Let’s discuss the question: What do you fear most right now since the affair was discovered?

What Do You Fear Most Right Now

“Susan’s” husband had an emotional affair with a woman who lived across the country.  They had never met in person, yet he felt he had fallen in love with her.

When his emotional affair was discovered, he admitted that he was in love with this person, yet he said he would end the affair.  He even sent out a text to the other woman ending it. 

Susan however, was soon skeptical as to whether he actually did end the affair.  His behavior certainly indicated that he had not.

Here were the giant red flags:

  • He wasn’t sleeping in the same bedroom (supposedly because their bed hurt his back) and instead was camped out on the basement couch.
  • He’d be on his computer until the wee-hours of the morning almost every night.
  • He texted and took selfies all the time – on a phone that he kept locked or in his possession – all the time. He would not provide Susan with the password, nor did he ever send these selfies to her or post on Facebook and other social media.
  • He would leave very early for work – often an hour or more.
  • He was often moody and would seldom interact with his young children. (He paid more attention to his phone.)
  • He would get defensive when asked if there was anything wrong.
  • He would bring up past marital issues and blame her for the problems in their marriage.
  • He refused to go to any type of counseling.
  • They hadn’t had sex in more than a year.
See also  Discussion: Can Healing After an Affair Be This Simple?

Sure enough, very late one night she overheard her husband talking on the phone with the affair partner and her suspicions were confirmed.

So, what did Susan do?


She was too afraid.

She feared that by confronting her husband in any manner, it would only serve to push him away and further into the arms of the other woman.

Instead, she retreated to her bedroom alone and cried all night.

How to End an Affair – The Right Way

A few days later, she contacted me and we started with mentoring.

We talked on average probably about twice a week for about 18 months.  Every time we talked it was basically the same story and a re-hash from the previous call.  I’d give her things to do and say to her husband, along with how to approach certain situations, while helping to build her up and recoup her shattered confidence and courage.

She literally did nothing.

Again, she was too afraid.

Eventually, our mentoring relationship ended.

I Recently Heard From Susan…

Not too long ago she sent me an email to let me know how she was doing and to catch me up on things.

No surprise at all…Absolutely nothing about her husband’s behavior and their relationship had changed one iota.  That is, except for her overwhelming resentment towards her husband and her sense of helplessness and hopelessness.  Meanwhile, her hubby carries on in his own little world as if he’s doing nothing wrong.

Susan’s story certainly isn’t an isolated situation and her husband’s shitty behavior and attitude are certainly not unique in any way.  I hear stories like this all the time.

See also  Discussion - Accepting and Forgiving After Infidelity

Susan’s actions – or lack thereof – are the perfect examples of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

She also suffers from analysis paralysis.  She overthinks things so much that it actually causes her to do nothing.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I understand her fears – I really do.  But in her case, she has no idea if her fears are even legitimate because she hasn’t tried ANYTHING. 

She needs to give her husband a serious wake-up call and speak her truth, while demanding he end his relationship with this woman.  And that’s just for starters.

Fear That an Affair Could Happen Again

What Do You Fear Most Right Now?

We want to hear about your fears.

I venture to guess that all of us to some extent are living in fear right now.  COVID- 19 has created a world where we’re afraid that a simple handshake with a person can potentially put us on a ventilator – or worse.

I don’t really want to get into the whole pandemic situation, but I sure think that the fears that emanate from the pandemic can serve to exacerbate the fears that one has personally – and for their marriages – as a result of infidelity.

Regardless of whether you are the wayward or the hurt spouse, after the affair you are probably fearful for what the future may hold in many ways.

Consider the following statements on fear:

Fear is an emotional & physiological reaction we feel based on imagining events which have not even happened.

And this…

… fear is not who we are, it’s an emotional state we put ourselves in because of our own thoughts.

Neale Donald Walsch, speaker, spiritual seeker, and bestselling author of the “Conversations With God” series says that “The biggest problem on the planet is fear.” He says this is so because fear affects everything we experience.

See also  Open "Mic" Discussion #5

Fear is perhaps one of the most prevalent emotions that have affected you since the affair…

  • Fear of what the future might hold.
  • Fear that your partner might leave you for the other person.
  • Fear that your family will be broken apart. 
  • Fear that your relationship will never be the same. 
  • Fear that your spouse may never heal from the pain you caused. 
  • Fear that you or your spouse may have another affair. 

The list goes on and on.

We present this topic for discussion periodically as our readers and their situations/feelings change over time, so we thought it was a good time to revisit it since it’s been a while.

Therefore, we wanted to get a feel for what you are most afraid of right now.

(*Please note that this is still an Open ‘Mic’ discussion.  So if you want to share/discuss something else, please feel free to do so.)

Here are a few questions to consider…

What are your biggest fears after the affair for your family and/or your marriage?

Do you feel that your fears are logical and justifiable?

How are you and your partner addressing these fears?

Have your fears about your marriage after infidelity subsided as you travel further down the path of recovery and healing, or are they still there just as strong as ever?

What has happened (or needs to happen) for those fears to go away?

    77 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #40: What Do You Fear Most Right Now?"

    • Mya

      I found our 3 years ago that my husband has been addicted to porn for 30 years and seen prostitutes for 8 years. I didn’t really find out, his work found out how much porn he was doing at work and they fired him. He has done some work for us to heal but in some areas he has done little. He goes to SAA meetings and we see a couples counselor, but he has not seen his own counselor and he hasn’t done any reading about affairs, sex addiction, or affair/betrayal trauma and recovery.
      I don’t feel love for him right now but I also don’t want the problems that would come if I left – the kids finding out, the financial issues, etc. So I feel stuck. I fear that if I leave, my kids will be traumatized and I will have a hard road ahead of having to find a job at age 56. I fear that if I stay I will live the rest of my life with a roommate and will give up any chance of finding a great person to love. Again, it’s been 3 years and we have come to a place where we don’t fight any more (we’re polite) and we go through the motions of daily life, but I am often so sad. My counselor says that if I don’t decide I have decided (by staying) so I have made a decision and now I have to learn to live with it. I fear that either way I lose.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am so sorry that you are in this tragic situation. The book INTIMATE DECEPTION by Sheri Keffer might be of some help to you. The author has lived what you are going through.

        I agree no matter what you decide….it’s a long and difficult road.

      • Doug

        Mya, Thanks for your comment and I’m very sorry you find yourself in this situation. We did a post a few weeks ago on sex addiction (link: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/whats-sex-addiction/) and there was a link to an organization for the spouses/partners of sex addicts (porn addiction is a behavior associated with sex addiction). You might want to check them out and get involved: https://sanon.org/

    • Jennet

      Hi Doug my biggest fear is that my marriage won’t survive infidelity by my husband. We have agreed to separate for 8 weeks (July). We have set some conditions i. e no contact by phone etc. If he needs to come to the home I must be told before hand. Also we are going to meet once a week for a meal to discuss how we’re doing. So my fear is because of this complete freedom of choice he can contact the AP whenever he wants if he wants to start the affair again. He knows that if that’s the case then there will not be a second chance. My most worrying fear is of starting my life again on my own as I’m 68 years old and also my financial situation would be greatly reduced. Jennet

      • Doug

        Hi Jennet. Your fear is certainly legitimate as many CS use the separation and/or the claim they need time to “figure things out” as a opportunity to contact their affair partners. You certainly need to stick to your guns with respect to your boundaries/conditions and enforce them if need be. In the meantime, get yourself a good lawyer and get your legal and financial ducks in a row – just in case.

    • Sue

      Hi Jennett. Boy I feel you! I’m 72 and found out about my husband’s 4-affair 2 years ago. I wanted that kind of separation but he didn’t, so we didn’t separate. We’re still together, still working on things but my love for him is gone. We treat each other well, sometimes we do things together, etc., but we’re roommates now, probably from here on out. There is no easy way to go at our age, and we chose (without actually making the decision) to not break up our home. Still in therapy, each working on our respective wounds, but not really working together because he can’t connect emotionally. He loves me and is the perfect husband now, but he is a person who cannot access his feelings, share his feelings, and without that kind of sharing now, my heart just can’t trust anymore. In your case, I don’t know who initiated the separation, but I sure hope things work out well for you. If he wakes up and realizes he loves you and wants to come home, he will do the right thing. If not, at his age, then he’s just a silly old fool. He must end the affair and you must stand your ground.

    • Sue

      By the way, Jennett, 56 is not that old. Oh to be in my 50’s again! I didn’t realize it then, but I was still fit, attractive and very involved with with life back then, had good energy. Lyme disease took away a lot of my energy, but I have stayed as active as I can up until the present, after being knocked senseless for awhile by the affair. But my point is, the 50’s is a good decade and these days not considered “old.”

