This is a bit of a rant about the sheer stupidity of some people who are unfaithful.

people who are unfaithful


Here is something that I have noticed. When someone cheats, it is as if they got hit over the head by the metaphorical “stupid stick.” I am referring to the time when they are in the affair and after they have broken off the affair, but still experiencing the affair fog.

My mind is especially boggled when people with normally high IQs have affairs.

For example, there was a local pediatrician who worked for a well-known hospital system. He was rising in the ranks and presented himself as a happy, dedicated, family man. While his wife was giving birth, he could not be there because he had been arrested for soliciting young prostitutes. It was all over the local news.

This pediatrician went on probation and had to get sex-addiction recovery. It turned out he had been doing absolutely insane things with prostitutes for several years and it finally caught up with him. This fellow was inches away from losing his medical license forever.

He had been able to find another job and now he brands himself as an advocate to shut down the sex trade and help sex-addicts recover. It does not take a genius to know this fellow is just a manipulator and has rebranded himself. He is attempting to save his reputation by saying things that he believes people want to hear.

People Who are Unfaithful:  Dr. Devious and Nasty Nurse

Then there is Dr. Devious and Nasty Nurse at my husband’s work place. Nasty Nurse was fired after she proudly married Dr. Devious and confidently walked down the isle in her see-through wedding dress. She did not care that all of her children and his children and both of their former spouses were utterly destroyed.

Nasty Nurse is a bottom feeder.

One day a colleague asked why he married Nasty Nurse. Prior to Nasty Nurse, Dr. Devious had an amazing, beautiful, physically fit, well-loved, and educated wife. What did Dr. Devious say? “Nasty Nurse can bend like a pretzel.” He was being absolutely serious. He was so stupid that he forgot his first wife – who was also a doctor – also did yoga.

His first wife bent like a pretzel. But, he left a pearl of a woman for utter trailer trash.


How did someone this stupid get a medical degree? How does someone this stupid have the ability to do surgery on a person if they are in trouble?

I would NOT want Dr. Devious to be my doctor if I were having an emergency. I would not want someone this slimy and evil anywhere near me.

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Then there is David Brooks. This fellow is a New York Times Op-Ed writer. He is very smug and his articles are too boring or too smug to read. He made his first wife convert to Judaism so that he could have Jewish kids. She bore him Jewish children and they were married for over 30 years.

Then he left her for his Christian editorial assistant who was close to his daughter’s age. He has always published smug books about how to have character and be moral. After he divorced his wife, and married his young affair partner, he published a book about how to be even more moral.

How does this happen?


How can Random House even publish this complete fraud? How did the editors not catch this? And how stupid are people who choose to read a book about morality written by a man who abandoned his family for the other woman?

Asking these folks to write about character and morality is like asking an alligator to write a book about how to raise a human infant. Alligators eat human infants.

Why don’t more people (readers) consider reading books by credible sources?

I write about infidelity because I have been a victim of infidelity and I have graduate credentials in psychology. I should be writing about infidelity and what it is like to be betrayed. That’s logical.

I believe I would be a better candidate to write a book about character because I have lived a life of character, even when things have gotten difficult.

unfaithful people

But, They Look So Nice!

One of the biggest things I like to talk about is the difference between nice and kind.

Anyone can act NICE, even people who have destroyed the lives of others!

Did you know that many people who met Ted Bundy (in person) said he was one of the nicest people they have ever met? I know people who were friends with Ted Bundy. Granted these people are in their late 70’s now, but they talk about how Ted Bundy was one of the nicest people they have ever met.

Ted Bundy had a wonderful social face. He captivated the public because of his intelligence, his (alleged) good looks, his charisma…Ted Bundy even worked at suicide hotlines and the occasional rape crisis center. Did you know he would always walk female employees to their cars and say, “You never know who is out there.” He never laid a finger on any of the volunteers.

Gee, Ted Bundy was such a nice guy! And I am not being sarcastic. He could be very nice to people and Ted had many friends. Many of the people who knew him before he was caught and charged with murder said he was a wonderful friend.

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Ted was actually a nice person in the way he behaved towards friends and coworkers. He knew how to do nice things for others in order to keep up a wonderful social face. Ted was nice and yet he killed 50 women. Brutally. Then, he did unspeakable things to their dead bodies. But, technically, Ted was a nice guy due to how society defines the concept of “nice.”

Nice people ARE capable of harming others. In fact, nice people are capable of some of the biggest atrocities in the world. Nice is simply a surface behavior that is done to gain favor with others.

Anyone can behave like a nice person if they choose to act like one. Then, they can go home and kill women for a hobby. Nice is no more than a chosen behavior that is used to fit into society or to create a social face to cover criminal activity.

Ted Bundy was a “nice guy” but Ted Bundy was NOT a kind guy.

unfaithful person

Kindness is a Core Character Trait

A kind guy would not have murdered people. Kind people are incapable of harming innocent people. Kind people walk you out to your car because they know there are people like Ted Bundy out there – but they are not one of those harmful people. Kind people know it’s a danger and they genuinely care and this is their motive for walking you to your car.

Kindness is something that extends to the very core of a human being. A kind person is incapable of harm. A kind person rallies around others when they are in their darkest hours. A kind person possesses empathy and integrity that is so strong that it renders them incapable of harming innocent people.

Now, a kind person can snap if a person outside themselves drives them far enough and harms them. Then a kind person gets help and/or they walk away.

They may be so angry about being victimized that they scream into pillows all night long. But, they don’t go out and find innocent people to harm. Kind people do not harm the innocents of the world. Kind people protect them, rally around them, and have empathy for the suffering of innocent people and animals.

In summary, niceness is no more than a chosen social behavior.

Kindness is a core character trait that guides everything a person does. A kind person is not capable of harming innocent people.

There is a world of difference between nice and kind.

That funny, flirty charismatic girl at the office might be nice to everyone she meets and smile constantly. But, when no one is looking, she could be figuring out how to poach a married colleague. If someone suspects it, others will say, “Oh, she’s soooooooooo nice! She would never do that!” And then that married colleague’s marriage ends due to that nice lady. “What? That nice lady was a rattle-snake?” everyone declares!

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A kind person can also be funny and offer a smile because they genuinely feel it in their heart. It is who they are; it is at the core of their being; it guides all their decisions. It causes them to think of others and have empathy for those who are harmed.

A kind person jumps in quietly to support someone who has been traumatized. The so-called nice folks scatter because they are too busy posing for Instagram photos and getting that photo-shopping to look just right. They are too busy for someone else’s trauma but never too busy for their own drama.

In Summary

I have to admit that with the number of people who are unfaithful growing each year, I am losing faith in humanity.

I am starting to wonder how many people in the world are actually kind people versus  merely “nice” people.

I am sick of the glorification of adultery in the media. I am sick of those who gloss over the harm it does to families. I am sick of those who destroy marriages and have no guilt over doing so; they believe themselves to be so special that they are above the rules.

Someone must say “no” and someone has to hold people who are unfaithful accountable for their terrible behavior. No more excuses for folks who destroy families and walk down the isle in see-through wedding dresses.

Sometimes I wish there were a metaphorical universal “dust bin planet.” These folks can be swept off Earth with a broom and put on their own planet where they can play games with each other all day long.

They can be forever separate from the good folk and we can sleep at night. What a dream.

Let’s end this with a Ted Talk about altruism and how it can guide you.


  • Do you agree with anything in the Ted Talks video? Did he make any points that resonated with you?
  • What is troubling you the most these days about infidelity and the people who are unfaithful?
  • What angers you the most about your experience?
  • Do you ever feel as if those around you cannot comprehend your pain?
  • What was the most offensive, hurtful, or stupid thing that your wayward spouse has said?
  • How much blame does the other person get?
  • What is the most destructive emotion that lingers long after D-Day?




