history of a marriage
When a cheater rewrites the history of a marriage, it’s important for a couple to begin to focus on each other and what drew them together in the first place.

Last week we discussed how the rewriting of the history of a marriage deeply affected how I perceived our future to be.  In my mind, if Doug believed our history was really the way he communicated to me during his emotional affair – being unhappy in our marriage and suggesting I wasn’t the greatest wife – then how could we have a solid future together?

My thought is there are some things that have changed in our relationship.  For instance, we do spend more time together and we communicate better, but I am still pretty much the same person he chose to marry 27 years ago.  My personality has not changed; the person I am is really not much different.  If he was unhappy and unfulfilled in our marriage during his emotional affair, what stops him from being unfulfilled in the future?

I guess what I needed from Doug during our discussion was for him to give me reassurances that there were times I was able to make him happy.  What did I do that made him see me as a good wife?  I need to have a foundation to build on; I need to trust my perceptions of the past.

Dave Carder, in one of my favorite books, “Torn Asunder,” suggests that couples who are recovering from infidelity (after the discussions have been completed concerning the affair) begin to focus only on each other.  They should focus on their special history and to remember the good old days.  This helps to rebuild the trust and intimacy that was lost in the relationship.

Carder tells couples that they did not have to choose each other; they were attracted to each other initially for many reasons.  The couples need to explore that collection of reasons and identify the various components.  They need to talk about those initial experiences together – the dates they had, places they went, things they enjoyed. It was during that initial dating stage that they began to trust each other in the first place.

As the couples begin to rehearse and redo similar trust building experiences ( the activities that you used to do), the couples will find that the feelings of trust will start to return.  The couple will find that there is an overwhelming amount of history that only they can share.

Some Ideas for Remembering the History of a Marriage

Carder suggests many things to help couples get in touch with those important memories:

  • old pictures, videos, scrapbooks
  • time lines (charts where you list things chronologically)
  • date lists (write out all the things you did that you both recall)
  • revisiting old places

In the companion workbook for “Torn Asunder,” he suggests that couples should make a list of eight great moments in their shared history.  This list will become their “restoration project.”  The couple will need to “redo” each of these experiences over a period of eighteen months.    By “redoing”  he means go back to the same exact place, the same season of the year, and experience the original great moment.  No shortcuts allowed.

I believe by completing this and other similar projects couples will begin to believe in their marriage again and trust what they had was special.

Carder writes:

“One of the traumas of recovering from an affair is that the spouse often thinks about the new history the infidel and the partner have built together.  Even though that is true, the memories of the illicit history will dissipate over the course of time, especially as you begin to reinvest in your relationship. That is why the reconciling couple needs to rehearse and remember what drew them together.”

I believe that unconsciously Doug and I have been doing this for the last three years.  However, we have not used these experiences as a time to discuss how we felt about each other, what we enjoyed about each other’s company or what brought us together in the first place.  We just did them.

We also spent too much time discussing all the negative aspects of our past marriage and all the positive rewards Doug received from his emotional affair.  Unfortunately, in my mind, I believe the negativity outweighed all the good things in our marriage.

In the past when I would ask Doug to give me examples of a time when I made him happy or when he thought I was a good wife, he would have to think about it.  Obviously that upset me very much because it shouldn’t be something he had to “think” about.  On the other hand, I would be able to come up with a hundred examples of happy times we shared or things that I did to show that I love and care for him.

I began to wonder why this task was so difficult for him.  What step have we missed in our affair recovery and what did we need to do to bring back all the positives of our marital history?  I believe Carder’s suggestions would be a great start.

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    49 replies to "Remembering the History of a Marriage"

    • roller coaster rider

      Some of the ‘think time” may have to do with the difference between us as men and women, and the difference in our personalities. Linda, I am very much like you in personality, I think, and my husband appears to be a lot like Doug. I think we women are also thinking a lot more about relationship in general, and we can (according to science) more easily flip back and forth between our right and left brain. The other issue could be that Doug didn’t think a lot about what made you a great wife because he was focused on his own stuff at the time, and not really thinking about you or the marriage at all. I think that’s fairly typical of young men, but may be unfair as a generalization…I’m not sure.

      I remember our history all too well, and unfortunately while history itself cannot be written, I am all too happy to be creating a brand new ‘us.’ Living apart for nearly nine months has been hard at times, but overall, I think it’s been what we needed to begin seeing how the love we have can be built on with some developing communication and relational skills which we definitely never had before.

      What I know I must have in our new history is a series of loving, positive, daily choices to honor and respect one another. I have had to learn how to get behind my H and stop allowing fear and insecurity to drive my feelings and responses. But he has had to learn to listen and be aware, to acknowledge that some of the insecurity stems from his rotten choices, and that by being consistent and open and doing things that aren’t easy or natural for him (like talking about issues instead of avoiding them) a foundation of trust is being laid for the future.

      I’ve also had to become aware (again) that some of my insecurity isn’t related to the affair at all. It’s kind of who I am, but in changing my thinking I am not as prone to default to that fear and unhealthy patterns are being replaced.

