When it comes to describing the actual pain of betrayal, words often fail us. The pain of being betrayed is a visceral experience and your body feels it and experiences it.

pain of betrayal

By Sarah P.

Language is powerful; they say the pen is mightier than the sword. In many cases, such axioms are correct. However, for words to have power and be mightier than the sword, both concepts and experiences must have an adequate language to describe them.

However, there is an issue that often crops up for me. The issue is this: sometimes it is a challenge to find the right words to describe how being betrayed feels to those who have not been betrayed.

When it comes to describing the actual pain of being betrayed, words often fail me. The pain of being betrayed is a visceral experience and your body feels it and experiences it.

In fact, there are many cases where a betrayed spouse has not found out that their spouse has had an affair, but their body already knows it.

After you find out about your spouse’s affair, the devastation is hard to put into words. 

Your mind is aware of the pain, but when you have just found out the person who you were supposed to trust the most in the world, has been carrying on a secret life, your body actually feels the pain too.

Now, great authors are often able to write about a topic that emotionally moves us. Great authors are able to describe what it is like to be in the middle of India and to see a child pick up dirt-covered food and eat it. Such images move us to compassion.

I have been writing for many years about infidelity; my opinions have evolved from my earliest blog posts. But, here is the struggle: I have never found the words that can cause a wayward spouse to feel a fraction of the pain a betrayed spouse feels.

But, I will try.

The Pain of Betrayal

Imagine one day you wake up and you find yourself 30,000 feet above the earth and you are free-falling. You don’t know how you got into this situation. But, you feel sheer terror. You instinctively start grabbing everything on your body to feel for something like a parachute cord. You search frantically for this cord that will save your life. You never find the cord.

Soon, you pinch yourself and tell yourself, “It’s all a bad dream. It’s all a bad dream. Isn’t it? Wake up. Wake up. WAKE UP!!!”

You do not wake up.

With each second, you grow closer to the ground below. You have not woken up yet and you have not found a parachute cord.

A minute later, your body smashes into the earth at 500 miles per hour; your body is shattered into a million pieces.

It was NOT a bad dream and you just died. Everything that was you was obliterated into formless and scattered pieces.

D-Day feels like that.

Now, on D-Day, you may not die a physical death, but you die an emotional death and that emotional death shatters you into a thousand pieces.

That is what it feels like to have your spouse cheat on you.

Does that metaphor of free-falling against your will resonate with you?

If it doesn’t, how about this metaphor?  

infidelity pain

Another Metaphor to Describe the Pain of Betrayal

I am going to use stream trout and their imaginary “trout tribes” to describe the pain of infidelity.

Imagine you are a large, beautifully-patterned, rainbow trout, swimming happily in a clean and clear Idaho river. Humanity is far away from you and all you have to contend with are some large boulders in your stream and sometimes the occasional bear that will dip its paw into your stream.

Life is blissful, especially in the late-afternoon when the sun filters into the water at the right angle and gives everything a delightful glow. All is well with the world.

Except for one thing.

Sometimes you have heard whispers about these awful things that walk on two legs. You have heard the legends of the two-legged beast. These legends strike terror into your heart. These two-legged beings appear to dwell on land, breathe air, and many of them like to capture you and your kind.

The chief of your trout tribe has told everyone that these two-legged, air-breathers come in two kinds: the first kind is very annoying and most certainly ruins your day. This two-legged creature thinks it’s funny to play tricks on the trout tribe. He casts what appear to be flies that you can eat into your river. If you bite one of his pretend flies, he will pull you out of the water and he will stare at you for a while as you gasp for air. But, pretty soon, if you are lucky, he will throw you right back in your river. The entire experience shakes you, but you are still alive.

But, the chief of your trout tribe has also warned all of your kind about a second type of two-legged beast. The problem is, if you meet this second type of being, there is a high chance you will never come back to your stream at all.

This second type of two-legged being uses very colorful objects that attract your attention and arouse your curiosity. If you bite one, something sharp will penetrate your face and you will be pulled by your face out of your stream. For most in the trout tribe who experience this event, they will never return.

Everyone in your trout tribe knows the older trout with the scarred face who escaped one of these two-legged beings and lived to tell the tale. He had told everyone in the trout tribe that this second type of two-legged being likes to eat the trout tribe. This two-legged being is the stuff of trout nightmares. The elder trout always warn the younger and more curious trout to stay away from these two-legged beings; for they may never return.

The younger trout often ask the chief of the trout tribe why these two-legged beings are so cruel. The chief of the trout tribe has no answer. All he can do is educate all the trout in his tribe about these two-legged beings who grab trout by the face and eat them. He educates those in his trout tribe to avoid these two-legged beings at all costs: to avoid anything that looks too shiny and interesting, to ignore a fly that looks too easy to catch, and to look for the long, dark shadows that the two-legged beings cast upon the river.

See also  When Affairs Are Deadly: Suicide and Grieving

Despite all of the trout’s tactics to avoid being harmed by these two-legged beings, many from the trout tribe will be taken. No trout can truly tell if they will run into a two-legged being or know the full intentions of that two-legged being. Is he the one who will ruin your day or the one who will kill you?

Now, let’s imagine that you are a trout and you have just been hooked by the face, pulled out of your stream, and you start gasping for air. Suddenly the world before you looks very different and it happened in an instant – without warning, really.

Then, come sounds you have never heard. Suddenly, a searing pain runs down your abdomen. You twist and turn with all your might, but all of your internal organs have just spilled onto the ground. You die wriggling on that line, trying to get free.

Once you are free of your body and as you float up into the sky, you see a bunch of two-legged beings feasting on what used to be your earthly form. You do not understand. Nothing makes sense. You are heading for a trout stream in heaven to rejoin all the elders who passed before you, but you will never be able to understand why this happened to you.

When you reach your trout stream in heaven, you will tell the elders your story. You will tell them how painful it was to experience all of your organs spilling onto the ground right before your eyes. You will tell the elders that these vicious two-legged beings did not even wait until you took your last breath, before they cut open your belly. You will tell your trout elders that the cruelty of these two-legged beings was as relentless as it was meaningless.

A caveat: These two stories are metaphors; do not take them literally. I am not trying to start a philosophical discussion on whether or not trout have tribes and go to a trout heaven when they die. I am also not trying to criticize people who fish or make a statement against fishing.

I am simply trying to come up with some examples that are more or less universal and could be easily understood. But, I chose these two metaphors because of their visceral nature.

There is nothing more visceral than having your abdomen opened while you are still alive and aware of your surroundings. There is nothing more visceral than finding yourself free-falling from a great height with no parachute.

The pain of betrayal is such a visceral experience that arguably is felt more inside your body than inside your mind. At least this is how it is on D-Day and directly following D-Day. The feelings that will rise inside your body do not have words to describe them. This trauma is felt and it is wordless.

How would you describe the pain of betrayal as a result of an affair?

Do you relate more to the image of being pushed out of a plane against your will or being a trout pulled out of his mountain stream?

the hurt of betrayal

Is an Affair Fair?

Well, the obvious answer is that affairs are NOT fair.

But, this is not always obvious to cheaters, which always astounds me. If you add to that all of the well-known affair-apologists that exist, the experience of a betrayed spouse is hardly acknowledged.

That is the height of unfairness.

In this section, I am going to address some of the things that affair-apologists say and see if these statements stand up to basic reason.

But, before I get started on how unfair affairs are, I wanted to tell you a humorous story about how children perceive unfairness. I hope to give you a deep, belly laugh.

No matter how many new generations are born, kids still are able to “say the darndest things!” Can you believe it?

The story I am going to tell you was NOT funny at the time and at the time, I helped the mom save face. However, many years later, I find this story very funny. I have always wanted to tell this story somewhere because of its utter absurdity.

Since this post is so depressing, let us lighten it up a bit, so that I have an excuse to tell this off-the-wall story. I give you permission to laugh, even if you laugh in that shocked kind of way because you do not know what else to do. Coffee spitting is also permissible.

When my son was three-years-old, I took him to a Mommy and Me music class taught by a professional musician.

A woman who emigrated from Germany, who also had a son my age, quickly befriended me. She was a very nice woman and she had a very adorable son. But, her son was quite vocal. He did not like to sing, he just liked to interrupt class constantly to point out unfairness.

I will refer to her son as the “no fair kid.”

Her three-year-old spent the whole class time talking about everything he saw and everything he saw also happened to be unfair in his mind. And the things that were unfair were things that simply would not hit most kid’s radar.

For example, one day, my son had a cute raincoat with frogs all over it. The “no fair kid” complained the whole time about not having matching frogs on his raincoat. This child was not poor; his father was a neurosurgeon.

But, he was angry because his mom had not thought to buy him a raincoat with identical frogs. The fact that my son had frogs on his coat ruined the “no fair kid’s” day.

Another day, the “no fair kid” complained about the fact that my son had green shoelaces while his own shoelaces were white.

Cheater’s Remorse – Going Beyond “I’m Sorry”

Then the “no fair kid” started interrupting music class to point out something random that was unfair:

  • That’s unfair that the girl is sitting by the big window.
  • That’s unfair that that boy over there has a colored marker.
  • That’s unfair that her music book has a different cover than mine.
  • That’s unfair because someone drew a horse on a piece of paper that the child over there is holding.
  • That’s unfair because it’s raining today.
  • That’s unfair because the sun is too bright in that area of the room.
  • That’s unfair because he has puppy socks. Where are my puppy socks?
  • That’s unfair because that little girl has a postcard of a kitten. Where is my kitten postcard?
  • That’s unfair because his eyes are a different shade of blue than mine.
  • That’s unfair because that little boy has a pet swan.

And on and on and on…yes, it was REALLY like that.

See also  How Do Affairs Begin? They Always Begin With the Little Things 

Pretty soon, the “no fair kid” was known to the whole class and the music teacher was constantly trying to gently stop his interruptions and go back to the fun music, kid’s instruments, and dancing that we did.

I do not know how the music teacher was able to maintain her cheer; I suspect she had to super-glue the sides of her lips to her cheeks to maintain a permanent smile. Now, I say this in gest.

Then one day, the “no fair kid” dropped the verbal equivalent of a nuclear bomb of embarrassment. That is, if utter embarrassment could transform into a nuclear bomb, the “no fair kid” had dropped it. This was the kind of embarrassment that makes someone want to crawl into a bomb shelter and never come out again.

If you are still reading this post, this is probably the time where you should put your hands over your face and peek through one of your fingers, the way people do when they see horror movies.

Here is what the “no fair kid” did. (Please put your hands over your face now…)

He yelled and stomped to get the attention of the entire class.

You see, the “no fair kid” felt that he had experienced the most horrendously unfair event of his life and he had to tell everyone about it. The most unfair moment of the “no fair kid’s” life had happened right before he came to class that day.

The “no fair kid” yelled, “I opened the door when mommy was going to the bathroom. Do you know what Mommy was doing? Mommy was peeing out of a GIANT ball of fur! Do you know how unfair that is? I do not have a giant ball of fur to pee out of. Mommy has a giant ball of fur she pees from and she won’t let me borrow it. No fair!!!”

There was no taking it back… the train had already left the station.

And the poor music teacher frantically started her music CD and cranked up “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to ungodly decibels. Mary Had a Little Lamb was playing so loudly that it was probably heard miles away and possibly interrupted the flight patterns of airplanes flying over the area.

The poor German mom grabbed her son and quietly exited the room, never to be seen again. For all I know, she could be hiding in a bomb shelter to this very day.

Life is not fair, is it?

The “no fair kid” is probably well into his teen years now. I wonder what he finds unfair these days? I would guess that he would find it unfair that another teen his age might be in possession of an expensive drone that is capable of flying over clothing-optional beaches on the French Riviera.

Now, onto the serious stuff…

Let us talk about the unfairness of infidelity… where do I even begin?

Well, one of the number one reasons that affairs are unfair is because there are so many well-known affair apologists. These affair-apologists make lots of money on their books, write for elite magazines, give TED talks, and are seen a credible sources among the masses. (Of course, one of my best friends recently informed me that the masses are asses, so that’s an explanation as to why affair-apologists are so popular).

Why is that unfair?

Because affair-apologists make a lot of money just from being affair-apologists.

But, what is worse is that affair-apologists undermine the absolute devastation of a betrayed spouse.

Instead, they focus on the aliveness of the cheater. The betrayed is seen as some dowdy, grump trying to keep the cheater from living his life authentically and lovingly.

You see, the cheater just has so much love to give to others; that love makes him or her feel alive. The betrayed is being a Negative Nellie and preventing the collective evolution of all cheaters so that they can find themselves… in all sorts of other people.

Affair-apologists hijack the experience and the narrative of the betrayed spouse and these affair-apologists often attempt to frame infidelity as something that could indeed be a positive thing for a marriage. Sometimes they can be caught saying that is truly is the best thing that can happen to a marriage.

That’s like saying that best thing that happened to the two World Trade Centers was to have airplanes run into them. I do NOT make light of the victims of 9/11 or the events of that day. Even though it happened 18-years-ago, this heinous and indescribable event is seared into my mind as if it occurred just yesterday. But, using that image is another visceral image. I do not know anyone in my personal circle who can discuss the events of that day without a tear in their eye.

Why? Because it has affected us at a visceral level.

When we think of it, our first instinct is to get a lump in our throat and a tear in our eye. It’s an experience that has found its way into our bodies, even if we were not there when it happened. Still, our bodies understand it and that is why we cry; we fail to find the words to adequately describe one of the worst events in recent, human history.

That is also the pain of infidelity.

It’s a pain that our body knows more deeply than our mind knows it.

Let’s go back to the affair-apologists and why they are harmful…

If a cheater gets ahold of one of these books, he or she will use it to gaslight their betrayed spouse. Affair-apologists have given them the blue-print for the biggest mind-game of all: gaslighting and making a betrayed spouse to feel crazy, which often brings an innocent person to the brink.

Here is a little ditty from The New Yorker about Esther Perel. Indeed, it is a veritable siren song for those attempting to normalize infidelity:

“The couples therapist and relationship guru Esther Perel believes otherwise. In her new book, “The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity” (Harper), she argues that we would be better off coming to a more compassionate accommodation of our unruly desires. Decades of administering to adulterers and their anguished spouses have convinced her that we need “a more nuanced and less judgmental conversation about infidelity,” one that acknowledges that “the intricacies of love and desire don’t yield to simple categorizations of good and bad, victim and culprit.” Our judgmental attitude toward our transgressions does not make us any less likely to commit them, she argues—“infidelity has a tenacity that marriage can only envy”—and it keeps us from understanding why we transgress. The desire to stray is not evil but human…

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This approach, Perel believes, does little justice to the “multifaceted experience of infidelity.” It demonizes adulterers, without pausing to explore their motives. It focuses on the traumatic effects of affairs, without acknowledging their “generative” possibilities. “To look at straying simply in terms of its ravages is not only reductionistic but also unhelpful,” she writes. Affairs can be devastatingly painful for the ones betrayed, but they can also be invigorating for marriages. If couples could be persuaded to take a more sympathetic, less catastrophic view of infidelity, they would, she proposes, have a better chance of weathering its occasional occurrence. When people ask her if she is against or in favor of affairs, her standard response is “yes.” (1)


Before I knew anything about Esther Perel, I had listened to one of her TED talks, but I had not read her books and I was not aware of her stance on infidelity. I had falsely assumed that her view was worth considering. I no longer feel this way.

When I found out that she was an affair-apologist, my view on her changed dramatically. I believe her ideas are doing a great disservice to betrayed spouses.

Why? Because her views could very well be the views that push a betrayed spouse over the edge. When a betrayed spouse is pushed over the edge, one of several things can happen: someone kills themselves, someone kills another, someone has a mental breakdown, and families are always affected. Or, all of those things can happen. Does that sound like affairs cause “aliveness?”

Esther Perel projects a façade of being an evolved European who is in stark contrast to us Puritanical Americans who just are too simple-minded to understand. Esther identifies herself as Jewish. While I do not know if she practices Judaism, I am well-aware that she identifies as Jewish.

Judaism acknowledges an affair as the worst crime that can occur against another person. This is in addition to the commandment that tells us NOT to commit adultery. Judaism has very specific and detailed views about infidelity, what constitutes infidelity, and it even has laws that help people avoid infidelity.

Esther Perel does not represent the Jewish view on infidelity. Her view is very Parisian. When I lived in France and once I lived outside of Paris, the French were very conservative and did NOT have a laisse faire attitude toward adultery.

The free-love that the French are famous for appears to be something that is Parisian, but not necessarily French. Also, not all Parisians have moral values that are in the gray area. French women are famous for their loyalty to their families; not their disloyalty.

Next, I wanted to analyze some of Perel’s writing by changing only a word or two. I am going to test the logic of some of Perel’s ideas by putting them in a different context by changing a word.

Esther said: “Our judgmental attitude toward our transgressions does not make us any less likely to commit them, she argues—“infidelity has a tenacity that marriage can only envy”—and it keeps us from understanding why we transgress. The desire to stray is not evil but human.”

Now, let’s imagine that Esther were talking about arson: “Our judgmental attitude toward our transgressions [of committing the act of arson] does not make us any less likely to commit them, she argues—“arson has a tenacity that marriage can only envy”—and it keeps us from understanding why we transgress. The desire to commit arson is not evil but human.”

If you told that to a judge who was NOT inebriated, do you really think the judge would let you go?

Me neither.

Let’s take another quote and see if it holds up to logic:

Perel said: “This approach, Perel believes, does little justice to the “multifaceted experience of infidelity.” It demonizes adulterers, without pausing to explore their motives. It focuses on the traumatic effects of affairs, without acknowledging their “generative” possibilities. “To look at straying simply in terms of its ravages is not only reductionistic but also unhelpful,” she writes.”

Here is my rewrite, but I am going to use the crime of murder as a substitute:

“This approach, Perel believes, does little justice to the “multifaceted experience of murdering another.” It demonizes murderers, without pausing to explore their motives. It focuses on the traumatic effects of murder, without acknowledging the “generative” possibilities of murder. “To look at murder simply in terms of its ravages is not only reductionistic but also unhelpful,” she writes.”

But, hey I could be wrong.

Perhaps murder has generative possibilities that I have overlooked. Maybe I was mistaken, but silly me thought murder killed people.

Now, I am well-aware that I was deviating from Esther’s argument by changing the topic. However, I wanted to point out how her argument would look if we removed the word infidelity and replaced it with the names of specific crimes, like murder. In doing that, Perel’s argument falls apart quickly and her words sound absurd.

Some might say it is unfair to replace the word infidelity with the word murder. However, I will say this:

  • When a person has an affair, they are murdering the marriage covenant.
  • When a person has an affair, they are murdering their relationship with their spouse.
  • When a person has an affair, they are murdering their spouse’s trust, self-esteem, and core sense of self.
  • When a person has an affair, they are murdering years of memories.

This is why I do not hesitate to occasionally talk about infidelity as a metaphorical murder.

Viewed in this light, it is easy to see that the nonsense that affair-apologists peddle is unfair to the betrayed spouse. Affair-apologists very subtly frame the cheater as the good guy and the betrayed as the bad guy. This is reprehensible.

Question for you about the pain of betrayal:

  • How do you describe the pain of being betrayed?
  • Do you have words for it?
  • What was your experience of it?
  • Have you struggled to find the words to describe your pain to your wayward spouse?
  • Does your wayward spouse listen to you or does he or she gaslight with the best of them?
  • Has the pain of being betrayed been more of a visceral experience for you or has it been abstract and intellectual?
  • Or does the pain alternate between these states?
  • Did your body tell you there was an affair before D-Day?
  • After D-Day, how was your body affected? Did you stop eating? Were you constantly panicking?
  • How have you been this week?
  • Have you been pondering any particular ideas that you want to share?



Top Photo:  Snazzo

    218 replies to "The Pain of Betrayal – Do We Have Adequate Words to Describe What it Feels Like?"

    • Better days

      This is a tough subject. It stirs up a whole lot of hurt.
      Most of us I would guess had some inkling that something was wrong. I figured I shared equal blame for our marital funk. She just completely checked out emotionally. Became married to her phone and her job. Sex came to a screeching halt. It’s these red flags now that I now realize I was just burying my head in the sand. And this is where the pain starts. You feel stupid, unloved and undesirable. I feel so embarrassed. When you learn of their conversations, my most vulnerable traits were shared with my #1 enemy and used against me in the most calculated and evil way I could ever imagine. When you remember back to what you thought was going on(sitting on a beach enjoying a sunset with your wife when she gets up to make a phone call to her “sister”) you feel so stupid. It’s the choice she made day in and day out to inflict the 1000’s of cuts. When I used to picture us, it was her and I as a united front. Didn’t always agree but at the end of the day we had the same mission. Now my guard is up. The mission is the same concerning the kids but everything else is a big question mark.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello BetterDays,

        That is such a sad image of your wife stepping away from a beautiful sunset on the beach to call her ‘sister.’

        The one thing that we are probably all noticing is that the betrayed spouse has to be the adult at all times, no matter what is happening, even though they are falling apart inside. Because, well, there is this thing called life and there are many things to do. After all, there are things like children to think about. (Hey wayward spouses, remember those things called your kids? You are missing them grow up and you can’t get it back!)

        I have noticed that being betrayed changes you on all levels. For example, I have some negative reactions to stupid things. Example: I have noticed people in my geographical area – people who are middle-aged – always joking about not being able to “do adulting” and they all chuckle as if it’s funny. These are people in their early 50’s. It’s not really funny if you hit 30-years-old and have trouble “adulting.” In fact, it’s not really funny if you are older than 25-years-old and can’t “do adulting.” But a 50-year-old? Seriously? That’s funny? Yup. I don’t find it funny. Why? Adulting must be done so that makes more work for the rest of us.

        I am so sorry that you lost your united front. 🙁 I think every betrayed spouse feels that way. The loss of the united front is terrible. There is no longer an “us” to think about. There is a “he or she is going to go off doing that thing and I need to prepare a response because for all I know they could wipe out my entire bank account today.”

        When someone has had an affair, there is a sense of them being capable of ANYTHING. And if they are capable of torching their marriage, what else are they capable of torching? If they lose your trust on one level by having an affair, you are unable to trust them on any level. That is how it feels.

        Does anyone else struggle with that?

        The idea that if their spouse is capable of an affair, what else can they be capable of doing? They did the last thing on earth you thought they would do, so should you trust them with finances, with your children, with anything?

        BetterDays, tell me about the other man. Was he married and did you tell his wife?


        • Better days

          Hi Sara,
          The other man D bag is married with several kids, including 2 under 5. He was a co-worker but not in a work together on assignments sort of way. More like hit it off at the water cooler. I did tell his wife. It was about 3 weeks after DD. In hind sight, I would probably tell the other betrayed spouse even before confrontation. I was just so shaken up I really had no composure to face the situation in a calculated way. Anyway, after DD I made my wife promise to inform me if he reaches out to her in anyway. That was an absolute condition. The more I learned about the extent of the affair, the more I knew he’d be reaching out to her. After about 2 weeks I really started to put pressure on that assumption and made it clear that I thought she was lying and covering their communications up. Shortly there after she forwards me an e-mail from the D-bag trying to re-establish contact. That’s when I reached out to his wife for my own selfish reasons. To get more eyes on this situation. After that the D-bag called my wife one last time (as far as I know anyway) in sort of a WTF tone and what I gather from reading between the lines, she revealed a lot more than what she promised to him in a hush agreement.

          I get the “adulting” rub. We are at the day and age where it’s very common for “kids” to live with their parents until their 30. I’ve always had the peeve when you see women bragging about what a bitch they are or guys bragging about being assholes. They never stop to think that the only people that will still be around them are bottom of the barrel.

          My wife has always been a “little white liar” to sort of keep the peace. And I was always able to sort of gauge where the truth was knowing this. Like, how much did you spend? A: about $200. I know that could mean anything up to about $250 or so. She would always keep me informed of issues but kind of soften it to reduce my response. She’s all in and I’ve had no indication I couldn’t trust her with the kids(upper adolescence), finances or anything other than this. But what do I really know?

        • Peggy

          I found out what else he could do. He spent the next 9 years emotionally abusing me because the “one” he “wanted” left him and he made sure I knew it was never me. Then he had a stroke so his needs have changed and since my “love bonding” convinced him I would still love him the way I did prior to my death I was good enough to settle for. There has been no healing for me. I described it to him this way after he read this post. You killed me and then dug me up out of my grave so I could take care of you now that I’m good enough for your diminished self after you have gotten over your beautiful, sexy, and petite women you didn’t get. Harsh but true. And my reality is PTSD and panic attacks and financial destitute. I’ll find my way out in time. I’m doing nothing more than taking care of myself. I’m going to be 68 in a couple of weeks but I’m still breathing and know I’ll get there soon. Compassion can be a weapon, too, and an emotion that needs to find priorities.

          • Shifting Impressions

            My heart breaks for you. You described your situation in words that touched me deeply. I hope you have someone to talk to….whether it be a close friend or a counselor.

      • Eagle2435

        Better Days, I hear you on this. My wife used to talk to him in the same room as me, telling me she was talking to one of her girlfriends. I did feel embarrassed and stupid that I didn’t trust my gut, and that I continued to trust what she was saying instead of digging deeper. I am naturally a very trusting person so that was easy for me to do then, and now it is much harder for me to trust anything now, although I trust my instincts more as a result. I felt disrespected and emasculated that she would share my shortcomings with him. I assume this is the biggest thing that led me to confront him and belittle him, and leave him pissing his pants in fear…then at least I could show that I was strong and he was weak and afraid. Before then, I never really felt insecure, like I had to show that I was a man…and to prove to myself that I was man enough is gut-wrenching in and of itself.

    • Hopeful

      I do not think I can put the feeling of that pain into words. I have never felt anything like it before. Even going through very intense physical pain before in my life this was so much worse than that. I think due to the nature of my husband having two sporadic affairs and his ability to gaslight me the 10 “affair years” were confusing. We would go through periods of being closer than ever and then it was as if I was living with a stranger. I brought this up to him recently and he said he was confused too. He never wanted to leave and basically hated himself at all times.

      Things are very different for us now, But he was a master at gaslighting. And I really did not have any understanding of betrayal beyond movies, tv and books. I was not well versed. I initially blamed myself as that is the narrative in society. With his professional background he did take 100% blame from the beginning. I just remember being reduced to a heap. I had physical reactions. I would shake, sob, not sleep, not eat. This went on for a long period of time. Really by spending all of our time together possible it gradually got better. In the end I never knew I was as strong as I was. I take full credit for my recovery but it would not have been possible without working together as a team. Early on I felt that way. I thought about leaving but I knew I would not get to the same spot without working together. If he let me down then that would be on him. It is a long road and deep down there will always be some level of pain. We are closer than ever and I am thankful for all that I have in my life.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,
        Isn’t experiencing gas-lighting the worst? If there is one thing to totally obliterate a person’s core sense of self and also make them question their sanity, it would happen when they are the victim of being gas-lit by the person they were supposed to trust the most.

        Those physical reactions that you are describing are real. Our bodies – not just our minds – are affected by betrayal. I remember when my ex was cheating, but he wasn’t telling me. He was attempting to get me to leave my house, he was breaking up, but he claimed there was no one else. I remember waking up at night in a cold sweat, shaking. He wouldn’t leave the house and let me buy him out for his meager down payment. As many have heard before, I was first on the title and had given the larger down. So, he had to do terrible things to get me to leave. After I found out there was someone else all along and she was living in my house, I would have panic attacks at work. I was so fortunate because our office had these mini-conference rooms that were meant for one person if they needed to make a personal call. These rooms were hardly ever used. So, if I felt a panic attack coming on, I would run to one of these rooms and put the occupied sign on the door. I was turning 30-years-old and this was the first time I had EVER experienced a panic attack. People had described them to me. I had absolutely NO frame of reference because my friends always knew me as the resilient one. I was always the one that could walk to the fire and come out the other side just fine.

        But having my ex become violent just so he could move someone else in shattered me. Getting cervical cancer shattered me. The commute shattered me. The house I had purchased was less than a 10-minute commute from the most famous high-tech companies. I was always on the most high-profile projects and often did 12-hour days. I needed to live practically next door. I had to move to another city to be home with my parents. I commuted two hours each way in a vanpool. My ex friend to get me to pay for the other woman to live in my house. I am absolutely being serious. He tried that. He also still worked in the same company with me on my floor. I had to place an internal restraining order. He would often stalk me and violate the restraining order just to gas-light me. Meanwhile, he still went home to her in MY house.

        I still cannot come to terms with this evil and what would cause someone to be so evil to the person who loved them the MOST in this world. But, it is the gas-lighting that really breaks people.

        Hopeful, I am so glad that you and your husband were able to work through this together. 🙂 You are a wonderful person and I hope and pray your husband sees your value.


      • MLK

        Sarah, I’m trying really hard to be you and work on saving my marriage. It’s been a year since my D-day od 3/20/2018. The woman works with him and the relationship was for two years (at least thats what he told me) Our marriage is 100% better now but I don’t trust him at all. . Problem I see is his lack of respect and how he treated me over the years. We’ve been married 16 years. He has a large Irish catholic family. I came with two adopted kids (one with special needs) and the second 1/2 brother. They were 2 & 3 yrs old when I got divorced from my first husband. (this sounds so bad agh) I couldn’t have children. Upon meeting my husbands family and as time went on he would treat me disrespectfully in front of them? All the time. I would say why & he never answered me only to prove to me that I was much more useless to him than his family. It stressed me out to the max because I wanted them to like me. They asked me if I could have kids and I said no that was it! I was useless to them and tiried to push me far away from them as possible. Both of my parents passed away over 20 years ago with no Aunts or any other family except my brother who liked in Texas. He visited a few times but that was it years ago and that was it. He’s married and has no kids and didn’t want to have children. I met my husband at a company I worked out and met him there. Just the same as me but she is already divorced with an 8 yr old sonand 17 years younger than me. I can’t discribe the pain. It cut me down so deep in my body that I couldn’t funtion. I lost my new job and the one after that because I couldn’t work without messing everything up! I’m 57 yrs old and find myself having PTSD and I question everything I am and when I ask him if he has seen her (because I said no contact at all NO HeLLO nothing) he says I don’t think about her now ever and thats why I don’t tell you anything because all I want is you. I’m soooo untrusting of him like I don’t know him or why he had done this to our marriage?

