So, it’s time once again for an Open ‘Mic” Discussion.

In case you didn’t know, or are new to our site, the open discussion is where you guys call the shots and discuss the topics that you want to discuss.

We know there must be some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about, share your experiences – or maybe just do a little venting.  

Anyways, the floor is all yours!

Feel free to discuss anything…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • How did your Valentine’s Day turn out?
  • Have any success stories to share? Big or small. (We especially want to hear some of these!)
  • Wanna share any lessons you’ve learned recently?
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What’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.  And please reply to each other in the comments, as each person leaving a comment is not an isolated incident.

See also  Open 'Mic' Discussion #16


Linda & Doug


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The Affair Recovery Movement
Guiding You Through the 5 Stages of Affair Recovery

A  member’s only area where the focus will be on recovering and healing from infidelity through interaction with us,  a supportive community, access to volumes of materials and resources, and guidance from those who have been down this road before.

We want to help you get to a better place. 


    69 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #34 – What’s On Your Mind?"

    • Doug

      I just wanted to thank everyone for their patience with respect to the site theme change. We had to do it rather unexpectedly over the weekend due to a server upgrade which left our previous theme ‘broken.” I’m methodically working my way through issues that I’ve noticed have occurred as a result of the change. I would appreciate you letting me know of anything that you might run into as well – or anything that you’d like to see (layout or functionality wise) – and I’ll try to make it happen if it makes sense.

      Hopefully, you will notice that the site runs faster and is crisper in appearance. Our stats tell us that right around 65% of our readers access our site via their phones, 25% via tablet, and only around 10% via desktop these days. You will notice a big difference on the phone with respect to appearance and speed (hopefully).

      Anyways, thanks again and now back to your regularly scheduled Open ‘Mic’

      • WhoKnows

        Doug, maybe it’s just me not seeing anyone else having this issue.

        For some reason, on my phone the pages did not refresh. For example, for this post, the number of comments was frozen at 1 for almost a week. It’s only when I tried to open the same link on my computer that I see all the new comments. Then, I opened using Firefox first on my computer, at one point, the number of comments got stuck again at 28. Then I switched to IE after a couple of days and saw there were actually 38 comments by now. Right away, I switched back to Firefox, now it is showing 32 comments (still a lag I guess). And my phone is still at 1 comment. Is there a preferred browser for this site?

        Other than that, I like the new look and feel of the new site!

        • Doug

          Thanks for that info Who Knows. I too have noticed that different browsers reflect things differently. I’m not tech warrior or anything, but I can only assume it is based on the individual browser cache settings. In the past for instance, I’ve noticed that Chrome typically is always up to date, while FireFox will usually show a cached version for a longer period of time (even with the old design/theme). I also noticed with the new theme that I’ve had to refresh my browser on my Iphone when using Safari. I’ll put in a ticket with the theme developer and ask how to best adjust the settings so that this isn’t an issue.

          • WhoKnows

            Thanks Doug. Refresh the link worked for me!

        • Hopeful

          I cannot post or refresh on my phone. If I use my desktop I still have to refresh each time I go on the website. I use chrome and have this issue every time. I just click on the little circle with the arrow to refresh the site and it works. It is the only solution I have found.

          • Doug

            Hey Hopeful, Try clearing your browser cache. I use Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc. and that is usually the issue.

            • Hopeful

              I agree that does help but I do not have the ability to do that daily or ever time I check your site. I don’t have this issue with other sites I check daily. Again I am no technology expert and for me it is easier to click that refresh button. My phone who knows why it won’t let me…

            • Doug

              You wouldn’t have to do every time, just whenever your browser reaches the limits that you have set. But just do whatever is easiest for you!

    • Better days

      Hi, thanks for the space to reach out here. Really appreciated. I have hang ups still at 7 months.

      If or when to let go and just accept? This is as far as truth seeking. Or being stuck on things said in the beginning. I have a lot of circumstantial type of evidence where I’m 90% sure they met or went places and “more” happened. Just no hard proof. Being this is not court, I don’t need it. Right? For instance, they worked together. They had access to private conference rooms where they felt comfortable enough to make out and with some heavy petting(this she admitted). But on occasion, they would drive from work to a semi-secluded park. According to her to make out more. I say, no, they went to the effort of getting in the car to drive across downtown to do more than make out. As a guy, I can’t see another guy only being willing to make out with the petting for a year without getting his rocks off. I’m convinced at the very least she was blowing him. She admits they talked a lot about sex and he was pressuring. I know that they were send genital pics/sexting (another she won’t fully admit). She seems like she’s dug in here. And there is that small percentage she’s being truthful now. Uh huh… She trickled the shit out of me for the first couple weeks. Swore on everything only to admit a couple days later that everything was a lie.

      Another issue, in the beginning I had some choice names for her AP and his character. She defended him saying he was a good guy and no worse than her. Second part is true I suppose. This irks me and I want to call her out on it now but hate rehashing.

      So the questions. How many can just say, I know what I know and can move on and even though the cheater is lying I just accept it? Based on a lot of the writing here, I know a lot of the writers believe they have the full truth. I find that so unlikely but it seems to work for them. How many say, regardless of how small those untruths are, I will never be at ease?

      I’m really trying to determine what the future of our relationship is going to look like. What I don’t want is to be 5 years down the road and then finally have the balls to say it’s not going to work. Or worse, into our elder years and have real regret. I just know this feeling I have now is a real let down in my life partner.

      The good news is that I have had no indication or gut feeling they’ve continued to communicate in anyway. That doesn’t stop me from reassuring myself though.

      • Hopeful

        All of your questions and feelings are ones I had. I think this idea of them telling the truth and how much do I need to know is valid. I am the kind of person who remembers every detail in life. My husband remembers not a lot and never has. After dday I wanted every little detail. Well my husband had two ten year affairs. They were sporadic. He cannot remember what year one of them even began. He knows it was in the fall and one of three years. I mean really. But we went over this all he has no clue. And as he said he wanted to forget when it began, nothing to celebrate. One thing that helped me was over time I realized that whatever happened was not based in reality. There were some things I demanded to know like had these ow met our kids, been to our house, bought gifts, gone on vacations, given them money, any pregnancies or children. Basically I thought about the most critical information I needed. Over time I just did not care if they had a drink or whatever they did together. But I think that took time. And honestly I am not sure I want or could survive some of the details. I do not need to know sexual details unless it will affect my health. I will say at least in my husband’s case he minimized everything. He told me the affairs were shorter than they were, he never told me he had a fake email, fake FB, etc. Overall he led his life as a whole in a non transparent way. It was a slippery slope. He pushed the limits on everything. He was selfish in every way and only considered himself. This spilled over into everything. Once we got past the affair recovery then it really was about who he is/was. We have spent a lot more time on ourselves and what kind of marriage we want.

        One thing is my husband told me early on I would be friends with at least one of the ow, maybe not the other one. I mean who says that stuff. But at the time he believed it. He believed anything he told himself just to make himself feel better. I could go on about the dumb and crazy things he believed and told me. Over time I saw the shift and my husband does not remember saying things during that first year after dday. Even though there was no contact I think he was so scared and walking on eggshells.

        I understand the worry about looking forward and if it will all work. For me I focused on myself and the present. The only two things I can control. Looking to the past made me sad, down, negative etc. And looking forward made me stressed. I still have boundaries and expectations. But I try not to worry about the future. I think it is normal to have that feeling of them letting you down. That is what they did and in the most major way. For me those feelings have decreased to almost non existent due to how hard we have worked together. It is crazy but this has brought us really close together.

      • Dmm88

        You wrote exactly how I feel! I know it’s downplayed and have hard time accepting the version I was told knowing there is more to it. I just know there is more to what I was told. Very very difficult for me. It’s been year and half and I still can’t seem to get the reality of it to truly move on. Finally filed for divorce because I can’t take the emotionally roller coaster and anger inside of me. The anger and resentment builds in me daily knowing There is more. Maybe nothing huge but knowing it’s downplayed really bothers me to this day.

        • Hopeful

          I can understand getting to that point. I would suggest thinking about what you really want to and need to know. Also setting boundaries for access to all accounts for email, phone, apps, financial accounts etc. The ability to pick up their phone at any time. Then setting the boundaries and expectations around what type of marriage you want. For me all of those things were working at the same time. The hard thing is everything did not resolve and come together on the same time table. I think working with my therapist helped. It was the support I needed in order to make my best decision. In the end it was up to my husband how he chose and chooses to act now. And it took a long time for me to consider starting to trust him. Over time I just got to the point once my important questions were answered none of the other stuff mattered. Everything he did and every decision he made was horrible. Whether it was 2 or 3 beers and whether they met 8 or 10 times. At the heart of it I needed to understand why he did this and what these relationships meant to him. I was helped since he broke it off with both ow 15 months before dday. He had moved way past it all and since he made that choice before it was discovered helped us a lot. None of this is easy no matter what your path is. We each have to decide what we want.