      • exercisegrace

        I think you have put words to the place that I am stuck. Four months in, and I am struggling with “allowing fear and insecurity to drive my feelings and responses.”
        I remember our history all too well myself. Married twenty five years, five years together before that and high school sweethearts. Reviewing our history right now just makes me sadder and sadder. It reminds me of how much was thrown away for so little.
        Like, you I know we MUST begin our new history with loving positive choices. How do you keep from pushing your partner away when you are still hurting and in pain from what they have done? When you “hear” what they are saying, but it has not made it to your heart yet?

        • rollercoasterrider

          exercisegrace, your name is what it’s all about! My story is similar to yours in that we were high school sweethearts, dated for five years but were married 35. Lots of stuff in all that time…I chose divorce (with my husband’s agreement) because we knew our old marriage was dead in the water. He actually has been changing in very significant ways, and so have I. We are dating now (with no sex), and planning to remarry. but really I think my healing began the day I woke up and simply made a choice to forgive. No strings attached. No real thought of a future together, and although he had broken off all contact with the OW months prior I left him on D-Day 2. Wasn’t going down that road again. Healing may take time, but maybe it doesn’t have to. As for pushing him away, well, my H had to come to the point where he acknowledged his actions that led us to such deep pain and realize if he didn’t start communicating with me honestly and stop hiding (it wasn’t just the affair) we would have nothing…instead of the miracle he had said he wanted on our 35th anniversary. So now, it’s not about our history nearly as much as it is about our future. I am practicing being the wife I want to be, and I am watching him work on being the husband I know he wants to be. Remains to be seen how it will turn out, but I have hope now for things I had long ago thought were impossible. One thing I know now; my tears and the hurt I feel should never be glossed over or stuffed. I can cry now, and before that was not my style. Wow. Change…

    • WriterWife

      I find this interesting and to be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. I completely agree that it’s important to reflect on the history of the marriage and to be honest about not only how you feel about it now (looking back) but also how you saw it then. As you said in your last post, I think a lot of the CSs feel the need to look back at their marriages through a negative lens because it allows them to justify the EA (in the same way that they start seeing only the negative of their spouse so they can justify falling for someone else). This feels utterly unfair to me and I think it’s important for the BS to confront the CS about this — to push them to recognize the bias they’ve introduced to their lives.

      At the same time, while I do think reminiscing about past events when the relationship was going well and pushing the CS to admit the good times, I’m not sure about making a list of those events and redoing them. To me it feels like turning to the past and restarting the cycle you’re currently on rather than embarking into a fresh future.

      To me the key is what Linda says about finding positive places of joy to discuss emotions and what brings you together and what makes you happy and if going back to a place of a past joy and redoing it will aid that then I think it’s a great thing to try. Same with reminiscing — a couple’s past is so important and I think it’s important not to let that go!

      However, I don’t want to redo my past great moments — what happens if something goes amiss and somehow I end up tarnishing them? I don’t want to return to where we honeymooned because a part of me will spend time thinking “oh, back then I had no idea what an EA was or that it was possible — I just believed blindly in us and our marriage.”

      Instead, I’d rather create new great moments. I feel that I have a new marriage — it’s one that’s moving in a new direction and it needs to rest on a different foundation than it did before because clearly that old foundation wasn’t strong enough and struggled. I don’t want to fall in love with my husband the way I did before because that love and that relationship ultimately led to the EA.

      Finally, one other point I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about (in my personal life but also in my job as a writer)… people’s truths can differ. Just because my husband may look back and wonder if he actually loved me doesn’t mean that’s the truth of what our relationship was back then. I get to have my own truths and my truth is that he did love me. I felt it, I knew it, I believed it (and still do). He can’t take that away unless I let him and I don’t choose to let him define that part of my life — that’s giving him power over my emotions he doesn’t deserve.

      I’m not advocating being delusional, but I am saying that if my husband can’t think of a time I made him happy, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen because I have my own memories of making him happy. It sucks he can’t/won’t remember them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      At the same time, I don’t want to downplay at all how devastating it is to have your spouse rewrite your positive memories into his negative or nonexistent ones. My husband has done that and honestly, it’s one of the many aspects of this whole thing that makes it all feel even more unfair and maddening.

      • Recovering

        I TOTALLY agree with you!! I don’t think my husband had any idea of what our life was really like because he was making it to be what he WANTED it to be so he didn’t have to deal with reality and with the horrible thing that he was doing!! Sorry, thought we were having fun when you were laughing on the couch… Thought we were close when we were making love and celebrating our anniversary… was he thinking during these times that he was faking it with me? If so he is a MUCH better liar than I give him credit for! He didn’t WANT to acknowledge these things as they were, even during the affair, and especially after, because it takes away his EXCUSE as to why he had the affair – because he was a PIG, and because maybe he was a little lonely and she stroked his ‘EGO’… because he NEVER THOUGHT ID FIND OUT! Was his own little game. Do I think he EVER thought deeply about any of it – NO! And that is the worst part in a way, because he was just going along, living his life, and then in the end blames his own disaster on me – his marriage HAD to be miserable for HIM to do something so horrific… BULLCRAP! He was selfish and in love with himself and got off on the ego trip. NOW, only NOW is he seeing the whore for what she is! A selfhish lying whore! NOW when everything for us is at stake! My marriage was NOT miserable before the affair, nor was it in the beginning of the affair. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t perfect for the 14 years before the affair either and he didn’t cheat, and it sure as hell isn’t perfect now, and he swears he’ll never cheat again – that it wasn’t worth everything that we’ve gone through, that he could never hurt me so bad again… Marriage ISN’T perfect, and will never be, because we are different people! He changed our past to make himself feel better about what he was doing… and now he can’t let that lie go because then he would have to REALLY face the lie – the disgusting thing he did FOR 2 YEARS!! He never would’ve left me… just wanted to have his cake and eat it too… so obviously I didn’t make him THAT miserable if he wouldn’t have left!! Cheaters are liars, to themselves and everyone else… Don’t EVER trust a cheater about what they say about what was going on at the time of cheating – it is all jaded… the REAL truth will never be known if they feel ANY remorse at all because their mind will always make up some excuse or reason…. because God forbid they actually just ARE bad people, if even for a little while…..