    • SJ

      So much to say. I didn’t “know” the affair was going on but looking back my body and mind was pulling away and I had weird little thoughts in my head when he would come home from a business trip-thoughts I never had before, like go through the bag or smell the collar but I ended up laughing off those thoughts and thinking I was going crazy. OH and I also started growing breast cancer that year. I found the cancer a week after D-day because I didn’t eat and became extremely thin and the lump was then apparent. I lost 15 pounds in a week. I felt like my legs would give out and I felt like running forever away-I would dream of running away (flight instead of fight I guess.)
      I would describe the pain like this-my mind was broken-I quickly acquired intense anxiety and panic attacks-they would wake me up a dozen times a night out of a sound sleep. I couldn’t think all day or concentrate on anything. My body was broken-I would need 16 rounds of chemo and surgery to get rid of the cancer and my body took a beating from all that for sure. I looked like a concentration camp victim. My heart was broken obviously-shattered. I felt like my whole being was GONE. Broken beyond repair-empty. It took me two years to rebuild myself-only to find out he had been cheating the whole time after the first year (yes during chemo) that I knew about. But I was stronger-like a scar that builds scar tissues. I built myself back up by my own sheer will, prayers, books, friends, my parents, EMDR, weekly therapy, the love I have for my children, for our marriage, for our family, for the dream I couldn’t let go of. Forgiveness books, a whole different frame of mind-seeing the large scope of life. Remembering who I knew him to me-someone who could never do this but took a drastically terrible turn down an evil road, under terrible stress, a breakdown somewhat-a perfect storm.
      My spouse would not want to listen to me now about the pain-he doesn’t want to hear it yet, but I know since he wants to be here with me, he is working in the beginning stages of recovery so is just in the beginning of truly comprehending the pain he caused. Is it possible for anyone to truly understand unless they’ve been through it? I don’t think so-it’s like describing childbirth and becoming parent to a pregnant friend. There is just no way to understand the pain or the love, or the life change.

      • Sarah P.


        Your story about breast cancer… mind blown!!! I am so sorry that your husband was cheating on you during that time.

        I really wonder when things like this happen. Does a husband who cheats on his wife with breast cancer see her as an object? Is she a “broken toy” who no longer meets his needs and so he goes and finds a new one? I don’t want to sound harsh, but when people cheat during the illness of their spouse, it’s almost like they see their spouse as an object to be used. Since their spouse is ill and cannot be used, they go seek to use another object. It’s stories like this that make me wonder if a wayward spouse can see their betrayed spouse as a real human being.

        Will your spouse read this blog and the accounts of others? He doesn’t want to hear your pain? For goodness sakes, you were having to deal with fighting for your life due to cancel and betrayal. Does he not understand that there is something wrong with a person who would cheat on their spouse who is battling breast cancer and does he not understand such a person would feel pain? Does your husband lack empathy? Any idea what this is about.

        SJ, I am sorry if I am being intense, but I am absolutely outraged on your behalf. It’s just so hard to know you had to go through this. If I am outraged, I cannot imagine how you feel. I hope that you feel solace here by reading this blog and realizing you are NOT ALONE.

        Big hugs,

        • Cara

          My H had a year long affair decades ago. He kept his head in the sand, never wanting to speak of it. I had no support and hurt burned slowly over many years because he would not speak of it with the answers I needed. Because of 3 children, failed business, sick & dying parents, nursing him through kidney cancer, children going to college, etc., etc., we remained together.

          I woke one morning and thought is this all I have to look forward to? Because of his ED no sex? Still no conversation regarding his affair? That morning I told him I wanted a divorce. That morning he began to understand how I was feeling. That morning he cried. That morning he began reading everything he could find on the computer about affair repair. That morning he made an appointment with his Dr. to face his ED problem. That morning he made an appointment with a therapist for himself. That morning he begged me for a second chance. After staying married for 55 years with no family, no money and no place to go, I agreed. It was painful but productive and, after years of hard work, we forged a better marriage.

          After a year I, too, faced breast cancer. He became my rock, my support while I went through surgery, chemo, radiation, pills & infusions, baldness, test upon test, swelling and all the bad things that go with it. I can truthfully say the pain of adultery, to me, was far worse than the physical pain I suffered with breast cancer.

          We are now ready to celebrate 58 years of marriage. I am cancer free with hair, I have a devoted husband, and we are enjoying life together. (Yes, with an active sex life, I might add.) It took a long, long time to get to this place.

          • WhoKnows

            Wow, Cara, I was moved to tears by your post. What you and your H went through was amazing. I wish some day I could be in your position. Wishing you the best!

    • Deeper Thought

      My D-Day of my CH’s EA was just one and half month ago, so I could say the pain is still unbearable. I think I relate more to the analogy of the falling from height and smashed to the ground. I’ve had my suspicion since Summer last year (the 1st time I met the OW). OW was one of the people my H used to hung out with when they were younger (maybe 30 years ago). They reconnected on Facebook and she and her husband invited my H and I to attend a free event. It may sound unrealistic that I thought something wasn’t right just from one evening. It was the only time I met the OW’s H but she somehow managed to put herself between my H and me so many times after. There were so many red flags popping up here and there before I told my H I was uncomfortable with her being his “friend”, he said I had nothing to worry about.
      Living with suspicion for months and month was like falling from height and I didn’t know when I would crash. If there’s a way my body told me something, for me it would be like a sign of depression. I only ate when I really had to, not enough to enjoy the food cause they tasted bland. I felt like there was something wrong with me for not accepting the friendship just because it was between a man and woman. Back then, I didn’t know it was called boundaries. I only knew that I would not put myself in any compromising situation that will end up hurting myself or my spouse. My H planted the idea that he and I are from different backgrounds, that’s why I have different opinion about male and female friendship. I believed it and it added extra torture.
      I stumbled into this blog just days before D-Day. On D-Day, I shortly felt relieved, it turned out I was right all along, I was not crazy and I could have said “I could see that coming” but still, I was not ready for this kind of pain, it’s so deep it dragged me back to depression. Right after D-Day, my H cut all contact with her and we decided to stay together. We are now in couples counseling, we’ve had 2 sessions and things are moving very slowly. I barely get help from my H since he gets defensive every time we try to talk about the EA, he only opens up during session. Some days he’s remorseful but other days he doesn’t hesitate saying hurtful stuffs to me. I know I’m supposed to wait at least 4 months after D-Day to see if there’s any progress towards recovery, but right now I am in one of those days when I feel like I can’t take blame shifting, the trickle truth, the defensiveness anymore. I feel helpless until our next session in two weeks.

      • SJ

        Do you know for certain she is out of the picture totally? I wish I would have not trusted so quickly as I have found out now it is quite common for them to start up again. I wish I would have spied more – anything to prevent it from going on. And also had him watch videos on limerance and the pain of infidelity.

        • Deeper Thought

          SJ, I’m not proud to say this, but I put OW’s number in my H’s phone blocked list. He gave me his passwords for Facebook and email, so I’m keeping track of what’s happening. Currently I don’t see any sign that OW is back in the picture. However, he has another female friend that he’s been in touch with for 10 years. From their messages to each other, they seem close even though they don’t communicate intensely. I keep close eye on their conversations cause I saw messages from years ago, there were some flirting.
          I’m putting my guard up high cause I never want to go through this kind of pain ever again.

          • Fractured heart, wounded beat

            Deeper thought,

            The OW in my case gave my CH a burner phone to continue contact. That led to DDay 2. Work email contact led to DDay 3. I was checking everything I could, blocked her number, checked all his accounts, etc. They’ll always find a way that is difficult to uncover. Follow your gut. I could tell when he wasn’t speaking from his heart and every time, it led to a revelation of continued contact…. eventually. My CH now lives with the OW. He actually told me the other day, “The heart wants what the heart wants. ” ???? I hope your situation works out better than mine…..

            • Kittypone

              My h bought the burner phone and spent a couple of hours on his regular phone setting up the account for the burner with TWO DIFFERENT COMPANIES, which led me to believe that he sent his AP a burner phone as well…..he denies sending her one and claims that he lost his and has no clue where the burner phone went (yeah, right…) and he took real pains to hide that phone from me…..I started taping him in his car with a sound activated usb stick….THATS how I found out all the lies he was telling me (my gut instinct ALWAYS told me he wasn’t being truthful, but the taping confirmed it) and we almost lost our jobs over his affair……even though I have forgiven him, I still have to get back my feelings for him…..we just turned 30 years married this week, and it was an ok day, but no fireworks to speak of……it’s like a light has been switched off inside of me and I’m just running on autopilot……avoiding confrontation and conflicts and just living under the same roof as peacefully as we can…..all our kids are grown and on their own so it’s just the two of us in the house…..anyone facing this kind of challenge at this stage? DDay 1 was two years ago, and DDay 2 is approaching the 2 year mark as well…..I truly fear that I have stopped ENTIRELY loving my h and I am not ready to face that possibility yet….

      • Better days

        Deeper Thought,
        I have a very skeptical view of marriage counseling early on in this stage. I went to a few sessions and it was awful. The counselor rug swept the affair, and tried her best to place half the blame on me. The more I read about it the more common my story is among others that have tried “marriage” counseling early on. The one I went to even advertised as specializing in infidelity. They don’t deal with infidelity. My opinion is that the cheating, pain and betrayal need to be dealt with before marriage issues. Do you even want to reconcile? Does your cheating spouse? IMO, if they are still hiding things, you are a ways off from even considering reconciliation. They need to be an open book. Anything else and you have no idea who you are agreeing to be with. All of us were in the same marriages and we were not the ones who stepped out. Sure the stuff in marriage counseling is important and may have even reduced the chances of the affair happening to begin with. But now is not the time to share blame for infidelity.

        • Deeper Thought

          Better days, I appreciate your insight.

          Getting help with individual counseling was my first thought when I felt could no longer bear the pain. I was afraid that I would go into deeper stage of depression. My H wanted to come along for couple counseling so that we can get help reconciling. I want to at least give reconciliation a try before I throw in the towel.

          Our counselor has been very helpful. She asks questions that I didn’t get straight answer from my H and she makes sure if I’m satisfied with the answer. She also helped explaining that I need to know the details of the EA in order to move on. My H just didn’t wanna listen when I said the same thing. On our last session, the counselor got such a big detail from the EA. She also had my H to admit that it was an affair. Before that he always said it was not an affair. The detail of the deleted texts got me understand why he didn’t want me to see any of those. I asked so many times about the deleted texts, he always said it was nothing. If it was nothing, why were they hidden from me?? His reason was very cliche… didn’t want to hurt my feeling. What a load of crap!

          I should have clarified, my H didn’t blame me for his EA. He blames me for his volatile reactions when I try to discuss the EA. He keeps saying that I should be moving on by now and not talking about the past, with some hurtful words added in the mix. I am devastated. It feels like I’m going back to the deep stage of depression. I start to think that if this happens way too many times than I can handle, I’m considering leaving or separating.

          • e

            Hi Deeper Thoughts,

            I’ve been and still am where you are in many ways. I’m not on the fence as much anymore. In December I told my husband I was wanting a divorce and when my son was hospitalized for his 4th suicide attempt my husband and I started to talk about the affair and our situation in a different light along with my desire for a divorce. My ambivalence was finally addressed with my therapist and I didn’t realize that it was me who was on the fence and had been for the last 2.5 years. I had to step back because I was wanting a divorce not because I couldn’t work on my marriage it was because I was tired of feeling as though my heart was being sucked out of my chest and the anxiety was out of control. I had been stubborn about taking a medication for it and finally stopped and said my son want change, my husband wants change. I want change…. I had to make a change and guess what…. It’s been such an eye opener to communication in my marriage. I’m not saying that is you, I’m not saying you have to be like me because every affair story is different and heartbreaking. Everyone is hurt and everything changes when the affair is discovered. I considered leaving not for the right reasons it was because I wasn’t working on the things that helped me reconnect with my husband because of the fear of being betrayed again which I can never say it won’t and just need to be willing to work on my own boundaries, understanding my own emotions. I’m still working on my marriage and no we haven’t divorced. I support you with any direction you decide. I also recommend that if you aren’t seeing your own personal therapist that it might be a wise choice to find one to help you walk through the emotions. Big hugs.

            • Deeper Thought

              Big hugs to you too, E… Thank you.
              I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. Sounds like a very difficult moment with your husband and your son too.

              I totally understand what you’re saying. I just finished my reply to Sarah basically I’m still working on our marriage. And I do know what you’re talking about when you said there has to be changes in the marriage. That is exactly how I feel. I don’t want to take his excuses anymore and I demand extra respect. So many times I feel like he doesn’t take me seriously. For example, why does he has to wait until MC session to tell me the truth?? I asked him many times before and he never answered cause he got into defensive mode. So yes, there need to be changes in our marriage.

              I’ve been thinking about individual counseling for me too. Maybe my H also needs one. I can definitely use more help to sort things out in this messy, painful situations. Thanks again, E. I’m happy you took some time to respond and it helps tremendously.

            • E

              Hi Deeper Thoughts,
              I wish I could give you all the answers, I barely have any myself most days. 🙂 . When my H and I went to MC it was a cluster***** at first because he was still in the fog and I was out of control angry and pretty all over the place to the point where I was not receptive and I was teetering on the edge of insanity. We did listen to the advise and were working on building communication and basically avoiding the elephant in the room until about June of last year where the elephant became to big to ignore and both of us had to wake up and start working on things. My husband got defensive and hostile and still has moments. I think most of it is because the shame of the actions are hard for them to acknowledge and taking accountability for them is harder. It’s baby steps and my H and I still have much work to go through and are learning to be a team. With my son in great grief and self blame because he felt he destroyed his family by telling me about everything it brought the reality of the actions over the years to my H’s face and he had to confront and become accountable for his inner demons, the affair, the lies and what they have done to others and that because of them his son tried to kill himself. He’s now dealing with insecurities that he has had since long before we were married and even today deals with the pain of what he has done to everyone including himself. This also includes the son he shares with the OW whom she used as a weapon to keep the affair going. I love this kid and feel for him considering she basically has emotionally and physically abandoned him since D-day and he spends a lot of time at my home because she is not around and prefers to work and avoid him. It’s a complicated mess and I would never have been able to be as strong as I am today without having a therapist that specializes in PTSD, Trauma, and infidelity. Yes, it can cause PTSD and the same process of working through that is what has made me more of myself. Change comes from within one’s self not from others because you can’t change others and how they feel and act, only yourself.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi DeeperThought,
        I am so sorry about what you are going through with your husband. Please pay attention to your mood. You do NOT want to head back into your depression. If your husband has volatile reactions, that is a BIG RED FLAG for me. It hints of emotional abuse. It may be covert emotional abuse, but I can still feel it.

        Your depression is there because it is trying to tell you something. What is it trying to tell you? Quite often we become depressed because our subconscious mind knows exactly what is going on. but it’s too painful to come into our conscious awareness. That can turn into what psychologists sometimes call non-specific depression.

        A person having an affair will cause their spouse to be depressed, especially if the wayward spouse gets volatile and makes excuses.

        Have you confronted the OW? What about her husband? Separating is not a bad idea. I know this sounds cliche, but you deserve better, and so does everyone else who is betrayed.

        Hugs to you too,

        • Deeper Thought

          Thank you so much, Sarah.

          I did not directly confront the OW, but I wrote a short angry letter (but not nasty) and mailed it together with the stuffs she “gifted” my H (a t-shirt he really likes) and me (a decoration piece I never cared for). I returned them, basically wrote I don’t want to have anything in my house that reminds me of the HELL she put me through ever since she intruded my life. She should just take care of her marriage problem instead of creating a new one by poaching a married man. Now I feel like I shouldn’t have held back and just said the nasty stuffs she deserves.

          I did not tell the OW’s husband cause I’m afraid it might open contact between my H and OW. I’m not sure if I’m responsible to tell him, even though if I were in his position I would, for sure, rather know that my spouse has cheated on me. Should I tell him?

          I am still trying to save our marriage of almost 11 years. Other than this last year, the previous years were all happy without any big issues. I don’t want to make hasty decisions especially under extreme emotions. I do love my H very much. He shows remorse most of the time. He even teared up sometimes when he talked about what he’s done (during counseling). But other times he’s also very selfish, get defensive, makes excuses when he has to face his guilt (outside counseling). I know he wants to stay married because he loves me. He denied that he had any feelings for the OW, maybe that’s why it was easy for him to cut all contacts. He promises he’ll try better and I tell him he better not treat me like a doormat, or I’ll start considering my options.

          I’m very inspired by many stories here, many couples have been married for a long time, fought together and stay married, after surviving infidelity, not just EA but long time EA, PA, multiple EAs and PAs? I honestly don’t know if I have the strength to deal with any higher level of stress than what I’m going through now. Hopefully I’m not being naive but I want to have a happy ending, even though I know the road is long and the journey itself is never easy.

          • Better days

            “I did not tell the OW’s husband cause I’m afraid it might open contact between my H and OW. I’m not sure if I’m responsible to tell him, even though if I were in his position I would, for sure, rather know that my spouse has cheated on me. Should I tell him?”

            Deeper Thought,

            You already know the answer. The other betrayed spouse definitely has the right to know. Just like you said you’d want to know. As far as I’m concerned, you have a much greater chance of an affair relapse when only one spouse knows. Once you establish contact with the OBS you’ll have more eyes on the situation. How sure are you the AP doesn’t reach out to your husband? Are you certain your husband would tell you immediately or try to hide it to not cause problems? Maybe they are “just friends” now. Once you and the other betrayed spouse are in contact, they get real scared about what is being shared and stop trusting each other. I bet you’d get some real interesting pieces to your puzzle if you informed the OBS.

            • Better days

              According to the OBS in my situation, my wife, AP, and I were all best friends at work. Her understanding was we hung out and did everything together. I’ve never met the D-Bag. I think you’d be in for a surprise.

            • Deeper Thought

              Better days,
              You made a very valid point. I do believe the OBS deserves to know. I will send him a message and let him know.

              As far as I know, currently there are no contact between my H and OW. I check his phone, his email and Facebok profile regularly. But I won’t know for sure, he could be deleting texts more often than before. In that case, I will see it from the next phone bill.

              Seems like my life will never be at peace with me having to check everything just to feel “safe”. Even then, there’s no guarantee we will be safe from another affair. Right now, I’m at lost on how I can stay in a marriage without full trust.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Everyone,

      I feel for all of you. Every new story I hear gives me pause and leaves me truly speechless. The horror that is infidelity to its victims continues to leave me speechless.

      I am so sorry. Big hugs. ????????

      I am curious – do we have any wayward spouses who have read this post? If so, I would like to know how you felt about it. I don’t want to start an argument. I guess what I am looking for is what will make the plight of a betrayed spouse understood to wayward spouses and others. Ideas?


    • tryingtorecover

      Sarah P. — thank you for pointing out what Ms. Perel wrote could be damaging. While after a divorce and rekindling with my ex and still trying to heal from his affair I would NEVER say his affair was “invigorating” for our marriage. It destroyed out home, family, my life, our children’s lives, and his as well. We are picking up the pieces and working on healing and rebuilding trust, but to say that it even helped our marriage is distasteful. What would have helped or invigorated our marriage if he sought professional help and looked internally (not externally). When I read advice from people such as Ms. Perel I question if there is something wrong with me since I wasn’t “invigorated” nor inspirited after my husband (at the time) cheated for a number of years and had a double life. Only to realize Ms. Perel is coming from a biased lens that she is creating due to her own experiences and this is her narrative.

      • Sarah P.

        I would imagine that Esther Perel has a narrative based on her own experiences, as you have mentioned. I am not quite sure what they are, but I am pretty sure she has been unfaithful, her husband has been unfaithful, or possibly both have been unfaithful. Sometimes I wonder if her narrative is constructed so that she can sell books.

        Oh, look, it’s a book telling everyone that all is fine and dandy after an affair!

        Oh that affair was not destructive, it just brought out a new facet of your marriage! Turn that frown upside down everyone!

        This is how it seems. I believe that such advice really help alleviate any guilt that a wayward spouse might feel because it subtly frames the wayward spouse as the victim in the marriage. They were not feeling alive enough due to waking up next to the person they took a vow of fidelity to. Oh life is so boring. Poor them. Boring, old monogamy.

        I say all of this sarcastically.

        One time when I was an 18-year-old, I was an idiot. In fact, I am pretty sure that most of the time I was 18, I was an idiot. Here is why I was an idiot. I was taking some literature classes at the university and I had this male professor in his 60’s. His name was Dr. Miller. I know I was a pain in his butt, however, he was always saying things like, “You are a little firecracker. I want to see where you are in 25 years.” Well, I am here on EAJ. Dr. Miller got the last laugh. Do you want to know why? Dr. Miller wrote poetry and read ALL of his poetry out loud to the class. I would always balk. No, this was NOT a creative writing class. It was a British literature class. All of Dr. Miller’s poems were about the joys of monogamy and the joys of loving one woman. As an 18-year-old, I was only starting to date for the first time. I had never been in relationships. I assumed ALL relationships were monogamous… because that is why people have a relationship, right? They pair up because they want to be monogamous, right? So, when he would read his poetry about monogamy, I would get annoyed along with the rest of the class. (No one liked his poetry).

        But, at the time, I thought his poetry was simply redundant. It was kind of like writing a poem about breakfast. People eat breakfast. If it’s 9am, if there is food on the table, and if they sit down at the table and pick up their fork… it’s because they are going to eat breakfast. So, his poems about monogamy made no sense to me. I thought people had relationships because they were monogamous.

        To continue the breakfast metaphor, it never occurred to me that a time would come where it was 9am, there was food on the table, someone sat down, picked up their fork, and then they threw it on the floor. Then they sat there and used their hands and arms to knock all the plates full of food onto the floor and proceed to break them. Well, that would be an irrational and ridiculous act; one that would cause a person to get an immediate psychiatric evaluation. Because if you sit down at the breakfast table, it’s to eat breakfast.

        If you get into a relationship, it’s because you want that person to be your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of your life.

        So, I simply did not understand why Dr. Miller wrote poems about monogamy and read them out loud to our class. I am pretty sure Dr. Miller knew about all the affairs that were going on. I later found out the department at my university was one big swing fest with the faculty members. This was Dr. Miller’s way of politely standing up for monogamy by writing poems about it. I don’t know if Dr. Miller is still alive. He would be well into his 80’s now. If I can find him I will send him this blog and tell him he got the last laugh after all. That little pain-in-the-butt student now writes a blog about monogamy. I bet Dr. Miller never saw that one coming.

        Hmm… if he is around, maybe, just maybe, I will ask him to send his poetry collection to me, so that I can post it all here for you to read. That way you guys will be as bored as I was.

        I am kidding!! If Dr. Miller is around, I think it would be great to post a couple of his poems here about why monogamy is so great. Someone needs to do it!


    • Shifting Impressions

      Oh to be able to put into the words the pain of betrayal. Many years ago (probably over thirty years) my mother-in-law received a letter, from her sister, with the news that her husband of many years had run off with her neighbor ( so a double betrayal). I have never forgotten the pain in that letter. The letter was from overseas and in my childhood language. A language that I do not use everyday and do not easily read.

      I took the letter and stumbled through it. Her brokenness and pain touched me deeply. She said that she felt like she had been kicked to the curb along with the trash. After all the years with this man and raising children together, she felt reduced to garbage.

      Many many years later the the betrayal of my own husband of almost forty years made me feel much the same way. I have often thought of her words. I went into shock…..I trusted so completely. D-day came about two weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary and suddenly I no longer felt married. I felt kicked to the curb like a bag of trash.

      The two analogies don’t really speak to me…..I felt more like someone had thrown me over board into icy waters. I felt like I was fighting for my life and often felt like I couldn’t breath. I felt the panic of someone that is drowning.

      My safe place was gone…..my best friend in the whole world had broken my heart. My best friend had lied to me over and over again. I found it hard to sleep. Even though he stopped contact on d-day there were a few times he mumbled her name in his sleep. That almost broke me.

      About a year after d-day there was of course another d-day of an EA that happens almost twenty years prior.

      Did my body tell me something was wrong during the two EA’s???? Absolutely….I just didn’t recognize what my gut was telling me during both those times. I knew something was very wrong during those times I just didn’t know what it was. He simply wasn’t there.. I felt like was calling across a deep valley and he simply didn’t hear me. He was unkind and yes there was gaslighting but so very subtle It was hard to recognize. Being unkind is not the norm for him but looking back it was there…..again, subtle but there nevertheless.

      The pain was relentless……I cried almost everyday for three years. After that came a deep sorrow. In the fourth year after-day the sorrow slowly started to lift. It has been almost five and a half years since the first d-day and we are still together and doing quite well.

      Does he get it?? Understand how much pain? I’m not sure. He does listen and doesn’t get defensive anymore. Note, I said ANYMORE….that took a long time.

      Does that sound like an invigorating experience??? I think not. But there have been valuable lessons along this extremely painful journey. At the moment I am coming to the realization that I will never really understand how he could hurt me that way. I am trying to come to some acceptance of that. Just last week I told him that I would never really understand how he could do that and he said he didn’t understand either. I am learning to accept that I can’t do the work for him. In my opinion he really doesn’t like to talk or think about the pain he has caused.

      All of this has left me somewhat gun shy. Not wanting to care so much. But all of this is a journey and hopefully as time passes I will be able to give more of myself.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi ShiftingImpressions,

        Being dumped into cold water. Yes! It is exactly like that too. Anyone who has had the misfortune of falling into freezing water will NEVER forget it. It knocks the air out of your lungs. A person’s muscles often lock up due to shock. It’s a challenge even for the best swimmers.

        Also, the idea of calling across a deep valley; that is also a vivid image that resonates with me. Has anyone been to the Scottish Highland? The mountains are steep and the valleys are deep. I can picture a person one one mountain cliff and another person on a mountain cliff across that deep valley that separates them. It feels lonely and haunting. Trying to communicate would be nearly impossible.

        I am sorry that you were crying nearly everyday, but I do understand. The pain is too overwhelming. The pain is crushing. The pain is impossible to carry. There must be an escape valve and most often crying out the pain can help. Crying is my default mode for ridding stress. I have to go into a large closest, away from my family, and cry it out. Since my kids are still at home, I don’t want them witnessing my stress.

        Thanks for telling us about your experience, Shiftings.

        • Shifting Impressions

          I agree that the crying was an escape valve. I decided to give myself permission to grieve….however long it took.

          By the way I had one of those closets when my kids were still living at home as well. But shortly after d-day my youngest was ill and moved in with us…..she had no idea what was going on (or so I thought) I would go for long walks and cry or take my car for a drive and cry and swear…..or whatever I needed to do.

          • E

            Hi Shifting Impressions,

            Oh… taking a walk really can help with working through the intensity of working through the affair. I walk 1 hour daily, I paint and sketch often and at one point trying to meditate however walking was a better move because I am able to evaluate my internal chaos better so I’m not acting out of anger and acting out of love.
            Crying has been my headrest part to work out because I hold in my emotions and to give myself permission to cry was harder than some of my MC sessions. Last year on our anniversary I couldn’t stop crying. It was the 20th. I realized at that point that I was grieving for once about the loss. This was about 2 weeks before my son’s first hospitalization….. still working on allowing myself to cry and being vulnerable with my emotions.

    • StruggleStreet

      Waking up to free falling without a parachute… great metaphor. I think what is missing in this image is that you will have your children next to you, looking to you for security as they fall along side you towards the earth. And somehow within the terror you must find it in yourself to smile and laugh with your children and tell them everything is fine, stretching yourself to make those free-fall moments appear like a fun game. Not only are you being torn to shreds by pressure and resistance, but you also have to hold onto your pieces to keep your home and self looking like a entirely whole and safe place to be… for them. When I found out about his affair I stopped sleeping, stopped eating. I couldn’t bring myself to put food in my mouth. I hid everything from the children as best I could. Within two months I started to experience abdominal pain. I went to my specialist who tested my blood and said my hormone levels were insanely high. I did not tell him that my husband had been having a year long affair. I did not think it was relevant. My doctor thought I might have uterine cancer. I had to undergo a D&C to ensure I did not. I know absolutely what caused my body to raise levels of hormone and stress, and the fact that I had to have surgery is solely a fall out of his affair. As for Ester, well her statement of being able to have several marriages to the same person seemed to rest well with my husband. He simply thought we can move into a new marriage, a better one. I remind him that my marriage to him was treasured and beautiful, it was only his marriage to me that was flawed, and that was because he wanted to have sex with his work colleague on the sly. Its been 1.5 years now, and still I struggle every single day with trying to move on from his betrayal. We are trying to create a new foundation for our relationship, but it is very hard when the very pillars I need, those of trust, integrity, love, and comradery have all been compromised. I am trying but some days, I just wish it was over. Maybe in another year it will be better?

      • Sarah P.

        Hi StruggleStreet,
        Oh yes, I see that one too. Free falling and attempting to grab hold of your children and other aspects of your life.

        Did anyone see the Pixar animation called The Incredibles? What StruggleStreet is describing happens in the following clip:


        The Incredibles was a great movie. I was surprised that it took on the theme of infidelity. Of course, there was not an affair… yet, but Mr. Incredible was being tempted. In the movie, he made a series of mis-steps due to ego. These mis-steps led to the woman who had been tempting him to launch a missile that (nearly) killed his family. If not for his wife being a super-hero and waking up in mid-air and grabbing her children, his family would have been killed. I was glad that the movie addressed that topic. Luckily, the movie has a happy ending. Occasionally, the mainstream media/large corporations like Pixar will take on subjects in their films that are a “warning” to people who are watching them. This movie has an excellent sub-plot. So yes, being betrayed is like falling from the sky and trying to catch your kids in mid-air.

        To say this is a terrifying experience is an UNDERSTATEMENT.

        Regarding Esther Perel, I have come to the conclusion that she writes for wayward spouses. I has (incorrectly) assumed that she wrote for betrayed spouses and I had mentioned her in earlier articles. But, after I read more of her material, I realized she was an affair-apologist and mainly writing for wayward spouses. After all, if someone can “create” a new marriage with their current spouse every time they slip up, they can frame serial adultery as “hey let’s just start a new marriage, it’s no big deal!”

        Well, it sure as heck is a big deal to betrayed spouses. Each “new marriage” kills part of a betrayed spouse’s soul. The price is too high and Esther is too laisse faire about it.

