how to stop an affair

By Doug

Much of what is written on the subject of how to stop an affair seems to be along the lines that one cannot effectively do so. 

In other words, the betrayed is basically left powerless when it comes to making the cheating spouse end their affair.

This post will take the other side of the argument based on some real life experience-based advice from some other members.

Featured Download: “The Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Affair Partner Now”

If you’re the unfaithful, get it, read it and carefully consider the advice. If you’re the betrayed, give it to your unfaithful spouse.

 

First, a little background…

I’m in the middle of re-organizing the member’s area, as there is so much content on there I thought there needed to be a little bit better way of sorting through it all. 

While doing so, I checked out the forum and the new threads for the day. I was compelled to respond to one of the messages, but before I did I wanted to reread some of this person’s previous messages so as to refresh my memory on his situation.

Very long story, short…Wife is having an affair.  She doesn’t want to end it.  Husband is changing his ways and doing everything to please her and take care of his family.  Cheating wife is waffling back and forth and doesn’t want to end her affair, yet doesn’t want to lose her family.  Basically, she is deep in the “affair fog” and is being a “cake eater.” 

As I reread the message thread, I really liked the advice that was given to this guy on how to stop an affair by some of our members.  I thought it was advice that any betrayed spouse who is going through a similar situation could possibly learn and benefit from.  

As with any advice, you can choose to heed or reject it.  It’s up to you.  Also keep in mind that there is no set answer, and what works for one person may not work for another – and can actually cause harm.

This is real life hard-nosed stuff from three people who have been there, done that and have (I imagine) made their share of mistakes along the way. 

It is advice that many betrayed spouses might feel hesitant to take. 

The thought of not being a doormat any longer and being tough to your unfaithful spouse is a scary thought. 

The betrayed person tends to think that doing so would not stop an affair  – but instead would only serve to push the cheater away all together – which is certainly not what they want to do.

To combine all of what was said would result in an incredibly long post.  Instead, I edited things a bit and paraphrased here and there so as to give you a more condensed version.   Even so, it’s still pretty long.

Also, you will notice that the message is addressed to “you” and refers to “your wife” and similar such references.  So just remember these messages were originally addressed to the person who was experiencing this problem.

Here we go…

stop an affair

 

How to Stop an Affair

Response from Member #1.  After you have been in the role of a betrayed spouse for awhile and learn all that you can about healing, you will see that although every situation is different…every situation follows basically the same path to recovery – or failure to recover.

I don’t know your spouse and she may be a unique and wonderful human being normally, but right now she is like all the rest of our [cheating] spouses here…she is a selfish human being who cares only about herself and her own needs.

She could care less about you or her children. Therefore she isn’t wonderful, she is a cheater. 

As a betrayed spouse you either use tough love (which most of the time) works or you coddle your cheating spouse and play the needy victim and they continue with their cheating. You may not want to hear it and that’s fine but most people have been there, heard that and know what the outcome is likely to be.

There have been betrayed spouses on this forum that go for months and even years justifying how wonderful their spouses are and coddling their behavior and finally when they wake up and take control of their lives and their situations they are free to move on with or without their spouses.

You are the victim…not her. You control the situation…not her.

We all know how you feel….we have all been there and whether you have the ability to express it or not really doesn’t matter because what you feel is basic to all of us. You are devastated. Your life is upside down. You can’t believe the one person you trusted in the world did this to you.  You keep hoping it isn’t true that you could somehow go back to the way it was “before.” You go from anger to sadness to grief all in a moment’s notice. 

The point is we do know how you feel no matter what you say or don’t say and we know what works and doesn’t work. You can apply our advise or not but no one is here to further hurt you.

I made my husband break contact with the other woman THE MOMENT I found out. It was that or get out. I have children. I have been with him for 40 years. I would not tolerate his behavior any longer.

It has been 32 months since d-day and we are together and very happy. It was a VERY long VERY rocky road to recovery but we made it. I believe because as devastated as I was, I demanded no contact and I told him how it was going to be. I still do to this day.

He lost that right the moment he cheated on me. I think my husband is pretty unique and wonderful as well but there was nothing unique and wonderful about him for the 18 months he cheated on me. He was a selfish ass.

My point is I didn’t coddle him…I took control of the situation for myself and for my children. You can to.

How to End an Affair – The Right Way

 

Stop an Affair

Response from Member #2.  What I’m about to say is going to seem harsh, and it’s not what you’ll want to hear, but it’s the truth, and it works.

Do not let yourself be an option for your wife. That’s right – you aren’t an option and allowing yourself to be one is going to kill you. Your wife will play this game as long as you allow it. Say this out loud “My wife has a boyfriend”. Say it over and over, until it sinks in how twisted that fact is. Say it until you’re sick to your stomach with what you’re tolerating. Say it until you’re angry and ready to help her pack her bags.

Please read the stories on this site. See how many people did as you’re doing and how it worked for them. See how many waited months, or years for their spouse to stop an affair. See how many are still waiting. Then read the stories of people that forced their spouse to make a decision, and what that decision was. Those that wouldn’t accept being optional ‘won’, as you put it. It’s amazing how quickly that fog lifts when a person’s real world is about to leave them forever.

What your wife is doing is called ‘cake eating’, because she’s having her cake and eating it too. She’s got her stable family and home life, and she has the thrill of infatuation. Why give either up if she doesn’t have to? In the process, her respect for you will decrease and eventually there won’t be any. Do you think she’ll maintain a real relationship with someone she has no respect for? Would you?

So what will pull her head out of her ass? Well, for starters, telling her you won’t put up with this any longer would be a big start. Telling her that she can see him as much as she wants, but she cannot see you while doing so will make her realize what she’s throwing away with this teenage dream nonsense.

Your wife knows what she’s doing. She is well aware of how much you are hurting. She doesn’t seem to care much, does she? She probably says she does, but what is she doing to help you? Nothing, that’s what. You need to be the one to help yourself. The first step is to get the negativity out of your life, and right now as much as it hurts, that is your wife.

But what about your kids? Well, is this good for them? Is having a dad that’s a mess and a mom whose head is somewhere else good for them? Is this a healthy home, where mom has a boyfriend and dad lets himself be walked all over? I would say no, it isn’t, at all.

Featured Download: “The Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Affair Partner Now”

If you’re the unfaithful, get it, read it and carefully consider the advice. If you’re the betrayed, give it to your unfaithful spouse.

Your wife is selfishly putting your children at risk too, and what is to love about that? Kids learn what they see. Is this what you want them living with and seeing? Is this what you want them to think is normal or acceptable?

Tell her that if she wants her boyfriend then she needs to move out, and she needs to do this now. Tell her you won’t be living with a cheater and you won’t be treated like a doormat, and that you want her out.

Usually, that snaps people back to reality in a hurry. When faced with ‘Mr. Wonderful’ or the real love (boring, but real) of marriage, you’ll be surprised how often marriage wins. I guess Mr. Wonderful isn’t so wonderful.

So when does this plan not work out so well? When there is no respect for the betrayed spouse. When the CS looks at the BS as someone to be pitied, someone weak, someone they are used to walking all over, they find it much easier to leave.

If the BS is viewed as strong, proud and of value, then the CS usually sees the light quickly. If you want to be seen like this, you need to act like this.

It’s very hard to do. It’s hard to look at someone you love and tell them to leave. It’s harder to spend months watching them fall harder and harder for someone else while they lose all respect for you.

Counseling is great, and I recommend it, but only after a CS has come to their senses.

I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this. I’m sorry your wife is a selfish person that thinks only of herself (yes, right now, this is a very accurate description of your wife). I’m sorry you’re hurting so much and I’m sorry your wife cares more about her romance than your heart. I’m most sorry that you’re allowing it to continue, because it will continue for as long as you allow it.

So now is when you either take a stand and show your wife with actions that you are worth more than what she’s giving you, or it’s when you start looking for reasons why you need to keep doing what you’re doing, and trust me – there are no good reasons. If you find a good reason to let your spouse have a boyfriend, please share it. We’d all like to know what that is because none of us could find one. 

If you take a stand, even if she leaves what have you lost? She would have made that decision anyway. If she doesn’t, haven’t you saved yourself months or even years of heartache?

You have the power now to do something about this. Whether you use that power or not is your choice.

Please, don’t be an option for anyone.

stop the affair

 

How to Stop the Affair

Response from Member #3.  First, I think it’s so easy to fall into this universe where you accept behavior that you normally wouldn’t. So to me it’s important to always come back to that stark truth: your wife has a boyfriend.

There were times my husband would want to talk about how difficult it was for him to go no-contact with the OW and more than once I told him, “I will not help you get over your mistress.”  I used that term, “mistress” often to make a point.  My husband hated it because it’s a word you can’t get away from — you can’t make excuses.  

Second, when I started thinking more about life post [being married to] my husband and realizing it could be okay is when I started getting stronger and making demands.  

When I first found out about the EA I was horribly lost and thought “it was only a matter of time before he grew tired of me, everyone does.”  I thought I’d get divorced and go buy a house in the country and move in with my mom and that would be my life.  Then a good friend said, “No, that’s not what will happen.  You’ll move near me and I’ll set you up with my husband’s friends and it will be awesome.”  I allowed myself to imagine that and thought, “You know what? That wouldn’t be so bad!” And suddenly, I realized that it was an option — a valid one — and my husband had to top that offer. 

Third, I allowed my husband to have continued contact with the OW with very strict conditions.  They could only interact in business situations and in the beginning, he pushed that boundary.  And I called him on it — pushing him back.  I fully recognize — especially in hindsight — just how much this interfered with our recovery.  But I still think it was the right call for us for a variety of reasons, especially since he was looking for a new job anyway.

For me the issue was whether we were continuing to move forward and make concrete strides toward reconciliation.  The question I asked myself was whether things were getting better or was he just mired in the same behavior over and over.  

When the Affair Partners Work Together

If he pushed the line and I called him on it, did he continue to push that line or did he respect it?  A lot of times it was a few steps forward and several back, but so long as there was forward momentum I was willing to continue to monitor the situation.

However, there reached a point where I felt like our momentum stalled.  It was clear he didn’t want to do anything to cut off the potential of him being friends with the OW again in the future (they were practically best friends before he fell for her).  

I reached a point where I realized just how disrespectful that was to me (it’s surprising how long it can take to figure that out!).  Not just because my husband wanted to be able to be friends with his mistress (see how using that word clarifies issues?) but also because he wanted to be friends with a woman, my friend, who’d seriously betrayed me.  That he was unwilling to fully let her go for me was on shaky ground.  And that’s when I asked him to move out.

I wrote him a letter laying out my reasoning and telling him explicitly what I needed from him to move forward: he had to make a choice between me and her.  If he chose her, he did not get me in any way, shape, or form.  He and I wouldn’t be friends, we wouldn’t be Facebook friends or call to chat.  I wasn’t going to allow him to have his cake and eat it too.

I think at some point in every emotional affair recovery, the CS has to make that decision.  They don’t get to be friends or acquaintances with their mistress/boyfriend.  They’ve already proven that they can’t be “just friends” and therefore they’ve lost the right to try.  There are consequences to their actions, and one of those consequences is losing the chance to have their mistress/boyfriend in their life in any way. 

One of the things I learned during recovery that’s helped me in all areas in my life is the realization that people will treat us how we demand to be treated.  Often we BSs fear making demands because we’re afraid those demands can’t be met.  

We worry that if we say, “Choose” then the CS won’t choose us.  But why should we then stay in a relationship where our own spouse — the person who is supposed to be a partner in all ways — won’t choose us?  Why not say, “That makes me sad, but it is your loss and I will move on and find someone who does choose me.”


There you have it.  We’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the advice that was given in this situation on how to stop an affair.  Do you think that it would work for you?  Why or why not? 

If you did something similar in your own situation, please tell us about it. 

Also, if you’re the unfaithful person, what are your thoughts?  Would (did) this type of strategy cause you to end your affair and ultimately work towards healing?

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**This post has been updated and was originally published May 20, 2013

 

    116 replies to "Real Life Hardnosed Advice on How to Stop an Affair"

    • chiffchaff

      Excellent advice.
      Although we’re quite far into recovery now I can distinctly remember and feel those moments where my H whinged and cried about having to give up his ‘friend’ and how hard that was, how he missed her. I tried to be sympathetic as he talked to me of his ‘grief’. When I eventually realised I was being an option, being a doormat, and allowing him to wallow in self-pity and disrespect, I realised just how shitty that sort of behaviour really is. It was amazing how quickly he went from missing her to missing his home, his wife and the real world and the respect of his family and friends when I finally kicked him out.
      It’s very hard to gain the strength to do the right thing but it does turn the power on its head. The CS has to ask to come back, they have to behave properly and show respect. No respect, no reward.
      I’m reading The Gone Girl right now. Much of the first part made very painful reading and I had to remember when looking at my H before the end of the first part that it was a story but very much based on how affairs play out, all the justifications and crap.

