Spouse Poachers

When you are dealing with a spouse poacher, she thinks any season is a good season to poach another woman’s husband.

By Sarah P.

You have been through it and you know the drill. Your husband has been unfaithful and you are unsure whether or not he will be unfaithful again. To make matters worse, your spouse encounters flirtatious women from time to time whether he is at work or out with his friends. You know that those flirtatious women provide low-hanging fruit for your spouse.

Thinking of it all is maddening and you wonder what you can do about it, if anything at all.

You want to reestablish trust in your relationship, yet you don’t want to trust so much that your husband has an affair under your nose. You want to be the “bigger” spouse and show that you are an adult who knows your spouse can handle himself when it comes to temptation. But, then you remember all of those times he didn’t handle himself well at all.

Still, you think you are over it, your spouse has learned his lesson, and you can move forward.

Then, one day you are triggered. Maybe you are out at a restaurant and the waitress is flirting, making eye contact with, and touching the shoulder of your husband while ignoring you. Maybe you have dropped into work to bring your husband a surprise lunch and that younger co-worker of his is sitting on his desk and leaning into him while giggling. Or, maybe you overhear the receptionist at work making sarcastic comments about you to your husband when she thought she had you on hold. Her saccharine voice when she speaks to you cannot even begin to mask her contempt of you.

respect and karmaThe affair might be over, but I am here to tell you that you cannot get too comfortable.

If your husband has a good job, is relatively handsome, nice, well-dressed, funny, or any number of other things, women will find him attractive. Finding others attractive is only human and it’s not something to worry about if that’s all it is. But, we live in a day and age where many women feel that it is “every woman for herself” and so a sizeable number of women behave accordingly.

In a recent survey, around 70% of married women admitted that they would become the affair partner to another man if there was a guarantee it could be done discreetly.

Let that little tidbit sink in.

70% of women admit to the idea that they would have an affair if they would not get caught. (Of course, just as many men admit to the very same thing, but in this post we are discussing the female side of the threat.)

Think of a time when that many people unanimously agreed on a kind of behavior. Seventy percent of people do not have the same opinion on recent politicians. Seventy percent of people don’t use the same toothpaste. Seventy percent of people do not drive the same car. Yet, seventy percent of women agree that they would be unfaithful if they wouldn’t get caught. Think about it—it really is downright frightening. Add to that the fact that the same amount of men agree with this sentiment.

Debra MacLeod says in a Huffinton Post Article,

“If a woman is unable to find suitable husband material or cannot find a man to marry her – all the guys she dates just want casual sex or cohabitation at best – she might set her sights on a married man. I have had female clients who admitted to pursuing a married man, even the husband of a close friend, because he has already demonstrated his willingness to commit. That’s spouse-poaching in action.” (1)

homewreckerThat leaves only 30% of us who agree that our morality is something that is stable and not influenced by whether or not we get caught. I am in the 30% of women who would never have an affair, regardless of whether or not it would remain a secret. We wonder why infidelity is a pandemic; the reason it’s a pandemic is because more people than not have infidelity on their minds as a possibility.

But, then there is a final, deadly blow to fidelity and it has to do with the voracity and lack of morals of some single women:

“In a prominent and highly publicized study, researchers divided bachelorettes into two groups and showed them photographs of a hot guy — telling one group he was single and the other he was in a relationship; then, they asked the women how likely they were to pursue him. Only when the woman believed he was committed to someone else did interest in the male subject skyrocket.” (2)

Let that one sink in. Interest skyrocketed when only one factor changed; that factor was that a man was married. When seen in that light, the flirty waitress no longer seems so innocent. The snarky receptionist takes on a more sinister tone. The flirty co-worker practically has a sign on her forehead that is flashing: danger, danger!

How often does a spouse poacher win? Well, unfortunately, they win almost half the time. An article on match.com warns:

“Experts confirm the many perils of acting out on this impulse: “Poaching entails risks that would seem to make it a poor decision,” says psychologist David P. Schmitt, Ph.D., of Bradley University in Peoria, IL, who has studied poaching extensively, often from an anthropological standpoint. “Men and women have been killed for such behavior.” 

Despite its inherent danger, partner poaching remains fairly common. A survey conducted by the International Sexuality Description Project, founded by Schmitt, revealed that up to 20 percent of long-term relationships began when one or both partners were involved with someone else. In the U.S., 62 percent of men and 40 percent of women said they’d tried to mooch someone else’s mate; 47 percent of men and 32 percent of women were successfully stolen away.” (3)

That’s right…. 47% of the men who were poached were successfully stolen away. How bleak. It just makes me want to put on a pair of boxing gloves.

All of this information is not meant to scare you or to make you lose hope. I am blogging about this today because I want you to know that you do not have to take this lying down and there is a way to handle these situations effectively.

Spouse Guarding

There are many heated opinions surrounding the idea of spouse guarding. Opponents of it say that is ruins marriages and can come off as very controlling. But, then again, in an individualistic society, anything that “stifles” one’s options is considered to be controlling…

I have observed that spouse guarding can be accomplished in ways that are both positive and negative. The positive side of spouse guarding simply implies strong boundaries within a marriage, being proactive, being aware, and being assertive. The negative side of spouse guarding can border on crazy-making behavior.

Fortunately, there are things you can do that are not crazy or controlling. Still, even if you take these positive and proactive measures, the would-be spouse poacher is bound to call you crazy and to undermine you verbally any chance that she gets.

So, this comes with the territory and it is something that you will need to take with a grain of salt. It is better to have a would-be spouse poacher call you crazy and to keep your marriage than to have the alternative.

If you want to be “the nice girl” when it comes to dealing with the other woman or the would-be other woman, I am here to tell you that the nice girl always loses. These women will perceive you and your husband to be easier targets and she will assume that when it comes time for your husband to divorce you, that you will be understanding and cooperative. (That is, the perfect victim.)

housekeeper

I don’t remember who is was, but one of our valued readers mentioned a book called “The Script.” I would like to give ‘virtual’ kudos to whoever recommended the book because it is fantastic. It is a must-read for every woman on this site and every woman who has either been through infidelity or suspects her husband of being unfaithful.

In fact, I was reading the reviews for “The Script” on Amazon and a cheating husband wrote a review of the book. He admitted to doing all of the things in the book just as the female authors mentioned cheating men do. But, the wayward spouse reviewer also admitted that he did not know he was acting out ‘the script’ at the time because he was too wrapped up in the other woman and his delusions about her and the affair.

The sad part is, this wayward spouse said he lost his marriage in the end and had divorced his wife years ago for the other woman. Apparently, it had not worked out with the other woman either and in his review, he said he lived with deep regret.

The sad part about the men in the book “The Script” and the real-life men who are acting out ‘the cheater’s script’ daily, is that none of these men can see past their own delusion. In their minds, they are honorable husbands who simply met their ‘soulmates’ and who have to be with their ‘soulmates.’

This book has also validated the way that I have always dealt with would-be spouse poachers. Recently, I started to think I was a little too harsh in my boundaries in dealing with other women who target my husband. But, after reading “The Script” I realized that I could tighten my boundaries a little more and have been completely justified in being on high alert.

After reading the book, I also realized I needed to let every other woman know about how to deal with spouse poachers because it could make the difference between life and death for your marriage at least. This is the crux of why I am writing this article.

Do Spouse Poachers Ever Stop?

One of my friends gives classes at a wealthy assisted-living facility and has some very entertaining stories about the residents. It doesn’t matter that most of them are over 80 and have various degrees of dementia. Lunch at the facility looks more like lunch at your local high school cafeteria; only dentures and seated-walkers have replaced backpacks.

Of course, the women somewhat outnumber the men at this facility and so there are sometimes quarrels over one of the single, male residents. One 80 pound, 90-year-old woman took to sitting on a male resident’s lap at lunch to stake her claim. She was not large enough in frame to compare to the other female residents, but her small frame was a plus for the lap on which she sat. Women have to learn how to ‘work’ what they have and turn a seeming disadvantage is an advantage. I say more power to her because romance never goes out of style.

However, the real problems started when one of the men in question was a married man. One 89-year-old resident complained to my friend about the 87-year-old “slut” who was constantly baking cookies for the 89-year-old’s husband. “I know her trick. She keeps trying to seduce my husband with her chocolate. She is just waiting, hoping that I die first!” the woman blurted out to my friend. Yes, indeed, truth is stranger than fiction.

And as long as people are breathing, romance will live on. So, it doesn’t matter if you are 22 or 102, the problem remains: there will always be women who feel powerful by flirting with your husband. There are women who are dangerous because flirting with your husband is not enough—their goal is to take your husband. Sometimes these flirtations are not serious while other times a woman has the goal to spouse poach. Don’t take their behavior lightly.

Facebook homewrecker

Meet Your Friendly, Neighborhood Spouse Poacher

I have categorized these women and in the next few paragraphs will describe each type as well as what to do with each type. I will also list a threat level between 1-10 with 1 being the least threat and ten being the most.

 

Ms. Insecure 

Ms. Insecure is never sure of herself. She flits from one man to the next like a confused butterfly. She is looking for validation in the eyes of men and her need for validation is insatiable. 

Ms. Insecure probably did not have a father who was in the picture or she had a father who said she was never good enough. Ms. Insecure has overly flirtatious body language and usually dresses in ways that are meant to attract the male gaze. She won’t leave the house unless she is wearing high heels, full make-up, has perfectly styled hair, the latest designer perfume, and form fitting clothing.

Ms. Insecure seeks ego feed above all else and is not necessarily interested in a relationship with the men with whom she flirts – and she flirts with everyone who is male. Ms. Insecure is only dangerous if she is in a bind, doesn’t have a boyfriend, and a rich man crosses her path.

There isn’t much to do about Ms. Insecure except ignore her. If she is in your husband’s workplace, then it’s best to stop by the office, from time to time, and bring brownies for the whole floor. Introduce yourself to Ms. Insecure, give her a compliment, and kill her with kindness. Most likely, she will move along to men who don’t have such an involved wife.

Ms. Insecure Threat level: 2

 

Ms. Femme Fatale

Ms. Femme Fatale generally looks just like Ms. Insecure but she has an edge about her that says she is playing for keeps. She is interested in drawing men into her dangerous game, whether or not she has a boyfriend or husband. She gets a kick out of a game of seduction. If a man is taken, the stakes in the game are much higher, and that makes the game more fun for her. She is dangerous.

But, there are still ways to deal with Ms. Femme Fatale. You definitely need to show up at your husband’s work and accompany him to all of his work events. Before you go to work events, invest in a good hair-style and color, get makeover tips at the mall cosmetic counter, and figure out how to dress for your frame.

When Ms. Femme Fatale is around, make eye contact, engage her in conversation, and have body language that is confident. If she lightly touches your husband’s shoulder or does other things in front of you, she is testing you to see how invested you are in the game.

The way to deal with this one is to catch her off guard and to use shame if needed. If she is married with children, say something like, “I wonder what your kids would think of the way you are behaving. Poor children.” Of course, this might inflame her and if it does, level with her. Tell her that you are on to her and that you will make her life very uncomfortable if need be.

Usually, the Femme Fatale likes her game to be a secret. Once someone exposes the game and shines a light onto her actions, all of the fun goes away. If you prove to be a formidable opponent who knows what she is doing, she will look for easier prey.

If your husband is an executive or an extremely high-value man that most women want, you need to make your presence known consistently. You need to travel with him on business trips and be sure to keep up your appearance and wardrobe. You need to drop in with home baked goodies or bring him lunch unannounced. You need to stay on top of it and send consistent warnings to the Femme Fatale that you are not giving up.

Femme Fatale Threat level: 9.

 

 

Karma_revengeMs. No Boundaries

She is characterized by spilling every detail of her life to strangers within 5 minutes of meeting. She is the Queen of Verbal Diarrhea and the Princess of Ooze.

Her problems constantly seep out into her environment and everyone at the office knows about her life and her problems. But, when asked if she knows she is the cause of her own problems, she is stuck like a deer in the headlights and it doesn’t compute. She is always looking for someone to listen and for a Knight in Shining Armor to sweep her off her feet.

She is the star of her life and she takes the leading role of The Victim. She does not know how cause and effect works or that she is most likely the cause of her own troubles as an adult. She may not have had the greatest home life as a child, but that does not matter because when people grow up they need to take ownership. Ms. No Boundaries doesn’t even know what it means to take ownership. Like a jellyfish, she just floats around where the tides carry her, not knowing that she could easily just swim away.

Ms. No Boundaries is definitely looking for someone to rescue her and she casts her net far and wide hoping to find her next pushover.

Generally, she does not target a particular man because she is not contriving enough to do so. But, if your husband has a Knight in Shining Armor complex, then he could easily get caught in her net. Maybe your husband had a mom or sister who always needed to be rescued. He will be a ripe picking for Ms. No Boundaries because other important women have primed him for the role.

As with everything, you need to make yourself known. You need to set limits on your husband and let him know that it is not appropriate to be the confidant to another woman. His job is NOT to save anyone except for you and your children. So tell him that if he wants to save someone, he needs to start by saving you.

Here, the most important person in the dynamic is your husband. He needs to realize that his attention needs to stay on you and your family. You need to take an active role in enforcing it and reminding him that it’s not his job to befriend stray women at the office. He is there to work.

Ms. No Boundaries Threat Level: 5

 

Ms. Rabid Opportunist

The rabid opportunist dreams of living a life of luxury. She dreams of living in a mansion, having a closet full of designer clothes, having servants, and dining in fancy restaurants. Her choice of TV shows revolves around Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She sees them and wants to be them. She thinks living a full life has to do entirely with status and materialism. She labors under the illusion that material things make people happy. (They don’t.)

For whatever reason, she has not been able to meet or perhaps keep a high-status man. Most single men with their head on straight can smell this type of woman a mile away and they avoid her. But, there are always successful, married men who are ripe for the picking. Her ultimate goal is to live a fulfilling life for herself and she believes that if she can steal a man away from his family, that the wife was obviously a loser. In her mind, she thinks that she will be ‘saving’ a man from a life of drudgery.

She believes that together they will take on the world in private jets and she will dress the part too. She will look like a model and not like a boring housewife. She sees herself as the Hero of this situation. She saves a man from his terrible life and soul-sucking family and gives him the life he deserves. (That is, if he has the money.)

The woman that my ex left me for was this type of person. Once she found out he was engaged and we were ready to be married, she set out on a quest to break us up. The other woman told a woman whom I worked with that she (the other woman) loved a challenge and that there was nothing better than a man who was taken. My colleague tried to warn her away but that made her more interested. Of course, no one told me what was going on until after he kicked me out of our mutually owned home so that she could move in.

This type of woman is ferocious and the only advice I can give is for you to fight like a wildcat to maintain your family intact.

I was watching a clip of a live performance from Dolly Parton. She was describing why she wrote the song called Jolene. Anyhow, this song was about a real woman who tried to break up her marriage. Dolly talks about how she had to “fight like a wildcat” to win. I think that’s the only thing to do.

Threat level: 9

 

httpv://youtu.be/L0eeSoU35wM

That-a girl, Dolly!! You done good!

 

Ms. Just-A-Friend

This is the woman who has been waiting in the wings and is willing to wait forever because she has convinced herself that your spouse is her soul mate.

Maybe she did not feel that way when she first met your spouse, but somewhere along the way, she became ‘best friends’ with your spouse and came to believe that they are meant to be together.  This is the most dangerous situation of them all and I think it is also the most frequent situation as well.

Men and women work together in equal numbers these days. When they are at the office they get to see the best versions of one another. She sees him as a take-charge kind of guy who is fast climbing the corporate ladder and will be CEO one day.

He sees her as a smart, well-groomed career woman who has her act together. She never has a hair out of place, she can facilitate the toughest meetings with clients, and she is socking money away in her 401k. They can talk for hours about situations though, they can become each other’s work confidant and career coach, and they can understand each other the way that their spouses never could. And gee, it sure feels good to have an ally at the office and a sea of calm when normally you are swimming with co-workers who double as sharks.

This is an all-to-human scenario and even good people fall into this trap. I believe that this type of affair is absolutely the most dangerous because the affair partners have a lot of genuine respect for each other.

What is worse is that there are female co-workers who intentionally target the husbands of other women. I cannot count the number of times women at my husband’s work have tried to steal him away from me. It has gotten to the point where I am ready to get some napkins made to hand out to these would-be spouse poachers. The napkins would look like this:

FRONT

 

take a number (2)

BACK

congrats

 

Because sometimes you just have to deal with life by using humor. I have not printed up such a napkin, but I imagine that any would-be spouse poachers would be ashamed to receive such a napkin on her desk at work.

Some have been more aggressive at targeting my husband and some have been more passive. You might wonder why my husband is such a target. Well, I will try to sum it up in a few words: handsome, extremely successful, funny, friendly, and someone many people look up to.

But, I wanted to state one more caveat. There is a difference between a “work friend” and a co-worker who is “just a friend.”

Anytime you hear the protesting words with a passionate voice, “But she is just a friend!” you have crossed into dangerous territory. On the other hand, a “work friend” is someone that your spouse has a harmonious working relationship with — someone who isn’t out to get your spouse and someone who works well with your spouse, but who has strict boundaries. The opposite of a “work friend” would be a “work enemy.”

It is good to have work friends. With a female work friend it’s normal to talk about light topics such as movies or how great kids are doing in school. But, it should never cross the line into constant texting, having inside jokes, or the female co-worker being a husband’s new confidant where he tells her all of his deepest fears or worries about life.  This is especially dangerous when he shares his inner heart constantly with a woman at work while withholding all those same thoughts from his wife.

I am aware that my husband has several female “work friends” and I know all of them. A couple of them are lesbians and the others are grandmotherly types who are happily married and who have his back. There have been a couple of women who have tried to edge into the “just a friend” category before I very clearly put a stop to it. These women usually give up after they meet me, although a couple of them have had the audacity to try to continue. I always up the ante for them and show them it just is NOT worth their while to take me on. I will become their worst nightmare.

Threat level for “just a friend types”: 10

 

Ms. Sociopath in the Next Cube

This one is also extremely dangerous because she has no morals and no empathy. Sure, she has heard the word empathy before and to her it’s as foreign as China. You see, she simply has no ability to empathize and cannot even relate to the concept.

Another disturbing thing about the sociopath is that she prefers power to love. This is no joke—sociopaths are incapable of feeling real love. To them, they would prefer to break up a marriage where the break up itself makes them feel powerful. The man involved is simply a pawn. She is all about winning the game and doesn’t even necessarily want the man when she gets him. She has won the game and the fun is over.

To sociopaths, everything is a game of cat and mouse and they are always the cat. The most annoying thing about sociopaths is that they have a radar for people who are genuinely kind and a touch naïve. These are their victims because other sociopaths see through them within minutes.

There is not a lot to do about the sociopath except inform your husband about them and note specific behaviors that would indicate that they are a sociopath. If one is your neighbor, move. If one is a co-worker, ask to get transferred to another team. If one is after your husband, unmask the game that she is playing. You have to show her that you are smarter than she is. If she ups the ante, get a restraining order. Use the law as much as you can.

Sociopaths don’t like being found out for who they are. Like other mistress types, the game is only fun if they can play it in secret. Once you show her that you are on to her, the game isn’t as fun anymore. Unlike a narcissist, a sociopath has insight into her behavior.

I believe narcissists also fall into the same category as sociopaths since they can cause as much harm. Narcissists are very similar to sociopaths and they have overlapping traits. Both narcissists and sociopaths prefer power to love, both narcissists and sociopaths lack empathy for others, both are usually charming to those around them, both see other humans as pawns to use in a game. They don’t care if winning means that you lose your entire family, it is just part of the game to them. The more harm they can cause others, the more fun that they have. They love targeting kind and loving people the most because they see us as weak. They also know that most kind and loving people are naturally trusting, that is until they have been burned by a sociopath.

The other woman that my ex married was no doubt a sociopath. I have been there, done that, I got the t-shirt and I burned the t-shirt. It sucks to be burned by a sociopath and when you are in the thick of it you are usually so blind-sided that it’s hard to think straight.

Threat level: 8

 

Why Spouse Poachers Can Sometimes Have the Upper HandKeep Calm

A spouse poacher can have the upper-hand because of the myth of the perfect partner. This is a myth that is pervasive throughout our culture. When we are dating, we are looking for ‘the one.’ In our minds ‘the one’ = the perfect partner.

Well, I am here to tell you that you are more likely to see a herd of unicorns drinking from a cool stream than ‘the perfect partner.’

This is the inherent problem with all marriages—neither partner is perfect and so flaws can get magnified. Sometimes the flaws of both partners clash to such an extent that the relationship becomes explosive. This leaves it vulnerable to a person who comes in and presents herself as ‘the perfect partner’ to your spouse.

It is human nature to want to persist in believing in the myth of the perfect partner. This myth is very dangerous because it kicks in when the marriage goes sour. It takes a mature person to look outside of themselves and realize no one is perfect and there is no such thing as the perfect partner.

Remember, even Eve, who was literally made by God for Adam, was not the ‘perfect partner.’ After all, Eve was lured away by a very smooth-tongued snake and ended up bringing an apple into their relationship that led to the downfall of all humanity.

Of course, some partners are more perfect than others, but no one is completely perfect. And you and your husband can be made for each other and still have an imperfect marriage. By the time a man gets married and has kids, he needs to grow up and stick it out with the mother of his children.

Whoa to the man who falls for the myth of the ‘perfect partner’ and messes up generations to come by leaving his wife for what amounts to the ultimate in fool’s gold. Yes, the other woman is like the ultimate pile of fool’s gold: completely worthless.

 

The Big Picture

The important thing about spouse poaching is that you need to learn how to recognize it before it goes too far. The farther along it goes the harder it will be to deal with. But you have to be willing to recognize it and you cannot live under the illusion that everyone in this world is good and has the best intentions in mind. Unfortunately I can tell you unequivocally that many people are neither kindhearted nor good-natured when something they desire is at stake.

Sure, a lot of people might be kindhearted toward the puppy that they have found abandoned on the street. But, the puppy is not standing in the way of something that they want out of life. Many people will show you their true character when you stand between them and something they desire. 

Truly kindhearted or good women will recognize an attractive man when she sees one because that is human nature. But, if that attractive man has a wife standing between her and him, she doesn’t take action toward trying to break up a relationship. She might deal with the man in a professional context, but her behavior never crosses the line because she recognizes that crossing the line would break moral boundaries and lead to a lot of harm. Truly kind people walk away instead of harming others.

role modelI know some other women like to claim that the wife’s husband doggedly pursued her until she caved in. She may say that she was simply responding to his advances. But, harm is harm. Not doing something can be just as harmful as doing something.

For example, some people referenced how many people stood by and watched during the Holocaust. While Nazis actively killed Jews, other Germans just sat passively and let things happen. The people who chose to sit idly by and watch were also guilty for the massacre of Jews. They may not have actively killed them, but they did go along with a situation and watch while Jews got killed. So, harm can be both active and passive.

This all hit home when I was doing genealogy research. I found out that the Jewish branch of my family, the ones who stayed in Europe, were about 95% wiped out during the Holocaust. Hundreds of relatives were murdered within a year and entire family lines wiped out forever. The only survivors of that family line live in America and emigrated during the early 1900’s. I am a descendant of those lines that left Eastern Europe in the early 1900’s when the Russians and Poles tried to burn down Jewish villages. I will always wonder whether or not things would have been different with my family and our numbers if someone had tried to help.

So, even though people can seem to be kind in many situations such as picking up the abandoned puppy, this does not prove that they are kindhearted at all. Having integrity and being a good person is both an active and passive thing. One must behave in ways that reflect integrity. But, one must not sit by and let bad things happen when they know better.

 

A not-so-kindhearted co-worker

I remember having a conversation with a coworker with whom I worked in a corporate environment. She gave half of her paycheck to pay for her parent’s house each month so that they would not have to stress about a mortgage. That would indicate that she was an incredibly kindhearted person. Only, this could not have been further from the truth.

Even though she was married, she set her sights on a very handsome, charismatic, married man with whom we worked.  One day she confided her attraction and I told her that all married men are off-limits. I also reminded her that she had a very nice husband and nice children waiting for her at home.

Karma menuLater that year she and her husband started having marital problems because he took up smoking cigarettes again. She made him sign an agreement that said if he were to light up another cigarette, she would kick HIS mother out of the house that he had bought for his mom prior to getting married to this woman.

While this woman was willing to do almost anything for her own parents, at the moment she did not get her way, she was willing to harm the parents of her husband. Likewise, she was willing to try to step into a marriage of another person where she did not belong.

What it came down to was that she was willing to do things that benefited her or her genetic family. That might have seemed benevolent to somebody looking on. However, the motivation was never due to kindness but rather simply tribalism and wanting to watch out for her own people. As kind as she was to her family, she was equally cutthroat to those who stood in her way.

So, the way to judge character comes at times when you stand between a person and something that the person wants. What will they do? Will they try to break up your marriage because you stand between them and the man they want or will they simply walk away knowing that their own moral character could never allow them to break up a marriage or harm a family?

More women than you might want to believe fall into the first category and they put their needs alone ahead of others and do not care how many other people they hurt in order to get their own needs met. So, you have to stop being naïve and thinking that these people don’t exist.

So, it goes like this…

  • The first step is recognizing that spouse poaching is a possibility.
  • The second step is figuring out what kind of spouse poacher you’re dealing with.
  • The third step is doing whatever it takes to become a formidable opponent to the spouse poacher.

bitchI have many personal examples of times that I have intercepted a spouse poacher trying to meddle in my own marriage. I have a husband who is very charismatic, outgoing, handsome, and who also has a very good job. Naturally, he has a lot of women interested in him and I have never been blind to the fact. I realized that even when we were dating, that this could be a problem if we got married. But, I went into it with my eyes open because he also had and has strong values.

On the other hand, I do feel that I am very much an equal to my husband. When he and I met, I had finished my first Master’s degree and worked in a very lucrative corporate profession where I actually made more money than he did. When he brought me to work functions when we dated, all of his male colleagues gave him the wink-wink and nudge-nudge and they said positive things about me. Some of the guys would even verbally tease him in front of me and ask how a guy like him was able to get a girl who was “out of his league.” I have never seen myself as some kind of great beauty, but I do take impeccable care of myself and I work with what I have. Quite frankly, I was the ugly duckling in high school and my appearance (and my luck) changed once I hit college.

If you’re thinking that a pretty and interesting wife will not prevent a man from cheating, you are right. So why do I look after my appearance so much?

There are two reasons:

1) I look after my appearance because it makes me feel good about me.

2) I look after my appearance because when would-be spouse poachers meet me, they see that I am a very formidable opponent.

I would strongly advise you to do the same thing. As we know, the most beautiful women in the world have husbands who cheat. But, you wouldn’t believe how an attractive, well-composed, accomplished, articulate woman is a deterrent to a would-be spouse poacher in real life. It does not deter all of them, but I have seen many of them literally throw their hands up and walk away after they meet me for the first time. Game over.

But, there have been one or two who are also attractive and accomplished and so I have a formidable opponent in them. That is when I have to figure out what kind of poacher I am dealing with and devise a plan. I always take some kind of action.

On the couple of occasions I have encountered these types, I am always shocked when I realize they don’t give a crap if my husband is married. They had met me and continued to go over their own strategy on how to get rid of me. That experience always shocked me and will continue to always shock me. It is so foreign to how I think and behave.

I would recommend that no matter how old you are, no matter what you look like, no matter what deficits you feel you have, you still need to hold your head high and own who you are.

You see, no matter what happened in the past had anything to do with your worth as a human being. You were worthy, are worthy, and will always be worthy. Have you ever heard of the acronym FEAR? False Evidence Appearing Real. Anytime you struggle with your worth or self-esteem because of some supposed deficit, remember that the deficit is merely false evidence appearing to be real.

 

When a Woman Takes You On

I have someone try to take me on every few months. Sometimes it is subtle and other times it isn’t. For example, my husband has had a female co-worker for the past ten years who has had a crush on him. How do I know this? One of her friends is an acquaintance and I ran into the acquaintance at the store. She took me aside and said, “You know Susan? Well, she talks non-stop about how she likes your husband. You need to watch your back.”

Susan is not very attractive but is married to an attractive husband and has three sons. I never told my husband about the conversation because there was no reason to tell him. Recently, he was a sharing a conversation he had with Susan and a male coworker. Susan took the opportunity to get in a sarcastic jab about me. And so, I knew that she wasn’t just kidding or she didn’t just happen to say the wrong thing. It was planned.

fluent in liesThen there are those who up the ante. There is a Ms. No Boundaries nurse at my husband’s work and she suffers from a severe case of verbal diarrhea. She tells everyone within earshot all about the most sordid details of her personal life. She likes to over-share with my husband (and everyone else) and has demonstrated behaviors that would indicate she is a would-be spouse poacher for any successful man who will give her the time of day.

