save your marriage with a 180Today we have one of our older posts from nearly 3 years ago on the subject of doing a “180” to help save your marriage and/or get your spouse to end the affair.

There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t get at least one email from a betrayed spouse who is having a problem with his/her spouse not ending the affair or coming back into the marriage.  This post may provide some helpful advice.

Michele Weiner-Davis has authored two books that I highly recommend: “ The Divorce Remedy” and “Divorce Busting.” Unfortunately, I found these books a little later than I would have liked, which was after months of trying to get Doug to let go of his emotional affair. 

However, the contents of each book gave me hope and a new direction.  I feel that many of Weiner-Davis’ ideas helped me regain my power in our relationship and pull Doug out from under the affair fog. If you want to save your marriage, I suggest that you consider taking some of her advice.

When I found out about Doug’s affair I did everything to bring him back to me.  I called him, texted him constantly, made dates and followed him around. I basically gave up my life to be at his side. 

I believed that if we spent more time together that he would remember what we used to have and realize that he loved me.  I also initiated “emotional” talks thinking that would bring us closer.  I basically did everything I thought was helpful, when in fact the only thing it did was push him away.

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I should have realized that it wasn’t working, but as many experts on infidelity will tell you it is like a roller coaster ride. Some days it did appear that he was coming closer, but other days it seemed we were back to square one. 

Weiner-Davis suggests that if you feel you have tried everything to save your marriage and you still feel you are the only one making an effort, then try the “Last Resort Technique” or the “180.” She states:

…when one person wants their marriage to work, but the other doesn’t, fairly typical patterns emerge.  The spouse who wants to preserve the marriage desperately pursues his mate, trying to reverse the momentum of the alienation.  Usually there’s pleading, begging, crying,-anything-to try to win back the spouse.  The more desperate the spouse wanting to keep the marriage alive appears, the less appealing they become. The betraying spouse sees their mate as trying to control them, which leads to resistance.”

Another downfall to appearing undesirable, controlling and always pursuing is that the cheating spouse will avoid thinking about or feeling the real consequences of their actions. The betrayer is thinking more about the struggle while de-focusing on feelings of loss.

Weiner-Davis feels that the more you try to convince your spouse that your marriage is worth saving, you are making it easier for them not to think or feel these things because you are doing all the work.  You need to stop the chase and do a “180.”

I remember reading “ Break Free From the Affair” by Dr. Robert Huizenga and he says to “back off” and let the betrayer experience the silence.  Give them an opportunity to think about their actions.  Honestly I was afraid for Doug to think about what he was doing, thinking that he would realize that he wanted to be with Tanya. 

See also  Is There Learned Helplessness as a Result of Infidelity?

Now I feel confident that if I would have provided him the space to really think about what he had and what he was going to lose, he would have made the right decision.  I now know that being in his face confused him and made it appear as if I was trying to control his actions.

If you feel you have tried everything to save your marriage and your spouse is still showing resistance, try doing a “180” and see if you notice a change.  It may not come overnight, as patience will be the key, but look for small signs that they are coming back to you. 

This will be a time to focus on yourself, your needs and desires, and give your spouse time to think about the mess they have created.

If you have attempted doing a “180” please leave a comment and let others know the details and whether or not it was successful.  Perhaps provide some additional tips or advice to those who need it.  Thanks!

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    46 replies to "Save Your Marriage with a 180"

    • forcryin'outloud

      “Another downfall to appearing undesirable, controlling and always pursuing is that the cheating spouse will avoid thinking about or feeling the real consequences of their actions. The betrayer is thinking more about the struggle while de-focusing on feelings of loss.”
      My CS has told me this time and time again. He said he NEVER ONCE thought about the effect of his actions and completely focused on EVERY negative aspect of our marriage and my behavior.
      In my case I will say doing the 180 (which I did because I was exhausted not because I knew it to be a strategy) reinforced all his personal insecurities. He said then he felt I just didnt care about our relationship any longer. In fact his words were, ” I thought you were in it for the ride.” Yes, those were his words…that’s how twisted his thinking had become.
      The only thing that snapped my H out of it was my white hot rage. Not the 20 min. burst of anger but the seething uncontrollable 24 hour a day for about 4 days really pissed off anger. That’s when he did a 180. He has said he was scared because he had never seen me like that. He also said that was when he realized he had put everything he REALLY cared about on the line and he might lose it.
      I think if your CS is not dealing with a dump truck load of insecurities from childhood, the 180 option is a good route. But if like me they have a dump truck full of deep rooted self doubt it may reinforce their insecurities.