      • e

        Hi StruggleStreet,

        That’s awful to hear about the D&C and I can only imagine all the overwhelming emotions with the affair and then the worry about possibly having cancer and am grateful that you didn’t have it. That’s a lot all at once. When I stopped eating and sleeping my children who knew because the reason I know about the affair is because my son at age 12 downloaded a video accidentally on his cell phone of his father and the mistress. Let’s just say that’s a lot to put on a child and basically took not only his innocence, basically betrayed him and my daughter who already knew about it because she saw things a few years before. I couldn’t hide things from them so they saw not only their parents marriage in a free fall, they saw their mom just disappear. I lost 80lbs in a year (which I think about now 3 years later and say wow…. crash diet) I didn’t sleep I think for months and my anger levels were unbearable because I didn’t let myself feel the sorrow for a long time. I told husband he killed me at D-day earlier this year during one of our heated debates and discussions which wasn’t something he had thought about or understood til we had this discussion. this last year has been the accountability year for him because of the downward spiral his sound has had because he attempted suicide 4 times and just a month ago got out of his treatment center. My son is doing much better because now he is dealing with the loss of things and vast changes in his life and his own emotions about everything. I’m so proud of my son too. My H started seeing someone this last year because of this downward spiral of my son which has vastly improved how he relates to me, the kids, and his own responsibility with the affair and I for once feel there is real remorse. He still has a long way to go because of the length of time the affair went on for. It’s hard to trust someone when the years of lies is more than a decade. It’s been 3 years since D-day and I think about the affair everyday. Not in the same way as much because working over emotions, loss, insecurities, breakdowns, anxiety, depression, and many other things including my mother’s death 2 years ago and my daughter 3 months later entering boot camp. Learning to accept what the truth and embrace the new me, learning to enjoy life, be playful, find joy. After every loss and every new step forward I have learned so much. I sometimes wish that the growth I have now wasn’t as a result of the affair and was something I had to begin with. It does take a while and I would recommend seeing a therapist especially one that works with trauma and affairs.

        • e

          Oopsie… Sound=son in this post… autocorrect fail.


    • WhoKnows

      The first reaction when I learned about the affair was relief. I was treated so badly in the two years of affair that led up to D-Day that I finally knew I’m not the one who is crazy, my CH is. And oddly enough, the revelation helped me to regain my power. Earlier, because he was stonewalling and gaslighting me, I felt powerless and couldn’t make any sense of any of his actions. Also D-Day was through the OW, and my CH did not know the OW spilled it all to me, I was able to observe him under the new light with that knowledge for a few days before I confronted him. The more I observe, the more I saw through his weakness and the more power I regained.

      Physically, I vomited a few times on that day and the day afterwards. Shaking, crying, can’t sleep, can’t eat, lost 15 lb in a month, yes, all of that. But still, relief was the main feeling. I finally got validation that all these years of arguments between us were mostly due to his issues, his misplace values, his distorted way of thinking and upbringing, not me.

      Overtime, sadness and anger hit me, but it was something I could handle with the power I regained. I have never been so confident about myself and my choices, seeing how low CH was and OW was during the affair. The things they did were so ridiculous and despicable, almost to the point of laughable. They set up schemes to put me at a disadvantage through divorce in such an unfair way and actually thought their tactics would work. They actually thought they could extract gain for themselves out of my marriage without paying any price and they actually believed it would work and I would bow to their demands even though they hid the affair throughout the divorce process. They actually believed in the dream that they would be given everything they wanted and no consequence whatsoever. Of course, that is the mentality for every cheater (self-centered, narcissistic, taking short cut, cowardice, daydreaming, etc etc). For every opposition they met from me, that put them into a panic and always so unexpected that they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t following their script, while I only did what any sane people would do to protect herself and her kids. Knowing about the affair helped me to see how I handled every step with integrity and dignity and how it all paid off for me, while how CH did every step wrong, cowardly, and laughably naive about the reality of this world. The knowledge of the affair and what happened through the process really helped me feel confident, powerful, and with that a strong sense of leadership. I felt that I am the anchor of my family, my family’s future fate depends on me, I decide where my family will go from now on, and that is what kept me going. I was the only adult in my family who has a spine and the courage to steer my kids in the right direction must come from me. That almost became a personal calling and it helped me to get through all the tough times. CH if he chooses to stand by me and help me, then great I will accept that. If not, he will not be in the picture since the kids cannot rely on anything good coming from him given how spineless he was.

      I resonate more with the bag of trash on the curb and icy water analogies than the free fall. Only thing is I felt that way before D-Day when the affair was ongoing, more so than on and after D-Day. I also like that Sarah mentioned the similarities to murder. When I compared this to murder, my H gets very defensive and said these are not comparable at all. He never thought about murder at all. But I disagree. To me, it is a well-plotted murder against my marriage and my life. English is not my first language, and in my native language, there is a saying that “gambling leads to (or is close to) theft , and adultery leads to (is close to) murder”, and I think there is much wisdom in that saying. Gambling and adultery are not “crimes” per se, but they could easily lead to theft and murder which are crimes. The brokeness behind these actions are so similar, when one is committed, the other is not too far away. Ask any law enforcement people, and they will tell you how closely these actions are correlated.

      • Sarah P.


        Have you told your husband what an idiot he was by scheming against you? Have you asked him why on earth he would scheme against a person who was just keeping up her end of the marriage?

        I like the saying that you have in your language about gambling being close to stealing and adultery being close to murder. What language is that?

        Where do you stand now? Are you two still together? Are you seeing a marriage counselor?

        Good for you being THE ADULT throughout your husband’s schemes. It is pretty shocking that people will scheme against you and do something terrible and then be surprised when you don’t go along with their plan. It’s called having self-preservation. Surely they were smart enough to know your self-preservation would kick in. But, I guess not.

        How have your children been affected by all of this? I certainly hope life is going better for you.


    • E

      Wow, the metaphors are pretty much like I felt only I’d say combine them. I told my H when I found out about the lies and the affair that he basically took all memories shoved them in a blender, pooped on them then pressed the on button. He didn’t know what to say because he knew I was right.
      I didn’t know what was real or not for the first year, and sometimes I question it again and it’s been 3 years since D-day. I’m grateful for a specialized therapist because without her I would have committed suicide and yes I’v been to that brink. When your emotions are all over the place and your memories are all tainted and you lose your identity, your confidence, your safety, basically everything it’s sometimes to much for someone. I told my husband 6 months ago that the person he knew 5 years ago died on D-Day because she did. Mourning over that loss was something I don’t think has words to describe.

      When you learn that most of your 20+ year marriage isn’t as you thought it’s a feeling that I don’t really think has words to describe the emotions because there are to many at once or none at all swirling inside yourself.

      Thank E

    • ItGoesOn

      So much has resonated with me in these comments. I can’t agree more with the falling metaphors with the added stress of trying to put on a happy face for your kids. D-day for me was four months ago. My husband met this woman on xbox. I had accused him for months of the relationship being inappropriate but he continually gaslighted me, making me feel insecure and crazy. Like someone mentioned finding out had an element of relief. I KNEW, I knew it and let myself get steamrolled. It turned out to be a long online friendship with a year of him actually calling her his girlfriend ???? He told her he loved her and even let our kids (4&6) talk to her on xbox ???? I appreciate the person who said they contemplated suicide. Me too. I hate to admit it but it got that bad. In the time leading up to D-day, I found out my mom was diagnosed with onset dementia at 68 and I was set to have a hysterectomy at 36. Life was all a huge fucking mess and the person I trusted most in life was disconnected and emotionally abusive. My kids kept me here. We are in couples and individual counseling. Some days are good, some days are bad. I think it’s just the constant thinking. The constant imagining of what they said to each other. I’m so thankful for this site. No one can imagine unless they have gone through it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pain ❤️

      • E

        Hey Itgoeson,
        I’m glad you found this blog. I know your all over the place with emotions, I was at 4 months after D-day and at that time my mother was dying of Liver disease. You know when someone has their liver failing they it destroys the brain cells and they forget like as if they have dementia. It’s a tough feeling because you are losing yourself and your mom doesn’t remember somedays. I completely understand more than you know and guess what YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!!! It’s been a rough life journey the last few years that I have experience and I know you are going threw a lot.4 months is really fresh and the emotions are so all over the place. I actually didn’t want to know the things that my husband said to the OW. I didn’t need to know because the OW lived in my home under a false identity and my children were raised that she was a family member. I hate her and don’t care what was said between them because it was a wrong thing to do to everyone, and he knows it and he is trying. I have forgiven him for most things, I just haven’t for the initials lies because those lies are where everything started and he had a choice that he made that he knows was wrong. I’m glad he sees his own therapist now and has for the last couple years and I can only imagine the pain my own children are in because they knew the last few years and kept the secret because they didn’t want to hurt me. I hate the OW, It angers me that the children knew her, have memories with her, she hugged my mother and knew my mother before my mother died. I have pictures that I burned that are embedded in my brain forever that she can’t take away nor apologize for. No apology can take the pain away and none can stop the emotional bond she created with my children I can’t change or stop it because that is what happens when you are raised by someone. My kids have no contact with her now, they aren’t angry and my daughter states that the OW who helped raise her is dead to her and she never wants to see or hear from her because it wasn’t right to do that to anyone. The affair was extremely destructive and I know there are still bad days. I know the journey I have been on and believe me It’s brutal, heartbreaking, stomach retching and soul searching. I will pray to the universe that your souls sees peace in this eventually. Mine is still trying.


    • Eagle2435

      I listened to Esther Perel’s TED talk a few days after my wife confessed, and at first I too thought ‘oh, well this could make sense.’ Not too long after, my thoughts were more along the lines of ‘that b____ doesn’t know what the f___ she’s talking about’. I don’t know her background, but I’d assume either (1) she’s never been cheated on, or (2) she was a cheater.
      She proposed asking questions like ‘what did the affair mean for you?’ and ‘what does your AP provide for you that I cannot?’ or ‘did you feel entitled to your affair?’ Of course we as betrayed spouses know the answers – our spouses were selfish, the affair meant that they could act on their selfish desires, emotions, and justify it with their made-up stories about us, and that their AP doesn’t provide them anything other than another person who is willing to act out selfishly with no regard for the one in their life that has already shown them more care, love, and compassion than the AP could in 10 lifetimes. (and in many of our cases, will continue to show love even after the betrayal and receive our spouse back even when it would be easier to leave and deal with the trauma away from them).
      I can relate to the experience of the trout more – we had gone through a brief 3 month rough patch where both of us were more distant, until I initiated the conversation that (I thought) brought us back together. Except she had already started the affair and then continued it for 7 more months while I patiently and lovingly dealt with her odd behavior, took care of our 4 young children by myself most of the time, and tried to help her through her ‘tough time’. Things started to get better (they honestly were – she progressively turned away from the affair and toward me because of my patience and love toward her), and then she confessed. I went from, in one moment, feeling relieved that we had just come out of an exhausting (for me) dark period that had lasted almost a year, to the next moment of going into the darkest period of my life. My view of everything was changed in an instant, but unlike the quick slicing open of the abdomen, I think most of us can relate to it being cut open a sliver at a time, as the lies come out gradually and more truth is revealed. We have to deal with our spouses saying they cheated because of something we did, which I analogized to my wife as someone ‘repaying someone who broke their finger by chopping off their head’. I remember the instant after she confessed, feeling a white-hot sensation come over my entire body. I am amazed at the strength we all show – I don’t think our cheating spouses could ever react with the grace that we do if they experienced the same betrayal.

    • Ruby

      Hi Sarah
      The pain is physical. It feels like your guts have been ripped out. Like life will never be the same again & of course, it won’t. Like your body & mind have been broken into a million pieces that you’re desperately trying to piece back together.
      You don’t know what/if any of your past is real. You feel you have no future because the plans you made together are no longer possible & you can’t imagine ever loving or trusting someone else again.
      You ask yourself what you did so wrong to be hurt so badly by someone that you entrusted your life from the age of 16. You ask when did he stop loving you? Why weren’t you good enough? Over & over again. It is mental torture.
      When I looked at Whatsapp, his picture & name would be so far down the list & even 2.5 years afterwards, it still causes me to physically gasp.
      My husband (of 30yrs) left to be with his OW, now 35yrs. He is 58. They had been having an affair for 3.5yrs. I believed it was a MLC & thought he would come to his senses but no. The 23yr age difference both disgusts me & shames me knowing that he took advantage of a junior work colleague. But I also have feelings of hatred towards her for being a gold digger & robbing me of the secure financial future we had built up together. The thousands of lies make me wonder what was ever real in our relationship.
      I don’t understand why I still love the man that has hurt me so badly & why I still want to be loved by him. Like E says your identity & confidence is ripped away.
      An affair is one of the cruellest things you can inflict on another human being.

      • E

        HI Ruby,

        I understand all that you said there in your post. I have great compassion for you I know there are still feelings that can not be described because it’s a pain that is too hard to bear. When the physical and emotional pain is combines it’s just……. soul sucking. I told my therapist this last session that I would rather be punched in the face 1000 times then deal with the pain of my heart being broken and that my heart even with him doing a lot of right things still is broken. It’s not an easy fix even if the cheater is doing everything right. Trust is a hard thing to fix and repair. Betrayal is a brutal ugly thing and loving someone that hurt you so deeply is exhausting most days.


      • Ruby

        Thank you E. I think all we can do as betrayed spouses is to put one foot in front of the other to get through each day. To look after ourselves as best we can; to do as much self development work as possible & to realise that it was their poor choices that brought us to this point. There was very little we could have done to change things.
        I hope you find peace & happiness. I hope that your therapist can support & guide you through this devastating & difficult time in your life. I truly wish you well.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Ruby,

        I am SO VERY SORRY for what you have been though, And yes indeed, the pain is PHYSICAL. There is a strong mind/body connection and the pain can manifest in ways that actually cause physical pain.

        I cannot believe that your husband of 30 years left you to be with a work colleague. SHAME ON HIM AND SHAME ON HER. I do not blame you for hating her. Yes indeed, these young gold-diggers do rob the wife of the secure financial future that was meant for the wife. I cannot even put my anger into words when I hear of such situations.

        The only thing that comes to mind is to see if you live in a state where adultery = jail time and/or you can sue for alienation of affection. How can your husband and put their faces in public. Can you tell me how your husband met this woman?

        I have been noticing there is an epidemic of relationships where a woman puts her own dreams and her own career on hold so that she can have children, be a mother to those children, and help build the career of her husband so that they can have a financially secure old age together. Then a vulture swoops in. A vulture swoops in so that this vulture can find someone to poach. This vulture doesn’t have to work hard or worry about financial security in old age because she has taken it from another. Where are your children in all of this, Ruby?

        This story makes me furious. I cannot help but wonder if what David Brooks (the columnist for the New York Times) did has emboldened both gold diggers and older men. I mean geez – David married his assistant – a woman young enough to be his daughter – and this woman she married alleges herself to be a Christian who leads people to Christ. Both of these two charlatans give speeches about Character. What David has done sounds like something a fiction author could write as a satirical piece. But, this is no satirical piece, it’s a satyrical piece.

        Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
        Related to satyrical: satirical
        sa·tyr (sā′tər, săt′ər)
        1. often Satyr Greek Mythology A woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry.
        2. A licentious man; a lecher.

        Yup, David is living a satyrical life while in the past such actions were left to the realm all that was satirical. Satire = a written piece that sheds light on societies ills in a humorous way versus Satyr…. the goat creature that walks on two legs and chases around young women with uh, “unrestrained revelry.” That is a code phrase for an excited old letch who grabs the private parts of young, female strangers while these unsuspecting females are on the subway, traveling to work. That is David and his “assistant” who he married. The photos of his assistant sitting on his lap are just… indescribable. I am well-aware that some men lose their minds during a mid-life crisis, but David has done so publicly.

        This type of behavior MUST stop. I think one of the ways for it to stop is to have an absolute NO TOLERANCE policy for it. If you know someone who chases married men, unfriend that person and warn everyone. If you have noticed that someone is trying to meddle in a friend’s marriage let him or her know. Ostracize these people. Take them to court. If you are a wife and some OW is trying to come between you and your husband, let her have him… but make sure that YOU get ALL the money. It’s amazing how quickly these gold diggers leave when they find out that the man they are poaching is broke. They leave so quickly they leave skid marks on the payment.

        Ruby, how can we help you get your power back? What power do you have? What leverage do you have?


    • Recovering

      Wow! When my wife decided to have an affair that would ultimately last 15 months (until I found her “affair phone” ) she had no idea what she would awaken in me. I’m an extremely personable upbeat guy who happened to serve in the military back in the 80s as a sense of obligation and gratitude to those who secured our freedom in generations past. During active duty, I used to pray I would never have to actually kill or die for my country, but was willing to risk both because “somebody has to, why not me”. When I learned of the deep betrayal, like many others, I accepted partial blame for the marriage problems. “Setting the stage” for her to be tempted. (I never accepted blame for the affair!)
      I was directing my anger at her AP. Some say this is the wrong place to direct anger, but I disagreed at the time.
      I began planning in great detail where and when he would receive a high-velocity .306 round through the chest! This is such a powerful blast that virtually any contact even close to center mass is fatal. I wanted this shot even more than I wanted to win a power-ball lottery! After 4 years active duty with no contact with the enemy, I was finally gonna “get some”! It took a personal investment to awaken the warrior within! The only reason I eventually abandoned this insane idea was the reality that the very phone records that lead me to him, would lead investigators to me. I have since dealt with this pain in a more productive way.
      My point in this is to say how her affair changed me as a person. From light-hearted fun guy to sniper guy lusting for a kill!
      Affairs change people at their core!

    • Shifting Impressions

      I just finished rereading everyone’s comments…….this is such a powerful and moving conversation. It was hard to read and hard to make my own comments. I think that the wayward spouses just don’t want to face the devastation they have caused. I can actually understand how difficult it must be to face the fact, that you were the one to cause this much pain. That it was your poor choices that shattered the hearts of your spouse and often your children as well.

      It takes a great deal of courage to be accountable for the pain you caused. But the act of cheating is an act of cowardice in the first place so perhaps the fact, that they don’t want to face the fallout (without kicking and screaming) should come as no surprise.

      I am so thankful you were all willing to share your pain…..it makes one feel, not quite so alone.

    • D

      I do not wish in any way to minimise the pain of the BS, 20 years ago I was the BS. We stayed married for 16 years post his affair. Ironically I had an affair with a guy who lost his wife, what started as comforting him grew into an affair. I realised I was not happy in my marriage and we divorced. To me an affair highlights that something is fundamentally wrong with in the relationship. As a BS I had to look at myself and the part I played in why lead to my then husbands affair. Whilst I recognise it was a shock, I felt betrayed etc with a lot of reflection I was able to see my part, why the cracks had started to appear.
      I was single for a while then I met a married man, I have a daughter with learning difficulties and the odd date and message appealed to me with out the full responsibility of a full time relationship. This man was not a selfish demand looking to destroy his wife, he was a man plodding along in an ‘ok’ marriage. Men do not just leave their wife’s, they like all the home comforts and stability that life brings. The point I make is fundamentally there were problems within his marriage, as there was with mine 20 years ago. I agree with Esther on points, too may BS’s aren’t able to look at their own part in what lead to the their partner straying. As I said I do not disagree with the pain it causes, I am merely offering an alternative view point.

      • Eagle2435

        D, we know this alternative viewpoint, the problem is that ‘looking at what you did that led your spouse to stray’ is bullshit. Nothing you do makes your spouse cheat. They lead themselves down that path through their inability to analyze the situation and make an adult decision. Saying that ‘too many betrayed spouses don’t want to look at what they did’ isn’t true, because we replay over and over where we might have gone wrong to where our spouses cheated. But the fact remains, we were in the same marriage and didn’t cheat. So why do we have to ‘look at what we’ve done’ when our cheating spouses contributed to the initial discord as well? The difference is we had the fortitude NOT to stray…so nothing we did led to them straying, that was their own decision. Were there things done by us that contributed to marital discord? Sure, but our equally responsible spouses didn’t have to cheat. The bigger problem is that most cheating spouses don’t actually want to look at their own contributions to the marriage problems and THEIR decisions that led them to an affair. You show this yourself in your comment – ‘I had an affair and realized I wasn’t happy so I got divorced.’ Like the affair had to happen to realize you weren’t happy? Could it actually be that your affair led you to be unhappy? Could you have analyzed your marriage before the affair and realized you were unhappy? That’s what reasonable adults do. Bottom line: your ex-husband was 100% to blame for his affair. And you were 100% to blame for yours. We have all played our parts in disappointing and upsetting our spouses – we’re human. Imperfect. It doesn’t mean you cheat. When you say ‘look at what you did that led me to cheat’ you insinuate that the cheater is the victim, like they were doing mostly right and their spouse was just a dog. Like we have to be perfect of our spouse might run off with someone else. No. When you marry, you promise to be faithful in good times and bad. We did that, we kept our promise. They did not. Saying we had anything to do with them cheating is a pile of horseshit. I appreciate you commenting and sorry if this comes across as harsh, but reality is harsh sometimes. My cheating wife agrees wholeheartedly with my words.

        • Shifting Impressions

          I agree with you 100 percent!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        I just can’t agree with you….especially the statement about your affair partner not being selfish but being a man plodding along in an “okay” marriage. The very act of cheating is selfish…..surely not the way to make an “okay” marriage any better, that’s for sure.

      • E

        Hi D,

        I really don’t like any justification for affairs or giving excuses like it’s just fundamentally wrong with a marriage. I’m also not trying to be mean or start anything because I don’t know the whole story. I just want to point out that you were the AP and he cheated, wasn’t leaving his spouse… you still took something that wasn’t yours…. time, memories, and you were selfish. I don’t know anything about your married lover except he was cheating and betraying and you were a part of that. I also know that you really didn’t know anything about his marriage because you were the mistress for whom he lied to about the truth of his marriage. Don’t try to make those justifications because you don’t want to really take accountability for hurting his family and spouse…. another point that bothered me and it could be I don’t know your whole story is you mentioning your child and giving the child a connection with the married man. Guess what my H’s ex mistress did…. used her kid to justify keeping an affair going knowing that it was selfish…..she also put herself there as an emotional connection to my children under lies which is worse in my opinion. Please don’t justify anything about an affair or being the AP. take accountability and say “hey, I was selfish and helped him destroy his family”. I would respect that.

      • Eagle2435

        E, Shifting Impressions,

        I come back to D’s (and many other cheating spouses) thoughts of ‘an affair highlights that something is fundamentally wrong in the relationship’. Again, justification – the relationship had problems and so I cheated.

        But, hello – there’s something fundamentally wrong in EVERY marriage – it’s called two imperfect, sinful people trying to live with each other every day, raise children, and manage life with all of its stresses and uncertainties, etc…every marriage has problems. Every single one. This ‘well, there were big problems’ line shifts blame and ignores the fact that the same problems face other people and your own spouse who make the decision NOT to cheat.

        Again, assuming that an affair is understandable because of problems in the marriage makes it sound like, for a cheater, the other person has to be perfect (or almost-perfect) for them to stay faithful. Like they’re being benevolent by not cheating while things are good, but justified when the marriage is rocky…because they were so perfect during the trials? Ironically, the cheater thinks that they’re allowed to cheat because ‘they are the GOOD one, and they’re spouse is bad!’ All the while never even understanding their own bullshit! The good one is lying and sneaking around on their spouse and having intimate involvement with another person? What’s good about that?

        No, I think D, with her 2 affairs, has not (like many cheaters) wanted to own up to how despicable adultery is. She’s fallen into Esther Perel’s trap. You can see this throughout her post – ‘I had an affair and realized I wasn’t happy’, ‘the occasional message and date was appealing to me without the demands of a full-time relationship’ (total disregard for the man’s wife who was losing that time and attention to D, while still having the demands of a full-time relationship with a lying, cheating husband), and ‘he wasn’t a selfish man, just a guy plodding along in an ‘ok’ marriage’ (this is so disrespectful to his wife – he’s not selfish? I didn’t know breaking your wedding vows because you wanted to have sex with another woman was categorized as unselfish these days.) And poor him, he was just in an ‘ok’ marriage. Did you ever think that maybe his marriage was just ‘ok’ because his wife is a saint and he’s an asshole? No, there was never any thought for the betrayed, these are all ‘me, me, me’ statements that clearly show someone still living in a fantasy world that affairs aren’t selfish and the betrayed spouse is to blame.

        • E

          Hi Eagle,

          That’s how I felt exactly. You said it perfectly and I appreciate it. In my personal therapy we discussed that there is no justification that will make my heart accept anything except selfishness and my H couldn’t say anything else and I’ve heard all these excuses and to me it was nothing more than babble and cowardliness. I’ve also heard excuses from the OW which I did have a confrontation with her that I told her that she had no idea what she and him had done to a family and the children. I also told her that the ironic part of everything is that the one day (before I knew who she really was) that she told me that if everyone knew the truth my husband would die a lonely man. I told her that it was going to be the other way around because she knew he had a family and with truths everyone sees her in a different light. She basically also told me that she did what she did only for her son, etc etc. Well she was there before her son, another justification that was stated that was blame switching. I also heard it was all my H’s doing and etc…… Lies and justification again….. Please just say I was selfish and don’t try to apologize either because the apology means nothing if there is not an understanding of the pain that has been inflicted to children and the BS.
          Guess what. I was right and she chose to work instead a being a mother to her son who s

          After 3 years, and much pain, many arguments and discussions along with 4 hospitalizations of my son. My H’s personal therapy sessions helped him discover his own accountability and selfishness. A few months ago he told me that there was not justification for the affair and lies except his personal grief from his mother’s death and his own selfishness. So, I don’t want to hear an AP tell me that they know the marriage when they weren’t really a part of the marriage except for being a selfish person involved in the destruction of it. They are just as selfish as the CS. Affairs are destructive forces and the pain and aftermath last a lifetime and longer.



        • Shifting Impressions

          Eagle…you have the best way with words ever!! Your comment about the reason his marriage might just be ok because just maybe his wife is a a saint and he is an asshole had me laughing out loud!!! Unfortunately it’s not a laughing matter but you hit the nail on the head in my opinion!!!

      • Hopeful


        I totally disagree with how you are explaining betrayal. It might have been that way for you. I know everyone has a different story. Also, I do wonder if as a woman it is different.

        I refused after dday and still will not take responsibility for my husband’s betrayal. He was a coward. I asked him during the years he had his affairs point blank about other women, interest by other women, any online activity etc. He looked me in the eye each time and said no never. I am not naive. He went on plenty of guys trips, nights out, etc and he is successful, well off, handsome and likable. Through the years I have brought up ideas to work on our marriage from a communication perspective, time alone, supporting him in every way etc. Money has never been an issue at all if anything I think his success fueled his affairs. So saying all of that he did not have enough respect for himself to open up, write me a letter or tell me anything. Instead he lied to himself and basically lived a fake life for a long time. His affairs were sporadic so that made it easier. But in the end he hated himself and his life. I almost committed suicide since none of it made sense. He was excellent at gaslighting. As he has told me since dday he hated himself for doing something so horrible to the one person he loved most in the world. He has said he told himself whatever he had to in order to make it through each day. We have done a lot of amazing recovery work and we are closer than ever. What I was just an innocent by standard. He betrayed himself first and foremost. He let himself down. He is a capable adult and he knew what the right and wrong thing was to do then and now.

      • Better days

        “he was a man plodding along in an ‘ok’ marriage.”
        The fact is, you know absolutely nothing this liar told you about his marriage. My instinct tells me that if he told you he was in an “OK” marriage, it was probably as solid as any out there. That is until you came along. At that point it probably turned OK, and then bad. Because of you D. You destroyed a family that was “plodding along” OK. And justified it here. Agreeing with Ester about the BS looking at their role in the affair is BS. No point compares with the fact that no marriage problem can be solved be cheating. Marriage issues? Get help or get out. Fucking someone is will never fix a marriage issue. And if that someone is also married. You need to start looking hard at your own twisted issues.

    • WhoKnows

      Eagle, well said, I agree with you 100%.

      Of course I ( as the BS) know that our marriage had very serious issues. In fact, I was the one who repeated told my H BEFORE the affair that things need to change otherwise we would have to divorce. He was the one who pretended everything was fine and I was blowing the issues out of proportion and refused to discuss/communicate. He didn’t feel there was a need to discuss the issues because I was the one who was getting hurt/impacted more by the issues. But guess what? I was also the one who stuck around DESPITE of all the issues. He felt everything was perfectly fine as long as I didn’t complain as much, yet he was the one who stepped out of line. Ironic isn’t it?

      • Fractured heart, wounded beat


        My experience was the same. He was the one who wouldn’t discuss anything, wasn’t willing to exert any effort, preferred to keep his emotions buried, and was largely emotionally unavailable. I told him multiple times that I was the one who should’ve cheated, but I didn’t. I guess he was right on DDay 1. I am better than him. After all, I am the one who keeps things stable for our children while he’s shacking up with an old, stupid whore. Unfortunately for him, I am much smarter and his naivete about how divorce actually works will be his first, but certainly not last, comeuppance.

        Sorry for the palpable anger. ????

    • Kittypone

      Can I just Point something? Two words: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Having an affair (and a child) with the house MAID. Right under his wife’s NOSE. Can you get any more selfish and cynical and hypocritical than that? He deserves an Oscar just for that performance alone…..my h looked me in the eye and told me I was crazy when my gut was telling me that he was cheating……three more months went by until I cornered him and he “confessed” to having “mixed feelings” about a woman in Facebook……LIES…..they were having a full blown affair (just not physical due to them living in two different countries) but with naked pics, sexting, and phone sex at all times of day and night…..I got a hold of our phone records and there were over 120 calls in a six week period……one specific day, they spent over 8 hours on the phone throughout that day, while I was doing a work conference and falling apart for the whole world to see that day……I relate to the crying, not eating, not sleeping, feeling like I was slipping into insanity…..ALL OF THOSE ARE TRUE…..today is our 30th wedding anniversary and I don’t feel like celebrating anything…..it’s been a little over 2 years from DDay 1, and like someone commented above, all the pillars of my foundations are still cracked, broken and in very unstable ground…..I am fully on autopilot and just existing…..I have individual therapy weekly (and have for the last two years, no slowing down on that one) and also marriage therapy once a week (which I don’t feel is working all that great; and not because of the counselor, but because I feel my h doesn’t ”get it”) so; like D mentions above I’m “trodding” along I’m my marriage with the exception that I am not cheating on my h nor have any plans of doing so…..I am doing the responsible thing, working on myself, focusing on work and family and trusting God with His plans for my life…… I pray for all of you BS that have walked many miles in my shoes and sometimes even several times through no fault of your own……hang in there!! I’m sure there’s life still in the other side of the tunnel!!!

