It’s been a couple of months since our last discussion, so we felt it was time for Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #28 !  

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 success stories 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.
  • 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.

Here’s a topic that might get the ball rolling…

We received a Google Alert the other day with a link to an article with the following headline:  

“Men who betray their wives get less of the blame from their partners than the people they cheat with… but husbands point the finger at other halves”

And then it goes on to say…

“Cheating on a partner is never going to make you popular when the truth comes out.

But men who betray their wives can expect to get less of the blame than the woman they cheat with.

A study has found that when a woman cheats on her husband, he blames her for the infidelity.

But if a man cheats on his wife, she will be more angry at the other woman than she is at him.

Women are more distressed by adulterous messages sent by a rival to their partner than anything the man has done…”

(Read full article here)



Linda & Doug


    74 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #28"

    • Joey

      I think that’s really interesting. In my situation, I am no longer with my cheating partner while the AP and his wife have reconciled. I think at the end of the day though, both the AP’s wife and myself were very pissed and ashamed of our cheating partners. We certainly don’t think very highly of the respective APs – I think he was a coward and did not act like a man at all while cheating on his wife and neglecting his children. But at the end of the day, I squarely put the blame on my ex for her affair because she is the one who made a commitment to me, and I think she does the same with her husband. At the end of the day, they were both cheaters and liars. I think the notion above that the other woman is more to blame than the cheating husband is unfortunate. Was the cheating husband held up with a gun to his head and forced to have an affair?! Nope. They both need to take responsibility for their actions just as the betrayed need to own up to 50% of their relationship issues.

      I think my situation is a great example of the male betrayer saying what he needs to say in order to get what he wants from the affair – ego kibbles, validation, sex, etc. Whereas my ex, the female betrayer, got way more emotionally attached. She held on thinking they were going to get married. But when the AP’s wife finally said enough, get out, and actually filed divorce papers, he dropped my ex very fast. When I said get out, we are done – she said she is so sad that she lost her best friend (me) and her soul mate/lover (him). Ouch…

      On another note, completed my first half iron-man over the 4th and feeling good. Life does go on after infidelity whether you reconcile or not 🙂

    • TheFirstWife

      Hi Joey. Congrats on the iron man. Sounds like a positive opportunity to challenge yourself and enjoy yourself. Good for you.

      I solely blame my H. He pursued the OW and made it happen. He told her he was leaving me. He told her they had a future together. So 100% blame on him.

      She is accountable for knowingly dating a married man and believing what he told her. That is all in her. But she was not the person destroying our M, it was my H. All by himself.

      I told him recently that the damage was not done by the A as much as it was by his telling me for 6 months that he was divorcing me. To think you can spend 25 married years with someone and find out they will drop you for domeone they have known for 6 months is mind boggling.

      That is the permanent damage and fall out to our relationship. That the “D” word was used. It had never been mentioned ever by either of us. Yet in 2013 he threw it around so easily.

      And the funny thing is I would say “ok we will divorce. You don’t love me so it’s over”. The next day he would beg me to reconsider. And then a month or so later he would ask for a divorce and beg me to reconsider shortly after.

      And that my friends sums up his midlife crisis.

      • Joey

        TFW – I am so sorry you had to go through that and listen to him say that. It truly is devastating to hear those things from the one person who was supposed to cherish you above all. I totally agree with you that sometimes the hardest part of all of this is the hurtful things they say, the continued lies, the blame-shifting more than the affair itself.

        One of my favorite posts on this blog is from its early days when Linda confessed that the affair made her feel that she was a bad wife, mother, teacher, friend but realized that wasn’t true at all. She was great at all of those things and has wonderful qualities and it wasn’t fair that the affair made her doubt herself. It’s crazy that the unfaithful is the one who has the affair and the betrayed spouse comes out feeling worthless and takes on the blame. That has been one of the biggest obstacles in my recovery – Actually believing that, although I have my flaws, those in no way mean I deserved the disrespect shown to me by my ex. I think the most important thing I have taken away from this is that I need to find my worth within myself, not through someone else, and I am finding me again.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Everything you say is so true. So glad to hear you are finding you again and yes congrats on the half-iron man.

      • Rachel

        The first wife,
        Sounds so familiar. Yet my ex never said he wanted me back until after the divorce. This was very hurtful back then, but isn’t now as I do realize I could never have grown old with this narsarsistic POS. In my case I feel everything happened for a reason .
        A friend was snooping on the ex’s Facebook page and forwarded me a recent post of his. It was of a women’s leather body suit . Three holes cut out if you all know what I mean.????
        I shook my head in disbelief wondering who does this???
        Why would he post this? Best thing is that he hasn’t changed one bit. If anything he has gotten worse. I am truly blessed.
        Hope you all are well.

      • weddingbelle

        My husband was going to leave me after knowing her for all of 20 minutes. Yeah, really!

        • Anon

          Same here. Walking out the door 10 days after telling me about Affair and being married 20+ years.
          Payback was eve. I was finally done with his cheating and decided to Divorce him. Suddenly things were very different and he’s begging for another chance

    • TheFirstWife

      I like the finding me part too. I have made sure that my happiness is controlled by me – not in a selfish way but just making sure I get some time to myself or I get to do things I want, like lay on a lounge chair in my yard reading a book.

      I bake a lot and have a side business baking desserts. So I focus on that as well.

      And I have restored my self esteem and confidence and understand his A and choice to cheat had nothing to do with me.

      But hearing that “D” word will always bring back that sick feeling in my stomach and the resulting PTSD. But even that is now fading too.

      • JTK

        Ditto on being married 25 years – totally in love, to be ditched for someone else. What the? How long did it take to get your self-esteem and confidence back? How long before you regained some happiness?

        • TheFirstWife

          JT. So what are you going to do to change the dynamics of your social life?

          I would challenge myself to do one new thing a week.

          I started walking every day and then took up yoga.

          How about you?

          • JTK

            I have been trying to think of new things. I found a meetup group that walks/hikes once a month. It seems difficult to find social settings for meeting new people.

            • TheFirstWife

              Do you have a charity or event you participate in?

              We have lots of charities and clubs in my area to join. They are always liking for help.

    • TheFirstWife

      JTK those are good questions.

      If I recall I realized at DDay2 that his A had nothing tobdo with me and never did. He had been telling me for the past few months how happy he was in our M but unbeknownst to me, he was still seeing the OW the whole time. The only reason I knew about round 2 of the A was because I called her one night. My H was acting crazy – one minute he wants a D and the next minute he wants the M.

      DDay2 he literally walked in the door and demanded a D. We had just seen the MC three days prior and he told the MC he wants to work on the M. Then DDay2 later in the evening he begs me to reconsider (yet again) and take him back. That is when I picked up the phone and humiliated myself by having to ask the OW what was going on.

      Then he attempted to “tell the truth” about the A. And I was so happy b/c we were getting somewhere and making progress. Only to find out it was a lot of lies as well. He had me believe she pursued him. After the OW sent me 300 emails (she was in revenge mode) I read them and saw how he pursued her.

      And that is when I realized it was HIM! He was broken. He was a cheater He was a liar. It was not me. I treated him well and with respect and tried to give us a happy life and family. So 1/31/14 is when I regained my confidence.

      And then the years of lying about the A and all that ensued. But I was strong and battled every issue. I would not give in or back down. If he responded with something that did not make sense I made sure it was resolved.

      It took me 6 months to get him to admit he loved her. Just one example. I saw it in emails he wrote her but yet he denied it. I told him if we cannot resolve this then we have no marriage left.

      I called him a coward a number of times.

      I slmost divorced him numerous times. I felt like I was trying and doing all the work and addressing everything and he was being carried along. By me.

