Runaway Spouse SyndromeBy Sarah P.

It all started a long time ago—probably as long ago as marriage existed—but most recently this phenomenon was brought into focus by Vikki Stark in her book Runaway Husbands

I am calling this post The Runaway Spouse Syndrome because this is not necessarily a gender-specific phenomenon. While this behavior may be found more commonly in men, women certainly are not immune to such behavior.

In this post, I will do several things: I will tell a few more personal stories about this phenomenon, examine what it is about, and what abandoned spouses can do in such situations.

Of course, all affairs can be seen in the framework of abandonment even if the spouse ends up staying. So there is a lot of information here that applies equally to affair recovery.

Click here  if you want to listen to the audio recording of the interview with Vikki Stark on Runaway Spouses


What is Spousal Abandonment Syndrome?

“Spousal Abandonment Syndrome is when one of the spouses leaves the marriage without any warning, and—usually–without having shown any signs of unhappiness with the relationship.  It is a growing trend in the United States. Spousal Abandonment Syndrome is the opposite of the traditional divorce which typically comes after years of trying to work out difficulties in a marriage.  With Spousal Abandonment, there is no sign that one of the spouses is frustrated or considering leaving the marriage. They just leave, with a note on the kitchen table or email announcing that they are gone and the partnership is over.  

Contrary to what one might think, Spousal Abandonment Syndrome happens to long-term, stable marriages. Many of these couples are viewed by their circle of friends as being moral and trustworthy people who are happy with each other.”(1)

Spousal Abandonment Syndrome is different from a traditional affair in several ways. The most glaring way is that the wayward spouse leaves the family home and cuts all ties with the betrayed spouse and the children. The betrayed spouse never saw it coming and has no chance to talk about why. The betrayed spouse has no opportunity to go through marriage counseling to repair the marriage. If a traditional affair rips the proverbial carpet out from under a betrayed spouse, marital abandonment rips out the entire house and the foundation itself from a betrayed spouse.

I think of Marital Abandonment Syndrome like a freight train that everyone sees but hides from the person sitting on the railroad tracks. The person sitting on the tracks sees a clear horizon and believes it is safe to be parked in that spot since there is not train coming along. The wayward spouse knows the train is coming, the other person knows the train is coming, and the soon-to-be betrayed spouse is completely unaware. That is until the moment of impact.

The betrayed spouse cannot even comprehend what happened. All they know is just a moment ago their life and marriage was great, but within an instant everything they knew and everything they had disappeared. As far as the eye can see, they realize their life has been laid to ruin, all the while the wayward spouse and affair partner blissfully watched on.

There is truly a level of viciousness, deceit, and cruelty involved that goes beyond the common affair.

In many affairs, the wayward spouse never leaves the house for long if he or she leaves at all. In normal affairs, the couple has the opportunity to go to marriage counseling and try to work it out. There is a chance for a betrayed spouse to have some of his or her questions answered and to try to understand what happened.

With Marital Abandonment Syndrome questions go unanswered, working through it is off the table, and the wayward spouse becomes a complete stranger. Often the stranger he or she  becomes is monstrous. There is no hope of repair, no hope of knowing the real reasons, and no closure. A betrayed spouse is left to fill in the blanks herself or himself and often their thoughts wreak havoc on her/his  mental health.


Who Does This?

  • They are usually men.
  • They work in societally-approved professions and are successful at what they do:  business, church, medical field, law.
  • They have kept their discontent with the marriage bottled up for years, pretending that everything is fine.
  • They are having an affair and leave for the girlfriend.
  • They announce their abrupt departure in the middle of a normal conversation.  An example would be a phone call where the spouses are discussing something mundane, and the husband will suddenly state “I just can’t do this anymore.”
  • Once the husband has told his wife he is out of the marriage, his exit happens fast.  He will move in with his girlfriend and have very little contact with the wife and the children.
  • Rather than take responsibility for his actions, he will blame the wife, rewriting the story of their marriage to portray it as a vastly unhappy one.
  • He embraces his new identity wholeheartedly. If the girlfriend is younger, he will start acting younger, listening to her tastes in music, socializing with her circle of friends, and dressing youthfully to blend in more with his new lifestyle. (1)

Narcissist or not?

This is a question to myself and I do not have an answer since both narcissists and non-narcissists engage in family and spouse abandonment. However, this behavior is part and parcel of narcissistic behavior. For example, consider this information from Linda Martinez-Lewi, a psychologist who specializes in writing about narcissism:

“Narcissistic men and women cannot sustain authentic relationships in marriages or as parents. They act out, having multiple affairs, mistresses, girlfriends, boyfriends, secretly on the side. They have no shame about their reprehensible, destructive behaviors…After causing horrific trauma to a wife or husband and children who have been abandoned, he moves on to re-invent himself and re-burnish his image. For the narcissist, there are no genuine relationships. One person is replaceable with another—one wife with another, one child or two children with others. Some narcissists go on to produce children with two three or even four other partners. It doesn’t matter as long as he is getting the adulation, praise, adoration that he needs and maintaining the power and money that he holds on to and that defines him/her as a person.” (2)

The thing that I personally have trouble with is differentiating between a narcissist who abandons his or her family because he or she is just doing what a narcissist does best: leaving a trail of broken and battered bodies in their wake, OR if the person is truly a runaway spouse.

If we take this idea further, I wonder how many runaway spouses always had qualities that could be considered covertly narcissistic and therefore less noticeable. Even though the DSM-V does not necessarily recognize the idea of overt versus covert narcissism, many of the best recovery sites tailored toward victims of narcissists do recognize these two categories.

I am one of the people in the psych community who (rightly or wrongly) recognizes these two types of narcissists, even if my peers do not. So, I providing my own opinion when I discuss these two types of narcissists. I felt it was important to provide full-disclosure on that point since this is not a viewpoint that was maintained in my particular degree program.

What is a covert narcissist?

Just like the name sounds, this is an undercover narcissist. This narcissist is a chameleon who often plays the role of whatever he thinks the other person wants him to be so that he can get his/her needs met. I love this definition by Richard Grannon who has a fantastic website that specializes in all things narcissism. In one of his articles, Richard said this about covert narcissists:

“…they are smart enough to know what you are looking for at the level of your core values and mold themselves to appear to represent that whilst provoking as much sympathy in you for them as they can. But beneath the mask of a shy, vulnerable and “good person” something far more sinister lurks. And this what makes covert narcissism so damaging and dangerous: the nature of the disorder is such that you are brainwashed into thinking you are dealing with a human being with a morality, perhaps even a “pillar of the community”. This is frequently a part of the covert narcissists fantasy: the misunderstood but kind, caring genius/ guru that the foolish world cruelly victimises. If the target is tricked into believing the FALSE narrative that this person is a vulnerable victim they are left suspecting that the manipulations, insults, transgressions and abuses they experienced CAN’T be real …right? Forced into a split reality, one in which the person is as vulnerable and victimised as they wish you to believe and the other in which you see shadowy, fleeting signs of something else entirely:

  • a social chameleon who would wear a completely different identity depending on who they were talking to
  • a sneaky, underhanded way of operating in the world that ONLY those closest to them ever get a glimpse of
  • a person whose actions RARELY match their words!
See also  My Husband Left Me - Then I Discovered the Affair - What Do I Do Now?

This leads to crushing feelings of frustrating isolation as you feel like you are the only one on the planet who can see this gaping disparity in the person and it’s impossible to explain to anyone not experiencing the abuse directly…As though following some kind of sick “Covert Narcissists Guidebook To Abuse” they follow a protocol of denial, contempt, reframing, reblaming and shaming the person who presents them with evidence of their lies. Most maddeningly they will simply look dead in the eyes and with no guilt or shame whatsoever tell you that black is white and up is down. There are none of the normal human responses to unpleasant behaviour present. They are not uncomfortable about telling bare faced lies and they do not feel remorse for the pain and emotional distress this clearly causes you.” (3)

This definition of covert narcissism sounds a lot like the affair fog, doesn’t it? Or at least there are overlapping qualities. It also sounds a lot like how abandoned spouses describe their runaway spouse.

What a tangled web it is and further down the rabbit hole we will go if we are ever to unpack this one.

So, now I am circling back to the topic of runaway spouses. In this next part, all of our very valued and always welcome male readers will see that it is not just men who abandon their families. With the infidelity split being almost an equal split between genders that are many culpable women out there. And women abandoning their husbands is not a new thing either.


The (Not So Great) Great, Great Grandma

I wanted to tell you about the first time I heard about the phenomenon of the runaway spouse. (Hint, it was not from a bad 70’s-era soap opera.) The story about the first time I heard about runaway spouses also happens to support the idea that this is not a gender-specific phenomenon. While we often hear about men doing such a thing, women are equally capable and culpable of such indiscretions.

It all began with whispers about my own grandfather and his mean mother. You see, my grandfather, who actually was a tremendously kind and generous individual, had cut ties with his own mother. All of his siblings, save one, had cut ties with this bitter and hateful woman, my great grandmother.

Everyone blamed my great grandmother except for one of her daughter’s, my grandfather’s sister, who took care of my perennially unpleasant great grandmother during her elder years. You see, my grandfather’s sister blamed her own mother’s foul on her own grandmother, my (not so great) great, great grandmother.

My grandfather’s sister, bless her heart, was kind to the core and forgiving her own mother’s foul behavior because of what she knew her own mother went through. Thus, she weathered the insults, the cruelty, and the constant stream of “you are a good for nothing” from her own mother.


Well, it all started with my great, great grandmother on my father’s side. My great, great grandmother was a woman of French Creole/mulatto descent from Louisiana. Unmarried at 30, she decided to marry a man 30 years her senior who was fresh off the boat from the Tuscan village of Lucca, Italy. She bore him several children—both boys and girls.

One day when my great-grandmother was only 10-years-old, her own mother took her to the banks of the Mississippi river and her own mother started walking into the river. Was her mother committing suicide? Hardly. In fact, a suicide would have at least brought some kind of closure in the sense that all of the children would know where their mother was and still have an untarnished image of their mother.

My great, great-grandmother continued to walk silently into the river and finally turned around to speak to her stunned daughter. As my 10-year-old great-grandmother stood on the bank, her mother announced, “Do you see that steam ship out there?”  My great-grandmother nodded. “Well, I am leaving with the captain of that steamboat, my lover, to find my fortune. You are now the head of the household.” And with that, my great, great grandmother swam out to the steamboat as her daughter watched her be pulled aboard by the crew. My great, great-grandmother did not even turn around to wave goodbye and that was the last my ten-year-old great-grandmother saw of her own mother.

That was until my great, great grandmother was an old and penniless woman. She tracked down my great-grandmother and my great-grandmother took in her mom and cared for her until her mother’s death.

Since this was in the late 1800/early 1900’s when this all occurred, no one knows what horrors my great-grandmother went through since she became the female head of household as a 10-year-old girl. What we do know is that my great-grandmother grew up to be a very bitter woman who hated men. The events I write of were recorded in a family journal, but my great, great-grandmother’s perspective on why she did this will never be known.

My great, great-grandmother never told a soul what she did all of those years with her lover the steamboat captain. Whatever happened during that period has been lost to the pages of history.

Then there was my grandfather—my father’s father. The rest of the story was told by him, my grandfather. His mother grew up to be a terrible mother who spoiled her daughters and who spit on the shoes of her sons and told them they were worthless. Each time she had another son, she reminded that son daily that he was unwanted, unloved, and worthless.

My grandfather had abandoned his own mom years before along with all of his brothers and fortunately, he and his brothers were a tight-knit crew. Fortunately, my grandfather also had an extremely kind father who made up for all of the emotional abuse he received from his mom. My grandfather stopped the cycle of family insanity and was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. I owe a lot of who I am to him and I say it whenever I get a chance.

So for all of the men out there, women too run away from their families and responsibilities. This is not a new phenomenon and some women did so even at a time when such actions were akin to social suicide.

If we look into the Bible, we can also see numerous stories of women caught in the act of the adultery even though the penalty was being stoned to death. In some places in the world, this penalty (very wrongly and cruelly) still stands. What is my point? Humans are equal opportunity offenders and runaway spouses belong to both genders.

More On Runaway Spouses

People who have not experienced adultery first-hand often believe many myths about adultery. One of those pervasive myths is the myth that the betrayed spouse “just knew” their husband or wife had a lover.

Now, while in some cases spouses have a strong gut feeling, this is generally not the case with runaway spouses. One of the things that differentiate runaway spouses from spouses caught in regular affairs is that the betrayed spouse simply did not feel it happening on any level. The gut feeling that something was amiss was never there. The clues were never there. Often, even the seeming opportunity to cheat was not even there.

See also  How to Survive an Affair: Review

Another thing that is different about these situations is that the runaway spouse announces the news during the most seemingly mundane time. Their mention of leaving is often so out of context, the betrayed spouse feels as if they are talking to someone from another planet.

Vikki Stark tells the story in the beginning of her book about the moment she found out her husband of twenty-plus years was leaving. She brought home fish for dinner and announced they would be eating fish. Her husband merely said, “It’s over.” And she replied that they would be eating chicken if he no longer liked fish. Then, he told her that it really was over and that he was leaving. And he did leave.

Vikki reports that she had no warning. Prior to this she believed she was in a mutually supportive, loving, and monogamous relationship. After her husband told her he was leaving, he turned into a person she did not recognize.

This is what a runaway spouse scenario looks like. It is different from a MLC affair since the wayward spouse in the runaway spouse syndrome scenario had checked out a long time ago, had been finished with the marriage a long time ago, and often already has a home to move into with the other person. The runaway spouse seamlessly slips into his or her life while the abandoned spouse’s life has been laid to ruin.

My Own Runaway (Almost) Husband

After reading Vikki’s book, it dawned on me that this is exactly what I experienced with my runaway (almost) spouse.

Our three-year relationship had been characterized by fun, common hobbies, similar life experiences, and love of travel and writing. We also worked together in a fortunate 100 corporation and our careers were flourishing.

The initial frisson I had when first meeting him never went away—the passion never died between us or slowed down.

We purchased a new home together just seven minutes from work, which was a very big deal because of the commutes and real estate prices in the area. That summer we had spent traveling France and scuba diving in Corsica. We were planning our own future together and wedding.

At the time, he was my best friend. We cooked together, went to the gym together, went on photo expeditions together, practiced our French together, skied together, went rock-climbing together, and hosted lavish parties in our home for upper management.

One of my most profound memories is the time he took a Dale Carnegie class. He made sure I could get time off work to attend his graduation. In front of 300 people he told the group that I was the love of his life and he was a better man because of me. He said his greatest hope was to spend the rest of his days building our connection and future.

And everything was great. He had gotten me a second ring for Christmas that was custom made and we were planning for our future.

Around two weeks after he gave me that ring, he was standing by the fireplace with a glass of wine and I was cooking dinner. We were talking about our day and he mundanely told me it was over. And like Vikki Stark, I thought he was talking about something mundane. Then he said, “we are never getting married.”

From that moment on, his personality changed. He stopped being a goofy, fun, talkative, physically affectionate and loving man into a monster. This monster was icy-cold, this monster was yelling that I needed to move out, this monster was throwing things and saying cruel things. This monster would not even tell me what I did wrong. Most of all, the monster swore on the Bible that there was NOT another woman and yelled that he was not that kind of man. When I asked him to move out, he became a violent monster. Regular readers know how that went down. Pure ugliness ensued.

Little did I know at the time he had been having a physical affair with a woman for several months and he became violent with me so that she could move into my home. And she did.

There were no real clues beforehand. The nature and quality of the relationship did not change until immediately after he announced he was leaving. He became an incredibly different person who was blind to my pain and frankly did not give a damn whether I lived or died. That is what a runaway spouse looks like.

The Fallout from Runaway Spouse Syndrome

Humiliation. Darkness. Bottomless grief. Suffocation. Profound pain due to the fact that I still existed.

Did I want to live or did I want to die? If living was going to be like this, I decided I did not want to live. But, I was too depressed to move a muscle and do something about it.

This went on for a couple of weeks and I had to take leave from work during that time. I also had to move into my parent’s new house and sleep in the guest room. We had all moved across the country to the same area. But, since I had been on my own for quite a while, there was no childhood bedroom to which I could return. My real home, which I had purchased with my investment funds, was being occupied by the enemies: the other woman and my ex. I felt like a failure and I was ready to write my life off entirely.

Twenty-nine years old, but death seemed better. I saw everyone around me getting married and I felt so left out—like it was for them but not for me.

I thought of all of the people at work who heard about the break-up. I felt they were looking down on me and probably using my grief as water-cooler gossip. And I was worried to go back to work because of what they were saying and what they thought.

The night before I was to return to work, I sent my alarm clock radio to the miscellaneous pop/soft rock station and set the alarm for 4am. I was terrified to get up in the morning. Terrified there was nothing to look forward to because I could only see life getting worse from there on out.

At the time, I felt I was nothing without a man in my life. This made the break-up even worse. I questioned every aspect of myself because I was not enough as a person. I was not enough for him and I would not be enough for any other man. I was worried that I was inherently flawed and so I felt I needed to get rid of myself in order to please someone else.

Most of all, I felt smothered by the darkness and utter hopelessness that I felt about the future. I felt nothing would ever, ever be right again and maybe I should not even be alive. I went to sleep dreading the next day and the commute ahead of me. I feared I could not keep it together. A fitful sleep ensued and the morning came too soon.

At four a.m. in the morning, the alarm went of and I heard an up tempo speed guitar playing. “Good morning and welcome to hell that is your life,” I told myself.

Suddenly a loud and all-encompassing voice said something that started to drown out the negativity. The voice said to me:

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.  It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just try your best, try everything you can and don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.

It just takes some time, little girl in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine and everything, everything will be alright.

Was the voice talking to me? Then it continued:

Hey, you know they’re all the same and you know you’re doing better on your own so don’t buy in.

Just live right now and just be yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine and and everything, everything will be alright. And the voice kept assuring me over and over again that everything would be alright.

Yes, the voice was talking to me. Only, the voice was actually a song I had never heard before called “In the Middle.”

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For whatever reason, I needed to hear that song at that very moment. And at that moment the first ray of light broke though. God works in the most mysterious of ways and God knew music is very healing for me.

How Could Someone Do this to Their Family?

Even though I fortunately did not have a family at that time, many people do. For example, we have the on-going saga of Nina the Narcissistic Nurse and Steve the Wanna Be Surgeon. Both of them abandoned their families and each of them had several children under the age of 18 years old. They will be getting married soon.

Several years ago, there was also Dick the Dermatologist who did something similar—he abandoned his wife and their autistic child (with absolutely no notice) to move in with the former nanny and the nanny’s mom. And neither the nanny nor the nanny’s mother knew that he was sleeping with both of them. I can imagine that if they ever found out, that was the mother-daughter showdown on the century. But, hopefully mother and daughter were wise enough to know he was the problem. However, that is highly doubtful since neither of them found it wrong to poach a spouse with a child who has special needs.

The million-dollar question is why people just up and run away one day without giving their spouse a shred of warning. What on earth would possess someone to do something so devious, so cruel, and so life-shattering to the person they were supposed to love and cherish?

What’s worse (and as we learned prior) is it is usually the kind of spouse you would least expect. It is usually that woman or man who is well-respected and admired in the community—and often that person who seems to have the perfect life and family.

What kind of person participates in this utter insensitivity and what motivates them?

Usually, someone checked out of the marriage years ago. At some point they gave up and figured out that the marriage could never be repaired. Because of this, they do not communicate their feelings to their spouse. They just allow the marriage to go along on auto-pilot.

Now, it could be that they gave up because they found another person – usually the way men do it; or it could be that they decided the marriage was dead and could not be repaired, even if no other person is involved – usually the way women do it.

I have met many women who say they are just hanging on until all the kids are in college. Do their husbands know? Generally, they do not know. These women do not have other men in their lives—they have often just fallen out of love and nothing can change their mind. I feel terrible for these husbands because in most cases nothing can be done. I also think it is unfair for a woman to hang on if she is truly done. In a sense, she is using her husband until breaking up is convenient for her. It is incredibly selfish.

On the other hand, men generally leave because another woman is in the wings. In the past, I read that most men’s worst fear is ending up alone. Therefore, they will not leave a marriage until they are completely certain that the other woman will be there to move in with them or to generally be with them. Most men don’t leave marriages unless they have a back-up. In fact, it may be that they have not even had a physical affair with the back-up. But they are confident a solid back-up or perhaps several back-ups exist otherwise they would not leave.

In the end, people who abandon spouses are incredibly selfish and deceptive. At some point in time they completely checked out of their marriages and yet pretended they were engaged in the marriages. That is until the time was right for them. They set up an alternative life and once that setup is complete, they bailed.

What Can You Do?

The first and most important thing you can do is to rally a support network around you. Do not keep quiet about your abandonment. Do not hide it from friends, family, and other support networks because you will need emotional support. Do not feel you need to hide it from your grown (or smaller) children. Your children need to know what is happening.

Second, do not take the blame upon yourself. Do not spend your days going round and round in your head asking yourself what you did to cause your spouse to leave. Ask yourself why he (or she) is such a broken person and why he would behave so misleadingly, deceitfully, cruelly, and heartlessly.

You did nothing to cause your spouse to leave. Your spouse is the problem and your spouse chose his or her behavior. Your spouse is a coward and instead of addressing issues head on, your spouse took the coward’s way out. What your spouse chose to do was cruel and it does not reflect on you as a person.

Next, you must take care of your physical self. You must force yourself to eat food and to hydrate with water. You must force yourself to get sleep. If your body starts to fall apart, your mind will quickly follow. And, even if your mind falls apart, it is your duty to yourself to ensure your body does not fall apart. Most of all, you must not reach for the wine or the pills. It is so important to keep a clear head during these times. Why? Because you need to make sure that you can get your finances in order.

Speaking of finances, you must hire an attorney and make sure all bank accounts and other assets are frozen. You will probably want to withdraw a substantial amount of cash if you have it before this happens in order to secure a good attorney. Every woman and man out there should know where the money comes from and goes to. Every woman and man out there should have a financial spreadsheet that details all monthly bills owed, all credit cards, and bank accounts, investment funds, and anything else having to do with finances.

The people who get burned the most are the ones who have allowed their spouse to ‘magically’ maintain a certain lifestyle without knowing how such a lifestyle is maintained or where the money comes from. Many people have rude awakenings and find that they have been stuck with several hundred thousand dollars in credit card bills. Yes, there have been spouses (both male and female) who have taken out secret credit cards using their spouse’s or even children’s social security numbers. I know of this personally and it happens more than you might think.

Finally, you must treat yourself gently during this process. You must realize that you can still be a complete person without your spouse. In fact, you always were and will be a complete person whether you are in a relationship or not. You must strengthen your identity without your spouse.

In Summary

There are times in life when people are blinded by runaway spouses. This is not a new phenomenon and has probably been around for as long as marriage has existed. Human nature is human nature and there is nothing new under the sun as they say. When a spouse runs away, it doesn’t say anything about the abandoned spouse, but it does say everything about the runaway spouse. Finally, if you are or if you have been in this situation, I highly recommend getting professional help immediately and also reading Vikki Stark’s book Runaway Husbands.

Click here  if you want to listen to the audio recording of the interview with Vikki Stark on Runaway Spouses


All You Wanted to Know About Spousal Abandonment Syndrome From

Martinez-Lewi, Linda, PhD. Narcissists Abandon their Families and Reinvent Themselves. From

Grannon, Richard. Covert Narcissistic Abuse Unmasked. From


    400 replies to "The Runaway Spouse Syndrome"

    • Rachel

      Runaway Husband by Vikki Stark was the most helpful book that I have read during my situation. I have and will continue to recommend this book.

      • Bob

        My situation is just a bit different from most of the commenters here …

        I am the husband who was abandoned by a wayward wife.

        There was friction in the marriage.

        To set this up, she did not return from a second “weekend” at the “beach”. We live at the beach! We live in Charleston, SC. Why, oh why, would you be sojourning at the beach during the season of Winter??

        Let’s define the friction, shall we?

        First off, I do not write words so that they may be just glossed over in a hurried fashion.

        Now, to the friction…

        When I would express “You’re hurting me”, the response would be, “Whatever hurt you think you may be experiencing is your own imagination.”

        Wow! Really!?

        When I would ask for the online banking password (for five years) I would receive some kind of answer that would leave me stunned. Stunned, as in, I do not know what I just heard, but, did I NOT just ask for the password? Why, yes, I in fact, did! I don’t know WTF I just received, but it certainly was NOT what I asked for.

        But, so as not to create a difficult atmosphere, I would simply drop the issue.

        Fast forward, after a number of years of this BS, I stood in the living room with two objects in my hand. In one hand was my car key, in the other hand was my ATM/Banking card. I said to her, “I am going to the bank! I will change the password if I have to. I am leaving right now and driving to the bank. I will do this!”

        At this point, I received from her THE password that I had been asking for.

        Now, to another issue. We both had the blessed iPhone. She might send me a text message. Due to my employ, cell phone usage was frowned upon. So, I might not respond to the message. That lack of response might be due to one or more of the following circumstances:

        Verizon screwed up and never got the message to me.
        My managers were in the vicinity, so I decided to delay my response.
        I simply forgot she sent something.

        I would get the “what for” when I got home. “Why didn’t you respond to my message?”

        However, if I called her, or messaged her, and SHE failed to respond, it was quite a different standard.

        E.G. When the friction had increased to a rate that was unbearable, I texted her and asked her if she would like Chinese Food for lunch. She thought that would be quite nice. I hurried out the door to the Chinese place but, damn, forgot my wallet. I called her repeatedly to please bring my wallet, or HER wallet. No answer. When I arrived home and demanded the whereabouts of HER phone, she said it was in her purse, whilst she played with Facebook.

        I blew up and advised her I am NO longer interested in her double standard. From now on, when she returns home, prior to Facebook playing, she IS to get her phone out and make it available to answer.

        In the intimacy area, she would offer … “well, if you’re good, maybe we will have booty tonite”

        WTF does that mean??? If I’m good? Oh, God, what lunacy is this?

        But, again, in an effort to keep the peace, I would just let it go. But, half the time, at the appointed time, she would bow out as she “just didn’t quite feel like it”

        I believe I have provided enough background ….

        In March of 2017, I said to her: “Angela, I love you, but I’m not in love with you right now”

        I’m trying to communicate there are serious issues here. I feel hurt, it is NOT my f’ing imagination, I feel hurt.

        She went on her second beach trip, and never returned.

        Then, she came to the house, and took the dog, (behind my back) who used to sit at my feet while I cried because she had abandoned the marriage.

        Oh, lest I forget, this was her response when I would ask her to put THAT blessed iPad down, along with Facebook (which I hate) because I have something I want to talk with her about.

        Her response: Read this carefully, and twice if necessary to get the full impact:

        “I can multitask”

        You can multitask? Really? So, you have so little respect for me, you WON’T put that blessed iPad down, AND LISTEN TO ME??!!

        When I finally stood up for myself, she split!!

        And, I’ve spent the last year and a half crying?????? Why???????

        And, I’m crying right now as I write this!!! WTH is wrong with ME?????

        • Steph

          Sounds like narcissistic abuse And manipulation from what you shared.

        • Angelica

          I know it hurts and I am very sorry. It looks like lack of communication, low willingness to change oneself.? Likely on both is patient, kind…etc. and sets boundaries to behavior firmly, yet with compassion. More faith, more hope and love..less fear, anger, substances (chemicals, affecting feeling, thinking, or not Idc, are they healthy and safe?), healing (learning) from ancestors’ mistakes🌸

    • TheFirstWife

      I wish I had this info in 2013 when my H walked in the door and announced A and Divorce.

      It could have helped me cope. Especially the second time he did it in late 2913.

      I think I will always have PTSD surrounding that issue.

      But having a plan b for me alleviates some of the stress b/c I know I will be financially able to take care of myself.

      Good article and helpful insight.

    • TryingHard

      This is exactly what happened to me. I didn’t find a text or stumble across an email. I was at home one miserable March Saturday stripping wall paper from our bathroom as I’d been doing must of that week. I only had a few more places to strip and I was finished. Ugh what an odious task. I was happily in my own space doing something to improve our home. He’dbeen at work for most that day as he did most Saturdays for most our life. Yeah “at work”.

      Actually he’d been at her house with her conspiring to leave me that day. No warning, no conversations , nope he was going to leave me to be with her.
      No convo “I’m having an affair and have been for the last 3 1/2 years and I feel awful. I dont know what to do”. Nope he walked in wreaking of the cheap cigarettes she smoked. Lol and I even said ” gee I haven’t had my shower yet but you need another one. You smell terrible”.

      I asked him to help me with some spots that were hard for me to get and to re-attach the electrical covers so we didn’t get shocked. Which he did!! We chatted about cleaning up and going out to dinner that night. we laughed about the mess and I said I would clean up the mess and we could get ready.

      He walked out of the bathroom and a few minutes later he called me into the kitchen. I gladly walked in and the look on his face was unrecognizable to me. He was white. I said what’s wrong are you ill? No, he said, we have to talk….

      If I NEVER hear those words again in my life…

      I got the whole I love you but I’m not in love with you blah blah blah. He was leaving. I asked if it was HER and he said yes. I asked if he was in love with her and he said YES I think so. I asked if we could talk, go to MC. He said NO. He was leaving. I pleaded, I begged he allow me to process this info and stay and talk about it. He said NO. He walked out of the room and I followed him into the hallway where my rage suddenly hit me!! I saw a large Japanese plate my father had gotten in Japan during WWII and I considered grabbing it and smash him over the head with it. But then I thought about my dear father and how much I loved him and what that plate meant to me and instead I cracked him in the mouth. Full fist. Cracked his lip open. He yelled do it again I deserve it. I broke down crying on the floor. He went and got a suitcase and packed up. I called our sons and they came right over. They tried talking sense but he was having none of it.

      I read the book. I know what it feels like. It’s the most unbelievable devastation to have someone just leave with no warning. Yes I had red flags but of course I dismissed them. It was work, I was being dramatic, he didn’t follow the patterns of someone having an affair. Besides IT JUST COULDNT BE. I’d been thru it before. He’d learned his lesson and I mine. Not to mention everything he was risking.

      Well those red flags were correct sadly. I can recount each moment of that day minute by minute. Like it happened yesterday.

      He was gone 3 1/2 months before I put my foot down and really blew. No more compassion. No more buying the lies. No more MC!! I was going forward with the divorce and as a matter of fact I was going out that night 3 1/2 months later and find a man like he’d been telling me to for weeks. And that’s when things changed. Before that night I was doing all the kindness and loving and compassion. But I also lawyered up. It made him crazy that I had become empowered and that I was done. I would be just fine. You can have her. Gird your loins where my final words that day.

      lol I could write a book! But this book Runaway Husband is excellent and provocative. I should read it again because one never knows….

      So yes I thought everything was ok. Just normal life stressors. Not perfect but whose is? I never expected that!! And now that I know this can happen. I don’t trust my life in the least. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him to keep me safe. Can he do this again? You bet he could. But this time there would be no trauma or drama. I’ll help him pack and wish him well and slam the door behind him.

    • TheFirstWife

      Trying Hard. I am so sorry for you. So am I correct in reading that your H cheated on you twice?

      • TryingHard

        Yes. 39 year prior

    • TryingHard

      30 years not 39

    • Puzzled

      Trying Hard: I know that had to be hard to type out and bring up those memories. Our lives have been turned upside down by a spouse who became more concerned with “me” than “we”. And that is a horrible thing to experience.

      I think we all can relate to the destruction when the bomb drops. I think back to my first D-day. I was working around the house on a project. My wife seemed had seemed “off” for a while but nothing dramatic. She went and sat on our front porch. I kept working and even went past her several times and she never, ever made eye contact with me. I finally sat down in the other rocking chair as her behavior just didn’t make sense. I simply asked “are you ok? You seem distant for some reason.”
      That’s when the bomb dropped. “I’m not happy. I haven’t been happy in years. I love you but I’m just not sure that I’m in love anymore…”
      I look back and know that she’d checked out on me in early 2015. Her actions towards me (or lack of actions) were only beginning. 2015 was a wreck. She kept falling farther into her pit of deceit, lies, infidelity, and bitterness/anger towards me.
      Times are better now. The spark and love are back. But the memories of the things she said and how she treated me are hard to forget. I don’t think the CS ever understands the feeling of abandonment that we go through. The runaway spouse may not physically leave but emotionally they’ve checked out. That’s the sting in my heart still. Time heals and hopefully time will help push these feelings away.

      • TryingHard

        Hi Puzzled

        That is the oddest thing. There was no difference in his attitude toward me. I only got red flags when I was around her at the office. Actually even before she started working for my husband. It was weird. So if he emotionally abandoned the marriage before actually leaving physically that would have been news to me too.

        But then there was that earring I found in the back seat that he totally gaslighted me on. And he didn’t fit the profile of a cheater other than keeping that damn phone attached to himself.

        We had lots of fun together. Like I said life was good. Perfect, no, but satisfying. He gave no indication he was unhappy. Matter of fact about a year and a half prior I got so mad one Sunday because he was playing lots of golf and taking way too much time playing it plus working so much. I told him I was not going to live like that and I was very unhappy. LOL he actually quit playing so much golf and when he did he did it under 4 hours!!! He actually made the changes I asked for. Now he had a perfect excuse to leave the marriage. Heck I was offering it up on a platter for him.

        For me there is no “feeling” of abandonment, I WAS abandoned!! And no he has no clue about the pain, but when I talk about that time when he left me he always apologizes.

        • Here To Heal

          Hi Trying Hard
          WOW! I’m in awe that you survived that ordeal. I’m new to this forum so just getting familiar with a lot of the regulars. It seems from your story that you are still with your husband currently? Is this correct? If so, would love to hear how you managed to reconcile after such a traumatic experience.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Here To Heal

      First welcome to the group to which no one ever wanted to belong. I think you will find a lot of support here and a lot of good information. Everyone is very supportive and empathic and we try to stay objective.

      Hearing other’s stories of betrayal and survival can be very empowering. I know it was for me. I actually didn’t find this site or any other until about 2 years after DDay maybe more. But I found the heck out of infidelity books on Amazon! Sheesh I think I saw their price per share jump after my personal DDay!!

      I felt so alone and unique in my pain. Coming here was such a relief as I felt I’d finally found my crew.

      Yes, we are together. And that journey was a freaking roller coaster ride of epic proportions!! LOL the recount above was only the first couple hours of what has been a 6 year process!!!

      By far the most important thing I did was:

      1. Withdraw a very sizable amount of cash from our joint checking on that next business day after DDay

      2. Thank God I had my own credit cards that gave me over 70k of cash. Which LOL he tried to cut off but couldn’t because they were in my name!!!

      3. Hired a very bad ass attorney like 4 days after DDay who swiftly issued a restraining order from him entering our home and I was allowed to change all the locks and garage codes.

      4. Hired not only a psychiatrist, to issue me proper medication because honestly my anxiety was through the roof and Xanax became like Tic Tacs for me. Xanax is fine for the short term but I need something to keep me steady and not up and the crash. I would literally wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing as though I were running. I lost 16 lbs in 2 weeks if that tells you anything about my adrenal system at the time.

      5. Hired a very good therapist that was trained in infidelity with an emphasis on spiritual support. She didn’t force her beliefs on me but we were both on the same page Spiritually.

      At first I was begging and pleading at least for a conversation as to what the hell just happened here. Have you ever been rear ended in a car accident and how shocked you were and the only words out of your mouth is “WTF just happened??” That was me. I got very little to NO cooperation. I begged him to come over one day and just talk to me. He was so mean, so cold and kept refusing because of the restraining order but he finally did. I sobbed my eyes out in front of him. I could not stop. Did not soften him one bit. My crying only made me look weak and pathetic and all he wanted was to get the eff away from me. Mind you I wasn’t using that as a tactic I was sobbingly brokenhearted. I could not stop for days. Until I found my anger. Well found my anger again for real and good this time after my first intial shock anger of DDay evening. Which I may just tell now that the OW is dead and can’t press charges against me. Let’s just say for now between my sisters giving me 4 xanax and 2 ambien and I still didn’t sleep matter of fact got in my car and drove, there may or may not have been some B & E and destruction of property!!! Shock, desperation, drugs, anger does not a sane cocktail make!

      DDay was 3/19/2011 by 4/14/2011 I was well into NC with him and moving forward with a divorce as I knew the affair was still going on much to his denial. During those weeks I reached out and reached out. I was kind and compassionate and forgiving. I was open to talking to understanding what was going on with him. All I got was nastiness from him.

      It wasn’t until I started accepting it emotionally that I was probably going to be divorced as nothing was getting to him, that I did a 180. This was around the middle of April. He kept trying to contact me with, ostensibly, regards to our taxes. He kept saying I needed to give back the cash that I took from our joint account and I kept telling him to go fuck himself! And I cut off communications. I was going NC. And LOL this was before I even knew what NC was or of it’s power. So he started looking for “excuses” to contact me. Regardless that some of my responses were to go fuck himself.

      For the week he left he moved in with the OW. Then hilarity ensued, although I was unaware for weeks what happened between them, and he moved in with his sister 6 doors down from where we lived. You see he found out that when he was cheating on ME his girlfriend was cheating on him!!! Talk about RALMAO!!!! I mean how appropriate was that?

      While going NC I went to California for 10 days. I didn’t tell anyone but my family I was gone and I swore them to secrecy which was pretty easy since by then everyone pretty much hated him. While I was gone he started calling me and we started having pretty good conversations. He said he was so confused but knew he had made the biggest mistake of his life. I let him talk A LOT and when I got back we got together a lot and talked. He was def on the fence though. He knew everything he had done and I hadn’t gotten all the info yet. And she was still working for him.

      Anyway that was kinda the beginning of having real talks but there was a whole lot more to go thru. Ten steps forward eight steps back. But I kept trudging thru. We started MC the first of June but he was still lying and fence sitting. The middle of June I had enough. I went to CO on this trip and planned on being gone 6 weeks. I was gone almost 2 weeks. That’s when I came home and blew. BLEW up. That’s when he got the Gird your Loins warning. He moved back home two days later. But he was still seeing her and by July 5 she was fired from our company. He was still seeing her. I finally got all the truth on July 31, 2011 DDay 2 on a long car trip out to CO that we took together and were gone 2 weeks. That’s when the affair ended for good. You can only imagine those two weeks. Between hysterical bonding and hysterical anger with threats of packing and flying home by me it was well HYSTERICAL!!! And I was still on that roller coaster ride.

      So as you can see I really could write a book. This may be convoluted and disjointed but I think you get the picture. No I don’t advocate giving them their space. Letting the affair play out. No I don’t advocate doing the pick ME dance. I advocate to getting bad ass empowered by any means necessary. I don’t regret one thing I did except not getting bad ass sooner but it all takes time because honestly I was in shock for a good 6 weeks. The meds helped and I was only on them short term. But that time allowed me to get myself in order to do battle. And battle I did. I left out the part where I came to the office and confronted the OW. LOL scared the shit out of her and him. I also called his key employees the week of DDay 1 and told them about his affair with the employee. I made her life miserable there. Everyone turned against her and my son was working here at the time making sure her life was miserable.

      I left nothing to chance. I took that “kick me” sign off my back and became a demanding assertive bitch! And that’s what worked. Woke that timid little forest creature right out of his “fog”.

      Maybe my way isn’t for everyone but it worked for me. He figured out I can be his best friend or his worst enemy. His choice. Things are pretty good but as you can tell I have NOT forgotten anything and I know I never will.

      I hope this little bit of my story has helped you. You have any other questions, ask away. I can tell you it will get better. No matter what happens you WILL get smarter and stronger. You will survive this and be a better person despite the pain. We each have to navigate this storm in our own way and I have chosen mine, right or wrong. but I’m here and she’s not. Matter of fact she died last month. Life is good but it can be a bitch sometimes too.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TryingHard,

        I got quite a chuckle from this one. Love that line about him being a timid forest creature. What timid forest creature was he at the time– a weasel, a snake, a skunk, or was he being a real (wood) pecker?

        What is interesting is just the other day an idea hit me like a ton of bricks– that marriages work best if a woman in extremely assertive. And I also realized that most marriages would probably be better if husbands knew a wife had it in her to be a best friend or a worst enemy. I think there is a “little boy” in a lot of grown men and so many of them only behave when they know that mommy can sometimes be scary. Although, a wife never wants to be seen as ‘mommy’ either because then a husband has a hard time viewing her as a lover and that causes a whole other set of problems.

        My honest opinion is that after you found your inner bad-ass you handled your situation the best way possible. When someone cheats I believe the best chance a betrayed spouse has it to make life very hard and very scary for the wayward spouse. That is if the wayward spouse doesn’t want to make amends, move to a state that favors the betrayed spouse, get a pit-bull of a lawyer, put the clothes out on the porch, file restraining orders, call everyone who knows your spouse and/or the OW and “out” them as cheaters, and consider taking out a giant billboard over the freeway with their pictures on it and the word “cheaters.” Okay, the last one is only for the most hardened wayward spouse and should be used with caution.

        When a wayward spouse does not want to leave their affair, being nice does not work. Being compassionate does not work. Being understanding does not work. Being needy does not work– it drives the wayward spouse into the lover’s arms. Waiting around for the wayward spouse to make up his or her mind leaves you in the weakest position possible.

        Even though it seems counterintuitive to find one’s inner bas-ass, it is often the only thing that has a slim chance of breaking through the affair fog. And finding one’s inner bad-ass also makes one realize they are worth more than being cheated on. It puts betrayed spouses in a better frame of mind.

        And I will say this strait up. If my husband ever cheats, I will announce to him that we have an open relationship and ask him to help me write an online profile or to fix me up with one of his colleagues.

        Would I actually have an open marriage? Heck no!! I don’t treat my body like a public toilet and never have, thank you very much. I would say such a thing for effect because very few husbands want to visualize their wives getting hot and heavy with another man, even if said husband is cheating. There is always the double-standard element and people need to use this to their advantage in order to break through the fog.

        • Butterball

          This is a very interesting issue. You may remember back in January I was very much not wanting to directly confront my H. And I do believe I was justified in that regard at the time because really I did not understand fully what I was dealing with and by playing nice for a while I was able to get a better picture of what issues were underlying his MLC, even if I do not fully understand all of them.

          My situation may seem on the surface to fly in the face of what you are saying. H wanted an OW who said yes to everything, never challenging him, and putting up with his self-described “nastiness.” And indeed he got exactly what he was looking for.

          However, with time as I was able to identify behaviors in him that were clearing related to his underlying issues, I chose to confront him very strongly over certain things that are clearly related to his main MLC issues (not about OW herself although I have recently brought that up too in the context of an issue related argument). I was very strong, no holds barred etc. I’ve done this sparingly, maybe 3 or 4 times now.

          One of the issues related is financial. It has been building up with rants and fights over a period of about a week. It started with him ranting at me and I acted as HB says on her site, I just shut my mouth, he kept ranting ranting ranting, but in doing so, I could see exactly where his issues laid. He threatened me in a ridiculous way, but I kept silent, he finally said, “I see you are not afraid of me.”. I did not back down.

          It got to the point yesterday, after him asking me to research a purchase he was thinking of making, where we both were flying off the handle with what we were saying to one another (if OW had picked such a fight with him, it would have been the end of her). And then boom, he came back a couple hours later and I finally saw the real him willing to have a reasonable and normal discussion. I got him to acknowledge something that was really important related to the finances that he had been clearly acting very defensive about and lying, and in doing so, he acknowledged power I hold over him. I can’t say all the conversation was satisfactory. But what I saw was HONESTY from him, and I had not been getting it. He was still clearly in denial about a lot of things, but that was him lying to himself, not me. I could tell he truly believes some of the things he is saying even though they are wrong, but with time I hope he sees the light in that regard. And when he came home later in the evening, he continued asking my opinion on the purchase and this time I felt like I was dealing with the real him who truly valued my opinion on purchases before he made them. And I had not seen that in a long while.

          In another case, I took control of a situation he had been repeatedly trying to control himself. I found an opening, and took my control before he could do it. And that turned the tables on him. He really started acting nicer and coming around more when I did that.

          The long and the short of it is that every time I have confronted him or turned the tables, I have bit by bit gotten him to act a little more like his old self with me, and if anyone has an MLCer, you know how hard that is to get them to do. And he is respecting me more too. He’s nowhere near out of the tunnel yet with regards to OW (at least not explicitly in what he tells me, but he may be covering up), but our relationship is getting back on track and that is a good thing.

          I do think though you need to pick your fights carefully. I keep in mind the song “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. You have to think, what is it I want from him by challenging him? What behavior do I want to put an end to?

          They do need their space and their freedom to get through this, but at the same time they need to treat us with respect and we need to stand up and make sure we get it. Even in a case where someone like my H claims he wants the OW so that he can have someone to treat with disrespect, their pride in their relationship with us is based on treating us with respect. And they may forget this, but believe me if you make them treat you with respect, they will start to regain their own self-respect. And getting back the self-respect is the first step toward them reconnecting with us emotionally. Because even we love them and we want the marriage to continue, they know they have done such awful things to us that they cannot believe we can still love them.

          I’ve got a long road ahead still but I see my H improving by the month, by the week and even by the day in his relationship with me. He is doing more stuff around the house lately unasked, he even expressed an interest in talking to my mother the other night, which he hasn’t done in months. They used to email eachother all the time.

          Anyway, off my soapbox. I just thought what Sarah said was so important but it is something that really takes time and a laser focused approach to pull off successfully. I’ve read so much about how coming down hard on the MLCers drives them away and maybe it is just my husband is different, but when I have done it carefully and judiciously, it has actually drawn him back closer to me.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Sarah

      Oh at least I believed he was that timid forest creature. Stupid me!!

      I treated him with kid gloves. He played me. He knew because HIS lawyer confirmed MY lawyer was like a rabid dog!! So when we would get together the conversation would go to divorce and how we could divorce amicably. Heck even share the same lawyer!!! Bwahahaha. Right ?!?

      That’s why I left again in the middle of June for CO. I figured out he was playing me. He was going to MC and lying his ass off. Still seeing the OW and professing it was over. They just worked together. He was trying to soften me up. Give me just enough info hoping I’d throw him to the curb. He was being very nice and we were even intimate. Stupid stupid since he was still sleeping with the OW.

      Whenever the convo came around to divorce and he would reassure me he would take care of me I would literally say “oh my darling you don’t need to worry about me being taken care of. I will be just fine should we decide to divorce. My lawyer is making certain if that”. I could see him bristle. Then he’d ask a very personal legal question and I would respond “oh my darling my lawyer has prohibited me talking about this with you”. He wanted me to get a job. Lol same response. Oh my darling I can’t my lawyer has advised me not to. Haha. Drove him crazy. His game wasn’t working. So by mid June I had enough and left. A lot ensued during that trip A LOT enough so that on my drive home is when my anger came like a volcano. Yep driving across boring Kansas I literally screamed. ENOUGH!!! And when I got home he came over with my eldest son with whom I was very pissed at for his being all Switzerland. and that’s when I blew ENOUGH to him as well. And that’s when things started to change. He moved home and a week later I found his burner phone. Three days after that OW was fired but for three more weeks the continued communication. Pay phones, fax line at the office and in person. As I said I finally got the whole story on July 31, 2011 on our drive back out to CO. Boy A LOT happened on that trip too

      Sarah. I’ve always had my inner bad ass. She’s never inner very much. I have to control her. There’s a big difference between being an asshole and assertive. You don’t have to be loud or mean to be assertive or badass. Badass first have to apply in every situation and I’m a big believer in choosing ones battles. But infidelity is a non negotiable. If there were ever a time to be assertive and bad ass it then. My h has always believed he’s smarter than me. He conflates intelligence with the ability to control it be sneaky. I believe he has a whole new level of respect for me these days!! Because “oh my darling. Stop thinking so highly of yourself…..”. ????

    • TheFirstWife

      Trying Hard. Thank you for sharing your story. I had no idea how bad it truly was for you.

      It’s funny how you read things and you see some similarities. Like you I tried to “be nice” and “supportive” to win my H back. That is just me. Not really a mean person.

      But DDay2 when I found out he had been seeing her for the last 6 months AND the OW really was the reason he wanted a divorce, well he saw a side of me he wished he had not. I did not yell or curse or throw things. I asked him if it was true the A was ongoing and he said yes.

      Calm as could be.

      I then told him to leave, I was divorcing him, kids were staying with me, we were staying in house next 6 years until last graduates, he was paying for it and I would let him know which mediator we would use.

      And left the room.

      He begged for a 2nd chance so I said I would give it to him only if he signed a post nup. And he did.

      And financially I have protected myself so I have my own $ and he cannot touch it.

      He cannot change any life insurance beneficiaries b/c the policies are in my name and he is the insured.

      I have an attorney and my therapist on speed dial shoukd I have even a suspicion or hint if anything I don’t like.

      It hurts to be put I that position with your spouse. It really does. But if they are going to be idiots then it leaves the BS no choice.

      Funny thing is I kept agreeing to a D every time he asked for it – I just cannot figure out why he didn’t leave. He just seemed to waffle most of the time.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Sarah and Trying Hard
      I totally agree with both of you. My husband broke my heart but rest assured he did NOT break my spine. I have always been rather “spunky” and my husband was rather worried on the way home, after I called him at work, after finding the initial emails on D-day. He wasn’t sure what he would find…..clothes on the front steps etc.

      If finding my self respect means finding my bad ass….well then so be it. Now, I didn’t throw his clothes on the front steps…..I just sort of went into shock.

      But he ended it that day….there was no ifs, buts or maybes. I have always had that “don’t mess with me attitude ” with raising the kids etc. I just never thought I would have to use it with him….I trusted so completely. His manipulation was always so subtle….it wasn’t that I actually saw it that I am now able to call him on it. That’s right…DON’T MESS WITH ME!!!

      I still think our greatest power is in our own actions and responses……we really can’t make anyone do anything but we can certainly make our own choices.

    • TryingHard

      Thanks ladies. I’m lucky I wasn’t arrested after that first night. I’m not going to blame the fact that my doctors told my sister to give me a couple of ambien and I don’t remember how many xanax and then they left me alone. They thought I went to sleep. All alone and in shock I got up and made the brilliant decision to drive sround the local hotels looking for him. When I didn’t find him st any hotel I went to her house I dudnt even have her address. Lol there I was in my pajamas with a coat over it. I stopped in a dive biker bare at 12:30 and found a phone book. A PHONE BOOK. Ha who has phone books ?? Anyway got her address And off I went to her house looking for him there. i knocked and knocked on her door and no one would answer. I just knew they were in there. Two kicks is all it took for the door to open. Yep I went in. They weren’t there but I knew I had to get out which thank god I did and shut the door behind me. She had two little dogs that were very happy to see me I will say. As the police pulled up they asked me what I was doing. I said I had driven over to see my friend “Jane” but she wasn’t there. They asked me what I was going to do. I said I was going home and going to bed. They let me go without even looking at my drivers license!! I guess I just looked innocent to them. Of course I looked all calm in the outside. Thank you xanax. They wished me a safe drive and let me leave. My sons said in that town if you don’t have a gun or a life they don’t bother with you. And especially if you’re white. So I guess white and an old and calm played a part. I left but I didn’t go home

      I kept trying and trying to call him. He wouldn’t answer his phone. This only fueled me more. I was adamant I’d get his attention. So I drive to his office. I had a rubber mallet in my car. Don’t ask me why I grabbed it. And I decided if I smashed some windows the alarm would go off and he would surely answer the call from the alarm company. Of course the alarm didn’t go off because I would have had to crawl thru the window to set off the sensor. That’s when I went home. I guess the drugs were finally wearing off.

      At home I got on the computer that linked to his office computer. I found some incriminating emails and hit print. But it didn’t print at home. It printed at the office. I was on a remote access to that account. I had to get my hands on those printouts before he got to the office. I called my son and by now the sun was just coming up.

      Poor guy was mortified as I recounted what I had done. I was too but now I needed those emails. He drove me to the office and I retrieved them. And he drive me back home.

      I called him about a half hour later and he told me he called an employee friend to come to the office to secure the building. He’d also gotten a hold of his father and he was in his way over as well. I cleaned up and got dressed and went back to the office to confront him.

      I waited around the corner in my car waiting for him to pull up. Certain if he saw me there he wouldn’t come in. Once he went in I pulled in and went in the building. My son, our friend and my h were in the office. He glared at me with anger I’d never seen. “What the fuck did you do?!” He yelled. Of course OW called and told him about her front door being broken too. I yelled “you should have answered your effing phone”. I yelled “where is she. I know you two were together last night where is she. Is she coming here”. To which he yelled “do you see her you stupid bitch?”

      Well THAT was the wrong answer and I picked up a golf club. Yep Tiger Woods ex has nothing on me!! I didn’t hit him with it but I destroyed his office. Computers, pictures, printers, desks. I turned over filing cabinets. Our employer tried to hold me down but as I was swinging that club he got in the way. I had about a 20 minute rampage and then. I was cut and bleeding from flying glass. I wish I could have taken a picture of the incredulous looks on those three men’s faces when I threw that golf club down standing in the middle of my destruction told him eff you and walked out the door.