    31 replies to "Do People Who are Unfaithful Lose 50 IQ Points?"

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,
      Does anyone want to chime in? Complain?

      What is the most insulting thing your spouse did this week or did in the past?

      Was there ever a time when you looked at your wayward spouse and truly, sincerely questioned their sanity due to the insane choices they made?

      Is there anyone out there who has a tip on how to snap wayward spouses out of these insane moments and caused waywards to have clarity? (Probably not, but just checking.)

      Talk to me ????

      • Kittypone

        You could say that while my h was in the affair fog, I truly believed he had taken leave of his senses…..the utter nonsense that spouted off his mouth had me looking like a confused puppy….you know when they tilt their head this way and that? Yup. That was me…..I couldn’t, for the life of me, reconcile this man to the one I had been married to for almost 28 years at that point….who in their ever loving mind asks their wife for permission to go meet the AP because she lives abroad? WHO?!?! And he asked no fewer than 10-12 times!!!! To PLEASE let him go and travel to her, that he would only spend 3 days there and he promised to come back, but to PLEASE let him go and meet her face to face!!! Any SANE person that you know would do this??? So, yeah….I believe you when you say that they lose IQ points….

        • Sarah P.

          Yup, that is the epitome of utter insanity… asking the wife to see the affair partner. So hard to believe an adult could request such a thing. It’s like asking, “Hey can I steal everything from you? But I will only steal for three days straight. You will forever lose what I stole, but I will steal for only three days, so you can live with that, right?”

          Nope!!! Can’t live with that!!!!

          Big hugs,

      • Fractured heart, wounded beat

        I cannot speak to what it would take to snap wayward spouses out of their fog, but I can mention what apparently snapped my wayward husband out of his (or at least some of what was working on him).

        I have posted in several other articles about my crazy situation. Short version: I found out that my husband of over 18 years was having an EA and PA on February 10, 2019. He ended it, but then it went underground. Second DDay was March 16th. He ended it, but then it started up again in a manner I could not access, but my gut was in full effect. By the third official DDay, April 30th, I could not take any more and told him to get out. He moved out on May 2nd and was living with the OW by May 3rd. There were many, many things that were straight out insanity during the two months that followed.

        So, I was consistently doing some things that I now know had a cumulative effect to break through his fog (in addition to the actions of my daughter and the OW, who was clearly an idiot!). I forced him to take everything that was his out of my house, post haste. I was also reminding him that he did not live here and forced him to give me his house key. The kids and I relabeled our family, “The Fantastic 3” and I made sure (as did my daughter) that he was aware of this. I rearranged the house substantially, including having only three chairs at the table. Although it was difficult at first, I did not contact him unless it was necessary and did not respond to his texts in any sort of hurry. After some time passed, I required a 72 hour notice if he wanted to see the kids and did not make his desires a priority. I was less than perfect at this but I did try to stay very matter of fact with him about the end of our marriage, as if I was accepting that.

        I had mentioned in a previous comment that I was taking my kids on a road trip and I had mentioned this to my H in a passing manner — he asked no questions. Three days before we left, I had prepared to interrogate him :). I had written two pages of questions about things that I wanted clarity about. Things that I suspected and wanted to know what the truth was now that our marriage was clearly over. What did he have to lose? Moments before he arrived for his visit, I was informed that the OW had made their adulterous relationship “Facebook official”. After firing off my questions, I showed him the photo that had been posted of the two of them and asked how he thought his daughter had felt seeing that. He admitted that he found out about that after it was posted and hadn’t thought it was a good idea — but he never demanded that it be removed. Shortly thereafter, he asked if he could see the kids on Monday and I reminded him that we would be gone. He asked about another day and I said, we will be gone. It was then that he realized we would be gone for a full week. He ended up leaving, stating, “I’m not in a good place.” Clearly things were starting to weigh on him, however, not knowing that part, my daughter followed him out the door, handed him some age-defying serum samples, and when he asked what they were she replied, “Your skank looks old!” and turned around the walked into the house. He sped out of the driveway.

        A couple days into our road trip, I discovered that he had lied to me about where he had taken his skank on their little adulterous mini-vacation — he did take her someplace that we had visited together often and had taken our kids to a few times as well! Then, I was informed that the OW had posted numerous photos on Facebook of the two of them on their trip. A couple of my family members had started responding to her posts, mostly in outrage that all her “friends” were complimenting them on their relationship going public and how lucky my husband was to have found such a “good-hearted woman”! YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!! (Don’t get me started on the blatant immorality of this world! Congratulations on your adultery?!?!)

        So, after holding back my daughter all this time —– I let her loose. She systematically DESTROYED every poster, every post, every photo, and liberally and sarcastically insulted her father and the OW. I know I shouldn’t revel in this but after so many months of feeling helpless about the destruction of my entire life, it was a bit of sweet justice to have an adolescent take down all these idiotic adults. The next day, the OW’s daughter actually sent my daughter a friend request! WHAT?!?! Needless to say, my daughter took her down as well. Later that day, while on vacation, my daughter had an anxiety attack. Soon after, her father had the audacity to send her a text telling her she needed to stop the Facebook attacks. She let him have it, via text, and said drop the skank then because I will not stop. He did not respond. So, I called him — and tore him up. I asked when he would begin protecting his family, those he had committed to protect, rather than his old whore.

        And that is when the cracks started to show. He told me that he was going to fix all this mess, that he knew what he had to do. He was exceptionally emotional and asked me to give him a little time to work up the courage. The next night, he reiterated his “plan” and texted that he hoped there would be some future for us after everything he had done to destroy our marriage and family.

        The next evening, after I informed him that we had made it home safely, he texted me to tell me that he had found the courage to end things with the OW. I allowed him over to see the kids and we talked, at length, for about three hours. For the first time in months, I actually talked with my husband instead of the cold-eyed alter ego that had taken his place during this affair nonsense. He stated that he never believed there was such a thing as a midlife crisis but obviously that must’ve been what happened as that is the only explanation for him behaving in ways that were in direct conflict with everything he has believed and stood for all these years. He also said that although he hated to admit it, the affair fog is a real thing. He said that over time, he would have flashes of reality almost like a radio going in and out. Over time, these flashes lasted longer and he no longer wanted to push them away. He said he felt like he was dying a bit more each day and even his coworkers were telling him that he looked awful, like he was exhausted. The manipulative OW, in addition to trying to force their adulterous relationship on our kids so he wouldn’t be around me, HIS WIFE, was pushing him to get a lawyer, file for divorce, stop giving me money, and begin moving forward — with her of course. I have since found out through random sources that she had her eyes on my husband for a long time and determined that she would make him her man. :/ However, she had miscalculated a bit. Each time she pushed, he pushed back because she was trying to push him to do things that he would not and could not do. (Don’t take this OW blame as him being off the hook or blameless in any way whatsoever!) He owned his nefarious behavior wholly during this talk and I did not mince words either. However, I believe that God was guiding me during this time and what followed because I am not by nature a forgiving person and I felt FORGIVING. It was really strange.

        The next day, he contacted the OW about getting his belongings out of her house. She refused, stated that the locks had been changed already, and demanded money. He had to have a police standby to get his stuff. During this nonsense, he had purchased a large TV and put it in her house and she SUGGESTED that he leave it there as “payment” for some debt she believed he had — even though money was never discussed. Turns out that her alimony and child support were about to be cut in half and she had banked on my husband taking care of her. She quit her job later that week (they had worked together) and there hasn’t been any contact since the big move out (which she cried throughout, trying to make the police officer believe that she had been somehow victimized through this whole experience!). As time has passed, my H has communicated many things about his time away. Specifically, he mentioned how he started to see her more accurately as the fantasy image began to fade and began to realize that they had little to nothing in common after all. He felt out of place at her house and never unpacked anything but his clothes. He even said that he wouldn’t interact with her cats because he felt like he was cheating on our cats! 🙂 (That one actually made me laugh a bit!)