      • chiffchaff

        FCOL – same here. My H said he never thought at all about consequences and blamed everything that was wrong with his life on me. He didn’t have the guts to look at himself.
        He also accused me of playing games with him.Me.
        I think that if I’d done a 180 and walked the other path afetr discovery he would’ve felt justified in his behaviours and that he was right to believe that I didn’t love him anymore, until he was out of the fog a 180 would’ve been disasterous in my case too.

        • Joan

          I also agree. My husband has so much insecurity from his childhood – but getting upset hasn’t worked, being quiet hasn’t worked, I haven’t been able to leave (financially) but I think he wouldn’t bother coming after me because that would risk failure (or he doesn’t get it). One possibility is that he has Aspergers because he acts so much like he doesn’t understand or want to know about how I feel – just that he doesn’t like that he is the one that has to fix this. I usually fix everything and take care of everything – but now that he has to he is talking about “partnerships” so that I need to accept how he wants to fix things and if it is enough for him then it should be for me. I told him I don’t accept that premise – he needs to be empathetic with my pain. He doesn’t even think his EA with an 18 year old girl was that bad – just that I found out. So I am left to question his ethical behavior and whether I can trust him again. But he puts that back on me too – that I am not trying (because we are not having sex – I don’t feel loved or pursued like he did the teenager – so I don’t want to have sex unless I feel loved. It has been months and I miss it desperately – but I don’t want to be “used” – which is what I would feel if we did. I don’t even know if he is imagining someone else if we have sex – I have gotten to question everything about our relationsihp. We ahve grown kids and they live with us – we have little privacy and he is unemployed. so he still feels awful about himself as do I. Counseling for two years – the counselor is trying to get him to understand reason that he needs to act as though he wants me and not be discouraged, but he told me he would only write me if he were assured he would receive flattery or nice emails back and that I needed to be nice to him all the time and not upset. In other words – fake it. Tell him he is a good boy like his mother didn’t? yikes

          • Barbara

            Joan. Are you still active on here? My h has Aspergers too and is much like your h only he had a full blown affair long distance for two years.

            Where are you now in all of this? D-Day was almost three years ago and we have been married 20 years.

            Thank you.

    • Carol

      I guess in my case I did the 180 straight away, not out of strategy but out of sheer anger and insult. I had been in so much pain for so long over my distant spouse, who steadfastly refused to seek help or counseling or to change *anything* fundamentally about how uneven our marriage was (like so many of the BSs here, I carried the weight of our marriage; if we did something together, I arranged it; I paid bills; I took care of kids; I did the laundry; I worked a high-paying job; etc.). And then to find out he’d cheated? And lied? REPEATEDLY? I wasn’t thinking logically or strategically at all. He started pulling the usual CS crap on me and I told him I wasn’t going to take that sh*$ and that if he was fool enough to think some opera whore was worth more than his wife of nearly 20 years, the mother of his three children, then he was too much of a fool for me and she was welcome to him. Amazing how the ‘fog’ collapsed immediately. 🙂
      I will say that over the years I had made it very clear that I wanted to work on the marriage, and he had refused. In our case, that was crystal clear and indisputable. So he couldn’t possibly have said that I didn’t care about him or the marriage; it was just too obvious that I did, I had, and he didn’t and hadn’t cared about me.
      So, I dunno: in my case the 180 snapped him out of the fog. Have we had clear sailing since? No way. He continues to be untrustworthy in little things (not paying bills on time, ‘fudging’ here and there in what he tells me). I’m still not committed to him again, still not wearing my wedding ring. I have succeeded in getting him to agree to more counseling (he started, and stopped, earlier — of course: follow-through and radical honesty are the two things he can’t do — classic passive-aggressive). We’ll see how it goes. He will, of course, have to follow through with counseling, and with the suggestions that emerge, and following through on his commitments is his big problem in the first place. Sigh.

    • Gizfield

      No offense intended to the “experts” or whoever came up with this “affair fog” crap, but I agree with Carol and I think it is total bullshit. When I cheated on my husband all those years ago, I had no delusions about what I was doing or what the consequences would be. None. I think the cheaters are much more aware than you think and they have “gotten your number”on what they can get away with. I too did a 180°, pretty much immediately. I had told my husband I wanted NOTHING to do with him EVER. I bet if there was anyone more surprised than me that I didn’t divorce him, it was him. That gave him my “number”, that I wanted to save my family, when probably 95% of women would have divorced him for what he had already done. So, no, I dont believe the “fog” theory, they are acutely aware of the consequences, but they just think they will happen to THEM.