        He won’t take away all of my memories of the past, though he has clouded some of them… We will make NEW memories and will not remake old ones…

        I am also the same person I was 3 years ago when he started his affair… though less trusting now… has been one of my biggest questions to him… “If I made you so miserable then, how can you be so happy with me now when I am the same person I was then?” It is because his affair was all about HIM and not about me at all!! He failed me, he failed us, and he failed himself. And the worst result of that is that I do love him a little less today than I did 3 years ago…. His loss, not mine!

      • ataloss

        Recovering, you just put into words much of what I have been feeling, but could not quite articulate. I, like you, don’t want to re-do. I want new great things to happen in our marriage. And I appreciate your observation that we all get to have our own truth. He swears he wasn’t “unhappy” with our marriage, even when having the EA. So I guess it is not so much that his memories and mine differ. For me the anxiety comes with the realization that he did this while he was “happy.” What will happen when he isn’t?

      • ocanas

        Well said! – I agree and feel the same about “looking at the history”

    • rollercoasterrider

      Good thoughts, WriterWife…and also reminds me that maybe the whole point of marriage goes far beyond making each other happy. Happiness is certainly a part of being married, but aren’t there always a gamut of emotions for us to experience as the complex human beings we are? I know it’s been expressed a boatload of times before in different ways, but I’m finding lots of freedom in the truth that it really isn’t my job to make anyone happy. My job is to be who I am, and to find and fulfill my purpose here. There will be happiness along the way, and relationships…not just with my spouse, but with my kids, and my friends, and siblings and others I don’t even know yet. The past is a part of who I am, but that girl is really fading into the woman I’m becoming. She’s a whole lot healthier, even if she has a few wrinkles and her song has a melancholy chord from time to time. I’m hoping for some genuine freedom for my H too, so he doesn’t get all bound up in the people-pleasing game that has defined his life, and I definitely see movement in that direction!

      • WriterWife

        I totally agree RollerCoaster — it isn’t our job to make other people happy. And I actually don’t think it’s healthy to rely on other people to make you happy. That’s actually one of the things our marriage counselor talked with us about early on — how easy it is for people to rely on their spouse to make them feel a certain way (she called it the reflected sense of self — we like how the other person sees us and begin to define ourselves that way). No one can carry that burden and when they falter, it means both go down.

        I realized I’d gotten to the point of relying on my husband for everything — I could barely make decisions without checking with him. Part of it was being depressed but part of it was that I was losing who *I* was — my individuality. That’s a lot of what I had to reclaim after I found out about my husband’s EA. And I learned it here first: the idea that you have to focus on yourself.

        Part of the reason I focused on myself is because I’m stubborn and I thought “if he divorces me, I want to make damn sure I’m put together and strong for when I go back out on the world alone.” And I realized that I needed to be put together and strong in my marriage as well.

        One of the books that helped me a lot with this was Intimacy and Desire by Dr. David Schnarch — he talks about the reflected sense of self and how to rely on yourself rather than others so that you can be an equal member of your marriage.

    • Teresa

      Honestly, I’m not struggling at all with our history prior to my H’s EA….we had fun together and liked being with each other, the memories we made together were real. Was our marriage perfect..nope…but I don’t believe in “perfect” marriages…marriage is hard work, with ups and downs all the time..and unfortunately for us BS…it’s during the “down” times that our CS decides the grass looks greener somewhere else….and the grass is greener, because of all the crap that is spread around during the EA! LOL!
      What wasn’t real was the crap he said during his EA, because after all, a EA is all based on lies and deceit!
      My H admits he was trying to make me the monster in marriage to ease his guilty conscience, and it worked for awhile, but now he feely admits that he was guilty and the lies about our marriage were just that…LIES!
      Why should I create more work for myself, trying to figure out if the past was as good as I thought it was and if my H was truly happy with me?
      Of course he was, otherwise he would have left along time ago or at least I would have had some kind of clue if he was THAT unhappy before he had the EA!
      My H had a cow that he knew from the past come on to him, his ego loved the feeling it gave him, and when he was asked if she could text him…he said YES!
      It had nothing to do with me….it was all about him and his low self esteem from years of living as a ACoA and all the emotional crap associated with it!
      My marriage was fine before the EA…not heart throbbing exciting, we arent exactly newlyweds, but we had a good life together and I’m not going to go back and over analyze anything he said during the EA since it was all based on lies and while he was in the “fog”!