      • Eagle2435

        Kittypone, what do you think you need in order to feel like your husband ‘gets it’? Is he unable to accept responsibility? I had to help gently lead my wife to the understanding that it was not anything I did/didn’t do or anything about our marriage that made her cheat. And she was already in the place of being remorseful and disgusted by her actions, and wanting to help me heal. But, she simply hadn’t even considered that she had cheated because of something apart from ‘our marriage being in a rough place’. When she stepped back with this realization, it was like she went from having tunnel vision of the problem to now having a much broader picture. She was able to identify why she made the decision, and that it was a result of her own problems, coping mechanisms, emotions, and inability to analyze the situation critically, and that she created a story about us that was so far from the truth that she was surprised she even believed it. She broadened and intensified this story after developing feelings for her AP, so it got worse. Until the point where she could no longer deny that I was not the man in the story. The man in the story wouldn’t be patiently loving her and caring for her and the children (by himself with little help from her). When she stepped back, she actually realized that the man she had told herself I was, was actually describing her AP! I say all this because if your husband is truly remorseful, he may just need some gentle leading to analyze himself and come to similar realizations, and therefore understand your pain and frustration on a deeper level. I’ve communicated a lot with my wife through writing letters about what I’m feeling, what I’m learning, etc. If you don’t do that, it may be a helpful way to communicate. Best wishes to you as you continue to recover.

      • E

        Hi Kittypone,

        My heart goes out to you. It’s hard being in a place where you are just stuck. I was there for 2.5 years till I realized I had more control in my life and was tired of just floating through existence and I was tired of giving my life to the affair. I also realized that I wasn’t the selfish one and I realized and accepted that I will remember the affair everyday, it’s not something I can forget and it’s not an easy process to work through. The affair changed everything about me and my ability to trust everyone around me including myself. Other blog articles on this website talk about the CS fog and I think there is a BS fog too and they are different from each other because different emotions are involved. Being on the fence is hard when your the BS. Most of the fence sitting is because of the lack of trust that hasn’t been built with the CS I am still on it and know it because I want my marriage at the same time I still have a divorce lawyer on standby, protecting myself and my children is the priority. I also know that today I can handle the affair and talking about it openly, I might not be able to next month when my anniversary pops up who knows because everyday has a memory associated with it.

        Letter writing as suggested by Eagle is a good thing. I still write my anger mail to my husband and the reason I do it is because I can put it there and it’s free from my soul.

        I also finally got some help too with an anxiety medication that helped with my mood. I don’t recommend it to everyone, however I was stuck for a while and I don’t feel that way anymore. I use to see my therapist weekly and now see her every 2 weeks and I hope one day not to see her and be able to function in my world without her… I also know that I will be seeing her probably for a long while.
        I don’t have any advise for you, I am there with you and want you to know your not alone. I too struggle everyday in my own way.

    • Kittypone

      I feel like he doesn’t “get it” in the sense that even though he is no longer involved with that harlot (as far as what I can see), he has never shown true brokenness and remorse for his actions to ME…..oh, he pays lip service to how he wants to repair our marriage, he goes to MC, but he simply can’t understand why I can’t just sweep everything under the rug, leave the past in the past, turn a new leaf, etc. etc……he doesn’t understand the magnitude of the pain he provoked and how deep the damage to the relationship really is…..I am not his mother, or his therapist, so I no longer care to “gently” guide him to open his eyes to what I am dealing with….he is not mentally disabled that he can’t acknowledge how rough these last two years were…..we BOTH almost lost our jobs because of his affair, the harlot lives happily in another country with her husband and children, so she didn’t get to witness first hand the devastation that she helped to unleash…..SHE broke it off with my h, I firmly believe that he would’ve happily continued to have his cake and eat it too if I had been the doormat type of wife that looks the other way so the h can have his “little indiscretions”……I spent a week in a mental health facility almost two years ago because my therapist was discerning enough to realize that I was headed towards doing bodily harm and even homicide given the rage and anger I was experiencing at the time…..at that time I was seeing her three times a week (thank you Jesus for good insurance) and I credit her fully for my recovery and better emotional health at this time…..am I healed and happily looking forward to the future? Not quite, but I am very much headed that way and fully believe that if my marriage were to end today, I am strong enough to start from scratch a new life and live it to the fullest too! I am astounded at how accurately everyone here have described to a T what it feels like to live with the pain of DDay and afterwards!! Like, which one of you has been living with me all this time?!?! It’s unbelievable how text-book-accurate all of your descriptions have been!!! I am no longer in that deepest pit of despair and darkness I was 18 months ago, but neither do I claim as having “arrived” to complete recovery yet…..I’m better than before, but not as good as tomorrow, so, I keep striving to being the best ME I know how to be, and if he wants to come along, then he is welcome to, but no longer will I bend over backwards trying to pave the way for him…..I’ve told him time and again that “not everyone that walks in your same direction is necessarily going WITH you”…….and that is a quote that I made up on the spot during a rough argument we were having……

      • Eagle2435


        It has to be hard if it seems like your spouse doesn’t feel remorse. It’s hard to fake true remorse; easy to see when it’s not present though for sure.
        When I said I ‘guided’ my wife, it may have sounded like it took a lot of work/time/patience. But, it actually didn’t. When we would talk or I would write to her, I would relay what I was learning and reiterate that I wouldn’t take blame for the affair and that she needed to figure out the why for herself. When she realized that I simply wasn’t accepting her explanation for cheating being because our marriage was in a rough time, she didn’t really have any other choice but to figure it out. And she did, and it’s still evolving yet.
        Maybe it will take longer for your husband. I don’t know if you can find the WHY without having remorse – that would seem backward to me. Because if he isn’t truly remorseful, he feels justified for some reason. If he could see that his justification is bullshit, maybe that would lead to remorse. I don’t know, I don’t have a good answer for that. I just hope that he ‘gets it’ soon – for his sake too. An affair is a stupid act in and of itself, but compounded by someone losing their spouse who wanted to forgive because they refuse to take 100% blame for something our entire society generally agrees is wrong, even if just in some small way. Pride gets in the way – placing the blame of an affair on someone not involved in it is ridiculously dumb. Like Sarah does in the article, what if you changed the transgression? Would you still blame the other person? Even if it was still cheating, but not infidelity – “I cheated on that test because you were being mean to me.” Or, “I robbed that store because you were distant after your mom died”. “I stabbed that person because most of your time and attention was placed on battling the illness you were going through”. “I embezzled money from my company because I felt like you focused on the kids more than me.” “I destroyed that guy’s car with a baseball bat because I was only having sex with my wife twice per month”. “I lied to a client because I’m so frustrated with our marriage.” See how ridiculous it all sounds?

        • Kittypone

          I KNOW that his pride is what stands in the way….he can’t bring himself to apologize to me for ANYTHING even when it is pointed out to him whatever trespass he has committed……I no longer expect him to show remorse for what he did, he just gets frustrated and annoyed every time the affair is brought up because he just wants to forget it and move on and “I” am not letting him forget it!! I have told him time and again that he murdered the feelings I always had for him after he kept up the deception and the lies; all for a whore he never even had a chance to kiss, let alone have physical sex with her other than all the phone sex and naked pics they exchanged of each other….if he doesn’t bring up his game, he is going to lose me for sure…..I no longer have any warm and fuzzies for him, and bed feels more like a chore than intimacy, so…..Happy Anniversary to me!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        You had me laughing this morning as well, with the I am not his mother or his therapist!!! That just says it all doesn’t it. I had to step back as well….I just couldn’t do it anymore. I can so relate to that statement!!! Interestingly enough backing off was rather helpful! One of the best books I read during this time was IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO .

      • E

        Hi Kittypone,

        In my journey with the pain of being the BS I have learned that no matter what my husband did that was good such as providing his email passwords, his social media, bank accounts, following boundaries is was the lack of accountability of the affair and lies that bothered me so much. I hate justifications that don’t include. “I am a selfish person” Even though I see and have heard from him that he accepts accountability I still have a hard time believing him and trusting in anyway. In my personal therapy sessions we have worked with the idea of Radical Acceptance about the affair because I can’t change it, I don’t have to like that I feel the way I do, and I need to be willing to accept that it happened and work through the pain. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish it was all different and that I didn’t wake up some mornings wishing that I didn’t know the truth and that it never happened. I’ve been married 21 years and 15 of that is a lie to me even if my husband says those memories are true. It’s a lot of memories to process and not be upset about. Is telling me “sorry” going to help? No because during that time the selfish motives and actions and lies stole pieces of me and I’m still broken. I can’t look at my children’s baby pictures, vacation pictures etc from before D-day. Why would I want to look at something that was a lie and that when I look at them isn’t me etc. False memories are worse than the lies and sex of the affair. I have forgiven for many things. I have seen my own failures in my crazy marriage and have my own accountability to accept and work on. However, I did not lie to my spouse, my children, my family, my friends, everyone and then manipulate and gaslight everyone to continue the lies and relationship. My H and the OW did. It took 2.5 years for him to get to the point where he knows how I felt and feel about things. Even now we are just barely scratching the surface of communication and reconnecting and he was the one trying harder than me and was still not getting it right because it wasn’t explaining the actions, acknowledging the affair and what led to it etc. It was lack of really understanding what was going on with me, with his children (including his son with the OW) and trying to defend her because he didn’t want to have her as a villain in the mix when in reality she is an accomplice to everything. He had to take a look at everything and realize that she wasn’t this special person and that she was as culpable and as selfish as he was and to take responsibility for his actions, lies etc. The problem is that the way that it was slammed at him was not by me losing it and getting to the point of being out of control it was his son that was telling him that he needed to take accountability with actions. The speaking was my son doing drastic things out of the pain, my son wanting to die because he feels the same way as we do and betrayal is brutal because feeling the shame of someone else’s actions and lies is a cruel thing along with not knowing what is a lie and what is the truth especially with someone so innocent. Do I think things are 100% better… Heck no, there is movement in the right direction…. I still want more and deserve more. The more is from me and what I want, That I still don’t really know fully yet and am working through that knowledge and it’s not from him because I can’t trust him still.
        Even now if my H told me a justification other than being selfish I would be like. “no, you lied, you did these things, no one else made the choices for you and you need to feel the consequences, you are accountable and culpable.”


        • Hopeful

          E, I agree and can relate on so many levels with your post. I told my husband the only reason that would justify him betraying me is if he was given the date rape drug. But that was not the case. He has told me that he was screaming inside his head “no” right before he actually physically cheated. He knew exactly what he was doing was wrong. And he hated himself for a long time. Yet he never wanted to leave me. My husband’s affairs went on for a long time and were sporadic. It made it really confusing for me. I asked him to his face many times about other women, looked through his phone etc. Every time he said “no, never, nothing like that has or would ever happen”. This is what he said after seeing one of the ow. I will never take any blame for his affairs. I asked him over and over giving him plenty of opportunity to open up. But he was a coward. It was easier to sneak around and escape. I also constantly worked to improve our marriage through a variety of routes. He has said the only thing I did wrong was not leaving him.

          There will never be any justification for any of it. As long as someone is of capacity they should be able to find a way to talk to their significant other. I know it would not be easy but that is life. And he benefited from an amazing life, marriage and family. He liked all the outward appeal of what he had. He loved going on vacation with me alone or me with the kids.

          Trust took a long time to return. I still am frustrated at times but it is not due to a lack of trust. I watched closely as my husband’s actions matched his words. Also I have spent a lot less time talking. He has opened up to a whole new level. And in the end what I realized his betrayal was all about him and his issues. Once I worked through the pain of what happened I realized I am stronger than ever but I have not changed. He is the one who was not true to himself. I have never lost a night of sleep due to my behavior, action or decisions. He has. That has been a lot for him to work through. I never expected that and it has been eye opening to watch that process.

          • Kittypone

            I HAVE changed….my entire universe was thrown off of its axis and I am the collateral damage…..my oldest son refused to even speak to his dad after he found out about the affair and I’m not entirely sure if he has forgiven his dad completely…..I am no longer the naive, trusting, face-value-taker that I was before his affair and I don’t think that she will ever come back either….I mourn her loss because her innocence and belief in the core goodness of people has been destroyed and she has become somewhat cynical and mistrustful of most people and her innate joy has been dimmed greatly…..I pray that God keeps working in me so that some of the old me comes back with lessons learned the hard way but stronger because of them….

            • Hopeful

              From my experience I am changed. I do think over time I have found a new perspective. I am however more guarded both with my emotions and time. I spend a lot more time alone. My kids do not know about any of this. I personally hope it stays that way. I do try to impart the things I have learned by going through this. It is just so hard. For me I always go back to focusing on myself and thinking about what I want and need then how I will achieve it. I always feel more centered cone I focus on me. Hang in there!

    • Sarah P.

      Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mommas and grand-mommas out there and to all the mommas of our four-legged fur babies. Wow, I have been offline this weekend and see this has turned into quite the thread!!!

      I am so excited to see how all of you awesome ladies and gentleman have jumped in to help one another.

      That is a true gift, isn’t it?

      I am working my way through comments…..slowly.

      So very grateful that we have a community here of awesome people to lift one another up.

      I have hinted a couple of times in the past of future seminars that will be held in Hawaii. Those are certainly in the works. As many know, there are just three of us here: Doug, Linda, and me. We are all real people who answer all the emails and comments and have families and friends just like all of you. In other words, we are REAL people- not a team of ghostwriters hired to keep up with comments and emails.

      One day there will be seminars and they will be fun. First off, the seminar location will be poolside. (No joke). But, it is also private and poolside. Can’t get better than that. It will be held in a 5-star gated resort right next to the beach. We hope to keep these small. They will have set topics, but I want to have a more interactive experience. I am not the type to just stand up there and lecture to 300 people for 5 hours. Nope, it will be super-small…we will have tables and circles where we sit and lots of food and lots of time for interaction and questions. I hope to have it feel more like a support group than a “lecture.” The goal is personal breakthroughs and transformation. We will have some surprise activities too that will be once-in-a-lifetime. So stay tuned for that too!

      If you come, you get to meet the Sarah P. behind the screen. Hope everyone is tolerant of blue jeans and (quirky) t-shirt kind of gal who will make you laugh and give you REAL hugs if you will let me!

      Also… I REALLY like to cook. I will also feed you lots of really good food too if you will let me!

      Big hugs to all!

      • Kittypone

        I can’t wait!! Would these gatherings only include BS or would the CS be welcomed as well?

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Kittypone,

          Well, that is where you all come in. What kind of seminars would you like to see? There will certainly be one solely for the betrayed. But, it would be a good idea to have seminars where CS’s can go too.

          What would you like to see?

          • Kittypone

            Hi, Sarah!
            I am faith based, I have been trained to serve people in need and I believe that this three-pronged approach “Faith-therapy-EAJ” is what has kept me sane and out of prison for the last two years….I was homicidal after I discovered everything that my h was lying to me about that I seriously would’ve done bodily harm to him in my rage and burning anger…..only God and my therapist kept me from enacting out my out-of-control emotions….soooooo……we just turned 30 years married this week and I have come a LONG way from that horrifying February morning two years ago…..I no longer feel that burning rage, I have forgiven him (her, I still wish all her hair falls out) and the affair is not on my mind every waking moment of the day, so I feel I have made serious progress. On another note, I would completely attend any seminar you guys put together, but I don’t know where y’all are located (I’m in New England, if that helps) for traveling purposes; at this time, I would prefer seminar content for the BS as I would prefer to attend that WITHOUT my h……anything that would help us to move on to:
            1. How to regain lost feelings for the CS.
            2. How to be less guarded and relax.
            3. How to become less cynical and suspicious of the CS
            4. How to put the past to rest and move on
            5. Trust. How do you actively get it back?
            6. How to be less reactive to triggers.
            7. How to believe that a better foundation can be built after the affair.
            8. When do you know it’s time to throw the towel in?
            9. How to tell when to keep fighting and when to give up for good.
            10. When does separation work?
            I mean, I could go on and on and on about subjects to speak about, so take your pick…..

            • E


              Wow… You just described the first year after I discovered D-day. I was raging and pretty angry. I wasn’t homicidal, just more self destructive and revengeful. It’s hard too when the affair does continue until the CS realizes what a shitstorm they created and the reality of the affair comes out and the true face of the AP appears. The fog period is the worst.

              After about the first 8 months of being nothing but chaos in my life I imploded with becoming suicidal and self harm and wasn’t in therapy and had no idea what was going on around me because the triggers were constant and my emotions were all over the place. It’s also why MC didn’t go as well as I had thought it would. Also when we went to MC I was not in personal therapy so I could not see things as clear as I do now. If it wasn’t with working with my therapist my anger levels would have placed me in jail for murder or a mental hospital. I have made great progress in many areas and yet I know that I am not the same nor can be because I know my heart is still crushed. I also don’t know if I want to every trust him again or can and work hard within myself. Everyday is new and different.

              I have forgiven my H for most of things and the AP I can not and hope a bus hits her everyday. Our days now are more carefree and more affectionate. It doesn’t mean the trust has been built and mostly it’s because he still gets defensive,and I hate seeing his insecurities because he has so many that I think block his own recovery. It’s not as much as the first 2 years and since January there has been more growth with him and it’s because he sees a therapist now. It’s hard to trust him because being defensive to me shows lack of accountability. I also know there are things I am working on because of the amount of time that I had gaslighting, manipulation, deception and lies.

              I also am not sure how I feel about my H most days and I think that is my new part of my journey because I am not sure how to love as I once thought I did. I also have a retainer with an attorney ready to divorce at any time and sue the AP for alienation of affection because I live in one of those states. With a poacher…. knowing they won’t get anything from the CS and most likely everything been taken from them has them hitting the door really fast.
              I am not sure what my future holds, nor do I know if my marriage will work out. What I do know is that I work on myself a lot and am trying to figure what I want most out of life. These things are for the individual to decide and not for others to judge or be opinionated about.

              However my story also involves a child between the OW and my husband who is the same age as my own son. Both of whom have a lot of pain in different ways. My son found out by downloading a video which stole his innocence and has been extremely difficult to work through and forgive for. My H’s other son who discovered his parents have both lied to him about who his father is. Very disturbing, tragic and painful childhood traumas which the consequences of the affair still are up in the air for a lifetime. My adult daughter still is angry at her father, she is still talking to him and that relationship is really strained because what fathers don’t understand is that being a daughter and having your father cheat on your mom is like him cheating on you too.

              I am also agreeing with the seminar for BS…..


            • Kittypone

              I spent a week in a mental facility because of my homicidal state of mind; I didn’t feel anything, but my therapist discerned what was going on with me and arranged to have me admitted in a matter of hours….my h was out of the country at that time so he could “tell his mother himself” what was going on with him…..the last text I sent him before they took my cellphone from me at the hospital was vague enough that he seriously freaked out thinking I was leaving him a suicide note (which I purposely worded in such a way that he could interpret it any way he chose; I never explicitly said I was going to take my own life, but that it was the last text I would be able to send him……he imagined the worst but I no longer was in possession of my phone so I couldn’t answer him anymore……that certainly drove him over the edge!) all this to tell you that the tsunami of emotions and rage and pain we go through after DDay are a SERIOUS MATTER. NOW I can understand HOW someone can lose their mind and cause harm to another person in the heat of an argument (I don’t condone violence; I’m saying that I UNDERSTAND HOW it gets to that point, having lived it myself) and yes, I also wish the worst to happen to that harlot and her skanky person, but God is the judge of all and we all will be accountable to Him someday…..

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Kittypone,

              I love your candor. I am on the West Coast but if we have other New Englanders who want a seminar in New England, I could be persuaded to head out and talk about this stuff for reals – in all it’s ugliness, and sadness, and hilarity – to other betrayed spouses. I am going to use that list of 10 things that you wrote and write some articles about them. Doug pointed out that those would all make excellent future articles. I agreed!

              Homicidal… yeah I think everyone can relate to that. It’s just whether or not they want to admit it.

              So, what kind of homicidal fantasies did you have? Contrary to what people MIGHT think, talking about a homicidal fantasy when your spouse was having an affair does NOT make you a bad person and it does NOT cause you to act one out. In fact, these are the things we MUST talk about after we have been betrayed. Talking about all the ugliness clears trauma. It demystifies it. Keeping it inside doesn’t. So, let loose, Kittypone. What was burning you up when you first found out?

            • Kittypone

              I was so unbelievably shocked when I first found out, that I was frozen, numb and hollowed inside…..the love of my life just admitted that he was not happy and had “mixed feelings” for another woman…..it took me several weeks to “wake up” from that shock and start to feel the rage….when he started to promise that they were broken up, and every. Single. Time. I found it to be a lie, my love for him started to die a little bit and my anger started to build up exponentially 10 times more…..we went and spent a week with a psychologist friend of ours who had helped us years ago with one of our children’s needs, and the skunk kept up the contact with the harlot for the whole entire week we were there…..he would excuse himself for long stretches of time, and would even shower with the stupid phone inside the shower stall….he slept with the phone under his pillow (NEVER had done that before) and I couldn’t turn my back on him that he wouldn’t be on his stupid phone……all those things just kept killing my love and building the anger up until a couple months later when I started recording him in his car and heard the phone sex…..I lost it and assaulted him…..I only had my hands, but I slapped, punched and scratched him the best I could…..had I had some heavy object, I’m sure I would’ve used it on him, my rage was out of bounds……we almost lost our marriage then and there, but he now knows what I am capable of if pushed hard and long enough……a week later after that my therapist had me admitted to a psychiatric ward and I spent a week there…..a month later, DDay 2 happened and that’s when I kicked him out of the house and made him leave…..that woke him up and it’s been an uphill battle since then…..things are much better now; he no longer communicates with the harlot (she broke up with him the night I kicked him out; she decided it was becoming too “real” and she really wasn’t in for a committed relationship, she wanted a sugar daddy) BUT I feel that he killed anything I ever felt for him and my struggles are to recover my feelings for him….her? I still hate with a burning passion (God forgive me) but my h? I still don’t feel like I used to for so many years…..and don’t know if those feelings will ever come back….I’m just on autopilot, existing, working, doing “life” but feeling so empty inside…..

            • E


              I probably should have spent a week in a mental health facility. My first reaction was WTF. and when my husband told me the truth and actually admitted his lies and deceit for 15 years.The night he confessed I told him with honesty and I was calm when i told him that I was going to be angry and that I couldn’t accept his apology because it he was only apologizing for being caught and that he didn’t understand the consequences of what he had done and created. I also told him that he had opened a Pandora’s box with me and that it will never be the same after he left to go to our bedroom where I didn’t sleep for 3-4 months afterwards, I actually sat alone in my living room with the lights out staring at the family pictures and thinking….. That bitch touched everything in my fucking house and there are just lies everywhere. It was like someone was surrounding my head with blackness and I felt dizzy and couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t sleep for months and stopped eating completely and actually didn’t start eating well again till about 6 months ago. After D-day for about 2 weeks I did nothing but cry on the sofa. Over the next 6 months to a year I couldn’t keep a job longer than 3 weeks and basically when ever I could I made sure that people that knew them both knew the truth of who she was and what they did to the kids. I wanted her to suffer in every way imaginable and still do. I have discussed this with my therapist and we are trying to work on forgiveness and I just think there are some things that can not be forgiven. The AP…… I just can’t when they know that someone is married and worse have interactions with the children and just the lies….. I get so angry at the thought of someone being so cruel to lie to a child about who they are. It’s just Sick and devious.
              I have thought about homicide. I also know like you that I too am capable of it and also understand what emotions and anger after infidelity causes it. I understand why the criminal murder case of Clara Harris in Houston happened and understand why she ran her husband over multiple times in her car. There isn’t a justification for the murder and what she did, I do understand the hot emotions that led up to it. I won’t do that behavior because I know it’s wrong and have spend months working through those emotions. However, there is a point at the beginning after finding out that your emotions take over and logic go out the window. I actually wanted to take the OW to the Arizona desert and tie her to a cactus and watch her suffer under the desert sun with thirst and watch as birds picked at her head and brain. Yes, the anger had that revenge fantasy, it was that bad….. This is also why no contact is wise for any recovery. The anger can be unstable and no matter what justifications are given it won’t change that. Plus if the AP has any self respect they would get on a fucking plane and fly far far far away. Which I still hope for and would be the first one to buy that ticket for her. Send her somewhere horrible.

              (((((((((Also thank you for just listening to my pain today because I needed to vent due to an argument that had nothing to deal with the affair with my H. We are just being assholes today and Just when an argument of something happens it just bubbles all the other crap to the surface and I have to vent. and I feel better))))))

              I also understand when autopilot started because after I started my personal therapy I was in autopilot and by that time I only felt anger and numbness and to this day there are days where I have no emotions and don’t care.

              After the first year and working on the anger in therapy, the self loathing came in and all the doubts about myself and blame and shame hit an all time low and I have put a noose around my head…. I’ve taken a kitchen knife to my wrist a couple times to check if I was real or not thinking that if I see blood that my life is real, and I’ve counted sleeping pills and was pondering taking them because the thoughts of sleeping and not waking up were inside my head many times and I didn’t know if I was really just in a dream or awake. Believe me I have been to a dark place in my head and heart and I don’t want to be like that. So I am with you Kittypone.

              There are reasons I still can not trust him. I know some are within my own power and I am trying. I just don’t want to be hurt again by him and yes, I know I have a wall up and that blocks some recovery. However, I am not ready to let my heart out of the barbwire cage that the affair and lies have placed it in.


            • Kittypone

              The only thing that “saves” a little bit of my h life is the fact that it wasn’t a PA because the harlot lives in another country and they never met face to face. She found him on Facebook and decided to request him even though they had no friends in common. He declined the first time, and deleted her request, but she sent him a private message begging him to accept her request and he gave in….it started innocently enough; until it wasn’t-and he crossed a line he never should’ve crossed, as it led him down a path that didn’t bring him any good, and almost destroyed our marriage and relationship. The first DDay I forgave him and truly believed that it was over between them and I was willing to put it behind us and never speak of it again, but when he kept lying to me and hiding evidence, and breaking promises, and behaving bizarre I knew that it wasn’t over between them and I decided that I was going to fight dirty: I managed to switch ownership of our cellphones accounts with our carrier so I could track when and where calls and texts were being made; I started recording him in his car during his commute to and from work (he started to leave for work earlier and earlier than he had to and he took the longest and most congested road back home to give him more time on the phone with the harlot) I contacted the OW husband and alerted him to the situation; I didn’t keep his affair under wraps and MANY people in our circles learned of what was going on (shame on him! So many people believed he was the most upstanding and moral man they knew) I let his sister and brother know what was going on and they took him to task for it (not that it made a difference, he lied to them as well) SO. All of that brings us to the present day where we attend MC, I receive therapy once a week, we just finished a mentoring program we were mandated to take, and I have slowly but surely started to lose every single feeling I ever had for my h…..I don’t feel any kind of respect or admiration for him, I certainly don’t have any warm and fuzzy feeling for him, I don’t find him appealing anymore (I basically endure intimacy with him at this point) and I am no longer interested in anything that he does or says……my question is: should I just throw in the towel and give up and divorce him? Will I get back any kind of feelings for him again? I feel so empty inside…..

      • Hopeful


        That is so exciting!!! I am happy for everyone that will benefit but also you! I know it has been your dream. I cannot wait to see what comes of it!

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Hopeful,
          Yes, it has been my dream to hold life-changing seminars; thank you for remembering! Hopefully, you will be there too. Do you have any ideas of what you would like to see at such a seminar?

          The conference space I have acquired is beautiful and I was shocked to learn that I was allowed to use it for business purposes for as long as I wanted and that the usage fee was already included in my HOA dues. This will allow me to keep the seminars very affordable to everyone who would like to attend. The goal here is healing others and doing it in a way that keeps the costs down. I want to ensure that even if someone is strapped for cash, there will be a way for them to come and have a life-changing experience.

          If anyone who has been through this and wants to volunteer or give a presentation – let me know. (Wink, wink). The purpose is for the greater good of betrayed spouses and that comes FIRST and foremost. So, Hopeful, if you or any of the others want to volunteer one day, just let me know.

          We have the space. Now we are brainstorming the part of how the seminars will look in terms of content and delivery.

          If anyone is interested in coming, let me know what YOU want to see in a seminar. These seminars are for the benefit of all of you, so let me know how I can help. And anyone who wants to help, let me know about that too. I am all about INCLUSIVITY, service to others, and making others feel welcome.


      • True Love

        I know this was posted pre-covid so you might not have set it up, but if you do it in 2021, I am there! I would want it to be couples. based where unfaithfuls and betrayeds can take separate seminars and also combined ones.

    • Andy's gonna break her heart to pieces

      One thing I haven’t seen really addressed, in all the volumes of material about affairs I’ve read and learned about over the past two years since D-day, is the effects it can have on those of us in that older generation where the marriage can be measured in decades. Grandparents having affairs is proof that “with age comes wisdom” is not always true.

      At any age we all share the same heartbreaking emotions upon discovery, but I can’t help think that had this happened when I was a much younger man, my response and recovery would have been different. Midnight thoughts of “you will spend the rest of your days alone” are more depressing to a 60 year old me as opposed to when I was in my 30’s or 40’s. The very idea of dating any other woman was about as appealing to me as a root canal.

      Infidelity is quite the cottage industry today, judging from the overwhelmingly vast selection of books, websites, seminars, etc… I wonder if anybody has ever considered a dating site for the betrayed spouses, you know, those of us proven to be faithful and not cheat? I’m reminded of a verse about sifting the wheat from the chaff.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Andy,
        Thank you for sharing your success story and congratulation on renewing your vows near Kona. My future seminars will be on the Kona side of the Big Island. Yes, infidelity is a cottage industry. I have grappled whether or not to charge money for any counseling I do. All my blog posts, comments, and emails are free. But, I have realized if people are going to be having businesses based on infidelity, someone needs to help people actually recover. There are many books, but helping people fully recover it a different matter. Thus, I will do future seminars that cost a little – but NOT a lot – so that anyone who needs to come can afford to come. Infidelity won’t go away and there is so much mis-information out there. Many non-experts are attempting to become overnight experts. This is Doug and Linda’s site, but they have been experts for years and have restored their marriage. This is my own little niche. When I was getting my Master’s in Clinical Psychology I never imagined that I would solely specialize in building a way to effectively treat infidelity since it’s NOT taught in school. But, I believe this is right where I am supposed to be because I experienced the devastation of infidelity, lost EVERYTHING, and I have been my own guinea pig for years before I went and got formal graduate credentials in psychology. I got the credentials to ensure that I knew all about the complexity that is a human relationship. I also did this so that I would have access to all the peer-reviewed research databases and I could write articles based solely on research.