      You’d think I’d have been angry or sad or even smug at my retribution if that night. I wasn’t any of those things. I was numb. I was in shock.

      But not enough shock to finish the job. At home I gathered his clothes and shoes and threw them on the driveway. Arm load after armload of stuff. I didn’t take the expensive jackets or suits. I had other plans for those. Once I had a nice big pile I turned on the garden hose and started soaking them. Found a bag of mulch and mingled that on them too.

      As I was busily watering my new garden if his things up pulls my sisters and niece. “What ya doing???” I said watering my new garden. What’s it look like?? Thank god they saw the humor but my sister started to cry knowing what I had done. Seeing the crazy in my eyes. They’d never seen it before but they saw crazy that day. My niece said “you know this isn’t helping right”. I said calm down. It’s not gasoline it’s just water. So we all stood and laughed until I got tired of watering my clothes and shoe garden.

      We live on a golf course so my “friends” playing that day got an eyeful!! I never saw so many mis hit balls by my house!! Whatever. I didn’t care. Eventually I went in the house and they put me to bed. I swear there were 10 people there all day watching over me. I finally fell into a stupor fueled with more xanax and ambien. No one left me alone for a week after that. I swear I was suicidal. The cries that came out of me were animalistic.

      And that my friends is the story of the first 24 hours!!! Oh there’s more. Lots more.

      And I know now how people snap. I get it. I lived it and I will never live it again. NEVER. No one is worth it. But it happens. This is how people end up in jail. By the Grace of God I didn’t. I know that.

      Anyone who thinks desertion is funny or right is cruel. What he did was cruel. 36 years together and he just walked out with no explanation is cowardly and cruel. He deserved everything I gave him. Do I regret it? I regret ever letting someone mean so much to me that I reacted that way. Because had I divorced that suit would have done far more destruction to many families than my shock, drug fueled rampage ever made. And maybe that’s exactly what I should have done instead.

      • Butterball

        This is such an amazing story! Wow. It sounds like you worked for the same employer as your husband. Did you both keep your jobs? Did you have to pay compensation for the property you destroyed?

        • TryingHard

          It is our business. I wasn’t working there at the time and I stupidly didn’t have a key. Yes my business fixed her door.

          You have the patience if Job. We all handle this in our own way. There was no premeditation to my actions. Unlike his betrayal. Infidelity takes LOTS of premeditation.

          I didn’t want anything to do with him as long as OW was still in the picture. I’m silly like that. No room for three people in a relationship. there was no “him working through it”. He made the mess and one way or another one if the relationships was going to end. Immediately. I was willing to give him all the time and space he needed. But I wasn’t going to hang around. He wanted the OW? Well there’s the door. Have at her.

          Almost 4 months was enough for me. I was done and over it. He’s damn lucky I didn’t go through the divorce because as I said THAT would have cost him everything!!

          • Butterball

            MLC is really a whole other beast. It’s like all his feelings for me are locked up in a box in his head. You can tell they are there intact, but he can’t give or receive emotions. It’s not just that he is incapable of feeling love for me, if I tell him I love him or say nice stuff about him, he gets a look on his face like he is constipated and someone stuffed a lemon in his mouth at the same time. His behavior is getting better all the time and some of his actions make it clear he loves me, but he still feels nothing and the idea of feeling to him is repulsive. He doesn’t want to feel anything, he once told me he would wish he was dead if he got his feelings back. So what can you do with someone like that? It’s so clearly involuntary and whenever I even suggest to him I am trying to get inside his head he gets so annoyed as if he doesn’t want me to go there, probably because HE doesn’t want to go there himself. There’s childhood issues and other issues behind this. It’s not me, I know that. It’s him.

    • TryingHard

      That is the story I could never tell. I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is in my state. But the OW is dead now. So I think arrest is unlikely at this point.

      She wanted to press charges at the time. My h talked her out of it. It wasn’t worth it to her as my h had spent thousands and thousands rebuilding her hovel. She used my B & E to get more money out of him. And two days later her mask fell off and he saw everything she was doing as her boyfriend/ex step son called me and him….

      Like I said I think I could write a book

    • Shifting Impressions

      Trying Hard
      Thanks for sharing that raw uncensored version….
      Betrayed Spouses often look back at D-day and think of all the things they did wrong and how they could have handled it differently but they are in SHOCK for heaven sake.

      I know I went into shock and if it weren’t for the fact that I had a one year old and a three year old in my care that day…..I don’t know what I would have done that day. My daughter said later that I should have called her at work to come get the little girls but I didn’t think to even do that.

      I just called my husband to come home after telling him what I found…..I was scary calm. When he came home I wanted to leave but he wouldn’t let me drive…..that was probably a good thing.
      I was so concerned about not upsetting the little ones I had to push everything down for several hours. Unfortunately that gave him just enough time to destroy the emails before I had a better chance to look at them better…….that just made me so mad!!! Looking back I would have done so many things differently but shock takes over.

      Isn’t it amazing how everything about d-day is etched in ones mind forever….sort of like it’s frozen in time.

      Your story touches very deeply…..thanks again for your open honesty, it really means so much.

    • TryingHard

      Oh DI thank you. I hope in some little way my story helped you.

      I can’t imagine if I’d had little ones. you had to keep it together. I know what that desperation is to get those emails. But put that aside. Just go ahead and imagine the worst because anything short of “leave me alone” is the worst.

      There’s a great article in Psychology Today about the allure of secret forbidden relationships. I will tell you once I got out of my shock and awe mode of the first couple weeks doing the 180 and saying have at that white rash scumbag along with family and a couple of friends saying the same the relationship certainly lost its allure and hold in him.

      Yes that story is etched forever in my mind. It was hard for me to recount that stuff. this whole issue of runaway husbands and downright desertion brought it out. I needed to tell it. Because if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. I’m not proud of what I did. Certainly wasn’t my finest moments but it happened and I’m not going to deny it.

      I can’t believe everything I went thru for four months. I was tested and challenged in so many ways. Physically, emotionally, spiritually you name it. I was determined no matter what happened in my marriage I would come out the other side better for it. And I have. But I am still a work in progress. I still face many personal challenges and I guess I will until the end of life.

      But I’m thinkin I got this!!!

    • Satori


      Your story is EVERYTHING.

      I am only 4 weeks out since my DDay having been abandoned with no notice by my Runaway Husband of nearly 15 years of living together. He said he “needed his space” and “ILYBINILWY” but honestly I had no idea we even had any issues — there had never been any discussion or any complaints until he returned from a trip about 4 weeks before. We had a great life — I thought — everyone around us is totally shocked… “dumbfounded” is a common word I get when people find out.

      I’ve been piecing together some sort of strategy but stopped short of going super hard as yet.
      The shock has been so intense and I’ve struggled to process it.

      And just to cap it all, I’m going to apparently have to deconstruct what I just spent one and a half decades putting together as my H is in the affair fog and has no idea how these things go.
      I think I might go for it having read your version of survival. It even made me laugh as I pictured that mountain of clothes being watered. Again, thank you.

      I, of course was the “lovely wife” who helped her H move out. You know, trying to be all calm and not play into the narrative of “abusive controlling and cray cray wife” that I’m pretty sure he is spinning since neither of my parents in law have contacted me. They know about his affair as I texted my MIL. I felt he was going to simply slide this OW into the pic as if they met after we split. Well I busted that fantasy bubble into a million pieces. Insert Evil Laugh here.

      Response from the in laws though: SILENCE. None of our mutual friends on his side has reached out except one and since I informed him about the cheating, that “friend” has stopped all contact with me too.

      So it is abandonment on top of cruel abandonment and of course the requisite ritual humiliation, rejection and shame… possibly the worst layer cake of feelings I have ever felt in my life.

      H was a slippery one: he had us all concerned when he first flipped out and left. He made us all think he was having a nervous breakdown / depression / illness / Mid Life Crisis.

      I was — get this — worried about him at that stage even more than myself. Holy shit. Talk about manipulated! I was sooo groomed, it is nuts how much I made him the epicenter of my life.

      Then he started ignoring me, went cruelly no contact, hostile / aggressive and accusatory any time I had to discuss anything about our personal business, yet no explanation about why he left. (Note: he ticks every box on the Covert Narcissist list)

      Something wasn’t adding up.

      I have never been the type to go through phones or emails but I discovered I’m not too bad as a PI.

      2 weeks after he left I finally found the phone number to SkankHo and the airline tickets to a country he never visits in one afternoon. Yeah. Turns out he had a “holiday romance” with this creature while on a trip with buddies that I had encouraged him to take at a location that we go to a.k.a. “our special place”.

      That was such a nice touch!

      This has been going on since the affair started in Mid May. Of course he said it’s over and now they are “just friends”. But if his lips are moving he is lying.

      I’ve been too stressed to even take the Valium or sleeping tablets I have been prescribed as I don’t even trust myself to have the bottles nearby. I’m just up all night every night reading the forums and trying to get a grip on this new reality.

      TryingHard I just want to thank you… in between the tears and a migraine.


      • TheFirstWife

        Satori. I am so sorry for you and please continue to get support from this blog. We all want to help in any way we can.

        Please get an attorney and counselor for yourself. They will help support and protect you.

        This is moving at lightning speed and you need to protect yourself and assets.

        It takes an “extra special” person who just walks out of a M with no explanation. He is a coward. No other words to describe it. He cheats and leaves without any explanation.

        And turns your friends and family against you. I would not expect any support from them either.

        I didn’t sleep for 5 months after DDay1 and my H’s midife crisis A causing him to say “I want a divorce” – seemingly out of nowhere too. One minute we are sailing along and the next thing I know I am treading water trying to keep my family together.

        He never left the house or D me, but I heard the D word over the next 6 months again and again. He would ask for D and I would say OK. (I did not know A had resumed and was on-going during that time either – which would have made sense). Then he would come back next day saying I don’t want a D please reconsider. And twice I took him back.

        Now he is afraid I will D him over this. The tide has turned.

        At DDay2 I was furious and stopped playing the kind supportive wife. I found out the A had resumed (b/c I called the OW) and put on my “out of tolerance and patience” boots and took back control of me, kids, $ and my life.

        He begged me to stay and I said I would give him a chance but played hard ball. I made him sign a post nup as a condition of trying to R. I protected myself financially (and my children) as well. And DDay2 is when the control in our relationship came back to me.

        I could not “play nice” any longer. It did not work. Yes he ended the A on his own just hours before I called the OW BUT the point is he never expected I would kick him to the curb so to speak.

        My change in attitude was like a bucket of water to his face. He had no sympathy from me because cheating is a choice.

        Do not let your H blame you for his A. I don’t know if I could ever reconcile with someone who just disappears like that. To me it would be unforgivable – unless he has some serious mental incapacity and a mid life crisis is not serious in my opinion.

        Good luck to you – please seek counseling to get the emotional support you need. It saved my sanity and I had it for 2+ years.

        • Satori

          Thanks so much for your kind words TheFirstWife.

          May I please ask how you identified that it was a MLC affair? I thought my H was struggling with a couple of personal demons / issues mostly relating to his job but that our marriage itself was rock solid. It could be MLC affair / Exit Affair or just Runaway Husband but It seems to have elements of all three. No certainty for me is all I can know for sure.

          Also. when you say you stopped “playing nice” how long did it take for him to ping back to you? Have you maintained that position? Just wondering how to enforce boundaries while not feeling like I will go insane.

          I am not sure what is going to happen in my situation, but it would help to know exactly what I’m dealing with!


          • TheFirstWife

            Santori. Obviously every situation is different.

            My first push back was three weeks after DDay1. My CH decided that his plan would be to tell me at the end of the summer “what he wanted to do”. As in whether he was going to stay M or leave me. I decided one day after a particularly rough therapy session discussing the D that I was not going to take his crap. So I confronted him and said choose. Right now! He chose me and our M. But it was a lie b/c 2wks later he “wasn’t sure”.

            So I woukd disengage. I told him next month after school started for kids we should have a shared family Google calendar. He agreed. I then uninvited him to a charity event I was running and basically said we no longer had joint commitments he looked at me and said “why is that? Aren’t we still together?”

            So I was thinking we were making progress. Little did I know that early fall the A resumed. Way underground. No signs at all.

            Then in next month nearing the holidays he starts with the D discussion. Out of patience I agreed b/c I finally realize he doesn’t love me. I get it.

            Then he begs me to reconsider. I speak to counselor. I agree to reconsider M. We have a wonderful holiday weekend and things are great. Then he walks in Monday and declares he wants a D. Out of the blue. We go to MC whom we just saw 3 days ago where my H says he loves me. Now he wants a D.

            So I fall apart and agree yet again. But something in me snapped. I was out of kindness and tolerance and patience. I was being treated like a yo-yo.

            So I picked up the phone and called the OW and she spilled the beans. All of it. A had been going on for 4-5 months.

            Now I had the answers to his crazy behavior. He dumping me for someone else!

            He begged me for a chance to explain. I was eerily calm and asked 3 questions. And then I left the room.

            And I called my family the next day and told them we were divorcing. Christmas is coming and we had a very sudden death in the family and I am emotionally drained and have teenagers and a job and dealing with him. I was done.

            He begged and begged. I told him he had to leave. He said no so I called a friend and made arrangements for him to stay with a friend.

            He knew he blew it. Big time.

            He asked for another chance and I said fine you have a chance but I made him sign a post nup. My $ is untouchable in a divorce. It is mine.

            And once I restored my confidence and self esteem I took back my power in the relationship.

            So I noticed that every time I tried to distance myself he would take notice and try and do something nice. Reel me back in.

            But now I have my own activities and social life separate from him. Book club and volunteering and charity work and my job etc. I keep myself busy and make sure my happiness is met. Not selfish or mean but I no longer rely on him to be the source of my happiness.

            He could walk in tomorrow and request a D. I would be sad but his bags would be packed and he would be out the door in an hour. And no more chances. Ever.

            I hope you can see your way out of this nightmare. No one will ever have that much control over my life again. Ever. And I think you will get there.

            And I realized on DDAY2 that while he was telling me how happy he was and how great our M was (while the OW was around) that his A had nothing to do with me. It was his choice as he pursued her and made the A happen.

            I was just standing in the way of his true happiness (heavy sarcasm)

            • Satori

              TheFirstWife, Thanks so much for the detailed breakdown.

              Your H seems similar to mine (with the affair taken way underground after DDay1) but my H is a lot more “avoidant” in the sense that he refused to do any MC or therapy at all. And yours at least is engaged in your daily life even though you seem to be very empowered and have forged an independent life for yourself in the meantime. I have always been highly independent and given him TONS of freedom so that’s why it particularly irked me to be called “controlling” when he knew he benefitted from the longest and loosest of leashes.

              I kind of had a DDay2 as he had deleted the OW contacts but then one week later she was back in touch with him and back in his phone — “as friends” he maintained (but I don’t believe it).

              Throughout all of this there was not any genuine remorse or much discussion, a few mumbled apologies about the mess he created. He cried several times but they were all tears of self pity as far as I could tell.

              Whatever he thought it was and however he tried to make it come across as (empty words? impression management?) I didn’t feel it in my heart.
              It actually felt like #sorrynotsorry to me!

              Handed me back his wedding ring one weekend later. Basically the second he was out the door, he was 100% done, no explanation given… no interest nor regard for me or my wellbeing… just nothing.

              He did relent a bit on the day of moving out his personal effects. He said he’d like to try again, but he changed that tune within 48 hours of saying it.

              I hope to emerge from the nightmare but it is going to be somewhat slow as in all cases. Until it happened to me, I’d never heard of this kind of spousal abandonment. It’s just something I never ever envisaged could even happen. Never would have ever suspected him of cheating let alone leaving. Just wow. Clearly I’m up to speed now LOL

              I am moving towards not hoping and certainly not actively pursuing a future with someone who could do that to me. If he had come back early on and made some instant changes and effort, then it might be another story but the serious damage has been done.

              The infidelity is not the thing that has crushed me the most weirdly.
              The cruel disregard and discarding, the active projections (read: smear campaign) let alone the stonewalling and the silent treatment are the real dealbreakers in this for me.

              Really, now I’m just mourning I guess. It is so incredibly hard to say goodbye to 15 amazing years.

              Thanks again for sharing your insights.


            • TryingHard

              The fist thing my husband said when he left was “I’m not or will I ever go to MC. I will not go to IC either”. And then he decided to go. But it was a ruse. He was hoping the MC would talk “sense” into me and facilitate an amicable divorce. I set them both straight about that. It took me about 5 weeks to suss out his real intentions tho. That’s when I left for Colarado. that’s when I came back and blew. Only THEN did we go to MC inernest.

              You see if he went to MC he would have to fess up everything. No way he wanted to do that. He was the one doling out what he wanted me to know. He was caught between a rock and a hard spot. But he knew I meant business. It was MC or divorce. But we went for a year and a half after that.

              He will say lots of stuff in these early days. They abandon because they are cowards.

            • Satori

              Oh for even a tiny bit of your resolve TryingHard!!

              When he refused to go to MC that was pre-DDay1.

              So basically yes, it’s the same as in your case — but only NOW do I understand why he wouldn’t do MC or IC. He said he might go to IC. I told him i was. But I think again it was just syaing it as he thought he should. All these things are made so much harder by the drip feeding of the info. Each time, that I kind of got my head around (or tried to get my head around) one aspect of the situation another new piece of critical info would land and further obliterate me.

              I have just gone 4 days of NC but I have all my paperwork ready to present to move forward with D.

              It’s hard to do NC when you have a business together.

              He is saying a lot of things — lots of mixed messages but no stated desire to continue in the marriage which breaks me.

              I’m thinking of calling a meeting with him to put MC or D squarely on the table and see what happens. I’m ready for whatever now. I just need to move forward.

              Do you think it is too soon for this or will it shock him into comprehension of what is at stake?

              Thank you again for hanging in with me today, everything you say is so helpful x

          • TheFirstWife

            Classic signs of midlife crisis.

            Turning 50
            Career was not what he expected it would be
            Very unhappy with job and pay and title

            He did not communicate with me. But I was ok with it b/c when we needed talk about stuff we would.

            But twice in our M he turned to other women for EA relationships.

            The last one he thought he was in love.

            He acted completely out of character – all of a sudden. So classic mid life crisis.

            My friend’s husband bought a bar as his mid life crisis. My H wishes he had done the same.

            My therapist told me that mid life crisises ruin more marriages – I can believe it.

            Many come to their senses before a D. Some, sadly, do not.

            Typical signs for an A are varied. My H never had one sign. He would jokingly complain about turning 50 but he still looked good for his age. I threw him a fabulous 49th b’day party. But no outward signs.

            So his unhappiness came as a complete surprise to me. And he said it had been going in for 18 months prior.

            I guess he never thought to share that with me (or seek help for it). But an A sure seems like a solution.

            And he now admits he will always have guilt about that choice and the damage he inflicted in me/us.

            • Satori

              Wow TFW, you are a beautiful wife! Throwing a 49th is very cool.

              My H is early 40s. But I honestly saw no signs either! But I was clueless about MLC. Clueless generally it now seems.

              I noticed his drinking had increased and his stress levels from our business had seemed to peak somewhat — self medicating was in full effect.
              I warned him I was worried it was getting too high (consumption of alcohol.)
              Ok I admit it sometimes I was very strident about it. It was our only real source of conflict.

              But from what I have read EAs and PAs are a form of self medicating too. The dopamine pathways fire up from the high of the illicit affair as chemicals such as drugs or alcohol. Technology now just means it can escalate quickly off the scale.

              Like you, we were not the type of couple to endlessly ruminate on things in the relationship and talked when things were necessary. It was pretty smooth sailing most of the time (or so I thought). There just didn’t seem to be any indicators and I’m intuitive. So much so that on the actual days he had started sleeping with this person, even though I was in another country I felt something for a couple of days, was very teary and emotional for absolutely no reason.

              In our case a bar might have made it all worse!!

              But the sudden about face regarding our life together, the impulsivity, the instant gratification and self absorption all say classic MLC, for sure. But there must be a bunch of things running that he has kept hidden from me, to have engaged in an exit affair and to be a runaway as well.

              And I find that beyond upsetting as I would have moved heaven and earth to help him get through whatever it was.

              Hugs and thanks x

        • Mark

          “like a bucket of water to his face”
          My first x tossed a full 16 ounce glass of milk in my face. Had no idea we were having an argument or anything.
          She used to bust my eardrums screaming at me. She’s on medication and doing alright somewhere in No. CA. Don’t hate her just don’t like wearing hearing aids all the time.

          Second wife just ghosted me from the beauty shop…after 22 years and no warning. I’m bummed.

          It seems there is very little info re: women who do this Spousal Abandonment thing. Meanest thing that ever happened in my life and I’ve done stuff and been in predicaments but nothing like this, can hardly talk to new women. Try later when I get my brain back.

          Men and women, never grovel when someone does this to you. I called her only twice to ask her what’s up! Not much. She called me approx. 6 times and always twisted the damn dagger so I learned to say BYE, when she’d do that.

          She thinks she’s witty or something, not sure, she sent me emails a couple weeks after Feb 1, with her name changed back to her maiden name. Never replied. I did write one email when some ass of a friend mentioned he’d heard…some juicy gossip re: me. (He’s not my friend anymore). In the email I asked her why she’d do that to me. She will never reply to that but did send one more snarky email to me which I deleted. No Contact.
          If she wants to apologize for her actions I’ll listen and decide whether she is just full of shit or sincere. Don’t think she’ll do it as she explained to me that she is “worthy” and I suppose, I am not.
          Fuck her.

    • TryingHard

      I remember your story from months ago. Glad to see you back

      I stated months ago I believe there is another cultural layer to your story if “infidelity”. I believe you are in a culture where multiple relationships are accepted by wives.

      This is NOT part of my culture or upbringing or marital contractual agreement. And the state where I live holds me half owner of everything brought into the marriage. Assets and liabilities.

      Now had my h tried to enter into some new business venture during that shit storm I’d have said nothing. I’d have gone directly to my lawyer and placed a cease and desist order. I would have further contacted the lending institution and made them aware of the possible liability they were entering into with him. In other words I’d have let the expert lawyer speak for me.

      Matter of fact one of the assets my lawyer was honing in on for me was the adjacent property to our business. As the property sits empty it has a lot of value but as a going concern it’s value is more than tripled!!!

      Previous to DDay we were talking about developing it into another business and I was going to manage it. I had all the financial info on that. So yeah DDay put a stop to that and most everything else.

      You talk about respect. In my culture having an affair IS the epitome of disrespect. There is no respect if the affair is still in going. My crazy not only made everything get real real fast not only for my h but the OW as well!! She was scared shitless if me. Good. If anything came out of my craziness it was that. I made sure both knew I was no one to be reckoned with!! Like they say The Shit Got Real!!

      I have no idea what your culture is I just know it must be different from mine. It’s July and from your past stories your husbands “MLC” has been going in for a year. Good luck with that. I’m happy to hear you’ve made some personal strides.

      • Butterball

        I have friends in another forum from all over the world. MLC is NOT a cultural construct. There are so many similarities between MLCers from different cultures. They really do follow a script even though the details are different.

        And the longer I have been deep in this shit, the more I see how big a role childhood plays in it all. For the past 6 weeks or so half the time my husband is clearly at the age of 12. He’s studying for his masters exams in November. At the age of 12 he graduated at the top of his elementary school class, but his father was beating him to make him study when he just wanted to play like a normal child. I have been able to piece this together from what he and his sister have told me. The 12 year old is nice to me and likes me, but one day when he was pestering me about something like a 12 year old and I told him he should not worry about what he was worrying about and instead worry about something else, like his exams, and he shot up like an arrow and said, “You are right” and immediately left the room. One of my friends suggested this will pass when his exams are over and I think she is right, but they are just reliving the awful parts of their childhood and trying to do it over again.

        He’s living in a different time right now. He simply CAN’T really be the man he was before. He really tries his best but it’s a slow process getting through this.

        It doesn’t mean I accept the relationship with OW anymore than you do, but I understand why it is going on and I do have reasons to believe it is unlikely to last.

    • TryingHard

      Satori–My story is crazy and I am in no way advocating or encouraging ANYONE to do the crazy things I did. I did what I did and I can’t change it. It’s my story good, bad or evil. I wanted to convey that this stuff is life changing and we will do things we NEVER imagined we were capable of. But I did do lots of stuff right too. Right for me and right if I intended to go forward in my marital relationship with my husband. Three months was ENOUGH with the OW in the picture. Especially since the affair had been going on for almost 4 years!!! It was end it now or face divorce. Period. No hand holding or hand wringing what to do attitude for me.

      I do, however, encourage people to lawyer up. Waiting around only gives them more time to steal from you. I encourage people to find a good supportive therapist if they can afford it. And if need be some meds to keep the anxiety and migraines away. Yeah I’ve never taken Ambien again since that night. I did get other meds that helped me. There’s nothing wrong with a little help from meds but you have to make sure they are the right ones. I was fortunate to have a psychiatrist and a therapist. Instead of Ambien I used Melatonin for a while. It helped.

      Ah yeah we tread so lightly and handle those timid, sad, little, forest creatures so tenderly. After all they are victims too!! NO THEY ARE NOT!!! STOP DOING THAT. Seriously, just stop!! He’s a big boy and he’s made this mess, not you. Do not clean it up for him. You start taking care of YOU not him.

      As for his family. Well as the old saying goes, blood is thicker than water. Do not expect ANY help from them. And if they do talk to you all they will say is stuff that hurts like “we just want our son to be happy” or worse “what did YOU do to drive him into the arms of another woman??” Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of talk. Stay away from his family unless they reach out to you.

      Same with friends. they are loathe to get involved. Even your “best” friends because, well this shit has cooties and some of it may threaten their own marriage.

      Find one person, anyone, sister, friend, therapist you can trust and who has good judgement to talk to. Don’t bother with the rest. They’re talking alright they are gossiping at your expense. And if they ask you how you are you smile and say “fine”. Don’t give them anything. They are in it for the salacious details. You don’t need to provide entertainment for them.

      Hang in there and keep reaching out to the very wise people on this site. this is a long arduous journey and we are here to support you. Hugs coming your way.

    • Satori

      Thank you TheFirstWife and TryingHard for the lovely replies. I was nervous to reach out on here but I’m losing my mind and it is 4am. Thank goodness for the internet.

      Thank you both for the support and advice and also Sarah P. and Butterball too.
      You guys are right when you say things are moving quickly. It’s hardcore. At the time when you are 100% vulnerable and at your absolute rockbottom, the CS seems to know how to double down on cruelty and deception.

      I do have a lawyer. He is a close friend. He is “on my team” however at first I had to school him a bit as he was in the classic “men stray for a reason” mode — effectively blaming me for my H abandoning me and cheating. I have had a LOT to say to him to correct that crap. I told him that if he was going to help me he had to delete that notion from his mind. He is helping me, he has been great. I have all my ducks in a row. I’m ready to go re divorce.

      I got a therapist immediately — saw her for a month and then stopped seeing her as I honestly couldn’t take the “how did that make you feel” anymore. She wanted to dig into childhood stuff but I’m flat out trying to survive here. So we agreed I’d come back when I feel ready. Like never.

      I have a spiritual coach. He is helping me create some spaciousness. But I’m struggling with the grander concepts atm.

      I have been furious, inconsolable, suicidal and catatonic. Insomniac. Physically sick. Mentally unhinged on some days. One day, just 3 days after he left (and this was before I found out about the affair!) the only place I could be was my car. I just sat in it for a whole day as it was the only place I felt safe.

      I have a small network of fantastic female friends who are all very supportive, a super smart and a fabulous brother. My own family has been wonderful. They are all in disbelief that my H has done this and in the way he has too. They all regularly say how they are still shocked. they can’t reconcile his actions with who they thought he was.

      To the wider friends and in-laws: part of the shame stems from the fact that the runaways seem very adept at putting out the smear campaign that says a BS was “controlling” and “abusive” and that they’d been soooo “unhappy”. Little forest creature was on a two week trip that allowed him to have a holiday affair so I’m pretty sure if I was controlling he would not have had the opportunity. It adds fuel to the humiliation fire that I in fact suggested and even encouraged him to take the trip as he seemed burned out from work. He repaid my trust by abusing it in fucking someone while on that trip. And then continuing an EA on his return to this SkankHo who resides in another country by Skype and Whatsapp. Oh yeah and this is the kicker, he came home sick from the holiday and whilst not working he continued the affair from our bed / couch.

      It was 4 weeks of HELL before he left our house. I can tell you: MLC or not, Exit Affair or not, Runaway Husband or not: the person I put on the plane is NOT the same person I picked up at the airport. It’s like this OW has done a number on him. Seriously.

      He now has his own apartment.

      H said he ended the PA/EA and he cancelled the 3 week trip that he secretly booked using our travel agent. He was going to visit / stay with her.

      He said he didn’t want to fight with me but that even though the A has ended, he now doesn’t want to get back together as he has done “so much damage” and I’d remind him in the future. He didn’t want me guilt tripping him. LOL. I’m like: how do you skip the remorse and I’m sorry bit and go straight to the part where you don’t want to be reminded about what you have done / destroyed?

      He allowed me to delete her contacts on all platforms off his phone. But she kept contacting him from overseas. He deleted again (in front of me). I have sent OW a FIERCE text including letting her know I would seek an injunction / legal recourse if she persists in harassing us. I have had my BIL who lives in the same country call her and let her know the man she slept with is married. She is a piece of work. She coolly replied that my H needed to sort out his “issues” on his own even though she is scripting his texts to me. She is a classic gold digger, super manipulative.

      Well, she is about to find out that all those assets she is coveting from afar? Well they are about to become mine, so he won’t have anything and they will need to start again. From scratch.
      That lifestyle she wants to slide into? It’s mine and none of it will be accessible to her.
      That family I’ve been a close part of for 15 years that she will no doubt want to impress? I’ve let them all know who and what she is. So while my responses to them will be as per TryingHard’s “I’m fine” to them all now, I already poisoned the well.

      I have been an amazing wife. I brought assets into the marriage (H had none). I helped him start a business and am co-owner in the same business that now employs quite a few people. I’ve been the glue in family relationships. I know my worth but this shit is what one family member calls a “hit alpha” (he is ex-military).

      As I sit here with our dog (that H also abandoned) who is snoring on our bed, I have no idea what my future looks like. I have to face the cold hard fact that I need to totally reinvent my whole life, career, and much of my social network which is tied up with him.

      As Germaine Greer once said, “the fear of freedom is strong within us”. On some days that fear is overwhelming.

      Thanks again for listening to my vent.


    • TryingHard

      OK I know you probably don’t think this but you are doing great!!

      You’ve done everything right with the exception of getting a good therapist. Anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves a therapist. Find one that is well versed in infidelity. LOL lots of them reach for that childhood stuff and just as with any other doctor you have to reel them back in and say I’m not dealing with that right now. I’m in a crisis mode with my personal life and marriage.

      I hear you about sitting in your car. I didn’t do that because I would have turned the damn engine on!!! I couldn’t leave my house. I even boarded up the windows and door to the basement with plywood! I would move furniture in front of exit doors when I went to sleep. I covered the windows in my garage doors with newspaper! I know it sounds crazy and maybe it is but I did it. I felt SO unsafe. I would go to the grocery store and have anxiety attacks I would leave. All I ate were oranges and toast and eggs for about a month. I could not eat anything else. This shit is real.

      But slowly slowly get out of your house. Give yourself a specified amount of time and try to push it. As you read I finally went on a trip to California. But not after totally securing my home!

      I hope you have the right lawyer. I understand you straightened him out with regards to your husband’s cheating but being a “family” friend are you certain he is out for YOUR best interests? Finding the right lawyer is the biggest decision you have to make right now and the most important for your well being for what might just be the rest of your life.

      LOL he’s ashamed and embarrassed and feeling guilty and stupid and YES he’s a timid little forest creature right now. He needs to snap the hell out of that if he doesn’t want to be looking on the other side of a courtroom!!

      I take it you are not in the US? I don’t know what country you are in and I am hoping it’s a country that is friendly to women getting what due them. I don’t now anything about laws in other countries other than what I’ve heard about in European countries.

      Is the OW a different culture than yours? Some cultures I don’t care how much you threaten them the will not be dissuaded. They are frantic to get to a western civilization. But you did the right thing impressing upon her you are not going down without a fight. Actually to both him and her.

      Night time is the WORST time. Try taking some Melatonin and a hot cup of tea. Set the scene for bedtime in your mind. Keep the tele off and play soothing music. But you must get your sleep in order to function properly and be effective the next day. You’ve got lots of work to do. No one could do it without sleep. The Melatonin will also help with the dreams as well. You’ve got to get thru this day by day, hour by hour if necessary. You can’t control everything but you can control you. Write down your thoughts and plans and then let it go for a while.

      I hope I’ve helped.

      • Satori

        TryingHard you’re a gem. Thank you!

        Melatonin is now on my shopping list. Omg the nightmares. I have had two nightmares in my whole life before this event. Now I’m having them every second night (that is, when I do get to sleep). Like you, I felt the same about leaving the house. I run our business from home and online so I can go days without seeing anyone if I don’t need to as all our employees work across locations.

        Also just don’t want to run into the many people I know in our area so I do not have to talk to anyone about the situation. As they say, never complain, never explain.

        Re: the therapist. Hmmm. I’m not sure how to find one that would be good for my situation.
        I will take your advice though and do more research on one whose focus is infidelity.

        The lawyer is very good, he is highly regarded by peers. He has a lot more respect for me now I straightened him out on the Facts of Life: a.k.a The Cheaters Manual. Namely, they do it because they can. Because they gave themselves permission. End of story.

        I studied law at university so while I’m not a lawyer I am across some of the things that can occur. OW is a young divorcee who lives in a rented studio apartment and has a low paying job so no assets to speak of, hence her pursuit of my H. She is 15 years or so younger than me. Haha. Of course she is!

        I only wish the SkankHo lived in one of the seven states in the U.S where you can sue in civil court for spousal alienation. That is a serious litigation used against OW very successfully and people have been awarded millions. I have been given legal advice that I can obtain a court injunction here in Aus that will prevent her from contacting my H (even though she is in the States) on the basis that she is interfering in my marriage.

        I’m still considering that as an option, just wanted to see how the next week plays out and if she is still in touch with my H. You can’t Whatsapp your way out of the federal court system here! Not to mention if she wants to immigrate to here eventually, she’d already be on file and not in a good way. So yeah, I’m keeping my powder dry in regard to all options which I’m going to put on the table to my H, including that one.

        Taking it day by day, or more accurately minute by minute. The other thing I’m trying to do is more meditation. Trying to tame the “monkey mind”…

        I’m so grateful to be in contact with a few like minded souls on here. It may be the best thing that has happened to me since this disaster unfolded.

        So much gratitude to you.

    • TryingHard

      You still refuse to answer the question just as before. And no MLC is NOT the same across all cultures. You are fooling yourself if you think that.

      Good luck being armchair therapist to your husband and his FOO issues and hanging in there to the point where your husband says would rather be dead than to have feeling for you??? Geez now that’s a relationship to hang onto!!!

      Personally, one’s FOO issues is for THEM to figure out not the spouse. But hey you gotta do what you gotta do.

      I’m sorry but after at least a year of dealing with an OW in my marriage, I’d be saying adios, adieu, chio, alavida, wadaeaan, zaijian, sayonara!!!!

      Good luck to you.

      • Satori

        Hi TryingHard, was that last post you made a reply to me?
        I doesn’t seem so…

    • TryingHard

      Satori— Not to you at all. Butterball!!

    • TryingHard

      Satori–You find those therapists by interviewing them or even asking them when you call to set an appointment. And I suggest find a female as well.

      OK so good, legally you are covered. Now he needs to start sending him some orders. Like divulging income and submitting to his requests and maybe even a little restraining order that he can never enter the residence when you aren’t there! This starts to make the shit realllly real for them. You must show him that you are starting to control YOUR life and what happens to YOU. You are not saying you are giving up on your marriage you are just going to be making it very clear that the status quo is no longer. You are making plans to protect yourself and YOU interests because well he just can’t be trusted. And that’s the truth. YOU cannot trust him. He is the one that has to make an effort to regain trust and hiding under his bed in his apartment that you moved his pathetic ass into!!!!! gggggrrrr, is NOT helping HIS cause.

      OW is a pathetic leech on the bottom layer of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. HA remember that from college??? Yeah, I know her, she had an affair with my husband too. They are all the fucking same and really an also ran. LOL I live in one of those states. I planned on suing the OW as well for Alienation of Affection. It’s kinda an archaic law but still on the books, and I would have done it for the sport of it. I didn’t care. My lawyer was champing at the bit to do it. She didn’t have a pot to piss in, but I could have gotten her house that my h REBUILT FOR HER!!! Scaring the hell out of the OW was certainly a trump card for me. She was scared of me until the day she died just last month! I know because one of her family members told me. TeeHee. So go ahead and scare her anyway you can with your lawyer. Just don’t kick her front door in 🙁

      Yes they cheat because of opportunity and because of low moral standards, character flaws, weakness you name it. There’s lots to read on that and we all know the books if you are interested. There’s a really good book called He’s History, You’re Not and I read that one after I read Runaway Husbands.

      Glad you are getting the Melatonin. I think it will help. My psych put me on an anti anxiety that was more systematic than popping Xanax every half hour. I can’t remember what it was but I can look for it. I was only on it for about a year. Stay away from Ambien, no seriously that stuff is BAD news! I mean I went driving around in my pajamas, with a mallet in my car while on that stuff. Hell why didn’t I just grab a bottle of wine and a gun while I was at it???

      • Satori

        TryingHard, the vision of you in Pjs running wild is brilliant! Sooo glad you made it out (a) in one piece and (b) without felony charges.

        I’m sure Ambien is bad, I think Jack Nicholson established that and a few members of the Australian Olympic Swimming Team a few years back from memory!

        Yes that’s the archaic law I read about. But we don’t have anything like it here although you can get garden variety restraining orders. I will only put that card on the table as a last resort.

        I already had the locks changed and had a letter to get some basic understanding about the business end of financials. But it was a light touch email. Nothing too scary… yet.

        [As an aside: maybe you could put in a claim or sue the OW’s estate. Seriously. If the house has had some value added by your H. Just saying!]

        Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I do remember it well. I can’t imagine why you would try and break up a marriage. It’s inconceivable to me. Regardless of anything that happens she will not get my happy ending.

        Anyhow above in my other thread up above that we’ve been going back and forth on as well I asked you if it was too early days to throw down the gauntlet of the MC or D. I’m kind of ready to make a power move. I’ve been feeling weak and pathetic and I feel like it is time to change the energy up….

        Any input appreciated!

        • TheFirstWife

          My H refused any counseling both during & after A until about 2 years later after Dday2.

          He was definitely scared of facing it.

          However the one time I was on the verge of leaving him out of frustration (not cheating but other issues) he called my therapist immediately! Lol

          Right now your H is in denial. He doesn’t think he has done anything wrong (SMH) so I doubt he will entertain MC or IC. And if he does go to IC he will use it (possibly) to explain all the reasons why he wants out.

          So I think you can say it but it won’t be an option. But at least it is giving him a chance and it might make you feel better in that you will feel you have done everything.

          I see some similarities between us. I was not controlling either. My H traveled extensively all over the World and I made his life so darn easy. I never complained when he was away. Managed things quite nicely and no big issues. My H could play golf when he wanted and do things with his friends and I made sure he had time away from kids (as did I). We were respectful to each other and supportive.

          So his OW was a needy drama queen – covered in tattoos – lots of issues and track record of bad relationships. She was 20 years younger. Two things stick out for me. One – my H always showed up late. Says be home at 11 pm after work related dinner and show up at 2 am – no call. This argument of asking for a call went on 15 years until I finally stopped trying. Gave up. No longer cared.

          So after A in anger one day I asked him if he thought the OW was going to put up with that completely disrespectful behavior? So you may think I am controlling but you have gotten away with this crap for years. And I doubt anyone else would accept it. (It has since stopped and I get 100% transpatency on where he is and all work dinners he is home by 9 pm – his doing not mine).

          Secondly he believed ALL his friends would accept her. I still laugh at this one. I am certain that most of his friends’ wives WOULD NOT!! I even mentioned a few and he said he doesn’t believe (post A) they really would. But in his email to OW he wrote my friends that love me will love you too. ROFLMAO as they acronym goes (rolling on floor laughing my a&@ off).

          So during A periods they lose their common sense and themself. All brain power focuses on justifying to THEMSELF WHY they are entitled to cheat. They “deserve” to be happy. Soulmate crap. Excuses galore.

          Sad part is you are dealing with an OW who is a bottom feeder. She will take any scraps b/c she sees $ and opportunity. She will hang in as long as possible. And sway him every chance she gets. Right now in his delusional state she is swaying him and controlling him but he is too blinded and stupid to see it.

          I don’t think it is too soon to present the D option. I did mine too late in the game but I finally ran out of patience and options. And when the OW tried to start up a third time he immediately showed me the email and never responded. He was shaking thinking I was going to dump him and end our M b/c of it.

          I knew then his A was over.

          I wish you luck and I don’t know how you can work with him. That would drive me crazy.

          • Satori

            TheFirstWife: wow, from what you write our situations seem very similar.

            So you were what they call a golf widow? I’m a sailing widow lol

            The free range policy in our home was for him to do his thing at anytime the conditions were right, family commitments aside. Yet even these were negotiable in reality. Plenty of things he didn’t show up for and I made an excuse on his behalf while he was out on the water.

            So NOT controlling etc.

            And yes, the “not calling” thing. Infuriating. And, I feel (in my case) it was a total disrespect too. Now I’m thinking on it. But what you said to your H. Exactly that!!!

            As if any OW will put up with that. They make out like they will of course.

            I’m sensing the Bunny Boiler my H is currently obsessing over will not be so relaxed about either his sporting pursuits (which take up a lot of his free time) nor his very codependent male buddies. I had to contend with them every Friday night for about 12 years until I put my foot down (and the no calling, coming home at whim at all hours etc). Now these guys are all married and with kids etc so I never worried, but the fact is he had so much freedom to hang out with buddies at will, drinking, going on boys trips etc.

            It occurred to me this morning that the “controlling” accusation is actually a projection. Coming to the realization that in many ways my H has been controlling the relationship through his actions for a very long time.
            Cue major insights in the pre dawn hours!

            You nailed it re his delusional thinking to justify his behavior. H actually admitted to me he had “probably lost his mind”. And he said it seriously too. This A is a symptom. But even though OW is a possible drama queen, I think H is loving the drama on some level. Let’s face it, everything is “new”. Even the drama is new too, as, like your situation, our life was pretty chilled. No drama anywhere really. My former drama-free life that is.

            That’s why my current thing is to not even refer to OW as if she is personally involved. I mean realistically it’s all digital since they are in two distant countries.
            She is in his head and that’s all. My sister reminded me that they don’t even know each other. They spent a week together. I’ve got 15 years to show for my involvement. A dose of heavy reality, as TryingHard mentioned, might be a necessary circuit breaker.

            Thanks TFW, it has been a very tough few days…

    • TryingHard

      I find the use of the term mid life crisis very interesting. It’s as if we have diagnosed the patient and then look for a cure. We play doctor. We have a diagnosis now we can find the cute. Same with term sex addict.

      If we can only parse out the symptoms we can come up with an answer. As if we can figure out the FOO issues that “caused” the affair we can fix it. Sheesh, I dint know about you but diagnosing my husband is above my pay grade. I have a business degree and foreign language minor!!! I’m most def NOT a doctor or a psychologist!! Besides it’s not my job to sort him out. If he wants sorting out that’s his choice. I’m too busy sorting myself out.

      On our trip to CO when I got DDay 2 my husband had read just enough to grasp the term sex addict. I think if he’d have read about MLCs he’d have grasped at that straw too. And when I heard him use that term I lost my shit AGAIN. I remember thinking crap I have an addict on my hands??? Now what??? Well I knew a little bit about addiction as far as alcohol and drugs and what happened there. But sex??? Oh hell no!! So I called bullshit on it and later he admitted to grasping at straws as an excuse. They are desperate little buggers!!

      I found info on MLCs on line. Yeah my h was that certain age where he was possibly feeling all that old age stuff. And I guess if he lives to112 yeah having an affair at 56 could be considered mid life. But then I remembered supposedly the affair he had in his 30s was called a mid life crisis. So which is it??? Can one really have 2 midlife crisis?? Or does the whole MLC lie dormant for years much like shingles???

      LOL I call bullshit on MLCs. Affairs may happen at a certain time of a mans life but that age certainly doesn’t cause an MLC. I dont think MLCs are contagious. So how is it some men have them and some don’t?

      And what about women at that age?? You NEVER hear of a woman being accused of an MLC. Never. It’s only men. Certainly if this is such a phenomena that happens to humans, women would be much more susceptible to one. After all aging men are respected, admired for their getting temples, revered even. Aging women are villified. We are dried up old hags. Aging men become sophisticated. Seems to me an MLC would happen to a woman before a man.

      No, affairs can and do happen at any age. Old or young. It’s not a damn curable phenomenon. MLCs shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other garden variety affair. I dont need a label to explain character disordered behavior also known as acting like an entitled asshole.

      Any one can choose it. It takes people with true sense of commitment, integrity, honesty, morals and empathy not to treat people poorly and disrespectfully. To do unto others as they’d have others do unto them even.

      And this lack of characteristics and opportunity is how and why affairs happen. Not age, not FOOs, not success or lack thereof, not flabby tummies or ED. No. It’s lack of character at any age.

      I don’t give two shits about FOOs and blaming that is grasping at straws and applying spackle to ones cracked foundation of their marriage.

      The only way to go forward after such devastation is insisting on a relationship that is honest and commited. Theses are called boundaries. Something cheaters never had or lost along their way. It happens.

      I’m pretty sure now most of us that have recovered successfully have achieved this level in our marriages. Even if once in a while the cheaters need to be reminded of those boundaries.

      Don’t worry about the labels. Deal with the issues. Like missing the forest for all the trees.

      It doesn’t make any difference what label you put on what your husband has done. What matters is they learn about themselves and what drove them to make such bad choices, over and over and over again. What matters most is they don’t do it again. Learn the damn lesson.

      Yes first time I hurried that stuff up and guess what. It happened again 30 years later. That was my bad. He sure didn’t learn HIS lesson and neither did I. I guess with age does come wisdom. Never again.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Alright now you are going to laugh at me Trying Hard
      What the heck does FOO stand for??????

      • TryingHard

        SI. Never. FOO =Family Of Origin. His parents, siblings, grandparents. Anyone who had an impact during his/her formative years.

        • Satori

          That was a perfect summation of the MLC and label / diagnosis conundrum TryingHard.
          That’s why I don’t want to read any books about what is purely my H’s issues.
          Not even Runaway Husbands.
          I’ve done my share of speculation but in the end like you said, diagnoses are for professionals to work out.
          My only interest now in getting feedback here is not to understand him and his motivations, but so I can maximise my own situation and minimise any harm that can come my way. It’s more as a self protective thing now, not to try and fix, educate or problem solve him as such.
          I’m going to take your approach as my personal program and put the focus back onto me.
          Your post is on point.

          • TryingHard

            Satori– indeed in my pajamas. I was a sight!!!

            You’re doing lots of stuff correctly. You’ve gotten a lawyer and that’s paramount. Divorces take time and there’s notice after notice and discovery papers and court dates that are made. But little by little these legal matters wake these people up.
            When my h left he never said anything about divorce. I went to an attorney right away. Not to make a move but to protect myself. I took a lot of money out of our account to cover my living expenses. That enraged him. He couldn’t understand that I didn’t trust him to take care of me financially. WTF right?? Hell no I didn’t trust him. He’d just rip the rug out from under me.

            And you’ve gone NC for a couple days. Good don’t let him drag you into what sounds like his pity party.

            I’m not saying your marriage is over but hubby needs a wake up call. Right now he’s scared and or defensive and ashamed and scared. Good he should be. So that gives you the upper hand. He’s out of his home. No more wife taking care of him. That’s good. He can’t have it both ways.

            Maybe instead of a big move maybe a phone call “hey do you want to meet and talk”. Don’t go to a public place because it’s too easy for them to leave if the convo gets heated. And it will get heated. A convo to take his temp on the situation. Now this convo will take a lot of intelligence on your part because you will want to believe what he’s saying. He will be very hat in hand I think just from what you’ve said. Ignore that shit. What you want to hear is how much he wants to or not repair the damage he’s done. It’s only been 4 weeks so he’s in a real conundrum right now. He knows he will have to admit what he’s done and that’s not going to be pretty. But he’s feeling the discomfort of possible divorce.

            After that convo maybe then you can press your lawyer to put him in notice. That’s the first gauntlet. When my h got served with paper from my lawyer he had moved to his sisters place 6 doors down from me. She called me that night how he was lying on the sofa crying. Crying his life was over. He wanted to die. She called me and told me all this that night. So of course I didn’t sleep that night and I made another decision. I would go to the office the next day and talk to him and hilarity ensued. That is part 2 of my crazy. I’ll finish later.

            • Satori

              Ah TryingHard, Looking forward to Part 2 of your crazy. But again, thanks for the pearls of wisdom.

              Your timing couldn’t be better. Between you and TheFirstWife, you are the perfect flanking angels. My spiritual coach also advised a casual phone call. I’m so off text messages anyway…I can’t stand them right now!

              Your vivid description of my H’s mindset is reassuring. The NC thing is tough as my imagination runs riot at the best of times and somehow NC triggers me and reinforces all my feelings of rejection / abandonment. I kind of collapsed last night when I got home. It all just hit me so hard and I couldn’t even get words out on the nightly check up phone calls from my family. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up.But… I did and it’s a brand new day and on this day, I get to choose. He has done far too much choosing for me, without concern for me. It is my turn now.

              So, the casual meet up it is. I’m on it.

              Wish me luck x

        • Shifting Impressions

          Ah….it all makes sense now, lol!!! I am so bad at all those acronyms or whatever you call them.

    • Puzzled

      Trying Hard: I’d consider my wife’s affair and her selfish behavior as somewhat of a MLC. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Her actions and behavior were so out of whack from who she was for the previous 25 years of knowing her (we met in college, didn’t start dating until our senior year, then married 2 years later). Lying, cheating, ignoring the me and our kids, treating me like an enemy: this was just not her.
      The thing that makes me believe it was, at least partially, a MLC is this: she kept saying things like “when is going to be my turn to do what I want” and “it’s time for my happiness” and other things to that affect. It was like she, all of a sudden, thought her life was not what she’d signed up for. Her behavior also started when our oldest went off to college. She also started running to get in better shape (she has always hated running).
      But, in the end, MLC or not: it comes down to boundaries and integrity and character. Once the lines start blurring things go down hill. They pick up speed and BAM! It’s an affair. I don’t excuse her selfish choices and destructive behavior. I don’t buy that it’s a MLC so it just happens. That’s a load of crap. We all have times when we wonder if we’ve made the right career path and life choices. But we don’t all create a fantasy life with someone other than our spouse. We all have the opportunity to say “NO THIS IS WRONG!” & walk away. For whatever reason, our spouses didn’t say no. And, for all of us here, that sucks.

    • TryingHard

      I’m not arguing that MLC is legitimate or not. I don’t know if MLC is diagnosable by an expert or if it even is described as a DSM in the psychology handbook like narcissism or cluster b personality etc.

      My point is how is your wife’s behavior any different than another person having an affair that isn’t considered MLC? My husband had an affair in his 30’s I called that an MLC. He wasn’t 50 but he sure said the same things he said when he decided to have another at 56.

      You can call it what you want. I just don’t want anyone to take any kind of comfort in thinking “it’s a MLC and he/she will work through it and then our lives can go on just as before” Does that make sense to you?

      Lots of people call their spouses behavior an MLC as though well that is much different than all the other garden variety cheaters. No in fact there’s no difference. One should def NOT take comfort and think they can work from the point that their spouses cheating is an MLC.

      Diagnosing an MLC is no different than if one were sick. Went to a doctor and was diagnosed with heart disease. You doc then begins to fix you from the point of having heart disease. Trying to figure out how an affair happened, how your spouse suddenly went from being a partner to being a complete stranger is NOT like diagnosing heart disease. And I believe those that take the stance and putting all their eggs in one basket to explain away their spouses affairs by attributing the term, MLC or sex addiction, are fooling themselves. Cause I got to tell ya it all looks the same to me and surely not everyone is having an MLC.

      • Butterball

        No,MLC is not a recognized medical syndrome but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a medical cause.

        All behavior is due to brain processes. The brain is a complex organ that is not well understood yet. I do believe if the proper research was done (and absolutely NONE has been done), there would be certain tell tale signs in the brain associated with MLC.

        There are parts of the brain that control things like emotions and memory. Child abuse has a permanent effect on the developing brain that lasts a lifetime.

        I’ve done a lot of research on emotion and memory and child abuse etc. to try to understand what is going on with my husband. I can’t solve his problems for him, but it does give me empathy.

        MLC is NOT just about having an affair. Some people have MLCs without having affairs. In some cases, other family members fill the role of the OP to the MLCer, e.g. a MIL or grown children.