    • Patsy50

      I do agree with you Linda on this. I think the CS needs to go back in the past to remember why they fell in love with us , and what was the attraction.
      In my case, right after d-day I immediately took him on a trip down “memory lane”‘ that included pics as teenagers,15 and 16 yrs. old, marriage at 21 and 22 yrs. old, birth of children, marriage of children and every stage in between. Talked about how he felt about his love for me at each stage.
      I believe it was a good thing to do for us. Although my husband never told me he never loved me, I told him I think his love got a little lost somehow .
      It has helped him alot and still does. We went back to the same place we honeymooned for our 40th anniversary and it was the best thing for us. This is a new marriage for us, but we had to build the new marriage on something and that something was our love all along. I am the same person from 40 yrs. ago but I have changed in some ways for the better, I hope and so has my husband and that in turn makes a better marriage.
      As I write this today, my husband is in the hospital, he will be fine but it made me think, that I am very glad, that we are very glad, we chose to stay and work things out together and to keep looking forward.

      • Paula

        I’m loving how the more mature BSs here (and I don’t just mean age, lol!) have posted – these women above are some of the ones who are truly healing, because they have done and are doing the work on themselves, for themselves. None of us can force, coerce, or pressure change, in others, often it just makes another person dig their heels in, well, we can TRY to put the screws on, but every individual will make change if that is what THAT INDIVIDUAL wants to do to live a better and more authentic life (see, RCR, I have borrowed that word again!) Many of the CSs see this and make choices, they either choose to evolve and become better human beings, by following the BSs lead (it seems to be that way, not really sure why it doesn’t really seem to go the other way!) or choose to continue to delude themselves about their own lives. Most of us in mature relationships with mature people – and again, I am not talking about chronological age here – will find a way to live a better life after this, yes, our lives are dented and bashed, but it is our choice to accept this and try to grow. I just wish I was as mature, and was able to feel less damaged, and more positive about my own future, I know I am okay on my own, but I really would like to feel joy again!

        Thank you all 🙂

        • rollercoasterrider

          Paula, I so want you to feel joy again, and I believe you will in time. Also, I think the CS could choose to take the lead if he or she woke up and took responsibility. It happens sometimes. Brokenness required.

          • Paula

            Thanks RCR, what I meant about taking the lead was more along the lines of the BS alwyas seems to get to the point of making the changes or, more accurately, doing the work required to make themselves whole again before the CS does. This doesn’t mean that I think CSs don’t have initiative. Mine did, he tried and tried to make me feel safe again, he read, he listened, he came to counselling, and implemented the suggestions and exercises recommended, he is truly repentant, but somehow it didn’t make me feel safer (that is my issue that I was trying to deal with, he was doing his best, and being patient, sympathetic, caring, loving, open, etc) and he still continues his personal growth, even through separation, but he acknowledges the stupid mistakes he made along the way AFTER Dday as being pretty huge, too. I just don’t know why I’m not better than I am, I made a decision to leave the misery, I’m comfortable with the decision, but I feel more miserable now than ever, and am questioning if you can get addicted to misery – somewhat like he was addicted to seeing, talking to and shagging this woman. I know you can, but I can’t seem to break the “habit.” Frustrating is an understatement!

    • CookieMomster

      OMG, I love your comment about greener grass because of the “crap” being spread around Teresa. I think that’s probably true. I saw a sign recently that says “The grass is greener where you water it.” Something for both spouses, on both sides of this horrible mess we find ourselves in, to remember!

    • Recovering

      This is my thought for today, and not really about the topic but… I was thinking earlier WHY in God’s green earth would some of you (Linda included) think that the OW might be the better person for YOUR husband? Clearly this is a person with no moral character, who is selfish, deceitful, and a homewrecker (for lack of a better word). How could this person be better for your mate IN ANY WAY? The OW isn’t better in ANY way than the faithful spouse!! I wouldn’t care if she was the most beautiful person in the world, she clearly is NOT a catch if she is knowinly cheating with a married man!! Women, and men, the other person is NOT better than you in ANY way! They are SICK and HORRIBLE people!! The ONLY reason that we even give our spouses a second chance is because we LOVE them! Otherwise we would think the same of them! Our spouses were sick and horrible people while they were cheating! We as BSs are looking for their redemption, their change, their realization that what they did was wrong and their growth from that to be a BETTER person. I like Doug, don’t get me wrong, but clearly he was NOT a good person while he was having his EA! He is a good person NOW though because he has stuck with his wife to help HER heal, to become a better person himself, and he is remorseful and wants to help others to be better! Nobody is perfect, but the OW is NOT better for your partner than you are, and they are clearly NOT a better person than YOU!!!

      Just had to get it out….

      • Anita

        Recovering,
        I know your in a grieving process, and it takes time to
        forgive and heal. The past is what it is, no matter how good or bad the marriage was prior to the affair, still doesn’t change the fact an affair happened. It what happens now thats important. Focus on your relationship
        today, and start new memories, the past is over and there’s
        always going to be good and bad things mixed together
        in our past.
        Its important to leave the past behind and live in the here
        and now, we can’t go back, and change the affair from
        happening, but you can enjoy today.

