save the marriage
One question that the betrayed spouse eventually asks is whether or not they should end the marriage or stay and try to save the marriage.

After a person discovers that their spouse has had an affair, one question that the betrayed eventually asks is whether or not they should end the marriage or stay and try to save the marriage.  In fact, this question can often linger in the mind of the betrayed for quite some time as they try to navigate the affair recovery process.

The betrayed spouse’s mind is racing constantly with a thousand different thoughts and they are feeling a thousand different emotions.  So when will the betrayed be able to make a rational decision regarding making a marriage work or filing for divorce instead?

First of all, it’s nearly impossible to make a rational decision after only a short period of time as to whether to try to save the marriage or get a divorce. For the first several months the primary challenge for the betrayed is simply eating, sleeping and trying to function. The adage of working on YOU is of paramount importance during these first few months. Not until you can consistently do these primary things can you even consider your choices for what to do in the future.

It’s also important during this time to get as much information, theories and perspective about infidelity as possible in order to make a good, rational decision once you have overcome the initial trauma.

Another important aspect is to develop a support group, whether a friend, clergy person, therapist or family member, that you can confide in so you aren’t struggling with this situation by yourself. But under no circumstance should you let this support group make your decisions for you. It’s your life, not there’s.

It takes time to make a good decision because it’s important that the decision be based on the prospects for the future of the relationship and not determined by the elements of the affair. No matter how long the affair lasted or who it was with, the best way to decide about the future is to objectively assess the prospects for the future of the marriage.

In the book The Monogamy Myth” by Peggy Vaughan, there is a section that focuses on some of the factors involved in making such an assessment, along with indications that can guide you towards a better decision:

  • “Is there a willingness to talk about what happened and to try to learn from it?
  • Is there a willingness to use the information in a constructive way instead of using it as a way to punish past behavior?
  • Is there a willingness to acknowledge attractions as normal and likely in the future, and a plan for ongoing discussions of these temptations?
  • Is there a commitment to honesty as the basis of the relationship (rather than just a promise of monogamy)?
  • Is there evidence of a willingness to be honest by ongoing sharing of thoughts and feelings about subjects other than affairs? (If there is not honest communication about other issues, there’s little likelihood there will be honesty in talking about affairs.)
  • Even if there’s no evidence of the things listed above at this time, does it seem reasonable to think of moving toward this way of relating? Changes of this kind don’t happen overnight, but unless there’s an indication of movement in this direction, there’s little hope for developing a good marriage.”

With the myriad of emotions and feelings that encompass the betrayed it is important to avoid rash decisions when it comes to whether or not to divorce or to try and save the marriage.  The betrayed needs to take their time, get strong and then assess the situation and the prospects for a better relationship.  It’s not easy and there is still plenty of room for second guessing, but this is more logical than making decisions while so emotionally charged.

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    114 replies to "Should You Save the Marriage or File for Divorce?"

    • PunchingBag

      It’s been 5 months since D-DAY and I believe that I’m in a much better place now emotionally. But I still find it hard to deal with my wife’s insistence that she has a magical spiritual connection with the OM, she believes they are Twin Flames…sigh. He’s 14 years younger and single, which I’m at least glad means another spouse is not being hurt by this. The therapist and I have asked that all contact be cut but she feels physically and mentally unable to do so. She must see him or talk to him briefly at least once a week. I’ve been hoping that if the connection faded and ended that we could make our relationship work. I’m not sure how long I should wait for that day to come. Does it take 6 months, a year, a decade? How long should I really hang on to hope before I throw in the towel and make the decision for divorce.

      Even if she is open, honest, and willing to talk about her feelings and thoughts is that helpful when he’s still in the picture? She swears that it has only been an EA and that she is committed to me and our family, but he is still there. She has suggested, agreed to, and been to counseling with me, yet he is still there. She promises that she wants our family to stay together and wants us to work, all while he is waiting in the wings. She has apologized for what this has done to us and could possibly do to our family, but he is still there. She is trying very hard to reconnect with me and make me feel safe in our relationship, but I cannot because he is still there. The only road block I have to a better relationship is the one thing she says she is incapable of given up.

      Staying together would make the perfect since if he was not there. But as long as he is part of her life I have a very hard time seeing how divorce will not be the ultimate outcome. I cannot be part of an open relationship, I cannot accept him as part of our lives, and I cannot forget his part in this nightmare. Divorce is the worst possible outcome, but in some cases is it the only possible outcome?

      • WriterWife

        Oh PunchingBag – I’m so sorry! Reading your post was like reading an entry in my journal. You and I seem to be in very similar places — my husband has yet to fully let go of the OW. I feel like we’re making so much progress in everything else… except she’s still there. They work together so he has to see her but on top of that, he’s still holding on to the hope that we can all be friends again (she was our best friend before all of this). He’s had “closure” talks with her and yet there’s no closure.

        It’s a terrible place to be! I want to shake him and yank him out of his fog! If he could just let her go! Yes, breakups are hard, but at some point the CS has to break ties with the OW and move on.

        I’ve started seeing our marriage counselor individually because I’m worried about my H thinking he can walk all over me and I’ll still be here. I want to ensure I keep proper boundaries and I didn’t know how while still being married. The therapist recommended I pull back from things a bit — I’ve been working on the marriage and myself and she says my husband just needs to catch up to where I am. So for the next month I get to focus on me and having fun — I get to put down the burden of our marriage and let my H carry it. I can talk to him about his feelings and thoughts, but he doesn’t get to know mine because he hasn’t earned that level of intimacy. If he crosses a boundary of mine (like continuing contact with the OW) then I think on it a day and react — that reaction is likely to ask him to move out for a while until he’s over her.

        I’m actually looking forward to this — I’ve been so wrapped up in this EA recovery that I’ve failed to nurture myself. I need to read books for fun and see movies and focus on my job (which I love). I think I’d been afraid that my H wouldn’t carry the burden of our marriage and if he won’t… then I’ll move on because I deserve more.

        • Healing Mark

          WriterWife. Love your approach and your counselor’s advice. My wife and I also found times where we needed to temporily table efforts to improve our marriage, both during the yet-to-be discovered EA and then after D-day, and just live “normally”. I don’t know that we ever stopped correcting things that needed correcting in order for us to be happily married, but at least we took a break from counseling sessions so it seemed like we were safely treading water, so to speak.

          Tough deal your husband developing an EA with someone he works with. And equally tough his unwillingness to “fully let go of the OW”. But examine this carefully. Is it that he is unwilling to discontinue a relationship with the OW that is, or borders on, an EA? Or is he unwilling to halt all contact with the OW other than sometimes bumping into her in the elevator, hallways or at the proverbial water cooler?

          My wife was ashamed of her actions/deceit that took place during her EA. She desperately wanted all the bad things she did to magically go away and for things to go back to the way they were before the EA, with certain improvements to our relationship that were achieved with the help of counseling which started at the time she decided to end her EA and give our marriage a fighting chance, instead, of course, of fighting me and our marriage in an effort to continue the “highs” she was getting via her EA. Call it rationalization, or whatever, but my wife confided to me and our counselor that to move to no contact at all was to her punishment for having had the EA and served as a constant reminder that she had done all of the things she was so sorry for and ashamed of. It served as a reminder that she could no longer be trusted by me as much as she was before the EA developed. She felt that if I genuinely forgave her for the EA and got back to trusting her as I had before the EA (i.e., things getting back to “normal”), I would not have significant problems with her maintaining a relationship with her AP that was kept within our agreed upon boundaries. Finally, she also desparately did not want any mutual friends to learn of her EA and the actions/deceipt that resulted, and she was very much afraid (as was I) that if such friends became aware of the “no contact” status of our relationship with the AP (yes, no contact by me with the AP was also a potential sign that what might have been an inappropriate relationship developing between my W and the AP was, in fact, an “affair”), they would suspect, in this case correctly, that an “affair” had taken place and, even worse, they might begin to ask certain difficult to answer questions, not the least of which would be “So why are you and your family no longer having anything to do with AP and his family when you guys were such great friends (yuk!) before?”.

          As a result of the forgoing and other reasons, my wife and I created a framework pursuant to which she could have limited contact with the AP. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t recommend this to everyone. But it could be better for your relationship if your husband is not forced to act at work in a manner that is tantamount to as if he had never met the OW and had no interest in doing so. Call it a “sacrifice” on your part, which must, of course, be one that you are willing to do. I was willing to do this (not happy about it, but just add this to a list of other things that I abstain from in order to maintain a happy, monogamous relationship), and it worked for my wife and me. And note the fact that my wife’s AP very quickly lost interest in maintaining a “normal” relationship with the woman he had established an EA with, which has been a huge relief for me. My wife won’t admit to this, but I believe that it has also been a great thing for not only her, but our marriage as well.

          Good luck.

          • WriterWife

            Hey, HealingMark — thanks for your thoughts! I can see how tricky these things can be in a larger community. I’m fine with my husband having work appropriate contact — that’s always been the case as a necessity. He was very afraid at first of people thinking poorly of the OW but I honestly didn’t care about that. I’m quite bitter toward her — she was one of my best friends and she did nothing to discourage my husband’s emotions. So if the consequence is people thinking poorly of her, so be it. If she didn’t want to be perceived that way, she should have acted differently. I won’t go out of my way to hurt her, but I won’t stand for my husband hurting me in order to protect her.

            To me the issue is of letting go. I don’t really care if he and the OW talk so long as the emotional attachment is no longer there. Right now, that emotional attachment is still there. I don’t think he’ll leave me for her at all — it’s just that he has to let go of her. I know how hard it is to break up with someone you love but I also know how strongly people will hold on to an ex — even deluding themselves that they can “just be friends” or “just talk every now and again” when what that really is is taking what they can get.

            The contact that’s bothered me is what’s beyond appropriate for work — that he remained friends with her on facebook, that he and she exchanged emails about how hurt they both were/are about the situation, they they went out together for a “closure discussion” that gave no closure, etc. They just don’t get to have that level of emotional attachment anymore — it’s inappropriate. I don’t mind him sharing emotions with his family or other friends, but I’m not ok with him doing so with the woman who has so thoroughly disrespected our marriage.