      • Jennet

        Hi thank you for your support. I am actually 68 but that doesn’t matter really. I’m a strong person I have had a lot of illness during my 50s cancer. Knee replacements, shoulder surgery then my downfall was severe depression 4 yrs ago and that was the start of the affair. He has let me down badly to say the least he is extremely sorry but doesn’t know what to do. I don’t even know if the affair if still on. He had 2 months to sort himself out if not I’m leaving. I live in spain and all my family are in the UK. I will be with them and I know they will look after me. I can see my husband ending up a lonely old man he is 69 now. AP 20 years young on her 2/3 husband with a teenage daughter!!! Thank you again I appreciate it x

        • Sue

          Oh wow! I didn’t realize you’d been thru so much! I’m sorry I don’t know where I got the 56 age from. To me 68, or my age 72, makes it even more difficult to make a decision about the marriage. I too had a depression, midlife crisis or “something” at age 60, and it was during and after that time that he now says caused him to disconnect from me. What was really happening during that time was that I was becoming a stronger woman and he didn’t understand the changes in me. Nor did I so I couldn’t communicate them. I think this is fairly common. If I leave my husband, he’s 70, he too will be a lonely old man. So far we’re working on things. I’m glad you have good support while you go thru this waiting period. I can’t imagine how badly you must feel. I don’t get on here as often as I used to, but I hadn’t forgotten you.

    • Kat

      My biggest fear was — it isn’t amynore — that my partner (40 y/o) and his pregnant mistress (22 y/o) will stay together and live “happily ever after” and I would be living lonely life with all my misery and dark thoughts. My biggest fear was that she and her kid will give him meaningful and fulfilling life, so much contrasting with the emptiness of living with me (37 y/o). Basically I was scared of losing, as if life is a competition and there’s someone to lose or to win.

      It’s 7 month since my DDay, and the only thing I can say at the moment: I. Could. Not. Care. Less about any of them — my partner, his former mistress and their baby (3 months old). We still live togerther, we silently decided not to break more than is already broken, but we don’t have sex and we pay our bills separately. My biggest fear right now is that I will do the same set of mistake in my next relationship as I did in this one. What was the lesson I had to learn? No idea. Probably don’t mess up with someone who is empty and bored all the time. I don’t know honestly.

    • Paul

      My wife confronted me. She told me afterwards that was so scared to ask the question because she had to hear the answer.
      Wow, comes to mind. If I put myself in her shoes. Just to ask the question without even hearing the answer!
      However. It was good that she asked. It opened up a sore place. Things got crazy. It took time.
      Never the less, if she had not asked we would not be together. Her bravery saved our marriage.
      It takes courage to ask for the truth.
      It takes courage to hear the truth.
      It takes a lot of courage to work through the truth.
      Be brave.

      • Seenthe light

        It also seems to take courage to be honest on your own.

    • Jennet

      Thank you for those kind words. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it’s the saddest day of my life as my husband has left the family home today not had many days apart in 48years of marriage so these next two months are going to be difficult. But we both need the time and space to work out what we want to do. Thank you again for the encouragement jennet

      • Fractured heart, wounded beat


        Although I had many less years at the time of separation (24, 18.5 married), I remember the feeling the day he left. In my case, he left and nearly immediately went to the spouse poacher that inserted herself into our marriage. I don’t believe I will ever forget those early days…

        I cried, sometimes sobbed. I had moments of self-pity and righteous anger. I sought comfort with friends and family, but mostly from God. I’m not sure if you’re religious, but I prayed A LOT, asking for relief from the pain and guidance moving forward. I also listened to praise music, but any uplifting music seemed to help. Although I also had my moments with incredibly angry music and sang/screamed things “at” him. That helped too. 😉

        [I also tracked him, knowing his every move. I stalked the whore’s online presence (YouTube, Facebook, etc.). This stuff makes all of us a little crazy. 🤫😕]

        In the 9.5 weeks he was gone, as miserable as I was in many ways, I did experience empowerment. I found enjoyment in making my own decisions without consulting him. I rearranged the house, painted, planted, etc. as I saw fit. I felt pride while doing things by myself that he would normally do. I marveled at how easy it was to keep the house clean with him gone! I continued exercising (amazingly having more time to do so) and lost another 30 pounds during that time. I even took my kids on a 2500 mile roadtrip, visiting nine different states! By the time he returned, I was starting to feel more at peace about the life change, although I still didn’t want it. I started to feel like I’d make it through, as hard as it might be.

        This experience is scary, humiliating, defeating, disappointing, shocking, devastating and INCREDIBLY UNFAIR!

        But it isn’t only the character of the cheating spouses that is exposed in this tragedy, it also has a way of revealing the character of the betrayed spouses in ways that are surprising to themselves. It’s easy to get lost during so many years melding with another person.

        Please try to find the upside of a terrible situation. That is so very hard to do with a broken heart, I know, but if you can, do those things he didn’t want to do. Those compromises you made? Do it your way now. Your voice is the only one that matters so….

        I’m not sure if any of that helps in your situation, but I felt so saddened by your message, recalling how I felt the day mine left. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this.

    • Jennet

      Thank you so much for your support. It’s comforting to know that there are people out there thinking of me at this heartbreaking time. We’ve been through so much together over the years and have come out the other side. Not sure we will this time. I had to make him leave for my own sanity couldn’t stand all ‘I need more time etc.’ crap anymore. So he’s got his time of two months to sort himself out. Then we will go from there. I am at the stage where enough is enough and I know that I am strong, and that I can and will make a life on my own if it comes to it. I have turned to God and have found peace when I sit in church and ask for guidance. I’m not religious really but I have found an inner calm. Thank you again jennet

    • Legal Eagle

      Thank you, Doug for this post. I didn’t realize one of the major underlying emotions I am experiencing right now is fear of the unknown. As much as I’ve read (probably over 100 articles about emotional cheating and affairs) at this point, there is no way to predict the road ahead.

      My husband and I have been together 14 years, married for 5.5 years. He is 44 and I’m 35 and have each been in one long term relationship prior to our getting together.

      I discovered in April that he was having a 4 month long emotional affair with his co-worker. Our marriage wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. I went into our phone bill and found page after page of text messages and long phone calls. A couple very romantic letters to her, one with sexual undertones.

      He claims she was depressed (husband who cheats on her, won’t have sex with her), was abused as a child by her father, and a two time divorcee at 35 and needed support. He was her knight in shining armor as he claimed they were “just friends” and that he needed to say nice things to her to keep her from committing suicide. Total BS as you don’t need to talk to someone constantly throughout the day, speak and think of them sexually and all the while, hide this from your wife.

      I was absolutely crushed and thought I would suffer a heart attack. I never knew you could feel such searing emotional pain even if your spouse did not have sex with the other person (I believe that as the very recent letters would have been more sexually overt if this did happen).

      I fear I do not know if I can trust him 100% in the months and years ahead. Although it’s only been 1.5 months since D-Day, I’ve improved a lot. From not eating, to couch potato all day to working and enjoying time in my garden.

      I’ve committed to working on the relationship with him but sometimes I fear he will never be honest with his feelings so I can get closure. I know he feels extreme guilt and remorse but he chooses to keep characterizing their relationship as friends and I can tell he’s getting tired of the questions.

      I am inspired by Jennet and how strong she is find her inner calm. There are a lot of us hurting on this site but I’ve also read so many stories that inspire hope. I everyone the best and strength in their recovery.

      • Another One

        My husband also didn’t want to call his relationship with the OW an affair until he googled the term “emotional affair” and saw for himself the many, many examples and explanations. It was this that made him finally acknowledge that what he’d had was an affair and not just a friendship. Maybe this might also help your husband accept the reality of his behaviour.

        • Legal Eagle

          Another One: I like the idea of sending him more articles. A few days after D-Day, I sent him one article. I didn’t even have the words to describe what I went through. Thankfully this site and the commenters helped clear things up for me.

          I’ll work on compiling some articles for him to read this week. Thank you for reaching out.

      • worldwidewebers

        Legal Eagle- you should read the book “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. She so perfectly describes the slippery slope down which your husband has slipped and how he got himself there. There are so many stories of fragile, needy women who need a man to be their knight- and how validating that is for a married man. I found this book the most helpful thing I read to understanding how this happened to me, and it took all the shine of the affair for him. It’s not a special or unique relationship or situation- it’s way more commonplace and average than they might like to admit. It helped me to learn that this can happen to anyone and how I can ask specific questions to help my healing and moving forward. The CS May “get tired” but that’s because they want to move on more quickly- it’s painful to go back there if they are remorseful- the guilt and shame must be overwhelming. I try not to let my desire to not cause him pain (I know, ironic) deter me from bringing up questions from time to time. We will heal so much more slowly- we didn’t know until we knew- and our spouses obviously knew for much longer. I wish you peace and healing moving forward.