    • stillshocked

      Everyone says to set boundaries but how do you enforce them?? We went 12 weeks with me thinking there was absolutely no contact, we were making progress and having good times. Then I get suspicious because he is still hiding his phone so I check the phone records and find they have been texting most of the time with the exception of the first two weeks. He actually thought it wasn’t a big deal that we were still making progress and I shouldn’t feel thisnis a huge setback. But to me it’s just a betrayal all over again. I told him Inwould not accept being lied to, cheated on, or stay with his as long as he is keeping her around. But how do I enforce it? So a week ago he said he would end it (again) because I said we are separating if he continues with her. But his needing it is telling her he loves her but it needs to be over. A week later and he go to her office. So here I am in a Target parking lot not wanting to go home. He says I’m pushing him, I say I’m not pushing or forcing you to do anything, I’m just telling you what I won’t accept and won’t live with. He feels as though I’m forcing him to act and I don’t know what to do. I won’t live this way anymore.

      • Hopeful

        I was never in your exact situation. Since my husband ended things long before dday. Any contact there was the ow made towards him and he showed me and we decided together. My suggestion would be to work with a therapist for yourself. I would look for someone who specializes in betrayal and who is a licensed LCPC, LCSW, PsyD or PhD. I searched for the right person and traveled 1 1/2 hours to meet my therapist. We would have double sessions to economize my drive time. It was worth it. Most of all it was the support and guidance I needed. Someone that had my back and helped me figure out what I want.

        I cannot say what I would do if I were in your shoes exactly. We had other issues with boundaries. Mainly related to alcohol consumption and nights out with the guys. My husband was highly concerned about me feeling okay with him not being with me at all times. But when he would do things with his friends he knew he was doing nothing wrong. So he continued as he always did. That meant drinking too much and staying out too late and too many guys trips. This was a huge part of what we worked through. I told him that if he wanted to live that kind of life I was not interested in being married to him. The decision was his. If he wanted to agree to specific boundaries I would move forward. Not cheating is not enough for me. Where he thought it was. This part took more work than the affair recovery honestly. It was reworking and him understanding what I expected from our marriage. Maybe others can weigh in regarding what they have done when no contact is not respected. I know I have read others enforce their husband moving out or moving into a separate bedroom. Also a big thing is doing nothing for your husband. Many people stop making any food, laundry etc. And probably the biggest thing is invest in yourself. Find what you want to do with your free time, hobby, doing things you enjoy.

        After reading the end of your post I think a big issue is if he thinks you are trying to force him to do anything. You are 100% reasonable in setting the expectation of no contact. If he cannot understand that then he is in the affair fog/denial. I think your best bet is to find a therapist ASAP for you. They will be able to guide you.

        • stillshocked

          Thank you for your advise and comments. It really helps to hear from others when you don’t know if you are being reasonable or not.

          • Hopeful

            Exactly, that is just it. When put in this position it is impossible. I felt paralyzed. It was really the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I think how it is kept secret in society makes it even harder. And there are many misconceptions related to betrayal. Remember you are stronger than you think. And no matter what happens you will get through it. We are here for you! There will be highs and lows but better days are ahead. Take it one day at a time, figure out what you need and then move towards that.

    • Donna

      HOPEFUL, you are so encouraging! I wish I had your attitude….I wish it so desperately. I’m embarrassed to say that its been 6 years since my DDay ( my husband confessed on his own}. I am still devastated. I cannot let go of images and all the lies and deceit that he dished out to me. There are so many “arms” related to his infidelity that it overwhelms me. I just get up every day (and think about it every single day) and put one foot in front of the other. I know that I am creating my own misery , but I’m still holding on to wanting him to be responsible for that.

      • Puzzled

        Donna-I’m closing in on 4 years since D-day of my wife’s affair but, while we are in a very good place now, I still have issues. I still struggle with letting go and not letting it get me down. Some days I don’t ever think about it. Other days something will pop into my head that she said or the way she treated me. It’s these days that pull me back down. I hope you can move forward but I also know the pain and heartbreak of an affair.

        • Better days

          Donna and Puzzled,

          You all are sort of answering my questions up above. I’m on 7 months. You two are 6 and 4 years out and still struggling with the details and the pain. Will it ever end? And I get that this time now is not “wasted” trying. But at what point does that still hold true. It’s different for everyone I imagine. And regardless if it’s something in us that we can cure, we didn’t chose to put ourselves here. So it’s their fault, not ours. We are not creating our misery. They did it. Sometimes I see it as a weakness to not be able to move on. Other times I see it as just being conflicted. On one hand, we have our entire adult life (20+ years) we’ve shaped and developed together. On the other, that meant shit to them and they screwed us(technically the affair partner) big time. And they are the ones that made the choice to shape and develop a new life outside of what we had.

          I feel like I’m at a point where I might give it one last shot at counseling or something. Our first marriage counseling attempt (two sessions) was a joke and I was completely put off. Give myself a timeline of a few or several(?) months. And if I’m not having a better outlook on this, file like dmm88 did above. At this point it’s easier to count the moments I don’t think about it, which of course is still thinking about it.

          Another issue, it’s so hard because literally everyone around us admires our relationship. We really can’t be around people without them complimenting us on all of our successful years, how we get along and all the activities we’ve done together. It’s so hard to bite my tongue, I usually just smile and nod.

          • Dmm88

            I stayed and really can say I’ve tried everything. He just doesn’t get it. It’s very difficult to divorce a man i am so very much in love with. He never thought I would go thru wkth it and is now blindsided himself and although I filed, who knows what will happen in the end. I know though for sure I need to get away from him. I still don’t believe him. He has done absolutely zero in last year And half to make me feel safe and trust again. Only words and empty promises Few brief glimpses of hope after our real talks and life goes back to normal for him as if it never happened. That’s what really brought me to where I’m at now with filing for divorce. I purchased a home yesterday and will be moving out when the deal goes through. I’m scared to death but need a safe zone for myself. At the least if things end up down road and we reconcile I could rent it out or sell it. But for now I can’t live like this any longer. My anger gets worse daily and it’s no longer healthy for me. I didn’t do this. I didn’t deserve this and I was the only one doing the work to save us. That’s where most Of my anger comes from. If I didn’t think I could get over it I wouldn’t of stayed and tried so very hard for year and a half. But one person, me being that person, cannot be the only one saving us. After being deflated so many times with empty words and false promises I had to end the vicious cycle. I just heard the same words and promises but nothing ever changed. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong but it’s what I need in my life right now to save myself and to begin real healing for myself and my kids. I couldn’t live in limbo any longer so I made a path and I’m following it for now. Hardest thing Ive ever done. I’ve tried really hard to pick myself up emotionally and some days it’s works and others it doesn’t. Some days I am strong and others i feel defeated. I just needed to break the cycle finally for my own sanity and self preservation.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Dam 88
              If it’s what you need in your life right now……then that is absolutely the right thing to do. You neeed to take care of you and your children.

              Do you have a good support system for yourself?? I hope so. This is too hard to go through alone.

            • Dmm88

              No I have me myself and I through this. I get ketamine treatments for severe depression which helps tremendously. I seriously suggest this for anyone who is suicidal or severely pstd as I was as well as in true medical shock for five months a year ago. I was lucky to find this treatment from a doc willing to provide it in another state and I drive there to get it Thinking of looking into supports groups as I’m not a big believer in therapy. Once a week therapy would take years for them to get to know the real me and help which is why I’m not big fan of it. Never tried therapy with hubby because we never got to a point where I believed we were ready. Where he was totally honest and owned all of it and it would be worth it or I would have went to therapy with him. We did go to experts in other states and even had one fly to our home but he never followed any of the advice from any of them. Had he at least tried to be consistent with actions therapy would have worked for us probably. Just always words and empty promises and never ending loop. I need individual therapy now only to sort through my lingering anger from his so called efforts he claimed he tried which just aren’t true. As well as family therapy to help my kids wkth this transition of me moving out. I’ll pause the divorce so as not to send shockwave through them all at once. As I said I did all the saving- quite literally.. Maybe later I’ll put my entire story on here finally Is this where I should put it or in forum? . It could be a best selling book my story. Get the Popcorn ready

            • Shifting Impressions

              You could post your story in either places….or both.