            I think you perfectly point out how every couple will have a different solution and I’m glad you’re sharing another approach. I think we all benefit from seeing how others solve their problems and it’s always worth considering a different path. Thanks!

      • Carol

        Wow, PunchingBag — so sorry. Is there any way to get her to see that as long as he’s still in the picture she is NOT committed to her family? That she is NOT making things work so long as she insists on contact with him? As an old pastor of mine used to say, you can’t practice commitment. It’s got to be the whole thing, or it isn’t commitment.
        WriterWife, good for you! It sounds like you’re really taking care of yourself and that you have established healthy boundaries. Maybe he will wake up to the good and true reality you offer him, maybe he won’t — but you will be okay either way.

      • E

        PunchingBag – your name says it all and it reminds me of myself. My H told me for many many months that he wanted me, wanted to save our marriage but he kept going back to her (unlike your wife, he was not letting me know this, I had to figure it out). Your last comments about not being willing to have an open marriage, not being willing to accept him as part of your lives – if you have not done so, and you feel you can stand behind your words, you need to tell her this. As hard as it may be for you, you should let her know that you want to save your marriage, that you love her, but that it has got to be him or you. Back up your words with actions and take care of yourself. It could be what she needs to get rid of him. Like Surviving said – someone has to break the cycle. Out of 4 people involved, me, my H, OW and her husband – I had to do it because it became increasingly clear that none of them would. It’s a long, long road but I believe my marriage is on the mends and I have my H back.

      • Healing Mark

        Punching Bag. Hang in there as it is, believe it or not, still early in the process, even under the best of circumstances following discovery of your wife’s EA. No doubt there will be comments critical of your wife for insisting on maintaining contact notwithstanding the harm it is apparently doing to you, your family and your marriage. However, I consider my wife to be an outstanding person, and although she understood and acknowledged that the best course of action for my healing post D-day would be no contact with her AP (other than now less frequent contact at larger social events), she could not accept not being able to have infrequent contact just to keep up with her AP and show me and all that she could maintain an appropriate friendship with her AP. One that was no different than other friendships she has with husbands of couples we are friends with, men that she has been friends with since before met, and guy friends of mine that she infrequently talks to with my knowledge and comfort (of course, her AP was a friend of mine, then, before my wife got to know him and once she got to know him she really got to know him!). Drove me crazy for a time and made our counselor simply shake her head after awhile.

        I recognize that my situation is different in that my wife’s AP, now a former friend of mine, is married and chose to stay married to his wife (no huge problems in his marriage, but he did admit to me that he did for a time wish he was married to my wife rather than his wife, and then promised that the damage to his wife and family, as well as the likely loss of many mutual friendships, was not worth pursuing what he finally recognized as a fantasy relationship with my wife). I would have a hard time with my wife continuing contact with a single man that she had an attraction to, much less an EA with. Actually, my wife did say that if her AP had been single, she would honor a no contact boundary for our marriage as a “sacrifice” for the same. Seems like a small one, and we all do things, and do not do things, in order to mainain a happy marriage with our spouses.

        I can share with you some of the things that my wife and I agreed to (we did this about 6 months after D-day) as a part of infrequent permitted contact so as to minimize the temporary insanity contact might cause me and to give her boundaries to honor and as a result rebuild trust with me (in the interest of honesty, the AP has not been willing so much to take calls or answer texts from my wife, so my wife has really given up trying to contact him, and the AP admitted to me that he has no real interest in continued infrequent contact since it does not provide the “rush” he is ashamed to admit that he got from my wife and to my and his wife’s detriment). In brief, her level of contact was to be not materially more than any contact she had with other male friends, which contact with other male friends did not involve the types of emotional sharing that she did with her AP. She was to ALWAYS let me know about any contact, and I was given the means for monitoring her phone and other means to contact her AP to ensure that she was not decieving me once again (this monitoring was not beneficial to either me or our healing and I stopped it before it drove me and my wife crazy, although I sort of continue to monitor it just based on how my wife is acting toward me and our children). Contact not disclosed was understood to potentially be a “deal breaker”.. I had to believe that any contact she was having was not causing further harm to our relationship (I did believe no harm would occur if within agreed upon boundaries when we agreed to limited contact), and she had to promise to stop all contact if my gut started to tell me that harm was being caused (my belief, not whether actual harm was resulting, so no arguing this point). My wife agreed to share with me what they might have talked about, and to show me any and all texts, emails or Facebook posts, with deleted texts, emails or posts likely resulting in the ending of our marriage since we both agreed that this was tantamount to cheating and in any event a “deal breaker”. My wife agreed to NO one-on-one contact in person with the AP, and that such contact would cause the end of our marriage. Finally, I had to believe that the AP no longer had any interest in pursuing anything more than an appropriate friendship with my wife (I did believe this when we agreed, and again, my circumstances were, I admit, different in this regard than yours), and if I ever changed my mind, whether right or wrong, my wife agreed to thereafter cease all contact.

        Sorry for the long post, but I guess part of what I am saying is that I believe that a BS should not accept “no contact” as etched in stone unless they think long and hard about it after getting over the initial pain, etc. inevitably occurring after affair discovery (right after D-day, and for some time period thereafter, I believe that “no contact” is absolutely necessary for healing). It’s either something that you need, and know that you need after thinking long and hard about it (you will no doubt note that my wife and I agreed to revert to “no contact” if certain things happened which I actually viewed as a “win” and something that allowed us to get past what was an impasse in our getting to genuine forgiveness – i.e., my wife’s inability to maintain appropriate contact with the AP given the “no contact” rule). If in your mind, after careful thought and consideration, continued contact is a “deal breaker”, this should be communicated to your wife as well as the fact that her choice of continued contact will lead to the ending of the marriage. Frankly, I don’t want to be married to anyone who cannot avoid acting in a way that results in a “deal breaker”, regardless of the effects a divorce will no doubt have on our children and my life. But when I agreed to permit limited contact, I recognized that insisting on “no contact” as a deal breaker was likely setting our marriage up to fail given what I knew about my wife, so I wasn’t going to insist on it, but I was NOT going to let her go back to a relationship even remotely close to what we now label as an EA.

        Good luck!

        • Greg

          HM,
          Your comments have been really helpful to me to read as you don’t take a hard line approach to things but go with what you feel is right. I’m of the same thought in my approach to this and it is great to hear that it has worked for someone else so far as well. It also just helps that your a guy who is dealing with it, just relates better.

          Thank You.

      • Scott

        PunchingBag:

        My own experience with my soon to be ex-wife has taught me one thing. You can’t be nice.

        Obviously, your wife wants to have her cake and eat it too. Been there; done that. Honesty is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship and is of vital importance in a marriage. No honesty; no marriage (and all of the benefits that go alone with it).

        I played her game long enough to realize that in the end that only consequences had an impact.

        I highly recommend Dr. Bob Huizenga’s material to determine which of the 7 Affair Types your wife is exhibiting and what the possible chances are for saving your marriage.

        I know it’s heart breaking BUT living in limbo will only serve to elongate the pain you’re experiencing and she doesn’t care. That’s the “reality check” my friend!

        Two other GREAT books are “Womens Infidelity” and “Womens Infidelity 2” by Michelle Langley if you want to know and understand the “confused thinking” of someone whom you’ve loved for years but now seems like a complete stranger. The second book deals specifically with “How to end your confusion and move forward”.

        Don’t waste anymore time; it’s not your fault. It was her choice and now you have to make choices for both you and your children.

        Charge neutral; consequence them and move on with your life. The sooner you start; the faster the pain will subside and the more sanity you’ll have in your life!

    • Surviving

      It’s hard to make a marriage work when there is a third party involved. The third party is no friend to the marriage and since he is single and should be looking for someone else who is single he is stuck as he is in an EA with your wife. He is unable to move on and she is unable to move on. He has no reason to end this relationship as his needs are being met, and she has no reason to end it as all her needs are being met from both you and him. He cannot meet all her needs that is why she wants you.

      At some point someone needs to break the cycle if all this and in the end it might have to be you. That’s not to say it will be permanent but once divorce is mentioned it might end up being permanent.

    • chiffchaff

      Another well-timed article…
      The CS crossed the line with me last week so divorcing is top of my pile right now whereas before he crossed the line it was only a possibility if all our efforts failed.
      I am very angry and very emotionally charged so the list you set out in the article is very useful for me to objectively look at things.
      The CS seems to indicate that there’s some specks of introspection occuring now he’s in exile but, because he’s confirmed himself as a highly skilled liar, it’s difficult to trust that it’s not just discomfort at his new circumstances speaking.
      I have today committed to not filing for divorce for another month and to not actively look for a new relationship during that time so long as he maintains no contact with the OW/doesn’t look for another relationship/opportunity in return. That’s the best I can do right now. he says he feels puzzled as to why he doesn’t now want to contact the OW when, theoretically at least, he’s now free to do so. Unless he’s lying.
      CS’s – so up their own asses in the months after Ddays it’s unbelievable.

      • WriterWife

        ChiffChaff — I went through very similar thoughts recently. It’s so difficult and I’m sorry you’re dealing with that! I even remember writing in my journal “this morning I realized that my marriage is over.” I decided to get a referral to an attorney to learn what my rights are and how to protect my assets.

        I then realized that, while the conclusion might be the right one, I was afraid I was acting out of emotion rather than reason (not that acting out of emotion is bad). I gave myself permission to get used into that conclusion — to spend a couple of weeks knowing my marriage was over and letting my emotions settle.

        That decision made me feel a lot of freedom and like I was letting go of a huge burden. I’d made my decision and yet it wasn’t (yet) irreversible. I didn’t have to do anything right away — I could do it all on my own time. And because I knew things were over, my husband’s actions suddenly didn’t have the power to hurt me as much — I was already hurt the most I could be!

        I did ultimately decide to hold off on that conclusion once my husband took a huge step forward. But I’ve worked hard to maintain my emotional equilibrium and not let his actions swing me all over the place.

        • chiffchaff

          Writer’s Wife – yes, making the decision to separate and then allowing a time for calm reflection (eventually, I am still swinging from extreme anger to equivalent depths of sadness, with every emotion inbetween) is liberating in it’s own way.