There is a main office desk where different nurses and secretaries sit. The main phone line for the clinic is there, but everyone works in an open space with no walls or dividers. My oldest son had an emergency and so I called that main desk number since cell phones don’t often work in that area. No one was answering that main desk line, which was out of the ordinary, and so I called several times. I realized that my name was coming up on the caller ID and soon wondered if one of these resentful women was working at the desk.

Finally, someone answered the phone in a very angry voice and said, “This is Cindy, yeah?”

I was taken aback and made sure to sound cheerful since Cindy was being short. I answered, “Hi Cindy, this is Sarah P… Bradley* P’s wife. My son had an emergency and I was hoping to speak with Bradley if he’s not busy.”

Then, she put me on hold for what seemed like forever.

Finally, my husband picked up the phone and said in a hesitant voice, “This is Bradley P, how can I help you?…”

I said, “Hi sweetheart, I am sorry to bother you at work but there was an emergency with Nicholas*…”

My husband said, “Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. Cindy had me scared for a moment. She told me that my boss was on hold and that I was in trouble with my boss and that it was a big deal… I thought you were the clinic director….”

I said, “Cindy said what…?”

“Well, maybe she was just kidding, but she had me fooled. Cindy just got married and maybe she is acting goofy because they just got back from their honeymoon.”

I responded, “Wow, that was really out of place for her to say. When we hang up, I want you to ask her from me how being the boss of her husband is working out for her.”

Then, my husband and I talked about our son’s emergency. After we hung up, I stewed. I realized that when Cindy was at the desk, she could see my full name come through on the caller ID. She chose not to answer the phone several times until she finally picked up. When she did pick up, she was very huffy and rude.

Cindy knows exactly who I am and she was out of line considering what I was calling about wasn’t a joke, but an actual emergency. I rarely call my husband at work because I don’t like to bother him. When he came home, I told him that I was really angry about what Cindy did and wanted to know why she did that. He also said she was out of line and didn’t know why she was acting that way. I asked if he told her what I said to tell her: how is being the boss of your new husband working out?  Well, he did tell that to Cindy and it had the effect of placing an invisible zipper on her mouth. He said she went as red as a tomato and didn’t talk for the rest of the afternoon. For once, she was uncharacteristically quiet and focused on her work.

Do you think I was too forward? I don’t. Cindy was testing the waters and wanted to get in a jab. I have never met Cindy formally but she has seen me and heard my husband talk about me. The times I have seen her, she appears to be a very low-class individual and I am happy that I put her in her place so that she could get a taste of whom she was dealing with. Sometime soon, I will ask my husband when she is working and I will bring brownies for the team. Then, I will single her out and “kill her with kindness.”

This is how I deal with these women. If she happens to be so low class that this doesn’t work, I will talk to her in a way that white trash understands. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.

 

don't break soulToo much Trouble??

You may say that it is too much trouble and that I should let it go. I used to feel that way too. But, I know personally too many women who let these things go and their husbands now have mistresses who are very much involved and in the picture.

The wives of these men didn’t bring brownies to the office, but you can bet your bottom dollar the mistress will bring brownies to the office and make herself known. You can bet your life that the mistress will go on business travel with a man, while the wife always stayed home. You can bet your life savings that a mistress will make sure she is a piece of arm candy and will accompany her newly poached husband to work gatherings and dinners, always wearing a smile and the nicest clothing.

Mistresses know that men don’t like to go to bed alone at night. They will go to bed alone at night if they have to, but if they are going to bed alone at night such as when they travel for business, they will be susceptible to a lovely, warm body. Mistresses know this and so they are very involved with the men they choose. I am a very involved wife. My husband never travels for business without me and we always vacation together. We have a rule that we don’t spend nights apart—ever.  I go to all of the functions and all of the dinners and behave in ways that reflect very well on him. Overkill? No. I am already doing all of the things that mistress’s use in their arsenal.

 

It’s a jungle out there

We live in a dog-eat-dog world and this attitude has now spread to marriages. There are plenty of women out there willing to poach a high-status man, especially if the mistress thinks the wife doesn’t have anything going for her. Poaching a high-status man may be her meal ticket; she may need a high-status man to fund her retirement, to help her extended family financially, or to do any other myriad of things she thinks she needs.

She poaches because she is desperate and doesn’t have the skills necessary to achieve the lifestyle she desires. For whatever reason, she is not able to find a single high-status man or she does not have the skills to get the life she thinks she deserves.  So she resorts to husband stealing and she doesn’t even bat an eye when a man leaves his wife and his family for her. In her mind, it is the ultimate victory and she doesn’t care how many broken and bloodied people she leaves in her path. She got what she wanted and that was that.

I know these women exist. I have experienced their behavior for years now. I have witnessed them break up the marriages of others. I will not give up the fight.

Will my husband cheat on me one day? If a man wants to cheat, he will cheat. That is his choice and his prerogative. But, I will never give up the fight and I will not lie down and just take it while other women try to swoop in. I will continue to be a formidable opponent. And you know what? When my husband sees me fighting for him, he swells with pride and knows that I love him. Believe it or not, it makes him feel good because he feels special. He sees that after many years of marriage I still show him I am crazy about him.

 

I chooseSometimes You Have to Journal

 

Sometimes journaling is a great idea if you want to work through your feelings. When I journal I do stream of consciousness. But, sometimes my journaling actually takes the form of a poem.

Several years ago I was triggered when a Ms. Opportunist who was likely also a Ms. Sociopath had her sights set on my husband. As far as I know, I figured out what was going on before anything happened.  Of course, most women don’t know if their husbands have an affair, so there is a distinct possibility something did happen, although evidence would point to the idea that I got wind of it well before she ensnared him.

This particular Ms. Opportunist was in her mid-30’s and already had three divorces and no children behind her. But, she tried her best to come off as this sweet, cute, petite, little Mid-western girl. I could tell she did not like to be alone and my husband was intended as her next victim. I could also tell that in the past she got whomever she wanted, but I was not going to let that happen.

She had assumed I was a dumpy housewife—that is until she met me. I stepped in and showed her that I was playing for keeps. She ultimately set her sights on a single veterinarian, got engaged quickly, got married, and moved back to the Midwestern state they both came from. (I always say she crawled back into the hole from whence she came… good riddance.)

During that time though, I was a mess on the inside because there was a time when I was not sure if she would give up. (That was a definite clue that she was a Ms. Sociopath.) All of the pain from my ex and my ex’s deep betrayal flooded back to me. All of the fear that someone I loved could be taken from me again flooded me. All of the painful issues with self-esteem due to infidelity flooded back. It felt like I was whisked back into a state of extreme trauma without my consent and for a little while I existed in an extreme state of fear and anxiety.

The reason that everything that I felt with my ex flooded back was because I was afraid my worst fear could come true again. I was afraid that she might have whatever mysterious power the first other woman had to destroy my life and take everything from me. But, I knew I would go down fighting and refused to give up. I also started journaling to relieve stress and to get my feelings straight. I ended up writing a poem that combined all of the pain from both experiences. Here is what I wrote:

 

He Is Not Yours

He is not yours to take,
The vows have been spoken
The papers signed.

Lives have been lived,
Children born,
And a thousand moments have passed.
He is not yours to take.

With the flip of your hair
A slip of the tongue
Late nights in cars
Clothing undone.

Still, he is not yours to have.

Even when spoken vows

are broken

With the sleight of his hand or

The knowing look in your eyes.
He is not yours to take.

You see, I have spent the quiet times,
The sad times
The empty times
And even times filled with joy.

Still, he is not yours to have.

I have been his lover,
His maid,
The mother,
His redeemer.

I have played all the roles.
And even then, he is not yours to take.

You see, our lives have been
Unraveled together.
The fates spun our story long
Before your arrival.

He is not yours to take.

The thread cannot be returned.
That which is done cannot be undone,
And still,
He is not yours to take.

While you wear the mask of lover
Wear the mask of could-be mother
Try on the role of redeemer,
He is not yours to take.

Soulmates are not already married to others.
Soulmates do not wear the rings eternal of another.
God does not destroy love
Or trust
Or families
Just because you believe you are his fated one.

And when all is said and done

The tears,

The shattering,

The broken.

He is not yours to have.

 

He will be mine,

We will remain us.

The shattered pieces will

Once again become one.

Because he was never

yours to take.

 

-Sarah P. 2013

 

The above poem also equally applies to all of you who have fought hard and who have won (or not). Never forget that he was never hers to take and never hers to have. Don’t lose sight of that important truth. You two said the vows, you two made the commitment until death do you part, and he was never hers to have. Stand as the lioness in charge of your household and stand as the momma bear over your marriage and children. Because he was never hers to take and because he was never hers to have.

How have you been this week? What have you done to deter would-be spouse poachers? I want to hear from you!

 

Sources:

  1. Macleod, Debra. Spouse Poaching: Why Married People Are Sexy Targets.

From http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/debra-macleod/spouse-poaching_b_6739588.html

2.  Elise Nersesian-Solé. Beware the Husband Hunter: Why Some Women Go For Guys Who Are Taken.

From http://glo.com/relationships/beware-the-husband-hunter-1533311.story

3.  Harris, Lynn. Partner Poaching. From http://www.match.com/magazine/article/11785/

 

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Inside the Mind of the Unfaithful
Understanding Why Cheaters Do What They Do

Doug talks with several ex-unfaithful persons who share their experiences, thoughts and feelings.  They answer the most asked questions betrayed spouses typically have for the cheater.

 

 

    177 replies to "Spouse Poachers: When it’s open season on your husband, you need to have a plan"

    • Hopeful

      These women are people I will never understand. I can see where there are a variety of types. I still wonder if my husband is telling me the truth that neither woman really “wanted” anything from him. Obviously they had a sexual relationship but he said he hated it when they would share about their life and he never shared about his life. I just don’t know if this is realistic over 10 years. But one woman he broke up with before dday and the other with the first contact he told her to leave him alone and she did. So as he says it was all fading away. For him it was he said the one time he did it gave him permission to do it since he had opened up Pandora’s box. It took the one woman three years and a lot of strategic planning. I of course think it is wrong what he did but after he had one affair and then a woman pushing herself on you for three years I can see where you would fold. Once he gave into his morals he had nothing to stand up for.

      At least in our case the appearance thing was not an issue according to my husband. He said I could have been the most attractive Hollywood star and he would have still cheated on me. He said it had nothing to do with me. I did everything right and he never thought about cheating because of my appearance or something I did or did not do. He said I did everything right except asking him to leave earlier.

      For us we have discussed the situation with other women extensively. His goal has been to act as if I am next to him at all times. And to act as a married man, husband and father should. We have had major repeated discussions about drinking, friend relationships, family boundaries etc. I think so many of these things fed into my husband and his boundary shifting that this even became a possibility.

      And as far as worrying he will go out with his friends and act out in any way with another woman or even seek one out at this point 17 months out from dday is the last of my worries. We are trying to heal still. I do however worry about a gradual shift of boundaries, loosening up of behaviors, and slipping back into more regular life. I feel that we both need to be vigilant and aware that this is really a potential danger always and really it is for every couple not just us. It is naive for anyone to think it will never happen to them. Especially with the online opportunities, workplace, porn etc.

    • TheFirstWife

      In my honest opinion if your spouse is going to cheat he/she is going to cheat.

      Nothing you do will prevent it.

      I think this article is petty minded and gives rise to game playing and forces spouses to act like they are in middle school.

      My H had a 4 year EA. I knew the woman as a friend but was always on guard. I told him from the 1st time I met him to watch his back.

      She made her move 4 years in. 4 years she invested and she wasted her time. She knew my H did not like her romantically but she kept hoping.

      The past OW well she almost had my H convinced she was the right choice. Thank goodness he realized it on his own.

      I am not a keeper of a caged animal. If I cannot trust my H on his own to be truthful and honest and NOT cheat then we should divorce now.

      He admits to his past mistakes. He knows exactly what I expect and will tolerate. I am not his Mother I am his wife. If this relationship isn’t what you want, please leave.

      I have said this numerous times in the last 3 years. He is here b/c he wants to be, not b/c of any other reason. I am lucky in that he recognizes his past mistakes.

      But I will not be in a position of monitoring my H and his interactions with others. If I have to do that then I will leave him.

      There is a level of respect that is present in our marriage. In my opinion if you NEED to flirt or act inappropriately with others, you are missing something in your own life.

      My H could be the meanest jerk on earth but if I chose to stay married I would make sure he doesn’t affect my self esteem or happiness. I know it is not easy and I was having a hard time during his affair and after that, but I never doubted myself.

      So I think this article provides a false sense of control over a spouse/partner/mate. Your spouse needs to be immune to unwanted advances.

      You will never be able to control it all. My H had plenty of freedom and space and his friends were envious. He could golf without a fight or do things with friends without backlash. He did not abuse his free time and never ditched me or our kids to be with his friends. It was agreed upon always.

      And he still had a mid life crisis and cheated. I lnow many will disagree with me and that is okay. We all have different lives and spouses and marriages.

      All I am saying is that this lifestyle is not for me. I would hate myself if I had to behave in this manner to ward off any unwanted interaction or advances. Been there done that.

      It is on him. 100%

      • Deanna

        Agreed.
        My husband had childhood issues with his Mother which showed in his constant need for validation from not only women but men too though the men were not on a sexual level. Size? Did not matter. He would flirt with a 100 pound woman or a 300 pound woman. This went on for years. It didn’t bother me as I knew that was all it was until a woman at his workplace decided he could help further her career.
        When I found out about all of it, it started at the age of 6, I drew the line in the sand.
        If he crosses it? I will leave.
        After D Day? The family Trust was put under my control. That was my assurances that if I did have to leave? I would not be one who leaves her years of hard work to have nice things to a predator.
        Betting that little nugget makes him less attractive.
        I don’t hound him? I don’t check up on him. He’s free, white and WAY over 21.
        I just have my exit planned if he disrespects our life again.

    • Alice

      I’m totally on board for putting entitled people in their place but this article paints a very bleak picture. If you’re not constantly monitoring the women around your husband – he’s going to cheat. Don’t bake brownies? He’s going to cheat. Don’t wear make up? He’s going to cheat. Don’t go to the office party? He’s going to cheat.

      This article kinda makes me question why we should bother with relationships at all if cheating is so easily done. Sigh. Now I’m very sad.

      • HOLMES

        Well “Alice” it sounds to me like you don’t give a crap about being married. Are you one of those “special, entitled women”? Your husband should “except you for how you are?” No makeup face, bare ugly legs, fat, bad attitude, entitled, unappreciative,poor dresser(according to his standard), not interested in sex, not engaging in sex, piss poor at communication, always putting every thing/else first,party,party,party”I want to enjoy MY life, etc? I am a male that experienced being pursued! Albeit by an incredibly attractive, intelligent, 25 year my junior woman!(and not the only one) If it wasn’t for my two children I WOULD have been gone! After hearing that I was a lousy, husband and father, fat and undesirable, “her friends and family are important to her” (translation, I don’t mean shit to her), Who’d want you!” Now that age is creeping up on her, all the hair dye, makeup,anti wrinkle cream, spandex, doesn’t make up for all the hurt and lack of support and attention that everyone else has received instead of her husband. All the late nights,pictures with men(“friends”). The life of a narcissist! Now to paint a picture, this “woman” ran my testosterone into the ground over the span of 25+ years(think Jewish woman). The potential replacement ran my T through the roof! Hence after years of doctors, pill, creams, finally answered my health issues! To that I am eternally grateful! Now with age creeping up she is on the run now. Me with a full head of undyed hair, muscle tone(I actually do things)and still fully functional with blue eyes, and multi-high level skill set. So I have a “daddy belly”. And now it’s 30+ years my junior! LOL This is a woman I did everything I could for on all levels. And the home movies don’t lie! Where was she when I was with the kids? All I asked was to be put first(not last if I was even on the list), cough up the trim(enthusiastically)look nice(sexy)give me attention,understanding,appreciation. So what haven’t you been doing for your husband? Like Redd Foxx said “show me a spouse who won’t and I’ll show you a neighbor who will”! If you are FAT lose weight(you’d do it when you get divorced anyway), smoke,quit, no makeup, learn to wear it, bare legs, put on a nice pair of stockings, throw out the sweats, by some dresses and skirts,STOP BUSTING HIS BALLS, learn to wear heels(nice simple ones not that ugly crap meant to impress your friends)learn to enjoy sex, be desirable. . . . .TO HIM!!!

        • Danielle

          So you’re all that and a bag of chips are you? full head of hair? Which is hereditary and takes no effort. You prize appearance above all else..how noble of you. Nothing wrong with wanting your spouse to make some effort..but high heels? lol and your shallow bragging about younger women..lol..it isnt your money they want..oh no..I’m sure you could compete with a 25 year old stud any time. Right. learn to enjoy sex? how about you learn to turn your wife on..so that she wants it. Your post is bitter and shallow. When a wife is happy, loved, respected,and turned on..she doesnt have to be asked for anything.

        • JewsAreMoreFun

          Maybe your wife rejected you because you’re an insensitive, self-centered, self-pitying, self-justifying, opportunistic, bottom-feeding ANTI-SEMITE! Signed: a Jewish woman who’s more electrifying, hair-raising fun than a three-ring circus, and recognizes someone who’s full of shit, when she sees one! P.S. You know very well that how a woman comports herself has nothing to do with it, you sad sack of desperate old-man.

        • Sarah P.

          Hello Holmes,

          Oh Holmes, why did you have to bring Jewish women into this? That is not very nice. It is both a petty and unnecessary racist slur. Racist slurs aren’t fun– but you are old enough to know that and you still had to do that.

          Unfortunately, I did not see this comment until now or I would have answered it. I saw JewsAreMoreFun’s comment and wanted to see to whom she was referring– she seemed pretty offended as she should be.

          Aside from the racist comment that has no place, you simply do not know Jewish women, my friend. I am ethnically Jewish on my mother’s side. Aka what the Rabbi’s consider Jewish.

          Ask my husband how much I (don’t) bust his balls, how I (don’t) smoke or drink for that matter. Ask him all about how I (don’t) wear sweats, how I (don’t) hate physical intimacy with him, how I (don’t) wear bare legs, how I (don’t) ensure that he has to go to the neighbor’s house, how I (don’t) ignore him, how I (don’t) hate his dad tummy, how I (don’t) hate his receding hairline or wrinkles, how I (don’t) put him down. How I (don’t) make him feel unappreciated. Ask him about how (not) obese I am. Finally, ask him how I (don’t) drive his testosterone down. My goodness. When I hug him and sit on his lap, he still responds like a college boy. Definitely no “low T’ there.

          But, I do admit that I have these gosh darn horrible habits. They include cooking my husband gourmet meals, showing him appreciation, and putting a career (that takes me out if the house) on hold to be here (at home) for our kids.

          I have always made the mistake of wearing lots of dresses, stockings, and heels and make-up for date night with my husband. I have also made the mistake of dressing to the nines when we meet colleagues. I make the mistake of dressing so well that he is the envy of his male colleagues and they tell him how lucky he is.

          A few months ago, I made the most horrible mistake of all. I did my eyelashes and wore a pair of trendy jeans while heading out for vacation. The person at the counter did not need my ID because those are for people over 18 years old. Oh my goodness, the man behind the counter assumed I was 16 and I was NOT even dressed like a skank! Can you imagine?

          Why? Well, because I have always taken care of my appearance and always wore sunscreen, never smoked, was never a real drinker, never did drugs. Made the mistake of working out a lot and eating healthy. And some strangers still mistake me for an 18-year-old if I am dressed a certain way, but never like a skank.

          Oh but there are times when I am a stereotypical “Jewess.” I got LOTS of education. That’s a typical Jewess for you. Also, like a typical Jewess, I used to participate in MENSA.

          Oh snap.

          The world is going to fall apart because I DO NOT fit the Jewess stereotype and neither do other Jewish women. That’s just old anti-semitism being repackaged because many men feel threatened by Jewish women. I don’t blame them since we are almost always the top of the class– or we climb the corporate ladder in a flash — or we have multiple graduate degrees.

          Jewish women are so terrible. They are terrible just like Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler aka the actress Hedy Lamarr. Not only was she the most gorgeous actress at the time, she actually invented frequency-hopping signals for WW2 that allowed our US torpedoes not to be tracked or set off course by our enemies. She did this while sitting at MGM studios and realizing she could do more for the United States by putting her scientific mind to work. She discovered things most people could not even think of in the first place because it was so outside their context of how the world worked. Take a bow, Hedy.

          Holmes, why did you need to take on Jewish women? I am not a man-hater. But, it is uncalled for in this day and age to make a sweeping generalization about an entire group of women.

          Finally, a news flash for you about women 30 years younger than yourself: You are so old that all those young women see no more than a wallet with legs. Maybe the wallet has blue eyes– maybe it doesn’t, but it is still a wallet with legs.

          Oh pardon my stereotypical Jewish sense of humor. That’s the one place where “the Jew shines through.”

          I am generally a very supportive person, but I cannot be supportive of cruel, racial slurs against Jewish women or such misogynist and clueless comments about your wife.

          Here is what I do know: if you were an incredibly pleasant person to be around. I highly doubt your wife would keep running away. What was she running from? You come off as a tad judgmental and I get the impression you compare your wife to other women frequently, revel in the attention of other women, and feel a little too much pride in that. There is no woman on earth who wants to feel like she must compete with her husband’s admiration of younger women while also feeling compared to those younger women. If I had a husband like that, I would spend all my time with my family too. Never forget that aging woman you are married to sacrificed her girlish figure to give you YOUR children. You need to be more grateful and less judgmental.

          Women’s bodies change with pregnancy. Read up on the science of it. Our joints become more lax, our body widens slightly, we gain more fat cells EVEN IF we spend 9 months vomiting. It is how the female body works so that you can have healthy children. Fat reserves must build up so that the child will get enough DHEA during breastfeeding. Your wife sacrificed that for you.

          Seems to me you need to appreciate her more and appreciate yourself less. That is the recipe for a happy marriage. Try it and see. Spend a whole month bringing her flowers, telling her how beautiful she is, asking her about her day, offering her a back rub at night. Tell her what a great mom she is.

          Final news flash: Once you have several children, your wife’s body will change even if she is athletic. After children, there cannot be two of her. Children have needs. Would it be better if she appreciated you all day by having sex with you while your kids starved to death? Sounds like you probably should not have had kids. After kids come along, the world is no longer about you and your wife constantly stroking your ego and everything else. It is creepy that you take pride in the fact that you believe women young enough to (possibly) be your granddaughter find you interesting.

          Please, no more Jewish slurs and no more negative comments about your wife versus all the young girls. It in not a recipe for a happy or healthy marriage.

          Thank you,
          Sarah

        • Deanna

          Trust me sweetheart lol if someone 20 to 30 years younger is interested in you? Lol it isn’t your hair, your looks or your weight.
          You either have money, a good job or you can further her career.
          No one but a nut job wants to sleep with Daddy.
          As for your poor wife? I hope you DO leave then she could find a real man.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Oh Sarah, I am afraid I have to agree with The First Wife on this one. I found it interesting to read about the different types of predators out there. It’s rather shocking but they will always be there.

      My husband is an adult and he needs to be the keeper of his own morality…..IT SIMPLY IS NOT MY JOB TO DO IT FOR HIM. As it isn’t his job to do it for me. Your example of the receptionist not passing calls from you to your husband was interesting. Wasn’t it his job to set her straight? Probably grounds for being fired in my opinion.

      When a predator rattles the gate it’s up to our partners to pass on the message that the gate is LOCKED.

      That doesn’t mean we can’t be watchful but how far does that go? I am also married to a very likable man…..he just gets more attractive with age. But he needs to stay faithful because he loves me and because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to be his gatekeeper.

      • Danielle

        How exhausting to patrol your husbands every move..and it simply cannot be done anyway. a simple thing to tell him..”do you want me to bang another man? then dont cheat on me either” “and I would take you for all you have” “sweetie”. stop treating men like stupid animals..you are acting like they cant help themselves. If they can effing run countries..they can be faithful human beings.

    • Hopeful

      I have said to my husband that I refuse to be a private detective or his mother. I want to be in a relationship with someone who wants to be with me. I would rather be alone the rest of my life if he does not want to be committed to our marriage. My husband did create behaviors and habits over the 10+ “cheating years” that he had to break. We had very direct conversations regarding how he expected himself to act and what I expected too. Really we reestablished healthy boundaries. And at the center of it all is transparency and open communication. I can never control other people, him or other women. And I do believe there are a lot out there. I see it more than ever as we age. So many marriages are breaking up and people have a casual attitude about it. He understands this is a second chance and his only one yet he knows I only want to be with him if he is here for the right reasons and capable of living up to the husband he knows he should be.

    • Strengthrequired

      Sarah, I too am sorry, I am not going to be one to stand guard on my ch. Honestly, it is impossible anyway, lol. He works all the time, and I know if he is going to cheat, he will. Nothing I do or don’t do will stop him. He needs to be someone who stands by his morals and integrity, by not reducing himself to the level of cheater again. He knows, if he doesn’t want to be here then the door is right there, don’t stay with me if he is waiting for something better to come along.
      I just don’t have the energy to worry about whether he can honour his commitment to me our family, our marriage. That is something he should be man enough and adult enough to do on his own. He needs to put a stop to these ow out of respect to our marriage and family. If he can’t then he clearly shouldn’t be married.
      The last thing I plan on being is his mother, I’m his wife not his babysitter.
      My husband has to protect our family from these ow, I can’t sit in his pocket being an echo in his ear reminding him that he is married and should act accordingly. If I know how to keep boundaries than I expect that he know too. If he can’t than being married to him is not worth it.
      After all been there done that, and after going through the detective stage during his affair, I hated it and it certainly didn’t make me feel any better.

    • Strengthrequired

      Sarah, good read anyway, lol

    • Doug

      I liked the article. Sarah’s points may not be relatable (is that a word?) for every marriage, but I think that the gist of Sarah’s post is hard to argue with – that we have to protect the boundaries that have been established within our marriages as well as put in some effort towards being desirable to our partners. And it goes both ways for sure.

      I found the types of poachers and their threat levels to be interesting. I think we all know women who fall into each type. There’s probably even an equivalent spectrum for male spouse poachers. As I look at my brother in law’s situation (again), he ran into a “Ms. Rabid Opportunist” (threat level 9) and indeed he was ripe for the picking. I truly believe that she had a strategy – a plan – for meeting men such as my BIL (handsome, wealthy, successful), and once she got her hooks in him she followed her plan religiously. Before you knew it, it was lights out. (Of course, he’s stupid and just as much to blame)

      For instance, she was dirt poor yet she regularly hung out at high-end restaurant bars in a wealthy part of town (where they met). She also played golf and hung out at a very nice country club (she got a country club membership in a previous divorce settlement – nothing else). I’m sure that she used these venues for many a year to benefit from any low-hanging fruit that dared make eye contact with her. I may be wrong and am making assumptions and judgments that I shouldn’t be, but it’s hard not to given all that we know about her.

    • Hopeful

      I agree that there are types of other women and many are predatory and have agendas. I just feel like the idea that I have to look nice for my husband in order to keep him interested and not to cheat is not accurate. I can never be young, pretty, in shape enough to compete with everyone out there. It is just not possible especially if you follow the premise that these women can be predatory. If being in shape and looking great helped men not cheat then famous women would not be cheated on ever.

      For me I think there is a sense of vigilance and awareness that any couple should be aware of to protect the primary relationship. That to me is the key. And i think discussing how to handle other women and being out with friends is a legitimate topic to discuss. But I am not going to worry and try my hardest to have make up on every day and dress a certain way or be a certain size for my husband.

      • Strengthrequired

        Hopeful, I agree. I also think the Cs would find good use of this article so they know what to look out for, so they don’t fall into these traps and destroy their marriages.

    • Heidi

      I found this post interesting too. I think it’s really aimed at WS, they’re the ones who need to look out for these women, and understand that they’re playing a game to fulfill their own needs.

      I know my WS eyes were opened to his AP almost as soon as the affair ended. Those cute things she did were loaded with her own agenda, and as the fog lifted he could see it for what it was.

      • TheFirstWife

        Heidi. Because as my therapist would say you don’t divorce the person you married. Meaning when you married all was good. You didn’t see the irritating habits or self centered behavior. Same with an affair.

        It is all superficial and fun. No dirty house to clean. No in laws to deal with. The cheaters are in la-la land.

        And then it ends. And then you see the REAL person you were dating. And often it is not good.

    • Em

      I like this article! It does on the surface overwhelm and make it seem like you can never be off your guard but I think Sarah is right! What’s she’s saying is when something feels wrong- don’t let it go! It’s not about guarding your spouse as much as it is about taking on the potential threats to your marriage.
      I didn’t read that like Sarah doesn’t trust her husband and that he couldn’t cheat at any moment. I read that like from past experience Sarah knows what can happen if you leave these women alone and don’t respond to them.