              I was thinking about support just for you….the individual therapy you mentioned. Some things in life are just too difficult to go through alone. I am so sorry that you are dealing with severe depressions as well and glad those treatments are helpful. And it’s good to hear that you are doing what’s right for you.

          • B

            Oh mate!!! Reading what you wrote, I thought somehow I’d posted my story already!!
            I am in pretty much the EXACT same boat as you. For me I found out on my mums birthday in May. So roughly 7-8 months out now. The wife of 8 years, together for twice as long and everybody used to say how lucky I was to have such a loving and caring wife!! How we were still so affectionate, still held hands whilst driving etc etc. I’m so sick of hearing how she would do anything for me etc etc etc.
            it’s so hard due to the fact that hardly anybody knows. That’s cuz I don’t want ppl to know juz in case we work things out, and of course for my own selfish reasons(that being I feel so embarrassed, emasculated, ashamed etc).
            We never had a bad marriage, we were having some issues for a couple years, but that was due to me being depressed over some things that had happened and I really struggled to get over.
            During that time, she still cared and loved me, but then along came a snake!!
            Knowing full well what my situation was, he msged my wife constantly asking questions about me(pretending to care) but always adding onto the end of it how he would treat her so much better, do all the things for her etc etc.
            anyway they ended up having an affair for a bit over 4 months. During that time, A LOT was said in regards to “soulmate” , love, wishing they had met before me, and so much more crap.
            During that time, my wife ended up seeing him on average 4-5nights a week for nearly 3 months. Now that just kills me. We weren’t having sex for a couple years!!….but I have a legitimate reason.
            This is he first time I’m writing this down(I’m farking breaking down crying!!!! Fark!!!!!) fark me!!!! But I was taken advantage of when I was young. For some reason I’d blocked it out(probably bcuz I am a drug addict) and when I went to rehab, these memories came flooding back. I was so ashamed and so……I just couldn’t tell anyone. I got to a point one night where I wanted to end it. I just couldn’t handle the thought of what happened back then. (Sorry just composing myself). So anyway. Even though I was/am a drug addict I still built a business, house, everything a “normal” person would have. I had gone to rehab bcuz my wife didn’t want to start a family with me on drugs, which I agreed. I just didn’t know that I would become so sad. I was actually scared to have sex with my wife. I was scared to be close in that way. I know it’s my fault. I didn’t tell her, the one and only person whom I love and trust with all my heart and soul. She could see I was so sad….she still treated me with love and kindness. I tried getting the courage to tell her. I really did. But why do I say? How do I begin?
            Anyway. During that time, she started to work late a lot more. And yes we all know the story.
            My issue is that firstly I’ve been given the trickle truth, the half truths, lies and deception, the blame, now I’m told she’s told me everything, the complete truth. But I know it’s not the case. Her story has so many holes and contradictions in it.
            How do I move on?
            How can I get on with my life? ESP when I just don’t want to exist sometimes?

      • Hopeful

        Donna, I hear you. I am almost to four years out. I think our recovery has been helped by the fact my husband is a mental health professional. Makes it even crazier to me what he did but oh well. It is not all perfect. I have always been a very optimistic and independent person. I think that has helped me. One thing I realized early on whether I stayed or left him I was going to feel the same about his affair. So I had to then look at my life and what I wanted. Was it better with him in it? And really watching to see if his actions match his words. It is not all great. And we talk about how this will always be part of our story. Neither of us wants to forget it actually. It has brought us so close together and my husband still thanks me daily for the second chance I gave him. He wanted over 15 months to tell me after he ended both affairs. He thought about leaving me so he did not have to disclose and he thought I would leave him immediately. Never what he wanted. I still have times where it is hard for me to be vulnerable.

        Saying all of this I am not sure if I would have stayed if we did not have kids together. That was what motivated me and gave me hope every day. Our kids are not little but they are not out of the house. I knew I did not want to leave him immediately if he was putting in the work and I also knew I was going to give my all. I was not going to live a bad, negative or pessimistic life. Our kids do not know what he did at all.

        I think finding the right therapist is critical. I searched and traveled far to see mine. Mine specialized in infidelity and was a licensed LCSW. The support I got from my therapist was so necessary and helped me move forward in the most healthy way.

    • distraught

      Ok so what if the affair is over, you are working through recovery, he is “on board” and finally out of the fog, he is really trying to help you heal, everything seems good but you are still struggling? Is that normal?How long does this time period last? How can all of the hurtful comments be forgotten? Some really terrible things were said to me (and about me) when he was in the mode of blaming me for his actions (which we all know is part of his rationalization to help divert his guilt). However, they were still said. Were those his “secret” feelings? All of the things that I supposedly did wrong to cause him to stray and look for something better. Dont get me wrong, I know that was a diversion on his part, but those thoughts had to come from somewhere. If he even believes any of it is true then how can I trust that he even wants to recover with me at all?

      • Better days

        I know everything is always easier said than done. But I would suggest voicing your concerns and let him prove to you he doesn’t feel that way. You decide whether or not his actions are sufficient.

        I never had to deal with this out word “fog” behavior. I feel like that would have sealed the deal for me and I would be on the divorced website learning how to live a single life. I was trickled like crazy. First it was just friends and it started to get flirty and we already agreed to stop. Fast forward ten blow outs later and we ended at, making out every chance they got with lots of touching. Which I still feel is BS.

        • distraught

          I have and he is trying to prove it to me. I feel that his actions are sincere but then these thoughts pop into my head and I realize that I have a fear of trust. I want to trust. He is trying really hard to earn my trust back, but I have my moments of, call it whatever you want, PTSD? I dont know if that is what it is but some entries on this sight say that it may be that. When does THAT stop?
          I would love a response from Linda (or another recovered BS) on this. She might be able to help me understand my mental state. I bet she has been through this exact thing. If Doug could respond (or another recovered WS), maybe he can help me understand my husbands position. I sometimes just feel lost. I feel that I want to progress past this and allow my husband to make amends. I dont know if I am just stubborn or if this is all normal. This betrayal just feel so damn deep.

          • Hopeful

            For me this all took a lot of time. I was pretty much struggling the entire first year. After that point I felt better. I would then say around 18 months I felt like everything was “normal” like pre dday. So we worked through that and realized that what was okay even post dday was just not enough. I wanted and expected more from our marriage.

            I do believe 100% in PTSD for going through a betrayal. I have all of the symptoms. That has been hard for me and my husband. He finds it hard and struggles with himself since he was the one responsible. I am less resilient. I work hard to protect myself. I still say not to fewer things and I really protect myself and my time.

            One thing that helped us a lot is we sent a time up once a week to talk about the affair/pain and then over time it was time for us to talk about our marriage. I would journal on a daily basis. This allowed us both to be prepared for our time to talk about it all. Yet it was not a constant daily topic which I was tired of even. I could also look at my journal and recognize patters. I was able to see what I need to talk about. My thoughts were more organized. I tended to rant and go off on tangents. He all of a sudden stopped being defensive when we talked. I think since he knew it was coming vs walking into a room and getting hit with a million thoughts from me. We got to this point since I felt like we/I was spinning our wheels and not getting anywhere. I wanted to be successful and give my all. This worked really well for us.

            It is so important especially with triggers and PTSD to talk with your spouse. I know for my husband he felt so guilty but it was our new reality. And he had to face it head on. That was the only way for both of us to recover. And it is deep and complicated. As my husband said it is horrifying to do what he did to the person who he loves most in the world and never wanted to leave.

            What I have realized is that he betrayed himself. It took me a while to get there. But it is really sad. He let himself down. He has to live with that every day. I am not saying this to feel sorry for him but it was a major revelation for me and really moved us forward. I could go on and on but I will stop now. Keep asking questions, happy to provide my experience!

          • Shifting Impressions

            You are so right….the betrayal cuts so very very deep. Just because our partners come to their senses (come out of the fog) doesn’t mean that everything is “all better now”.

            When someone close to us dies we aren’t expected to “just get over It”. We expect to grieve…however long that might take. Or if someone is physically injured we expect that perhaps they might face an extended time of recovery.

            D-day for me came after almost forty years of marriage….I went into shock. There were days I honestly thought it would have been easier if he had died. I was shattered.

            My husband ended contact immediately but I still had to go through the long hard arduous journey of recovery. In the beginning of the journey I was simply a puddle on the floor. Many many sleepless nights and I cried almost daily for about three years. There was rage and the endless questions….because there was the usual trickling of the truth.