        As to the affair fog experience, he remembers little of the hurtful things he said to me and with a bit of time passing, has a difficult time remembering the whole experience. He said it is almost like trying to remember a dream — all fuzzy around the edges — and difficult to believe that he could ever do such a thing to me or to our kids. He also recognizes now how much she manipulated him and actually feels really stupid for falling for it. Again, he CHOSE to take this path and he does not get a pass by any means whatsoever!

        I have spent a fair amount of time trying to get him to realize the sheer torture of this whole experience, to me and to our kids. He states that in his fog state, our experience wasn’t even on the radar screen, as if it was blocked from him. I expressed to him how much I hated him for what he was doing to all of us. He said, “I think you knew I was not in my right mind and although you hated me, I think you loved me more.” I mentioned this to my counselor and she agreed with him. All this time, I was trying to figure out the why and would not budge toward the indifference that I would need to feel to move on from my marriage.

        We have our first couples counseling appointment this week. I don’t know where this will go, and I have told him that if he ever, EVER does anything at all to take me back to that horrid place he had put me in, he will be envious of a eunuch, but I do feel some hope for our marriage. He is being transparent and reassuring, understanding that I will still have some bad days trying to process all of this crap that has occurred. I sincerely hope that we will move forward toward a healthier, more satisfying marriage and he has said the same.

        In addition to the many ways that we tried to get it through to him that we were moving on without him, I think that he had to move through this process and see it himself. He says that he was sincere about ending things after each DDay but it just crept back in. This time, he chose to end it himself and that has been a big change in our ability to move forward. That’s not to say that all the insecurity and trust issues are anywhere near resolved! I ask a lot of questions about our time apart, trying to gain some perspective on how my husband could play house with the OW. I still struggle with many aspects of this and deal with a lot of fear that I will get drug down that rabbit hole once again.

        Thank you to all here who have tried to keep me grounded through this hell! This place has been a great comfort to me during this rollercoaster experience and has provided me with a great deal of information to try to figure out how all of this occurred and blindsided me. As is my way :), this is a huge post (sorry!) but I wanted to give the update of this huge turn of events.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Fractured Heart
          Thanks for this amazing comment….
          It really does show the effects of the affair fog and how it messes with the CS’s IQ. I love the way you handled things….you are amazing.

          My husband was also rather “stupid” during his EA whereas he is usually rather smart.

          I am so happy to hear he is starting to think rationally again….I hope all the best for you as you work through everything.

        • Hopeful

          Thanks for the update. I am glad you are moving in a new direction. It is all so hard to comprehend. My husband ended both of his affairs on his own 15 months before dday. But he still said the craziest things and had himself convinced of many things that defied logic. He told me once he cheated for the first time and went down the slippery slope he felt like he could never go back. He turned to the dark side and was the bad guy. And living with those lies for ten years really filled him with shame and depression. He also was convinced if it ever came out we would have no future which made him sick for our marriage/family/kids. He also feared he would die and I would end up hearing about it from one of the ow and that horrified him. He went and got anonymous STD tests that were expensive. I mean he went to great lengths for this for 10 years but was miserable.

          The way I looked at it was I was going to give it my all. And what he did with the opportunity was on him. You have already established that you are more than capable of that for you and your kids. It is not easy but you are so strong. Keep us updated and I look forward to hearing about your therapy. Mine was so helpful.

        • blueskyabove

          Fractured heart, wounded beat

          Fractured heart, wounded beat

          Great, powerful comment. I don’t check in here very often anymore so it must have been fate that led me to your comment. On behalf of some of the newer betrayed spouses who might be seeking some guidance on this difficult and unwelcome path they have stumbled upon I simply say ‘thank you.’ I know it hasn’t been easy, but I also know that you’re going to be OK. Your reactions, your response, your attitude is impressive.

          Take care.

        • leaningonhope

          Fractured heart, wounded beat,

          Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are so courageous! And strong, even though it may feel like you’re not. Your actions spoke volumes to your h and your children.
          I also loved your long comment!

          This website and all of you writers and commenters have helped me more than the 2 marriage counselors I’ve talked to in the last year and a half. I am so thankful for all of you ~~

    • Hopeful

      All of the really dumb things were said in the first year after dday. Well and of course during the “affair years”. If I mention any of the dumb things he said to me he has zero memory. I think he was trying to tread water, patch the holes etc and he has said he tried to say whatever he could in the moment to make it better. It makes sense he lived for ten years at least with a lot of lies so he had no idea who he was or how to communicate. I could write out a list of dumb things that intellectually he knows are false but he still said.

      And for him it took time. The affairs and affair recovery was one thing but then it was addressing who he was and how he lived his life beyond that. He is highly ethical at work but in his personal life he cut corners. And nothing to the extent of his affairs but still it was obvious that his bad behavior and poor decision making was not relegated to only the affairs. He really had to take a step back and decide what kind of life he wanted to live. I set specific and firm boundaries. And I was firm that these were not choices but expectations. Of course we could talk about it but as my therapist said he had all the freedom in the world and threw it away so now it is my rules. It took a long time to figure out and navigate the rest of life. And setting a new standard for communication. All of this was and is still a process. He has changed a lot but the one biggest change beyond not cheating is that he is not defensive. I think that has changed our entire relationship. I am not sure if he always was defensive or if he became defensive because he was cheating, kind of a chicken and egg discussion.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,
        So to clarify… did he become less defensive or more defensive after affair recovery?
        I have noticed that people can be truly fantastic people at work and even help many.
        But, the reason they are able to do that is because they call the shots. They help, the person is grateful, their ego gets fed, and everyone wins. But, having to stay faithful… well, many people can get caught up in outside attention. I think nearly everyone can, (I don’t, but a lot of people do). It’s harder when a man is getting all this outside attention and flattery and is expected to say “no” when the bunny boiler who has been chasing him for years won’t give up. As long as a person doesn’t run into a situation that is challenging to handle, all is well. My ex used to volunteer with me. There was a ranch where I volunteered. It was a 15 minute drive from our house, We would help autistic children have therapy by taking them on horse rides and showing them how to interact with “their horse.” He got to look like the good guy there. “Oh look at that nice 20-something man teaching an autistic child to ride a horse. He must be a good person!”
        Well, yeah he would seek out activities that made people perceive him as good and he ensured he never had to actually give up something, like the temptation to have a sexual relationship with a woman who pursued him. He couldn’t say NO and that’s when the monster came out and he proved himself a horrible human being.

        So funny… I have been hit on so many times in my life and I was always able to say NO. And I was also always able to take autistic children on horse rides.

        Is it really such a challenge to have integrity wherever you go; not just when it is convenient?

        • Hopeful

          He has become less defensive post dday. It took a while and major work on his part but it has made a big difference.

          I agree with you too that no matter how much attention or times I am hit on it does not register with me. And he has said he knows I would never even consider cheating ever. And he is right. I also agree that over time a lot of his life was doing whatever he had to in order to make others happy or to like him. With me though it was not that way. I was the lowest on the list. I think it is since I am independent. That trait appealed to him since it allowed him to live his life easily but I also think that he wished I “needed” him.

