Recovering from an affair and working on the marriage are two separate things – and there are no quick fixes for either!

recovering from an affair


By Linda

A couple of weeks ago our 5-year “anti-versary” (as Doug likes to call it) of D-day came and went.  It was a good day. It was a day that was no different than the previous day. 

It was a good day because nothing happened.  No triggers.  No emotional thoughts.  No need to talk about the affair.  Nothing. 

Obviously that wasn’t always the case for me and I’m sure it is not the case with many of you.  Depending on where you are in your recovery process and how far out from D-day you may be, you could be living with the painful situation and memories on pretty much a continual basis.

I guess you could say that we are lucky and that we’re different from most other couples who experience infidelity in that we came through it with a stronger relationship than we’ve ever had.  I’m not so sure that luck had anything to do with it, though.

Recovering from an Affair and Working on Your Marriage are Two Separate Things

Our better marriage actually has very little to do with the affair.  We now have this wonderful marriage because we both made the commitment to strengthen our relationship through knowledge, communication and the willingness to do so. 

Couples need to understand that affair recovery and working on the marriage are two separate things.  Affair recovery deals with all of the aspects of the betrayal and trying to come back to the marriage after all that has been taken away.  It is about rebuilding the foundation of the marriage all over again, basically from scratch. 

Building and strengthening our marriage foundation was more about communicating what we needed and what we both envisioned for our marriage, and working toward common goals. 

See also  7 Tips For Backing Off After the Affair

In the beginning I felt that we (me!) tried to both fix our marriage and deal with the betrayal at once.  Looking back, that was way too much to handle.  I came to realize that the beginning stages of healing and recovery are all about survival and rebuilding trust.  Once that is in the works and the betrayed spouse begins to feel safe, then the couple can work on their marriage. 

This is why it can be such a long process with many ups and downs.  In most cases (when each partner wants to save the marriage), both partners want to move on and have the kind of marriage they have been hoping for, however the foundation needs to be rebuilt first – and that takes a lot of time.  During this time both must be patient and positive as they work through the process.  It is OK to have a vision but be aware that it will take time and work to get there.

Lost and Living in Fear

Every day we get emails from people – usually betrayed spouses who have either just experienced their D-day or who are less than six months or so from it.  They usually are in a state of confusion, stress and severe emotional pain.  They have no clue how they will ever manage to get over the betrayal, much less manage to rebuild their damaged relationship. These people want to know what they should do and how to deal with a cheating spouse and if it isn’t better to just give up.  They’re lost and they are living in fear. 

If you’re a betrayed spouse, you know what I’m talking about.  We’ve all been down that road.

See also  A Reader’s Final Thoughts on Her Affair Recovery

What is also typical is that many of these people are searching for and hoping that there is a quick fix.  That’s completely understandable – I felt the same way – and I sure wish that one existed, but there isn’t any quick fix that I know of. 

Even if you have no desire to save your marriage and you kick the cheater out immediately, get divorced right away and move to another city, you’re still going to have the emotional fallout to contend with for quite some time.

There is No Quick Fix to Healing and Recovering from an Affair

Sure there are cases where people heal quickly – perhaps a year or less – but I think it’s safe to say that this is not typically the case.  Why is that?  Why does it take so long to heal?

Most experts say that it can take from two to five years to heal.  Now, I really believe that it’s best not to put set timelines on things since we all heal differently and at different speeds.  Besides who has the right to tell us how long we should take to get over the pain?  The important thing is that you are moving forward and there is progress over time.

However, we have found in our discussions with couples, that the healing time can be shortened if help is found fairly soon after D-day.  Help can include things like therapy, counseling, coaching, mentoring, courses, intensives, books, websites, etc. 

Marriage Crisis Management – The Ultimate Guide to Surviving the First Few Weeks After D-day


We’ve also noticed that it’s the people that make mistake after mistake or who do nothing and expect time alone to be the healer that makes healing drag on. So the sooner a couple becomes proactive and helps themselves and/or gets good help, the better.

See also  The Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Having said that, I think it’s also important to realize that even if it does take 2-5 years to heal, it’s not like you will be stuck in the same intense pain and emotional state that you were just after your D-day.  So don’t get discouraged and think that “3 years is a long time, I’m never going to make it that long!”  Things do get better.

It’s a gradual process but as long as you are working on yourself and you are getting help from your spouse, you will see improvement.  You will not experience the intense pain or obsessive thoughts.  Triggers will become less and less destructive.  You will be able to talk about the affair without so much anger and raw emotion.  You can have fun again.