            Like Hopeful, we put aside an hour a week just to talk about the betrayal….just so we weren’t talking or should I say fighting about it twenty four/seven. I also kept a journal, just for me….I poured it all out. I also knew that whether I stayed or left I had a long hard journey ahead of me.

            Very early on in the journey I gave myself absolute permission to grieve for as long as I needed to. I treated myself with compassion as I would have a good friend. It was a really dark valley….and the more I fought against it the darker it seemed.

            I read everything I could get my hands on. I went for individual counseling. And I read and reread so many of the stories on this site. Coming here was an absolute life saver!!

            I didn’t put a time limit on the recovery…..I figured I would know when enough was enough or if we were making enough progress to keep going (although the pace of the progress was very slow).

            It’s been five years….and I know I will never be quite the same. But the good far outweighs the bad. Have we arrived? No….we are still moving forward. Something very precious was shattered and putting the pieces back together, in my opinion, simply can’t be rushed!!!

            Take care….don’t be to hard on yourself.

    • Better days

      I don’t know if you said how long ago you discovered? But for me, I have discovered to move forward I am going to have to do so with the idea that the trust account is depleted and in the red and my spouse can only put a nickel a day back into this account. And that nickel is hard earned. We are not in the red anymore. We are at $10 aiming for $100. I check up a few times a week instead of a few times a day. It’s progress I suppose, it’s just getting old and how healthy of a relationship is this? Does that mean in two years I’ll only check the phone bill or her whereabouts
      once a month? That still sounds awful.

      I for sure feel we are dealing with some form of clinically diagnosable symptom, whether that is PTSD or whatever? I know you were looking for a response from someone with a bit more authority, but if you read enough, you’ll see how normal or at least how common your feelings are.

      • Hopeful

        Better days,

        For me the digging around and checking on things did last for a while. I think until right around 1 year after dday. For me it was when we were communicating better and I felt like he got me. He always took 100% responsibility but still said dumb crazy things post dday. He does not even remember saying them. I have a feeling he was just treading water trying not to sink.

        As I said above PTSD is real. I live with it. And it could be the smallest thing. A feeling, smell, location or something a stranger says. For me anything that is a trigger or PTSD feeling I talk with my husband as soon as possible. If I anticipate something might cause those feelings then I bring it up in advance. One thing I found interesting is most of the time he has the same feelings. He is distressed and has similar feelings. I figured he made his choices, he was having fun and living it up. But not really…

        And yes trust started at -1,000,000. And it was a long time before I could even consider the idea of trusting him again. I mean I could not even think about it without shaking and crying. He worked really hard at this just to get me back to I guess you would call it baseline. And beyond that it has been watching to see if his actions match his words. When something does not seem right to me I bring it up immediately. I did get to the point of not checking his phone, email etc… I told him I was not a detective and he better be upfront if there is anything that he would not want me or our kids to see. And I also got to the point where I felt like if he wants to cheat he will find a way. He could buy a burner phone, make calls from work, secret apps etc.

        Two things I told myself and still do all the time is. Focus on the present, today. And… talk less listen more. When I talk less he talks a lot more and it is revealing.

    • Blindsided

      In the spirit of Open Mic, what’s on my mind:

      Hopeful – once again you wrote words in your post a couple days ago that could have been written by me … why can I remember every detail, and H forgets things (at least that is what he says) that seems to me would be imprinted in his memory forever?!?
      The biggest one for me is that he can’t seem to remember when the whole sordid affair actually began … really?! It may not be important to him, but it is to me. I pray that he can trust both of us enough one day to share the truth, and not take the easy way out of saying “I don’t know/I don’t remember”.

      As for the convo on boundaries and enforcement and no contact – early on I made threats (not immediately, but soon after D Day) that I didn’t keep, specifically ‘her or me’ . The affair kept on. H says he was trying to break it off. Again … really?! How hard is it to just f’ing stop?! Apparently, it was too hard. So he didn’t. For several months. All the while I was looking at emails, phone bills. The occasional call would pop up, I would raise holy hell. He would promise it was the last time. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. So much for ‘enforcement’. Then there was the final straw. One too many, for HIM. For me, it was just another violation of what he had promised, but for some reason it was over for HIM. The next day, he came home and literally got on his knees and cried. I wish that this story ended like a Hollywood romance movie, with us kissing and making up, falling into one another’s arms. But guess what? HE had finally had it, apologized with more heart than ever before, literally begged for my forgiveness, and … it had no effect on me. I was an emotionless stone. I kind of patted him on the back and walked away. I was shut down, unable to hear what he so desperately needed to tell me. Unable to hear what I had been dying for, wishing for. Nothing. I guess my point is that it is all very complicated – that one can set boundaries that are not honored by both parties, and it is a constantly moving line? That you can ‘enforce’ and really, what does that get you? One more example of how you are being shit upon? That you can become an expert detective and really all that is accomplished is that you have a new skill-set? What I am seeking is a time and a place where I am secure and steadfast in knowing where my “line” is, and my gut tells me that it is in my heart. In my knowing that I will be fine no matter what happens. Having that freedom to choose him everyday, choose us everyday. And if that line in my heart is ever crossed again, I will know without reservation what to do.

      • Better days

        Regarding boundaries and lines crossed. This feels terrible to write. But when I check up, there is a little tiny disturbing piece of me that wants to find some indication of contact or other deal breaking slip up. This, in a chicken shit way, would bring this situation to a head and make my decisions for me. I really don’t want that but short of that happening I feel like I’m making a mistake either way.

        • Hopeful

          I had that feeling from time to time. I was really focused on the private detective mentality at the time. I was getting good at it. I discovered so much. And just like he could not remember what year one of his affairs began (could not remember between three years) he also forgot he had a fake email. He stopped using a couple of years before dday. What?

          We talked a lot about all of this. My husband described it to me as he lived his life every day hating himself. He wanted to turn back time, make it all go away, and did not want to remember/celebrate anything with the ow. So I asked why keep the affairs going. He said basically it was a slippery slope and once he did it one time there was no going back, he was a horrible person and a bad husband. From my perspective he was selfish and also more insecure than I ever knew. His affairs were sporadic too. That was confusing to me. For months things would seem normal then everything would be off. The one ow he only saw 3-4 times in ten years. They would go 1-2 years with out talking. The other one had more frequency at times.

          I knew after dday that things were not adding up. Around five months after dday I wrote him a very emotional but detailed letter. I knew it was my best route. I was worn down, tired of feeling lied to and could not take it. I just knew that something was not right. There was still no contact but what came out was he minimized everything. Dday 2 even though there was no new information hit me so much harder. I felt more violated than ever. I had been really open with him etc and here he made me feel crazy for those five months and gaslighted me hoping it would all go away I think. In the letter the best line which he said hit him was “I would rather be slapped with the truth than kissed by a lie”. It really hit home and things started to turn. That entire first year was rough though.

    • Waiting for the sun to shine

      It was an emotional affair and it was 3 years ago.Somebody that is on the school board with him. I thought we had a marriage that a lot of people didn’t. Sure, we had our rough patches and trials especially when the kids were growing up. It’s been one of the biggest disappointments to me is that our marriage wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was.
      We were sitting at our niece’s wedding when I asked to use his phone to take a picture. He readily handed it over and a text popped up, that was dd. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have reacted that night but would have read through them. That’s been one of the hardest things, not knowing exactly what was said. Phone records showed at least to a point how far they went back. Of course, he said it was nothing, that they were just friends. oh gag me. It was done in secret. And when I asked him how he’d feel if I had a guy friend and was texting back and forth, his answer at the time was that he wouldn’t care. Also it came out that years ago he almost had an affair with a young coworker. Actually he was just confirming what I felt because I kept a journal and knew something was wrong so long ago. I showed him my old journal. At that time he cut it off right away telling her he wasn’t going to ruin our family.

      Shortly after dd 3 years ago the texting stopped for the most part. Once in a while there is still one for business reasons but he’s open about them. There is also the meetings for the school at least once a month.
      I’m really trying. Some days are as easy as pie and others I am bombarded with overwhelming thoughts but the triggers are way farther apart. It didn’t help that I saw her in the store today. I don’t even know if she knows the stress the texting caused our marriage.
      My husband has gained back a lot of trust. I read a statement the other day that I printed out: Time plus believable behavior equals trust. Most days I’m fine now. As a praying Christian I’m disappointed in me that I haven’t been able to turn all of this over to God. Sometimes I feel I’ll never have me back. Sometimes I feel suspicious for no reason. When does it stop?