    • SamIam

      Hindsight always being 20/20….if I had it to do over again, I would have kicked out my H immediately upon discovery. The affair ended right then and there but the fog lingered far too long. It was difficult as he was her boss (old fool) and she was the one he went to with business issues (yuck) but she was [serendipitously] moved to a new boss (a move that had nothing to do with the EA) His fog lead to so much denial, deflection, false humility…and some bravado. 🙁 it makes me sick to think on it now. So, the advice is good, I agree~~ tough love!

    • Gizfield

      I totally agree with Chiffchaff and Samiam. Looking back, out makes me completely ILL that I accepted any kind of “reasons” our negotiations from my husband regarding him sneaking around with a Slimy Whore behind my back. Ewwwww, ewwwww , ewwwww. I wish I had evicted him the very first time he contacted this tramp after he told me he wouldn’t. All it takes from this point forward is one single word. Just one.

    • Forcryinoutloud

      In hindsight, I should have packed my chit, taken my child and moved out when he came back from his trip to see his “so important, so interesting GF.” Instead I caved into myself and became a defeated soul. I slowly began to hate him because I knew in my gut he had destroyed something that would be forever damaged!

    • Strengthrequired

      Well I sent a msg to my h today, saying to him why I stayed and didn’t leave. Yet I also asked him if I had waited for him to return home, instead of asking him to come home, would it have made a difference? I asked would he have still chosen me? Would he have chosen me and the affair have ended sooner or the ride have been the same?
      I guess I got my answer. Either the truth hurts, or it would have been the same or he would have chosen her. Not really an answer I guess, I’m still wondering.
      His reply anyway, “nice essay”

      He hasn’t even called today, and won’t be calling him. I have questions I want answered, I guess he doesn’t want to face them and just get annoyed that I ask.

      I believe if I had given up on my h, he would have thought she was right and I didn’t love him. She was leading him down a already shaky path, I think it would have destroyed him. Yet it definately didn’t make my time any easier.

      • exercisegrace

        I asked my therapist a similar question. What if I had inserted myself more into their world? Insisted on going to lunch with them? Spent more time hanging out at the office? Her answer was it likely would have changed nothing. I was scripted as the terrible wife, holding him back from what was really best for him. Had I been more present, she would have used that as evidence that I was trying to control and dominate him. LOSE. If I had taken a more hands off approach, it would have been held up as proof that I didn’t care, didn’t love him and didn’t deserve him. LOSE.

    • exercisegrace

      Well, my situation was a bit different. I suspected something was going on, but had NO idea it was an EA/PA and was completely in the dark as to WHEN it actually started. I was so far behind the timeline, I didn’t think things had had time to develop as far as they actually did. My husband ended the affair himself, but I didn’t find out until a year later, after she had already left the company. In some ways, I suppose that was a blessing. He had to work through his residual fog himself. She turned into a bunny boiler and got progressively crazy. Ultimately cyber bullying me and my kids. I think that killed all the residual feelings he had for her pretty quickly.

      One of my biggest resentments is that during the affair, I was here at home. Taking care of four kids, bedtime, bathtime, homework, sports, school events were all me. With two in grade school and two high school, very athletic kids playing club level sports it is crazy at times. IN addition of course, was the laundry, cooking, cleaning, household chores, shopping errands, bill paying, etc. I made excuses for his absences, and lack of attention to the kids. As his demands escalated to the ridiculous (he once woke me at two am because there was a glass, dish and spoon in the kitchen sink, and he had decreed the kitchen must be spotless every night….because you know, that was the CAUSE of his depression) >>>insert eye roll here>>>>
      I continued to bend over backwards to meet his unending demands, and keep the kids from hating him for the endless lists of chores. He never had to “babysit” the younger ones. I either had the older ones do it, or I went NOWHERE.

      His sole job was his job. Which was working with his parasite. Big sacrifice there. I can’t believe I completely made it possible for him to CAKE EAT in such a HUGE way. If I could go back in time, I would have said this person is toxic, it is interfering with our marriage. CHOOSE.

      I completely agree with the posters who say that if your spouse is admitting a boyfriend or girlfriend, I would insist they move out until they figure out what they want. I would arrange visits to the home, and let them see what they are missing with their family, but at the same time I would give them the space to actually MISS it. My kids would have NEVER gone to visit him with his parasite present. They would have shunned him. It might have snapped him out of it sooner.

    • Gizfield

      I know exactly what you mean, Exercise Grace. They know we are stuck at home with kids, so thats one less thing for them to worry about. It takes a nasty sick ass bitch to sneak around with a married man who has a wife and in my case five year old daughter waiting at home for him. She had the audacity to act like she just was’ nt doing a thing wrong. Nothings going on, but yet their “boyfriend” has all these times where they “can’t talk” or they have “to play daddy .” I saw one email my husband wrote to this tramp, complaining he was having to play a “bored game” (witty, huh) with our child, which was interferring with his time he could be texting her nasty ass. No, you’ re not doing ANYTHING WRONG, bitch. That has been years ago, and it is hard not to go pop him in the head with a plate or something just thinking of it. or jumping in my car and driving 30 miles to pop her skank whore ass.

      • Exercise grace

        Now imagine same whore strolling in to work in your house every day. Just waiting for you as the dutiful mommy to take your child to the pedi, the dance class, the soccer game……so she can screw your husband in your home. These are sick, messed up people.

        • Strengthrequired

          It’s good to come on in here and just have a good old laugh with some of the comments our husbands most definately deserve. like the clip over the head. Lol
          I love the words you ladies come up with, every time I come on here, you say everything I feel. Lol
          Ohh and yes, the tramoy ass woman all seem to take advantage of us mothers raising our children, why are these woman so intent on destroying young children’s lives, by breaking up their family. I dont understand how they don’t see the harm they are causing our children. How they don’t think they did anything wrong. Especially when some are mothers them selves. Selfish that’s all.

      • Karen

        I agree a woman who messes around with a married man with a family has no morals and is a SKANK. Wish her nothing but misery.

    • Jackedupwife

      She cheated for over 3 years with two different guys I know for sure. The first guy, I found every single email they wrote for three years. Way to many details. As I continued to search, another number kept popping up on days like Christmas or especially when I wasn’t at home. I blocked his number from her cell, texted him and told him the number had change and to make contact. We communicated for two days until I told him who I really was. He sent me pics and relvealed lots of details, like when they screwed last, thanked her for not letting him use a condom, on and on. I knew these things and when I calmly approached her to ask, she lied until she was sure i knew details and had copies of everything, even her secret voice tapes she hid as she sucked and screwed. So weird. Then I would check the same devices weekly and all was still there. That’s when I couldn’t take it anymore. I told her the next time I check her devices and find anything, I’m outta here. She could have the house and everything in it. I’m trying to make it work but if I ever, I mean ever see so much as a phone call, I’m done. I want my marriage for my kids (two boys) stability and I do love my wife, but I will be damned if I put up with her shit again. I told her if she doesn’t believe me, try me. I meant that. So much so, I took suitcase out the basement, went and bought three sets of clothes, underwear, socks and toiletries and told her, “this is all I need to leave you.”

    • Gizfield

      Oh. My. God. How did you keep from killing this bitch? And him, too, lol? I’d be in prison right now.

      • Gizfield

        Oops, my comment was for strength Required, not you Jacked up wife. These comments go wherever they want to, lol.

    • Strengthrequired

      I don’t knowmabout you ladies, but if imwas cheating and the cs took me to his marital bed for a nookie, i would be modified. I couldn’t do it, that’s even more of a no go zone.
      I’m so sorry your h sank so low to do that to you EG. It goes to show you low the ow can get. Absolutely disgusting.

      • exercisegrace

        It is the hardest part of the whole thing. Your home should be your sanctuary and your peace. He took that from me and he took that from the kids. For the record, I NEVER trashed her or him either, to the kids. I protected him to the best of my ability and in fact, my oldest said she hated ME for a time because I kept insisting that nothing was going on. I believed him LONG after our daughter felt he was full of crap. It always astonishes me that these OW think they are so special, so loved. They are basically just dumpsters our husband’s choose to dive into (figuratively and literally) for a time, until they come to their senses. Today my kids have a tremendous amount of respect for the dignity I have shown through all of this. I had the opportunity to cheat during that time, but chose to stay faithful to my vows. I will never make a whore out of myself just to boost my ego or someone else’s!!!

    • EyesOpened

      I realise what a very charged-up conversation I am entering here – bit Doig and Linda did ask for the CS’s point of view…. One thing I have noticed though – looking at SR’s comment to EG – is how the OW is often the sole ‘perpetrator ‘. It was interesting that SR said – that’s disgusting in their marital bed (and I agree wholeheartedly by the way) but what about the h inviting her in there?! That was THEIR bed!!! Anyway. I have mentioned before my h got angry immediately and I wanted him to go. If he’d had left then – it would be over. He chose to understand and I went back to the OM ( I am simplifying here). When we were discovered by OMs wife ( her first discovery) – she chose another path. She did not ‘understand’ she got mad, she got him to write letters to everyone he knew and tell them what he’d done, she got him to read self help books, sent me emails, turned up at a work event and yelled at me , insisted there was NC and called our boss and colleagues . Two different responses and two different outcomes. At first – neither one worked! Then both worked! I appreciated my h for being supportive and helping me through it and showing his love. OM hated her reaction at first – but has now committed fully to his family and I believe is a truly changed person ( I don’t know – but it looks that way).

      My only thought though – is that by ending the relationship when you discover the betrayal – you will know 100% whether your partner was planning to go or not.

      I will say that looking at this site and realising the pain that I have caused – obviously if I could go back in time I would – but at the time I was duped.

      I met a person who I clicked with and he told me he was in a 17 year relationship he was ‘existing’ in. He said he believed his wife no longer loved him, his kids were scared of her, he’d got married very quickly, they had always argued, she despised him and spent all her time in bed with headaches, he worked and she complained he was never there ( he left early every day to get home to the kids) – but was scathing that he didn’t bring home more money, would have sex about once every 3 months and undermine him etc etc.

      I realise you are all reading this with the benefit of hindsight – and now I can see the pattern I feel humiliated and stupid – but at the time …. I lived with a person – my h – that had (undiagnosed ) depression – and for years – I just couldn’t make him happy. We lived in a miserable, anxious world for about 8 years where sex was the ONLY thing that made him happy and he wanted it all the time. ALL the time ( whether I wanted it or not).

      I could make the OM happy just by looking at him – it was an incredible ‘high’. Sex wasn’t required at all at first. I couldn’t believe it.

      Looking back and seeing all the horrendous mistakes and hurt inflicted – it turned out to be the worst, most stupid mistake of my life. And his!!

      As an aside – I learned subsequently he’d had two previous affairs and lots of ‘dalliances’ – so the ‘cold and suspicious’ wife I’d met (3 years prior to the affair) – that backed up he’s description had very good reason to be wary of a new female in the workplace – but I didn’t know that!!!! I’m not sure if SHE knows the full truth to be honest – but hopefully she knows enough now to never allow it to happen again.

      I’ve realised I’ve gone a bit ‘off-thread’ – I guess what I’m saying is what was said in the ‘quotes thread’ by someone : Time has a way of proving what really matters’.

      • chiffchaff

        Eyes – the OW in my case believes that she was unique to my H, still, and many times when I feel angry I want to tell her that she was only the culmination of years of my H building up to his affair and followed at least 2 dalliances with work colleagues, an obsession with a married colleague, one near miss at a conference (they ended up in bed but he couldn’t perform) and two years of watching porn at work of increasing levels of severity because he was being sidelined in his job and facing inevitable redundancy.
        It wasn’t an accident that they met, he wanted to have an affair by the time he met her and she was just there and didn’t care that he was married. I was also the ‘cold wife’ by the time they met because he had increasingly isolated himself from our life and entered his own fantasy world. It was easy for them to hide out together in their beautiful world while ever I was there as the evil, cold fish wife denying him his freedom. What she didn’t know was that my H had mentally and emotionally abandoned me after the death of my mother and after 3 miscarriages. The OW turns out to have been dumped by a long term partner she had hoped to marry only the week before she met my H and therefore was desperate to have someone interested in her.
        The whole situation doesn’t look so great from either party when all the circumstances are known.

        • exercisegrace

          chiffchaff, it’s always about brokenness isn’t it? Two people using each other to convince themselves they matter and that they mean something. It has nothing to do with anything that is good or right, or that you would EVER build a REAL relationship on. Sad.

