An interview with an unfaithful wife: Asking the most requested reader questions.

an unfaithful wife

By Linda & Doug

A couple of years ago we did some interviews with unfaithful women.  Some of them didn’t want to be interviewed over the phone, but agreed to answer several questions in writing. 

What follows is a sampling of some of the questions that were asked of  an unfaithful wife, “Sara” and may give you an idea of the mindset that many unfaithful women and men have that lead up to – and during – their affairs.

All of the questions asked were derived from our surveys of our readers.  So, they are YOUR questions. 

The entire interview is part of the Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful program and is too long to post (over 7000 words), but you can download a copy of the entire interview with Sara in PDF format here.

Here we go… 

Tell us a little about your affair story.  What type of affair was it? How did it start? Who pursued who? How long did it last? Is it still going on? etc.  

The affair was between a co-worker and I, who was also a friend of my husband’s. He and his wife hung out with us and other friends on a regular basis, I also watched their children when they would go on date nights. We knew each other for about 2 years before things turned…

I started working a lot because money was tight, I had just been promoted to a new position and worked in a different department that worked closely with his department. At first, we just became very close friends, he would notice if I was having a bad day and ask what was wrong.  At first, I wouldn’t open up but then I began to share some problems at home that we were having. He would offer some suggestions/advice/support and then began telling me about his own marital issues.

Things just didn’t seem to improve between either of us. He began pursuing me, I remember thinking to myself that I would never EVER cheat on my husband… things weren’t great but I wasn’t going to do anything that would make it worse. He was very persistent, but to be honest I did enjoy the attention- I wasn’t getting any at home.

Then it just sort of snowballed… we were spending a lot of time together at work and then would see each other if our families got together and we began to develop feelings for each other. The whole affair lasted about 6 months- 2 of those months it was emotional and then things turned physical.

When the Affair Partners Work Together

Did you share your (if any) unhappiness in your marriage with your husband before you had the affair?

My husband and I had so many discussions (read: arguments) about reasons we were unhappy. The main things we could never agree on were our finances (my husband is a spender, I’m a saver.  

I always felt like I was the bad guy for telling him that we couldn’t go out to eat sometimes or buy something that he wanted or do this or that with our friends because we needed to save money, but he was never responsible enough to do that sort of thing for himself), help around the house (I work full time, he quit his job to go back to school, I would come home and be expected to cook and serve him dinner, clean the kitchen, keep up with laundry and housework- but he rarely helped out if I asked for a hand), and intimacy (I felt that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore- he would jokingly call me “chunky” or make fun of my cupcake obsession (I was also guilty of this banter towards him however it was very rare).  He also would jokingly comment about how attractive the girls at his college were…

See also  Erasing the Fantasy After the Affair

I did know that he was “kidding,” but after hearing it enough times, and pair that with the fact that he didn’t want to have sex with me whenever I tried initiating it, a girl starts to think he really does mean what he says.

So I lost 15 pounds in hopes that he would pay more attention to me/ be attracted to me again. One day after work I went to the store and bought new lingerie, went home and changed (he had been home from school and was playing video games on the couch in the living room) I walked out to surprise him, started walking toward him and began trying to get him to come to the bedroom and he says “can you get out of the way?” Literally the most unwanted I have ever felt. It was after that that things began to intensify in the affair.

How and why did it end?

His wife found text messages between the two of us on his phone. She sent them to my husband.

How to End an Affair – The Right Way

Have you had any contact with him since?

The first two days after it was found out, we tried to lie and say that nothing had actually happened, that we had just been sexting. We talked in secret trying to figure out what to do to cover it up. I knew that eventually everything would come to light so I told him that we needed to be truthful about the whole thing from then on out.

When I told him that we had a long talk about what would happen after we told the truth… I honestly don’t remember what all was said during that talk but I do remember that he “jokingly” suggested that we run off together but I knew that’s not what I wanted. We cut off all contact with both of them after that and haven’t spoken since.