    • Shifting Impressions

      Waiting for the Sun to Shine
      Your story sounds much like mine. I also wish I wouldn’t have “reacted” when I stumbled on the emails. I had the opportunity to go through them at that time but I went into shock and phoned him to come home as soon as I found them. The minute my back was turned he deleted all of it….deleted the whole account. I kicked myself over that one for a long time.

      There was also another EA years ago that I stumbled on a year after the first d-day. I also knew something was very wrong at that time but had no idea what it was.

      I never thought my husband was capable of such betrayal. I trusted completely.

      At the three year point after d-day I felt much like you do…..when does it stop?? I’m also a praying Christian. But I don’t believe that we can bypass the grief by “turning it over to God”. The road to recovery is hard and simply can’t be rushed. In one of my lowest moments I felt God say to me “Did you think I would let you go through this alone.” True to his word to me….I have not been alone! My faith, a few close friends, my adult children and so many on this site….have been and continue to be there for me.

      Don’t be to hard on yourself. It was our partners that went against their own moral code. It was our partners that behaved in a “less than” manner. It was our partners that made poor decisions for whatever reason.

      It’s been five years for me. I started to feel more like myself again in the fourth year. But in all honesty…I will never be quite the same again. I also felt disappointed in what I thought our marriage was. Now I think that perhaps we are stronger than I thought……but after five years, we are still together and moving forward.

      • Waiting for the Sun to Shine

        Thank you, Shifting Impressions, for your reply. This was the first time I’ve posted anything since I started following the Emotional Affair Journey website shortly after dd. I feel I’ve “worn out my welcome” with friends and just don’t talk about it anymore with them. That was another mistake I made at the beginning, I confided in too many people, all women. They were trustworthy friends but I feel now that I was just spewing hurt, my hurt, all over.
        The road to recovery is hard and simply can’t be rushed (good words) and it’s a good reminder to hear again that God hasn’t let me go through this alone even when there were lots and lots of days when it felt like it.
        I’m finally beginning to see that my husband fell into the temptation, the lure, the lie and in my heart I can see grace and real forgiveness seeping in. The fear thoughts come in too…what if it happens again?
        Thanks again for letting me talk. I do appreciate it.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Waiting for the Sun to Shine
          I had a few close friends that were really there for me as well….but I also came to the point that I just didn’t want to keep burdening them. Two of my four adult children were also simply amazing….they were all terrific but two of them were exceptional. But again I didn’t want to take advantage.

          This is the one place you can come and there is always someone to talk to…..we all understand the roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s cathartic to share your story….perhaps your words will carry someone else through this night mare.

          And I have also used that very term about “forgiveness seeping in”. That’s how it’s been happening for me…..very very slowly. And slowly the fear comes less often with less fervor.

          I’m glad you shared….take care.

    • Kittypone

      Hello, all;

      For the newer commenters here, this is the safest place where to share your experience as a Betrayed Spouse (BS, for short) and here is what I have experienced since DDay 2 years ago:
      •I knew something was really off for a few months prior to DDay, just couldn’t put my finger on it; he had never cheated on me before (that I know of) so I couldn’t recognize the signs.
      •DDay happened because I demanded he tell me the truth even if it would hurt, and boy, did it ever!
      •He admitted to having “mixed feelings” for someone he met on FB and that he wasn’t happy in our relationship and hadn’t been for a long time. (We were a few weeks shy of turning 28 years married at that time)
      •As I was shocked beyond belief, I couldn’t even cry or yell or react in any way as he was disclosing his “almost affair” (truth trickling, they had already had all kinds of sexual talk, naked pics exchanged and all kinds of empty promises made to each other, whatever)
      •He promises to block her on FB and end things. Only promise he came through with was the FB blocking; if anything, that affair INTENSIFIED after DDay and I feel that is one of the things I am most resentful about.
      •I became a literal zombie after DDay, I was recovering from surgery a couple of months earlier, and in my digging, I discovered that he was flirting over FB with her WHILE HE WAS SITTING IN THE HOSPITAL WITH ME AS I AM WAKING UP FROM ANESTHESIA!!!! Talk about NO regards for your just-operated-on wife, huh?
      •I contacted the OW as I found out her details and she tripped over herself promising me how things would be ended right there and then, how I didn’t have to worry about her, how she was nobody and I was the only right person for my husband, how grateful she was to me for being so forgiving to her… name it, she promised it. My mistake? I believed her and him.
      •I started therapy roughly 2 weeks after DDay, as soon as I could set it up, and haven’t stopped since. THAT was my life saver. If I hadn’t had therapy, I would be writing this from jail, literally, as I had a homicidal/mental episode and I would’ve killed my husband. Anger is NOT a good counselor in ANY circumstance, trust me.
      •The next 4 months were the worst hell anybody could go through, every week he was “ending things” with her (she herself is married, btw, lives in another country 2,500 miles away from us, and they have never met face to face) he denied ever sending her any money (he had) he asked MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES if I would give him permission to go travel to meet her, that I needn’t worry, because he wouldn’t stay with her, he would come back to me…, ARE YOU SERIOUS????
      •After the lies wouldn’t stop, I went PI on him and started taping him in his car, which is how I found out that he had NEVER stopped contact with the OW and got a sample of his phone sex with her, among other very interesting disclosures he made to her, things he always flat out denied to me, but openly admitted to her…..the jackass….that is how I turned him in to his C. O. and things just got downhill for him from then on…..
      •After finding out the taping device, H calls me to declare that our marriage is over, and if I want, I should try to pursue a relationship with one of my male friends whom my H has always disliked for some reason and tells me to try and make something work out between my friend and I……like, WHO DOES THAT?!?!
      •Because of the mental breakdown, my therapist arranged for me to be admitted in a mental health facility and I spent a week there, while H went to see his mother and confess everything to her and to get some Pastoral counseling as well. He didn’t find out I was being admitted until maybe 1 hour before they took all my belongings from me and gave me a room, so while he was frantically trying to reach me, I was incommunicado… about a guilt trip for him, huh?
      •After me being released, he promised to work really hard on our marriage, agreed to NC whatsoever with the OW, and promised the sun, the moon and the stars……three days later, he has a guilt episode and wants to separate because he doesn’t want me to live with his lack of love (how noble and sacrificial of him, eh?) so I give him a week to pack his shit and leave. No packing and no effort whatsoever to find a place to stay, so no vacating the premises either.
      •Two weeks later, he leaves his IPad open, I go searching and bingo! He had reached out to her, sending her romantic memes to the effect of “now I know what Love is, and if I can’t have you, I’m not happy” kind of crap…..oh, really? Well, then! Let’s arrange for that long awaited encounter to happen! When he came back home, I confront him with my findings, and kick him out of the house, no ands, ifs or buts, and he packs ALL of his stuff in record time. I hand him a disposable plate with the dinner I had just cooked and send him on his way out. According to HIM, that was the very last time they had any contact again, as she broke it off with him that night and refused to have anything else to do with him ever again… that point, I was openly communicating with HER husband, so the pressure was on from both ends for the cheaters to make a stand…..she had ALWAYS told my H that she was NOT going to leave her husband’s over him, so the affair was the only thing they could ever have and she saw the way to be done with him and she took it….moron was willing to be HER side piece and would’ve taken it any way she dished it to him…..
      •It’s been 20 months since I took him back and we have been receiving marriage counseling, mentoring, therapy and accountability sessions; it has been “touch and go” many times over the last year and a half, but we are hanging in there…..there are days when I can’t stand the sight of him and there are others where I envision our retirement home with grandkids running the place; so I believe that there’s still hope for us, we will be married 30 years this May and that is the reason I still hang on: the road to recovery is never smooth sailing, but anything worth having is not easily attained. If you believe your marriage is worth saving, then it will be hard work, but the rewards are worth it!!! My best to all of you!!

    • WhoKnows

      Better Days, regarding “Another issue, in the beginning I had some choice names for her AP and his character. She defended him saying he was a good guy and no worse than her. Second part is true I suppose. ” It’s obvious she is still in the affair fog. Right after D-Day, my husband also told me that “she is not like what you think, she is a very decent person”. This after she spilled every detail about the affair onto a public forum, calling out on me to read it (knowing it from husband that it’s a forum I frequently visit), bragging about the “hot sex” they’ve had. My husband also thought that she was good at her job (they were coworkers), and that she didn’t use her husband to get the things she wanted at the time (and now the poor guy is no use to her so she set her eyes upon my husband to give her what she wanted). It’s about 4 to 5 months later that my husband was finally out of the affair fog, and he was shocked how he could think that way. She was not decent at all (did many nasty things with lots of lying to grab at what she could not get with her own resources and talent). She was fired from her job (so went the “good at her job” part). She obviously used her husband and mine for more money, even just targeting free meals. H cannot believe how blind he was to not to see these plain facts!

