that had in common was a hatred of their boss.

      I went to see a divorce lawyer and took steps to buy his share of the house. He started to call infrequently and said he missed me. I wouldn’t talk about anything personal. We did meet up one night for dinner. He arrived at the restaurant in his car with blaring music, something so unlike him. MLC!! He said I looked nice and maybe we should start ‘dating’ again. I said that I was not going to date him if he was also dating her.

      The next time I saw him was about the sale of the house to me. After the meeting he said ‘could we work this out.’ I told him he had to come back home.

      I found out later that they still contacted each other. Fool of a man thought that he could still be friends. I suspected this was the case, but at the same time the gut feeling that he was cheating was gone. It was at this point that she started to get desperate and began posting all these images of herself on social media, along with sad song lyrics etc. This actually told me they were still in touch, but I could seee it wasn’t working out for her, lol.

      Because of this there were a number of fights and although I couldn’t prove anything I told him we can’t repair this while she is still in the picture. So I went on my trip and when I came back I knew the whole ordeal was over. He told her firmly that he was never going to be with her and that they could not even be friends. Finally he listened to the no contact I had been telling him was necessary, but it seems he had to learn the hard way.

      Even after that I found a letter she left on his car saying she loves him and only him ‘even though everyone wants to be with me’ and they can still talk. Talk about thick. But she got the message and left him alone after that.

      It was about a month later that he finally admitted that he had talked on the phone to her up until the time he realised he had to stand firm and go completely no contact. I think this is when he came out of the affair fog. Because of these lies however for months I was tortured thinking that contact might still be happening behind my back. The lies are the hardest part to get past in my opinion.

      The hard part now is dealing with his depression and career crisis. Sometimes I think I have had enough. He is putting into the relationship but I am uneasy with his instability and I fear that he could do something irrational again. He won’t be getting another chance!

      • TheFirstWife

        Tired. There are so many reasons people stay living with cheating spouses. Financial issues, emotional issues, co-dependency, fear of being alone. There are so many.

        Not everyone could stand up to their CS like you did and kick him to the curb and set limits and boundaries. It takes a strong person to do that.

        I stood up to my H after about 3 weeks. I had no $ to my name, I had no idea if he would support me & kids if he left and it was summer with 2 kids at home I was trying to shield from this nightmare.

        Plus cheating was always a deal breaker for me.

        So I am glad it worked out for you. Your H got his act together and your marriage is intact.

        His depression scares you. Your concerns are valid. But what is your plan B? I have one for me & kids. Financial, emotional, support network. I have it figured out in case this ever happens again. Maybe that is why I don’t have a care in the world.

        I had a dream awhile ago that my H walked up to me out if the blue and wanted a divorce (happened in real life too). My response in the dream was to ask him “haven’t you been happy these past 2 years?” And he said he was Happy but didn’t want to be married.

        My response was “ok then”. And I had no emotion.

        When I woke up I felt ok. The dream bothered me but my reaction was calm, cool and from a place of self confidence. And it spoke volumes.

        Maybe you can put a plan together to address your concerns.

        I hope your H would not cheat again. Does he have a counselor he sees? Can you help alleviate his stress or unhappiness – see a movie, talk with him in a non confrontational way, do yoga, meditate – any suggestions you can make to help him.

        Does he willingly discuss his feelings with you? Even for 20 minutes of “it’s all about him ” time. It might make him feel better to know you will just listen.

        Is he afraid you will divorce him b/c he cheated? Is that part of his depression?

        Ok I will stop with the questions. Too many lol. Just trying to give you some options.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tired. Since my H’s affair he has done a number of things I find surprising &/or out of character for him.

        I specifically asked him NOT to tell a friend of his about his affair. This guys wife has no filter. Last thing I needed. He did it anyway. I was furious.

        He found cigarettes in our basement and suspected one of my kids. Told me about it weeks later. Why would he hide it from me?

        Stupid things like that. Just doesn’t get it half the time. So I understand how you feel and why you are concerned for your H and your future.