          And yes, my H’s actions don’t have the same power to hurt as they once did. My main hurt is a great feeling of loss that at times is completely overwhelming. I’ve stopped trying to fight that one and tend to let it overwhelm for a period of time before I do something different to snap out of it. It all makes me stronger I suppose. Or will.

          A new development for me has been the ability to laugh at some things that I do. Like finding ‘profound’ insights into all of this from writings and literature at random. I now laugh at my need to cut and paste them, and I’m taking this as a sign of progress that I’m moving out of a hypervigilant, trying to fix everything by myself phase.

          Something Healing Mark said on another article was that some therapists say that with some couples, too much hurt has passed under the bridge to make it possible to achieve reconciliation. I think my H and I might be in that camp which is why I’m starting to be convinced that there is no alternative to separating. He has hurt me so much that I’m thinking that although I know that I love him right now, he’s not someone I ‘should’ love anymore. Which makes me sad in itself.
          Right, off to distract myself again.

    • E

      chiffchaff – love your last line! Well said! LOL!

    • Bobse

      This is where I am. Struggling to finally move on. My wife has put me through hell (I guess I should say I let her). I discovered her first ea over a year and a half ago, I gave her an ultimatim to end it, she did (but still had contact), she greived for him and I didnt see her shed a tear for us. We started marriage counseling. A few months later she told me she had developed feelings for another man, he rejected her when she told him. I told her she could go, she did a 180 and came back to our relationship for a couple months. Then it was back to the first guy, which I thought ended when he was caught having an ea by his wife with another woman besides my wife. We separated and gave her her space, she chose me and it was good for couple months. Then he calls her and its starts all over. I called the om and talked to him, my wife got so mad. That was two months ago, we were keeping our space but had some good conversations it felt like progress. Then this week she went out on a date with another guy and is unsure if she has feelings for him…. I don’t even know what was wrong in our 18 year relationship. I’ve learned alot about myself (I continued marriage counseling by myself). I’m sad at the loss of family, but right now I hate her. Can’t tell me whats wrong with us, has no empathy, cant stand on her own two feet…needs the attention of other men. I typed about the ea’s, I guess its hard because there are times when she seemed like she was coming out of the fog. Sorry for the ramble.

      • WriterWife

        Bobse — just wanted to say that I’m sorry for what you’re going through! It sounds so painful but give yourself a huge pat on the back for continuing in counseling on your own and taking care of yourself!

        • Bobse

          Writerwife-your post about making the desicion and letting it settle for awhile sounds wise. I know I’m reacting right now. Thank you!

    • Anna

      Chiff Chaff, your final line – CS’s – so up their own asses in the months after Ddays it’s unbelievable – was just perfect. Thank you for writing that.
      Healing Mark, I also foundy your comment to be very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel

      My therapist said if you fall out of love with your spouse you can never get it back. I was really surprised. And I don’t feel this way. What does everybody else feel about this?

      • Doug

        I think it’s time to find a new therapist.

      • Scott

        It’s absolute truth. The image you have of your significant other is gone forever. However, there is a deeper love and appreciation which is far better if you’ve grown emotionally from the experience of infidelity.

    • Healing Mark

      First, one should never say “never”. It’s a silly statement really, since if you “get it back” you could always state that you didn’t really “fall out of love” with your spouse, but just thought that you did. And, if you really have “fallen out of love” with your spouse, the fact that this has really happened in the context of a marital relationship will usually mean that some bad s _ _ t has gone down and the couple is likely at that place identified by another counselor as a place where “too much water has gone under the bridge”.

      I might look for a new therapist!

    • Lynne

      Rachel-

      I don’t believe this for a second! Did you ask your therapist what they were basing this on? If this were true, how does that explain people here that have reconciled and rediscovered their love for one another. I think that love is sometimes an ebb and flow….sometimes buried deeply beneath pain and circumstance—it can be lost, but can also be reclaimed!

      That comment makes we wonder a bit about your counselor. Nothing in this world is ever that definitive!

    • Greg

      Rachel,
      Your therapist is an ass. People fall in and out of love all the time. I’m doing it constantly with my wife right now. At times I love her with all my heart and just want her to find herself. I don’t care if that means we divorce or get our marriage back in working order. At other times I want to hae her fall off the face of the earth and die. Just depends on my mood that day. I’ve just finished writing her a nice long letter to let her know how I feel about the affair, her reactions to it, and everything that led up to it. Nice emotionally strung out day. 🙁 We’ll see how well she takes it when I give it to her to read tonight when she gets home. Don’t worry it’s not an ultimatum letter, it’s just a ‘here’s how I feel about things and what I’d like to do about them’ type letter. We are going to be starting couples therapy in a week and a half and I don’t want to have it all come out for the first time there. I would rather that she hears how I feel and think about things so that our time with the therapist is productive rather than a discovery session. I’m at the stage where things need to start moving forward, 8 months is enough time for us to discover ourselves and decide where we want to go from here in my mind. May not be in her mind but we’ll see, she’s the one booking the sessions so she is obviously wanting to do some work, I just need to see more of it.
      Ok, enough rambling. I don’t seem to be able to type a short replay it just keeps coming and coming.

    • Rachel

      It’s my husband that feels this way. He’s not in love with me but loves me. She said that he can’t get that back once it’s gone. I was really shocked. this can about when we were discussing if I should file or not.

      • Doug

        Rachel, It’s still all Bull$#!t. That’s the oldest line in the cheater’s manual. I said the same thing to Linda while deep in the fog. Now I love her more than I ever have. He’s just making excuses right now, and your therapist is very wrong to generalize things in such a manner.

    • chiffchaff

      The old chestnut of ‘I love you but I’m not in-love with you’. It’s evidence of rationalisation and an inability to accept that the CS themselves actually just chose to do it. They look around for a reason and the obvious one is ‘maybe I never loved him/her enough because otherwise I couldn’t have done this could I?’ – well, yes, you can do it when you decide to go for immediate gratification over long-term consequences. Why is it easier to rely on blaming a lack of love rather than a lack of self-control? I suppose there’s the answer, it just is easier to blame anything else than yourself.
      I agree with Doug – Rachel – the therapist is not helping anyone here, get a new one.

    • Rachel

      He is sayingbthis because he feels no emotional connection towards me. But he has a emotional connection towards the o/w. Same as he did 30 years ago.
      Doug, I am having a problem of flip flopping. I have rage/ anger days. The past few days I’ve done a lot of thinking and retracing your recent post about divorce. I want to work on my marriage but now my husband keeps throwing in my face that my modods change too much. Is this normal for the flip flopping/anger?
      I tired to find a blog on the site but no luck.
      Thank you for this site.

      • Greg

        Rachel,
        Try writing down how you feel and think about what has happened and why. In my case I would get too worked up trying to talk to my wife about what I was feeling and it would never come out right. I spent a day writing down whatever came to mind on how I felt about something and at then end of the day I typed it al up in a letter to her, after editing out the more extreme thoughts, so she could get a glimpse at why I was being moody and flip/flopping between sadness and anger. If nothing else it made me feel good and calm down a bit to just be able to get it out and present it to her. How she will take it is another matter. I gave it to her last night to read so I’ll see what she thought of it in the morning. I’ll post a follow up later if you want to know how it went.

      • Doug

        Rachel, Yes you are on the emotional roller coaster which is quite normal. Linda took that same ride many times and I’m sure that most other BS on here can say the same thing. Perhaps others will back me up here, but I’m fairly confident that with time the mood swings will subside. He has to help you though too, and that is the struggle that is before you.

        • Still Kind Of Sad

          Flip flopping is so real in what BS go through Rachel. Anger and deep hurt not only from the deception but from not being able to try and ‘fix and change” things in our marriage because CS was too selfish to reveal so they could do whatever they wanted while being trusted. And the anger and deep hurt are so undesirable to the CS compared to the ‘connection’ and ‘high’ they got from the AP. They never seem to think at the major character flaw of thier AP who would interfere with a marriage so greedily and deceptively. I’ve read (maybe on this site?) of the AP’s who end up living together and within months, sometimes years the fantasy is up- they just look at each other and feel ‘ick’.

          Even though my husband says he never loved his AP just loved having his ego stroked, (he was her manager at work) I sometimes fantasize that they ended up together and them feeling that ‘ick’ for each other. That he looked back and wished he had been a better man and husband to me so that I would have wanted to give him more affection in our busy life. But we are still together and I fear that I carry secret resentment towards him for his betrayal and very common CS reactions afterwards.

          Is there a blog here about harbouring these unhealthy secret resentments against the CS? I guess we still have problems with communicating without getting mad at each other.

      • Ifeelsodumb

        Rachel,
        Seems to me your H sure does like to blame YOU for a lot of stuff…has he EVER taken any of the blame for the crap he’s put you through???
        So your mood “flip flops” does it? Well, maybe it’s because he’s a selfish, egotistical pig who keeps you on the hook, wanting to work on your marriage one day, then the next day telling you that the OW is his “soul mate”!!
        Maybe the next “flip flop” should be you flipping him the finger, and flopping him on the head with your shoe!!??!! LOL!! Can ya tell it jerks my chain just a bit to hear him say this stuff to you??

    • Notoverit

      Listen to Doug Rachel!!!! Years before the EA I got a very wise piece of advice from my grandmother about marriage: you’ll go through times when you love your H so much you can’t believe it and then there will be times that he disgusts you – a roller coaster. I keep thinking about what she said and it’s true. But I always knew, even in the down-times, that I loved him. I guess what I am saying is that our emotions change daily (don’t all of us know that – thanks to the affairs). DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT THERAPIST!!!!! My H never said that he didn’t continue to love me during his EA but my intuition says he wasn’t in love with me (I remember how he acted). Now, well now, he is back – so it does happen.

      And as for the vein of comments here, I am in the minority. I could not accept my H having continued contact with the OW in any shape, form or fashion. No contact at all. And he did work with her. She is a nurse and he’s a doctor so there were always situations where he had to be around her when it concerned a patient. I simply told him to work it out and avoid her – do not talk to her. I didn’t really care what others thought – they all knew about the affair. She didn’t care how she chased my H when she was doing it so suffer the consequences of being ridiculed for now being TOTALLY rejected in front of all those people. I didn’t care about keeping up appearances because they certainly didn’t. If you do the crime be prepared to to the time.