      For me, D-Day was a relief for me. H was behaving so inexplicably weird for the last two years and made my life hell. I never thought it could be an affair, I kept urging him to see a doctor since I thought he must be having mental and physical health issues to behave so out of line. To finally know the truth, everything was explained. It was actually a huge relief to me. Before that I thought I was going mental. Only after D-Day I knew I was okay, it was him who was having issues. H broke all contacts immediately. Once the secrecy was taken away, there was really no attraction at all, she was inferior than me in every aspect. Even in her prime years, the only man she could find who is willing to marry her was a guy who was 30 years older and did not treat her well at all. The first few months were actually not the worst since my mood was significantly improved with all the relief I felt. There finally seemed to be a solution, a way out, compared to earlier when I thought I was going to be stuck in this dark hopeless place forever. But anger finally caught on after that initial relief wore off. Then the hard work began. Still doing the hard work today 1 year later.

      I’m running out of time today, but I want to say it’s been really hard, I just try to get through one day at a time, but there are good things that come out of this. Like issues we’ve had in the last 20 years that never got resolved, but now H is reflecting on all of those and finally recognizing his part in those issues, and those were the things that set him up for the downfall, that it was these false beliefs that he had and that we fought about, those were actually the beliefs that gradually dragged him down to the level to have an affair with someone he is ashamed of having anything to do with today. I also realized how I played a part in his downward spiral is because I allowed him to do that. All I did was reason with him and criticize him and I never dished out any consequence including that he would lose me if he kept on doing all the wrong things. I now focus on myself much more, not counting on him to “change” or “do the right thing”. If he takes the right actions, then great we will build a wonderful future together. But if he doesn’t, I will take action on my own, I’m not going to “wait for the right things to happen” as before. If it isn’t right, I will make it right by making the right choices. I will be fine either way. This thinking really helped me to move on and focus on doing the things I need to do to make myself feel better. Thoughts about the affair still haunts me from time to time, but I tell myself every second I think about what happened with OW, I’m robbing myself of the time that I could use on myself. Why would I do that to ME? It doesn’t work all the time, but it does put things closer to the right proportion

    • Shifting Impressions

      D-day was somewhat of a. “Light bulb moment” for me as well……it explained so much. I never thought the “weirdness” could be an affair either.

      Thanks for sharing…..I like your way of thinking.

      • Hopeful

        WhoKnows and SI, Same for me. Dday was of course not a great day. But it was like an ah ha moment. For over ten years my husband had gaslighted me and basically convinced me whatever I thought or felt was the problem. To add to that his affairs were sporadic. So a year would go by and things would be great then to change all of a sudden. It was and still is a relief knowing it was all his issues. Dday 2 was much harder on me. Saying all of that it can still be really hard. This is not how I thought my life would be. Hang in there everyone!

    • theresa

      I just read this from Jeff Murrah’s site. I asked for permission to post to EAJ. Doug and Linda, Jeff says hi!
      I’ll post this in the poacher blog too.

      Whether or not you want to admit it, there are times that creeper that works with your spouse is thrilled. They love it when the two of you are not getting along, especially after the affair.

      The moment your spouse arrives at work on those days, they smell it. The tension between the two of you puts a smile on their face.

      They know that trouble between the two of you means they have an entry point into your marriage. They are just looking for a chance to move in along with the potential for an affair. Creepers live up to their name, they creep into those little entry points.

      They live for the chance of getting close to your spouse and getting in their pants. They know they don’t have to get your spouse to fall in love with them or like them. All they have to do is wait for you and your spouse to not be getting along.

      Creepers look for opportunities. They look for when your spouse is vulnerable and then they strike. It often starts with an innocent lunch or coffee. They work their way up to texting and chatting and before you know it, they creep into their lives.

      Experienced creepers spend hours grooming and obsessing before they strike. They know when your spouse is most vulnerable. Creepers also know there’s little you can do in stopping them.

      Sure, you can warn your spouse about them and their intentions. Yet when the two of you aren’t getting along, all those warnings are ignored.

      You can’t be there protecting your spouse’s heart 24 hours a day. Since you can’t be there, they are vulnerable. You now face the question of “What can you do?”

      This is where the ‘Preventing Affair Relapse’ program helps strengthen your relationship. You can know what the high risk situations are and know what you can do in protecting yourself and your spouse from them.

      Since you can’t be with them, you can make your relationship better.

      Keeping It Real,


      P.S. If you’re already a member of the Restored Lifestyle Community, Login here to get your action step on today’s topic.

    • B (a shattered soul)

      Hi I posted here earlier but I think most of what I wrote was just ramblings if a lost soul.
      I need help. I really need some help. If anybody could read this and give me any kind of advice or suggestions or anything, that would be great.
      So my wife cheated on me. She ended up “falling in love” (she said that that is what she thought at the time but has now realised that that wasn’t the case).
      They were together for 5 months whilst I was going through some of my own crap. I know I didn’t treat her the way I should have or the way I honestly wished I could have.
      But either way, our marriage wasn’t what you would call “bad” or even that lacking in love or affection. We didn’t have sex for a couple yeats(actually did have sex maybe 4 times during that time), but that doesn’t really count considering it was like 2 years.
      I know she was sad at times, but due to my personal issues that had been brought up from when I was a little boy, I just really struggled to show her my love in a sexual way. I understand that that was and is my fault. But I just struggled with some depressive thoughts and was afraid to get intimate.
      In the end, she met a snake who knew all the right things to ask and do.
      She tells me that although at the time of getting caught and having to end things, that she didn’t go through the “withdrawals” nor any of those other emotions associated with being separated from her affair partner. That she didn’t feel sad or angry or that she even feel like she wanted to talk to him, let alone sleep with him(although that’s oretty much what they did 4-5 nights a week for 2.5 months!!)
      Is this really possible? I mean, she thought she loved him, wished she had met him before me etc.
      I know it was an affair and emotions run hot and fast, but can I believe her when she tells me she had NO WITHDRAWALS over him and what they had?
      I want to trust her. I want to believe the things she says but I find it so hard to. So much of why she tells me just feels like the innocent version. The half truths and the non complete story.
      How do I trust her again? How do I get complete honesty from her?

      Please help me if anybody can

      • Hopeful

        B, So sorry you are here. For me my husband minimized everything on dday. So there was a dday 2 five months later. He had two affairs that lasted over ten years. He minimized the time they both lasted and he even was still unsure about when they started. For us he ended both on his own 15 months before dday. Honestly at least for my husband there was so much there. He just wanted to work it out and get past everything. Talking about it was a night mare for him. He just felt worse about himself, which he should have at the time. I think no matter what someone does wrong most of the time they minimize it. How many people get caught drunk driving and it is their first and only time. I doubt often. My husband says he realizes looking back that he let boundaries shift before the first time he cheated on me. He had not done anything but mentally he had shifted. He said that was the only way he could have cheated. If he was in a good frame of mind he never would have done that. But he started to convince himself he deserved to go out more, have more fun, he works so hard, home life is stressful….I could go on and on. Basically he said he told himself what ever he had to in order to do what he wanted for himself.

        We had to work through all the pain and questions. Then based on boundaries and expectations that were set and watching to see if his actions matched his words then I could even consider the idea of trusting him. It is a long road and lots of work. To me it sounds like you need many more answers, conversations etc. For me I wanted to understand why he did what he did and then work to ensure if I was staying in the marriage it would not happen ever again. Also I do not believe any of this is your fault at all. No matter what you were going through that is no reason for her to do what she did. If someone wants to cheat or has those feelings there are a million other ways to handle it. People who cheat let themselves down first then everyone else around them.

      • Dmm88

        That’s how I feel. Always partial story of half truths or a version that’s inaccurate. If they really want to make it right why don’t they understand we need the brutal truth of it all ? I understand initially the trickle truth but at some point to move on and trust we need the real truth in my eyes now the downplayed version. Why is that so difficult for them? I’m honest to a fault. My husband always been a liar even little white lies are habit for him to this day. I Can’t trust like that or heal. It’s a real problem for him and I won’t gice him the Benefit if saying he believes his owns lies because I just don’t believe in that. People know when they are lying.