    • Tired

      The first wife. I am not a strong person. We were codependent too. For some reason I was lucky enough to feel nothing for those first few weeks. I think it was denial. Otherwise I couldn’t have done what I did. By the time it came around to the time to go for my trip I was no longer in denial and in truth I didn’t want to go. But I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and I thought he needed to be taught a lesson. I really didn’t enjoy myself as I was wondering the whole time if they would start up again.

      My point was not to look down at anyone, but to make the point that allowing them to continue an affair under your nose just teaches them they can get away with treating you badly. To some extent this was happening with me too…he denied they were still in touch, I felt there was still some contact. That’s why I went ahead with my trip. I think if I had backed out it would have given him a green light to keep in touch with her. As for the

      • TheFirstWife

        Tired. That is my deepest regret looking back

        My H’s 4 yr EA – his contempt and disrespect and gaslighting and stonewalling to me was terrible. And then it was swept under the carpet. Never ever mentioned again. Contact stopped and it was like nothing happened.

        His chronic lateness with no call. His refusal to pick up a phone and let me know where he is or that he would be hours late. Despite my repeated requests.

        I truly believe this allowed his last affair to occur and escalate to the level it did.

        And for him to admit his 4 yr EA to the last OW just bothers me to no end.

        IMO doing nothing led him to continue his self centered ego driven behavior.

        I was a doormat and he took advantage of it.

        I now wonder all those times he was hours late (after midnight) – what was he really doing? Of course he denies anything was going on. I now believe he was a serial cheater – very flirty with women. The kind of guy I would see at a social event that I would despise.

        So my biggest regret is my inaction. When I finally kicked him out he refused to leave. Haha – it was the wake up call he needed 20 years too late.

        Now he finally gets it. Finally. But the damage is done and nothing he says or does will change my opinion. He had a secret life. And he will never admit it. Done.

        • Tired

          Don’t ever say you were a doormat. Don’t. It is always the fault of the cheater. Don’t blame yourself. I hope you got the e m a I l link above.

        • Tired

          Gosh first wife.i hope I haven’t insulted you. I would like to speak to you more often.

    • Tired

      My plan B is me. I can do it on my own and he knows that. My thought would be that you should forget about financial issues etc. because these are actually the reasons the cheating spouse is banking on. “You won’t leave them because there is a mortage ..” don’t keep paying it while they’re cheating. my opinion was show them what they have to lose. I won’t be falling for this rubbish again. I’ve been there for him in his depression, and he’s been doing a lot for me. He does talk. But not about the affair: we’ve been talking about relationship issues. And it’s much better than before.

    • Tired

      The first wife. Every conversation all day everyday is “all about him time.” He can think of nothing else but himself. That’s why I’m so annoyed. When he should be making it up to me, all he’s worried about is his belly, his career options, his sister etc. that’s not to say he is not trying. He is. But he fails to see that the things he does for me are the things that would meet his needs if someone were to do them for him. Not the things I want him to do for me! Women are from Venus, men are from mars I suppose.

      I don’t want to be complacent, but I think more than just disappointing me with his poor judgement in this affair, I think my husband also sinned against his own personal standards. I don’t think he will have another affair provided that he is of sound mind. He is very ashamed of the whole business and I think that is why he won’t talk.

      My husband has always been the type who was home exactly when he said he would and who kept in touch multiple times throughout the day…which was one of the reasons it was so easy to catch him when he was carrying on with this silly bimbo. He is an honest person too, so I can see right through him when he lies. The thing is that the lies I have caught him in make no sense. They are usually to cover up something that was very petty in comparison to the story my imagination had concocted to explain it. But I could tell him that until I was blue in the face and he would still lie. He is making a mistake. I don’t like lying, even if he thinks it’s protecting me and the relationship.

      He does worry I will leave him. He says it all the time. If I can’t talk about the affair without him getting angry he may find I explode one day and fulfil his prophecy.

      If your husband had a secret life and you found out about it what would you do now? If he has behaved himself and changed these last couple of years perhaps it doesn’t matter. But it is hard to wonder if something is being hidden from you. I still wonder what was happening in that apartment when my husband moved out. I’m not sure knowing would do anything more than torture me after all this time.