    • E

      I have fallen out of love before, and although my H never said those words to me, I believe he did also. On television some time ago I saw an elderly couple being interviewed and they were asked how they kept their marriage going for 50/60 + years … the wife responded – “we never fell out of love at the same time”

      • Still Kind Of Sad

        This makes sense. Marraige is the hardest relationship we will ever have and it sure takes two, but sometimes it is One who holds it together for awhile.

    • Caledonia

      Rachel, the flip-flopping – totally normal in my book. I am coming up to one year from D-Day and the flip-flopping is still very much part of life for us. One day I think that I believe my husband and that I know that he truly is sorry, and the next day / second / hour, I think – ‘But how do I know? What if he is…..? Has he been in touch with her?’ – and the red mist decends and all hells breaks loose. It’s an utter nightmare and is exhausting in the extreme as one never knows how one will feel from one day to the next. I have driven myself almost insane wiht my wondering, questions and imaginings.

      A brief synopsis of what happened…..Last January, my H told me that he only 50% loved me. It almost broke my heart. He works away from home during the week and each weekend came home and treated me with disregard, disrespect and dislike. (I should point out that up until then he had been a sweet, kind and loving man) I discovered April 12th that he had been having an affair with someone who was working in the same town as him – not same company. I immediately threw him out, but 36 hours later,allowed him to come back, believing that if I were not to let him, he would go back to the OW. For 10 weeks, he promised that he was not in touch with her and that I was all he wanted. (I now know this to be totally true as have spoken to her). Then, after the mother of all rows (yes, I had been a banshee for most of the time ) He left and went back to her. We (myself and our 2 children, 14 and 10) were heartbroken.. I spent the night planning how we would survive, financially etc and the next morning when he rang, I told him my plans. Before I had even finished, my H burst into sobbing tears and said that he didn’t want to be where he was, he wanted to come home. I asked him to go to friends of ours, confess what he had done and talk it through with them so that he was certain that this was what he did want. Two days later, he came home.

      From that moment, truth has been vital. We have spent hours and hours talking and I totally understand what led to the affair – it was a physical one. I had a part to play also – not excusing him. My H has owned to 100% responsibility for choosing to have an affair, but we both admitted equal responsibility for the state our marriage was in prior to it happening. My H has written letter after letter, pouring his heart out to me, apologising, showing real remorse and shame and has also cried more times than I have ever seen. He also felt guilty for what he had done to the OW. She fell in love with him and he gave her false hope by going back to her for that one night. He rang her whilst drunk one night. I found out (have become super sleuth!) and he confessed. But apart from that, he has not seen / spoken to her since then. As far as I know,. However, I believe that his actions now are so different to how he was when he was with her, that there is no room for doubt. Can you tell I am having a good day?! Yesterday, I may not have been so charitable! I guess there comes a point where, if you want the marriage to succeed, if you want the trust and love to return and rekindle, if you want the insanity that has become your daily routine to end, then you have to believe the CS. I know how my H was before the affair, I know how he acted during it and the man he is now is neither of those. He has taken all he good that he used to be, added to to it after listening to how I feel, (he is even reading the 5 Love Languages and this, from a burly fisherman would never have happened before!) and has has rejected all the horrible facets from during the PA. He is, to the untrained and un-knowing eye, a perfect, caring,considerate, faithful husband, who shows nothing but love and affection for his family. Will we stay together? I hope so. Do I love him and believe him? Yes…..today! And I hope that the devil on my shoulder, guiding the doubt and misgivings, will just shrivel up and die as I get stronger. It kills me, but isn’t killing me any more.

      Sorry for the lengthy blurb – just tying to demonstrate the flip-flopping normality that is a BS’s life – BUT, hope springs eternal!

      • Still Kind Of Sad

        It feels so good to read something similar to my experience. This has given me strength- for today at least LOL!

    • Caledonia

      ps – should have said, that the OW no longer works near him, although it’s not beyond the realms of possibility in the future.

    • Kathy Tavitian

      I highly recommend the book “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” by Mira Kirshenbaum. It says that weighing the pros and cons of leaving (and ultimately divorcing) is ineffective and can cause you to remain stuck on the fence. She helps you diagnose your relationship and uses empirical research to help you identify if there are conditions present in your relationship for which most people with similar conditions remain happy over time that they left. It was a lifesaver for me…helped me move forward with confidence that I was doing the right thing for myself. In my case, it helped me realize that my marriage was worth fighting for, but if it had gone the other way I think it would have helped me be confident and resolute in that decision as well.

      • Doug

        Thanks for that book recommendation Kathy. I just added it to our library and folks can check it out by clicking here.

    • WriterWife

      I love E’s quote about the couple who were married 50-60+ years who said the key was: “we never fell out of love at the same time.” And I echo everyone else — I’d look for a new therapist if mine told me that once someone falls out of love they can’t fall back into love. In my opinion that’s not helpful or nurturing advice (nor do I think it’s true!)

      Rachel — I’ve had the similar emotional roller coaster (which is why I went to go see our marriage counselor individually – I want to learn how to find my own emotional balance). She’s suggested a book: Intimacy & Desire by Dr. Schnarch. I’ve liked a lot of his approach which is rooted in the idea that each person in the marriage has to find their own sense of self rather than rely on anyone else’s sense of who they are. Perhaps this just seems like it perfectly fits my own situation, but I think it’s true I was relying on my husband for my sense of who I was and so his swings (marriage is on vs marriage is off) affected me wildly because I let that define who I am and my future.

      Of course my husband’s decisions will have a huge impact on my life (and what I mourn a lot is losing all of those dreams and possibilities of the life were were going to lead together), but I get to choose who I am and how I react. What I need to do is find my own strength and my own emotional foundation and my own truth about who I am, what happened, and what I need going forward. His emotions still affect me, but I don’t swing quite as wildly (and when I do, I focus on myself — examining what I’m feeling and why and writing it down in my journal).

      • Doug

        WriterWife, Sounds like a good book and a good approach to things. Thanks for the recommendation. Just added it to the Library. Here’s a link for any who are interested.

    • roller coaster rider

      It’s good to know I have company on the roller coaster! No matter what the condition of the marriage or relationship or anything else, we humans are very complex creatures and many, many things play into our moods and feelings. Of course we want and need peace and stability at home, and without the ability to trust our partner, how can we have that? But I can speak to the need in my own life to bury the old, and that for me, meant getting divorced. I think I may one day remarry my H, though, for he is now awake, aware and desires the personal changes that will make a healthy marriage possible. For now, though, the right thing is to live separately, to focus on personal growth, yes to talk and spend some time together, but not as a married couple. Our therapist is encouraging us to bring resolution to the past, and to walk through a cemetery talking about those things that need to die. Once we do that, we’re going to write a vision statement for the rest of our lives going forward. D-Day #1 is Tuesday coming up, and I have decided not to let the past dictate my feelings about the present and future. I’m done with all the junk, including who I was in that old marriage.

    • Rodion

      I’m a bit over 4 months post D-Day; my wife’s affair has been going on for 5 months now. I started Mort Fertel’s program (highly recommended, BTW!) shortly after discovering the affair. In fact, I had ordered it on D-Day and discovered the affair a few hours later. I was going to cancel the order, but cooled my heels and let the order stand.

      Unfortunately, I did confront my wife with my knowledge of the affair, and did and said many cruel things that honestly were ill-advised. In case you don’t know Mort advises not confronting the CS with your knowledge of the affair, but to just get out of the way and let it run its course. This might sound counterproductive, but you are engaging your spouse in so many other positive ways that there is a huge amount of pressure that ends up being put on the affair through your actions. My confronting my wife with my knowledge of the affair just helped to drive it underground and strengthen their bond for a time.

      The advice also includes not allowing the CS to talk about the affair ever, so long as it’s going on. I can say from experience that this works. She will talk to the whole world (and practically has) about the affair before talking to me about it. The last time she tried was about 3 months ago, and I shut that conversation down right away. This commits the CS to an endless string of lies and deception that continues to wear down their conscience until the affair finally implodes. I’m still waiting for that to happen, but I can see that there is much distress in her life over the choices she has made.

      Incidentally, I do not think that divorce is the answer to infidelity, and it certainly should not be the first course of action. In fact, I would say that there is always hope if there is infidelity, because the affair will end, and it will probably end a lot sooner if you do the right things.

      • Disappointed

        Rodion – Could you share more about Fertel’s program? Which one you are doing and if it is the Lone Ranger option? I am getting bombarded with various offers from all my web browsing looking for answers and would appreciate some insights. My H is doing all the usual CS tricks and none of the work. So for now it is up to me. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    • rachel

      My H didn’t know anything about an emotional affair. When he dropped the bomb I looked up e/a and mid life crisis. Hit 50 in Feb. 2011 hooked up with the ex gf/ow feb 2011.
      I explained the “fog” and other terms with him. I’ve emailed and copied articles that Doug and Linda posted on this site and he told his therapist and she said that I should’nt be doing that. I’m only doing it to help him. His therapist is not a marriage counselor. She is a “mans counselor”. Perhaps Doug and Linda have heard of this type before. I never have. She constantly says that I shouldn’t feel the way I do. We are NOT having luck in the “counselor” department in this situation. Mine yes I listen to but then I post to you guys and get your opinion.You guys have been so helpful to me. My friends and family have been great support. My H hasn’t told a soul. Only his parents who have said that they are 100% behind any decision he makes (really)??
      My H and I are not in the same zone. Last week when he said that he wants to work on us, I said I needed to take it day by day. He said rude comments this week about the o/w and his connection he had with her and not me. Of course I blew up. I can’t stand hearing about how great she is the b**ch. Last night he didn’t come home till late. He had a meeting in her neck of the woods. So of course I accused him of being with her. He didn’t tell me where he was until my son told me.
      And today I invited him to go to a school event toniht with me and our youngest and he wouldn’t answer me. I confronted him and he said no, not after you blew up the other night.
      I know a lot of this is all me. I just have a hard time getting past this. He does nothing but go to his counselor. I read books, blog and this site. He thinks by saying he’s sorry for my hurting is all he has to do.