      We have all been in a situation where the OW initially gave us bad feelings and we earned our H’s but it still didn’t sit well. If we operated like Sarah would the outcome be different? In my current marriage I don’t let anything go. If a woman is being inappropriate its gets addressed immediately and directly. As a result I have a better more protected relationship. My husband laughs but feels flattered and there have been times where he has talked to other men about me when I didn’t think the interaction was bad at all.
      I guess that’s the point. Sometimes our spouses don’t see the other person creeping in until it’s too late and the damage is done. That is how it happened to me in my first marriage. I let a lot of stuff go thinking I was being petty and as it turns out that was the window the OW was able to crawl through to get into my home and wreck it.

      Not happening again. Thank you Sarah for the honesty and the candor in what you wrote! I completely agree

      • TheFirstWife

        Em. Sorry your first marriage did not survive the OW.

        My H had a 4 year EA 20 years ago before it was called an EA. In those days it was not considered cheating if there was no sex. At least that is how many people felt.

        From the first moment I met this girl I told my H watch himself. She liked him more than a friend. The end of the “friendship” came when she made her move. So for all the years I confronted him and asked questions I never received an honest answer. She was very interested in my H yet his defense was he did not feel that way about Her. He really only considered her a friend.

        Soooo my point is I think you can be perfect. You can block inappropriate interactions. You can monitor and play detective and look at phone numbers and text messages and email accounts all you want.

        IMO if they want to cheat they will. My H’s last affair I literally told him to his face “if you want to be with her, go ahead. If you want to talk with her go ahead. But please don’t think you are fooling anyone”. I knew exactly when he spoke with her or texted her.

        He was willing to do anything to be with her or in a relationship with her at that time. Now he looks back and is ashamed and deeply remorseful and regrets all of it. We are lucky he came to his senses at the last possible second.

        And I do mean last possible second.

        I realized that there is nothing I or anyone can do to stop an affair. He had all the justifications available at his fingertips. Just like the Cheaters Manual 101. It’s the wife’s fault, kids fault, job pressures, no job, financial worries, etc.

        And when you offer excuses for your behavior I seriously doubt even the best therapist can change your mind or focus.

        So that is why it is up to the cheater to be able to withstand the temptation. It is on them same way a person should be able to control their spending, drinking, gambling, eating, etc. they are all addictions and the only person that has the power to control it (short of being locked up or guarded 24/7) is the person facing the temptation.

        I am just worn out listening to justifications. The CS KNOWS it is wrong. The rest is background noise.

        I feel like all the good moral people here on this blog are victimized on so many levels. First the actual cheating, then the affair fog, then the continued lying by the CS, followed in many cases by more than one DDay.

        Yeesh they are worse than children!!

    • Sarah P

      Hi Everyone,

      I will reply to everyone here. First and foremost, men will cheat is they want to. In my mind, there are bad men and formerly ‘good men’ who cheat. This article was mainly about the ‘good men’ who simply do not have the radar to recognize these people. I think they are blinded by the attention.

      There are the ‘bad men’ out there and they include: narcissists, sociopaths, abusers, and some serial cheaters. There is nothing a wife can do to prevent these men from cheating. These are the men who cheat on the likes of Liz Hurley and Christie Brinkley.

      But, then there are the ‘good men.’ These men would never dream of cheating on their wives and so they don’t have a radar for spouse poachers. The fact that they don’t have a radar combined with the assurance (in their own minds) that they would never cheat make them a prime choice for a spouse poacher. It’s the frog in the pot scenario where he only realizes he is in trouble after he has been cooked. Plus, don’t all spouse poachers want a good man? These are not good women and they avoid the narcissists of the world because they know narcissists would break them.

      When I speak of physical appearance, I only mean doing the best with what you have and carrying yourself with confidence. There is a 78-year-old woman who comes to mind. She is a divorcee and has spent all of her retirement traveling the world. I got another post from her in my email and she says she is “giving the middle finger to old age” and refuses to live by others definitions of who they think she should be. In her photos, she looks 78-years-young, confidant, vibrant, in shape, and she dresses beautiful but also appropriately. She is doing the best with what she has and she is an absolutely stunning woman. She is so vibrant that I am pretty sure no one sees her age, they just see her. That’s what it is about. I don’t wear makeup on most days. I wear sunscreen, lip gloss and tasteful athletic clothing since I am into fitness. I do the best with what I have, but would that prevent a man from cheating? Nope.

      A man will cheat if he wants to cheat.

      On the other hand, being the best version of myself seems to deter almost all would-be spouse poachers. They look for easy pray and if there is a wife who shows that she will be a formidable opponent, it can deter these women. I read a study once that said women dress for other women, not men. I do agree with that. Most men I have talked to say they like a woman with natural beauty who doesn’t wear make-up. They like her in a t-shirt and form fitting blue jeans. Also, when I talk to men, they find a variety of women attractive. Women who may not find themselves to be attractive are not judged as harshly by men.

      The focus of the article is wife versus spouse poacher. Spouse poachers often turn away if they see a wife who will put up a fight. You don’t have to be conventionally pretty to put up a fight either. You just have to demonstrate that you are so invested that your marriage is no longer an easy target. Some spouse poachers will give up.

      But does any of this prevent a man from cheating? No.

      However, it’s good to know what is going on and to set boundaries around it. I have learned this from traumatic experiences in several prior relationships. More boyfriends + fiance cheated on me than did not cheat. All of these experiences happened in my 20’s though and looking back I don’t think any of them qualified as good guys. They appeared to be good on the surface but it was a mask. (Typical narcissist or sociopath trick.)

      So, the main takeaway is that ‘good guys’ are choice poaching material and there are different type of spouse poachers. A deterrent to them is having a strong marriage and being the best version of yourself. Another deterrent is simply knowing they exist so you can spot them before the damage is done.

      I do agree that the women on this site have been victimized and so why should any women make an effort for someone who was so disrespectful and who harmed them deeply? I understand why that seems so egregious. But, I think the truth is that if you are rebuilding, it’s good to have your eyes open to anything that could serve to derail. For example, if you had a husband going through alcoholics anonymous and if you attended meetings, you would soon realize that certain events, people, or other circumstances trigger a return to the bottle. He would also be assigned an accountability partner to ensure he didn’t ‘fall off the wagon’. That accountability partner would have very strict boundaries for him and would enforce those boundaries. Because until an alcoholic is able to get strong enough to avoid temptation, there is the ability to relapse.

      So, it’s not necessarily fair if a betrayed wife needs to make any kind of effort. I agree. It’s not fair that a wife needs to do the best with what she has. Marriages should be about unconditional love and regard. But, experience has told me that the only relationship where unconditional love exists is between parent and child. Unfortunately, marriage does not offer that haven for most people. And it is really unfair if you ask me. But, that seems to be the nature of most relationships, there is always a give and take and expectations of both people. It really stinks but that seems to be the case most of the time.

      Anyhow, your takeaway should be that you are aware of spouse poachers and have a radar for them. They exist and it’s best to recognize them before it’s too late. There are many good men with the best intentions who have been ensnared. (Frog in the pot.) I want all of you to be successful in your goals of rebuilding and so knowing the pitfalls is essential. So, that is basically where the article came from– out of concern for all of the readers so that they CAN’T be taken advantage of so easily in the future. It was not meant to offend or to come off as small-minded.

      Big hugs to all of you!

      • TheFirstWife

        Here is my current defense.

        Hit them in the wallet.

        My plan B is awesome. I do not have to share any of my $. He does. I have no debt. He does.
        My $ is left to my children upon my death.

        So I have a plan in place all to benefit me.

        That is my ammunition. If we divorce he will financially struggle after alimony and child support and everything else. Plus I get part of his retirement and equity in our home.

        Laughing all the way to the bank. Like Mary I will not make a divorce easy or painless.

        • Sarah P.

          If I am ever in your situation you can bet that I will do the same thing, whether he stays or not. I read one time that Catherine Zeta Jones has this type of arrangement in her pre-nup. But it has always surprised me that she chose someone who is a known sex addict.

      • Strengthrequired

        Sarah, I did not think the article was small minded, like anything written, does not always appeal to everyone. All in all it was a good read, if it wasn’t a good read for me, I wouldn’t have read the whole thing.
        For me however, after finding out about my ch affair, I carried the lead, until towards the end of my ch affair, I could nolonger carry that load and was ready to leave. Of course then my ch apparently gave her the flick and started helping. However, it was draining, tiring, to always be on guard. Of course if someone deliberately tries to do something in front of me, both my ch and that person will know, the raft of strengthrequired is here. Yet unfortunately in my ch profession, he is not stuck in one place, he is on the move all the time. So it is impossible to know who he is with and how often everyday. So I am not going to control, what I can’t. I feel my ch is a man who has been burnt by the ow, he now should be more vigilant on his own accord, when it comes to these ow.
        There are many men out there that do not crumble into the arms of a temptress, men that do not need to be reminded of their vows, they just know, right from wrong, and they will put these ow in their place, protecting their families. If you have a man who is strong willed and who knows what is more important to him, these ow will not have a chance.
        They will just look cheap and disgusting to him.
        If I can tell a man No, and then keep my distance from that threat to my marriage, then I expect my ch to be able to do the same. If he cannot, then all the poachers in this world will have a field day with him, as all the guarding in the world wouldn’t stop him, and it certainly wouldn’t stop him from placing the blame onto me.
        I do think this article us a good guide for those types of poachers, so both husband and wives no what to look out for, yet I also think most women already know, it’s the men that don’t. My ch ow came into my home as a family member, I told my ch to watch himself with her, she had an agenda. She sucked him in with her troubled life stories. Well we all know how that story ended.
        I warned him, he didn’t listen. He assured me all was good, he was not interested, and would never be interested. Ha. So yes I’m drained, my ch knows how I feel, he knows I want a man that can protect his family from not just ow, but from anyone that wants to break our marriage. He knows I will do my part, but he has to be able to as well, otherwise we just won’t work. As I said, he has been burned by the ow and did not like it, so hopefully lesson learned.
        My ch knows the person I am, it’s up to him if he truly wants to hold onto me or not, if he does, these ow will not stand a chance at breaking him again.

        • Sarah P.

          You are a better woman than I am. I am not sure if I could be married to someone who travels often. I have had too many bad experiences to be at peace with it. I would personally be a nervous wreck.

          • Strengthrequired

            No Sarah, he goes from work site to work site. He used to take jobs out of state, but hasn’t done that for a while. Thank goodness. What I meant was I would have to follow him all around town, and I’m not prepared to do that. Lol

      • HOLMES

        Sarah, I did want to say a great article. All women today are “victimized” today. This is their general attitude. I have several friends with absolutely great relationships and fallowed similar guidelines to what you presented. Their wives are forces to be reckoned with. Their husbands had every opportunity to cheat and did not.Several have told their wives “don’t die first, as I don’t want to lose you”.Why? Because they are not lazy self absorbed slobs. Many have had great families and did cheat. Why? Because they weren’t being taken care of at home. The same goes with the wife. Take care of her as well. But all too many people are enticed by the glitzy person(my wife, I am too boring and undramatic)Then add facebook, online dating, and the convenience of portable online access, that just seals the deal. In this day and age of opportunity, “your a sucker for not taking advantage of it”. I love the idea of being married but I think it is obsolete today because of the excessive rampant narcissism in today’s society. A “MAN” is motivated by an attractive women (breading). He will live under a bridge in a box under an old boat (go to Florida). The woman motivates him to do better. This is what women have forgotten. I talk with more “eligible” men and have sworn off women in the US. Too greedy and self centered and FAT. Direct quotes “discount women and accumulate cash”! Why? They have seen too many of their fathers, uncles, friends, divorced and cleaned out of all their money! How about holes being put in their condoms! Or how about “I’m on the pill” Three kids later! Now the lonely old spinsters aren’t happy. Sure there is the wife that got beat, married alcoholics, drug addicts, cheaters, general pieces of human crap. We all have to put up with it. If my wife came and genuinely said and showed she was sorry, I might change my mind. But not trust her. So the spouse poachers looked kind of good right now. I am happy you still love your husband and hope he really appreciates you. If you are true in what you say! Take care!

      • O.J.PRIMPSOME

        Dear,

        Loved your article, BUT – – – f**ked if you don’t, and f**ked if you DO! (And, in today’s world, when I say “f**ked”, I’m talking about, worst case scenario, being given a LETHAL venereal disease by a cheating partner, who now literally has your life in his hands). Because you have left out one more type of poacher – – most often young and nubile and giving off all sorts of actually hypnotizing hormonal scent allure. I’ll call her Ms. Rapist. She’s frequently just getting a feel of her fully-unleashed sexual power, and gets a surge of ego-feed from flexing her muscles (as in ‘kegels”). She gets a high from getting attention from men, and the men that give her the best high of all are the ones who belong to other women. Her supreme ego-feed is in destroying something that has been maintained for many years (she enjoys the vandalism), so she targets men of an age that assures that they’ve been with their partners for decades. The more enduring the relationship these women violate, the more excitation they derive from their feeling of importance and being “special”. They report “loving the challenge” of violating another woman’s relationship. (Their biggest thrill is screwing a man in the bed he shares with his wife, if they can arrange that). In actuality, they are rapists of other women, using the husband’s penis as their proxy “weapon”, and engaging the husband as their accomplice; he metaphorically “drags” the “unconscious” victim (his wife, unaware of the act of infidelity) to the “scene of the crime”, and “holds her down” for the other woman to rape (using his penis). But the punch line is this: for a woman of this sort, the very BEST challenge of all, the ULTIMATE sense of self-importance and gratification that she can possibly experience – – – is derived if the woman she’s violating *IS A KNOCKOUT*. The better-looking, the better-kept, the *sexier* the wife, the more of an ego-feeding, “power”-sensate accomplishment this poacher feels it is to “take her man”. For this type of poacher, the man belonging to a fantastic, accomplished, charismatic, gorgeous, admired woman, is THE prime target, THE prime thrill. Can’t get any better than that. The only appropriate and effective address of such a rapist is to tell them, with the utmost *sincerity*, that you will cut their head off and take it home as a trophy. I have some similar sage advice for their accomplices, as well, directed further south.

        • Sarah P.

          Hi O.J. Primpsome,

          I do see what you see. When you said, “For this type of poacher, the man belonging to a fantastic, accomplished, charismatic, gorgeous, admired woman, is THE prime target, THE prime thrill. Can’t get any better than that.” I totally agree. I have seen it happen to many people over the course of my life.

          I have observed these types you speak of. I have seen very young women go after the husbands of attractive older wives and get great pleasure in showing the attractive older wife that the younger woman (poacher) can “take her place” any time she wants and the older wife can do nothing about it.

          The OW who broke up my first (almost marriage) literally bragged to a room full of 50 people that she was going to take my fiance away and she got high on destroying other women. She had never met me. She just happened to inquire about the ‘hot guy’ across a room,– someone there told her that he was happily engaged and had a sweet, new house– and that was all it took. Game on for her. She told that person she would take him and destroy me.

          The people who witnessed this assumed she was drunk and talking trash, so they did not tell me. (GEE thanks!!)

          Indeed, she was completely serious and did just as she said.

          I only found out about it AFTER my fiance brutally abused me to the point I left our mutually owned home for my safety. (She asked him to do whatever it took, including physically harming me, to make me leave. And he did.) She moved in to our (new construction home) hours later. I had NO IDEA he was cheating and no idea that was why he did brutal things to get me to leave.

          When I found out, after I left, I did not play the pick me dance. I lawyered up and sent all communication through an attorney. I played hard-ball. He made a few lame attempts to return after he discovered the lady was totally psycho. (Duh– he did not know someone like this was psycho? He got what he deserved.).

          I asked my attorney to send him warning letters to leave me alone. By the time the house sold, I was newly married to my current husband who was happy to scoop me up. (This was 1.5 years after the house was put on the market.)

          I am well-aware these women exist. I would label them as sociopathic, but they go beyond that. They are evil incarnate. Anyone who gets a high on destroying the life of a total stranger– a stranger of the same gender– just to feel powerful is EVIL.

          I have empathy for wives. When married men have hit on me in the past, all I can do is think about the wife. It has always made me sad for her. I have never been a flirt and when I talk to a couple (in person) I direct 80% of my attention to the wife, if not more.

          I have been the recipient of women who boldly flirt with my husband in front of me. It feels terrible. I could never do that to someone.

          I used to believe there was a female code of conduct– where us women all had each other’s backs. I always had the backs of other females. But, it took me a long time to realize there are those like you describe. There are some women who do not have the backs of other women and instead actually do things to destroy them. These are the young women you describe.

          I hear what you are saying. These people exist. I take an oath to have the back of married females because it is the right thing to do.

          But, not for the evil ones you describe, whether they are single or married. Having their backs would only serve to help these young women hurt more people. They are kind of like cockroaches, it is best to stomp on them when you see them versus gently putting them outside the house.

          I could not agree more about the venereal disease component. I find out the OW in my relationship had passed along the cancerous HPV virus to me after I moved out. I had a clean bill of health every year, got tested every year, and was always monogamous. The doctor told me he was sure she had caused it. Affairs are DEAD serious. If I did not go to the doctor for a full STD panel and a repeat pap, the cancer would have grown farther than it already had. Getting it removed was not fun and almost prevented me from having children.

          So, I totally get it. Affairs can be deadly to a wife whose only crimes were staying monogamous and trusting someone (their husband) who could really CARE LESS if he gave them a deadly STD. Even better for him because then he doesn’t have to split assets in a divorce.

          All women who are reading — let that one sink in. If your cheating husband gives you cervical cancer and if you die– he gets all assets and gets to pretend he was the long-suffering saint who stood by his wife through her cancer. He gets the money, he gets the slut, AND people believe he is a saint. If you ask me, that is just about the most cruel thing that a husband can do to his wife.

          I hear you loud and clear.

          Sarah

    • Hopeful

      For me this is hard too since everything was done with my husbands affairs very hidden and deceptive. I never knew these women existed or about any of his online activity. In 25 years together I never saw a woman flirt or approach him inappropriately. These women he had affairs with were known through one friend. One of the women was barely known and from out of state. He only saw her 3 times over 10 years and had sporadic contact. The other knew his friend better but he really knew nothing about her and tried to keep it that way. Again over 10 years somewhat sporadic contact. I feel like I would have had to be in constant detective mode or hired a private detective to figure any of this out. When someone lies to your face when asked about other women or when on trips if anything happens and he tells you no never I am not sure what I should have done. He says none of his friends have any idea and it was kept so secretive since he was so ashamed any time he met these women. So for me it is odd since I have never witnessed any of these behaviors. We have discussed when he is out and different boundaries.

      Through all of this it has also made me more selective with how I spend my time and with whom I spend it. My friends share the same morals and life goals as I do but I have tightened my inner circle. I have no desire or time for people that do not live a similar life.

    • gizfield

      I like the article. Many women, single and married are predatory slimes, who go after married men. Or at least don’t shy away from them.

      That being said, I don’t plan to compete in any way, with any of them. I think the best way to deal with this is to let your husband know you will not tolerate any crap with any woman and if it happens you are done with him.

      The article says 30% of people don’t cheat, no matter what and that is the person I’m looking for, personally. Some Granny Whore is sitting on your man’s lap, it’s his job to knock her off of there, not mine. If that’s what he wants, he’s welcome to it.

    • TryingHard

      I liked the article. I think everyone should take care of themselves for themselves. Not to ensure your husband won’t cheat. LOL I read a funny article that said that women who carry expensive purses can ward off spouse poachers. The reason being that the poachers see the expensive bag and assume that the husband MUST be very unavailable to her given he buys her expensive bags. I guess the idiots can’t believe a woman can buy her own stuff.

      I say whatever it takes. I sure wish I’d have listened to my red flags at the time.

      The OW in my life was a cross between The Sociopath and The Rabid Opportunist. Both 9’s YIKES!!! But I beat her down and sent that slimy cockroach running. Stupid bitch.

      Thing is we can puff our chests up and stake our territory all we like. It is up to our husbands to put the vibe off that he is unavailable AND they all know how to do that, sometimes they choose not to. They like the attention at work. They like the hero worship and stupid fucking brownies they bring in. They’re a “team”, a “family” and well when the wife comes in or calls she’s the same as a pesky fly intruding on their territory. The men have to be cold and beyond reproach. Any kind of friendliness is perceived as an open door. It happens all the time.

      I know a man who is an Orthopedic surgeon. He was an asshole to everyone. He even became chief of staff at the local hospital. Everyone hated him. Nurses, staff, patients, social circles, service people, he was an equal opportunity asshole to everyone. He was a god, well he thought he was. He fixed people. He was nice looking, but such an asshole I never found him attractive. Whatever. Anyway, he had the sweetest wife, smart, accomplished, educated, beautiful, beautiful children, they had a beautiful home, nice cars, you name it the epitome of success. Big fish in a small pond. And like I said the whole staff ran when they saw him at work. His nurses cried constantly and quit their jobs if they had to work with him. Would literally throw insrtuments at them in the OR. Well low and behold along comes Nurse Ratchett. She’s as big an asshole as him. Now given that everyone freaking hated him you would think his wife would feel pretty safe knowing her husband was the hospital monster and that everyone hated him and that NO woman in her right mind would touch the miserable bastard with a ten foot pole!! NOPE, Nurse Ratchett edged her way into his life and his bed. He divorced the nice wife and married Nurse Ratchett and now they are Happily Dr. and Mrs Asshole. Personally I think his ex wife came out on the better end of the deal. She married a really nice guy and she is having her best revenge by living her life happily and well.

      I actually had the honor of dealing with Mrs. Dr. Asshole one day when she called our business needing something. She talked to me in such a way I told her I was hanging up and she was to go find what she was looking for else where and that we would NOT be helping her. Buh bye bitch!

      While it is good to know these types of women and how to deal with them. Most BS’s, poor souls, don’t even know what hit’s them until it’s too late. But of boy do we get smart then!!!! We learn how to shut that fucking barn door so tight that bull will never get out! IMO– The bigger trick is figuring out why we want people who let these type of women get their attention. LOL my poor husband is so paranoid he doesn’t even make eye contact with waitresses or service people anymore! Like cockroaches these women have been around since the beginning of time. They were called Jezebels in the Bible. They will, like cockroaches be around until the end of time even if there is a nuclear holocaust, these bitches will survive.

      • TheFirstWife

        TH. A few observations on your post.

        It may be that if a woman is carrying a nice handbag it attracts the slimy OW b/c they see what nice things the wife has and she (the OW) wants it for herself.

        Second it could be the very nice wife if the nasty doctor had no idea her H was so hated. He may have been completely different at home &/or outside of work.

        Also it could be that the nice wife was completely victimized but her doctor husband. Hope that is not the case but you never know. Maybe she is glad to be rid of him.

        I shake my head often. There is no way of knowing what your spouse does when you are not there. sad we have to think that way.

        • TryingHard

          LOL TFW–I wasn’t supporting the theory, I was reporting on the story. Don’t kill the messenger 🙂 I have no idea about the authors research. I thought it was a funny observation on the writers part.

          Personally I would use the nice hand bag to beat the crap out of the OW rather than impress her with it!!!

          Yes, Dr Asshole’s wife DID in fact know that everyone hated her husband and that he was an asshole with everyone he came into contact. She had NO power over it. I know the nice ex wife. She is glad to be rid of him although she wasn’t at the time. She had small children. As it turned out the kids are fine and grown and in college. Don’t have much to do with asshole daddy.

          To each their own choice I guess

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TH,
        I was laughing out loud over some of those images like the bull in the barn and the cockroaches surviving a nuclear holocaust.

        I was laughing over Dr. and Mrs. Asshole too.
        I can just picture those two together and I would imagine that they have the absolutely no friends. I am glad you hung up on her.

        Who did the betrayed wife marry and what is his profession ?

        I can also relate to your comment about coworkers believing that they are family and when a spouse walks everyone acts like the spouse doesn’t belong. Where my husband works everyone says they are all family and it’s a very unprofessional environment.

        • TryingHard

          Sarah–ARRRGGGHH I literally gnash my teeth when my employees refer to our business as “family”. OH.HELL.NO. you are most definitely are NOT my family. Not even close. You are my employee. You work, I write you a check, you go home, you come back the next day, rinse and repeat.

          I’ve NEVER considered any of my co-workers friends let alone family. And yet I work and play well with others, LOL well to a certain extent.

          I mean who are these losers??? Really you have no life so you are so desperate that you consider the people you are forced to be with day after day a friend and family?? Ulk, NO, get a life.

          I don’t know what the new husband does. I know they travel a lot and she is very happy.

          Yes that bull is in his barn and I have a very nice little noose around those bull testicles if he decides to buck too much. KIDDING–he knows where the door is.

    • theresa

      I think timing has a big role here. If you are lucky enough to have all the tools to recognize speedbumps, and how to determine what my next step should be, BEFORE it gets a chance to germinate, I envy you.
      This is where the timing is essential. So, you are aware of a threat. and communicate these observations.to your partner. You ASSUME he will also recognize the threat .Together, you determine your course of action.
      And together you follow the yellow brick road.
      He is receptive to your concerns. He is self-aware. He has not put on his rose colored glasses

      But you have not been lucky.
      All the same rules still apply. But in trying to communicate your concerns, he is no longer self-aware. He is not receptive to your concerns. He is down right dismissive of your legitimate concerns.
      His glasses are on and you have taken a detour from the yellow brick road.
      And, HE chose to a completely different path. So, poacher or not the same rules apply

      • Sarah P.

        Theresa,
        I see where you are coming from. No one can stop a cheater from cheating. But affairs are 50/50 propositions and there is a tango when the two get together. Or no tango if they do not get together.

        There are spouse poachers who make it there job to break up marriages. They know what to say, they know what to do, they know how to come in through the back door while no one is watching.

        If someone was fighting an actual war, they would assume that they are facing the enemy soldiers and everything is up front. They are fighting face to face. Then, the opposing country sends in assassins to tip toe behind the soldiers and silently slit their throats. That is what the spouse poacher does. And husbands are like the soldiers out fighting a war and they never realized they have been harmed until it’s too late. It’s a very sneaky, deliberate approach with one goal: to kill a marriage.

        I don’t think men do much to chase off spouse poachers. I have never met a heterosexual man who shuns attention from the opposite sex. I have never met a man who won’t respond to the woman with a giant, bright smile, a soft voice, and words that make him feel like he is walking on air. That’s like emotional crack for men and they cannot get enough. This is how poachers operate. They take advantage of men’s weak points and know how to do it.

        My view is that wives have to have keen radar for these women. Wives need to take action before it is too late.

        Is it fair? Heck NO!

        Life is not always tidy and perfect as we all know. Even with being aware of spouse poachers, men do what they want. Period.

        But, as a wife it is better to have an awareness and to do what you can do to send some of them packing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But don’t give up trying!

    • TryingHard

      Theresa–what I like about the article is that Sarah has no problem putting responsibility on the role the mistress plays. Many infidelity websites don’t address this. Most are loath to even acknowledge any responsibility that the OW owns.

      We all agree that our husband is 100% responsible for his betrayal in the marriage. We all know the OW doesn’t have a magical vagina nor did she hold a gun to his head. He had choices. He effed up BIG TIME. But to not recognize the AP and their motives and nefarious role they played in your life is foolish to ignore. I think Sarah did a brilliant job exposing these women for who they are.

      And as I’ve said a million times. The bigger question should be to ourselves. Why the hell do WE the good ones, the forthright ones want these fools if they can be so easily influenced and persuaded by such creepy people?? Maybe because they are creeps too?!

      • TheFirstWife

        TH. I ask myself the same question every day. Never thought I would be married to a cheating spouse and I never thought I would stay.

        Why do we do it? The million dollar question.

        I doubt we will ever have an answer.

        • Strengthrequired

          Th, tfw, well our rose coloured glasses have been removed, when it comes to our ch’s. Yet here we are still staying. What does that say about us, not our ch?
          Maybe we are just a glutton for punishment.

          • Strengthrequired

            Or maybe we still see the good in our ch’s. That’s why we stay, people make mistakes, some more larger mistakes than others, and we stay because we know that we would want forgiveness too if we did the wrong thing. Maybe it’s just because we love them. Lol

      • Sarah P.

        Hi TryingHard and Theresa,
        As you know, I am an equal opportunity placer of blame. I think you are too.
        🙂

        I will NEVER defend the other woman just because she and I are both women. She killed the notion of sisterhood and the breach was so egregious, these women can’t rely on me to stand up for them. Period.

        I will always call them out specifically for their breach to the sisterhood. There cannot be a one-way sisterhood. Until women stop taking each other down through husband stealing, the sisterhood cannot be extended. I don’t think the French women ever believed in the sisterhood or ever will. They know the truth.

        On the other hand, good women who are moral and who have been cheated on are still part of my personal sisterhood at least. I stand up for women who have been victimized by the actions of other women/husband stealing and I call out those women who victimize. (I am specifically referring to spouse poachers and most mistresses and not anything or anyone else.)