        • Legal Eagle

          WWW: I am happy I came across your comment today. In the flurry of posts, I had managed to skip over yours. My apologies. Really needed a support boost today so came back to the site and found your post unanswered.

          I read “Not Just Friends” a couple weeks after my H’s EA (and continue to consult that and this site time and time again) and really helped to quell some of my hears that she was somehow better than me and the one he longed to be with. The EAP is a broken, broken young woman and my husband, always the “nice” and “responsible” one couldn’t get enough of being superman. And I agree, framing the EA this way did take all the shine away.

          Now that I am 2 months out from D-Day, I feel (on top of anger and resentment) sadness and pity when I think of them. How low they both needed to stoop to use each other to resolve their own personal issues. How pitiful it was that they needed to live in a fantasy world of fake romance and ego-stroking when their goal was never to actually act on it. And it always made me wonder why each of them thought talking about your issues to anyone other than the person you’re having the issue with was going to make things better. But as Fractured Heart said, there is no logic to this madness.

          Thank you for the well wishes!! I’m not sure where you are on this journey but keeping you in my thoughts too.

    • Jennet

      Hi it is so hard when you believe your spouse then it turns into lies. You have to find the strength inside of you and it is there. You are young you don’t have to put up with the bullshit ‘just frjends’ there is no such thing they want what you have. Either fight for it with everything you’ve got or walk away. You have youth on your side I haven’t it’s my 68 birthday today and I don’t know whats In store for me but I do know I am not going to be second best for anyone. Stay strong you can do it. Jennet

      • Legal Eagle

        Hi Jennet,

        Happy belated birthday! I know it may not be a jubilant one but I see your strength and know the time apart from your H will provide some mental and breathing space that you need to figure things out. Part of me regrets not doing the same thing.

        The first D-Day I just saw a string of somewhat flirty texts, a week later I found the romantic letters and the cute pictures he sent her. That’s when I lost it and packed my bags. The house is in my name but I couldn’t bare sitting here and having all the triggers and reminders.

        He drove home from work since I discovered all of this in the middle of the day and blocked me from driving off with my bags. He begged for a chance to talk after work and said he was suicidal, that he would just veer his car off the road because of his guilt.

        Whenever things get really bad, he’ll bring up suicide or that he’s so tired of going over things again and again. Then the next second, I sense genuine remorse and he’s been more loving and romantic then he’s ever been.

        It’s a freakin’ emotional rollercoaster and I wish I would have taken a break from him to let him marinate in his own thoughts. But he was so unstable after D-Day that I didn’t want to leave him alone. Funny how you have to worry about them while trying to mend yourself.

        The universe works in mysterious ways and all things happened for a reason. Hopefully some light will be shed on what the reason is for this immense suffering!

        Will be keeping you in my thoughts.

        • Jennet

          Hi thank you for your support. The only good thing that’s come out of this is my weight loss about 35 pounds so far and I wasn’t really overweight but now my clothes look great. 🥰🥰 Jennet

        • Shifting Impressions

          Legal Eagle
          It sounds like your husband threatening suicide is a type of emotional blackmail. It’s a terrible way to get someone to bend to your wishes. It’s a very dangerous form of manipulation. I’m just speculating of course but that’s the first thought that popped into my head when I read your post,

          • Legal Eagle

            SI: Yes, I agree. It’s been confusing to me. He’s never been the depressed type so this came out of left field. In the past year, he’s lost his father who was his best friend (taking care of him every day after work), all while I worked my ass of to pass the bar. He’s now looking at losing his job he’s been at 25 years……It’s been a hard year.

            BUT he’s always been the type to say suicide is cowardly. He even talked the EAP off the ledge between her therapy sessions! So why say this stuff yourself now?!

            He says he’s not strong enough to go through the pain and he never felt pain like this before. I believe that but I don’t believe his suicidal wishes are serious and agree it’s emotional blackmail.

            We had another drag out fight yesterday after I had a trigger and I exploded. He said well….”I guess you’re trying pushing me away so I will leave you. I will pack my bags! You’re not trying” WOW! I called him out on it,. “So you’re leaving then?” No answer. Excuse all of my reading, processing, internal work to hold it together….He then apologized and said he had no intention of leaving.

            SI, truly it all clicked when he admitted to not meaning that and when I read your response, it made me think that he will continue so hijack the conversation with threats.

            I see this is manipulation but also a way for him to gain control of the conversation. If the focus has shifted, then he feels like he won’t have to confront the actual issues. I’m moving our “discussions” to written form.

            Thank you for pointing that out to me. God, this is all so new. Barely a 1.5 months in…..fearful of what bad days look like ahead.

            • Fractured heart, wounded beat

              Legal Eagle,

              You are in the thick of it right now. Nothing is as it seems. Your husband is not who you’ve known all these years.

              I had three DDays within less than three months. He would be remorseful, guilt- ridden, emotional. He would do super sweet things, say the right things, etc. But then, my gut would start screaming. I didn’t feel the sincerity in his words. Was it just me? Was he really lying? What was up? What was down? I felt like I was losing my mind!! I didn’t know him, or myself for that matter, anymore. I’m embarrassed to say that I became a bit suicidal (and that was NEVER something I’d experienced). I couldn’t take the insanity anymore. We went from no more than exchanging aggravated words on rare occasions to full out battle, and I do mean full out battle. Although I am a mature, educated woman, I was behaving like no one I’d ever known over the years! My life became a war zone and I was extremely battlescarred.

              The early stages are absolutely a fight just to survive. In some cases, it’s a fight to want to survive.

              We all have struggled with trying to apply logic to this travesty. There is no logic in this. None. Fighting to bring reason into them is a losing battle. My husband has candidly said that there was nothing I could’ve done to change this once the fog was fully in place.

              It’s been nearly 16 months since my first DDay and just shy of one year since he returned home. For the most part, we are doing well but this is still there, waiting to resurface. Even after all this time, even after all his effort to be the husband he should’ve been, the wounds of infidelity run very deep.

              I’m sorry that you’re here but as is often the case, the betrayed is the strong one. Sanity will return to your life. I pray, for your sake, that it is sooner rather than later. I’m glad you’ve found this site. It was a lifesaver for me.

            • Fractured heart, wounded beat

              “I guess you’re trying pushing me away so I will leave you. I will pack my bags! You’re not trying” 
              I heard the same. I was too angry about his lying and cheating. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

              Little did I know, the OW was saying, “Well, if it gets too bad, you can always come live with me!” …. and he did.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Legal Eagle
              Most likely he will continue to “hijack the conversation” that way since it worked so well for him in the past. But once you start calling his bluff things will hopefully change. Chances are he will switch to another tactic at first. I think it’s important to look for patterns and your own response to that type of manipulation.

              Your husband’s attempts at manipulating you in the examples you gave were fairly overt but watch for more subtle attempts to do the same thing.

              Two books I found really helpful are THE GASLIGHT EFFECT by Dr. Robyn Stern and IN SHEEPS CLOTHING by George Simon.

              It’s a tough battle that’s for sure.

    • Legal Eagle

      Fractured Heart: I feel you. Normally, I’m a very mature (for my age), reserved, professional woman who chose to give anyone who wronged me the stiff upper lip but I feel at times I act like a rabid animal! From 0 to 100 in a second.

      But I was extremely calm yesterday when I called him out on when he was packing his bags…I think that scared him straight. Well at least I hope. Either way I know if he’s not willing to put in the work, I am better off without him. This is a very recent realization and a milestone for me.

      I know my choice down the line will be counseling or divorce. When I posed the hypothetical to him before he said neither….that’s not a choice!

      SI: Good point that he may try to switch up the tactics or make them more subtle. I hate that this happens to be a game…one I didn’t sign up to play. He has a horrible temper and it’s just made all of these interactions worse.

      Thank you for the book recommendations. I’ll definitely look into those. Just finished Glass’ Not Just Friends. That was a good starter.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Legal Eagle
        I think it’s a way of avoiding facing what they have done and answering the difficult questions. It’s pretty classic behavior by the CS. They would like nothing better than to “just move on”.

        Earlier on in the process for me, my husband and I set aside one hour a week just to address the EA. Good idea, right? Well, I had to fight for that hour almost every week. He was so slippery in finding ways to get out of that one hour. Then we came to a place where HE felt those conversations were no longer necessary! I believe there is a great deal of cowardice involved in dealing with the aftermath of an affair. For that matter, in my humble opinion Infidelity is an act of cowardice in itself.