      • Healing Mark

        Rachel. So sorry you are still having difficulties. For what’s it’s worth, you could tell your husband that a male poster on this site described “blowing up” at his wife who had an EA many, many times and that he and his wife went through very challenging times following affair discovery but that with the passage of time, desire to be happily married, and desire to get past the affair and the hurt and anger that it makes the BS feel, it has gotten way, way better. Better marriage, in fact, than before the EA. But then again, both my wife and I learned a lot of things about ourselves through marriage counseling and confronting unhappiness-causing things in our marriage that in part led to the EA developing.

        Sure, a counselor that specializes in concerns and issues primarily faced by men – i.e., a “man’s counselor”. But since your H has had an admitted affair and is married, it seems to me that he needs more than just a “man’s counselor”. Now, if he was single and feeling depressed or unduly angry at the world, perhaps a “man’s counselor” would be best.

        I doubt very seriously that a professional counselor would say even once, much less “constantly”, that you shouldn’t feel a certain way. Totally sounds like some crap that your H is throwing out for who knows what reasons (we can all guess, of course, but what a shitty thing to do!). Seriously, circumstances need to be fairly extreme for a person’s true feelings about something to be appropriately challenged in such a way. For example, you probably should not feel happy that millions of people died during WW II. But in the context of a man betraying his wife and having a known and admitted to affair while married, whatever feelings the wife has at any given time as a result of the occurrence and discovery of such affair are, in my opinion, INCONTROVERTABLY ACCEPTABLE AND TO BE EXPECTED!!! Don’t believe that your feelings are inappropriate at all! But trust me, blowing up at your H at the stage you are in is not something that’s going to assist any healing process you might be looking for. But you know that! It’s just so hard to not blow up at times, right?

        God bless.

      • Notoverit

        Okay Rachel, time to back off. Quit blowing up at him. IGNORE him and HIS THERAPIST. Continue as you were doing before – do things for yourself, quit trying to get him to do anything else to work on the problem. Simply tell him that there are good counselors and bad counselors – you have a bad one and I won’t listen to her advice any more. Tell him to wake up and look out the world outside, which, incidentally does not agree with your counselor. I think you are killing yourself with all this. BACK OFF and leave him to his own devices for a while.

    • Notoverit

      Sorry – Tell him to wake up and look AT the world outside….dang typing…

    • Lynne

      Rachel-

      Just remember that it doesn’t matter if all your H thinks he has to do is say he’s sorry. What matters is what you need to heal. Have you sat down together and had a conversation about what this healing would look like for you. In other words, not focusing on what HE isn’t doing for you, but describing what YOU need going forward.

      As far as his counselor is concerned (regardless of what type he is), I would agree that it doesn’t benefit your H for you to send him things about affairs. He’s a grown man, and if he places enough value on learning about himself and his EA, then he will venture out to find this material on his own.

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      As far as the school event for your youngest, your child will
      be happy to as least to have you there. Your husbands choice not to go, is his choice, and your not responsible for him not going. If that event was important enough for him,
      nothing would keep him from going, so you should not feel
      guilt.
      Being your husband had a late meeting, it would have been
      a nice gesture for him to have called and let you know he
      was running late due to a meeting.
      However, him bragging up this other woman around you,
      is cruel and mean and disrespective.
      As far as his family, I wouldn’t upset yourself about them,
      I know it hurts but forget about them.
      Rachel, you have your hands full and my heart goes out
      to you. Hopefully, your husband will see how much pain
      he inficks on you by comparing and bragging about this other woman to you. Of course your going to be hurt and have anger with him. Unless your superhuman, however most of us aren’t.
      However, he doesn’t appear to be remorseful, or loving
      towards you at this time, and blames you for his poor
      choices.
      Rachel, until he makes peace within himself, and is ready
      to work on the marriage, its a uphill battle, and my heart
      goes out to you.

      • Anita

        Rachel,
        I know this is hard on you and also heartbreaking, however
        you need to take sometime for yourself and take a break
        from the stress of all this. Also your children need some
        extra special time and attention from you.
        Do things for yourself and your children, and as much as
        you can enjoy those moments, so you and your children
        will have good memories to look back on.
        You can’t change your husbands behavior, however you
        also don’t have to stay in the same room as him when he
        starts to say hurtful things.
        Marriage counseling could be very helpful for both of you.
        I know you have many many feelings that need to be aired,
        however under the care of a marriage counselor they will
        assist in helping you to heal.
        I wish you the best!

    • rachel

      notoverit- Yeah, that’s what i decided to just move on and do for me. Last night was so much fun with my son and tonight i’m going out with my good friends. Can’t wait!! Much needed girls night out. I just want to make things better and work on us. I just feel like we are wasting time. I did get more result from him when I backed off and had fun without him.
      Lynne-No he won’t sit down and talk about it. Any conversation is while he is reading the paper or texting the phone while i initiate it. So I am done talking. Let him talk to me if he has something to say.
      Anita- I told him he could of at least let me know where he was when he was late the other night and he refuses to do so. Been like that for a long time now.
      Healing Mark-I did meet his counselor early on. She thought it was wrong of me to pack my husbands clothes when he told me of the affair and that he and the other women were going to leave their families to be together. Really, what was I suppose to do? When I walked into her office she just sat there and said ohh, yes she is sexy. Your husband said that you are pretty??? WHAT?? This is a couselor talking to me that way? What does that have to do with anything. My husband just admitted to having an affair and she’s talking about the way I look?? I feel that I was just a trophy wife to him. Nothing I said was ever right or nothing I wore met his approval. He never treated me like a person. Just a shell. That he was never pleased with because I wasn’t her. I didn’t measure up to that love like no other Soul Mate! She chose the wrong guy and I’ve been paying for 24 years. Sorry never told anyone about that counselor and it’s been building for a few months.
      Well the H goes to the counselor today. She’s been off for a couple of weeks. He’s cant seem to wipe his nose without her telling him how. He thinks she’s wonderfull!
      Thanks guys for responding to my never ending blogs. Just wish I had nothing to say but, things are going great with me and my H. I don’t see that happening for quite a long time. I’m a fixer. Want everthing better fast, back to normal. Want to be in a good place. HAHA!

      • Doug

        Rachel, I want you to know that Doug did and said many of the same things as your spouse. It was a constant up and down because he was so confused. The mistake I made was going on this ride with him, my moods depended on how he was feeling and treating me at the time. My confidence would go up and down according to how he was interacting with me. If you continue doing this you will loose all control of the situation. Try to remove yourself from his actions and try to focus on your behaviors and do what is best for you. You have to make a conscious decision everyday to love yourself. You cannot change or effect the way your husband is acting or feeling. Eventually he will wake up and realize that all the people around him are stable, happy and content with their lives and wonder what is wrong with him. Unfortunately it will take everything you have to move in that direction, however in the end you will be whole and content with who you are. Just because you step away does not mean you do not love him or want your marriage to survive, or are giving up. You are doing what is best for you and your family. Linda

        • Rachel

          Thank you Linda. I was up two weeks ago even planned a summer vacation with my boys that didn’t include him. Something I NEVER would have dared to do before. It felt good. Really good, because the three of us have been through so much. Ya, I know the money should be used towards the kids education but as my youngest said” mom, we have never done anything like this before. They are so excited. But as happy as I was he shot me down with another comment about the o/w and the emotional connection he had with her. Another knife through my heart. But with great advise from you guys it’s now time to work on me. I will leave the room when he feels he has to remind me how wonderful his ex g.f. Was from 30 years ago. Thank you, Linda

          • Anita

            Rachel,
            The reason your husband, makes those cruel comments
            about the other woman, is because inside he is miserable,
            and unhappy, that’s why he does this, so you will become
            miserable and unhappy just like him.
            Rachel if he was happy within himself he would be able
            to spread that kind of love and joy around to others, but
            he is unable to because what he is feeling inside is
            what, you seeing and hearing from him.
            Linda is right do not let him determine your happiness or
            your moods, walk away when he starts in with rude
            comments. My best to you!

            • rachel

              Anita, thank you. I have decided to walk away for a time anyways. I will live my own life with my friends which used to be his friends as well. I’m done sitting and crying about him. He chose to do this. I guess I will wait for a brief time for him to decide to come out of this ridiculous nonsensenceness. Not too long though.

    • Bobse

      I know divorce is my only choice, but it hurts so bad. Why do I feel this bad when she treats so horrible? Why is it so hard to let go? Why does she need a man to be whole, why cant she stand on her own two feet? I feel so alone, I’m losing my wife and best friend. She cant tell me whats was wrong with us, the last guy is “just a friend”…..She says she has hurt me too much over the last year and I’m better off without her. She says I’m a nice guy, but didn’t even try to work on our 18 year relationship. I gave her space to work on herself and she jumps from one hs boyfriend to the next in just 8 weeks.

      I’ve been through this for over a year and a half and now. How do you heal from this? How do you trust again? How do you move on? When does the pain stop?

      • Anita

        Bobse,
        Since your wife is not willing to work with you on the marriage, and she’s jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend.
        You need to go forward with your own life and do things
        for yourself. It takes time to work through a grieving process. There are different stages and the last stage
        is acceptance.
        Time and forgiveness are great healers. The pain you feel
        is part of grieving and with time it will begin to ease and
        eventually it will be gone. Grieving is a healthy response
        when you lose someone/something. With time this will
        all pass.
        Bobse, the more you go forward with your own life and
        start a new life, the past will get further and further away.
        The more you focus on your own life and let her go, that
        also helps ease the pain.
        Again, time and forgiveness are the greatest healers,
        also, going forward with your own life.

        • Anita

          Bobse,
          If there comes a time when she wants to come back and
          be with you, you will have some healing within yourself
          that will also help.

    • Rachel

      Bobse you need to take of yourself first. Eventually she will come out of the thick fog and realize what mistakes she’s made. This isn’t your fault, she is unhappy with herself.

      • Bobse

        I stopped by her appt this morning to drop off some family pictures, I thought would help her remember the goodness. Her “just a friend” was in the shower with her….