    • PuttingKidsFirst

      My husband of 9 years (together 15) has been having an EA for about 8 months dday was 4 months ago. We are separated now for 3 months and this week he took our 5 year old and 6 week old baby to spend time with his side piece (former friend of mine whom our oldest does know and has been told by H and myself that our son wont see her anymore and that we are no longer friends) who is also married with 3 children. Apparently they are going to try and force this relationship and act like one big happy family. Before the affair my husband was a wonderful, sweet and doting husband and father. Since the affair he barely spends time with the kids and says awful things to me. I have apologized to him for putting our relationship on the back burner since having our oldest but he took that as validation for having his affair. I know I’m not to blame for his behavior or his actions even though he 100% blames me. But I am severely struggling with him pushing the kids to spend time with her. He told me on dday that he had no intentions of doing this until there relationship was well established for the sake of the kids…clearly that was a lie. An affair is not an established relationship especially since they have broken up several times, twice since our 6 week old was born. I tried to work on our marriage but he had no interest and continued affair hence our separation and while I do believe I can forgive almost anything and can forgive the affair since I understand how it came about, I am not sure I can forgive him putting our kids at risk and putting his selfish needs above theirs!

      • Shifting Impressions

        I hope you are getting some legal counsel. You have rights and it might be helpful to know exactly what they are. Perhaps when your husband faces the reality of what a divorce could cost him financially and in regard to custody of the children etc it might give him somewhat of a reality check. Also I hope you are getting some counseling for yourself.

        My heart goes out to you…..and your baby is only six weeks old!!! You have so much to deal with.

    • leaningonhope

      Hi Sarah,

      My h, just this morning, “blamed” me for feeling guilty about wanting to make poor choices. He said, plenty of times he’s felt “guilty” about wanting to do whatever he wants, so then he doesn’t do it. Because of me.
      (So then in his mind he holds it against me. But I don’t know this because it’s in his mind and what I see is it coming out “sideways”.)
      So I said, it sounds to me like you are blaming me for feeling guilty. Did you feel guilty about possibly making a poor choice? Was it guilt or conviction? Should someone be “blamed” for making a good choice? Or blamed for helping someone not make a poor choice? I said to him that he was blames shifting. I don’t think he liked that.

      It felt like he was telling me it’s my fault he has to be a “grown-up”. And make adult decisions.

      This “discussion” is the result of tension he built up between us, probably so he could justify a poor choice. See, if he’s mad at me then he will take on this “f-it” attitude and then do whatever he wants. In this case, it was about spending money on something he doesn’t “need” before making sure the bills are paid. But in his mind he “needs” it.

      We are separated, have been for a year. We separated our finances prior to him moving out. In the last year he has racked up $1,000’s in debt. (We lived debt free when our finances were combined. We have one combined debt that needs to paid off ASAP.)
      So, part of reconciling, with the help of a therapist, is that he needs to get his spending under control and pay down/off his debts, live within his means, and be financially responsible.

      He was recently assessed and diagnosed with adhd. Part of the testing was his IQ. He is brilliant according to this test. So, academically yes. But relationally, no. He has definitely “lost points” as the title of your article says.

      Nice is a front; kind is part of one’s character. Absolutely. So much can be said about the offending person’s character after the affair has been discovered.

      D-day for me was 1-1/2 years ago. We haven’t even gotten to that yet, in therapy anyways. So the other recent article about healing on my own was pertinent to me.

      Recently, I highly questioned my h’s choice to go “hang out” at the beach with his sons. They are teens- they went off with their friends. So he was, in actuality, hanging out at the beach by himself. For hours. Multiple times apparently. I found out about it I think the third time. So what is a married, (supposedly) Christian man doing spending time at the beach by himself? While separated from his wife? While in marriage counseling? Building trust?? We haven’t been able to talk about that in counseling either. I could go on here….it’s gets more complex.

      I think it all boils down to one’s integrity. Intentions. Values. Character. Whether any of those are good or bad. Strong or weak. It takes humility to admit and work on an area where one is weak. Pride surely gets in the way.

      I apologize that this comment seems kind of random, I feel kind of “all over the place” in my brain.

      Gaslighting. That’s what happened this morning. I think.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Leaningonhope,

        No apologies necessary and all comments are welcome. I always ask folks to just speak what’s on their mind that day. We are a support group even if we are also a blog and the comments section is always a type of support group. I like it that way.

        On the beach. Alone. All day. Christian.

        Nope. That wouldn’t fly with me. You need to tell him that it’s time to face his inner demon of lust. Until he is able to face that inner demon of lust and really look at the ugliness of it, he will blame you for guilt. You did not cause his guilt; he did because he cannot face up to what he is or what he did. It’s too much cognitive dissonance for him, so he has to blame someone outside of himself.

        One day he will need to be accountable. Also, he needs to stay off the beach. That is not going to help clear his mind.

        I am going to tell everyone a story about the beach that I hope you all find funny in a gallow’s humor kind of way. Now that drones are available, men use them to spy on and film bikini clad girls from the comfort of their hotel balcony. Me and my autistic son were swimming in the ocean and all these girls in g-strings came to the beach. Soon we saw this drone flying toward the beach. It would fly very low to get a shot of a girl’s bare butt. The girl would try to swat the drone away, but they always failed. When the drone headed toward me and my (autistic) son, my son gave the drone the double “middle finger” and yelled, “Hey pervert! Get out here and be a man and show your face! Stop being a coward!” Then whoever operated the drone promptly turned it around and it returned to some random hotel balcony. I never know what my son is going to say and he did this when he was 9. I had no idea that my son knew what the middle finger was or that he knew about perverts. I ended up laughing so hard when the drone returned to the hotel and was never seen again. I am pretty sure my son would have some words for your husband if he ever met him. My son would probably tell your husband to get off the beach because my son knows your husband is not there just to watch and feed the seagulls. My son would probably say, “Be a man and go home and look at your wife instead!”

        Indeed, it would be sage advice.

        • leaningonhope

          Lol! Yah it sure would be!!

          And that’s really terrible about the drone!

          And face his inner demon. Yes. Good wording. We have marriage counseling in a couple of days.

          Thank you~~

    • Deeper Thought

      I think my response on this article also applies to the previous article about gaslighting. One of the things my H said to me during his EA that hurt me deeply was: it’s my cultural background that got in the way for me to accept his “friendship” with the OW (I grew up in different country). Sadly, I believed it. Even sadder, I hated myself for not being open minded about a married man and a married woman being friends. I felt this way for months while suspecting it was not a normal, regular friendship. A good, true friendship would not make one of us feel uncomfortable and left out. I brought it up few times, yet my H always said I had nothing to worry about, it was totally harmless for a man and a woman to be friends and spend some time together even when they’re married. I felt so terrible that I thought I needed help from a therapist! I can hardly forgive him for this.

      About 2 months after D-day, we had a discussion that turned into argument, he brought up the EA while the discussion was about something completely different. The implied that my reaction to his EA was so stupid and unnecessary because it was not physical. Well, I noticed they always hugged each other, but that was not why I got upset. It’s the fact that he said that at all, after he claimed he was sorry and would make it up for what he’s done. His remarks on my reaction made it seemed like he didn’t mean his apologies.

      Four months passed D-day felt very hard for me because many articles and one book I read suggested to wait four months after discovery to decide what to do with the marriage. We’ve been working on it but so many times I still have negative thoughts no matter how hard I try to be hopeful. I still have doubts, I still don’t trust him even though I have access to his phone and social media. I feel that he’s not being transparent with me, not only about the EA but also about other things. I hate that when I try to discuss it, it turns into a fight. When we fight I always hold back and he would just say anything just to hurt my feeling. His words hurt me deeply but the fact that he lied (and maybe continue lying to me) hurts me even deeper. I don’t want my marriage to fail but I do wonder if I would be in a better place if I were by myself. I know it would be too early to stop trying but I want to be at peace, not worried about getting hurt again.