    • Blindsided

      Hi B,
      I’m not sure that I can help, but know that I, and others, are out here and we hear you. What you are going thru is hell, plain and simple. And I am sorry that you are hurting. You don’t say how long ago that you learned about your wife’s affair. I am making the assumption that it was recent. First, please know that no matter what crap you were going through, and the struggles that you have had over the past couple of years, this is not your fault.
      I will tell you that for the first several months after I found out about my husband’s affair, i did not get the truth. I got some half-truths and lots of lies. The real truth has trickled out over the past year, most of the ‘meat and potatoes’ came about 6 months in, when the affair once and for all ended.
      I would imagine that not only is your wife not being truthful with you, she is not being truthful with herself. So, as for her not having withdrawals, maybe she hasn’t, or maybe they just haven’t happened yet.
      You ask how you can trust her again – maybe you won’t be able to. This is what I struggle with the most. Mostly because of the lies and continued contact that went on for 6 months, even though my husband kept denying. So …. what happened is that I really couldn’t trust myself. I kept believing him, thinking “that was the last lie, that was the last contact” and it continued. Now I know that there hasn’t been any contact for months. Yet, I still worry/wonder/stress about things I never would have prior to D Day. I know that I need to trust myself, my ability to see things for what they are. I am getting there, and I see the walls coming down slowly. One side note – when your wife DOES tell you the truth, no matter how hurtful it is, it is better than the lies and my advice is to tell her so. The absolute worst ‘truth’ for me was at that six-month mark when my husband told me that he loved her. It was like a stab in the heart! But, it was the truth, and that is what I want and what I asked for. So though I was literally reeling from his confession, I somehow kept my cool and thanked him. And it was genuine. I am thankful.
      You also asked how you can get complete honesty from her. Again, I don’t know that you can. But it is something that she has to give you, it is not something you are in control of. What you can do is let her know, repeatedly, that that is what you expect. You need to keep your own integrity.
      I have been reading the blogs and post on this site since last May or June. There seems to be some common themes, one of which is that the wayward/cheating spouses have a history of lying and deception. If that is what your experience has been with your wife, then I would suspect that some level of that will continue. When it does, call her on it. Calmly. You may not avoid the defensiveness and piling on of lies, but you may change the game, so to say. And she may not ‘get’ what she has gotten from you in the past, and it may change the tone of your relationship.
      All you are in control of is how you react, how you behave, and how you treat her. If you can show her that you love her (if you do) through words and actions and begin to connect with her in ways that you were not leading up to her affair, you will have done what you can do.
      Hang in there! I am sorry to say that it is a long road, with lots of ups and downs. Keep writing on this site. There are a lots of wise people here 🙂

      • Better days


        As far as I was concerned I didn’t care what she felt or even more to the point, what came out of her mouth for the first several months. I only cared about her actions, transparency, what she showed me or what I was able to find out through investigation. You know a cheater is lying when their lips are moving. With that said, you’ll have plenty of time later on to give a crap about what she is feeling. At this point and time, they only show with their actions. If she isn’t constantly trying to earn your trust, that’s a problem.

      • Dmm88

        This was a great response. Thank you

    • Shifting Impressions

      Better days
      Like you….I didn’t give a damn about what my husband felt!!!! I didn’t have one ounce of sympathy. I didn’t even worry to much whether I trusted or not…..I figured he needed to prove himself and time would tell.

      • Better days


        Exactly. Trust? Pthhh! In the beginning I asked a few questions of her like B is asking. Mainly to gauge the likelihood of her failing to maintain no contact. It was pretty early on though I knew I was getting a lot of lip service. She told me everything she thought I wanted to hear. Mainly to relieve me to reduce her consequences. Only after a few months did she indicate one of her main focuses had been to not contact him and how she was proud of herself for being able to maintain no contact.

        In the beginning she tried to say that it was a stupid, shallow, meaningless relationship. Because that seems like the best answer to a spouse you have betrayed. But my counters were: I have access to your past activity and whereabouts(google accounts/phones records showing nearly 24/7 contact), there is a whole lot of evidence you were really committed to each other, and you two idiots were really willing to risk destroying two marriages with several kids in the mix for something shallow and meaningless? For nearly a year? What does that say about how you value your spouses and kids? Once that discussion was over we both sort of dropped that subject. Minimizing here didn’t hold any water. The truth is too obvious.

        • Dmm

          Better days- Exactly the same for me. I saw a year and have of phone records and I have the minimized version as well. None of it ever made sense even to this day doesn’t. If he was never planning on leaving me, never planned on leaving me for her and never fell in love with her why risk your marriage over and over again? Even risked it after I found out and gave him another chance. And then again after that multiple times. But yet it meant nothing to him? It was just a painkiller for his own emotions from what he says. But how do you risk the love of your life And the woman you’re so madly in love with ,as he says , for quite literally the town whore who was extorting and blackmailing him. was extorting him at the same time! . He willingly went back to a woman who was threatening, extorting him. None of it makes sense to me to this very day. Three people had told him that she quite literally “marked” him and said she was going to take him for everything he had. He fell hook line and sinker for every word of hers. He was her payday and sugar daddy and was never in love with him, she just wanted my life and was half his age. He was so blinded by her words he fell for all of it. But how do I wrap my head around the fact that he continued to go back to the woman who extorted him voluntarily, but never planned on leaving me? None of it makes sense to me and I know to this very day I still do not have all of it which drives me mad I was willing to overcome this and I thought I could if I ever got the true reality of his relationship with her. He just won’t own it all- even as were filing for divorce -and he claims has had no contact with her for several months now after restraining order filed and is beside himself with what’s going on between me and him now but still does nothing to save us. Nothing but words and I love yous. I’ve asked for a year and a half for him to write down his letter of emotions because it’s easier to write them speak sometimes. One would think by now he would go to the ends of the world to write that down for me, yet it never happens.

          • Steve

            Hi all, first time here. I am 6 years from Day of discovering my wife was cheating with her boss. I buried my head in the sand because I loved her so much. Then all of a sudden 5 and a half years down the line I have completely dug up all the pain ad anguish. I have had months of therapy and I am slowly slowly dealing with it but I cannot get over nor do I think I will ever, more learn to live with it. It breaks my heart as I still love her more than anything but I just cant get my head round why. She admits it was her, not me, and it was a massive mistake but how do you learn to trust again? Everytime her phone goes I panic, I want to look, I want to know who it was or why a colleague is asking her something. I hate feeling like this. But after I read the texts that she was getting and sending to him, I cant help it, she even bought a secret phone, all so out of character. How on earth do you recover?

            • Shifting Impressions

              Did something happen that caused you to start digging things up…..did something set that off???

              I’m so glad to hear that you are in therapy!! It’s a long hard journey, that’s for sure. In my case recovery came slow…..five years and I will never be quite the same again. But I am in a fairly good place now. Baby steps….one day at a time.

            • Steve

              I had had a period of depression after an illness, then it all re-appeared. At least its making me deal with things. The scary thing is I am finding out things about my partner I didn’t realise. Some of it is my own fault because I am digging around, asking questions etc but I end up sometimes thinking who is she? Can this ever work out?

            • Shifting Impressions

              Just because you are digging around doesn’t make you at fault. Your spouse gave you cause to dig. We all have the right to the truth….no matter how painful that truth might be.

              I asked myself the same thing….who is this man who I have been married to for over forty years?? And yes I also asked myself if this could ever work out. I told myself it was okay to not have those anwers right away.

              It sounds like you are going through the stuff that many BS’s go through right after d-day….better late than never.

              Take care

            • Hopeful


              I am so sorry. That is a long road with so much pain. I agree with SI remember no matter what comes out when none of this is your fault. You should not be blamed for digging around and finding things. I think focusing on your therapy is critical. My objective with therapy was to figure out what I wanted and needed for me. I decided I wanted to try and make our marriage work. But I needed to figure it out from my perspective and heal. I needed this whether we stayed together or not.

              Did she recently get a secret phone? Or was that over five years ago? We each need to find our own path. I had to work through what I needed to then focus on the present since neither of us could change the past. It was hard. My husband had two affairs over ten years. They were sporadic but that was a long time. It is just never easy. We are here for you. Make sure to keep posting if that helps you.

            • Better days

              Sorry to hear it and that I can’t provide any help. Sounds like you didn’t appropriately deal with the trauma at the time and you’ll likely need to deal with it at some point(now?). Being relatively early in the process, I guess, thanks for the unintended warning to not bury anything away. Best of luck to you.