        • Legal Eagle

          SI: Dang, I was just going to propose the same thing (discussing the EA once a week for an hour), if this whole respond back on paper thing doesn’t work out!! I’m sure I read this on this site and might have come from you! He’s pretty expressive with written word and it’s a bit more detached since we have space from each other. And since he doesn’t want to do marital therapy.

          We had another blow up argument last night. This time he called me out on wanting to take a week long break from him to restore myself. It’s been exhausting as you all know. We’ve had many good days but 4 days in a row of screaming, crying, it’s pushed me to the edge. He said I was selfish and again, pushing him away. That I would leave and decide not to come back….well I guess that is my choice.

          His horrible temper just adds so much fuel to the fire. It causes him to scream uncontrollably, get in my face, threaten me (which I know he won’t do anything, said so himself afterwards), and says things he doesn’t mean. Honestly, if it wasn’t for these things I just listed, just fighting wouldn’t bother me so much, at least we are talking about it, even though it’s in an uncivil manner.

          Similar to your line of thought about it being cowardly behavior, I believe it’s selfish behavior. To not know how to control your anger is selfish behavior as it neglects to take into account the feelings of the other person, how they receive you.

          I also read a lot about trying to develop new positive memories together. Is 2 months out too early to do so? I still harbor so much resentment that my normally talkative self shuts up around him. And his normally non-talkative self, has to take over starting the conversations (about non EA things)….this attempt at normalcy seems needed but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just trying to gloss things over. I just can’t bring myself to be cheery…most of the time, I’m trying not to discuss this. That takes energy too.

          How do you make new memories together when the pain is so raw???!!

          So glad I found this site sooner rather than later. It seems a lot of people don’t until they’re much further along in the process. This is happening in real time and I thank everyone for welcoming me with open arms. It means a great deal to be able to have this community voice to bounce these ideas off of as the two people in my life who know, have both told me to leave. That’s not helpful when I want to work things out, or at least try to. Thank you.

          • Patsy50

            Legal Eagle

            You ask how do you make new memories when the pain is so raw? It just takes time. It’s only 2 months from D Day for you. If you and your husband have made a decision to work on your marriage that’s a good start. You should be able to ask as many questions as long as you feel the need to and he needs to answer them even if they are the same ones over and over again without anger.

            I don’t know how long you have been together but I will be married 49 years this year and we have dated six years before that as teenagers. He actually told me about his EA with a coworker 30 years younger then himself and I at first told him I was divorcing him and left for a couple of days to get my head straight. When I returned I asked if he loved me and wanted to work on our marriage. He did and that’s when we started on this crazy journey together. I never truly believed all his words but watched his actions and slowly built trust back up again. My marriage as I knew it became just memories of the past 40 years and my new marriage began I don’t celebrate my marriage date anymore and he was told that. I decided we needed to recommit to each other and that date is our new anniversary. It was hard to mourn all those years but I had to let them go. Do I know if he ever did this before? No. Will he ever do this again? Don’t know but what I do know is that he had an EA and you have to be able to look at him without anger or resentment and see that he is doing everything he can to rebuild that trust again for without trust there is no new foundation to build on.

            I wish the best for you

            • Legal Eagle

              Hi Patsy50. Thank you for sharing your experience. We are definitely committed to making this work, he just fails to understand how long the road to recovery is which I think is a major roadblock to actual success. I tried to get him to read articles this week but he refuses to do so. I’m sure it’s pride.

              Sigh….but I like you, am looking at his actions. He calls and texts me constantly throughout the day, to check on me, to just connect. He’s never done that….and it almost to the level of communication he had with the EA, so at least I’m getting that much.

              Either way, I know it’s all too early to draw conclusions and I admit that even though the EA was only 4 months or so, it was intense and he is going through his own set of feelings (which he doesn’t care to admit) and we are just in a blender of mixed emotions right now to act and think clearly….so I see that we need some time before any rebuilding happens.

              And thank you for saying that I have to look at him without anger or resentment. This is definitely my current goal as this blocks me from having “normal” conversations about our day. I offer short answers or just clam up, because I am suppressing my anger, resentment, triggers. This can’t be helpful, so I am trying to be better at that so we can at least have some sort of normalcy during this storm.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Legal Eagle
            Actually the hour a week discussion was quite effective…..even though he would try to get out of it. So I would present that idea to him if I were you. My husband refused Marriage counseling as well. I did go for some personal counseling just for me.

            It sounds like your husband’s temper is a huge problem. How do you respond when he screams at you etc.? Do you confront? Do you walk away? Do you try reasoning? What is the pattern? You might wonder why I ask that. I have found that we really can’t change anyone but there is more power in our own response than we realize. I loved the book IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred M Reilly.

            Also, I agree with Patsy50, it’s only been a few months. When our partners cheat we as the BS are left To fight battle of epic proportions within ourselves. There simply are no short cuts. It’s been over seven years since d-day for me. I cried almost everyday for three years. I had trouble sleeping and the my husband’s betrayal was the first thing I thought about when I woke up and the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep for probably five years. I carried a sadness deep within. He broke my heart. But slowly we did build new memories. Slowly trust started to return. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Our journey toward healing was often one step forward and two steps back.

            Allow yourself to grieve….to feel the pain and the anger. It’s okay. There is absolutely nothing easy about this journey.

            • Legal Eagle


              I will ask him about the 1 hr discussion, hope he agrees to that.

              Usually when he screams, I try to stay quiet but lately….it’s been hard to because he’ll yell these unbelievably insensitive things and I can’t just sit there and allow that. But he’s told me before that he also feeds off my energy. I guess that’s everyone.

              I also try to reason with him, sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. Walking away is something I’ve never done before. I’ll look into that book….It would be helpful to understand how my reactions to his anger is influencing the situation.

              Sometimes I think to myself how freely my tough-guy husband who never spoke about his feelings, had issues bringing up important topics with his family, opened up freely and without judgment to his EAP about her intense life struggles and our marital problems. Now, when I am down for the count, he can’t muster up the same patience and kind words? Instead, I’m met with anger and “get over it”? When I bring this up to him, he says it’s easier to talk to a “stranger” about those sort of things because you can offer more generic answers but with your spouse, stakes are higher and there is actual sh*t you have to address. I resent that I might never see that side of him he shared with his EAP.

              Thank you for sharing your struggle. I know it will be a painful and long journey. But I am an optimist and as hard as this all is to go through, I still see it as a chance to really examine our marriage and ask ourselves what we want from this second chapter.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Legal Eagle
            It’s a nice thought to be able to look at your husband without anger and resentment but just how does one go about doing that? Because in all honesty there is anger and resentment to deal with. Sometimes the anger was the only thing that kept me going because it was too hard to deal with the excruciating pain under all that anger.
            Letting go of the anger and resentment is a difficult process. Also it’s what you do with that anger. I set the goal of not acting out my anger but rather getting in touch with it and communicating it with my words and not actions.

            In some ways I’m disagreeing with Patsy50…..I’m saying its okay to feel that anger and resentment and you can’t really force yourself to look at him without it. Own it and let him know how you feel. For me one of the signs that my husband was starting to get it was when he could calmly listen when I expressed to the best of my ability the pain and anger I was feeling. When I started to see true remorse in his eyes. And in all honesty it was well over a year before that started to happen.

            By the way…..he wouldn’t read stuff I wanted him to read either.

            • Legal Eagle

              I see this viewpoint as well. Not sure if this is the best way to approach it but when I get angry or triggered, I try to figure out if 1) He’s responsible for it and 2) What the best way would be to express it.

              Of course, he’s responsible for all of the pain I’m feeling but most of the time when I sit and stew, ruminate….Although he put me in this position, I’m also in the position to try to control these thoughts. Maybe directing the anger (by clamming up and being short) towards him isn’t a healthy or appropriate way to address what I’m feeling. And honestly, not fair that I randomly thought of them going to happy hour together then choosing to be quiet the rest of the evening.

              Even though I am trying to control my anger and resentment, I haven’t yet learned how to address my triggers (which seem constant and a great source of my anger). One of the two letters I uncovered was a very long list of “nice things” he thought of with her (that never happened, their imaginary fantasy land) including getting breakfast (a daily thing), wine tasting (we drink a lot of wine), trips abroad (this is my passion), making the bed and messing it up (I guess we sleep everyday!), calling her gorgeous (he called me gorgeous on our wedding day), date nights, etc…..these are all things WE do together. Our special things…..like everything in that list seems to the life share together….so yes, I get triggered a lot and wish I never read that letter but it was this letter that opened my eyes to the depth of their relationship. I wish there was a way to let him know what ALLLLLL of my triggers are but that also seems exhausting. I try to block these images out but this letter is seared in my mind….probably just needs time like everything else.