The Most Often Asked Question from Betrayed Husbands of an Unfaithful Wife…

“Why? How could you betray me? Did you stop to think about the pain this would cause me and your children?” What lead to you straying so far that you had an affair?

I think that the biggest factor was having a very persistent man interested in me. But I can’t just blame the whole thing on him.  I take full responsibility for my actions and I knew the whole time that it was wrong. I had shot him down multiple times before but he never let up, I eventually just gave in.

Looking back, I should have been more firm with him and put my foot down from the get-go (being stern when he flirted or made inappropriate comments instead of just laughing it off), but during that time I was very vulnerable- I felt like my husband was only with me because of what I could do FOR him (pay the bills, cook, clean, do his homework, etc.) – not because he loved ME.

See also  How to Cheat on Your Spouse Without Feeling Guilty

I had also been off of my birth control for a couple of months so that I could lose weight and my hormones were all out of whack. So, there were a lot of factors that went in to that terrible decision but the common denominator is me.  Had I been stronger willed and had a clearer head when all of that was going on, I believe I would have handled things much differently.

Affair Recovery Requires You to Know Your Deepest Needs

Was the affair more about emotional needs or sexual needs? Please explain…

We did have sex multiple times, and it did “meet my need” for that, but for me it was more about having emotional needs met.  I felt that he understood me when I would voice my concern about things that bothered me. When I would try to do that at home, I would get yelled at and told that if I didn’t like the way things were I should just leave. To me that says “I don’t care about your feelings enough to change what I’m doing that hurts them, so I’d rather just get a divorce than work on things.”

It seemed like we were “on the same page” about every issue- maybe he was just trying to be agreeable to convince me to sleep with him, but to me it felt like honest consideration for my feelings- something I hadn’t experienced since my own husband and I had been fighting so much.

What did you feel you were getting from the relationship that your husband couldn’t provide?

Mostly attention.  It sounds immature, but when you’re busting your ass to make sure that your bills get paid, being gone to work 10-12 hours a day, then having to come home and cook dinner, feed the dogs, clean up the kitchen, do laundry, and your husband’s homework while he plays video games… it’s pretty sad feeling like your only objective in life is to attend to all of his needs without him reciprocating any of the time or effort you put in to the relationship.

I loved my husband so much and tried so hard to be a good wife to him… even lost weight so that hopefully he would be more attracted to me, but he didn’t even seem to care. I felt like a maid or his mom rather than his wife- even did way more things for him than our other friend’s wives did for their husbands but he was so ungrateful and didn’t recognize what it was doing to me. It was exhausting. And I allowed so much bitterness build up toward him and didn’t have a way to deal with it. The affair became an escape from all of the stress that I felt at home.

Why Do Women Cheat? It Is Not For the Reasons You Might Think

Do you feel that you loved your husband during the affair?

Yes, I have always loved him. I just think that I was extremely annoyed and upset with his behavior and unwillingness to change that so much resentment built up and I allowed some outsider to step in and distract me from actually working on my own marriage to improve it.

See also  Stupid Things I’ve Done After the Emotional Affair

Do you want to stay married? Why?  Why not leave for the affair partner or just leave to be on your own?

I want to stay married because I love my husband. I love the life we have built together and the memories that we share. I love our friends and the activities we do together. This was a very, very stupid mistake because I know that we are supposed to be together, Even though things weren’t perfect, I feel like I ruined a good thing. If we divorced, everything would change for both of us, our lives would be flipped upside down.

As an unfaithful wife, do you feel that you blame (or blamed) your husband for your affair?  Please explain.

I wouldn’t say that I “blamed” him for the affair, but I do think that I have used what he did in the relationship and how he treated me as a defense for what I did, which is totally unfair to him. No matter how bad things got, having an affair should never have been an option.