    • Puzzled

      Trying Hard: I take no comfort in what my wife did based on a MLC or just simple selfishness. She made her choices, over and over again, she made those choices. There’s no justification based upon a MLC or anything else. That’s why I said it comes down to boundaries, integrity, and character.
      Our spouses let the lines blur and they made their decisions. And for most of us, this wasn’t a single one time screw up. This was ongoing behavior that they chose to continue. That’s what punches me in the stomach still. It was her decision, every day for who knows how long, to continue her cheating and lying to me. The naive guy simply trying to be a good dad & husband.

    • TryingHard

      I hear you Puzzled. Yes I am very familiar with that “gut punched” feeling. It sucks, big time.

      There we are fat and sassy and just livin’ life and trying to be the best versions of husband, wife, father, mother, friend, brother, employee and this freak comes along and turns all our good intentions on its ear!!!

      Yeah, I get it. As you read on DDay I was stripping wall paper. Not because I love to strip wall paper but because it takes no special skill set to strip wallpaper and its just dumb labor. It’s hard work tho climbing up and down the ladder spraying and scraping and having that stuff come off in two inch strips. I was doing a damn good job. I was contributing to our home and finances by doing it myself. And I was almost finished too. I was proud of myself. Then along comes Mr. Wehavetotalk… Well I cleaned up what I had done put everything away and told him YOU get someone here NOW to finish this stripping and painting. I’ve stopped doing lots of stuff like that that has gone largely unappreciated. Maybe if I’d have made him do more stuff like stripping wallpaper he wouldn’t have had time or energy to have an affair. I made life pretty damn easy for him. Stupid me

    • TryingHard

      ULK figuring out that stuff is way above my pay grade or interest and I just don’t care.

      Personally I have way better things to do with my life and my time than to research a fuckwits fuckupedness!

    • TheFirstWife

      Regarding MLC my therapist described the recognized pattern for me.

      And yes some people I know have had MLC and not cheated but:

      Bought a bar (I mentioned it and very successful)
      Gotten tattoos
      Took up entering marathons
      Ironman competitions
      Learned a language
      Took up cooking to become a chef
      Entered art contest

      My mid life crisis (if you have to call it that) was to start my own business. Something I talked about or thought about for 20 years. So one day I woke up and did it. Just like that.

      I still have my regular job but this is my passion. And it makes me happy.

      Some people get caught up in the MLC in bad ways. They look at their life and are unhappy but CHOOSE to cheat as a way to make themself happy. Others look at their life and say it’s been great but I want to accomplish this or this or that.

      It’s just like everything else – glass half full or half empty. I still cannot wrap my brain around the fact that my H& I were living together and I was happy and he was “unhappy” and allowed it to affect our M. He hated his job and had stress around it BUT never addressed it or told me, convinced himself I did not love him or support him (his words) and had an A.

      And yes some M do not survive the MLC. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde – one day the spouse is the person you have known for years and then you wake up and don’t even recognize this person.

      They are mean and selfish and justify the poor choices they make as the BS’ fault. And think an A is the answer.

      and now the rose colored glasses are off.

    • TryingHard

      Satori–I like your take on the drama thing. I’ve never thought of it that way. We all get a little bored in life and maybe he is enjoying the drama. But is that sustainable??

      Also did you maybe consider too the fact that it is long distance adds to the allure. I really believe you husband is deep in the affair fog and or fantasy of the affair.

      If he projects then he’s projecting the “romance” of it all.


      • Satori

        TryingHard — I do not think it is sustainable. That’s why I do not mention OW at all as that feeds the drama and by not mentioning it and therefore appearing unconcerned about it then the thrill (power high) is reduced.

        The long distance aspect for sure adds to the allure. Interestingly, it’s a perfect situation for an avoidant person too [that’s on the covert narcissist checklist].

        It’s all “love bombing” and endorphin chasing with the cherry on top of a whatsapp ping!

        I agree with you that he is 100% in the affair fog and fantasy aspect of it all.

        There is no substance to it in sheer physical reality, although it’s more dangerous in some ways as what they are doing is feeding and building the tension and the desire for tension release. So it’s in no way a neutral thing.

        Even though he said it is over with OW and not a “live” thing anymore. As I’ve said above, I do not believe him.

        The drama aside, there are plenty of obstacles to the relationship progressing.

        He is sitting on his hands a lot atm waiting for me to make the moves, which is why I haven’t made any LOL.

        P.S. I read this article by Erica Manfred on HuffPo that describes cheating / leaving as an act of fear, aggression and symbolic violence, as well as narcissistic rage:

        • TryingHard

          Satori– you are very very smart. I agree dint talk about OW. Don’t add to the drama.

          I read the article. It’s written by the same woman who wrote the book He’s History, You’re Not. Very good read. I highly recommend it.

          I saw my h detaching after DDay 1. It was so weird. After one encounter he actually put his hand out to shake my hand as we were parting!!! I laughed in his face. I said “really 36 years and I get a handshake? Are you kidding me? You great casual friends with a cheek kiss!!!” I also saw lots of animosity. That’s what sticks with me. His coldness and animosity. I’m long over the affair. It’s his actions that still haunt me.

          • Satori

            Hi TryingHard,

            The detaching thing is the worst. You can almost see my H thinking of how he is going to “show” me. Sometimes I feel it. The minute I do the detaching he comes pinging back. But it’s the emotional abuse that is worse to me than the infidelity.

            My casual meet up went exactly as you predicted. It got heated. Every calming mantra I had in my arsenal went out the window!

            It was like dealing with a seven year old. When I asked him if he was willing to work on the marriage (my final time I’m ever going to ask) he said:
            “I would but I can’t.” And refused to say why. Guess that’s a no.

            When pressed as to what the causes of his unhappiness in the M, it was ludicrousness of every stripe: Nothing made sense it was stupid stuff like “I don’t let him see his friends”. Such a load of crap.

            He was teary, petulant, annoyed at being asked to discuss things. Kept trying to leave but I persisted. Didn’t want to take any responsibility for any part of the mess he created, the position he put himself in and therefore me.

            Flipped out when I brought up how a divorce would go down and indicated one or two outcomes then he shouted “I knew you would fuck me over!” And stormed out.

            (Projection much? I’m pretty sure I’m the one who was just fucked over!!)

            I followed him out and he got in his car to drive off and through the window I said “Well how do you think this works?” Silence. Teary. Angry.

            Now he says he wants to leave the business. Because it’s too much pressure. Just wants to completely bail on everything. But I’m sensing a ploy. He would be trying to reconcile if there was no back up plan, I just think he is frustrated because his plan hasn’t worked and now he is in a tight corner so he is playing the sad sausage role. You were bang on with the “pity party” omg…

            His concept is that “We move towards a divorce”. My final words to him were “Well you’d better strap yourself in.”

            And then I stormed off. And called my lawyer.

    • Neverending

      I have spent a lot of time, on Runaway Husbands, and I truly believe that a lot of these men are not just narcissistic. I believe that they are narcissistic, because the have Asperger’s. It’s part of the emotional immaturity, ability to completely detach, or to accept any portion of the blame, for the affair. Many of these men, will attempt to “reconcile”, if the new affair (which they almost never leave you, without having one), doesn’t work out. But the possibility of doing the hard, vulnerable work of deep reconciliation, is very small, in these situations. Not trying to discriminate, but I am in touch of thousands of women, nationwide, dealing with this. I think one point that people don’t make the connection, is the belief that people with AS are extremely loyal, can’t manipulate, and never lie, none of which is true, and I’ve communicated with honest people, with AS, who confirm that. Just putting this out there, because it’s at play in so many cheating relationships, but unfortunately, most of the wonderful reconciliation techniques, Here’s a link to more info. <3

    • TryingHard


      You did EXCELLENT!!!! Excellent indeed. Look all you needed from that convo was to take the temperature of the situation. Now you know. Do not contact him for a while. Leave it in his court. He needs to chew on what is coming for a while. So damn hard to do. Yes I get the frustration and anger. I’m glad you had a mantra.

      Ah yeah the wordsalad that comes out of their mouths is astounding. My h complained that I played Words With Friends and ignored him. Um he was watching something on television or sleeping in his chair when I played WWF. UGH. I controlled what he ate. Wwwwhhhaatt I only made dinner, I never told him what to eat. They are grasping at straws at this point. They have got to vilify us otherwise they are bad people.

      OK I’m worried about your joint business and financial assets. Of course he wants out, especially if you are in debt. He thinks he can turn the business and the debt to you. Also, maybe he has a new job. Who knows.

      Now that he’s said “I would, but can’t”. I heard that too. And that’s not a yes or no. He’s scared shitless. And that’s a good thing. If this scares him just wait until he starts getting legal notices! This is what made things very real for my h. He thought he would manipulate me into going along with his charm and ability to sell ice to Eskimos and I was so stupid I would agree to sharing one lawyer! Um NO.

      Don’t get into any kind of legal discussion. Let him know any kind of discussion toward possible reconciliation is on the table for a while, but nothing legal. You have a lawyer for that. I’m thinking he doesn’t have a lawyer yet? My h didn’t either and when he did I and everyone else who knew his lawyer had a good laugh. My lawyer was going to eat his alive!

      Get all you finances ready. You are going to have to list all expenses and assets. I just hope you don’t have to pay him any kind of support since he wants out of the business. Threaten to dissolve the business. You can always start another one.

      That is funny. He is cheating on you and leaves you and he accuses YOU of fucking HIM over. That’s precious. Kinda like the bank robber accusing the witness of being a tattle tale! It’s never what they do and it’s always our reaction to it. Absolutely mind boggling, but so to the script that’s in the Cheater’s Handbook!

      No things never go along with the cheaters plans. After discovery the house of cards cave in and they are generally left with nothing. Indeed he is a very sad sausage 🙁

      Meanwhile, be good to you. Go out with a friend for a drink or dinner. Get a massage or a pedi/mani, go to a show but get out of the house. A hike, a walk anything out of the house. Maybe you can take a weekend trip? Get away from the familiar, get away from the empty bed and four walls.

      Let me know. Also if you’d like my email to personally email me Doug can give it to you.

      Hugs my dear, you got this.

    • TheFirstWife

      Santori. You have been managing this well.

      You can now see what so many of us here have been through. The revisionist history of the M. The untrue accusations. The storming off when things don’t go the cheater’s way.

      They count on us (the BS) to continue to go along and be nice in hopes of repairing the M. And when they don’t get what they want – the CS acts like a spoiled brat. As you can see.

      His comment anout R – I can’t / well that says it all. He is acting like a spoiled child. I would have difficulty getting past that comment.

      I love your final comment to him as well. He probably has not seen that side of you and should be scared.

      And yes the CS LOVES to play the pity card. I swear it is in the cheaters manual.

      I hope things work out for you. Just know right now you have the upper hand and you are in control of this situation. And he knows it.

      The next interaction between you should be interesting.

      • Shifting Impressions

        TFW and Trying Hard….have been giving you some great advice!!! And yes even the most amicable of spouses become rather mean and manipulative during an affair. And yes they make it all about them.

        I agree with TFW…you seem to have this well in hand!!!

        • Satori

          Thank you Shifting Impressions. TryingHard and TheFirstWife have been spot on. So incredible!

          I don’t feel like I’ve got this. But I do know it’s very much crunch time.

          He is playing pity games but I am NOT buying it. I’ve actually had enough and he may be sensing that now, but he is still hanging tough for now.

          TryingHard — wow were you on the money!! It almost made me laugh when I realised the script was playing out as “the script” that you said. Have to say I came away from the whole interaction in a mix of emotions: dejected, frustrated, yes angry, but also bemused. How do they keep up this level of delusion? It’s mystifying.

          I have to say it didn’t feel all that excellent. I felt like I totally blew it.

          Thanks for your truly excellent advice though. I didn’t get much sleep again,
          I simply cannot process why anyone would willing self destruct to this level. Let alone try and take me down with them. I’m not going to let him. Lawyer is going to first level early next week. Meanwhile, yes a mani / pedi and my brother just booked us a long hopefully wine filled lunch with my whole family at a restaurant on the weekend.

          He told me he thinks about me every day. I’m like what, once when you have a coffee? Exactly what do you think is going on for me? I’ve got people checking on me at all hours b/c they are so worried about me but you never even ask me how I am!

          TheFirstWife — there was a moment there where I actually felt sorry for him.
          But I tried hard not to get sucked in to it. But one of his complaints was that I was too “dominating”. I pointed out that I’m the same person I have always been and that’s got me / us a pretty good way along in life so… Yes I am having difficulty getting past that comment. I don’t know what it means but I sense it’s more to do with him and guilt — getting past his own guilt more than anything. You know, it’s all too hard.
          Lazy basically.

          I can’t believe this stuff goes along a formula, yet there it all is. It is mind boggling.

          Thanks again gorgeous ones. You have given me a huge boost.

          I’m so grateful x

          • Shifting Impressions

            This site is the best life line ever……you can just spill it all out…and someone will be there for you….no matter what time of day or night.

            • Satori

              Hi Shifting Impressions,

              I believe it. I’ve had some of my hardest days this week since this whole mess began. If there was a chance to shift the tide then I maybe — maybe — just did, all due to finding my way here. But even if it doesn’t change anything, at least I can now stop blaming myself, as before I knew the truth of the situation, I was fully taking it on as being all my fault.
              Such is the effectiveness of gas lighting by a cheater!

            • Shifting Impressions

              That’s a really big shift…..hang on to that thought. Nobody deserves to be betrayed by their partner. They chose to be “less than” not you.

              When Trying Hard asked me to come up with some of the stupid things my husband said I went back to my journal that I kept. It’s been three and half years since d-day. Even though I know I didn’t deserve to be treated that way the pain in those journal entries hit me hard.

              We need to tell our stories….we need to be heard. And we need to hear other people’s stories….it’s all part of the healing.

    • TryingHard

      What stupid stuff did your h say as blame for his cheating? LOL I mean that whole Words with Friends came out of nowhere or pulled right out of his ass!

      Satori thinks she’s unique in this craziness and we know she’s not. We’ve all experienced and heard how they act like cowards and then vomit some wordsalad and we are left shaking our heads.

      I know for me it was very comforting to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking “wwwwhhhhattt????”

      • Shifting Impressions

        Your question made me go back and look at some of my journal entries….over the last three and half years. Yikes, that was painful.

        1. “I just want to move on”….don’t they all use that one.

        2. When I asked him if the EA was worth it ….”at least I’m still alive”…yup, having an EA saved his life.

        3.”She understood me”….like no one ever had..right!!!

        4. If I brought up isssues in the morning “You have ruined my whole day”

        5. If I brought up issues in the evening “Now I won’t be able to sleep” Cry me a river, right. I couldn’t sleep for weeks after d-day

        6. Refused to go to counseling…The reason, wait for it…”I have counseled couples with infidelity isssues and I know how this stuff goes” What!!!!! He used to do volunteer work with a distress line etc.

        7.If I brought up issues during dinner…..he would push his plate aside, that’s right I ruined his meal

        8. So we decided to set aside one hour a week to talk about issues….I had to fight for that hour every damn time.

        9. During the affair….prior to d-day, I gave him every opportunity to tell me how unhappy he was. I knew something was wrong for that year and half and tried everything in my power to find out what was wrong. So after d-day I asked “why didn’t you tell me you were so unhappy?” He said “I did” I said “When?” He said “I TOLD YOU IN A MILLION DIFFERENT WAYS!!!” My response was “Why didn’t you just tell me in plain English”. Of course he had no answer.

        10. Blew his top when I told him I always believed in Him…..what???

        Yup, they are full of it when in the middle of it

    • TryingHard

      Oh and also when he yelled “go find someone to date!!!!” Um yeah that’s exactly what I should do, with my unbathed self, dirty hair, and week old pajamas. hahaha guys just can’t resist that look on a woman 🙂

    • Puzzled

      Don’t think it’s only husbands who throw out the crazy rationalizations. My wife threw out some complete garbage at me. I would love to have seen the look on my face. The CS has to rationalize and project so they come up with some doozies!

    • TheFirstWife

      In trying to rationalize his A my husband told me about a week before he asked for a D that “a lot of guys would want to date me” b/c I still look young and am in great shape.

      I told him I don’t want to date anyone – I’m married to you.

      Then he told me that he thought a good friend of ours would ask me out immediately. I looked at him and told him “not interested”. This mutual friend would never do that – he has too much respect of both of us to cross the line like that.

      Just goes to show you his warped thought process during the A. Still SMH

    • TryingHard

      Oh hell no Puzzled. I’m not singling out men. I am singling out CHEATERS. And I’d love to hear what your wife said too

    • TryingHard

      LOL SI– OK so I pasted your response and I’m going to type my equivalence next to it. This should be fun

      1. “I just want to move on”….don’t they all use that one.

      TH-“I don’t know how much longer I have to live”

      2. When I asked him if the EA was worth it ….”at least I’m still alive”…yup, having an EA saved his life.

      TH– She’s really nice. You’d like her. She’d do anything for you.

      Me: Ha, yeah right like fucking my husband and stealing my money?????

      3.”She understood me”….like no one ever had..right!!!

      TH–I can’t fire her. We have a big job right now.

      ME: What the fuck, what if I kill her? Then who’s going to fill that job???

      4. If I brought up issues in the morning “You have ruined my whole day”

      TH: I’ve answered that question

      5. If I brought up issues in the evening “Now I won’t be able to sleep” Cry me a river, right. I couldn’t sleep for weeks after d-day

      TH: Please see #4

      6. Refused to go to counseling…The reason, wait for it…”I have counseled couples with infidelity isssues and I know how this stuff goes” What!!!!! He used to do volunteer work with a distress line etc.

      TH: There’s nothing wrong with me I am not going to counseling. OK I will go to counseling to facilitate a divorce (not actually said but implied motive)

      7.If I brought up issues during dinner…..he would push his plate aside, that’s right I ruined his meal

      TH: Please refer to #4

      8. So we decided to set aside one hour a week to talk about issues….I had to fight for that hour every damn time.

      TH: Please see #4

      9. During the affair….prior to d-day, I gave him every opportunity to tell me how unhappy he was. I knew something was wrong for that year and half and tried everything in my power to find out what was wrong. So after d-day I asked “why didn’t you tell me you were so unhappy?” He said “I did” I said “When?” He said “I TOLD YOU IN A MILLION DIFFERENT WAYS!!!” My response was “Why didn’t you just tell me in plain English”. Of course he had no answer.

      TH: 9 months prior to DDay I screamed I wanted a divorce he was making me miserable. When asked why he didn’t take me up on it at the time because he was deep into the affair at that time, he said “he never wanted to divorce me” O.M.G someone kill me!!!!

      10. Blew his top when I told him I always believed in Him…..what?

      TH: When I told him I loved him. He said “why I’m a really terrible person. What is wrong with you??”

      OK that was fun.

      • Satori


        Here are a couple of classics I heard:

        In relation to any question (I mean any whatsoever) my H says “I’ll think about it”.
        Ultimate stonewall.

        Or this: when I say “I deserve better”. H replies: “You do. You will find someone else”.
        I’m like: “the whole point of being married is so you DON’T HAVE TO FIND SOMEONE ELSE!!!”

        Or, my personal fave: “You’re too smart for me, I can’t fight you”
        Um, yeah well if you didn’t want a fight then you should have thought about that before you decided to sleep someone else and then dump me pretending to me that it’s all my fault that you did.

        The All Time Classic aka The All Purpose Faux Confessional Cheaters Hall Pass:
        “I love you but I’m not in love with you” which, translated technically means

        “I love you but I am fucking someone else and I’d like to continue doing so, so you need to take the hint that you are officially surplus to requirements — and let me do what I want without imposing consequences because I said I love you.”

        And finally: “We can still be friends”.
        Pretty sure he was drunk when he said this one.

        • Shifting Impressions

          And on and on it goes….with the stupidity, Satori. Do they really think we buy the crazy things they say.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Yup…best laugh of the day, TryingHard!!!

    • TheFirstWife


      He is running true to the Cheaters Manual.

      It’s your fault he had an A. Check!

      ILYBNILWY . Check!

      Pity for himself. Check!

      Stonewall and no response. Check!


      Too controlling or domineering. Check!

      Delusional attitude. Check!!

      They are all there – right from the script in the manual. I bet almost every BS has heard this.

      Now is the anger stage b/c he cannot control the situation and he is not getting what he wants. This is what I call the “put on the bitch boot” stage.

      I played hardball at this stage. Post nup signed. Told my family. Told him to leave. Didn’t care about a D despite having kids. Didn’t care what happened to him. We were finished.

      Having worked for a D attorney for 6 years taught me all I need to know about the process. I was fully prepared and he had no idea. But I was going to make sure I hit him in the wallet – at least give him some pain. And not having me to rely on for all his stuff / ride to the train, errands, pay the bills, groceries, gift shopping, kids activities – now are all on him.

      And not seeing his kids every day b/c he had to live away from us due to his cheating would have been the worst of it. But his own doing.

      So be prepared for the CS meltdown. They all have them. It’s just sometimes too late to turn back. The damage is done.

      Good luck to you but know you are in the driver’s seat. He is just furious b/c you are messing up his plan. He doesn’t like losing and he knows he lost you.

      • Satori


        Right you are! Again! LOL I loved TryingHard’s additions to ShiftingImp’s list.
        To misquote Shakespeare: what a tangled web they weave when they decide to deceive.

        In a way I am glad that he is checking every box as you listed. It makes him more predictable and I can only compare that to the 2 weeks when I didn’t know after he left on no notice and it was such agony trying to process why he was behaving in the apparently random way he was.

        Which I now know isn’t random, isn’t unique, isn’t special. It’s CS101.

        It is a relief in a way.

        Can you believe when I first heard the ILYBINILWY line, It was so out of left field I had to google it!!! LOL. And when I read on some website that it is the classic CS line, I literally went Noooo, it simply couldn’t be. I dismissed it from my mind. What a massive mistake.

        What I didn’t write in my recap of the casual meeting that went sideways (above) was after H got in the car (and I would describe it as a meltdown as per your checklist) he said something that I couldn’t quite catch because the window was up but the word “funeral” was in it and I sharply said “what did you say?!” I asked him 3 times to repeat it, kind of freaked out, but he wouldn’t say it again. So I tried to get him to calm down but later on it occurred to me he may have made a threat about his own funeral.

        I would regard that as a big concern, and I’m not sure if it is emotional blackmail or appropriating my own breakdown since he left me (I was in a bad way for a few days there) but I’ve been deeply concerned. Wondering if I should inform a family member or is that a stunt he is pulling to guilt me? It came after I indicated one of the D outcomes and he stormed out. My brother said it is an attention getting stunt to deflect from the damage he has done. It is possible I guess but how to know what is really going on with him?

        So in your experience, do you assess I haven’t yet seen the real meltdown? I am scared as to what that would look like, what should I expect and how do I act when I have to deal with him?

        Also, he doesn’t seem to care that he lost me at all. I’ve struggled with how little he cares. Or do you think he is upset to lose me?

        I am feeling more empowered but I’m worried if he gets nastier or loses financially it will de-volve.

        I know he doesn’t want the financial pain — just even mentioning the tiniest aspect of the “price of freedom” (for him) sent him into the tail spin.

        I’m ready to go, I’ve done all my sums. I’m the only one with access to all accounts.
        I do it all. I have Xero software etc etc.

        So when you did the post nup, is that when your H came to his senses? Or is my situation too far gone so he will keep going do you think?

        Big questions I know…

        • TheFirstWife

          Satori. First off your brother is right. Any funeral mention by him is just words. He is not showing remorse or concern about anyone but himself. If OW is still in the picture then he is clearly thinking of his financial consequences mostly.

          He may not be showing you anything b/c he is angry you ruined his game plan. And spoiled brats will play the martyr as often as they can – or any other card they have up their sleeve.

          I too felt sorry for my H b/c I thought his A was over but he was still struggling with us. I was being supportive during the entire A. But when I found out he had ended it hours earlier.

          But the post nup came about 30 days after DDay2 when I was still very angry. But in that time he sold his car (OW was in it and it had to go), he was trying to make amends and was very sorry and willing to do anything (except counseling).

          Things changed DDay2 (for me). I was done being nice.

          Things changed for him just before DDay2. But he would have taken it to the grave. That much I am sure.

          You know your H better than anyone. But from a sky-high view he is digging his own hole. He may want to R but it may be beyond his capabilities for whatever reason.

          He may “hate” you now. But he may change and decide to come back and beg forgiveness. That is something you need to be prepared for. Lawyer or no lawyer, too many cheaters come crawling back or swear up and down they want the M while the A stops and then resumes OR the A never stops at all.

          You can stay separated during an attempt to reconcile but focus on his actions at all times. Words can be great except they need to be supported by actions.

          Just trying to make you aware of the next chapter. This one seems to be going according to the Cheaters Manual unfortunately. I think you have given him many many opportunities to rebound from his mistake.

          Maybe he is just stubborn and doesn’t want to admit he was wrong. I have seen it happen and then watched every relationship after that implode. My friend’s cheating W demanded D. Then realized her mistake. All relationships after that were horrible and abusive – her mistake!!

    • Satori

      Thank you TheFirstWife.

      So from what you say, there will be another meltdown to come. Not looking forward to it.
      And then possible about-face / asking for forgiveness. Hmmm. That could be tricky.

      He claims to have ended it with OW, but it may be only temporary while he “deals with me” or he may feel that since I outed her to my in-laws and a few friends he cannot now insert her into the picture. And she is a long way away and it might all be seeming too hard now.
      No way to know for sure. My feeling is if it was totally not an option he wouldn’t be pushing so hard to end our M and nor would he refusing R if she wasn’t in the picture (even in his mind).

      He says our M is finished and he used the D word himself in the casual meeting but there is no way to know for sure where his head is at in any way.

      I agree with you he most likely feels he has now gone too far and is stubbornly refusing to R for no real reason than as you say the “hole” he has dug himself. That would account for the “I would but I can’t” statement he confusingly gave me re: trying again in the M.

      And he is still blaming me for everything. I can’t believe how he is saying anything negative to me (about myself) at all — you would think from his attitude towards me that I was the one that cheated and left. But I’m gathering that’s the typical CS blame game.

      No remorse, only self pity. Actions? Tonight he didn’t take my call.

      I’m starting to harden my resolve as I have given him plenty of opportunity to make amends.
      My war chest (lawyer-wise) is strong. He knows it. I am all over it. That’s why he threatened to quit the business. To undermine me financially. Snake move, but then that is to be expected from a snake.

      One family member now calls my H “The Fifth Column”. This family member is ex-military and has some insightful and hilarious ways of describing my H’s tactics which according to them are straight out of The Art of War. Which we would all call CS Manual. (Other nicknames my H has accrued include: The Insurgent and/or The Terrorist. LOL.)

      Thanks again TFW for your clear perspective. So helpful.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Satori
      First off I am happy to hear your brother is looking after you and making plans for a trip for you. Getting away will do wonders for your head. But you will be sad your h isn’t with you 🙁 Just giving you an emotional heads up.

      When my h got the notice from my lawyer how I’d set the process in motion he had moved to his sisters place six doors down from me if you remember reading in my last post.

      Now this is about three weeks post DDay when that lovely ILYBINILWY comment and professing he thought he was in love with the OW, left me, picked her up that night, spent the weekend at a casino (she is/was addicted to gambling amongst other things and he freaking HATES gambling, you tell me right?), moved in with her for a week, kept her employed etc etc etc. Now you would think he’d be thrilled to know he was going to be rid of me. Well not so much

      So my sister in law comes over that night and is just sobbing how he’s crying on her sofa how he has made the biggest mistake of his life, his life is over and he just wants to die. Wants to kill himself. Hun?? WWWhhhaat??? Wait I thought he didn’t like me anymore? Why does he want to kill himself when he can finally have an out in the open relationship with Schmoopie, akd The Queen of Sheeba?

      Because he didn’t. You see affairs only work and are worth it when it’s a secret. It gives the affair power. But like the a vampire affairs can’t stand the light of day. The masks slip and reality sets in. You see the affair partner for who they really are, you see what you are going to lose, you measure if it’s really worth it. And this shit is painful for the cheater.

      So sure they say ‘..they love you..’ in a backhanded sort of compliment way because who hates someone who says they love them? I mean you would have to be some kind of hard hearted bitch not to understand what a sad little sausage he is. He couldn’t help it, he loved you but then he accidentally fell in love with someone else. And then there is the prize line that literally deserves them having their faces torn off, are you ready, I DIDN’T MEAN TO HURT YOU. O.M.G their intention, good or otherwise, is NOT the point. They did hurt us and it never happens, or seldom, once. They make that choice over and over and over. It is premeditated and planned over and over again.

      So please when he says this, really don’t rip his face off. You will want to, but don’t. You probably won’t look good in an orange jumpsuit either. But tell him “your intention is not the problem here. You did hurt me and you knew it would hurt me and you chose to do it anyway. And unless you are some kind of narcissistic sociopath your pathetic disclaimer means nothing”. Does he want to fix this or throw out cliches?? What is it grandpa said, fish or cut bait?

      I’m not trying to give you false hope but I really don’t feel this is over for him. He’s overwhelmed, he’s scared (duh, right), he may even be ambivalent about the marriage but he’s def thinking about it. My husband swears he wishes I would have caught him sooner. He swears he was so scared to get out of the affair that if I were to find out I’d have kicked him to the curb. He admitted he had NO idea I would fight for our marriage and him the way I did. He’s actually thanked me for “saving his life” which is kinda creep in a way…. whatever. I did kick ass!

      So how about go away for the weekend. Be reallllllly good to Satori. Eat what you want, drink what you want, go ahead and laugh with your family and cry too but take care of YOU. Seriously NC like I hope he doesn’t know you are going kind of NC.

      Then when you get back in a few days maybe reach out to him. Keep it light and maybe even a phone call that goes as such “…hey I was just thinking about you. I know we are in a bad place right now but I have to tell you something reallly, really funny that I know you will think it’s funny too (because sharing history is always a good thing. It reminds them they love you) and well I just had to call and tell you…”

      OK so maybe not those exact words but do you know what I am saying? Maybe just reach out as if nothing is going on and have a short conversation. Just a conversation to remind him what you two have and who you are. Def NOT who the OW is telling him who you are and trust me she is painting you the greedy cold frigid wife!!! (I hate her btw)

      Satori, he’s not going to kill himself. He’s like the little fat third grader doing anything to get attention. You’ve heard of fight or flight when things get tough? There’s figthers (me, you) then there’s flighters (cheaters) Or trying to fly away because he really doesn’t know what to do and I will bet you One Million Dollars this guy is scared of emotions too!! LOL ask me how I know…..

      • Satori

        Lovely TryingHard, Such a wise “helicopter view”!

        Your H seems to have cracked quite early (3 weeks) dafter DDay. Mine seems to be digging a hole to China!
        Your H also seems to have recognised how big his mistake was. My H is yet to truly admit one at all, he is still projecting insane amounts of bullshit onto me.
        My H is full of self pity as we have all noted here, but it’s funny ( just as you were saying as per the Queen of Sheba etc) they should be happy now right?

        Not sure I need to hear “I didn’t mean to hurt you” as Sandra Bullock said in The Blindside (appropriate title) “Orange is not in my color wheel”.

        I was thinking the exact same thing you said too: why is my H so miserable, unhappy and under pressure etc? He is living in his own place, can whatsapp or Skype OW to his heart’s content. Doesn’t have me “controlling” him or “dominating” him. No accountability. H can now see his “friends” all he wants. He can go do his sport and never even needs to let me when he will be back. H finally has his ideal life! Everything should be peachy!
        H should be rocking in full of confidence and swagger now that he has a new woman and new life etc. Why then, such a sad sausage? Unless of course the real love of his life is money and that is about to leave bigtime!

        I now believe he can’t come back to me (“I would but I can’t”) because then he has to wear the label of Cheater. It would confirm his guilt and lack of integrity. Therefore he won’t come back. Straight narc pride. Whereas if he can deflect it all onto why I’m such a terrible person then he can justify the A and avoid the Cheater label and thus the harsher judgment of those whose opinion really matters: Mommy and Daddy. Never mind your wife’s opinion of you!! Still a child.

        I decided NONE of his misery has anything to do with me. This is him fully facing the mirror of his own creation, his disaster and his condition and who he really is: a lying coward. (And yes, he is terrified of emotions: check.)

        Being the architect of my own happiness is what really messed with his plans since he cared not one bit what happened to me in the wake of his leaving. He thought he had the power, but then I magically found mine, found out the truth and — TA-DA!! — Grand Plans spoiled and power reclaimed. Sad sausage reappears each time I’m in (as TheFirstWife concluded) the driver’s seat.

        So, my spiritual coach said I’m “too strong” for H (fighter vs flighter — check!) but that my H is so full of fear of me right now that he is unable to process anything and can’t hear me regardless of my kindness towards him as I have been nice, supportive and willing to forgive (as TheFirstWife said she was too). Which essentially means I can’t say or do anything right, me existing is the problem. Great.

        [As an aside: calling a woman “too strong” is rarely a compliment, is really a label and always makes me bristle. It’s code for bitch. Likewise “dominating” and “controlling” usually said by weaker individuals and often rather misogynistic ones. Also code. Hmmm.]

        Trying Hard, I’m going to take your advice and plan a few days at a retreat in a week’s time. I think it will help. Going to breathe some clean mountain air and switch off all my devices and do nothing towards solving anything. I will need to work on a nice friendly phone call context on my return as my H is so avoidant I may not get the chance to say anything, but NC might shift the energy.

        Still got a bit of a twitchy finger in terms of releasing the legal hounds. Once I do, it will be madness.

        • TryingHard

          Satori. You are so getting this.

          No need to rush the. Legal stuff. You have time and he is to scared to do it first. Let him squirm. You will know when.

          I hope he finds his balls soon before it’s too late. It may already be too late. I don’t blame you. No one would. Sometimes we just have to move on. Just don’t take what he says literally right now. He’s literally not in his right mind. But it is he that has to find it.

          And no nothing about this is your fault. NOTHING. I heard that I was too strong too and yes it is code for bitch. Well eff that!!! I’ll wear bitch proudly compared to cheater.

          • Satori

            Hi TryingHard,
            It may be he never finds them. And here is one reason for that, speaking about too little too late: I had a phone call from my MIL today, the first call since I saw her 2 days after my H left the house. I have heard nothing from her for 6 weeks and she has known of his A for the same amount of time I have: 4 weeks. (I made my DDay her DDay too by texting her the update of the nefariousness her golden child was up to). She replied with “Thanks for the info”.
            Not even kidding!!

            She came over today (with a bottle of champagne) to let me know she wants to be “friends” that she loves me and misses me. (Insert eye roll here). At least the champagne was French.

            Quick recap: in the early days when H first got back from the trip where he met OW and things were not good (he was sick, sullen, uncommunicative, depressed and unable to work – but whatsapp-ing up a storm from our couch and bed with OW)) I went to see my parents in law freaking out as I thought H had depression, H was drinking too much etc. was worried about his mental health. Thought I should let them know he was unwell. Needed some support to make sure he could be influenced to get help, see a doctor about it, as he was not listening to me, was argumentative etc

            A couple of days later MIL asked my H apparently (unbeknownst to me) if he was having an A. Supposedly he told her he wasn’t. She is very against infidelity — she actually told me that — yet she never mentioned to me that’s what she had even asked him.

            Put it this way, a third party being in the mix was nowhere in my mind.
            Yet somehow it was in hers. But she never said anything about it to me. And I was there pouring my heart out to her hysterically crying worried about what was going on for my then supposedly sick and clearly fucked up H (we know why now).

            So when she came to see me today, what floored me was this:
            She was “upset” that my H had lied to HER. She didn’t say she was outraged for what he had done to ME. Smh. She also said that he now seems “really good”.

            Oh so he is happy now is he? Not a sad sausage to her, just to me!!

            She seemed to think there would be no R. But when I asked her how she knew that she couldn’t tell me why. She even claimed they hadn’t spoken about it with my H even though he is now having dinner over there all the time. Disingenuous at best.

            I played dumb and said I was just “sitting still” honouring my marriage vows, trying to cope with a lot of cruel treatment but that there was a small window of forgiveness but that it involved massive action by H. A pathway existed to R but he had to put in huge actions to show true remorse and it had to happen very soon but that at some point I’d have to protect myself too. Said nothing about legal. Was vague, talked about my feelings rather than details. Gave no indication of where my head is really at.

            Her visit was either (a) impression management re reputational damage
            and/ or (b) she is trying to look supportive to me to try and get info from me.
            I think she knew about his A. That’s why she wasn’t being supportive of me early on. I couldn’t work it out at the time, but now it makes sense. He couldn’t lie to his Mommy. But she wasn’t going to tell me anything. She said (at the time when he first left our home) that I should be “a realist” that if he had been as bad as I said he was, that she would leave. This from a woman who has been married for 50 plus years herself. I didn’t understand why I should walk away after 15 years with no effort which seemed to be her instruction to me. This was pre-DDay.

            And her coming over today was covered in suspect motives, to cover up for her duplicitousness, and create the false narrative that she was in the dark too. Mostly she came over to find out where I’m up to, because I think she knows it’s hammer time. And she is trying to soften me up to not put said hammer down on her perfect son.

            There is a special place in hell for women who sell out other women like that.


            • TheFirstWife


              The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This apple didn’t even have to fall. Now you know why he behaves the way he does. It appears he has the perfect teacher – his mother.

              And I thought I had the MIL from hell.

              Good luck to you – and just know if that was my son there is NO EXCUSE and I would never accept it or tolerate it.

            • Shifting Impressions

              That was smart of you….not giving her information. Very smart, to play dumb.

            • Satori

              Thanks theFirstWife & ShiftingImpressions.

              It left me stunned. Just no words.

              In the quiet hours when all I have are memories and questions, it is hard to see the rear view that brought me to the present let alone what a future might be through the fog.

              Having burned up my keypad and at the risk of overstaying my welcome here, I’m going to give you all a rest now.

              You (TH, TFW, SI) have all been amazing in your support.

              A thousand thanks,

              Satori x

              Within the seed of wisdom did I sow
              And with my own hand laboured it to grow
              And this was all the harvest that I reaped
              I came like water and like wind I go

              ~ Omar Khayyam

            • Shifting Impressions

              No worries about wearing out your welcome… the quiet hours is exactly when one needs a place to come to. Listening to each other…..receiving and giving support is what helps us get through and a come a little closer to finding our own healing and peace.

              We are here for you.

            • Satori

              Thanks so much Shifting Impressions.
              The generosity of everyone here is humbling and has definitely created breakthroughs for me.

              I hope we all get some peace, and of course, healing.

            • TryingHard

              Hi Satori
              Well let me interject a perspective here from a MIL who has experience in both her son being cheated on and another son being the cheater

              As I said before, blood is thicker than water particularly between moms and sons. As it is I suspect between fathers and daughters. I dint know what your relationship was/is with her. Regardless what it was she’s your MIL and probably not a friend who’s looking out for your best interests. Her alliance is with her son at the end of the day

              Her words of hindsight when she said “I had a feeling it was cheating” came most probably from her personal experience of maybe being cheated on or at the very least knowing people whose spouses have had affairs and acted the way your h is acting. Of course she didn’t bring it up in your prior conversation. I’m hoping that’s the last thing she wanted to think about her son that he was having an affair and the havoc he was wreaking upon his life. I also can’t believe she actually knew he was having an affair. Most men don’t announce that shit to their mothers

              Also take into consideration had she suggested that and he wasn’t having an affair? thst could have been worse for you and her in her eyes. If you didn’t “know” how could she have known for sure. To suggest an affair takes a lot particularly from ones mother.

              I think when she sent you that short messsge she just didn’t know what to say. Right or wrong people think acting like Switzerland is the way to go with this information. Lol ask me how I know ????

              I do think her visit with champagne was part fishing expedition on her sons behalf. I’m certain he was crying to her that you intended to wreck him financially. Which probably scares the shit out of her because his stupid little tricks are probably going to cost her something financially and fuck now he might end up on her payroll again in some way. Lol again ask me how I know ????

              Do not talk about legal stuff to anyone. Simply communicate that you and your atty is making certain you are doing everything to protect your best interests financially and then smile like the cat that ate the canary!! So you did the right thing not taking her bait. You can talk about R with her but not D with her.

              I hope you also expressed that R is still on the table but you can’t do it by yourself and that he is being quite uncooperative at the moment.

              I’m feeling pretty certain he has gone and talked to her and that convo is what drove her to come talk to you. Hopefully she told him he has got to try and somehow at least try to fix the mess HE has created. I highly doubt she is condoning his cheating but that’s just my opinion.

              In fact I’m thinking you are smart enough to figure out a way to use your MIL to your benefit. I suggest do not cut off communications with her. I’m suggesting you use her motherly concern and love for her son to wake his ass up before it’s too late. She indeed could turn out to be YOUR unwitting ally if you play your cards right. Just sayin….

            • Satori

              Yes lovely TryingHard. You DO speak truth. All I said to MIL was R is on the table but the window is closing fast. Maybe she will be an ally, or maybe not.
              But I’m a bit for what TFW added — it wasn’t like she told me she was extremely disappointed with him but in fairness she may well have said it to him.

              I emphasized that forgiveness is the only way forward regardless but I also said that in practical terms of the M clearly it can’t be effective without the cooperation by H. (Exactly as you said) Not so far though. Who knows what the future holds.

              All I can do is be true to my feelings now while self protecting at the same time…

              And today received the nicest loving-est text from my H I have had in 6 weeks. So TH, your crystal ball has some klout!

              Now waiting for the actions to match.

            • TryingHard

              Ok that’s good. Baby steps. 20 steps forward 5 steps back. The point is keep going forward.

              I know and I hear you you wanted to hear she was pissed and didn’t get it from her. When my DIL called me to tell me what she’d found in the computer I was pissed and I let her know I was pissed at him and I let him know I was pissed at him. WTF was he thinking??? He saw the devastation his fathers cheating did. I supported her. But guess what she turned my support against me. I should have stayed neutral sympathetic to her and stopped there. This shit is tricky for bystanders. I don’t like Switzerland but I should have just listened and offered her support. Not disgust at my sons bad behavior. Because guess what, they are reconciling and now I have to do cleanup on our relationships and I’m too damn old for this crap!!

              Well leave the door open but dont open it all the way. I hope you responded with kindness to his text. Don’t give away the farm as people say in the Midwest where I live. This is good news

            • Satori

              Thanks TryingHard.

              I understand it must be very hard when a son does this sort of stuff. Its confronting, no doubt. So maybe she thought if there was a chance of R between us, she better have a stake in the game. So I left things very neutral with MIL. She would have left kind of confused I think.
              No anger, lots of love. What can you do with that?

              With my H and his nice text, the door was also left open. Responded more briefly but in kind. His text was beautiful but it’s hard not to be suspicious of motive. Especially when the actions are not yet there. Trust is a major issue for me. I just don’t trust anyone atm.

              And just fyi, I didn’t give away the farm. I fortified that shit.

            • TheFirstWife

              S. It’s encouraging your H made a move towards you.

              However you are also correct that his actions need to match his words.

              Is it possible the MIL told him something like you can R – it is still an option and that is why your H sent the nice texr?

              Please be careful here b/c I was in this limbo state with my H. He kept saying he wanted the M but his actions often would be contradictory.

              I just don’t want you to be blind-sided again (I know you won’t be).

              Glad to see he MAY be coming around but that is no guarantee of success unless he is willing to work hard. My H refused any counseling but did everything else.

              Last year (3years after DDay) he finally went to counseling. So we have R but it is a long hard road at times. There were so many times I wanted to bail b/c if a number of reasons (but not cheating or lying) – but we hung in there.

              R is a commitment. A big one. I hope he has it in him.

            • Satori

              Hi TheFirstWife,

              Thanks for your input. 3 years seems like a long time if I was to put myself into that kind of trajectory, it feels uncertain. I am leaning towards my MIL as emissary (or as TryingHard’ called it a fishing expedition) in search of hard info and to take the temperature on what the general vibe was towards her son.
              It could also be that she wanted to subtly let me know that there would be no R ( maybe acting on instructions from my H) as MIL baulked when I queried how she knew that, since she said she had not had any conversations with her son about the situation.

              Our family is united behind me. However she May also have been wthere to assess whether the forces were lining up against her son in a negative way. My family was around at the time of her visit, so basically she got a warm if measured reception by other family members.

              Not sure what your experience was in terms of that TFW?

              You are right, it IS a limbo state. One nice text is not nearly enough to get out of it. But it’s the closest to my “old H” I have had in this whole time. Regardless, I’m not really match fit to be, as you say, blindsided again. I’m treading super warily.

              I just don’t get the feeling that my H is interested in, let alone ready for, R. Hard work? He won’t even do IC let alone MC. I just don’t think he is going to come around. He’s had a taste of freedom (which is a false sense of freedom more accurately) however R is probably going to seem like a backwards move to him in his current misguided quest for some half-baked idea of self actualisation.

              H will not see it this way, since he is not trying to see anything from other than the angle of his own selfish needs and wants. He got a taste of what I’m thinking if D is in play the other night and he didn’t like it at all and he stormed off.
              So, by now it should be sinking in that if he doesn’t R with me then his real problems are about to start. The current live issue that I believe is in play is that he will not like the price of freedom — the real financial cost and consequences of A and then D — and that is where we are stuck.

              TryingHard’s Grandpa called it “fish or cut bait”

              It’s fair to say we are at that point.

            • TryingHard

              I know you want this to happen on a faster trajectory. It won’t. All of us here have heard the same thing from our confused cheaters. No to IC, no to MC, they’ve done too much damage, ILYBINILWY, all of it. And that last statement is just plain and utter bullshit that can be parsed later.

              I see a crack in his resolve to d with his text. This is exactly how my R started. Not a text but a phone call. My h was loathe to put anything in writing for many reasons. And I don’t believe your MILs mission was to tell you there would be no R. I’m sure her son explained he was scared to or wasn’t sure he wanted to. I really believe she was sussing out the financial/legal stuff. Or even seeing if you were sincere about R. She even may or may not have done it at your h request. The fact he sent the nice text after her visit leads me to believe she encouraged him to R.

              He’s in the fence, he’s ambivalent about R. There’s lots here about ambivalence. Cheaters do it but so do BS. It’s natural. Who the hell wants to be anyone’s second choice? And yes he’s tasted freedom and my guess is he doesn’t like it much. They seldom do.

              If you do think R is in the table then reach out again to meet. Yep sorry you’re going to have to make the effort because well he’s a frightened little forest creature now. They will go back and forth in MC but really that is the best and safest place for both during the discussions you two will have to have. My guess is he will go.

              Lol my MIL was thrilled at my h and my impending divorce. She was worried that he should make sure to get that stupid gold bracelet she’d given to him for his birthday 14 years ago which he never wore!!!! My SIL with whom he lived was my strongest ally.

              Play your cards right no matter what you decide for yourself.

    • TryingHard

      Oh SI I’m sorry I made you feel bad. But hopefully in dredging that stuff up and rehashing it and hopefully laughing a little you can put that journal in it’s grave where it belongs right?

      • Shifting Impressions

        No worries TryingHard
        It was actually good to read through and see how far we have come. And yes the fact that we can laugh about it…..well, that’s just the best.

        The journal doesn’t get looked at or written in very often anymore, but it’s a valuable reminder and documents the process.

    • Satori

      Thank you TryingHard.

      I’m still so early on this learning curve. Confused CS is exactly right. Ambivalence hmmm.
      I feel ambivalent actually. Everything you say he has said to me!! I can’t even…

      Tonight there was a big meeting between us where the full consequences of D were laid bare.
      It was not pretty. H stormed out twice, but I managed to pull him back with “we have to do this, we have to talk about this and try and get on the same page.”

      He called me 4 times (I was on another call that came in about work) until I finally picked up.
      H profusely apologized for “leaving like that” as he “freaked out” and it was “such a shock”.

      Just lucky H has never been cheated on. He may not have recovered by that standard. LOL.

      Meanwhile I thought I was going into adrenaline overload.
      I had a full on panic attack during this but I tried to hold it together.

      So I said “If you don’t want to work on things (R) there are no options that are good, really.”

      H now wants to think about everything.

      May be a breakthrough, but I’m not sure where his head will lead him next.
      I’m not even feeling like a second choice. More like last.

      I offered MC, gave a few examples of how good it could be to have a neutral person help us navigate some of these tricky areas. This time he didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no.

      MIL texted him in the middle of our meeting — she didn’t tell him she had seen me (!!!) — but she was asking him to dinner,

      I feel like the OW is my MIL now. So crazy! I decided to circumvent MIL and asked H to have dinner with me instead.

      H is cancelling MIL now so maybe there is a small opening….

      TryingHard, once again your crystal ball is working a treat!!

    • TryingHard


      Ok you are doing great!! I hear you about the anxiety. I have my black belt in anxiety. Breathe. Keep breathing and KNOW you got this. Regardless, YOU GOT THIS.

      So now I really think MIL is simply looking out for her son. I think she knows how bad this could all end up for him and probably her too. This crap doesn’t just affect the two people in a marriage.

      Good you’re going out. Don’t talk too much about divorce. Tell him you just don’t want to talk about it and you are still weighing your options with regards to R or D. Try to bring a little levity to the date. Try to bring a couple of “..remember when..” to the date. This was huge for me.

      If you two can laugh it gives both of you hope that your relationship isn’t dead. And laughing is always good for any relationship IMO. Try and get him to feel comfortable even talking to you, and NOT running away. And I have a feeling that this is a very big urge he has to stuff down because well, he’s a big chicken right now!!! So don’t take his running away personally, but have cab money just in case 🙂

      It’s really important that you put yourself in the driver’s seat for YOUR best interests. He’s going to be all over the place. You don’t have to be. Be ready, have an agenda and try to stick to it. And again DO NOT TALK ABOUT SPLITTING STUFF AMICABLY WITH HIM. Be mysterious about that. He thinks he really knows you. Be mysterious. Men like mysterious.

      I can’t wait to hear what happens after your meeting. Stay strong, stay positive and look good for this. He can just eat his heart out!!

    • Satori

      Omg TryingHard. How are the heart palpitations? 4:20am and it’s like I just ran 100m against Usain Bolt. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad nickname for H. I mean he is representing for the Runaway H Olympics.

      You’re so onto it re the laughter. At one point in the middle of all these crazy phone calls (after the second storm out, (which is technically the fourth storm out if we include the one when he first left), H was being unreasonable / impossible, I got a bit testy, well ok very testy, and I just snapped at him, “Listen you brat, this is what happens when your dick trips over itself and falls into a dark place!!” I mean it was such an un-filtered moment by me, it sort of came out before I’d thought it through but then H cracked up laughing and so did I. I was doubled over in the kitchen laughing / crying.

      And that was right in the middle of the very worst, when it was H literally screaming down the phone like Veruca Salt (the greedy child in Willy Wonka!): “I want X and I want Y too and I’m having that etc!!!” Soooo nuts.

      It may not translate as amusingly here in the re-telling, but in the context of it all, there was that hilarious / hysterical moment. We tend to laugh at the same things. And I guess that’s why we are able to drive each other up the wall in the same way.

      Anyway, I’m still trying to process everything. But every point you made is very valid.

      I just thought a casual dinner at our local Thai might bring some normalcy back into the picture. H wanted to get together again in another meeting to talk more about all the nitty gritty.

      Having brought things to a head, intuitively it feels like slowing things down again is necessary to catch our breath.

      As you suggest, I will not talk about the R/D situation and just chat about other stuff. Nice, fun things. It would be good to try and relax like we used to before this insanity began. My sense of time is a bit warped at the moment though! It almost seems like another life now.

      My plan is to keep the evening short and sweet. Dinner, one drink only, home alone.

      Will let you know how I go x

    • TryingHard


      Oh gawwwwwd I remember that damn anxiety and heart beating out of my chest in the middle of the night like I was running a race!!! I’d actually be sweating too. That’s when I got my systemic anti anxiety meds. It helped A LOT!

      I wouldn’t try to keep it short. Try to relax a bit and focus on your h and your love for him. And maybe just a tiny compassion, unless of course he totally fucks up then go for the jugular! Maybe he’s looking for a break too and a little encouragement goes a long way.

      Keep up with the laughing part. Really if this stuff weren’t so life disturbingly disruptive it is a freaking farce to be laughed at.

    • Satori

      The roller coaster continues. H attempted to cancel our date at the last minute as he was wrecked from work. I was dressed up and ready to go when the text came in.
      It was discouraging. Somehow I managed to salvage it on the basis we should still go as we both needed to eat.

      This time it was a hungry-angry sad sausage who showed but he had dressed up.
      Still wants to quit the business. Said he had a bad day. Still saying he is “unwell” this time it’s a new thing. Every week he is sick with something else. Honestly I can’t keep up.

      Kept the vibe light. Chit chat small updates about family. Loaded in with a few “remember when” situations that came up naturally, even one arose from the owner of the restaurant who came over to chat. Some laughter. Only negative was when I mentioned I’d seen his sister in law (she is a friend of mine and we see each other a bit) and he got very angry and accused me of turning his family against him. Quickly smoothed it over and said “Nonsense they love us both and my family loves you. Don’t be silly, it’s all good, no one has turned against you.”