            • Another One

              Legal Eagle,
              At just two months after Dday your feelings, and his, are still tumultuous. He’s probably only just now beginning to start to make his way out of the affair fog so it’s not surprising he’s still fighting off admitting what he did wrong and is unable to provide the support you need.
              Right now you need to,give yourself a lot of grace, patience and practice self-care. Triggers are inevitable (read the really good post from a few weeks ago) and painful. At that stage of our recovery my H was remorseful but unable to help me much as he was still too busy protecting himself and his feelings. It wasn’t until 4 or 5 months on that was he was able to remain calm enough to listen to me and agree that his way of dealing my triggers was not helpful and he needed to be more understanding and less selfish. Not surprisingly, when he put this into practice it actually helped to diminish the number and severity of my triggers.
              He, at first, was also unwilling to listen and thought I was exaggerating when I called his “friendship” an affair, he had to do his own research and reading before he believed me.
              We started working on our relationship fairly early on but it’s been very difficult for me as I’m also working through the trauma of the affair. I don’t regret all this hard work but it is very hard and some days quite daunting.

            • Fractured heart, wounded beat

              Legal Eagle,

              There is no proper way to deal with this situation, really, as the details are all so unique and deeply personal to your relationship. Like you, I read every piece of proof I could get my hands on. The night of my first Dday, I read every text message they exchanged (reacting but not retaining them all). This initial step led to details that I likely never would’ve had otherwise (e.g., what does this mean? What is that referring to? Did you do that? etc.) I downloaded them all and revisited them on several occasions. It hurts, horribly, but as time has passed, it has helped me put together a more precise timeline and identify some of the manipulative tactics the spouse poacher used. This has helped in that I have had them available when questions later arose. I could cross reference our text conversations with theirs, check his location (until he started turning off his location after DDay1), and identify his lies, their activities, etc. (She actually provided him with a burner phone after DDay1 so that time is lost to me.) Just within the last few days (!), I was able to identify what appears to be the moment that he decided to step on the slippery slope. This had been a point of contention as he really has no memory of this stuff (it’s complicated but almost like a dissociative episode) and wouldn’t admit to the events and compromises that got us here because he didn’t have a memory of it (although he has accepted responsibility overall). This has been objective evidence that tells the story, something I needed to reframe this traumatic experience and forced him to admit that even if he doesn’t remember it, this or that clearly occurred in this or that way. Had I deleted this info earlier, I know I would’ve regretted it and believe it would’ve prevented me from coming to terms with some of these details. Also, in my initial state, many of these questions weren’t formulated as just breathing took great effort. As time has passed, I have actually reviewed the messages with him and he had to face it while thinking clearly this time.

              That said, specific to the letter you read, I also encountered some horrible things that hurt more because of our relationship and have led to more triggers over time. Specifically, he sent her obscene photos or just “sharing his life” photos from nearly every room in my home, even my bedroom! They discussed what they could do to each other on my couch and (!) washing machine. He cut me out of photos to send her, including the one from the delivery room after I had our son (taken by our young daughter, btw). He sent her lists of songs including the song from our first dance at our wedding. He said one song made him want to pick her up and run away with her but that every song made him think of her (try listening to ANY song after that…. did this/would this make him think if her?). After having difficulty being complimentary and affectionate for years with me (despite my pleas to work on this to no avail), he complimented this $#&@ endlessly, used endearments, acted protective, thought of her morning, noon, and night, and on and on. It was as if everything that mattered to me was affair fodder and everything I craved was freely given to this old whore. It killed me.

              However, for me at least, the not knowing is worse. I would rather hurt but know than always wonder. For instance, I know almost nothing about the months he lived with her and when he did return, anything that was different in him (even different things he wanted to purchase at the grocery store) always made me wonder if this was something he’d “picked up” from that $%&@*. He remembers NOTHING between DDay2 and DDay3 as far as his meetups, conversations, etc. and that is STILL difficult for me.

              In the early days, these things seemed to indicate that he was intentionally doing things that would cause me the most emotional pain given the history of our relationship. It has taken me a lot of time to realize that he was sharing this stuff not to cut me deeper but that in his fog- induced state, he was oblivious and didn’t have an original thought. They share OUR lives with these bottom-feeders because that is all they know. We are talking about very low level, primitive brain function here!

              Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely thrown these words back at him in anger, sarcasm, and straight out venom at times. IT HURTS! I won’t ever forget them and that sucks….. but, I have to live with it and for me, getting it all out on the table so I could figure out HOW to live with it was more important in the long run. To quote another betrayed, how can I forgive when I don’t know what I’m forgiving?

              That said, you’re early in this process. All this takes a lot of time. But, you are strong and you will find your way. It won’t be easy, it won’t be perfect, you’ll stumble and fall, but you’ll survive.

              Keep reading. I found great comfort in the stories of others. When you feel like you’re whole world is disassembling before your eyes, it helps you feel less alone in this.

    • Ds

      I fear I will never be the same happy go lucky woman. I fear I will end up institutionalized. I fear I might do something really stupid and go to jail. Doug, didn’t you send an audio about fear based reasons to stay in marriage isn’t good. Why post what we fear about marriage? Why should we fear anything. He should fear he will lose his wife, reputation, family , friends and $$$$. I mostly kept this between a few friends and my sisters. Because the one and only thing I fear is EMBARRASSMENT for staying with my stupid, selfish, self centered, ego driven, scumbag of a husband

      • Doug

        DS, Thanks for your comment. Virtually everyone who has been effected by infidelity has fears and perhaps talking about/sharing them can be therapeutic. And in reality, the many people who I have talked to – both betrayed and unfaithful – are consumed by fears which tend to dictate/limit how they live their lives and how they relate to one another. Fear can often run a person’s life.

      • sue

        DS, I have to reply to this and hope it helps you. I’m going thru my own stuff here, had some of those same thoughts early on. I didn’t see where you are in the process, but as time goes on and you get stronger, some of those fears dissipate. I hope you don’t let embarrassment dictate how you handle everything though. I felt some of that too but I put that on the bottom of the pile of feelings I had. Staying with my husband (or not) was my decision to make, not anyone else’s, and however it turns out it’s still mine. Fortunately for me, both my husband’s and my family were all supportive and did not offer opinions. It may be different in your case, but the decisions are all yours, not theirs, no matter how many opinions they might have. I wish you well, and wherever you are in the process, just give it time, as much time as you can. And don’t listen to anyone else’s opinions. We’re approaching the 2 year mark in August and still working on things, and I still don’t know how it will work out. We’re in our 70’s too so there won’t be any do-overs for us.

        • Ds

          I am 17 months out of DDay 1, 12 months from DDay 2 and I month from DDay 3. My husband had an affair with his PA. Said it was just a kiss and they were friends. Never believed that. May 2nd found out if was sexual ( no surprise). But was surprised when it started. Last month found out it started like 4 months earlier than initiAlly told and after being busted by husband In dec they went underground until I trashed her freaking office cause the scared little bitch ran when my dumb ass husband told her I was coming to hospital. To be honest, he left job July 1st. Still not sure when or if it ended. I had a nervous breakdown. I’m on a plethora of meds have a trauma therapist and a regular therapist. I am of the opinion that my husband is a narcissist (which by the way he thinks is a good thing lol) and a sex addict. Found out he has been going to massage Parlor (happy finish) forever before marriage and during at least 3x a month( which means more, of course) cause he lies like I drink water and had a masturbation ritual that occurred every night. Even though I was trying to communicate to him that we were broken. No intimacy, no affection, no sex. Then when he decides to have sex with a person, it’s an orthodox Jewish woman. Who is a swinger and fucking two different surgeons. She Gives me two stds and he doesn’t stop having affair. That’s the readers digest version

    • Nikki

      My fear is that the lies and deception will never stop. It seems is addiction recovery it’s 2 steps forwards and 10,000 steps backwards and the only one in emotional pain is me. His affair resulted in a child. It’s been devastating to say the least. They are on this vicious crazy train cycle and I wonder if he will ever break it. There are days it seems ok and then other days it’s like hell on earth. He has multiple layers of Alcoholism, childhood trauma, military veteran and sex addiction. Sometimes I ask myself how in the world did I end up here!? We each are in our own counseling but no one is attending to the marriage. It is difficult to get him to stop active like a victim and saying it’s “too overwhelming to add 1 more thing” but I fear our marriage will crumble if no one tends to it. I often want to yell “stop being a baby and just do all the steps.” I understand that won’t help but it’s how I feel.