        • Anita

          Recovering,
          I know for myself when I went through my exhusband’s affair and our divorce, I had to work through many emotions and feelings. I realized when my exhusband
          and I were married, there were good things about the
          marraige as well as bad. Our history was what was, and
          I could choose to keep feeling anger over it or I could
          accept that no matter how much anger I felt it was not
          going to change the past. Instead I see this is part of
          my past history and not who I am today, and its true.
          Today my exhusband and I get along and he’s remarried
          to a lady he met later after our divorce. We both know we
          have a past history together, but it doesn’t control our
          lives today. He lives his life and I live mine.
          Being your husband and you are still married, then let the
          past go and enjoy your relationship now, we never know
          what tomorrow brings, so enjoy today.

          • Anita

            Recovering,
            Now about the other woman, I can only tell you how I handled my own situation, for each person it will be different.
            When my exhusband got involved in his last affair, it wasn’t
            the first time he cheated. So I ready knew not to go down
            that path of what kind of woman she was. He did this to
            our marriage and it was him who brought the affair into our
            marriage. It was his job to stay faithful, no matter how pretty, or exciting the other woman might have been.
            So I didn’t even bother getting myself worked up over her,
            I was royally upset with my spouse at that time, for breaking
            his vows to me. She wasn’t married to me but he was, and
            he betrayed me.
            After our divorce, I had to forgive them both, but I also had
            to go deeper and find out why our marriage came to a point
            where an affair even happened. It started before we married when we married because of a pregnancy, instead
            of marrying because we loved each other, and wanted to
            spend the rest of our lives together.
            We married for the wrong reason, and mix that with not
            being faithful and committed, I know why were divorced. So for me to blame the other woman would have
            been a waste of time. She was a result of our failed relationship.
            Her involvement was a stupid choice on her part, she is the one who has to deal with her past on this, and I already
            done my part and forgave her as well as my exhusband,
            and myself.

        • Recovering

          Anita,

          I wish I could say the affair was in the past, but with the possiblity of the OW coming back to my husband’s workplace looming over our heads, I am not so sure the past is in the past. Not because I fear my husband and her will hook up again – we have worked WAY too hard to get where we are, and luckily he is finally starting to see her for who she really is, but for what she may start at work. He doesn’t think anyone at the workplace knows about their affair… I would be a stupid woman to bet that there aren’t people who at the very least GUESSED what was going on between them… after all, she was referred to as his “work wife”. Anyway husband is ready to start looking for another job, but I am just angry that this whore won’t stay out of our lives! She has a family of her own, and I’ve told her if she comes back that I am telling her husband about the affair she does come back. I do WANT to leave the past in the past and move on… and I know that staying faithful is my husband’s job.. but I also know that I CANNOT deal with them working together AT ALL, even knowing that he is starting to really hate her. I don’t need or want that stress on my marriage… and neither does he. It just makes me soooo angry that she may be walking away from this whole thing even better than when it started, and my life will be in chaos, again, because of her. What a B!!

          • Anita

            Recovering,
            I do understand your frustration with this, and I know how
            upsetting this can be. I am glad that your husband is out
            looking for another job.
            If it should happen that she returns to your husband’s work place, before he gets another job, you and your husband
            keep talking and working on your marriage. She can’t
            do anything to you, unless your husband opens that door.
            As far as what other people think at his workplace, don’t
            worry about it. Rumors float in and out of workplaces all
            the time when people gossip, in a few days it will grow
            old.
            I can only speak for myself, but I am a person who dislikes
            gossip, therefore when I have my lunch time, I leave and
            go do other things that need to be done, such as running
            errands that I won’t have to do later. This way I don’t hear
            or spread gossip, and it has saved me many headaches.
            Unfortunately workplace gossip will always be there so
            hold your head high, and have your husband communicate
            with you on your work breaks. This will pass.
            He will need to avoid her unless its work related, but hopefully he will be in a new job soon. Then is nightmare
            will be behind you.

          • WriterWife

            Recovering — I just had to laugh when I read that your husband had his affair with his “work wife.” That’s exactly who my husband has his EA with — everyone at the office even referred to the two of them as “work wife” and “work husband”! UGH!

            One book that really helped me in dealing with that particular aspect of things (that the OW was one of my closest friends and worked VERY closely with my husband) was Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. It was interesting to read her talking about easy it is for people at work to end up in affairs with each other.

            She talked about how easy it is to establish patterns — in my case my husband and the OW had lunch together every day and when they had a big deadline, they’d even have dinner and then go to a coffee shop/bar to keep working together (when I was out of town). Now I think: what would any normal person think if *I* did that? I work from home and I can’t imagine going to the neighbors and asking to take the husband to lunch and dinner every day. But for some reason, because it’s at the office, those behaviours are ok.

            At least now my husband and I know what to look for and how to curb habits before they go too far. And what’s unsettling is that a new guy has started working with my husband and the OW (yes, they still work together) and suddenly she’s going to lunch with *him* all the time and then going out with him and his fiance at night. It’s like the same thing happening all over again but with a different couple!