      The happiness is harder to answer because it was a daily struggle for me. I could see he was trying but still making mistakes. He refused therapy and I just was forced to accept it. But he did make changes and I could see how hard hecwas trying. I stayed with my therapist for 2 solid years to get me through. So I had happy days from DDay2 but they were fleeting at first.

      But over time it would become longer and longer but I made sure my happiness came first. I started doing things for me instead of putting everyone and everything else first. I read more and took up yoga and met my friends for lunch and volunteered more etc.

      I have learned to manage my anger and not over analyze things. Be mad in the moment and move on and not let it ruin my day.

      We are 4 years past DDay1 and we have some very positive changes in our M.

      I just wish the As had not happened because all of his issues could have easily been resolved if he voiced any thing that was ever bothering him. Instead he ignored it and stuffed down inside him until his mid life crisis occurred and resulted inhis A. Which by all signs should have resulted in a D.

      I hope this helps. I learned from this that I am responsible for my own happiness. 100% ????

    • JTK

      Wow, I feel awful for you. You deserve much better! How you hung in there amazes me. Thank you for your comments on drawing the line at 6 months of him denying he loved her. I am at the same stage, and I think I will need to do the same. I have to admit I am a bit scared because I really my W back. But as you said, it needs to be resolved.

      Right now my self-rsteem and confidence is shot. Two months ago when I brought up meeting our emotional needs, one of the potentials listed was physical attraction, she said “well you are not ugly, you are just good enough”. So throw that on top of regretting my failures, realizing I am not loved, not receiving any affection, and bam, confidence is gone.

      I realize now I need to make myself happy and trying to figure that out. Before we were married, before us dating, I was very social, had many friends and made friends easily. For 25+ years of marriage, I wanted to spend my time with my wife. So now, I don’t have many friends and not near old friends. I used to love sports but that has waned, still love football. The things I was doing on my own prior to d-day, I either did because it was related to our M (home stuff, travel plans) or I guess my happiness gave me motivation. I hate to hear about your struggle for happiness, but it helps me to think I am not hopeless since it’s been 6 1/2 mos. I spend some time thinking what would I do if I were living by myself. I am looking for opportunities to make new friends. It seems difficult at my age/stage of life because most people have their own families they spend time with.

      • TheFirstWife

        So I had to compete with a 30 year old and I was early 50s then.

        I was in better shape and thinner. My sister said she was butt ugly and I was much prettier. But that is more loyalty and love talking.

        But the point is – it is never about looks or smarts or $ or personality. I have more $ and education than this girl. She was a total drama queen and “woe is me” outlook. I am more “life is good”.

        I am not saying my H chose her b/c she was better or worse – she was just there! And they had one or two common interests. He talked to her – not me. His choice. His A.

        So that is what the A is in many cases – happenstance.

        The AP is not better – just different. And the A is built on a fantasy. Because when As become reality and you live with that person every day then the fantasy quickly disappears and real life sets in. Just like you had with your spouse.

    • BB

      JTK, I too was married for a long time, 16 yrs. I am 1 yr past DDay, 8 months past DDay 2, 3 months past him moving in eith him. I never thought I would find my happiness again, but I am. It is has been as is a rollercoaster ride, but more and more I feel I am the one coming out better because I am finding myself again. The person I was many years ago.. I feel like I am honoring my values again. Not letting his lesser values be ok..
      I tried to make things work for a long time, and now I sm actually thsnkful in some weird way that he left because after the initial trauma I feel relieved. The stress, the anxiety, the trust issues (justified!) are no longer controlling my mind.
      I am raising my granddaughterby myself now. He comes twice a week to spend time with her (we have guardianship), she doesnt know about OW and doesnt need to. I used to stay when he was there, enjoying his company, but it kept me in that “if only” state. Now I leave, go do something for me. I am in the same boat with friends. Haven’t kept in touch for years. I have my work friends… I started I reaching out to okd friends. if they can’t I do stuff by myself. Go to lunch and bring a book, go to coffe shop, get tickets for concerts and comedy shows. Then I find someone to go with me. I have a small circle that know. Most people dont know yet. I think he likes keeping it that way so he doesn’t look like the jerk he is. I have switched from reading about affairs and mid life crisis trying to understand and make sense of it all to reading about moving on, finding your purpose, etc.

      My coaching sessions with Doug have helped me a lot by having a sounding board and support.
      I think if my husband was the right kind of man we could have worked things out. But he is not. I finally was able to see who he is versus remembering the person he was when we married. I had to be honest with I loved reading the 5 second rule by Mel Robbins. It has helped me in not talking myself out of doing things like I always used to.
      I listen to books on audio on audible while driving..
      You will get there. It takes time.
      One thing that I really believe that has helped me is listening to subliminal messages about letting go or finding my happiness. I like 3 minutes in AM and 3 minutes at bedtime. (Dont buy expensive full package, eventually they will offer individual packages for under $50. I am sure you can find them on youtube too.

      I hope for those whose husband/wife is willing to do the work that things work out for you. Either way you gave to find yourself again and live for you. Be a little selfish at times. Do you.
      Lastly I heard this quote when watching a Bob Proctor seminar.
      When something bad happens do the following things:
      1) accept it! It is what it is! You can either control it or let it control you.
      2) harvest the good..(keep the positives, throw out the negatives)
      I can’t remember the 3rd one, but I tell myself the first one a lot when something he is doing or not doing and it starts taking over my mind..

      • BB

        Correction!!! I saw I said moving out with him..! I meant with her!! Lol.

    • Rachel

      Isn’t it interesting how we all lost ourselves. We were so worried about pleasing our cheating spouse, always worried about them.
      Geez, I was exhausted being married to my ex. Always starving myself to look perfect for him, doing my hair like he liked it, etc.
      As days go on, I don’t even miss the”family”. My boys and I are family. My name change brought me to a different place in life. Not weighted down, not a part of “him”. The more stories I hear about him, the more relieved and happy he left me.

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree Rachel. We bend over backwards to make someone happy, realize the M is still good, the family needs them and we still love them.

        But during the A it is like having another child.

        My H was not a mean person. He treated me with respect (for the most part) but during his two EAs I saw a dude of him that was shocking. The first one he just refused to talk or acknowledge it. The second EA it was brutal.

        And I love how it seems ALL the cheaters blame the spouse for the A. If we were only thinner or prettier or funnier or smarter or made more money or not a parent with responsibilities etc.

        It is so great to have a place like EA to come to for support. It helps tremendously.

        Looking back if I had to do it again I should have told him to leave the moment he came home and admitted the last A. If he went running to her then there is my answer / we are finished. Instead I spent too long trying to “fix” it. And I was hanging on to get some $ to my name.

        I would tell everyone to have a plan b. $ for an emergency in your own name b/c you just never know. And I should have known better b/c I worked for a D attorney for 7 years. And I saw plenty.

    • Rachel

      I often wonder why I was thrown for a loop when my ex explained the lack of feeling that he had for me. He had planned his excape years before. Me, it was just thrown at me. He had been in touch with his affair partner our entire marriage. Always felt like there was something quite not right…
      I look back now and remember more each day. He worked so much you’d think we would be swimming in gold. We probably could have been had he not hid the money at his mothers.
      One day I had found a pair of women’s glasses in his truck. I asked who they belonged to and his laughing began. That laugh. The same one he would do when I asked him about his Soul mate. How dumb could I have been. I’m relieved and so blessed to be out and away from him, but know I’m going thru, ” how could I have been so dumb”????

      • TheFirstWife

        Rachel. You were not dumb. You were taken advantage by a Pro. Someone who is soulless and heartless.

        You trusted him and loved him. You were a good wife.