      • Cathryn

        I would really like to talk to you more. That was the most honest answer I have heard since discovering my husband’s affairs!

    • Gizfield

      I didnt really explain the 180. When he told me he wanted a divorce, I was extremely pissed , told him I was never speaking to him again, and left. Spent the night away, texted all my friends we were DONE. when I went home the next day, I got the you are a wonderful person, mother, friend, pretty, sweet, nice, etc. crap that is standard issue, along with the I love you but not in love with you speech. I think it shocked me, I had thought he hated me. I’m not sure who suggested we stay together, me or him. I think once they meet up with a side piece who’s willing to creep with them, it’s just difficult to give up due to their ego, so they call it a fog. I do know a dose of reality knocks it right out of them, and regret wasting so much of my time on it.

    • forcryin'outloud

      I think every aspect of cheating is bulls#!+. I look at the “affair fog” as just more selfish denial and basically the attitude of I don’t give a rat’s a$$ what my spouse thinks or feels because (stomp their feet) I’m entitled to do what the hell I want. I will NEVER make excuses for my H’s behavior – it was DISGUSTING! But I do agree that he never thought of the effects because he didn’t give a s#!+. If I had a problem with his crappy behavior or actions that was my problem. If you don’t care, consequences don’t matter. Fog / selfish a$$… same difference.

    • Gizfield

      I wish I had one of those time traveling Deloreans, like in Back to the Future. I would go back to that day, and when I went home to get my stuff and saw that he was there, I would have left. I would like to know how this crap would have played out on it’s own. I imagine that the relationship with the Turd would have imploded rather quickly. He is always yapping about how he hates game playing, self centered drama queens, etc. and that is straight up what she is. Like I said, it would be interesting to see. I made things entirely too easy for him and that is my main regret. When he had to depend on this skank for all his needs, she would have been very sorely lacking, lol.

    • Broken2

      Gizfield….I thought I was the only one who didn’t believe in the “affair fog”. I too think its a bunch of BS and just one of the many excuses a CS uses to justify his/her behavior. I have never cheated on my husband but there has never been one time in my whole life that I was in a fog and didn’t know what I was doing. I will never give my husband the luxury of explaining away the choices he made to not knowing what he was doing. With that theory to me it means if someone is doing the right thing then they are lucid but if they are doing the wrong thing they know not what they do. He made choices every step of the way. He chose to talk to her, email and text her, confide in her, sneak around with her, spend time out with her, etc. I will never believe he was walking around with his head in the cloud not knowing what he was doing. He was being selfish and a complete and total loser.

      • Strengthrequired

        It’s not a fog, they are in the clouds in lala land, where everything is wonderful apart from the wicked witch that keeps trying to get him to come back to reality.

      • Cathryn


    • Gizfield

      Absolutely, Broken 2. If you are cognizant enough to sneak around doing something then lying about it as well, you know it’s wrong and you are choosing to do it. There is a lot of money to be made in the adultery “industry” which is ok as far as I’m concerned but betrayed spouses have to feel there is hope, or something worth saving. If you can convince them there is a “fog” or whatever, it is much more acceptable to some people. I just don’t happen to be one of them :~) All the attention the cheater gets probably just reinforces the behaviors. They go into the Poor, pitiful, Noble me stage. I’m honoring my boring commitment at the expense of my own “happiness”. Ewwwww.

      • Strengthrequired

        Gizfield and broken, it’s right, if you can lie ti keep a secret from revealing itself then you know that it’s wrong. There is no escaping the truth of that.
        I have always told my h since finding out about his ea, just speak the truth as lying hurts more. Still he kept lying. His kieselguhr was what would have destroyed us if it didn’t stop.
        My 10yo daughter was caught lying by my h the other day, and he told her that she has to stop lying as he doesn’t want her lying. I have given her the same lecture, yet you know all the time I was listening to his lecturing her on lying, all I could think if was hypocrite.
        All the while I was there thinking as well, are you still lying? Crazy hey?

        • Strengthrequired

          Not sure what kiehselguhr is but it was supposed to say lying.

    • Broken2

      Gizfield …..I am the type of person that sees black and white…rarely a gray area so the affair fog things is something I will never grasp. I also was raised with a severely alcoholic father and I will never accept that alcoholism is a “disease”. I believe like you do that it is just a ploy to make money for the health care industry and alike. I am sorry but after years of meetings trying to convince me that my dad had a disease I still don’t by it. People don’t make a choice to have cancer or diabetes etc….but they do make a choice to raise that bottle to their lips and destroy themselves and everyone around them much like cheating.