      • sue

        Nikki, I don’t know if this will be helpful or not, but in our case I’m the one with the childhood trauma, at least more trauma than my husband had in his. (mine was sexual abuse) We’re coming up on 2 years after D day soon, and I’m the one who can’t get past his affair. According to my therapist, much of my resistance is due to my own childhood trauma. He has gotten past things of course and is being the perfect husband now, but I am still in resistance. We both continue in our individual therapies, getting along ok, like friends or roommates, but I just can’t seem to make a move toward him and “tend to the marriage.”. We were married 42 years when I found out about his affair. I don’t know where we’ll end up with this.

    • Ds


      When you have been lied to repeatedly over the course of 17 mos, what’s your take on polygraphs?

    • Ds

      I would like nothing more than to believe my husband has finally told the truth, what’s your take on polygraphs?

      • Doug

        Hey DS, As with anything like this, it’s a personal decision. If you feel that having your husband take a polygraph will assist you in the trust building process, then perhaps it might be a good idea. However, one thing to think about is what happens if you force your husband to take a polygraph and it comes back that he’s been telling you the truth? How is that going to effect things? Is he going to now lose trust in you or otherwise feel differently about you? Are you going to ever really believe/accept the results or perhaps think that he’s such a good liar he ‘tricked’ the test or the test was flawed? I’ve personally mentored two individuals who took the test on request from their spouse – both passed – and their spouses refused to believe the results, and consequently remained stuck. And if the test result does indeed indicate guilt, what happens next?

        Remember that the universal response from most unfaithful people is…Never tell. If questioned, deny it. If caught, say as little as possible. So even if/when someone is caught, they tell only what they absolutely have to tell — no more. It usually feels “safer” to lie than to tell the truth. It’s basic survival mode. But once they commit to rebuilding the trust that has been broken, they need to see that it’s now both safer and smarter to tell the truth.

    • Ds

      Thank you

    • Legal Eagle

      SI 6/5: Sorry I couldn’t figure out how to respond back to the original string…The affair fog! I’ve read about that and couldn’t figure out if my H was still in it or not. It seemed like he snapped out of it immediately after DDay as I was explosive and packing bags, but slowly it waned into “just friends”. Part of me feels like he was cornered and had to say and do things to make me stay. Now I wonder how genuine those thoughts are if we are back to square one now. But if it is anything like your experience, it will just take some time for reality to sink in. I’m happy you shared this because his selfishness now is killing my chances of recovery but to know it could possibly improve in the near future gives me some hope. But like he wants me to just get over it, I want to see him commit and be the perfect recovery husband now. Maybe that’s not realistic and we just have to give it some time to process the fog and the intense emotions on both ends before we can come together to work on the future.

      Fractured Heart 6/5: My goodness, you read everything?! I didn’t have much to go on. Two letters and a few days of text messaging. All their work emails were strictly work related. Call and text logs. I did the same thing of cross-checking our communications, calendar and pictures to theirs. Their communications started during Xmas 2019. We had non-stop personal engagements all the way up to the country being closed down. We were busy! But I noticed that since he admitted it got somewhat sexual (discussed fulfilling each other’s needs since each claimed they weren’t getting enough sex at home), our texts decreased in frequency and were fairly administrative in nature. Did you grab milk? Did you remember to turn off the stove? Yay, domestication!

      It’s amazing that the intel you had gave you insight on what pushed him down the slippery slope. I’m sure many of us only have their word to rely on. I see the benefit of knowing in that you don’t have to make up your own mental movies, you seemingly have the whole story. Pains me to know that you had to see and read all those graphic details but I see you would have rather known.

      Initially I wanted to know because I thought it did get sexual and needed evidence to prove it. Now that I know it didn’t get sexual, but on DDay 2, found out it was more romantic in nature, and he continued to say it was a “friendship” when no friends would ever talk to each other that way…..my purpose of uncovering more was to prove him wrong. But then I realized that I already had the proof, those 2 letters and seeing any more would just burn more images in my head and trigger me.

      I like you using his words on him. I wish I had more ammunition!! I know it’s not right to dole out pain at him but I can’t help but to throw a sarcastic remark here and there. All remorseful CS’s are scarred, they can’t claim to be the perfect people they show up to the world as and I know for him, Mr. Moral High Ground who yells at me for speeding 10 miles over the speed limit, knowing that messed up the one good thing in his life is definitely punishment enough. And don’t mind if I selfishly poke at your wounded ego a few times for my own sake.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I definitely don’t feel as alone and it helps that we’ve all gone through or are still going through the same things.

    • Ds

      Legal eagle, Are you saying they work together? What is the relationship at the job? You say no sex?

      • Legal Eagle

        DS: Yes, they work together but haven’t worked in person since March or so due to the pandemic. They are in different departments but we’re regularly in contact with each other and met each other for lunch once or twice a week before work went virtual.

        As far as I know, no sex. He claims they hugged once at work because she was having a bad day. I don’t think they had sex because the letters I uncovered, dated a couple weeks before I found out, weren’t overtly sexual. But I guess there’s no way to know for sure.

        I see you’re going through a very tough situation with you H. I hope things will work out the way you want. That affair partner sounds like a total piece of work.

    • Ds

      This is for everyone. I am not saying all CS are narcissists and we all have some narcissistic traits. That can be a good thing. If you have a lot of intense narcissistic traits than that can be very bad. If your CS are full on narcissist, than That can be devastating. Now, most of what you read says run for the hills if your CS is a full blown NPD. My therapists say it’s not as black and white as many articles say. So this is for the betrayed whose husbands/ wives are exhibiting exhibiting high narcissistic traits Or you think they are narcissists. Sarah wrote an article regarding this subject. I cant remember the title. So

      So here is my point finally lol. Most CS will resort to all types of tactics to get you to just STOP and FORGIVE. Well, that ain’t ever happening. They use what I call DAF. Defensive, anger and frustration to get you to back down or stop the conversation. It is manipulative, stonewalling a bit of gaslighting. They will rewrite history. This is done to shift blame away from themselves. Probably in most cases because they feel shame , guilt and embarrassment. This will impede the healing process to an unbelievable measure. My husband is a narcissist. He is. I always thought he was just a bit narcissistic, but these last 17 months have proven otherwise. He is also hyper sexual ( sex addict). I things I have come to know, would make your hair just fall out. I was at my wits end with the DAF and lack of empathy and remorse. I have to face that I will probably never get that. I cant change him and trying is a waste of time. But my trauma therapist suggested this book Stop caretaking the borderline or narcissist , how to end the drama and get on with your life. By Marglis Fjelsted. Hope I spelled it right. Anyway it is a great read for anyone whose CS is not cooperating in your/ their own recovery. When arguments and fighting starts and you are on a hamster wheel. Bottom line, you can only change yourself and by doing so sometimes you can effect change in others. That has always been my mantra and this book helps you to do that. Your CS needn’t be a NPD or border line personality disorder for this book to help. Anyone who chooses ( actively makes a decision not a friggin mistake) to have an affair, in my opinion Is acting in a narcissistic way. Once caught there can be a plethora of ways (unhealthy). The CS decides to deal with it. This book helps you focus on you and how to interact with unhealthy people. People who decide to cheat and have affairs are only thinking of themselves and that is not healthy. I read this book in two days and I wish I had read it a year ago. It’s worth every penny. Just my opinion.

    • Rose

      Legal Eagle, my H has severe anger problems. He screamed at all our kids (they are grown) and now at me. It took me a long time to recognize that it is emotional abuse. It got better for a while with an antidepressant but now he’s decided to stop it. He cannot have a reasonable adult conversation without screaming and slamming things. So I just smile and walk on eggshells…until I can get out. I did learn to calmly get back in his face and say “You don’t scare me. I will not allow you to speak to me this way” and then get in my car and go. This does make him scream even louder but I just don’t care anymore.

      • Legal Eagle

        Rose: I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. It’s sad he decided to stop his medication but I hope he sees the error of his ways. If not, you are better without him. Keeping calm when they yell is a good tactic but he seems to have deeper issues that maybe he has control over. Regardless of whether you guys are together, he needs to fix himself or he can’t be there for anyone. Pushing positive vibes your way.

        My H and I have been communicating better. We are now 2 months after his EA. It helps that we are both committed to working on things and he’s acknowledged his anger issues but his whole family is full of hotheads so I know I have my work cut out for me.

        A week ago, I shared that I had resented him for years. Resented the way he yelled at me, belittled me in public, never an apology for his actions. I was made to feel so small. Lived this way for years until the EA woke me up to know I deserved more. I also shared that I felt like divorcing him because of his temper and treatment of me and even above recovering from the EA, I will NEVER EVER put up with what I did in the past.