Even well before I would consider that I was healed, Doug and I were able to have productive, heartfelt, intimate discussions, while having lots of fun and making good memories along the way.  Our activities weren’t always consumed with the affair during our healing journey.  Certainly, the affair was always playing in the back of my mind, but I allowed myself to take a break from talking about it so that we could enjoy ourselves and our marriage.

There are probably many of you who are still skeptical and wonder when or if you will ever recover from all of this.  While it’s certainly a real possibility that some of you may not be able to save your marriage for various reasons, even so, I firmly believe that you will indeed be able to heal with time, hard work and some good help along the way. 


    25 replies to "There is No Quick Fix to Healing and Recovering from an Affair"

    • Patsy50

      Very well said, Linda! I am a recovering BS for almost three years the end of October and I’m very thankful to you and Doug for this site, for I have learned how to rebuild my relationship, marriage of 42 years.

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      Yes, Linda, and I am so happy for you and Doug. Healing from anything is a process, and no one typically enjoys having it take longer than we want. Realistically, with all I’ve been through in the past three years, I may never heal without divine intervention. The trauma has been incredible, and has impacted me in every way. Regardless, I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning as I walk this path and I know there will be others I can help support who will encounter this most painful of life circumstances down the road. In my case, it will be a journey without the other half, as he couldn’t choose to commit to me and our marriage, but that is how it goes sometimes. I really wish all my fellow travelers the best, and hope each CS will wake up as Doug did in order to enjoy the life with their spouse that was right there all along, just waiting to be nurtured and explored.

    • forcryin'outloud

      Great read and oh so true! Being 3.25 years out I can relate to everything Linda said. The one enormous hurdle for me was the overwhelming anger I felt. It was like a white hot rage that would spring to the surface with any trigger. I would go from 0-60 in a split second and lose all rational thought. About 2.75 years out I was mentally worn down by the anger and realized I had to get a handle on it. Looking back I believe the anger had become my security blanket. It was my defense mechanism and accountability measure toward my H. So I made the conscience choice to stop it one day after screaming and crying like a banshee for the umpteenth time. Ironically, that’s when my H started to REALLY evaluate his behavior. I think with the threat of the “atomic bomb” removed he was able to stop being disgusted with my anger and to see the immense pain he caused, even to himself.
      I have to agree with Linda that my marriage is getting better due to the hard work not because of the affair. The commitment to preserver and be the people both my H and I know in our hearts we are, the authentic person is what has helped our marriage. My H was always looking for accolades but had walled himself off from getting emotionally attached to anyone including me. I had grown up in chaos and abuse so I had walled up myself to true intimacy too. We had to make ourselves vulnerable to one another to reconnect. That has been the scariest part of this entire journey for both of us.
      I will NEVER say the affair was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage. I hate when my H is out of town and I can’t reach him that my mind goes to a dark place… I loathe the fact that we have become a statistic and most of all I still get incredibly nauseous whenever I think about how a really scummy woman attracted my H and helped him to nearly destroy our family. But I can say (similar to Linda) without the affair pushing our emotional boundaries forcing us to recommit or split up the walls between one another would still be up.

    • fighting

      I so agree with you. It has been almost four years since D-day one and a little more than three years since D-day 2. It was hard. Sometimes I thought that I would loose my mind, and that he pain would never go away. But it did. Slowly as my husband changed. But it was this summer that the breakthrough came. I have been struggeling with the doubt that he really, and i mean REALLY understood what he had done. Then, one morning, we were lying in bed. Without me picking up the subject he snuggled in to me and said; Sometimes I can`t believe that I was able to hurt you so much. Here you are, the love of my life, and I almost lost you! For what? For my stupid self centered ego and feeling of entitlement. I am greatfull every day, that you are still here with me. Thank you.
      That was the words I had been waiting for. I knew then, that he really had understood. It was like a switch was turned. It was over and I could begin to trust him again.
      It was a relief and the ony way is up, for the both of us.

      • chiffchaff

        Wow Fighting – I wish my H would say that some day!

    • chiffchaff

      I can still recall finding it unbelievable that it might take 2 years plus to even feel like there was recovery for our marriage. Is was a horrifying thought that it might take that long for something that had been going on, in total for all the women, 5 years, and the OW PA for 9 months. It’s a painful thing to deal with at an already painful and confusing time.