    • exercisegrace

      I am likely going to be the odd one out here. I do believe in the affair fog simply because I saw it in action. We are a little different because the affair had been over for a year before I found out for sure that something had happened. I witnessed his gradual reconnection without understanding at the time what I was seeing. Even after I found out, there were lies he still really and truly believed, until I showed him concrete proof that they were lies.

      I will be a little controversial here and say that I also think we should coin a term for the BETRAYED SPOUSE’S FOG. Looking back I CAN NOT believe all the things I saw and heard that were enough red flags to have their own halftime show. Denial? Being too trusting? Stupidity? Whatever you want to call it, I was that and more. Why I never believed he would do that in our OWN HOME is beyond me. Why I didn’t hide a voice activated recorder or pretend to leave and sneak back one day and catch them is BEYOND ME.

      • Strengthrequired

        Eg, I dint know if I would have to see them together in that sort of way, it would have turned me off my h all together.
        I don’t think I would have ever gotten the images out of my head. I think it’s better that you didn’t see it honey. I guess sometimes we need to be thankful for those small mercies. It’s hard enough just knowing and hearing about it need alone seeing it.

        • Stewart66

          Definitely this. Unfortunately I did have to see them together, naked in the front seat of MY car. It is an image that has branded itself in my mind.
          I think a lot of love I had for my W died instantly at that moment. On the plus side, it was enough to snap me out of my BS “fog” and I’m now implementing a true 180 on her. I don’t know if it’s going to work, she still wants to move out but seems on the fence now and the lies and smoke screens about the prior EA are all coming down. She is actually remorseful now, though seems to be caught in a rut of self-loathing. I’m not sure I care if she leaves or not, I’m mentally and spiritually moving on which makes it a true 180 I guess. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

          • Strengthrequired

            Stewart66, I’m so sorry that you saw what you did. That is so heartbreaking. Hope you got rid of that car. I do hope all works out for you the way you want.

    • exercisegrace

      Oh wait the topic was 180, ha ha. My opinion there is you have to do what works. That will be different in any given situation. His affair spanned a little over a year, and during that time I ran the course of ranting raving crying sobbing lunatic to cold shoulder ignoring. As I said before though, I believed his lies (chose to believe i guess) and I had no hard proof there was an affair going on. So. I can’t speak to that situation.

      My therapist and I had a long discussion a few weeks back about my coulda woulda shoulda agonizing. She told me that is the hard part for the betrayed spouse. There is no way to win. If you take a hands off approach, the AP uses that as proof that the cheating spouse is “unloved” and “neglected”. If you rant and rave and cry etc, you are crazy and they are better off without you. If you choose to “try extra hard” to show them your love and “prove” that you are a good wife, well then you are only doing so to compete with the AP, and you are doing it all under false pretenses, you don’t really love or want them.

      Bottom line is, they have to snap out of it on their own. It is trial and error as to what makes them do so. For the record, my husband says it was our fights, my tenaciousness in fighting for our marriage, that made him remember who I was and what he stood to lose. In our case, had I done a 180, he would have used that as proof I didn’t love him and the affair would have continued and he might have left. Of course, I can’t say for sure but that is the feeling I get from many, many conversations.

    • Strengthrequired

      Eg, it’s true.
      If I had of let him go without fighting the ap would have used it as proof, see she doesnt care about you.
      When crying, begging, pleading etc, he just thought I was crazy.
      When fighting to save my marriage, I was trying to hard in his eyes.
      No matter what you did in the midst of the ea, it was wrong, either you don’t care enough, your crazy, your too easy. I was even told I was making it hard fir him, making him confused, because he had actually made up his mind on who he wanted to be with in the very beginning. So he thought. It was easier thinking that I didn’t love him. I just threw a spanner in the works.