        When you think about it, try to put yourself in the mind of someone who is capable of targeting a married man with children and then methodically trying to destroy his wife and family. If you are like me and try to think about it, you will have too many moral hurdles and way too much empathy to go very far with the thought. For me, I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about harming another woman’s marriage and family. The thought makes me ill.

        I couldn’t ever do such a thing. It’s not possible for me.

        So, when you think about how low a person would have to sink to plan such a thing, we are looking at sociopathic tendencies. (In my opinion.) Sociopaths do not have the ability to have empathy. Sociopaths get a kick out of victimizing people. After victimizing people, they can actually sleep at night.

        Knowing all this, I choose to have no empathy for someone who destroys families. I choose to call those women out for their part in the harm. Yes, the husbands had a part, but they did too. That’s basically what the article is about. (Or one of the things at least.)

    • TryingHard

      TFW– well until we can answer those questions about our own motives seems like a moot point to question our cheating husbands motives. JMHO

      • Sarah P.

        I am going to put something out there.

        When a woman gets married, she is deeply in love. When she gets married, she intends to be with her husband for the rest of her life. Then, she has a family, she has lots of experiences, they gather assets, they are a team. They are together for so long it seems like it could never be any other way. They are counting on ’till death do us part.’

        Then, an affair destroys everything we thought we had.

        But, it doesn’t make love go away, it doesn’t make children or family ties go away, it doesn’t make the dream of ’til death do us part go away.’ No, these things are far too engrained in us and giving up a marriage would feel like giving up half of ourselves.

        I believe this is why women stay, even when men are chumps, even when men stray, women find wholeness in marriage. To give up the marriage would be like amputating one of your most beloved limbs.

        I think that’s why women stay and women are only human. I would never blame a woman for staying.

    • TryingHard

      SE– and I agree. No doubt there’s love. Him for you and you for him. What I don’t agree with is mistakes. No not mistakes CHOICEStgey CHOISE over and over and over again to lie, deceive, fool, gaslight. Choices in which we had no vote. Choice that affected us, our families and our ginancial well being. We believed we were contributing to the good of our family unit. And we were. But we’re were attached to a partner that wasn’t. OBVIOUSLY. and yet given the evidence we choose to stay attached to someone who really threw us under the bus.

      Sorry these more to relationships than mere love. There’s responsibility, respect, honor, integrity, honesty, character, commitment, all of the things we honored and did. So yes, love is great but it don’t pay the bills or add to your retirement.

      Everyone deserves a second or even third chance? Maybe, it’s your choice. Just don’t let the person you gave that second, third or fourth chance another reason to take advantage of you again.

      Frankly I believe mistakes is when you use salt instead of sugar, you fill your vehicle with diesel instead of gas. Infidelity is a choice. And people need to own their choices and make better choices in the future. That’s how you heal from infidelity.

      I’m sorry but I’m too damn old to give people passes for “mistakes”. People in my life need to own their choices and make amends or bye bye. Life’s either too short or too long for anything else.

      I hold myself accountable just as accountable for my choices. My choice to allow the snake back in the garden. Many people think I’m nuts for doing so. Lol even the snake. But here I am.

      • Sarah P.

        Great point about mistakes versus choices. So right!!

    • TryingHard

      Sarah– I don’t “blame” women for staying. Trust me I have a myriad of reasons for staying. None of which involve my ego.

      We’re it my ego yes I’d have tossed him to the curb. I then I eould have traded one set of problems for another. Yes I’m in the camp better the devil I know… I will NOT bite my nose to spite my face. Many people do. Good luck with that. As I’m sure those who choose the opposite say to me. But I would bite my nose if he continued the bullshit and cheating. I’d live in a ducking trailer and work at Waffle House before I continue to live with some irresponsible asshole who continued to lie and cheat. I do think people can change. I have faith they can. But they have to want to. Nothing anyone else can do can force it. It’s up to them.

      Yore preaching to the choir. We are experienced we’ve been burned by these OW poachers. We know. I feel for the newbies in this crap club. I’m suspicious of all women who come in contact with me and my husband. I’ve fired employed because I’ve seen their intentions toward my husband. I feel bad for wives who can’t fire employees. I read an article about body language that is off putting. I considered posting the link here. Our husbands are the ones responsible for using their body language to fissyade would be poachers not us or our brownie making abilities. Anything less is a waste of time. Gecause really don’t all of us have bigger fish to fry??? Do we really HAVE to be the freaking guardians of our husbands? Aren’t they astute enough to know nefarious intentions when they see it? Sadly NO. They are sad humans susceptible to the winds of female wiles it sucks. Fuck them and fuck those who capitalize on the ignorance of our husbands if they are so weak and stupid to succumb.

    • Sarah P.

      TH,
      Wanted to back up. When I say I would never blame a wife for staying I was speaking about the concept of how strangers who have never gone through what a woman has gone through can often blame her for not leaving. Many times, they have the best of intentions when they ask a woman to leave her husband or get angry when a woman doesn’t leave her husband. When I was much younger, I was one of the women who told other women that they needed to leave the man if he cheated. I was guilty of being a hard-liner and not taking the bigger picture into account. Until about six months ago, I was pretty certain that if I found out my husband had cheated, I would offer him the door and declare him a sworn enemy immediately. But, I have been writing for this site for so long and thinking about this topic for so long that I don’t think I would do that any longer. Of course it would depend on how bad the choice and behavior was. I think in the beginning, I would show him the door and tell him that since he feels so little for our relationship, he is free to go. But, that would simply be the tactic that Dr. James Dobson provides. It would serve as a wake-up call and is a way to break the fog. I would assume he would come back and that’s when I would figure out whether the marriage was salvageable or not. Before 6 months ago, I would have kicked him out. The end. Now I no longer feel that way. So I understand now why women stay even after the 5th and 6th DDay. It’s not because they are doormats, they want to preserve their families and have hope for change. It’s all too human. Nothing is cut and dry. So that has been my general shift of consciousness. ?
      Back on topic, I understand why you are vigilant around employees and I would fire women too if I were in your shoes. There are quite a few women out there who probably walked into your company that you have built over a period of years and look around and start planning on getting it all for them. I have seen it many times, both within the context of my husband’s work and my work in the corporate world. Now, when I was younger, I did not believe spouse poachers existed. This was something I learned existed by having many repeated experiences watching it. Then my ex was successfully poached and people who witnessed the seduction said that she was brutally cold blooded and found it fun that she would be taking away another man and winning some kind of sick game she was playing. Honestly, I was blindsided because we have a really great relationship on every level. I have not experienced that kind of compatibility before or after my ex. It’s a very different relationship with my husband and probably has more emotional stability. My ex and I had maintained a level of utter craziness for each for 4 years. It never waned and then one day he just broke up close to when we were supposed to get married. No warning. No signs. It was so traumatic I had to move in with my parents. I couldn’t be alone. Then I was filled in on the planner behind the scenes. She locked onto her target and refused to let up. Honestly, I am pretty sure that he was out of her league in many ways and this was the best shot she had. After I figured it all out and he tried to weasel his way back at some point, it was no longer worth it. By that time I was dating my would-be husband. He and I eloped a year after we met. I remember my husband called me right after we got married that a couple of the women at work were angry at him because he did not consult them first on his eloping. These women were not his friends but would be poachers. I remember being very offended. Of course, all of his male colleagues gave him high 5’s and treated him like the man of the hour. It still stuns me that some women act this way.

    • Strengthrequired

      Th, when I was righting mistakes, I was thinking, this is not the right word, lol. Of course it isn’t, I totally agree, because they really just aren’t mistakes when you hurt someone over and over. It is definately a choice, a shitty choice.

      Sarah, you hit the nail on the head, we want to preserve our families. That is exactly right. I wanted to keep my family together before dday, after several ddays, and even now.

    • theresa

      One of the hardest things for me to admit was how wrong I was about myself. I recognized that I had a whole lot of work to do on myself, unrelated to the affairs. This has been an enormously humbling experience. I have learned a number of lessons the hard way, but I HAVE learned.
      i would read the experiences of other BS. I would sit here and judge, I had the conversation in my head and I would be saying to myself “is she crazy?”
      “what the fuck is she thinking”
      “is she oblivious”
      “I would never allow that, I would never accept
      that bull-shit”

      If I read MY story way back then, I would have made the same comments, passed the same judgments.
      I was wrong.
      I no longer sit in righteous indignation. I shoot out a prayer asking God to give this person strength.
      i do not hold the poacher blameless. This is someone to be pittied. Vilifying this person is wasted effort. We’ve heard from a few AP’s (I was thankful to hear their perspective). I don’t think any of them were sociopaths. it was more that they didn’t give a shit about the cheater’s “other life”. Did they go in with the goal to deliberately destroy, or just take what she could get?
      i like to play devil’s advocate.
      A few questions:. Are you in a competition with the AP?
      What can you do to make your cheater aware?
      Does the cheater need to be “protected” from her feminine wiles?
      Have you had any success in trying to make your cheater really “see” this
      other person? Has he tried to protect her from you?
      What has he said about you? Does he protect you from her?
      Do you like this version of your husband?
      Do you like this version of yourself?
      Have you been “modifying” your bottom line?

      I acknowledge the existence of the species of the poacher/predator, and the danger that lurks out there. TODAY, I will not minimize my husband’s culpability by trying to spread the blame. He was not hypnotized, drugged, bound, gagged, blackmailed.
      My husband was not poached. He made a choice. There has been more than one D-day and I have stayed. Would I have a different opinion if he had been poached? Would I have allowed for mitigating circumstances if he had succumbed to a temptress?? I don’t know. It would still have been his choice.
      TODAY I am less dogmatic, less judgmental, more forgiving of myself.
      I pray to God that I’ll never know.

    • TryingHard

      SR–that is right. You wanted to keep your family together. You put your families needs ahead of your ego. We stay for bigger things rather than just because we love them because we also live our children and we know they need their father so we fight and try. Somehow, at least for me, when reconciling is put in this context we have something substantial to fight for and makes our fight that much more worthy.

      The infidelity didn’t just affect us, it affected the whole family unit or business. It’s worth the fight but the BS has to have something to work with and when you do we have to put our own egos aside. It hurts like hell but when you keep a greater good in perspective and take the personal out of it makes the fight palatable.

      Let me be very clear. I am in NO way criticizing BS for staying and fighting like hell for what is theirs.

    • TDP

      Sarah P, I have to admit this articles is a bit overwhelming for me. I will start by saying I was able to pick out my Ch’s poachers type and wonder how it is possible for other women to, for lack of a better word, police their husband’s interactions with other women. I work a full time job, have two kids who play sports, and have a spouse who works 1 hour from where I work. I can’t possibly know what he is doing at all times. And to be quite honest having to worry about him at all times would stress me more then I already am. At what point do we hope that our spouses can be trustworthy. Now that being said, I’m now 3 years out from te first DD, yes first. When I found what I thought was the first ounce of cheating I let the poacher know I was onto her. But, that made her even more aggressive, and that’s when the nude photos began, her extra visits to his work, constant emails to his work account and invites to her house. I confronted him and her, but that did not stop anyone from lying or cheating. I guess after going through this more then once now, although not all were poachers, I wonder even if I were more vigilant then I was, would he still have caved, as now there is a pattern and no matter what it may have happened anyways.
      I give you soo much credit for being your spouse lionest, but at what point do you worry that being assertive looks like obsessive? I can’t constantly be my spouse’s keeper, I just don’t have the time or ability, and maybe that’s what’s made it easy for him, who knows. I unfortunately think for me this article has left me feeling that unless I keep an eye on my spouse and who he comes in contact with 24/7 I will not be able to keep him from being poached. I think for him and many men who cheat, it doesn’t matter how hard we fight, they will still do it, because in the end their morals really are as flawed as their poachers. No amount of assertion is going to change that.

      • TheFirstWife

        I agree 100%. My H’s first EA I was up front and center from THE FIRST MOMENT I MET HER!

        Didn’t stop the 4 year EA. in his mind no sex = no cheating.

        The second one I cannot blame the OW as HE STARTED IT AND MADE IT HAPPEN! She went along but I saw the emails where he invited to drinks to discuss work.

        Sooooo on that note I know there is no way I can monitor him or poachers or any of it. If they are going to cheat the person is going to cheat. They will make it happen (as we have all seen from our spouses). Lying, deception, sneaking around – whatever it takes.

        I have to be honest I just laugh when they breakdown and start crying. Umm hello??!! You caused this mess and thought it was a great idea because YOU DID NOT THINK YOU WOULD GET CAUGHT!!!

        The sad thing was I always told my H that if you ever get tired of me or find someone else please do not cheat. Man up. Be honest. I will be upset but at least I will still respect you.

        He always said he would Never cheat.

        All the years he traveled on business internationally and all over the country I never once suspected anything. Now I wonder how many one night stands he had all those years. I have no proof and I know he will not admit it, but the fact is he is not the person I married or the person I thought he was.

        He has ruined that by cheating. To the world he is a nice guy and great family man and church going person. If they only knew.

        Yes he is trying so hard to make amends. but it should never have happened in the first place. And in my heart I believe I could do very little to prevent it again.

        And having been around the block he would know how to do it and not get caught. In my opinion the monogamy of our marriage lies 100% on him.

        • MyHusbandDoesn'tCry

          Maybe you should introduce the world to your husband! Why, after all, should a stud like that live in the shadows? Don’t be so selfish; maybe some other women would like to know that he’s available! This Sunday, you should help him on with the jacket he’s wearing to church – – on the back of which should be written, in chalk, in BIG, bold letters, “I FUCK OTHER WOMEN”. (My husband doesn’t cry; I’m on my own for comic relief).

    • TryingHard

      There’s a wonderful site called Truth Code. I found it on FB but you can subscribe (it’s free) and there are some wonderful writings. I’ve copied and article and I hope it shows up. The title is Some Relationships are Worth Fighting For, But Some Aren’t. If the copy doesn’t show up you can Google it. It’s a short but a pertinent read especially after infidelity.

      “Fact is, relationships are complicated and making the decision whether to stay or to leave is one of the most difficult choices we’re asked to make. The important thing to understand is that there are many different kinds of love and not all of them contribute to a healthy, balanced relationship and life. Despite what we’ve all been told, there are certain kinds of love not worth fighting for.

      Yes, love is patient and love is kind, but occasionally it is controlling and cruel. Sometimes it can be fickle and capricious, always coming and going without delivering a thing you can depend on or be sure of. The concept that the only “real” kind of love is steady, simple and passionate is a misconception at best and damaging at worst — if you choose to believe that anything less than perfect isn’t love, you’re certainly going to live a hollow and lonely life. Instead, learn how to recognize the downfalls and difficulties in your relationship and differentiate between those you can fix, those you can’t, and those you are willing to put up with. Only then can you make an enlightened decision on what is best for you.

      Remember, regardless of how unhappy the relationship makes you feel, your fear of letting go is valid and nothing to be ashamed of. Because no matter how badly you are being treated, it still hurts like hell to leave. No matter how monotonous and uninspiring the relationship, it will still feel impossible to replace. You will still miss them long after you’re gone, regardless of the circumstances of your departure.

      But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to hold on, that it’s worth all the sacrifice, that it’s worth a life. When heart and loyalty have given way to jealousy and mistrust. When passion is replaced with predictability and routine. When love becomes more about hanging on than making each other happy, it’s time to let go and move on.”

      AUTHOR – BEAU TAPLIN
      Credits – ThoughtCatalog.com

    • Hopeful

      Sarah,

      Your post above about what type of person can do these things and what must go through their head is exactly what I think about a lot. I am sure my husband was not thinking a lot but at some level what type of person can dismiss that he is married and has kids. That he is cheating on his pregnant wife at home. What kind of person can lie to their wife when directly asked about other women. Beyond the details I guess at the center of all of this is who are you and what type of person are you. I understand second chances and I suppose people can change but I wonder. Is it really possible. For my husband nothing was a mistake or one time. He carried on two 10 year affairs, online relationships etc. And these women I agree too they played a major roll and were part of this. I cannot comprehend what they are like. It is foreign to me. I agree with you it makes me almost physically ill to even think of how this could happen, it just never would for me. Even if I was single. It is so against the fiber of who I am. So are we compatible really? Am I just here since we have kids together? Am I hear for the history? The memories are ruined so it is not for that.

      I agree I am not able to watch over and police my husband. It is up to him. Unless I am with him at all times I cannot live my life that way and of course that is not possible. I know he wants to live his life that way but can he is the million dollar question??

      • TheFirstWife

        Hopeful. I think your name sums it up for so many of us. We are all hopeful our cheating spouses have turned the corner and will no longer resort to such behavior and choices.

        I think my metric is what do I see? Forget the words but I judge by actions.

        I don’t see the same person I saw three years ago. My H is very remorseful and trying to make amends for his past. Based on that and the changes he has made we are in a good place in our lives.

        And now I see his 100% effort – in the past he was not willing to face a lot of things and I just wasn’t willing to accept that.

        I still wonder what ever possessed him to cheat but I see where his mid life crisis took hold of him. But at the end of the day he has to live with that

        • Hopeful

          So true. And sometimes I wonder if I am ungrateful. My husband has transformed himself. My therapist says he has never seen someone change this dramatically. I guess from where he was and pretty quickly. I have told my husband I am glad he did not just give up or never tell me and walk away. He could have done all of those things and I know it took everything in him to be honest with me. And I know he was in a really bad place to do what he did. No person can do what he did and feel good about themselves.

          I do see a different person now. His actions and words are a world apart from where they were. I am thankful but I am not sure if I am thankful enough. My therapist has told me some guarded feelings around this is normal and healthy. So I need to listen to that. He said it is good I am protecting myself since for so long I did not. I guess in some way I feel like it is hard to believe how good things are between us. It is hard to trust that it is okay since I thought it was before. I keep saying give it time. The best change is my husband is not defensive anymore and really listens to me. i am no longer afraid to bring something up or ask him a question. I do more than ever now. I just will not sit and worry about something about him or us. I can see why he did that now for all those years since he had to lie to me if I did ask him questions. It is all good.

    • theresa

      I used to love driving a carful of kids to or from whatever. They forget sometimes that you are there. 95% of the time it was enlightening, revealing, carefree, FUN. One of my favorites was a son doing a dead-on impersonation of my friend, his mom. I’ve got a million of them.
      The other 5% wasn’t fun. I would hear the sadness in a child’s voice, the relief in that voice to be able to tell someone. I felt the empathy from their friends, the wordless support. The majority of the time there was problems at home. The holidays were not joyful for some of them. They had to make choices, and that choice would invariably hurt someone.
      Our family loved Thanksgiving. Everyone. The wires were sizzling with joyful anticipation. Saying grace was for everyone. From the oldest (me) to the youngest, we had to say what we were thankful for. Family was first for all, The meal was loud, food piled high, and joy on every face. Plans for next year started with the midnight raids on the frig.
      This was the main reason I stayed. This was my choice, and (most of the time) it was the right one for me and mine.
      And, I just never stopped loving him

    • antiskank

      Wow, so many great ideas! You would think that with so many great minds getting together, we could figure this out and all live happily ever after, but life is just not that easy, is it? It provides so much food for thought!
      I am not, nor have I ever been prepared to police or guard my CH from the predatory poachers. I have always kept myself in excellent shape, frequently get compliments from others about my appearance, put everything I could into my marriage, gave him everything he could ever want or ask for, progressed quickly in my job as I do it very well, baked brownies, cakes, pies, cookies, cheesecakes, etc for his coworkers. He still made the choice to cheat, and yes it was a choice! He has character flaws that I just can’t fix and if he wants to cheat, it won’t matter how often I show up at his workplace, he will cheat. I can’t be around him 24/7 to shoo away the skanks. That is his job! People are often given the opportunity to get involved in a flirty exchange or start of a “friendship”. If I can make the choice to abstain, I expect him to do the same!
      Do I think his skank needs to be held responsible for her part in destroying my life? Hell, yeah! I think she is the lowest form of life that walks the earth. But if I were to interact with her, I would be civil and polite as I am with everyone. I would say whatever needed to be said but will not stoop to her level. She is scum but she did not make vows to me, did not continually lie to me after witnessing my devastation. I despise everything about her but cannot waste my time resenting or hating her.
      I often wonder if the only reason I am staying with my CH is due to financial reasons and possibly the desire to keep the family together (even though my “kids” are adults!) Over the past couple of years, my son was lied to and betrayed in a big way by his now estranged wife. She has continued to make things as ugly as possible, making life very difficult for all of us as well as their two young children, even going so far as to have my son badly beaten by her very large thug of a boyfriend, leaving him in need of surgeries. My son has needed an immense amount of support, both emotionally and financially. We have had to mortgage our home, co-sign his mortgage, care for his children a few days per week, and provide him with thousands of dollars just to keep his head slightly above water. The emotional toll of seeing your child devastated and the family torn apart has not been easy either. It is difficult to deal with your own issues when helping someone else to survive theirs.
      I have been thinking a lot about my whole situation a lot lately, mostly due to my lack of satisfaction with my life. I feel that I am losing my love and any remaining respect that I had for my CH. He is certainly not the person I thought he was. I am quite disillusioned! It is 4+ long years since D Day 1 and will be our 42nd anniversary next week. It really holds little meaning for me now except as a major trigger. The thoughts of what once was, what could have been, what a waste my whole life has been – are difficult at that time.
      My H flat out does not talk to me about anything meaningful. His repertoire includes talk of the weather, work, the kids, grandkids, pets, farm issues. We do not discuss our relationship, our feelings, our marriage, the affair or even our financial situation or possible retirement. If I try to talk about feelings or our relationship, he promptly changes the subject or finds a way to retreat. I get nothing back. He insists he wants to stay together but I don’t see any effort on his part. All he can manage to say is that “it might get better”. He continues to view porn. We have had no sex in over a year. He was kicked out of our bedroom for a few months but I allowed him back to sleep there mostly because I didn’t want to upset our grandkids. I have suggested we divorce or separate legally even though we would have to stay in the same house at least for now. He shakes his head but doesn’t offer anything! I can’t live the rest of my life this way but feel very stuck. I think I am just a convenient cook/cleaner. Any suggestions?

    • TryingHard

      AntiSkank–Yes I do have a suggestion. I suggest you start keeping a written journal every day. Write down all the ways you reach out to your H. All the conversations you try to start with him and he shuts you down, journal it. Give yourself a time frame, ie one year, six months whatever you think you need, then go back after that time and re-read what you have written and make your decision.

      Also, take the initiative with sex. Seriously one year without human touch is NOT healthy!!! It just isn’t. We may be old be we are NOT dead!! We still need and deserve sex. So take the initiative but go slowly. It’s amazing how once you start connecting physically with your h how quickly they want to open up. You may be inspired at first but as you progress you may be surprised at the results, not to mention the spring in your step 🙂

      The whole porn issue. Journal that as well. Journal how often he looks at it. Yuk, that’s just gross of him and selfish.

      Just a few suggestions but I believe if you start journaling and then go back and re-read it will put all your thoughts and ideas into perspective.

      • Sarah P.

        TH,
        That is excellent practical advice that anti-skank can do now. It doesn’t go into the psychology of why’s but gives actionable and immediate steps. The psychology of why is not as much important in her situation because they are so far into their marriage, but taking actionable steps is the best thing she can do. Awesome plan.

    • antiskank

      Thanks TH! Not at all what I would have expected anybody to suggest!!

      I used to keep a journal but found that it made me sad and triggered unhappy thoughts in me. I am going to give it another shot!

      I agree that to be so long without sex is not good or fun either!! It is a tough thing to get back to though. We were having absolute great sex even after the affair despite all the horrible hateful things he said to me. It is tough to put yourself out there when someone has criticized everything about you – physically, and in every way possible but I soldiered on and did it anyway! It did not help him to open up at all in any honest way. When he told me almost 3 years after D Day that he still wanted the skank, still fantasized about her and felt nothing for me, it became even more difficult. He decided almost immediately that he wanted to be with me still but that was a major turning point for me. Slowly the sex stopped completely.

      Now I don’t know that I can or even want to initiate things with someone who shows me no effort to improve or shows no interest in me personally. Sure he wants sex but I almost feel like I’m just a convenient masturbation tool. I will definitely give this some more thought. i could be totally out in left field! …and yes the porn is a problem to me. He promised early on after D-Day that he would stop. He never did and promised several times with no change. After also being compared to the plastic porn “cuties” and their activities, I feel a little betrayed by that as well.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Anti-skank,
        I think porn ruins more marriages than we can ever imagine. I am not a fan of porn but not because I am a prude. The porn issue has been around long enough that we have so much data to demonstrate it is destructive to marriages, it is a huge addiction that re-wires the brain, and it is a self esteem killer for women. It also sets incredibly false expectations for men. No one can live up to a plastic 20-year-old who does things many wives wouldn’t feel comfortable doing. Plus, it destroys intimacy. That in turn can send marriages over the edge.

        On the topic of physical intimacy, you have a right to touch in and out of bed. Plain and simple, I don’t think I could survive for a year without physical intimacy. The reason for that is because it’s a rejection. I would not cheat but I would question whether or not I needed to be married any longer.

        I am realizing that there are more women than anyone would think who are in sexless marriages. I honestly think porn plays a huge role. I don’t think anyone should have to stay in a sexless marriage unless it’s ok with them. But, barring medical reasons, I would personally think hard about leaving. If I wanted a roommate, I never would have gotten married. I may feel differently in the future, but this is how I feel now. I believe that no matter how old the person is, they need touch. Due to medical reasons, sex may not be possible in some cases, but, people can still snuggle, tell each other how much they mean to one another, hold hands etc. In the end, you have to figure out if you are getting more out of the relationship, than you are losing. You deserve to be cherished.

      • TheFirstWife

        AntiSkank

        I have read a number of things written over the years. I wonder how many of us would survive in the same situation as you. I think we would all feel exactly what you are feeling which is hopelessness and despair.

        It is possible that your husband does not answer questions not because of anything other than fear. I am not trying to excuse his behavior but I did go through the same thing with my husband. When he had his four year emotional affair I would confront him numerous times and ask him what was going on. Literally he would answer with as few words as possible, deny it was anything, gaslight me and then completely Stonewall.

        I wonder if your husband is in such a bad place that he cannot even help himself. Not trying to excuse his behavior or choices, but it could very well be that he is so far deep in the black hole he cannot do anything to help himself. Unfortunately making suggestions, while well intentioned, does not help him either.

        It must be demoralizing to feel you are the one holding the family together without getting support from your partner. is it possible that he is depressed or in such a bad place he just cannot face his past?

        I can tell you that my husband only recently started going to therapy on his own. There was a family situation where he saw the behavior I have been frustrated with for so many years. It was like looking in a mirror and he did not like what he saw.

        That eye-opening experience has been a huge catalyst in our marriage. luckily it has been for the better of our relationship.

        The last three years has shown steady improvement but it always felt like it was two steps forward and three steps back on a regular basis. Now it feels as though we just continue to move forward.

        He even suggested we go to couples counseling recently. While he still continues to see his own therapist, I believe we have gotten to a place where I no longer have to worry on a regular basis about our marriage.

        It is unfortunate that so many men believe they don’t need counseling when in fact the opposite is true. I just wish some men could just face their issues head on and realize there is hope and there is the possibility of being able to correct past mistakes while still being married.

        I feel sorry that you just have so little support and effort while you have given your husband 300% and more. He should be thanking his lucky stars he has someone so devoted and committed to his family.

        It is unfortunate he just cannot see there is an opportunity to do better and how happy you would be if he just made some small effort.

        I wish you all the best with your family and hope that you feel rewarded in so many other areas of your life without letting this ugly mess drag you down. Please know you deserve better than this.

      • Sad

        Honey – – aren’t there any other lonely farmers out where you live?

    • TryingHard

      AntiSkan–Ahh, yeah. That would def put the wet blanket on any kind of sexual initiation from me too. That’s too bad.

      But I stand by my original suggestion. Put a plan of action into place for yourself, not him. Start writing and even if it makes you sad write that down too. Just because you are stuffing that sadness down doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m not suggesting if at the end of your time period that you divorce, maybe you create a “different” living arrangement.

      Seriously it sounds like you are living in some kind of ambiguous marital purgatory. Don’t forget that indecision is a decision. But I doubt by living that way life can be very fulfilling for you.

      Good Luck to you AntiSkank. I hope your h gets a computer virus from the porn he’s watching!!!

    • Sarah P.

      Here is a guys opinion on porn:

      http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/4-things-that-are-hurting-your-wife-and-killing-your-marriage/

      He makes good points. The good points are about how it can destroy marriages.

    • TheFirstWife

      Good article on marriage killers especially the porn part of it.

      What I find funny is how soooo many guys we meet are just pigs. They only want one thing from you by heir attitude is put out & shut up.