    • Waiting for the Sun to Shine

      This evening the subject came up again of the texting/emotional affair that went on with my husband and the ow. When the wounds were so fresh I was talking to our grown daughter and she actually confronted him. He told her at one point if he were single and the ow was available he would persue a relationship. Our daughter wasn’t sure if she should tell me but she did. Tonight I finally told him that I knew he said that not quite 3 years ago. We weren’t arguing but his comeback was to say he’ll never tell our daughter anything of a personal nature again. Part of me feels good about having one more secret exposed but on the other hand I feel bad about what he said about our daughter.

      I brought it up to him only to bring to light how emotional affairs can turn to physical affairs, it starts as a thought that eventually gives way to actions.

      He still calls the ow a friend and I told him how that hurts me. Because there is nothing going on between them he doesn’t see the harm in being friends. They don’t text or see each other anywhere else.except tomorrow there’s a monthly meeting he must attend where she will be. It still shakes me up every time. I believe him when he says there is nothing going on. But my heart hasn’t completely healed yet either. I told him I love him. I also added I will never let my heart be hurt like that again.

      • Better days

        “They don’t text or see each other anywhere else, except tomorrow there’s a monthly meeting he must attend where she will be.”
        I don’t know how I’d be in three years(your case), however, I’d have a huge issue with this(only 7 months out). I’d be outside that meeting to see if they come out together and then see if they go anywhere together. And I’d be all over her phone activity and behavior for a good while. Not to mention, we’d probably have a huge fight. Her acting like she did nothing wrong and me coming completely unglued about her lack of understanding(or just not giving a shit) about how what she did affects me.

      • Hopeful

        Waiting for the sun to shine, For me I don’t care how long it has been since dday. There is no contact and if you want her to be your friend then we do not need to be married. For us one of the boundaries since dday was no friendships with members of the opposite sex. My husband does work with women and he is friendly with my friends. But the only reason he texts any of them would be work for the professional women. And for my friends if he is planning a surprise for my birthday or if we are all on a group text together. Nothing for my husband ever crossed the line at work or came close. We had in depth conversations about this since he works in a female dominated field. I am not in your shoes but we did talk about if he had cheated with someone at work then we would be having serious discussions about finding a new job.

        My husband early on after dday 1 said he didn’t like one of the ow that she was kind of crazy and drunk a lot. But he told me the other ow I would like and be friends with. That was the last time he said that. I gave him an earful. To me that would be the sticking point here, how do you think you can still be friends with her. Just the fact he can say that makes me think he does not completely understand what a betrayed spouse goes through. The flip side is I know if my husband wanted to he could cheat at any time. With technology it is easier than ever. He could have a burner phone at work and I would have no idea. I can keep track of him to a certain extent but I decided early on I could not do that. I know teenagers leave their phones in friends mailboxes so their parents think they are there instead of off who knows where. My husband said I should not have to be a private detective. I should be able to tell by his actions matching his words.

        • Waiting for the Sun to Shine

          Hopeful, you wrote “Just the fact he can say that (she’s just a friend) makes me think he does not completely understand what a betrayed spouse goes through.” I have believed this to be true but am powerless to make him “see the light.” As long as keeps putting himself first and won’t take the time to see this from my perspective, how will they change? He has heard many times how I feel and how the situation hurt me. A positive note, as I do have to keep looking for those, he didn’t sit near the ow at the mandatory meeting.
          I can’t change anyone but myself but I can pray for God to continue to work in all the situations I have no control over.

    • Rose

      I’m not feeling much like writing these days, and I don’t even feel like reading most of these posts—it’s not you, it’s me!—but I felt the need to say something.
      You will NEVER get your marriage back after an affair. Hear me out. If you want to keep being married to the person who betrayed you, abused you, etc., you certainly have that choice. But that marriage will never be the marriage you had. I’m just stating a fact here! It will be different. Maybe it will be better, maybe worse, and no one will judge you for your decision. But keeping your head in the sand and wanting to get back to those early days of innocence just will NOT happen. Even if you think they have come back, there will never be a day when thoughts of the A do not enter your mind, consciously or subconsciously. Though you will try very hard to ignore them, there will be triggers, even if you are not totally aware of them.
      Not trying to be a Negative Nabob here, but remember when you are still in the stages of shock, recovery, etc., to think about the future and how that will look. You will never be the same person again. You can use the affair as an opportunity to find out deep insights about yourself and your partner. Maybe you will decide he/she is not the person you married, and maybe you can decide you like this new person. Or maybe you will decide you are certainly not who you were, and it’s time to move on for your own sanity. For me, I have found that love is not enough. Yes, I am still with him for a myriad of reasons I will not go into. But I am not the same person. I have grown, but I am in a constant state of high alerts and PTSD even these many years later. But I know so much more about myself and have set boundaries that he dares not cross unless he wants to suffer the consequences. These aren’t empty threats. I didn’t set them until I was sure I could enforce what I said.
      Whatever choice you make is yours alone to make. I wish you well with that choice.

    • Puzzled

      Rose makes a very good and blunt point: your marriage WILL NEVER be the same. We all deal with pain and grief differently. It takes time and tears and more time. I’m sure that the change in our marriages is a sticking point for many. I know it’s been an ongoing struggle for me. The reality is that nothing will be the same and that hurts. Most of us were blindsided by the affair and won’t ever understand “why”. Our belief in simple and honest love is shattered. It is basically “innocence lost”. At least for me, I had the blissful naivete that didn’t know infidelity/adultery/cheating/betrayal/affair/lies/deceit/gas lighting/D-day. I miss that feeling of easy contentment. But, I also know that it will never be that way again. It’s different. It will always be different.
      However, every day we get to make a choice: do I choose to love my spouse and do I choose my marriage? All of us get to decide. Whether your choice is to stay and work through things or it’s to separate or divorce, it has to be the decision based on your situation and what is best for your family. As always, I wish that I didn’t know this website existed but I’m so thankful that I stumbled onto it. We’ve all been damaged by betrayal. But we are all survivors and will be stronger in the end.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I couldn’t agree more…..every word says exactly what I feel!!!!

    • GIna

      It is 14 months since D-Day and, like everyone on this blog, I’ve been on such a crazy journey. Bottom line is that my husband moved out for two months with his floozy (27 years younger than him), begged to come back, I took him back, we had 6 months of therapy that ended in a false reconciliation, then he told me he didn’t want to get a divorce, I took him back again. We are now seven months in and I question every day if it is another case of being duped. During our false reconciliation period, he flew her to Europe and all over the states, he slept with both of us on the same days, and he promised over and over he would never lie to me again. My heart is shattered along with any trust and respect for him. This time around (last seven months), he is no longer gaslighting and appears to be trying. I know that he loves me and our beautiful family, but not enough to not have done any of this in the first place. For the past two months, I have finally learned that I can stand on my own two feet if needed. My kids will be ok, as well. The reason I am questioning my husband now is that on Spotify (which he doesn’t know I have an account), he saves songs such as “Want you back,” “Always thinking about you,” etc. My CS and his floozy carried on a ridiculously immature relationship of “talking” through songs on Spotify. She even named her playlists after my husband. Now, the playlists aren’t as obvious and perhaps I’m even looking too deeply in to it, but the songs are ridiculous. He could download other songs from the thousands of songs released every week. I strongly believe that if I have “real” evidence that he’s back with her, I will kick him out of the house forever and finally file for divorce. Like I said, I believe my CS does love me, our family, and what I have to offer, but not enough. I know if I kick him out, he will learn that he made a horrible mistake. But, I will no longer take him back and it will be unfortunately too late. I have been giving him a free pass for too long. It’s a horrendous shame for us all. Any advice/support?
      **A tip for figuring out who the other woman/man is (if you don’t already know), look at your CS’s Spotify account, they will certainly be sharing/following one another’s music.

    • Waiting for the Sun to Shine

      Gina, It does sound like he is still loving what he wants more for himself than what he wants for you and your family. My heart hurts for you as I am sure it does to anyone who has been in a similar situation. The thought of being duped and the waiting to find out is a tightrope of wanting to believe the best, to trust again, or finding out it was all a pipe dream. The other day I told my husband that I loved him but would never allow my heart to be broken again like it was 3.5 years ago.
      I pray that you find the strength needed for each day and know that no matter what you’re feeling, you’re not alone.

      • Gina

        Thank you, Waiting for the Sun to Shine.
        I have identified that I am no longer afraid of an actual affair, but afraid of being duped: false reconciliation really is difficult and is incredibly mean, disgraceful, and disgusting on the part of the CS. I truly hope you see the sun more often than not. My days are filled with such beauty, but there is still a lot of pain and uncertainty. I honestly know things could be much worse (I have a beautiful, healthy family, and we’re not struggling financially), so every day I do count my blessings.

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