        Now…about the dating website. Several times I thought to myself it would sure me nice to have a website for betrayed people to meet each other. However, the internal psychologist kicked in and informed me that this was a bad idea.


        All of us betrayed folks must find wholeness before we begin dating again. I believe we must go through extensive therapy. It would be all too easy to meet another person who was separated due to infidelity and for a couple to become each other’s informal therapists. However, it would be the blind leading the blind and this could lead to very volatile divorces and more harm than anyone could imagine. The darkness of being betrayed kills our souls. But, each of us must develop resiliency and find our strength on our own, without using another as a crutch. But, what would be my biggest concern about a website for betrayed spouses? Unless you follow someone around 24/7 with a drone, have an extensive background check by the FBI, haver an extensive mental health examination done on a person, and a lie detector test, it’s pretty hard to know whether or not they are good people. If we took people “on their word” for a dating site, it would be a very bad thing. Anyone could join. A dating site fir betrayed spouses would attract narcissists and sociopaths. Why? Because a bunch of betrayed spouses on a dating website looking for other betrayed people will look like a pen of unattended sheep. Sociopaths are DRIVEN to such settings. They will know they are dealing with broken people who are very vulnerable and a sociopath will slip right through the cracks in someone’s armor. Why would a sociopath do that? Because they love to have power over others. What better way to have power over another person than to date them at their most vulnerable time in their life. They are metaphorically like a wounded and bleeding sheep laying on the ground. What wolf (sociopath) would walk to that sheep? None of them would. A sociopath would RUN (not walk) to that metaphorical injured sheep. A bunch of betrayed spouses sitting on a website thinking they are only talking to other betrayed spouses would set a lot of people up to be hurt. Unfortunately, there are very few rule books for life and there are many people who will break the rules and then lie about it because it’s easier. If people get to adulthood and they have not “internalized” moral values, they will live their adult life pretending to have internalized them so that they can meet nice people. Note: a sociopath looks for the BEST person on earth. The best person on earth can be easily manipulated because they will assume the sociopath is telling the truth. The best person on earth will project positive qualities onto the sociopath.

        What sociopath wants another sociopath? None of them do. They are both in the game of using others. Therefore, they must pretend to be a sheep and sneak into the sheep pen. A dating website for people who have been betrayed will actually attract a lot of cheaters. You see, cheaters don’t play fair. They are happy to cheat on someone. But, they are furious if someone cheats on them. The rules apply to everyone EXCEPT them. They would be happy to pose as a betrayed spouse so that someone would trust them. Viola: it’s an instant cover to help them continue their heinous lifestyle.

        A dating site for betrayed spouses is a great idea. But, human nature being what it is, such a website would attract sociopaths the way the smell of blood attracts sharks. (Shudder).

        If you don’t mind, can you tell us how you recovered your marriage and what led you to renewing your vows?


    • Andy's gonna break her heart to pieces

      I just reread what I had posted and thought a P.S. might be appropriate. Those were random thoughts and musings that have transpired throughout my own journey. Fortunately we have been blessed and have reconciled, in fact more happily married now than ever before. Renewed our vows on the coastline near Kona recently.

    • Helen

      Well said D, I totally agree with you!!
      I am astounded by the lack of self awareness amongst you all! The common theme is denial and the inability to look at your own behaviours.
      The anger and bitterness is astounding.
      How can you not accept any responsibility for the state of your marriages? People don’t cheat if they are having their needs met and are happy! Because you yourself haven’t cheated doesn’t make you a saint!
      I have counselled so many couples whom are totally wrapped up in themselves and oblivious to how their significant other feels. Bottom line is no one has an affair if they are happy!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        I feel like you are completely missing the point. Of course we are all responsible for our part in our relationships. If someone is unhappy they should not take the cowards way out. Deceiving and lying to one’s partner is never acceptable but an act of cowardice. There is also the health risks that they expose their partners to by having other sexual partners that their own spouses are unaware of.

        I agree the chances of happy people having affairs is probably lower than those that are unhappy but it is very shortsighted of you to think that it was necessarily their spouse that caused their unhappiness!

        • Helen

          What point to you feel I have missed?

          • Eagle2435

            Helen, the point that being in a rough time in your marriage isn’t an excuse to cheat. Our spouses weren’t being perfect at meeting our needs either, but we didn’t cheat because we didn’t use it as an excuse. I could have cheated on my wife many times but have chosen not to – and a couple of times were when she was recovering after almost dying in a car accident – you think my sexual needs were being met when she was recovering from all her broken bones, etc? No, she couldn’t meet any of my needs, but I had to meet all of hers. But silly me, I thought love was choosing to be faithful even when you don’t feel like it – you know, like our wedding vows say – for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health?
            I’m not sure why that’s so hard for people to understand – promises are made to be kept, not broken. If you can’t keep the promise, get out before you break it. Elementary school kids can understand this stuff…it’s not that hard. I don’t believe you’re an actual counselor, but if you are….please stop. You’re only encouraging further bad behavior from the cheater – you’re enforcing their justification and not holding them accountable, while telling the other party they need to do better. It’s ridiculous.

      • Itgoeson

        I agree that affairs occur out of unhappiness. But I feel the bottom line is actually an affair is the act of a coward. You’re not happy in your marriage? Leave.

        • Helen

          That’s a rather simplistic opinion?

          • Eagle2435

            So is blaming the betrayed for the affair.

            • Helen

              No one blamed them… that is your perception of what D, and Hayley said. They said you have to look at your own part in the relationship and what LEAD to the affair!
              You are clearly angry…. it is easily to blame someone else rather than look at your own behaviours

          • Itgoeson

            That’s the best part. It’s my opinion. I’m not sure what your purpose is here on this board? To get a rise out of everyone? I hope everyone stops responding to this person. It’s like a bully on the playground. We have all been through so much. Please don’t let this person hiding behind their keyboard get you upset or second guess yourself, even for a minute. No matter our actions and responsibility in our marriages, people always have a choice. Our spouses made the wrong choice, not us. Keep up the healing group 🙂

      • E

        Wow Helen,
        I didn’t attack or get upset with D. I’m honest when I say I don’t know her story and only bothered with the justifications given to lie and deceive someone you say you love. You don’t know my story and I don’t know yours. I know my failures, my faults, my sorrows and I also know that I was lied to and I’ve spent hours in therapy trying to figure out what truths and lies my life has. It’s not a place I want anyone to be in. The lie is the damage for me. My H chose to lie because he is a coward not because he was unhappy with our marriage. I’m not going to go into my whole story and background because I know how it all happened and guess what I didn’t have a choice over the lies and secrets and now I have to deal with the pain and long term damage of them. I don’t think you even know the pain of it all nor care either and honestly I hope in your life you find joy. Cheaters are not happy. There are more heart problems with cheaters. The insecurities they have are because the stress of double life leads to sorrow and loneliness. Lots of statistics show it, I’ve read so many stories and it’s never glamorous. I’m not attacking a cheater, I’m disgusted by lies especially because the consequences are worse than the cheating. When you say you counsel people I’m glad you’re not my therapist because you don’t show a great lack of compassion.

        • Eagle2435

          You ladies were more eloquent in your replies. Haha they just made me mad. They read what they wanted to and then wanted to blame us all again, as if we haven’t been blamed enough. The point never was that we were perfect or had no part in the problems. The point is that marriage problems don’t give anyone a pass to cheat. You promise to be faithful, and keep the promise. If you can’t keep the promise, don’t stay married. But don’t cheat and then blame the other person for your bad behavior. It goes back to things you learn in childhood- such as ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. And then when you marry, you promise to be faithful ‘for better or for worse’. So as long as you are married, that’s your promise. You can forget that by getting divorced. But lying, going behind your spouses back and cheating is not keeping your promise. Because cheaters can’t deny these things, they cast blame. Because that’s easier than saying ‘I’m sorry, and it’s my fault. We both contributed to the marriage problems, but the bad decision I made to cheat is all mine. I own it.’ Is that hard to do? Yeah, nobody likes to admit they messed up and devastated the people they love (breaking news: it doesn’t just affect your spouse – kids, other family, friends, co-workers, etc can all be affected. Cheaters don’t like to face the destruction they cause, so they blame the betrayed. Then, not only does the betrayed have to live with the devastation of betrayal, but with their callous spouse saying ‘my mistake is your fault.’ Has someone not actually been victimized here? When someone brings devastation to someone else is there not a perpetrator and a victim? The difference is that cheaters that continue to blame shift actually stay in victim mode (ironically) while most betrayed spouses, though horribly victimized, do not stay there. We are the strong ones, the cheaters were weak.

          • E


            Thank you. Well said.

          • Helen

            Made you mad?? Why because someone has challenged you and your view points?
            Because someone has dared to disagree with you? Because the balance has changed slightly and we aren’t all slagging off the AP and the cheater?
            You are insular in your view points.
            You mention cheaters, denial, perpetrators, blaming the betrayed….. it’s all so ‘poor me’ the cheaters are weak we are strong! Really???
            If you are so strong why do you get so easily ‘mad’ when someone challenges your view point?

            • Eagle2435

              Uh, strong people can still get angry. It’s not the challenging of our viewpoint that makes me angry, it’s that you come on here and say that the biggest problem is that the betrayed spouses don’t look at where they screwed up. Which (1) isn’t true, and (2) doesn’t apply, because again – not being perfect in your marriage doesn’t give your partner a pass to cheat! So when people try to justify bad behavior and blame it on someone else rather than the offending party, the stupidity of that makes me angry. Nothing is ‘poor me’ – it’s fact – betrayed spouses are cheated on, lied to, and a huge offense is perpetrated upon them – this shouldn’t be hard to understand.

            • Gary

              You are someone who actually does not GET IT
              In a relationship we may all be cowards and not deal with issues within it but to go outside the relationship is a moral low and uncaring for the PTSD you will cause leaving some one you love/loved with possible life long trauma and issues not to mention the children who are yet to grow up and learn to have relationships of their own. I also ask how do you present your self to anew potential partner with I Love and stand by you now because it’s good but if we have or develop relationship or life issues I reserve the right to f—k you over rather than try to deal with them

        • Helen

          How can you say your husband was happy within your marriage? How could he be? He wouldn’t have sought out an affair!
          If I were your counselling I would hope I would have much more success in you helping better self awareness! As I am not I do not need to forward you any compassion.
          You did attack D for having a different opinion,

          • Eagle2435

            He shouldn’t have looked outside of the marriage for happiness, he should have looked within his marriage. Many times, the betrayed spouse doesn’t even know their spouse is unhappy. The cheating spouse tells himself/herself an exaggerated story that makes things seem worse than they actually are. Amazing that you want the betrayed spouse to have better self-awareness, but don’t think the cheater needs better self-awareness? Take your fake counseling certification and go home, you’re drunk. You need to receive counseling, not give it. I wish you could sit down with my wife and I to hear two people that take responsibility for the right things – our acknowledgements of both of our contributions to the rough patch in our marriage, and her owning up to HER mistake of having an affair – that there was no excuse to step out on me. That she wasn’t healthy, had expectations that nobody could meet, and how her AP didn’t actually meet any needs that I wasn’t – she just didn’t want me to meet them because she told herself a story about me that wasn’t true. She admits that I treated her way better than her AP during their entire affair – even though I have 4 young kids, a demanding job, and was doing 75% of the cooking and cleaning because I was trying to help her through what I thought was just a rough time. Her AP didn’t have any other commitments (other than a wife who he barely saw) and he still couldn’t keep up with me. So your theory that the issues lie with the betrayed spouse are somewhat flawed in my case, eh? But yeah, it’s all my fault.

          • WhoKnows

            If you could read effectively, you would understand E did not say her husband was happy with the marriage. What E said was “My H chose to lie because he is a coward not because he was unhappy with our marriage. “, and I agree wholehearted with E.

            My husband would cheat no matter who he marries. Even though DDay came as a complete shock to me, I was not at all surprised, he was on that downward path from very early on, not wanting to face the reality any difficulties and issues. Guess what, he wasn’t happy with the AP either, because his actions would never bring happiness to himself or anyone around him. He would be happy living in a world where everybody gives him whatever he wants without asking anything in return, and that world does not exist. He has a lot of potential but he chose to waste it all away rather doing the hardwork. A man only feels happy when he gives and achieves. He is unwilling to do any of that.

            Do I have my own problems? Of course. My issue was why I allowed myself to be treated this way? Why did I give him the impression that he would not lose me no matter what happens? Why did I keep doing the nice things to keep the household up and running while working a full-time job to the point where he took all of this for granted? Why did I give him the illusion that he can always fall back to a happy family setting regardless of what his actions were? These are the issues that I’m working with myself right now.

            As for you, you could spend some time improving your reading comprehension. You are repeatedly missing the point. Why do you read “poor me” with Eagle’s word “making me mad”? The mass shootings make me mad, does that mean I think “poor me” because of these events? Am I a victim to the mass shootings? Not now, but we could all well be some day if we allow this to go on. Being mad gives people power. The people from the 13 colonies were mad that’s why they fought for independence to found this country. I think expressing madness is a very powerful thing and don’t see any inkling of connection to the “poor me” mentality. On the contrary, I so often see the “poor me” mentality on the CS, which justified them to go out and seek an AP. Did they express what they were mad about in their marriage to their spouse first? My H didn’t, because “poor him” he was sure it would have no use. I bet a lot of the CS didn’t have the courage to do just say that — state what they are mad about in their marriage and sit down to discuss how things need to be changed.

            Eagle, I’ve read all your stories, and I admire you for your strength and integrity. It is comforting to know there are men like you who are upholding their marriage vows and giving everything they could for their family. I hope you the best!

            • Eagle2435

              Thank you Who Knows! I wish you the best as well – I have read your stories and I am sorry for your husband’s behavior. Nobody deserves to be cheated on, despite what some on this board say.

      • Soul mate


        Have you ever considered the fact that most people who are unhappy in thier marriages because they cause their own unhappiness? That they have bad coping skills or boundaries? They possibly have addictive and or abusive behavior themselves? The problem with your opinion is if the cheater is unhappy in the marriage, then they should tell thier spouse and try to work on the problem or leave the marriage and get a divorce. Cheating, lying and blaming is nothing more than abuse. At its most significant which tells me again that the problem lies with the cheater period!

    • Hayley

      I met a man on illicit encounters because I wasn’t getting my sexual needs met, neither was he. I was in a 8 year relationship, he had been married for 21 years and his wife didn’t want sex! So who’s to blame here?
      We had a 3 year affair and are now together.
      The anger amongst you and denial is unbelievable. I read the comments from D and thought, ‘wow for once and honest person!’ Yet the anger you all hold means you’ve attacked her and fairly viciously!! Why? Because the truth hurts! People have been having affairs for centuries and will continue to do so! It’s life. I will never understand the hatred towards the AP particularly if the person is single, it is naive to think that ‘he or she’ has ruined a family etc etc….. if it wasn’t that person it would be another as fundamentally something is wrong within that marriage as ‘D’ said.
      I feel she was mindful of the hurting, it’s seems some of you do not want to look at yourselves at all. No disrespect Sarah but you are making a living from people whom see themselves as victims!

      • Eagle2435

        You’ve got to be fucking kidding me Hayley and Helen. Did you not fucking read where we said we weren’t perfect, that we contributed to marital discord? The point is that marital discord isn’t an excuse for cheating you assholes. We’re not saints, but we’re not cheaters. Look, two more ‘woe is me’ victims – yes, ironically you said we were acting like victims after you said you cheated because you weren’t happy (who’s the victim now?) – you didn’t have the option to divorce before cheating? Grow the fuck up.

        • Hayley

          Wow easy to see why you were cheated on you charmer!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha

          • Eagle2435

            I am a charmer, ask my wife. Your insults aren’t going to get to me, your flawed viewpoints and blaming of betrayed spouses makes me angry for the many strong women in here whose husbands have cheated with people like you. I had dozens of opportunities to cheat…never did. I planned date nights. I share equally in the housework. I’m a good father. We had a 3 month rough patch where my wife told herself a story about me that wasn’t true. My wife will tell you that she was utterly stupid for cheating, and wishes she could take it all back.

            • Hayley

              Gosh you really are perfect in your own mind!!
              It’s clear by how easily you anger you are not the person you describe.
              You use fowl language, lash out when someone challenges your view point or thoughts.

        • Hayley

          I wasn’t married!!!

          • Eagle2435

            Your post said you were in an 8 year relationship – that’s got to be at least common law marriage. haha

          • Soul mate


            You being single makes you the worst kind of AP. A parasitic spouse poacher you are.
            My husband wasn’t meeting my needs. He had an alcohol abuse issue that affected his performance. There were many other events that took place that were negative and most people here know what they are, however, it was just a woman like you, middle aged, sociopathic and sexually deviant enough to pursue a married man for almost three years to get sexual jollies off other people’s misery.

            Let me tell you what my h now says and has said since dday.

            He was happy and relieved it was over on dday. That his AP was told several times to stop but she wouldn’t. That he wouldn’t F### that fat ass if he was single. That she was dumpy and not attractive. It was just a game at first and he was an idiot for letting it happen. It all started with her texting him sexual conversations when he was drunk and I was sleeping and healing from a broken leg. That she was easy and would do anything he told her and was desperate for sex. That he has regretted his stupidity way before I found out and did not know how to stop it out of fear of losing his job and ME! So much so she wanted to pay and arrange the hotel room . And she naked Skyped him under the guise that they had a work meeting and they we’re working from home. He said her body disgusted him when he saw it . She was his coworker and case manager which meant that he couldn’t get away from her because every time he told her he loved his wife and nothing physical would ever happen, she would persist like the conversation never happened. So much so that it caused my husband to lose his job. Then when that happened and my husband told her again to get lost, she sent me a letter to my job.

            In the end, my husband hates her. He said he never wanted me to know, was ashamed, but was happy when I did find out because THAT was his biggest fear. LOSING ME! Not kids, ours are grown. Nothing but me! He has cried and begged me on his knees several times over the last 18 months for forgiveness and for me to stay with him. He holds me tight every night since dday to this day and tells me how much he LOVES ME!

            His single AP was nothing but a blip in our 28 years of marriage and we both fondly refer to her a Skank Face.

            You may have gotten your way with your cheating partner. Good luck. He left his wife for you, and when he’s tired of you he’ll go shopping again . Dating apps are just a click away.

            • True Love

              Soul mate,
              Similar story. Before the wretched skank whore attacked my H, he told the other guys that were leering over her that he would F*k her with their D*k. And I guess he was right because the 3x they attempted, his D*k wouldn’t rise to the occassion. She was a married POS who saw our great marriage and was stuck in her miserable marriage. She targets married men going through midlife crisis, befriends them and waits for the weak moment. We also see her as a blip in our 33 year relationship. She’s a POS that we step over as we walk down the street.

        • Helen

          What a delight you are Eagle!

          • Eagle2435

            Yes I am, thank you. I fought for my wife and I’ll fight for these women on here against insensitive people like you and Hayley who want to continue to place blame on them for their husband’s indiscretions.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Sometimes people see themselves as victims simply because they are victims. They were lied to and deceived. Were they perfect? Was their marriage perfect? No of course not. If your needs are not being met and you are unhappy why stay in the relationship??

        You mention nothing of the broken trust that happens when one partner cheats. Where is the integrity?

        • Helen

          Why did you leave? I hear this comment so often. Because it isn’t easy just to leave. Many people want extra sex or extra emotional support but perhaps stay as they don’t want to upset their children for example.
          People have had affairs for years and they will continue to do so.
          One of my clients came to me, his wife has not once given his oral sex, she saw his penis as something ugly and disgusting. He was happy in the rest of his life part for the almost non existent sexual intimacy. He took lovers, 3 in fact over the years. He said he had never experienced such wonderful pleasures and was glad he had made the choices he had. He had disgusted the lack of sex with his wife for years, many arguments arouse from it. She still has zero interest in him and he still has lovers. His wife is not responsible for his decision to cheat, she is however responsible for the sexless marriage!

          • Eagle2435

            What a saint he was! It’s a waste of time to argue with you – you won’t ever get it. Continue to counsel cheaters if you want, but please suggest betrayed spouses go elsewhere.

            • Helen

              Argue……. you see…. through your own admission you were looking to ‘argue’ because you don’t like what you are reading, you have decided to argue,.

              You my dear need a lot of self reflection

          • Gary

            Then they talk see if they can sort it out If a blow job is so important
            They end the relationship if they can’t work through it not go off get one from someone else but still use their partner for other qualities

      • E

        We are only telling our stories and gaining support. If you knew the AP and the chaos that the lies have done with my husband, you would be angry too at her. I’m not angry at you. I don’t have a reason too be angry. I do want to point out that calling someone a victim who is a strong survivor is emotional abuse. I’ve heard that before in my marriage and to me it’s another justification and it’s the cheater projecting how they feel about themselves when they get caught. Don’t call the BS a victim because what i see is projecting emotions because your right honesty is brutal. It’s how we can the self reflection and honesty and learn from it. Calling someone a victim isn’t being a supportive person nor does it help them recover and recognize they are a survivor. I hope you find happiness within yourself.


      • Better days

        You and your new man sound perfect for each other. Best of luck.

        • Hayley

          Thanks ????

        • Eagle2435

          Better days, that made me laugh!

    • Hopeful

      I know there are a lot of comments for this post already but I recently listened to a podcast that had Esther Perel as a guest. They also happened to have Dr. John Gottman earlier this year too. I found both episodes to be really good. It was the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I agree with what everyone has said about Esther Perel and ideas she has pushed/put out for public consumption, in her books, in her TedTalks etc. I however early on and still find some truth in a lot of what she talks about. I do not feel that what she has to offer provides my husband a pass at all for what he did. I do find it helpful as insights to what he was feeling at the time. I also feel that she highlights areas to work on moving forward. I do think she addresses issues of society and how marriage and times have evolved even from the 70’s. During this podcast I found it really insightful listening to her talk about marriage, family dynamics, how kids are raised now, sexuality, how people date longer. A lot of what was said I could relate to or I could hear part of my husband both during the affair years and now. And honestly I found hope when I listened to her in the early days. She talked of setting boundaries and expectations but also focusing on the present and future. At a certain point we had rehashed the past. And there was nothing else my husband or I could do to change the past. Instead it was about what led to this, how did you feel, what do you need to change to ensure this does not happen again, do you want to be in this marriage, how can our marriage change to reflect what we both want. We worked through a lot and more of her suggested topics. And yes there are things she says I do not agree with but I take what I need from her experience and expertise. I would suggest listening to Dr. John Gottman’s episode. It was excellent. Not focused on infidelity but relationships, marriage and a lot on his background.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,
        I am working my way through comments. I wanted to say that I agree with you on Esther Perel. I am here to put forth ideas and not attack a person. (No one acused me of attacking Esther, I am just saying that I have no desire to attack her as a person). Esther Perel is a an excellent public speaker and has excellent “stage presence.” When I first started reading her work, I thought it sounded more-or-less reasonable because she was able to articulate the thinking that was going on in the mind of the wayward spouse. I would never attack Esther herself. Her books can be helpful to betrayed spouses who want to take a look into the type of thinking that caused a wayward spouse to dive off the deep end. She does talk about what are very unfortunate realities and she discusses what people do. Some people can do some pretty terrible things. When I first started reading her work, she gave me some hope as well. It’s odd for me to look back and think her early work gave me some hope. But, as I have researched further, her work is less appealing.


        It had occurred to me recently that there were people writing about recovery who appeared to be a little bit more in sympathy with the wayward spouse and less concerned with the profound, negative impact that adultery has on a betrayed spouse. I decided these folks were “affair apologists.” That is, they focus more on building up the viewpoint of a wayward spouse and sometimes make light of the betrayed spouse, who is the victim. I realized that if a wayward spouse gave a betrayed spouse one of Esther’s books BEFORE a betrayed spouse had seen the different views out there, it would be a form of gas-lighting even if not intended to be that way. Esther is an excellent speaker and always has very interesting things to say. She is well-educated, poised, and she has an interesting life history, considering she is a Belgian Jew. She would have lost relatives in the Holocaust, just as I lost relatives in the Holocaust (And that is an unspeakable trauma in itself). Esther can be helpful because she can show betrayed spouses what wayward spouses might be thinking – when a wayward spouse loses their mind over an affair – and Esther can show how crazy the thinking of a wayward spouse can be. However, sometimes what Esther says comes off as making excuses for cheaters. Sometimes she says things where she frames the cheater as the victim and the victim as the perpetrator. (I am well-aware of your views and know that framing the victim as the perpetrator would be one of the things you do NOT agree with in Esther’s work). But, her books and interviews are informative; there is no question about that!

        As for the Gottman’s, they are the gold standard for me because everything they write is the product of years of research that they have done personally. Or, they build on other research studies. The Gottmans don’t like to write something down unless they have research to back it up. But, they are also a very compassionate couple with warm smiles and an energetic presence. Julie Gottman is what an “ideal woman” looks like to me. Her smile lights up a room, she dresses beautifully (but ALWAYS appropriately), and her warmth as a person can fill a room. Julie Gottman is a bright light in this world. John Gottman is like a rock of stability. He has a fantastic hand-shake and presence. These two are superheroes in my eyes. They are in a league of their own and I am certain they will be in all of the psychology textbooks of people who changed history during their time. Hopeful, what does your husband say about the Gottmans? Whose books does he recommend? And what are your favorite books?

        How are you doing this week?

        PS- For anyone new, Hopeful has been on this forum probably longer than I have. Shifting Impressions has also been here longer than I have. These two are some of the Wise Women we are blessed to have here.

        • Hopeful

          I agree with all of that regarding Perel.

          My husband loves the Gottmans. He does not get behind many people or buy into a lot of current work. But he does believe in their work and findings. I think since as you say it is backed by research yet has tools to move forward. He has not read many books regarding betrayal. I did give him all of my books so he can pass them along to clients. In general I am not sure he hands out too many books or suggests too many. I think in general people are more well read and seek out that before they reach him. He also does a variety of work and not that much therapy. I think a lot of his work though is based on his education, training and professional experience. His training was cognitive behavioral therapy.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Thanks Sarah….that’s so nice of you to say. Hopeful’s comments have been extremely helpful to me as well over the years.

          • Sarah P.

            Shifting Impressions and Hopeful,

            You two are a GIFT to this website. You both indeed qualify as WISE WOMEN and I am always so grateful when you two comment. You two have spent so many hours giving life-saving advice to others. That is such an amazing thing to do for others; to give time and life-saving advice.

            It takes a village. I am one person with one perspective based on my experiences/training. I am NOT the expert. All of us are experts and all of us can help others in unique ways. I think it’s fantastic that this happens here and you two have always been instrumental to this process. It’s so wonderful!


            • Kittypone

              I know *I* am extremely grateful to these two ladies as well!! Thank you for sharing your experiences and how they made you stronger! Such a blessing to have found you all in this hard journey!!

        • True Love

          Yes, Hopeful and Shifting Impressions, thank you for your posts. You have helped me so much since I found this site shortly after Dday 16 months ago.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Thank you for kind words, True love. I know that the many conversations on this site were of tremendous help to me…..especially in the early years after d-day.

    • WhoKnows

      Yeah, his wife is not having sex with him, if you believe that crap. My CS used that one on the AP too, but guess what it was because that he was turning me down because he is ashamed of his own sexual performance. Must be a fool to believe what a cheating man is telling the AP in order to get her into bed. Even if the fact is true, have you considered why? Why did his wife lose interest in sex with him? Did the man have no responsibility that led to that?

      Using the same logic, I bet all the mass shooters, serial killers were unhappy too, they probably all had miserable childhood experience and did not get the love they deserved when they grew up! They must have felt being treated so unfairly that they had to take it out on innocent kids and innocent people! Cheating, just like killing, is a choice, no matter how “justified” you feel. There are so many people who have truly been victimized (so many right here) yet they’ve risen above the circumstance and let their noblest and kindest human nature shine. It warms my heart whenever I think of these people, and always gives me strength. And I have nothing but confidence that time will show what you have gained or lost through your “harmless” choice, Haley/Helen.

      • Eagle2435


        Its hard to know where to start with Hayley’s post – Helen’s isn’t as bad but she is still an affair apologist. There’s so much in Hayley’s post that epitomizes the selfishness/delusion of the cheater.

        Hayley says “I met a man on illicit encounters because I wasn’t getting my sexual needs met, neither was he. I was in a 8 year relationship, he had been married for 21 years and his wife didn’t want sex! So who’s to blame here?” – Okay, first of all, like you said – Hayley has no idea if what her AP was telling her is truth, or even if it is truth, what the whole story is. Maybe his wife didn’t want sex because he had been a shitbag to her for 15 years? And as far as who’s to blame? Uh…still you and him. There’s no mention of conversations, counseling, etc. And of course there’s always the option to divorce instead of cheating. The reason people don’t divorce is because they want the safety net of their spouse to fall back on should things not work out with the AP. And because there are things they can’t get from the AP that they get from their spouse.

        “We had a 3 year affair and are now together.” So, your marriages ended anyway, why not just get divorced first? Or did their marriages end because of the affair and now they had no fall back plan? Their relationship probably won’t last.

        “The anger amongst you and denial is unbelievable.” – Ah, the inability for someone to put the shoe on the other foot, or recognize the beam in their own eye. Would you not be angry if your spouse cheated on you? Would you not be angry if they lied, went behind your back, and broke your trust? Would you not be angry that they couldn’t be honest with you and try to work on the marriage problems? And denial? Nobody in here is denying their part in marital discord. Funny though that she says we’re in denial when she denies what she did was wrong and that being in a bad marriage isn’t an excuse for cheating.

        “I read the comments from D and thought, ‘wow for once and honest person!’ Yet the anger you all hold means you’ve attacked her and fairly viciously!! Why? Because the truth hurts!” – D, the cheater, is the epitome of an honest person? Again, we’re honest about our faults in here. I also didn’t think anyone attacked D ‘fairly viciously’. We strongly disagree with justification for an affair and we challenged her viewpoint.

        “People have been having affairs for centuries and will continue to do so! It’s life.” – Oh, okay, well that makes it all better and right. My uncles tripped out on acid for years so I should do that. People have been racist for centuries and will continue to do so! It’s life – get over it. Racism is cool – see how that logic applied somewhere else doesn’t work?