      H was: Paranoid. Uneasy. Resentful. Started complaining he was not comfortable in his apartment.

      He claimed to have forgotten to bring his phone. That was a red flag but I can’t prove anything.
      I don’t feel like OW is in the picture and as a strict rule I never mention OW anyway.

      But H insisted on paying for dinner. Distant, no kiss at the end but he came by the house after and took a few more clothes. I thanked him for a lovely night.

      I’m just exhausted.

      • TryingHard


        Ok you did good. Now let him chew on it for a while. It seems things are going to have to sink in for a while. But don’t give it too long.

        Maybe you can let some things sink in too and maybe you will decide you don’t want R.

        What has me concerned is him wanting out of the business as well. This can be a lot more convoluted and trickier for you. Divorce is one thing. Separating from a business agreement is harder and more costly. Is he willing to sign everything over to you or does he want his money and is out? Plus what are the business implications of keeping him involved in the business? Ugh I feel for you. But you need very good advice from an accountant as well as your lawyer.

        I’m sure you are exhausted. But you know what? You get to look at yourself in the mirror and know you are doing everything you can to make things right. I’d give it a couple weeks. Don’t contact him. You’ve done your part. Now he needs to reach out to you. But only if it’s R. Otherwise there’s no conversation to be had. Does that make sense?

      • TheFirstWife

        I don’t know how you have the strength Satori. You are handling this quite well given you are battling on all fronts / business, M and finances.

        Here is a thought and i have noticed this with my son and sibling. They are pretty much one person (I swear).

        It has to be THEIR idea. No joke. If you suggest something – shot down. An hour later they come and present the same thought like it was their own iriginal thought.

        Can this be your H?

        I know thru experience the R and M commitment has to be the CS’s idea or commitment to want it. In your case can it be that your H wants to R but since he has not presented it as an option he cannot get on board.

        And maybe the joint business makes things more complicated.

        But if he leaves the business – no matter what happens to M – he should not be allowed back in except as a paid employee. Never an owner.

        Just my suggestion to save you future issues. If he is out as an owner then he stays out.

        • Satori

          Thank you TheFirstWife! I posted my reply to you below x

    • Satori

      TryingHard you read my mind. Thanks.

      NC is the only way to flush this situation out. The business makes that hard.
      By threatening to quit it really puts the pressure on me.

      Legally he can’t walk away from business, (layer advice) but it is hard to put yourself into two headspaces, professionally and personally, on a daily basis. Especially when both are crisis-linked. I need to have an exit strategy from the business. This of course raises other thorny issues like future income for myself. But I’m so fed up right that I’m almost willing to risk it.

      I’m losing respect for H. The way he is behaving towards me, ignoring important texts about business stuff, the threats to quit, the continuous resentment etc feels abusive.

      I gave myself a personal deadline for a decision of around now but there seems to be no progress or improvement in his attitude. He clearly stated 2 days ago “I don’t want to” re R.
      So yes, it appears there is no conversation to be had. If I can’t get any sign(s) that he’s willing to work on our M, then what’s the point of me being agreeable? It only seems to embolden him to treat me even worse.

      He created a problem today that I sorted out but I broke down crying on the phone. I’m just doing my best. He is a saboteur on all fronts of my life. But the mirror tells me that when I’m in charge or as he puts it “controlling things” we only get peace, growth and prosperity. Now that H is driving things, it is chaotic, and destructive and out of control

      While I’ve always done the right thing, H is contemptuous towards me, filled with resentment, in martyrdom bigtime and I do not think I want to be with someone who is (now) like this. On the deeper level, it throws my world view off: was H always this person but I didn’t see it? And so on. I am also unbearably sad. The grief and loneliness. You know.

      I’m going to the retreat this weekend so that will help clear my head.

      Thanks TryingHard.

      • Puzzled

        Hi Satori,

        As others have stated, so sorry you are going through this. It’s emotionally and physically draining. But you’re in a good spot here. We have all gone through the betrayal and garbage of a cheating spouse.

        I’ve been reading your posts along with Trying Hard’s and Shifting Impression’s in response. They both give good thoughts as I’ve read their posts on other issues on this site. I’ve kind of sat on the sideline waiting to post.

        I can only say that you’re handling things well. The challenge for you is endurance. My wife put me through hell for over a year of non-committal answers, resentment, ignoring me, meanness (I could keep adding things but you get the idea) and gas lighting/refusal to talk about her affair. I guess that I’m just super stubborn and I didn’t want to give in to her behavior. She had never acted like this in the 25 years that I knew her (21 of that being married) so I couldn’t accept that this was the woman she wanted to be.

        I will never excuse her actions towards me. I don’t think she will ever understand how badly it hurt me. I will always hurt from this betrayal. I’m not sure how long you been with your husband or if kids are involved. The point that I’m trying to make is pretty simple. Do you want your marriage? That’s what we all battle with and have to decide upon. The decision that I made worked for me but it wasn’t the approach that most probably have taken. I chose compassion when I was treated with contempt. I chose to act with love when I was treated with hate. I chose to stand by my marriage vows and honor, respect, and love my wife unconditionally. My reasoning was simply for my kids. My oldest children were college and high school aged. They knew that their mother had done something but never knew exactly. But they knew. I had to show them how to love even when you are getting nothing in return. They had to see how to act with dignity and honor when you are being treated horribly by the person who should treat you the best. I don’t want them settling for some guy who won’t love with everything they have. They needed to see me living this way every day. Whether my marriage survived or ended, I wanted to be the husband/dad that I’d always been. I was not going to let my wife’s affair change me.
        Basically it comes down to this: if you want to save your marriage, then do everything in your power to fight for it! It will not be an easy road. There will still be hard nights and tears and pain. There are only two ways this plays out: divorce or reconciliation. But, however it goes, make sure you do it “your way” and in a way that you can look back years from now and say “I did my best for my marriage”. It’s his fault. It’s his betrayal. But, it’s your decision on how you react. Choose your path and trust your decisions. There’s a Robert Frost poem called “The Road Not Taken” that I have always loved. The last two lines are this, “…I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference”.
        Decide on your path and know that your direction will work out for the best.

      • Shifting Impressions

        We are here for you. I can just imagine how deep the sorrow and exhaustion goes. As I read your story it makes me shudder how ugly my own situation could have become if my husband had chosen the path of continuing contact with the OW. He is in business with my brother and brother in law (my sister’s husband). It’s a very successful family business with the operative word being family. These types of things can destroy a business and families along with it. So I can just imagine how difficult things are becoming for you.

        My advice to you is this….you are in crisis, so make no major decisions. Be prepared for the worst case scenario. Protect yourself. Being in business together just makes everything much more complicated. At this point you can only speculate regarding your husband’s motives etc. And yes, people caught in the web of infidelity don’t play fair. This doesn’t mean he will always be this way…..perhaps he will show remorse in the future and have a change of heart. But in the meantime you cannot let him wear you down and destroy everything you have worked for in the process.

        And yes…the sadness can be overwhelming. I found I had to tap into my anger to keep from falling apart, if that makes sense. On the days I let the sadness overtake me, I was a puddle on the floor. Not only is your marriage at stake but your livelihood is as well… have the fight of your life ahead of you. You can stand up for what is rightfully yours and behave with integrity as well…You can do this!!!

        I hope the retreat is helpful to you.

        • TryingHard

          SI. Great advice. Satori I think if you focus on taking care if you and your business h may very well wake up. SI gave good info. Don’t let your h infidelity run everything you e worked so hard for

          • Satori

            Simple and makes perfect sense. Thanks TryingHard.

            Sometimes I lose track of these two major things while I let all the detail of the situation distract me and then from here I flip into worrying about the future so this pushes me into overwhelm.

            But I’m going to make that my daily mantra! So good.

    • Satori

      Thank you Puzzled for tuning in. I was feeling that I might be putting too much pressure on the gorgeous TryingHard, ShiftingImpressions and TheFirstWife, all of whom have being helping me enormously on here. Your journey seems to have followed a similar trajectory in the abuse stakes. I’m not sure what to do. Also my H has left our home (elements of either Exit A or MLC A or Runaway H) so it’s got the detaching flight thing happening as well. Seems like your W stayed in your home? And was then resentful and mean etc while you worked on the M. Mine is all of that at a distance while we are running our business. I have such high anxiety that the emotional abuse is nearly pushing me over the edge.

      To answer your questions we have been married for 15 years. No kids. So for you the decision for you children and their wellbeing makes complete sense. I can’t imagine going through this with kids. It would add dimensions of pain. I totally respect your approach. My thing was to be dignified and to not “lose it” with my H, tbh I had no idea that once exposed in the A he would refuse to work on our M. I was taken aback 100%.

      I naively thought that everyone would want to work on their M. But I also did not know about much in the CS world. Well as you can see I’m getting up to speed now.

      The lack of remorse is tough to process. I’m thinking H will never “get it” in terms of the impact. Does your W ever kind of have any empathy moments? I’ve been shocked at how little empathy my H has for me. It’s one of the biggest question marks I have on him now as a person.

      To lose your spouse, your social life as a couple, your job (me eventually), property etc. not to mention your dreams is a kind of death of identity that I’m only just starting to understand.

      I like the Robert Frost line… I’m still here trying to do the right thing. I’m wavering for how long I stick at it, as I’m worried about recovery and how deep down the well I could go if I don’t set some sort of a clear path soon.

      Thank you for your wise words. I’m going to try to feel my way into the right direction.

    • Satori

      Hi ShiftingImpressions. Thank you for your take on the family business aspect.
      The whole point of starting it was to maximise our family skill set, where we work to our strengths and complement each other. It has been very good for a whole lot of reasons.
      Ever since he had this A, though H is trying to walk away, sabotage it, it seems like he wants a totally new life. What I haven’t revealed before is that OW works in the same industry with a particular qualification that could be very useful and so was particularly motivated to unseat me as half owner. So it’s naked ambition literally and metaphorically. It was clearly a major factor.
      I’m not giving in without a major trade. And chickens are coming home to roost ie consequences are beginning to sink in.

      I do not understand H’s current motivations but TryingHard & TheFirstWife assure me he is textbook CS. I don’t get why he wouldn’t at least try to see if we could work things out.

      If I could walk you through the specifics of how our life works in H’s favor the way it is set up, your jaw would be on the floor. Certainly from an outsider’s perspective, H is doing a scorched earth on a pretty awesome situation where he has had an amazing amount of freedom and a material comfort level that most would be beyond grateful for.

      In terms of self protection, I’m firstly removing myself for a few days on the retreat.
      Secondly I have done my sums, paperwork and legal but it’s all just sitting there until I green light that step.
      I wanted to R so badly, but he doesn’t seem to want to come to the party, so now I’m staring at the narrowing options and wondering if I have the energy or as Puzzled puts it the “endurance” for everything that is required.

      I’ve kept my cool for the most part but the lack of sleep and edginess of things allows H to provoke me on some occasions. I’m going to work on that, so I stay calm at all times

      I wonder how long your grief lasted as mine feels like it could be here for the long haul.
      It’s hard to feel joy and I used to have a lot.

      Everyone here seems to have made it out together in their M, even if they are at differing stages on the path. I just don’t know what the point is of fighting to be with someone who is so fixed in their decision not to save us. It feels like he is destroying everything as it seems easier to him to destroy it than to do the necessary work to save it.

      And that’s what makes me angry! How dare he trash the magic of us, and all that was precious then say he doesn’t want to save the M as HE did “too much damage”! It is so arrogant.
      That incenses me.

      So yes SI, tapping into that energy might be a more satisfying way to process my grief!!
      Thanks for that!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Whether you reconcile or not….the grief can last a long time. I think I must have cried almost everyday for over three years. Also for over three years, it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and the last thing I thought of when I went to sleep. But most days I am much better now.

        Take care of you….one day at a time.

    • Satori

      Hi TheFirstWife,

      Thought I would reply to you down here, but a thousand times YES. Anything I say he shoots down or says “I’ll think about it”. Non committal. That’s why I’ve been agreeing, but maybe you’ve nailed it, that it must be his idea or again it’s me being “controlling” *smh In other words he hears anything I say as white noise and is “sticking to his guns at all costs” and actively ignoring anything and everything that comes out of my mouth even when it’s mostly been neutral, kind or positive.

      He keeps saying no to R. I keep checking and then present him with (as I call it) the “price of freedom” — which, since he wants it and I don’t, is very heavily weighted to what I want in a D
      Those are my terms. And he is struggling with that as a concept (that I will go for more). I’ve been very open about it. Such is the price of dishonesty — had he come to me and said he was unhappy I’d be much more amenable to a different process and a different financial outcome.

      So, my question to you is this: if I went totally silent or say, actively refused to discuss R or even said that I didn’t want to R, are you thinking the oldest reverse psychology in the book would work? Say it ain’t so??!!

      The minute I laid bare the disastrous financial outcome of D I got 4 phone calls and in that moment he wanted to reconsider “everything”. 24 hours later at the dinner, he was as shut down and pouting as I’ve seen him.

      H’s moods are like the weather. All seasons in a ten minute span. Rinse. Repeat.

      But if he leaves the business then yes, he is out. It would create some serious havoc though.
      Nothing would surprise me at the moment though. He is completely unpredictable.

      Thanks for the insights…

    • Puzzled

      Satori- My wife made no effort in making things better, at least early on. I can’t tell you how many times I asked myself “why are you doing this to yourself”! D-day #1 (she said the puke worthy and CS crap of ILYBNILWY) and D-day #2 (when I caught her texting at 2 a.m. to her AP) were both land mines. They blew up my happy world. It’s been 2 years for me and the grief is still there to a point. I’m not sure when or if that will ever truly go away. I think it takes sheer determination and strength of character to get through your spouse’s affair. They destroy your naive belief in innocence of love and commitment. My wife went to counseling three times and stated “it wasn’t helping” & “I don’t like talking to our therapist”. I so stupidly said ok, we can work on it alone. It was the fact that our counselor was peeling back the layers of lies and was about to expose her affair. His refusal to work on things right now may change. Once the affair fog gets blown out to sea, maybe he will see clearly what he was about to throw away.

      After D-day #2, she became even more distant and cold and resentful. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard the words “but we’re just friends”. And, even though things are better, part of me can’t let go of the break in trust. That will take time to recover from and, sadly, I don’t think my wife understands the damage she created. It isn’t surprising that he’s acting mean and resentful. You’ve just taken away his “new toy” at Christmas. He’s acting selfish and childish because he’s been exposed.

      Keep plugging away every day. Work hard on making yourself happy, healthy, and strong (emotionally & physically). This is a long haul no matter which direction it goes. Keep posting and keep us updated on your progress. I’m hopeful that things will get better for you.

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. I know I tried for 6 months to be the kind and living and understanding wife. And my H had it easy. He travelled extensively and he would come home to rooms painted (by me) or work done in house etc. but his version at the time of the A was different. Same as you.

      He did not decide to work on the M untik DDay2 and I told him a few days later I was D him. I had enough.

      But he had just ended the A the same day so it was his idea to stay M but I don’t know if it was going to be “he was just there” or he really wanted it.

      All i know is I exploded in anger and he has worked for 4 years making things better and trying to make amends.

      I have complete control of my life and am much stronger.

      As for your H part of the problem is the OW is still in the picture. And if her desire is to replace you then you are fighting multiple battles with only one army. You have you fighting for the M and business. They have two people trying to destroy the M and pull him out of the business.

      I would just not say another word about sny of it. Crickets. Silence ftom you will KILL him.

      He is counting on knowing your next move and the more contact and dialogue you have, the more he knows what you are thinking.

      Complete silence will send a message that YOU don’t need him. And if he hates losing control of things that will irk him to no end.

      This game is so unnecessary but I think you need to make him reach out to you at all times.

      And sometimes just don’t answer him when he calls or texts.

      I am sure the OW has twisted him into a pretzel with her mind games etc.

      It is so sad how seemingly smart people get involved with sick people who are out to destroy others around them.

      And yes I cried every day for years over this whole thing. Reading in emails how your H is planning to D you for domeone he knew for less than 12 months is just heartbreaking.

      And that is what cheating does – it sucks all the joy and life out of the BS. My H gets it now but too late. The damage is done.

      I hope your H at least has one sane rational person in his life. He needs it.

    • Satori

      Hi All,
      4:15am here. The witching hour. I hope everyone is well and the lunar eclipse of yesterday is bringing peace.

      After a few days off, I’m in a strange new world. The grief is now omnipresent.
      I burst into tears at random. Even on business phone calls to my accountant or property manager. If I have to tell someone about it, it just breaks me. Cue more of the ritual humiliation of the Betrayed which I’m just discovering is the true legacy of life after a Cheater.

      H called off the last two meetings with me “I am sick and staying in bed all day”, so according to H he was sick the whole weekend. He is always sick these days. No work then. Meanwhile I’ve been at my desk every day without fail.

      On TheFirstWife’s advice I did not answer his texts and went 5 days NC. Unfortunately business and tax stuff meant I had to sms and send emails. But I actually think H prefers it when he doesn’t hear from me as it underscores the new narrative that I don’t exist to him now. I’m an annoying reminder of the past he is running from.

      At this stage, it’s still no R. No MC. No desire to be in M. Zero care factor for me personally.

      So, with no effort, more distancing and worrying signs he is moving to a hardening sense of (even more) entitlement, I’m moving strictly to D mode. Risk assessment indicates I have to now.
      He is avoiding me. But he came over to the office to pick something up so we had a brief conversation today about an asset that I brought into the M, but that he wants. This led to me breaking down in tears (can’t put that grief genie back in the bottle) in front of him. Further humiliation. I got a hug that had about as much warmth as a shipping container.

      The bottom line is that I can’t do this anymore… I’m going insane. My panic attacks are worsening. I had one while I was getting my hair cut this morning. I could hardly breathe.
      (Not to mention my hair which is long and thick has started to fall out in one spot). I have started googling clinics for anxiety check-in treatments. I’ve lost so much weight my trainer is worried. I’m freaking out that even my beloved dog has caught my depression.

      I’ve got a teleconference in 3 hours time as I’m getting final (legal) documents produced for his signing. It’s a one shot deal for H to get out clean but also with what I want. It’s his only chance to avoid a horrendous court case. It’s not a D as we have to wait a year for that due to our laws. It’s a precursor though, for sure. I’ve told him we need to meet today and do this (financial release) together. So far H hasn’t committed to meeting up (“I will let you know how I’m tracking”). Those pesky consequences are such a drag.

      If he refuses to sign, then H is not only going to need to strap in, he is legit going to need a Humvee for the rough terrain ahead.

      • TheFirstWife

        I am so sorry for you. It is awful that he is willing to trash your life, your business, your M and just about everything.

        We have all suffered physical symptoms from being the BS. I could not eat. I lost weight I could not afford to lose. I cried every day non stop )except when kids were around ????. And I would nominate myself for an Academy Award for best actress in a drama who is about to get a D but only found out about A 2 weeks ago.

        counseling saved my sanity and kept things in check. I did not need meds but maybe you do for anxiety and PTSD etc.

        One day it took me 3 hours to change the sheets on my bed I cried so much from the pain of it all. It is normal. Better to let it out than keep it bottled up inside.

        I just wonder what made your H snap like that. Is it drugs or depression or some addiction or some other mental issue? I believe most things can be addressed and “fixed” but this is a little bizarre. It has escalated from zero to 200 in a nanosecond.

        he won’t speak to you about anything
        Walking away from business
        Walking away from M
        Complete avoidance

        He is acting like a child. But why and why now???

        I know you don’t have the answers – A or no A – his behavior is odd.

        I hope he is willing to sign the financial divorce papers for now. I know it would go aong way to easing your stress right now.

        Please continue to take care of yourself. Yoga and green tea and meditation are all options. So is running and kick boxing!! Lol

        I think you are wise to remove yourself from any contact that is not absolutely necessary. I fear he will only make you feel worse (as if you don’t feel like you are in a black hole right now).

        It will get better. This is raw and ugly and so new to you but you are doing an amazing job of dealing with it all. You have suffered a trauma. I had PTSD for 2 years b/c I was afraid he was going to ruin me financially. And leave me Struggling.

        Once I protected myself financially (6 months from DDay1) the PTSD started to become less and less of an issue.

        No one can understand the trauma of having your spouse walk in the door and say I want a Divorce unless it has happened to them. It happened to me more than a few times.

        And that damage is permanent. You can rebound from it but you will never have 100% security ever again. You will always wonder if it will happen again. At least next time I prepared for it. First five times I was not.

        Good luck to you and keep posting here. We all want to help however we can.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I feel your pain!!! Don’t worry that you broke down in front of him….sometimes they need to see the hurt that they are causing.

      I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish I had more….but I haven’t been through the legal battles that you are facing.

      Thinking of you

    • TryingHard

      I am so sorry. What a nightmare. And we’ve all been there.

      My refused any kind of conversation for about a month. Well nothing meaningful at least. And after a month I got a lot of lies, empty promises, manipulation for about another 3 months. It was awful. He’d pull me in then push me away. Oh yeah my hair fell out and the obligatory weight loss, anxiety, rapid heart beat, completely falling apart at the grocery store, the whole scene!!!

      I still think you are doing great. Look you e reached out. You offered the olive branch. You’ve let him know your intentions. Now you can sit and wait a couple more weeks tho see if he wakes up or you go balls to the wall legally. You do have choices.

      I can’t tell you what to do. But I will say I agree with TFW. His behavior is odd. Very odd. Scary odd. I think you should call his parents and tell them they need to look out for him.

      I also think you should maintain as little contact as possible. Maybe even about the business if you can.

      You are between a rock and a hard place. But you must maintain your dignity and boundaries. you cannot be his doormat nor his keeper. He’s made this mess and I have a stinkin feeling he knows it. He is sick and paralyzed with fear. Actually HE’S the one that needs meds!!!

      All you can do is take it one day at a time. One hour at a time if you need too. Keep breathing and focus on you. Do something you enjoy but I know from experience there’s not much to enjoy!!! But keeping getting out for short periods of time and try not to dwell 24/7 on your h.

      Hugs to you. You can do this. It’s hard as hell but I promise you will be ok. Him I’m not so sure about.

    • Satori

      Thank you so much again TFW, SI, TH.

      I honestly can’t even.

      TFW — Far out, the making the bed situation you describe. Just wow. I’m so sorry. That is heartbreaking. I’m sure you earned that golden statue. I might nominate myself next…

      I never thought he would trash it all, M, Life, Me, Us, Future etc. But that is what is happening. I’m booking to see my doctor for PTSD / anxiety.

      After he got off plane, (trip where he met OW) he came back with a malaria type illness.
      One of the symptoms that not many people realize that is associated with mosquito borne illnesses, is depression and anxiety. I saw it immediately and warned him. As he was deep in A fog, he brushed me off. I then (still unknowing about the A) went to my in laws purely because I was so worried about his mental state and he was being so aggressive and refusing to get medical advice. PIL did nothing. They brushed off my concerns that he was drinking too much (worryingly high levels and I have worried about dependency). It’s been a thing, I’ll just say that. I had hoped to get some sort of intervention which would help him. I offered every kind of support you can imagine.

      Before I knew there was OW, I also worried about drug use, as his personality change was so extreme. I asked H point blank — H denied it. I am very anti-drugs and we as a couple have never done that in our M. I won’t socialise with the friends of his who do it.
      None of my friends do. But the OW explains the personality change too.

      I think it is alcohol dependency or addiction / depression / possible exec burnout / OW ++
      = a perfect storm.

      Your assessment re H’s behaviors is on point. All I can say is that I do feel as though I am dealing with a particularly difficult toddler / child. That’s why I don’t understand why PILs won’t do anything nor see that this behavior is way out of order. My MIl’s response? “He’s fine”. They just enable him and I am just as angry and hurt by them as by H.

      H is NOT fine. It did go, as you say “from zero to 200 in a nanosecond”. Everything I have read says that in most Runaway H scenarios, a mood or depressive disorder is underpinning it. And most never get help, so the M can rarely be saved.

      Just hearing your story helps me understand that my extreme feelings are actually to be expected. No one around me gets it. They try but they can’t. I know the damage of this is permanent. I will never again be the same trusting person I was before all of this. I almost feel like I had to shelve the whole A trauma as the business side became so critical. I am laser-focused on sorting out the financial side so that at least is more stable. I’m not out of the woods yet.

      ShiftingImps —
      Thank you for the support. The pain is real. I look forward to laughing about it one day but now it’s a hell I have to keep going through. The legal and financial side of this is heavy!! Lucky you that at least you didn’t have that as well.

      TryingHard —
      Again, you are a voice of reason. Im not surprised that everyone here has had the same physical symptoms and yet none of our spouses seem to think they have anything to do with it. I took a sleeping pill last night but it only got me 4 and a half hours. I don’t like taking anything that’s not natural but I am desperate for unconsciousness and living on the edge. It feels like my body is outside of itself, if that makes sense. It’s freaky. I won’t even go to the grocery store that I usually go to. I’m shopping about an hour away so I don’t see anyone I know. That way I won’t get triggered.

      I’m meeting with H now first thing tomorrow. I threw down the gauntlet of “it’s now or never”.
      In other words, implied that this is my last day that I will be reasonable. I told him today on the phone, when he refused to come over to do these documents “It’s your turn to do the right thing. I’ve done the right thing by you the whole way and I you have destroyed my whole life.”
      It’s gong to be tough tough tough, but I am very determined.

      As I said above I agree his behavior is scary. My sister who has known him forever said she would have NEVER thought he would do this nor to act out in the way he is.

      I 100% agree with your view that he needs meds. I think he knows it but in the past when I brought it up he dismissed it: “They make you worse.” I’m like “Um no. They can be very effective and they do save lives.” It’s just a nightmare. H won’t get help and thinks he has done everything in the M so is justified for his dummy spit. His new narrative is that I do nothing. He is all puffed up with this uber confidence at the moment so I suspect the A has begun again. I don’t understand his swinging between utter sad sausage lack of confidence to a puffed out peacock crazy braggart.

      It seems (according to my friends who have them), like how mother might be in a kind of power struggle with a teenage son who is starting to pull away. H is incredibly disrespectful about what my contributions to the M are. I’m looking forward to him finding out how hard it really is when you don’t have a loving W in the corner doing everything for you to run your life and your business etc. I have three university degrees, so I’m no slouch in the make-it-happen department. About time he realised exactly how and what this has added to his life.

      I told him today I want my freedom too. That he clearly thinks it’s only about what he needs however he must acknowledge that my needs are being completely ignored. I told him I supported his quest for his new life but that it’s not fair that he doesn’t consider how it impacts me. I also stated that I deserve a lot more than what he thinks I should have. He doesn’t care. Accordingly, I’m getting closer to that position about him too.

      Big sigh. It looks like I’m going to have to “mother” this all the way. But I hope I make it for the sheer exhaustion of it. it’s not called a deadline for nothing!! LOL (black humor)

      I just hope I can survive the onslaught to get to the other side of it.

      Thank you everyone for the boost. It really really is helping me. S x

      • TheFirstWife

        You are doing your best. That is all you can do. Some days will be better than others.

        It is hard to understand and make sense of it all. Just know your H is not in his right mind right now. Who knows why. Could be 100% the A or other factors.

        But I understand and lived in crazy town too. I know how hard it is. I had to be focused for my kids. If my H is losing it I can’t let my teen aged kids have a free for all too. Someone had to be in control and he certainly was not.

        The arrogance of the A is awful. Just no respect. They do act like children having a temper tantrum.

        Here is one example of crazy town. It was our 25th anniversary (during round 2 of A which I had no idea was going on). He (in his own) planned a beautiful romantic evening complete with a stay at an expensive inn. It was wonderful.

        Three weeks later he wants a D. Doesn’t love me !! We go to MC and he swears up and down he wants the M and everything.

        Ok. We start MC. Three days later he walks in the door and says he wants a D. Will not back down. He wants a D. Go to MC – sits in office adamant he wants a D.

        What happened in 3 days to change his mind? OW.

        So his mid life crisis A and everything else just added to the mix to make a great H go off the deep end.

        My therapist told me that he has seen more mid life crises ruin lives and fsmilies more than anything. And mid life is not just 50s or 60s – it can happen in 30s or 40s too.

        I understand how you feel and yes I will never get over the fact that you can walk on the door and demand a D with no explanation. I recently told him that the A was one piece of the pain but kicking me to the curb (practically) is a pain even worse and deeper.

        Thank heavens for an excellent therapist b/c if you saw me now you would not know.

        During his A I had to deal with a death in my family (very unexpected), my job issues (which were escalating), trying to get my hands on $ b/c I was afraid he would leave me financially struggling, my teen Child and their abusive BF/GF relationship, PTSD and being saddled with the house and mortgage without the $ to keep me afloat until the house would sell.

        So yes it was a real perfect storm all around. Just kept my wits about me b/c I knew it would get better. One day at a time.

        I have to say the power of prayer was a big help. We go to church every Sunday and are involved members and leaders of our church. It definitely helped to have a spiritual side to rely on.

        I know it will get better for you. I understand the anxiety and PTSD. It is hard to watch your H have one foot out the door – but as we know now, we are powerless to stop it.

        By the grace of God (and I mean that) my H came to his senses at the last possible second. Literally.

        But it was a long hard 6 months that caused me to lose hope along the way. I admit I wanted to throw in the towel.

        My therapist said you want to walk away from a M with no regrets and knowing you did everything you could. Then if you D there is no guilt in that area.

        I hope you have a better day today and can find one thing to put a smile on your face.

    • TryingHard

      Ok you’ve done you job with regards to your h well being. You told his family. Now it’s time to focus in you. I know I felt the most helpless is when I felt I didn’t have a choice. For right now it really is best to let him mire in his own self created muck!! It’s hard because all you want to do is scream WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? He doesn’t want to see what’s wrong with him. and it’s almost impossible for you to do.

      Empower yourself and give yourself some options but this options must benefit you. One way or another you need to sleep. No one works well without sleep. Again I wouldn’t contact him for anything. Even for business. Maybe your lawyer can get you some kind of power of attorney since he’s being wholly uncooperative with regards to business. Try to get his words in writing i.e. Emails for legal purposes. Bad thing is if he’s not working you may have to pay him support!!! God I hope not

    • Satori

      Hi TheFirstWife & TryingHard,
      It’s been 3 days of mayhem — my apologies for the slow reply.
      It is good to hear your survival story TFW, the flip flopping of your H mirrors what mine is doing.
      I can’t believe all the things you were also dealing with (a death in the family too — I’m sorry that would be more then I could ever handle. You are incredibly strong to pull through all of that.
      Thanks TH for reminding me I don’t need to caretake this situation anymore. I’m trying to do your suggestions! Some days I’m better at my structure and routine than others….I’m doing ok, still trying to work on the anxiety.

      So, update: I presented the financial release but as I did I wanted to verify that if the third party (OW) was still in communication with him that he could get a lawyer and I would no longer be nice or reasonable. He admitted her number was back in his phone again (after twice deleting it in front of me saying the A had ended) that she was still calling him, admitted it was probably still an affair. Voila DDay2.

      Well I just lost it. 2 months of pure anger came pouring out of me.

      I don’t think I’ve ever sworn so much or so creatively in my life.
      I told him to sign the documents or GTFO. Nice wife was gone in that moment. No tears just fury.
      It wasn’t pretty. I was hardcore with him. But finally faced with the music ie the real me and the real feelings I have about him, for the first time he suggested marriage counselling. Smh!!
      He deleted her number again. I said she lacks integrity so do you — you will make each other perfectly miserable! Good luck, now sign these!! SIGN THEM!!! I was absolutely off my head angry.

      He said it twice about MC but I knocked him back. I was like: why should I consider going to MC with you now, just because you’re about to lose financially? It felt manipulative and not genuine. He tried to hug and kiss me but I was shaking with panic attack / anger. Pushed him away. Just had to calm mysel but I didn’t want him to fake it with me, just got the sense it was all performative, no substance.

      Bottom line he refused to sign the documents, said he wanted to “continue to talk”. We spent 6 hours together, the longest time since he left. Finally he had to leave for a meeting and I rang him that night and downloaded another earful on him. Just had to get all the toxic feelings out that he created in me. He started calling me darling and babe again!!! Omg.

      Lesson learned? I can’t be nice, it drives him away. The more I respect myself, and insist upon my rights and better treatment, the less sure of himself he becomes and the more like his old self.

      Saw him again today for 2 hours (much calmer lol!!) but he was once again distant. He wanted to reconsider “search myself about everything” but stressed that we were not together. Which was the polar opposite of his attitude the day before. We had another 2 hour walk with our dog with coffees and even a swim. I think he is coming around but the actions to match the words still lacking. He is such an emotional wreck. He still says me being “dominant” is the issue. (I pointed out that his A is the issue x 1 million. Ie gaslighting/projection STILL)

      Seeing H again tomorrow but I feel like he is trying to work out his next move rather than work on us. He is changing like the weather. I am tempted to go into NC for a few weeks from tomorrow. Like on a trip so he can’t contact me and so I can’t be triggered.

      I’m not sure where this is going but if the docs are not signed by mid Sept, then it’s a whole new ball game.

      Anyhow, just wanted to let you know how it is going in the trenches,,,


    • TheFirstWife

      Wow!!! Good for you for letting him know he cannot control you or the situation.

      I still see red flags – actions do not match words at all. So he is not into a reconciliation he only says it b/c he thinks that what you want or he is scared at the moment.

      And then he leaves you and goes home and the OW takes over.

      I have to be honest when I told my H we were done he never once changed his mind or wavered in his commitment to me and R and our M.

      When I get furious I just talk in a low calm manner. No cursing. Just say what I have to say and move on. Controlled rage. He knew I meant business at DDay2.

      What I don’t get is that your H admits A is going on but yet still tries to circumvent the fact he is MARRIED!!!!!

      i think you have handled yourself well. Just remember to avoid believing his words and WATCH HIS ACTIONS.

      He is in the A fog and that is when my H acted the most crazy. Changing his mind every minute and me allowing him to do so. Once I took control of me and future it was a whole different ball game and he was facing strike 3.

      Trust your gut here. You have set the stage and now have some power. If he thinks he can manipulate you and your M he will.

    • Rachel

      Control is the name of the game!!! For the past week I have been dealing with my insurance company to remove my son from my car insurance policy. This is the one that the ex pays for my son. He usually pays it 15 minutes before the policy will be cancelled. Well, I said no more.
      He has been calling and calling my insurance lady trying to find out why I am doing this change. He had her so upset the other day that she called me and said that my ex is evil and parinoid.
      She said she needed a drink and she doesn’t drink!!! He wanted to know if I knew that I would be paying more for my insurance. She said yes she does. She said he is driving her nuts and almost hung up on him. She also said, I don’t know how you did it???? You are a remarkable women. I don’t know how I did it either. I was someone else back then. A puppet. That’s not me anymore, I am in control. It’s all about control.

      • TheFirstWife

        Rachel – I don’t know how you haven’t maimed or killed him.

        He is upset you are changing the insurance policy that he no longer has to pay for??

        it’s good to know that something do minor gets him twisted b/c it is one less thing he can torture you with.

        Does he understand karma yet??

    • TryingHard

      Satori. He’s starting to open up a little this is why it’s called a roller coaster. He’s making the moves. That’s GOOD. He’s going to say he’s confused and he is. He has to ride that.

      lol. Absolutely stand your ground. Keep showing him you will be fine without him. Yep let HIM pursue YOU. We’ve all heard that “dominant” crap. He’s just talking. My guess is he actually likes your dominance whether or not it’s true. Besides you are no where near dealing with whatever power struggles you have or don’t have in your marriage. And yes it’s the damn AFFAIR that needs to be dealt with right now. He’s minimizing what he did and shifting the focus. Don’t buy into it. This is all him right now. If and when you go to MC that’s when you deal with the other stuff

      Getting away might be a great idea for you. But it’s hard but it also will give you lots of perspective too. Girl we have all been right where you are. It’s awful but you got this!!! Doesn’t seem like it to you but you got this!

    • Satori

      Hi TheFirstWife and TryingHard,

      Thank goodness for your calm wisdom. TFW: I know I shouldn’t swear. But it sure felt great at the time. Well sort of. LOL. Indeed I saw the same red flags of non action. I woke up this morning and thought, that’s it, I’m out. The non actions are the reason I am pressing forward with the paperwork. And TH, I wish I believed that I’ve got this, but at least there is energy and movement rather than “stuckness” and inertia — but you are spot on for the reasons I will outline below.

      We met again this morning, third day in a row and for 3 hours. He tried to cancel. I said “Nope, not going to happen. If you can’t even commit to seeing us and it’s been 24 hours then there is no point in anything. What’s so hard?” So he met me and we had coffees, dog walk, talking, walking in the park. It was calm. I told him how I felt about my lost dreams and how devastating his A and leaving had been to me and how I could no longer trust him at all. He cried and he said he felt so “very sad” about me when I described how I felt about my future alone and my skyrocketing anxiety. He could not stop crying. He said he was ashamed and felt very bad, he knew he was wrong. I accused him of being all words and doing nothing to make amends.
      He said “I don’t know how to, I don’t know what to do.” I said “Well, google it.”

      Puzzled is right: it takes great strength of character and integrity to endure betrayal. I hope I pass the test. I would add to that it takes great strength of character and integrity to make amends for a betrayal. But the problem here is that if they had that great strength of character and integrity they would never have been unfaithful in the first place.

      Unfaithful. What a benign sounding word that conveys utter darkness to me now.
      TFW talked about her faith and God. I have been thinking a lot about the concept of having faith and of faithfulness. What being faithful ultimately means is accepting that things may not always go your way or could be difficult but it is of staying the course regardless, having hope in a glorious outcome because you endured, because you didn’t give in. Isn’t that having faith?

      Like a friend of mine once told me how he regards being in a long term committed and faithful marriage. He said it is like climbing Mount Everest. “I can’t get that feeling anywhere else.”

      I cried once, when he said I was “amazing” and “still hot” (puke) and there would be men lining up for me (double puke). I challenged that empty flattery with “Which begs the question why, since you already married me and if I’m so amazing and hot (rolling my own eyes here at even the description of myself), why you’re not at the head of the line, begging forgiveness and willing to do whatever it takes to be with me and save our M.” He didn’t have a response (red flag).

      I said to him that since I had endured the ultimate disrespect from him, he now, out of actual respect for me going forward, needs to once and for all end it with this third party, since he has repeatedly said they are not together and she is not coming here nor is he going there (separate countries remember?) and he promised me he would terminate any contact forever. He denied she was his Plan B. I asked for — and he said he would show me — proof that he had ended it formally with her.

      H said he still has feelings for me. I know, I know. I am still wary but for the first time, I actually felt some truth in the statement and I watched him and tried to “feel what he was saying” rather than listen to the verbal word salad.

      We talked about everything today. Nothing was off the table and while there were a few flashes of anger still by me, mostly it was calm and even loving at times. We even talked about the issues in the M that we would probably cover with MC, if we were to go. First time. To be fair to him, he stuck it out with me for 3 hours and this time he didn’t try to run away or to bail on any of the subjects raised. The body language today was so much more open and like he used to be before the nightmare began. H said we were drifting apart. I said well that’s simply not true. H changed tack and said “we don’t have as much in common.” I’m like, well all I did was support your passions (sport, preferences etc) — you don’t support mine at all. Silence. H agreed he needed to work on himself, that he had been disengaged, and lacking in effort in the M. I said I was exhausted and beyond frustrated from doing the work of both of us in both the M, our families and the business. H agreed when I said he needed to “grow up” — “I know I do, that’s something I need to work on.”

      H took blame for the whole mess and said he had worried a lot about me since it all began that he knew he was doing serious emotional damage and wrong things. So I guess that is the closest I will get to remorse.

      O the negative side, he is now saying he does not think R will work BECAUSE he has done “so much damage to me, to the M, our intimate relationship” etc. I told him ok then we need to let go. Let’s do it ourselves without lawyers, let’s just let go gently and start again with our lives. So today there was no more discussion of R or MC. But we are still talking around the issues so it doesn’t feel “over” if you know what I mean. But I told him I now did not want to R and have accepted we will not make it, but that now we still need to get some framework around the deconstruction of the situation. He agreed to sign the paperwork in a couple of days when he comes over to do some business stuff.

      The more I think about it, the more I feel OW was an Exit A to cement his leaving but may not be the actual and ultimate replacement of me, however that does not mean there won’t be a replacement coming soon. There is no rose colour in my vision at this point.

      His hug and kiss goodbye today felt genuine and there was a pure energy behind it.

      I’ve been very sad and crying ever since I got home. It’s so hard thinking about our life together and what I regarded as 15 amazing years, that he is throwing away for reasons best known to himself. Despite my rather petty frustrations I still regard the years we have been together as beautiful. But even in my lucid moments, I am still shocked to my core at how I came to be here.

      Anyone know why one eye cries more tears than the other?

      Thanks again for listening — S x

    • TheFirstWife

      He must be my H’s twin brother. I heard the whole “your so hot (in my 50s) so many guys would love to be in a relationship with you”. Blah Blah blah. Just a few days before his demand for a D.

      Still SMH

      I am so sorry for you as you try to get through this awful situation.

      If he is admitting now he can’t it won’t do the work in R he is doing you a favor. I know it doesn’t seem like it now but he is lost right now. It doesn’t sound like he could commit to his favorite flavor of ice cream.

      He is not capable of making decisions right now and it could be true that this was his exit A. Maybe she dumped him and that is why he is do upset.

      I just don’t understand how the CS can throw away 15-20 good years and not be willing to try. I guess b/c they just don’t want to. For whatever reason.

      I think it is hurtful and so excruciatingly painful to hear your mate no longer lives you or wants to be with you.

      But I would rather know NOW than spend 1 more day trying to make it work and realizing I am wasting my time.

      Your H has shown he is untrustworthy and no longer the guy you married. For whatever reason. It is great that you can spend time together but (isn’t there always a but) …….it is telling and showing you it is over.

      ???????? he tries to avoid seeing you when he can
      ???????? he says he cannot commit to Reconciliation
      ???????? he says A is over but won’t prove it or show any solid proof to you
      ???????? he cries – but is it from remorse or from his own pity party

      It can get better – or worse – no way of telling which way this will go.

      Saying prayers for you

      • TryingHard

        OMG. True story TFW. I don’t know Satori. Listen up. Maybe it’s best to cut your losses.

        You’re young and yes 15 years seems like a long time. But life is long. Do you really need to be saddled with this sad sausage shit show? Drinking, sports, total disinterest in you investment of your business?? There in lies the bigger question?? It hurts I know but it could be a huge blessing in disguise.

        Get out of town. Get away. Get some perspective. Stop throwing your pearls to swine. He’s a mess. Do you truly have the inclination to deal with it?? It’s a rough road this R business. One I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. You’ve got a ton going for you!!

        • Satori

          Carefully considering both your responses TH. Cutting losses seems to be the order of the day. The idea that it is a huge blessing in disguise– maybe something amazing is in the future that I can’t see right now — I’m leaning towards that.

          I owed it to M vows to do everything I could to save it. Just because H doesn’t value, want to work on nor take seriously the M vows does not mean I don’t.

          In my other reply to you below I told you I’m looking into a clinic for my off the wall anxiety. But if I can’t get in to a good one that is covered by my health insurance here, I’m thinking about going to US / UK to see family just to get a break. Either way after signing (or even if he doesn’t) I’m going to figure out a way to be NC at least for 3-4 weeks.

          Thanks for the positive thoughts!

    • Satori

      Thank you TheFirstWife.

      Your summary is clear and rational. Everything you say about your H sounds exactly the same!! Maybe you and I should hang out and leave the cheaters to it. LOL. I was SO offended by the “hot” comment. How do they come up with all of these ridiculous lines that are the same?

      My H is no longer the person I married and the grief I feel about that is beyond. The hurt is complete. I can’t imagine wanting to be in any relationship again, thinking this might even be a possibility. I couldn’t go through it again. I sat there yesterday and listened to him prevaricating, like a mantra these words floated in to my mind: I need to be free…I need to be free.

      All of your red flags were the same as the ones I came up with, that’s why I pushed for another meeting with him, to check if the headspace I woke up in was the right thing. It was a bit of the “worm turning” moment for me but I needed confirmation.

      I look at this situation (that H has singlehandedly created) and thought, I could be here in another ten years — would I want to give him any more of me and he would cheat again and I would end up in the same position? I even asked him that exact question. H coolly replied, that “Yes, if we were to be together again I could be trusted.” I was amazed. How could he ever be taken at his word, but just like that he was so adamant that he could be trusted. He almost brushed it off.
      One of H’s stated fears (this was said the previous day) is that if we reconcile, I will have him “totally locked down”. I replied that was insulting to me, given how much freedom he has always had. I said: “I’m not going to police you, you have to police yourself.” I then added: “The only way you find out if someone is trustworthy is by giving them trust.”

      Which, if H bothered to even understand what I said, unequivocally says that I cannot trust him by that same definition. The flip flopping tells me he might change his mind again in the future, so no.

      You are right about all of it and as you say, it REALLY bothers me that he has revealed himself to be untrustworthy AND a liar. At one point I said “Go on, just say it, I want to hear the lie, since it no longer matters as we will not be together.” H laughed kind of nervously and as he spoke I watched his eyes. They are distant and dimmed. In the end I guess you remember the beginning, but the warmth and golden light that he had in his eyes when we got together is no longer there.
      I don’t know what is going on for him. I can only agree he is lost.

      [note: My theory of relationships is that in an healthy situation, you bring out the best in each other. Until I put my H on the plane that felt true. In the case of a third party entering that space, that new party becomes who they are truly in relationship with, (ie the OW) and as that individual has no integrity, no moral compass, is ok with deception, is avaricious, predatory and has no empathy, now that H is actually in relationship with this new person, they bring out the equivalent in him. That is not to shift blame to OW rather to illustrate my theory. It’s like tennis: you always play better if whomever you play with is a better player than you (ie you lift each other to a higher level of performance and vice versa). FWIW.]

      And the tears thing — H cried as much if not more than I have in our meetings.
      I diagnosed pity party in the first instance, but it could also be that I am applying a healthy dose of truth serum and a gigantic mirror, in terms of the destructive swathe H has cut through my life.
      It would be a lot to take on.

      And while iH couldn’t commit to his favorite ice cream as you say, regardless, he is going to have to commit to these financial releases tomorrow. Once the papers are signed I will have some sort of comfort and order going forward. I just need his signature.

      I will need every one of your prayers.

    • TryingHard

      Satori. Right now since you are in a business relationship with your h that takes precedence above all else. Manipulate that little fuck into agreeing to sign everything to you. After that you can work on your personal relationship.

      This guy has put not only your personal well being into peril with his stupid fantasy he’s put your financial well being and your business at risk. I’ve seen many great going concerns collapse after this shit. Focus on your business and financial well being first. Get him to sign away the business to you. Assrrrgh what a jerk. What a fool!!

      You’re hearing everything all of us have heard. Nothing unique or new if it makes you feel better. The biggest leverage I had is I would destroy a business that took decades to build. Sometimes I wonder if I should have damn well did it!!! Take care of you first. He’s the one playing chicken, not you.

      He’s starting to recognize. Lol. You got this. Trust me you so got this

    • Satori

      I love your way with condensing my shit show into plain common sense TryingHard!!! LOL

      He is a little fuck. All my wellbeing in peril but he still thinks it’s about him and his image, his happiness, his money (LOL). I’m going to be as sweet as pie from here on and get the signature. Then I’ll be business emails only and NC going forward.

      As with TFW’s calm clarity, I’m utilising every piece of advice you both give me.

      Like I said — I am lifted by my flanking angels 0X

      The hammer comes down tomorrow. It’s sign or forever-be-sorry day for H. That’s why I need to get it urgently signed off because the business underpins my financial security until mid next year when I will clearly be getting divorced.

      It’s crazy that everything he is saying you guys have heard. Is this stuff written down somewhere?!!

      I’m actually looking into a clinic for my anxiety. It’s really really bad. Still not sleeping even pills don’t work. I’m pretty strung out, hence the very very long posts. So sorry to overload. Thank you for indulging me but just putting it into a post and getting your feedback is keeping me sane.

      You really think he is starting to recognize? What does that mean in terms of his next moves according to your experience TH?

    • TryingHard

      That means get the fucking business essentials in writing and then move on to the personal stuff. This is not something to be dealt with emotionally. Business first. Financial security should not be left at the risk of someone as emotionally unstable as h. You have to be the adult here unless of course you are willing to chuck it all and start over.

      Ok hes recognizing. I said he’s starting to crack. He spent three hours with you. He didn’t cancel or run. He kissed you. He’s talking. There is hope. Yeah yeah he’s right damage has been done. Yes there’s a cheaters handbook but it’s a very mysterious secret handbook that cheaters pull out of their ass. BS only get to hear about it when they talk to others in the same boat. It sucks.

      All kidding aside, there’s still hope if you want it. You two need MC where you both feel safe opening up. I’m guessing things aren’t as rosy for him as he hoed when he moved out. I bet his parents are encouraging R. Thing is do you want r because it’s a little bitch Satori. But it can be done. It needs time and nurturing.

      You’ll see the back and forth from him until you say no more. It’s like agame for them. So believe half of what you hear. TFW heard divorce in less than a month many times. Me too.

      Give him time to let stuff soak in. He’s getting his reality check and I’m thinking he doesn’t like it. Good. But you must shore up your business commitments. Stay professional about that. He wants out? Let him. That should drive home a lot to him.

    • TheFirstWife

      My H actually wrote in an email to the OW that I was planning for the D.

      He saw me getting docs together one time.

      I also changed ALL his life insurance policies so I was the account holder. He could not change any beneficiaries – to protect me & kids.

      He saw this and still continued the A.

      So yes your H may recognize the D is looming. I coukd not tell you if he will do anything about it.

      At this stage it is hard to put any stick in anything they say or do b/c it makes no sense. They make no sense. The A makes no sense. Their behavior makes no sense.

      And your H seems very concerned with HIS quality of life if you R. He doesn’t seem as concerned about the quality of your M if you R.????????????????????????????????

      Unfortunately there are no clear answers.

      I can only tell you my personal experience. But if it weren’t for my therapist we would not be together.

      I think counseling is the best thing I did. I was able to get through it with no sleep for 3 months and PTSD and anxiety thru the roof. Not sure how but i did.

      i pray for you to find some peace soon and sleep. I also hope you can keep the business together – and as I said he can always be hired back as an employee – but never an owner.

      I think you have that as part of your unique challenge – an A ruins a M but can kill your business and financially ruin you as well. That is a lot to face at once.

      Please be kind to yourself. Your very confused H is barely treating water – and you can no longer be his life boat. He will drown everyone around him in the mindset he is in.

      You can always choose to R at any point if you think he really means it. For now the business is the key.

      Best wishes to you.

      • Satori

        Everything you said x 1 million, TheFirstWife.

        Nothing makes any sense but one thing is certain: in H’s mind, it’s all about his future financial comfort and happiness. He is not even thinking about me or what my future will be like. His current thesis is that I’ll be fine because my family will take care of me. It makes no sense as that is a massive assumption based on no facts, but it tells me he thinks he is entitled to more of the M assets than I am. Talk about red flags!!!

        ShiftingImpressions said I was in “the fight of my life”. And I think you yourself added that there were two people trying to destroy the M and two people aiming to get what they can out of the business etc namely my H and OW. I would never have thought such a disaster could happen. I have been naive. Lesson learned.

        I very much feel I’m in this on my own. It’s frightening how much you rely on what you thought would be the future in terms of day to day planning and decision making. This whole experience will forever change that for me. It’s turned that assumption on its head.

        So I’m working on just getting things pegged down. I’ve been keeping diaries of my work for our business and of course an email trail speaks volumes too.

        But my focus after these financial releases is to get some treatment for the anxiety / ptsd. I’m looking at inpatient options. I need help. I’m wondering what your therapist said / did for you that made you stay together in your M?

        You are very wise when you say my confused H will drown everyone. I even told him “I’m not going down with your ship.” And “You’re making choices, but they are your choices alone.”

        I’ll be in touch with an update — hopefully some good news soon.

        Thanks again TFW… x

    • Satori

      Thanks TryingHard.

      I’m absolutely sure H doesn’t like any of the reality of his new quasi-single life. I do wonder if the PILs are encouraging R.

      I’m a little edgy about R — I don’t know how it would go, he is so unstable as you say. Everything you, TFW and Puzzled say with justified caution indicates R is a very long uncertain road. But — R aside — I am focused on the $, hoping I can get him to the pointy end of signing off the financials. I need it. After all the uncertainty, I deserve for it to happen with no more crap and excuses.

      Here is my agenda tomorrow (aka “Operation Clean Slate”) where the order of events is as follows:

      1. Business stuff is first. Financial release documents x (2) must each be signed and will be lodged immediately at the relevant institution

      If this is achieved, then

      2. Thereafter — a break for me of 2-3 weeks NC either away on a trip or just in seclusion depending on how my anxiety resolves post-document signing; before moving to

      3. Personal issues which will accordingly be handed over entirely to H to instigate and follow through with IC (for H) / MC (for us both) / whatever (holiday / finding new place to live) R will only be on the table once the docs are signed and those things are in place. Emphasis on the “may” and only with irrefutable proof the EA has ended and the Runaway H has a plan to make clear his complete remorse and urgent amends on all fronts. Otherwise, nada. NC all the way with strict business protocols adhered to.