      • exercisegrace

        Eyes, I think everyone here appreciates your bravery in coming to this board and helping people see another perspective. Hopefully we can also teach you something as well.

        I disturbs me greatly to hear you criticize your married man’s wife. NO ONE deserves to be cheated on. There is no magical list of flaws that makes cheating acceptable. You simply cannot justify the selfish actions of two cheaters by saying the wife somehow brought it on herself (and that is exactly what you are doing when you list her “flaws”) That you seem to have completely bought into the idea that she was scathing about money, spent time in bed with headaches, and only had infrequent sex with him. Let me ask you this……do you REALLY believe all that? Do you really think that this man who spent YEARS lying to and deceiving his wife, was truthful to YOU? Or do you think he told you things, if not outright lies, gross exaggerations, to garner your sympathy. He knew what you wanted to hear, what you NEEDED to hear to JUSTIFY and excuse what you would ultimately decide to do with him. NOBODY who cheats on their spouse is going to tell their affair partner the WHOLE truth.

        My own husband told outright lies to his AP, and once the fog lifted he has been amazed at some of the things he believed to be true at the time, but I was able to actually SHOW him was not true. It sickens him how he justified his affair by nitpicking and finding flaws in our marriage and family. I would have happily addressed anything that needed fixing, mentioned more than once as he descended into a deep depression (which he hid for a long time) that he needed counseling and I would gladly go as well. But you know what? His AP convinced him that the kids and I were the REASON he was depressed. So she convinced a man who unknowingly to me, was suicidal with a plan, NOT to seek help. No medication, no counseling. SHE was the answer to all his problems.

        The sight of you made him happy? Do you really believe that one as well? It was the thrill of a new relationship, the charge he got out of cheating and by your own admission you were just one in a long line of affairs. You see, this was a brokenness in THIS MAN that he was trying to fix. The affair was not the cure, it was a symptom of a DISEASE. Others turn to alcohol or drugs to fill the holes inside. He turned to willingly women and sex. What he needed was counseling and I hope he has found that.

        And because I have walked in the shoes of the betrayed spouse, I can tell you that it CHANGES YOU. No wonder she was worried about money, it was probably disappearing at an alarming rate down the rat hole of meals out with his mistress or hotel rooms. No wonder she was in bed with headaches. The woman was probably extremely depressed because on some level she KNEW what her husband was doing! To watch the man you love, the father of your children, criticize you, reject you is agonizing. To have to worry daily if your husband is going to leave you and if so, how you will support your children is an enormous burden. To fight for your marriage and your husband is exhausting. To soothe the fears of your SCARED children because they can SEE that daddy spends too much time with HER. Affairs impact kids. It damages them. Two years after his affair is over, our oldest daughter is still dealing with anxiety and depression as a result. In her words, she went from being a daddy’s girl to feeling like she didn’t have a father for a little over a year. Cheaters can fool themselves all they want, but the time, effort, and emotional energy it takes to maintain an affair comes at a COST. That comes from the time effort and attention that the FAMILY should have been receiving and the children FEEL THAT. It changes everyone in the family and the AP and the cheating spouse TURN That against them and use it as a reason to continue to cheat. Sick.

        Lastly, to address the issue of “blame”. Do I see the AP as the “sole perpetrator”? NO, absolutely not. My husband is the one who took marriage vows with me. He is the father of the children he betrayed and neglected to pursue his slut. He is responsible for the choices he made. He “owed” me something. She was merely a “friend” and “business partner” and owed me little. It does however, speak to her morals and values. She was his friend and colleague for years. He saw their relationship as “safe”. He talked about more personal stuff than he should have. She changed what she wanted out of the relationship, and silently pursued that, pushing the boundaries out a little at a time. And again, he could have said NO. Could have stopped that.

        But really, what kind of woman walks into another woman’s home every day to work. Pretends to be her friend initially. Acts hateful to his kids when he isn’t around. Has sex with him there? And when he realizes his mistake, she goes nuts to the point of hiring an attorney, making all manner of threats, having her own attorney drop her and warn ours that she is “crazy”. Then cyber stalks and bullies his wife and KIDS for the next two years (and counting)?

        again, I commend your ability to come here and try to help people understand the other side. I would suggest though, for your OWN healing, that you focus on WHY you did what you did. What was missing in your own heart? Your own marriage? Maybe you would have benefited from counseling. Maybe your marriage was just over, and you should have made the honorable choice and left. Found an available man and started over. The married man’s wife is irrelevant. She didn’t deserve what the two of you did TO her. No matter how bad or awful or evil she was. And likely she wasn’t. Just reacting to all the crap and women her husband had been throwing at her. Just trying to survive and protect her kids and family.

        I wish you all the best. Peace in your life

    • Strengthrequired

      Eyes – thanks again as always formyour input. Of course the husband should never have taken his mistress to the marital bed, that to me is a sacred place, not to be trashed. However as I did mention also to EG, that I’m sorry her husband had sank so low to do that, in which I had meant take this ow into her bed, it was wrong in so many ways.
      One thing you might want to understand about us betrayed spouses, we have anger towards the ow that ruined our lives. It is a sore point for us, we hate what our cs have done to us, but you may have ti understand how the ow will take most of the brunt that we throw. We look at our h as just plain stupid for falling into a trap with the ow in their lives.
      Now I am sure that your h would most likely feel the same about the om in your life, he would be more understanding to you but for another man to trash his family without regard that’s a different story. The om will get most of his anger.
      Just like other cs that have cheated on their husbands, their husbands would put mist of his anger towards “how could another man do this to my family”. “of course we would say the same about our cs, how could they have done this to us”. However, we love you so we support you, our cs. We try and keep our family together, and try so hard to help you out of the fog. Mo matter which way it happens.
      So you may need to excuse us at times, when we want to express some anger out towards the ow in our lives, we will support each other, as we know what each other are feeling, so when we post, most of our anger is target towards the ow in our lives. That is who made our life turn upside down, of course our husbands helped, we all know that.
      You see with my side, my h ow had already left her h, she needed someone to help support her, she got her foot inside the door of our family, completely knowing that I had a one year old, and other young children. She was also family, so I do have such disgust towards her.
      However is no excuse for how my h behaved, but ow is supposed to be more nurturing when it comes to family and children, so to hurt my children by trying to break my family, I believe she should have known better and had a better heart. If my h was acting like an ass, then she should have said “no I’m not going there, you have children that need you and your wife to be together”. She should have walked away, yet she was the pursuer. She was the one that started it all, I know that for a fact. Her whole family were involved.
      As I said when you talk about your h being the bs, we then look at you as being the one in the same boat as our cs, and the om in your life is the same as the ow in our life.
      Probably sounded like a load of dribble, lol but I hope you understand, what I am trying to say.

      • exercisegrace

        SR….well said. Any person that is willing to be the Affair Partner, is choosing to hurt innocent people. Please don’t tell me that you LOVE that person. IF you LOVED them, you would admit that, admit that it is wrong and then walk away. Suggest they get help. Give their marriage a shot. And when it is all said and done, if they end up divorced and available….THEN and only THEN do you have the freedom to pursue a relationship with that person. Anything else is self-serving at best.

        • Strengthrequired

          Exactly EG, honestly why does anyone have to resort into having an affair, if the spouse is so terrible, why not just leave and make sure it’s completely over divorce and all before contemplating seeing someone else. What is it, they have to make sure someone is still there on th sidelines, just in case? They don’t want to be alone. I know my h mentioned to his sister, he didn’t want to end up alone.

          • exercisegrace

            SR, I have actually put a lot of thought into this very idea and discussed it with my therapist. It has been something that has disturbed me deeply. My husband is insistent that he was basically happy in our marriage, that it was brokenness within himself that he was trying to fix. That he was basically in self-destruct mode due to the stresses in his life and the depression. Because I certainly would have gone to counseling, made any changes he needed to make rather than the absolute hell we (and our kids) are going through now in the wake of his affair.

            I think the answer to why they don’t leave is that they don’t WANT TO. It is why they nearly always “affair down”. It’s why they typically choose someone very opposite from they type of person they would be with if they were indeed single. Basically I believe that the affair is a temporary escape, an ego-jacking, and they consciously or subconsciously know from the start that this is not going to go anywhere. So the person chosen is basically chosen BECAUSE it won’t last. It will implode. They are not looking for a MATE or a life partner. They are looking for someone to give them attention, be fun and make ZERO demands on them. Cake is good, but not three times a day indefinitely. At some point you want substance. You want depth. A relationship built on a common enemy (the betrayed spouse) can never last.

            • Strengthrequired

              EG, that’s right, my h as well was depressed and stressed with him feeling like he was ailing our family, business was struggling and he was worried. How was he going to make ends meet.
              So she was the scape goat for him feeling better about himself, none of the financial burdens he had to face at home when he saw our faces. Yet she wanted more, because he promised to help her settle into life without her h, he took on the roll as her protector and made himself responsible for her. Idiot… He just put himself in more financial stress, more depression and almost lost his family for the sake of his affair down.

              Seems to be a trend with alot of cs, depression seems to be a factor along with midlife crisis. As my h was also going through his midlife crisis.

    • SamIam

      I think (with the hindsight and 20/20 thing going on now) that kicking some one out does not mean it would be over…..it is just a separation WITH rules! I would have had a separation contract in place and he would have know every last detail of my expectations.(in fact I made he write the contract 🙂 )The way we did it caused a longer “fog” as far as I am concerned. He did not feel an urgent need to figure out what was “wrong within himself” as long as he was coming home to me. It seems that this whole EA was for me to figure out….after all in his mind it was over (on/off just like that) and he watched as I struggled to read everything I could about the subject ….then I got tired and told him he needed to figure this out!

      Kicking him out would have been the kick in the butt that he needed to start the healing process. I will never understand how some one could hurt me so badly and then let me know it was my job to figure it out! So now 28 months post Dday he is doing the work.

      I really was not afraid of him choosing me or not…. I just wanted some space. If fact, I needed to choose him again, but it is difficult to see clearly when the person who hurt you so badly still comes home every night. It is like having the tiger-in-the-room everyday! no rest, hyper-alert, constant anxiety, and just plain tired of sleeping with one eye open (or not sleeping at all)

      Practical experience (like anything is practical after an EA or PA ) tells us all that a separation is just a beginning….never have I seen a marriage end without some back and forth …… but the loss becomes up close and personal when CS is sleeping in pay-per-week motel under the viaduct 🙂

    • Gizfield

      Eyes Opened, I didn’t get to read through these comments real thoroughly because they are long and I just woke up. I get the general jist of you maybe not liking where the “blame” has been assigned for the affair. I will tell you that I assign it EQUALLY to both cheaters, on all instances. You know, the old”It takes 2 to tango.”

      I will also give you some unsolicited advice, which may seen harsh but if you choose to listen to it, will be very helpful. I’ve noticed this before and not said anything but here goes. First, let me say that I am (was) a Cheater as well, about 20 years ago, so I know what I’m taking about. My major concern with you is that you dont seem to take full responsibilty for YOUR part in the affair, and until you do, you are in danger of repeating it. you say that you do accept it, but then you say you were “duped” and give a long list of “reasons” for what you did. Trust me on this one, that is what ALL cheaters do. Nobody I have seen is an exception, yet. When you can look at yourself and say “I knew this was wrong, and I CHOSE to do it anyway, regardless of my reasons and no matter who I hurt” then you will be where you need to be. If you knew a man was married and got involved with him anyway, you were NOT “duped.” You knew what he was when you picked him up. Choose the behavior, choose the consequences.

      • exercisegrace

        Giz. I applaud this. It is so very much in human nature to find excuses and reasons and justifications for our bad behavior. And the more repulsive the behavior, the more shame that behavior brings, and so the more we try to find reasons to minimize that.

        to this day my husband’s AP sees herself as a victim. Hates me and my kids because we didn’t just go away. You don’t just walk into a bank and steal money because you think you deserve it. Or because the bank teller wasn’t vigilant enough to protect it. You don’t just take the table scraps of another woman’s life because you think YOU deserve her husband more than SHE does.

        You nailed what TRUE remorse and regret look like. Owning your mistakes and seeing them as exactly that. YOUR MISTAKES. And being remorseful to the innocent people damaged along the way. Other than hurting me, I think my husband’s deepest regret is what he did to our children. Of course DURING the affair, he thought they were all clueless, they didn’t have any idea what was going on, blah blah. He and his AP wanted to see their crime as victimless. But again, what he gave her, was stolen from US. If only more people could look at the big picture and see how far-reaching the impact of infidelity really is.