        • Greg

          Bobse,
          As much as it hurts me to say this, it’s time to move on. Or at least for me it would be, you have to make your own choice. It doesn’t sound like she is willing to work on anything at this point and is being very disrespectful of you and your marriage. My personal call at this point would be to file divorce papers and try to move on with your life. It will be hard and probably hurt a lot but she needs to know that what she is doing is not allowable. Time to take care of you and get yourself in a healthier place.

    • Anita

      Bobse,
      I am sure your shaken by that scene, and your hurt.
      Its appears that your wife as moved on with her own
      life. She’s doing what she wants and doesn’t seem
      to be affected by the fact she still married to you.
      She not acting like a married woman, nor keeping
      her vows to you. Instead she’s off with another man,
      and now you find her in the shower with him.
      Bobse, you also have choices here.
      If waiting for her return is something you want, your a
      better person than me. I confess I don’t have those
      nerves of made of steel.
      However, I also believe your important enought not to
      be mistreated, and can find happiness without her
      also.
      My upmost best to you!

    • rachel

      Bobse, Don’t let this get you down. You need to move on and take care of yourself. Don’t let her mistreat you like this. As difficult as it is you will find anwers. Think of you now.

    • Bobse

      Thank you all. I didn’t know the pain could get worse than what I felt over the last year and a half. The hardest part now is shutting the thoughts off. I do good when I’m distracted, but little triggers bring it all back. A wonderful family took me in and surrounded me with love and support. But the thoughts… The images… Her comment “don’t try and make me feel any shittier than I do”. How could she do this? She has been in personal counseling for 21 months and is 3/4 thru a 12 step program, she has been so proud of he progress in finding who she is. All that and I see it has created a monster. I want to be asleep right now! But these stupid thoughts, is he still there? She has our dog for the weekend, I even hate the thought of him petting the dog! And I keep going back to why? Does she feel remorse? She is so wrapped up in her. The lies. 18 years together and a beautiful son means nothing to her. How could she just flush it away? And for what? Her boyfriend from when she was 15!

      • chiffchaff

        Bobse – please listen to everyone on here and think of yourself and not your wife. You have been enduring her selfishness for too long and it is time to leave her alone, the lovely woman you married is somewhere else inside her own mind right now and it’s not healthy for you to keep waiting.
        Keep distracting yourself and doing what makes you and your son happiest as often as you can.
        This is a painful, painful time. Be kind to yourself.

    • Anita

      Bobse,
      Now it time for you to start healing by going forward with
      your own life and put your focus back on you.
      Time and forgiveness with bring healing along with starting
      a new life for yourself.
      The sooner you get started moving forward the the further the past will become.
      When you begin to think of her and this other guy, change
      your thoughts to something else, and don’t dwell on what
      she may be thinking or doing. Just keep your thoughts on
      beginning a new life for yourself and healing.
      Keep your self busy and do other things to keep you from
      dwelling. With time your pain will lessen and someday
      it will be gone. You may never know all the answers to
      the questions you have, however as time goes on some
      of those questions will lose there importance and you
      will no longer care. My very best to you!

    • Rachel

      My husbands therapist said that he doesn’t have to unlock his cell phone or hand it over to me or let me view his emails because he will feel like he’s under surveillance. My thought for her to say this is because she is not a marriage counselor.
      Would love feedback on this one guys.

      • Doug

        Rachel, No wonder he likes this therapist so much! Have you actually heard his therapist say that or is this what he is telling you?

        • Lynne

          Rachel-

          Whether his therapist is telling him this bulls**t or not, it really doesn’t matter—he still has (or had) a brain of his own. Sounds to me like a convenient way for him to withold from you. Plus, he sounds like someone who should be under surveillance!

          I really would curtail all these conversations with him. The best thing you could do right now is to not ask him anything–nothing about the OW, nothing about his phone, where he’s been–NOTHING! When you show him you will not engage at all with him while he has his head up his ass, he’ll start to get the message. As long as you talk with him about the above, he has the power and knows he can control you with it. In other words, he has something you want and he holds that over you.

          My advice is….don’t fight the fight with him…..don’t play the game. It seems that you have two choices here–sit back calmy and wait it out, with the hope it will get better–or leave and show him that you will not be treated this way. Someone has to stop the drama–why not let it be YOU!

          • Ifeelsodumb

            WooHoo Lynne!! GREAT advice!! As I was reading this blog I was thinking the same thing!!
            STOP the crazy cycle, Rachel!! YOU and only YOU have the power to stop it!!

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      You really have your hands full, and your husband is not
      making this easy for you. He seems unwilling to help
      make your marriage better, by doing something that would
      bring great relief to you.
      He seems to have issues with control at this point and
      time. Not telling you he’s running late for a meeting, and
      now his cell phone and email, are being locked.
      I could be wrong, but it does seem like a control issue
      with him. My best to you!

      • Anita

        Rachel,
        The best thing you can do is to keep your cool, and just
        live. Right now he knows that you want this information,and its his way of controlling you. So for
        the time being focus on other things, maybe in time when
        he see’s you don’t care, he may just open this information
        up to you.
        Right now its a cat and mouse game to him, and he knows
        this bothers you, so the best thing to do is not to react
        Hopefully with time, he will feel remorse and see the pain
        he has brought to your marriage, and he will begin working
        to make it a better one.

    • Rachel

      Well he just told me that he going to look for some place to live. He’s ready to move out.
      I didn’t react at all,I just said ok.
      I’ll believe it when I see it!
      Yes Doug he said this is what his therapist said to him. I did not hear her say it.
      I do feel that he still has contact with the o/w this is why he wont unlock the phone or try to work on us. He has shut me out again. He’s mad because I’m upset at what he’s done and what he hasn’t done. He shut me out this same way when he was seeing the o/w.
      I’m pretty calm and quite surprised at myself. I think I’m just worn out from his games and lies. It’s been since nov. And he has not done anything to work on us, so I feel this is best. Time for me to move on and get my life moving. This way of living is very toxic to ones body.

      • Doug

        Rachel, as unfair as it is, you husband is testing you and seeing how you will respond. He is afraid and losing control. This is when you have to be strong and do what is best for you. He made these choices, now he has to deal with the consequences. The way he proceeds will show his true character. This has nothing to do with you. I know that he is your husband and you want to protect him, but he is a grown man and it is time for him to begin acting like one. I understand that you know he is making the mistake of his life, and if it continues you will not be there for him so you want to do everything possible to save him. However you need to save yourself, you do not deserve this. Linda

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      Linda is right on all accounts, and you very much do not
      deserve this. Take care of yourself.

    • Greg

      Rachael,
      Is your husband’s therepist a marriage counselor or a regular therepist? If the latter remember that they are there to make the client feel better about themselves not fix the marriage, unless the client has asked them specifically to do that. I believe that my wife and I got lucky in that both of our individual therepists are marriage and family specialist and that we both wanted to work on our marriage. Even with that there were things that her therepist said about me that really pissed me off at times. She was trying to psycho-analyze me without ever having met me. I got lucky in that my therepist explained the difference to me and I was able to see that she was saying things that would help my wife feel better about herself. It sounds like this is what is happening with your husband’s therepist to some extent but you are also only getting one side of the story, his.
      As much as it hurts I believe she is right on the phone lock, having been on both sides of this issue. I completely understand your need to keep checking up on him so that you can feel as though you have some control in the matter and the fact that you cannot trust him. I also understand his feeling like you are being controlling and ‘why can’t you trust him thoughts. My wife’s EA left me with the need to check up on everything she did and constantly check her phone records multiple times per day. On the flip side when I was dealing with my porn addiction and she would check through the deleted internet history files on the computer to make sure I was telling her the truth I felt degraded and humiliated, like I was being treated like a child. It’s an issue of respect and trust, your respect for him as an adult and your inability to trust him due to him acting like a child. At a point you have to let it go and decide to treat him like an adult. If he chooses to act like a child then it is completely on him and he cannot blame anyone but himself. I won’t say it is easy, I still check her phone records occasionally, but I have let her change her work remote access password and have not hacked her account again. I also suspect that when I’m withdrawn or moody she checks the history log to feel secure. It’s something that takes time to do and at 4 months out it’s probably too early or you two, I could barely do it at 6 months and we were both working hard on keeping the marriage.
      If he actually does move out just accept his desicion and try to move forward with your own life as much as possible. If you aren’t already seeing a therepist for yourself do so, it can be very helpful in stying sane through all of this. Just remember that you need to come first in your life, eventually the rest will fall in line or fall by the wayside. Either is better than being a barricade to our happiness.

      • rachel

        Greg, No my H’s therapist is not a marriage counselor. She is a counselor who deals with men.
        I just wanted to see my husbands reaction when I mentioned that there was no reason to have his phone locked. There was no way that he was removing it. Which tells me he is guilty. He delete’s all of her text messages anyways that is what he told me. So if he removed the lock it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. He also won’t agree to go to couples counseling. I think that would be a huge help for the both of us. Working together, which is what I want to do or I should say did. He’s very different now. He had the nerve to mention in front of our 16 year old son that he will call the other women and date her if she is not still married??? Or he will date other women. How inconsiderent for him to say this. Just like he said on d day he’s in love with her and not me! Yes, again in front of our 16 year old son.

        • Greg

          I do believe that a smack up side the head would be an appropriate response for making any comments in front of your son like that.

          Whether he is willing to work on the marriage or not your son does not need to hear that stuff or be witness to any fighting between you two. My wife and I have been very careful to keep any conversations or arguements between us and done after the kids have gone to bed. They can tell something is up but they don’t need to know what it is and it needs to affect them as little as possible.

        • Healing Mark

          Rachel. From what you are posting, the sooner you can end the marriage and move on the better you will be. I realize that some couples reconcile ultimately without joint counseling, but not where one spouse is all but telling their 16 year old child that they are going to date a woman other than their wife.

          Would bet anything that you H is lying about counselor advice just to prove that he is right in his beliefs/needs. As to deleting texts, emails and phone history on cell phone, you are no doubt aware that if you have access to his phone, there is a chance that you will run across something the OW texts or emails or leaves as a voice mail message before your H has a chance to erase it. Also, as in my wife’s case, there were other texts that came in from a couple of her friends who knew about her EA (they warned my wife to be careful what she was doing, and to think long and hard about continuing if my wife or I felt her “friendship” was harming our marriage or family, which led to her ultimately stopping the EA even before I discovered it) which provided fairly objective evidence of certain lies my wife had told and in any event of the existence of the EA. So, yes, keeping you off of your H’s phone is indicative of his fear of you discovering something that he’d rather not discover. And, come on! Keeping your spouse off of your phone after the discovery of an EA or PA just SCREAMS “I’m hiding things!”!