Sure, he wasn’t “holding up his end of the deal” when it came to our marriage and responsibilities, but two wrongs don’t make a right, and certainly not in this situation. It almost negates all of the “good” that I did pre-affair, because it’s like no matter what I did before (or even what I try to do now), I still cheated, I still broke our vows, I still shattered the bond and trust that we had and it has and will take so much work to get that back.

What to Say When a Wayward Spouse Blames You for the Affair

What are you struggling with most since the discovery of your affair?

Seeing how much I hurt my husband is the number one thing. I spent so much time before the affair thinking that I was this perfect wife that was doing all this stuff for a husband who didn’t care at all, was ungrateful, unappreciative, didn’t do anything for me, and was SO SELFISH. Then I did the most selfish thing I could have ever done by having the affair.

I also struggle with this pretense that since I cheated on my husband that I am the scum of the earth, I’m heartless and a terrible person who has no regard for other’s feelings. And at one point I guess I really was, but the steps I’m taking now to make things right help me to feel a little bit better about the situation. I know I could have just left, gotten a divorce and moved on with my life leaving my husband to pick up the pieces of his broken heart. I like to think I’m at least just a little bit better than the absolute scum of the earth since at least I am staying and trying to pick up the pieces with him and help him heal.

Click here to download a copy of the entire interview with Sara (PDF).


    9 replies to "Q&A With An Unfaithful Wife"

    • Frosty

      Absolute nonsense

    • Christopher Gardiner

      Okay all women please listen up (if I come off as condescending or a know it all please forgive me for that is not my intention, no I’m just a poor writer):
      The “Feminist movement” is one of the most evil things ever perpetrated against the family unit and people in general. The Feminist movement was funded by and created by the ROCKEFELLERS ..Below are some of the reasons why:
      (1) They had to find away to tax the other half of the world’s population
      (2) They wanted to break up the family unit. (a house or family CANNOT stand if they are divided)
      (3) Their Satanic “Scientists” found out the the earlier that they could get a child into school (THE PRUSSIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM consisting of an eight hour day) the better chance their indoctrination would take root

      Do you realize how many divorces, separations, physical assaults, alienated husbands, depressed mothers the feminists movement ushered in.. and lets not forget the children. You see with father and mother out in the workforce no one was there to raise up a kind, compassionate, loving, God fearing, spiritual and intelligent child. That is what “they” wanted, for the federal government to become the children’s parent

      Now women have been working outside of the home since Adam and Eve (women worked harder in most cases). But working here and there to make the ends meet is one thing.. but what the rabble-rousers of the feminist movement told mothers and women in general was ” GO GET YOURSELF A CAREER”

      A career is not the same thing as work.. Please I pray to the God of Abraham that you read His Word the KJV bible and research what I wrote here for yourselves

    • David

      I read this post a few months ago and dismissed it as rubbish. It’s been 6-months since I discovered my wife was having an affair with her boss. It’s been a 6-month emotional roller coaster ride that I hope will eventually come to a stop. Re-reading this post, in my current and more stable emotional state, I appreciate Sara’s perspective have compassion for her situation.

      My wife and I are trying to repair our relationship, and we are stuck in this spiral where I need to talk about the affair and my wife reluctantly agrees, but clearly has no interest in truly opening up. I interpret her reluctance and defensiveness as “fence-sitting”, which triggers more pain and more hurt. This spirals further because she pulls back when she senses I’m hurt, which is the opposite of what I need. On top of all that, I still have raw trauma and flashbacks from seeing the texts on her phone, knowing they were together intimately, and knowing the affair didn’t end immediately. I know these flashbacks will subside over time, but it further complicates a very delicate period in our recovery.

      Lately I’ve been trying to put myself in my wife’s situation because I wanted to understand why she and I were following the same predictable behavioral script every therapist describes for couples going through our situation. Why does every betrayed spouse want to face the affair head-on, and why does every betraying spouse want to avoid the topic?