    • Gizfield

      Amen, recovering! I was at a cookout the other day for one of my friends grand daughters birthday. Her son that I have known since he was about 15 was there as well.he was good Christian boy and married his wife about 7 years ago. About a year ago, he cheated, the whore got pregnant and his wife dumped him. The new girl friend sat there like she was the Queen of Sheba and oh so proud of herself eventhough everyone there knew she was an adulterer. The baby daddy didnt really look to happy though. I’m sure this will last. What a waste. And no, I dont have anything against the baby because it is innocent.

    • Gizfield

      I believe people have a tendency to confuse jealousy and disgust. My husband thinks I’m jealous of his secret “friend”. Seriously, Dude, you are both disgusting, NOTHING to be jealous of there, lol.

    • Teresa

      Recovering and Gizfield….I think you need to not paint all CS with the same brush…I know two women who have cheated…they are NOT whores, they are women who made some very bad decisions and are now living with regret and remorse, probably for the rest of their lives! Do I feel sorry for them, yes I do…it’s not a burden I’d want to carry with me forever and ever!
      Now, I do believe that there ARE some women that you might be able to label with such a name…but you won’t find them on THIS blog! The CS who post here are hurting also, and they do US a favor by helping us better understand OUR CS! Now you want to talk about a whore? Leanne Rimes comes to mind!! Now her, yea, I’d pretty much say that about…she sickens me, chasing after a married man, and father of two very small boys….And not at all sorry for it at all!
      See, there’s the difference….some CS are soooo remorseful and take steps to correct the mistakes they have made, like Doug, while others, like the cow that my H had the EA with….she’s not at all sorry, and can hold her head up and not feel ashamed, so she says!
      Would I call her a whore? Not really, she’s married with kids of her own, doesnt sleep around as far as I know…would I say she’s has no morals and is a very selfish person, yes, definitely!
      Also, I would suggest that if you DO want to learn from a CS, it might be good to turn it down a notch or two…if I was a CS it would be very intimidating to post here, can you understand that? I know you’re probably both still hurting…Trust me, I wasn’t very kind to CS in the days right after Dday myself, but eventually you WILL hope that a CS posts here, so you can better understand how an EA happens.
      BTW, as a woman…why do we call a woman CS a whore…but NOT a male CS?? It DOES take to to tango….right??

      • Teresa

        Oops…should be TWO to tango 🙂

      • Recovering

        It does take 2 to tango, which is why I called my husband a whore, too! The OW has a husband and 2 young boys… I can’t feel bad for the cheater. I wont excuse what they did. Maybe they are sorry now, but they were bad people while they were doing it. Same as my husband. I love my husband, and he is working to change and be better, but that doesn’t change what he was while the affair was going on, or that he did what he did, or was what he was. I am hoping that he is REALLY changing. Being sorry doesn’t change what you did or who you were during the affair. My husband’s OW IS a whore… she cheated before.. this wasn’t her first trip around the block, and she obviously isn’t sorry and hasn’t had to pay… whore then, whore now… I am not saying all cheaters are now whores, but they were when they were cheating, be it a man or a woman. I won’t back down from that.

    • Paula

      Mmm, agreed Teresa, but perhaps we all also need to remember two things, a) everyone is different and therefore have different ways of working through the pain and b) early in recovery this is a good place to vent some of the anger. I know it is intimidating for CSs 🙁

      That said, I think you raise some very valid points, let’s drop the double standard, and stop blaming the OP for everything – they did something very unkind, very selfish, very “wrong,” but they made no commitment to the BS, only the CS did that – they deserve the choicest insults, lol! Many, many cheaters are just people who made bad decisions, often at stressful periods of their lives, so tarring them all with the whore brush is pretty judgemental. Getting worked up over the OP does nothing to help you heal yourself, that person needs to almost become a non-person in your head, they are really just peripheral to what has gone on between you and your CS, a “tool” used by the cheater to self-soothe, massage ego, etc. Yes, it sounds simple, I struggled with it, as I remembered my relationship as pretty darn good, pretty darn close and not really in any real danger of this happening, so of course you blame the OP for wading in and changing things. The point is, she couldn’t have at any other stage during our then 21 years together. She just turned up when he was at an all time low, and he felt too guilty about that, because it was because of business decisions he’d made that he was at that point, and he felt he couldn’t tell me how badly he was feeling, as he knew I was already struggling with those decisions that he made, without my input, and “didn’t want to add to my load.” Great call, darling! This was a MUCH better option, lol!

      • WriterWife

        I have to admit, getting over my husband’s OW has been really difficult for me! I’d actually love a discussion at some point for how others have handled it. Especially since I’ve noticed that the way I approach her has changed as time goes on.

        Part of my difficulty because she *had* made a commitment to me as one of my closest friends. For the first few weeks after I found out, I actually thought she had nothing to do with the EA and didn’t even realize my husband had feelings for her until I started putting the pieces together and realized that (a) she knew he had feelings for her and (b) she did nothing to discourage those feelings and (c) arguably encouraged them.