        He, in the other hand , is a liar and cheater. And a coward to boot.

        Don’t beat yourself up – his intent was there for a long time. He wanted to cheat.

        And unfortunately there is nothing you could do to stop the A.

      • JTK

        I have done the same in looking back at some things and saying ‘why did I not see this?’ It’s not our fault. If our spouses decide to cheat, they really can do that easily because we did not think they could do that. We trust them and believe they loved us as we loved them. We expect them to stay committed to us without us even thinking about it.

        In your case, it sounds to me you are better off. Perhaps you are moving on easier seeing that you are and the bad things that your H did and continues to do.

        In my case, it is hard. My W is a great person. She is smart, fun to be with, beautiful, my best friend, caring. She really is faithful in being a Christian other than her EA and falling in love with a coworker. On the one hand I say that I don’t deserve her, but then noone deserves to be betrayed. It’s hard for me to walk away, but I have to be able to draw the line knowing she may run to the OM as TheFirstWife mentioned she might should have pushed that sane decision. I will become an empty nester in a month, and I cannot imagine being with someone else. My W will be my only true love; so, I am trying to prepare myself mentally to being alone. Although the way my W is treating me right now, I pretty much am.

    • Bor

      New topic William Harley was talking about being in like vs love with your spouse and how to go about moving to love from like. In my case i think I dislike my CW at this point. She has been unable to really listen and empathize with the hurt she caused to me and the kids. If i bring up any part of the affair i am punishing her and she lashes out by using the four horseman. I was called an idiot yesterday for insisting that the four common tennent of affair recovery are no contact, answer questions, transparency(passwords) and apologize frequently. I still have not got passwords to her accounts but she says i can look at her phone. but i think she may still be deleting texts and I really am not all that tech savvy anyhow. so i have doubts. I am still waiting to ask my questions about the affair. I really wonder if the OM had anything to do with the affair? So those questions like what did he get from your affair? or what was the key thing you were helping him with? are just a couple of the questions our therapist has said she would not help facilitate the asking of the questions. That has me really stuck. How do we come to a common understanding of what happened? i know how long, who. and what was happening in our lives that lead her to be vulnerable, but what did she say to give herself that permission? and when did she think it was ok? I would welcome others perspectives on if you only got partial disclosure and not unfettered access to the secret email and facebook passwords but your spouse lets you look at their phone.

      • JTK

        If it makes you feel better, you are further along than I am (I know your frustration). My CW has yet to acknowledge the EA despite evidence everyone else confirms is an EA. So no apologies, no answers to questions, no transparency as I am not allowed on her phone nor passwords to email, and maintains contact with the OM/coworker. She also does not empathize with my hurt. It was suggested to me to try the 180 – read it and try. Wish you the best, man!

        • TheFirstWife

          JTK. My H had a 4 year EA in the late 90s before texting and smartphones.

          They were in grad school together 4 nights each week.

          From the moment I met her I told my H watch your back as she is madly in love with you. We were all friends and socialized. But I would always joke how she “wants him”.

          After 3 years I started to get a sense things changed. I started to be suspicious of the relationship. She was acting at times like his second wife. And then I started questioning.

          Long story short he gaslighted and stonewalled about the EA. Would not admit it was inappropriate or he did anything wrong. This lasted about a year.

          Until finally one day she called to ask me if it would be ok to have him go with her to a wedding as her “date” b/c she did not have anyone to ask. I handed my H the phone and told him what she wanted. The look on his face was burned into my memory – priceless!! Sheer panic and more. Of course he refused to discuss it.

          We then received an invite to a party she was hosting. I asked if he was going. He said yes. And then I exploded.

          I didn’t speak to him for 3 days. I was furious he didn’t get it. All contact ended.

          But he still refused it was a relationship that crossed the line until his last A.

          • JTK

            I believe my CW may have made a rendezvous with the OM, but I don’t have enough evidence to prove it. I asked her in an indirect way and she gave me an answer that nakes me suspicious, but again I am not certain. The OM is a coworker and would be easy to cheat after work. My W backed out of going to my daughter’s concert and knows I am going. I am going crazy thinking she is taking this opportunity knowing I cannot find out. I hate this constant feeling wondering if she is lying and not trusting her. Since she does not even acknowledge the EA, any request I make would make me look “paranoid”. I imagine you may have gone through this for a time as well. Do I just try to let it go and hope for the best? Do I try to play detective? Do I consider hiring a PI? Or does the mistrust linger for a loooong time?

    • Puzzled

      Posted this in another response but just know this one is newer so may get some more feedback:

      I’m curious to what the percentages are of affairs by husbands vs wives. I would guess it’s much higher in men but all I know is that in my marriage it was my wife. I’m sure that I was suffering some type of PTSD. I’m not sure anyone going from “everything is great” to “I’m not in love with you & people change/ drift apart/etc” can cope without some issues. We’ve worked through the stages mediocre at best but we are better. However, the Atonement phase is where I struggle most. She’s never been honest about who it was, always “someone from work or it’s over and it doesn’t matter”. It’s hard to fully trust with these answers.
      Even though things are better, I’m still struggling 2 years out. I can tell myself a million times that it was her choice and not me. But, the struggle is real: why wasn’t I enough? I told her just a couple of weeks ago: there aren’t many things that I could say that I was damn good being, but a Dad and a husband were the two that I worked hardest on every day, but sadly, being a Dad is the only one that I’m sure of. She was angry and hurt but I said “how can’t I feel that way?” You chose someone else and I have to deal with that every single day.

      • JTK

        I feel for you. As far as wives cheating vs husbands, I have read that the number of wives cheating is rising. I don’t know if I will ever know why,, but my CW’s EA was/is with a coworker. Like you I went from my M is great to asking my wife ‘what have you done?’ as I read her email to the OM ‘ oh baby.. so love you. I had big time issues as well- maybe PTSD. Pain I never knew even existed in life. I know your frustration. My W still does not acknowledge the EA. I am really concerned when you say it’s been 2 years. I don’t think I can continue if my W is not going to be honest even 2 years out. As an aside, I read somewhere lately that a BS years later even forgot when their Dday date passed. My Dday is Christmas day – don’t think I’ll be forgetting that.

        • JTK

          Don’t let her cheat you out of knowing you have been a good husband. We all sin in various ways. I know about feeling I was not enough – I have felt that everyday. But we don’t know what is completely in each other’s mind, even our wives. I think people are susceptible of thought processes, sinful thoughts that lead them down a path to sin such as As.

      • Tired

        Puzzled, I know just how you feel. My husband has told me who it was, although I knew it instinctively. What bothers me more is the lies & deception. That is worse than getting into a compromising position and being sorry about it later! I also agree with the “why wasn’t I enough.” I think honestly that they didn’t think in the moment, got carried away with the excitement and only thought of us when they realised what they had to lose. This is very hard to accept but I think this is the truth. In my case, I started proceedings to buy my husband’s share of the house and went to see a divorce lawyer. Until then he was still in a silly fantasy. My actions forced him to see it realistically.

    • TheFirstWife

      To all. I seriously doubt anyone ever gets the full story or 100% truth. I doubt anyone knows all the details.

      Most CS only provide enough details to placate the BS.

      I know for a fact my H had no plan to tell me anything. If I had not found out about the A on my own he would have tried to sweep it under the rug. Big time!!! Complete hiding of the entire A. Probably taken to his grave.

      So while we wish they would come to us and sincerely apologize and try to explain and give us the complete story and be forthcoming, it usually does not occur, unfortunately.

      And after 4 years I have given up trying to explain myself. I have accepted my H for what he is – a liar and cheater and coward. Afraid to face the truth. Afraid of being real and honest.