        I also shared that I believe his anger and treatment of me is the root of 90% of our problems then and now in our recovery and if he can’t put an effort into resolving that now and show me respect (does anyone need a better wake up call?), I don’t believe I will be safe in the relationship and recovery will never happen. Somehow that spoke to him and he is trying more than ever.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Have you ever read the book STOP WALKING ON EGGSHELLS by Paul T Mason and Randi Krueger (second edition)?
      It’s about taking your life back when you live with some one that has borderline personality disorder. This is actually the first book I have ever read on the subject and it is an eye opener, to be sure. I wonder if it might be applicable in your case. I’m just thinking about some of your past posts etc.

    • Rose

      SI no, I haven’t heard of it but will check it out!

    • Sue

      Hi Rose, I have a friend who went thru that and still does occasionally. I don’t know how she did it but she has stayed in her marriage. She let him know that he didn’t scare her and she would not tolerate his outbursts. Their kids are super messed up though because when he couldn’t scare her, he went after them. He would not get help. He began wearing headphones 24/7 and listens to who knows what, but it seems to keep him calmer. If you want to speak to him he has to take off his headphones first. Jeez.
      That book that SI recommends is excellent for someone living with borderline personality disorder.

    • Anon84

      It has been one week since D day…mine if extra painful because the OW got pregnant. Which goes into my fears about being able to make the relationship work.

      My husband wants to be involved in the (future) baby’s life and my fear is that because of this he is going to HAVE to continue to have some sort of relationship with the OW and it will evolve into feelings for her and him changing his mind about wanting to be with me. And I know I cannot control that but that is honestly the only thing that I cannot get out of my head now. He says that he will never leave me for her and I am scared that these constant feelings are going to be what prevents us from moving forward in making things work.

      • Kat

        Hi Anon84,

        This is something I can’t just skip over. My husband’s and OW’s baby was born three months ago and I went through hell to process it and to figure out how my life would look like afterwards. Here are a couple of things I believe worth to mention:

        – Things rarely, if ever, are going to be as planned. No matter what your husband says now about him willing to be involved in the baby’s life, it’s not going to be that way. Generally speaking, life is getting more and more unpredictable. Another wave of pandemia, another natural disaster, another election and people’s lives turn 180 deg.

        – Relationships between father and child are 100% dependent on relationships with father and child’s mother. If a man and a woman don’t live together, it’s almost impossible for a man to build a relationship with his child. To raise a child, to be a parent he has to live with his son/daughter. Be present physically every single day. Be there at 8pm on Wednesday in November when it’s cold and raining outside, not just during sunny vacations or Christmas. Such things as Weekend Dad simply do not exist, no matter what your husband says. Santa Claus isn’t real, Big Foot isn’t real, and Weekend Dad isn’t real. The least painful solution for everyone in this situation would be, if your husband forgot completely about them, OW got married and her husband adopted the child and raised as his own. The question is how to sell this to your husband.

        – Chances are that eventually you and your husband will remain together. This is what happened to me and this is what happened to people I now in person. This isn’t that hard really. What is hard is to figure out, whether or not it is something you really want. Is he the man of your life? Don’t you deserve anyone better in any sense? The criteria here — at least for me — is quality of sex and my husband’s physical appearance. Both are mediocre, but I don’t want him to leave me anyway, because I want to be in control and I don’t want to feel as if I lost the game. To me this whole situation was good opportunity to dig deeper and answer the question why exactly I want him to stay for now. I will leave him or we will separate in the future, but on my terms and without other women anywhere near him.

        Lastly, nothing lasts forever. First few weeks are the worst, but it gets better. You are stronger than things are bad. You are capable of surviving this. Tons of hugs!

    • Sue

      Hi Anon. Oh my! I’m so sorry you’re here, but I feel this is hands down the best website out there to get help with this. And I’ve looked at a ton of them. That first week. You never forget it. But you do get through it and beyond. I’m saying this to you because I had no one to say it to me at first. You both have a lot, and I mean a lot, of work ahead of you. So what I would say to you in this first week, remembering my own first week, is to take care of you. Just take care of you now, not him. He may get clingy or angry, but don’t worry about his feelings right now. He has to deal with what he did. Try to let the dust settle a bit, ask questions and make sure you get answers from him, don’t let him off the hook in any way, and know this is going to be a long process. You don’t know what the outcome will be at this point so try not to let Fear rule you. He has a responsibility for this child, but he needs to decide what he wants from here out. As do you. My husband and I are nearing the 2-year point after D-day. We’ve done a mountain of work, together and separately, currently are still together albeit with not much connection. He has made it clear to me from the beginning that he loves me and wants to be only with me. He ended his 4-year affair immediately when I found out (and not a minute before). He was full of remorse, shame and guilt, and still says he can’t believe what he did to me, to us. To my knowledge he cut her off instantly in a phone call and has had no further contact with her. I know this will be different in your case, and I’m sure others on here will tell you how they handled instances like yours. My husband has done “all the right things,” but (possibly) from my own childhood of abuse, I have not been able to move forward much on my end. He broke my heart and I know I’ll never be the same again. I learned early in life not to trust, and that’s a hard thing to overcome. Our marriage is over and we will never be the innocent couple that we had been for 42 years. But, with our therapists’ help, we are trying to build something new…..a major task when you’re in your 70’s. Everyone’s circumstances are different and you will both have to make decisions. The most important thing is, you don’t have to make them Today. Take your time, scream, cry, grieve, do whatever you have to to take care of you and get those feelings out. Anger at him won’t help in the long run, although I aired my anger too in that first week. Deep down I’m still angry and hurt. It’s a long road to healing and I have hope. As I’ve read hundreds, if not more, articles and books on affairs by now, the odds are for you staying together, not against. And your husband may be, like mine, one of those who never meant to do harm, was just being incredibly selfish by having an affair, and really wants to be with only you. But don’t beg him, don’t let him walk over you, everything is on Your terms now, not his. He forfeited all his rights to the future of your marriage. Make him earn you back. Figure out, and then own, what your part in the situation is, and work on you. I will also say this, even without knowing you, you are way stronger than you ever believed! You will amaze yourself. Good luck and stay connected with people on here who have experience to share with you. Hugs!

    • Brian

      The D day for my wife’s emotional affair was 3 days ago. She refuses to discuss ending the affair and blames me and my past history with porn for everything. I discovered the affair by reading iMessage conversations on our MacBook with her and her affair partner. I’ve since seen that she Google’s how to disable iMessage on a MacBook. Although she hasn’t yet I think she is finding a way to continue the affair more privately. I don’t think this will ever end.

    • Sue

      Hi Brian…..sounds like you and your wife will have a lot of talking to do in the near future. There will be anger and hurt feelings right now, but you will get to the talking. You will come to look at what she wants and what you want in your marriage, so maybe you can think now about these things. I think I had an emotional affair when I was very young, but I called it a friendship as I didn’t know anything about affairs back then. I was young and naive and thought I was interracting with a male friend who I worked with – even though he was actually a predator type as I found out later. He hit on lots of women, married or not. My husband knew all about this friendship, it wasn’t hidden. But I did feel flattered by the man’s attention, and my husband and I should have realized then that something was needed in our own marriage, but we didn’t address it then. This new situation in your life can be the time that you both take a deep look at your marriage and see what is missing. Then you know what needs to be worked on. I’m sorry you’re in this situation because it’s a tough one and takes a lot of time and hard work. Good luck to you both! And stick with this website, there are good people on here who will help you.

      • Brian

        Thank you for your response. Things have unfortunately just gotten worse. She actually went out with the AP 3 days ago and they were out for about 5.5 hours. she says they just grabbed something to eat and sat in the car and talked, but she lied to me and told me she was going shopping when she left. My kids all found out about the affair that night as well. apparently she had asked my daughter to cover a coffee date a few weeks ago so my daughter was already suspicious. She is gaslighting and blaming me for everything. seh refuses to accept any responsibility for the affair and has now moved their chatting from iMessage to Snapchat so that it cannot be monitored. I love her and want to work things out but at this point I feel like I am just enabling her to be a cake eater and doing more damage than good. I am literally dying inside.

        • Fractured heart, wounded beat


          I am so sorry that you are in this place. The first weeks/months are pure torture for the betrayed spouse. It appears that your wife is still in the fog and cannot see beyond the fantasy that propels affairs. In this state, she likely has no awareness of what she is doing to you and your kids (not excusing the behavior AT ALL but based on my experience with a fog-stupid husband who finally started thinking clearly). My husband said it felt like those feelings were blocked from him. Now, what he did to us and how it made us feel is what haunts him daily.

          I know everything seems hopeless right now. I know your life feels completely out of control. I know you feel like you’ve been hit by a semi and continue to be run over. And worst of all, the driver is the one person you should’ve been able to trust. This is the worst part of the nightmare in so many ways.