      Regardless if he wants to R, it won’t change the outcome now. Once the financials are in place and he wants to R, I’d only do it with a post-nup catch-all on top.

      Hopefully the reality check will flush out a breakthrough. I’m ready for it to be completely over or to R. But either way, thanks to the support here, I’m ready.

      Wish me luck!!

      — S x

    • TheFirstWife

      Wishing you the best outcome today that the financial aspect is complete.

      And yes a post-nup is in order. I have one and made it a condition of staying to Work on R.

      My therapist never said anything specific to get us to R or make me want to R. It was my choice b/c I loved him and he was a great father and even during the A he waffled back and forth.

      He also had periods where he was the person I knew and loved. And periods where he was someone I didn’t know sadly – and wanted a D.

      But in the end he ended the A on his own and begged for a chance. I just saw something different and took a chance. At that time I was not putting me first but thinking of my kids. And even though I was furious I emotionally needed him to get through the holidays and death in the family (in same 3 week span).

      So I was in a weakened moment and decided he had one month (my own internal timeline) to turn this around.

      And he did many many things to try and jump start R. But the most important one was when he got an email from her and showed me within 5 minutes of getting it. He was shaking like a leaf and scared out of his mind I was going to end it b/c she contacted him.

      I knew then he was committed to us and M.

      Nothing therapist or I can say to change his mind. He even admitted that had I even had his friends or family talk to him it would not have changed anything.

      It had to be his idea and commitment otherwise they are just telling you what you want to hear. And I had been in that seesaw or roller coaster for the past 6 months. And he had one foot out the door.

      satori you have clearly described your H’s required commitment to you and M. Counseling and no contact and all that.

      Based on what I know you cannot “make” those things happen. The CS has to want it otherwise the A continued with the same OW or the CS eventually finds a new OW.

      I hope this helps and I continue to send good thoughts your way. You don’t deserve any of this. I hope your H wakes up before it is too late.

    • Puzzled

      TFW hits in out of the park on the CS having to “make” the decision to R. It’s agonizing trying to endure all of the crap getting spewed from our spouses during the fog and affair. It’s also agonizing watching the person who we adore & love disintegrate into something we hardly recognize. We can only hope that they wise up and return to being the person we believed in and love before the affair. And we have to hope and pray that they want to commit to our M with all they have. But, like TFW stated, nothing we say or do probably makes them “wake up”. It’s a long road for this sometimes. My wife gave me her ILYBNILWY talk in March of 2015. It wasn’t until late July of 2016 that she told me that “I want us. I know you have every reason to tell me to leave. But I want our marriage and I want you.” Those were the sweetest words to hear but I was still skeptical. She had to prove that her hear was mine alone. We are almost there but it’s taken a long time and a lot of work to get here.

      Satori-reconciliation is possible. Will it be easy? No, good gawd no. You’ll take 3 steps forward and four steps back at times. But it can be worth it if both of you are willing to do the work. And that’s the key word: work. It seems like your marriage (much like most of us on here) was solid and happy and until the affair, there weren’t issues or problems. That’s the ass-kicker too. If things were great and we are “hot” or “nice” or “a great whatever”, then why did our spouse turn into a CS? D is hard. R is hard. This is a bigger decision than saying “yes” when your husband proposed. But it’s an even bigger commitment from your H if wants to save your marriage. He sure as hell better work his butt off to earn your respect, your trust, and your heart. Whichever way you decide, things will work out for you. He dug himself into this pit. You’ve thrown him a rope but it’s his responsibility to climb out.
      Hoping for some peace for you as well. I know that sleep comes hard when we are trying to deal with an affair.

    • Satori

      TheFirstWife, Thank you for the explanation of how it dovetailed for you with H / therapist / R
      and for the prayers and positive thoughts. I need it all!

      One thing that worries me is that you got the renewed commitment while your H had one foot out the door, yet mine already has two.

      TryingHard’s H left and moved in with OW but seems to have moved back in pretty quickly (after he fell apart on her SIL’s couch!) So in TH’s story there was a huge turnaround.

      Puzzled’s situation it seems like his W stayed in the home too so they had a chance to work on things in situ. So he got a turnaround too.

      I worry that the fact my H has moved out and now has been out for two months might be the difference for me. My H is young, currently more impulsive (this new 2.0 post 40 year old version of him that is) yet I would have previously described him as the steadiest person I know. We don’t have kids so there is no additional pull. It is hard to negotiate when H made so many unilateral decisions and took things so far already (ie the pit that H dug himself in as Puzzled describes it).

      My biggest regret is that I did not discover the A before my H left our house. It may have changed my chances to save our M. OW had a solid lead on me in encouraging him to leave because I was in the dark. And don’t forget at that stage she had him on a plane to visit her and stay for nearly a month. All of those plans now completely mowed down by me due to A discovery and DDay 1.

      Thanks Puzzled for your thoughts and experience. The timeline of this agony is what scares me. From what you write I don’t know if I could live apart from him for over a year or more waiting for him to come back and then have him not make the effort and I am still here in the same position.

      As TFW says, I very much understand it has to be his idea for R. It’s why I knocked back the half-hearted offer for MC the other day and he changed his mind less than 24 hours later anyway so I’m glad I did not take him seriously. Even though he suggested it, he was 100% giving me what I want to hear, I knew it wasn’t coming from a space of conviction. It has to be both from what you say, even just to start R let alone for R to be successful.

      TFW posted earlier about the personality thing with her nephew and H where you can say something and they’ll say no but they will come back to you later with the suggestion as if it was entirely their idea. I feel that by cutting the idea off that I want R, in fact that I’m moving towards D, will allow him to come back with the radical idea we should try to R. Then he would be driving it all and feeling in control. That seemed to be what happened the other day.

      You know, we all think when we say “yes” to the proposal and then we say “I do” in the vows that this is a final thing. In those key moments I never imagined there would be any sort of negotiation later.

      Puzzled you write:
      “This is a bigger decision than saying “yes” when your husband proposed. But it’s an even bigger commitment from your H if he wants to save your marriage. He sure as hell better work his butt off to earn your respect, your trust, and your heart.” <—- THIS

      And if not, the answer is, well, the answer.

      I just hope he shows today.

      Thanks again, for all your help


    • TheFirstWife

      I doubt whether there would be a change in circumstances if you knew before he left or not (about the A).

      It most likely would not have changed a thing. Often once they have made up their mind and decide to go there is little to work with.

      Case in point – he’s with you and says YES to MC but 24 hours later he changed his mind. Sooo most likely that would have been the same outcome for him leaving. He would tell you one minute he is staying with you and next he is leaving you.

      I really don’t think at this point very much would be different except the saga would have proceeded at a slower pace and made it more agonizing for you.

      Whatever happened on that trip (and shortly before it when you picked up on things) – well I doubt the outcome would be different unless you convinced him to see a Dr for his illness and everything else.

      But clearly he doesn’t think he has any problems. That tells you he doesn’t think any of this is his doing.

      As a typical cheater he blames you for it.

      And yes my H did that for years until I told him during MC that “WE” were not disconnected HE was and to stop putting the blame on me. TYPICAL cheater behavior / blame everyone else.

      I thought if I knew my H was so “unhappy” for 18 months I could have done something about it. hahahaha

      It is not my job to make him “happy”. It is his job to make himself happy or figure out why he is not. I am his wife. Not his fairy godmother and psychic and fixer.

      When I was unhappy about things in my life I never told him but made changes in ME. Worked on things I did not like. Tried to be a better parent. Strengthened my interaction with my H. Did things I hoped were productive and helpful for my family.

      People think the spouse is responsible for their happiness. Nope. Not in a million years. They can help add to your happiness and love but it is not their responsibility. And I realized the only thing I could have done had I known he was unhappy was to suggest IC for him.

      But he chose an A. So many do thinking another person will make them happy and eliminate their troubles. In actuality they just took on s whole heap of new trouble.

      How dumb can you be not to see it.

    • Satori

      Nailed it TFW. I wish I could email your post to my H. Makes SO much sense.

      You can obviously see I’m still feeling responsible for both our happiness. And that is what has most likely got me into this mess: my feeling so responsible, while H just does whatever he wants.

      I told H many times he needs IC. My father — bless him — even called my H personally and got one of his own contacts, one of the best psychologists in the country, arranged to see him but H refused to make the appointment. Sigh. Thanks anyway Dad.

      It’s my belief H had no idea how much harder his life would be nor the spike in his troubles generally. I guess that is the power of the A fog that you guys talk about, it really does obscure anything and everything! It is truly selective in its operational essence. I’d never heard of the A fog before but it makes total sense now I’m living through his.

      Yes, to the blaming me thing. He was less so in the last few days of our meetings (the ice thaw I’ve been posting about) but he still said stupid stuff like “I don’t like the way you speak to me sometimes”. Which purely relates to business and domestic tasks that we all have to do but that H won’t attend to. I mean, after the umpteenth time of asking for a batch of his receipts to be done etc so we can file taxes (nicely for at least 15-18 times) who am I supposed to be on the 19th-20th time of non cooperation — Mother Theresa?

      [Postscript to this example: this is a true story. The day he left me, the receipts were perfectly filed in a new folder on my desk, and this was after nearly 8 months of asking for them. A parting gift!! ]

      H does not like hard limits but thinks it is ok to push me until I am at my wits end and then complain about how I react when I get there.

      Well today he gets a few hard limits that will really test his measure.

      — S x

    • TheFirstWife

      God Bless your Dad. He is a great person.

      Your H is just a fool who will one day regret all of this. But it may be too late b/c he can only damage your M so much before it is beyond repair.

      The A is leading him away from you b/c it is the easy way out. It has NOTHING to do with you.

      He is running from his adult life – job, business and Marriage – to become 21 again and have no responsibility.

      Geez don’t we all want to live carefree??

      But this is his choice to be this way. I just wish he would snap out of it. And it seems everyone has offered him help and love and support.

      Too bad he has made the choices he has.

    • Satori

      TheFirstWife, my H is a fool who has made some terrible choices. The worst part is he keeps making them. He has had every chance to turn this around.

      But if he thought the A was the easy way out, he is finding out, that it isn’t — it won’t be a carefree life, and not for a long while either. I think that is what H is now waking up to. H is now lying to me all the time. It breaks me he is not the person he used to be, or is, either way I am afraid that the cumulative damage to me and the M is now beyond repair. I’m in self preservation mode.

      It has been a rugged couple of days. H blew me off and canceled the first meeting (don’t ask). Yesterday he finally came to the office but didn’t sign the documents. Point blank refused to sign them. Even though he previously agreed 3 days before. When he arrived his manner was cold and distant. Wouldn’t sit close to me so we could go through the documents. Hardness in his eyes. I instantly knew he had been back in touch with OW. He started shouting at me all these figures and things that he had decided were in my advantage. I pointed out various, shall we say, “facts of life” regarding the historical reasons for things. H then had a meltdown, was on the verge of storming out — literally had his hand on the door handle for half the meeting. So yeah, no.
      It didn’t go well. Not coincidentally, as I write this, I have a headache.

      At the end of our meeting, H said he wanted to come back and “to see you and talk tomorrow afternoon.” I have decided this is a tactic. I’m now starting to see patterns in his new “A” behaviour and he does this all the time, i.e: H leaves me having found conciliatory ground with me — I always like to leave things as neutral as possible for the timid forest creature to feel he can come back. But the tune changes as soon as he has been in touch with OW and then he comes to see me again. OW is driving everything, I can feel it. Even the language he uses is not what he would use and H sounds like he is being scripted.

      So after the meeting I asked him to buy some supplies for our dog and when he came back, I met him out in the street. I told him: “H, this all might seem like a slow moving glacier, but it will pick up speed and inevitably become a large and fast moving snowball that could mow you down.” (Ok I mixed my metaphors here but you get my drift!) H agreed it very well could. By now he is all sad sausage again and quiet, looking at me kind of expressionless is the only way to describe it.

      Me: “The only person who can stop this trajectory of horror is you. The power is with you.”
      H: “what you mean getting back together?” *smh*
      I did not answer directly. I shrugged. “No. Not necessarily. But the power is with you, you’re the only person who can reverse this snowball.”

      And right then — I swear this happened! — in the night sky I saw a massive shooting star. It seemed to fall literally in between us where we were standing and directly in my line of sight.
      I made a wish — and not what you might think either. Then I left to go home.

      My feeling is that he enjoys the idea that he can come back to me, it puffs up his ego that all I’m waiting on is for his return. This emboldens him and OW is now waging a kind of proxy war of revenge on me since my one and only text to her in the early days post Dday1 telling her to stay away.

      This is all about their seed money for the two of them. It has nothing to do with me.

      I am NOT feelin’ it. Picture (very) cold feet stuck out of a snowball.

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. I am dirty it did not have a better result for you.

      but at least you have some perspective on his motives and the fact that you can sense OW is still involved. I had a suspicion that may have been the case a few days back. (My post of 8/12 suggested she may still be around).

      Hang tough and lawyer up – I guess that is your only option now?

      • TheFirstWife

        First kine should read “sorry” not dirty.

        Stupid autocorrect ????

    • TryingHard

      Oh boy. What a mess right. So your only choice is to let your lawyer do your talking.

      It’s not right that he’s jeopardizing your business as well as your marriage. It’s what cheaters do.

      It sounds like he comes close then runs again. I’m not sure but I’m thinking NC. I would push for your lawyer to make some kind of business arrangement so you can at least conduct your business. I dint know anything about Australian divorce. Ugh I can’t believe they make you wait a year!!! And no business can risk having an uninterested party involved for a year. My guess is he wsnts some kind of payout. I’d be damned. I’d let it fold first. You will be working your ass off and he gets to be supported by you!! Oh hell no.

      How’s your business set up? Are there assets to be liquidated or is it all intellectual property? Id be documenting everything to show to the courts. Get your own bank account and put nothing in your joint account. Poor sad sausage will have to get a jib! Protect yourself. This guy is being wholly uncooperative. I’d be angry too. Heck I’m angry for you. This is so wrong in many levels!!

      One of my biggest worries when my h left is what would I do about health insurance as I was covered under his policy as his wife. At least you don’t have that!! I’m sorry but it’s Miss Toughie Pants time. Try not to involve him personally. You need some kind of court injunction to allow you to continue your business without him. What a fool.

    • Satori

      TheFirstWife, TryingHard. My angels ????????

      TheFirstWife. I liked it better when you were dirty. Seems more appropriate. Lots of game playing going on, so yeah I am annoyed. More than that — I’m despairing. I don’t know whether he is typical or just de-volving into the worst kind of person. Scared of it all.

      TryingHard. Cheaters, right?!! I have been giving a lot of thought to your questions.
      Kind of freaking out though.

      I’ve been thinking everything from NC to overseas trip for massive shopping to clinic stay for anxiety. Such is the power of my imagination. Maybe all of the above. Wish I was joking.
      NC is best idea. It is so hard when I still need to work with him.

      It’s been a lot of tears this past 24 hours. Thought it might be doable. I’m not going to get any cooperation. Yes he wants a payout. H believes I should leave business and get a job (even though I’m a 50% owner!!), sell assets and well, pay him out. Yep it’s all about cash and his / their dream. I’m shattered.

      My lawyer has said I should put some distance in (NC) and he will follow up with email to secure obligations.I’m still doing all my work as usual and making sure everything is airtight.

      Business is a company. I have been documenting everything. I need it to stay afloat as it’s my income until everything gets sorted. And I am going to open my own bank account!! Luckily the business owes me a small amount of money so I’m going to start my new little personal nest egg. Reasons to be cheerful!

      How strange to have to do all this with the person who you trusted the most and who is now the most dangerous risk of all to your emotional and financial health and wellbeing.

      Defs going to wear the ToughiePants and The BitchBoot going forward.

      • Puzzled

        Satori- This really sucks. No other way to put things. He’s so blinded by the fog and the OW that he can’t see his own backside. I’m really sorry that you’re suffering from his selfishness. I wish there some magic words that we could give you. It’s amazing how most of our stories have such similar and sad plot twists-even when though we might be separated by gender, age, race, or continents!

        The cheaters handbook must be out there somewhere. Gaslighting, lies, deception, blame, game playing, indecision: they are all in full play. It’s unfortunate there’s not a handbook for the BS because we seem to go through a living HELL and our CS just selfishly keeps torturing us.

        Good that you are getting your financial affairs (no pun intended) together. It’s best to start talking to your attorney about a financial buy-out offer and maybe not liquidating the business. If he’s intent on getting his share, then ask him what he thinks his 50% is worth. If it’s an amount that you’d love to have, then tell him you accept his offer to buy you out of the business since he thinks that amount is fair. 😉

        The tears seem to flow freely throughout this crap. It can’t be helped when, as you put it, the person you trusted the most is the most dangerous risk. I don’t know how many days/nights that I wondered if my wife would just not come home or how awful she’d be when she got home. Sometimes I wondered if I’d be happier if she didn’t come home. At least my kids and I could not be walking on eggshells. The joys of an affair and the fog.

        Eventually, he will come out of it and see what he’s done. But it will be too little, too late.
        Stay strong and take care of you. That’s the biggest thing to keep control of going forward. Stay mentally and physically strong. Talk to a counselor, get a personal trainer, work on you. You have your life to live and make it the best one for you; whether he’s a part of it or not.

    • TheFirstWife

      I am so sorry for you.

      I just think that it is hard to face the inevitable. It doesn’t appear he will change his path.

      I too gave up hope but 4 years later we are still R and Happy. I know my situation was not as dire as yours w/ business tied in, but our turn around was last possible second.

      It is hard for you b/c OW is far away but She clearly has control over him. Not sure how but she does. It is what bonds them together right now babe “us vs wife” bonding syndrome as I call it.

      It is just not real – their “relationship” is built on fluff and fantasy.

      Strap on the boots ????????????????????????

    • TheFirstWife

      As a suggestion. To add to his misery

      Suggest a payout # that is a not more than he is worth. Tell him (via your attorney) the pay out is over 5 or 10 years.

      then after about 8 months offer him less $ paid in full in 3-6 months. He may just take it.

      This is how my friend got rid of his ex-wife. Paid her up front in the spot for a lesser amount. She took it and ran.

    • TryingHard


      TFW has a great idea. Make an offer and then renege down the road!

      You must take care of and secure your business interests. After all this is what’s feeding and housing you. Not him.

      I vote go to Italy. See some art, great sights, and eat good food and drink some good wine. Works wonders for the anxiety. A clinic sounds fucking boring!!! Plus Italian men are great for the ego my dear 🙂 Just do it. I did it twice and traveling alone is great for soul searching and putting into perspective you will be just fine without him!

    • TheFirstWife

      It’s not renege. It is renegotiating terms.

      Offer to pay over a term period. He won’t like it. Cite cash flow or logistics or damage to business to buy him out all at once.

      Even offer a bit more than he is worth.

      Then make a few payments. Then offer a lesser amount than what is owed (in full over x years) RIGHT NOW. Or 2-3 months after first few payments.

      Have him sign docs stating he will accept lesser amount and paid in full. And then it is done.

      Perfectly legal.

    • TryingHard

      LOL close enough!!! I say renege! Screw him

      • Satori

        Thanks Puzzled, TheFirstWife, TryingHard for all the support.

        There is one carrot which I have not yet dangled, that could be the easiest cleanest way forward. I might do it with that and some repayments as TFW suggested. But I just want out and I want out as fast as I can — which sadly is not possible until mid next year.

        Really why would anyone take this kind of a financial risk (M) when it’s our lives and livelihoods that could turn pear-shaped on a random hookup that turns into a Runaway spouse? Pretty sure from everything I read everywhere that no one is happy with the family law system regardless of what country you are in. There are too many loopholes and un-provables if CS play hardball. Too much onus on me the BS to pony up and be the good, responsible player even though I’m the victim and falling apart.

        I don’t know anymore. But It comes down to this:

        What you thought you knew v What is / was really happening

        I think I’ve been in so much shock I have literally been unable to get past the v in that statement. To see things clearly has really fucked with my centre of gravity.
        I’m worried when I do see things laser sharp I will really lose my mind hence the clinic option, but maybe Italy, a new “hot” Italian guy and a ton of pasta would be better.
        But that might be a bit too “Eat, Pray Love” LOL Hey, wasn’t Elizabeth Gilbert a cheater?

        Here’s the thing I have learned, FWIW. Technology makes an EA easier to build and to maintain.The bond of Us v Wife is easy to do when you can continually seem connected to each other regardless of location or time zones and a lot of these convos take place late at night or early in the morning when people are either tired (easy to manipulate) or fresh (no distractions so laser focus). And then what further happens is that W starts to impose consequences and this further fuels the Us v Wife bonding. It’s a spiral after that. There are few ways to break the momentum and get your CS’s clear attention.

        Renege is a play straight out of the CS manual, but I like it.A LOT. lol.????

        Thanks guys — S x

    • JTK

      Can I ask a question – looking for feedback from woman’s perspective? Dday was 8 mos ago, my W, CS, continues to deny. She has been distant the whole time showing little affection and behavior that she loves me. I told her recently that I am not sure how much longer I can take it. She showed no sign of caring if I left.

      My first question is regarding her waning affection. She has had no desire for sex for 3 months. I don’t want sex if she doesn’t want to. It is as much emotional for me as physical – it is making love. So, I am not necessarily looking for sex here. But lately, she has stopped kissing me, evenings, good night, etc. She has stopped telling me she loves me. Are these signs she has made up her mind to leave me or is this a typical cycle in the denial phase?

      Next question – I read an article about a W with a hardened heart. This happens over time when a wife sees her husband as disinterested, not cherishing her. I can see where my past behaviors have conveyed this, unknowingly. Pethaps this is my W’s situation. Although cheating is not an appropriate way to “escape”. Has anyone had experience with this and how to R?

      • TheFirstWife

        JTK I have to say Trying Hard is right.

        The longer you say nothing &/or don’t confront the longer the situation will continue. She is counting on you doing nothing – so she feels entitled to continue to carry on the A.

        My H did the same thing. After three weeks of it I told him if he wanted to talk to her and engage w/ her – he should be a man and own it. So be realized his behavior was wrong and stopped the A (I actually think she ended it). It started up again and went further underground for another 4 months.

        When I told him to leave b/c I was divorcing him – he realized I was past the rational stage and he ended the A and never looked back. It went no contact immediately.

        However had I not thrown my weight around AND him coming to the conclusion on his own to end it – who knows what would have happened.

        But if the BS doesn’t say anything – the A will continue b/c it can.

        Its like giving a dog a treat every time he does a trick – the expectation is that every time he does the trick he will be rewarded. When the treat is not offered – the dog gets agitated. And doesn’t know what to do.

        The treat is your complicity in allowing the A to go on. If you remove your “permission” you will agitate the CS. And by standing up to her you will stop being a doormat and it may become more difficult for the A to continue.

        I hope this information helps.

    • TryingHard

      JTK–I think your wife is detaching from you. She probably is planning on leaving you but maybe not. If she’s still involved with another man she is giving him all her emotional attachment. She may even be to the point that if you shows you any kind of love let alone sex she will be betraying HIM. Convoluted I know.

      Eight months huh? Wow how are you coping with that. Eight months is a long time to put up with feeling unloved and ignored by your partner. Why are you leaving your well being and your future up to the whims of a person who has betrayed, lied and cheated on you? Do you feel you don’t have a say or are you waiting for her to make the next move?

      JTK you have a voice and say in this. Sitting around waiting for some kind of epiphany from her is NOT going to happen. She is having her cake and eating it too as they say in cheaterworld! She has you, I assume your children’s daddy, her home intact and her lover. Her double life is working for her. The bigger question is Is it working for you?

      • JTK

        I know my W is still involved with the OM – caught her meeting him, lying about it a few weeks ago. A couple of people have said she is trying to set me up to leave so she does not have to feel guilty doing it herself. I told her that so maybe she can no longer play that card.

        How am I coping? Not well at all. I am devastated with or without her. I continue to pray and look for God’s direction – lately I have seen and heard a lot of “wiat on the Lord”, so I am waiting for now.

        We are becoming empty nesters. I do want what is best for me and my well-being. I don’t know what that is right now. I think puzzled perhaps mentioning it taking over a year before his W said she wanted him. Yes, the continued lying, cheating, protecting HIM is painful.

        I believe her parents who know but my W does not know they know are going to confront her in a couple weeks. That may be a make or break moment.

        Thank you for your support. I need the honest answers.

    • TryingHard

      JTK–I know it’s hard particularly at our age and you’ve been with this person foreverrrrr. We hope against all hope. I have to warn you as well, I think it is worse when a woman has an affair. They jump into it both physically and emotionally and whole heartedly. There really isn’t any compartmentalization for women as there is for men.

      I believe it’s a timing thing and I have no idea what her motivation is. I don’t think you do either is the problem.

      You can wait on the Lord as we all should but I actually thing the Lord has spoken to you and you are choosing to ignore it. You said you already caught her with him. If that isn’t the Lord speaking to you I don’t know what it. As long as we are on the bible there are many places where we are commanded by God to divorce the unrepentant adulterers. I’m thinking you have a pretty unrepentant adulterer on your hands.

      But none of this is for me to judge. If you want to keep waiting on the Lord that is your choice.
      I think he’s spoken and maybe you just don’t want to listen to what he’s telling you. The bible also says “God helps those who help themselves”. You need to start helping/taking care of you. You start by stop trying to unravel your wife’s fuckupedness!

      I’m not sure what you are waiting on. I’m not sure any pretty dancing or personal changes you make now are going to make a difference to her. I hope you lawyer up and maybe talk to a therapist for support.

      I don’t mean to sound harsh but I think you have enough people telling you the fluffy stuff 🙂

    • Shifting Impressions

      I guess I don’t really understand your question. She is still involved with the other man….what else do you really need to know? That might sound harsh….I don’t really mean it that way. Why would anyone stay and be totally disregarded and disrespected??

      It’s not harsh or ungodly to demand that our spouses are faithful and truthful. When lines of respect are being crossed it is up to us to say “enough”. You deserve better.

    • Satori


      I am going through my own hell, as you can read above, and I am a newbie to this stuff, but I will say that TryingHard, ShiftingImpressions are very wise.

      If you follow their advice to the letter they can save you a lot of heartache. Knowing what I know now as a result of coming here — and also TheFirstWife and Puzzled — I wish I had been way tougher with my H before he became emboldened in his A.

      It doesn’t work to enable them. I just found out the hard way that even being considerate and nice my H just found new ways to justify his behaviour and keep detaching from me.

      I agree TH re the woman’s perspective in a A. We don’t compartmentalise and we are more likely to want to be with one person rather than split ourselves between two people.

      But take solace: there are others with you in these trenches.

      Hope things improve for you soon.

    • TryingHard


      I vote Italy.

      And yes Elizabeth Gilbert is a big fat cheater. She admits she did it for the sport of it. She loved getting one over on another woman. She felt empowered by it. She’s also a big fat narcissist. I hate Eat Pray Love! EG gave me the creeps first time I saw her on Oprah years ago before all her cheating came out. Big fraud!

      And revenge is best served cold!

    • Satori

      Love your spirit TryingHard!!

      I thought I’d read that about Elizabeth Gilbert somewhere. Gawd.
      I have a form of Tourette’s now where I literally go “fucking cheaters!!!” whenever i hear about anything to do with infidelity. I can’t watch a Brad Pitt film now because he is a cheater.

      I also just read about some doctor who is trying to raise the notion of infidelity as a form of emotional abuse that needs to be as recognised as physical assault. I’d sign that petition.

      Revenge. Hmmm. I worry about revenge as a concept. But I hear you LOL.

      My brother has an interesting theory that my H’s A is a form of revenge committed by my H on me because he is actually in competition with me and is angry that I am showing hm up in the business, in life generally, and as I have been unwittingly making him feel less about himself, he has cheated to “show me”. It is an act of aggression, no question.

      Try that mindfuck on for size!!

    • TryingHard

      No I disagree with your brother’s assessment but I understand where people get this crap.

      Indeed no it is not you or your strength or weakness or anything else about you. Except like the rest of us we have bad choosers.

      No cheating is all on THEM. Cheaters are entitled, character disordered people. And the sooner we stop trying to untangle their fuckupedness the faster we heal.

      Your h, and mine and everyone else’s, cheated because they wanted to, they could, they believed they deserved it, they believed we’d never find out etc. Own nothing about your husband’s cheating.

    • Satori

      NICE. ✅ Thanks TryingHard.

      I’m going to call my brother today and lay that down the line!

      How on earth would you know someone would do this? Like, if you were starting again, at the beginning when you met them, what would the signs be? I’ve been trying to work whether his fuckupdness was something that developed over the 15 years or was it always there…And I shudder to think about an A happening in 10-20 years time too.As in, if I didn’t happen now, it would have happened eventually…?

      But maybe not thinking about H at all is a better approach!

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. If you thought your H had this A as revenge against you – that would really make him a monster.

      I hope that is not it.

      He may be angry at you b/c you are standing in the way of his “true love”. You are viewed as the “mean mom”. Saying “no” to the spoiled child.

      Call it Midlife crisis or Affair Fog or both or whatever you want.

      The cheater just seems to follow the same patterns of behavior. Both M & F. Old or young. Newly married or long term M. Bf/Gf or domestic cohabitation – the patterns are surprisingly similar.

      • Satori

        Hi TFW,

        Yes, I hope he is not a monster too. I still adore him, trying to separate the specific behaviours from the person is key to forgiveness, and of course, regardless of the outcome (R or D) there will need to be forgiveness.

        Puzzled was saying the same thing (about standing in the way of him and the dream etc). It’s mystifying to me how they are all the same!

        I am simply amazed how many of the phrases are used to deflect or minimise, whitewash etc the behaviours but in any case I’m kind of done with the labels — now I’m just calling it “The Insanity” LOL.

    • TryingHard

      You know what my dear , this is such a sticky place to be. Your brother meant well and is sticking up for you. Everybody tries to find the answers to why. And they dint lie with the betrayed. He’s trying to help but his analysis is simply incorrect. Saying stuff like that is equal to saying women get raped because they dress provocatively. And everyone knows that’s not true.

      My biggest struggle was with the why’s And I figured out it’s as simple as what I previously stated. It’s battling windmills to they to equate it to any other reasons.

      As to would it happen again? Well by my experience I have to say yes. But only if it’s ignored and brushed under the rug. And not doing things like TFW and I did to protect ourselves in the future. I was dumb and wanted to trust. I wanted that shit to just go away. It doesn’t. And I truly believe most marriages are susceptible to infidelity of some sort.

      How do you choose better the next time?? You get very smart about yourself and people. You listen to your red flags. You place firm boundaries of what is a deal breaker in your relationship. I used to think those firm women were bitches. They aren’t. They are the smart ones. you fix your picker. Then you move on to another relationship. You don’t allow yourself to be swept off your feet. If it sounds too good to be true it generally is. You keep your bullshit atennea strong. You believe in yourself far more than you believe in anyone else.

      • Satori

        WOW. Thank you TryingHard. I’m going to print this out and put it in my journal for future reference (regardless of your very naughty swear words LOL!!!)

        I think, as we probably all are, as time goes by, you get better and better at navigating the “vicissitudes” of life. So who I was 15 years ago when I met my H is nowhere the same in terms of my maturity and understanding of people. And the same would be true for my H. So he is on a different learning curve to me obviously.

        I guess I should thank my H for the lessons. Well I might get to that point some day but not just yet. Looking forward to that moment though, gotta say.

      • TheFirstWife

        I want to comment on the choosing better next time thread.

        I dated a number of guys who were cheaters. Starting when I was 19. Two stand out in my mind. Both were serious relationships.

        I meet my H in my 20s. We date 5 years. Marry. Complete trust. He is the guy you would bet $ on he would never cheat. No one would believe it.

        So as far as “picking ” – I did not pick a guy that had red flags or history of cheating. No warning bells going off.

        It was a choice he made – a poor one – and he got caught up in the emotional side and it overtook him. He was as blindsided by his feelings and A as I was.

        I think for so many of us here at EAJ – the affair was a shock to the BS. The BS would/could not have predicted it.

        I think given human behavior – you steer clear of relationships that set off the “DANGER” warning bells. And the rest you just protect yourself the best you can.

        In following Satori’s thread her H was a good guy for many many years. And then one day things started to change. A WHAM – an A begins.

        Some guys buy a sports car or develop a new hobby or seek extreme sports or become a writer. Sadly many men (and women) choose to cheat to add a thrill in their life.

        But for so many there are no warnings or red flags.

    • blueskyabove

      Linda and Doug,

      I would like to voice a public complaint regarding the disregard for all readers of your blog who are periodically subjected to unsolicited foul, vulgar language by some of the people who post comments on your site. I think we deserve better treatment by fellow betrayed spouses.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I can’t really say that I agree with you regarding the language. I’m not one to use a lot of foul language in my life but we need a safe place to vent and sometimes that includes language. Emotions are raw….with regard to infidelity.

        The support on this site surely outweighs the foul language.

      • Doug

        BSA, I acknowledge and respect your complaint and respect your opinions and your perspectives. As I do with others who comment on the site. The beautiful thing about blogs and social media is that everyone can have their own opinion, and others can either like it or not like it. That said, we’ve never censored anyone on this site and we’re not about to. This is an emotional period for most people who visit and they all express themselves in their own way. That’s part of what makes us individuals. So, if that includes dropping an F bomb now and then, I have no problem with that. After all, I’ve been known to drop a few myself at times. 😉 I do think that it is important that we all have respect and consideration for one another – but that probably goes without being said.

    • TryingHard


      I suggest you become familiar with that scroll feature when your reading. Better yet apply some if your existential enlightenment to your precious sensibilities.

    • Satori

      Hi Blueskyabove,

      I apologise unreservedly if you are offended by my occasional use of profanity in my posts.

      It must however be said that nothing I am saying is directed at you personally, and there is no intention to cause you offence, therefore I am not treating you badly per se.

      Accordingly and respectfully, I cannot agree with your statement that you deserve better treatment from me as a fellow betrayed spouse. If you were to post, I would absolutely treat you respectfully as I do anyone who replies and to whom I reply.

      I do understand if you find it offensive however we are all grown ups here and this is a free space. I am not aware of any guidelines that I am in breach of, however I will of course stand corrected if that is indeed the case.

      Best wishes,


      • Shifting Impressions

        This is the last thing you should be worried about, You are going through “Hell” at the moment and you need to be able to vent with us UNCENSORED!!!

        • Satori

          You are gorgeous ShiftingImps. Thank you.

          I have relied upon this safe space so very much. That post made me think I should not let it “all hang out”.

          Those whom I have actually been communicating with have been incredible.
          You are right, it has helped me to vent, even if it is , ahem, “expressive” at times.
          But I love the honesty and rawness of TH too. She helps me feel strength and feel real — too feel like I’m allowed my feelings when I repressed them so much through the early days of this nightmare due to shock.

          Anyhow: he proof is in the pudding*: I am calm and feeling actually *almost normal* for the first time today. For sure that’s due to the kindness, generosity and the open mindedness of the lovely crew on here.

          Thanks for being there…

          — S x

          [Side note: the proof is in the pudding is an old proverb which related to the concept that you had to eat the dessert to know if it was good.
          This morphed over time to mean different things including but not limited to this:
          that the proof of the listening is in the correcting. Which says everything really.
          Just a little trivia — thanks to]

          • Shifting Impressions

            We are here for you….we all need to tell our story. I don’t know where I would be with all this if I hadn’t been able to come here and pour out my pain and listen to all of you do the same.

    • Satori

      PS Sorry about the typos and punctuation mistakes in the post “he proof” aka “the proof…” and “too feel” aka “to feel”. It’s Friday night here, and you know what? I’m having a glass of wine!!


    • TryingHard

      You can express yourself and vent any way you choise. I’ve never seen anyone censored here at EAJ and if they were I’d be gone. There’s plenty of sites that do censor. I suggest those who are offended by words find those sites.

      I for one will not be censored or castigated by my words. We are all adults here. I’ve never held back and I’m not going to now. Too old to play by someone else’s delicate sensibilities. You don’t like what I say ? Scroll past. Easy Peasy!!!

    • TryingHard

      And don’t we all have bigger fish to fry just figuring this stuff out???

    • Puzzled

      Affairs happen by choice not by chance. I don’t care what people say or what rationale they use. The CS may get on a slippery slope and then slide all the way in but it their choice to tip toe out on the ledge. This was the case for my wife. Was she a great mom and wife? A good person? A good Christian? Yes to all of them. But, in the end, none of that mattered. She knew what she was doing. She chose to continue with her EA knowing it was wrong. Excitement? Thrill? Revenge? Mid-Life Crisis? Doesn’t matter the reason. They’re all bull shit. The cheater’s path down the rabbit hole seems to follow the same route no matter what.

      They have the first contact which is “nothing”. But then there’s another text or call. Then another. And another. Then they get get wrapped up in their fantasy world of fun, excitement, butterflies. I described to my wife exactly how her affair played out. She stood there in shock as everything I said was the exact path it followed. And she had never given me any details. It’s funny (sad funny) how the CS follows the same downward spiral and we are left watching things go down the drain.

      And Satori: I think we all get to a point of clarity and strength. Some faster than others but it’s a liberating moment. It took me a long while getting there. I just remember that I got to a point where I decided that I would be fine no matter the outcome. I stopped trying to do anything other than take care of me and my kids. I was kind to my wife but I stopped worrying about it. She cheated. She lied. She betrayed me. And she needed to get her crap together and come back. This affair was all about her and not my fault. I still struggle with looking at me for blame but that’s on me. The great thing for you is that you can now make rational decisions and take a stand for you. It’s his mess and it’s his choice to end things or not. Stand firm and be clear with your decisions.

      And TFW: I’ve known my wife since we were 18. Good friends through college and then dating as seniors in college. Married two years later. Did I ever see any red flags through 27 years of knowing this woman? Not that I can remember. That’s the saddest part of this for me. In our circle of friends and our little town, we were probably “that couple”. Good kids, pretty house, good marriage: an affair in our relationship? No way. But it happened. Now, though, when I start thinking about RED FLAGS just before the affair and during? Holy hell, they fly up in my face! Textbook red flags that I simply never recognized because? My wife would never cheat on me. But, alas, I feel like we are part of a 12 step program. Hi, my name is Puzzled, and my wife had an affair. 😉

      • TryingHard

        Great post Puzzled. 100% it’s a choice. Actually many choices made over and over again.

        Love your 12 step analogy too

      • Shifting Impressions

        I feel the same way…my name is SI and my husband had an affair.

        My story is the same…started dating at 17 married three years later. Had the great kids, house etc. We were also “that couple”.

        And yes, no red flags except during and just prior to the affairs, which I did not recognize either. Because just as you said…my husband would never cheat. I totally relate to your story.

    • blueskyabove

      First off, I would hate for any of you to worry about my sensibilities. LOL, we all know that was disingenuous. I was just expressing a voice for the voiceless betrayed spouses who might not feel safe enough to voice their own opinion. Chances are they will never comment, but that doesn’t mean they are unworthy of consideration. JMO.

      Doug-You have absolutely booted at least one person off this site in the past. That’s what you posted you were going to do, and since I am unaware of that person ever commenting again, I feel fairly safe in saying that you did, indeed, block her from future comments.

      TryingHard-There’s no need to yell at me. I am not attempting to censor you. I am merely asking you to use all that empathy you say you have for other people and consider the possibility that your valuable message may be getting lost amongst all the clatter. According to Doug there are plenty of people who come to this site who never comment. They’re hurting, too. Not everyone deals with pain the same way you deal with it. What do you say to yourself to give yourself permission to disregard them?

      If you care about helping betrayed spouses…and I believe you do…then I challenge you to consider all of them and not just the ones who don’t threaten your fixed identity. There’s a whole lot more to you than what you are currently showing, TryingHard. Don’t limit yourself to the false belief that lewd rhetoric and abrasive posturing is all you have to offer.

      Do you censor your vocabulary in front of your grandchildren?

      Shifting Impressions-Regarding those betrayed spouses who never comment…aren’t they also entitled to a safe place? Is it your belief that only the most vocal commentators are entitled? My impression of you has been that you’re one of the nicest, most considerate, most rational people EVER to comment on this site. I would genuinely like to hear your reason for discounting the feelings of those who don’t comment. Somebody(!) needs to explain to me why they don’t matter.

      Satori-If you don’t recognize anything else, recognize how easily you were persuaded to jump onto that noxious bandwagon. This is a rare lifetime opportunity for you to decide who you are and what you stand for. Don’t let total strangers make that decision for you…including me. The reality is that you have to live with your choices, not us. There is a real danger in blindly following the advice of someone just because they have also been betrayed. Make sure your choices are right for you. Just saying.

      • Doug

        BSA, Thanks for your response. Yes I did indeed boot/block one person – and only one person- ever from this site a few years ago. And I think you know who and probably have a good idea why. 😉 And I don’t really consider that censoring her as such. It was more like not allowing her in the group. It had nothing to do with swearing and everything to do with being a royal pain in the ass – making false accusations and being slanderous – not to mention flaming people whenever she felt like it. (I do wonder if she ever did publish her book, btw.) Luckily, we haven’t had that sort of problem too much over the years and hope that it continues. We have a great supportive group here!

      • Shifting Impressions

        I weigh my words carefully on a public forum because that is just who I am. I don’t really feel we are disregarding anyone. Trying Hard is always one of the first ones to show support and care, albeit that she does it differently than I do. I love her dearly for it and feel a very strong connection with her.

        We need to be to be able to express freely and without constraint. As for those that don’t comment, either they feel comfortable here or they don’t.

        We are dealing with highly emotional subject matter….we have to be able to show our emotions. We each have to find what works for us and if this site is to offensive than one needs to find another site that works for them. I simply am not offended and feel 100 percent supported here.

      • Satori


        I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. I’m very comfortable with all my choices.

        Your initial complaint was to say you felt you deserve better treatment by other betrayed spouses.
        I treated you cordially and respectfully in my reply and apology. Not only have you have not responded in kind, but your assertions regarding the decisions you assume others have made for me and your superior tone and condescending attitude towards me are unfathomable.

        I am not sure how you reconcile your initial complaint with how you have treated me in your post here.

        In my view you are acting with disregard and disrespect for me and that now makes me very uncomfortable posting here.

        • Shifting Impressions

          We are still here for you. Please don’t let one opinion stop you from posting. Your posts are raw and full of pain, but they are real. You are in crisis….vent to us all you want….we totally understand.

          Plus….gotta love that sense of humor that you have.

          • Satori

            You are a champion ShiftingImpressions. Thanks to your consistently uplifting replies to me, I am in a way better place than I was or would have been. Not so sure about the shape my sense of humor is in — it’s getting pretty black in there lately !! LOL

      • Shifting Impressions

        I have been thinking more about our discussion. You asked me why I thought it was okay to discount the feelings of those who don’t comment.

        To tell you the honest truth…I haven’t thought about them all that much. I have spent time relating to those who do choose to speak up.

        My mother passed away very suddenly about five months after d-day. I was overwhelmed with grief. A very wise friend told me “there is anger in grief”. How very true!! My RAGE was all consuming!!! Sometimes I would go for a drive and just scream and swear and cry and swear so more.

        Seeing that same anger and rage in others going though this nightmare was validating and comforting in some strange way. I poured much of my rage and tears into the creative part of my life. The I work created in those years is very precious to me.

        Most of us are very private about the infidelity and often have to walk though our daily lives as if everything is fine. That takes it’s toll.

        This was and is the one safe place where we could pour that grief out. And perhaps those of you that are reading who never comment, feel some sort of connection to us. When we loose a loved one or are facing serious health problems there is often much sympathy sent our way. Nobody sends you a card saying SORRY YOUR PARTNER BETRAYED YOU, or holds a memorial service. People often suffer….alone.

        We come here, where we are not quite so alone……and all of that Rage Sorrow and Pain needs to come out one way or another.

        • Puzzled

          SI- I wish that I would have found this site right after D-day. I have learned so much from the posters on here and value the thoughts & insights of kindred spirits. I suffered alone through most of the affair and the stages of grief, healing, pain, trouble, heartache, etc. I pray that others find it sooner just so they know they aren’t alone in this nightmare.

          Even though our lives are completely torn apart and emotional well-being is shot, no one else usually knows. Their lives continue and we enjoy silent suffering. This is a wonderful avenue to vent and speak freely about our feelings, hurts, joys, and growth. I’m sorry if some get offended by anything but this is our “safe” zone. We don’t know each other but we do know each other. It’s an odd fraternity that we all belong to and I’m thankful for all of you who can give me any bits of advice to ease my healing.

          I haven’t read anything from Satori and I’m hoping that’s just coincidence and the fall out from one disgruntled person on here. She is so early in this process and I know that she will have many tough times ahead. I’m hopeful that she visits often to work through her pain.

          • Shifting Impressions

            I was fortunate to have found this site not long after d-day….a life line for sure. It did more for me than my sessions with a counselor. Not that they didn’t help but this site kept me going.

            I agree, I hope Satori continues to post. She is in the thick of it.

    • Satori

      Puzzled, TryingHard, ShiftingImpressions,

      Great post Puzzled. Looking forward to feeling the consistency of the clarity you describe. It’s been 2 months now since my H left our home and only 6 weeks since DDay so I’m only having flashes. Current mood? I’m not going to be passively aggressed into doing all the work of deconstructing what I spent 15 years putting together. If H wants out, H will have to pony up himself. I’ve over-functioned and fixed everything for so long (red flag!!) I’ve had enough.

      My name is Satori and my husband had an affair.

      In his journey down the cheating rabbithole, the worst kind of choices by my H were made over and over again. By inviting a third party in to our M, he trashed a sacred space that we spent many years creating. Even after DDay and first apology. Bad choices made again. By not self correcting, he was enabled firstly by this third party, and secondly by his own enabling family members and certain friends to do more damage to me psychologically than anyone in my life.

      I am not the addict, my H is. He is the one who needs a 12 step program to face the reality of his choices, actions and attitudes and the impacts these have had on me, our pet, our families, our friends, our business, our community. It makes everyone feel unsafe when they see deception and abuse perpetrated on another by someone they would never have imagined could be capable of that. Nothing about this affair is neutral or acceptable. If Switzerland did not exist, much of the damage could have either been stopped in its tracks and reversed or minimised.
      No responsibility, accountability nor ownership has been required of my H by any of the people who stood there and witnessed our marriage vows. They have sat on their hands and said nothing or worse perpetuated it by accepting my H’s lies and false narratives without verifying mine. In their doing so, they have enabled my H to remain in his blame, excuses and denial while I have been further betrayed.

      It takes a village to raise a cheater.

      • Shifting Impressions

        It is amazing how most people avoid conflict or confrontation. It is easier for them to turn the other way rather than confronting a friend or loved one for their behavior.

        My oldest son (39 years at the time) actually confronted my husband after he found out about the EA. He told my husband how angry he was that he had betrayed and hurt me. And then he told me how angry he was for me. I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me. My son is the most easy going non-abrasive man you could ever hope to meet. But he went to bat for me….it meant everything.

        My other children were very supportive of me but the oldest is the only person that was ANGRY FOR ME. It just meant so much.

        If you can just find one or two people that are there for you, it can make all the difference.

        • Satori

          Thanks ShiftingImpressions.

          I applaud your son’s loyalty. And how he shows his love! Just proves you raised someone with core integrity and a strong set of values.You truly deserve a son like that… because you yourself are clearly loyal!

    • TheFirstWife

      I feel this site is a godsend AND sanity saver.

      I did not find this site until DDay2 and the A ended (same day).

      I have been grateful and thankful to Doug and Linda for their support and caring and putting their personal life out there. I love the topics they choose.

      I myself do not use curse words (typically) but do not condemn people who do. Their choice. Totally personal decision but given ALL we have endured I would not pass judgment on any one for their behavior or choices after infidelity invades their life. And yes I will let a few fly when in certain situations. That’s just life!!!!

      I don’t think anyone imposes their “will” on anyone here. We discuss our experience and what worked and didn’t and why. I have never felt like any contributor forced a decision on me and I hope everyone here feels supported.

      I am grateful for the support I have received here.

      And I hope I can continure go pay it forward and that other posters find my suggestions and advice helpful.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I love that you don’t mince words. You tell it like it is. Thank you for your compassion and understanding. You have done more for me than you realize. Thank you.

        • TheFirstWife

          Thank you SI. It is so nice to hear.

          I just try to be supportive and helpful b/c we all know the devastation that infidelity brings to your life.

          I wish I knew about this site during the crazy time of the A. It was so cray-cray I thought I was going to lose my mind.

          It was comforting to know that I had friends who completely understood.

          I don’t talk to any friends about this
          – except my friends here.

          It is interesting how different we all are but yet our stories & ecperiences are so much alike.

          Blessed be the ties that bind — that says so much. I just wish it was under better circumstances.

          • Shifting Impressions

            We are in this together….it just makes the burden of it all somewhat lighter. Take care.

          • Satori

            TheFirstWife. I will forever be grateful for your very considered responses to me in this insanely difficult time of my life.

            As with TryingHard, every word you type is precious to me, and has given me so much, not least the wise counsel and hard won experience that you so both generously shared for my benefit and support.

            Thank you for everything.

    • TryingHard


      I have no idea what you are saying as usual. Be that as it may, you have a right to your opinion.

      I don’t believe I have ever requested to Doug and Linda how to run their blog. I think it’s quite nervy that you have. And if my f bombs were offensive to them they have never called me on it.

      As to MY f bombs I have NEVER directed them at anyone personally. Even offensive OW who come here occasionally to spout their agenda. I’ve showed anger and contempt for them but have never directed swear words directly to them let alone a BS. So I call bullshit on your protestations.

      To that I will be damned before I allow you to gauge my depth. You have no right to do that and I find that highly offensive. What I am here, what I show here is what I choose to show. I do it for no one but myself. If you don’t like what I have to write move on. My name is plainly stated on my comment. No one is forcing you to read my posts. Because trust me I don’t read all of yours! That’s what the scroll button is for. I certainly don’t flatter MYSELF thinking people are hanging on my every word!!

      If I offer up advice it’s from MY experience alone. What has worked and NOT worked for ME. People are free to listen or not. I could not care any less. I have NO need to be validated by you or anyone else. If I’ve helped ONE person here then my time spent here has been worthwhile. I’m not out to save the world. Some people don’t want saving and that’s their experience.

      And yes Bluesky when someone goes to the extent to solicit censoring commenters here for language it IS because they are offended and have delicate sensibilities. I don’t know what kind of precious existence you are fortunate enough to have that you are shielded from the harsh realities of life, but it must be nice. I have no idea how it is you can come to a sight like this where peoples lives are torn apart and hurting and the best you can offer up to the people who are suffering is that swear words offend you.

      I think it is you who should exam your own empathy allotment. Maybe the wise thing to do is start your own blog where you have total control over everything and can pick and choose your members.

      Enuf said!!!! Whatever…..

    • TryingHard

      TFW and SI

      You have no idea how much I have learned from both of you. And LOL to tell you the truth I have never noticed whether or not you swear.

      There are others here as well that have moved on whom I miss and learned so much from. I feel this is the only safe place to vent. We sure as heck wouldn’t vent to our family or friends as we do here. Which, BTW, I can’t believe BSA brought my grandchildren into this!!!! GGGRRRR she’s messing with the wrong grandmother here and she’s lucky I didn’t rip into her for that one!!!

      So yes Doug and LInda have been a Godsend and I didn’t find this place until about two years out from DDay. I’ve seen other infidelity sights and yes some are monitored and censored. A little too big brother for my taste so I don’t read them let alone participate.

      I will apologize to no one. I am authentic and real. I’ve never pretended to be anyone else here. What you see is what you get. And NO none of you know the REAL me.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Well…I don’t have to swear…I know you’ll do it for me..Lol!!!

        You have made me laugh in some of my darkest moments. You have made me cry with your compassion and wisdom. I consider it an honor to call you a friend. Never stop being you.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TryingHard,

        I agree 100% about what you said about everything. I love your authenticity and your “realness” and your courage to be yourself. I admire so many things about you, my dear TryingHard.

        And yes, this is a safe space to vent, at least from my perspective. I actually encourage people to vent and to say all of those things they have been holding inside. When you or anyone else lets those things out, you can see them in the light of day and defeat them.

        For me, all speech is allowed as long as someone is not viciously attacking another member here. We all need to be here to support one another even if someone communicates in a way that we don’t.

        I encourage everyone to vent their feelings about their situations all they want and in whatever way they choose. (Just as long as there are no attacks on other members.) This is a place where we support one another, even if we would do something differently or feel differently.

        My grandma (born in 1905) had a rule that she used interpersonally. If she found herself in a group where people were swearing, gossiping, or doing other things she felt were distasteful, she either got up and left the group or said nothing at all. She was the Queen of Cordiality– kind to everyone and her rule was that if she did not have something nice to say directly to someone, then she wouldn’t anything. She would just smile and listen. To be clear though, this rule was about detachment and letting people just ‘be’ rather than taking them on and bringing up any faults in them that she perceived.