    • Strengthrequired

      I’m with eg on this one. I showed my h that I loved him and wanted him, the inky reason we delegated fir a month was after I had found out about his engagement to the ow. Although he kept saying that it didn’t mean anything to him it was just something her parents wanted him to do so it was forced on him, he just showed up and next thing he knows it’s a engagement party.
      Anyway, he left that night, nit that he was home much when he arrived back from his holiday os, he was always with her.
      I just kept telling him I was not going to divorce him, he was happy to hear that. Yet even though I would not offer him a divorce I also didn’t want to make it easier on the ow getting her way.
      My h would see me each day, then I had told him that he needed to have space from both the ow and myself, he needed to think without anyone in his head.
      I gave him space, I didn’t talk to him, I would drop the kids to him without talking and I have to say it was the hardest thing to ever do. The ow however didn’t give him any space, nor did he give her space.
      It was all trial and error for me, I do think though that when he saw me vulnerable he couldn’t take it, when he saw me nit wanting anything from him, willing to stand in my feet without him, when he realized that I would end up with someone else, which he didn’t want at all, when he realized someone else would raise his kids if I did end up with someone else, he hated it. That was when he came home.
      However as eg said, I too was in a fog where I wanted to believe that he didn’t want her, well that’s why he was home right? That’s what he was telling me so it must have been right. Even though you wait for a sign to say it’s over or it’s still going you just want ti believe that the person you married is still there.
      My h still couldn’t let her go, whether it be due to guilt, her manipulations, him being confused on what his feelings really were for her, but while I was the mother of his children, the wife of two decades and the one he sleeps with at night and he is home with, then I had the upper hand.
      All she had was lies, manipulation and guilt tripping him into him thinking she needed him. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, unless your spouse is ready and willing to let go of the affair partner then nothing you do is going to make him/her do it any sooner, it had to be a decision that my h made himself, because he really had to see the ow for what she really was, he had ti see her in a way for him to say, is she worth losing my family over, is she worth all the baggage she carries, can he handle her baggage on top of his own.
      The truth is most of our cheating spouses lost themselves, mostly due to stress and depression.
      For me leaving my h while he was not himself could have caused him more harm than good, so letting him see that I was there for him, not giving up on him when he needed me the most, even though he didn’t know where to turn.
      Even those days where I packed my bags, the days where I told him he could have his cousin it because I had, had enough, I couldn’t take anymore, the days were I was ready to leave with our kids, each time he pleaded for me not to leave, because he wanted and loved me, how he didn’t want to be with her, how he assured me that his feelings were no longer and that he wasn’t going to call her, see her etc ever again.
      He still did.
      So for me, it didn’t matter to him when we were apart for the month, it didnt matter to him if I was leaving with our kids, on several occassions, he didn’t let her go until he was ready.
      Until my h eyes were opened, his head was clear enough he couldn’t make a decision that was right.
      I often winder what would have happened if I did just leave, not just let him sweet talk me into staying, what would have happened. A time machine would have been great.
      Now although I still don’t see my h every night due to work, trying ti get our business off the ground again since the ripple affect my h ea had on everything in our life not just our marriage, I try and look at the changes in him.
      No longer is he wanting to look his best to impress her, he is back at being unshaven, haircuts are getting far and few between, he isn’t as irritable now, then what he was when he would see her, I could tell when he had spoken to her, he was never himself, and would get cranky easily, as well as defensive. I see these changes that are more and more persistent. He is more involved in work.
      Another thing I have noticed is he sees more and more the damage his ea has had in our children especially our older children, the ones that sent living with us right now. He saw our son the other day, and he was so upset when he arrived home, because he could see our son was unhappy not having us around him. Thankfully he finishes school this year so next year he will be back with us again.
      Yet I could see how my h felt so much guilt for our family being separated. He was so very quiet that night. Reality of what he did is hitting him in the face more and more.
      I didn’t mention anything about his cousin it for a few weeks now. I have had little digs like when my 4 yr old said something to me and for the life of me I can’t remember what it was not, yet it was something about me and how she never wanted anything happen to me. My h was there, and I said to her, don’t worry baby, if anything ever happens to mummy, daddy has a replacement mummy lined up for you.
      Well, my h said, “what,no there is no other mummies, there is no one else” lol
      Yet yesterday I was expecting my h to go to work, I dropped my kids off to school came back home and he was still nit ready. He said to me, I’m not going ti work today, Im staying home today, I don’t feel like working”
      It was so nice to not have asked him to stay home and just get turned down time and time again, he did it himself. Our daughters were so happy to come home from school to find daddy waiting for them. It was a nice surprise for them too.

    • Strengthrequired

      That was supposed to say, the only reason we separated for a month, not inky delegated for a month lol

    • Strengthrequired

      Linda these words of yours struck a chord with me:

      When I found out about Doug’s affair I did everything to bring him back to me.  I called him, texted him constantly, made dates and followed him around. I basically gave up my life to be at his side. 
      I believed that if we spent more time together that he would remember what we used to have and realize that he loved me.  I also initiated “emotional” talks thinking that would bring us closer.  I basically did everything I thought was helpful, when in fact the only thing it did was push him away.
      I should have realized that it wasn’t working, but as many experts on infidelity will tell you it is like a roller coaster ride. Some days it did appear that he was coming closer, but other days it seemed we were back to square one. 