      Now I’m just over 2 years past 1st DDay I cringe at how I acted in the first few months and at how emotionally checked out and ‘couldn’t give a crap’ that my H was by comparison. I think the decision to wait a year before making any serious decisions in the rest of my life was sensible.
      What this recovery process showed was that it does take both people to make a good marriage/relationship. You can’t do it alone. And it takes a long time because it sort of needs to. It’s like a lot of things of value. It takes slow, deliberate actions with a goal in mind and a readiness to accept set backs and to not over-celebrate successes. A good loaf of bread takes time to create but it’s far more enjoyable to eat than something cooked up too fast.

    • tryingtomoveon

      I’m actually the other half of TRYINGTOMOVEON, but wanted to add my perspective as a CS. It’s been over two years since D-Day and my wife still struggles on an almost daily basis in our healing process. We have lots of great days but at least once every two weeks or so, the anger and hurt overwhelm her and I struggle to be helpful and supportive. This entry and these responses are very helpful in my gaining a better understanding of how long the recovery road can be. Like most reformed CS, I want us to move on with our lives and forget this painful, hurtful mistake and enjoy the fruits of our hard work in making our relationship as good as it can be. I know I must be patient and continue doing everything possible to win back my wife’s trust and perhaps ultimately forgiveness. Thanks again for this and all the support that this site has given us.

      • tryingtomoveon


        04. Oct, 2013

        And I am TRYINGTOMOVEON. I suggested my husband read this morning’s post as it is so appropriate to our talks and the frustration of working to recover from his infidelity.

        As my pseudonym implies, I am trying to put the hurt and betrayal behind me, but occasionally (and yes, biweekly seems to define it) find it hard. His affair was primarily an EA, with hundreds of passionate and heartfelt emails and many phone calls–only two meetings, and while he’d have liked to move to another level of intimacy, she was cagey enough to hold out for no sex “right now”–this after she admitted to having had a physcial affair where she was dropped by her AP after just two months. She needed to trust him though I’m not sure how one CS can ever trust another CS. As I told her in an email I sent her, keep stringing him along until he’s panting–she really was quite adept at playing the needy “my heart is in a tin box” game long-distance, while he became more entangled and even more distant with me. She was looking for “friends” to “share part of her day with me”; he was looking for someone to give him the praise and self-esteem he lacked.
        And meanwhile, our marriage crumbled..

        We, like FORCRYINGOUTLOUD, had walled ourselves off from each other for similar reasons: he was depressed and withdrawn, constantly looking for something to make him feel better about himself; I had grown tired of dealing with his utter lack of interest, support, or caring about me or our lives in general and set up walls to keep us apart, a technique I learned from a very abusive mother..

        I was contemplating divorce when I discovered their correspondence.

        The devastation of his betrayal was unlke anything I have ever experienced, but I also know that at that moment we both realized that we had hit rock bottom, that we still loved each other, and that we would have to work very hard to rebuild the shambles of our marriage. I can never say his affair was worth it, but I know from both therapy and my own experience over our 43 years of marriage, he would never have seen that having a secret life was destroying our lives without the affair being exposed.

        The road back from hell has been a long one, but with each passing day I feel stronger and more sure we’ve made the right choice–this depsite the occasional setbacks that come from triggers or even just random events or comments that remind me of their relationship.. I appreciate my husband’s daily hard work in helping to repair our marriage, accepting responsibility for a very bad decision, efforts at being totally honest in his feelings and actions, and making sure I know every day how much he really does care.

        I’m one of the lucky ones, but I also know there’s no easy road to recovery. We are 2 years 4 months into the process, and while I feel I’ve made progress, I know we have some distance to go.

        Thanks again for this opportunity to share with others who have known this horror and to gain insight into the long journey to repairing lives impacted by infidelity.

        • Doug

          Thank you both for sharing your thoughts and experiences. We appreciate it!

        • so naive

          I wish my H truly understood how long the healing process takes after finding out. I have been such an emotional mess for the last 1 1/2 years. I found this site about 5 months ago. I so wish I had found it sooner.

          This is the first time that I’ve been able to write my story. I’m finally in a better place now thanks to all the unknowing support you have all given me. If it wasn’t for this site, I truly have no idea where my life would be now.