      • Kittypone

        Deeper Thought,
        It’s been 2 years since DDay 2 for me and MANY times I still struggle to decide whether to stay or to go….trust is flimsy most days, and some issues are nuclear as far as triggers go….so, don’t feel like you’re not “on par for the course” regarding recovery….it takes time, and effort and unless your h is on the same page as you and truly wanting to change and be a better person, this will continue to be an uphill battle…do what you feel is best for YOU at this point….focus on YOURSELF and what it takes to heal YOU…..that’s the only thing you have real control over….

      • Hopeful

        We all come into this with different experiences and history. I do not think there is any way to put a timeline on any aspect of this. Recovery is a roller coaster in my eyes. I am 4 1/2 years past dday. Things overall are really good. But it has been a ton of work. The first year was only me processing what had happened and the pain. Even without infidelity marriages/relationships can be a challenge. They are always work and honestly my husband and I feel like it will be part of our story forever. And I do not want him to forget about it. He still thinks about it daily and I think that is good. This past winter we were at a point we were laughing and joking about it. One of his siblings made a comment at Christmas about how amazing we are blah blah blah. When we got home I said that I almost just blurted it all out. And we could not stop laughing since we knew it would have turned Christmas upside down and they have no clue. We do take the betrayal very seriously and it comes up in conversation. It shapes a lot of our feelings and how we move forward.

        My husband is a mental health professional and he said he was not sure on dday if he could change. He told himself to try as hard as he could for six months since that is typically seen as the time frame to make a permanent change. But as he said that is if someone is dedicating all of their energy and in this case then it is just one half you cannot control the other person in the relationship. I found the more I focused on me and felt better the more it inspired my husband to make changes. It was as if he fed off of me. It was rough and took a ton of work.

      • Deeper Thought

        Thank you, Kittypone and Hopeful.
        Getting perspectives from you both helps a lot. The roller coaster of emotions is definitely on point, though this past week was not as bad as before. I understand I need to work on myself first before I worry about what’s next for our marriage. Generally, things seem OK between us. We decided we didn’t get more counseling after the Employee Assessment Program from my H’s work insurance ended. It covered 6 sessions. We learned few things from there but applying what we learned to our daily communication is easier said than done. We both have difficulties in discussing important stuffs. Everything related to his EA, my recovery and my healing are only some of them. We tend to avoid talking about them, even though I want to. The response I got from him was defensiveness and stonewalling. I know I will get the same reaction, so the fear of rejection has been my excuse not to bring it up anymore. It’s hard on me feeling like I’m trying to recover by myself, but if I can’t change the way he sees this matter, then it means it’s up to me to better my well-being.

        Hopeful, sounds like your and your H hard work seem to pay off for your marriage. I can see that when both parties are in the same team, having the same views on tough subjects, on how to fix problems, how to get through difficult times and really put their mind and time on it, they eventually get the good result. It is a goal for me to have a mature, transparent relationship with my H. It will take so much work and sometimes it’s really hard to see if it ever happens, especially when I’m the only one who thinks that we need to change for a better marriage. But I do believe in good things happen to the people who works hard on it, not to those who just wait. I won’t be waiting around for good things to happen, I am starting with myself.

        I think I wrote this few times before, but I will do it again as a reminder for myself. The support from people in the blog is such a huge help. In the roller coaster ride of emotions, it gets tough at the bottom. I doubt the possibility of me being happy again sometimes. Reading everyone’s comments here and getting responses based on their life experiences has really lifted my spirit up. Slowly put my emotion to higher tracks and hopefully keep it longer there.

    • PuttingKidsFirst

      Shiftineimpressions… thank you and yes I have been in individual counseling since January! I have considered getting legal advice and I think at this point I really do not have a choice. Our state requires we be separated for 1 year before divorce so I cant legally file for 9 more months which sucks! Lol we have discussed child custody and he knows that I will be moving the kids and myself 500 miles away as that is where my family lives…he said he will not fight me on this and that he will try to see them once per month. Now if you knew my husband before this affair, the once a month statement would floor you because he did everything with our oldest and they were truly best friends.
      I really feel at this time that my husband is so deep in this that he has no chance of “waking up” or seeing his narcissist AP for what she really is! This whole situation sucks!

      • Shifting Impressions

        He really does sound deep in……who knows what will happen in those nine months. I am so glad you are getting counseling and at the very least getting legal counsel will let you know your rights He might wake up when he realizes you might not be waiting forever….that you have rights and choices as well.

    • leaningonhope

      “Is it really such a challenge to have integrity wherever you go; not just when it is convenient?” Said above by Sarah P.

      That really resonates with me. It’s convenient to hold the door open for someone. It’s not convenient to pay the bills before you spend the money on eating out.
      (those are just small examples)

      “…it’s time to face his inner demon of lust. Until he is able to face that inner demon of lust and really look at the ugliness of it, he will blame you for guilt. You did not cause his guilt; he did because he cannot face up to what he is or what he did. It’s too much cognitive dissonance for him, so he has to blame someone outside of himself.”

      Can you explain more about cognitive dissonance?

      I wish I had the forethought or the quick-reflex or remembrance, or whatever you call it, to record our interactions. I really feel like I’m going crazy sometimes. And I second-guess my responses…”is this an appropriate answer/question/reaction/feeling?”
      “How am I supposed to answer that one?” “What would my counselor say if he was here?”
      “What is the truth about this argument/defensiveness/cold shoulder/poor response/accusation?”
      “Can I even ask him about this/that/the other?”

      For example, the beach incident. It’s been
      2-3 weeks since my h told me about the beach day(s) with his sons. Then last week he told me he ate his lunch (work break) in his van at the beach. So he wasn’t “on” the beach. Just “in the beach parking lot”. Like somehow that makes it acceptable. And if I say something about that, he will accuse me of splitting hairs. Or it’s his fault he has to “stay under lock and key” and “can’t go anywhere or do anything besides work”. (his quotes)
      So he was working again a couple days ago. I (respectfully) reminded him that I am opposed to him eating his lunch at the beach.
      He chuckled, kind of chided me, and said “ok, I know” and then later he told me that he locked himself in his van and shut all the doors and windows and ate his lunch in isolation. I refrained from saying anything. Wasn’t sure what to say. Or how to say it. Didn’t want to say something wrong, or say the right things “in the wrong way”. Because I’m accused of that, too.

      So we have marriage counseling tomorrow. And I want to bring up this beach thing. Counselor hasn’t even heard about it yet and it’s almost “old news” now. And there have been multiple incidents surrounding the same conflict now. Which my h complains that we rehash the same problems over and over… but I can see plainly that they are not resolved, so how can we move on? I don’t know if he can see the same thing. I think he thinks that sweeping it under the rug, or just not mentioning it anymore, makes it all better. Or if I would just accept that this is the way it is, and come over to his way of thinking, we’d be all good. But, to me, his way of thinking is skewed and values/priorities are backwards~
      Debt is acceptable. Mooching is acceptable. Lying is acceptable. Bowing (cowing) to his ex-wife is acceptable. Having wandering eyes (heart- lust) is acceptable.

      I could go on.

      I pray a lot. I ask God to help me see the truth of a matter, to give me the right perspective. To also see where I have erred, so that, going forward, I can respond better. Meaning, respond with truth and not my emotions. I try to ask a lot more questions, to gain better understanding. But most times it seems to not matter. Because his responses are always the same. (I’m not supposed to use “absolutes”, like the word always)
      Most days this is all just overwhelming.