      So if that is what I am faced with – I can either accept it or continue to struggle. And I say life is too short to continue on the path I was on. Trying to get answers. Trying to talk to him about his lack of sharing his feelings.

      I have to accept he made a mistake and bad choices and hope it doesn’t happen again.

      It is very sad to know that the person you loved and trusted could do this. But I refuse to let him and his lack of morals dictate how I should live. I know I am a good person. I would never do what he did. And I choose to move past the A.

      It took me a long time to get to this place. It is not easy. Believe me!

    • Bb52


      I am with you. I am passed the stage of trying to explain it away.. affair fo, midlife crisis, etc.
      be didn’t share his feelings because he doesn’t like confrontation and instead he went to find a weaker, lower woman that has no values just like him. It is sad to see the man that you lived so much and he loved me so much change.. and you try to figure out when things started to change, and you can’t pun point it.. but the fact is that I know I tried to make it wotk. And I believed he fid too once he finally admitted and he was in too deep & too long and couldn’t shake it. He kept falling of the wagon as he would say.. working with her seeing her daily didn’t help. But there was so much lying, cheating, gaslighting etc.. and still I was willing to forgive. He moved out and straight in with her..and still I was willing to take him back.. he kept telling me it’s too soon to know .. kept hsving me hang on and give me hope..while telling ne to move on, live my life.. what is meant to be will be.. he can i inly live one day at a time..

      And then after 3 months..lur anniversary came and I had to remind myself that was the day I told myself I had to let go. And it wasn’t easy.. but I feel better every day. I feel I am living the life he wanted.. free, coming and going as I want, happy (most of the time) while he still has to answer to someone about where he is going and what he is doing. Still have someone nag about not being home enough because between his bowling leagues and coming here to visit granddaughter while I go out he is not home much.. and most kf his check comes to me.. and I know what was exciting when the affair was going on is now every day life.. she is getting aggrevated about the same things I used to.. finally gets home falls asleep on couch, snoring, watching sports all the time, not sharing what is really going on in his head, bowling nights twice a week, etc.. she hot what she deserved.. and he did too because he still does not have the freedom ge wanted.. plus they work together so she knows when he gets off.. no more free time after work..
      and as much as he might claim he is happy, I know the truth.. he is just telling himself a lie..
      but she will get tired of him, and find someone else.. that’s why she has 5 ex hudbands!
      I feel so liberated from all the anxiety, stress, trauma..
      and believe me a few weeks ago I was still a basketcase that couldn’t imagine him leaving and having to raise my granddaughter by myself
      Many couples can work things out if both parties are willing to do the work.. but you have yo be honest with yourself.. if you hace given it your all and your spouse is after sll this time still not willing to answer a few basic questions such as who it was or spouse is not willing to give e-mail and FB passwords… big red flags..
      my husband had 2nd phone.. so yes, I could check his phone.
      Take it from me.. be honest with yourself. Do you really want to live like this another 5 yrs, 10 yrs..??
      Are you thinking of what they were like many years ago instead of facing who they are now?
      It takes time to get to that point where you can face the truth..and I had to be forced into it by him moving out but I feel such peace in my heart ..

      Wish you all the best.. but it is time for you to be selfish for a while… put all the energy you have been putting in them into yourself..

    • Michael

      Good day

      Dont know if this the place to talk? but here it goes… Im a male 30’s have a child was married for 10 years where the last 5 years went terribly wrong…. I got a feeling that I never wanted to marry my wife even though we got along very well in the beginning.

      but slowly but surely I noticed that If I did not talk she didnt talk if I did not greet she would not greet. I also found it weird that I would talk my heart out to her things about the work finance my deepest emotions fears about our sex life etc…. and she will just sit there and look at me with absolutely no expression on her face. that I could take but no reply on anything? I got to a point where I did not know the woman iv been living with all theses years.

      after we had our daughter everything went down hill, even though I did not want to have children and feel that I was pushed in that position through certain family members it was the luckiest day of my life I love my daughter so much. but through this I helped alot in the house made dinner mostly cleaned wash dishes…. look Im a man there were also alot of times i did nothing but I feel i did my share….

      I noticed that she let her self go like did not do any effort to look good for me no make up gaining a lot of weight …. not waxing nothing. look I can understand the weight thing its not easy thats fine BUT not looking after yourself my God…..

      I started to notice that emotionally i was so lonely when it came to our sex life if i didn’t make the move we would not have any. I started to feel like a pervert ….. so i did a test and didnt push for it. omg a whole 3 months past where we did not have sex she did not make a move whatsoever….. yes I masturbated during that time hello im a guy…. but nothing from her side. and as the devil wanted I was noticed by another woman. and I started a affair. yes I made the move i felt like I was 18 again I felt wanted and she was very pretty. she made me feel wanted like i said made me feel important. I will still go home and assist with my daughter and the house… and then it hit me that we were actually room mates and not in love mates…. did I carry on with the other woman yes did I had sex with her yes did I feel guilty as hell ABSOLUTELY but I wanted more. while this was going on I found her facebook messenger open and saw that she was talking to her family mom dad sisters about what she thinks is happening. and her deepest feelings even with our friends she spoke about everything in our house. I was so so very upset that even though I tried my utmost to communicate with her to draw her feelings out and telling her “lets just sit with wine and talk” she would never agree to that and walk away but could talk to everyone about everything in our house including me?

      when I confronted her about facebook I told her im done I cant do this anymore… and said and if we divorce and you take my child away from me I will kill you. yip most stupid thing I could say but I was so angry about it. when I got home after work she moved out with my daughter, I asked and begged her to come back and that people say things when they angry. she refused.

      I came out about the affair told her about the other woman. I waited for three months for her to come back but we carried on with the divorce.

      the reason Im typing this is this….. with family and friends and church members Im the biggest pig and asshole in the world how could you do this to God and your family and YOUR DAUGHTER???? how could you….. but the more I try to explain that it takes two to tango the more Im the pig and she does not see her fault in this…..

      just for the record she made me see my daughter only 42 times in 365 days of last year. Did I break up a family yes I made the move. did I break up a marriage? yes I did I made the move. but good lord surely I cant be blamed for everything surely?

      to be honest she drove me to it …… if she just spoke to me about her problems and feelings and made an effort about our sex life surely I would have not go for other attention from another woman?

      I feel so dark and depressed and lonely only thing that carrying me is my daughter….

      can you who ever read this reply and support me? the guilt is KILLING ME



      • TheFirstWife

        I am sorry for you. This is a difficult time for you and the situation is challenging.

        Here are a few suggestions:

        1. You need your own counselor to help you. A professional can guide you and keep your sanity during this timeframe.

        2. You may want to re-think saying things like “I had an A but you did not do x or y or z”. That only seems like Affair justification.

        3. You can suggest Marriage counseling but she may not be willing. But give it time. It may happen.

        4. Be patient as this will take time.

        5. Show your commitment to her by your actions. Be the good dad. Be transparent. Be where you say you are.

        6. Write her a letter asking for some time to show her how committed you are. 30 days.

        7. Be honest. 100%. All the time.

        I hope you can rebound from this and move forward to rebuilding your marriage. Best of luck.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am sorry you are going through this as well…The First Wife has given you some really good advice.

        Of course you are not the only one responsible for the state of your marriage but unfortunately by having an affair you made things so much more difficult. That was your choice no matter how difficult things become….there are always other options.

        You cannot change the past but you can take responsibility for the choices that you made. You will get absolutely nowhere trying to justify your affair to your wife or anyone else for that matter.

        For some reason your wife was unable to share her feelings with you….somewhere along the way communication broke down between the two of you.