    • Gizfield

      Sam I am, I wasn’t worried whether my husband would “choose”me or not either. I was sick of him sneaking around, being a LIAR! That crap was going out of me my life, and if he had to go as well, so be it !! His little girl friend wanted to think she was oh, so special. That I was “jealous” of her, and insecure. Wrong! I was pissed off, and disgusted by her. And him. Not quite the same thing, is it? Lol. A common fantasy of the spouse’s affair partner is that they are “letting” you keep your husband and marriage. Sorry, 90 % of the time it’s the other way around. The fear the betrayed spouse feels is actually what is letting the affair partner stay, and when they have had enough, that skank is outta there.

      • Strengthrequired

        Giz, I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head with that comment. I believe that too about the affair partner. I know she was feeding off of my feelings.
        I also think that unless my h stopped the constant contact for good then she still would have stuck around in hope.
        She is finally out of the apartment my h leased for her, which had a few months left, she chose to leave it herself early. I’m hoping that she has finally woken up.

      • Strengthrequired

        I knew my h would choose me over cousin it, I knew what we had. That month he was away was very hard though I must admit. My h when he did leave, said ” can I leave the rest of my things here” I told him it was fine. He was worried that it would mean he couldn’t come back, if he took everything. It was his way of keeping his foot in the door, while trying to figure his own head out.
        Well that was at the beginning, cousin it however was holding all the cards, so the only way to get some control back was to give him space, but be there. Also letting my h know that imwas there for him if he needed and also remind him of wha he was about to lose.
        Itnwas me however who asked him ti return home after a month, that was after he told me he chose me.
        However it was the constant cake eating and the lies, that then makes you question what you know deep down about your h, to this new version standing in front of you in the midst of the fog. That’s the one i question, would he have chosen me if I had left it all upto him.
        All I know, if my h chose cousin it, then they would have deserved each other, my h knows I wouldn’t have stood in the “way of his so called happiness”. I would have happily sat back and watched my h slowly watch his life fall apart around him. My h was so depressed, he actually kept saying to her how we had so many children, that hedidnt want so many children, next breathe she is telling him how she will make him so happy, she will rescue him, that she looks foreardmto having a baby with him, while they raise her kids. Lol. That’s where the joke is, he couldn’t see what was happening.
        He had started something with a woman, that had three children, wanted another baby to keep them tied together, and then he had his own 6 children. I had to point that out so often to him, he kept saying he didn’t think about it that way, and that there was no way he was going to have another baby. I laughed at him and said, yet you are struggling trying tomsupport your own family, so you bring another family into the picture, trying to be the man for her too.
        I had told him, I wanted nothing from him, if he left me, then he only has to worry aboutmher and her children, as we wanted nothing from him, I would support our children, without his help.
        One thing he saidmto me was, ohh her kids aren’t my responsibility. That made me laugh, because asmi said to him, if you make a relationship with her, of course youmtake the whole package deal, not just her.
        See how irrational my h was? I had also never seen anyone get more and more depressed not being home with his children and me, itmwas easier for him to forget about us when he was on holiday, but once in the same area, wheremhemsees me and our children, now that’s a different story. He became more depressed, more sickly looking, and yet this cousin it was so wonderful.
        Why was he so sick and so deeply depressed if she was so great, if he was so in love? I know if your in love, you don’t get depressed your happy and over the moon excited. Where was his joy? Down the toilet hole where his family were, that’s where.
        So I knew where he really wanted to be. It was remarkable how peacefully he could sleep next to me when he did return home, no more jumping in his sleep constantly, the yellowness in his face and eyes started to clear up. He was at peace.
        He even told his sister how happy he was he came back home, as that is where he belongs with his family.
        Yet cousin it just wouldn’t let it go, kept making him feel responsible for her and her kids. “ohh look at all the or osier you made me, you promised me so man things”
        I have ti give it to her, she knew how to manipulate a man that was depressed, and knew how to make it out that it was my fault, that i was the one that broke him.
        He actually told me “you broke me, she saved me”
        Saved you from what? What I saw in my h was definately not someone that was saved, I saw someone tormented, and depressed and was getting sicker. I couldn’t turn my back on him.

        • Strengthrequired

          That was supposed tom say promises , not osier. Lol

    • Gizfield

      Sam I am, in a motel under the viaduct. Mine was on his mother’s couch for a month. Lol, sure sets those priorities straight, doesn’t it?

      • Strengthrequired

        Mine was at hiscsisters place in a single bed for a month

    • EyesOpened

      Ok – I have a lot of responses to give here – but most importantly EG – I am SO sorry you thought I was criticising his wife!!! No! I was conveying the story that was told to me to make me think that his marriage was in pieces. This is me saying… This is the kind of story that a CS will tell to get sympathy. I am absolutely NOT criticising his wife. She is a victim here – because of me! Terrible if that came out wrong – so sorry !

      • exercisegrace

        Gotcha. Totally read that wrong then.

    • EyesOpened

      Gizfield – I understand why you might think I’m defensive but I am remorseful. I am writing my updates on a busy train and whilst very careful about the language I use, I find it hard to completely convey some of the things I’m trying to say without conveying some of the pain I’m feeling. That said I am listening – and you are right. My choices. My decision. I do find myself looking for a way to blame others – and I will nip it in the bud!

      What I am trying to show is the picture from the other side . SR – I appreciate your kind ( and very patient) explanation from your point of view – and others on this site. If I had given it a moments thought – I could have worked it out for myself ( here I go again) – so apologies that you had to spell it out for me! Yes – my husband does believe in me and hate the OM – however he does hold both OM and myself fully accountable (as do I) – so yes – I can absolutely see the position of the BSs on here – and as you are well aware – I am just so grateful to be able to learn from you all too.

      I’m totally aware that some of my comments might cause more pain or offence to a BS and would stop at any time. It is scary to wade in and say what it’s like from the other side – and even if the things I say are stupid and thoughtless – even those things can be ‘knowledge’ – and knowledge is power.

      You might not believe it – but I don’t say everything I think and feel on here. If I did – my next post would be me yelling at myself for being such a total, total idiot!

    • EyesOpened

      Chiff Chaff – I nearly cried at your post. I am so very sorry that you have suffered on so very many levels over such a long time. You must be exhausted. That is exactly what I am saying – on one side of the fence this horror is happening – and on the other – lies and fantasy is taking part . I often wish I’d met his wife in a coffee shop before I met him – I like to think the horror story I ‘wrote’ – would have been so different. I coukd have been giving support and advice to a troubled woman instead of tearing her and my h’s world apart.

      EG – again – you are so so right. The headaches and pain were being caused by his behaviour (lots of it with me) – not the other way around.

      Instead of finding a way to help my loving, committed, loyal h – I ran away when he needed me most and hurt him beyond belief.

      The post at the beginning was in relation to HOW and WHEN to end the affair – what I was trying to convey (but not very well) – is that AT THE TIME OF THE AFFAIR.ENDING I felt so justified in my actions that I was ready to give up everything for the OM. So for me – I needed time to see the colossal mistake and an immediate ‘kick out’ would probably not have worked for me.

      Thank you all for your respect and restraint – and again for letting me learn from you. If this site wasn’t here – Well … Suffice to say I wouldn’t be who I am now!

      • exercisegrace

        I wish none of us had to be here. At least we all will walk away better people. More aware of who we are, the choices we make, and the impact we can have on others.

        • Strengthrequired

          Right again EG, it’s all about the consequences with the choices we make, and the impact it has on others.

    • Strengthrequired

      Eo, we are all growing and learning from each other and from the whole ordeal of the affair.

    • Broken2

      Eyes…..did you ever at anytime think about what you were doing in regards to the fact that when the wife found out about you her life would be destroyed? How does a person justify that behavior? I often wonder that about my husbands OW. Do you still think about your affair partner? Do you feel the need sometimes to contact him just to see if he is ok? Did you go through a time when you felt resentful that you couldn’t at least just be friends with him? My husband felt this way…although I just found out this info 30 months later. I wrote the member #1 mentioned in the opening of this thread. I did tell my husband to make a decision immediately because I felt I deserved at least that much. I feel like cheaters lose that choice when they cheat. If he didn’t want me he needed to go and I guess I couldn’t feel the pain of knowing he was still seeing her. She contacted him 6 months after dday and he lied to me about it and when I found out it was like dday all over again. She then called him again only this time the call came over the car speaker and I was sitting there. So I wonder what goes through a persons head to first even have an affair with a married man and then when the OW knows full well that they have devastated a family they try contact again? It amazes me. You know I could actually forgive my husbands affair partner as I could forgive anyone if they came to me and said I screwed up and I am sorry but I have never heard from her and she knew me as well. I guess it really doesn’t matter but I would love the blanks filled in.

    • Strengthrequired

      Broken 2, the amount if days, I have had is like being played a fool over and over again. Yet I know that the ow in my h life, she was hoping I would get sick if it and leave so she could have him. There were many times she would ask my h, why does she stay, why can’t she leave us alone, I wouldn’t stay if my h did this to me.
      So that shows you her mindset too. Yet wouldn’t you have thought my h would think about those words every time she spoke them. Like this woman is doing this to my w, yet if her h did this to her she would leave. How can I think this woman is someone I could trust with my future?

      That also goes to show you how my h was not in his right frame of mind too, because to me those words are alarm bells that would ring very loud for any man that is apparently “in love” with that sort of person.
      This ow tried so many things to keep my h and I apart, she tried so many things to get us to stay apart, spread so many rumors, had my h even question me about some which she spoke about me. Which of course he knew the truth, but was blinded by infatuation.
      My h unfortunately becomes too trusting in some people, and doesn’t expect that they would be out to cause harm, he would help anyone. Yet that help he was offering the ow was taken advantage of by her, and by others he has helped. You would think would learn, yet unfortunately most of the people that have taken advantage of my h generosity is related to him, such is the ow.
      Maybe this time he will actually learn that now after almost losing his family.

    • Broken2

      Strength…my husband is the same way. Never sees the bad side to anyone. He once had a business partner steal $10,000 from him and refused to see it until it was to late. I remember him telling me not to say bad things about the OW because she was so nice and helping him to understand me. (we have been together for 40 years) I think the crazy affair partners have a lot to do with causing the affair even though of course our spouses are ultimately responsible. They say all the right things, have their hands out for whatever our spouses want to give, So sad we are all even here.

    • Strengthrequired

      That’s so true, unfortunately the affair partners knew what they were doing. Sometimes I believe my h was so shocked about what he had done, that he felt he didn’t deserve to be with me. I think he felt that he ended up in something he never wanted and didn’t know how to get out of it, without someone getting hurt. Unfortunately for me, it was our children and myself that were hurt most of all, with us being overlooked, so he wouldn’t hurt her. I think he thought that because he was home that I shouldn’t be hurting bad, and that she was hurting more because he was back home, because you know ” she was so inlove with him, that surely she couldn’t live without him”. Well she did a good job at playing that card too, to make him think he was gods gift o her and her sanity.

    • Strengthrequired

      It’s a terrible shame we are all here, something nine of us should of had to face.

    • Strengthrequired

      Sorry none of us, not nine of us. Silly spell checker changing what I type.

    • Jackedupwife

      I don’t get how exes aren’t worthy of a lifetime commitment, but can come back in my spouses life and control. Call when they want, screw when they can and demand my w time. I know she allowed it. There’s something wrong there. The exes (2), between both, total 5 divorces. Our first marriage and she goes back. I want my marriage to work but I truly think my w is nuts, like mental. I sesnse she wants it to work but I’m nnot satisfied as to why. Plans were in the works till she was caught. The only closure is the phone calls the partners received from me. We are all kidding ourselves if we think that the love keeps us together. Bound financially and kids makes us consider forgiveness and listen to a time frame of trying to forget.

    • overwhelmed

      Well, well. I’m famous now. Or is that infamous?
      I must say, it took me a long time to develop the courage to take a stand. Although it hasn’t worked so far, perhaps I’m still doing it wrong. I don’t know. I will say this much; I’m in a much, much better place today than even a week or two ago. My brother-in-law and life-long friend came over a few days back and I told him everything. As he sat there listening in shock he kept remarking over and over about my unbelievable strength. And he is right. I feel VERY strong these days. I still have my moments, but overall, I know I’m good. If it wasn’t for the kids, I’d be gone. For sure. But I am practicing tough love, just baby steps. Surely not enough, I can clearly see that now. But as any of you know, the thought is just terrifying.

      This weekend will be a watershed moment. She’s away with her Dad, allegedly “making a decision”. She might be surprised if I make that decision for her.

      The kids and I will be heading up to meet her and a bunch of the rest of the family at the lake house for the weekend. My dilemma now is should I just lay low and try and enjoy the weekend? I think so. Either that, or I’ll drive 2.5 hours, drop the kids off and leave. Not sure I want to do that either.