      Now when they have daughters – well all of sudden there isn’t enough Armour and Guns to protect their precious little darling. They don’t want their daughter to date the kind of guy they once were. Hahaha

      So I don’t get the whole porn thing but I find it interesting that most guys never once thought those women or girls were someone’s sister or daughter or cousin, etc.

      How sad. They wouldn’t want their daughter in that profession but don’t hesitate to participate in it.

    • Hopeful

      Antiskank, I am so sorry. I can relate to so much of what you say. I have always taken great care of myself and family. At the height of my husbands affairs I was in the best shape and still continue to be of my life. He would regularly get compliments on how young and great i looked. It never made him stop. Nothing I could ever do made him stop. Me asking him if he talked, flirted or had relationships with other women did not make him stop. He actually stopped on his own long before dday. But I can relate to so much of what you are saying.

      I can understand your frustration with where your marriage is right now. Did either of you go to therapy alone or together ever? Even for yourself you might find benefit. That is what I did and it helped me a lot. The journaling is a great idea too. I felt the same way as you did at times it made me sad. Sometimes I just made lists of questions or wrote words down. I did find over time it helped me to see patters and also how far I had come. My husband is in the mental health field which helps and hurts us at times. He does not like to talk about any of this or face what he did. However a few things worked for us. I would write him letters. I found it helped since it took my emotions out of it. I was able to say what i needed to and revise it and make it more succinct for him to read. It allowed him time to process it and answer me without us going back and forth. We have not done it but I know parents that do it with their kids where they write back and forth. It can be helpful if someone does not want to open up directly to the other person. Another thing we did since my husband did not want to go to therapy is we picked a book. We read through it at the same time but not together. We would then talk or it really was more him telling me what he had learned. i have read huge stacks of books but this was really a way to encourage him to face things and open up to me. Sometimes it would be a short conversation but it was a way to tap into the issues.

    • Hopeful

      That last post was getting long but I wanted to comment regarding porn. This has been a major sticking point/issue for us. Personally I see everything in life as interrelated. I can look at our dating, engagment, marriage, pregnancies, work life, friends, family…. Well I see porn as a big aspect of this. Again my husband is in the mental health field and deals with this and sex offenders so he has a lot of traning in this area. Well I think this is something societal that is ingrainged in especially boys/men. This is a secret activity you are told to hide and not talk about from a young age. We got in a huge disagreement since my husband had the nerve to say today’s porn was the same as magazines or even underwear ads. Well I flipped out. To me this is just the dumbest statment ever from a professional. To back up when I found out about the affairs one of my earliest questions was do you use porn and how much. He told me once in a while. Well that was not very specific just like all of his answers. I think he was hiding the truth and partially had no idea. He just used it whenever he felt like it. Well after months of working through the betrayl I asked him again. And he said before dday too much. Still no real answer to what he was using at the time and got some answer about not documenting it. I contined to push since he was telling me it was normal and not a big deal, this is what guys do… Well he finally said it was probably several times a week before dday and less after dday.

      To go back even a little more the reason I continued to push this topic was I felt like since dday our frequency of sex was declining. It seemed odd. I just knew it had to be something. Well i started reading. One thing is i knew I could not approach him with any faith based/god articles. Well i found a lot of information. I find this is the best way to get a point through to him. In recent months Time Magazine had the cover article and I found I think it was a Men’s Health article. I gave him both of these and told him to read them. i cited specific facts and passages that contradicted what he had been saying to me. He did agree that our marriage is better when he is not using porn. We are still in the process of working through this. He says it confuses him and he really does not enjoy it. And he uses it barely ever. But still I am trying to figure out what is at the center of this. He told me he would not watch porn or if he did he would tell me. Yet he did use it and i happened to ask and he admitted he did use it. I was glad he told me the truth yet he did not tell until asked. To me everything he says to me about porn is almost what he said about his affairs. He did not get enjoyment out of it, did not know why he did it except it was an escape and selfish, he regretted it after it was over. So that concerns me. To me it seems to be a boundary that has shifted that I am not comfortable with. And I think any behavior that is secretive is destructive to a marriage. I am not sure if I would have pushed this area if I felt we were having regular sex. But that is what called it into question. And I know if he never had any affairs I do not think it would worry me. But is this especially an issue for him due to his history. We as a society do not tell alcoholics to go hang out in bars. To me it is really no different.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Everyone,
        I believe porn can get out of hand in men’s lives. Does everyone remember Ted Bundy. Well, I happen to know three people who knew him well. This is all happenstance, but I live in one of the many areas Ted lived. Ted gave his last interview, minutes before his death, to Dr. James Dobson. Ted explains th role porn played in the murders.

        https://vimeo.com/49018764

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,

        Your situation is complex and so I waited until I had time to answer it because this will be a long answer.

        But, first I have some questions:

        1) What type of sex offenders does he work with?

        2) In what context? Does he do in-patient or out-patient and are these guys required by law to see him?

        3) What caused him to choose to work with sex offenders? (I have met some of these therapists personally and it takes a very different kind of person to work with sex offenders. It is a very difficult and stressful field and one I could never work in personally.)

        4) Is your husband a licensed professional therapist or something else?

        5) Does your husband experience any kind of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse that you know of? Or did he have family members who experienced it? Or family perpetrators?

        I do believe that your husband is speaking honestly when he says he doesn’t feel good about things. I do see part of it as acting out. I wonder why he needs to act out.

        As for porn, there are many, many, many men who have porn woven into the fabric of their lives. Over the long term, porn can be a gateway drug that causes men to take the fantasy to the real world.

        Porn also has the ability to deaden men’s attraction to normal sex. It also over the long term causes men to mix up sex with violence. In some of the worst cases, men get so used to normal porn with adults that they have to push the boundaries and they find their way into the paraphilias and some include: porn that shows intercourse with animals, transvestitism in porn, snuff porn, and the worst– child porn. Yes, porn has the ability to turn what were once ‘normal’ men to dabble in viewing child porn.

        I don’t believe this is your husband’s case. I am speaking generally about the harm that porn does.

        What I think has happened to your husband is what is called sexual anorexia due to indulging in too much porn. Yes, it is very real and many men suffer from it. It is terrible for the wives because it impacts their self-esteem and the marriage.

        Too much porn viewing also causes shame.

        I have encountered many men who came of age during the early 1980’s through the present time who have pretty much always had porn as a large part of their lives. It didn’t matter how attractive or successful a guy was, I have been told by these men that it’s much easier just to pick up a magazine or movie and self-stimulate. It can become addictive to them because they get images of new women each time and they get to have sex (with themselves) in a way that pleases them specifically. No need to worry about a partner who actually might demand something of the man.

        But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I need to write an article that delves into this more because there is a lot to say about porn and its wide-reaching effects.

        I would like to know more about your husband (without you giving any identifying details) to try to figure out what is going on. I don’t know him but it’s easy to see he is struggling with it even if he doesn’t talk about it. I am pretty sure he doesn’t talk about his struggle with porn or affairs because the shame that he feels is too debilitating. To have a witness to the shame (you) might be too much for him. And yet, he obviously witnesses the shame of others, day in and day out because if who he counsels. I can imagine it would be a very stressful and traumatic job and if the stress were not dealt with, it could turn into acting out.

        It’s a very hard position for you to be in and heartbreaking too.

        • Hopeful

          He is a licensed professional and it is just part of what he does not all of it. Most if not all are court ordered. It was part of his training along the way as he was starting his career. No past abuse or anything like that.

          I think most of this is rooted in his insecurities and immaturity. All of it to me is intertwined and everything he says points to his level of insecurity and immaturity that allowed him to make these decisions. The most positive thing is he thinks about it a lot, reads a lot and is open to discussions and has not been defensive like he was in the past. All good signs that he is open to talking and his first priority is our marriage as his primary relationship.

    • Sam

      Update: My dad just out of the blue asked me if I wanted to go visit his dad who is ill in hospital (first time he has offered to do something with me in about 6-7 months). I mean, why now?!?! Is he trying to get me to finally meet the OW, which I have said to him I do not want to meet her, ever. Otherwise I will slap her across the face. Then suddenly my mother gets a text message out of the blue saying that “he will come to cut out hedge connifers”, which is really unlike him (at the moment). Do you think he is having second thoughts?! It was suggested by us, completely out of the blue? Do you think thing are not too good in his supposed paradise!?…???

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Sam,
        There is nothing like an ill parent to force someone to take stock of their life. It seems to me your dad is in the middle of a midlife crisis as others here have already suggested.

        He has obviously been running from the idea of getting older and trying to do everything to turn back the clock.

        Then, BOOM! Wake-up call!

        Pretty soon something happens that demonstrates no one can stop the hands of time. Attempting to do so is just as futile as Sysyphus trying to push a rock uphill for all eternity.

        Your dad’s dad falling ill forces your dad to realize that time waits for no one.The thought that he might lose his father has probably crossed his mind at this point that is a HUGE loss. It probably won’t happen anytime soon and I hope your grand dad has many more good years ahead of him. This hospital visit will cause your dad to take stock of his life. This is the time when he will want his biological family around and not the chaos of the OW. It’s usually cowards who leave their wives and family because they don’t want to deal with their inner demons. Now your dad is being forced to confront time and mortality. And it’s scary. And cowards need someone to lean on. So, he is reaching out because he has probably figured out the OW doesn’t care what happens to his dad and doesn’t even want the drama of providing someone with emotional support. Takers cannot support others.

        That is my feeling.

        But what does your dad want in the end?

        That is hard to tell because people react to potential loss in different ways.

        Your dad wants to see you and wants to (possibly) see your mum too.

        For what purpose?

        I am going to bet even your dad doesn’t know. He may want to test the waters because he wants to make some kind of move.

        I say make sure you and your mum prepare to be strong and to make sure he doesn’t try to pull you along in a manipulative game. I say find out from an attorney what your mum could receive in a divorce. I am not saying file for divorce– just know your rights.

        Keep setting your boundaries and let him know loud and clear the other woman is worse than a non- entity and that she should never be brought around. Let him know such a move would produce dire consequences.

        Go see your grandpa, but let your dad know the rules.

        I know this thing with the OW can’t last but keep strong, set boundaries, and know your rights.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Sam. Maybe he is testing the waters to see if he is possibly welcome back in your family.

        Remain detached no matter what happens – good or bad. See where it goes for a good period of time not just one or two attempts by him.

        Crossing my fingers he is starting to see reality.

        • Sam

          He texted this morning to say that it is (too wet), which it has rained here. But not that badly – any excuse. I think the OW has told him not to come because she is an insecure woman and thinks he is trying to ditch and escape from her probably….. which I can garentee it will happen eventually; wether that be to my mum or into the arms of another woman/affair.

          I didn’t end up going with him to the hospital to see my gandpa. My mum and many others said he was just trying to use me because he didn’t want to go on his own (because he is very selfish).

          • TheFirstWife

            Sam. I am sorry you are in a role with a parent where you are more of an adult than they are.

            How very cowardly of him to TEXT you that he was canceling on you. He could have picked up the phone and spoken to you.

            God Bless your mom for having raised you better.

            • Sam

              Sorry, he cancelled for cutting our hedges, not going to see my grandpa: The hospital visit he texted and never even send me a text back. For some reason he has this idea in his head that me (and my bro) should be contacting him, instead of the other way around….

              Probably the OW has put that in his head, because she is afraid that he is going to stray on her eventually…. because he has insulted her and her family. To make him happy, she has got satalite TV (SKY TV) to make him happy…. she is an idiot if she thinks that things like this will not stop him from staying. I think the cracks (differances in personality and age) in their relationship are starting to show. I think his gulit is starting to show in their relationship, I think the guilt is starting to upset her too… and is creating a bad atmosphere in their house. Her son apparently cannot bare it, and spends most day out of the house and she cannot bare not seeing him anymore.

              Do the CS after a while start to resent the OW for what they had to give up for them?!?!!!

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Sam,
              This is such a bummer that your dad did this. I think it is evidence that things are cracking with the OW. He is probably in a rock in a hard spot but only he can get himself out of this spot. It just breaks my heart that he is putting you guys through all of this. How does your brother feel about this and how is your mum doing? How are you doing?

            • Sam

              I am doing fine, (I am just sick of him acting like a teenager), my mum is doing fine too, my brother doesn’t want to know, he thinks that he is an idiot, crazy and mentally ill, and is behaving like a twat. He hasn’t contacted my brother for seven months now.

              I cannot understand how someone can replace someone their wife and family of over 25 years for someone they barely know, for someone he has known for just one year.

    • Laura

      While I am sure there are “spouse poachers” out there, there are just as often men who go seeking affairs from other women. There are also situations that arise more slowly, where the two people don’t plan anything but also don’t stop something from happening.

      It’s been a long time since I have written, but as some who read this know, I was the AP in two affairs, one emotional and one physical. The emotional affair took us both by surprise and we fought it for years before finally admitting how we felt. I was very much in love with him, but only wanted to be with him if his marriage ended on its own, with no involvement from me, so we ended things. He is still married, but it continues to be rocky from what I have heard from friends. I see him professionally but we keep our distance. It’s been long enough that we don’t have feelings for each other anymore and I think we fear being around each other that the pain and confusion will return (his wife never found out.)

      The PA, which was with a close colleague, was very different. I had known him for over 5 years and always liked him, we got along well, but there was never flirting and honestly having an affair never crossed my mind. I don’t think it crossed his either. He guessed one day at my feelings for the then long-gone EA, admitted to having had an affair himself, and suggested I “take a lover” to get over my broken heart. It was clear he meant him–it took several more months, but he pursued me, took me to dinners, flattered me. I don’t blame him any more than I blame myself–we were both adults, had gone down that road before, and knew what we were doing. But I certainly wasn’t “poaching” him. Oddly, for as casual as he was about everything, our fling (I can barely call it an affair) inspired him to work on his marriage again after years of them living separately. He and I still work together and are close friends, but haven’t been physical in 9 months. I fully support his efforts with his wife, which are apparently going very well.

      What I haven’t spoken about is that I have on more than one occasion been hit on by married men, always in professional settings, two times by men with whom I also had other connections through friends. I found these occasions very upsetting and got as far away from these guys as possible.

      Why do I bring this up? To say there isn’t a one size fits all description of an OW. Or a one size fits all description of an affair. If I was a classic “poacher” I would have done everything possible to ruin the EA and PA’s marriage, but I didn’t, I did the opposite. If all I was after was a successful married man, I wouldn’t have turned down the other opportunities that came my way. But I did. In fact, they grossed me out (the two I’m thinking of were handsome and smart, it was their behavior I found gross).

      None of this may make sense to people reading the blog because I often read a home wrecker is a homewrecker. But what if they are not? And what if the poacher was the husband? Again, the two men I described that I turned down were absolutely poaching for an affair. They were on the prowl. And this former OW, for as bad as you may think of me, fled the other direction

      The one thing I will say is that once you have had one affair, it makes it easier to have another. That’s the number one thing I learned from my PA. A totally innocent lunch with a favorite colleague turned into an affair once we both admitted to having had affairs previously. I think the reason why is that an affair is such an emotional thing to live through and when it’s not discovered, you hold this secret for years on end. He had kept his secret for 20 years. Once we both knew we could talk about our experience with each other, it created an intimacy between us.

      Again, this is just my experience, I don’t mean to offend anyone. But I find articles like this misleading, as if there is a “type” to be on the lookout for and that will prevent all affairs. I just don’t think that’s the case.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Laura. I do remember your background and I know some of your observations are true.
        My H created the opportunity for his last affair and he made it happen. I saw the email proof. He tried to claim “it just happened”. I did believe it at first but when I saw the emails between them I knew he was lying.

        This affair had him divorcing me and leaving me for her. He finally came to his senses at the last possible second.

        His first EA she was a poacher. She was obvious from the moment I meant her. I warned him about her but he just ignored me. She finally made her move- and I then had proof of her intentions.

        So I have been on both sides.

        And yes I have been hit on by married men – one guy I knew 3 days as a work colleague. What a pig and I never spoke to him again I was so insulted.

        So there is some truth to your statements.

        • Laura

          I believe the poachers are out there for sure. And some women may be out for the “thrill” of it as well, to prove they can win some sort of competition.

          Something struck me about the married man you brought up. The two gross guys I talked about it, it was a similar situation, where I had just met them. I think that was what was so appalling to me. You would think they would seek out a one night stand with someone they didn’t know, yet they actively pursued an affair with someone they had multiple connections with. Makes me wonder if they were out for some sort of thrill seeking as well, the danger of it all

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Laura,

        Welcome! Thanks for writing and sharing your perspective. Let me state up front that since no one can infer a person’s tone of voice in comments that I am a generally fair and welcoming person, so I have no quarrel with you or what you have experienced. Your perspective can be valuable for everyone here to understand how all of this happens.

        You make some good points about the married men who pursue women. I have encountered many of them as well. Here is something I have always wished regarding these types of guys. I always wish that their wives knew who these men were when the men were not around their wives. That way wives could make informed decisions about whether or not they wanted to stay with such a man or have more children with such a person. Too many wives recovering from their husbands affairs spend countless nights awake wondering if their husbands are serial cheaters or really just a good guy who made a mistake. They are gambling their entire futures on these men because who the man is (deep down) can impact the course their lives take.

        I have encountered many of these male types who give off the ready-to-have-an-affair vibe within the corporate world, specifically Fortune 100 companies where everyone is smart and a little egotistical. Often, they have affairs with co-workers who take the bait. I have seen how several of these affairs have ended and we are talking epic disasters of Greek tragic proportions for all involved. I have honestly never personally seen one end well.

        I have thought about blogging about these men but they are really hard to pin down. It is my opinion that they are hard to pin down because men are really adept at stuffing emotions, compartmentalizing, and leading double lives. I often hear from wives that their husband was ‘the man who would never have an affair’ because he appears to be the perfect, church-going, volunteering, hard-working husband who loves his wife and kids. Then, 20 or 30 years down the road the wife finds out that their marriage was littered with various affairs. There are many men who play the role well and even fool their wives. While it’s easy to spot the ‘slime bags’ of the world, they are not in the majority. In fact, I think they turn most women off because women smell them coming.

        I will say that I know a couple of OW’s personally (who I don’t even consider OW’s even though they technically qualify as OW’s.) Both fell into the trap where the guy was long-distance and they never knew he was married. Once they started seeing things that would indicate he was married, the guy would spin a story about being separated and beg for forgiveness. Of course, once these women found out the truth, they broke it off. I felt they were taken advantage of because both of them had a rule not to date married men. I was incensed and heartbroken for them because these are intelligent, talented, beautiful women who had good intentions and who did not have an inkling that their boyfriends were married. UGH. I want both of them to find the wonderful, single men that they deserve and I love these gals dearly.

        I would love to know more about your experience– if you are married or not and if your husband has ever found out. If not, what did a man say or do to entice you into an affair? It sounds like they started as friendships first and that’s a hard one. A bridge has already been built between the two of you that is comprised of mutual respect and so it’s easy to meet halfway once that bridge is built. There are occasions where a well-meaning woman can also be the frog in the pot and not realize she has feelings until it is too late. But, here is another question– did these fellows have children that you know of? If they did, how did that effect you if at all? Was there ever any guilt on your part?

        From what I hear men can paint a very convincing picture of the wife who “neglects or abuses’ them at home. In affair-speak ‘neglect and abuse’ simply means that these men want to find a little variety in their lives and they have found a new target. In reality, they could very well have an attractive wife, a decent and frequent intimate life, and still be in love with their wife. But, they will pull out the weeping violins and often convince the target of their seduction that they are so deprived, misunderstood, unloved, unwanted, devalued, and ignored by that ‘wicked wife’ (who cooks them gourmet meals every night) they have at home.

        Rarely do we get the side of the story from the female affair partner.

        Also, I wanted to clarify one thing about spouse poachers that I thought was assumed, but it wasn’t. Lesson learned on my part. A spouse poacher is a woman or man who explicitly sets out in the beginning to ‘steal’ a married person away from his or her spouse. They see what someone else has and they want it. That’s the situation I was in with my ex. He had many female friends that he was quite close to and it didn’t bother me. I could even tell one of them had a huge crush on him but she still stayed in our house one time for a couple of nights. But, the woman he left me for in the end was someone who made it her intent to take him because of the fact he was taken. I have eye-witnesses to the behavior who heard it from the horse’s mouth. It also turned out she wanted to move into our house since it was also close to her work. We all worked in corporate jobs where it was hard to find a nice house near work. He and I had already purchased it by liquidating some stocks to do so. All of that at 27 years of age. She was older, she wanted it, and saw a shortcut. That is the very condensed version and there is much more to it. So, she was the perfect example of a Ms. Opportunist and probably as Ms. Sociopath. So, I do acknowledge that there are some OW’s who are not spouse poachers. I should have made that clear in the article.

        The long and the short of it is that now that I am married and have kids, I have radar for these things since the stakes are high. This is why my opinion can sometimes come off as extreme. It is pretty hard to describe the trauma of going through it from a betrayed spouse’s or fiancee’s perspective. The trauma almost broke me and I had to move home with my parents. My mom was scared I wasn’t going to come out of the deep hole I had fallen into. No eating, no sleeping, not able to keep water down. Immobilized with grief. Not wanting to live or move. I remember it like it was yesterday.

        That is the driving force for why I write for this site. I want to help others navigate the minefield of affair recovery. It’s also why I write some of the articles like this one. I don’t want another woman to go through what I went through or if they have been through it, I my goal is to provide warning signs. I want whatever D-Day a woman has experienced to be her last. It is my hope that these articles are like little lamps of insight gleaned from my personal trauma (and from lots of Clinical Psychology texts/articles) and I hope that they can light the pathways of others.

        Laura, thanks again for commenting and I look forward to your reply.

        • Laura

          Hi Sarah. A couple of replies to your questions
          –I am not married and don’t have kids, I am in my early 40s and am an executive. I wanted to have a family, but things just didn’t work out that way for me
          –In neither my EA or PA did my AP’s wife find out
          –My EA lasted about 4 years, but less than a year when we were “out” to each other. Meaning it took 3 years for us to admit to each other our feelings and what had really been going on. Those 3 years were extremely confusing and difficult for both of us. The only real gift he ever gave me was finally admitting what had been going on for years, at that point I felt like I was going crazy. The year where we were talking about it was also extremely difficult, but for other reasons
          –My PA was relatively short. The physical activity lasted 2-3 months, with the lead up to it maybe another 3 months. This one has been tricky to navigate because we work very closely together and there were emotional components as well. There still are, but he and I work through them when they flare up. He has been very good at setting boundaries that will make things easier for both of us and I always follow them, even when it’s difficult, because he’s usually right
          –Neither said awful things about their wives. But there were clearly issues as well. In my PA’s case his wife had moved to a different city years ago. I think he was still bitter about that. And they had basically stopped visiting each other. In my EA’s case, we were in a job where he was away from home 4-5 days a week (and traveling with me). When we met I didn’t know how bad things were at home, but that emerged over time.
          –These are two very different men, though. My PA is madly in love with his kids and talks about them all the time (to your question, he has two kids, both in their 30s, so long out of the house by the time we met). He has been married over 30 years and from what I can tell, his wife and I are very similar in temperament, education, and personality, I’m just 20 years younger. Now he just sort of accepts that he was unhappy and lonely when she moved and it seemed easier to start something with me than improve a long distance relationship with his wife that he didn’t want to have (I mean the long distance part.) He is definitely happier now, he claims they are both really making an effort.
          –The man I had the EA with was completely different. When the EA was going on, it was clear he had no relationship with his kids. They were very young at the time (all under 10). It bothered me enormously. He has spent the last several years building a relationship with them, but I think there are still issues. His relationship with his wife is not good at all, although better now than when we were in the EA, and better (I think) then it was before our EA. He never said anything bad though, he just didn’t mention her. Ever, really, until she told him she didn’t love him anymore and wanted a divorce. Then he talked about her, but more out of the crisis situation. She and I are complete and utter opposites, by the way, in looks, beliefs, personality, anything you can imagine. It’s clear he and I had a very different relationship from theirs
          –So the only similarity in these two situations for me is that neither man was going home to his wife during our affairs. I think that’s maybe how I rationalized the situation. I’m not making an excuse, just saying that is how I coped with what was going on. The EA saw his family on the weekends, but was with me all week long. And the PA didn’t live with his wife anymore and the kids were grown.
          *One last note. The breakup of my EA was one of the most devastating periods of my life. We both agreed to it and didn’t agree to it, we didn’t want it. I sort of pushed it on him and he accepted it. But we both ended up depressed, in therapy, on meds. He is still clinically depressed, he told me last time I saw him. The only way I can describe it is like a bomb going off in our lives, even though his wife never knew of me. So I do understand how devastating an affair can be, just from the other side. I don’t take it lightly or think it’s a game. I have great empathy for the wives who are betrayed and know I played my part. I tend to come back on here when I am reminded in some way–I saw my EA last week (for work) and it threw me off, still, after all these years. It’s a reminder that I did the right thing in ending the relationship, even if it is sometimes still painful for me

          • Sarah P.

            Hi Laura,

            First off, I wanted to say that I am sorry that you wanted a family and it (so far) did not work out that way. That’s really tough. 🙁

            I don’t want to sound presumptuous, but I can picture where you are at in life and why some of the events in your life might have happened. If you are an executive, that means that you are incredibly talented and excellent at your job. But, it also means that you have worked hard to get where you are today and had to prove yourself to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. It also likely means that you have been married to your job in order to get there. You have probably put in 60-80 hour weeks as part of your ‘normal.’ I don’t know what industry you are in, but if it is my former industry then I know for certain that careers and families just don’t mix well. (I left that industry after my second was born.)

            I would imagine that you are surrounded by a lot of men in your work life and that your work IS your life. There are not many women at your level. Then, there is the idea that you traveled with and probably constantly partnered with the gentleman with whom you had the EA. I am going to venture to guess that you two were consultants for one of the big 5 consulting firms because these folks are most often issued to whichever client site they are working on for a project and that site is usually not in their home city. They are on site 5 days a week and then go home for weekends. It’s a hard life. Or perhaps you are in sales or marketing and that would also cause you to travel back and forth. The relationships that are formed under these circumstances are INTENSE– both the ones formed with men and women.

            The first man with whom you had a PA was in essence estranged from his wife. At least by time and space. It sounds like that had been going for a while and it also sounds like he missed his wife and you were very similar to his wife. If often wonder why wives are okay with living apart for the long-haul if they are in happy marriages. It sounds like his wife made that choice to live apart and since you were a reminder of his wife, there was temptation.

            As for the EA, it sounds like it was intense and it developed in an environment where people become extremely close. I have worked in this environment I channeled the closeness toward women since there were several of us who worked together for those long hours. I was never paired off with a man as my work partner in this type of pressure cooker environment and never traveled with men– just women on the team. I had male co-workers but one particular team had a lot of women and that was also the time when I was working 60-80 hour weeks as the rule rather than the exception. Yet, it was overall a male-dominated environment. Finally, my fiance and I worked at this company together and sat on the same floor. I think the work environment actually INCREASED the intensity of our connection exponentially. Our relationship was marked by extreme intensity and I know part of it was because we were in an intense environment.

            In other words, I see the trap on both counts. But, I can only see the trap because it is in retrospect and I am outside of the situation. I don’t think the trap would have been so obvious at the time. The second one definitely sounds like a frog in the pot situation. Those are the worst because you don’t go in with a harmful intention or know the heat is being turned up.

            From what I can tell, none of this is spouse poacher stuff- quite the opposite. You don’t sound like a spouse poacher at all. It sounds like the second affair was heartbreaking because this man became a good friend. But, just like When Harry Met Sally, it’s hard to be friends with a man because feelings can be consummated and the pair end up entangled in more ways than one. A man can’t be a best friend of a woman whereas a woman can. I really believe that.

            Why was the EA like a bomb going off? It seems like the man with whom you had an EA had some kind of under-lying clinical depression and was self-medicating. Why didn’t it become physical? It also sounds like he sets boundaries and it’s encouraging to see he is doing the right thing.

            How about you– did these affairs come at times in your life when you were lonely?
            Who do you usually date and have you had any longterm relationships that turned sour?
            Do you plan to stay in your current high stress environment or retire early and do something else?

            Your story proves that it stinks to be on any side of the affair equation. Everyone loses. 🙁

            • Laura

              Ahhh, all good questions and hard to answer.

              It’s actually the one I had the PA with who is good at boundaries. He’s amazing, actually, and remains a bright spot in my life. It’s as “healthy” as you can get in one of these situations, we have to work so much with each other that we check in every couple of months to make sure we are both still ok. And I am close enough to him that he knows how damaging my EA was and looks out for me with him as well, since we both interact with my EA AP professionally. My PA is the one that was estranged with his wife bit for whom things are much better. The one where I am very much like his wife.