        Get some help for you….ask yourself the hard questions. Figure out what you really want. Fight for equal time with your daughter. Be accountable for the choices you made.

        • Michael

          Thank you so much for replying and the honest response…..

          just for the record She is not taking me back even though I waited for her to cool off for three months. but we went to lawyers… look cheaters are awful regardless of gender…. and I do not condemn it. to be really honest I still dont know how I got in this position of breaking up my family …. when my wife asked me why ? WHY???? the blaming game started like it was said before it must be easier to blame it on something, but to be honest I could not give her an answer…. I really could not say why….. it was like I was in a trans and pushed everyone’s feeling aside…. maybe it is true men are dogs….

          I will never be able to say I know how my ex feels because lets be honest know one except yourself knows how you feel…. but I understand her frustration humiliation and the disappointment…and struggles she must have due to my actions….

          but BUT to use our daughter as a pawn on a chess board to get me back using her to blackmail me? thats not on it has been two years since this whole thing exploded and she is still hitting me hard and fighting like it happened yesterday. I really try to make it up to my daughter and …….. you know what its no use to talk I messed up ….. like the one saying says: you made your bed you must sleep in it… I just hope my daughter when she gets older will forgive me for what I have done. anyway guys thanks for listening and reading this

          once again apologies to all women that had this type of experience with men I do apologies



          • Shifting Impressions

            Mike, again…everything the TFW said.

            Yes, fight for your daughter….it is wrong for your wife to use her as a pawn, no matter how hurt she is.

            You said you really didn’t know the the answer to the “Why Question”. Figure out why….for yourself. Get help sorting things out….for your own peace of mind. Get help dealing with the guilt….I am sure that is not easy.

            Perhaps that’s a good topic…..dealing with the guilt. We hear so much on this site about the pain of the BS and not so much about the pain of the CS.

            You are clearly very remorseful……and that’s a very good thing. It was my husband’s willingness to show remorse and listen to my pain that started us on a path of healing.

            This site can be a life line for those struggling with infidelity…..for the CS as well as the BS.

            Take care of you

    • TheFirstWife

      Mike. For so many peoole A are deal breakers. No second chances.

      However for so many who have children we stay and try to make the M work because we are able to forgive our spouse. And we believe we can build a better relationship if we work at it.

      No one is perfect. Not ever. But recognizing your mistakes and trying to do better in the future and facing the issues can be worth it. Hell my H asked for a D a number of times durin his A. Total mid life crisis.

      But before the A he was a good H and father. After the A he is a better H and father.

      Yes it hurts he had an EA and became a very different person for a year. But he recognized and admitted his mistakes – though not handled perfectly and he coukd have done better the point is he tried.

      I’m sorry your W won’t reconsider but you need to fight for your daughter and your wife is using that to hurt you the way you hurt her.

      • Bb52

        Mike, I want to thank you for appologizing to all BS on here. It is much appreciated to get an appology as I never have received one from my CS.

        I have also stopped trying to understand him. I am moving on with my life. Thankfully he is there fot our granddaughter that We have guardianship off.
        I eish my CS would have done even a little of all the talking that you tried to do before your A.
        I think you were dealing with rejection amd not being appreciated and once you started feeling the good feeling when you met someone that did your brain takes over and it becomes like an addiction where it is hard to control. (Have you read about the chemical part of affair fog?). Not that tiis would help your wife understand but maybe you will.

        From what you explained about your wife it seems pretty evident to me (but I am no doctor) that she was dealing with depression or something similar. After baby maybe post partum depression.
        Maybe reading about those can make you understand her back then. Maybe letting her know if you do she will feel like you “get it”. I sincerely hope you can eork out the visitation schedule with your daughter. Or, if she is not open to hearing about you understanding now maybe you can relate info to someone in her circle.

        Are you going through divorce or legal separation where visitation could be established? Or maybe arbitration.

    • theresa

      There are good triggers and bad triggers. The experience occurs on both sides of the fence of infidelity. They can slam into you, or flow through you, leaving tears or smiles. It’s natural to try to push away from something that is unpleasant. To avoid that which triggers a bad memory.
      Unfortunately infidelity touches pretty much every aspect of the BS’s life. Almost anything can trigger a memory that reminds us of the unpleasantness we’ve experienced. What was once a treasured memory has become a painful memory. Especially when something that was “just us” has been violated and usurped and has become “just them”
      A trigger elicits a slideshow for me. With crystal clarity and in great detail I “see” the scene in my head.
      One of the bullshit tactics used by the cheater is the malady of selective memory. Now, he may truly not remember an event, or he’s lying. Bernie Willams’s BA from 1999 is on the tip of his tongue. But he cannot remember where he was or what he was doing the day before yesterday.

      Has anyone tried to “help” his memory along by describing the scene that is so vivid in my mind.
      The tool used to facilitate a memory is to close your eyes and visualize the scene.

      I’m having a moment here visualizing his response to this technique.

      What do you think?

    • Doug

      Hey guys, we need some help…

      For our next Coaching Session, we are interviewing Thomas G. Martin who is a private detective and author. We need some listener/reader questions to ask him. So if you have any questions that pertain to private detective work, detective services, situations, scenarios, costs, etc. geared toward infidelity, please post them here. We need them in the next day or so. Thanks!

    • TheFirstWife

      What kind of information dies a PI need to track a spouse who may be cheating?

      How can you find out if there is another email account or cell phone?

      Can a PI find out if the cheater is using secret apps like Whatapp etc? Can they find out if the cheater is using social media liked LinkedIn or Twitter or such?

      What are the costs?

      Can they record phone conversations w/out the cheating spouse knowing?

      • Doug

        Thanks TFW! Anyone else? Please.

    • theresa

      NEW tool.
      Are there any guidelines for the use of drones

      • Doug

        Good question, Theresa. Thanks!

    • Robert

      It has been just over a year since my DDay and I would love to hear some advice from anyone. I am at a point where I feel I have to make a choice to either accept what my wife did which was to have an EA with a old high school friend or move on without her in my life. I truly believe that it would have moved to a PA but I found out before it reached that point.

      I feel the longer I wait the more unsure I am on what to do. I feel it’s not fair to either of us to drag this decision out. There are days I truly want to work through this shit she put me through and there are certainly days that I am ready to move on and start my new life as scary as it might be. We have four grown children that will be crushed by the decision but it is one I never wanted to make in my life. I feel bad for my wife that she will have to explain to them why mom and dad are divorcing but that will be her cross to bear.

      How does one ever know what is the right decision? How does one know it will not ever happen again? How do you get to a point that the triggers fade and that it isn’t at the forefront of our lives? How does one know that the whole ugly truth is out in the open? I absolutely hate the amount of time throughout the day I spend thinking about what she did.

      I have and always will love my wife but knowing that she did what she did just makes me sick! Tomorrow is our 28 year anniversary and I have to admit I’m scared. My feelings are still not “normal” a year later and I don’t know what to expect.

      I know I will never truly understand why she did what she did or that I will never know the whole truth of the sick EA but I feel like I am so stuck and in limbo that it’s hurting me and our relationship from moving forward.

      Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

      • hopeful1

        Hi, I understand your situation my husband hooked up with his ex from her high school days as well. He was 8 years older than her and he was her first! To me that makes it harder to deal with ! She has always been in contact with him through the years ! We were together , I let it go as to me I considered it a friendship . Well she joined the army moved to Alaska and had 3 children . She moved a couple hours away and got in contact with him even though I said no to him about talking to her . Now this has turned into the biggest nightmare of my life ! I am fighting to keep us going ! Sorry for you as well ! I am still looking for answers even after all this time !