      Thank you so very much to everyone here for helping me see through my own fog. I truly don’t know where I’d be today without you folks.

      • Doug

        overwhelmed, Glad you chimed in! I’m also glad that you feel you are in a much better place now, and for what it’s worth…if you’re going to take the time to drive the 2.5 hours to the lake house, you should try to have the best time possible – regardless the state of mind that your wife is in. Show her that you’re doing just fine. If nothing else for your kid’s sake. Take care!

      • Strengthrequired

        Overwhelmed, stay and enjoy yourself with your children. I Feel your children need you to be there as well as there mum. Be there if not for you for them. Show your wife how much your family mean to her together.

    • EyesOpened

      I wonder if there are any other CSs reading this who might be willing to help too? I am only one person with one mindset – and clearly can’t represent all cheaters – but will certainly tell you my experience.

      Broken 2 – I am going to respond to you honestly then hide for a while! As has been highlighted so many times – an affair is a selfish act for a selfish gain. My emotions and reactions to things surprised me – I almost became two different people during the time it happened – my first memory was that after the first interaction – I thought I would be riddled with guilt and haunted by what had just happened – I assumed my h would know straight away. He didn’t. I was so busy focusing on MY life, my h and my kids- I didn’t think about HIS w at all. My assumption was that his marriage was beyond repair and that’s why he was here. It’s how I felt about my marriage. From there on – the relationship became about the two of us – and the fact that my h didn’t question ANYTHING led me to convince myself that he actually knew what was going on and decided to turn a blind eye. I guess you end up lying to those around you AND yourself . To the cheater (or at least me) – what was happening was so obvious to me that everyone else must know what was going on and support it!

      Please understand that I am trying to explain how this happened – how I felt at the time – not how I feel now – I am trying to describe the mindset. I’m very aware that in describing it looks like justification or excuses NOW – it’s not.

      The OMs wife and family were for HIM to worry about – not me.

      As for me at home – I had tried to talk to my h about living separate lives. I said I was unhappy and felt I made him miserable and it was affecting the children and making them unhappy. He smashed plates and threatened to commit suicide and said he’d try. He didn’t try very hard and life was miserable for both of us Without his consent – I couldn’t go it alone – we would have to sell the house and he wouldn’t agree. I convinced myself I had been honest, done all I could and it was over but I was trapped. As far as I was concerned OM was in the same emotional place – unable to move out because of lack of money and the worry she would move kids to her home country and he’d never see them again. What followed was us entering fantasyland – planning our future together and how it would look – only there was never a clear picture at the end.

      NOW the inability to be able to visualise that future and all the doubt makes utter sense.

      You absolutely convince yourself that you will be much happier with this other person and that everyone around you will be much happier too – your h/w will be happier because they will find a new person and they will thank you (eventually) for setting them free to realise it …and your kids will be happier because everyone else is happier!!! It’s the perfect Disney story.

      Why not tell your w/h? Because you know without the benefit of them having found their new partner yet and it all being ‘oh so’ new to them – that they just won’t understand yet.. So the ap and you make a pact to tell them when the time is right for all of you – only that time never comes because the whole thing was just a phony made-up fantasy to stop you facing the problems you had head on.

      When your partner freaks out and wants to work at your marriage it wakes you up with a bang – only you’ve planned for this remember ….. Of course they’ll behave like this – now that someone else wants you – they’ve suddenly realised how great you are and now they want you! You and the AP have discussed this moment and how hard it will be and how you will be there for each other when it happens.

      It is only at this point that the realisation of your actions really start bedding in. The confusion that these two people that you have convinced each other don’t love, don’t care suddenly show how much they do care – they’re real, they have feelings and your amazing plan to make them leave you or find the right time to leave them hasn’t worked – they are in your face fighting for your love and hurting more than you can imagine. You realise THEY haven’t got someone to turn to and support them – they don’t have an AP to run to – the guilt starts to sink in.

      Then there are answers required – and you have to make choices in the middle of all the emotions and confusion – you don’t want to but you HAVE to . My h asked me at this point if I loved him and was going to spend the rest of my life with him or choose the OM. My head said ‘I don’t know’ my mouth said ‘yes I want to stay with you’.

      My AP said ‘ why haven’t you emailed me and said let’s go for it – Now! ‘ – at this point I said to him – ‘because if I do that – and you leave your w for me – and we don’t work out – you will blame me for breaking up your family. If you are leaving your w – you are leaving her because you do not want to be there – not just to be with me. He said he wouldn’t leave unless it was to be with me – so I told him to find out if he wanted to stay or leave then get back to me.’

      The fog is what follows in my opinion – a long and painful process of realising what you have actually done.

      In trying to understand it all – I found this site . I discovered I was not unique or special. It helped me to decide to give up my job so I don’t have the daily contact with the OM. We don’t talk, we don’t look at each other or communicate at all – even though we need to, to do our jobs.

      Yes I feel that I want to ask how he is and moe importantly how his wife is – but I know that by breaking that commitment and code I could undo all the massive hard work that my h and I (and his w and him) have put in to repair this.

      I also hate him! I hate him for everything he represents now – and the lies and deceit and destruction – I hate myself even more and if I could run away from it all I would – but I can’t and I have to accept, own and face up to what I have done, who I have become and live with it.

      My h wants me to forgive myself so that we can move on properly – and I just want to forget the whole nightmare.

      I’m doing all I can to fix it – and I know we’ll get there. The love for my h is gradually getting deeper and building more – and every minor conflict feels like a war – but we are moving forward and I THINK the AP and his w are too. I sincerely hope so.

      So now you know the whole truth. I’m going to take a break from the site now – because I feel like I might do more harm than good as I ‘open up’. I really do wish you all the very best and want to say thank you (and sorry) to you all.

      • blueskyabove

        EyesOpened,
        It has been my experience over the years of frequenting infidelity sites that the vast majority of CSs/OM/OW (and BSs if I’m honest) have an agenda.  Duh!  Seeing as how I am no longer as  trusting as I once was I feel as if I’m sticking my neck out somewhat by telling you how much I appreciate your sincerity in wanting to help and I admire your grace under fire as it were.

        IMO you are definitely someone I would like my roses to see, EyesOpened.  I have never said that to a CS before although there are a couple of CSs on another site that are also worthy of those words.  I can work with someone who shows remorse and heart-felt honesty, who is willing to admit their flaws, and who wants to learn from their mistakes.  Every one of us has room to grow.  Every one of us could become a better person than we were before.  I commend you for efforts, but I also think it is a good idea for you to take a break from this site…just for your own good.  I think ‘opening up’ probably wasn’t pleasant for you.  And–I think you are vulnerable right now.  I do not believe you are under any obligation to me or anyone else on this site.  I would hate to see you unnecessarily trampled on because you found yourself on one side of this awful triangle.  Take care.

        Doug,
        Please know that I am not excluding you in the above remark about CSs.  I truly appreciate your efforts.  Sometimes I feel that neither you nor Linda fully receive the respect and appreciation you both deserve in making this site available so others can rant and rave while they voice their opinion.  JMHO.

      • Strengthrequired

        Eyes, I’m saddened to see you feel the need to have a break. As much as you may believe, you have been amazing. You are doing so well and have come so far in repairing your marriage. Don’t ever think you don’t deserve your h, because you most certainly do.
        All the work you have done and the renewed love you have for your h is just going to make the both of you stronger.
        Just want you to know appreciate what you have contributed here.
        I do hope you come in from time to tme and let us know hoes you are going.

      • chiffchaff

        Eyes- thank you for being frank about your feelings during your affair and the fog/aftermath. I also found it insightful as it helps me understand to a certain extent quite why my H was so apparently confused and confusing after I discovered his PA/EA. Clearly he had expected, in his fantasy, that I would discover it and then just leave him – that I’d be happy to go because he’d built up a required myth for himself that I didn’t love him anymore and that it would be a blessing for us to part.
        But reality is very different to fantasy, as you describe. It’s like some of the self-help books explain – that justifications for affairs require de-personalisation of those affected by it. They look at statistics for the effect on children and summise that because ‘most children’ are happy 3 years after divorce of their parents (for instance) then their own children will be fine. But the stats are generalisations and their own children are individuals.
        My H didn’t factor in the effect on his own friendships, he thought they’d never find out and if they did, they’d just accept his new woman. He’d even worked out that he’d have to get the OW pregnant if we divorced otherwise his parents would never accept her into their family. He didn’t think about (and thankfully he never got to find out) whether the OW wanted kids or not (from her blog she’s very anti-kids so that would’ve been interesting).
        Thanks again Eyes for your insights.

        • Linda

          chiffchaff, I also found Eyes Opened remarks very insightful. For me it validated how much their relationship was based on fantasy, it was a story they invented in their heads to fit a desired outcome (to feel better about themselves and their lives) The story was great when they were in their little world, they had everything figured out, all the bases were covered, justifications in place.

          They believed their spouses didn’t care about them,the affair partners would provide everything they needed. Again a story made up in their heads based on their own perceptions not reality. No wonder when they are discovered they are completely confused and don’t know where their loyalities lie.

          For the BS this comes at a complete shock, for me I thought Doug would choose me and our family, I had no idea what I was up against. As eyes opened commented the affair partners had discussed and planned for this, they formed an alliance, the spouse an outsider. No wonder we heard things like “you care about me now because someone else wants me” or “little too late to try now”, “she’s just desperate she doesn’t really care about you” I really think they believed those things were true if not then they were feel very guilty.

          I also found it interesting that after they were caught she didn’t want him to leave his wife because of her, but because he didn’t want to be in his marriage anymore. If that were the case wouldn’t he have left his wife a long time ago? The affair partners didn’t want to carry the guilt and responsibilty of breaking up a family, unfortunately it is a little too late for that, their actions had already damaged a marriage.

          • chiffchaff

            I asked my H today if he’d made plans to leave me with the OW and if so, what were they. And if not, did they ever discuss why it was essential to keep it secret and not let me know or leave?
            I find it odd on two levels, that you would make plans for a future life with someone else while you’re still married, rather than be honest with your spouse and talk about leaving. And then, the other side of the coin which is if you don’t ever discuss leaving why aren’t you also discussing the what the hell you’re doing?
            My H said they had vague discussions about some sort of future but not grounded on anything fixed. He had thought they were just making plans to try and see each other again while accepting that they probably wouldn’t. he said it was difficult to talk about. I asked if I behaved as he’d expected on discovery and he said that he was very confused about what he was doing and why when he was found out.
            It all just comes across not just as selfish but majorly f*cked up and certainly entirely based on mutual delusion. I just don’t understand it.

            • Linda

              chiffchaff, the reason why we have such a difficult time understanding it is because we are thinking logically and obviously they are not. When I would question Doug about details, things they had in common etc. most of what he said didn’t make sense. In some ways he was contradicting himself. For example in one way he would say the OW was always positive, then he would say she did nothing but complain about her husband.

              I believe that is why most BS spend a great deal of time questioning the cheater, but they are attempting to clarify something that makes little sense to them. It just doesn’t add up. You will also find that as time passes and the cheater is more aware of the reality of the situation, they will avoid answering those questions because I believe they begin to understand how stupid their were.

              Recently after a conversation with Doug about some detail questions I finally believe that Doug is not trying to lie about the details, or avoid the conversation he just really doesn’t understand what happened. It just doesn’t make sense to him anymore either. When he says it was all very stupid I think he really means it. It was just two people playing a make believe game.

            • chiffchaff

              Linda – that could well be true in our situation. We’re otherwise very happy these days but it doesn’t stop me thinking about the whys. I don’t ‘feel’ that my H is lying these days but he says he doesn’t like going anywhere near this topic of conversation.
              I know it weighs on his mind, especially at the moment, as my teeth are falling to pieces and I need major costly dental work, as I ground them down constantly for the first 12 months after discovery. I can well imagine that knowing you were the cause of such stress, for such selfish reasons, in someone else you are supposed to love and protect is hard to bear.

            • forcryin'outloud

              Linda, good point about the illogical thinking of the CS. Early on my therapist told me I needed to understand this affair was not done with reason, logic and rational thinking. She pressed me to stop trying to rationalize. I’ve had a VERY tough time with that, I’m come at almost all behavior with logic.
              I also am beginning to see the basis of your other remark about how the CS just feels stupid that they acted so stupid. It’s as if they had an outer body experience. I tell my H his “evil twin” took over.

              Chiffchaff -how ironic about your teeth. My dentist said I needed a $980 mouth guard because I’m grinding my teeth away. And then last week my Dr. asked me if I had considered counseling.LOL. Told me stress can be tough. If he only knew.