              How do I explain the end of my EA. It went on for so long with both of us knowing but not talking about it, that a number of traumatic events brought it out. His wife threatened to leave him, he lost his job, and he admitted he was in love with me all in a 2-3 month period of time. His major crisis led to my major crisis because I felt I couldn’t stay at my job without him, yet I felt he needed to try to save his marriage and told him to do that. Even us admitting our feelings to each other, while liberating, was very traumatic and unsettling. Then I left my job and moved to a new city alone where I proceeded to go into a major depression and he went to a new job and he developed a major depression. Neither of us was depressed when we were together.

              That was the bomb, or series of bombs, that went off for both of us. Our lives as they currently stand are completely different than they were 4 years ago. We hurt each other along the way after our separation as well, but I forgive both of us because we were hurting so badly. We still interact (rarely, but it happens for work) but are very careful with each other–I have stricter boundaries with him than my PA. We have only warm feelings for each other but there is also a sense of imminent danger. There was never closure, there is still pain, we still care enormously, but we proved we can live without each other. So I never want to go back to feeling like I can’t live without him. He is like a huge unhealed bruise

              And no, at this point I don’t date really at all. But I don’t think I am necessarily lonely. I’ve always been someone who would rather be single than with someone just for the sake of being with them. As for the high stress job, I’m in a better job now, but it’s hard when you are the sole breadwinner. I have to look out for myself

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Laura,

              I have been away for a long b-day week and am catching up to comments so I owe you a response.

              That is an interesting story about your EA and PA and valuable information for everyone here. I sounds like in the end you wanted both your EA and PA to stay with their wives and for your EA particularly to work on his marriage.

              I have the impression that your EA started as an intense friendship and those are the most dangerous kinds of affairs because people get genuinely attached. I get the impression that you are still genuinely emotionally attached but not in a way where you allow that attachment to actively encroach on his marriage. It sounds like in the end you told him to work on his marriage– or that is my impression.

              Do you believe that there was some underlying depression on his part that could have contributed to his marriage difficulties before you came along? Do you know why his wife was threatening to leave before you and he admitted feelings?

              I understand what you mean about having to look after yourself as the sole breadwinner. That can sometimes be a really frightening experience too. I have some more questions too.

              Do you ever think you will seek out marriage actively or do you think you are okay alone for the longterm? Has the EA or PA impacted your view of marriage at all and how has it impacted it?
              Or, do you have a different view of longterm relationships and their viability after these experiences? Why did you never push for these men to leave their wives?

              Since you are here, I think it’s valuable to look at all sides of what it means when EAs or PAs occur. Yours sounds like a process and you also give the impression that there were issues in these men’s marriages before you came along. It reminds me of how everyone has difficulties in marriage, but how they respond to difficulties is key and it reminds me how infidelity is always a choice. Even if someone’s marriage is literally on the rocks, infidelity is still a choice and an unhealthy choice at that. I think you have some valuable insight to give us in terms of your side of it all, what you observed, and why in the end you chose not go on a campaign to break up a marriage. (In the end, a spouse poacher is someone who has a man ‘marked’ as someone she wants and will go to great lengths to get, even when it means devastating children and everything else.)

            • Laura

              Just seeing this, sorry for the late response.

              I guess I wanted more for him and for me and that’s why I never tried to get him to leave his wife. I didn’t want to be with someone who would walk away from his family and not even try to save the situation. If he had tried and the marriage had failed on its own, with me out of the picture, then I would have been with him (if he had asked.) But he tried and they have made it another three or four years. I’m not sure they are terribly happy from what he and other mutual friends have said, but that is 4 more years he has had with his kids. Really important years. And I think it’s very important to both he and his wife that they have tried and survived, particularly since both of her sibling’s marriages broke up that same year.

              So that’s the long answer. The short answer is that it felt wrong, I didn’t want to be with someone under those circumstances. I didn’t want to “trick” someone into wanting to be with me. I didn’t want it to be a competition

              And yes, I still believe in marriage, but my view on marriage is very different from when I was younger. I think there are some great marriages and some bad marriages, but either way they are very complicated.

              And it amazes me how much that can go on in one spouse’s life that the other never knows about. While I am glad my EA never told his wife about me, for my own personal reasons, I still think it was a crappy thing to do because he basically lied to her the whole time they were in couples therapy. They have “rebuilt” their marriage on a foundation of lies. I lost some respect for him when he did that.

              I mean, a year after we cut contact he sent me a love letter, not looking to start things again but just to tell me what I had meant to him. She has no idea. And my PA had an affair with a different woman that was on and off for 2 decades and his wife never found out. It’s amazing to me that two people can be married and yet keep such deep secrets

              So that is what has changed my view of marriage, but not so much that if I found the right person I wouldn’t be interested

    • Strengthrequired

      Sarah, wife not being attractive enough is not a reason to cheat. I know I am not a stunner, quite sure I never will be. No doubt the ow would most likely look better next to my ch than me, at times I think maybe he should be, because of just that reason. Yet it doesn’t mean I deserved him to cheat on me, if it was then there would always be someone better looking than the next, I’m sure he would have found a even better looking woman, than his ow. If he is that shallow, I certainly wouldn’t want him. Some of us aren’t as blessed as others, when it comes to looks.
      The ow in my ch life definately thought that she was better than me because I am on the heavier side compared to her.

      • Strengthrequired

        I guess what I am trying to say, is no one is surprised if the fat or ugly woman gets cheated on, but are surprised when the skinny, beautiful woman is cheated on.
        It s always ” ohh and she is beautiful, and her husband cheated on her”
        Yet is the frumpy fat wife gets cheated on, is ” ohhh well she is fat/ not very good looking”.
        It happened to me, where I was told, ” well you are fatter than the ow, that must be why”
        It’s not, omg, she has supported him, so he can do what he wants, to support the family, while she raises the kids. It’s not, ohh she has given him a family, been with him for years.
        None of it seems to matter, if your on the larger side, because it is just ” no wonder he cheated”.

        • TheFirstWife

          SR. I think that it is very sad the way our society portrays affairs, cheaters, OW/OM, etc.

          So case in point my H cheated on me twice. The first the girl was not pretty at all. She was crazy – crying emotional drama-driven psycho. She didn’t get along with family, other women, problems at work, etc

          Second OW was cute and big chested and okay body. My point is my H did not cheat b/c of a physical need – it was an emotional rescue thing with him.

          They “needed” him. (Clearly he felt I did not).

          So cheating is not often about looks. It is about emotional needs and feeling wanted.

          For some shallow guys it is about status and looks and all that (ie corporate hotshots and movie stars etc).

          If my H decides to leave me for a person 25 years younger there is very little I can do about it. That is his issue not mine. If looks are so important to him than he clearly married the wrong person.

          I purposely did not date “player” type guys. You know the type – the use ‘Em and lose ’em kind of guy. You could spot them a mile away. They are not into relationships just into themselves.

          I had a very beautiful friend in my 20s. Guys would fall all over themselves trying to meet her. I made a comment one day about how I wish I was drop dead gorgeous like her.

          Her response – no you don’t b/c you have to figure out who really likes you and who just wants to have a beautiful looking girl on their arm. And it hurts like hell when you find out it is superficial.

          I would rather be heavy and happy than anything else in life.

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Strength,

          Wow, that just makes me mad to hear that someone actually told you that because (they thought) you were ‘fatter’ than the other woman and that this is a reason for infidelity. Yuck. It really falls into the common dynamic of “let’s all blame something about the wife because obviously she did something directly to cause the affair.” It is a kind of active enabling of the cheater’s behavior and takes the focus off the cheater. I am so sorry that someone told you that.

          I honestly believe that there is discrimination against larger people in this society and it has been a touchy topic in my life personally. My dad has a metabolic disorder as well as an injury where he doesn’t have great use of his legs. As a young man he was injured in an auto accident and almost died. His back was split open and he was paralyzed from the waist down for 5 months. His feet were shattered along with the ankle in a leg. After he overcame the paralysis through a prayer chain that his mom’s Presbyterian church started, his ankle and feet never healed correctly. So, he has hobbled around ever since and there is no surgery to help. He has gained a lot of weight over the course of his life even though he was a personal trainer. He is about 350 pounds. He needed a pacemaker at one point at this one cardiologist said “fat people are a waste of time and high-risk” and he wouldn’t place the pacemaker. The rail-thin cardiologist said that in front of me, my mom, and my dad. We had to petition his insurance to see a cardiologist in a major city who specialized in placing pacemakers in larger people. It was done successfully. But, I still remember the first doctor’s cruel attitude. That is only one example of how he has been treated over the years. He started to get heavy when I was in junior high and I hated how some of the kids made fun of him. So, I do find there is a discrimination in this society against people who are not thin. Just like it is unacceptable to discriminate against someone or diminish their humanity because they are black, it is unacceptable to do the same to someone who doesn’t fit into what society deems as the ideal weight range. I am a strong believer in health and fitness while at the same time believing everyone can embrace his or her own body type and still engage in healthful activities. I am not a fan of Cosmo magazine but noticed for the first time that they used a woman who falls into the ‘plus size model’ category on their magazine cover WITHOUT calling it a ‘body positivity’ issue and without making it an issue about weight. I think that is a historical move for an industry who would rather have models die of starvation than represent a body type that is most commonly shared among women. The ‘plus size’ model I am talking about is Ashley Graham. She stands on her own and in my opinion is far more attractive than the runway models of today. Ashley works out and is healthy, but she is not made to be a stick figure, even if she were to lose weight. She is obviously large framed and has an hourglass body shape. She will never be a waif because is not built that way. She embraces that and she is gorgeous in my book. Anyhow, when I talk about fitness and beauty I am talking about women being the best versions of themselves, no matter what body type or shape. It builds confidence in a woman and it is something she does for herself.

          Personally, a woman like you should be applauded for giving up a career out in the world and staying home to do the right thing: being the center of the family and keeping the home together so that a man can succeed and flourish in his career. I can’t believe the rude things people say. I am sorry that people have said such cruel and ludicrous things to you! 🙁

    • TryingHard

      Hi Sam

      You ask how can a person leave his wife of 25 years, his family for someone he barely knows? I believe for a lot of cheaters they simply want to reinvent themselves. They are trying to push the reset button on their lives. I think in many instances they feel like failures and it’s easier to reach out to a complete stranger who doesn’t know them or their history. This person gives them a new angle on which they view themselves. It could have been your dad left the marriage emotionally long befor he physically left. These people are shallow individuals and allow themselves to be blown around in the winds of emotions. They think they are in charge but sadly they are anything but in control of their lives. For them it’s much easier to throw out the old and take up with the new. Much easier than looking inside themselves and try harder to make what they have work. Much easier than facing the demons that seemingly exist in their heads. Much easier than simply having a conversation.

      It’s sad and I am so sorry you and your brother are experiencing such problems.

    • Victoria

      My husbands ow is a complete predator. Some background. I’m English but moved to turkey 14 years ago to be with my now husband who is Turkish. He’s from a good family, educated, nothing like you read about in the daily mail. We got married 9 years ago and have got two sons aged 7 and 4 who are delightful although my eldest son has adhd which has its own problems and he tends to take out his anger on me whilst only really listening to my husband. I work here as an English teacher and actually throughout our marriage I’ve always earned more than my husband. He works for his brother who has a textiles company. We’ve always had a fairly happy marriage and I always felt loved by him, although he often felt rejected by me for not wanting to have sex more often. Often I was very tired or he would come home late and drunk or I felt resentment that he wasn’t helping me with the boys.

      In February this year he started going to Istanbul every Saturday and coming back Sunday. He said this was for his work, that there was a company up there from whom he had to collect materials and work on the the samples in his factory and take them there the following week. This continued up until 3 weeks ago. I had noticed him pulling away from me in this time and being on the phone a lot and messaging. At the beginning of July I took the boys to England to visit my mum who has cancer for two weeks. When I came back he was cold towards me and then after a week he started telling me very coldly that he didn’t love me. I took the boys with my mother in law to visit his uncle in bodrum to get away as I needed some space and he was just so cold. He said if he felt better he would come and join us. By this time I’d learned his phone passcode almost by accident from my son. At the end of the week he came and joined us and we went to a wedding of a friend of ours near where we were staying. That night he was polite but still pretty cold and was on the phone a lot even when playing with our boys at the party. After the party he went out with his cousins husband and came back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning. As soon as he went to sleep I checked his phone and sure enough there were millions of messages from a Turkish woman in Istanbul, photos of them together, and photos of them on a week long holiday together in my car doing a tour of the Aegean and Mediterranean coast when I was in England visiting my mum.

      I took photos of the photos and messages and spent the ow a messages showing photos of my ch and our sons asleep in the hotel room. When he woke up he had a flurry of messages from here and was sending messages back to her and seemed angry with me. I had also sent some photos of them to his brother and sister so they knew and his brother was trying to call him but he wouldn’t answer. In the early afternoon we sat down together and I said, “this is your mess, you need to sort it out”. He agreed. He said he would choose to do the right thing. Finish it and stay with me and the boys. I got a message from her that evening saying that she was very sorry and hadn’t known he was married and she wouldn’t contact him again. Which was a lie on both counts. This happened 8 August, my dday.

      Fast forward a week and he’s still telling me he doesn’t love me. He’s asking for a divrice. His family have been amazing, supporting me. His sister has been like a pitbull and messaged the ow telling her to stay away. His uncle called the ow and said that he knows her boss in Istanbul and will arrange a meeting with him to expose the affair if she ever contacts my ch again. I asked my ch to move in with his mum for a while after a massive argument where he said he wanted to be with her and I threw his phone in the swimming pool as a message beeped when we were having this conversation. During our time apart we agreed that no one would contact ow if he went to see a psychiatrist as I truly believe he has covert male depression. He cancelled or was too late for the appointment twice saying that his brother wouldn’t let him leave work. That week he asked for a divorce twice. Then on the Sunday, just last Sunday he took the boys out for the day. He’d been staying at his mums for a week by that point. He brought them back and I went out to do some grocery shopping. When I came back he was calm and wanted to talk. We had a few beers together at home and he said he wanted to be with me, that he’d never stopped loving me, how could he, we’d been together 14 years, and he was ready to move forward. I read him an entry from my journal saying how I wanted our marriage to look and he was heartbroken by the last point when is aid I wanted him to be proud of me, for me to be the wife he rushes home to. He said he’d always been proud of me. We kissed and kissed and agreed he could come home and we were going to make it work. The boys were overjoyed. We put hem to bed then had sex. He got up immediately and had a shower.

      The next day he was cold. I made a special effort to cook lovely dinners and sit outside with him listening to music and I booked a couple of nights away in a place we’ve always wanted to visit for out wedding anniversary this coming Friday. When I told him about his on the Wednesday he said he didn’t want to go but then called me the next morning to ask which days and we agreed how we’d go there. On Friday I had a party to go to just for women and children and he took us there but would barely look at me because I was looking great. On the Saturday there was a big party for our friends son’s circumcision, kind of like a massive wedding. I used to work for them in their textiles factory and he wanted to get some business from them. In the afternoon he messaged me to say that he was tired and didn’t want to go. When he got home, he went to the barbers, got a haircut and got dressed to go. He said he’d start using that barbers from now on and would take the boys there too. We went to the party, I looked pretty awesome (!) and we sat together all night, chatting. It felt nice. We got home. I took our sons off to bed and I heard his car leaving the garage. Mi ran outside and asked him where he was going. He said to be with her. And he left.

      Yesterday, my bother in law and sil ‘s husband met him at work. He quit his job, saying he only wants to be with her, gave his company car back to his brother, and left with only the bag of clothes I’d packed for him. He has gone. He has left behind his children, his wife, his home, his job, his sister brother and mum and has no credit cards or money. Just to be with the witch of Istanbul. I haven’t heard from him at all.

      Back to the point of ow. He said that she knew for the last two months that he was married and I expect after dday that she gave him an ultimatum of divorce her or I will never see you again. She is 30, he’s 39, she is divorced with no children and a total party girl, out in the coolest clubs in Istanbul with this weird group of pseudo intellectuals thinking they are all so cool. After a while she will realise that it’s not much fun living with a penniless alcoholic with serious anger issues.

      She is a spouse poacher. She doesn’t care that he has given up everything for her, she is flattered.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Victoria,

        I am so sorry for you and your family are having to go through this ordeal. Please know that you deserve better than this and I am so happy to see that your family is supporting you at this time.

        I think some of the things on this blog that can help you or past posts from Linda and Doug regarding the recovery process. As you were not quite there yet there should be some other posts regarding what to expect during the affair.

        Please know your husband is acting crazy. By choosing to leave his family to be with someone else has all of the signs of someone who is not dealing in reality. It doesn’t appear as though he wants to address his issues but has instead chosen to Barry and stuff them way down inside and ignore it completely. The affair is what is Shielding him from having to face reality.

        At this time I don’t know what your options are. I am sure you are making your children a top priority. Having been in this position I know it is not easy for you.

        I hope you realize this affair has nothing to do with you but everything to do with your husband. I am sure I have seen many of the cheating spouses on this blog behave in the same way your husband is.

        It is unfortunate he is chosen the other woman over working on his issues. It appears as though right now he just wants to be out having fun. How very teenage like of him.

        I hope your issues can be overcome and he comes to his senses soon.

        I think it is important for you to be able to have a plan in place for the day he calls and decides he wants to come back home. For the sake of your children he needs to understand he cannot just roam in and out of their lives when it suits him.

        Please have patience. I have been in your shoes and fortunately we were able to successfully rebound from his affair. It wasn’t easy and at times I almost threw in the towel and gave up. But it was worth it in the end.

        I am lucky to have a H who reslized his mistakes. It took more than two years but in the end he finally realized what he had done.

        I hope it works out for you.

        • Victoria

          Thank you so much for your kind and considered response. My husband is indeed running away from his problems. We’ve always had financial issues and he’s escaping them as well. His brother is a good man but hasn’t been paying my husband fairly. Instead of receiving his salary on a certain date each month into his bank account his brother has paid our rent and given him a credit card to buy petrol and groceries etc. This created problems between us as it meant all bills, clothes, school fees and other stuff was being paid for by me and I just didn’t have enough every month. It emasculated him and really wasn’t fair but he felt he couldn’t ask his brother todo it properly as he does for the ogre employees, I’m not entirely sure why.anyway, his brother unwittingly funded the affair as my h was using the credit card to get to Istanbul every week.

          Financially I will be ok. I inherited some money which I invested in a flat here. I was going to rent it out but have decided to sell as I want to clear my debts and move to an apartment so that rent is cheaper. Since my husband quit his job yesterday I would be eluding on my brother in law to pay the rent which wouldn’t be fair. Once my debts are paid I will put the money in the bank and will get enough interest from it to rent somewhere. Ironic that him leaving has spurred me into action.

          It’s a really big deal in turkey that a woman would be with another woman’s husband, especially when he’s abandoned his family to be with her. He left everything. I really think he is in the midst of a crisis and is running away.

          He has no way to fund himself.

          If he wants to come back I want him fir to have seen a psychiatrist at least 5 times. He needs medication. He has had angry outbursts in front of children and blames the affair on me not loving him. For choosing to be with my friends over being with him.

          Thanks so much for your support, it’s a horrendous time.

          • TheFirstWife

            Hi Victoria, I understand exactly where you are coming from. I was in the same position myself. My has been blamed me for his unhappiness and it then became a midlife crisis of epic proportion. It was my fault he was unhappy with his job, it was my fault he was turning 50 and wasn’t happy with that, it was my fault he wasn’t making that kind of money he wanted, and it was my fault that his job was unbearable at that time.

            Enter a 30-year-old drama queen, covered in tattoos, unstable, emotionally scarred person and there you have it, the beginning of an affair.

            I will tell you that if they had not been together for round two of the affair I wonder if he would have gotten over it. Going back to her for a few more months opened his eyes tremendously. Luckily for me the day I found out she was still around it was already ended by him.

            I admire you for being able to put together a plan and move ahead. I was able to do the same thing but fortunately did not have to act on the plan.

            You are right that there are many things in his life that may have contributed to the affair. His job situation, his lack of regular pay, working for family, all can contribute to ego issues. However that doesn’t excuse his choices.

            He could change jobs, changed careers, or any number of other options. Obviously his coping skills are lacking.

            I wish you the best and I hope he realizes what he has done before it is too late.

            My husband woke up at the last possible second. I was just about out of options.

            I sincerely hope it does not get that drastic for you. Please know your husband’s choices or of his own doing. Most of the betrayed spouses on this blog have heard all the things wrong that led to the cheating.

            It is so easy to blame everyone else for your misery. Drinking, gambling, affairs, over eating, chronic shopping are all signs of addictions and/or self-medication.I find it interesting that the one making the wrong choices has the ability to diagnose everyone else’s issues.

            I hope for the best outcome for you and your Family, whatever it will be.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Victoria,

        Welcome and thank you for leaving a comment!

        I am sure that it must be lonely being in Turkey, away from the UK, and in an entirely different culture. Do you live in Istanbul or elsewhere? I have friends in Istanbul who are from the upper-class and I know what you mean by it being nothing like you read in the Daily Mail. The family I know, though technically Muslim, is Westernized by the way they live and and in their attitudes.

        Please excuse my analysis of the situation, but I think I see a tiny bit of what is going on here and I think there may have been some issues with him prior to the affair. First off, you are absolutely right about the psychiatrist. If he is abusing alcohol and has a rage issue, then there is a big problem. Sometimes I have observed that affairs are like mere branches (albeit large branches) on a big tree. There is some kind of root at the tree that is the real issue. But, alcohol abuse, rage, affairs, and all of it are just branches. This does not minimize their impact at all. So, I am wondering what the root of his issues are. What is the script that he is going over in his head that causes him to have rage or drink too much? You said that he claims you don’t love him enough. That is a good bit of information because it gives insight into part of his self-talk. This truly is a horrendous time for you and I am sorry.

        I am very glad that you have a clear head about you and have a solid plan. You must think of yourself and your children first. He is in self-destruct mode and so unfortunately it falls on you to be the one who holds it together. You are very BRAVE indeed.

        Have you considered returning to the UK?

        I hope that you can rely on his family to some extent as well for emotional support.

        Personally, I do not see his affair lasting because the OW sounds like she is not necessarily an emotionally reliable person. If two people with issues get together, it tends to generate more issues. I know that he will probably be back at some point and you need to have a plan for when that time comes. What do you want? What is best for you? You don’t have to make these decisions now because you are in the thick of a crisis. Often, decisions made in crisis mode can be ones we later regret. So, it is time to tread carefully. Again, I am sorry that you are going through this and it is a horrendous story.

        Here are some other articles I like:

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-out/201309/the-5-stages-grieving-the-end-relationship

        http://www.emotionalaffair.org/false-reconciliation-perhaps-devastating-d-day/

        http://www.emotionalaffair.org/what-happens-in-couples-after-someone-cheats-the-long-term-impact-of-infidelity/

        http://www.emotionalaffair.org/your-self-respect-after-an-affair/

        Many Blessings,
        Sarah

        • Victoria

          Thanks so much for your wonderful input. My son has adhd and my husbands mother describes him as hyperactive as a child. He used to grab crystal ashtrays and threaten to throw them off the balcony. We saw a therapist when he was telling me he didn’t love me, and she wondered if his behaviours were a result of undiagnosed adhd and perhaps he’d been self medicating with alcohol. My son also has uncontrollable rages similar to my husband, I can see similarities.

          I truly believe he has covert make depression. He indulged in high risk behaviours such as driving along the highway at speed drinking beers, just to avoid being at home, having time to think. Together with his alcohol abuse, blaming everything wrong in our relationship on me for not loving him enough, not having sex enough, extreme jealousy even with friends, anger issues, I really think he has an underlying problem which has been kept at bay but reared its head through out the years.

          I live in bursa which is just across the sea of mamara from Istanbul, about two hours away. He adores his children but has not contacted me at all to ask about them or ask how we are going to arrange visits.

          I have thought about returning to the uk but my mum has cancer and I don’t want to be a burden. I’m not sure even how to tell my mum what has happened as my dad had an affair and was an alcoholic. Also a vicar and accountant so very upstanding. They divorced when he was 40 and he died ten years later from alcohol abuse. I was 24 at the time. I have wondered if I married my husband to save him in a way in which I couldn’t save my dad. Bit scary. Also I do like my life here. My husband family have been amazingly supportive and would be devastated if we left. Also it would feel very final then, with no hope of reconciliation. My husband would barely have a relationship with his children.

          If my husband finally sees the light and separates rom this crazy woman I would want him to get treatment first before even talking about the future. The false reconciliation we had must have been extremely damaging to the boys who are still so young but understand what is going on. I even want him to have treatment before seeing the boys. My sister in law is a divorce lawyer and speaks great English so she has a been a wonderful help. I also have two amazing English friends here who are being such a support, and a friend in England who is going through the same thing, but four months ahead of me. Thank goodness for friends.

          This site has been an invaluable resource.

          • Sarah P.

            Hello Victoria,

            I am really sorry that all of this is happening to you at once and my heart goes out to you. You are very courageous to be in the thick of everything and still holding up. I am so sorry that your mum has cancer and my heart goes out to her as well.

            The great thing about this site is the sense of community that Doug and Linda have established and there is always someone around willing to give great advice like TryingHard, StrengthRequired, TheFirstWife, Hopeful, and so many others– everyone here is a GREAT help and I appreciate every single person who comments–everyone adds value to the discussion. They have all been in the thick of it too. When you have the time feel free to rely on everyone here who has been there and who has so much wisdom in so many ways. We are all “listening.”

            That is an interesting history that you have with your father and your husband. It is a common thing to try to work out a scenario within our marriages that is left over from a family of origin. It is a subconscious motivation on the part of most. But it is a trap that really good people tend to fall into as well. I have observed that people with good hearts naturally want to sooth others and take away pain. I am glad that you are aware of everything that is happening and have this valuable perspective and insight. I can tell that you are going to be a good mom and a strong parent to your children through all of this. I am also glad that you are surrounded by supportive family and friends. I absolutely agree with everything you are thinking in terms of trying to protect your children from another false reconciliation. It is no fun to have a boomerang parent (or boomerang spouse.)

            I also agree that it sounds like there could be some undiagnosed depression on the part of your husband. But it also leads me to think that he has some kind of trauma in his background that has never been spoken about. Anytime there is rage or erratic behavior and it doesn’t seem to have any kind of logical cause, I personally start thinking about family of origin or other childhood traumas. Many people do not tell their spouses about some of their deepest traumas due to incredible shame. And I say that “trauma always finds a voice.” That is, if someone is busy suppressing it rather than addressing it, the trauma finds a way out in the form of self-destructive behavior, erratic behavior, addiction, or even affairs. On the other hand, I could be entirely wrong.

            That is an interesting idea that you present about ADHD. Believe it or not, I have read a book that indicated undiagnosed ADHD in adults can masquerade as other things such as self-medicating with substances and/or odd behavior. So, that certainly could be going on too.

            Victoria, I am glad that you have a handle on all of this in terms of being able to have a plan and have insight into what is going on. I know from experience that when I was left, I was emotionally and physically devastated. I don’t think the utter immobilizing, devastation that befalls some and threatens to take one’s entire reason for being away is a choice and I am glad that you are not there. So, it is a blessing that you have a plan and are able to think about the best outcome that you would like for the situation. You are going to have to think for two people– both you and your husband, since he is not thinking clearly.

            I am so sorry that you are going through all of this and hope that you continue to find a corner of solace here on the website as well as experience the mentorship of the wise women and men here who have also been through it. They stand as living proof that it will get better.

            Many blessings to you,
            Sarah

            • Victoria

              Hi Sarah,

              Funnily enough my h contacted me this morning. He said that on Saturday he’d actually been about to go to the shop, but because I asked him he’d said he was going to Istanbul to be so her. Crazy, huh? Anyway he said that he slept in his car that night but had tried to call her. The next day she called him and he went to Istanbul to see her. He went to work in bursa the next dayandnhad planned to stay in bursa, but at the end of the work day his brother sacked him, he was so angry with him for having an affair and leaving me on Saturday night. His brother basically said he didn’t need him, could manage fine without him, go to Istanbul to be with her. He drove him to the ferry and left.

              I suggested to him over the phone that he is having a mental breakdown and I want him to see a psychiatrist before he sees the children at least three times. He agreed. He said he wants to come back to bursa but doesn’t know how to do it. He doesn’t want to be in Istanbul (with her). I asked him if he would stay at his mums but he is so angry with the family for their tough love approach that he cannot appreciate that all that they want is for him to be treated and become himself again. So he doesn’t want to stay at his mums. That’s his problem though. I’ve sort of said stay the if you want with her, let it burn itself out. It doesn’t matter.

              So that’s where we’re up to.

    • Angela B

      I can agree on one thing – all these types of women exist.
      Other than that, it is still the man’s responsibility to keep it zipped.
      Even if Ms. Sociopath or Ms. Insecure unzips them for him, it is HIS responsibility to smack her hand away and re-zip them.