      When I try and put myself in the position of the unfaithful spouse, I imagine how I would feel if my deepest, darkest, and most regrettable actions were made public to my spouse and then became the entire focus of our day-to-day relationship. I ask myself what would it feel like to see the person I love crushed by something I intentionally did, and something I can’t begin to explain? I imagine looking at pictures of happier times as a family and feeling like my bad decisions created a cloud that will forever hang over our memories. I wonder how it would feel to suddenly realize every justification I built up in my mind to sustain the affair was immediately revealed as a shallow lie. None of this considers the emotional toll stemming from my wife having actual feelings for this person. In addition, as a result of the affair she walked away from a job she loved that gave her a sense of purpose.

      When I try to put myself in her position, I can understand why she wants to keep her feelings and emotions bottled up. I can understand why, when she sees me hurting, her reaction is to pull back. It makes sense that she would look at me and believe I will never get over this, and how she will always be reminded of her mistake and always feel like a horrible person.

      As the betrayed spouse, it’s easy to get caught up in the notion that we are entitled to every feeling and should expect our spouse to respond to our every need in the exact moment we need it. There is no question the betraying spouse must play a significant role in healing the pain they caused. However, the betrayed spouse has to be empathetic to the fact that their spouse is dealing with their own emotions, which in many ways are the exact opposite of our emotions.

      To those who are working through their own experience with infidelity, it’s important to remember we interpret things through the lens of our current emotional state. I remember reading this post a few months ago and dismissing it as cheater propaganda, yet today I have compassion for the cheater. If my response to this post can change so dramatically in a few months, then what subtle emotional changes is my wife experiencing?

      • Mike

        Dude. I’ve been through it. LONG time ago. I have to be honest…. she’s not worth it. If you stay with her another 50 years, the day you, or she dies, she will still be the person who was capable of betraying you.

        Don’t be afraid to go find a wife who won’t do that.

        • Shaun

          Amen. I’m with you. I think most betrayed men that stay on a deep subconscious level also feel unworthy of anyone but their cheating pos of a wife. Mine put me through hell and humiliated me and abandoned me with a foster child.

          Over time I’ve come to see what she did as a blessing. Cheaters always overplay their hand. I give this woman credit where it’s due. They almost never sound like her.

      • Mary

        Hi David, I wish I could know how you guys are doing now? Everything exactly how you described it is how I feel. I cry typing this because I feel the exact same way you are describing your POV on your wife, and me as the unfaithful woman…… I essentially dont know what to do. when you are hurt what do you need your wife to do? Also pls what did you do or are you doing for yourself? Are you guys still together? am so sorry for what you are going through. I thoroughly mean that… pls dont listen to the naysayers. Everyone is different and maybe their spouses were not sincere it definitely doesn’t mean yours isn’t. I wish you guys the very best and I hope n pray you both made it through.

        • David

          Mary – Happy to provide an update, and terribly sorry to hear about your situation. How long since the affair was discovered? Have you stopped all communication and contact with the AP? My wife and I are still together and doing much better. If I had to chunk out our recovery, it was 9 months dealing with the shock and initial pain. It was another 9 months to work with a marriage counselor and get through the forgiveness stage. We’re now in the healing phase, which is basically learning to love again as a couple. We’re not fully past all the trauma. It’s still tough, but I’m glad neither of us threw in the towel.

          Here are some general observations about the process. First, many couples decide the affair is the straw that broke the marriage and get divorced. It’s huge if both spouses decide the marriage is worth saving. The process is incredibly hard. Find comfort knowing you and your spouse believe the marriage is worth fixing. Second, whatever happens will happen and you’ll be fine. Affair recovery is hard, and I’m sure divorce is hard. Regardless of which hard path you find yourself, either by your choice or your husbands, you will be fine in the long run. Third, recovery is not a straight line. There will be steps forward, then steps backward. It is challenging, confusing and often disheartening. There’s no way to avoid it. Keep focused on the fact that marriage is worth saving.