        On the other hand, if someone was insulting her, she would stand up for herself and then leave the situation. But, she always kept her honor about her at all times and never said things she regretted. She never took personal shots at people even if she did not understand their point of view and even if she disagreed with them. She would just politely detach.

        I want this site to be a place where people can speak their own truth and feel safe and where they can communicate and be themselves. As long as it doesn’t involve singling out other members and saying mean things, then people should be able to communicate freely.

        Many Blessings to you, TryingHard,


    • TryingHard

      SI. Awwww. Lol you got a deal. I will swear for you!!!

      I guess I focus more on the message. Oh well such is life

    • TryingHard

      Awww. SI. I’ll throw an F bomb for you any time. Just let me know ???? I guess I pay attention to the message and not the semantics of the message. Most everyone here has a great message. I’m greatful for that. No worries. I’m not changing.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I’ll sleep better, knowing that! LOL!!!

      • Satori

        Thank you for being so incredible TryingHard. Your strength has come through to me in EVERY word.

        I could never thank you enough.

    • TryingHard

      For me at least, laughter is the best medicine. You lose that, you lose everything. It’s good to laugh and find a little humor in difficult situations. I’m glad if I can help someone in that way.

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree. I try to find some humor in life wherever I can.

        The best line I heard during my H’s A was this:

        CH: she doesn’t want to be the OW.

        Well by virtue of dating a married man she is the OW!!!

        Geez Einstein – that wasn’t too hard to figure out. And WOW (sarcasm) I’m so glad your OW has morals too.

        Don’t know how he could say this with a straight place.

      • Sarah P.


        Yes, laughter IS the best medicine. And when you are in your groove letting it all out, you have given me some very healing belly laughs. So, don’t censor yourself, my dear 🙂

    • TheFirstWife

      Oops straight face.

    • Sarah P.


      Yes, laughter IS the best medicine. And when you are in your groove letting it all out, you have given me some very healing belly laughs. So, don’t censor yourself, my dear 🙂

    • TryingHard

      Thanks Sarah

      I’ve always felt this is a safe place to vent and let it out. We all know and have experienced it’s hard to do with friends and family. Matter of fact I suggest dint do it with them.

      But for this commenter to invoke my grandchildren in her petty criticism is crossing the line with me!!! What kind of lunacy does it take to correlate adults talking together to how we speak to children ??? She really lost her case with me there. And if she really wants to see me lose it she better never try it again!!!

      Further I don’t believe she was directing her comment to anyone but me. She just doesn’t have the balls to direct it to ME. She had to petition Doug and Linda like a little tattle tale third grader!! I believe if you and Doug and Linda didn’t want swearing on their site they’d have said so long ago. And she knows this too. I actually feel kinda sorry for her.

      I get there are people who don’t appreciate a good swear word and don’t want to use them. Good for them. But the internet is no place to be so sensitive. We are an amalgamation of many cultures and life experiences. One persons swear word is another persons vernacular. To have the inability to move on and allow yourself to be insulted is pointless and shows a real lack of maturity.

      So no I am not apologizing for my “salty” words. Not to her at least. Thanks for the support

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TryingHard,

        We all love you and accept you just as you are. I do and I know a lot of others do too. I cannot think of you without also thinking about the hundreds of hours you spend in the comments helping others and guiding them through life-shattering situations. I see you as one of the several “wise women” here and goodness knows we need a circle of wise women who are able to rally around those who are hurting. TryingHard, you give so much of yourself to this site and you give your time. No one told you were supposed to do it– you do it because your heart tells you to. Even though you are working out your stuff in the process, much of what you say are wise words directed towards others just when they need them. This is an unselfish motive on your part. Like others here, you have a BIG HEART. I look at people’s action’s more than their words anyhow. We have a big group of women here like you, Shifting, TFW, Hopeful, and a few others who pop in an out. They are here because they are unselfish women who have tremendous empathy for others. I look at their actions and any one of these women is around at any time to give relief to the hurting soul. I believe you guys are the best of people because of it. I know that you make a great positive impact on many people out there. And I love you as you are in all of your saltiness and because of your saltiness. You have character and I love it!

        Many blessings,


    • TryingHard

      I don’t ever recall reading that someone doesn’t comment here because there are swear words.

      Maybe BSA has some inner communication with the non-commenters. But sometimes people see dead people too 🙂

      I sure hope Satori hasn’t been run off from EAJ because of one commenter’s petty complaint.

    • Satori

      Hi TryingHard,

      Haven’t run off. Just taking a minute to process the “chilling” effect that one person ghosting can have. No pun intended.

      The lack of accountability and deflecting by BSA is a trigger. It was disingenuously disruptive,
      with the clear intention by BSA to derail a very fluid ongoing convo between those of us who were posting.

      I did not appreciate the patronising disrespect that BSA directed towards me personally. I may be younger however that does not mean I should be treated like that.

      If anything the faux concern by BSA for other unspecified betrayed spouses who weren’t even posting is a cover for actual aggressing of those of us who were and is the perfect example of the kind of gaslighting that cheaters do.

      So yeah. Taking a minute.

      • Shifting Impressions

        We are still here for you.

        • Satori

          Thank you Shifting Impressions ????
          Was just spinning out there for a while…

          • TheFirstWife

            How are things going Satori?

            I know you are in the fight if your life and I keep hoping he signs the financial papers so at least you can move forward on that issue.

            I keep crossing my fingers (and saying a prayer) at least that part will be over soon.

            And at this point you probably just want to be done with him altogether – given the havoc he has put on your life.

            If he really wants to end the M – well there is very little to stop that – but the business and financial decimation is just unforgivable IMO.

            • Satori

              Thank you TFW. Its 3:54am here. It’s been rough as.
              Thanks for tuning in. I’m freaking out. No sleep, or patchy ay best. Losing my grip on my emotional composure. As I said to lovely TH below, my dog is the only thing keeping me tethered. She now sleeps on my H’s side of the bed.

              As for The Fifth Column, he is not signing and now not mentioning anything. Stasis. Yet, sooo much havoc. Pretty sure he is immune to that — only he is impacted (in his mind). Worried about my financial future. White knuckling it basically. I have been NC and ignoring his comms for 5 days.
              Day 6 today. And so it goes…He’s done with our M. I can feel it. I wish I was done with him it would be easier, but if he keeps mucking up…

              Thanks for crossed fingers and prayers.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Totally understandable. When in crisis the emotions are like a wild roller coaster ride. We have all been there.

            Do the best you can to take care of you. You will get through this.

            • Satori

              I don’t know ShiftingImps. I hope you are right.

    • TryingHard

      I did notice that you’d gone kinda silent but I thought maybe you weren’t in the mood to talk. I get that. Plus there’s a lot to digest here with all the info being given.

      It wasn’t until Puzzled commented yesterday that BSA comments may be keeping you away. I am so so sorry this happened. And I am especially sorry that what I may have said contributed to her insensitive and petty post.

      I’ve found there are some posts I read thoroughly while others not so much. One way I approach information given here and even on other blogs sites is I take the general message, and most times it’s we are in the same boat together, and not so much the words used.

      Some of us drone on and on and are repetitive and then some of us like to throw some spicy words out for general impact and sometimes even laughs. Regardless, it’s the supportive message that is important and that is what you get here, support.

      BSA has had some good info but lately she’s into an area for which I have very little interest. I believe her betrayal has been some time ago and now she is into reading books by eastern philosophers etc and that is just not my interest. From my take in her posts she trying to be on some path of personal, self enlightenment etc so good for her.

      However, when one is early in infidelity the last thing anyone needs or wants to hear is let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya!!! Especially not when we are putting on our big girl and big boy panties gearing up for war. Her post was hurtful, petty, insensitive, passive aggressive, immature and mostly brought nothing to the conversation of supporting people who are hurting. How soon she forgets! She claims she “knows” somehow that people aren’t commenting because of the swear words from commenters. Well if people aren’t commenting how does she know??? Whatever right?

      Anyway it’s coincidental that indeed it was HER words that have driven you away. Don’t give in to her petty bullying. She doesn’t intimidate me in the least. And I call bullshit on her assessments!

      If you feel more comfortable emailing me privately to discuss without judgments, such as BSA tossed out, Doug has my permission to give you my private email address. I hope you will not be afraid because there are some great people here with very good life experiences they are willing to share. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak 🙂

      We are still here for you and I hope you are doing well.

    • Satori

      Kumbaya indeed. Thanks TryingHard. That’s hilarious and evokes school again, which is what it all felt like. I have not posted a great deal on many blogs before, so I was not really sure how to manage it. Do not need the conflict.

      I appreciate your understanding. It feels good to have found my “crew” and certainly everyone is very caring here for the overwhelming most part. So yep, onwards…

      Thanks for your good wishes. I’m not doing so well even though I wish I could say I was…
      I have been in a heavy grieving mode the last few days. Everything that I thought I knew about my life feels like it is slipping away. I don’t know about anything anymore. Just fearful. Can’t stop crying. My dog is the only thing keeping me here.

    • TryingHard

      My dear I totally get it. You know we can put on our toughie pants and gear up for war all we need to, but the fact remains we are losing our other half. At least if they died we’d have that. But no we are losing our other half because they are choosing to leave us. It hurts like a real BITCH!!! The pain of it is in our heart, it’s in the pit of our stomachs. Hell even my hair hurt during that grief time. I wanted to be alone.

      I couldn’t stand being out and with people and I would experience severe panic attacks. Even in the grocery store. When I say I hid under my bed, I almost quite literally did!

      I went to my good friends house during that time and her dumb ass husband looked at me and said “hey nothing lasts forever!” WHAT??? I’ve never forgiven him for that. What an asshole thing to say right? I also remember one night I sat on my deck and simply sobbed my eyes out for an hour straight. My neighbors must have thought there was a wounded animal in the woods. I remember that like it was yesterday.

      I get grief and I’m pretty sure we all get grief around here. Grief is NOT something that can be rushed. Kubler-Ross lines out the 5 stages of grief pretty succinctly. And it’s not a straight line. If you weren’t going through this grief I would worry about you. You have to go through it, there’s no way around it, and it sucks big time.

      I’ve found instead of denying the emotion if you ride the wave it passes. It’s when we fight it and deny it that it keeps rearing it’s ugly head. As I said before, I know you got this. Everything you say is right on and I promise you are going to come out of this better, smarter, tougher, wiser, more resilient, hubby not so much I’m afraid. Not that anyone wishes bad on him, he’s doing a good job of that himself. He doesn’t have the fortitude to deal with what’s ahead. You do. And that puts you many steps ahead of him.

      Yes, there’s a lot of similarities with HS crap here in some latest discussions. I think we should just let it be. We have no control over others. This is their problem, not ours. We have bigger fish to fry. I believe they have gotten the message. I couldn’t care less about what anyone thinks about my potty mouth. I love my potty mouth and everyone else’s too.

      Go ahead and cry you eyes out. We are here when you need us. Feel free to email if you need to as well. Hugs little sister.

    • Satori

      Thanks TryingHard. I’m going to think on this all again tomorrow. Everything you say makes perfect sense. I need to re-read it all and re-contextualise what I now should be doing. AS I said to TFW above, I’m NC and today will be Day 6. The tricky thing is that this whole breakup is turning into a marathon that I hadn’t trained for and now I’m in it. On every level, I can’t believe H would do this to both our lives. That’s still so shocking to me.

      I’m not in a great place right now but thank you for all your thoughtulness. I hope my head will be clearer and less chaotic in the morning.

      For the moment, probs best to try and get some sleep. Hugs to you too.

      –S x

      • TheFirstWife


        I am sorry to hear things have not improved. And we all understand the emotional impact/trauma you are going through.

        Remember it took me hours to put sheets on the bed one day. Complete emotional mess.

        I think what may put you in a better position is that you had support from your friends at EAJ and we coukd give you the benefit of our experience.

        Had I been here the first three weeks I would have known to tell my H to get the hell out!!! Now!!! And made him leave.

        So while I challenged him and called him on his behavior – I was naïve enough to believe his words. Had I had this group I would have known not to do that and pay attention to his actions. And only his actions.

        I would have been off that roller coaster much sooner.

        Unlike you – I didn’t have the insight and I made every mistake possible to try and save the M. And I would believe his hollow words and flip flopping back & forth between D and M.

        I keep hoping as time passes your H will WAKE UP!!!

        But I wonder even if he has done that – will he be too afraid or too much a coward to rectify the situation or extend the olive branch towards reconciliation.

        The grieving process is hard and difficult. We all know that too well.

        I just had to grieve in private b/c of my children. No breakdowns in front of them.

        Until I had to tell them we were having problems – just to warn them of a possible D. My younger child even adked if there was another woman involved. I told him our issues were private and I would not discuss it. I wonder what he heard. Or knows. I did my best to shield them and had them out of the house very busy that summer.

        I just hope Satori that you can just take baby steps towards healing yourself. Counseling saved my sanity. As did yoga and exercise and reading some good books. Sitting in my lounge chair on a sunny day helped too.

        • Satori

          Hi TheFirstWife.

          I have thought about you and the bed making thing each time I’ve changed the sheets on what was formerly our bed, now mine. Grief is just so debilitating.

          I don;t know if I have managed things any better. I actually feel like I was far too amenable and civil. I should have gone hardcore straight out of the gate (NC and legal) and I feel I may have had a better chance to turn this around. Instead I have allowed H to get far too comfortable while I was “nice” and pliable. He has had time to get his A in a place of functionality but it has not worked for me. If anything it has worn me down and my self esteem is very low. Rejection upon rejection. Those are his actions and his words. Devastated.

          It makes me unable to do very much and I am normally high functioning. I seem to be swimming through treacle day after day. Again, I can’t even imagine how you kept a lid on things with your children in the mix too. So so difficult.

          To top it all, a bunch of other random things have cropped up that, in the ordinary course of events would be all consuming and hard to deal with let alone in separation . Thanks Universe ????

          Anyhow, thanks again for the perspective TFW. I too will hope and pray for a breakthrough on all fronts soon — ie that he wakes up.

    • Puzzled

      Satori- TH is right. Cry and vent and get through your grief. There has to be an emotional outburst every now and again. Betrayal is hard to handle. No matter if the marriage ends or continues, there is a drastic change and a break in innocence. We have all been where you are. I wish and pray that he would wise up and realize the tragic mistake he’s made. But, the mind of the CS is not their old mind. And, sadly, he seems to be digging a deeper hole for himself. And trust me, emotional outbursts can be good. I’d go for runs just to get far enough away from town to scream and cuss like a madman. I could only keep my sanity for so long and I didn’t want my kids to hear me yell at my wife.
      It was a sad dynamic to my marriage for a long time. She never left the house but “she” wasn’t there. She’d go to bed and I’d follow later. She’d be sleeping a foot away from me but it felt like an ocean. There was a distance and coldness that beat me down every night. I dreaded going to bed but I didn’t want my kids seeing me in another room sleeping.
      The point that I hope you understand: we have all suffered through this crap called an affair. We can’t do a lot but we will be good listeners and give any helpful advice we can. Hang in there and know that you aren’t alone.

      • Satori

        Puzzled, what an amazing man you are. Such high EQ. I wish you could sit my H down and explain it to him from a guy’s perspective. I long ago realised H was in a CS mind not his usual, old H mind. My spiritual coach even suggested I should give him a different name to refer to in this process as he isn’t the same person who I know when he is in this A mode.

        He is digging a bigger hole for himself, but knowing that fact doesn’t help me cut a win-win path for us both which is my preference as in: if no R then we each leave the M as whole people with a clear vision for our futures rather than destroyed. Unlike you Puzzled, my H has no EQ. Unlike you, my H is only feeling entitled. Entitlement is the theme of every aspect of this mess.

        Now it’s all about what he can get. As opposed to the original statement (to TFW: here are the words not the actions!!) after DDay of “I am sorry. You can have everything.”

        Hmmm. Not so much at the pointy end of $ and nonsense.

        I don’t enjoy that any of us here have been through this. Honestly it feels unsurvivable but you guys are all proof that this terrible thing can be borne and offer the hope that R is possible. It doesn’t feel like it at all for my situation right now. That dynamic of going to bed with the ocean in between is so apt. It was like that for me after my H got back from his trip where he began the PA. I was walking on eggshells but I thought he was ill. Turns out that is when the EA began in ernest.

        I appreciate the listening and the solid advice. It has been a lifeline. I just wish I could feel less fearful of the tsunami that seems to loom and in which I could literally lose everything because of the actions of the person I trusted the most, who is behaving in the most unpredictable and damaging of ways.

        Thanks again Puzzled.

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled–Boy you really gave me something to think about. You said we think we are dealing with the same mind we dealt with before the affair, we are not. That is so true. Where were you when I was going through all this DDay stuff 🙂 You are spot on.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Puzzled and TH
      Yes, that is absolutely true. My fair, rationally minded husband was gone. It took months before I could fall asleep with him in the bed. To lay down and sleep beside someone is such an act of trust and my trust was so very shattered.

      After d-day he did stop all contact, but a few time he whispered her name in his sleep…..I was destroyed. Then for months everytime he muttered any sound in his sleep I would startle awake and feel all the pain wash over me again.

      So yes….they are just in a totally different state of mind.

      • Satori

        Hey ShiftingImps.

        I really hear you when you say it is such an act of trust to lie down and sleep beside someone. After 15 years this is an assumed thing but still in its ordinariness in many ways it is the most sacred of things to simply sleep with and beside someone night after night.
        On the flip side though, in the aftermath of the A, I referred to this as sleeping with the enemy. This feeling intensified once I realised the A had been going on for the period he was saying he was sick and sleeping, going to bed early etc.

        I don’t know what I would have done if I heard my H say a name. What you describe is such a devastating insight of how betrayal permeates into the quietest of moments and just SLAYS.

        I wonder if his new state of mind is here to stay and as everyone has noted, whether or not it now seems too late / too hard / too humiliating for my H to try again in our M. The current actions say he is moving forward alone.

        • Shifting Impressions

          This is why one grieves so deeply. You are right…it slays. The article on grief TH posted for you, says it all.

    • TryingHard

      OMG SI I don’t know what I would have done had I heard her name uttered in his sleep!

      Haha who am I fooling? yes I do. He’d have had that pillow strapped to his face.

      The closest I came was a couple months after R he had to get a colonoscopy. As he’s waking from the anesthesia he was all groggy and he looks at me and honestly says ” I lllllooove you so much. You are my beautiful girrrrrlll. Why can’t I have a girlfriend??? Honestly you’d like her. I can get her to do anything!!!” Oh boy. He almost had to be admitted after that.

      Needless to say it came up a MC she said dream talking and drug talking don’t mean anything. It did to me. I still wanted to kill him and trust me I’ve used that line a few times just for the fun of it!

    • Shifting Impressions

      It meant something to me as well….took me months to get over it and fall asleep beside him. Trust me, I wanted to kill him as well.

      Drug talk,huh……yup, you can’t make this stuff up.

    • TheFirstWife

      I guess I’m lucky. A few months into R and my H had the colonoscopy too. He woke up and started crying b/c of the A and what he put me through.

    • Satori

      Your H does sound very remorseful though…
      But I’d like to order a colonoscopy for my H and ask them to vacuum his brain while they’re in there!!! LOL.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I knew that wicked sense of humor was still there…Lol!!!

    • Satori

      My dear TryingHard,


      You write:

      “If you weren’t going through this grief I would worry about you. You have to go through it, there’s no way around it, and it sucks big time.

      I’ve found instead of denying the emotion if you ride the wave it passes. It’s when we fight it and deny it that it keeps rearing it’s ugly head. As I said before, I know you got this. Everything you say is right on and I promise you are going to come out of this better, smarter, tougher, wiser, more resilient, hubby not so much I’m afraid. Not that anyone wishes bad on him, he’s doing a good job of that himself. He doesn’t have the fortitude to deal with what’s ahead. You do. And that puts you many steps ahead of him.”

      THIS will propel me forward. It’s heroic. As you say, the only way out is through.


    • TryingHard

      Satori–This was in my inbox this morning. It is meant for you and I am just the messenger. I hope you find it helpful. Hugs to you and remember to breathe. It’s ok to cry too. I hope whatever struggles you are experiencing you are supported by your loving family members. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to help. It makes them feel good to help you. Let them.

      • Shifting Impressions

        That is a very insightful article on grief…..Thank you!!!!

      • Satori

        Thank you so much for the article TryingHard! So good — and a timely arrival. I’m going to print that to refer to. Amazing.

        The line about befriending grief resonated. Having lost someone very dear to me in the past, I have felt a kind of “loyalty” to grief — in the sense that I felt that if I stopped my grief I would be disloyal to the person I was grieving. Odd concept but that was a previous experience which I can say only now took me 6 years to clear to the point where it wouldn’t affect my day. I guess that’s why I’m freaking out now. It took me many many years to move through the death of a person kind of grief, so I know how stuck you can get. The last time I truly experienced that kind of all encompassing grief took a conscious effort to let it go having grieved for around six straight years.

        Grief is 100% a taboo subject. And so too betrayal and abandonment.

        As I experienced it before, grief is circular, not linear. I cycled through the stages and randomly went back to them in no order at all and repeated, repeated, repeated. It was so heavy.

        When I looked at the list in the article though, there were so many things on it that relate to this betrayal (loss of dream, divorce etc) it worried me a lot. I wondered as SI and TH said whether a death of a person is more straight forward in a way. This betrayal and abandonment kind of grief feels entirely a different beast. The kind of you may not get over.

        I am supported by very loving family members who call me daily even though some live in other countries. They are all very worried. They are all very shocked by my H. No one can believe how he is acting out. They are loyal to me and while they love him they are furious (sister), disappointed (dad, brother, sister in law) and incredulous (cousin, aunt) with my H.

        Thank you again. Hugs back and some happy tears too.

        • Shifting Impressions

          When I lost my father (I was 42) at the time….I grieved deeply, but I was able to move on. Part of the reason was, that I had no unresolved issues with my Dad. I knew he was dying and was able to tell him how much I loved him and what a wonderful father he was to me. Do I still miss him? Absolutely, but I am at peace.

          I believe it’s more difficult to deal with a death if there are unresolved issues. Or loosing a child must be absolutely excruciating.

          When my mother passed away very suddenly five months after d-day, the grief of my husband’s betrayal and my mothers death became one big mix….I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Then a year later, almost to the day of Mom’s death I lost a very dear sister in law, very unexpectedly. Her death threw me back into a very deep hole.

          I poured my grief into my creative endeavors. On occasion, I have the privilege of speaking to groups about my work. When I come to my grief pieces, as Iike to call them, I share some of my grief, in general terms (not sharing details). In other words, I don’t stand up and say “My name is SI and my husband had an affair) Tempting at times but no……..I haven’t done that.

          Almost everytime I have shared a bit about my own grief,afterwards someone will come and share their grief with me. I am always humbled by that. So perhaps the subject is not as taboo as we think.

          So I had a pretty mixed up grieving experience…..but I believe my husband’s betrayal was more difficult than the deaths of my parents.

          But slowly we can make it through. TH is right there is no way around. But there are things we can do to lift the pain somewhat. Having the support of a few close friends or family can make a world of difference.

          Take care of you…..listen to your heart. I was determined that my husband’s poor choices wouldn’t make me hard and bitter.

          Know this….you are in no way responsible for your husband’s choices. We just don’t have the kind of control over other people. Take care of you. You don’t have to have all the answers, right now.

          • Satori

            Oh my goodness dear Shifting Impressions.
            That is one serious grief cocktail you have had to manage. Thank you for sharing that. I can totally believe that the betrayal by your H was worse than losing your parents. The point is, for anyone, this should not have to even be a comparison.

            Losing parents is a primal and life altering experience as you have so eloquently if painfully described. And even at this early stage for me, I can truly see that losing partners even to another life they want and become a person who is still going to be in this life (just not in my life), is a life sentence of sorts.

            I still have to remember “Know this….you are in no way responsible for your husband’s choices. We just don’t have the kind of control over other people. Take care of you. You don’t have to have all the answers, right now.”

            In the end, I guess it is all about choices. For my part I’m determined to keep making good ones.

            Thanks again x

    • TryingHard

      SI– I thought it was too. It is so darn confusing when you are in the middle of grief but I like how it explains that grief is different from bereavement. We cannot rush it or go around it. Grief WILL have it’s way.

    • TheFirstWife

      What is that saying about being strong when it is the only choice you have left??

      I think it fits in with the grieving process.

      • Puzzled

        You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

    • TryingHard

      TFW–I don’t know if I’ve ever felt strong when I was grieving. I felt quite weak. For me the strength does not come until I am further down the road in the grieving process and then we look back and see our strength that we actually got through it.

      I also like the 5 stages of grief Kubler Ross talks about. Because I don’t believe and have experienced that grief is indeed NOT linear. We jump from stage to stage.

      This article also gives a good explanation of things we humans grieve, not just death. That’s the important message. And that we cannot deny grief it’s due.

      Even animals grieve so we may as well not fight it. Grief is as natural as breathing.

    • TryingHard

      I have to say I have found that modern society has very little tolerance for grief. It’s almost a taboo subject. Years ago there were so many rituals to grief which I believed helped the grievers set the pace for their grief, i.e. wearing black, covering mirrors, sitting shiva etc. I don’t see any rituals to this in modern society. We are all to anxious to just “get over it”.

    • Satori

      TH, the “get over it” catch-all is one of the most damaging messages in our culture.

      It’s not fair to place that kind of pressure on those who are already suffering. No matter what they are going through (even things like job loss). It leads to re-vitimisation and can invoke other effects such as trauma and feelings of worthlessness (Why can’t I get over it? What’s wrong with me? Why does everyone else seem to recover so easily? etc). At the worst end of it, self harm.

      You can get really whipped by this societal notion that you are failing to move past something on everyone else’s time frame.

      • Puzzled

        Satori-I think the “get over it” mentality is the worst (at least in many cases) with the CS. My wife still wonders why I can’t just seem to “let it go” and put it in the past. She quit her affair so why can’t I quit thinking about it? I’m still grieving at the loss of my marital innocence. There was a purity before the affair. It was the two of us battling life together. But now, it wasn’t always just us. And, honestly, I’m not sure that I want to just forget. It hurt like hell. But that raw edge that’s still there might be a good thing: a reminder of what I can endure.

        Society and our spouses want us to keep our chins up and just get on with our lives. Infidelity and the consequences of it are, to me, the death of that marriage. It could end in divorce or in reconciliation. Divorce is the finality of the marriage. It’s done. Reconciliation is a rebuilding and a new beginning. But the reality is the marriage and relationship that we, as the betrayed spouse, believed in, is now gone and something new is taking shape. The old marriage is gone forever. I don’t want to say that it’s taking a better course, just different. My wife and I are rebuilding but I still don’t know in my heart what was wrong to begin with. I would never want someone to experience the grief, agony, pain, and sadness of realizing your spouse has cheated in order to have a better marriage.

        Take your time getting through your emotions and feelings. Stay focused on your well-being. Stay mentally and physically healthy. And get some sleep! 😉

        • Satori

          Omg Puzzled, I have actually had people tell me “Chin up” and you have to “move forward” and this one — a personal favorite of mine — “Oh Satori, but you’re so strong, you’ve got everything going for you, you’re better off without him. You can do so much better.” UGH. Judgments. Ugh. Other people’s sensibilities rather than my ACTUAL PAIN. Ugh. More emotional hoarding under that rug that already has a mountain of shit under it. Just UGH!!!.

          Truthfully, these sorts of comments made me want to punch on.

          I completely agree with your statement: “Infidelity and the consequences of it are, to me, the death of that marriage. It could end in divorce or in reconciliation. Divorce is the finality of the marriage. It’s done. Reconciliation is a rebuilding and a new beginning. But the reality is the marriage and relationship that we, as the betrayed spouse, believed in, is now gone and something new is taking shape. The old marriage is gone forever.”

          Never a truer word.

          In other words there is loss whichever way it plays out. And that is why the neverending grief. As well as other people’s well meaning if completely superficial responses to what they’re prefer we did (e.g. get over it, get on with it, put it behind us and lets sweep this “unpleasantness” under the rug) is all further victimisation and invalidating in every way possible.

          I have also been looking at the subtle changes to your relationships that occurs when you tell people the truth about what you’re going through. They instantly distance and you can practically smell the fear. Objectively this is instructive if personally it feels like more rejection. Nightmare.

          I’ll also add this. A friend of mine who lost a child to a late term miscarriage had this to say about grief. She said “It’s like a package that’s really huge and cumbersome. At first you don’t even know how to pick it up or grip it. Over time you figure out a way to carry it, how to hold it etc. It gets easier even though the package itself hasn’t changed.”

          Thanks too for the personal concern for my wellbeing. I’m working on getting more sleep. Soon. I promise!

          • Shifting Impressions

            Regarding the sharing of what you are going through…..I have found the opposite to be true. I shared my situation with a few very close friends and as a result they were more open about their lives with me. Our friendships became more authentic and we have been of tremendous support to each other.

            These were very trusted and old friendships to start with.

            We have had this discussion on this site in the past. Some choose not to share and others like myself do. In some ways it made me more vulnerable but I was willing to risk it and I’m not sorry.

            I’m happy to hear your family is supportive….no one should have to go through this alone.

            • Satori

              Hey ShftingImps (your new nickname!)

              I have shared with close friends, and one or two of them have been really supportive and some others just overwhelmed with their own lives and no personal fault but it’s a few outliers that maybe sit on the cusp of being able to move into closer friendship but maybe this tests them so they can’t deepen. They do not have the capacity to hold the space for me, for whatever reason.

              It’s ok, that’s life. I’m not judging them for that but it makes the landscape very clear for the future without a doubt. It’s easier for me to share with family…

    • TheFirstWife

      It takes strength to go through the grieving process. So many people escape it or bury it or refuse to face it. Or have an A to bury the pain or mask it rather than face it.

      Grieving and dealing with pain and isdues takes courage and strength.

      Dealing with infidelity takes strength and courage. It is harder sometimes to R than to D. Both are painful – don’t get me wrong. Some M CANNOT be saved – for valid reasons.

      But it takes strength and courage to make a decision to R or D after infidelity. And those of us that face it and deal with it w/out choosing other behaviors to avoid it are the true warriors on my book.

      • Satori

        Love this: “The true Warriors”. Perfect. Thanks TFW!

    • TryingHard

      You are 100%. I have a very dear friend whose husband deserted her around the same time my h left. Actually he was inspired by my h to leave his wife. Although he left and never spoke to her again. Between them and us the town was rife with gossip that spring/summer.

      One of her’s and my mutual friends just couldn’t understand why after 3 months she was still crying? Why she wasn’t “over it”. After that comment from her I knew she was NOT the kind of person I wanted to trust or be friends with.

      People do not “get over” loss. We get through it with work and fortitude and determination and hope but you don’

      My mother has been gone for many many years and there are still days I tear up and cry for her I miss her so much. And that is bereavement. Grief over the loss of a marriage or relationship I believe is more intense. That person is still here and they are choosing not to be with us. That’s rejection and we are hard wired against rejection to avoid rejection. We are driven to be part of a clan. So when we experience it, it’s freaking scary as hell ( lol I realllly wanted to say the f word there but didn’t, aaaarrrggghhh). How is it someone doesn’t want me??? Am I expected to stay out in this savanna by myself and survive??? If there were ever a reason to grieve it has got to be the loss of love. Because what else is there. But what it doesn’t mean is that there will never be love again. That’s the trick we have to remember.

    • TheFirstWife

      Very well put Trying Hard.

      And to think your H’s actions “inspired” someone else to do the same thing.


      • Satori

        Inspired? Just wow. Like, um, do you think he needed a hobby or something??? LOL but seriously wtf.

        But you know… here’s a possible example too:

        We hired an employee who was working quite closely with my H. This employee was the sweetest loveliest guy and he was single. He is younger than my H and in his late 20s. This guy “E” used to bring his own perfectly packed lunch every day and was always hard working punctual etc. Then suddenly E hooked up with this woman who was chaotic with 4 kids from two previous relationships. He met her online. They began a torrid highly charged sexual A. She instantly love bombed him. Clearly there were a ton of red flags.
        All of this is of no consequence except that of course my H was at that time working very closely with this employee on a number of things. And H started telling me how E kept talking about his new crazy sex life. I felt it was inappropriate and said so.
        H said yes he had to shut him down a few times on the subject. But who’s to say the damage wasn’t done in one anecdote? So when TryingHard mentions how someone can be inspired, who knows how / when etc that occurs. I’ve certainly wondered about it.

        Bottom line: anyone who hasn’t done the work on themselves is dangerous to my emotional health and wellbeing, and the only way for me to be safe around them is for me to put the responsibility back on them, by letting them know they need to figure out more creative and productive ways of processing their difficult emotions.

        Personally, I will no longer be an emotional dumping ground!!

        • Sarah P.


          Just had to chime in here. Yes, I do believe that coworkers and friends heavily influence one another. They say people become like the 5 people closest to them. So if people are working with coworkers closely all day, they can be influenced unless they have a strong sense of self. I have seen this happen, especially with people who do not have a strong sense of who they are. If people don’t know who they are they truly mirror whoever they are around. And if they are around royal jerks, then they have a chance or becoming a royal jerk.

          I believe people who abandon marriages are either overt or covert narcissists. They have issues and they are self-medicating with an affair. It’s a coward’s move.

          I sincerely hope you are able to get some sleep and realize that you will get through this and it will be on your own timeline and you are allowed to grieve for as long as you need to. No one can set that timeline except for you. No one can dictate how you ‘should’ feel. You dictate how you feel and there are no apologies needed for how you feel to anyone. I am really glad that you have your dog during this time. I swear to God my dog vastly improves my life and my mood. So, I am glad you have your dog to rely on. They are furry angels. And everyone here on the blog who is being supportive of you is an angel too. 🙂

    • Satori

      Hi Sarah P.
      Thank you for the positive wishes and thoughts.

      I’m not seeing much to like in my H’s behaviors at the moment. Still.
      I do feel like he is being influenced by this OW or maybe just the coworkers other random people he works with who I do not know etc. Anyway, I told him when I saw him last that “I loved the honorable and steadfast, loyal person you were before this mess. To me, the person I married would be horrified at the actions against me.This should be a no-brainer for you to fix.”

      That’s the state of play in my world currently.

      My story above about the inspiration or influence as you call it has stayed with me, as I have long felt my H tends to be whoever he is in front of at the time. So this is where his sense of identity is shaky. But kind of like you don’t see who someone is nor what they are capable of until they are put into high stress situations, I had only ever seen him as easy going and loyal, calm, quiet etc.
      Other times I wonder if I was projecting all my own values onto him. I’m seeing a lot to be worried about and no actions that are redemption based. Really loathe to see him as a covert narcissist but he ticks a lot of the boxes if not always in the most extreme way. The entitlement is the worry.

      H keeps saying “I don’t know what to do.” and this: “I don’t know where to start.”

      I am refusing to tell him / show him as I feel this is the part of his growth and as far as I’m concerned he truly has to step up on his own. Underpinning it is a worrying trend to blame, excuse, deny. So it’s to and fro, back and forth, confusion, mercurial. Not good.

      Re the Puppies. My furry angel is the best!! Honestly my puppy is keeping me sane. Do not want to imagine going through this without the ability to go for walks and snuggle up. So thankful!

      And yes, you are so right: all the real human angels are here on this site. That is the truth!!

      Thank you for the great post and article!

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. I read your last post and I want to make a few points.

      Very similarly my H became someone I fid not recognize during the A. And as I have stated he has deep regret and remorse for his behavior and things he said and chouces he made.

      He literally flaunted it in my face that he had feelings for the OW. It is a hard to describe living with your H and feeling like you are bring compared to the OW. Every word. a no win situation from the CS vantage point.

      So I think every BS will attest the H becomes someone unrecognizable. They revert to toddler behavior IMO. Their mentality is “I want what I want and I want it now”.

      And Satori I agree you should not tell or assist your H in “fixing this”. I refused to do that. It hurt me not to be supportive BUT I felt he created this mess and he needed to fix it. Not me.

      In your case since he claims you are “controlling” then if you help him he could end up resenting you further.

      There are no good answers. I just hope you feel you are doing the best thing for your situation and handling it well. Because IMO anything else would only make it worse for you.

      He is drowning b/c he doesn’t have you in his corner anymore. He feels lost – his own doing. He has counted on you by his side and probably did not consider the effects on HIM of you not being there for him as a partner and wife.

      He can Google “how to fix a M after infidelity” and tons of advice in all forms will pop up. He is not that stupid. !!!

    • Satori

      That’s exactly what I needed to hear TheFirstWife. Proof the OW are not positive influences.
      If they were the Hs would be all happy and shiny. But yeah, not so much. You know, there is a ludicrous amount of information out there about this stuff. The problem is it’s like a Venn diagram where the petals vary (MLC, Exit A, EA, PA, etc) but intersecting bits are all the same and all negative behaviors of the CS coming back towards the BS: depression, anger, financial impacts, social impacts, grief, loss of identity, unstable emotionally, loss of home stability, insecurity etc to name just a few. The toddler thing, for sure. Wish I had the luxury of being a child again!

      Yesterday the brief 6 day NC zone ended as we had work stuff to attend to. H came over to walk our dog for the first time since last week. He seemed very hard, very shut down.

      Then the discussion took an interesting turn. He told me he is moving to a new apartment next week. It is in another area about 20-25 minutes away. More distancing is not going to be helpful.

      Me: “Can’t we figure this out?”
      H: Silence.
      Me: “There are other options.”
      H: “Yes I know, but you won’t trust me again.”
      Me: “I will.. or I would… but I can’t just go on words, I need to see actions. I can’t blindly trust you — no one would! You need to show me that you want this (the M) above anything.”
      H: “I don’t know what to do.”
      Me: “It’s not up to me to tell you, how should I know? I’ve never had anything like this before…”
      H: “I don’t know where to start.”
      Me: “I guess it’s like anything — you just have to start at the beginning. But remorse first and then we rebuild from there, but I have seen nothing from you.”
      H: “I’ve got nothing”.
      Me: “How can you not have anything to say or to show me at this point?
      H: “I don’t know.”
      Me: “You have to fix this, only you can do it.”
      H: “I know.”
      Me: Silence.
      H: Silence
      Me: “You don’t seem happy at all.”
      H: “I’m not. I’m very lonely.”
      Me: “Well, can’t we figure this out?”
      H: Silence.
      Me: Silence.
      H: “Can we talk about this later?”

      And so it goes. It’s maddening! Anyhow later he dropped our dog back and then about even though he had left I just decided to call him and invite him for dinner. It was a bit random I know. It is cold here and everything was so cosy at home, I just thought, why not? He accepted but then he burst into tears on the phone. I was taken aback. Through tears, H said he “needed ten minutes”. I’m like “Come on babe, what for? Just come over, lets have some Thai takeaway and watch a movie, we can just chill out.” More tears. It was very hard to hear him cry. H said he would come back. But he rang back maybe 20 minutes later and cancelled, claiming he wanted to go to bed that he was really tired. I was reluctant to push so I said fine, no problem.

      He did however ask me out for dinner tomorrow night instead. He wants to go to a good restaurant. It’s progress I guess. Wish I could rely on any sort of consistency from him though!

      Drowning, as you put it TFW. I’m sure you are exactly right that the problem for me is that my being right (in any way shape or form) is not helping me. As you put it, every word is a no win situation for me too. See above. Such is the mental mayhem of my H. I wonder if now he is valuing me more since I’m not around to fix everything for him. Although I am doing it still really (business etc).

      As far as my own actions are concerned, I do feel I’m doing the best I can. But that is due to you and to the gang here ????

      • TheFirstWife

        I’m not sure that distancing is a bad thing.

        For you.

        Living with this crap 24/7 and having to watch ALL of this might actually be worse. For you.

        My one wish if I could go back in time would be to have told my H to leave in the first 2 weeks after dDay1. Becsuse to watch what he put me through (looking back) was horrific. Him walking around angry b/c his OW left him or he couldn’t be with her. Guess who took the brunt of that? Not sure what the final outcome would have been but at least I wouldn’t have feelings of being a doormat over his A.

        It is possible whatever thougjts he has May change after he is living on his own. He may “think” it is what he wants BUT the reality may be very different for him.

        Who knows – maybe it will open his eyes eventually to what he has lost. He wouldn’t be the first person to return to the M after being separated. And maybe with a different outlook and attitude.

        I hope your dinner together goes well.

        • Satori

          You might be right. About the distancing… I am getting very worn out / down with it all. It is high anxiety having to keep the business together and not fall apart personally.

          What I love and appreciate about you (and this is also true of everyone here) is that you see very clearly where the fault lies (with the cheater) and while you are very mindful of the treatment you received yet you are still in your M. Still being loving towards / loyal to your partner. Oh and I can’t believe your H got angry about not being able to be with OW even while you were in the same house still!! *smh*


          FIL had a meeting with my own father today, as my Dad was getting so worried and also thought he could press the FIL (they know each other well) to see if some sort of R can happen.

          News is not good. FIL is now spinning the narrative that things were bad between us long before the A. Such bullshit. He is deflecting…effectively gave no concessions as to H’s cheating. The actual A / bad treatment since is totally being ignored. FIL did not even ask how I was coping. My Dad was shocked I think.

          The FIL does not think any sort of R is possible. So this is the big news.

          Now the story is that M was bad so of course implicitly H was justified. Business would be nothing without my H. What I do is only 4 hours of work a week (i,e, nothing).
          I apparently spend too much. I’m intelligent (according to my Dad this was the ONLY positive thing my FIL said about me LOL) so I will be fine in the case of D and should just go and get a job.

          So, let me get this straight: I should be treated like shit by his son because I’m intelligent, and, because of this higher brain function it somehow logically follows I’ll be fine to walk away from my business, my M, my house and everything I have worked for and now just go and get a job???

          Pass the Xanax.

          I am pretty sure this crap is what experts refer to as “second victimisation”.

          This narrative must be peddled by my H to them and they are regurgitating it to my Dad but it is making me really angry with H and PILs. It is further betrayal from people I invested heavily in over a decade and a half. They are banding together to sanitise this whole thing to make my H the victim and throwing me under the bus. There is an underlying criticism — a whiff of DIL should have been a better W and maybe H wouldn’t have “strayed”. I’ll leave you with that thought.

          Just can’t believe that people who stood there while we said our vows would not at least urge their son to suck it up and do the right thing by me. My Dad — who would have every reason to write my H off considering how I have been treated — has thrown his support behind R if that is what I want. Now I think I know why my H feels so entitled and was able to disrespect me by having this A.

          I never want to sit around a Christmas table with H’s family again even if we did R.

          And tonight H canceled the dinner as he is “sick” and had to leave work early.

          Current mood? Like I said. Benzodiazepams.

    • TryingHard

      Forewarned forearmed right! Yep blood is thicker than water and the big dummy went for the shortest most despicable straw. It’s all you’re fault his poor sons penis HAD to fall into another woman’s available vagina!!! He was driven to it even!!! Lousy effer!!! Pigs.

      You get ready for battle Satori. Make them sorry they ever crossed you.

    • Satori

      TryingHard. I just can’t even. Throwing down oatmeal, benzos and Ativan in that order.

    • Puzzled

      TH is right on blood is thicker than water. Your in-laws see only one thing: their son is hurting and he has spun the web to get them stuck. They are believing all of his garbage that he is spewing out. Sadly, I know this all too well. My MIL, who is the only family member who knows of my wife’s EA, told me during a talk about the affair that my wife was like a caged bird; she just needs to fly. And that, maybe, people do just grow apart. This blew me away. I had confided in her to help me figure out what the hell was going on with my wife. My MIL is as strong in her faith as anyone I know but she was listening to my wife so morals be damned! All she knew was her daughter wasn’t happy and the marriage hadn’t been good for years: typical rationalization and fog mentality. I never spoke to my MIL again about my wife’s affair, which began my silent suffering.

      I sometimes want to ask my MIL how she could simply justify my wife’s affair knowing me for 25 years. She knew the kind of husband, father, and man I had been for all of those years. How couldn’t she simply look at her daughter and say “you’re breaking your vows and destroying your life”? The truth is sometimes what we want to see. So I know what you mean about sitting at Christmas dinner with that on your mind.

      Rely on your family to help you stay strong through this. They won’t let you battle alone.

    • Satori

      Thanks Puzzled. It almost broke me to hear that was being said about me, from my Dad.

      It helps to hear about your MIL story. I already had an early MIL encounter early in the A (before Dday) and my MIL said to me; “You and I are very different Satori, I’m a realist. If I’d been treated the way you SAY you have been treated, then I would have left.” This from a woman who has been married 50 plus years to the bully that is my FIL. But really I now get that she was saying she did not believe me. That somehow I was making this up. But i WAS right. There WAS something. The A DID exist.

      That’s why I made my Dday her Dday as well and texted her the TRUTH of what her son had been up to. NOW who is the realist!!! LOL

      I can’t explain the humiliation. Now having been cheated on I’m having the story of my life re-written by people who do not have my interests at heart. And sadly, they obviously do not truly have their own son’s interests at heart either. This is all about their image. So they are going now in heavy discard phase of me too.

      So in this scenario with a bunch of highly self absorbed people, how would I have any chance of saving my M when my lost H is relying on them for his guidance and feedback?

    • Shifting Impressions

      Satori and Puzzled
      Yes, blood is thicker than water….that is for sure. But take it from me it is very difficult to be thrown into the middle of things as a parent. I am in that situation with my youngest daughter at the moment. She is my daughter….I am her mother….I love her and I have to be there for her.

      At the beginning of this nightmare I tried to be there for my son-in-law, who I love dearly, as well. But as things began to unravel between the two of them…..I no longer quite know who to to believe. So I had to detach. Where is truth between the two of them??? Probably somewhere in the middle, in this case. But I am simply not sure. They both made poor choices….but at the end of the day….she is my daughter. They have to make their own choices but they also have to live with the consequences of those choices

      Puzzled…I hope this helps you just a little bit….it’s just such an intolerable place for a mother to be.

      Satori…who knows what lies your husband spun to his parents.

      But your Dad sounds like a class act….lean on him…you simply can’t do this alone.

    • Satori

      Thanks ShiftingImps, I agree with you and I can certainly see the difficulties for MILs. I think TryingHard was in this position with a son herself. I completely get what you say.

      BUT. And it is a but:
      why not say to their son: go to MC. You owe it to your M to at least try. Will she forgive you? She is a good person. At least encourage my H to do the right thing. Ask the question don’t assume they know my heart and get straight to the covering ass bit. You know?

      Like, as they are leveling no consequences on my H for his actions against me and the M — it follows that he would have likely had no consequences ever growing up. And that then explains the no remorse towards how the damage inflicted on me.

      Lies. Fog. Masks. Psuedo Mutuality. It’s a viper pit.

      And yes, my Dad is a class act. But when he wants to do battle he can be a formidable opponent.

      He is the Jason Bourne on my team, They’ll never see him coming.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Perhaps they did try….you will never know what played out between them. I know that I certainly tried to be the voice of reason…..but It all became so muddled. I saw my daughter and son-in-law spin out of control and my words fell on deaf ears for a time. I am still confused….and will probably never understand what went so very wrong.

        In my own case my in-laws passed away several years before d-day. They were good parents but I am sure his Mom would not have been able to see any wrong in her “darling boy”.

        You know the truth…..hang on to that. Lean on the those that love you and are trustworthy.

    • TryingHard

      Yes I did deal with it. Both ways. I knew my DIL was having an affair. She didn’t admit to it. I told my son she was having an affair. Sure enough it came out. They reconciled but divorced 4 years later after they had a child. The reason I was given is they never really sorted out her cheating ???? Big mess.

      Last year my DIL called about my second son and what she found out. I was furious with him. FURIOUS. I called him on it. I did not mince words. Maybe their marriage wasn’t perfect but he cheating was no excuse. I supported my DIL. She was pretty adamant she wanted to divorce. They didn’t andxare reconciling.

      Yes in the end he’s my son and I love him. We talked a lot and I encouraged MC and IC. He’s doing great. They are doing great. But I never hid my disgust about having an affair. Lol pretty sure he got sick of my yapping about it. Thing is he saw what I went thru and yet he choose the same path. Asarrrggg. He said it wasn’t physical and I called bulkshit on that. But that wasn’t my concern. Screwing up his life is what concerned me. And screwing up my dear DILs life. She’s a nice woman and certainly didn’t deserve that treatment.

      Yes actually as parents we can have an influence if they want it. My son who divorced didn’t let me get involved much. He’s the one with the most troubled second marriage and an ex wife. Can’t save everyone

      • Satori

        Thank you TryingHard, love the “Can’t save everyone” line. That actually really shows me my instincts on this are correct. That if PILs really are coming from a genuine authentic space they can influence in a positive way. I wish you were my MIL. I may have a chance to stay in my M. But these people are all consumed in self interest and they are not giving H sane positive rational advice. And that is going to be to my detriment. My price for this mess will be higher than anyone’s. And it seems from what you say that when left to their own devices, as per your son’s case whom you were not as involved, D seems imminent then.

        So that’s another nail in the coffin of R. The missing piece of the puzzle is having one sane rational person who can be a voice of reason in my H’s ear, as TheFirstWife said many posts ago.

        Meanwhile, I just came back from a long meeting with my H. It was calm and actually productive with lots of talk about the future — asked what do you want etc. How we can do it. Lots and lots and lots of discussion. 90% of it very positive. But then, at the end, my “intensity” (his word) around the fact that he has not made any actual efforts to SHOW me remorse was the sticking point ????. He said it “frustrated him how intense I was”. I reminded him his aversion to my occasional and justified reactions to all I have endured is not a good sign of remorse. I had suggested dinner (as he had canceled the previous one last night) but he wouldn’t agree yet he was staying in tonight and had no plans. ????

        I pointed out to him how could I ever truly believe he wants R (as we were discussing) if he can’t even commit to a dinner with his W on a Saturday night. Just a dinner!! He is still saying stuff like “you’ll just have me on lock down” ????and “you will never trust me” which is crap as I told him I have no intention of policing him and his whereabouts and trust is given but it has to be honoured. It’s HIS character that is on trial not mine, so why do I need to give any assurances about the trust I will give him when he is not giving me anything in terms of actual, proper and unequivocal remorse?????

        in the end, when he felt I was “pressuring him” about the dinner H stormed off AGAIN,????so all the progress feels like it just got wound back.

        I don’t know how to get him to understand anything and not sure I want to keep trying. ????

        Over it.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Perhaps there is your answer…for the moment. Stop trying…. You can’t make him understand anything at this point in time. He will only perceive it as control and pressure from you.

          Perhaps take a step back from the whole PIL thing…..they are not the ones who cheated. And of course you want and deserve their support but I wouldn’t hold my breath. You have enough on your plate without wasting your precious energy on them at the moment.

          This battle is between you and your husband…..and a voice of reason in his ear would be a welcome thing. But many of our husbands had no voice of reason speaking in their ears during the affair fog….and they did turn around. My husband as many here refused counseling. His family to this day does not know what happened. He did not choose to open up to anyone……but we are still making progress to this day.

          My adult children know….but they love both of us and it wasn’t up to them to fix what was going on. They were and still are tremendously supportive of both of us. Frankly I don’t know how they do it.

          Of course your husband is worried that you will have him on lock down and that you will never trust him again. But that is his problem because trust has to be earned.

          I found that immediately after d-day….everything became about him….which is pretty standard. He couldn’t handle the pain he caused me….again pretty standard. It was a long and arduous process for him to understand what he had really done to me. That he needed to be accountable for that. Slowly slowly…I started to see remorse.

          Figure out….what YOU want. Take care of you. Tell him YOUR bottom line….and back away. In the end he either gives up the OW and works on reconciling with you or there will be a divorce, right? No one can make this choice for him. But I believe that he probably needs to understand, how long you will wait for that to happen.

          In all honesty….should he choose to reconcile, that’s when the hard work really begins. Looking back I wished I would have made counseling a condition for reconciliation in my own case. The CS often forgets that the BS have choices to make as well. Unfortunately we BS often forget that as well. We have more power in those early few months than we realize. We are often so busy just surviving that we forget our own power. The stuff with the inlaws is just NOISE!!! It’s SAPPING YOUR STRENGTH. Try not to let it.

          I can’t say it enough….take care of you. Lean on those few that you love and trust. Don’t forget your own power. Your own power is in your own choices and responses. I understand how hard this is. I’m a fixer….sometimes I just can’t help myself. But some things are just not our job to fix.

          My favorite book on this subject is IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred Reilly. It has helped take a step back so many times…..and sometimes it’s amazing how that can change the dynamics of what is going on.

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. You are not battling against the OW leading your CH astray. It is his oen family.

      his own parents are like mosquitoes in his ear.

      Run!!!!!!!! Far away. This is toxic. And it always will be.