      I went through a horrible ordeal that I am still trying to recover from. I had one of these women chasing my husband, but I knew my husband to be of such moral fiber that I worried not for one second that any infidelity was taking place, but imagine this – and I’m still looking for more info on this topic: My husband is fairly naive about aggressive or not-so-aggressive women and is rather insecure himself. He never dreamed this woman was pursuing him, but before any of us knew it, she had him in some questionable situations that became harder and harder to explain over a period of time. As for me, I went through months thinking I was being betrayed. I knew he had not actually had sex with her, but I did know he spent ungodly amounts of time talking to her and pursuing a common interest with her. He eventually exchanged personal phone numbers with her and for some reason he decided this was something I shouldn’t know. Suspicion begins. Then I realize that a bunch of phone conversations are taking place rather oddly. Also I see that he refers to her as “sweetheart” in their texts so frequently it would make me get a toothache. Need I go on? Probably not. The details of it only bring back the horror. When all is said and done (kind of) 2 years later, and we have nearly divorced about 12 times over it all, it boiled down to him really being a person that didn’t know he was dealing with a predator who was continuously edging beyond his boundaries with a goal in mind. Also, he had never shared with her that he was married! Yes, that created massive suspicion on my part!!! However, with the situation in which they met, this sort of personal information was just not something he felt was needed, and in fact, felt that the situation actually called for keeping most personal information private. She had used a common interest of theirs to encourage him into exchanging phone numbers. She had also invited him to meet her at some inappropriate locations for what he considered their relationship to be and he politely turned her down (Thank god – on behalf of my broken heart, he didn’t accept). His own discomfort with the situation she put him in made him worry and sort of “panic” lie to me (something that took me a really long time to believe after being lied to at all!!). Do I even need to describe all the ways that situation brought horror, trauma and strife into our lives? Probably not on this site. Most people here are well aware of the fallout of infidelity (real, imagined, feared, emotional, physical, all of it).

      Where I disagree with the overall idea of spouse-guarding, I still think there is valuable information here to be discussed with husbands. If they are the cheating type, then every one of these different types of women are “low-hanging fruit” for them, and the cheater is just as much a predator as the women are.

      I think men in general may be vulnerable to this more often simply because they don’t know they’re being preyed on. Men raised with the idea that women are mostly submissive and that men are supposed to be making all the first moves, do not pick up on these cues from “predator” women and those women can very often get them into situations they are not prepared to deal with. Men raised before the attitudes of the Millennials became common seem to still be completely unaware of this dynamic. Rather than being the “helicopter wife”, why not take this list of female types and make sure your husband understands that when he is dealing with them, protecting his boundaries is tantamount to protecting your heart.

      He wouldn’t let that woman punch you in the gut, but if doesn’t know you’re going to get the emotional equivalent of a gut-punch if he doesn’t do it, you’re probably going to get gut-punched like I did. If you even think this idea might help you, for god’s sake, do it. Not knowing my husband didn’t know when he was being hit on by a woman nearly cost us our marriage and I can’t even surely say it didn’t yet. We are still dealing with all damage done from vicious arguments and angry words, accusations, hurt feelings, and on his part, just flat out being completely offended because i questioned his morals when I never had before.
      We lost almost 2 years to an affair that never happened. Just knowing about these types of women could save you a lot of grief. We are doing double-time together for the next two years so we won’t feel such a loss over this.

      • TheFirstWife

        Hi Angela. Sorry you are now part of our group. Wish it was under happier circumstances.

        Your H had an emotional affair. Plain & simple. My H had a 4 year one too. Strictly EA. From the second I met her (the OW) I told my H to watch his back and she liked him more than a friend.

        I spent YEARS trying to get some truth or acknowledgement from him this EA was happening. In his mind no sex = no cheating.

        He would not admit one thing. No truth just gaslight and stonewall and lie by omission.

        That was 20 years ago.

        His more recent OW/ affair was the one that told me he admitted to her about the prior EA. Snd how Thete was nothing wrong with it and I could not dictate who his friends would or could be.

        The first EA- I targeted her correctly. She was exactly what I told my H she was. He just didn’t want to see it.

        By the second affair it was him walking out the door. That EA took over and ambushed him. It was all his doing – I know that. But he was unprepared for the level of emotion and intensity that he felt after a few months.

        I lost 3 years – 1 year during the affair and he two years of recovery which were ugly and painful. He lied and lied and lied about so much crap – stuff not even related to affairs. But stupid stuff. Not telling me important things about our families or kids. His response was he was “waiting” to see what would happen before telling me.

        He recently decided to go to therapy to address his cheating and issues during our marriage. I accepted him with his flaws and all because he was a basically good person. Treated me well good parent and all that stuff.

        Just never thought he was the cheating kind of guy but I have since learned even the good guys make the same mistake.

        I agree 100% it is the responsibility of the spouse to say no to these types of predators. My H has witnessed me getting hit on right in front of him and he sees how I handle it. I usually laugh it off, excuse myself from the person’s presence and steer clear of them. Period. In my eyes they are not worth the outrage and time. I assumed if I rejected these people then he would too.

        Oh well cannot change the past. But I have to say things have improved since he started counseling. He even wants to go to marriage counseling or couples counseling.

        I am not sure it can change the past but it helps to know you can change your future. And that is where I am focused.

        So Angela what are you doing to better your future? Do you feel positive about it?

    • Shifting Impressions

      Angela I am sorry to say I’m with TFW here….an affair did happen….an emotional one. The Book Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass is really helpful.

      I read your story and sounds like your husband is just full of excuses….I hope you aren’t buying them. Who lets that type of relationship develop with the opposite sex and doesn’t let them know they are married????

      And in my experience people that are APPALLED because someone questions their MORALITY are behaving in A QUESTIONABLE manner.

      My husband also lives a very good and moral life but was involved in an emotional affair. He admits it and shows great remorse. I had never questioned his values or morals either but if he were to spin some of those excuses????? I don’t know where we would be today. He is just finally almost three years later starting to understand the pain he caused me.

      If you go back and read your story with more objective eyes there seem to be a lot of excuses on his part that just don’t add up. Sorry I don’t mean to sound harsh but these guys have a way of making us believe their excuses.

      • TheFirstWife

        Thank you SI.

        If the interaction is secretive and not in the open then the person KNOWS it is not right.

        My barometer is if I wouldn’t wear it, say it or do it in front of my H, then it is wrong.

        Case in point. I received emails from OW and saw where my H pursued her. When I confronted him on their very first meeting he said it was work related. So I said well I didn’t know about this meeting and why didn’t you tell me about it? He just stood there. That is when I said because you knew it was wrong from the first meeting and you hid it.

        So I think the CS sometimes is clueless, ignorant or just continues down the path of lies & more lies. They will not admit any of it is wrong.

        I know had my H stayed on that path we may not still be together. I was so soooo frustrated with the lack of truth and transparency over his past choices – that almost caused a divorce.

        He lied for 6 months on whether he loved her and I saw that in black & white. I had proof but he kept denying it. I just wanted to punch him at times.

        And I dobeish their pants DID go on fire !!!

    • TryingHard

      Yes SI. It’s called gaslighting, obfuscation and lies by omission.

      Actually I think these cheaters are the most dangerous and untrustworthy.

      It’s the old Bill Clinton shuffle, “I did NOT have sex with that woman…” Yes Bill yes you did!!! And the combined righteous outrage at people who dare to question them.

      Sorry Angela you husband did have an affair. However the OW in this case was not a spouse poacher or predator. She was a victim just like you.

      • TheFirstWife

        I read from Angela’s post that the OW was a poacher. Her behavior appears very calculated (at least to me).

        I understand Angela’s position to be victimized by this affair that was not an affair according to her H.

        I am not sure I understand how the OW in Angela’s story was a victim.

        Maybe it is autocorrect or a deleted word that changed the sentence you wrote.

        • TryingHard

          TFW–Because the OW did not know he was married when he started his affair with her. In my eyes that makes him completely responsible and the OW is not a poacher in this case. And not only does he victimize his wife, but another innocent woman.

          I don’t know what went down after she found out that he was married. But by then I’m pretty sure she developed feelings for him? Didn’t Angela say in her post that when she found out he was married she tried to cut it off with him?

          I don’t find him keeping his marital status from the OW an innocent act at all. I find it very calculating on his part. This man is feigning innocence and ignorance. No one is that stupid. Unless he’s 12.

          Angela’s quote “Also, he had never shared with her that he was married! Yes, that created massive suspicion on my part!!! However, with the situation in which they met, this sort of personal information was just not something he felt was needed, and in fact, felt that the situation actually called for keeping most personal information private.” So calling someone “Sweetheart” is not nearly as personal as telling someone to whom you are obsessively speaking to and texting that your are married isn’t. WWWWHHHAAAT???

          • TheFirstWife

            Thank you for clarifying. Not telling the OW he was married is indeed a game changer.

            I was more focused on how she was manipulating him.

          • Strengthrequired

            Angela, honey, your husband was in an emotional affair, There is no excuse for your husband to not have told this ow that he was married. As soon as any advances were made it should have been made clear.
            I agree with tryinghard, this ow to me was not a poacher, she was not aware your husband was married. As you said, he never told her. If she knew and continued to target your husband, a different story, yet she was led to believe that he was single.
            Cheaters lie to cover their asses, plain and simple, and expect us to buy into the lies.
            I wish you all the very best.

    • TryingHard

      A game changer indeed. Hardly manipulation if she believes he’s single, she likes him, he’s sending mixed signals to her, and she’s putting it out there, showing interest etc., heck making it pretty darn easy for him I’d say. I don’t know. I think this guy is playing her.

      Sorry TFW I don’t see any manipulation in this. I see a woman going after a man she believed she was available. All I know is thank God I’m not single. I wouldn’t know what the rules were today in dating.

      • Strengthrequired

        Exactly Th. When I was reading Angela’s comment, all I could think of was, this ow had no clue her husband was married, how is she a poacher, to me she is in the dark just as his wife. He was enjoying the advances of this woman, so why would he tell her he is married.

        • Strengthrequired

          Sorry, wanted to continue that if he told her he was married, then that thrill he was getting from this ow may have stopped. To me, it doesn’t appear that he wanted it to stop.
          I do find it odd that he would keep his marriage secret, I do not believe that saying to someone that you are married is personal, you can just imagine how personal their conversations went, but being married is too personal.

    • Lamb

      I was struck by the statistics! 70% of women at heart predators! This is very sad. But I’m afraid falsely suspect.

    • Butterball

      For some reason this post makes me remember a male friend/colleague. We were friends before I met my husband. He and his wife lived in different cities due to their jobs and he and I lived in the same city and we would run into eachother several times a week. I never looked tohim or wanted anything more than to be friends with him. No thoughts of poaching crossed my mind. But at some point we got into emailing eachother throughout the day things like jokes or news or whatever, maybe too much, because at some point he suddenly pulled back and I realized he may have thought I was coming on to him, which I wasn’t, or maybe he was feeling guilty about it himself. I just came to the conclusion maybe I had crossed a line without intention. In any case, he actually was the second friend I told when my husband proposed to me, so he definitely was never someone I viewed romantically in any way. Just to show you that not everyone who may seem like they have the intention or desire to poach actually does.

    • Tired

      I’m not sure what category our OW fit into but she was a spouse poacher. Maybe the rabid opportunist or th sociopath. Months before the EA happened My husband would relate things she said at work. They were always inappropriate. Once she told everyone that a man she slept with made so much noise that she couldn’t go to a hotel. She just wanted someone ‘normal.’ Another time she called about work when we were away. We were hiking and my husband was puffed out on the phone. She was teasing him that he was having sex. Then she got word about our infertility issues. She kept asking if I was pregnant. Shortly after this she began to ask us out with a couple of other women from my husband and her workplace. The first time I met her I smelled matepoacher a mile away. She kept her focus on my husband the whole night, gave me looks behind his back, and even made an excuse to hug him in front of me. Unfortunately I was poorly equipped to deal with her at the time. I told him I didn’t like her, but he thought I was being silly and jealous. Fast forward a few months and a career crisis happens the day after a pet died. I didn’t want to move to another city and my husband saw that as not supporting him (even though he should have been more supportive of me not abandoning my elderly parents!!). No, it was all about him. I didn’t support him. She of course started with all the ‘if I was your wife I would do this’, ‘if I was your wife I wouldn’t treat you like that.’ Obviously he was bagging me out to her. The next thing, a different man in my husband’s body starts coming home from work and telling me ‘ it would just be easier if he left me for someone else.’ Nothing I said to convince him I supported him was listened to. He was determined to have an affair. I was suspicious and hired a PI to follow him. So while I was working night shift to pay our mortgage, the PI films them going out to dinner. Then in the car park she pulls all these cutesy faces at him before finally making her move. So she kisses him. I confronted him the next day and threw him out.

      The long and short of it is that he came to his senses after seeing I would move on without him. He was forced to find somewhere to live. So sneaky she was that she made all the arrangements for him under the guise of ‘helping him.’ He did not see it for what it was until months later. Everything she did was completely agenda driven. Help him to move out so she could prove how wonderful she was devoting all her time helping him. Get him his own place because if he came home we might work things out. It all back fired in her face in the end and she was the one left and in pain. Well sucked in! She got exactly what she deserved.

      If I had known all this beforehand I might have been able to stop her. However, experience is a good teacher. If I could go back in time I would have told her I was on to her.

      Sarah P said in another post that it was always the nurse who is thte spouse poacher. THis was the case for us! Not that I’m saying all nurses are spouse poachers. I think it is the power differential that is the key. Spouse poachers look for someone with more money and status than themselves because they don’t have the ability to be successful on their own. They would rather have someone else who has already made it so they can just ease into a nicer lifestyle!

      This girl came from a culture that expects women to marry very young. I think she was pressured to marry and couldn’t find anyone so she decided to steal mine. The perfect relationship myth talked about in the article is just that! I think had my husband been successfully poached within a few months he would have been pressured into marriage, ended up with 6 children in quick succession and a wife who sat at home while he worked. All of his hopes and dreams for his career out the window. Sometimes when I’m angry at him I wish I had let this happen!! That would have been his just desserts!

      • TryingHard

        Hello Tired– wow right?? Yep she’s a spouse poacher and a sociopath. My husbands was too. She set her sights on him and he was there to improve her life. He stupidly got pulled into her web. Oh yes it starts out innocently. Funny I had red flags about her the first time I met her. Before their affair and I kept getting those stomach churning red flags. I too chalked it up as being silly. WRONG!!!

        Those red flags taught me to listen to my gut. Which is why I put a GPS on his car. I’m glad you hired a PI they gave you answers. You were very smart to do that. if shes still around she will try again. As I said they target weak people and your H is weak to that kind of flattery.

        That is going to be his and your challenge. His weakness and lack of boundaries. My husband has learned that he is susceptible to flattery and adoration. This was a big deal that he figured this out. I’ve talked to him about people who do this. He knows I don’t stand for it on any level. Male or female. Once a waitress was flirting with him at a restaurant. She actually turned her back to me. I pointed the flirtations out to him. He was completely oblivious and flattered. I pointed out she did it for a better tip. Women use their sexuality for that. Well fooled her. I paid the bill and NO TIP for her!!

        Your husband and mine both encountered a sociopath but I think it might help you if you actually wrote down the points where he has dismissed you and blamed you and put you and your needs on the back burner. It might help you to see how his actions have set you up to be disrespected by him. And he has been horribly disrespectful.

        Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. And actually writing the points down brings clarity about your relationship

    • Tired

      Well fortunately for me she has announced her engagement to someone more foolish than my husband. His weakness and lack of boundaries are an issue as well. He loves attention from women as do all men. As for the lack of boundaries… I would sincerely hope he had learned a lesson, and knowing my husband he would have. He is ashamed of his conduct
      I will make a list as you say.

    • Susie

      I would like to share my story. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this. My brother passed away thanksgiving morning 2016, that’s a whole different story. My husband started a text a thon, as I like to call it with his female coworker. He works in a male
      dominate business. It’s a mom and pop store. He runs the store, and is the boss of all operations. He does a lot to make his boss/owner lots of money. He is very dedicated towards his job, and very good at what he does. He works 50-60 hours a week, getting paid for 40. On salary. Working a lot of 6 days a week. He’s hardly home. He started texting this “girl” a week after my brother died. I didn’t catch on for 2 months. I was an emotional wreck. I could hardly get out of bed, and and when I did. I was outside or working on a lot of art projects. I was, still am restoring some of my brothers pieces of furniture. Anyways, I didn’t know how often they were texting. My husband plays an excessive amount of video games; then all the sudden he was on his phone a lot watching “movies”. I even said how weird that was. Out of character for him. He usually plays right after he gets home, until bedtime. On the weekends, it’s like first thing he does, and does some things for a couple of hours, then back on the games. I was sleeping a lot, because I was severely depressed about my brother. I also suffer from hypothyroid disease. That’s also another story. My husband drinking was also getting very bad. I would say you need to stop drinking or I didn’t like it, and he would tell me to fuck off. He goes to work early, and stays late. Many a days it would be 8pm, and I kept texting. What happened to you? Are you ok? What are you doing? No text, phone call back. He was at work with “her”. About around February I felt something was off/wrong/weird. Something bad was going to happen. I don’t know why, but that’s how I felt. They would text a lot, all night long. Some early am ones too. Then around march 1st 2016. He stayed late drinking with her and her boyfriend, drinking. Then the next day it was at the bars. Not telling me. With her and her boyfriend. Then that night after the bar. He wanted to go to her house, her boyfriend lives with her too. He instead of saying going to Erin’s house. He said I want to hang or with Nathan. Her boyfriend. He texted me 3 times while at work that he wanted to go, and he wouldn’t go do this or that for me, unless he could go. Then when he got home, asked many times to go. I kept saying no. Then, it was if I can’t go, I’m not talking you you for the rest of the weekend. That was a Thursday night. He also had to toss in I’m a bad mom, for a little guilt trip. He wanted to spend the night there. I ran into the bathroom and had a nuclear meltdown. I was so upset. I just wanted to die. Let me mention I have an older tween girl, and 2 smaller children. One of which I was still breastfeeding at the time. The next day was Friday. The day he was going to go to her house. I was so upset the whole day. He texted me a few times, and I didn’t respond to him. He said I guess your still mad at me. Then later on said I’m coming straight home after work. He probably was hoping I would cave in. I went to my sisters house. I had no idea if he was out with her, or coming home early. I stayed at my sisters house until late. I came home and put the kids to bed, and myself to bed. I didn’t talk to him the whole day at all. The next day Saturday. I got up early, and just drove into another state. Drove for over 9 hours. I was so upset. I didn’t know what to do. I had to just get out of my house. The kids were with my husband. He texted me if I was grocery shopping, or getting things for my daughters birthday coming up. No response to him. Then he finally said, fine no drinking. I’m sorry. I came home late that night and we had an argument. The month of march was me going through all the phone records, bank statements and things. I have never done that our whole relationship, ever! We have been together since 2001, so 16 years, and never had to worry about this kind of thing. He had her on Snapchat, Facebook, and texting. I have no idea what they were sending to each other. He deleted text. He said they only talked about work. She doesn’t care about her job that much to be texting about it until 1 am about it. Then Erin got into an argument with one of the other coworkers, and she thought she needed to stay late after work to talk to my husband about it. Probably drinking, and to be texting him at 4 am, and all day the next about it. My husband defended her. He said the coworker fight upset her, and she needed to talk to him about it. I said, but at 4am? He said yes, she woke up upset about it, and had to tell him. Isn’t that weird? I must say that I didn’t think he would do anything sexual with her. Her on the other hand I didn’t trust at all. Then I found out he has been buying lunch for her many times, and sometimes for the other male coworker. He would give her his credit cards, debit cards, and his PIN number. I was irate finding this out. I only could go back about 12 months in spending. She has been working with him a little longer than that. I’m not working, and don’t have access to his bank account. So, I guess that made me mad that she had his cards. One day he was playing video games, and I said something about her. Like does she have sex addiction issues. He said yes, and I asked more. She has been with her boyfriend about 4 years, and has been constantly cheating on him. So, my husband has known for over a year that she has sex problems, and has been staying late after work. Talking to her about her relationships, and him about his. That completely tore my insides out. Her boyfriend didn’t find out for another 8 months about the cheating. She told her boyfriend a few things, but not all. Her boyfriend is weird. He won’t let her go, and she doesn’t do squat in their relationship. They are going to couples counseling, but she’s still cheating, and not telling everything. For the past 4 months, since I found out. I have been so angry. He stopped texting her, but now she blows up his phone at work. They work side by side, and the moment he is stepping outside the door, she is blowing up his phone in text and phone calls. Where are you? Should I order this? He told me he’s happy she’s asking him all these questions. He thinks she’s being a good worker by doing so. He’s getting mad at me for saying, what’s up with all of the calls and text, and he keeps saying we’re good friends. He enjoys her friendship. They are opening up another warehouse down the block. Like 300 feet from where they are working, and he goes back to the other warehouse and is hanging around him daily for an hour or more while he’s doing stuff. He says she’s just hanging out, and a lot of times she’s hanging out with her boyfriend with my husband, but the moment I do a drop in, she is out of the building lightening fast. I keep tell my husband, don’t you find that weird. If I show up, she ignores me and is out fast. He doesn’t really think much about it. He says I’m working. I’m still extremely angry about the relationship. Almost daily fights, and he cannot understand it. He thinks I’m controlling, and thinks I want him to only talk to me. He thinks, that I don’t want him to
      Have friends. I should be the only one. His friends were all into bad things, and he would join in. I don’t understand why he can’t find people that like healthy things to do. He thinks I don’t want to share him with the world. He said he cannot do this. My oldest child is 12, and this is hurting her so much. The other 2 kids are so small. They don’t know what’s going on. As of today I showed him this page. I copy and pasted the one about her being Ms. Just A Friend. He said it sounded like her, but just of yesterday he said she’s my friend. I kept telling him to not share stuff about me or my kids. He said he wasn’t. To find out, he is still going to work and saying my wife and I or the whole family did xyz, and my wife was being a bitch or I was happy. He says he has to tell her. She keeps asking questions. He says I can’t tell her it’s none of her business. I’ll look crazy, and that’s what normal people do. They talk about what they do. When they were texting. He would send her photos of my kids, on their birthdays. That pissed me off. I actually thought to get a separation. Still thinking it, and just yesterday was going to pack his bags, and say get out. She would feel like she won though. He told me after reading the just a friend thing, that I should be nice to him then. Hmmm, anyways, my story. It’s been hell for the last few months. He doesn’t think he’s having an emotional affair.

      • Susie

        The relationship was developing this year 2017. I said march 2016

      • Tired

        Susie, I think you should tell HIM to get out. She will think she has won at first. So did the woman who had her sights set on my husband. Her fantasy did not last long though. I did not contact him and he was back begging for another chance within a couple of weeks. What happened in the meantime I still have a hard time with, but I am glad I handled it this way. If I had not I am sure he would have keep stringing me on for months with excuses just like your husband seems to be doing to you.

        Only when he gets a taste of what is to come will he realise what he is throwing away. At the moment he is probably fantasising about this perfect life without all the problems that come with a family and responsibilities. Let him see what reality is like for a change.The other woman won’t be so fantastic when he has all the freedom in the world to pursue her. He will wonder if she is so wonderful after all, and he will be too busy wondering what YOU are doing. What if you have another man, oh shock, horror. They don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

        And if you do this, don’t take him back without being 100% sure there will be no further contact between them. Hard when they work together because she will always have excuses to contact him that she can use to try to get the affair going again. This happened with my husband and we only truly got rid of her when she was fired, unfortunately this took a while to come about because the employer was determined to use her through the busy period first. She played on my husband’s kind nature…she was so heartbroken, how could he do this. Surely they could be friends? Being the kind (and a bit naive) person that he is, he kept trying to pacify her. He is a people pleaser. Eventually her persistence became annoying to him though and he bluntly told her, which is what he should have done in the first place. She stalked him and sent messages for a while, but soon gave up and moved on to other fish to fry.

    • Angela

      I just found this article for the first time today. I’m not shocked at all by the numbers of women who display such behavior. I remember girls being like vultures with boys from back in high school. They were obsessed with finding and getting (at any cost) their dream guy. Many of them never change from that attitude developed in youth. I was sort of a nerd and figured no guys wanted me, so I wouldn’t embarrass myself by proving it. I was no great beauty at that age, but came out much better in my early twenties.

      My H is one of these “good men” who just don’t have the radar for women seeking more than friendship. He’s a bit of a Knight in Shining Armor and won’t say no to any woman needing assistance of any sort. Throw in the fact that he works a good job, is a steady, kind, sweet, and sensitive man with high regard for women and the circle of vultures grows daily. Especially among those who have been abused or hurt, and the strays…he’s like a pile of sugar attracting ants! When I sense one of these predators is around, I make my presence known if he hasn’t already, and one look from me sends them back under the rock they crawled from. That is not to say I monitor or babysit his every move. FAR FAR from it. I never monitored his email, phone, or otherwise. I still don’t. I never wanted to change him or his natural behavior, but one b_tch just pushed it too far and with his unintentional cooperation in her plan, they nearly wrecked our marriage. I literally had to tell him “you may not have the idea in your head, but SHE has it in HERS!”

      I read portions of this article to him and he was really bewildered. He had no idea women circle him like they do. I know what they see in him, because that’s what I saw in him myself and what I wanted, but I didn’t want him to be looking at every female like a would-be homewrecker. He never thought they had such interest in him. Couldn’t imagine it.

      The article helped me tell him how to spot the signs that someone has a different agenda than he does. It is up to him how to handle it, and I have all faith he’ll handle it just fine. It’s the women who ignore his boundaries (like don’t ask him for his phone number again and again if he said “no” the first time), and try to entice him (like showing him UN-requested explicit photos). Yes, this happened. He felt uncomfortable and he felt pressured, but because she was part of a gaming group, he felt compelled to accept the actions without rocking the boat for the sake of his game. Of course, these are things he kept from me because he figured (incorrectly) that I would end the gaming if I knew about it. I would not have. I’d have told him how to set the b_tch straight and still have his gaming group, but instead of that happening, his hiding those things just looked like an EA. I knew it wasn’t PA b/c she was in another state and he was home. I was convinced he had a relationship going on. It went to hell from there, but I lived 18 months believing he had an OW, when all along he’s just a retard about women in pursuit of him.

      I’m grateful it wasn’t what it looked like, but let me tell you, an affair, is an affair, is an affair. Deception is still deception, and betrayal is still betrayal. I was robbed nonetheless, and even though he was lying for a different reason than I thought, it still had all the same soul-shattering, marriage-decimating, love-destroying effects until I got him to see the situation through my eyes. I lived for months literally watching him pursue an AP. Finding out later, rather than sooner, that it wasn’t an AP, doesn’t change all the life-altering damage done while it was going on. He has learned some brutal lessons about dishonesty, setting boundaries clear to everyone, (including your wife), and no matter how solid your marriage, you can’t disengage from it to pursue other interests to such a degree.

      I’d never change a thing about him, so I gave him the Cliff Notes version of this article. I know I’m making him seem like a true dumbass but that’s not the case at all. He is really that naive about people who behave in such ways. That naivete and sincerity about him is part of what appealed to me in the first place.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Angela,

        Glad that you found this article, but I am sorry that you found it under such painful circumstances.

        My husband is a lot like yours in that he thinks another woman’s problem is his problem. I have had to set boundaries over the course of my marriage. In order for the boundaries to be effective, I had to find out the type of penalty my husband feared. Many men don’t fear being chewed out by their wives and mine doesn’t fear that. What mine fears is being embarrassed in front of others. He is so fearful of being embarrassed in front of others that he cannot even watch movies where a character in a movie faces a deeply embarrassing situation. He will turn the movie off because it makes him come unhinged.

        So, he knows that if he does not set a boundary with a woman, I will show up at work and do something that he finds deeply embarrassing. He finds just about everything deeply embarrassing so I could do something he finds embarrassing without others around him realizing I am crossing a line. Me showing up and chatting with an obnoxious spouse poacher will ensure that he never talks to the person again.

        But, it used to be worse in the past. I had to take a couple of women on. Now, you must understand that I am a classy, well-dressed, and educated person. So, when I refer to “taking someone on” I am referring to a game of wits. I have never had to swear, never had to raise my voice, never had to do anything that made other bystanders feel uncomfortable. It was more about just showing up and making a few subtle but well-placed comments that the other woman understood. Other times, I would bring my kids to work as he was getting off his shift, knowing well that one persistent woman hated children. (And my children can be a tad high maintenance since my oldest has ADHD and my youngest has autism. But, they sure love their dad/my husband and have personally told me that would physically go after anyone who tried to break up the family.)

        The bottom line is, my husband knows what boundaries I expect him to keep and that if he does not keep them, I will take care of it in any number of ways. It is his choice and these days he prefers just to keep super tight boundaries so that there is no gray area or misunderstanding.