            • Strengthrequired

              Linda, and chiff, I too believe that my h hates talking about his ea, because he knows how much it hurt me and doesn’t understand it himself. It was so completely out of his character. I know he wants to forget it, he sees the damage it has caused us and our family. We have both our oldests boys living elsewhere due to us needing to move because of his ea, he sees how they are both struggling, and due ti us struggling financially too, he can’t always help them. All my h wantsmis our family together nice again. I know how much it upsets him that we aren’t.
              I think my h had a hard time because with the other woman being family too, he didn’t want to be the one that caused her pain too, as her family would definately have blamed him, even though they pushed him to be with her. He struggled trying to come to terms with hurting anyone, so it was me that took the brunt of his hurt. I’m am positive my h didn’t know how to let go of cousin it even though he knew he had to so his family would be saved.
              So here my h is paying for his ea still, working hard, trying to get our business back off the ground, so we don’t lose anything else, it’s hard for me to watch because I know he still is depressed, because it is taking so long for things to turn around for the better with work.
              My h told me that he has the belief in his head now that cousin it was only just using him, he just doesn’t want to think of it because it makes him upset to think that maybe I was right all along. He knows she was definately not thinking of his children, just herself. He also told me that she has two personalities and that life is definately not greener on the other side. He told me, she isn’t me. (I could have taken that last ne and ran with it in different directions) of course though she isn’t me, I’m nit a lying manipulative homes wrecker that destroys families and expects married men to look after her,
              So my h does try ti forget, I know he doesn’t understand all that happened, which is why he chooses to forget and move on.

    • dave

      Eyes, Thanks for sharing that. You help me understand my wife more everytime you share. Even though it hurts me to read it does help.

    • dave

      I never really did the tough love to stop the Affair. I just hung in there and worked on myself as much as possible. I never followed through when I told her to leave and she said she couldnt right now. I caved and said she didnt have to right now and that I would help her get on her feet when I could. That was in March and we have not dicussed that subject after that day.The Affair has ended (I can tell) and I must say that things are awkward between us. We have not sat down and discussed the affair at all. She often shows me what she is doing on her phone and who she is talking to when texting. I don’t ask I think she just wonders what I am thinking. To be honest, I think I stopped caring about who she was talking to after our April vacation because she was just so obvious and disrespectful with it. After I caught her on that one it never happened again. So we are still in limbo. I would not recomend this to anyone because I have suffered greatly because of it. Our relationship is strange to say the least, we do everything together and still have sex several times a week. We are still not sleeping in the same bed together and NEVER tell each other I love you. We also never discuss what happened or whether or not we are going to stay together. We are both in limbo and I am waiting for her to come to me to discuss it. When she does I will be ready to move in either direction. I do love her but I am strong enough to leave her now. If I could start over and do it again I would probably throw her ass out on dday. But then I would not have gained all this new found strength. I am so much healthier now. The pain really motivated me.

      • blueskyabove

        Dave,

        Second-guessing yourself and berating yourself for what you ‘should have’ done isn’t self-supporting IMO.  Maybe you did it the way you did because you intuitively knew that was the best way to go.  I know that for a year or two I beat myself up for doing ‘everything’ wrong. That is what I repeatedly told myself.  Looking back…I know that isn’t true.  I think I probably did the best I could do at the time with the information I had at that time.  I also believe there was a higher source guiding both me and my husband.  I also believe…since I later realized he was clueless during this period…that he was unknowingly looking to me for guidance.  Don’t underestimate this possibility with your wife.  I understand the limbo, I understand the hesitation on your part, but if you feel confidant the affair is over then maybe, just maybe,  she’s looking to you for guidance.

      • Strengthrequired

        Dave, I would like to give you my honest opinion. I think if neither you ir your wife is willing to make the first move at saying I love you, or expressing how you feel then you won’t move forward, you will be stuck in limbo.
        By the sounds of it you both are waiting for the other to make the first move. I think if you love your wife, tell her. Just tell her, and keep telling her. It’s grea you are still intimate, but tell her just how much she means to you during that intimate time and after and I’m telling you that wall will start to come down for the both of you. Dont let her “mistake” burden the both of you and stop you from having the marriage of your dreams. If no one makes the first move then that is how it will stay until one of you decide to call it quits.
        Find each other again, and all the rest will follow. Look back on old photos together one evening, and share those moments all over again and laugh and rejoice the moment your first chills was born. I know you can get past this.
        I know you love your wife dearly, you wouldn’t be here otherwise. All I know is that if I didn’t start the work with my h, showing him what he means to me and letting him know each and everyday, then maybe we wouldn’t be as far along as what we are. Maybe we would have been at a stand still.
        Honestly I would have loved it for my h to make the first move, unfortunately I could see that wasn’t going to happen, so it was upto me.
        Show your wife she has made the right decision in choosing you, show her that she doesn’t need to lean on anyone else except you, and that your there wanting to love her until the end of days.
        I it’s hard being the bs having to make the first move, but sometimes the cs needs abit of a nudge in the right direction.

        That’s just my opinion Dave, but whatever you decide I hope it all works out for both of you. I really do.

      • Kranny

        Dave, I have been reading Doug and Linda’s site for a long time but never commented, just read the information. As the BS in a same gender marriage of 23 years, I unexpectedly experienced Dday 2 years ago, I feel that my path has “ended up” somewhat like yours because I now feel that I am stronger and more involved in life activities than ever before with or without my CS. I have made new friends and participate in pickleball and hiking in a big way, things I never did before. I now know I can leave her or ask her to move out because she continues a very open, active relationship with her AP. I also know the rules I would put in place should I decide to move her along. It will be “take what you need to live elsewhere and no, we will not be friends and talking while you are gone. I will go on with my life and if I haven’t met someone or haven’t decided to go it alone, I will consider taking you back but only if you want to save the marriage and absolutely have no contact with the AP.”

        The affair started about 2 years ago. I have allowed CS all latitude to move out or not, sleep with me or not, spend her time how she wants, with me, or with her AP. In her affair fog, she made up “facts” about our marriage that I still can’t understand how she believes them. We had a very pleasant, happy, and affectionate relationship and yes, we got grouchy with each other but who hasn’t?. I was completely shocked and went thru the typical devastation, losing weight, wondering if suicide wasn’t the best solution, unable to work without constant tears. To this day, she says there was nothing wrong with our marriage, that she was happy, but that she just started to admire someone and that she made the first move and now it’s just too intimate to let go and she couldn’t stand to hurt the other person too.

        One thing that is different for me (there are no children involved), is that I think her AP is a good person who made a momentary bad decision and now has to live with the emotional consequences. I also think my CS is a good person who made a bad choice at an instant in time but is now so emotionally involved and guilt-ridden, it’s like she is living out a punishment each day. And although it pains me not to have her full affection at this point and I can’t have some intimate conversations with her, I have taken a “charge neutral” approach to manage my response to this situation. This has allowed her to have her cake and eat it too and with almost no negative emotional feedback from me. This has worked for me on many levels, not all the ways I would want, but enough. I feel that I have moved on in a practical way and am making the most out of the situation. However, as a result, my thoughts about what our “marriage” has become is nothing I could have predicted. I recognize that I can’t have 100% of what I want, but I can have 75% and I have accepted that arrangement in my head for the time being. I sleep well, have better relationships with people, still get to enjoy a lot of time with her, and I don’t dwell on what I don’t have but I appreciate what I do have. I’m 65 yoa and harbor no illusions of new romantic love waiting just around the corner to save me. I’ve gotten past the “respect” part of this as well. In the end, we have no guarantees, we have to choose our attitude when our expectations are not met. If I was born blind, I wouldn’t say I was OK with it, but I would have to get on with the business of living and that is what I am doing. I still love her and want to spend time with her and would like to save our marriage. But it may never be all of what I would want or what many of us have told ourselves all our lives what it should be. I’ve created a new normal and with that said, if I meet someone to care for that cares for me and me only, I will be gone in a millisecond and I won’t look back.

        • Laura

          Kranny,
          You are in a difficult situation. Have you asked her to make a decision or move out?

          • Karen

            Laura,
            I put this in the blog a little over 2 years ago. I see you have read it. You must be going through deep pain, or have in the past, yourself to be this deep into the blog and I am sorry about that for you. To answer your question, I haven’t asked her to decide or move out because it would be the same as ending it with her. As it is, her mistress lives with us. I have done nothing but continue to get on with the business of living with a limited marriage partner. If I had to do it over, I would have kicked her out day 1 and not allowed her back until she took full responsibility and was over being defensive (like Doug evolved into not being) and cut off all contact with the AP.

            At this time, based on her behavior, if she moves out, I am very certain that she will just ease into the relationship with her AP (mistress is my latest term) and that will be the end of it. She is a full blown fence sitter, frozen in place, filled with guilt, and has become very defensive. So it’s handled by pretending nothing needs to be talked about. This way she isn’t reminded of her guilt and defensiveness. We avoid fussing with each other and we keep things pleasant. She shows limited affection to me more like a best friend with some benefits. I am not number 1 in her life but neither is her mistress. Her job is number I.

            It’s an odd situation but I have made it work for the most part because I appreciate that I can choose my attitude. I quit feeling sorry for myself about 1 year ago. I have stopped defining myself by the difficulties in our relationship. I have made it work by creating a social norm for myself that isn’t defined by all the years that society told me what a healthy, good relationship looks like. I have chosen to see it in a way that keeps me from dwelling on missed affection and being special and having special rituals with her.
            Even though it’s a sucky situation, to be alone and living on half the income at age 68 seems too much to trade for going it alone and not be reminded that I’m not number 1 a few times a week.
            I have found and created a silver lining in all this. An example, the mistress runs to do errands for us and helps with chores outside and carries the groceries out of the store, lifts heavy things (she is only 50 years old) etc. When we go hiking, I feel safer with a 3rd person.

            My radar is looking for someone who I can be important to but I’m not gonna jump from one sucky thing into another. At 68, there’s a lot of baggage out there and I prefer the baggage I’m familiar with at this point.

            Yes the situation is difficult, but I have adapted because I understand that feeling loneliness will be much worse than what I have been able to make of this. I had 22 great years and that is more than some experience, so I am basically grateful.

            I hope you are not going through this and if you are feel free to communicate if that suits you.

    • Gizfield

      Wow, the group has been so active! Thats great, it’s so much more helpful when there is a lot of input. I haven’t been able to comment because I’ve been so busy. Yesterday I went on the third grade field trip to the YMCA camp. We got rained on and had to leave about an hour early. It was also my 10.year wedding anniversary. It doesn’t show on facebook anymore since october when I unfriended and blocked my husband, lol. Anyway, he forgot and I wasn’t going to remind him. After the field trip, he said Is this our anniversary,? I said it was, lol. I was but really feeling the whole thing. Later, he said he’d put me a message on facebook, which he never does, and that he hoped he did it right, or something. I said “maybe you put it on the page of the wife you wish you had.” He looked distressed, but I couldn’t resist. Actually, he put it on his own page, lol. A bit later he kissed me and told me he loved me. I said Are you sure? He said Yes, I’m sure! Then I said So you wouldn’t rather be with someone else? He said NO, I want to be with YOU. Do I believe him? Yes, I do. We picked up our child and went to dinner at my favorite restaurant. Later, our daughter wanted to go to the bookstore. While we were there, he snuck off and bought me a cute card. Then we came home and watched Dancing with the Stars, lol. All in all a great day, because I spent it with my sweeties.

      • Blue

        Gizfield, although you gave him a little ‘jab’ it sounds like the interaction with your husband was really intimate and loving. That’s a nice gift in itself. And you just called him ‘your sweetie’ I bet he felt your love last night.

        I meant to post a post from a long time ago I saved. I was going to post it in ‘inspirational quotes” but I think I’ll post it here. I think what Jenny has to say (in 2010) is really important for us all.