      That is how I felt, yet it was so uncontrollable it was ridiculous. I felt like I had to keep proving myself and proving myself, trying harder and harder just to get him to “see me” again, and at times it felt like it was working and other times it wasn’t, clearly it wasn’t. It was like the case if damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

      I look back on it and think “I should never of had to do the things I did, to get my h to see me. He already knew who I was, he knew the person I was, he was the one that chose close his eyes. It was so demeaning having to prove yourself worthy of someone that betrayed you and hurt you so much and have been apart of you for decades, they should never have forgotten who we were to begin with. it baffles me on why I would feel like I needed to prove myself, when it was upto him to prove himself to me.yet it isn how we look at it at first, it’s all well and good in hindsight, but it’s more do or die at the time.
      Everything comes so fsmliliar when you see all the comments on how the bs reacts at first, all the emotions etc, ti the cs how they reacted and responded to the bs and the ap, to the ap how they react and respond. It’s like it is text book written,
      At times I feel foolish, for giving myself to my h after he told me he loved someone else, yet all I could think if was I want this man,I love this man, while it is me sleeping with him and the more of it, the less chance she gets to, and at the same time he becomes closer, yet every time you get lied too it was like another stab to the heart, why and how could it have been so hard to wake him to see what he was risking for someone that was only in his life for a few months.

      • Linda

        Strengthrequired, doing those things are something I regret the most, however I try not to beat myself up for it. I had never been in this situation before, I didn’t have any background or experience, I didn’t know how to proceed. So I acted on fear and survival, I did what I thought was best at the time to protect my marriage and my family.

        Sitting back and doing nothing would have been impossible for me, I am a fighter and at the time I was dealing with a person who I didn’t not recognize at all. I had to bring him back to me. Unfortuntately I wasn’t prepared for the complexity of the situation. I didn’t have all the facts, Doug had withheld information from me, so I was reacting like a wife trying to repair a relationship that had grown apart.

        Honestly all of the things that I did, making dates, trying to improve our communication, would have been right on target for repairing a marriage however with a third party involved all of those behaviors backfire. As I said before, I didn’t know the facts, and it is difficult to proceed when you do not have the accurate information.

        When I look back at that time I do feel regret, I know I should have acted differently. When Doug told me he didn’t love me anymore, why did I fight so hard to keep us together, why didn’t I just say OK and move on. I often wonder if the outcome would had been the same if I would have walked away, would he have faught to keep us together or just called it a day. I am sure deep down I do feel some resentment that I was the one who had to prove herself, and do all the work so our family would stay together.

        For me it has been a huge learning experience, even though I believed I had a healthy self esteem, I was wrong. I did not feel worthy enough to be loved. I have really worked on improving this, which is an enormous task when you are recovering from infidelity because the feeling that you have been replaced is devastating.

        It has been a long, ongoing process. One that I have to keep in check on a regular basis. I know that I am not the same person I was 4 years ago. Part of me misses the innocent, naive self, the one who is trusting and secure. However I do like the part that is not afraid to speak her mind and say what she needs. I am trying to be comfortable with the new self, I know it will take some time to blend the two, but I am moving in the right direction and that is all I can do.

        • Rachel

          I tried everything as well when my husband confessed to his affair. I went as far as starving myself so he would think that I was perfect. Well, it didn’t work, he said my boobs were too small and he didn’t like that.
          Can’t take back what I did, a lesson learned.

        • Strengthrequired

          Linda, I know I acted on fear and survival too, I had never been in this rot of situation before, so I acted the onl way I knew how. I had never seen hatred in my h eyes before, yet in a matter of 5 weeks of my h being away he came home with that look. It was so cold, all I knew is this person was not my h. I needed to fight for my family and my marriage so sitting back wasn’t an option either.
          I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was to wake my h up, nr did I expect it to drag on for so long, so it was an eye opener for me.
          Those regrets of fighting as hard as I did, I too often wonder if I hadn’t would he have wanted me back, would he have given a fight to keep our marriage, yet for me I believe it just would ave given the ow the upper hand by her confirming to my h that see I didn’t care, I didn’t fight for him. So I guess th path we take at th time is th one we were meant o