          After 23 years of marriage in Feb 2012, I found my husband at my “best friends” house. Her 4 kids were gone for the weekend with their dad and I just knew in my gut where he was. The next day, he finally admitted that he was giving her a “backrub” with her shirt off. I made him swear that he would never talk with her again. All last year, I had a feeling he was hiding something, but I so desperately wanted to trust him that I closed my eyes to it. Then Dec 2012, I opened our cell phone bill and glanced over it. I noticed that he had 6,500 texts for just that last month! Who in h*ll texts that much?! I was able to look up online who he was texting and found out that over the last year he had texted my ex friend more than 15,000 times! But to make it worse, in just 3 months he had texted over 16,000 times with another woman who he had met through his work. She had worked at another business he dealt with. He also had hours and hours of calls with her. I was so naïve and trusting that I had no idea that was going on. I tried to explain to him that an EA is far more devastating that a PA and that he needed to promise never to have contact with either of them again. Then in Jan 2013, I saw emails between them and realized how far he had crossed the line with the OW. The emails were very sexual, but she lived 1800 miles away so I still assumed it was just an EA. He again swore he was done with it all and I so wanted to believe him; that I forgave him again. At that point, he got VERY good at hiding his affair. He used messaging apps on his phone so I no longer saw anything on the phone bill. It had been a very tough year, but we really started to reconnect again and I thought he was done with his EA’s. Then he asked to go on a guys weekend this last July. His flight to where he was suppose to be going was at the same time that there was a nonstop flight to where she lived. I knew at that moment he was going to see her. I prayed I was wrong, but when he stepped on that flight to see her I knew I was right. I called him when he landed and asked him if he loved me so much and couldn’t wait to be back home with me, than why was he there?! He said he didn’t know and he would come right back home. He swore he was done with her. That he had no idea he was so close to losing me and his family. I was in such shock. I thought that I had stopped him before he crossed the line and made it a PA. One month later on Aug 16 2013, I just knew the EA wasn’t over. I just felt it with my whole being. With all the strength that I received from this site, I finally told myself I had enough. I wrote her a letter telling her my side of our year long story and asked her what she thought she was doing. She sent the letter to my H and asked him if it was all true. For the first time in a year and half, he was finally truthful and told her it was all true. She then called me and told me she was willing to tell me everything. He had been lying to her too. Although she knew he was married and we were together still, she was told that it was only for show for our 5 kids, but we were no longer together. It still is hard for me to believe that the OW could be so blind. She had to have known, he even talked to her about how he was tired of lurking around and hiding everything.

          That day my worst nightmare came true. I found out that it wasn’t just an EA but a PA as well. They first met on a business trip last Oct and then he lied about a guys weekend last Dec and flew her out here to be with her. Then just a month later in Jan, he flew her out here again. Last year he turned 50 when all this started; so I figured it was all just an ego trip for him to have 3 women wooing over him. I was so blind, it never occurred to me that he would have crossed that line after 23 years of marriage and 5 children. He was so convincing every time I found something out. He would stare me straight into my eyes and swear to me he was done. During this whole time, we never had a problem in the bedroom. I have always made sure that I took care of his needs so that he never had to look somewhere else. I guess that’s why I never thought he would cross the line to a PA. I just can’t believe how blind I was. I also learned that day that she already had plane tickets to fly out here just the next week for them to meet up again! If I hadn’t written that letter, things would be so different now. I told myself if he ever saw her again after flying there to see her, that I would be done. If I hadn’t written that letter when I did, my marriage would have been done after 24 years.

          It has now been just 7 weeks today since DDay. The day I learned the whole truth. The first couple weeks were really tough, but he has been wonderful since then; very attentive, holding my hand, just holding me at night. But in the back of my head, I still remember all the emails that I read that I asked her to send me. In them for the last year they both tell each other how much they love each other and how she colors his world, etc. They even wrote each other, just in March, vows to always be close friends no matter what!! She swears that she would be on the next flight to see him if he asked her no matter what happens!

          Just 2 weeks ago, he admitted that she has already contacted him. She gave him her NEW email addresses and he said he was tempted to start writing her again! He swore to me he didn’t and he was done with her! I can’t believe she actually contacted him again. Her and I met, we talked and hug each other and I forgave her just a week after learning of the PA. I felt it was extremely important to do that to be able to move forward and now I find out she contacted him again.

          It’s only been 7 weeks; I know we have a long road in front of us, but I am really happy that I was able to pull myself out of this h*ll I was living in this last year. I pray that he is truly done with her. He swears he has learned a hard lesson and he never wants to live that lie again. He said all the lying, hiding and cheating was too much for him and he was relieved that I wrote her the letter.

          I want to be able to trust again, but after so many lies I know it will take some time. I just wish my H could understand that. He wants to just push it under the rug and forget that this last year ever happened. He is being wonderful now towards me and thinks I should just let it go. He can’t comprehend how much he hurt me and I’m not sure if he ever will. I think that’s what hurts the most; is that he really has no clue what this year did to me. To him it’s over and done. He also had no clue why this week was so hard for me until I told him that it was the year anniversary of him breaking his marriage vow by having sex with his mistress for the first time. I know that’s my problem to get over but I just wish he was more open to that I need time to heal; that 7 weeks isn’t enough.