      Thank you ~~

      • Hopeful

        My therapist helped me a lot since a main aspect of our time together was establishing acceptable boundaries and expectations. My therapist basically said my husband had all the freedom he ever wished for our could have for 20+ years and he threw that away with his own poor decision making without consulting me. So now it is what I need to heal and consider staying in our marriage. Our boundaries were really specific. I mean it was call me on the way to work, call me during lunch, call on the way home from work, if his schedule changed he had to call, if he wanted to do anything we had to talk about it who it was with, where, when all the details, he would even make a plan for how much he would drink, etc. Then there were boundaries and expectations at home and between us. Access to all bank accounts, cell phone, emails etc. (except work since it is confidential). This was all very specific. And it was a huge change for him. It was odd since his affairs were sporadic. So when there was no contact things would seem normal/great and then it would be off/odd/different when he had seen one of the ow. But I just told him if he wanted to even have the possibility of us staying married it was not just enough to “not cheat” but it was doing whatever I needed to get better and going forward.

        I know therapy can be hard to cover everything. Does he want to stay married? Have you talked about setting boundaries and expectations or are you not there yet?

        • leaningonhope

          Hi Hopeful,

          My husband says he wants to stay married and work on things. I don’t necessarily see the actions to match those statements. I have suggested that I don’t see his words and actions matching, and he will get angry and defensive, and point out all the things he’s doing to show that he’s trying.
          So one of the ways he says he’s trying is by being transparent about his income and expenses while we are separated. (I am not that way with him; my finances are none of his business.) We have split finances; I live debt-free, except for the small mortgage we have together. He has dug himself into a big debt hole (credit cards, loans) in the last year, since we separated. So more recently he has asked for my help with getting him back on a good financial track and pay off debt.
          My suggestion is he chunk every extra penny onto our loan. Make that the priority next to the high-interest credit card. (I want to be financially unentangled from him.) He wants to pay off all the “smaller debts” first….as I’m writing this I am seeing “the writing on the wall”, so to speak….is he going to try to “stick” me with our loan? After I help him get his finances in order? Hmm….I don’t know what else to say about that…a wave of nausea just hit me….
          In every other way- besides OUR mortgage on MY house- we are legally separated. (I bought the house outright prior to marriage) And that is a whole other story. The loan was to pay for a whole house remodel. He would be the project manager, and he and I would do all the construction. I agreed to sign for the loan, he quit his full time job to remodel the house full time. From the beginning he didn’t work on it full time. Did lots of demolition. Inside and out. Changed plans. Didn’t really finish anything. Put a little back together. I have construction materials and/or various phases of remodel in every room of my house. The outside is part done/undone/disrepair. (I am actually surprised an insurance underwriter hasn’t done a drive-by and sent me a letter of cancellation yet.) Didn’t go get another job for almost 2 years and then it was only part time for 1-1/2 years. So the loan wasn’t used for the house; it was mainly used for living expenses while he was on “stay-cation”.
          I apparently didn’t know him well enough yet when I agreed to this. And we had big plans and dreams. We’d be like the fixer-upper couple….so, looking back, this was a huge indicator that he has severe adhd and who knows what else. And all this demo on my house and then living like this, in this chaos (relationally and logistically) for over 6 years now, I have ptsd symptoms and other physical problems related to stress and insomnia.

          I would hope that our counselor would address the broken trust and boundaries issues. I need him to. He knows that infidelity is in the mix. There has been betrayal in so many other ways- with his kids, his ex, his family…
          I don’t know if my h would agree to the amount of accountability that you describe above. Well. I think he would agree at first, in the counselor’s office, until he decides that he doesn’t agree, and then blame me for agreeing in the first place. I twisted his arm. He was placating me. He was coerced.
          Last week, he agreed to live by a budget for the next month but it only took him 4 days to find something he wanted to buy and then blame me for not being able to spend the money because I’m the one who helped him with the budget. I’m not holding his feet to the fire here, it’s all just written on paper. Not my money. His choice. Instead of looking at his numbers and his own self, he attacks the person- me- instead of the problem.
          So, is that cognitive dissonance??
          Maybe saying he wants to stay married and then living like he doesn’t want to stay married is cognitive dissonance also…

          Have we talked about boundaries and expectations? I would say yes. I don’t even know what to say. My h has a big recurring pattern of not following through with what he says he’s gonna do. So we talk about a boundary or an expectation. And then he/we don’t do it. Because he doesn’t make time. Or changes his mind. We live apart, so we can’t just talk about something later because we might not see each other for days, and we are supposed to talk on the phone every day but he doesn’t call me until 11pm or later. Expectation is that it’s his responsibility to call me. If it was both ways, I would always be calling him.
          Our counselor told us that if we really want to reconcile then it needs to be a priority to move back together. I don’t know. I am thinking so many things right now that I can’t write it all. What about boundaries? What about expectations? What about his delinquent son? What about follow through, keeping your word? Taking responsibility for oneself? Holding a job? What about keeping his ex in her place? What about healing ALL the betrayal, not just the ea? Counselor hasn’t spoken to any of this. Yesterday at counseling we mostly talked about h’s budget, how to break it down, work it backwards….to me, it was a waste of a precious hour of a professional’s and my time. And yes, it is hard to cover things in that hour with our counselor.
          The other caveat is that we lose h’s insurance in about a month, maybe 6 weeks. So that will be the end of counseling. Unless something changes before then. Insurance will be lost due to his job being terminated as a result of one of his many rash decisions with far-reaching repercussions, over the last year(s). Another indicator of adhd? Idk.

          • leaningonhope

            Makes me wonder what it is about myself that, why am I trying so hard?? ….I must be a real idiot. Or in some kind of my own fog.

            • Hopeful

              I don’t agree with your last statement/post. I know I went into my relationship/marriage wanting the best for us. I was not clueless that it would be a lot of work and not all good/happy times. As time has gone on, life, kids, commitment in many ways, paying for education, supporting businesses etc. it is just not easy to leave/walk away. My therapist said the only time that they would not support staying together was in cases of abuse. It was really up to me and for me to figure out what I wanted. My therapist did say I should give it time and not to make any decisions in the middle of it all. I personally decided to make an effort to stay in the marriage. Initially it was only because of our kids. I am not sure what I would have done otherwise. But that kept me in it.

              Do you go to therapy individually? If you are able to find a therapist just for you that might be helpful. I went to therapy alone and it was the best thing for me. This all gets complicated, it is a lot to work through. My therapist was a sounding board for me. My therapist would say you need to expect more from him, what about saying this or I think you are being too rigid. My therapist helped me set my boundaries and expectations. And my therapist worked through several times helping me to figure out if I wanted to stay or leave. I cannot remember if you said if you have told anyone or not. I felt no one would really have the ability to provide what I needed and i knew it would destroy several of our key relationships. Having my therapist there was like having a trusted friend. But someone who was a specialist and who has been through this with thousands of couples. Hang in there!

    • Soul Mate

      Hi Sarah P,
      The Ted Talk video hits home for me. Just the other night I was speaking with my H about how the majority of my life I’ve been drawn to those who were bullied, ignored, abused or picked on for whatever reason. I would embrace people who suffered and feel the need to help them anyway I could to correct their behavior or experience and teach them there is a better way, that there is love in the world. I worry about the whole of humanity and those who are less fortunate sometimes to the point of anxiety. You could say that my ego erupts and I will be drawn by compassion to protect them and help them to the point of giving myself to the situation sometimes to my detriment. I will give before they ask. I will stop in the middle of my conversation to listen to them. I will forgive their abuse and accept that they are ignorant to their actions. I will compel them to do what’s right even when they resent me for it. What I am saying here is I am drawn by the pain of others. It breaks my heart to see those less fortunate in pain. In my heart I did believe that you do undo others as you would have them do for you.
      A good example, if I may, of what I’m trying to express here of this is the conversation I had with my husband about my experience years ago when I took a friend for her birthday to see The Phantom of the Opera. It had always been one of my favorites. I was drawn to the phantom, and identified with his pain and his love for the girl. I saw her boyfriend as the villain and she as an complete abuser. She emotionally entangled herself with the phantom, led him on, then dumped him is the way I saw it. I was crying when my friend and I left the theater and expressed myself to my friend who by the way looked like she was happy the play was over and ready for happy hour. I asked her what she thought about the play and she said this. “That man (the phantom) is a stalker. Who would make a horrible play about a monster who stalked a woman to her death?” I was speechless. I could not understand why she could not identify with what I saw happening right there on the stage. How could she not see what I saw or feel the pain the phantom felt when he was betrayed by the one he loved. He devoted himself to her, even after she died. That the girl, I forget her name, was willing to see the phantom destroyed by her lover. I hated her, and I thought how very selfish and evil she was. But, my friend had a very good point. What it was, perplexed me for a very long time. Why did I not see what she did? That she saw the phantoms insanity over his love turn so violent and controlling.