        • hopeful1

          My husband told me it never turned into a pa as well ! I am still beartbroken and I do know he feels some remorse . So how to move on ? That is why I re signed up on this site again to see if I could get some answers to !

    • Shifting Impressions

      I totally understand where you are coming from. It has been three and a half years since d-day for me and I am just starting to feel like myself again. If I have learned anything it’s that the process just can’t be hurried along. I told myself it was okay to not have the answers to all those same questions that you are asking. I also gave myself permission to leave if I wanted to.

      A year after d-day things were still pretty raw for me…..and I was hit with another d-day at that time. (He had another EA 15 years prior that I didn’t know about).

      But I also have four adult children and four little grandchildren. So for the sake of my family and for all the history we had together I wanted to make it work.

      I went for individual counseling as my husband refused to go for counseling. I also confided in a few close friends. So between the counseling, friends, my faith and this site I slowly made my way through the most difficult journey of my life.

      My husband stopped all contact with the AP immediately and admitted what he had done was wrong. But that first year was hell….it became all about him. But slowly he started to show true remorse. Slowly he started to understand how much he had hurt me. We put time aside on a regular basis to talk about the EA. It was extremely difficult and often it was one step forward and two steps back.

      I am sure I cried almost everyday for three years. I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone. But I love my husband and my family and I didn’t want to give up without a fight.

      Are we there yet….no, but we are so much closer than we were a year ago. Something that really helped was that we made an agreement shortly after d-day to NOT TO DO FURTHER DAMAGE. We worked hard at keeping our words civil and our actions kind. Were we always successful ??? NO WAY!! But most of time we were and we would look at each other and say “we are still here and we are still standing”.

      I am still seeing progress…even after three and a half years. We took another large step forward this month that gave me another fresh lift of hope, so to speak. The sadness is starting to lift and the future is starting to look brighter.

      I understand that feeling of being stuck and in limbo…..but hopefully that will pass. I do believe that the CS needs to show true remorse and be willing to listen to the BS express their pain. Are you and your wife able to talk about what happened?? Is she willing to go for counseling etc??

      • hopeful1

        I shifting impressions , I read your story and our last d-day was January of 2014. After 22 years of being together we got Married ! We bought a house , then I looked her up on Facebook and found out she married 4 months later ! My husband would not go to counseling either ! I only went twice because insurance did not cover it . I feel he still has feelings for her and I still have trust issues with him . I wish there could be a way of knowing for sure there is no contact . But technology these days almost makes it impossible to know for sure ! He has gotten tears coming down when certain song came on . For example me and mrs jones he tried to tell me it reminded him of his mom , but when they were chatting he had posted that song 2 times on Facebook and of course she also liked it ! Hum .. I am still fighting this battle on my head . We have now 24 years together and I do love him . He tells me he choose me . I am glad that things are getting better for you ! And I guess I will be on this site for as long as I need to !

        • Shifting Impressions

          Hopeful 1
          I totally understand what you mean about “the battle in your head”. I think most BS go through that. And yes, we all wish we could know for sure. Trust comes back very slowly.

          • Hopeful 1

            Hi shifting impressions, I sure wish I could get at least some trust back it’s been so long. It really was hard for me because I had found out that they were in touch starting back in 2008. That was a huge blow for me . I was told by an ex-boyfriend in 2010 of hers ,that my husband broke them up, of course I didn’t believe it at the time I must’ve been pretty blind. But they kept talking for two more years and then it really was full-blown by then !it finally ended in 2014

      • Robert

        Shifting Impressions

        Thank you for the response. It is always great to get another persons perspective on things especially when you feel you are so deep into the forrest and sometimes can’t see the bigger picture.

        With regards to my wife, yes we do talk about the EA but only when I need to which is usually when things have built up and I need a relief valve. I have asked her many times for her to initiate any conversation about the EA but it happens very infrequently. Obviously something that she would rather not discuss if she didn’t have to.

        I feel a big part of why I am stuck in limbo land is because I feel she has not been completely honest about the EA. I then ask myself, at this point what would it change if she came clean? I don’t believe it would change much but I would at least have the complete truth and would be making a decision with all of the facts instead of some of them.

        One example is there was clearly an exchange between the two of them that made it clear that there was sex talk leading to masturbation. She denies that this was going on but when I explain to her that any normal person reading this would come to the same conclusion she still denies it. At this point why would she deny it? It’s in black and white and very obvious?

        It’s weird that the one person that hurt me so much to my core is the same person that has to help me through this pain. Ugh!

        • Shifting Impressions

          Yes….I usually have to initiate any talks regarding the affairs and yes I have some resentment regarding that. But I am choosing not to get too hung up on that….even though it has the potential to make me really angry.

          I too would love to have all the pieces of the puzzle but have also had to let go of that.

          The book IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred Reilly was really helpful to me. It helped me realize I can’t make anyone do anything. My power lies in my own attitude and actions. It helped me to be able to take a step back…practice a bit of detachment. That seemed to give us the breathing room we both needed.

          Yes….I hate that as well….the part about the one who hurt me helping me through this pain. But much of getting through the pain is up to us as well. Take care of you. Find the support you need, whether that is a few very good friends or a counselor. Coming here, to this site. Doing some things you love etc.

          I know….it sucks!!! But slowly slowly you will get through this!!!!

    • hopeful1

      Hi Doug , I already tried DDI utilities for my husbands phone but apple phones will not let you have access ! My husband even tried . So I would like to know of any other way to keep tabs on his phone . Still have trust issues ! Maybe the pi has answers for this issue as well ?

    • hopeful1

      Sorry , when is this session?

    • hopeful1

      It is hard for me to believe I am still on this e. A. Site ! 5 years ago I came on here because of my oh of 20 years was having a ea with a ex girlfriend from 1991 . We met 1993 . They started talking in 2008 , I did not know till 2010 when a boyfriend of hers for 3 years told me my now husband broke them up ! I did not believe him , I said you must have the wrong guy ! Low and behold after his stepdad died she. She came to the funeral and then it got bad non stop texting . I found out and is was 2 more years of hell! Well , we got married and I am trying to make it work and boy is it hard . The triggers , the trust issues and the talks ! I. I believe he still has feeling for her . We have bought a house and he still has all his memories in a small caring case he can not got rid of . I saw it in the closet in the man cave downstairs and I was not happy , well I took it up to the attic ! I am still trying to get past all this , I wish I could move on ! I signed up for a pkg. tonight in hopes I can get him to check it out . Sorry so long !

    • hopeful1

      I also can not stay off of her Facebook page and I am a little obsessed with checking other things as well . Forgot to say she married 4 months after we go married ????

      • TheFirstWife


        So sorry for you. We all understand the pain as we have been through it.

        But it can get better. But it is mostly up to the BS to make it happen. The CS can only do so much.

        A few suggestions:

        Stop the FB visits. It only adds more hurt. And if she knows you may be looking she will only ramp up whatever she/he can do to cause more pain. How do I know? The OW did it to me. She posted her “thoughts” on how she would never stay with a cheater and how desperate wives are that do that and what losers we are.

        Huh!? I would never be an OW b/c that is worse. Far worse to make that choice. And yes if she ended up with my CH that would, by default, have her being with a Cheating Spouse. duh!!

        Point – she posted stuff just to torture me. On purpose.

        I am not afraid of the known OW but the potentially next unknown OW if you know what I mean.

        Also I think that once you stop comparing yourself and restore your self esteem you will be happier.

        Happier in life means less emotional roller coaster rides b/c you stop caring about certain things.

        I have made my own life from this A. I have a social life separate and apart from my H. Things I do without him or hobbies or interests I pursue on my own. volunteer. Book club. Yoga. Meditation. Cooking. Girls nite out. Charity events – involved in one for 20 years.