          I know I have been long winded and I’m sorry, but it feels good to let you all know my story. If it wasn’t for this site and all the comments that you all have left that touched me so deeply, I would have NEVER BEEN able to write her that letter. You all gave me the strength that I needed. You helped me hold my head high during the toughest time of my life. Thank you Linda and Doug for opening up and giving us this site for all of us who are desperately seeking help and strength to endure our life’s trials.

          • Strengthrequired

            so naive, I’m sorry for all you have been through, I too found this sight later than what I would have liked, around february this year. After a year and two months of living a similar hell.
            Your not naive Hun, just wanted to trust the one person that holds your heart and have expected to hold it carefully and lovingly, not hurt it as bad as he did.
            I kept wanting to trust my h, he kept telling me it was done, no contact etc. Each time I would find out how wrong I was believing in him, as he kept the contact up, still kept calling her his babe. Apparently after me almost leaving several times, after several lies being caught out, he stopped the communication in February. However the ow still sent him an picture if herself two months later, as if to remind him of her presence.
            These ow, don’t care about all the hurt, all the betrayal, they had nothing to lose. They didn’t care who their attachment to our spouses hurt, not our children or us. The problem is they wanted our life, our family, that’s just how they are. No one who cares about what they have done would continue making matters worse, especially finding out that the marriage isn’t over. They just keep trying.
            You do need more than 7weeks to recover, it may have been a year and a half since dday, but each time they lie and we find out it sets us back, and we are back where we started. Its hard to trust the words that come from our spouses after such deceit, we always try to evaluate what was relayed to us, until we are happy that what they say is true. They did that to us, we didn’t ask for this nightmare, but we were thrown into it anyway. We need time to get through the aftermath, it just doesn’t happen overnight.
            Hugs to you, I’m so glad you found this site and have been able to get help and hope by even just reading.

            • so naive

              Thank you so much SR for your kind thoughts. I’m so sorry that you had to live the same h*ll that I did. It just amazes me how our H couldn’t see how much they were hurting us. He was more concerned about how his mistress was crying at night because they couldn’t be together. It still makes me angry to think about how little he cared about my feelings this last 1 1/2 yrs. He said he felt like he was living two different lives and was completely detached from real life. You’re absolutely right about the OW. I asked her where she thought their relationship was going. Did she think that she could just step into my life/my home and be greeted with open arms by our children. She honestly thought that would happen. She’s 15 yrs younger than me and had nothing to lose, but everything to gain. I sometimes wonder who was more naïve her or me.
              Again I’m just grateful that I found this site. It has given me such strength and encouragement knowing that I wasn’t alone in this nightmare that I was living. I can finally say that I can look up now and see some light at the end of the tunnel. Hugs to you too SR

    • Gizfield

      Trying to move on, my husbands girlfriend played the same game. About the no sex thing, cause she knew she’d get dumped. Everyone else she slept with dumped her and she knew this was no exception. He had the nerve to tell me that she “had the highest morals of anyone I know” and that is why she wouldn’t sleep with him. They sure as hell know how to play it. I laughed right in his face, and said “just so you know, if she didnt f#@k you, it was because she didn’t WANT to!” not due to any morals issue. I read her emails and I think she was sneaking around on someone, cause she was single. But still sneaking. I’m sure she was “getting it” somewhere, then using my husband as her ego trip.

      • Strengthrequired

        Giz, my h ow, she wanted and tried to have sex with my h, he was the one that kept turning her down. I believe however, she was wanting to use sex as a way of keeping my h, due to family ties.
        Yet I believe that all of her failed attempts at getting my h into bed, she was getting it elsewhere to saisfy her craving, more likely her separated h. Yer my h would never believe it after all the bad things she told him about her h. If it wasn’t her h, then it would have been someone else.

    • Gizfield

      Wow, even writing that shit down pissed me off, lol. I guess that is what I’m talking about. I’m more prone to getting pissed off about affair crap when I am mad about other stuff. It’s payday, and I had set up an autopay with my mortgage company, and no matter what I do, these ass wipes zap my account every payday. Going to have to close my account. So now I’m ready to divorce this guy, lol. Maybe it will pass…

      • Strengthrequired

        Don’t worry giz, I find myself getting too when I write down what’s happened. I get p.offer when I think about what we stand to lose and what we have lost because of my h ea and wonder how the hell he could have just let it happen.
        It just shows how noone in their right mind would just let their while life just fall apart and risk losing everything over a ow/om. It jet shows the state of mind they were in, the low place that had them vulnerable to the accepting om/ow into their heads without any regard to what was right in front of them, us.