    • TryingHard


      Now you’ve got challenges on many levels. It’s important to stay focused. Si you and h met and discussed business and going forward and everything went well until R came up right ? It ysysalky does. I think there is a part of him that wants R. Right now it’s buried under fear. Thing is you can move on and trust, somewhat, and have a successful relationship. But dang it takes work and both people have to be willing. He can’t find that so he rationalizes to chuck it all. I heard that too. He’d done “too much damage”. He was right. He did. And I’ve eaten a lot of shit sandwiches. He has too and maybe eating shit sandwiches us just part of life. Good with the bad

      Lol. Well I dint exactly get the gold medal for MILs according to my DILs. I’ve been too good to them. I have figured out people don’t appreciate it. So now I stay out of it.

      My DIL called me and told me what my son was doing. Yes I was furious. She threw him out. I let him move in with me and h. I had so much fun with him. He is a very funny guy. Anyway during that time we talked a lot and I encouraged D. I told him if he didn’t want to stay faithful to her then D but not cheat!! Cheating is never acceptable but cheating in and of itself doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. It depends what else is going in in your marriage.

      It sounds like h and in laws want to rewrite your history together. Yep stupid desperate people do that. It’s the whole yeah whataboutwhenyou… argument. Red herring logic and deflection. You were so horrible. Why did it take having an affair to break it off with you? What kind of a pusdy is he?? Really no guts. Sorry but cheater logic simply pisses me off!!

      I think let it be for a while. Discuss business and not R. Do the 180. Google 180. Start working in plan B. Life without him. Make sure he sees it. Don’t make yourself too available. You cut off the visit as you have a meeting elsewhere. Don’t give him a chance to stomp off. Leave him wondering.

      Satori I will be without wifi for a while so don’t think I’m ignoring you. I’ll be back in a few days

    • TheFirstWife

      Is he afraid to stand up to his meddling and toxic parents that he wants R?

      Maybe that is why he acts the way he does.

      And now that his family is filling his head with all these allegations and rewriting history – he doesn’t have the backbone to stand up for what he wants.

      Now that his parents have turned against you – he is not saying how will this R wirk. He is seeing how will HIS life work b/c he has not only damaged his relationship with you BUT now he has damaged all the in-law relationships too.

      He may be looking at it from a position of my parents and wife cannot be in the same room. Her family probably now hates my family Blah blah blah.

      So there is new info here – the mess he created between his parents and you. And that is a very toxic environment. On a good day some M cannot survive the in-law dynamics. I cannot imagine a M in recovery with newly developed in-law issues (created by the CH).

      what a nightmare he has created.

    • Satori

      Hi Everyone,

      Thank you ALL for the fresh perspective on the PILs etc. I spent all day contemplating and considering what you each wrote to me.

      Thanks for the Winifred Reilly book referral ShiftingImps, I’ll get that one!! Thanks too for the additional info from your experience.

      Now I’m really thinking about everything, I realise it has always been about his relationships with his family as a priority and that is not healthy when you’re in your early 40s and married!
      I’m clearly not as important, I almost feel I was an escape route and a buffer zone from them and it probably looked good from the outside. I’m also wondering how much I contributed to creating that image without thinking any deeper and making sure there was accountability from the get go rather than just the veneer of the cute couple with the cottage and the dog etc. I was so busy and distracted I let things slide that I should not have and didn’t pick my battles as wisely I possibly could have. There are no do-overs but I’d definitely do a few things differently.

      This whole situation is becoming the moment of H’s evolution or perhaps his downfall.
      The obvious fact is that H should pick his M over his parents.

      Cliffhanger: will he or won’t he?

      All face saving for his deception so as everyone has pointed out, it has to be me and the M now so the justification all works. I’m a big girl, I don’t really care what they think. I know the truth.
      Speaking of the A, H 100% confirmed it was over yesterday and “she is not even in my phone” and when I looked skeptical, he offered it to me to check. I declined as I felt it would show too much interest and also I don’t, as I’ve said before, intend to police him. He must police himself.

      Voila: self regulation and personal responsibility.

      TheFirstWife calls out the toxic nature of the PILs and I agree. That they are in the mix in a major way is indicative of a mindset, that has only revealed itself in the “pressure cooker” aftermath of the A. It is indeed a nightmare. Our family has supported me to the hilt and said “Satori if you want to be with your H we will love him again if you want us to.” They won’t hold any grudges.
      My Dad offered him a place he owns to live in while he is in this situation!! I’m still close with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (I see them socially) so I guess the PILs are the problem.

      TryingHard, I think you are so right, underneath it all is fear. I believe he wants to R, but he flip flops all the time and has so many fears / issues running. He might need to put some more space and distance away from the A to make it all ok again and as TFW says it has to be his idea to R.

      ShiftingImps, I already said Postnup and MC are my conditions, he became angry when I said that. We tried to have a discussion about communication issues but he will not bear any part in it, just wants to say it’s all my fault / problem. I”m happy to own my part and said I’ll work through anything with him but M can only work going forward with counseling.

      I googled 180. It’s similar to when I went NC and just unavailable.

      Meanwhile my Plan B is formulating. I just booked a big trip ???? Stay tuned.

      Thanks again,

      — S x

      • TheFirstWife

        So sorry to read he is still blaming you got his A.

        My H did that for a long period of time during R. Until one day I snapped and told him it was his choice to cheat and stop saying “we”. We should be he – as in he chose to cheat and he chose this behavior and he chose to disrespect me Blah Blah blah. Now that he finally gets it he had a very different attitude about our R and M.

        All I can say is if he continues to blame the BS for HIS CHOICE TO HAVE AN A – then he is not ready to R and go to MC.

        Just my opinion but after everything I have read the CS that blames the BS for the A &/or problems in the M usually end up D. Because in many cases the BS finally had enough and realizes the CS is not going to change.

        The big question left is will he commit to R or not?

        And if he does choose R – will he have the commitment to weather the storm and really stay committed to it? Or at the first sign of challenges or issues that are being faced will he bolt?

    • Satori

      It’s the full blame game, TFW. Thanks for your thoughts. Wondering how long it went like that by your H until you snapped (in months)? I mean was the A still going? Were you discussing D? Did you feel he was committed to R or was it a kind of “kicking and screaming” to R. So many questions!

      I just am unsure whether this thing has any chance. He is not committing to anything. So far it now seems like D. So upset.

      It has even become worse — H has started saying he “felt trapped”.
      Now the story is that H “didn’t want to come home some nights” (this from FIL to my Dad ????).
      Um maybe but that was only AFTER he started the A and he was in full avoidant mode of me!!
      He always came home when I texted him that dinner was ready. LOL.

      The selective truth thing is messed up. The narrative has now become all justification for the A.

      Now it’s not even about the A nor his bad treatment of me during it, it’s all about my shortcomings.

      How f**k can anything somehow justify an A? The worst thing is PILS + wider family scene will be told that negative stuff about me and our M as if it’s true to protect H’s image.

      You write: “And if he does choose R – will he have the commitment to weather the storm and really stay committed to it? Or at the first sign of challenges or issues that are being faced will he bolt?”

      From the small amount of my pointing out “issues” that could or would be dealt with in MC (eg communication styles etc), I have seen no evidence that he would be willing to stick it out. He keeps storming off when I say or ask something he doesn’t like. How then would he be willing to hear any sort of difficult truths in a therapeutic setting?

      It’s depressing.

      (**That’s a compromise for BSA)

      • Puzzled

        Satori- I feel for you. My wife was never committed to R for more than a year. D-day 1 of ILYBNILWY was March 2015. D-day 2 of finally discovering the A was June 2015. She needed “space”. She wasn’t sure how she felt. She didn’t want to hurt me. She felt trapped in our marriage. She could have just packed and left us and never looked back. I was too nice. She was unhappy. She was confused. People just drift apart. People just fall out of love. I was too clingy. She needed time to think. People change. People want different things in life. I made her look bad because I worked out, taught Sunday School, looked younger. When is everything going to be about me? I deserve to be happy. I could keep going on but it’s beginning to depress me thinking about the crap she said to me!! 😉

        But the selective truth, history, re-writing of history are all part of the CS game. They need to justify their behavior. They need someone to fuel their rationalization for cheating and lying. Whether it’s the AP or their friends/family, they need someone to stroke their ego that they deserve this. They don’t want anyone popping their dream bubble. And a MC would pop that bubble. My wife quit counseling because she didn’t “like” or “mesh” with our counselor. The truth is he was scraping away at her facade and about to make her admit the affair. This is the fear of the CS: exposure for their behavior and the truth that they are to blame.

        And by the way, my wife didn’t come home one night. That about killed me. I was getting ready for work that next morning. The kids weren’t up yet (luckily). She walked in and looked at me. I just glanced at her and didn’t even acknowledge her. She said “sorry” but I just made a cup of coffee. Sadly, my then 16 year old asked on the way to school “so, when did mom decide to stroll in?” My wife still thinks our kids are clueless to her A. Our kids are a lot more savvy than she thinks.

        It took a long, long, long time for my wife and me to get where we are today. And she has selective memory now too. She “doesn’t” remember most of the crap she spewed out to me during her A. She simply has pushed it from her thoughts. It was a great life for 18 months not being told “I love you”, “good morning”, “good night”, “how was your day”, etc. Maybe I’m just stubborn as hell. Or maybe just a glutton for punishment. Either way, it was a long, hard road. There are no guarantees in life. Of that I am certain. We all choose our path to R or to D. I chose to love unconditionally trying every day to live with grace, humility, and forgiveness. It was the hardest time in my life and it was a daily struggle to not lose it. My way worked for me. It may not work for anyone else. You will find your direction and you will survive no matter the outcome.

        Just know that we know the struggle you are in and that is it a daily battle to maintain yourself. I know others have said this but it’s true: work on you. Work out, go on a trip, read, take up a new hobby. Do something to get your focus on you and your healing.

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori like Puzzled it was the full blame game.

      It was my fault he was unhappy (yup raising two kids while he travelled every week and making his life so damn easy eas a readon for his unhappiness and my fault)! Lol

      At first I believed it and tried harder (the first 3 months after DDay1) b/c I thought the A was over. He lied / it started up again 6 weeks later.

      I heard him say the ILYBNILWY line. I heard “not sure I want to be married”. We’ve grown apart. All the same stuff.

      Additionally my H brought up stuff from 10 – 20 years prior – things that bothered him that he never discussed that I am finding out years later bothered him. What do you do years later with that info???

      Total revisionist history of the M. He disliked many things about me. Very painful to face.

      But the last month of the A was the worst of it. He said D three or four times. St that point I said OK – there was nothing I could do. The next day or two he would change his mind and beg to come back. And I would give in. Lather rinse repeat – two or three times.

      The worst was the last day when he walked in and said I want a D. Out of the blue. No fight. No warning. Just a big announcement or declaration. Adamant it is a D he wants.

      Hours later he changed his mind (yet again!). But this time I tell him I am D HIM!!! And please get out. I have finally lost my desire and willingness to do this anymore. We are finished.

      Well….he immediately went into R mode and did everything possible to change him, our M etc. I was still doing 180 and told him he could do whatever he wanted but I was not going to help. Not one little bit. It was on him 200% to turn this around.

      And he did. He called my ENTIRE family and apologized for his behavior. He told them I did nothing wrong and it was all his fault. He didn’t go for counseling (which I think was mistake) but was doing everything he could. Not perfect but at least trying.

      When OW contacted him again (3rd time) he never responded and showed me the email immediately. He immediately went NC with her.

      So he faced it and owned up to it and admitted his mistakes. That is not to say he didn’t lie about some details or was 100% forthcoming on details but he was pretty good about most of it.

      And having spoken to OW before I confronted him – she provided details as well and she sent me the emails so I had additional evidence of most of what transpired.

      But he was not dragged into R. It was his idea. He manned up and did the hard work. I have to admit the first 24 months were the hardest b/c he kept justifying himself and “why”. Until I finally told him that it wasn’t helping R for me. It was an excuse / and his A was a choice and there is no excuse or reson to cheat.

      There were some major explosions from me – long time coming – BUT we have left the tunnel and I have to say we stuck with each other. Not easy. By no means is R easy.

      But it takes a strong person and commitment to get through it.

      He met her and ended contact and the duration was 12 months. He hired her one month later after meeting her/ A started two months later.

      He realizes his flawed thinking now but was convinced she was the “one”. He thought ALL his friends would accept a 20 year younger tattooed drama Queen with major relationship issues as his new GF. That everyone would welcome her with open arms. Even now he admits how stupid that idea was. But yet he was convinced the relationship was in for the long haul.

      Except he forgot he would have no $ after alimony and child support and no time after spending weekends with kids. She would not be near them under any circumstances (and legally I could do that) so once he started traveling all week and committed on weekends – I don’t see the OW sticking around very long in that relationship!!

    • Satori

      Hi Puzzled & TheFrstWife,

      It is so helpful to hear about your experiences, but I’m so worried that because H has already left the home and even now has moved again to another suburb even further away, R is looking bleak. Both of you seemed to have stayed at home until you got a sign of R — do you think it makes a difference? TFW: you thought distance could be a good thing, I don’t feel it. I don’t know.

      I mean, what could turn things around now? I just feel helpless. The “180 method” seems like game playing a bit. Again, I don’t know. Whatever happened to honesty? Why does pretending not to care get a result and not just being legit and honest? If H came back under those circumstances, I almost feel like I could trust him even less. Kind of acting as if I’m fine, almost seems like oh well, good, she’s over it. Yay. Lets go for Round 2. Or, “Satori looks like she is ok without me” etc so the interest is only ego-based. You know? I’m paranoid and do not trust any of my own judgments at this point. I don’t trust H at all, which makes me feel despair. And fear.

      All the things you said your W said Puzzled, and TFW, are what I just heard. It is quite a list that we have all heard the exact same things. Word for word too! I still can’t wrap my head around that same script.

      But if our M was so horrendous as H is now saying, why would I not have noticed anything?? It makes no sense and is so dishonest as to the reality. The harsh truth for me is, he left under a false pretext giving me no notice and no explanation but regardless he didn’t give me a backward glance. Care factor: zero even though I was crushed beyond anything.

      That’s something I have been afraid to look at deeply.

      Also, as TFW said, things have been said about me personally that are hurtful and feels like more betrayal. Like, at this point, when H has been caught red handed in the worst kind of deception and betrayal, how is anything about me personally even up for discussion?!!! So unfair…painful.

      H refused to sign the docs and threatened / mentioned getting a lawyer. It doesn’t feel positive at all. Same a bit as what TFW says: it was the “no $ after alimony and child support” that seemed to change things (excluding the child support).

      Question: do you think if money is the critical factor for CS, it’s a red flag and one should not reconcile?

      On another post ages ago, TryingHard said “no one wants to be anyone’s second choice.”
      The money factor in our case, not that we’re talking crazy amounts but it’s enough for someone to run away for a few years lets put it that way. But the money focus already makes me feel like I’m not even second choice, more like the third choice. The financial loss that H totally underestimated, once explained to him, completely vaporised his “escape plan” — H didn’t know what he didn’t know. But it was only after he first found out that he would not get what he assumed that he started even talking with me again, and then of course the MC suggestion that was retracted etc. It makes me wary that H is just “cashing out his chips” (my accountant said that!!) and he truly is only hanging in until he can formulate a better strategy to get what he wants. That’s my greatest fear.

      I have been NC but the usual once a week business day is tomorrow when we cannot avoid communication. I dread it. My nerves are on code amber on these contact days.

      Meanwhile, my doctor has given me a 4 week medical certificate for my anxiety etc. He supports me booking in to a program as he said it will give me some space and time for proper recovery. Between that and my trip, I feel like it would be a very good thing. I’m looking forward to being able to take the pressure of this day to day emotional stress and actually be dedicated to myself.

      The journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step ~ Lao Tzu

      Thanks again for your responses and wonderful support.

      — S

    • TheFirstWife


      The 180 is not for him but for you to distance yourself from him and his drama. It provides an opportunity for you to not engage in HIS drama and issues and be further dragged into the black hole. I view the 180 as “saving yourself”.

      You have done EVERYTHING possible to help him. So has your family. Unfortunately his family had bought into his drama and is supporting his crazy behavior and justifications.

      Look at the end of the day, he wants a D – he wants a D. BUT there is a right way and honorable and respectful way to go about it.

      I used to tell my H if you think you found someone better than me – come home and tell me. I will be upset but at least I will have respect for you. But please do not cheat. Because that only makes matters more complicated.

      But I get not all M last. But the fact that he is “suddenly wanting a D after being unhappy for years?” I call bullsh$/@ on that. Typical cheater move. My H said the same thing. So I called him on it. If you are SO UNHAPPY (for years) why is this the first I am hearing about it?

      And the answer is b/c you weren’t unhappy with me for years – you were unhappy with yourself and you think the OW is going to solve your problems. Hahaha

      Satori – there is no magic answer ball. He can CHOOSE R at any time. Living with you might make things worse. Or not. No one has any way of knowing.

      It soundsikr he had checked out if life in general. Doesn’t want M. doesn’t want his business. Sounds like he doesn’t want to be an adult any longer.

      He can drift along all he wants – and cause upheaval and chaos in his own life.

      But to cause that to happen to you and your livelihood – well IMO that is wrong and he is a coward. Because at any time he can CHOOSE to do the right thing.

      You don’t have to be a party to his downward descent into his own black hole. You deserve so much better.

      You have stood by him at the worst. You have done everything a loving W could do. unfortunately he doesn’t see it, want it or acknowledge it. You have offered (and your family) to help him in so many ways. And he has refused all of it. A or no A – he is incapable of seeing the destruction he caused b/c he is only focused on himself and what he wants. Selfish – but typical Cheater behavior.

      I don’t know what else you can do exceot remain NC to protect yourself. At some point you need to get off the crazy train – and that is what the 180 does – gets you some distance to not engage in the drama.

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. If you think he is trying to formulate a better strategy – well that is why you have an accountant and lawyer and counselor and your dad and family.

      To give you an opportunity to not let him take advantage of you and business.

      And your support team can help you through the difficult times by offering you guidance and emotional support.

      You are not in this alone. You have people (even is at EAJ) who are surrounding you and helping however possible.

      I have been in your shoes. I had no idea if his next paycheck was going to be put into another account or if he was going to come any given night. And I had kids to worry about. My plan was suck it up for 90 days to get some money in my own name to survive. And then figure out my next 90 days.

      i took one day at a time and hing in his words. So when he said yes I want to be M to you – I believed it. Until a week or so later when he “wasn’t sure”. And then a month later he wants a D.

      I was done being the yo-yo.

      I like your plan for the next few weeks. Focus on you. Put your well being first. Not his.

    • Puzzled

      TFW is so right on her points. Sadly, the CS is blind to the destruction they are causing.They have blinders on and can only see what they feel is their “future”. The past and their BS are simple casualties of their selfish egos.

      What a crock of bull on the unhappy for years statement! My wife threw that one at me and I was like what? Since when? And, Satori, they’ll drag up crap that was insignificant from years ago and try to use it as another rationalization that they aren’t happy or you did something to hurt them. It’s all a smokescreen to hide their betrayal. They need to feel justified.

      You have offered grace. You have offered an opportunity to R. It’s his decision now. He can choose to do the hard work of humbling himself and fighting to regain you. This whole mess is on him and it’s his responsibility to come “home”. There’s no user’s manual for this affair crap. We all learn every day how to manage ourselves and our situation. It’s sad funny how the CS seems to follow the same path down into the pit of an affair but pulling them back out is so different. Each CS is in their own boat on the ocean. They drift slowly away from shore, the fog gets thicker as they drift farther away, and then they have no idea which way the shore is and how to get back. We throw them a rope but they don’t see it. We call for them but they don’t don’t which direction to go. And then, desperately, we go out on the water to rescue them. The big questions: Do we find them? Do we rescue them? Or did they grab the oar and paddle away?
      Occupy yourself with everything positive that you can. Take your trip. Start exercising. Read. Pray. Write in a journal. But keep yourself from obsessing about your marriage. As hard as that might be, it will free your mind to fully engage on what you want in life.

      • TheFirstWife

        Puzzled. Good point about bringing up things from the past. It seems many CS do that to justify the A.

        You said Blah blah and hurt my feelings
        You are too controlling
        You don’t support me
        You’re not there for me
        We don’t like the same books or movies or food etc.
        we have nothing in common
        We’ve grown apart
        The OM/OW understands me (you mean the you that is the liar and cheater – the fantasy you – the “you” created to be attractive and appealing to the AP – not the “you” that comes home and sits on the couch watching sports and drinking beer and providing no conversation or sitting next to your spouse on FaceBook or texting for 3 hours w/no interaction).

        It is all a bunch of lies and justifications.

        It is the “I deserve to be happy” mentality. Sorry – I’m not buying it. No BS should have to hear that crap.

        I think I mentioned in a different post my friend who D. For three years or more her H told her yothat he was unhappy with certain things in the M and if they did not change he was leaving. She thought he was bluffing. She did nothing. He left.

        Hard to watch but he did the right thing. He didn’t leave for anyone else. He didn’t have OW around – he left b/c he couldn’t live like in that environment and nothing being addressed anymore. IMO he did everything he could. And honorably.

    • Satori

      Thank you TheFirstWife and Puzzled.

      You both nailed the reason why I’m obsessing about my M. It’s the lies and justifications for the
      “I was so unhappy” crap that has been keeping me awake. There s no way that was the case. I know it. He knows it. And if they were honest with themselves my in-laws know it too.

      But because it represents a smear of my life and my version of my own happiness, it has really struck at the core of who I am an what I thought was real. My sister took a photo of my H and I at the end of a two week vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world in January.
      In the pic my H is leaning in to me and looking at me adoringly. It could be a honeymoon pic.
      Sis emailed it to my H and sent a whole bunch from our fun times together with the four of us.
      This is why the cognitive dissonance is huge to be where I was 4 months later when he left and where I am now.

      So when you both tell me all of the lies and justifications that you also heard..underneath it all, is there ever a real i.e actual and valid reason for why they do it? If so, does it even matter now?

      Puzzled — YES to the crap that was dragged up from the past. The path of destruction as you say. Things that had been completely reimagined and re-cast for today’s convenience. That made me ???? But if I brought anything up, in relation to the same incident, it was nothing. Brushed off.

      Ditto TFW to your list exactly!! Even including the on the couch, beer and phone, no engagement.
      In my case I worried about H and thought he was depressed. No suspicion just concern and care. I don;t know how I would react if my H had come to tell me honestly he wanted to end it because I still think out of respect for the vows you should at least give things a chance (i mean I’d have settled for even 3 months of working on it, let alone 3 years that your friend gave his W, TFW).

      Love the life boat analogy Puzzled. I’ve thrown that much rope into H’s black hole or onto his little boat that is adrift. I’m done throwing it. To extend your analogy: here’s something useful I got recently from my very wise ex-Defence sibling: In my DefenceSib’s way of looking at the world, there is only “above the line” or “below the line” thinking. You’re in one or the other regardless of the event.

      OAR = Ownership / Accountability / Responsibility –> above the line thinking
      BED = Blame / Excuses / Denial –> below the line thinking

      Now, when lives are at stake, it’s a no brainer.

      Since this model is based on actions / productivity versus inactions / passivity, you’re either grabbing the OAR and rowing proactively or you’re lying in BED making excuses, doing nothing or worse avoiding. People who act against the interests of “the team” (e.g. CS) are dangerous.

      For me, R (which in my definition stands for Remorse AND Reconciliation) can only happen when H clearly demonstrates he has shifted to above the line thinking.

      This makes it really easy to see where one is on the spectrum of R D when you put all actions and not just words through that OAR / BED filter.

      All the lies and justifications show my H is still below the line and closer to D than R.

      It also shows I have to grab both oars as I’m rowing my own boat now.

      Thanks for your thoughts…

      — S

      • Puzzled

        Satori- Haven’t seen any posts from you so just wondering how you are doing and how things are going for you. Hope all is well.

    • Satori

      Hi Puzzled,
      Thanks for checking in. I guess my last post went unanswered for a while and I thought maybe I’d maxed out EAJ!

      After a bad weekend (Sundays are the worst!) I finally went to the doctor last week and was diagnosed with anxiety / panic disorder and depression. My doctor was amazing — he was right onto it. I also started with a new therapist but I have to admit I don’t know if I’ve found “the one” yet but I’ll persevere for now.

      I’ve been NC with H except for one day a week for the business. The 24 hours before I need to deal with him (even only via text) is triggering. I’m being drip fed info now even about the biz. Sigh. It’s getting tricky, but I’m hanging in, just trying to do my best.

      For his part, H is avoiding me and even pretended to move to another area when he is still living down the road. I have been diligently applying the 180 as per TFW’s advice. Not sure whether it has any effect but I feel better for not being put through the grinder on any given moment.

      The daily mission is to keep on top of my emotions. I’ve been putting in strong boundaries with anyone in my orbit. This is helping a lot. I have removed from myself the need to be perfect nor to have explanations about anything in my life to anyone who I don’t feel safe around. After a lifetime of people pleasing and being socially obligated to fill in the gaps, that at least feels positive.

      I have been getting a bit more sleep. I’m still awake between 2-5am but now I’ve got a routine for that haha. It’s oatmeal, a cup of tea and just read, read, read.

      I hope you are well Puzzled, (And ShiftingImps, TryingHard, TheFirstWife, SarahP too).

      The journey continues.

      Hugs to you all.

      — S x

      • Puzzled

        Trying Hard is spot on. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. I agree completely that one person can’t do all of the work for R. It has to be a joint effort. Your H has to come to grips with his crap behavior and take responsibility to do the hard work ahead.

        And as hard as it can be, don’t bring up R at all. Be strong, be confident, be in control. If you struggle with it, then fake it until you make it. Put up a good front even when you’re worn down and about to lose it. Your H will realize that you are living your life and he will not dictate your happiness or well-being. This may be the kick in the butt that brings him around or it may not. But, it will give you more control of your interaction with him. I brought up R all the time with my wife and the questions of what can I do or what can we do to get back to “us”. Finally, I just said “screw it” and started living my life. If she wanted to be in it, then it was her choice to come back to me. This is a living HELL and it’s hard not to get dragged down into our own pit.

        Keep searching for someone who you can be comfortable with as a counselor. I suffered through this pretty much alone and it would have been a relief to be able to dump all of my frustrations and uncertainty onto an objective therapist. I still have a lot of things inside me that don’t just want to go away.

        Something to consider through this: no matter the outcome of your marriage, this is a chance for a new beginning. Your marriage, as you knew it, is over. If you do R, your marriage will be different. There’s no going back to the way things were. This betrayal will change you and your feelings. Your lives will be different but that can be a good thing. You can control how you act, feel, talk, communicate in your relationship. Your blinders are off and you will see things more clearly. I think we become a little hypersensitive to clues and signs of poor communication and poor relationships in others. I notice more subtle clues in our friends that make me say “hmm?”, sounds like there’s some trouble there.

        I’m glad that you’re getting some sleep. Boundaries are a good thing in all of our relationships. People need to know where we stand and what we will tolerate. I’ve noticed my level of trust and tolerance for some people has changed. You have to have a safe zone. Our circle of trust and friends probably gets a little smaller after an affair. I’m not sure if that’s true for everyone but it has been for me.

        Keep pushing through. This is still very new and raw for you. Stay strong and know you aren’t battling this alone. We understand the sting of betrayal and the confusion it puts into our lives.

        A saying that I lived by for 18 months waiting for my wife to get her head out of her backside: “We have to give up the future I planned in order to build the one that awaits”.

      • Shifting Impressions

        No worries about maxing out around here….just not possible. I love that you have removed yourself from the need to be perfect…that says a lot. I would tell myself that I didn’t have to have all the answers….that it was okay to not know. Your best is absolutely enough.

        We lost a friend last week….so, just sad and no energy to post.

        • TheFirstWife

          Hi Shifting – I sorry for your loss. I hope you can find some positive thoughts of your friend and reflect on them.

          May it bring you a sense of peace today.

        • Doug

          So sorry for your loss, SI. Hang in there!

        • Satori

          I am so sorry to hear that you lost someone dear ShiftingImpressions. I am sure it must have had a very tough time. Thanks for even taking time to post at all!
          I hope you have something nice to look forward to again, once some more time passes. Thanks for being there and your feedback for my posts is always appreciated. Hope you are well and feel better soon…

          — S xx

        • Puzzled

          Sorry to hear about your loss. But great point you made below about realizing how short life can be and trying to squash our anger & resentment. Hope your good memories of your friend bring some relief to the sting of your loss. Cherish your good memories. They’ll comfort you and bring a smile to your heart.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Thanks, Puzzled. Yes, there were many good memories.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Satori
      I’m sorry I didn’t respond. I was gone for 10 days and then back home and back to work which piled up when I was gone!

      At this point al you can do is focus on you. Give your new therapist some time. I hope it’s the right one for you. It’s amazing how just talking it all out gets one thru hard times. I went to a MC, a psychiatrist (for meds), and two different therapists for the better part of 4 years. I also had other major traumas besides just the infidelity thrown in the mix to deal with. But in the end it was all just plain and simple crap that life throws at you. Weathering life’s storms is a true test of ines fortitude.

      I dint know if I told you but my h was gone from the home for 3 months. He was pretty adamant about d too. But he kept coming around. He also saw the OW for who she truly was and it wasn’t pretty. His lawyer also warned him about my bulldog lawyer and that divorce was not going to be fast or cheap. It most likely would have destroyed the business as I wasn’t about to be fed payments over years. I wanted to be cashed out. All that combined with the fact that he truly loved me and our life certainly added to his drive to at least try R. I had no choice but to put my big girl pants in and become a force with whom not to be reckoned! But I said you want her there’s the door. lol I even called her and said come and get him he’s all yours.

      I know there’s lots of sites that purport you can fix your marriage alone. That’s BS. You can’t. But one person by themselves CAN and do wreck marriages. Your h has done this. He’s making excuses blaming you. Stay away from him. NC is hard. But little by little you’ll start healing. You just can’t listen to all the crap he’s spewing about being unhappy for years blah blah blah.

      But when you do see him don’t talk R. It’s so damn tempting. Just don’t. It may seem like a game and maybe it is. It’s a game of survival. This shit wrecks you. But there is going to be an end to the pain just not as soon as we want it. I’d keep the conversations light and about business. Reiterate your love for him and be kind but don’t make it easy for him. Don’t start the blame game conversation. He knows he’s being an asshole and being an asshole is hard to accept for cheaters. But I just know he’s got to be thinking What have I done?

      • TryingHard

        Curiously Satori my h used those exact words “well at least I got your attention “. Seriously WTF? The reasons for having an affair when coming out of the mouths of cheaters are numerous and all diversion or projecting. In actuality having an affair is a selfish chicken shit way of handling problems. Lol. He wanted my attention? Well he got it in spades!!!

        Your h may be playing a game but he’s not very good at it. He will lose. That’s sad for him. I truly think your h is scared and easily influenced by others. My husband described himself during that time as feeling he was being blown by the winds. Should he stay should he divorce?? Poor timid forest creature didn’t know what to do. I helped him with that. Take me as a friend or take me as your worst effing nightmare. His choice.

        Couples date night went ok. I got to the table late and it was set up so the women were togrther and the men on the other side. I hate that. I had a good time as the sux of us are of the same political bend so we had a lively conversation with no one stomping off ????

    • Satori

      Thank you Puzzled & TryingHard.
      Hope you had a nice break TH. It’s always the irony of a vacay that it is lots of work to get away and lots more to come back! Anyhow, I hope it was great.

      After being NC and just generally keeping to myself it is easy not to talk about R.
      My #currentmood is that I don’t want to talk about anything! I am paranoid and feel unsafe with everyone. I particularly don’t trust women, which is really hard as I’ve always been very pro-women, but my MIL and the OW and a couple of female friends recently have shown me a disloyal side to women. It really made me sit up. The circle of trust is tiny!! But I’m ok with that.

      In our business day stuff yesterday nothing came up re our M, but he asked me if he could come over to help out on something that needs fixing at the house. I am wary but as he has never offered to do anything for me since the day he left, I accepted. I decided that if H wants to help or fix something I’ll let him but I have zero expectations and I’ll keep it in a restricted zone as I don’t feel very strong. I’m going to keep the talk narrow in focus and leave at a pre arranged time.

      Puzzled, when I think of how everything re the M is now going to be totally different,regardless of the outcome, it makes me feel so upset. Such a waste! I grieve the purity of what we had. Like you, I am hyper vigilant to everyone’s subtle and not so subtle behaviors too. I have seen a few things in some friends relationships as you describe. Eye opening!

      This whole experience (the initial abandonment, then the rejection, then the weeks later DDay and post DDay treatment) is enough to make me rethink having a relationship in any form.

      TryingHard, in a few days it will be three long months since H left saying that we were not separating and it was not permanent. ???? I didn’t realise your H left for 3 months! That’s interesting. What was it like when he returned? How long did it take to get back to some kind of normal? Does it ever?

      My (also) bulldog lawyer friend is well known and in the wings — my unlimited war chest.
      H knows it. My BitchBoot is on (Thanks TFW) and my ToughiePants too. Since he refused to sign the financials, the ball is in his court now for everything legal, financial and/ or personal.

      It will truly have to come from him whether R or D. I’m saying nothing!

      My new rules:
      No fixing
      No analysing
      No rescuing
      No blaming
      No drama
      No superfluous info (BIFF)
      No projecting into the future

      As per your tips, I’m starting to put into action Plan B. I’m going away on a trip in two weeks. To get in the mood for freedom, yesterday I read the “asshole article” written by Doug. LOL. I felt tempted to on-send the link to my H but I’m sure it would only be seen as provocative. He needs to read it though! It answers the “I don’t know what to do” problem perfectly. Even might answer the “what have I done?” question for him. I guess it is a sign of progress that I’m no longer interested in understanding his issues.

      He had 15 years of sleeping next to an open book on such matters but now he will have to find another resource.

    • TryingHard

      Yes exactly when you own your own business YUK! Busy before and busy when you get home. Hardly seems worth it but it is.

      I’m glad to hear you have planned a get-away. Fair warning you might cry your eyes out A LOT. It’s ok and normal. But mostly it’s really good to get away from the familiar and get a new perspective. I think this planned vacay will do you a world of good. I hope you are going someplace with lots to see and keep you busy.

      Yes he was gone for 3 months. Before I left for CO I was pressuring him to move back. Make a damn decision and I thought he was done seeing the OW. He wasn’t. So he was choosing not to come back home. It’s when I returned from CO after 2 weeks that I threw down the gauntlet. I was done, over it, stay the eff out of my life. I guess he saw that I was at the point of frustration that he’d never seen. Previous to that it was all crying and begging him to come home. He moved back that weekend that I returned home. YES it was weird having him back.Nothing like what it was previous to DDay. Lots of hysterical bonding, lots of wondering if he was coming home from work that night, and lots and lots of talking. Ugh I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I would practically freak out if I woke up and he wasn’t in the bed. This went on for a while because once he moved back is when i found my anger at the whole thing and like I said we were talking A LOT and going to MC. Rollercoaster ride is the perfect example of life during this time.

      Weird he was leading you to believe he was moving farther away. HHHmmm don’t know what to make of that other than he was trying to get your attention? Not sure. But very good that he has volunteered to come over and fix something. My take on that is if he wanted to only help you with something that he knew needed fixing it would have been much easier if he didn’t want any interaction with you to send in a handy man. I don’t know. I’m still not convinced it’s over for him.

      I’m glad you are keeping your circle small. I had to quit answering the phone during that time I had so many people calling offering to take me to dinner, go out etc but I just couldn’t handle much stimulation. I needed to hide “under my bed” by myself. It was the only time I felt safe, by myself. And I am still like that. I.E. today I am panicking because tonight we are meeting two other couples for dinner. I am sick to my stomach at the prospect. This is all since DDay. There are some long term affects to the trauma of DDay. Mine is anxiety 🙁

      Hugs Satori. You’re getting there. I know it doesn’t seem like it but you are my dear.

    • Satori

      TryingHard, that’s some homecoming you describe!! Already had an experience of the bizarrely termed “hysterical bonding”. That was when H told me I was “so addictive” *smh*

      But it’s been a long time now since that. Although, if we do not reconcile, I’m glad that at least I went out on a high!! Haha. But in any case, it’s now not even an option. When it happened I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I still had not found EAJ. Was still in shock. I still am I think.

      At this point so much has happened on top of the A. It’s a complicated layer cake now.

      I worked out the reason H pretended to move to distant area was that it’s a way of having the pity party and “woe is me, I’m being more impacted than you are” in all this. It was making himself into the suffering victim and appropriating my abandonment. It implies that I am or should be fine, its H that’s having the terrible time and not me, since H has to move!!

      The only upside in any of this experience is that I see his games a lot more clearly.

      It really is just classic victim shifting bullshit. He didn’t move from where he currently lives because probably he didn’t need to for unrelated practical reasons, but it served the purpose to TELL me that so it becomes “I don’t want to move but I must”. Revisionist. It’s a tactic absolving him of any agency plus it obscures the inconvenient truth that H left our home by his own free will / choice. It works in that he already got the effect (in his mind) by saying that he had to move further away (justification) and frankly being a drama queen for as you say, attention.

      [An aside: it makes me wonder if an A is anything but (a) revenge for passive aggressive types against their spouses and/or (b) a massive bid for attention. Mission accomplished, you got my attention!! Now what?]

      The pretending to move thing was a way of showing me he was detaching too, distancing. Making me worry. Making me want him, beg etc, punishment. I think it served a lot of purposes. That’s why I didn’t say anything or ask where exactly he was going etc. Just shrugged and feigned disinterest.

      That’s also why I was reluctant to let him come over to fix something. Push / pull baby.

      Since my circle of trust is so small he has no info about me at all, so he is coming over to take the temperature. Maybe it’s just to see how much time he has left before the point of no return kicks in and he has to finally decide what he is doing.

      So, knowing all this, I’m going to use seeing H as an opportunity to show him that I’m moving on rather than let him manipulate the situation / me for his own agenda.

      TH, I hope you had a nice night despite the nerves. I hear you re the dinner with couples thing.
      If I had to go to something like that, it would literally blow my anxiety radar up!! LOL.

    • TryingHard

      I’m sorry for your loss. Sometimes we just don’t have enough to give when dealing with our own grief. I’m glad you are taking care of you but I love reading your posts. Hugs sister

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thanks Doug, Satori, Trying Hard and the TFW

        I am always amazed at what triggers emotions about the EA. When we loose someone it’s so very normal to go into “remember when” mode. The trouble is “remember when” brings a whole host of “other memories”. The good thing is I am much more able to deal with those memories than I was earlier on.

        But, on a positive note….I am reminded, how short life really is….. And that is a really good motivator to continue the journey of forgiveness and healing. I really mean that. Life is too short to be filled with bitterness and anger.

        Thanks again for your kind words….you guys are the best!!

        • Satori

          Hope you are feeling a bit better ShiftingImps.
          Sending hugs.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Thanks Satori
            Yesterday was a hard day…..we spent a few days with the grieving widow. Breaks my heart. So happy she has wee little grandson that warms her heart during this dark time.

            • Satori

              Oh wow, that is intense. So much grief for her, for you… it’s the worst.
              So sorry to hear that. I’m sure your presence was hugely appreciated by your friend. Those early days of loss are something else and it’s never to be underestimated just getting through them but having company is key. You’re a champ and I hope things improve for you all soon ShiftingImps x

            • Shifting Impressions


    • TryingHard

      OMG just saw the greatest meme that I just had to share with all my brothers and sisters


      Unfuckwithable–when you are truly at peace and in touch with what and who you are that nothing anybody says or does bothers you and no negativity can touch you.

      I like that. That’s who I am becoming 🙂

      • Shifting Impressions

        Yup….goes right along with that detachment thing TH.
        Something to aspire to….that’s for sure….not there yet!!!!

        BTW that is rather a mouthful….just try saying it out pound a few times Lol!!!

    • TryingHard

      LOL SI I don’t believe we should be saying it out loud anyway. It does fit right in with my new years resolution

    • Satori

      I love that TH. I’ve been making a “healing” list with those sorts of affirmations and it is so helpful for those moments when you regress into the downward spiral of the “what ifs”. I am now understanding that is a rookie mistake!! Can’t go back. Can’t take it back.

      On another note, I noticed that a certain website has become quite “inspired” (ahem!) by several of our posts on this thread. It’s only a site I came across in recent weeks, so while I’m not naming names, I could literally chart that they are monitoring this thread in particular and are taking exact ideas from here almost word for word (I saw at least 3 that were undoubtedly inspired from posts of mine) and running with them on their money earning blog. (It must earn money as pop up ads do seem to appear). I wouldn’t mention it if it was a non profit thing but I’m pretty sure it’s a commercially beneficial situation.

      Not sure if anyone has noticed this? Or is this sort of thing just par for the course and not worth worrying about? Thoughts?

      • Doug

        Hey Satori, I’d be interested in taking a look at the site you mentioned. You can email me the website address if you don’t want to put it on here: I’d appreciate it!

    • TryingHard

      Hi Satori
      I only read this blog, Betrayed Wives Club ame Chumplady (her moto is dump a cheater gain a life so read at your own risk). I’ve found some OW sites but they are so inane I had to quit for my own sanity. So I don’t know who is pilfering from EAJ. But they could be. There’s lots of good advice and insights here. There’s lots of sights in it for the money. I think that’s ok. I guess it’s up to Doug and Linda how they choose to monitor this site. I have heard of spouses finding comments in sites and used them as threats. The internet is pretty open to anyone. I’m curious to know which site though.

      Actually I took the meme from another blogger I follow. Memes are not proprietary I don’t believe and they are everywhere. If I find one I use it. Glad you found the humor in it. Hope you’re doing better Satori. You are def in my good thoughts daily

    • Satori

      The beauty of EAJ is the openness and a sense of gentleness that for me feels safe. The other blogs etc that I’ve seen are sites contain good info, some are forums but if you’re not 100% sure then they can seem overwhelming.

      Memes are in their own category. Pretty sure they are meant to go viral. So that’s fair game!

      Yeah, Imma let them finish. Just noticing that’s all!! At least the conversation must seem somewhat interesting / worthy of picking up, although I’m not sure my nervous breakdown here is anything special or unique LOL!! In any case you can’t play tennis by yourself so if it wasn’t for all you guys rallying to help me actually make it through another day at the coalface none of it would happen.

      Speaking of the coalface: my H is seeing a lawyer. It made my heart sink. And then race to 1000 beats a second. And then break. Again. ????

      Thanks for the positive thoughts TH.

    • TryingHard

      Au contraire Satori!! The fact that he’s going to a lawyer could work very well in your favor because as they say the shit is about to become very real to him!!

      Up until now he’s been getting a lot of misinformation from non professional resources i.e. his family telling him trite crap like “well son if you’re not happy you need to move on because well Satori is such a bossy britches after all and we hate that our little prince charming isn’t happy cause that’s all we ever wanted…” bull shit. No in fact his lawyer is going to tell him just what he is going to face particularly if you have a bull dog lawyer with whom he/she is familiar and that you have a war chest. How do I know because this is exactly what worked in my favor. My h’s lawyer was a bull dog lawyer back in the day. I was the one who had the new bull dog lawyer that every other lawyer hated facing. In fact I had lawyers coming up to ME and reassuring me I was the one with all the balls in my court. Very good nationally recognized lawyers said that. They were astounded my h had the one he had but he was an old family friend. Old being the operative word. So my h at the end of 3 months and even going to MC and talking and going back and forth decided he DID want a divorce. I was gone to CO when he decided. That’s when I came home like a freaking house on fire and thru down the gauntlet. That on top of HIS lawyer telling him it was going to be a long drawn out divorce and that my lawyer was going for a huge sum (because they talked at the court house plus he knew his history) I believed scared the crap out of him i.e. the shit got real real. I believe his lawyer encouraged him if he didn’t want to destroy his business and everyone else involved in it’s wake and if he had any inclination to reconcile he damn well should. Up until that time my h was riding the frightened ambivalent fence. He knew he had to make a choice. He choose me. Poor guy is loathe I mean LOATHE to ANY kind of confrontation and he had to spill everything about his past. Which he did because the alternative was going to be all out war and scorched earth. I def had found my big girl panties by that time. But I also had to sort out A LOT too. Was he only back because of his business or was it really me. He proved it was me and we have worked through many reasons why I know this. Sometimes it takes a freaking brick to fall on their heads. By that point I was over it. I didn’t care anymore and I was going to move on. I told you that night I was getting dressed up to go out and LIVE IT UP!! LOL and I would have too, if you know what I mean, I was that sick of being treated like a doormat.

      So I’m not saying this will happen to you and your case but it just might. I really think your h is scared and on that ambivalent fence too. I think this lawyer is going to open up his eyes.

      One funny bit of advice. I filed for divorce under adultery. At that time my state was not a free will divorce state. My h’s lawyer came back that my h denied adultery, lol why do men cling to that deny deny deny. So my lawyer told him that’s fine, we plan on subpoenaing the OW and also sue HER for Alienation of Affection and Resources which is still a law in my state which would me a huge forensic accounting of all businesses!! Yeah pretty sure that gave both him and his lawyer a very bad case of diarrhea.

      Hold your head up and as FDR said You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear not. I have a feeling you are in good hands. Stay the course Satori. You got this. I can’t wait to hear about your trip. It will be so good for you.

      • Satori

        Wow TryingHard, you are some sort of oracle!!

        I can only HOPE that is the case. You are spot on about the misinformation. His father is in his ear. Pretty sure even though there may be no current active relationship OW is helping him and supporting him emotionally but neither of them know the facts, nor the law.

        I need the shit to get super real, super fast for him.

        I pray and hope you are right TH. I really do. I so want the outcome you managed to obtain.
        It doesn’t feel like he is ambivalent, more like he is emboldened for some reason. I hope he will get so afraid of going forward for the legal scenario. Maybe it will also help with a break and me being uncontactable while I’m away (I’m not saying where I’m going etc). It’s my last chance and my last hope. I have been keeping things cordial and helpful, as always, but not pushing and certainly not talking about anything except work. But I am being treated like a door mat, and being ignored basically and it isn’t something that I’m ok with. Not at all. H is very distant and does the bare minimum in any conversation. It’s very hurtful.

        It’s no fault divorce here. They changed the law in 1975. So you can’t sue a spouse for adultery but it can come in to the facts of the case.

        A friend said the same to me about the fear thing. He said at the moment I have to try and fight my feelings of fear and try to recallibrate in favor of feeling calm and strong to counter it. It’s easier said than done.

        Anyhow… my #currentmood = packing

        Thanks Th ????

    • TheFirstWife

      Dear Satori

      Sorry to hear your H has chosen the lawyer. I was hoping he would snap out of it (as Cher states in Moonstruck)

      But I think his family has had a very profound impact on him – and led him down the wrong path. I hope they are prepared to clean up after him the rest of his life. Because that is what they have set in motion. ????????

      He sounds like he is in a place that he doesn’t know which end is up. And you should not be subjected to or a party to his indecisiveness.

      He is a coward. Plain & simple.

      He could hive and should have handled this situation much better. But what he did was a cowardly move.

      You deserve better.

      • Satori

        Thanks for your insight TFW. I had hoped my H might “snap out of it” too.
        I find it so unfathomable that you can be married and at the end of 15 years you still want or need to please / fit in with what your parents think more than your wife!! What is that except cowardice and weakness? Just pathetic. It makes me sad and it makes me mad!!
        I feel betrayed by them all. They are all banding together against me. Not paranoid either, that is the situation.

        Your take on things is how I feel about his character. I honestly don’t know who he is right now. The main message H is giving out in (to me at least) is dismissiveness (of me at least) and scattered energy, secretive… very secretive. But there’s a new and quite weird smugness too. I think he is going out on dates on weekends. Ask me how I know ????
        I agree I deserve better. I never ever thought I would be coping with this hellish situation.
        I just can’t see a way to where he becomes his nice self and my H again. This new “self” is just, well, hideous and selfish. The selfish version of who he has become is extremely hard to love.

        I had not experienced until the A began what people describe as walking on eggshells.
        But that’s how I feel on a daily basis.

        Thanks again TFW ????

        • TheFirstWife

          Satori. I think one of the hardest things during an A is to watch your spouse become someone you don’t even recognize. Someone you don’t know. Like an alien being.

          My H has never used drugs or drank to excess (except once and I believe that event was the pre-cursor to his A). But at one point he was acting so crazy I suspected drugs!!! his behavior in one day went from ” I love you” to “I want a D” To “I love you and want to be married to you”. I had to call the OW (humiliating) to find out what the hell was going on.

          Turns out he was trying to end it w/ OW but she kept reeling him back in. Telling him his M will never work Blah blah blah.

          The trauma of watching someone you love change before your eyes and not being able to do anything about it is horrific. It left a permanent scar on me. The fact that my H we caught in a whirlpool of emotions and couldn’t make a decision on his own was terrifying to witness!! And his choices went to the OW more often than it should have.

          Satori I am so sad for you. Your H is lying to himself and his family is buying in to his pity party. If that were my child I would tell him/her to get a grip and fix their problems FIRST!

          But the revisionist history of your M is done only to justify his A and subsequent behavior. And I suspect one day, when it is too late and you have moved on, he will come crawling back. So often they don’t realize what a good thing they had until it is all gone. And destroyed. No hope for recovery.

          I am so sorry for you that this is the outcome he chose. What the hell?!

          • Satori

            +1000 everything you say TFW. I too suspected he was using drugs — I even asked him! For the record, he denied it. The change in behavior was so extreme and his personality became so radically different my head is still spinning. A side I never would have thought possible now existed within him and came out at gale force 5. It’s hard not to think about the labels (sociopath / BPD / NPD ? covert N etc) but when you are still in love with someone…enter Denial. Which now feels like a form of false comfort and hope. I feel scarred. Definitely.

            It is better for all concerned that I don’t call OW. Ever. LOL!!
            TFW, I don’t know how you were able to be civil to your H’s. Kudos to you. Actually I wish I had never contacted her even though it was only once. Anyway. To hell with her. I already had 15 years and all the firsts. I’m the true pioneer. Good luck to her — she is going to need it.

            I’m sure you are right with your prediction, but the revisionist history is what is upsetting the most and that would be a huge stumbling block to any future R.
            I’m not sure it is surmountable at this point. As you say, no hope for recovery.

            And now H is so ensconced back with the Foos. The enabling PILs are doing everything for my H. It’s like he has become a teenager again and they are going into full clean up and impression management mode. It literally makes me gag.

            I saw a girlfriend of mine at the local dog park today. It was super early and I was on my first coffee but when she came up to me I burst into tears. Couldn’t speak. Just had nothing except the burst dam to offer.

            Thanks TFW.

        • Puzzled

          Hi Satori- It’s a crappy situation right now. People who you’ve trusted and loved for years have now turned their backs. It’s infuriating and sad.

          Your comments about your husband’s behavior as secretive, dismissive, and smug really hit home for me. I’m not sure what our CS gets out of this way of treating us but these three words are exactly how my wife acted. They keep the secret conversations, the secret texts, the secret jokes, sitting in the same room us and secretly messaging the AP. It’s as if they are trying to taunt us with their new way of living. And when we are hurt by their actions, want to talk about our life together or confront them on their behavior, they simply dismiss our feelings as if we are unworthy. How do they change so quickly and so drastically? What got me and still hurts is how smug and flippant my wife was with me. She would say things to me just to hurt me. Or her answers were smug and trite, in a tone of how dare you even talk to me. This new person who they’ve become is so different than anything we have ever seen. It’s a Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde transformation. They really are not themselves. The face is the same but their soul and their heart are gone somewhere else. I fully believe that they know what they are doing is wrong but they’ve lost their moral compass. Any sort of character or integrity has disintegrated by the blinding infatuation of their affair.

          It’s an awful spot to be in and I feel for you. There are no guarantees in this and that’s a difficult feeling. I can only give you hope that your H comes back. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself, deep down I never thought my wife would come back to “us”. She was too far gone. She was too hurtful. She had hardened her heart and closed herself off from me. She had checked out of our marriage, our friendship, and, looking back, our kids too. But slowly, very slowly, things changed.

          I hope your trip away will bring some clarity and energy for you. Focus on you and your well-being.

          • Satori

            Omg Puzzled, it is sooo hurtful. Ok so underlying the three words — secretive, dismissive, smug — is this really really painful one: contempt. That is parallel with the taunting. And the ugly sense of entitlement. Ugh. Along with the hardened heart and nasty attitude.

            My H is treating me the exact same way you describe your W behaved. I’d like to think H has waylaid his moral compass but there is the scary thought that maybe this IS his moral compass. So, what do you do with this new information? You can’t put that genie back in the bottle. ????

            I don’t want to hope now as the sooner I get used to this feeling the sooner it will pass. I can’t go through the “final” disappointment over and over. I think you must be stronger than me. I don’t have it in me to go through this again.

            Thanks for the recommendations to self focus. I am not doing so well on that but getting away might improve things in that realm.

            You are very lucky that it turned around for you. I don’t know how you managed it and to keep your family together yet without any counseling or personal support etc. You must have done a lot of running to get through it.

            You truly are a warrior.