          • Strengthrequired

            So I guess the path we took at the time is the path we were meant to take.
            The resentment for me is the same as yours, that I ad to do all the fighting, I had o do all the proving, as well that instead of him choosing me and standing by me, he still put her before me, that I have trouble with.
            Being replaced by someone else is devastating, it’s the worst feeling and it’s hard to forget. I struggle with that emotionally, because I could never have done that to him, I could never have hurt him like this, yet he could do it to me, without even a second thought, it makes you wonder how much he really cares, and will it happen again if he gets so depressed again with life. Will I be the one that cops the blow.
            As for the old me when it comes to my marriage, I miss it, I would love to not have this in the back of my mind everyday, just to live back before feeling like nothing could touch my marriage was so good. Now themtrust I have is gone, I just look forward t the day I can look in my h eyes and see him, see our marriage together as stronger than before, I think it will take some time for that, yet I’m hanging onto hope that I’m heading in the right direction too, and I’m hoping my h definately is.
            I’m glad that Doug and yourself have been able to move forward as a stronger couple, sometimes I think that maybe my h indiscretion was something that needed to happen to get us back on track. Just really don’t want to experience that sort of nudge again, ever.

    • chiffchaff

      Linda – when you say ‘I did not feel worthy enough to be loved. I have really worked on improving this,’ how have you been working on this?
      It’s something that I’ve realised formed the backbone of the way that I responded to discovery and relates to (as always) how I was brought up (narc mother for whom nothing I did was ever good enough). I found some help by looking at the baggage reclaim blog, as I feel that many of the reasons that OWs (& OMs) get involved with CSs are, at a grass root level, very similar to why BSs respond in a self-critical way to the bad behaviour of their spouse, rather than being properly critical of the spouse.

    • Mona Lisa

      I too believe that this “affair fog” is BS. Before my husband’s affair, he was quick to tell me that I was so intelligent, organized, beautiful, blah, blah, blah. After he decided his marriage vows had expired, he told his hill jack whore that I was a crazy lunatic, terrible in bed, and referred to me as “the shadow” and called her his sunshine. Gag!!! He wasn’t in a fog at all!!! He made way too many conscious decisions to deceive me to be in a foggy state of mind.
      So after his little debacle, I removed my wedding band, boxed up his personal effects, and called his little friend to feel free to come by the curb I had kicked him to and pick his ass up. I also assured her ( and him) that I intended to take everything including the echo in the house before this matter was over!!
      Is he still here?? Unfortunately…….

      • Rachel

        I love that! I wish I had called my H’s sleazy whore and left that message. Good thinking!

    • Broken2

      Linda your post was wonderful and exactly how I am feeling. I don’t think we are in some kind of betrayed spouse fog…I believe we are innocent and sincere. In our brains we have to reference to being a betrayed spouse…no history, nothing learned and therefore the thought of this happening to us doesn’t even exist. I did demand no contact but acted the same way you did and in many ways still do. I do all of the research, initiated all of the conversations, fault so hard for our marriage and I to wonder what if I hadn’t? Would the result have been the same? I still feel like I fight for it and lately I am feeling exhausted from that fight. Like I have to keep him in line all of the time or he will return to who he was….or still is just below the surface. I notice a lot more clashes between us because I say what I want to say now and he doesn’t like it and always finds a way to be my fault. I have decided to go to an Al-anon meeting today because I am tired of dealing with his drinking and other habits I don’t approve of. I am tired of the lies of omission that seem to come with all of this. I’m tired and like you struggling to come to terms with who I am now and not the secure person I use to be. He is showing many signs that I am just an irritant to him. Controlling his life when a few months ago he willingly change to this “new man” to save our marriage. I am also realizing I don’t want it to be like this. I don’t want what I am to be defined by him…his moods….his feelings. Life isn’t suppose to be like this. He rolls his eyes at me, swooshes me away with his hand, ignores me when he watches tv and all the while tells me he is so happy and our marriage is rock solid and even if he is mad he still loves me so much. Then we have one of our marriage meetings and I once again tell him how he is behaving and he does good for a day and goes back to being an ass. Its a cycle and I am tired of always being the bad guy. You talk about how hard it is to work on yourself and you are so right. I have no self esteem. Haven’t for 3 years. I avoid mirrors at all costs because the image disgusts me. 180 degrees is a big turn….I wonder for what?

    • Michael

      Hello Linda and Doug,
      It’s been a long time. Just wanted to say hi…

      • Doug

        Hey Michael! It certainly has been a long time. How are things going?

        • Michael

          Things are just about the same as before the A. Not a great place. I still have my bad days. But we’re still here. So I guess that’s something.

          • Doug

            Yes, that is something indeed. We miss reading your insights and sharing your experiences as they were always so helpful to the community, but I understand there comes a time when one must move on.

            • Michael

              I try to move on but she hasn’t and doesn’t make it easy. For me, at this point, I’m just ready and waiting for the next time. No improvement in the marriage makes it feel like there will be.
              It’s been another 6-8 weeks ( lost count) since the last time she said she was going to make an appointment for IC.