        · Jenny July 21, 2010 at 11:48 am
        I’m glad that you admit your mistakes and selfishness, but guilt can be a slippery slope. At first I wanted my husband to feel guilty. I almost fed off of his guilt as proof of his love, but after a little (or more like a lot) of soul searching I started to question if this is really what I wanted him to feel when he looked at me. I decided it wasn’t. I don’t want him to remember everything he has done to hurt me when he thinks of me. I want him to recognize me for who I am good and bad and for that to be enough to stay committed to our life together. I want him to see me as a warm, optimistic, quirky, talented, emotional, joyful, temperamental, honest, procrastinating woman who loves him and he loves in return. I’ve always felt that I could be my true self around him and that is one of the things that I’ve felt his emotional affair has taken away from me. Part of the reason was because I was guarding myself to keep from getting hurt further, but the other reason is because I wanted him to feel guilty for what he had taken from me. I wanted him to feel what it was like to have me withdraw from him. Just recently I have come to realize that my need to wallow in his guilt was costing me something I had always held dearly and that is joy for life. I have every right to feel sad, depressed and betrayed. I can stay there if I want. He will feel guilty and I will feel justified, but I won’t be happy.

        o Linda July 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm
        Jenny, Your comment hit very close to home, at times I believe I made Doug feel guilty because I wanted him to prove his love. I know that I will bring up the affair when I am feeling insecure, thinking it will make me feel better, when actually it makes me feel worse. I had the same conversation with myself that you mentioned, I tell myself that for Doug to love me he needs to see a person that is lovable, someone who he fell in love with many years ago, and that person is not someone who is resentful, sad and emotional. I totally agree that since his affair I have lost who I am. I spent so much time trying to be the person I thought Doug wanted me to be that I am not sure if my actions are there to please him or this is who I really am.
        I know I have made some changes, but I believe the changes were for me. I have learned to be lazy, let things go and not worry when everything is not perfect. I feel this change has carried over to my marriage, I am more relaxed, have more time to spend with Doug and time to take care of myself, therefore making me a happier, less stressed person.
        I also realized that I too was afraid of being hurt so I always kept up a barrier, never letting myself fully commit to our relationship. I never allowed myself to except that Doug really loved me and wanted our marriage to work. I was afraid if I did and began to trust him he would hurt me again.
        I have come to the conclusion if this is the way I want to live, then I might as well live alone, at some point I have to forget the past and enjoy what we have. . It is a struggle not to wallow in pain, feel sorry for myself and make Doug feel guilty but everyday gets easier. I believe it became a habit for me, and reading about some of our readers comments just breaks my heart and I feel their pain and my pain all over again. I am trying not to compare their relationship to ours, which is difficult because every situation seems to follow the same script. I hope by being positive myself I can help their situation in a more positive way.

        · Jenny July 22, 2010 at 9:21 am
        I didn’t get to finish my thoughts because my Mom came over. It is funny that she still doesn’t know anything about what has happened. I’ve only told one person and that is a close friend who’s husband had an affair 5 years ago. I think having to keep everything a secret has been one of the many things that has been so difficult about this for me.
        Any way, what I wanted to say was that letting that anger out helped me get over the constant self pity which was keeping my husband in the guilt trap. I wouldn’t say that I have completely healed. I still have bad days. I let myself have them, but I don’t let myself stay there. We have a choice every day when we wake up what kind of life we want to have. Some days it is easier than others to choose to be happy, but the choice is always there.

      • Strengthrequired

        Gzifield, happy 10 yr anniversary to both you and your h. I love the jab you gave your h, it always feels good when you get to sneak one in, lol. You sounded so happy and that’s wonderful, keep these happy days coming I say. I’m so glad your h is doing the right thing by you, I’m so pleased. I love how you referred to you h and child as your sweeties, may god bless al of you and keep bringing on the happy times to you all.

    • overwhelmed

      Dave, you and I should have a beer and talk about our stories,. Sounds very familiar. (Only 2 though, this is the new me)

      Gizfield, I’m so very happy for you. I truly hope this is the start of something new, real true healing. Best of luck to you.
      PS, you can thank me for this active thread. It’s all my fault. 😉

    • Gizfield

      Thank you, Overwhelmed, on both counts.! Best of luck to you as well!

    • Gizfield

      Strength Required, I totally agree with your advice to Dave about going to the family weekend. It is his life and he needs to be in it, not outside looking in. One weird thing I noticed when I decided to stay with my husband after he said he wanted a divorce is that I felt like I was the INTERLOPER in my own marriage, not the Turd who actually was. Crazy, right. I actually backed off my marriage like this bitch was the one who deserved it, not me. No wonder this Turd thought she could have him. No more !

      • Strengthrequired

        That’s the thing gizfield, I always thought that if my h ever chested on me, I would back off, I would leave. However when it actually happened, I gave my all, I let him know all the time how much I loved him, what he meant to me, even when he left home for the month. I would tell him, I know this isn’t him, I know you love me, I won’t give you a divorce. The funny thing is when I would tell him these things especially about the divorce it was like peace came over him, even as far into the fog he was, a peaceful smile would come across his face when he knew I would be there for him and I won’t divorce him. It was like a relief.
        Also having him say to me , when I would talk about his things, he would say that was it ok to leave them, because he was worried he wouldn’t come back if he took everything.
        I did give him his space, but I also found it so important to keep reminding him of how much he meant to me, how much I loved him and how I wasn’t going to let go of him. Even when I wasn’t getting the responses I wanted right away, it did end up happening.

        • Strengthrequired

          I also didn’t want her taking my h whom she thought was what she deserved. She thought she deserved my life, I wasn’t about to make it too easy for her to get my family. She didn’t deserve my h, and she definately didn’t deserve my children being apart of her life, which I knew deep down if my h ended up with her, I wouldn’t have been able to stop that from happening. I also wasn’t about to give up, my children deserved to have their mum fight for their family, not roll over and play dead , and let her walk over me to get to them.

    • Strengthrequired

      Ok, now here is something interesting to chat about with you lovelies.
      My h and I were chatting away this morning, and we were talking about if he had stayed with the ow, cousin it, lol, (Funny that’s how I imagine her, a big blob with hair all over it, lol). Anyway back on track, and it had realized afterwards that he made the worst mistake that he wanted me after he had married her, he asked would I have let him come back to me intimately. He said i would have been coming to you, wanting you back, and with him knowing how much he loved me would I get that close to him, if that makes sense?
      My response was, I would always be there for you, but no matter how much I want you back, I would not have you back until you ended your marriage. I said I would not cheat with you, I would not and could not cause her the pain that she caused me, I am not that person. If you wanted me back then you would have to finish it before we could get us back again.
      His reply was, but I would want to know that you love me and that you want me, I said yes I would let you know how I felt about you, and of course if I hadn’t moved on with my life, I would want you back most definately, but I would not cheat, you would have to prove to me that it is over before we would have any kind of chance, you would have to be divorced from her, as I will not want you while you have been inside her, that just makes me sick.
      He said, why wouldn’t you want to get back at her for what she did to you? Why wouldn’t you take me from her, like she did? I said because that is not me.
      I had also told him that if he had decided after he wanted me, and I had already moved on with my life with another man, I would not cheat on him, he would get the same respect from me, as what I gave him to our marriage.
      However I also told him that i wouldn’t be committing myself to anyone else if I still had feelings for him.

      So I find it rather interesting, as a betrayed spouse, if your h/w ended up marrying the ow and then decided that he/she made a terrible mistake and that it has always been you, would you find it justifiable to steal your ex h back from the ow/om who is now their h/w? Would you think that it would be the ultimate payback? Could you become the cheater to get your man back, if he came running back to you after leaving you for the ow, who is now a spouse?
      Especially if you were just waiting for the day that he/she would wake up.

      I for one don’t think I could sink myself back down to her original level. They would definately have to be divorced first.

      • chiffchaff

        Woo, good question.
        I have no doubt that if my H had left me for the OW he would’ve felt obliged to marry her. He said so himself. Oddly he wouldn’t be marrying her because he wanted to but because he felt that he should. What a great way that would’ve been to start a marriage.
        Anyway, if that turned out to be a mistake for my H and he came to me whining about his poor choice and how he wanted to come back (I don’t think he would because he would assume, quite rightly, that he had completely burnt his boats with me), I would play him at his own game and get him to put it in writing somehow. I wouldn’t touch him or anything else. But as soon as he’d set out his mistake in writing I would have no hesitation in sending it to his new wife and leaving it at that. That would be payback enough for me. I wouldn’t even want to know what happened next but mainly I would be pointing out to her that I wasn’t the type of person to be used on the side like she was.

    • Gizfield

      Thank you so much, Strength Required, for the anniversary wishes. I do love my family very much, I can see why a nasty skank who can’t keep one of her own would interfere in mine. I don’t often mention my husband’s indescretion to him very often, which may be surprising. Like I said to Eyes Opened, I think defensiveness is probably the most troubling quality a cheater or ex cheater can have. This was mostly a “defensive ness” check and he passed wonderfully. If they are still talking The OW/OM is a good person, they should be able to be friends, they didnt do anything wrong, their “reasons” cheating wasn’t wrong, etc. etc. etc. are all examples of defensiveness. Anyone holding on to any of these thoughts will likely continue to be a cheater in my opinion.

      • Strengthrequired

        I do those types of checks too, and you do see the answers chaniging as time goes by. Your welcome too. Lol

    • Gizfield

      Strength, you are tooooo funnny. I will answer this truthfully since that is my policy. Probably won’t be a popular answer but I’m not trying to win any contest. If my husband left me FOR HIS TURD ONLY, would I have sex with him after they were married? If I were not cheating on my then husband, yes I most certainly would. In fact, the bitch could have set her watch by it. I would make sure he enjoyed it a lot, and send her a video. Just sayin. I told ya’ll I was a redneck.

      • Strengthrequired

        Gizfield, your funny, lol. It would most definately be the most ultimate payback that’s for sure.
        Now I would like to be completely honest here, I would definately worry about self control when it comes to my h, lol. I can’t control myself. So alot of self restraint will be in order.
        Self control in watching her reap what she sowed, would be soooooo rewarding (love the video idea lol) yet if he was no longer my h, I would have to be sure that I wasn’t being his playful little toy that he missed because all of a sudden she wasn’t good enough and now i was, especially if it came to her being his now wife, and me the ex.
        The only way I would be sure is if he divorced her first, and he made me the most important person in his life, I wouldn’t want to be going through this sort of game again. Lol.

      • Strengthrequired

        Ohh and gizfield, no right or wring answers, lol, ni one said we couldn’t enjoy sweet sweet revenge. Lol

      • Strengthrequired

        I have ti tell you I laughed and laughed, and as I keep reading your post I still laugh. My little ones looked at me while I was laughing wanting to know what was soooo funny.
        I definately know even without me doing anything, she would be questioning my h every time he would see me. Lol. I think that would be my joy.

    • overwhelmed

      Strengthrequired, as a relative newbie in this field, I can say without a doubt that I’m with you 100%. After knowing all too well, and that pain still so very fresh and raw, I could never, ever do that.

      I’ve always felt that cheating is just wrong. Ironic that I’m now dealing with it firsthand.

      • Strengthrequired

        Overwhelmed, it would be so nice to throw that back in her face, but one thing I would also have to remember if it had come to that situation, is my h left me to marry her. Marriage is a commitment, if you don’t want to be in that committed relationship then leave, then persue who you want, so morals for me is very important, I dont think I would like myself very much if I did pay her back, no matter how delightful it would be. My h would have to prove beyond a doubt that if he came back to me in that sort of situation, then he has to commit to it, and nit have contact with her ever again, yet if it did come to a marriage, then no doubt another child would be involved, which makes the situation more difficult.
        I think my h would have liked to think I would be as easy as her. Lol.

    • Gizfield

      Let me clarify that if he divorced with no cheating involved, I would have no problem with whoever my husband married afterward but any skank involved with my husband while he was married to me could expect a nice dose of payback. No question about it. sorry.

      • Strengthrequired

        I wouldnt have any problem with someone else that my h married, just the ow too.
        However while I had the upper hand being the wife in the here and now, ni matter how many times she told my h not to touch me, lol, I let it known to her just the opposite, just how much we did touch and cuddle. Lol.

    • overwhelmed

      You’re a pisser Gizfield. 😉

    • Gizfield

      I’m not sure what a pisser is Overwhelmed, but you’re probably right that I am one. Actually I’ve thought about it some more, and I doubt I would wait til they were married. Since we have a minor child there is a mandatory waiting period of like six months for a divorce so ” we” would still be married. I would wait til close to the time it was going to be final. Also, I’d devise a technique to make sure she knew that it was a current video, like put that day’s newspaper by his head or something.

    • Strengthrequired

      I’m picturing a mugshot now gizfield.
      Divorce here is 12months so she would most definately be looking over her shoulder, while I’m still legally his wife.

    • gizfield

      No, mug shots, please, lol. It is fun to laugh and picture what the collective Turd reactions would be. 12 months on the divorce would be even better. I can’t eat when I’m upset, so I would get nice and skinny. I’d have free time to work on the house, so I could get it looking like he likes, minimalist and looking all mod and Ikea like. I could get a tummy tuck, even. This hag has never seen me at my best, and it would knock the smirk right off her face. Oh well, back to reality, got to go give my daughter a bath.