      • TheFirstWife

        That’s my point. I do think he has left out many many details of things that have occurred.

        He spent the night at her apartment but claims no sex. The OW also told me they never had sex b/c she would not have sex knowing he was married.

        I don’t believe it for a second.

        But I really don’t care. It is a useless detail.

        He cheated and lied. That is all I need to know.

        I have chosen to move past it and make sure I am happy and content. With him or without him.

        I think the fact that he has changed helps BUT I think the difference is what I am able to live with.

    • Tired

      I agree.TFW, please send another link to your mail. My husband was snooping in my phone so I deleted everything. I no longer have your contact. Send it to me and I will use an account that is not always signed in. He obviously suspects ME of cheating. What a hide!

    • Tired

      i have a question. So the other woman for me has announced her enagagement to someone else. in two minds about this.he treated me like dirt! I am so angry, I really love my husband. But perhaps there is secret contact that I don’t know about. I kind of feel like that now she is taken that I should dump this loser?

    • Tired

      I have seen a lot of questions about transparency. Apparently people think that getting a Facebook or email password from the wayward spouse makes them trust the partner. My husband had a secret phone. He directed the emails of this person to a folder that would not show up in inbox. There is no way you can police this. If you do find out what they are doing do not tell them or they will become more sneaky. At least if you know what they are up to and don’t say anything you can still check. If they are going to be unfaithful they will. It’s impossible. I think we have to rely on our gut feeling.

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree. If a person wants to cheat they will find a way.

        And I believe if you suspect they are cheating they are!!!

        • Tired

          I agree with that. It’s that gut feeling

    • Shifting Impressions

      Tired….I totally agree with you as well. That gut feeling is something we shouldn’t ignore. I never thought an affair was even a possibility. A good read on that type of naive thinking is THE MANOGAMY MYTH.

      My husband had two EA approximately 15 years apart…..of course I don’t have the exact dates on the first one…..lapse of memory on CS part (as if) But both times my gut was telling me something was very very wrong. The night before I discovered the last EA (three years ago) he was so miserable to me that I looked him straight in the eye and asked “Is there someone else?” I didn’t know what else to ask anymore. I couldn’t even believe I was asking….at that time I had no knowledge of the first EA (that discovery came a year after the first d-day, lucky me) OF course he looked me straight in the eye and said no. The very next morning I stumbled upon the emails.

      I literally stumbled on the knowledge of both Emotional Affairs by accident…..but both times my gut was saying something was very wrong during the duration of the affairs.

    • Puzzled

      Shifting Impressions: I know that same feeling. I asked my wife point blank, “is there someone else”? And she looked me in the eye and said never. I think we all probably push down our gut feelings because we don’t want to believe what we are feeling. I knew something wasn’t right but I just kept telling myself it was something else. No matter how cold, cruel, or disrespectful she was, I kept thinking maybe I’ve done something. And I know the gut punch I felt when I finally knew the truth as well. My wife woke up in the middle of the night to text the other guy. I’m usually a heavy sleeper but, for some reason, I woke up completely. She quickly turned off the phone and pretended to be asleep. The next morning I asked who she texted and she said our daughter. I said “ok” and then texted our daughter to ask. Of course there wasn’t a text to her. When I asked her again if there was someone else, a blank & angry stare with a “no”. Probably the saddest part for all of us dealing with this is that our spouses will never quite get how much we hurt. The emotional and physical toll it takes out on us every day.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Puzzled….I’m not sure if they really get it either. I know that studies say the affair isn’t really about you, the betrayed spouse, but I take issue with that. How could something that wasn’t about me destroy me so completly.

      My husband ended contact immediately after d-day and is truly remorseful…..that’s what keeps us moving toward recovery, albeit slowly.

    • Puzzled

      It’s easier said than done on convincing yourself “it wasn’t me”. I spent way too many nights stewing about what I could have done differently and beating myself up about it. I’m glad you’re moving forward and recovering. That’s great news.
      We are also steadily improving and hopefully building back to something better. Although it’s weird to type that because I had always believed we had a good relationship. We’d been married for 20 happy years. That’s what confuses me in this. How do they re-create history and twist things that seemed good into something they say was something else? I guess that’s for another topic.
      Keep working every day Shifting Impressions. One step, one day, one week…Keep moving forward.