    • Paula

      Beautiful post, and some beautiful replies. Thank you everyone, especially Tryingtomoveon and your WS. I am four years and four months out – we didn’t make it – we are the closest of friends, but I couldn’t erase, or live with the mind movies, and I eventually shut down sexually around two plus years out – still participated, but had to mentally leave the room, as no matter how loving, how kind, or how intense he was, and he was VERY loving and remorseful, very careful to listen to me and my needs, I couldn’t come back. So several months ago, I called it, I was sick of fighting nausea, disgust in myself, in him, and panic about what was once THE MOST intense and wonderful thing – we were an awesome sexual match BEFORE this, and I lost the ability to connect with him in that wonderfully special way. I am actually incredibly sexually frustrated – but as soon as the idea springs into my mind I want to vomit. I can’t believe this has happened to me!!! I was a tiger, VERY sexually aware, and tuned in. We made love most days for twenty-four years. And it was fabulous, I never felt like we had “married sex” or vanilla sex – there were varying degrees of pleasure, but always great – for both of us – he agrees, and can’t believe it has gone, either. Hey, I have sought all kinds of therapy, no help. My heart is broken, but I just put one foot in front of the other.

      I think if you had a really good, really connected, truly passionate, loving, caring, understanding marriage before an affair, A. you can’t comprehend WHY someone would step outside of that, for someone else, and B. trying to rebuild anew never hits the highs you once experienced, everything we fought for never got us near the level we had before the affair, and I struggled to accept less, the stain was too much for me. And we tried, we still love each other intensely, but I just couldn’t get high enough to ever feel safe, or settled, or loved. And my guy did almost everything “right” in the aftermath. I admire how hard he fought, how he never gave up – even when I had so many times. I wish it could have ended as this “better marriage” people speak of. I admit huge envy when I hear of it. I climbed that mountain, many, many times, always to topple near the summit. My shattered heart just couldn’t sustain the constant EFFORT it had all become – constant mindfulness always switched on – in an almost unnatural state of hyper-awareness and “trying too hard?” It used to be organic, and natural, and beautiful – hey, it wasn’t utopia, but it was pretty close. Meh, so I trudge around the paths around the bottom of the mountain, trying to still enjoy the view. Thank you those who are on the path of true healing for sharing your lovely stories.

      • Mollymagee

        Wow Paula.. this is the most beautiful., honest written piece on ending a marriage due to affair I ‘ve ever read and so refreshing because most marriages do break up from them – not the other way around. You are so honest! Thank you… I too just don’t know if I can keep going. For now, I’m here for our youngest child who has a disability but I earn to be free of the movies in my head about THEM and the my shattered heart. I want to be free of his mistake and the best bet still seems to be moving on. But when? For now I stay put. I posted today 3/18/19 below so you can read more there. Ours was not a perfect marriage and the sex came and went (with a disabled child and another one very sick – that wasn’t a big priority for me – I”ll admit) but it was pretty amazing post the affair coming out but I realize now it was like addiction sex… I was doing it to compete w/her and to “keep him” – it doesn’t feel honest or true. I was over the top horny out of FEAR of losing him… it was panic sex. Then it slowed down to normal amount and now – due to his not being emotionally close to me and wanting to know “where we stand” – I’ve lost interest in sex in our marriage. He just doesn’t know how to be emotionally close much. His closeness is thru sex but I don’t want to have sex til I truly feel close to him… rotten cycle. But I don’t think the affairs are for sex solely – I think they are for ego and ego boosting and attention. And from someone new and hopeful and mysterious. I’m working thru Al Anon and AA on my own personal recovery from this nightmare but I’m still not sure we are going to ever climb the mountain together again. So sad, their choice, all of us hurt. Than you again. Peace, MollyMagee

    • Strengthrequired

      I know what you mean SN, I won’t ever understand how our husbands couldn’t see the pain they were causing us. I know our h were not in their right frame of mind, because who would be able to stand by and watch their wife and children continuously suffer over a long period of time for some woman that should have never been given access to try anything to harm our families, yet that’s what they did.
      So there was no regard to our feelings, the pain caused, and for me the person I married and loved for over twenty years, was not the person that was standing in front of me on dday. This person standing in front of me was a mess and someone I didn’t know existed. The evil twin.