      • Strengthrequired

        Ohh and just picturing cousin it, squirming in her shoes, gives me sheer delight. Lol

    • Strengthrequired

      I can’t eat either when I’m upset and sick to the stomach, where my throat can’t even stand the thought of food, (depending on the reason im upset), I would be nice and skinny too also with a nice tummy tuck. She hasn’t seen me at my best either, coupled with decent morals, self respect and dignity, as well as love for my h watch out cousin it, I wouldn’t even need to throw myself at my h, not like cousin it had to resort to just to get him to look at her. No fakery required for me to attract my h. Lol
      Mine Littlies are asleep, oh my how peaceful. Lol

    • gizfield

      Thats a good one, Chiffchaff. One thing that cracks me up is that the cheaters think they are soooo Special, all the while they are willing to be a “side piece”, while the betrayed spouses are not. One thing I repeatedly TOLD my husbandwas that I would not complete with some skank for my own damn husband.!! lol. Guess thats what makes Turd think I’m so jealous and insecure…

    • Strengthrequired

      Chiffchaff, good one….. Just knowing that they would have fallen over their own mistake, how precious would watching that be.
      Gizfield, Actually the ow didn’t know what hit her, she thought she won as soon as it started. What a rude awakening she faced.
      If we wanted to compete the fight wouldn’t be fair. The odds aren’t in her favor, so who is really jealous, lol certainly not the bs.

    • overwhelmed

      Gizfeld: Pisser = riot, hilarious, funny, too much. Thanks for the laughs!

      Strengthrequired: You go girl!

      • Strengthrequired

        Overwhelmed, lol thanks. I found out I’m wrong about my h hoping I would be like the ow, he told me, that he is glad I’m not like that, that’s why he loves me so much, and he would never regret having me for his wife, as the moment we met he know I had a good heart.

    • dave

      Hi Strength, thanks for the advice. I probably should make the first move and start talking about this whole mess. It would be nice to find out what she is thinking (Maybe). Could be unpleasent also. What I really want is for her to just walk up to me and say I am so sorry for hurting you. Then I will know she is taking responsability for what she did. Then we can talk about our future.

      • Strengthrequired

        Hi Dave, your welcome. I would have loved my h to come upto me as well and just say, I’m so sorry for all that I ave done. Unfortunately it wasn’t until I started to break down that wall with making him see me again an that yes I did really love him, that he said just that.
        It’s hard waiting to hear what you want and need to hear, but unless that wall comes down it won’t be an honest response.
        Your wife is more than likely tormented for what she did, and probably thinks if she talks about it, it might hurt you more and of course it will but you choose what you want to hear and at the times you want to hear it. We have so many questions, we just want answers.
        No doubt there will be tears as she opens up to you..
        Just show er it s safe for her to let er guard down, as you are there for her.

    • dave

      hey overwhelmed, hang in there. You should go to the lake house and just have fun. Drink a couple beers for me!!

    • dave

      Hey strength, I’m not sure how to make her feel safe about letting her guard down. It would be a rough topic to bring up. It would be great to stop some of the suffering on both sides. I will consider doing it next week. We have family coming this weekend and it would not be a good time. This will give me some time to prepair what I am going to say to start the conversation( I have no idea what to say). Does anyone have any ideas?

      • Strengthrequired

        Dave also how I mean by feeling safe. It all starts with showing her love.
        I often look at it, as when someone is in need of some guidance, we don’t turn our back on them, we hold their hand and help them through to the other side.
        We don’t sit back and watch them fall, we do what we can for the ones we love.
        Unfortunately for the affair partner, they never expect us to hold the hand of our spouse to get them through the other side, the right side with us.
        True love is much more stronger, then the fake love our cs craved for with the ap.

    • gizfield

      I read a good book called The Flinch, at least of read part if it. ADD, you know. Anyway, what you “flinch” at doing is probably what you need to do. I just throw what I think out there now, and the chips fall where they fall. I would say, I love you, I want to be married to you, but there can only be two in a true marriage. Mind, body, and soul. Just the two of US.. You are either IN or OUT. no middle ground. The end.

    • dave

      I like that Giz, Thank you

    • Strengthrequired

      I too just toss things out and see where they land, at first you may see things said once, then the next it may seem a bit different, so new questions up as that didn’t seem to add up.
      I also liked to catch him when he is more relaxed and feeling cozy with me, you know after intimacy. Always tell her how much you love her, through text msgs, when just sitting next to each other watching tv, to just walking past her while she is doing something, cuddling her from behind and telling her.
      My h stopped for a long time during his fog, even while he was still saying I love you, it was me that started it all. Now he is back doing what he used to, if I’m busy, just coming up behind me and cuddling me.
      I watch the times that I feel ok to bring things up, so definately choose your moments., only because for me I didn’t want to always badger him for everything that was bugging me.
      You will see definate changes, that are for the better as you move forward, as long as it is what you both want.
      So that is what I would think is the first question.
      Maybe say, I love you very much, you are my wife and the mother of our wonderful children, couldn’t imagine being with anyone else but you. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get us through this bump in the road, some can get back on the right track in our marriage. Are you prepared to do the same? Add I also believe that this is our wake up call, that things weren’t going so smoothly, so let’s take advantage of this and make our marriage stronger than it ever was before.

    • overwhelmed

      Tough love card played. I’m back home. 5 hours of driving. In the pouring rain.

      Let the chips fall where they may indeed…..

    • Strengthrequired

      Hang in there overwhelmed. 5 hours of driving you need some rest.

    • overwhelmed

      5 hours round-trip, with an hour or two in between. I’m fine. Having a beer and watching the hockey game. 🙂

    • Strengthrequired

      Sounds like you need this alone time, Enjoy the game.

    • Strengthrequired

      Overwhelmed and Dave, how is everything going with you two?

    • dave

      Hi Strength, its going ok. I have decided to break the limbo cycle. Right now I am trying to decide when and how to do it. I keep having racing emotions when I think about what I will say and what her response will be. Maybe I should start it out with a letter. Or should I walk up a and just start talking. That would probably catch her off gaurd and make her shut down. I think it would be best to tell her I wanna talk and schedule it for a day down the road. That also might just make her worry and cause more problems. Has any CS’s out there had to deal with something like this? How can I start this conversation without putting her on the defensive? Any ideas?

    • Strengthrequired

      Dave, I’m glad all is well. Some of the things I have done to get the message across to my h is send him a txt msg, I gave him some cards expressing my feelings for him too. I also get him when he is comfortable with me after intimacy.
      I always let him know I love him, I’m so happy to have him in my life as my h, and the father of my children. I remind him everyday what he means to me.
      Ask her to tell you what she needs from you to make her happy, then you let her know what you need in return. Maybe as a starting point. Just remind her that you want your marriage to work, that you are committed and would like o know if she is as well.
      Good luck Dave,I know my h is still sensitive about everything, so maybe go easy at first until you see her opening up and feeling comfortable.

    • Amy

      I did this the moment I found out about his affair. I asked him to choose between me and her. also asked him for no contact or limited contact (as she worked with him) till he finds another job. I very clearly asked him to move out if he chose her! At that moment he chose me n the kids n was very apologetic and promised to work on the marriage. Bull shit! Everything what he said was a lie! He continued sleeping with her and treated me like shit for the next 1.5 years untill I found out he was lying all the time. No contact promise does not make a difference to him as he contacts her anyway! He was fooling me all the time. We changed countires literally as he wanted to prove to me his family is important to him but behind my back his affair was very much on. Now I am in a new country with my kids and him n we constantly have fights over this. He did his cake eating very well! He still claims he wants to b with us and never will b with the ow but was living a parallel life! Oh my god! Nothing works On him i guess. Best part is after all this he waits for me to take a decision!!

    • Kim

      I love the 3 responses in this article, but in my situation this concept backfired on me completely. My husband admitted to his affair with a co-worker the day they agreed to call it off as neither one wanted to be in an affair. A week later he chose to move out “to give us both space.” I did not want him to move out. Over the next 9 months we lived apart, going through the roller-coaster of emotions, seeing each other 2-3 times a week, while I suffered further not knowing his daily life any more. To make matters worse he partnered in business with his affair partner and they started up a new company together. After 9 months he was finally willing to move back in, but I had been picking up signs that the affair was not over….with a rather strong sign that very first night. I had been reading about creating boundaries, and the next day I moved out and stayed with a friend. It has now been another 10 months and I have my own apartment, because I have not been allowed to move back in. It has been thrown back in my face that he never actually left me but I abandoned him, and I caused irreversible damage to our marriage. If I try to say anything about wanting to see him more; or feel like a priority to him; or my difficulty in dealing with them working together….I am told that nothing he ever does is good enough and I can leave at any time if that is how I feel…..

    • Too Weak

      How does one offer tough love to a cheating spouse (wife) that has already decided to move out, take the kids, and file for divorce?
      I admit that I made plenty of rookie mistakes due to my insecurities including weeping, begging, and attacking her married boyfriend on D-day.furthermore, They are both hiding it from their spouses and denying it while simultaneously sneaking around to have sex wherever and whenever. While it started as an emotional affair it as escalated to sex being the paramount thing here.
      I’m so sick of her sharing the ONE thing that was mine alone that I don’t know how I will ever recover or if I truly want her to come back. The ONLY thing that makes it even a slight possibility is knowing that she is almost in a sickly mental state of excitement, guilt, delusional and sees it as a drug fix of sorts. I am believing that she will not always believe that the sex was that great and I am hoping that she will end up so shattered and guilty that it will make her sick to her stomach just thinking about it – but I could just be dreaming and she may always think fondly of her lover and always miss the sex. This would absolutely kill me
      Ugh!

      After D-day, she made all the usual promises but that didn’t last. She half-heartedly promised to work on the marriage but wanted a legal separation on her terms – no questions asked.
      The real catalyst (or excuse she was looking for to leave) was when I told our children of the affair and she lost her shit. It was here that she told me it was OVER and that she should have left me years ago!!

      So now we are in the midst of a divorce and shes still sneaking around and seeing this turd and there are no signs of her wanting to reconcile. She has everybody convinced that 1) she did not, and is not, having an affair, 2) that I am emotionally disturbed and making it all up.
      That I forced them out of the house (I ended up in the house as she left with the kids then set up an apartment).

      I don’t know what to do. I am complying with the requests of the court for documentation and custody etc but still hopeful of a reconciliation.

      Do I tell our mutual friends that she is relying on for support and not just tell them but show that the evidence I have collected? Her getting out of his truck on D0day. Her admitting to having an emotions affair. A text where she admits to an emotional affair and also kissing him, A video of both their cars at a hotel in the next town? a Scanned copy of an anonymous letter sent to the OM’s wife saying that they saw them in the next town out on a date the same night and it was definitely MORE than just friends? (OM’s wife wants to ignore this as real “evidence” and has chosen to believe her husband that he is not seeing my wife. As a matter of fact, she thinks I wrote the letter. How dumb can a person be?)

      * Will my showing them convince them or make me look desperate and/or a creepy stalker?
      * Even though her mom and I don’t get along, I think her Mom would still freak out that she is wrecking TWO marriages, hurting the children, lying about it to everyone, and drinking like a fish. Her Mom was a BS from her first marriage, (my wife’s father). where he was a cheater and a raging alcoholic. She is very familiar with codependency, Al-Anon, counseling etc. I think that she may even be willing to support us working on things for a year and after a year if she is still unhappy she can bail.
      Right now there is NO WAY INB HELL she would agree to that because I am still the devil and she is still getting her emotional and sexual needs met.

      Furthermore, if I successfully convince his wife of the affair then she will divorce him. This will then free him up to pursue my wife even more.

      What to do…

      Finally, I have this feeling that I simply just walk away, do my thing and fight hard for my rights and for my kids and let God sort it all out. Part of me thinks this is fool-hearty as God will not change someone’s mind and indeed has not done so yet. Another part of me thinks: you of little faith, can you not trust God for even the simplest of things? If you are to talk to her mother can God not get her to call you and inquire?

      Can he not turn this thing on its ear at any time? Can he not make him drop dead of a massive heart attack tomorrow, (I am personally praying for that one).

      I suppose my issue is that I tend to meddle and try to control the outcome of things so this is a real challenge for me to say nothing and to do nothing. I was thrilled that his wife finally called me and I gave her a ton of info only to be ridiculed later and she deciding to stick her head in the sand. Now I don’t know if that was a test or if I did some good somewhere.
      Damn, this is so hard!

      But… there are a few things I KNOW I should be doing so I will focus on them for now:

      * Get my financial shit together – debt and non-involvement were issues for her
      * Continue to fight for my kids and focus on their needs.
      * Work to get my business on track again – she said it was a failure
      * Act as tough as nails in any dealings with her. Show her I don’t give a damn anymore (even if I am really dying inside).
      * Declutter my life, (another sore spot for her)
      * Do fun things with my kids when I have them to create memories without her in them.
      * Be a rock and ever so patient and tender with my kids so that they can see what stability and maturity really is.

      I would SO lie to go on a mini-vacation somewhere warm this winter partly for me but also just to spite her.

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