    • TryingHard

      Just a thought. You may want to get the locks changed and any codes needed to get in the house while you’re gone. He could always get a locksmith si maybe hide you valuables. Just sayin…. I’ve seen guys go in and empty out the house when the wives were gone. Women have done it too

      • Satori

        Right there with you TryingHard. Thanks for the heads up! The locks / codes to the property were changed after DDay 1 on the recommendation of my lawyer. There is always someone on the property anyway as we have a live in manager. I also have friends staying here while I’m gone, to look after everything garden etc. They will be using the time as a vacay / retreat so they’ll be here 24-7 until I’m back and they are staying a few days longer so we can hang out too which will be nice, I’m looking forward to that. I’m happy they’ll be here. It’s peace of mind for sure and as I’ve had so little of that it’s a welcome change!

        Cannot believe these people exist who do this kind of criminal stuff you describe? My H tried to gain access well after he had left and the codes had all been changed so he isn’t exactly short on entitlement / slippery ethics either. He sent me an aggrieved / aggressive message about it.

        I was like *lalalalalalala — fingers in my ears*

        • Puzzled

          Just checking in on you. Hope you’re doing ok.

          • Satori

            Thanks Puzzled! It is so amazing to be away. Lots of emotions but hey-oh some great moments too. Still getting the ptsd symptoms, but I’m soldiering on. I am just going to get through it. That is all.
            I posted below, and will post again on my return. Hope you are doing well too and thank you for thinking of me.

    • TryingHard

      Smart girl. Indeed lalalala blah blah!!! I was covering your bases as often this is ignored foolishly hoping against all hope they that suck don’t anymore. Can’t wait to hear about your trip. You will come back a different woman

    • TryingHard

      Puz–if you’re checking on satori I think she’s gone on her two week trip. LOL I keep thinking about her too 🙂 I’m hoping she’s having a good time.

      • Puzzled

        I knew she was planning to get away for her trip but couldn’t remember her time frame. Hope she’s able to relax a little! 🙂

    • Satori

      Hey EAJ crew,

      A quick hello from the wilderness while I have wifi. Hope everyone is well and happy?

      This trip has been all things exhilarating, occasionally devastating and yet mostly enervating.
      I feels like I’m getting there but it is a slow haul. H chose to muck up a few days after I left but I managed to salvage things. Gawd. The things they do! I guess it was to be expected.
      Now he is sulky, angry H. Guess that means he spoke to the lawyer finally lol.

      Panic attacks are still daily but they are calming down a bit quicker. I’m hanging in there.

      On another note I discovered H has a secret phone before I flew out. Gotta love the cheaters playbook!! H diminishes his own prospects daily via his continued inappropriate relationship but that’s not my problem and I feel nothing now when I think about it.

      Meanwhile, I’ve been worshipping very diligently at the hallowed shrines of Hotel Spa & Retail Therapy. You could say my extreme grooming and personal shopper assisted plan is the best I’ve had for a while. No idea what took me so long ????

      Huge hugs to you all and see you on the other side.

      –S x

    • Satori

      Seriously Trying Hard and Puzzled — we just overlapped. Psychic much? xx

      • TryingHard

        Lol. Yep I just had a feeling you were in your trip. I know what you’re feeling being gone. It’s weurd and liberating all at the same time. I really challenged my self during my trips. For me I did some crazy things that proved to me I was going to be just fine without him. I also cried my eyeballs out

        Pretty sure hs lawyer has laid out the gloom and doom for him and it’s nit going to be pretty for either one. Yep he’s taking his cues from the cheaters handbook it sounds like. You have to ignore it and let your lawyer do your talking. He did this not you. Oh he will blame you but WHATEVER. Boo Hoo fantasyland ride is coming to an end for him. His burner phone will be a cold comfort now. What a fool.

        Have a great time. Glad you are being good to yourself. You deserve it. Let us know when you get back

    • Satori

      How good is it TryingHard?! Just looooove love love the freedom. This is getting exciting.

      Yeah a few games came into play. My guess is the lawyer took one look at H and thought “Holy f**k I got the crap client.” Yeah baby!! ????

      Challenged myself in a few ways, but by far the biggest challenge was slipping out without H’s knowledge. Just being far far away is liberating while everything ticks along. He thinks I’m sad at home 1 mile down the road from him lololololol.

      He actually pocket dialed me today (on whatsapp) and woke me up in another time zone and then accused me of listening to his boring client meeting! Seriously, you can’t make this shit up!!

      Then I texted him, to ask him why he was calling me. Of course, he didn’t reply so I said “whatsapp is getting you in a world of trouble.” He says (defensively) “I’m not in trouble” and I reply “Um, beg to disagree, but yes, you are as Skank Fever is potentially fatal” and he replies: “Um what’s skank fever, I don’t understand.”

      To which I replied: “Skank Fever. n. Defn. [latin Skankis feveri. derivation Greek/ Latin; to dip one’s quill in the wrong ink well] also, definition: An affliction usually limited to the penis and brain organ function; a disorder in which fatal effects may be observed on health, wealth and general prospects.”

      Viva la futura.

      — S x

      • Shifting Impressions

        Quite the definition…..see that sense of humor is still there lol!!! Glad to hear how you are doing on your trip.

        • Satori

          Thanks ShiftingImps, hope you are feeling a bit better?
          The trip has been great and also at times difficult but generally I feel better at a distance!

          • Shifting Impressions

            Yes, much better, Satori….thanks for asking.

            Safe journey for the rest of your trip!!!

    • TryingHard

      Satori—Bwahaha yes indeed he has the crap client!!! Not much to work with I’m thinking.

      Challenging one’s self is very empowering. I flew out to LAX, rented a “car” (quotes because it was a POS as the front bumper fell off!!!), drove with my little Garmin through LA traffic not having one single CLUE where the hell I was but drove north anyway, I hiked all over NO Cal by myself, shopped, ate what I wanted when I wanted and while I kept saying Yikes I’m scared and it was all so new being alone, I knew I would be ok with just me myself and I. I did however cry my eyes out on the flight home 🙁 The poor guys sitting next to me didn’t know what the hell to say or do but one did pet my arm and reassured me everything would be ok. LOL of course he had no idea why I was crying. I’m not a big talker on airplanes. I can only imagine their discomfort “holy fuck I’m stuck on a 3 hour flight with a woman crying next to me!!” Kind makes the crying baby on a flight look normal.

      I love LOVE your Skank Fever def! That was brilliant!! And the butt dial? Who doesn’t listen to a butt dial??? I know a guy who butt dialed his wife while he was in a strip club!!! Um yeah that didn’t turn out so good for him 🙂

      Rock on Sat. Rest up for your return and as I always tell you, You Got This!!!

    • Satori

      Ah yes TH, the crying on planes thing. I always wear sunnies as I find planes very emotional — have cried through countless takeoffs in my life.

      I don’t think I could navigate my way out of a paper bag in my current state, so kudos for taking on NoCal. I just couldn’t so I’m letting myself be driven. It’s nice. It’s calming.

      On to the next leg, I’ll tune in again when I next get to civilisation…

      Thanks for cheering me on!

    • Satori

      Hi All,

      Well that was a long 16 days. Long and amazing though. Several insights occurred. A new yoga routine emerged. Much shopping and a decent amount of mani-pedi action. Overall good, possibly life saving.

      However, now I’m back at home and just finished unpacking. And, it’s quiet. Like, super quiet. The calm before the storm kind of quiet, which weirdly makes it feels like it’s all been in my head and … nothing happened. H is still gone. Dog is still confused. Was I even married? What just happened? Anxiety is still there. UGH. I was hoping to come back and feel new again. One look at my pretty bedroom and the empty wardrobe and the old reality sank in. Too high an expectation from a trip I guess. Homecoming and all that. I felt back to Square 1 in grief. Sigh. Just. Sigh. It sucks.It sucks. IT SUCKS.

      On the plus side I do feel is I this outward calm and somewhat grounded (thanks Serene Spa, thank you Shiny Shops, thanks Remote Location).

      I also feel a few things running concurrently with the external calm-groundedness:

      paranoid, insecure, emotional, crazy, irritated, abandoned, frustrated, discarded, tired, hyoer vigilant, tired again, self-questioning, emotional again, self-blaming, guilty, embarassed, angry, rejected, ugly, pathetic, scared, hopeful, angry again, annoyed, insulted, inconsolable, sarcastic, bitter, hysterically unbonded, furious, ugly again, sad, inertia, unhinged, failure, humiliated, moody, vengeful, half-hearted, stupid, blind, ambushed, angry again, teary, annihilated, mute, oppressed, manipulated, directionless, despairing, crazy again, cynical, hopeless, lost, scared again, fearful, freaked out, split, disbelief, verbose, desperate, unstable, shunned, clueless, tired again, highly strung, used, repressed, undignified, abandoned again, incensed, shocked, exposed, analytical, devastated, lethargic, devalued, griefstricken, failure again, hopeless, dejected, critical, spun out, embarassed, shunned again, upset, outraged, worthless, frustrated again …

      It’s almost like I’m split into two people. The person I seem like I am to anyone I might deal with in the normal course of things and the person who is operating the machinery of the body I’m in who’s like a mad professor throwing up all these wacky ingredients into the science experiment of my cycling-through-my-feelings cocktail of horror.

      A couple of things I’ve been pondering:

      1. The calm-grounded-analytical me wanted to ask you guys something I came across regarding communication when people’s communication styles are different and where one person over-communicates (me) and one person withholds communications (H). Sorry but I can’t find the original source:

      “They think communication is a problem because they do NOT want to share what’s inside their head or, even worse, have to think about what’s inside their head.
      They don’t want consensus, so to them talking = fighting and they try to avoid it for their own well-being.That’s no couple, that’s warfare.”


      2. The mad professor feelings-cocktail me wanted to ask you if there is anything you think I’m not getting as to why H is so freaking angry with me and why since he lied / cheated / abandoned me how he is even able to think / spin it this is all my fault so I deserve to be punished? And therefore, since he is not willing to give me a satisfying answer to any of it, the more I express in comprehensive fact based detail what I understand and the more right I am, the more dug in to his logically indefensible position he becomes and the prospect of closure or even breakthrough becomes (ironically) less obtainable.

      I just wondered what you guys thought.

      Today is my last day before heading in for anxiety treatment (3 weeks approx) so I am hoping to log in one last time before then, but if not then that ‘s where I’m at.

      Hugs to you all.

      — S x

    • Satori

      Oh and I wanted to ask if it was Ok to wish could OW have some sort of situation occur where her arms are pinned down due to IV drip so no phone use possible after being hit by local bus or handy equivalent. Or could OW please get preyed upon by a rich serial cheater-liar-ho visiting NPD hedge fund banker type (I’m thinking Christian Bale in American Psycho here) who she would prefer to fund her sense of self entitlement. Kind of Alien vs Predator ultimate combat where OW vs American Psycho battle which takes out two villains since that would be a duel to the death and the world is infinitely a better place accordingly. Anything so she’d leave us the fuck alone. Just curious if it’s ok to want that.

      Or should my buddhist teachings kick in. Insert Mantra here:[ Sorry I’ve gone BLANK ]

    • TryingHard

      Satori– Short answer YES to all the above.

      Longer answer—did I not warn you about trying unskein their fuckedupedness?

      Yes the trip is and was going to do exactly what I said it would do. That’s why I cried all the way home on the plane like some kind of menopausal psycho!!! I just wanted to scream “my husband left me and I’m 56 years old and I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do” but that could have been reason for and emergency landing somewhere over Utah and that would have been very ugly for everyone. So instead I just sobbed uncontrollably the whole way home.

      You know it’s like being between death and living. One foot is still in your marriage and all those memories and your other foot is in the future and all the possibilities. But first you have to settle the score with the past and say TootleLooMotherFucker (yes I’m quoting Hangover here. Seems appropriate to me)

      Of course H blames you. You don’t think he’s going to blame himself do you??? Seriously? Haha we all drove our mates to choose poorly because it serves us so well. Actually doing this is self preservation. Only jerks cheat on and leave their wives. He doesn’t want to be that guy so he justifies his bad behavior by blaming you. Projection much??

      As long as you leave all the legal stuff to your capable Lawyers and accountants you will be good. H does not sound like he’s having any epiphanies of what a royal screw up he is and he’s surely not going to let you point it out to him. You keep moving forward with taking care of you. So you can’t take a trip every week, or maybe you can, now you need to find other stuff you love doing. Can you go see bro for a long weekend? What about meeting up with girlfriends for dinner or a movie? Find mini vacays at home that is totally self indulgent.

    • TryingHard

      Satori—LOLOLOL nah too much work. Just wish some kind of rare form of cancer on her. Worked for me. But I have a super talent where magical wishes really do come true and don’t even start on my unicorns!!!


      • Satori

        TryingHard — I won’t be able to do or see anyone for a while as I’m going in to get this anxiety treated. Who knows with the trip + treatment I may be able to turn a corner.

        Yes to settling the score with the past. I’m just holding on to the beautiful experiences I HAD in the M even though H wants to rewrite the marital history as if that was all my illusion and really it was flat out misery. Lies! Gaslighting! Blameshifting! UGH. It’s unconscionable treatment.

        In the meantime then TH you need to please put your magical wishing powers to work on H’s OW then! And STAT

        OW really is The Worst. Hate her! No compassion for her. So sorry, Dalai Lama I failed you in this instance…


        OM MANE PADME HUM indeed Trying Hard!

    • TheFirstWife

      Satori. So glad you had some time to get away from it all. It has done some good. You will see that.

      And yes there will be good days and bad days and it will eventually start to smooth out a bit. Little by little. Slow progress but it is still progress.

      About why he is punishing you and not speaking. Hmmmm how to best put this. He is acting like a spoiled child and he blamed YOU for his current state of affairs. In his warped and twisted mind – the A he chose to have is your fault. You are the reason for his unhappiness. Whether the OW is still in the picture or not. He blamed you for it. In his mind every one of his actions are justified by him.

      His family (I believe) is contributing to this. They are in his corner believing he had been mistreated by you. BTW they are even more stupid than he is IMHO.

      And rather than look in the mirror and take responsibility for what he has done – he deflects and blames and denies his choices and A. He is a child. He is having a bad day and it’s your fault!!! That is his mindset.

      So you think this has something to do with communication styles? I doubt it.

      It has to do with a moral code and respect and love and acting like an adult. Not being selfish and mean and vindictive.

      You have given him EVERY opportunity to reconcile and you have shown your willingness to take him back and help him. Therapy and counseling and honesty was what you asked for. And no more cheating and end A.

      Instead he refused.

      So he is mad at himself b/c he is not in control BUT he is blaming you. He doesn’t like the fact he cannot have his own way. so he is mad.

      At you.

      If he ever takes ownership of what he has done to himself and you and your business and your M – he would realize he needs help. And then he would start acting like a man.

      But in his current state he is acting like a spoiled child who wants everyone around him to fix his problems. And his family is buying into his self created drama instead if standing up to him and telling him what reality is.

      you are similar to me and many other BS.

      Trying to understand “why” in this mess. What really happened. How can we move forward and get past it. I think that is what mist betrayed spouses want.

      But here is an analogy I used last night. It is hard to know or understand how someone’s mind operates. I have seen the show Hoarders. It upsets me seeing people like that. I feel bad. But until that show I just thought they were lazy – too lazy to clean up the mess.

      Now I understand there are psychological issues associated with Hoarders. But I cannot begin to understand it b/c my mind doesn’t think that way.

      So it is hard to understand HOW OR WHY your H would become unrecognizable and different from the person you knew and Loved and were married to.

      Hell he probably doesn’t know either so he grasps at all kinds of excuses – it is you, his job, too much pressure, depression – the excuses are endless.

      I struggled with this for a long time.

      And I realized people CHOOSE to cheat to mask their unhappiness or issues or mid life crisis. It doesn’t matter what they tell themselves – they just choose to cheat because they are broken and selfish.

      Anyone can choose to end a M – but you can do it respectfully and minimize the hurt and pain. Or you can be a loser and cheat!!

      Don’t beat yourself up over “why”. My H spewed forth all kinds of reasons why. It was all MY fault. After 30 years together it was my fault he chose to cheat. And I put holes in every single excuse he gave me.

      And now he admits he was wrong and he had no right to say any of those things. But it took 2 years into recovery for him to get it.

      I wish you the best. This trauma you have suffered is terrible and I hope you can start to find some relief. See you recognize an isdue and deal with it. Your H would not.

    • Satori

      TheFirstWife, Thanks for the great explanation! That is very helpful. Thank you as ever for your amazing empathy and insights (and you too TryingHard).

      But how to counter the false narrative of Hs / PILs presumed alleged false narrative regarding the alleged ‘mistreatment’ by me of the poor hard done by LiarCheaterSadistGoldenChild H?

      Now that I really understand it, I may as well add this dialogue from PILs:

      “Satori asked for this since she clearly needed to be cheated upon. Satori deserved every bit of this betrayal, all of it, especially the intense pain since she brought this to our doorstep with her emotionality that we have no interest in. We’ve had our life and we do not wish to be disturbed by inconvenient truths let alone emotions associated with accountability for what we brought into the world in GoldenCHild and the faulty programming we installed in him due to our psuedo mutuality and covert narcissism.

      “Satori deserves to be smacked down hard for bringing to our attention the bad upbringing GoldenCHild had because we are all functioning alcoholics and doubly so for letting us know that GoldenCHild is too since he learned it from us.

      “Satori should keep quiet and not open her too-smart-for-her-own-damn-good-mouth. She needs to repress and stuff all her feelings regarding anything to do with GoldenCHild’s appalling treatment of her, just as we taught him to do since we do it with our feelings. So what?

      “We approve GoldenCHild having extra marital sex and lying for months about an ongoing affair. Satori must never comment or be critical of the way our family regards such things nor how it treats other people generally. Satori deserved to be lied to abandoned, rejected, emotionally abused and deceived (and ta second round of abuse financially) since she is simply too smart, and therefore too difficult and we all know she is far too intelligent for GoldenCHild to keep up with honestly. That’s why GoldenCHild was AOK in our books to deceive Satori on every imaginable level as he would have been unable to deal with her otherwise. Not only that, as he was always doing the wrong thing but she had “made” him so it was time to bail. We’re more than fine with that. If GoldenCHild is unhappy then we might be impacted and since our happiness trumps even GoldenCHild’s that means we can’t have our life undisturbed and that is more important than anything.

      “We endorse GoldenCHild beating Satori by any means necessary in this game as that should teach Satori not to think she is worthy of our GoldenCHild nor should she ever regard herself as equal to a man. Satori needs to be taught a lesson and we endorse GoldenCHild giving her the lesson she needs no matter how painful or unwarranted she will say it is. It’s not warranted but we won’t admit that, why should we? Our needs are primary.

      “Satori was too dominant as a person and too skilful in managing male-female power relations.
      “In our FOO males are the only people who are allowed to hold power, women must know their place and simply breed and bring in money so we can do what we want. They must be passive (and therefore we are all aboard with passive-aggressive codependent living arrangements in our Ms) as long as the males needs gets met first and foremost and the females go along to get along regardless of what we do to them.

      “Since Satori did not breed on our expectation / unspoken demand (and even though GoldenCHild did not want children yet) we endorse Satori being punished for no reason because of this. She needed bringing down a few pegs, well actually she needed to be crushed. We applaud GoldenCHild achieving this though any means necessary. Our family rules.

      “Well done GoldenChild for using Satori to get your leg up in life and in successfully using and exploiting her and her generous trusting family to get what you needed to make us look good.
      Our family is superior to Satori’s family. They also deserved a lesson as they made us feel so bad about our bogan roots let alone how it made us feel to even know Satori’s family.

      “GoldenCHild deserves to be happy and cheat if he wants to as long as he does NOT lie to MIL — he will be “hopped into” for that sin. In fact he can do whatever he wants and we will never impose consequences on him! it doesn’t matter what he does as long as GoldenCHild is happy so we can remain detached and do and get what we want in life by any means necessary.

      “Who cares if Satori is destroyed? We never took those wedding vows seriously and we could all have a good belly laugh over a few cases of beer about it if we ever thought GoldenCHild did.”

      There, fixed it.

      Hugs to you.

      — S x

    • TryingHard

      Satori. To all that I say take that Golden SOB for as much as you can!! Make them pay. All you do is hold your head up proudly. What do you care what a bunch of fuckwits say? If they said night was day and. Day was night would that make it true?? They are dealing in “alternate facts”. To heck with them. Do not plead your case to them anymore. They need to be dead to you. Let their good for nothing golden child suckel off them for a while they think he’s so great. And really did you honestly expect anything different from them? I’m thinking no. You are just in denial about that. Get your bulldog accountant and lawyer go after everything they can.

    • Single Dad

      An excellent article and pretty much summed up my relationship with my now exwife. This phenomenon is not gender specific. Repeat my exwife was the one that ran away from me and our son.

      It is so eerie how almost 100 percent of this article describes what happened to me and her.

      At first I thought she was having a midlife crisis but she was only 33 when the “bomb” supposedly dropped and she announced she was moving out of state to be with her boyfriend who she had been having an affair with.

      Our marriage wasn’t perfect but I was completely blindsided by her announcement. I thought we had a happy life. Over the course of the next several months, it was like a switch went off with her. She was a complete stranger, a totally different person who became selfish and cruel.

      Thank you for talking about the possible narcissistic connection because even before I read this article I was beginning to have my hunches that my ex is a narcissist. The two huge red flags for me were she never had empathy over any of her destructive behavior even before the affair. She just couldn’t show any remorse over anything. It just wasn’t normal. The other red flag was she was never accountable for anything. She could do no wrong. It was always my fault. She blamed, projected, and gaslighted. She was an expert manipulator because when I finally woke up and started to call her out, she played the victim perfectly and turned others to her side. She even blamed me for her affair. Narcissism is selfishness in its purest form. And no one who is not in my shoes has an inkling of the hurt and suffering I endured from her these last few years.

      One thing that has helped me out is turning to my Faith in Christ. He has been my rock during this hurricane. I still struggle to let go because I did have love for her although I see now she really never loved me. Forgiveness is the only way to peace. I try to see that her abusive and unstable childhood contributed massively to the break up of our marriage and I also humbly look at the part I played in the divorce too. This helps me to forgive her and myself. If you are in this situation and especially have kids, the advice I offer is to distance yourself immediately from your significant other. Focus on your wellbeing and your child(ren). Nothing you do or say will stop the avalanche that is happening. All you can do is try to weather it the best you can. Focus on God and pray for your partner. Do not fall for the lies and remember, the battle is with themselves not you.

    • TryingHard

      Single Dad–I am happy to hear you have your faith to keep you strong through all this insanity.

      I would also suggest, if you are interested in learning about narcissism and sociopathy, are the books In Sheeps Clothing and The Sociopath Next Door. Both really good books with great information that will validate A. You are not going crazy and B. The behaviors you observed in your ex-wife truly ARE narcissistic and probably even sociopathic.

      I am so sorry you experienced this. I am however sorrier for your son. I hope you are keeping him sane and protected from the bad influences of his mother.

      • Single Dad

        Thank you for the reading recommendations. My son is the one most impacted by this. I pray I can be strong for him and help teach him to forgive his mom. I know I cannot change my ex but I can pray for her. I also know that I have an opportunity to grow from this and learn why I put myself in this situation to begin with. I must not get caught up in being the victim and pity. I tell myself I am a survivor. My son and I will become stronger from this.

        • TryingHard

          Single Dad. You’re a good man. You’re a good father. Yes she does need prayer. No you don’t have to have the victim mentality and turn bitter. You’re correct your primary responsibility is to your son and his well being. You must keep him safe until he becomes of age.

          Along with prayer is wusfim to become very educated about what you’re dealing with as far as his mother’s character or lack there of. It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you come to terms that we hooked our wagons up with a narcissist or sociopath. We like to blame ourselves so we think we have control and if only we could do this or that better we can get a better response from the Sociopath. This is wrong thinking. Fact is nothing you did drive her to her ill choices. You are only in control of you.

          I am happy your son has at least one non disordered parent. He’s going to be fine. I’m sure he lives her and is conflicted. Maybe some therapy with a professional for you and him is needed.

          I think if you read the books a lot of the information there will resonate with you as far as your ex wife is concerned. Hugs and prayers for you and your son. Please keep me and my family in yours as well

          • Single Dad

            Thank you for your encouragement. I know I’m still working on accepting all that has transpired and realize that I may never fully understand why my ex did what she did. It is just a part of life and I must learn to accept this. Life goes on, can I choose to live in it?

            I never really embraced my faith but am grateful my parents planted the seed in me. I’m turning to Him now. If you have a love of Christ, then give Him a try. One thing I’ve learned is people fail each other all the time but He never fails. Yes it is a leap of Faith to believe in Him but reading the New Testament has really helped me. The words just jump out at me. He speaks to my heart. Ultimately it is a surrendering of all my pain and suffering to Him and trusting that everything will be ok one day. And seeing the path my ex has gone done whether due to mental illness or what ever it may be, I see what is opposite of embracing God thru her actions. Be happy, choose life, choose peace. Pray for those who hurt you. Our minds can be our greatest friend or our worst enemy. Life is good, the glass is half full, we have so many blessings. Just got to choose to look past the bad and see good, have to step out of the darkness and into the Light. It is scary but God will give you the strength and courage.

            I read your previous posts and I see how you have been betrayed by your ex. It is a horrible feeling, I can relate. The betrayal of trust. I am sorry you had to endure the pain and hurt at his hands. Sometimes when I think of what my ex and her bf did, I feel bitterness creep into my heart. It is poison. You must fight it. Only thru forgiveness can you let go and heal. Let God help you.

            I will pray for you and your family TryingHard. You are not alone in this struggle called life. But never fall for the Lie. God loves you with all of His heart. You are perfect in His eyes and His love cannot be broken. Remember God’s Justice is not the same as man’s. He is not a fair God at least in our eyes which is a good thing for we would all be condemned if it were so. I have two books I want to recommend to you:

            Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly and Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody by Allen Hunt.

            God’s Peace be with you.

    • TryingHard

      Thank you so much Single Dad for your loving words of kindness. I will look to add those books to my collection.

    • Satori

      Hi EAJ Crew.

      Just returned from what seems like another galaxy. Hope you are all well and happy.

      It’s been close to four weeks since my last hectic post and I’m healing slowly but surely. My anxiety has hugely reduced, not entirely gone (I suspect it will never fully go) however I’m not dealing with the very worst of it on a 24-7 basis. Feeling a lot calmer. I’ve gained a ton of clarity.

      I’ve had little to no contact with H with the exception of briefly once a week and managed to do whatever I needed and keep things going with a a lot of help in the form of major outsourcing of a laundry list of tasks. It worked. I am amazed but H still has no idea I have been literally around the world let alone in hospital. He has moved from where he was living but as I answered none of his texts or calls, I still don’t know. Not interested.

      Looking back on it all, I wish I had simply gone 100% off the grid and silent in the very beginning just to give myself time to process the mayhem in my brain. I doubt it would have changed the outcome but it might have enabled me to cope better. Hindsight and all…

      Anyhow, hope you’re all doing well on what is now the count down to Christmas (can you believe it?).

      –S x

      • TheFirstWife


        So glad things have improved for you and you are in a better place. You have suffered a trauma and did what you needed to do to start healing. Good for you!!!!

        Regarding the look back to what is the “shoulda woulda coulda” process.

        We all have those thoughts and regrets. Looking back I should have told my H to leave our home at DDay1. I did tell him to go be with her if that’s what he really wanted but instead he said he wanted our M but did nothing to focus on it – choosing to mourn the end of the A ((until it resumed a few weeks later)).

        But here is what my therapist told me regarding the M.

        If you end up D you want to know you did everything possible to save it. You triaged the M and did your best. So if D does occur you can look back and feel you did your best and you will have no regrets.

        You didn’t give up and walk away.

        You hung in until the end.

        But there were no options left and D was the only solution.

        In your case your H made up his mind before you knew anything. That makes it an unfair playing field. But you stepped up to the plate again and again.

        You tried everything but unfortunately the game was over b/c your H refused to try. He refused any help. He refused to be honest for the most part.

        Sadly you have to move on and continue your life without him. You will heal. Life will improve and get better b/c you won’t have to deal with him and his issues and his lying and poor choices.

        As I always say – if a M is not working for one of the spouses that does happen. But there is no excuse to cheat AND destroy the other spouse. You can be a better person and put the issues on the table. Talk about it – not be a coward about it. Own up to the issues – give the other party a chance to work on things with you.

        But instead our culture breeds secrecy and cheating and “all about me” as a way of dealing with issues and problems.

        I see it in drivers w/ road rage, parents at school meetings thinking the school is all about their kid and the times should be changed to solely benefit them, work place issues as well. People who refuse to accept any responsibility for the pain they cause (the CS blaming the BS as a reason to cheat).

        Sometimes you just have to cut the toxic people out of your life. No other options.

        I am sure your soon to be exH will continue to blame you the mess he created. And will never take responsibility for any of it. How sad for him. He is a child in a man’s body.

        I am so glad you are in a better place. May your healing continue and I think NC is the best choice for you.

      • TryingHard

        Hello Satori–So glad you posted. I was actually wondering about you.

        I’m so sorry to hear you were in the hospital, I hope things are going better for you health wise.

        I agree if h is not willing to talk about reconciling then the best thing is NC. I’m certain you are being well advised by your attorneys and accountants so you have the hardest part covered, your business and your financials. So many people are not that smart during all the mayhem of DDays and discovery. And it’s hard to do when your heart is screaming NO. But I’m proud of you for being smart and strong.

        I’m also happy to hear your trip went well and gave you the relief you needed. Sometimes we def need a change of scenery to clear our minds. Sounds like your trip helped you with that. Maybe you can plan another soon. The important thing now is to take realllly good care of YOU. You are finished solving h’s problems. Do not let him try to serve you anymore shit sandwiches. He’s put you in your place as far as his life and intentions are going to be for the future. Now he needs to deal with his own fallout that he alone created. Too bad, so sad for the sad little sausage 🙂

        I know this is not the outcome you wanted. I hoped for reconciliation for you and he but he gave you nothing to work with. There is no winning in this situation. Not for reconciles or those who divorce. There’s always a cost and a lesson. We can either let those lessons/experiences destroy us or we can learn and grow from them. Neither is easy, but sometimes in the end we are better if we have put the necessary effort to learn and grow. I have a feeling you will not be destroyed by this. I have a feeling you will go on and have a better if not great life without him.

        And yes the lovely holidays are just around the corner. I vote a nice beach for avoiding the holidays. What are your plans? It might be a little rough for you this being the first Christmas without him.

        Still wishing you strength and courage and all the best.

        • Satori

          TryingHard, just realised the “nothing to work with” was your comment. Think I got my posts mixed in my reply below. So sorry! Yours is a beautiful post. As always, thank you.

          Re Christmas and the holidays. Another challenge but that’s 2017 right? Current thinking is along the lines you suggest, i.e. beach. Also: mojitos. Pretty dresses, hoop earrings and heels. A lot of dancing. Good food. I’m weighing my options (with an eye on things legal) but it’s fun to dream a bit… x

          • TryingHard

            Satori—lol not to worry. Everyone here is so kind to offer you constructive advice. Makes no difference to me to whom your reply is attributed.

            Again I vote beach. Yes Flowey dresses, hoop earrings, sandals, masssges and lots of mojitos!!! In just afraid the holidays will be tough on your resolve so I say run away from that stuff! But certainly not if it’s agaunst your layers recommendations. So don’t accept into your own belief system. I know this is a shocker but people lie to make themselves look better. Cheaters are pros at this. They have a lot to lose. And don’t worry about forgiveness. I stressed myself out about the whole forgiveness thing. Once I stopped one day it occurred to me that I’d forgiven him and even somewhat the OW. But since she’s DEAD it’s been easier ????

            But you’ll get there. One day you’ll wake up and think Meh don’t care. But since your divorce is long from being final for now he’s still the enemy and that’s ok. Do things on your timeline not anyone else’s. And the timeline is not linear. So when there’s setbacks be reassured it’s normal.

            I’m happy to hear you’re in better spirits and I think it may be because you have a good therapist. I hear you about anxiety. Look up the word in the dictionary and there’s a picture of me ????. I’ve got that anxious crap down pat. I’m learning to live with it.

            One thing I forgot to say. Forget about the narrative h puked up to his family. They bought it because they wanted to buy it. It’s their son. It’s expected he’d say that crap because as usual he’s a cliche and taking all this stuff from the cheaters handbook. We’ve all heard different versions of the same garbage. Just because he’s says it loud and often doesn’t make it so.

            • Satori

              “Cheaters have a lot to lose”. SO TRUE. Can’t get my head around the lying thing. It still rankles.

              I almost forgot your H’s OW is no longer alive. That must have felt so strange!! But also at least you might have gained a sense of closure. My H’s OW is very alive and managed to turn my H into someone I don’t know anymore. He is so dismissive and disrespectful and distant. I’m almost past caring what he is saying to his FOO. Almost. But you’re right of course, still doesn’t make it true.

              I am in better spirits, thanks. Such a relief not to be in the struggle zone. Anxiety is a breaker isn’t it? I now expect to live with too.

              The hard thing to accept is that my H doesn’t care at all how I am or how I’m feeling about anything. We still have a lot to sort out, but I’m sure after H has visited OW and “sealed the deal” over the holidays, he will come back fully charged with testosterone, ego-stroked and spoiling for a fight.

              Whether I’m on a remote beach or not, I’ll be ready ????

    • SingleDad

      Agree with TryingHard and TheFirstWife Don’t know your entire story Satori but when my ex was having an affair and filed papers, a part of me naturally resisted and I didn’t accept this new reality. After all I had been married 10 years to her. Try not to expend so much energy on the “what if’s” and focus more on what you can do to keep your well being intact. Pray for him but do not stay in contact with him. For me it was a train wreck and my ex was behind the wheel. No matter how hard I tried, there was no stopping her. Take up a new hobby, surround yourself with a positive support system and just breath. Time is your friend. The first round of holidays was tough on me and my son. You will bad days but as time goes by you will have more better days. Try to see the Good in every situation. Be forgiving of yourself and go outside and enjoy the simple things. The clouds, the wind, the morning frost. Your life is not over. You will overcome this. Make this your new mantra. Trust in God and know you are not alone. Do not be afraid, He is with. Hope you don’t mind me throwing my two cents in. I will pray for you and I will pray for your H, sounds like he’s in a bad place now.

      “I asked God, ‘Why are you taking me through troubled waters?’ He said, ‘Because your enemies can’t swim.‘ “

      Blessings on you folks. Please pray for my son, he’s starting to go through his mourning process in regards to his mother.

      • TryingHard

        Single Dad—what great, wise and compassionate advice and words. I’m glad you are here. I’m always touched and amazed at the compassion we receive fro total strangers.

        Just keep loving you son. Be with him and reassure him. He may fight you but that’s ok. He will get mad and may take it out on you. It’s normal. My prayers include all who suffer. Hugs.

      • Satori

        Thank you SingleDad. I understand you’ve been smashed hard too. I’m so sorry we are both going through this. It’s a horror for sure, with our exes behind the wheel, out of control and hurting everyone around them while they only think of themselves. The emotional devastation is unbelievable. And no, they cannot swim! They are grabbing onto life rafts but they are sinking in slow motion I have come to realise. The end game for them is just being delayed as they will not face themselves when presented with what is a clear opportunity for growth.

        My story is all through this thread. But summing it up it’s a disaster and I’m about to be divorced. I’ve been praying a lot, but I have not yet prayed for H. My prayers are for me and my recovery as I’m still early days and I also pray for those who have supported me both in real world and here at EAJ to still be here, fighting the good fight. There are good people in the world and I’m super grateful to have found my crew here. It’s an absolute lifeline.

        I will add you and your son to my prayers. It must be very hard for you both.
        Thanks for the thoughts and the reply, I really appreciate it.

    • Satori

      Thanks and so lovely to hear from you TheFirstWife & TryingHard.

      TFW, your summary is, as always, on point. I had nothing to work with. And yes to cutting toxic people out of my life. H won’t be honest, because that would be having to break away from the FOO and do things differently. You have to want growth and development in your life and to be honest is the cornerstone of any real change. And we all know how hard that real work is. It is the hardest thing ever, very painful and many harsh truths about ourselves need to be faced. Therefore as H will not do any of this hard emotional work, I must be the blame to justify his cheating and for the way he exited out of the M.

      It is a bitter pill that on top of being destroyed. I am also defamed and smeared. So painful.

      As to the problems in the marriage, these problems have now been professionally diagnosed.
      For H: alcohol addiction, love addiction (avoidance of intimacy and fear of abandonment), social anxiety and possible personality disorder in my H, exacerbated by midlife crisis.
      For me: Anxiety / depression / codependency i.e. rescuer / caretaker and yes, fixer / denial and PTSD. I am now looking at my role, NOT so I can fix H (only H can fix himself ????) but so I do not create or allow this kind of enmeshed relationship in any form in my future.

      In my pre-treatment mind, there were no issues in our marriage that a dinner and a chat couldn’t have fixed. Put it this way, he seemed pretty happy up until the day I put him on that plane so if in his mind there were issues then he was just using me. I may well have been in denial and trying to make things ok but the dishonesty is 100% on him. But my post-treatment mind sees things differently as per my own choices and compromises too.

      You are so right regarding the whole Responsibility and Personal Accountability vs Secrecy and Lies in society. It’s in the same category as Organic Fruit / SuperFoods vs McDonalds!! We know what most people will choose given the choice.

      TryingHard. Wise words. There is always a cost and a lesson, I am thankful that I have had such experts both in the real world and with you and everyone here at EAJ to assist me to decode each. Without that, I simply wouldn’t be here at all. I got to such a dark place. My whole sense of self and trust in anyone was utterly destroyed. That is why I went for in-patient treatment as I was in the ultimate dark place and my anxiety was impacting me to the point I was literally unable to function. At a time when I needed every strength to do what needed doing to survive each horrendous day, I just had nothing left. I thought it would get better but when it was clear that it wasn’t, I had to act. That’s why, thanks to my doctor, I was able to get treatment in a totally supported environment and it has really really helped.

      It is no understatement to say that going there saved my life. No question. I am grateful to have been able to get the help.

      The new challenge is now the adjustment process to real life, when no one has any true understanding of what has happened to you. In the minds of most people it was just a breakup and “they happen all the time”, “get over it” etc. Or they rationalise it by saying “oh there must have been problems in the marriage” (*eye roll*) but to them it’s like any old breakup so I should still just get on with my life etc. Such easy words always said by no one who has ever gone through this.

      Now that I am in recovery, I am trying to use this experience to open me and for growth just as you say TH. All my relationships will change as a result. But thanks to the expert help I see codependency as a disease I will always be in recovery from. There is a small chance that in time I will come to see it positively as I will never be the same, but maybe that’s a good thing.

      There is still a long tough road ahead. It’s not over yet unfortunately. Lawyers and accountants are now doing their ritualistic dance.

      I still have to have a meeting with H for pre-Christmas arrangements. I will be business-like and, bolstered by medication, I will therefore be preternaturally if somewhat eerily calm????

      I’m still pondering Christmas and the holidays generally. It’s a tough one, and I am not sure yet.

      — S x

      • SingleDad

        I had sought out counseling at one time looking for answers. Apparently, I was deemed codependent also and I had suffered from bouts of general anxiety. Long story short, I believe it had to do with the way my parents raised me up. My dad was very controlling and my mom was submissive. My siblings and I were expected to perform well and there was not a lot of affection shown towards us. We were all pretty passive and made dependent on them. Codependency is a need for approval from others due to low self esteem and yearning for affection. Anxiety goes hand in hand with codependency. Prayer and meditation has helped me. Try yoga sign up for a karate class. Work on your confidence. Know God loves you and values you greatly. Start believing it Satori. Make friends who will lift you up, not bring you down. Start realizing you are an independent person dependent only on God if you are a Christian. For me when j started to recognize Truth, I became ashamed at first and then angry. This will be natural. But do not hold onto bitterness. Get rid of it quickly. What has helped me with my anxiety is prayer and giving my burdens, my need for control to God. It is a surrendering process. Accept the unknown. See things as a challenge not a hindrance. I understand you can’t pray for your H yet. It has taken me awhile to wrap my head around praying for my ex. This world tells us to seek vindication and justice but forgiveness is the only way to true peace. Hatred never leads to anything good.

        Make peace with whoever let you down in the past. Maybe you had parents similar to mine. Forgive them. Forgive your husband. And forgive yourself. It’s ok to mess up. No one is perfect, yet God still loves you. God’s justice is not the same as man’s justice. Forgiveness is for you to heal and move forward.

        “When they took me away, you were on my mind.
        When they hit me, you were on my mind.
        When I fell down, you were on my mind.
        When I hung on the Cross, you were on my mind.
        When I breathed my last breath, you were on my mind.

        And you were worth it.

        So when all is taken away from you,
        when you are beaten,
        when you fall down,
        and are defeated, remember Me, I am with you. Trust in Me, I will save you.

        Because you are still on my mind and you will always be worth it.”

        • TheFirstWife

          Wow! Great post. All true.

      • Shifting Impressions

        It’s good to hear how you are doing…..I am so glad you were able to get the help you needed. Yes you do have a long road ahead of you but remember it was his behavior that was “Less than”, not yours.

        Keep taking care of you… can get through this.

        • Satori

          Thanks ShiftingImps, so lovely to see your post. Hope things are better in your world since I was last here? As you can read in the thread I’ve been away and feeling a lot better. It’s a good thing to remind myself of the “less than” actions. Sucks though.
          I’m hoping there is a reason for all the madness that I just can;t see yet. Staying calm and one day at a time etc. Thanks for the positive thoughts!

    • Satori

      It is a great post SingleDad. Thank you for your insights.

      My anxiety started after DDay1. And I had it briefly as a teenager too. When I met my H I was very independent, but 15 years with someone does blur boundaries. I’m sure anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to that. All of a sudden, things that seemed one way morph into another. Age, career, business, lifestyle, family members deaths, family obligations etc and then there is the spouse’s baggage that comes up at different times too, all these factors can subtly erode a person’s self esteem if you’re not vigilant. There has been a lot of discussion of the MLC reality even on this thread — while I don’t feel it is the key driver in my case, it sure felt like a factor, even if a minor one.

      The therapist I have been seeing told me that anxiety is a fear of the future and depression is a severe longing for the past. Self worth was one part but not the whole picture. And before DDay1 I would have been described as having ok self esteem.

      In my case I had also recently lost two family members both very close to me, one of whom I nursed daily for five months until their final breath and so my H’s abandonment of me for his A partner was the final straw to kick the anxiety and depression into high gear. No yoga on earth could have helped me in those terrible first two months. And I already do yoga. In fact, the only thing that I felt truly helped me was boxing. No idea why LOL!!

      Interesting you were also told you were codep. My understanding of codependency is something we are conditioned from childhood as you say but there are other aspects to it too. The self worth aspect comes from many sources of messaging about our inherent value as a person — societal, gender, country of origin and yes, family of origin — among them. In terms of relationship, a spouse’s history and conditioning also bears into it.

      All the things you suggest are very true and helpful, but I guess some have to be in the time frame for the individual. I’m ready to do recovery in all of the ways you suggest, but only now having fully processed the situation and come to some level of acceptance. Shock takes a while to be absorbed — in my experience — and in some ways I’m still processing the shock of how radically my life has changed in every single way possible, with more changes to come.

      I was prepared to forgive and work through anything with my H, however as time has gone on and H’s treatment of me has been less than kind. The disdain for reconciliation by my H in any real sense except as a way of avoiding financial consequences in a divorce, my forgiveness desire is wavering. I’ve certainly been through the anger although I’m not “actively” acrimonious towards my H, we still communicate about things for work, but I think 4 months out it is still too soon for me.

      I’m sure in time I will get there. I believe in forgiveness as a concept. I just think it needs more time to be total and sincere rather than a bandaid version. It’s a bit like remorse, you know when it’s real. It would help if I felt my H was truly remorseful rather than blaming me for the mess he created. I need to get over my hurt and pain and then I’ll be able to forgive properly.

      In the meantime, bring on the calming mantras.

      And I love the prayer!

      • SingleDad

        Yes. Do not rush things. Just keep an open mind and when emotions present themselves, try to take a logical look at them. Feelings are a part of you, yet they typically have underlying roots.

        I too wanted my ex to recognize her faults in this. I was remorseful for my part l, but she wasn’t. She even blamed me for her affair. Whether she is a narcissist or not who knows. I may never get that closure from her. But I understand now the true meaning of Christianity. It is a pardoning of the debt without any expectation of repayment. It is a choice to forgive and let go. Culture is exactly opposite of this philosophy. Look to the Cross Satori. He forgave our debts when He has every reason to condemn us. That includes yours, your H, mine, and my ex. God doesn’t send us to Hell. We deny ourselves Heaven. I pray you receive God’s Grace to do the humanly impossible.

        “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

    • SingleDad

      Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and I pray for each of you thru whatever struggles you may face.

    • TheFirstWife

      Mark. This is painful to read.

      Not once but twice.

      Sometimes people just stink ya know what I mean? They are just awful.

      I don’t get the ghosting thing. I do t k ow how old you are but it seems to be a common trend if teens & twenty somethings now. I see it with my children how much relationships have changed thanks to texting and social media.

      In any event I think you need to re-group and move. Move away from people who would go this and move forward with some positive things in your life.

      I had some crappy boyfriends I will admit. Serial cheater was one, alcoholic (at 18) was another. Live & learn and move on.

    • Carl

      I recently met a woman on a dating site, Tina K, MI who did this exact thing to her husband. Now she is desperately seeking a male companion to cure her loneliness. He needs to be tall, have his own place, etc. She tried to convince me she never loved her last husband but her Facebook page is full of reminders of their love. Of course she claims it was all just for show. I don’t know if her ex husband is still in the picture, if he still loves her, or if he has moved on? But my advice to her ex husband, David K, MI, she is a horrible person. Move on! She is taking marital advice from her daughter who has severe mental issues, as you know, the apple must not fall far from the tree. Find someone better! This woman has some serious issues and you need keep away from her or she will drag you down with her. She is not worth fighting for!

    • TheFirstWife

      Bob. I’m sorry you are writing this and have been impacted by infidelity.

      It sounds as though YOU have been trying. But not your Wife (for whatever reason).

      Clearly she has issues in understanding respect and M. I’m sorry but not to give you a PW to a bank account is total manipulative behavior and abuse.

      Yes abuse. She held control and power over you.

      Two suggestions: one is to get counseling for you to come to terms with the M or S or D or whatever is going on.

      Second is to read some articles Regarding exit Affairs. It can help you understand her mentality.

      The last thing is that YOU have to stop trying to get her to communicate and be an adult. She doesn’t want to. She has shown you that (unfortunately). She will not change. BUT you can change your reaction to her. You can stop hoping for things she has nobibtention of providing.

      If you change your expectations then you will be less surprised and hurt by her.

      Read up on the 180 Turnaround. It can help you to start setting some boundaries.

      Example. She won’t come home? Okay she’s left. Not returning. STOP PLAYING HER GAME!

      tell her to come collect her things. Or take her clothes and personal belongings and have them in the garage or by the door. In bags or boxes.

      Change the locks. Do not allow her access to your home.

      Change the PW on your joint accounts OR take money out and put it in an account in your name. All legal. 50-50! Take half.

      Block her calls or texts if you wish. Stop engaging with a liar and cheater.

    • Dead heart

      Reading all of your comments and my heart goes out to you all. Went through a similar situation.
      It hurt, more than death. It’s been years now since that day and it does ease with time but still hurts sometimes, like an old wound that is almost healed.

    • Mimi

      My husband just abandoned me, I have a 9 month old baby, and I think I’m going crazy, I feel pain in every part of my body
      He just said that he doesn’t want to be married anymore and that’s it, I really don’t know where to start, I’m devastated

      • Anon

        Mimi. I am sorry this has happened at a time when you should be happy and joyous with your new baby.

        You need to understand he may not mean what he says. It may be a temporary response to a stressful situation. But you should see a lawyer to financially protect yourself and your baby.

        Here’s why. He may have anther woman on the side. So you need to make sure you get custody and child support ftom him. Now. Especially if you have no idea if he will continue to support you in the next months.

        second you need to find a good counselor to support you through this nightmare.

        He cannot just leave without facing the music and supporting you and your baby. It does t work like that. He is a father. He has responsibilities.

        If he wants out that fast you may be able to negotiate a better settlement for you. See a lawyer.

        As far as wanting him back – that is a tough situation. Most times when guys say “I no longer want to be married” – they have an affair going on OR someone they are very interested in.

        Does it mean your marriage is over? Maybe not. But right now it feels like it is. If he has left – has he tried to come back and see your baby? Has he contacted you at all?

        If not maybe you need to contact his family and friends to find out what is going on. Someone may have details and be kind enough to tell you.

    • Milli

      My problem was not (so much) that my fiance left with another woman, BUT that our common “friends” (not my friends anymore…), thought that I should “grow up and get over it”. This in about two weeks from when he left me. I did think what he did was terribly rude and selfish, an so did our common “friends”, but they obviously thought that “shit happens” and you have to “get over it”, and put the burden to show that I had “gotten over it” by being friends with my ex and his new girlfriend! To me this seems completely absurd, and I still today (this was many, many years ago) have great difficulties understanding how people can be so unemphatic. We were young (about 20), but still.

      I am happy this issue is more discussed today, end that there seems to be help available, among other places online.

    • Bob

      First, what your fiancé did was nasty, selfish, and loathsome.
      Next, you will “get over it” when you’re damned good, well, and ready. Who is anyone to dare to put a timetable on your grief?? This reveals their true character. They don’t give a damn for anyone but their own comfort. A friend anguished with the grieving one.
      Throw the whole damned lot out, the fiancé, the useless friends, and anyone who tells you when you should be “over it”.
      And, just who was the pinhead that suggested you be friends with the home wrecker? Seriously? That one is in need of a deep-brain psychological evaluation to determine if they are a threat to society. I don’t quite frankly care if this thimble mind is a threat to themselves. Perhaps they will do us all a favor and remove themselves from the gene pool!

    • Raimundo

      Dear sirs,
      My wife left me 3 monthes ago, without saying anything, leaving a marriage of 17 1/2 years. She went to her mother’s house and simply closed all communication with her. Doesnt answer any WhatApp message, doesnt answer any call……. Silence and silence without any explanation. My world falled down, I dont know what to do. Please help me.
      I am a brazilian 59 yo man. Help me. Its been terrible

    • Tashie

      My husband abandoned me at a time when I needed him the most. My father contracted covid and was in the ICU on a ventilator fighting for his life. It was at this time I discovered he had leased a place and was planning on leaving me. He left and I went into shock. What I really want to know though is this: I am truly grateful for Vikki Stark’s book however, I want to understand better: WHAT MAKES A SPOUSE DO THIS? I wish there was more insight/information into what makes someone capable of this kind of cold, unempathetic, behaviour? I am focused on my own healing however, part of that healing is at least gaining/understanding some deeper insight into what is happening on his end. I can speculate it has to do with his childhood, suppression of emotions, and not wanting to face his problems, but these are only pieces. I have yet to find a resource that can wholly explain this phenomenon from the betrayer’s point of view and really explain what they did and why they did it in that way. Again, I understand this journey is about putting energy into me and not him however I am a person that needs to process everything. In order for me to completely move on, I need to understand the big picture. If anyone can point me to any resources about the betrayer’s behaviour, please let me know. Thank you kindly.

      • Anon

        I am so sorry to read this. I’m hopeful your father has or will recover. Prayers to him.

        No one could explain what your H did. He leased an apartment and left you? What a coward!! No one understands the mentality of a person who behaves that way.

        Since we don’t know how long he was planning this — it could be one month or one day or one minute – it’s hard to know his mindset.

        But to do something so cowardly and sneaky will never make sense to the betrayed. Clearly no the guy you thought he was.

        • Tashie

          Thank you so much for replying to me. My father thankfully recovered and is out of the ICU now. I don’t know what would have happened to my well being if he had not.

          I agree that he is not the guy I thought he was. I am a very self-aware, emotionally intelligent person and even though I can see clearly that I accepted alot of behaviour over the years that was unacceptable and am working on healing these parts of me, the reality is that he was VERY skilled at lying, deceiving and manipulating. He violated me and insulted me in every way he could (sleeping with her in my own bed where me and my newborn son were sleeping), bringing her into our bubble during Covid lockdown, exploiting and twisting my inner most personal qualities and attributes to make him be seen as the victim and me as the enemy and above all else, he called the cops on me and got me in trouble with the law.

          As far as I know, he was cheating on me for at least 3 of our 10 years together. I just cannot fathom this insidious betrayl and lack of empathy. It is inhumane, robotic and animalistic. I can only hope that the universe allows karma to take its course.

          God help anyone who has gone through what I have.

          • Anon

            I’m glad to see your dad has improved snd hope he will have a full recovery.

            We have all been dealt the brutal blow of infidelity – obviously some stories are worse than others. But we all understand the pain and agony of it all.

            Wish you the best and I do believe you reap what you sow. One day your lying cheating spouse may be on the receiving end of being cheated on. Then he will know exactly how it feels.

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