    • Mollymagee

      Question Linda… I am now 2.5 years from DDAy… July 2019 will be three years. After first 1.5 years of just plain shock and hitting bottom, I started crawl out from under the rock of recovery summer/fall 2017, since then both Al Anon and now AA have been my priority. I have been sober for ten years but just started the AA program which helps a lot. I am also the adult daughter of a now deceased alcoholic father… that program saved my life post the affair… so much of my hurt from my husband’s betrayal re-triggered the hurts and losses of my childhood from my dad and the disease of alcoholism. So I’m working on very early hurts and the current ones of my husband’s affair. My focus is on my self-care and my recovery – not the marriage. I’m so glad that you distinguished between recovering from the afffair vs. rebuilding the marriage. I tried – with 3 different marriage counselors – but none of them got that – that I am still recovering and given the trauma of my early life and enormous losses, it’s taking even longer. I’ve told my husband – the BS – that I don’t see any use of marriage counseling til I get to know myself and heal more from his affair. He’s ready and moved into “let’s save the marriage and rebuild it mode” soon after the DDAy but it was fake cause he was still involved w/her. After he officially ended it four months later, he was still gung ho and was for the next year or so. Now I think he gets it that I need to do this at my pace and he goes from patience to frustrated. I told him.. you made the grown man’s decision to have an affair, so you can make the grown man decision to wait for me or file for divorce but I’m not going to rush myself along in this process anymore… which I did the first year or so. I honestly don’t know what I want to do – his affair and the timing of it – our young adult daughter had cancer and we had young teen son on autism sprectrum not only made me think our whole marriage but re-think my whole ME!!! Who am I? What do I want? Was I supposed to be in this marriage/relationship – now 30 years or should I stay in it now? What does Mollymagee want?? Imostly stayed because my mental health was so bad post DDay and stayed that way and I worried for the impact of his dad leaving (or me) and my fragile state would do to our son. He is a good dad! And my son adores both of us. Now he’s 16 and my daughter is doing better – but I’m still as confused. I’ve told my husband, he has to make his own decisions for himself and not count on my participation. He wants to decide together whether or not we remain married. I won’t do that. He’s conflict adverse and always looked for me to be the “bad guy” and decision maker which made him look like the poor hen pecked husband and softie to others. Not exactly accurate. I was happy to be the confrontional one and be the one to say the “no’s” to others-no more. If he wants or needs to say no to this marriage, he’s gonna have to do it himself and we are not going to be like G. Paltrow and C. Martin and “consciously uncouple” – or whatever horse crap that is. Nor do I see this is Irreconcilable differences either.. he had that issue and had affair – not me. I see it as dissolution of marriage from breaking marriage vow. But for now, I truly don’t know what to do.. I’m in nether world between still recovering thru personal therapy and program work and not yet ready to rebuild new marriage. If he needs to break it off, he can do so but I’m not giving him the green light – that’s his choice and decision to make. I don’t expect him to make up my mind so how do I get this across this to him… he’s asking me to do something I can’t yet do. How do I make clear there’s no timetable for me being done with recover for near future other than working hard on my own issues and self? What kind of wait is fair and what isn’t? Anyone else’s thoughts welcome too. I still am wading through the bottomless pain and hurt and reminders of previous ones this brought into my life. Peace. MollyMagee

    • unsure

      I would love to find out where you all stand now (2020). I found out about the “many” OW all PA, about one and a half years ago. We were separated at the time, but still married and connected. When we reconciled I didn’t know about all of them, I knew about one. I know he shared long nights of snuggles and love talk, waking to coffee and cuddles. I also have the visual movies in my head and wonder why they got all the sweetness I know he is. If he had been saying all the things he said to them, to me, we would have been back together a whole lot sooner. I feel betrayed, sad, jealous, humiliated, and resentful for being so foolish. I have to agree with others that my marriage is getting better due to the hard work not because of the affair.