    • Tired

      I agree it is hard to accept it was not you. I think we will always feel we were somehow to blame. But I also know my husband. He felt bad about himself and there was a loser waiting to take advantage of that.

      They rewrite history because they can’t admit they were a weak cheat

    • Carol

      I found out my H had sexual integrity issues since the first year of our relationship, over 35 years he has numerous affairs, porn, cyber sex, 3 somes, etc. It took a year for full disclosure, then another 3 to become totally sexually sober. I have very deep scars and triggers still plague me at times. I still feel there are issues we need to address, but now whenever I try to open up a discussion to reconnect, he says if I keep bringing up the “topic” , how is he supposed to get rid of his shame? We both want a close relationship but his ideas about how to do that are different from mine. He just wants to “do things together and have fun” and we do that but when I have a nightmare or trigger I need to talk about he just gets defensive and says I ruined the whole evening. Do i just supress my need to share my pain? When I do, a part of me just disconnects from him emotionally. He says why can’t I just be content to connect through sex and affection? We’re at an impasse. Suggestions?

    • Tired

      Carol, I know just how you feel. My husband also wants to sweep it under the carpet. To him, not mentioning it is good. For me, I am getting resentful and will probably explode eventually. He does not see that he is further damaging the relationship. His whole focus seems to be on his shame. He would rather me hurt than for him to feel shame. I am thinking of going to counseling. Perhaps you should too

    • Shifting Impressions

      Carol and Tired….One of the most annoying phrases the cheating spouse says is “I JUST WANT TO MOVE ON”. As if that’s possible without sorting things out. He just wanted to skip through tulips, making new memories, without dealing with the past.

      It just doesn’t work that way…..counseling really does help. Of course I had to go alone….yeah I know, I’m just a tad bitter about that….

    • Puzzled

      Tired: go to counseling, whether or not your husband wants to go. I stopped going because my wife “wasn’t comfortable” with our counselor.
      Truth be told? He was peeling back the layers and exposing her. He was forcing her to open up and admit all that she had done and was still doing to our marriage. He was about to expose that there was someone else. We sat in the counselor’s office and I asked a simple question: “is there someone else”? She cried and cried and said no. I believed her. Why wouldn’t I? This is the same woman who I’d been happily married to for almost 21 years. Around 3 months later the truth was exposed when I caught her texting at 2 a.m.
      I think she hopes that I’ll just deal with things internally and never bring up the affair again. I don’t think she understands that she broke my heart into a million little pieces and that it won’t just miraculously go back together again. Are we closer? Yes. Am I still angry that I even know what an EA is? Yes. Will I ever get over it? No clue.
      The CS would love for us to simply “move on” but I don’t think that’s completely possible without complete honesty, transparency, and truth.

    • Tired

      Puzzled. I think we will go to counselling. Perhaps I can then stop boring you all here with my tales of woe!

      I mentioned somewhere else that the other person could be a doctor. It would be easy enough for him to leave his number for a nurse without arousing any suspicion. He just wanted to hear the results, or he wants to know what happened to the patient after he finished his shift or went back to his own department. Another idea that just came to me…if your wife works in the emergency room he could be a paramedic. ER staff often get friendly with them because they see the same ones all the time. If they were already friendly it would then be easy for him to give his number on the pretext that he just wanted to find out what happened, since the paramedic drops the patient off and then leaves. They often don’t hear about the outcome. I think you should continue to press your wife on this issue because there is a chance that they still see each other and if they do it might be better if she worked elsewhere.

      So you were in counselling before the affair was exposed? Was it because you were suspicious?

    • Tired

      Also Puzzled, that blank and angry stare. I have seen it too. My husband seemed a different person during the affair. I had never seen so much hate and that really hurts. Looking back, I realise the reason he was so different was because he was parroting her opinions at me. His whole value system seemed to have shifted overnight. I still find it hard to reconcile that person with the husband I have known to be a deeply honest and humble man since I met him. It was like he was possessed!

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