          I went through three months of that hell before kicking my husband to the curb on DDay3 (after they took the affair underground two times while he was telling me it was over). He lived with his AP for over 2 months before waking up to his new reality and finally ending it. Those 5+ months were daily torture, not just the affair but the completely asinine conversations and moronic contentions about a rosy future. His AP even taunted me, gloating about having him. He acted like I was the bad guy and looked at me with hatred and contempt. Look into her eyes – they often will look very different from the person you’ve known and loved.

          Every situation is different and I don’t recall if you shared how long you’d been married or any other history. If you’ve had a seemingly good marriage and built a strong relationship over the years, recognize that this person IS NOT WHO SHE LOOKS LIKE, SOUNDS LIKE, etc. THIS IS NOT YOUR WIFE ANYMORE. Assume that everything is a lie right now, as it likely is. She will say incredibly hurtful things that you’ll want to take personally. It’s difficult but please try to resist doing that. Think of her as someone you know who has completely lost touch with reality (kind of true here).

          I know I hated hearing this in the thick of it but you do need to focus on yourself and being strong for your kids through this (mine also knew about the affair pretty early on). THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAILURE – IT IS HER FAILURE ENTIRELY. YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO CAUSE THIS EVEN IF YOUR MARRIAGE WASN’T PERFECT.

          I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it sounds like you have some rough weeks ahead of you. Keep reading the stories here! They helped me greatly while I was living my own personal hell.

          For the record, my husband has been back home for almost a year and our marriage is, strangely, better than before. It’s not easy all the time and the hurt and anger is still there sometimes, but for the most part, I have a better version of my husband than ever before. When he returned from having his head up his butt (his words), I told him how much I hated him during this insanity. He said, “I know you hated me, but I think you loved me more and you knew I wasn’t myself or thinking straight.” In hindsight, he was right but living through it was still the worst experience of my life.

          Please take care of yourself. Even if you want to save your marriage, save yourself first. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into this crazy affair world!

          I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

          • Brian

            Thanks for the good info. After she went on her date the other night I sent her boyfriend a very polite text asking him to leave my wife and kids mother alone. Today he told her about it and she became angry with me for “harassing” him. She says we are done. Our 30th anniversary is Wednesday.

        • Jennet

          Hi I feel for you I’m 3 week into a two month trial separation. I’ve no idea how it’s going to turn out. I’m getting so many mixed messages. I don’t know what to believe the trouble is like you I love my husband so much I really want to work things out. Yet some days I just want to say enough is enough and I want to get out of this relationship altogether. It’s the uncertainty that gets to me. My husband s affair went on for along time first as an emotional then physical. It ended after I discovered texts messages. I had no idea at all. So I feel humiliated, stupid and such a fool for not seeing it. They can be very devious in their methods of deception and of course we trust them completely. I’ve got only one piece of information that is to hang on in there you might be one of the lucky ones to turn this betrayal around I hope so. Thinking of you at this awful time. Take care jennet

          • Sue

            Hi Jennet, just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you during your separation. My husband’s affair was emotional, then physical and went on for 4 years, and I did not have one clue. We had what both of us called a “good” marriage, all while he was having an affair. I guess it was all good for him. You are in my thoughts a lot and I wish you the highest and best outcome.

            • Jennet

              Hi sue it sounds as though we are very much same. I didn’t have a clue not one she pretended to be my friend. We’ve been together for 51 years since our teens. At the moment I’ve no idea where we are going to end up. Just looking after myself day by day. Trouble is we are such good friends but I just don’t think he loves me anymore not in the way a married couple should. We’re just like room mates except he isn’t even in the house anymore. All so frustrating. We agreed on 2 months so that’s what he can have a d then decision s have to be made I can’t live in limbo indefinitely just not right. I appreciate your support thank you jennet

          • Shifting Impressions

            It’s tough when you have been together so many years. I also started dating my husband in our teens and we are now 67…..so I can relate. When I discovered my husband’s EA (almost seven years ago) he did end it immediately but was extremely difficult and defensive etc for quite awhile afterwards. I told him I wanted to try and make things work….that I was willing. But I also told him that I only wanted him to stay with me if that was what he really wanted. I told him I would always love him and it would break my heart should he decide if a life with me was NOT what he wanted BUT that I would SURVIVE WITHOUT HIM. I think that shocked him. I will never forget the look on his face when he said he might NOT survive without me. I think it hit home that he wasn’t the only one that had a choice here. I wasn’t going to beg or do the “pick me dance”.

            You are so right about not being able to live in limbo. I think it’s important for them to realize that you also have a choice to make.

    • Sue

      Brian, I could not have said anything different or more eloquently than Fractured Heart just did, I’m sorry you have entered into this world but it unfortunately is a very common one. Difficult as it is, things are out in the open now and your wife will be scrambling to figure out what to do next. Give her time if you can. There really is some sort of affair fog that people having affairs get into where they simply don’t see reality. She needs to wake up, and she will. She has no choice now. Please do things for yourself that don’t include her right now (don’t do anything destructive!). Check on your finances. Find a therapist for you. Lean on family and friends who will support you, not try to tear you down. And keep coming here, even if all you do is read the stories here. This website has gotten me thru and kept me sane these past two years. Those first few weeks and months were the hardest. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

      • Brian

        Thank you Sue. My wife told my daughter late last night that she broke contact with her boyfriend for the sake of our kids not me, but I don’t care the reason. Hopefully she is being honest and if so will continue to have no contact and eventually as her fog lifts she will be open to reconciling our marriage. I will definitely be taking care of myself right now because I realize that I have to be strong in order to continue trying to support her through this when she doesn’t want me to.

        • Brian

          Well that lasted less than 24 hours. she went to work last night and was back on Snapchat with the AP again. she just keeps justifying her behavior. I’m trying to hang in there but this roller coaster is a killer.

    • Sue

      I agree, it is a horrible roller coaster ride. Life as you knew it has been turned upside down, what you thought was true is no longer true. It takes a long time to absorb that until you find a new truth. It’s a long road Brian and I’m sorry you have to be on it. I hope you’re looking at seeing a therapist to have someone to work with you. Or marriage counseling if your wife will go. My husband and I did both and we are still seeing individual therapists. In our case, my husband ended his affair immediately, was remorseful, etc. He is being the perfect husband now but I just don’t love him now the way I did. I honestly don’t know how we’ll stay together now and we’re already in our 70’s. At 2 years, he has forgotten all about his affair and thinks we’ll work it out but I just don’t know. As you read the stories on this website, you’ll see that everyone’s journey is different. Another resource you may want to look at is Esther Perel’s videos on Youtube, especially her interviews with Lewis Howes. Your journey will take time and a LOT of work but you’ll come out knowing yourself and your wife a lot better than you ever did, and you can make decisions from there. Right now I know it’s complete chaos for you and it definitely is a roller coaster ride. Just find ways to stay grounded, whether on here, or talking with friends or family or a therapist, so that you take care of yourself. For myself, I enrolled in a 3 month physical therapy program to exercise and get stronger physically while I dealt with the chaos. You know how a nest of bees gets stirred up when something gets disturbed? That’s what this is like. The bees will all settle down eventually but the guard bees stay active around the nest for awhile, looking for any further disturbance that may endanger the nest. You’ll be the guard bee for awhile, on guard, unsettled, upset, watching. Change comes to our lives whether we like it or want it or not. This is a change you didn’t ask for, but it has to be dealt with. Hang in there and see what God has in store for you.
      I don’t know your beliefs, but I use all types of spiritual and human resources to guide my life. I consider every religion and belief system valid since human beings are individuals and need different modalities to help them. So early on in my affair recovery journey, I went to see an astrologist to have my star chart read, which I had never done before. Without knowing any details of my life or the affair, the astrologist told me that my husband and the other woman had been married many times in our past lives, and that he and I had also been married many times. She told me many details that had actually happened in our three lives, by actual dates. I was floored! Astrologists can read only the past, not the future, based on where the stars were on any given date. But this reading helped me at my worst time to broaden the possibilities in my mind about what may have happened, because we had a “good” marriage, not a bad one. The session was recorded and my husband and I listened to it in awe, and it helped both of us. We both also went to my shaman and had negative energies lifted from us and that too was helpful. Reiki or massage or any kind of body work can help to move negative energies out of your body. Some people consider these things woo-woo (and I used to) but they absolutely do work. So as I said, take care of you right now while your wife figures out her stirred-up messed up bees nest.

    • theresa

      Been a little while… and off topic.
      Does each individual act count as a separate act of infidelity?

      • sue

        HI Theresa….Just saw your post and I had to think about this a bit. I think if there’s one affair with one person, then whatever occurs within that affair is one infidelity. If there are many affairs, then many separate acts. Hope this helps.

    • Patricia

      Really enjoyed these open Mike blogs. I was divorced years ago and these conversations hit home.

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