        The point is I keep myself busy – and active – so if at any time this R fails, I can seamlessly move into my next life.

        I think when you stop caring so much about things (you know will not change) it can help you.

        My H is very remorseful and regretful about his As and the dsmaged they have done to me and us. I am lucky he tries hard.

        But I will never get over the PTSD from him kicking me to the curb and wanting a D during his A. That is worse than an A IMO.

        So I try to move past it and accept it and feel lucky he did not go through with it.

        It has taken 4 years but I don’t want go give his A any more power over me or us.

        I hope this helps you.

        • Hopeful 1

          Thank you for replying, I know I need to stay off the Facebook page, and when they were seeing each other she definitely was letting me know they were seeing each other. I told my husband I could read her like a book. It’s hard to keep busy for me as I am on disability with fibromyalgia and I have read this site for years and now I’m posting because I feel it will help me if I could talk to others in my situation . I have been reading many books not just friends and others but I think it helps better when you can talk to somebody even though it’s texting ! I know like many others it was like a bomb went off I had no clue this was going on for many years. Things are still not the same and I’m sure they never will be ! He has been kind of distant lately staying downstairs in his man cave. I have sent him several emails regarding this website I don’t believe he’s reading them though !

          • Hopeful 1

            Also my husband asked me to leave three times, and by the fourth time I saw him texting her on Facebook I packed up my stuff and left. I was gone five days and he told me he love me and asked me to come home which I did. But lo and behold it went on for two more years . I actually had talk to her couple times to get the truth once about him actually meeting her one time and then towards the end it was to tell her to quit texting my husband and she had to nerve to tell me I will always love him blah blah blah ! My husband is her first and her true love which I was told ! I saw on his phone where he can’t listen to a few love songs in that kind of question me because they were songs of some day being together again ! Cry me a river LOL

            • Bb52

              Well My CS left and moved in with OW. I tried hard to make it work, he tried too, I do believe that but he could not get out of the fog.
              To make a long story short. Now 4 months later I feel this was probably the best thing that could have hsppened. It took me several months of hoping he would come back and letting him keep answering “we’ll see or it’s too soon to know if OW is what he really wanted. But on our anniversary 1 month ago I had to tell myself to let go. It was hard because I did not want to but I had to gor my own emotional health.
              I am raising our granddaughter by mysrlf now. He still comes ver to spend time with her (she foesn’t know there’s OW) but now I leave when ge gets here and go me time. I started listening to subliminal messages about letting go and I feel it helped. Now 4 months in I have found mysrlf again. Mu health issues are clearing up, I am the happy person again that I was years ago.
              I can see now how much better this is than living a life of no trust, a husband that shuts me out, etc.
              At first it was daunting being single at age 52 with a 7 yr old.
              Now I have started some online dating. Nothing serious but it’s nice to have someone that things you are awesome and cares enough to send you a goid morning message and check on you in the evening (and flirt a little :-).
              I am focusing on me.. reading about mindfilness enjoying every moment instead of worrying about future. So I would say think about what your life will look like in 5 or 10 yrs if you stay and in 5 or 10 yrs if you dont. There is happiness out there for you.
              I think I was forced into it but eventually I would have gotten there by myself.
              If you stay snd they are remorseful you have to work o rebuilding connection first..

              I did do what I call a “strange” therapy which was like 10 yrs of councelling in 2 hrs. It’s called RTT therapy. They basically help you retrain your subconcious with positive self talk versus negative or helps with triggers.
              It is crazy but a month ago I was still crying, wanting to find my joy back but couldn’t. I could make myself go out, I had withdrawn from family and friends..
              so I recommend this therapy. I truly see a quick turn around in myself.
              I used
              (Doug if link is not allowed, I can take it back out). Amy was great. She spoke with me for 2 hrs for free before I even becsme her client.
              You can read up on it on her website. You can mention my name (Nicky) and sge will give a discount. I told her hiw many people could benefit that are going through an affair or after the affait
              It’s not cheap but sooooo worth it.

              So good luck which ever way you go in your marriage. Just don’t forget that you deserve so much. You deserve to be happy,

            • Shifting Impressions

              I’m glad to hear you are finding your joy again.

    • Cody

      Please help me.. some background first.. I am a cheater. I had a 9 month affair with a married woman last year. It got both very physical and emotional. We worked together and it ended when I got a new job. I left for more money, really a no brainer even though I was torn up at the time leaving my AP. She really ended it and I had withdrawal issues at first but am glad we broke it off once I got out of the fog. I do love my wife and I love our 2 daughters and even though I talked to my AP about leaving our spouses and being together (she has a child as well) I know now what a stupid and hurtful thing that would have been. I thought our affair relationship was special but in reading about affairs I know now it was run of the mill. I was getting my ego stroked by a younger women and I was providing her attention she was lacking from her husband.

      I feel so very guilty about all this. My wife knows nothing about the affair. She did catch us both texting one time and one time talking on the phone. Thank goodness both times it was about benign subjects.. and no sex talk or I love you’s like many of our texts/calls. She certainly didn’t like that I was talking to her but in the end really doesn’t suspect anything.

      What I need help with is this. Do I tell her? Part of me wants to.. what a relief it would be in some ways to get this off my shoulders and be honest with her. I feel this however.. that would just be more selfishness on my part. I would feel better and she was be destroyed in the process. My 2 daughters would be destroyed, they are teenagers so they would understand fully what I had done. I don’t know what my wife would do as well. She may want to get divorced and/or contact my ex AP’s husband who knows nothing to destroy their family.

      Everywhere I turn on these sites they say I must tell her. We are so very happy now as a family. I have learned my lesson and would never stray again. Reading stories like yours has my eyes wide open now on how very dangerous and stupid my actions were. It’s like I was possessed.

      Do I need to tell her?


      • Bb52

        Me personally I would not want to know if all is good. Because as a woman having been through it she will never be the same.
        If you guys are good now, why destroy it. But I assume your guilt is killing you.
        I just hate the thought of her world falling apart..

        There was a good article a while back regarding what it does to you. It goes so much deeper than just losing trust…

      • Doug

        Hey Cody, Thank you for your comment. This is a very difficult situation for sure. And I think that there are no clear cut, black and white answers, as there are pros and cons for either telling or not telling. You’re right, most everything you read from experts, and authors suggest that you confess the affair, but I wonder how many of them have actually experienced the pain of being a betrayed spouse. We had this discussion a few years ago on the site and some of our readers who were betrayed spouses also felt they would have wanted their WS to tell them. Read: and

        Here are some articles that address the subject further: and

        While I agree that honesty in relationships is the best policy, having seen and experienced the devastation that affairs cause to the partner, family etc., I lean towards being of the mind to not tell if all is good in your relationship. However, I think that it’s important that you work to understand why you did what you did and to ensure that it never happens again. You will also have to deal with the guilt that you will certainly experience. Know also that the affair can still come out at some point and it is far better for your wife to hear it from you than from some strange person. IF it was a sexual affair, you also have the possibility of STDs and things like that (which can be life threatening) and in that situation I feel you owe your spouse the truth.

        You might consider what author and affair survivor, Peggy Vaughan says:

        “Every person must make the decision about “whether or not to tell” for themselves. There are some factors to consider that might not at first be obvious. While there’s an understandable caution about the potential risk of telling about an affair, there’s also a risk if it’s not disclosed. In marriages where affairs are kept secret, certain topics of discussion are avoided because the deceiving partner fears being discovered and the other is reluctant to appear suspicious. This causes many relationships to be dominated by dishonesty and deception. It’s doubtful that a couple can keep something like this hidden for the rest of their lives without a terrible strain developing. A large part of the high divorce rate may be due to the alienation caused by the dishonesty inherent in affairs, even if the affairs are never confronted. So it may be that there is no escape from the pain, regardless of whether the affair is kept hidden or exposed.