          Even my counselor, who felt that it was not probematic for a spouse with no history of inappropriate behavior to keep phone calls, texts and email traffic “private”, advised that to do so following the discovery of my wife’s EA would be a very bad thing to do and likely lead to significant hurdles in our recovery process. As I have noted before, I disagree with her in this regard, in that I believe that if one spouse for whatever reason needs the piece of mind or whatever they might get from having access to phone calls, texts and emails, the other spouse should respect this request and allow such access. Now, I rarely check phone records (I usually just glance at monthly bills these days to make sure she is not sending hundreds of texts or emails to some male friend and is not spending hours talking on the phone to anyone without sharing this with me) and don’t get on her phone at all. The symbolism of each of us being confident that there is nothing troubling going on in our lives that cell phone access might identify is powerful for me, and respected by my wife.

          Again, so sorry that it appears that your H is unwilling to treat you with the respect that someone he barely knew would deserve, much less someone he is married to. It’s also, of course, a terrible example for him to set for his son. Can he not see that? Even if he has gotten to the point that he not only no longer loves you, but actually hates your guts, he would set a much better example for his son by ending the marriage and stopping any disrespectful behavior toward you as much as possible..

        • Lynne

          Rachel-

          Sorry, but your husband is a FIRST CLASS ASS!!! After saying something like that in front of your son, the only thing you can tell yourself is that he’s completely lost his mind. Your husband has clearly been replaced by an alien 😉

          I am so glad that you are taking care of yourself and moving on toward a better life–not to mention that a 16 year old boy should not continue to be exposed to such an absurd role model.

          Here’s to wonderful days ahead for you–you deserve them!

    • rachel

      Thank you all for the feedback. I’m at an unusual calm place right now. I think I’m just done with the game playing, being blamed constantly for this is now all my fault. I think him leaving is the best next step. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to work on us. Need some peace for me and my boys.
      He did make it clear that this isn’t about her. He will call her for dates if she isn’t married still. But he will see others if she isn’t available. He hasn’t even moved out yet and he’s making comments like this?? Sounds like insecurity to me.

      • E

        Rachel, you have now discovered that you can be OK! That is crucial and a huge step for you. I can remember being surprised too when that feeling finally came to me. Don’t be surprised if sadness and anxiety come back around occasionally, but when it does you will be able to get through it faster and with some peace because of the knowledge that it will pass and you will be ok!

      • Anita

        Rachel,
        You gave your best and did your best, plus went the extra
        mile. I am sorry, and I do understand your pain.
        After this is all over with someday you will be able to
        lay your head on your pillow and sleep with the ease,
        knowing you weren’t the person who destroyed the
        marriage. Take comfort in that.
        Your husband unfortunately will be left with the guilt of
        his own selfishness, and in order to ease his own pain
        he will have to deal with his own conscience, and he
        will have to make the choice to make it right within himself
        or shove it down further. If he chooses to deal with it
        right away, you may end up hearing from him. On
        the other hand if he shoves it down, it will only fester,
        and grate on him until he come to the point of wanting
        it out. So it maybe a couple of years before you hear
        an apology from him. Most of the time an apology
        will come, and its when you least aspect it.
        Rachel, right now take everything he says as a grain of
        salt, do not internalize this.
        He will have much work to do within himself, and if he
        doesn’t it will continue to grate on him, our conscience
        has away of not letting us rest when we want to.
        As I mentioned your the one who will be able to put your
        head on your pillow and have a peaceful rest, for having gone that
        extra mile. My Best to you Rachel.

        • Anita

          Rachel,
          Also as you have read many times, Forgiveness is
          powerful when it comes to healing. Remember its for
          you, and it will never make what he has done right. But
          it will give you the freedom and peace to move forward, and leave the past behind, no matter how this turns out.
          Even though you may feel sad and heartbroke, God
          heals the brokenhearted.

    • PunchingBag

      Thank you all for your comments, feedback, and stories. I had an uncomfortable discussion with my wife on Friday and she has made it clear how she currently feels about me and our relationship. Of course it was not what I had hoped for but it was what I expected. You have all given me hope that there can be resolution and happiness once again, no matter which side of the decision we come out on. I know our children are counting on us and we must try if for no other reason. Thank you all again and stay strong.

      • Healing Mark

        PunchingBag. Been there, done that (unfortunately). It’s shocking to hear you wife express any feelings of doubt about whether she wants to remain married to you (ok, I’m assuming that she expressed to you some reservations, at least, or you would not have characterized her feelings as not what you had hoped for). My wife admitted to being confused at times by the feelings she devoloped for another man, and wondered if the fact that she could was some kind of a barometer for whether we should remain married. Shoot, I had reservations about whether I wanted to remain married to her, given the huge loss of trust that occurred as a result of my dicovery of her EA and the lies and deceit that followed.

        Don’t get too down. My wife has come around and realizes that our marriage and family are important components to her long term happiness, and her prior confusion and doubts have gone away and remain simply feeling she experienced at one point in time but no longer has. Nothing wrong with feeling them, although she’s happier now that she is no longer feeling that way. My wife also came to the conclusion that the fact that she deveolped strong feelings for another man was NOT due to any fatal flaws in our relationship, although while she was nuturing this new relationship to the detriment to our emotional closeness, and while I was experiencing so many negative feelings and acting out at times as a result while I suspected that my wife was having an affair with her AP, our marriage sure wasn’t as happy as we wanted it to be and was one that sure needed to be questioned at that time.

        My wife and I did many things following the ending of her EA to get to being more happily married than we can remember, but two things stand our to me as I type right now. The first is obvious from the preceding sentence, which is the fact that my wife gave up the “highs” she was getting from her AP and started getting them from me. After almost 20 years of being together, I was focused less on being her friend than I was on being the provider for the family and the hard-charging executive who put clients and job first and family second or less. The AP was at the time of the EA so much more interested in what my wife had to say and what she thought about than I was, so my wife’s EA opened her eyes up to ways that she liked being treated. Once we discovered that I could do this too once my wife was able to communicate these to me, our relationship blossomed in ways that we never could imagine.

        The second point is the fact that the more I tried to “reel my wife in” the more I pushed her away. So while I did become more attentive toward meeting my wife’s newly discovered needs, I couldn’t come across as needy or focused solely on trying to stay married to my wife. Not sexy at all to her. So while I was certain that she understood that our marriage was important to me, and that I wanted it to be a relationship that gave us as much happiness as possible, I also had to continue to pursue other outside interests and relationships and to work on self-improvement that was not viewed solely as ways to keep her married to me. Odd, but the more my wife viewed me as someone who could move on from our marriage and stay happy even in her absence, the more she wanted to keep me as her husband and friend. Don’t know whether your wife might be similar in this regard, but think about it. And good luck!

    • Greg

      HM,
      You are dead on with the last paragraph. While my wife’s and my problems did not originate from the EA it shed the light on them. So now instead of trying to fix a problem by clinging to her I have started being more I dependant and full filled in my whole life, it has started making her more attached to me while the prior attitude just made her pull further and further away. We still have a long way to go but at least we are OK being in the same room together now, maybe we’ll even sleep in the same room this year.

    • Bobse

      I feel strong, then I awake from a dream of family and the pain comes back…sleep goes away. How could she? I miss that void in my life and know it will be so long before I can fill it in a healthy manner. I have this void and she seeks comfort with him….after just a week. How can I talk to her or even look at her to deal with the divorce?

      • Samantha

        Bobse,
        I know exactly how you feel. I have been struggling with my h the same way. I have a hard time looking at him, talking to him, etc.. He filed a couple of months ago and I keep proscrastinationg on the paperwork because I just can’t deal with him.

        • Bobse

          Hopefully counseling will help me with working through it. I hate that a little part of me holds out hope. I battle myself with letting go. But I know she is not healthy, for me or herself.

    • Anita

      Bobse,
      Yes counseling will help, along with your family and close friends. My family was my biggest support during that
      time when I was in the midst of a divorce.
      They were there to help keep me strong, and to remind
      me that staying in a unheathly relationship was more
      harmful and would cause further pain, then to just let go
      and move forward. It was the best advise I recieved, and
      have no regrets for ending such a marriage.
      Bobse forgiveness is important, however it doesn’t
      mean we have to return to a relationship where the other
      person continues to hurt us. An affair along with the
      refusal to change such behavior is cause to end such
      a relationship.
      It would be so different she wanted the marraige and
      showed remorse for her behavior and was doing everything she could to help rebuild the marriage, and
      her actions actually showed she was making an effort.
      Making the choice to let go is painful, but the end
      result is also freedom from that pain later, also once
      its over you never have to worry about her behavior
      again, she can no longer has that power to hurt you.
      Instead you will be back in control of your life, and have
      the freedom to choose the kind of life you want.
      Hang in there!

      • Bobse

        Thank you. Your words are true.

    • Dol

      Kathy Tavitian, thanks for the book recommendation (too good to leave, too bad to stay)… can’t quite believe I’m having to think about reading it. A few pages on the amazon site to look through.

      As usual, so many heartbreaking stories here, but also so good to see everyone supporting each other so much.

      Been away for a long time, feeling hopeful, but like so many others – back again. It’s been “bad” again – no deliberate contact – only eye-contact passing in the corridor at work – but it feels like my partner’s having to fight out of the gravity well of the OM. Having had my hope slowly return, it’s been quite a kicking to realise it can just come back. Will it do the same in a month’s, 3 month’s time, 6 months? I don’t know if I have the strength for this. I feel like this scene from the Neverending Story. The Nothing’s coming for us and I can’t do anything to hold on. I dearly hope I’m wrong.

      I know, unfortunately, how uncontrollable their feelings could potentially be if they saw each other – there is zero way I can tolerate any contact. My partner knows that wouldn’t work either, yet this week, I hear her tell me, “I think I’m going to have to see him, for closure, to check the feelings have really gone.” Uh huh. Noooo, that’s only happening if I’m gone first…

      I think she realised that was stupid, but this has totally screwed with my notion that things would continue to slowly get better. It turns out there are major bumps along the road, big enough to potentially derail the whole thing.