      • Mollymagee

        Unsure… I don’t know what to say… my circumstances are unique and so not unique. Our younger child is now going into Covid19 senior year of HS whatever that means….. he’s probably going to be at home remotely learning again. He has disability and needs both of us still under one roof which has extended the inevitable farther than it probably should have… ie, splitting up. And to throw another whammy in mix.. our daughter who had cancer (while he was having affair… well before, during and after her diagnosis in 2015) has it again… recurrence. So we are both trying to be there for our kids but I think we both know the trust is blown between us. I’m doing my own work on sexual abuse in my childhood (and its affect on my views of sex, my sexuality and now our sex life post affair coming out four years ago last week) which was definitely triggered by his affair…. it all came bubbling to surface like an awful PTSD attack . Like Paula’s comments above, we were such good friends and so compatible in so many ways, but unlike Paula above, my occluded early sex abuse stuff made our sex life challenging. He shared a lot of my personal hang ups, and information about our lacking sex life, with his AP and other women he was communicating with so I don’t trust him to NOT share what I’ve unearthed since now I know he blabbed to others other personal things between us. I have learned also to be more self compassionate and not accept his gas lighting and blaming me for the affair. No woman (or man), no matter how s/he struggles in a marriage, deserves to be cheated on. Period. He’s so not an extrovert but his bullying, introvert side of his personality did this. He has history of subtle, quiet, stealth, bullying due to his own verbal and physical abuse from his mom as young boy. We are both messed up…. like most humans… but his affair really stuck a knife in a chance for us to heal together from our early hurts. The hurt of the affair is now sadly smeared all over those early hurts now. The only upsides to this whole mess is it 1. helped me finally cut ties with much of his toxic family esp. his mom, sister and some nasty aunts and his brother; 2. led me to my own recovery as ACOA in Al anon and 3. has built up my own spiritual life and made me realize that I compromised a lot of my own values and traditions to keep things secure and workable with him. Now I want to be my authentic self which got tabled to keep my marriage and family life secure (what I never had in my childhood or teens). So be it… I try not to see him as evil or bad person; rather he just made life-altering bad choices that changed forever how we relate, how our marriage works and ended as we knew it and hurt our whole family very much. I think we will probably split by 2021 but til then just keep living as housemates and parenting partners is hard and trying in these trying covid19 times. For now, our daughter is our priority and seeing her thru treatment and helping her spouse and keeping stress off our son, as well. One day at a time. Hope that helps. Trust is THE most precious part of marriage…when that goes, so goes the marriage. But heck, that’s just my opinion… take what you life and leave the rest. Peace.

        • unsure

          MollyMagee – I’m sorry that you are going through so much. Prayers for peace for your children and you. I have a special needs grandson that my H has been really good with, one reason we reconciled, we had been separated for quite awhile. My grandson lives close and I’m the emergency daycare, so I have him a lot, and I love him like crazy, he just turned four.. So agree with you on the trust, it’s hard. While I was having breast cancer surgery, my H was in the liquor store asking one of the employees for her number and a date, he cannot go to that liquor store anymore!! (surgery went well, three years cancer free) My H and I have made great strides in our relationship, but there will always be a crazy, raging, emotional connection to that time in our life, it’s a part of him, it’s a part of our marriage, although we were separated, NOT DIVORCED. Blessings to you.

    • Kittypone

      Just. Wow. I am now 4 years post DDay and am living my marriage on autopilot. I no longer care what H is doing, where or with who. He just had major surgery two weeks ago and I have been caring for him post op, working full time and also having my mother living full time with us as well. I STILL see my therapist every other week, a month ago our youngest son made us grandparents for the first time and all my joy comes from that. I truly have lost the last thread of feelings I had for my husband and NO LONGER CARE if we stay or if we split. Intimacy has quietly trickled down to nothing, and our 32nd wedding anniversary is coming up in May. I NO LONGER CARE. After pursuing my healing from his affair, with almost-next-to-nothing help from his end, I am finally seeing him as he TRULY is, and not as I had seen him for the majority of the 36 years we’ve been together…..any advise here from someone going through the same spot I am in? I am very much analyzing the pros and cons of divorce now, but with this pandemic, I don’t know that I want to be homeless with my mom on tow, so, any good advise is welcome!!!

    • Jennet

      Yes Linda you are absolutely right!! It does take time to heal.
      I’m 3 years since DD and I would say it’s only now that I don’t get triggers or that overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that takes your breath away. I still have the odd day of WHY?? Not because my husband hasn’t told me everything I have wanted to know because he has,whether it was the complete truth ‘who knows,’ but now it doesn’t really matter. It’s just the feeling of why he couldn’t see the consequences of what he was doing and the hurt that it would cause. The reason he tells me is that of course he knew it was wrong but he was besotted with her that she pushed all the right buttons for him at that time of his life when he had so much grief in our life it just helped him cope,!! But most of all they never thought they would get caught!! And that’s the crux of it all ‘the fantasy’. It didn’t matter to him that I was going through the same heartbreak and grief and I suppose that’s what hurts the most the selfishness of it all.
      But here we are content,enjoying life and looking forward to the next stage of our life together.
      As you say there is no time limit! It’s day to day ,month to month but with many ups and downs along the way. I think at the end whatever the outcome stay or go you will be a stronger person for it, because it takes strength that on that awful day of discovery I never knew I had it.
      So good luck to you all on this rollercoaster ride of hell. Jennet

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