        I’m trying to learn how to not get worked up over her. There are lots of days I don’t — a majority of the time in fact. And oddly, it’s easier to not get as worked up over her role as the OW than her role as my friend. As the OW I’ve made my peace with her, but as a friend who betrayed me… as a friend who after it all came out never ONCE emailed to say I’m sorry, not even a “I heard you may be getting divorced and you were my closest friend and I’m sorry you’re in pain.” I just… it boggles my mind.

        The thing is, I know she didn’t want to hurt me or intend to hurt me and I know that she’s really hurting over the whole thing too. She lost her two closest and only friends! But she also knows that she *did* hurt me and sometimes you have to suck it up and say “I hurt you, even though I didn’t mean to, and I’m sorry.”

        Funny — I can forgive her getting caught up in my husband. I totally understand — he’s exactly her type! She didn’t think it would go anywhere, etc. But I can’t forgive the way she’s handled it after it came out.

        Sorry — totally off topic but I guess I needed to vent!

    • Gizfield

      Sorry but we are talking about someone here who got pregnant so we do need to acknowledge the fact that there was some bonafide boinking going on. I don’t think one was guilty and one wasn’t. You are an adultererif either party is married. I dont use the word “whore” specific to either sex, but I do believe blame is shared equally, unless one was unaware of the others marital status.

    • Gizfield

      Amen, again, Recovering! I called myhusband some names that would make Satan’s grandmother blush. This is adult subject matter, adultery, and being offended or intimidated by termonolgy doesn’t really help anything. As long as a behavior can be defended, it will continue. There is a new breed of woman today and she will do anything and everything with your spouse and never bat an eyelash.

      • rollercoasterrider

        Don’t take this wrong, but she is no new breed at all. Check out what Proverbs 2, 6 and 7 have to say. It’s actually a pretty old game. These are interesting passages too, because the man is taken off-guard and is compared to an ox being led to slaughter. Some very picturesque language is included.

        • Anita

          Hi Rollercoasterrider,
          I have to confess after my exhusband’s affair and our divorce, I had a very bad attitude. When I read about the
          Prodical Son, my attitude was very much like the older
          brother, it took God to change my heart to see that a
          celebration is worth the return of the lost sheep.
          Also 2 Samuel Chapter 11 with David, Bathsheba, and Uriah, that was another part of history that had my emotions in a uproar. Yet Daivd was a man after God’s own heart. When I was first recovering from my own ordeal
          I felt anger that Uriah, and the baby died. As I began to heal
          I was able to see that the baby and Uriah were in the best
          place in God’s kingdom. Yet David and Bathsheba would
          later have their own troubles. So in the end I have learned
          God is fair. When I learned to forgive and give the rest over
          to God, I am a much happier person.
          However it took my divorce, for me to be broken enough for
          God to change my heart.
          Each day I have to make the conscience choice to follow
          his word, however I still mess up, but I know I am forgiven.

          • Anita

            Later David and Bathsheba would give birth to a son named Solomon. Songs of Solman, is a beautiful poem written by Solomon.

            • Anita

              Sorry typo, it subpose to say Songs of Solomon.

    • Gizfield

      Theresa, one time about 20 years ago, I was a cheater myself. There were a lot of extenuating circumstances that I dont have time to go into right now. Did I know it was wrong? Yes. Did I do it anyway? Yes. Was I a whore at that time? Yes. Am I intimated by being called that? No. because I committed adulterery and it was wrong. No excuse, no get out of jail free card just a complete admission of guilt

      • Anita

        Gizfield,
        The moment you asked God for his forgiveness, it was given to you. There’s no need to carry this guilt from the
        past, its long forgotten in the eyes of God.
        However now since you have been on both sides of the
        coin you can be a great help in helping others.
        This site is a wonderful site for everyone to vent and learn.

      • Paula

        All correct guys, our OW was also trying to get pregnant to my ex, it wasn’t her first time around the block either (not by a long shot – her existing child was conceived via spergling – stealing semen from a used condom, lovely) however, what we mean here is that concentrating on the “other” can’t get you anywhere. You cannot change them, you cannot stop them from doing it again, to the next poor soul (believe me, this was my fervant wish, to try to stop this pain being thrust upon somone else.) You cannot change that they believe that the marriage was awful anyway, because, “if you were a good person, in a good marriage, it would have never happened, because he wouldn’t have been available to cheat with me,” UUURGGH, the things that came out of her mouth, and after all I did for her… You can only affect change in and for yourself. I agree with you about adultery, surely everyone knows it is not cool/VERY wrong whether you are the married party or the single one, apparently knowing and not acting on base urges are two different concepts to some people.

        Gizfield, I’m sorry that you have now experienced both sides of the coin, of course it’s hard not to comment further, but who needs the extra pain of that, I do feel for you, I am sorry as I imagine you are feeling some very conflicting emotions here about that. And RCR is so right, it SEEMS like there’s more of this going on, but it is a “game” as old as time, and I for one, know it was just shoved under the carpet with all of the other family skeletons in past generations, with the betrayed having to just “suck it up, baby.” Nothing new here.