      Here is my question to you Sarah and to all of us who are willing to stay after being betrayed; Is it that we the betrayed are prone to be too selfless, to altruistic and uncaring of “ourselves” in our experiences with others whom we love that their welfare and well being is all we live for? Are we drawn by others pain to avoid having to think about our own? What drives us to the brink of the insanity when we are betrayed? Is it because we have dedicated our very core to others to the extent that all of what we think and feel is love and accomplishment in ourselves is reflected by the actions of our loved ones? Because we would never treat another, most importantly the one we have dedicated our fidelity to, our very life to, the way we would not want to be treated that we still feel the need to compel those who have betrayed us to stay? Thinking we are the only ones who can heal them to our ultimate goal as we have no goal for ourselves other than caring for them because we know what is ultimately true and right for them? Or is it that we have become so lost in our own soul by caring for others that we no longer identify with our own spirit? Our needs, our happiness, our well being.
      For me, I believe it is time to let go of the thought that if I love and care for others hard enough, it will solve all of the problems in the world, in my family, in my marriage because that in and of itself is selfish. It has kept me a prisoner for the better part of my life. I cannot control others actions. Nor do I want to any longer. Whether I love them or not. I cannot fix anyone anymore. I told my husband at the end of our conversation about the Phantom of the Opera, that now it is time for me to discover myself, to love myself and live my life for me. And for me that means not being afraid to let go of that which I cannot control. And that gives me peace. And for him a goal to be in this relationship freely to pursue his happiness with me as long as we BOTH want it.


      • leaningonhope

        Hi Soul Mate,

        Thank you for sharing so much detail. It also amazes me how two people can look at the same thing and see it so differently. Different filters. Different perception.

        Last night, I read the lists of codependent behaviors in the book, Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie. What you just described is all over those lists. Wow. And I could, myself, relate to way too many of those behaviors/attitudes….


        I am currently not seeing an individual therapist. I don’t have insurance. I tried talking to someone from my church (free) but that didn’t work so well. I felt they were unwilling to listen to my story, not considering the details/nuances of our relationship. I felt “talked at” instead of listened to. Forgiveness = doormat. No accountability. I didn’t agree.
        Trusted friend…I have one, really. But the caution I have about sharing is that friends make these blanket statements like, “just leave him”, or “you don’t need a man”, when they are married and I wonder what would they do if they were in my shoes? It’s not an easy decision to make. If you are financially entangled, like I am, you can’t just walk away without serious monetary repercussions. I have to be wise. Half the time I don’t know what wise is though!

        Thank you all for all your helpful dialog!

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Soul Mate and my sincere apologizes to all because I have not been in the forums. I have spent the past week trying to save the life of the (canine) love of my life. Yesterday was my birthday and he died at 3:30am on my birthday morning. How is that for a birthday present? I am speechless. This was a rescue dog. When I came along, his owners had broken his jaw and left him in a cage – all alone – to starve to death. I purchased him, has his jaw repaired, and then I worked on repairing his soul. He was 3.5 years old when I rescued him. The vet told me that he could repair the jaw but his soul was so damaged and “checked out” from the abuse he has suffered that he would never be a “normal dog” under the vet’s definition. His jaw was repaired and his soul was restored. I restored his soul to the point that he naturally turned into a dog that had compassion and love for all. He helped me through the darkest times of part of my life. And he died yesterday on my birthday. I am in a deep grief state right now, so I apologize for my absence.

        But, I did want to answer this comment. When I was 14, I started training as an opera singer. I did not want to be a professional singer,; I just wanted to be able to sing in church. Singing is also deeply healing and I wanted to have a singing voice that could soothe others. Long story short, I can sing all of Phantom of the Opera from start to finish. LOL. But, on a serious note, the story of the Phantom of the Opera has always struck my heart. It’s my favorite musical. I was 13 when it came out and it was what inspired me to want to take opera lessons. I was lucky enough to train with a famous, but retired opera singer.

        And maybe one day I will produce an album for all EAJ readers of folk songs and sacred songs. The goal would be to use only healing songs and it would be a free download.

        But, back to Phantom.

        This is a story that contains some very powerful archetypes that have been around since the dawn of mankind. These archetypes existed when we only had oral traditions and no written languages. The reason such stories are powerful is because the deepest parts of our soul can connect to these archetypes and we can relate to them. Stories about all the complicated facets of human nature make us feel less alone. These are the seven major story archetypes. Now, for any writers out there, we know there are many more, but this is the basic list:

        Overcoming the Monster.
        Rags to Riches.
        The Quest.
        Voyage and Return.

        However, Phantom of the Opera has these archetypes. I am referring to the first Phantom and NOT the sequel, which I have not seen:

        The Phantom of the Opera (Original)

        Christine – She is a starlet, an ingenue, and sometimes fragile waif. She lost her father early and she is young and on her own. She is imaginative and a talented singer. She has no ill intentions, but her naivety play a role in the drama.

        Raoul – Christine’s childhood friend with whom she reconnects when she takes the stage as an adult, singing for the first time. He falls in love with her and serves as a protector. He is sweet, an old-fashioned gentleman, and wealthy.

        The Phantom – The Anti-Hero

        Technically, the Phantom plays the role of the anti-hero who is there as an antagonist and who also creates a love triangle of sorts. Many see the Phantom as the villain, but that is NOT how I perceive him. I perceive him as a musical genius with tremendous talent. He loves music and wishes to share it with the world. However, he cannot share it with the world due to his ALLEGEDLY deformed face, which he covers with a mask. He is able to share his love through training Christine to be an opera singer. She is the beauty; thus acceptable to mainstream society. In this way, Christine and the Phantom are deeply connected. The Phantom is relegated by a CRUEL and heartless society to live in the underground labyrinths of Paris. He is “not acceptable” due to his appearance. In reality, the Phantom is an underdog. The phantom desires to give his beautiful music to the world; but society has rejected him based on their perception of his appearance. As a human being – he also desires to be loved and to connect with another human. Remember, he is not a true phantom; he is a human with a disfigured face who other humans have chosen to despise and isolate solely due to his face. He remains all alone, in the dark, writing his music that no one will ever hear… until Christine comes along. The Phantom finds a way to connect with another human, through music, while also revealing his beautiful music to the world, through Christine’s voice.

        I first saw the stage play at 18. I am now middle-aged and my view remains the same. In the Phantom of the Opera, it is actually the snobbery of the Parisian aristocracy who are the villains.


        The Phantom of the Opera did nothing to these people. One day his face was disfigured and he was sent deep underground. People spread rumors about him, make him out to be a scary figure who wants to harm others, and this causes him to stay deeper underground. The people of Paris have become so scared of him due to rumors that if he surfaces, they will hunt him down.