        “I will never understand the hatred towards the AP particularly if the person is single, it is naive to think that ‘he or she’ has ruined a family etc etc….. if it wasn’t that person it would be another as fundamentally something is wrong within that marriage as ‘D’ said.” – Umm, what does the other party being single have to do with it? That absolves them of wrongdoing? Well, I wasn’t married, so I wasn’t having an affair, I just helped someone have an affair.” What? Are we pretending that affairs are now right and good, and that if the AP is single they have no idea that adultery is wrong? Yes, Hayley, you’re right that if it ‘wasn’t that person it would be another’…but again, how does this justify anything? It still does nothing to change the fact that adultery is wrong. It’s a simple fact that everyone agrees with. If you stood in the middle of town with a big poster that said “I cheated on my husband”, do you think you’d get more applause or rejection? If it’s not a big deal, why don’t cheaters tell everyone and why do they lie?

        “I feel she was mindful of the hurting, it’s seems some of you do not want to look at yourselves at all. No disrespect Sarah but you are making a living from people whom see themselves as victims!” – LOL. She was mindful of the hurting. Thank you, thank you D for realizing that affairs destroy marriages and families – she knew firsthand because she experienced it. Being mindful of the hurting, however, doesn’t mean that she has the right view as she still tries to justify affairs. And then Hayley says we ‘see themselves as victims’. Ironically, though, she speaks earlier about how bad her and her AP’s marriages were (even though the other didn’t really know because they never talked to their spouses) – that they were driven to cheat. So who sounds like they see themselves as victims there? Sounds like Hayley does. And on the other side – WE ARE VICTIMS. We were victimized. Hayley’s spouse was victimized. When someone promises you they will be faithful, then goes behind your back and is unfaithful, then lies to your face, and then when caught they blame you – how are they not a victim?

        Helen did have a crazy comment at the end – “No one has an affair if they are getting their needs met and are happy!” – Classic affair apologist – it’s all about them getting their needs met and being happy. Doesn’t matter if the betrayed spouse was getting their needs met or were happy. But here’s what they fail to see – there are plenty of people who are not getting their needs met and aren’t in great marriages (or the marriage is going through a rough time) who DON’T cheat. (case in point: most spouses in here) So why is this ignored and it becomes all about the poor cheater who couldn’t help him/herself because their needs weren’t met? Helen, here’s a story for you – my own: My wife cheated after 10 years of marriage, where 9 years and 9 months were great. I’ve always been a romantic guy, I’m high energy so housework is equal (and outdoor work is all me), and I’ve always worked super hard in my jobs, been a good dad, we had regular date nights, etc. Our 3 month rough patch before our 10 year anniversary was because our business failed because of a market shift that we couldn’t weather. The last 3 months before deciding to close the business were very stressful and we were both distant because of the stress. I apologized for being distant and went back to my usual self. Unbeknownst to me, she had already started her affair. After she confessed to me, she didn’t blame shift, per se, but she said the reason she did was because I changed in those 3 months. I wouldn’t accept justification for the affair, because I had already accepted that I was emotionally distant – but obviously anyone should be able to make it through 90 days without cheating. They weren’t even anything crazy, just stress and distance because of outside forces.

        When she was forced to take a step back, here’s what she realized why she cheated: In those 3 months, she told herself a story. She simply wanted an escape, because life wasn’t as easy as she thought it should be. We made good money, but we also had 4 kids in 5 years. We also paid off her 200k student loan debt, and she almost died in a car accident and I spent months by her side with her recovery as the 100% focus. She wanted to stay home with the kids, so she did. She didn’t even like it, and then she had to go back to work because of the business problems. In her mind, we should have had a 4000 sf house (our house was 2500 sf), a pool and jacuzzi, two new cars, plenty of free time, and her staying at home with our 4 perfect children. Her picture of what life SHOULD have been like was a fairy tale…and in fairy tales, the prince is perfect. Never mind that she wasn’t perfect, but suddenly I couldn’t do enough, and I was the reason she didn’t have what she wanted. It was my fault that our present reality was a 2500 sf house, no pool or jacuzzi, a newer vehicle for her and an old truck for me, barely any free time, and 4 imperfect children between the ages of 2-7. It was fine when I was present emotionally, but as soon as that became difficult for me because of outside influences, our present reality was no longer palatable for her. But instead of discussing it with me, she decided that she needed someone else in order to be happy. After I apologized (she never did for being the same way), she still carried on the affair for 7 more months even though I had clearly done a 180 and gone back to my old, romantic, emotionally present self (I never stopped doing the tangible things like housework, making money, etc.) My wife was unhappy because of her OWN expectations that I could only meet if I was perfect. I took responsibility for my emotional distance for that brief period and I know there are things that I could be better at (as there were with her, since nobody’s perfect) but she made herself unhappy with her story. She knows that now. So let me ask you, Hayley and Helen – who’s to blame?

        • Hopeful

          Eagle, Good job breaking down the post and those comments. All I can speak to is what has happened in my marriage. I find it revealing that these people posting think they know what has gone on in our lives. I think there can be similarities yet we are all unique. Whenever I post or reply to someone I explain that this is what worked for me. None of us are on the same timeline. In the end the betrayal is 100% my husband’s fault. He made the commitment and promise to me when we were dating and married. He had ample opportunity to talk with me and I was the one that would bring up issues. I do hold the ow women responsible but more on a societal level. I honestly could care less about them. They are a dime a dozen. It could have been anyone and that is exactly what my husband has told me. In the end people cheat with other people because they have issues. They are hurt and damaged. They let down themselves first and foremost. It does take a lot for someone who has cheated to make changes in their life. They have to admit and face up to what they have done. Then at least my expectations are to live an authentic and transparent life. Again, this is what has worked for me. I choose every day to focus on me, my needs and expectations for myself, within my marriage and family. You can call us all bitter or whatever you labeled us. I don’t use names to stereotype and make blanket statements. I look at everyone as having a unique story. We are all here either looking for support or I hope I can help someone where they are with my story or advice/what worked for us. I will not live my life in a negative way, too much was already taken from me during the affair years.

        • Jenna

          Omg got bored after the second paragraph!
          You are one angry man!!! Time for therapy!!!

        • D

          you are sooooooooo dull!!!

          • Eagle2435

            You don’t know me. If you did, you wouldn’t have made that comment. My wife’s AP wasn’t exciting and they didn’t do anything exciting. One of the reasons my wife stopped the affair (I didn’t know about it) was simply because the affair wasn’t exciting – after the initial high, she realized that I treated her much better and she had more fun with me, even with all of our responsibilities. She didn’t want an escape from a dull life, she wanted an escape from a difficult one of parenting 4 kids. But once again, you try to blame me – label me as dull because I explained how I fulfill my responsibilities. Nice one. I’m not harmed by your insults, and I’m not going to waste any more time arguing with you ladies, you clearly won’t get it.

            • Tom

              I feel for your wife… you have some serious anger issues! You are rude and abusive, one can easily see why your wife fell into the arms of another!

        • D

          You seriously should take less time reiterating people’s post and more time on being more self aware!

          People don’t share your opinion! Get over it!!

          I couldn’t be bothered to read all the crap either Hayley lol

          Did your wife leave btw?? Think we already know the answer to that

          • Eagle2435

            Last one I’ll reply to – first of all, I wouldn’t expect you to have read all of my reply to Hayley – you’re not interested in what we have to say anyway.
            Next, this might make you mad – my wife didn’t leave. How do you like them apples? She confessed to the affair, and has taken full blame after analyzing why she did it. She begged me not to leave after finding out, and we’re far, far along in recovery even being only 7 months from her confession. I have a tremendous capacity to forgive and I’ll fight for the people I love and respect. Which is why I’m fighting with you – I respect these women and I don’t like that you try to justify the behaviors of those that caused them devastation.
            Some of us still respect marriage. My marriage is strong – because I kept my vows and still believe I can keep my promises even though my wife broke hers.

            • Rich

              She will
              Leave you again mate!

            • Hayley

              Why would it make me mad lol!!!!! It’s you whom has anger issues!!!

              I don’t read it as you are boring and angry

        • D

          These comments were all aimed at Eagle NOT hopeful

        • Keelie Ann

          Sounds to me like your wife stays for monetary gain because you are an extremely bitter self absorbed individual

        • WhoKnows

          Eagle, I’m totally with you. My CH too, could not face the difficulties in life. We have a special need child and that crumbled him. He could not face the reality and daily challenges, he would rather bury his head in the sand and pretend the problems did not exist so that he can go and get ego stoked elsewhere. In our home, he had to face the reality, all his limitations, where he fell short, it was all there and he did not have the courage to deal with it. He then went outside and told lies about me and said that I over labeled the kid as special need and it was trouble that I asked for and that there would be no issue if I didn’t ask for it. It was like the emperor’s new groove. Even with a doctor’s diagnosis, teacher’s comments, he refused to face the reality, and he laughed with AP about the “big deal” I was creating. What kind of person would laugh in the face of his own son’s challenges and take no action to help him while thinking that as a joke? And think of me, who was the only one who was working my butt off to help him, as a joke too? And what kind of person would be attracted to someone who ignores his own children’s difficulties and laugh at his children? My other kid had to undergo surgery too during his affair. The ailment started to develop around the time of his betrayal, and I guess kids are really sensitive about the their surroundings, and her dad’s bad behavior really got onto her and her situation became worse over the course of the affair and led to surgery in the end. It may be easier to forgive the affair itself since it all only reflected his own weakness but it was much harder for me to forgive what he did to our kids which to me showed he was a really bad person.

        • Kittypone

          Why are you even explaining yourself to such horrid people? Those of us who have been through this hell, KNOW what you have lived because we have lived it as well, and you don’t owe any of us an explanation……karma takes her job very seriously and her paybacks are priceless!! They will reap what they sow!!! That’s a law of life!!

      • Helen

        Anger fuelled response

        • Eagle2435

          Good Lord, you HAVE to learn to spell! That’s a pet peeve of mine so your replies drive me crazy. This is why I don’t believe you’re a professional counselor – I feel like professional counselors can spell. haha

          • Helen

            I’m typing on a busy train with half an eye on more exciting things! Another thing that makes you angry Eagle??

            And I really don’t care what you believe

          • Helen

            Please feel free to highlight said mistakes as you have lots of time on your hands it seems!
            I wonder if it is the odd spelling error that is some how confusing you? Or could it be you are just winding yourself up even more?
            The above is called ‘challenging’ a skill used in counselling!!

    • WhoKnows

      Hopeful, I agree with every word. You are a beam of light to me, just like your nickname.

      Can I ask how did you become confident that your husband is a changed man? And how soon did that happen after DDay? I recall he is a mental health professional so he probably already has the skills required to say/do the right thing and it only took his will to decide to make the change. To me, my CH seems to be willing to change, but he is lacking the skills or the methodology to acquire the skills. It is very frustrating.

      • Hopeful

        Who knows, Good memory. Yes he is a mental health professional. And you are right he does know what to say or do. He was that before he cheated too. I found that aspect confusing. He is very well spoken and highly successful. It did not make sense to me on many levels. And I only had the society view of betrayal. And over time he has opened up that he never planned to leave me and he realized he was destroying me and our marriage. He took it to the brink of destruction as he said. He said it was the worst feeling every day to think about what he did to the person he loved most and wanted to be together with forever. He ended both affairs 15 months before dday on his own. He said he could not do it anymore even without me knowing. I do think that was a major factor in recovery. He at least had disconnected and moved on from the ow.

        Dday was over four years ago for us. His two affairs were sporadic but went on for ten years. But he would go a year without any contact. So I think through that time I would notice ups and downs but it was never intense with his affairs since even the one he only saw her 3-4 times in ten years. Discovery and all of that took a while. Since things went on for so long it was hard for me to understand or get details. The health aspect was a worry. He had gone at one point and been tested confidentially since he had unprotected sex one time. I still required that we both go get tested together. We also started setting one time a week to talk. This was partially planned so that we both could prepare. I would journal daily so i would look back and see what was bothering me on a daily basis. He knew it was coming. The rest of the week we spent as much time together as possible. We cut back on everything we did not have to do. On dday he was not sure what he wanted. He had been living a lie for over ten years. He has told me since he made a commitment to give it six months. He said that is the set amount of time to make major changes. He found it easy and was happier than ever before. He said the hardest part was seeing me in pain and knowing he caused it. It took me a solid year to go through the entire process. Things did improve but then started to seem “normal” like before dday. We set very specific boundary and expectations. I think as I improved it all hit him harder. It took him two years before he told me that he had started to not hate himself and sort of could like himself. His goal was to live his life with authenticity and transparency. When he went out of town everything is detailed. He is available at any time if I want to talk. As he has said it he wants me to feel okay. He says he will never cross that line again but he wants me to feel okay/good/happy. He understands the triggers and PTSD can be powerful. The other thing we talked about often was how love is a verb. On dday he talked about the feeling of love. Well through the process he talked about how love is more than that but it shows in your actions and what you do. I watched to see if his actions matched his words. I did go to a therapist on my own which helped me a lot.

        I am not sure how long it has been for you since dday. I think we are all on different timelines. My husband could not read an entire book about infidelity. However he brought home a great article from work that was in The Atlantic, The Masters of Love by John Gottman. For him it was something he could read and take action. It hit him in a good way. I suggest John Gottman’s work for many reasons. He is very scientific based, focuses on actions to create a successful marriage, and is overall really positive. He brought that home during a really dark time but I could see the difference in his behavior after reading this. My husband has always been really selfish but this really helped him transform. And we saw the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus one man show. We saw this within the first year. There were some spots that were touchy but we laughed together. And I think that was a big thing for us at that point. It also created a lot of quality conversation. It is a common practice in mental health to use movies/music/pop culture to highlight an issue or point. And laughing together is medicine.

        My husband thanks me almost every day for giving him a second chance. It is not lost on him. Early on I asked him how I could ever trust him again. He told me that trust is earned. And that I needed to heal/recover first then I could consider trusting him and hopefully one day I could trust him again on some level. He also told me to trust my gut and if something did not seem right to ask him. And to watch his actions.

        This is a long path, no matter what happens you will be more than okay. Figure out what you need and then find the solutions whether that means reading a book together, going to individual therapy, couples therapy etc. Please feel free to ask any questions. I tried to include many details without going on too long!

        • Janet

          How on earth can you even begin to think about staying with a man that betrayed you for all that time?
          Do you have so little respect for yourself?
          Why do you stay? How can you love this man?

        • WhoKnows

          Thank you so much Hopeful. I really appreciate the time you took to offer all these details. I will really need time to chew this over and over and see what I can apply.

          • Hopeful

            Who knows, I think that is important to take the time you need. You don’t need to make any huge/major decisions right away. I really spent a lot of time figuring out what I wanted. You will get through it!

            • Sarah P.

              You will always have my respect for staying and being the anchor of your family. There are others here too who have stayed and have been anchors and who have many positive ideas to contribute.

    • Doug

      OK, I see this is getting a little bit out of control. Just so everyone knows…Helen, Janet, Hayley, Rich, Tom, Keelie Ann, D, and Jenna all have the same IP address. So, unless all these people live together, it’s the same person who is trying to goad some of you on. I suggest ignoring “them.”

      • WhoKnows

        I had a hunch about that and wanted to ask you to check. You beat me to it, Doug. Thanks so much for keeping this site respectful!

        Funny how the cheaters always resort to lies to make themselves feel good about themselves. When one of these said she was on a train typing with half an eye on more exciting things, I had the mental picture of those exciting things being quickly switching into another alias to support her own view points. It is not surprising to me at all that cheaters like to assume multiple identities especially with the internet making this so easy. It is hard for them to live in the reality. I’m reminded of the OW who using an alias on the internet, asked questions about something about her dad’s retirement, who in reality was her husband, because she was ashamed to admit that he is 28 years her senior. While nobody knows her identity or her age on the internet, such was her insecurities about herself that she had to call her husband her dad in order to ask a question about his retirement even on a completely anonymous site. She has to hide even when she didn’t have to. No wonder she can only feel good in a covert relationship and by doing that she would keep on falling into these traps by attracting the wrong man and waste her life away.

      • Jeremiah

        I don’t think anyone is worried about ‘them’ anymore now, anyway. And to think ‘they’ said that we had too much time on our hands!

      • E

        Thank you Doug!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thanks Doug
        I was also getting rather suspicious. Gotta wonder why some people get pleasure out of upsetting people that are only trying to share their pain.

      • Hopeful

        Doug, Thank you. It totally makes sense and I was wondering if it was the same person. Every comment sounds the same. Hopefully we can get back to more positivity and being here for each other no matter what side of this we are on.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Everyone,

      First, I wanted to apologize to any readers and/or commenters who felt barbs from the stream of comments that we got from Helen, Janet, Hayley, Rich, Tom, Keelie Ann, D, and Jenna.

      As I have mentioned before, I don’t have administrative access to this site and I don’t want to. It allows me to give an unbiased viewpoint, it also ensures anonymity of those who share. I want to be respectful of them.

      It became clear to me that someone was trolling the site and was relieved when Doug looked into it and let everyone know.

      Where the heck was I? I was having an episode of my genetic illness, right after Mother’s Day, just my luck! I am so happy Doug looked into it and let everyone know this was a troll.

      Right now I am writing a longer comment about the gas-lighting and other tactics that I have observed in the comments of Helen, Janet, Hayley, Rich, Tom, Keelie Ann, D, and Jenna, who are all likely the same person.

      I want to reinforce that this blog is a safe space. While we may not always agree, its okay. We are all adults and we can respectfully share of viewpoints with each other. It’s how we all grow.

      But, the troll attack was unnecessary, unwarranted, and meant to harm others. Linda, Doug, and I do NOT support that type of communication and we do not support harming others. There is no excuse to harm others and it is especially hurtful when a person uses a forum such as this one to hurt strangers.

      Stay tuned,


      • Doug

        To add to what Sarah has stated…When there is a legitimate exchange of opinions, ideas and/or experiences I believe that we can learn from each other – whether you’re a CS or a BS. And this knowledge can be quite useful in our own situations and struggles. It’s important that every CS and BS – who is willing to share in this way feels that they can do so without being attacked. While the trolls and the haters should be ignored.
        Carry on!

        • Sarah P.

          I agree 100% with Doug! (Well, this is Doug and Linda’s website and since we all see eye-to-eye it’s why I write here). But yes, please continue with a free flow of diverse opinions.

          When I was in high school, I was on the speech and debate team. There was very important etiquette that was enforced by the teachers and coaches. We always shook hands before we started to debate an idea with someone and we always shook hands after we were done debating an idea. I think that this is a very powerful way of learning from one another. We might have different views on a topic and diverse experiences, but we can share all of our experiences in respectful ways and we can still metaphorically “shake hands” even if our viewpoints differ.

          I think opening a respectful communication line between everyone, especially wayward spouses and betrayed spouses, is very important. So, I do believe this is a positive thing.

          And no, no one will make an enemy of me if they disagree with a piece of information that I wrote. This site is about opening communication and gaining understanding so that we can get through this pain TOGETHER.
          The only rule is being respectful to one another. But, please feel to vent all your rage at your wayward spouse or the other person.

          Doug, anything to add?

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Everyone,
      This is the comment that I promised to write about the trollish behavior of Helen, Janet, Hayley, Rich, Tom, Keelie Ann, D, and Jenna. Since Doug found that these negative comments originated from one IP address, there are a couple of scenarios here. Either one person had nothing better to do and decided to make these comments, or several different people made these comments together.

      ItGoesOn put it perfectly to these trolls, “I’m not sure what your purpose is here on this board? To get a rise out of everyone? I hope everyone stops responding to this person. It’s like a bully on the playground. We have all been through so much. Please don’t let this person hiding behind their keyboard get you upset or second guess yourself, even for a minute. No matter our actions and responsibility in our marriages, people always have a choice. Our spouses made the wrong choice, not us.”

      While many commenters said the perfect thing back to whoever was trolling the site, the image of a playground bully also immediately came to mind. Why a playground bully?

      Playground bullies live their lives to find others to attack. Playground bullies like to target people that they perceive to be weaker than themselves. The motivation of a playground bully is to feel power or to have power over another person or group of people. Playground bullies get an emotional high when they perceive themselves to be more powerful than their target of victimization.

      It is quite pathetic when someone has to hide behind a screen and attack people they have never met. It is pathetic when someone hides behind a screen to attack people who have already had their lives and trust destroyed by others. There is a very unusual type of mental illness in someone who targets people who have already had their lives destroyed. It’s kind of like watching a millionaire walk down the streets of Manhattan while he kicks every homeless person he passes. These people are asleep and have done nothing to him; he just takes great pleasure in kicking the people who are the most down. Well, we have some betrayed spouses here who have reached the lowest point in their lives. Some of them have only found out about their spouse’s affair recently. To have someone get pleasure out of attempting to hurt people who are already hurt is mind-boggling. So, I will make the assumption that whoever this was, he or she was a sociopath. It is quite common for sociopaths to target people who have already been emotionally destroyed. A sociopath gets a type of pleasure out of further destroying them.

      I wanted to talk about one of the comments that said I make money from people who see themselves as victims.

      First of all, the betrayed spouses here do not see themselves as victims, they ARE victims. The betrayed spouses here have been victimized by the very people with whom they trusted their lives, their hearts, and their souls. It’s one thing to be victimized by someone who is a known enemy; but to be victimized by the person you have given your heart to and trusted your life to is an entirely different matter.

      Betrayed spouses have not caused their spouses to cheat and they cannot cause their spouses to cheat.

      As adults, all of us have choices; their spouse chose to cheat.

      A wayward spouse made a choice to cheat. If someone believes that if another person can make them cheat, then let’s pin that one of the lover, and not on the spouse. I have seen cases of “bunny boiler” level seduction tactics. So, if we want to say someone can cause another person to cheat, let’s pin the blame on spouse poachers since spouse poachers set their sights on their target and they will pursue their target relentlessly. They will cyber-stalk their target, they will follow their target’s car, they will emotionally groom their target, they will fund out as much as they can about their target, and then the game of spouse poaching will begin. Note: I am referring to spouse poachers here, not a garden variety affair partner, who can be a little more passive in the beginning. A spouse poacher is never passive and they will plan their poach before they have even said “Hello” to their target. Yes, that actually exists.

      But, even then, a target can say NO.

      A target can block a would-be spouse poacher’s email and phone calls.

      Most of all, someone who is targeted by a spouse poacher can and should tell their own spouse before they are tempted to give in. That way, a couple can handle a spouse poacher together, in the light of day. A couple can be a united front to a would-be spouse poacher.

      No one can a make a person cheat and no one can cause a person NOT to cheat.

      Any narrative that says you can cause a spouse to cheat is incorrect.

      It is often a type of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. In English it means: “”after this, therefore because of this.” I am well aware that it doesn’t translate well into English.

      To apply this to infidelity it could look like this: A spouse cheated and it was because he or she is married. That is patently ridiculous.

      This is related to the thinking that a betrayed spouse caused a wayward spouse to cheat. Yes, they were married; but being married cannot cause someone to cheat.

      We also must realize that if we have a so-called “bad marriage,” we have many choices. Many will use this excuse: “I had a bad marriage and my wife drove me into the arms of Suzie. My wife is the cause.”

      No, the wife is not the cause of the affair.

      Consider this type of thinking using a different example: Every day, John Doe walks past a large bank on his way to work. John knows this bank has millions of dollars worth of gold bars inside the large safe and John used to be excellent at cracking the codes on safes. Some even said that John had, “the magic touch.” John has been making a minimum wage rate for years at his job and his wife just announced that she was pregnant with her fourth child. It follows that John Doe had no choice but to rob the bank.

      This is FALSE.

      John Doe had many choices and he chose to rob the bank.

      For example, John could have found a different line of work. John Doe could have asked for a raise. John Doe could have done a cost benefit analysis of what it would look like if both he and his wife worked after the fourth child arrived. John could have created a budget and figured out where they could have cut costs as a family. John could have asked to move in with relatives for a while. John could have gone to a local religious community to see if they provided free daycare and his wife could have searched for a job. John could have seen if his family was eligible for government assistance or reduced rent. John could have borrowed some money and gone back to trade school. John could have talked to a financial counselor to brainstorm some ideas with the counselor. These are only some of the many choices that John could have made. Instead, John chose to rob the bank. After all, the bank was there, John had a pair of “magic hands” that helped him break into most safes, and there was gold waiting on the other side.

      Who cares if John had “magic hands” or if he was good at breaking into safes. That does not matter; what matters is the choice that John made and the action that he carried out when he robbed the bank. If John broke into the safe and stole a gold bar, that makes John a criminal.

      As adults, we have hundreds of choices to make each day. If someone is heading down the path to an affair, a person has the choice to get off that path immediately. (If they want to). An affair is an act that can be broken down into thousands of small choices. Each married person must make a choice each day to keep choosing behaviors that lead to or strengthen an affair. An affair is a conscious choice made by wayward spouses and wayward spouses must choose the affair over and over again.

      No one in their right mind would say that a betrayed spouse can “make” their spouse cheat.

      Now, this idea is separate from the concept of people who are in truly horrendous marriages. Truly horrendous marriages exist. I know a couple of people (not people I know from this blog) who are in marriages that are so horrendous that I do not know how they can sleep next to their spouse at night. These marriages are so abusive they would take your breath away. However, if these people who are abused by their spouse were to come to me and ask what to do, I would give them all of the resources on divorce and what divorce could look like as well as domestic violence resources. I would ask them to wait to date another person until their divorce was finalized. I would also ask them to pursue therapy while going through their divorce. If they do not pursue therapy, they most likely will end up picking someone very similar to the person they divorced. The person they pick might be different on the outside, but there is a possibility they could be the same on the inside.

      That is, IF an abused person does not get therapy, life can go pear-shaped. People are naturally drawn to what they know and none of us escape the negative side of this knowledge, unless we have therapy. If we do not get extensive therapy to reverse the belief systems that attracted us to the wrong person in the first place, we will likely end up picking a similar person when we date. Then the “merry go round” of horror begins again.

      Finally, the people here who have been victimized by wayward spouses are among the strongest people I have ever met. They are innocent people who were intentionally victimized by a wayward spouse, but they are here to pursue emotional recovery.
      All of the betrayed spouses here have uncovered a beautiful emotional resilience inside themselves that shines like a multifaceted diamond when it hits the light. (Indeed, we are the champions!)

      I also wanted to address all those married folks on dating sites who say their spouse does not have sex with them. If a woman meets a man and he asks to have sex with her because he says his wife does not provide him with sex, why would a woman believe that? If a man is willing to approach a stranger for sex when he took a life-long vow to his wife, how can a woman believe anything he says? If a man asks to have an affair, his credibility has already gone down the drain. Many “other women” cannot put that together. Many of them think of themselves as so attractive, desirable, superior, and special that it would make total sense for a man to break his marriage vows for them. Or these women have no self-respect.

      Like many women, when I was young, there were many men who hit on me or suggested a physical relationship. I said NO.

      Speaking of money… I make no money writing blog posts. I make no money answering comments and emails. All of this is a labor of love for me. I have been through it and I don’t want others to be destroyed at the same level that I was.

      Unfortunately, what I went through is still happening today in millions of households across the world. I hope this blog can be a beacon of light to those who are suffering. Notice that I don’t have a Patreon button or a PayPal donation button.

      Finally, I wanted to close with another tragic affair story. Today I found out that a doctor who had been married for many years had his marriage broken up by someone young enough to be his daughter. This woman who was young enough to be his daughter was a married, minimum-wage employee and she saw easy pickings. I knew this MD years ago when I was first married. When my husband told me how shocked he was that this MD did this, I told my husband “I knew the MD was like that.” My husband wanted to know what I meant. One day, many years ago, I had sinus infection and this MD had an opening in his schedule. I described to my husband what this MD did during the exam. My husband asked if I was sure. So, I did to my husband exactly what this MD did to me. It made my husband’s eyes fill with rage because it was so un-called for. I told my husband that I knew the MD was “like that,” but that I had sincerely hoped that the women around him were level-headed enough NOT to fall for it. I suppose if a man with status hits on thousands of women, one will always fall for it. It made me PROFOUNDLY sad for his wife and daughters. I knew his wife socially; she was a sweet lady with adult children and she was also a MD. She was what we call “good people.” My heart broke for her. The woman he is having an affair with is younger than his adult children. I cannot imagine the trauma that this married MD and his married lover has caused.

      Like Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse, this MD will be relegated to the group that no one wants to have dinner with. I spoke with someone who knows Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse. She is NOT a fan. Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse are trying to assemble a new group of friends since all their friends sided with the spouses they left behind. This woman said Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse had dinner with a new pediatrician couple. During small talk, the pediatricians talked about how they fell in love (while both single) and while both in study groups in medical school. They asked Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse how the two had met. They dodged the questions. But, finally they told the truth: they abandoned their spouses and families because they were soulmates. They got married just after their divorce papers came through. Now poor Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse are pariahs wherever they go and it serves them right. If those two were willing to do that to their spouses and all those children each of them had separately, do you think they would make good friends? My answer would be NO. That’s a personality type who can act egregiously, they don’t care if they shatter others, and they don’t make good friends. You need a friend like this as much as you need a rattlesnake in your boot.

      I don’t need a rattlesnake in my boot. Do you?

      Finally, I wanted to talk about the troll attack again. This person was being very emotionally abusive, they were using gas-lighting techniques, they were being willfully cruel, and they were behaving like a playground bully. Readers, take note of what that looked like. These are people to avoid. They don’t have your best interests in mind. They just want to insult you and sit back and laugh. These are the “puppy kickers” of the world. No sane person would kick a puppy. But, someone like this would. So, now you know what it looks like.

      Thank you for hanging in there and standing your ground.

      Big hugs,


      • E

        Hi Sarah,

        Thank you for posting for us with encouragement and kindness and the reminders of why this blog exists . In my journey over the last 3 years and discovering this blog about a year ago I love the blog newsletter every morning being sent out by Doug, Linda and you, it has actually helped remind me of steps along the way in recovery process even if I thought I had worked on the steps that were discussed in the blog. I look forward to having those newsletter there because I know that the process isn’t easy and that I’m not alone. I know over the last few months in some of your blogs you have heard bits and pieces of my story which like everyone else’s is heartbreaking and a journey of discovery, empowerment, compassion and learning to love and trust again. I was going to post to one of the trolls yesterday and thought to myself. Why would I want to give this sick, twisted and depraved person more time of my life when I have given so much to the affair and if they are so bored or unhappy with what is said and the honesty of it that they need to post insults and negative words then I felt sadness to them. They have no idea and I hope they never have the pain of an affair enter their lives, and we will be there for them if the needs be that they happen to have a betrayal like that and need the support.. I hope if that happens to them and they are willing to be vulnerable with us and I would accept their apology, give support and forgive.