        This is not meant to diminish the pain of finding out. But one of the advantages of volunteering the information about an affair instead of waiting until it’s unexpectedly discovered is that it allows a degree of preparation that can significantly reduce the pain of finding out. However, the person doing the telling has a responsibility to take steps to increase the likelihood that the disclosure will lead to building a closer relationship rather than tearing it apart. First of all, they need to be motivated by a desire to improve the relationship, not a desire to unload their feelings of guilt. They also need to be prepared to hang in and work through their partner’s reactions to the information, regardless of what those reactions may be.

        So it’s not a simple matter of whether or not to tell. It’s a matter of why, when, and how. Perhaps the most responsible course is one that doesn’t rule out telling at some point, and uses that thinking to consistently improve the honesty and commitment to the relationship in such a way as to make it possible to eventually tell. In the meantime, this will have the benefit of strengthening the relationship, regardless of whether it leads to telling about the affair.”

      • Shifting Impressions

        That is a difficult question to be sure. But in my experience the truth has a way of coming out unexpectedly, even many years later. You say your wife doesn’t know….but there is a very good chance she “felt” something was wrong or off during the time of your affair, but didn’t know what it was.

        I stumbled upon the knowledge of my husband’s first EA about fifteen years after the fact. Looking back we went through a very painful time during the EA, but I didn’t know why.

        Fifteen years later my husband has another EA and again, I stumble upon it, totally by accident. And again during the EA I can not figure out for the life of me what is wrong, but deep down I know something is very wrong.

        I would rather that my husband would have had the courage to tell me what was going on then having me stumble on the truth. Lies and betrayal do have a way of coming out. Not telling her doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I feel the BS absolutely has the right to know. Yes, there is risk….she might walk away. But the pain of the truth is better than the pain of a lie. Your daughters do not necessarily need to know…..this is between you and your wife.

        In my opinion it shows complete lack of respect by not telling.

        Are there days that I wish I didn’t know what happened? Yes, but deep down inside I know it’s more important to have the truth. My husband owed that to me and I will always think a little less of him for hiding it from me. I don’t really see it as him protecting me. I see it as him protecting himself.

        Anyway….that’s my experience. Only you know what is right in your situation.

        • Bb52

          I guess looking at it that way I agree..
          I guess I am missing the time I fully trusted him.. but if he would have told me after we were strong again I would have been able to understand why he had changed..
          my CS left so I am probably the wrong one to ask. ., 🙂

          • Shifting Impressions

            I miss the time I fully trusted as well….but it is slowly slowly coming back.

      • TheFirstWife

        Cody. I don’t have an answer here. I see both sides of the coin.

        You know you will never cheat again and love and cherish your W. ????

        But you are letting your W live a lie and that is she does not know the truth. Let me give you the benefit of my experiences.

        In the 90s my H had an EA. The OW was totally in love with him and it was obvious. I even told him TO WATCH HIS BACK – SHE IS INTERESTED MORE THAN AS A FRIEND. We laughed about it. I was not jealous or insecure. I knew he did not love her.

        Fast forward 3rd year of this friendship and I find out he is not telling me about phone calls and conversations between them. This is before texting so I have no proof.

        I ask him for the next 12-18 months what is going on. He refuses to talk or admit anything and makes me out to be crazy.

        One day she makes her move and wants to take him as “a friend” to a wedding. She calls to get my permission first. I hand the phone to him and the look on his face is etched into my brain 20 years later.

        And then she sent an invite to us to her party. I could not go but I asked my H if he was going. He said yes. Well the rage in me exploded. I would not speak to him for days. I was furious. He knew he had to stop being her friend. As I said he did not love her but loved the attention. And it was rug swept and never ever mentioned again.

        Okay stay with me here. There is a reason for this long drawn out saga.

        In 2013 he started another EA (different OW) that escalated to him wanting to D me. When I spoke with the OW to find out what was going on SHE TOLD ME HE ADMITTED TO HER ABOUT THE OTHER EA. He never admitted it to me. Never even said it was wrong. But yet told someone else.

        I feel so shattered by that. He kept a secret 20 years that he knew that friendship was wrong and disrespectful to me.

        I now have more resentment b/c I felt by not bringing the first EA up I was being kind and understanding. Now I feel used and like a doormat and it comes up on other areas of our relationship.

        So you have to consider there is a possibility of someone other than you telling your W about the A. The OW involved may tell her or if her H finds out (ever) he could tell her etc.

        My H never ever thought I would pick up the phone to call the OW. And it was an off-handed comment that caused her to tell me about the other EA.

        My H came home and told me himself about his 2nd EA. He knew it was wrong and I was willing to work with him on it. Until I found out how deep his feelings were and that he wanted a D – all in 2 weeks.

        But I gave him a pass b/c he was honest in telling me but a liar when it came to the true facts about the A.

        I am glad I heard it from him.

        Please know I am not saying tell or don’t tell. I am just giving you persoective b/c you don’t know who knows of the A. And how it can come back and bite you.

    • Cody

      Thanks to everyone who replied. Like most of you have eluded to there really is no right answer. I know myself and my situation and I choose not to tell. Yes, I feel tremendous guilt for what I did and there are times I really want to tell her, during those times it would feel so good to do so. I do understand the risk (however small) that this will come out and she finds out some other way. I think the risk of that is very very small, I just know this. In many ways our marriage is happier than ever and me realizing what I risked has a lot to do with this. The reasons why this happened were just so selfish (as all affairs are). It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about doing that again. I know a lot of spouses that have been cheated on say I should tell her and despite everything you are glad you know about your cheating spouse. You don’t have the ability to not unknow what you know if that makes sense. Of course you would rather know at this point because you know it happened, if you truly didn’t and were happy you may think otherwise. While I can’t speak from experience here on being a betrayed spouse if I was given the choice today to know about an affair my wife may have had or not know and be happy and have her committed to our marriage going forward I would choose happiness. Maybe I’m wrong making the choice for my wife? I’l admit that but if I tell her then I’m not giving her a choice either. In the end it’s of course all my fault being in this situation, I never dreamt I would be, no one does. I hate myself so much sometimes.. I was just so weak and stupid. Thanks for listening..

      • TheFirstWife

        I think the difference for so many of us here is that the A became “their choice” and not the M. For some it was one A after another.

        For others (like me) it was an A that lead to him wanting a Divorce.

        And for so many the As may not have stopped unless it was exposed.

        I am glad your W has a loving and adoring H and that you recognize your mistake.

        I think so many BS would love to have the cheating spouse have the same “come to Jesus” realization you did.

        I wish you all the best.

      • Shifting Impressions

        For me there is only one way to go….that’s with the truth. But you are right I am coming from the point of view of the betrayed. I don’t understand the point of view of the cheater.

        Your post just made me sad….if my husband would have written that, I would be heartbroken. It’s not just the affair I struggle with but the deceit and the withholding of truth. In my opinion lies are like a cancer to a relationship.

        My husband broke my heart….but I am stronger as result. Our relationship survived although there are battle scars that will remain with us for life. But perhaps the relationship is more honest than it was and certainly more authentic.

    • Hopeful1

      Hi first wife, I’m just letting you know that I have taken your advice have not been on her page trying to stay away from that. I am feeling a little better about things my husband has been coming upstairs more and we have been communicating well also. Thank you for your response I have also sent my husband emails regarding what I had signed up for about trying to restore a marriage, I can’t say for sure if he’s read anything or not though thanks for your reply Hopeful 1

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