          Pain Phase – I was an emotional yo-yo. My wife had to deal with these ups and downs, which I know wasn’t easy. Prepare yourself to watch your husband suffer and know there’s little you can do to make that easier. Prepare yourself to be monitored and tracked constantly, which won’t be easy. There will likely be times you think the “punishment” far far exceeds the “crime”. Looking back, I wasn’t legitimately concerned my wife was up to no good, I just wanted to have some sense of control. If you haven’t yet, share all your passwords. Get off social media. Do everything you can to provide your husband with peace of mind that you are 100% sincere about minimizing his pain and hurt. At the same time, expect none of your efforts to be recognized or appreciated. Answer all his questions whenever he asks them, and prepare to be asked the same question over and over. Be completely honest. Hiding information will only make it harder in the long run.

          Forgiveness Phase – This will be much harder on you than your husband. because therapy will focus 100% on the affair. Affairs don’t happen in a vacuum. There are usually issues in the marriage that pre-date the affair, but unfortunately none of that gets discussed initially. The best thing you can do in this phase, is attend therapy and be a willing participant. You will feel the need to provide context about the affair. When you do, don’t explain the affair in relation to anything your husband did or didn’t do in the marriage. You need to fully own your actions and help him forgive you, before the two of you can have an honest conversation about what was wrong with the marriage pre-affair. I knew our marriage wasn’t perfect before the affair, and I was willing to hear my wife’s assessment of our problems. However, it was tough to hear anything negative about me or my role in the marriage that occurred after she had an emotional connection with her boss / affair partner. Be mindful of this when you are in therapy. Like I said, I was willing to own my short-comings in the marriage. However, once she was emotionally connected to someone else, I felt like she was looking for reasons to find fault with me as a husband.

          Healing Phase – This is the eggshell phase, because both of you have been walking on eggshells for so long you’re stuck in a mode of analyzing everything said (and not said). Every mode change by either person is interpreted through the trauma of the affair. For example, if I look “serious” while sitting on the couch and don’t laugh at a TV show, my wife assumes I’m mad at her about the affair. In reality, I just had a stressful day at work and don’t find the show funny. I don’t have any advice on this phase because I’m still in it.

          I hope this helps on some level. I sent and email to Doug and Linda under a different name, which they posted on this blog. It’s titled something like “6 observations that made affair recovery possible”. I sent that shortly after we started working with a therapist. Look for that blog post.

          Good luck. You are human. You made a mistake. You will not be defined by this mistake, so please take care of yourself. You and your husband can get passed this and this doesn’t define who you are as a person or who you both are as a couple.

    • Juno Gree

      First of all, I’m seeing a lot of these affairs are really about one’s feelings on on it makes them feel good. It’s all about me me me and not a lot about the real issues. Which is “self pleasure” women cheat because they want more pleasure for themselves and they are only regrettable when they are caught. They don’t actually have remorse and they don’t actually love their husbands until they are caught. If she really loved her husband she would not cheat. If it is really bad then go to couples counseling or get a divorce, but to do something in secret to get your rocks off is never cool and completely selfish. Shows like Sex/ life on Netflix would have you believe that this is women’s empowerment. It’s really not. It’s you being selfish and an adulterer.

    • Sarah

      Great insight from a highly self-aware and humble woman. I like that she acknowledges and takes responsibility for having done wrong and is willing to do the right thing and stay married.

      My question is what could she have done to avoid the affair in the first place — because she was clearly married to an effeminate man. I can see how having an affair undermined her position, because it made her the bad guy. What could she have done instead that would have kept her in a righteous position and gotten her needs met by her husband? I don’t just mean sexually, but as a provider of the home. The idea of a grown man playing video games, being in school and having homework (or his wife does it for him, as the article says) is nauseating to me. On top of that he couldn’t control his extravagant spending, so not only was she working extra to pay the bills, she was the one having to budget too. What can a wife do with a husband like this? No wonder she folded when a “real man” was breathing down her neck all day.

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