        The only reason I wanted and considered doing a reply posting to those trolls was to defend Eagle because he took the brunt of everything and in this recovery process you become more protective of those you admire and trust and he needs a kudos for defending us even placing himself on the line which I’m grateful to see he has flair for that.

        Big hugs to all of you out there.

        • Sarah P.

          Hi E,

          I am grateful that the blog has helped you for so many years. This is a labor of love for all of us.

          Also, feel free to reply to trolls; it doesn’t bother me. Just be sure that you expose what they are doing and how they are doing it. Don’t lower yourself; that way you don’t sink into the ooze.

          I agree, Eagle gets my respect! I also agree that we should rally around people who are standing up for justice (like Eagle) and who are being attacked for standing up.

    • WhoKnows

      E, I agree with you 100%. Kudos to Eagle! You are a role model to a lot of Betrayed here by choosing to do the right thing even when things are going tough. At the end of the day, acting in ways consistent to our values is what gives meaning to our lives.

      • Eagle2435

        Thanks ladies, ‘they’ might have made me angry with the crap that was being said, but the insults slide right off my back.

        I don’t mind fighting – I was, literally, a fighter for a while – boxed through high school and college. But I’d definitely rather see who’s trying to punch me, and be able to hit back. 🙂 That’s why I was glad to confront my wife’s AP – for me, it was enjoyable to make him afraid – that’s the point where everything became very real to him. lol

        • E

          Hi Eagle,
          My H’s AP is afraid of me too. I live in one of the great states where I can sue the affair partner and I advised her to stay away or lose everything and I have hit her in face in past before I knew who she was and she knows what I’m capable of. In the first year after the affair was discovered I was angry, revengeful, and triggered constantly. So she knew I was very capable of destroying her.

          Telling someone that you don’t envy them because the guilt and shame of destroying children isn’t something I want on my shoulders. I also told her that I actually pity her because every morning she has to stare into her son’s eyes knowing he knows what kind of person she is. Imagine not being able to trust your mother and how painful it is to find out everything you knew was not true. Trust me it’s nice to not have her trying to get my H back to court every week demanding more child support and visitation right… blah and using her beautiful son as a weapon. Being 16 makes a huge difference and he doesn’t want much to do with her because she lied to him about who his father was for his who childhood….

          Spouse poachers are awful people. There is a reason I don’t have any sympathy for the AP. Especially when they knew the person was married with children.


          • Eagle2435

            E, I don’t have sympathy for them either. My wife’s AP knew she was married and had 4 young children, so he knew I had all these other things in my life that would make it difficult to measure up to the person I needed to be to make her happy because of her emotional issues, and he took advantage. He had no kids, didn’t spend time with his wife, works 3 days a week, etc. while I’ve got both a business and a job (for a time until the business was completely shut down), a busy load around the house, 4 young children…and yet, it didn’t take long for my wife to see that even with all the distractions, I still treated her better and did more things for her than he did during the affair. Sure, she denied it for 6.5 months of the 8 month affair, but she couldn’t deny it forever. Goes to show you that the AP’s are, most of the time, not very special people.

          • Sarah P.

            Hello E,

            Good for you!

            I do not have sympathy for the affair partner. If people had experienced what my ex’s affair partner was about and how she conducts her life in general, no one would feel sorry for her. Hint: truly heinous people don’t act heinous in just one area of their life. The bring crap with them wherever they go.

            Also, affair partners are not special, except in one way. They lack empathy, moral values, and critical thinking skills. This is especially true of spouse poachers. Actually, that’s not quite true… spouse poachers are all of those things, but they also tend to be sociopaths. Sociopaths are so “special” you want to move to the farthest point of the globe AWAY FROM THEM.

            Now, I am going to use some satire here. I know NOT everyone appreciates satire and that is okay. That is why I am marking it as satire.

            Here comes the satire…
            I put forth a modest proposal to control the proliferation of spouse poachers in a way that is humane. Since, Spouse poachers are not humane and they are always on the hunt and good at camouflage, the rest of us are at a disadvantage. Some Spouse Poachers are so good at hiding, they can even be found wearing military fatigues. Any time a spouse poacher is identified in the wild, I think that it would be easy enough for the government to come up with a budget to put tracking bracelets on the ankles of Spouse Poachers. That way, their locations could be tracked at all times and an amber alert could be sent to your phone any time there is one in your vicinity. It is even more important that an alert is sent to your phone when a wild, spouse poacher is within a two mile vicinity of your spouse. If your spouse is being stalked and hunted, I think it’s important to know the location of the spouse poacher as he or she stalks his or her prey (a married person). Once these spouse poachers are identified, it would not be difficult to round them up, using global positioning. It also would not be that difficult to get an older Navy ship, load them onto the ship, and let them lose at the nearest Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort where they can interact with their own species. (In real life, this resort actually exists in Cancun. It’s clothing-optional and caters to swingers… this part is NOT satire). It seems to be a win/win situation. Spouse poachers can be let loose in their natural habitat and the rest of us could sleep peacefully at night, in our beds, with our spouses, knowing that a new STD is not using the DNA of our spouse to form into something entirely unknown to the human race… yet.

            (End of satire)


            • True Love

              Where’s the like button?

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Eagle,
          I support you being a fighter. Some has to do it! And since I am an adult, I have hear every swear word in the book. Swearing does not offend me if people feel like swearing. The right “colorful” word placed at just the right time can be VERY funny.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Kittypone and E,
      I completely understand your visceral feelings. This type of rage is NORMAL. In fact it’s also normal to explore the rage that you feel and why you feel it. It doesn’t make anyone a “bad person” for exploring the deep rage that they feel. We must never forget that it is the cheaters and the “other people” of the world who fall into the “bad people” category.

      I have noticed – in general – that in society many who have NOT been cheated on don”t want to hear about the rage or the pain. It’s almost like they want betrayed spouses to be “seen but not heard.” It’s kind of like how people in the early 1900’s viewed children. The children could be present in the room, but they had better smile and keep their mouths shut, else their would be social consequences.

      When someone is betrayed, they quickly learn who their REAL friends are and it can be very shocking. Some of the folks that you believe you can count on might say things like, “Oh your feelings are too heavy for me right now and so we can’t talk because all of your crying is just bumming me out.” Or a betrayed spouse might hear, “Didn’t you find this out over 6 weeks ago? You still haven’t gotten over it?” (Now these comments almost always come from folks who have not been the victims of cheaters and so they don’t know the pain. For them, it is still an abstract concept and they don’t understand why someone can get so hung up over an abstract concept.) Thank goodness that we also have people who have empathy. If someone has empathy they can feel your pain and pull you through it and be a witness to your healing even if the exact thing has not happened to them. They can see your pain and know that you need extra time, attention, and care and so they will walk through hell with you. Those are the truly great people.

      But, back to the rage. I lived in France – on and off – for a total of three years. In France, “crime of passion” murders were common and they had much lesser sentences than they would in America. The French could understand how a person could be driven to unspeakable acts if the perfect storm of events hit them at one time. There were many “crime of passion” murders due to adultery. A side note: Esther Perel is from Belguim but speaks French as her first language. Her view of adultery is very “cavalier” considering that when you go to a place like France, people get killed everyday when they are found in bed having sex with the neighbor/friend/random person. I knew people who were killed over infidelity. It was chilling. Now, I was in my twenties at the time. But, every time someone got killed over infidelity, the French people I knew would say: “What did the idiot expect?” and they would shrug their shoulders. I knew a lot of French people between the ages of 20 and 40 and many of them were unsurprised when someone got killed in a crime of passion murder. They would say that if someone betrayed someone they had promised to love and be faithful to, it was logical that the person they betrayed would become homicidal. To them, it’s what people did. It was a culture of accountability on that level. But, people were held accountable for all things, not just infidelity. If someone partied too hard, did not do well in school, and complained about it, the French would say “Hey idiot, what did you expect?” I noticed that there was a little more accountability and “straightforwardness” in the culture. It’s a culture very different than American culture and I would qualify it as a “Latinate” culture because the thinking is very different than American thinking. Americans have all these excuses and can defer blame and talk their way out of something. A French person did some wrong and suffered consequences, his or her French friends would tell that person that they got what they deserved. Now, this was 25 years ago. Cultures change and I lived in an area of France that was toward the South East, closer to Italy. So, it could have been a more Latinate culture because of this.

      However, the human mind can only stand so much and it will hit a breaking point. I have found that if people feel homicidal, it’s best to talk about those feelings in great detail and to have someone validate the pain that you feel. Talking it through and having someone simply “witness” and agree that what happened to you is horrible can be a freeing experience. There is no correlation between a person talking about what they wish they could do to someone (after they were profoundly victimized) and harming that person. Now, this is different than a plan. There is a huge difference between saying “I am so angry that I wish I could tie the OW to a cactus because she caused such utter devastation to my entire life!” AND “Hey, I have 15k in cash, I have located the best hitman in the area and his name is John Doe, and John Doe is going to track the other woman after she leaves from work on Tuesday night. I have an alibi because I go to my bird-watching group on Tuesdays. We have decided that Joe Doe with kill her by (insert act) and then tie her to a cactus near a border town, so that it will look like a random drug related killing. John Doe has done this successfully for 20 years and I can’t wait until that OW is dead.”

      A caveat: I completed a year of law school. I soon learned that I wanted to help people BEFORE their lives got to the point of no return. There was about a ten year span, where I was working full time, until I finished a Master’s courses in psychology.

      I know about “intent” in terms of how it is generally defined in the legal world. I also know the difference between someone venting emotions that they must unpack so that they can heal and intent to harm. Generally, these strong emotions are NOT dangerous. They are emotions that must be worked through so that a person can “talk out” their anger. Someone could vent and come up with a list of 100 bad things they wish that would happen to the other person and it still doesn’t mean they are going to actually kill the other person. It’s an exercise in getting the rage OUT. Still, it’s best to unpack these feelings with a professional who knows how to help you work through them without shaming you. You should never feel ashamed for how you feel after someone has destroyed your life.

      I will tell you a really FUNNY story about how karma started working on my ex before I knew what he was up to. This is a pretty outrageous story, but he deserves to have it told. It correlates to the time he was cheating on me. He had a great head of hair. But, the year he started cheating on me, he developed a terrible case of dandruff and he had never had one before. The doctors had him on every dandruff treatment known to humanity and yet his dandruff would fall all over his business shirt at work. I felt sorry for him at the time because I had no idea he was having sex with someone in our bed while I worked late. So, I was always helping him find dandruff treatments and buy clothing to minimize the appearance of dandruff. I felt terrible for him and it never affected whether or not I was attracted to him. I loved him and felt bad because he felt bad; but it in no way affected how I felt about him. I remember his dandruff getting so bad that he bought a shop vacuum for his dandruff. He kept it inside the house and each night he would VERY angrily take out the shop vacuum, put on a special attachment, and sit at the dinner table and vacuum chunks of dandruff off his head. Yes, it was absolutely one of the most absurd things I had EVER seen in my life. Truly absurd. I felt bad for him at the time. But, I think he may have been getting a little bit of instant karma at the time. Seeing someone vacuum dandruff off his head each night with a shop vacuum is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

      Who else wants to vent their rage?

      Does anyone have a humorous thing they would like to do the the other person if they could?

      Does anyone have a spouse who had to buy a shop vac because “his cheating head” was snowing with dandruff and it was the middle of June? (Geez… talk about global warming.; snowing dandruff in June. I am pretty sure this is evidence global warming is REAL.) 😉

      Vent away!!!!!!


      • Kittypone

        Hi, Sarah;
        I have envisioned all things happening to the OW: she lives in a Spanish country south of the border that shall remain nameless but, that is rife with drug cartels wars and such related stuff and I have DREAMED of her being kidnapped, tortured and threatened within an inch of her life, then, she gets dumped in the middle of nowhere, has no idea where she is so she can’t find her way home, and slowly gets dehydrated in the desert until karma has her way with her and she then screams for mercy before dying as her hair falls out all around her……that’s my fantasy revenge!! Of course, what’s the likelihood of that happening??? Since that’s my fantasy wish, it’ll NEVER HAPPEN, just like winning the Powerball jackpot…..my h doesn’t understand that HE brought this woman into our lives and HE is the one that has to take her out and BURY her symbolically so that she can’t come back ever again; I envision a scenario where I go into the woods with a doll that represents her, I scream and yell all my hatred at her, I spit and scratch at this doll and call her every bad name in the book, and then I set her on fire and bury her out of my life and consciousness for the rest of eternity…..call me serial-killer-in-the-making if you want, but I won’t deny all of the negative emotions this woman inspires in me and for all that she helped into my h affair and continued hanging onto her….that must’ve been the ego trip of a lifetime for her!! To have and older, married guy panting after her without ever having seen her face to face!! Imagine what she could’ve gotten out of him if she HAD met him face to face!! It boggles the mind!! It was those things, piling one on top of the other that assisted into me falling out of love with my h and turning my heart into stone. He isn’t going out of his way to woo me back, he just thinks that the worst of the crisis is over, so we’re golden!! He seriously believes that his mere presence in our house is assurance enough that he is here to stay and by dint of time alone, things will fall back into place and he won’t have to lift a finger for things to work themselves out!! Talk about burying the proverbial head in the sand!!!

        • E

          Hi Kittypone,

          I actually have a lot in common when it comes to the AP. I also work hard on learning distraction techniques because of the obsession that the AP becomes after the affair. I caught her numerous times trying to change names and identities for contact and every time I would send her notifications that I knew who she was. Even one alias I told her it was the ideal stripper name. LOL.

          I know your pain. I have good days and bad. My feelings for my H are ambiguous and my therapist told me I had to take my power back because the obsessive thoughts and emotions I had about the AP was giving her power and for me to recover I had to take it back. I wish I could tell you how. I can assure you that once I learned to take my power back and mourn my own identity and old life and marriage and accept that the affair happened I was able to work more on myself.
          I don’t judge the revengeful thoughts because I’ve had them. I’m at a different point and place in my recovery and yes I still hate the AP. I don’t think that will change anytime soon.
          As for throwing the towel in…. that is something that is up to you and your choices. I haven’t yet and believe me there are days I hate my H.
          Big hugs from me to you.

          • Kittypone

            Thank you, E….
            I appreciate every good thought and good vibes and prayers that come my way…..I just had a “heart to heart” with my h and I poured out my soul to him….from things that happened 28 years ago and how I felt that his family had disowned me for choices that HE had made, not even bothering to hear my opinion on things that were going to affect MY life as well; to how hurricanes destroy places and no matter how much time goes by and how much in the past such event happened, people still have to deal with the debris and rubble that is left behind….I told him that after hurricane “L” happened in our lives, my heart is just rubble and debris and I’m working every day to piece it back together bit by bit just by the grace of God and the work I accomplish every week with my therapist, and next to nothing help from him; I told him how I’m not in this marriage because of things he does or doesn’t do, but because *I* took vows before God for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health until death do us part….and because *I* take those vows seriously, I stay even if my heart feels nothing for him and he is not bending over backwards either to “get me back”; I plan on hanging on until I have nothing else to give or lose or until someone else thinks I’m worth fighting for…..

    • Sarah P.

      Hi Kittypone,

      You are NOT a serial killer in the making. You are VERY FAR FROM it.

      All serial killers are sociopaths. So, you would first have to be a sociopath to be a serial killer in the making.

      There is absolutely NOTHING about your posts that suggests you are a sociopath. There is nothing abnormal about your desire for revenge. You see, just about everything I write is based on years of research. So, this is more than an opinion.

      You are a normal human being who has had EVERYTHING important taken from her.

      A person who you have never met attempted to take EVERYTHING meaningful from you and her behavior was cold, intentional, and calculated on her part.

      You being angry as hell, fire, and brimstone makes you a normal human being.

      Let’s frame it differently. One time when I lived overseas, I was walking through a town with a friend during the day. Someone who was driving a car – who was most likely drunk – drove up on the sidewalk and ran over my friend’s foot.

      The person realized that driving their car onto the sidewalk and running over a person’s foot had consequences. But, whoever did this was a coward. They looked at me and my friend and sped off, never to be seen again.

      It was not anyone we knew. It was a drunk person driving in the middle of the afternoon and we were walking on a sidewalk. We were not even crossing the street. We were literally just walking on a sidewalk through town, in broad daylight, and walking to a store to buy textbooks. We were obeying the law by walking on the sidewalk. We were just doing a normal activity students do: go and buy textbooks for class so that we can succeed in class and get a degree. Also, neither of us had been drinking anything except coffee.

      When that person ran over my friend’s foot, looked us in the face, and then intentionally decided to speed off, that was a terrible experience.

      I had to frantically find a way to get an ambulance immediately. This was before people had cellphones and so I was running into the closest store to get both the police and the ambulance as my friend fell to the ground and rolled around in pain. Once we got her to the hospital, we found out my friend’s foot was CRUSHED. Some bones in the feet are tricky to heal, even with the best doctors. For the time I knew her after that, she never recovered.

      Before the car ran over her foot, she had been a marathon runner, a tennis player, a volleyball player, and she jogged everyday. Her athleticism revolved around her being able to use her feet correctly.

      I can tell you that my friend developed PTSD and she also became very angry. Her reaction is called “righteous anger” and it is a normal reaction to a life-altering situation that can NEVER be undone. Now, this was years ago, so for all I know she could have an artificial foot, if such a thing exists. Her being the victim of a hit and run accident that changed her life forever also changed HER forever. I cannot tell you how many times she wished she could have dragged the driver of that car out of their car and beat the crap out of that person with a crow bar. That person who hit her had changed her life forever, the person who hit her saw they were changing her life forever, that person had the nerve to look us in the face, and had the nerve to speed off as my friend was hitting the pavement in pain.

      Before she had her life changed by a hit and run driver, she was one of the most upbeat people I had ever met. She was always a cheerful optimist and would find ways to build bridges to people, intentionally live a peaceful and happy life, and she was kind to everyone and included everyone.

      All it took was that life-altering event to turn her into a angry pessimist. She could no longer play any of the sports she was good at. She had gotten a scholarship because she was so good at basketball and had been sent overseas as an exchange student for free. (Goodbye scholarship). She was American and from Florida. Everything that defined her was taken away from her through NO FAULT of her own and everything that she loved she also lost due to the foot injury. When she had fits of tears, moments of rage, and moments of despair, we all rallied around her and hugged her and talked about how we would take a crowbar to that person’s windows if we could catch them. No one questioned her rage because she was the victim of a crime that she in no way brought on herself and she would never have the life she knew before. There were no “do-overs” at that time. I am sure the medical industry has an answer now because of all of the medical advances we have.

      But at the time, she was an exchange student from America in a foreign country and even getting her seen by the doctor was tricky. They didn’t want to attempt foot surgery on an American either. She didn’t want to go back to the US.

      When she cried and raged about all the ways she wished she could hurt that person who was a hit and run drunk driver, none of us questioned her because this was a NORMAL reaction. It would have been crazy NOT for her to react. While she became a pessimist due to PTSD, no one ever thought she was a serial killer in the making. (And she wasn’t).

      Serial killers are sociopaths who derive pleasure out of torturing innocent victims such as animals and children. Sociopaths get pleasure from hurting those who did absolutely nothing. They get pleasure out of torturing animals to death.

      I cannot even imagine a sociopath’s point of view.

      So no, you are NOT a serial killer in the making. You are just like my friend who had her entire life stolen from her due to a hit and run driver and my friend did nothing to deserve it and she couldn’t have prevented it. She was 100% innocent. That is you. You are also 100% innocent and someone has stolen everything that was precious to you. It’s normal to have fantasies of getting revenge on someone who took all from you and left you feeling hollow.

      The anger of betrayed spouses can be greatly misunderstood. Sometimes I feel like society gets angry at betrayed spouses for being angry. No one points the finger at the other person and the cheater. But, they do get angry when a betrayed spouse feels rage. That’s really messed up that some have no empathy for the betrayed, but it is what I have observed. The betrayed spouse is not the problem and yet sometimes they are treated as the problem.

      Don’t ever feel guilty for your revenge fantasies and don’t judge yourself. (I don’t know if you feel guilt or judge yourself; I am just saying that if you ever feel guilt or judge yourself for thinking of these things, don’t feel bad). You are a good person who experienced something horrendous that changed your life forever and none of it was your fault. It was a crime and a crime that was meaningless and filled with life-altering devastation. You will feel rage and your mind will go to dark places and this is called being NORMAL. Let the rage out. Tell us all about it. It’s the way to work through it.

      The same goes for all the other betrayed spouses out there. Let your anger out. I will be a witness to your feelings and I will keep reminding you that your feelings are both normal and 100% valid. I am just so very sorry that you had to go through this just as I am sorry everyone who has been betrayed has gone through it.

      There are many spouse poachers out there. They act with the intention to break up a marriage and they have no empathy, guilt, or remorse for destroying the life of the betrayed spouse. That is called a sociopath.

      Here is a quick checklist for what sociopaths look like. Please note that most people in jail are not sociopaths. Sociopaths are deliberate, they plan their crimes, and they plan how NOT to get caught. This is why most are NOT in jail. I recommend the book The Sociopath Next Door.

      Here is the checklist from Dr. Hare:

      The Hare PCL-R contains two parts, a semi-structured interview and a review of the subject’s file records and history. During the evaluation, the clinician scores 20 items that measure central elements of the psychopathic character. The items cover the nature of the subject’s interpersonal relationships; his or her affective or emotional involvement; responses to other people and to situations; evidence of social deviance; and lifestyle. The material thus covers two key aspects that help define the psychopath: selfish and unfeeling victimization of other people, and an unstable and antisocial lifestyle.

      The twenty traits assessed by the PCL-R score that are used to evaluate a (potential) psychopath are:

      glib and superficial charm
      grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
      need for stimulation
      pathological lying
      cunning and manipulativeness
      lack of remorse or guilt
      shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
      callousness and lack of empathy
      parasitic lifestyle
      poor behavioral controls
      sexual promiscuity
      early behavior problems
      lack of realistic long-term goals
      failure to accept responsibility for own actions
      many short-term marital relationships
      juvenile delinquency
      revocation of conditional release
      criminal versatility


      I hope you feel better soon.

      These situations are terrible… I have no words to adequately describe the visceral pain that doesn’t go away easily.

      Big hugs,

      • Soul Mate


        Thank you, thank you, thank you for validating that I’m not a crazy person for my anger and rage at the skank “spouse poacher” who was my H AP. And that I am justified to feel the way I do.

        It’s been 17 months since dday and I truly do believe that I will hate that slug til the day I die. I no longer feel compelled to get in my car and drive to her house and rip her to shreds with my bare hands, however I wasn’t to sure I would be able to control my behavior if I were to meet her face to face until recently.

        You see I never knew what she looked like. A mutual friend who worked with her and my H told me she was dumpy mousy type and couldn’t figure out what my H saw in her. Fast forward til about 4 weeks ago and by accident I finally saw a picture of her from her facebook profile and boy was that a wake up call. I won’t get into tearing peoples looks down but when I saw that picture I didn’t know whether to feel insulted, or sorry for my H. What the hell was he thinking! He had to have been desperate, depressed, low self esteem, or completely lost his mind to have even considered her as a potential ANYTHING! She CANNOT and I repeat CANNOT HOLD A CANDLE TO ME!! Not even close. Especially not in looks, not in moral integrity, compassion responsibility towards others…. NOTHING NADA! Even though I knew I was the better person from the beginning, I still harbored this thought that I had become physically inadequate. But then I saw her picture and WOW! Not anymore! I couldn’t help but laugh at my H and say to him “Wow Dude she’s a Dog! The least you could have done is mess with someone that had one attribute in life. Looks must not be high on your attraction list”. LOL! He just looked at me with a shameful sour face and said “I know. I told you she wasn’t pretty.” And by the way, he always did say pretty nasty things about her anatomy from the very beginning. At least that was one truth he told from the very beginning.

        In a way, seeing that picture freed me of a lot of demons. It actually allowed me to let go of any doubts that that slug had something that I didn’t (even though my rational self knew she could never measure up to me) and that when my H told me this, it was true.

        My night terrors and nightmares are subsiding now substantially and I’m not crying on a daily basis anymore. But that started to happen before the skank picture. But every since, I do feel a sense of peace within. Not sure why but I do. Kind of like actually seeing your rapist for the first time sitting in a court room. Because during the rape, he wore a mask. Now you know who your attacker is.

        One more comment; I absolutely know how people that you have done for, been there for, people you would put first before yourself can act very callous to a betrayed spouse. There is no one I can talk to about what happened, I’ve tried, and what I’ve found is no one, not friends or family members are sympathetic. The subject of infidelity is treated like a taboo I have found.

        I thank the Creator for this site and for you and Linda and Doug for creating a place for folks like us who need a compassionate understanding group to share and or vent to/with.


        • Kittypone

          Soul Mate
          When I saw the profile picture of the harlot on FB, my soul hit the floor…..she is 10 years younger than me, has long,silky, flowy hair, is small and petite and pretty to boot…..at that time, I was recovering from surgery, I weighed over 200 lbs and am 10 years older than her, so of course, I was not desirable to my h……I have ALWAYS taken care of my appearance and have always dressed for the body I have, not for the body I want, so even when I was heavy ( I have lost over 100 lbs since) I have always been attractive, but felt like the worst-looking piece of trash on the earth…..no amount of self esteem could’ve made me believe that I was worthy on my own, and my self confidence took such a big hit that to this day I still have trouble believing that he chose to stay with me for me, and not that he stayed because he didn’t have a choice….you see, she is married with kids and lives in another country, and it took her h to threaten mine to avoid for my h to travel and try to meet the skank….if he thought for one minute that he could’ve gotten away with meetings with her without any bodily harm to him, he would’ve dived for the chance to meet her…..I cannot stress enough the depth of the hatred I feel for that harlot and how I wish all kinds of bad things to happen to her…..I ask God every day to deliver me from these feelings, but I simply can’t let go…..anyone here has a technique for that?

          • Soul Mate

            I’m sorry Kittypone,

            Didn’t see this reply to me. I definitely understand. I had a broken leg at the time the parasite latched onto my husband and a thyroid issue that caused me to gain weight too. A lot of it. And that too caused me to think I was not attractive to my H.

            But the truth is, she was still not as attractive as me. No breasts, giant butt, fake teeth, slouchy shoulders, thin hair and a face that looked like the leprechaun in the horror movie but 8 years younger. As one of my male friends described her when I showed him a picture.

            I’ve since lost over 70 pounds. Feel great and look better than ever. My Dr finally has my meds right thank the Creator and I take care of myself !First!, for the first time in my life! My husband now has his eyes screwed directly on me! HAH!

            Keep up the good work girl. Karma will catch up with your husband’s skank and turn her into a troll that she is soon enough.

        • Sarah P.

          Hello SoulMate,
          Thank you for making me laugh but thank you for also validating my views about what being betrayed feels like.

          I laughed picturing you telling your husband the other woman was a dog and watching him hang his head.

          But, here is the thing that makes no sense. Around 90% of men admit to “affairing down.”
          I don’t understand it. I was telling this to my teen son because he was following this whole “pro-Jared” and “anti-Jared” thing. He is anti-Jared because he HATES cheaters. I asked him why so many men “affair down.”

          He simply took out his iPad and showed me a video that someone’s motion activated video camera caught: a grown man having sex with a hole in a tree. Yes, you read that right. Some grown man was walking around and noticed there was a hole in a tree. So, naturally, it was totally logical for him to drop his pants. Hey, he couldn’t pass up any opportunity for an open hole!

          I laughed so hard.

          And my son stared at me like: “Does that answer your question?”

          I mean, apparently this is NOT rocket science. I was over-estimating and over-thinking why on earth men married to great women risk everything. These men risk their marriages, their health, their life’s savings, and their wife’s health, and for what? So they can have sex with a woman who is so gross that even the pond scum looks down on her?

          I don’t get it.

          But then I saw a grown man stick his penis in a tree.

          I will never get it. I just don’t.

          Also, I respect the guy who gets friendly with the tree MORE than I respect men who risk everything to have sex with a walking, amoebae dish.

          Elle McPheasrson versus me? I could understand that. Cindy Crawford versus me? I could also understand that. Scarlett Johansson versus me? Uh huh. I get it. Can’t say no to Scarlett. She looks like a freaking Goddess.

          So why the walking amoeba dishes? Uh. They are willing to degrade themselves by having sex with a married man. They don’t care if they hurt others, so sex with a married man is okay. They don’t even understand that they also LOSE when they get involved with married men because men can separate sex and love. They just can, along with loving on trees.

          Okay, now I want to be serious. I have seen some comments here from Kittypone and E and how hurtful it is to be the victim of an affair and also how the machismo culture sees masculinity and infidelity.

          The Latina with the long hair? That’s called a walking and talking bag of extortion. These women don’t target men unless they want something. That something is called money. They generally look for men who they see as weak and gullible and they send them photoshopped selfies along with instructions on where to wire money. “Oh you want to see my boobs? Well, you can wire $10,000 USD (no pesos!) to my account here. Then I will buy breasts and send you photos. Here in my bank account number, what’s yours? Bank account numbers turn me on. It’s something in those digits. Can you tell me yours again?”

          Unfortunately, this Latina is a con artist. I don’t care if she is beautiful or young. She is a con artist and she likely has 20 different men on the line. She probably keeps a file of heavily photoshopped selfies and pre-written text messages and then sends them to 20 different guys to see who takes the bait. If she gets a guy’s name wrong, she will blame it on the tragic language barrier. Language barriers are so very tragic and that is why bank account numbers make her feel sexy.

          I know I sound cynical and glib, but that’s all there is to it. It some schmuck or group of schmucks falls for it, then she lines her pockets. She doesn’t love the men she is attempting to poach. In fact, these women prefer to keep a distance because they can get things without DOING things. Now, I am sure what she did broke you. I don’t doubt that.