    • Broken2

      Hi Michael…was wondering how you were doing?

      • Michael

        I have my bad days. Not as many. Not as often. But they can still be intense. (See above) :)..

    • Gizfield

      God, Rachel, what a turd he is. Most of these other women have “silicone bags” they paid thousands of dollars for, then flaunt them every chance they get. We have a lot of them at work, walking around with their chest puffed out. I dont have anything against cosmeticsurgery until you start getting an attitude about it, lol.

    • Gizfield

      I heard someone use the silicone bags term talking about Demi Moore in that movie where she was a stripper, and it cracked me up. Something like “watch out, she’ll shake her silicone bags at you”.

    • Cathryn

      I have tried
      Throwing things
      Silent treatment
      Life as normal

      Now I am numb. I have told him for 2 years what I need from him…. answer my questions….. and he can’t… refuses. Time to focus on the future.
      I turned my back to him. Emotionless. Nothing left for him. And this isn’t working either. Time to go no contact

    • Rebecca

      My husband of 21 years had an emotional affair with his employee. My husband blames me and says our marriage was broken and I beat him down, was critical and unhappy and emotional and sensitive, and I took him for granted. This work relationship happened naturally and the relationship isn’t to blame for his cheating. This other woman is married too. Besides being witty and there for him at work and during financial crisis with Covid, they have nothing in common.. she loves cats, Disney, scared of planes, doesn’t try different foods… my husband is highly allergic to cats, hates Disney and loves travel. He says I wasn’t there for him in Covid and she was. (We own restaurants).. they can drink on the job and she didn’t take pay for a bit and worked for him. He moved out 5.5 months ago and got a 6 month lease on an apt to figure out if he can regain feelings for me. But he hasn’t because this woman is still working for him and he says she’s his best friend. During all this too, he’s being giving me mixed messages.. it’s been a roller coaster ride. I’ve delved into a Christian counselor, a regular therapist, Bible studies. I have a lot of great women friends who are supportive. But he isn’t doing anything. He was a strong Christian when we married, in fact a virgin. I always trusted him, I was never a jealous woman. The last 4 years of our life has been tough for us both and I got insecure with myself.. getting older, my 2 daughters in teenage years, my first daughter going to college, I’m a stay at home mom, thankless job, opening of a 3rd restaurant 9 months before Covid hit. Renovations of home, spent too much money, my anxiety got stronger, feeling menopause on set, my husband started getting less patient with me and frustrated easily with me.. and if we ever did fight.., he became really stubborn.. it was always my fault. This woman has worked for My husband for 14 years. She became his General manager of one of his restaurants, about 2-3 years ago. I’m just in shock. I love my husband and know we need work.. I’m willing to do the work because I believed in my vows.. he’s confused. His heart wants this woman but I think his head knows he’s wrong. He says I can’t change.. he has no belief in me. I’m not a horrible person.. he’s made me feel this is all on me. Can he love me again? He’s seeing a Christian counselor this Thursday. I told him he needed to make a choice… me or This married woman. I can’t do this anymore. I deserve more after being married for 21 years, raising our awesome daughters so he could run restaurants and be successful.
      My husband was a wonderful father and husband.. but lately… he’s someone I don’t even recognize? I know his soul, he was never capable of this. I want to forgive him because I do think we had a lot of stressors and then throw in Covid! It was a lot. What do you think I should do?
      So I’ve tried the 180, and when I do.. he seems interested.. but then I get my hopes up and he continues back with emotional abuse. N

    • Southern Man

      After warning my young wife several times before we go married and afterwards about the rascals in the world who would make a play for her, she would have to be on guard to recognize it. But she put that one side and got into an EA anyway. I also told her infidelity would be the deal breaker. I didn’t waste any time telling her I would be moving out as soon as the finances allowed it and so I did. No hestitaion. No effort to ‘save’ the marriage. The marriage was over insofar as I was concerned. it existed in name only. I even remained friendly but unmoved.

      This separation lasted for a few years while she kept wanting to know if my feelings could or would change. I admit those feelings did change because it was easy to see she was full of regrets and had learned a hard lesson the hard way. We moved back together and let nature take its course as the connection got stronger and stronger. The marriage is now as good as the first weeks after saying the vows. The firmness of the decisions were what, in the end, saved our marriage. But everyone has their own story. I was not dependent on that woman for anything. That helped a lot in beng firm. But I know it was the right thing to do. There was no way my wife was going to improve her life situation by trying to make it with her affair partner.

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