        If I had written the musical, I would have written it to have Christine see the inner-beauty of the Phantom. I would write the ending so that she protects him and then takes a stand by brining him above ground. I would have Christine tell the audience they are the only monsters in this story. Then, I would have a happy ending where the audience has insight and Christine and the Phantom are able to be onstage together. She could sing and he would play his organ. The people of Paris would realize that appearances are misleading and that some of the most beautiful souls may not have the most beautiful faces.

        I am someone who cares about the soul of a person and not their face or body. I have always been this way.

        Now let me answer some of soul mate’s questions. Soul Mate said:

        “Here is my question to you Sarah and to all of us who are willing to stay after being betrayed; Is it that we the betrayed are prone to be too selfless, to altruistic and uncaring of “ourselves” in our experiences with others whom we love that their welfare and well being is all we live for? Are we drawn by others pain to avoid having to think about our own? What drives us to the brink of the insanity when we are betrayed? Is it because we have dedicated our very core to others to the extent that all of what we think and feel is love and accomplishment in ourselves is reflected by the actions of our loved ones? Because we would never treat another, most importantly the one we have dedicated our fidelity to, our very life to, the way we would not want to be treated that we still feel the need to compel those who have betrayed us to stay? Thinking we are the only ones who can heal them to our ultimate goal as we have no goal for ourselves other than caring for them because we know what is ultimately true and right for them? Or is it that we have become so lost in our own soul by caring for others that we no longer identify with our own spirit? Our needs, our happiness, our well being.
        For me, I believe it is time to let go of the thought that if I love and care for others hard enough, it will solve all of the problems in the world, in my family, in my marriage because that in and of itself is selfish.”

        My analysis. Soul Mate, you are an empath. Being an empath is a GIFT because someone in this great, big world must care for those outside of themselves. Empaths can get labeled as codependents.

        The literature on codependency is changing. In the late 80’s, if we were not rugged and individualistic, we were labeled as codependent.

        The research has changed and we have neurology, biochemistry, psychology, and anthropology to guide us in a new direction.

        Here is the bottom line: Human beings are WIRED to connect. It is hard-wired into our brains. We are hard-wired to live in close-knit groups. The anthropologists say that optimally, people would live in villages of only 150 people. 150 is the magic number. After that, a village or society will fall apart.

        Our planet is speeding towards 8 billion people. Many live in dense cities. The paradox is that millions of people can live in a city and interpersonal connection stops. People lose empathy. They fear strangers. They hate crowds. They put their noses into their phones and never look up.

        Humans were NOT designed to live this way. Our technology is outpacing our ability to adapt. In this current social climate, I believe having a tight knit family , a tight-knit club with people who share your hobbies, and a tight knit place of worship is essential. It doesn’t matter what religion it is OR if it’s a Buddhist Temple or some other philosophy. Having some spiritual component to life is essential. BIG CAVEAT: One can be deeply spiritual and not religious. One can be deeply spiritual and NOT attend organized religions. For example, I study all religions; I have been spiritual my whole life; and I do not attend any denomination of anything. I don’t like being put in a box. My beliefs are simple: God is a force of unconditional love and spending time outside in nature is a remedy for the soul. I meditate and pray several times a day, usually outside in my garden. Sometimes I do a “walking meditation.” That just means I will take a walk in a natural setting and meditate.

        Now, where do we draw the line between ourselves and others:

        1) We are responsible for ourselves as well as any vulnerable individuals such as small children and grandchildren. We are also responsible for animals.

        2) In healthy relationships, friendship is a process of giving and taking. When one friend is down, their friend pulls them up. When the person who “pulled up” is down, the friend that used to be down pulls them up. It’s a mutual support system.

        3) If one friend takes, takes, takes, and disappears the moment you have a need, this is not a friendship and it is not healthy. It will drain you.

        4) We can only control ourselves; however, we can still influence our environment. We can influence our environment by setting boundaries that are for our highest good and sticking to those boundaries.

        5) In the case of a cheating spouse; if they make a choice, then you make a choice. Your spouse spends the night in a hotel with someone? Have the locks to the house changed over night. If your spouse wants to come back, you tell them they will pay to get the locks re-done, break off the affair in front of you, and enter counseling. Until they do that, they can sleep in their car. Then you must stick to that boundary.

        6) We can only solve the problems that directly affect us. I cannot tell you how many nights I wasted thinking about what to do about the Brazilian rainforest, world poverty, ending animal cruelty, getting crooked politicians OUT of power, and worrying about WW3. I learned worrying changes nothing. We must get our house in order in all ways: financially, emotionally, spiritually, and then we can set money aside to donate to causes. I had to stop watching the news because 99% of it was nothing I could directly help with. When I see something I can help with, I spring into action.

        The best example of that is this blog. This is a place where people can in essence get free guidance on how to navigate all aspects of infidelity. I can affect change in this way and I can reach into the lives of many people I would not meet on a daily basis. I write for this blog because I care for every reader, even if we have not met. I care deeply about all of you, or I would not be here. I want to save one family at a time and this blog allows me to do this.

        I do not charge Doug and Linda for my blog posts. This is my heart’s work. I don’t want any one else to be where I was when I was devastated by infidelity, I write for others what would have been my lifeline at the time. This blog is free because I want to ensure everyone has access to professional advice, regardless of their financial situation. many people cannot afford therapy and so this blog is a free way for people to work through infidelity. Again, this is my heart’s work. It gives me meaning. This is where I can make a huge change in the world and so I focus my energy on what I can change. I can help people with their suffering at any time of day or night through this blog.

        Soul Mate, I love how you concluded your comment because you are spot on. You said:

        “It has kept me a prisoner for the better part of my life. I cannot control others actions. Nor do I want to any longer. Whether I love them or not. I cannot fix anyone anymore. I told my husband at the end of our conversation about the Phantom of the Opera, that now it is time for me to discover myself, to love myself and live my life for me. And for me that means not being afraid to let go of that which I cannot control. And that gives me peace. And for him a goal to be in this relationship freely to pursue his happiness with me as long as we BOTH want it.”

        Soul Mate, those are golden words. These are the epiphanies people some have and if and when they do, it opens a whole new world of opportunity. We must love our selves. Part of loving ourselves is letting go of attempting to control the outcome with our spouses. We must love ourselves and get to the point where we love ourselves so much, we will no longer tolerate bad behavior on the part of our spouse or others.

        Now, there is always room for compassion.

        I am speaking specifically about how betrayed spouses can find peace with their cheating spouses .

        Give your compassion to all those people in the world who actually cannot take care of themselves and who are in your area. For example, animals shelters always need volunteers to help get pets adopted. People in nursing homes need company. Children in children’s hospitals need love and care from volunteers and their parents especially need a compassionate volunteer to speak with. Those are the types of situations we can give ourselves to: the ones where people or animals actually need us due to illness or vulnerability. Giving ourselves to activities that change the lives of others also creates self-love and self-esteem within us. We connect with others who need us. As we see how we help them, we are able to love ourselves better but we are also able to get reacquainted with ourselves and find out what we really want and need in life.

        This is a very looong comment and I realize it in rambling. But, Soul Mate, you have got this. You are on track and it’s awesome.

        How is everyone doing? Let’s all rejoice for soul mate because any time one of us gets clarity and profound insight and shares it, we all benefit from the collective wisdom of one another.

        I deeply appreciate all of you! You are all wise in your own right and each of you are essential.

        Much love,

    • Soul mate

      Hi Sarah,
      I am so sorry to hear about your canine companion. I know how painful it is to loose a fur baby as I have had many through out my life and still do. Both of the furry and feathery kind.

      Thank you much for your continued support and compassion for all of us. I can say for myself you have been a guiding light for me in reading your many blogs on this site.

      Peace to you and your family!

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