          But, I don’t care if she was younger, thinner, prettier and had silky hair. She is not YOU. There is so much more to you. I feel sad when women feel bad about being overweight. I am NOT skinny and it’s okay. I used to be so skinny and fit that I modeled fitness clothing on the weekends. I figured if someone was willing to pay me a $100 an hour to wear the type of fitness clothing that I already wore, that was okay with me. Plus, I already had a Master’s Degree, an excellent professional job, and I had hit the weights and the gym for so many years that I figured it paid off a portion of all those gym memberships. Do I look like that now?
          NO WAY ON EARTH. Sorry. I am in peri-menopause. There is nothing like peri-menopause to rearrange a woman’s body. But here is the paradox. I am the heaviest weight I have EVER been. Ever. And all these guys in their 20’s constantly hit on me. When I was in my 20’s and fitness modeling, I turned a few heads. Now? I turn all the heads of these guys in their 20’s. This whole thing about women having to be thin to be beautiful is a myth. Women don’t have to be thin to be beautiful. Thinness does NOT equal beauty. Fatness does NOT equal ugliness. I am not writing this to placate anyone. It’s true.

          Granted I will say sarcastic things about spouse poachers (and their appearance) because they are hideous human beings. So I am a hypocrite in this sense.

          But, I can’t help it. I have NEVER seen a betrayed wife who was less attractive than the mistress. Maybe I see people with different eyes. I see the essence of people and people who are beautiful on the inside appear as beautiful on the outside to me.

          However, I have met many women that society would say are objectively attractive. That just means they have altered their appearance to mimic whatever beauty standard is presented in the mass media at any point in time. These are some of the most ugly women I have met because their attitudes are UGLY. Many rely solely on their physical appearance to take whatever they think they deserve even if it’s NOT theirs to take.

          Right now I am thinking of poor, old Dr Devious and his Nasty Nurse. They were both married, both had several children, and both laid ruin to their families in ways that are unspeakable. They were deserted by all their friends and older family members. Coworkers don’t want to come near them. But it was okay because they claim they are soulmates despite all the evidence to the contrary. Things are not so great now that they are married. They have each other but no one else. They are getting bored and trying to befriend people who don’t know their backstory. Once people find out their backstory, they are treated like pariahs. Poor Dr. Devious and Nasty Nurse. They are all alone in what was supposed to be heaven because they are “soulmates” and it’s turning out to be hell!

          Oh my gawd. I am just so shocked! (I say this sarcastically).

          I remember the first time I met Nasty Nurse. She pursued the media’s current beauty standard to the exteme. But the first time I saw her, all I saw was ugliness. This was when they were hiding their affair. When my husband came home that day I told him all about Nasty Nurse and how I could see the ugly spouse poacher within. I got the usual, “Oh Sarah! Stop being so judgmental when a person has not even said hello to you.” I looked at my husband and said: “You should know by now that I am NEVER wrong.” I am not judgmental. I see the essence of people and I see that so clearly that it overshadows their physical appearance. Low and behold… a week later Nasty Nurses affair was discovered and it turned out it had been going on for three years. No wonder I could see a hideous human being. And she has proved to be one. She is a horrendously evil person. She openly wears a symbol on her neck. (For all the Christians out there, you know what that is). Speak of the devil and Nasty Nurse arrived.

          There are no words to describe what it’s like to be betrayed. Soulmate, I like your analogy about seeing your rapist in court. IF a wife sees the other woman, it almost demystifies the experience. There have been attractive women who have targeted my husband. One thought was the shit. When my husband mentioned her, I called her a dumpy, hick from the sticks who cannot hold a candle to me. She felt very highly of herself and my husband was shocked to hear me say that. It made him see her less positively because I refused to acknowledge anything positive. She was someone who had relied solely on her looks her whole life, but she was approaching 40 and looking for a poach. She was shocked to see that I treated her like scum when I visited my husband at work. There is a much bigger story as to how evil she was. But, I ripped the mask off by talking about who she was. She was ugly on the inside. I also did some sleuthing and found three divorces. All three men left and two cited infidelity- her infidelity- as the reason. I could see that, but it was nice to see the objective facts. She was exactly who and what she thought she was.

          I think of myself as a kind person because when a person’s life falls apart, I will carry them though.

          For example, one time when I had just gotten home from graduate school and was at my parent’s house (in the United States) a girl from Wales (who was in Wales) called me because she was suicidal. She had been one of my friends overseas. This was before cell phones and we had a landline. My dad overheard me speak to her for two hours. As soon as I got off the phone, he said, “That was incredible what you just did for her. I heard what you said and I don’t think she will be suicidal any longer. You have a true gift.” I was just being me. But, my dad had never seen me talk someone out of a suicide attempt. My dad was right. She did just fine after that. This is who I am.

          But, when it comes to spouse poachers, I am unkind. I cannot stand people who target marriages. There are truly evil people in the world, despite what some believe. Evil exists and spouse poachers are evil. I have a lot of anger toward spouse poachers and the anger will always be there. I have seen how they destroy everything.

          Don’t let the other women get you down. Loyal wives, you are a million times better than them.



          • Kittypone

            How do I send you stuff privately? I have some content to share with you that is not necessary to place here in the comments, but that would give me your opinion on things that still hold me back from truly letting go….is there a way for that?

    • Kittypone

      Thanks you, Sarah…..
      I have NEVER before in my life felt such anger and rage against anyone except for the harlot…..can you believe that we even spent THREE hours on the phone attempting to solve the situation in a civilized manner and she entreated me to tell my h never again to call her or contact her in any manner whatsoever and I BELIEVED THE BITCH???? Just a WEEK LATER I recorded my h having steamy phone sex with her and admitting to her how on the day of our ANNIVERSARY as we were being intimate, he was nervous thinking that her name would slip out of his lips as he could only see her face as he was making love to ME???? And how he couldn’t go to sleep unless he reminded himself of all her nude pictures and all the intimate moments THEY HAD HAD?!?!?! Can you believe the fricking NERVE of this asshole?!?!? He didn’t know he was being recorded, so he was absolutely candid with her in al the conversations they had, he even got a burner phone and I believe he sent her one as well so her h couldn’t track her calls either……and my idiot h thinks that just because it’s in the past I should just finally move on and turn the page?!?!? Who here needs more help?! Me or him?!?!

      • E

        Hey Kittypone,

        I’m so sorry that you have had to go through that and on your anniversary. That’s really painful and I can understand the anger. I have 2 calendars I go by in my life and one is the actual month calendar that I use for placing appointments on and the one is dates that impactful and causes me pain. Birthdays, holidays, anniversary’s, randoms days that events happen that now I look back and I get upset about. Currently I just went through Mother’s day, and my birthday and my Mother’s birthday all in a matter of a 7 days. What an emotional roller-coaster for sure. I also have coming up in the next 6 weeks. My anniversary, July 4th, and D-day a week later. I can’t wait for August- October so my emotional life is less chaos. I spend last year on our wedding anniversary crying all day and never left the bedroom. Originally I didn’t start out that way when I woke up that morning and as the day went by I could not stop it and the emotions came on really strong like a hurricane or tornado and the blast of it was overwhelming. I actually thought I was going die because I had never felt like that in my life before. . Last year was the 20th anniversary, I also felt dead inside for months leading up to it and for the whole day. Yet, I realized later that it was mourning my marriage and truly letting out my emotions which is hard for me to do because I don’t show them often and when I do I am alone in the bathroom with the shower on so I can not be heard. My H and I didn’t plan anything and had a acknowledgement that morning with each other so it wasn’t like we didn’t celebrate it. We both agreed that we didn’t want to do anything and I still don’t want to do anything on the anniversary this year because I don’t find it a day to celebrate anymore. However, I was at a point of great sadness last year and with so much going on with my son I didn’t realize how the calendar now impacts me.

        I can’t say that you need help more than him. I think both of you need help just in different ways and he probably isn’t at the point of being ready to help with the recovery and the decisions that you make for how you want to recover is up to you and you alone. I learned about myself and I focused on my own needs and self soothing. I started painting, I started journaling. I went on a walk, took yoga classes. I learned to meditate and took time for myself. This blog helped me a lot because some of the older articles and the posts were insightful for others in the growth and pain they felt in this journey. I don’t think for any reason that the feelings that someone has towards their spouse won’t change especially when the trust is broken, Having a broken heart because of broken trust changes what you think of someone. Having intimacy with another person and lying about it impacts how we do feel about that person. It doesn’t mean that when you have lost respect for them or are bothered by intimacy that there is nothing wrong with you. It might be a long road for the building of trust and probably because of your childhood and family dynamics that I don’t about nor will judge. My therapist advised me that because there had been many people that broke my trust from my childhood to adulthood that yes it may take a while for me and it also may never fully come back and cautioned me that without trust the relationship is not viable because the foundation of a relationship is trust.
        I don’t hate my H most days. I do have moments like this weekend that I question what I am doing. I haven’t thrown the towel and have come close a few times and that doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. You have to figure out what is best for you and yes the pain is there, it’s there constantly. I can tell you that it is less now because I have learned more about myself and gave that gift to myself without him a part of that. I think the pain may lessen after time and stays forever with you because the discovery of an affair changes how we see the world and see ourselves. The journey is a hard one. I am glad you are here, I’m grateful you told me your story and about your emotions because I know I wasn’t alone with my uncontrollable anger.


      • Sarah P.

        Hello Kittypone,

        Your husband is the one who needs help. Your husband is the one who needs his head examined. Your husband is the one who needs to be accountable and he needs to validate your feelings. He needs to admit to how he hurt you with his lies and deception. He needs to earn your trust. He needs to rebuild your marriage.

        If he is not doing these things, you will stay stuck. Of course, you need help too but it’s not because you did anything wrong. You are in the right and need people to rally around you and help you gain strength and get through this tough stuff. But you are the SANE one here. You are the one in the right and the one who is sane.

        You will continue to be triggered until your H can do his part. I am not sensing any real remorse on his part. Is that correct? If he is not remorseful, you will be triggered into feeling rage each day. That’s normal. But he is the problem; you are not the problem.


        • Kittypone

          Thanks, Sarah…..
          I have to take into account my h upbringing on how it plays into his behavior and demeanor…..he is somewhat of a “macho” man in that he doesn’t display his emotions too visibly; he doesn’t know how to apologize; he is not “kissy-touchy-feely” in his interactions with me; just last night I told him that as long as I feel the need for transparency, he has no rights whatsoever to “his privacy”; HE on the other hand thinks that my emotions are too volatile, therefore, I can’t be “dealt” with until they stabilize (insert deep eye roll on my part here); HE believes that I refuse to put his affair in the past and that is why we’re stuck; HE believes that therapy is for crazy people and he is not crazy; HE TRULY, SINCERELY believes that he is working overtime restoring our marriage (insert deepest eye roll yet on my part here) and I told him that my heart is leaking out every day of whatever love I still had for him and if he doesn’t wake up from his denial, pretty soon I will have to start shopping around for a divorce attorney….

          • E

            Hi Kittypone,

            There is reason I still have a retainer on an attorney. My H is also a “ macho “ Latin culture based upbringing which there is taboo issues around therapy. It is hard dealing with that and the machismo because they are blinded by their own pride and can’t apologize or make amends because culturally to other men they feel they are weak. It’s like a catch 22 with family or friends because they want family and friends yet are to blind to see they might lose them.
            My H was like that for the first year and still has moments. I often think he lacks compassion or empathy which makes the trust harder to build. It’s also why I stay on the fence. I don’t believe his words and unless he physically shows me everything I think he’s lying.
            I told you that we had much in common and more than you think. It’s okay to protect yourself and know your rights.

            • Kittypone

              Thanks, E…..
              I’m starting to see all the similarities in our cases…..it really is heartbreaking to see how some men choose their pride over the life they have built over 30 years…..to let it slip through their fingers because they refuse to go to therapy or even show brokenness….

    • E

      Yes kittypone,
      Everyday is a new day and trying to work through emotions and watching someone truly not grasp the pain and destructive behavior of an affair. I also find the concept of Latin family culture that puts family as high importance, glorifying male machismo and sexy gold diggers mistresses on the side ironically stupid now because they don’t value their family because they haven’t committed to their family because they prefer their flashy cars, flashy clothing, and drinking and floundering. It shows selfishness to me and no accountability for the pain and destruction of the family. I could write a novel one day about my story just because of the chaos and lies I’ve learned since D-day.
      There are things I did for myself with post D-day concerns. I made sure I had control of all my money. Why? Because I didn’t want to share with someone that used it to support his baby mama. Definitely a sore spot there with me and I don’t think I’ll ever share money with anyone ever again. I did things for myself. I found making myself my best friend was hard yet worth it because many people don’t want to handle the emotions of an affair and friendships are tested and I’ve lost many friends over the last 3 years because of my anger and high emotions and anxiety. I turned to this blog for a supportive group because my life, my story sometimes feels like a jerry springer episode. Make sure you drink water and learn to deep breathe, if you can’t sleep try a guided meditation for anxiety. ????
      I also suggest Getting to know the divorce process and how it works especially in your state. Some states are community property states which if so and he has a super nice car you can take half literally. (I don’t recommend it and I will repeat this statement probably more than once because hot emotions make hot ideas that probably have bad consequences) I knew a couple in Texas that divorced because he cheated and she did take chain saw to his car literally to give him half and she wasn’t charged because of the laws with divorce. Yet the judge was not pleased with it and it didn’t make it easier in the process. Again I don’t recommend chainsaw if anyone’s vehicle because it shows childish behavior yet it does prove a point with knowing the laws. Make decisions based on logic with divorce or separation because emotionally you feel like it doesn’t mean that it’s logical. Courts only care what shows on paper and assets not so much emotions. Marriage for 30 years impacts so much especially with alimony or other assets. It’s hard to sue your H’s AP because she’s not in this country if you are part of those states that you can. Doesn’t mean you can’t check into it considering that country may have laws on the book to combat infidelity. Divorce can be ugly too it’s part of why I’m still trying . I support you anyway because I care.

    • Sarah P.

      Hi Kittypone,

      You are welcome to email me privately:

      [email protected]

      • Kittypone

        Thanks! Will do!!

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Kittypone,
          I have been looking for your email, so don’t hesitate. Also a positive FYI. You had left a list of things you were wondering about in one of your public comments. I saw that you wanted to know how to regain feelings for someone who has cheated. On Tuesday, Doug and Linda will publish a post that I wrote about some of the variables that could affect how we feel about cheating spouses and how to recover feelings. I have also published the latest statistics on infidelity that include IF marriages between affair partners succeed. The answer is NO. I also address why it is impossible for true love to exist between affair partners. But, on Tuesday everyone will be able to read it for themselves. Affairs are not based on love; they are based on utter destruction. I also will talk about the etiquette of infidelity for both cheating spouses and betrayed spouses. (Not as in Miss Manners; it’s more about how to behave and how not to behave so that destructive types of conflict can simmer down.) I am all about setting boundaries and consequences. But, I don’t want people to engage in behaviors that endanger the lives of innocent people.

          Please feel free to email me privately. Anyone else is welcome to as well. Also, I only use topics in posts that I have struggled with, that Linda and Doug have suggested to me, OR topics that are brought up in completely public forums. I don’t single people out unless its related to the struggles I have had with exes.

    • Dd

      I first learned about Ester Perel after discovering my husband had cheated on me with an orthodox Jewish Woman (YG) who worked for him. I was looking through articles that i thought. Would help me. When i read her take on Affairs, I also thought about the potential catastrophic consequences of her writing and view points. I was livid, out of my mind and quite frankly would have punched her right in the face if she were in front of me. Yeah, I am so happy my CH. and YG had such an erotic , sexually explicit and depraved affair that fulfilled and unmet need.. I am so happy that YG was having two other affairs simultaneously and going to sex parties and swingers clubs every weekend after Shabbat. I was so happy for them that my psychological and emotional well being never entered his mind, while he was fulfilling some sort of psycho-sexual relationship he missed out on. It really helped our marriage when he lied about the extent of the affair and using nefarious methods i found out about entire affair after five months of lying and trickle truths. I was ecstatic when i went to his job out of my mind and trashed her office and was nearly committed. Yes, Ester Perel your innovative take on affairs was a true blessing. I am also grateful when my husband started spouted her affair philosophy back to me, when I couldn’t get out of bed after having a complete nervous breakdown. I was also over the moon, when my Gyno called. To tell me I had two STD’s. I was tickled pink when he bought Mira Kirsenbaum’s book “when good people have affairs”. Well guess what, maybe you were a good person once and maybe you can be a good person again but you sucked when you turned to another instead of your wife when you were feeling depressed and felt you needed YG. Ugh, i took that book and ripped every page to bits. Sorry affair apologist but you all are clearly out of your minds when you do not consider the aftermath and fall out of egocentric, selfish behavior does and what that does to a faithful wife.

    • SuzySnoozy

      After more than ten years of my husband thinking another woman is better than I am, I am almost beginning to believe it. But I mustn’t. I have been gaslighted, as we all have and now believe nothing, yet he still manages to get to me. The most painful part for me was discovering seven years ago that he is a sociopath. I am still trying to come to terms with that, maybe I never will; the man that I trusted and loved and who I thought loved me back had been lying to me for goodness how long, maybe right from the start. I believe he doesn’t know what it is to truly love someone, it’s just a means of getting what you want to him. His cheating affected me badly, I developed hyperthyroidism a few years after I found out which was due totally to stress. I can’t say my mental state is brilliant either but, as they say, “the show must go on”. There is no talking to him, he is always right. I hurt – every day, all day and I don’t know where I get the strength to go on. Sarah, your comparisons to trout and parachuting were spot on. I just wonder if this will ever end.

    • Ds

      I think my husband has NPD. I am currently struggling to decide what to do. Why are you still. With him? Isn’t ten years of suffering enough. It’s been 10months since my life has been torn to pieces and shot to hell and i think I’ve suffered enough. I always knew my husband had narcissist traits but now i think he. Is has full blown NPD. He sees a therapist, why doesnt this guy see this. I. Thought we were perfect, he was perfect. Can’t begin to tell you how shattered i am. Never thought he would have such a disgusting, depraved affair.

    • leaningonhope

      I am astounded at how many responses this subject has garnered. Over 200 as of this comment. I just found my draft tucked away in a note file from almost 2 years ago; I thought I had posted it. Clicked on the link to re-read the article. Wow. And the funny story was truly a lol story!
      Betrayal trauma can be on so many levels. For me it has been a gut wrenching experience. Literally physical. I experienced varied betrayals over an extended period of time, and the physical consequences have been extensive. Verbal, financial, gossip, mental, betrayal of vulnerability, intimacy, etc.
      The EA took place at about this time in 2018. And as a result of that experience, I have become wiser and more intuitive with other forms of betrayal and other red flags. My husband calls it “demanding, controlling, and/or hyper vigilant, etc”. Whatever. I know it isn’t those accusations and insults. I would agree with hyper vigilant but not in a negative or insulting way. It’s me being a truth teller and voicing my perspective and my limits of toleration or boundaries. I have been learning how to “stay well”, or trying to learn. Via Leslie Vernick’s articles and blog in addition to this one. Dr Henry Cloud’s site, too. The more I am honest about what I see, the angrier he gets. Now, to his credit he does try but I think it’s only behavior modification and doesn’t come from true heart change. There’s not an internal “change of direction”. It lasts maybe only a few days or a week, then back to anger and the “f*** it” attitude.
      The more I learn about staying well, the clearer my mind is about patterns of behavior (that don’t change), and the more healthier I become in how to love well and live well in my marriage relationship, the harder it becomes in my mind to justify staying. Healing and reconciliation has so far not been too successful for me, as it has been one-sided. I am very self aware of my emotions and triggers and try to talk myself out of not responding in like manner, and talk myself into how should I address this particular issue maturely and respectfully. I don’t get it right all time of course; I’m human. But I can say that my heart is pointed in the right direction.
      I’m hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst. I think to myself , “I should have left by now”, but there’s a part of me that really just doesn’t want to be divorced, again.

      Doug, Linda, and/or Sarah, could you please write about this topic again? Piggy back off key points from all these courageous and open commenters? Or refer me to a more recent article that I may have missed between this article and now?

      One other thing. I have to say about your blog. And about the commenters. You are all an amazing bunch. These other blogs that I read, no one is transparent like you all are here. The articles are not only helpful, but the comments are also a treasure of experiences from which to learn, and the compassion for each other…it moves me to tears. Even now.
      You all are truly lifelines to some of us who are alone in this, with no or very little support system, nor friends that don’t understand. No support from our church family…just judgment and finger pointing.
      Thank you and thank you. Amen.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Leaning on hope
        It is all so difficult, that’s for sure. A book that you might find helpful is THE GASLIGHT EFFECT by Robin Stern. It sound like your husband is an expert at it. It is an extremely helpful book.

    • john

      TBH this is the first time I’m hearing affair apologists but i like it… and as far as ester goes… shes a fucking fraud a grifter since her first ted talk at about 8 minutes in i was ready to shut that crap off real talk the BS did not make the CS cheat lie deceive etc. anyone who wants to try and justify what the CS did is a quack <3

      • E


    • Aran

      It was very late at night and our four little kids were fast asleep. So was he. I couldn´t sleep but pretended I had fallen asleep… pretending with a simulated deep and calm breathe. But I knew it was fake and was frightened he could feel it too.

      And then, there I was with his phone in my shaking hands. I tried not to make any noice being as light as a butterfly, but my heart was literally beating like a huge drum. I could hear it in my ears so loudly that I was sure its heartbeat would wake him up. I could hear it perfectly well inside my chest, could feel it in my temples and my neck.
      Then I saw all the text messages: every single “i love you till death do us apart”, every single “I´ll see you in my dreams”, every single “love you more than anything in the world”, every single “shes is not for you, I am the one/ she is not for me, you are the one”. I saw every single picture of her with my baby son in her lap, pictures of my little dauther holding her hand, videos of my 4 kids playing with her while I was at home cooking, cleaning, ironing, and waiting for them to come back home. I saw gifs of both of them kissing, listened to her voice messages, some love-making recordings she had sent him… and a whole strange world of blackness, death, pain and devastation dragged me to the deepest hole on earth where there was no way out.

      I could feel as if an elecrical current was running through my body. I could physically feel like millions of needles pricking my flesh from the tip of my toes to the tip of my fingers. bristling every hair of my body. Suddenly, in just a milisecond, my body started to shake in cold sweat. I felt dizzy, everything turned darker and little blinking lights appeared in front of me. My feet melted incapable of holding my body and I fell down on my knees with my hands resting on the floor trying to hold the single thread of life that still remained in my body. I couldn´t breathe and started gasping for some air. I desperately needed some air, but my lungs wouldn´t work!!

      Was I dead? I wished I was dead. I was no longer in this world. And yes, I could feel like floating, drifting away to a distant place. I let go until I could regain some consciousness of time and space. But that was even worse, because all I could feel was an acute sense of imminent danger. Yes, I felt my life was in danger and I didn´t know were the threat was coming from. Couldn´t think, couldn´t move, I was paralysed and could feel like ice wrapping around my heart. Dry lips, cold hands, cold feet, hedache, heart galloping inside my chest.

      And then the old denial game. That hurt even more.

      The “old me” died within years after DD. It was a slow and painful death, like the one you endure when having a terminal illness. I liked very much the “old me”, she believed in love, believed in marriage, believed in him, in US, in being a team through thick and thin. And I want my “old me” back. I missed who I was so much!!! but it´s dead.
      The “old me” was mortally wounded that night. I was doomed.

      Now I have to become friends with “The new me”. This one is better in many ways, but yet, something is missing.

      My own sense of selfbeing was shattered, a tsunami washed away all I had, all I was, all I believed in, all I knew for sure.

      Now I feel like living in constant urgency, a constant battle against my pain, my feelings, my thoughts. Who is this woman inside my body? Is it really me?

      How is it possible to feel such pain and still be alaive? It should kill you. But here I am, still breathing.

      He´ll never know the deep pain he inflicted on me, he will never know the extent of his actions in my life. He says he does, but he is no even close.

    • john smith

      I can tell you exactly what happened I was in the hallway upstairs and I showed her a screen shot of her itinerary she looked at me and said yes i cheated and i want a divorce… I honestly thought my heart just shattered I fell to my knees and started crying hysterically ended up in the fetal position my wife left and took my kids two days later i attempted suicide by OD woke up X amount of hours later checked my self into behavioral health got diagnosed with clinical depression… wife agreed to end affair and come home… only for me to discover they never stopped it multiple times after that… now im in the process of spending 10s of thousands on a lawyer

    • BumbleB

      This article has been so timely for me. Just had therapy today and we discussed why I have not burned all of the “proof” I have of my husband’s affair, D-Day 1 happened in February 2020 and D-Day 2 happened in October 2020. I think it is because everything that I have discovered I have discovered on my own. I have brought him the facts…2800 texts in one month, proof of calls from my phone records, a letter she wrote to discuss how they could still communicate after D-Day 1, emails I had to retrieve from his computer, two lame videos of her flying a dumb toy he bought her (he bought me the same thing for Christmas before D-Day 1) and so on. If I burn it all, I have to rely on his “I can’t remember”. He feels terrible, blames himself, has not had contact with her but whatever happened is still trapped in my body. Sarah, for me I think I relate to the free fall. When D-Day 1 and then 8 months later, D-Day 2 happened I felt as if my very being was ripped out of my body and I’ve been searching for her ever since. We have gone on, we laugh, we watch shows together, we eat dinner, we have been on trips together…but I am afraid things will never be the same, how can they be? He deceived me for a year and a half. The story of my marriage, what I thought was true about US, is no longer there, it was all a mirage. I read about others’ stories and my heart hurts for all of you. What a shitty club we all belong to now. The triggers that won’t go away…ugh. If only I could be llike Jim Carrey in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind and have that memory of both D-Days erased forever. Yes, it is visceral. What helps? Therapy, yoga, working out (when I can, thanks Covid), talking about it (I have to bring it up), sleep…take care, everyone, 2022 has to be better, right?

    • Dizzy in DC

      My gosh Sarah you expressed what I’ve felt better than anything I’ve read in the year since my DD. Thank you – I felt much less crazy and less alone after reading it.

    • Kerry

      This is the second of Sarah P’s articles I have read with utter incredulity. Whilst she has some great insights, yes – that’s exactly what DDay felt like, falling to earth without a parachute, her approach appears to be driven by a shortsighted and judgmental vindictiveness born of the misery of her first husband’s betrayal of her. Her articles are full of spiteful dismissals of the cheating partner, to such a degree that I can’t imagine she supports couples to recover from the infidelity and strengthen their relationships. My husband and I worked through the book by Esther Perel, that Sarah P slates as being apologist in sentiment. It was through reading this together that we arrived at an understanding of why the affair might have happened, and no, Esther doesn’t condone affairs and clearly places the responsibility on the person who cheats. I’m left wondering if Sarah P actually read the book herself, as her understanding of it is so off the mark. Fortunately, as well as reading the Perel book together, we have also benefitted hugely from Linda & Doug’s incisive and accurate accounts, and their forward looking, constructive and gently encouraging advice. We feel as though there is away forward for us, but everything we read from Sarah P seems set to fan the flames and put forward her own bitter view of life. I can only extend my sympathy to her current husband that the hurt she suffered in her first marriage still defines her and her attitude towards others.

    • Still Hurting

      How does the pain of my wife’s affair feel?
      I’ll describe it by using the words of my wife trying to explain the pain she felt in childbirth.
      We have 5 children together and with each birth my wife received an epidural. It was with our last child however that the medication wore off and she was too far along in the birthing process for additional meds.
      My wife described what actually in time was about 90 seconds as the most horrendous physical pain imaginable. – in her words this short term pain was so intense that had she experienced this with our first child she would have chosen not to have any others.
      So, my explanation of the pain of her betrayal to our marriage and family feels like this….
      Her birthing experience without pain meds multiplied times 100!
      The differences being her pain was felt only once and lasted 90 seconds. It also produced a “bundle of joy”. The pain I’ve experienced has brought hell, is triggered without noticed and relived countless times over, lost hours of sleep, loss of work, financial challenges, numerous therapy sessions etc.
      It has been over 6 years since d-day and we yet have marital challenges that were brought on because of her infidelity.
      The pain still exists!

    • Nicole

      This is why being betrayed hurts so much.
      According to a Harvard study, 90% of decisions are made with emotion, not logic.
      Decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience.
      In fact, even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.
      Emotions push you to make decisions that are good for you while disregarding what’s good for others. While it’s true that emotions can make you considerate of certain people, that usually only happens with the people you care about.
      When it comes to decision-making, everyone seems to think that being logical is the best way to go. Yet people make about 90% of decisions using emotional reasoning. Often, people fool themselves into thinking they’re being logical because they justified their actions using logic. To explain how feelings, like rage, fear, disgust, and joy, are the unconscious rudders behind all human decision-making. “Emotions play a hidden role in our behavior,” Mlodinow said. They help the brain choose what sensory information to pay attention to, how to process it, and what other data — such as memories or goals — to weave into decisions.
      Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason, and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way the other person could say no to your perfectly constructed argument and proposal. To do so would be impossible, you figured because there was no other logical solution or answer.
      And then the other person dug in his heels and refused to budge. He wasn’t swayed by your logic. Were you flabbergasted?
      They figure that by piling on the data and using reason to explain their side of the situation, they can construct a solution that is simply irrefutable — and get the other party to say yes.
      They’re doomed to fail, however, because decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience.
      In fact, even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.
      People won’t make their decision because it is logical. They’ll make their decision because you have helped them feel that it’s to their advantage to do so. That’s an emotional decision and not logical. People who negotiate really well use this to their advantage when brokering a deal.

    • Gary

      Hi all
      I’ve been caught up in spouse affair aftermath for 3.5 years and to you all betrayed I so feel for you and the pain you have been living and also the pain of the unfaithful.
      In my journey I have been through many stages and only now feel that I am getting to real realisations.
      At 1st I thought only an apology and being told I had made a mistake would help I didn’t get that and never will and I accept that.
      Realise your old relationship is over I have learned. Same as Helen earlier in the thread accept the old relationship was floored and was probably codependent and really you weren’t that happy but hoping it would return.
      Work on your self for good amount of time. Go on YouTube learn about CPTSD, Co-dependency, Addiction , Emotionally Immature Adults. Ignore all the Narcissistic stuff we all have a little in us Learn about personality and relationship types learn who you really are and how it was formed and grow grow grow if they don’t you have to release them until they start to get it for them selves

    • Nicole

      I hear you.
      “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” -C.W. Lewis
      Listening to The Empowered Wife podcast while I drive to work and walk my dog is the main reason why my marriage is still together.

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