      And looking at that book, I realise I somehow have to find a way to commit to a choice. If I’m going to love her, I have to find some way to let her know it. But how am I meant to do that when she’s hurting me so much? I have no idea.

    • chiffchaff

      DoI – That last paragraph of yours resonates with me so much. There is so much hurt, and they are so selfish. I have no idea why I still love him so much after all he has done and continues to do. How little he cares for me.

      • Bobse

        Chiffchaff- That has been going on over and over in my mind. Why do I still want a relationship when her choices clearly show me she is not committed to the marriage. I get almost there and then there is some hint of hope….and I am weak and grab at it. My head knows what I must do, but my heart hurts so bad. I can’t stay in her confusion.

        • chiffchaff

          Bobse – I understand this predicament. Everytime there has been a hint of hope, I have gone for it, encouraged it, watered it, nurtered it – only to have it thrown back in my face as H goes off on another fantasy trip about the OW and about what he needs. Restoring my integrity, by asking him to leave, has been so painful yet so necessary. I now have time and space to think about whether I really want to be with this selfish manchild or not.
          It’s hard, very hard and I just didn’t know that my heart could take this much strain

    • Disappointed

      I think the decision will be made for me. I believe my H will be asking for a divorce in the next week so he can be free and clear as of his 46th birthday. He blames his affair and all problems in marriage on me. There is nothing more I can do. He will never see clearly and my own truth will have to be enough. I dont know how I am going to do this.

      • chiffchaff

        Disappointed – do you want to be with a man who blames everything he does on someone else? like child?

        did you hold a gun to his head to have the affair?
        did he try and fix your marriage before he went off and did what he did?
        doesn’t sound like he did. you sound like a strong person who deserves better.

      • Greg

        Disappointed,

        You are going to get through this with you head held high!

        You did not decide to have the affair , you did not decide to blame the whole thing on your partner, and most importantly you did not take the cowards way out of feeling uncomfortable by deciding to divorce without even trying to work on the problems that lead to the affair. You have no reason to feel bad over this, be proud that you tried to fix it. You can not help that he is unable/unwilling to do the work needed to really decide if you two should stay together or not. I can say that after my wife and I have done our work with counseling and talking through everything with each other if we decide to divorce we can both do it with our heads held high and say we really tried but it just wasn’t going to work. It will also be a much healthier situation for our kids if it goes that way.

        Remember be proud of what you did and tried to do, don’t feel bad about what he can’t do.

      • Bobse

        Disappointed- It seems I’m at the same point as you. We were willing to work on the relationships. We cannot live in or with their confusion. I feel the pain, but there are times I feel a great weight lifted not having to care what the cs is doing or thinking.

        • Anita

          Bobse,
          Your very much right, there is a hugh burden lifted when
          you can go forward with your own life and not care what
          the cs is doing or thinking. Also in time the pain will
          be gone also. When you start a new life for yourself,
          all this other ugly stuff becomes part of the past, and
          you will begin the feel like your ole self again. Hang in
          there, this is only a season and it only gets better, I
          promise.

          • Anita

            Bobse,
            I remember when lunch hours use to bring a pit in my
            stomach, because that was the time of day when they
            carried on their affair. After our divorce, it was such a
            relief to know it no longer mattered what choices he made,
            he could do anything with anyone one, and my divorce
            allowed me to be free from all his choices and in time
            my lunch time became normal to me again. I was in
            control of my life again, it was so wonderful to have
            that control back.
            Bobse it won’t be long and you will begin the feel
            control in your life again, and someday in the distant
            future after some healing you will be able to wish her
            well again with her own life. Hang in there and stay
            strong, this season will pass.

            • chiffchaff

              Anita is right Bobse – my H moved out 3 weeks ago today and after three very turbulent weeks we are having two weeks of no contact at all.
              It’s given me a freedom to think that I really didn’t have when he was at home, I was very much stuck in a rut, worried about what he was doing and with whom.
              I’m now really considering my own future and, despite the first three weeks, I feel like I’ve turned a corner and I am really thinking hard about what I want. A weight of worry about my H has been lifted as Anita says and it is liberating.
              I don’t know what will happen with our marriage but if we work on it together it will be for the right reasons and not out of lack of consideration, at least on my part. And if I decide that I don’t want the addition of my H in my life anymore then I’ll be happy that I’ve considered that clearly and properly.

            • chiffchaff

              Approaching the end of the ~2 weeks of NC with my H and I have done an awful lot of reading about all of the worries I have about ‘trying again’ with our marriage.
              Some very interesting articles I found on psychology today website to do with divorces & bad statistics that would be a good topic in itself for here, also ones to do with treating this period of absolute hopelessness in a marriage as the end of the ‘starter’ marriage and the beginning of the ‘adult’ marriage. I think I’ve seen occasional reference to this on here before but probably another interesting concept.
              I found the concept of the starter marriage and laying it to rest as a result of the trauma of an EA/PA was an interesting way to look at going forward. The starter marriage seems to be that until you reach such a disaster or tipping point you base your marriage on your childlike concepts of what a good marriage should be, which my H and I certainly did, i.e. don’t argue because it’s bad, don’t discuss resentments because it’s bad.
              So, if I can accept myself as a flawed human being and seek to change the bits I can change, and then accept my H as a flawed human being then, so long as he looks into the reason for his own behaviours and seeks to change them himself, then perhaps we can develop an adult marriage between us of mutual love, intimacy and support.
              Having time to think really does help.

            • Healing Mark

              Chiffchaff. We didn’t refer to our marriage prior to counseling (and prior to D-day) as a “starter” one, nor did we refer to our marriage after initial counseling and counseling after D-day as an “adult” one, but we did distinguish these periods of time and consider them to be different “marriages”. For whatever reason, my wife and I lost our “way” in our marriage and both became much less happy with each other. I sensed that something else was up when my wife became closer than I felt comfortable with with a friend of mine (yeah, some “friend”!), although she denied that she had any “special” feelings for this man and maintained that they were “just good friends”. As we began counseling, we were advised to let all past bygones be bygones and to understand that we had the power to fix most of the bad relationship habits we had developed such that we should be able to forge from the ending ashes of our damaged relationship a new relationship that could be better and stronger than that which we had at the time we began counseling.

              With the things we took out of our initial counseling, we were in the process of creating a relationship that was very much different from what we had before. We were so much happier, and I could tell that whatever was causing my wife to act so much differently than she had ever acted before (which I later confirmed was an affair and which thankfully appears to have only been an EA) was either no longer present (her greatly diminished contact at that point seemed to indicate that my wife’s formerly close relationship with this “friend” may have been the culprit) or was no longer causing such changes. Discovering that my suspicions had been correct (i.e., an EA developed, was maintained notwithstanding my inquiries about the same, and then ended about the time we started marriage counseling) certainly set us back quite a bit, but we had already begun our “new marriage” and had refined the tools needed to be happier together, so all we had to do was get to the point where I could genuinely forgive my wife for her mistakes.

              Strangely, the fact that my wife developed her EA made it somewhat easier for her to describe to me and our counselor certain things that she had discovered that she wanted in our marriage and had not been able to effectively communicate to me prior to that time. Also, as a result of the lessening of trust and feelings of contempt and disrespect I was feeling while my wife was in the midst of her EA, I had many “bad” reactions that led to behaviours that were not conducive to maintaining a happy marriage, most of which I am now proud to say I have purged from our relationship. Finally, through counseling, my wife was able to discover that it wasn’t so much that she was falling out of love with me and needed to consider ending our marriage in order to find another man she could love, but instead the effects of her EA that were causing her to lose sight of what she really wanted, which was a happy marriage with me. Crazy, but my wife’s EA, while harmful in many ways, was actually something that benefited us in many ways as well.

              I wouldn’t trade our “new marriage” for the marriage we had even before we started having more than usual problems and disagreements, and certainly not for the marriage that existed at the time we began counseling. The discovery of any affair is such a life-changing event that looking at the relationship that existed at the time the affair occurred/was discovered as a relationship to be ended, and looking at the relationship going forward as one to be molded to the extent possible into one where both partes are proud and happy to be married to each other, is probably a good way to approach getting over the affair and getting to the point where the BS and CS are able to own the things that were making them unhappy, apologize for all hurts and disrespectful acts, and genuinely forgive each other for those things that must be forgiven if the persons are to be able to once again be happy together as husband and wife.

            • chiffchaff

              I am of course hoping my H has done an equal amount of reading and thinking. I hope. However, the past has told me to expect to be disappointed by him.

            • Bobse

              I have learned that hope is a very dangerous feeling. I can’t hold on to it anymore, it is not healthy for me. (atleast hope for our realtionship). I have to let her go to discover herself and figure things out.

            • chiffchaff

              Bobse – how are things going now? You sound like you’re still focused on her needs rather than yourself, which makes things much harder to deal with. If it’s currently unhealthy for you, then you have to let her go for your own health not hers.
              Be strong, think of yourself first and get yourself healthy & confident again.

            • Bobse

              That’s what I’m trying to do. I slip up some, but after 19 years together that is expected. Think space and time will do wonders. Just don’t think I’m strong enough to have contact and not try and build hope. I wonder after I work through this if the relationship is something I would ever want again. I know there is good things ahead.

              Thank you and take care.

    • Disappointed

      Looking for a hail mary… Any thoughts on Mort Fertel’s program? It is expensive… Looking at the Lone Ranger track.

      • Doug

        Disappointed, I went back and re-read many of your comments from the last couple of weeks or so and feel that based on your situation that of the programs we recommend, the Tele-Boot camp might be the best for you – especially the Lone Ranger Track. It might give you the necessary support and information to get your husband back home and help you work on your marriage. To be sure, go back and review the components of the program and determine whether or not it fits your situation (scroll all the way to the bottom and hit “Find Solutions”). In addition, it is guaranteed and you can get your money back if it doesn’t work for you. In the longer run though, your husband really needs to get into therapy. It seems like he has some serious resentment and anger issues, yet takes no responsibility for his actions.

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