    • Gizfield

      Thanks, Anita and Paula, for your kind words. My adultery episode was the early 90s, so it’s been about 20 years, a lifetime ago. I dont feel a lot of guilt about it, it’s kind of like it was someone else. I seldom think of it, or the person, for that matter. I do know it was very ! Wrong and no excuses are good enough to condone it. I felt like total slime st the time though and that is enough to keep me from doing it again. That may be why some things I say seem harsh but you dont always want to be too easy on yourself either.

    • Gizfield

      Ok, I didnt think things could possibly get any weirder, but it just keeps on happening. I guess the one thing I was most unprepared for in dealing with adultery was all the attacks on me and my sanity. Even with proof no less. My parents both died over 20 years ago and I have no close relatives to help me at this time. My state ofemergency in my marriage has escalated in the last 24 hours and I need an ally. I thought maybe if I told my mother in law what her son had been doing you might talk some sense into him for the sake of the family. Everything I said was fact : he snuck around behind my back 7 or 8 months, toldr me he was in love with someone else, wanted a divorce, we decided to stay together, and he has lied the last 3 years about talking to/texting his little friend. Caught him with her new phone numberunder a fake name yesterday. Even with that his mother said “I have be en accused of things I didnt do, to o.” Basically, he would not do this stuff and I am delusional. All I can say is Oh my god!

    • Gizfield

      You need to try to get proof for when everybody you know apparently thinks youve flipped your lid. I found my husbands email messages and forwarded them to myself thankfully. I’ve never shown them to anyone but it’sa comfort to know I could look at them and reaffirm to myself that I am indeed not insane…

    • Gizfield

      I can truly say that today I am the loneliest I have been in the last 12 years. I found out after 8 months that my husband was still in contact with this broad. We had horrible fights all day yesterday and I told him to get out. The last time I saw him was yesterday morning and we only exchanged a few texts this morning about our daughter. He makes all the usual claims, not doing wrong, just friends, your jealous, controlling, etc. so far he has given up nothing. I decided to show him what it it’s like to lose your family in hopes he will wake up. I just feel so alone, this is the longest we have ever been out of contact. I pray to god this works. If it doesn’t I guess it will be the end of us. The dysfunction of his own family will have won and probably follow my daughter as well

      • rollercoasterrider

        Gizfield, I am very sorry for the feeling of aloneness you are going through, and pray you will be strong for your daughter. Your H’s bad choices do not have to poison her future, but she will really need to have a stable, secure mom…and that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. We all care and want the best for you.

        • Rachel

          Gizfield,
          Thinking of you. Stay strong.

      • Teresa

        Gizfield, have you read the article on here about gas lighting? Sounds to me that your H is trying to pull that with you! Good for you that you won’t let him!
        And don’t worry about your MIL….she’s one of those that will probably never believe her son could do such a thing…since you have their emails, you could always print off a copy and show them to her, if it matters to you what she thinks….how old is your daughter and does she know about the EA? Maybe it’s time to bring her in on what is going on, if she’s mature enough to handle it?
        Just so she’s aware that you HAVE tried to make things work…also, maybe it’s time to out the OW…there was a blog posting about that several weeks ago also….that in some cases, shedding light and scrutiny on the affair takes away the “mystery”….I know that’s what happened my case….the cow’s H found out about 3 weeks before I did, and demanded the cow stop all contact with my H…she did for three days, then found a way through her home computer to text my H….but my H said at that point, he wanted out….he couldn’t talk to her, and get his daily ego boost, so what fun was it anymore…their secret was out!
        Maybe you need to “out” them and let everyone see that this is NOT an innocent friendship and you AREN’T crazy…they are!

        • Rachel

          Teresa, great post. I love how you stated that the ” mystery” is over when the affair is out. No more sneaking, no more “fun”. That’s exactly what happened with my H and his “pig”.
          Take care.

    • Surviving

      We revisited the lighthouse we went to on our first date and talked about the great memories of that day.
      But some memories we have had to re write with better ones, the first night we met we went out with a group of people on new years eve for Chinese food sp every new years after that it was out tradition, after the EA I told him that memory now means nothing and he needs to do something special on that date… and he has.

      So some memories are good to remember and go over and some need to be rewritten with better ones.

    • Gizfield

      Thank you all for your kind words and wishes. Had a super busy day! Things are somewhat betterfor me. After spending monday in some extremely vile phone/text arguments we didnt communicate st all tuesdayexcept regarding our daughter. Last nite I woke up about 3 a.m. and texted him a smart alec comment but we actually made some real progress. If you dont now I highly recommend texting about touchy subjects. Gives you time to think and you have a record of what was said to refresh your memory. If it’s good enough for Cheaters, it’s good enough for us!

    • Gizfield

      Part 2. Today at work I saw it was a beautiful day out, and I thought of him so I sent him a text saying that. I know I violated my No Contract Rule but I always break my own rules. He asked me and my girl to dinner so I agreed to after church them but said I didnt want to go. Changed my mind and we had a wonderful family time. He and our daughter are very close. He went back to where he is staying which is goOd for me now. We did a little hugging, hand holding, and kissing when he left. I’m off til monday and plan to do some much needed house work and maybe pampering. Surprisingly we were completely comfortable with each other after a few minutes.

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