        Also, he has now personally witnessed a nurse come in a break up a happy marriage (of a colleague) and destroy a family. Before it happened, I saw what was happening– where it was going, and I called what would happen in the future “play by play” before the nurse made her big moves. And it everything I said would happen did happen and in the sequence and way I described. Unfortunately, the nurse broke up a doctor’s family and her own family just so she could be married to him. She did not care that she hurt 6 different children in the process or continues to hurt them. She (erroneously) said that as long as she is happy, the children will be happy. Research has found that to be completely UNTRUE when it comes to affairs. Children are very happy when their parents have a happy marriage but this is ONLY the case when they are the biological children of a couple in their first marriage and that couple stays together and happy despite the odds. Yes, that makes children happy. But, it is just the opposite when someone marries an affair partner. That does NOT make the children happy, regardless of whether or not the parents are allegedly happy. No one wins. Now that my husband has seen a spouse poacher in action and saw the fall-out and the ‘body count,’ he can no longer claim to be naive to such situations.

        Do you and your husband have children?

        Also, please tell your husband this:

        “If you want to save someone, save me. If you want to be someone’s knight in shining armor, be my knight in shining armor. And if you want to be a woman’s hero, be my hero.”

        Period. End of story. A man should only be the savior of and the knight to his wife and NO one else.

        By the way, I was also a nerd in high school and could not get a date for the life of me. All I wanted was one man. And I wanted one who was single. I did not want the guys everyone else liked and I certainly did not want anyone who had a girlfriend. I did not want a popular guy– everyone else was after them.

        Then, in college, I grew into my physical appearance. All of my facial features became proportional and I came into my own. Gone was the ugly duckling phase, but I was still a ‘nerd’ on the inside and always will be. 🙂 Now, I am just an assertive nerd who knows her worth. And speaking of nerd stuff… the Star Wars re-boot was AWESOMENESS.

    • Alan

      My wife is a csa survivor and a victim of human trafficking. I didn’t know it until after all this happened. But our entire 25 years together she suffered from depression and anxiety attacks. Low self esteem. Enter the military man on Facebook. He was stationed in Korea som 9000 miles away. She told him she was happily married but that just made him try harder. Months and months he worked on her until she fell for his BA. Then her traveled 9000 miles to claim his prize. But basically all he had to offer was an under sized winkie and ED issues. After that it was just humiliation. Video chat so he could masterbate. Hounding her monthly for lewd pictures. When he came back from Korea he constantly lied about where he lived. He showed up again just out of the blue and basically rapped her. But in her mind she accepted the abuse. She didn’t like it but accepted it. When I found out it was deviating. It had been going on for two years. In the end she knew nothing about Him. Didn’t even know where he lived. He had it set up so he could just disappear if he got caught. So he thought. He was in the military so I found him. His text messages where disgusting. He constantly demanded she agree to vile sex acts and when she would say yes he would answer “good!”. Even though he had sexual dysfunctions he demanded on every text she tell him how good he was. He would hound her for pictures until she gave in. He always talked about how much he played with himself. That charming farce he had put on for months in the beginning changed into a controlling pervert. My wife filed a report with the military police. It’s a crime to commit adultery in the military. The report, his texts and penis pictures were sent to him commander. Also he was dumb enough to use an on base hotel so they had his receipts. He was charged with adultery and sending lewd pictures over the internet. But his commander did basically nothing. He retired a year later. He was a predator that zeroed in on my wife’s issues like a shark smells blood. Then when it was all over he told me if I caused him any more problems he would send my wife’s pictures to my family. What an upstanding Air Force senior nco he was…..he’s not alone. I was in the military for decades and I could tell you all kinds of stories about the predators in the ranks. Ones with power and feel entitled to abuse others.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Alan,

        I know ALL about the military and the culture of adultery. Every military person I have encountered has told me stories. There have been certain female, military spouse poachers in my husband’s workplace. They are vicious and have no morals.

        I really feel for the situation you are in. If I were you and if this military man threatened me, I would hire a private detective, get lots of dirt on him, and then tell him I had a file of information on him that I would release to EVERYONE he knows– all his family, all his friends– all his coworkers. Then I would call the (liberal) media on a slow news day and ask if they would like an expose on what really happens in the military.

        People who intentionally try to poach spouses are of an entirely different breed than the common affair partner. Spouse poachers are usually narcissists, sociopaths, or both. They are BULLIES, most of all and they HATE being held accountable. They just hope they can spend their lives victimizing and bullying others without being found out.

        The fact that your wife was a victim of human trafficking also upsets me deeply. Yes, she was like blood to a shark.

        Listen, right now and most of all, you need to get counseling for your wife. She needs counseling for being a victim of human trafficking. The trauma she must have experienced is incredible. You need to find her a skilled therapist– you cannot let this go.

        Unless your wife gets therapy, she will never know her rights or how to stand up for herself. Predators will always have radar for her. Even though the military man is hopefully out of your life, she will still be a target for other predators.

        As always, people MUST receive counseling for the root cause. Your wife does NOT need counseling for her (forced) affair; she needs counseling for the root cause– being a victim of human trafficking. Please, for your wife’s sake get her a skilled counselor.

        What your wife has experienced is so much BIGGER than an affair. She has been truly victimized her whole life and she must see an excellent therapist. If you do not have $$, there are always therapists who use sliding scales for severe cases of trauma.

        The biggest problem of all– your wife’s history of trauma — will not go away, even is this bully of a military man goes away. I know you must feel wounded– but this situation was truly NOT about you.

        Please check back with us and tell us how it is going. My heart truly goes out to you and your wife. Thank you for sharing your story.

        Many blessings and best wishes,
        Sarah

    • Susie

      The poacher is back in town. She moved away, but is visiting friends and family. I have this gut wrenching fear that she’s going to show up at my husbands job, and give him a hug and talk to him. I talked to my therapist yesterday and she told me he should be aloud to give her a hug and talk to her. They worked together and like it’s expected of him to do so, and that I can’t tell him what to do. Everything I have been reading is telling me that he needs to stay clear of the home wrecker, and have no physical contact with her. She left in December, and she started back in texting him. I had to be the one to tell her to leave us alone. I’m resentful that he didn’t tell her. If I didn’t do something; they would still be texting to this day. It’s been over a year for my D-Day, but only 3 months that my husband is trying.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Susie

      Um, yeah your therapist is dead WRONG. Oh.Hell.No!!!! NC is NC and that contact can go from 0 to 60 in no time flat.

      Get a new therapist ASAP. I’ve never heard such bad advise ever. I hope you make it very very clear to your H that he is to avoid her and should she come to see him he needs to tell you everything.

    • Susie

      Thank you so much TryingHard. Everything I have been reading and listening to says no contact. Avoid her like the plague. I wonder if she’s coming into his/her old job just to be a ^+%#? My husband says she isn’t doing that to spite you and isn’t even thinking about you if she does.

    • TryingHard

      Susie

      Well who cares what her motivation is or is not?? And besides he doesn’t know that poking you in the eye isn’t her motivation. So what does he think her motivation would be to see him the?They aren’t co-workers any more and besides co-workers don’t hug. They aren’t friends. So what IS the point of seeing each other? To talk about the old days??? WTF?

      And you know what your therapist is somewhat correct. He can see her and hug her and kiss her and even take her to lunch and talk about old times and hell why not get a hotel room too??? No one controls anyone. Boundaries are for us and him seeing her in any form, I would think, is breaking one of YOUR boundaries. Boundaries that surely he knows are in place after the affair. She is not just any old person from his past and it’s stupid for anyone to think it is. So yeah he can do all that stuff to his little heart’s content, but NOT while you are in his life is what I would make very clear to your therapist and your husband.

      Besides he shouldn’t want to see her. He should make sure he does everything he can to avoid her. It’s not his place to protect her or make excuses as to what her motivation is. His only concern should be about you, not her. Ugh makes me mad for you 🙂

    • Susie

      TryingHard

      Guess what she did come in to his work this morning. I knew it. I just knew it. I’m going to ask him what all happened when he gets home. He said they just had small talk. Ugh. Thank you for responding to me. I just don’t know what to think. I starting seeing my therapist last year when I couldn’t handle it anymore. Do they really help; the therapist? She keeps telling me I need to let xyz go. I need to stop living in the past or the future. I need to live in the now. Last year was pure hell. My brother died and the emotional affair. I was so unstable. He was going to leave me, because I was so bad; he said. If he would have just stopped texting her. He thought by just texting her during work hours was ok. I don’t care what they were texting about. It still hurt me. Then he lied to my face about starting up smoking. That brought me down to ground 0 again. I didn’t know what I could believe or trust if he was lying about this. Only until after I said I’m filling for divorce if he doesn’t stop this nonsense did he stop and is finally trying, but I feel like he doesn’t get how upset she makes me feel, and I don’t know why I keep going back to the home wrecker thoughts everyday. My husband and the therapist said I should move on already. Why am I not moving on? Why am I stuck? I just keep reading articles and these thoughts can last years.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Susie,

        I am jumping in to comment now that I have some time. I am going to speak frankly.

        1) The OW has returned to town to see if she can have a second shot. She has purchased a more accurate “spouse poaching gun” and she wants to try it out.

        2) She has showed up at your H’s work to test the water and to show him she still cares. (Translation: her legs are open for business and her business sells herpes, gonorrhea and genital warts the size of 20 carat diamond rings.)

        3) Time to hire a private detective. YOU need proof to see it for yourself. I have never known a cheater who confessed EVERYTHING willingly. Some cheaters can be shown photos of themselves having sex with someone else and they will deny it is them, even though the cheater in the picture has the same moon-shaped birthmark on their butt. I have known cases where a wife busts the guy in bed with another woman and he tells the wife she is hallucinating and needs to leave the room.

        4) Do not tell your husband about the proof OR the detective. IF he is cheating and after you get proof, lawyer up and have him served at work with divorce papers and with the photo/text evidence. Go stay with a relative for a while and ensure you are somewhere safe when he is served. Keep the evidence in front of you so that you can remember he is a liar.

        5) NEVER let your H blame you for his affair. I don’t care what he says. He made a CHOICE. Do not let him talk about your brother and how you were ‘so bad’ (wtf?) and blame you. You were ‘so bad’ because you grieved a blood relative? Oh my goodness– someone close to you died and you were ‘so bad’ for grieving. NO. He was ‘so bad’ for having an affair and telling you that you are ‘so bad’ for mourning a blood relative.

        6) Your therapist is WRONG. I do not know where your therapist went to school, but your therapist has learned nothing to help betrayed spouses. Psychology programs do not teach affair recovery, but many therapists have enough common sense to know that you don’t tell the fly to hug the spider. I would expect the therapist has been an OW herself to say such a thing. On the other hand, I have had to put the pieces of an affair recovery program together AFTER I finished my Master’s in Psychology. This is the only kind of work I do– affair recovery work — and all of my blog posts are based on my own research and theories based on research. This site is unlike any other, so glad you are here. You are talking to the right people and TryingHard is an excellent person to provide advice. She knows what is up, so listen to what she says. This site will not steer you wrong.

        7) Time to buy some books. I interviewed Patricia Evans today and recorded it. She and I both believe infidelity qualifies as emotional abuse. I get the sense that your H is someone who is extremely manipulative and who will gaslight and blame-shift. Here are her books that I recommend:

        https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Evans/e/B001JPCCWY

        Specifically, The Verbally Abusive Man, Controlling People, and Victory Over Verbal Abuse. I started reading her books all the way back in 1992 and they are ALL spot on.

        8) Sorry to say, but you need a new therapist and one who knows affair recovery. Doug and Linda do phone mentoring together (for a small fee) and I also do one-on-one phone mentoring for a reasonable fee. (For everyone out there, emails are always FREE so don’t let lack of $$ stop you from reaching out.)

        Finally, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. You deserve better. If your spidey-senses are telling you the OW is a threat, it is because she is. Do not look for reassurance from the cat who ate the canary (your husband) about whether or not he is eating canaries again or not. Hire a private detective to find the trail of feathers that lead to his mouth.

        Most of all, remember that infidelity is NOT about you. I have found that people who are unfaithful always have something going on in the background that causes them to act out. Mostly, they are wounded souls. But, even wounded souls have choices. While we cannot control our childhoods, WE CAN and MUST control our choices and reactions as adults. The burden falls 100% on the cheater. But, I am not a fan of OW’s either. The OW in my life was sadistic and she said out loud that she got tremendous pleasure from her ability to steal men and ruin the life of other women. She told this to someone I knew. That person thought she was joking. Alas, she was not joking. This OW was profoundly psychologically disturbed (sociopath) and I let her and my ex have each other. I was out of there. If he preferred a sociopath, Good for him!

        Big hugs, Susie,

        Sarah

    • TheFirstWife

      Susie. Your therapist stinks. Find a new one.

      Your H has only been trying for a few months? He absolutely cannot see this woman. Yes she is free to go to his place of employment. But he doesn’t have to see her.

      And I’d be angry if my H was defending the OW. You asked her to stay away from you & H. She needs to respect that.

    • TryingHard

      Susie

      You do need to move on. Move on to a new therapist. This is completely ludicrous that she even speaks like this you. Are you certain she has a college degree in psychotherapy and not home ec?? Just kidding of course. But seriously this therapist is no good. Try to find one that specializes in infidelity.

      This just happened last fall? And they want you to “move on” all ready? I hate to say this it took me at the very least four years! I’ve gone through two therapists, one psychiatrist and one marriage counselor and for the record NONE told me I should just “get over it”. Oooo my husband would have loved for me to “just get over it” but he wasn’t even stupid enough to say that!

      No in fact we do not “just get over it” we get through it with lots of help, and lots or remorse, and lots of conversations and lots of consistency and lots of transparency. It hasn’t been long enough for you to see much of that.

      Well that is one nervy bitch to go talk to the married man with whom she was having an affair and just supposedly chat it up like nothing had ever happened??? Well I tell you what Susie I would be hopping mad once I got the story out of him. And if he wasn’t willing to be totally transparent and remorseful I would show him just how hopping mad I was.

      Yep unfortunately they don’t “get it” so that we can “get over it” until we get angry and tell them if they can’t respect the boundaries then it is time to part ways and you will be fine either way. Do not let him intimidate you. I know you’ve been through a lot with losing your brother. I just lost my sister in January and I get the devastation so don’t let your vulnerability cloud your thinking.

      And for crying out loud quit wasting any more time and money on that useless counselor. And to your question, YES a good one does help, A LOT.

    • Sarah P.

      PS-
      I wanted to saw something about licensed marriage and family therapists. Each state has different requirements. True story: the state I live in had such a lack of therapists that they allowed people who graduated from high school (with no training) to open a therapists office. NO JOKE. They people did a lot of damage to the general population. So, then my state went to the extreme in the opposite direction and required a Master’s in psychology and almost three years of unpaid internship BEFORE they allow people to take a licensing exam. (They get lots of free work.) My state recently put in another requirement. Therapists have offices OR they work online. They are NOT allowed to do both. I was mulling over the idea of trying to do all that time in an unpaid internship and then saw that I would not be able to do both. So, I work solely online and it suits my schedule since I have two children with differing special needs.

      Anyhow, since every state has different licensing requirements, there are some states where people do not even have to have psychology degrees or college degrees to set up a therapy office. It is always important to look at what credentials someone has.

      One caveat: there are people with college degrees (but not in psychology who get it.) Doug and Linda GET IT. That’s why I write articles here. They GET IT a lot MORE than many qualified and credentialed therapists. There are therapists of many years who have affair recovery websites and I have always been under-whelmed. I have not seen all the sites out there. Only a few and I was not impressed. A lot of people are still stuck in the old paradigm which tells the betrayed spouse to take half of the blame. UH NO. Completely WRONG. Wayward spouses are grown ups and they take the 100% blame for choices.

      Sarah

    • Susie

      Thank you so much. Last year when I started therapy. I told my husband to go as well. His behavior got even worse after seeing his therapist. She told him to get a divorce and to keep his friend. It wasn’t right that I didn’t want him to have his friend; according to his therapist. He told me I was jealous of her and that she was his good friend.

      So much has happened, and I haven’t really had anyone to talk to. Probably a waste of money to go to my therapist. I see her every week, and don’t feel like I’m growing or moving on. She wants me to practice deep relaxation. Breathing in and out for how ever long I can do this each day. This is supposed to help my middle brain. For me to think clearly and to not be so reactive.

      Sarah, I didn’t know that therapist don’t have training in affair trauma. I live in California. From what I’ve heard, she has a degree in psychology. Yesterday I was talking to her about the OW, and I was afraid of her visiting my husband. She thought I was passed the OW. She said I need to start taking pills. My attitude is going to push my husband away. I’ve been a pretty good wife the last few months. I think so at least. I started take thyroid medicine for my under active thyroid and it has improved my mood significantly. I’ve really only had a few months to heal after the OW left. I had to be the one to block both her cell phones on my husbands phone and I had to text her and tell her to leave both of us alone. All she could tell me was I’m sorry. I was under the assumption that we were just friends and she told me to have a nice life. My husband works in a tile store, and a lot of male contractors come in. I’ll ask more of what happened today, but he said she was talking to the male contractors.

      My husband is also one of those guys that don’t catch on to a woman hitting on him. They would literally have to say I want to have sex with you. He said he talked with her because he was bored, and something about wanting to see why she does what she does. Like observing her nature. He knew she was screwing around, and just wanted to see why.

      He doesn’t want to sleep around like me either. He thinks it’s gross if a woman has been around the block and back.

      My husband isn’t respecting my wishes or the hurt I feel. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find a good therapist where I live.

      I have no idea when the OW is going to be back in town. All I know is she’s here for a few more days, until she goes back out of state.

      My therapist made me second guess myself. Thank you guys for keeping my thoughts in check.

    • Susie

      I’m sorry. That didn’t make a lot of sense. I should of added some periods and nouns. I do that when I write sometimes.

      One of the last acts the other woman did was in October she bought tickets for my husband to go to a Halloween party and get drunk. He wanted to go. There were some potential clients there. He never talked to anyone, but he says he remembers people that come into his work. He tells them he saw them at the Halloween party. He said it builds good relationships with customers. Anyways, I went. I had to go. If I didn’t go then he would be at this party with the OW. I didn’t drink, and literally sat in the chair all night watching my husband get followed around all night by her. The OW. He was so drunk that he was stumbling and his speech was slurred. He said he was going to go to that party regardless. I watched her follow him and when she wasn’t next to him. Her eyes were on him all night. I don’t know how to explain to my husband or others. There was something there, with her. I’m pretty sure other people don’t do this. It isn’t normal. My only options were. Let him go alone and pick him up later or he could crash with her. I was very upset the whole night. At one point I said what is this? To his cup of booze. The OW’s boyfriend said it’s coke. I said I’m not a effing idiot and I took the cup and dumped it out. When she wasn’t sitting next to us. I said this party is boring and I want to go home. We left without saying goodbye. I’m still resentful about this party also. I don’t know how to get over it.

      On Black Friday 2017. My husband didn’t have to work, and for some reason the OW was at the store. She locked herself out. She had everything, but the keys to get into the building. My husband literally told me he wasn’t doing anything with me that day. He said if I wanted to go do something. I could go alone. When she called; he jumped up to go save her. He said he was the only one that could open the door for her. No one else wanted to. I said I’m coming with you. We live 35-45 mins from his work. I was crying the whole way there. She calls him when we’re about 2 minutes away. I said don’t you answer the damn phone while driving. This was also something they did. He would leave work and text her all the way home, and all night. We pull up and she says about long enough. In a sarcastic voice. I sat in the car for 10 minutes. I angrily walk into the store and go to the bathroom. Thinking what’s taking so long. Then I go back to the car and he comes out. He decided he was going to try to check work email while I’m waiting for him. Just to say. It was a miserable day.

    • TheFirstWife

      Susie. I’m sorry for you. To have to witness the A is the worst. Please know you deserve better.

      He is in the A fog. He is putting the OW first.

      Get your plan B together now!

      Read up on the 180 U Turn. Google it. It will give you a list of suggestions. Do it. If it now. And do it hard. You need to rock his world with a one-two punch.

      I’m not saying Divorce him. I’m saying you need to open his eyes as to what he is facing without you. Without your support.

    • Susie

      So I got most of the scoop. She brought coffee in and was wearing a low cut shirt, a very short skirt. Heels and her makeup all done up. I’m mad that he excepted coffee from her. He said he wasn’t paying much attention to her. She stood behind the counter in his eye site talking to some of the other male coworkers and a contractor. I’m so mad now that I’m shaking. I feel like nothing has changed and if she was still here that it would be the same. How do I even know or trust this doesn’t happen again. If he’s as blind or stupid as he says. He said he didn’t do anything wrong. Like I’m just being irrational. I’m just going to go and take a time out and try to breathe. I’ve been on here all day, because her coming back has triggered it all for me again. He doesn’t even get it. I agree. I need a new therapist and to do something.

      • Sarah P.

        Susie,

        Something is up. If you are shaking, TRUST your body. That is one of things I learned. If you are shaking, there is a reason.

        Also:

        1) You are NOT being irrational. Read my more recent article on Gas-lighting.

        https://www.emotionalaffair.org/understanding-gaslighting/

        Tell me if that article rings any new bells or causes any new realizations.

        2) Your therapist stinks and you need a new one. You need one who completed the Gottman Affair Recovery training like me. I have completed it and I believe it is a must-have.OR you need someone who has specifically worked with infidelity clients for several years.

        You need to ask only one question when looking for a good therapist. The question is: “Have you worked with couples experiencing infidelity and do you blame the wayward spouse 100% or do you blame each spouse 50/50.”

        If some therapist says they blame each spouse 50/50, RUN. FAR. AWAY. That person will mess with your head and help your wayward spouse manipulate you, make you feel crazy, and undermine you.

        3) I do not believe your H’s therapist would tell him to divorce you and have his friend. I have never heard a therapist talk like that. Also, therapists often meet both people together several times to really assess the situation. If a man is willing to have an emotional affair, do not believe anything he says. Only believe what you witness personally OR what you can find proof of… texting and emails.

        4) What you need to do right now is to hire a private detective who can figure out how far this has gone.

        This OW is not a friend. She is more. She is intentionally trying to poach and you need to know how far she has gotten. You need the whole story from a private detective.

        How long have you and your H been married and do you have kids?

        Right now, focus on getting a new therapist and a private detective. The detective will get you facts. Your husband is NOT stupid and he will not tell you what really happened. You need the facts, verified by a detective.

        Then, you need a therapist who understands how to treat infidelity (or has the Gottman credential) and who blames the wayward spouse 100%.

        Any therapist who asks you what you did to cause it needs to be booted out there door.

        So sorry about everything.

        Sarah

    • TheFirstWife

      In my opinion he should NOT have accepted coffee from her.

      In essence he accepted a “gift” from her. Wrong wrong wrong.

      IF his therapist actually said those things to him – you both have been seeing therapists who are idiots. Not knowing the full context – I am certain there was more to that conversation.

      Third – your H doesn’t get it. sad to say but true. He may be oblivious to certain signals but that is where you have educated him.

      He enjoys the attention from her and it appears he will take whatever he can get.

    • TryingHard

      Susie

      I don’t know what the chances are that both you and your husband have found possibly worst therapists ever. I just do not believe that any therapist told your husband what you have said he told you. Either A. He is lying to you (which is very very likely) or B. He did NOT go to a therapist and is gaslighting you like Sarah P has suggested. So just forget about what he’s telling you with regards to his therapist.

      Yeah that Halloween party to meet clients?? LOL are you kidding me? As a business owner that buys from lots of different vendors in the building industry I would run as far as I could from a vendor who went to a party and became so drunk he was slurring his words and some hoochy mama was following around all night. Meeting “clients” was his way of convincing you that he had to go to that party because he wanted to meet up with her. AND when he went to the store to let her in??? Yeah that was all planned well ahead of time and you interrupted their little meeting by going with him in the car. He wasn’t checking his emails he was playing kissy face with the OW while you were waiting in the car which for disordered people like cheaters and OW’s makes it that much more titillating that you were waiting in the car. UGH so sick.

      Regardless Susie if you are a good wife or not and I have no idea the cheating is all on him. Lots of people have problems in their marriages and they don’t cheat. Lots have people have NO problems in their marriage and yet there is cheating. Being a “good wife” will not keep him from cheating and being a “lousy wife” does not force him to cheat. People cheat because they have bad character, they feel entitled, they are immature lots of reasons none of which have anything to do with the current partner. It’s a selfish selfish act.

      It breaks my heart for you that you are dealing with the loss of a dear family member, health issues and now betrayal by the person who is supposed to be protecting you. I hope you do find another better therapist and take the advice that Sarah has given to you when looking for a therapist. I know there is one out there for you. In the mean time you start taking care of you and do not believe a word your husband is telling you. I too think you should hire a PI if finances allow you to Your husband is playing you big time and I know that is not what you want to hear. I was played for almost 4 years so I know what it feels like and it’s really shitty! It’s a shitty shitty thing to do to someone. I also know we tend to believe them because we WANT to believe them and that is how they get away with it. So look at you situation and ask yourself what would I tell a friend or a relative who was dealing with this stuff what to do? I think you would tell her the same things we are telling you because I know you are an intelligent person. You do NOT deserve this and you did NOTHING to cause it. This is all on HIM.

    • Susie

      I’ve been thinking the last couple days. Thanks to you guys. He has been gaslighting me about a million things. I don’t know why I believed what he was saying. Do they even know they are gaslighting? The OW told my husband when she came in for her visit; why haven’t you been texting me? I got that out of him. I cannot even fathom this. He tells her he just hasn’t felt like talking to people. I told her in December that I wanted her to leave us and him alone. She said she would. What a lying sack of crap. I’m unsure if she’s going to try to text him. She’s still blocked on his phone. He said he was respecting me by having her numbers blocked on his phone. He hasn’t gone out of his way to talk to her. I don’t know what she is trying to get. She seems like she’s gotten even more ballsy since last year. I can’t belive it. She’s 28 years old, and getting worse. My husband and I have been together since we were 19. So, 17 years. We have 3 kids. 2 of them aren’t even in school yet. This OW hates children. She finds them vile. I absolutely hate drinking and always have. He has addictive personalities. He was drinking so much the time he was hanging out with the OW.

      I have resentment from when we were younger and he’d go to parties where girls would have sex with all the men and he tells me it’s normal. He didn’t sleep with them, but would be in the same room as one of them having oral sex on someone, and the women stripping for the guys. I’ve witnessed a bunch of these parties myself. One time he did let a naked girl sleep on top of him. He said it was ok because he wasn’t going to do anything with her. That is also gaslighting. He said what was I supposed to do. Toss her onto the floor. Like that would be so rude of him. My therapist tells me that I need to let this go. The thing is. I haven’t healed from this. Back then he would drink to the extreme.

      Then the video games. I almost didn’t exist for 10 years of our marriage. He would get 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night and be on the games all day and night long. Yes, he was able to hold down a job that paid for our bills. I’m resentful of this.

      Only in the last 3 months now has he been trying. He’s finally unloading the dishwasher on the weekends, and trying to do things with me or the family. He never took me on dates, and now is. I don’t know if it’s better now, or just how it always been? He says everyone he talks to says how great a guy he is. Finally only a couple months have I been on his bank account. Back in December he yelled at me and told me the money was all his. I’m controlling of the money. He said that’s abuse on my part, because I finally started going through the bank statements to see all the food and coffee he bought her. Or should I say he gave her his cards, his PIN number to get food. I didn’t even have his bank card. She picked up the food. He spent 3,000$ on food and things with her that year. 1500$ on video games. I had no idea. I need to go back to school and learn how to be independent. I don’t know if I’ll get a divorce. I just pray it gets better.

      Yes, his therapist for the most part said to divorce me. More than once. I know he went. I made him share his gps on his phone with me for a while there. You can see it in the text messages with shared friend locations. I even have his therapist business card.

      Thank you for all the help and insights. I’m going to stick around for awhile. It totally sucks how many women get hurt and how many pos women there are out there trying to poach a man. I had no idea, until I read this article. I don’t even know how I stumbled onto this.

      Thank you everyone. Thank you.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Susie
        Did you actually hear your husband’s therapist tell your husband to divorce you??? Or is this what your husband told you???

        Also he tells you everyone thinks he is a great guy!!!

        Looking at the bank statements makes you abusive!!!

        I doubt you can believe much of anything he tells you.

    • TheFirstWife

      Susie. I read this and I wonder “HOW”.

      As in how does he just flat out lie – a naked girl slept on top of him and he did nothing!?

      As in how do you not have access to bank accounts and financial information and you are married?!

      As in how does he just think his behavior is ok!?

      And how is he telling the OW “he is respecting you!?” I call bullsh$t on that response. He should know it is wrong and married men do not carry on relationships with people outside the M.

      More later

    • TheFirstWife

      Susie – part 2

      You need to get a plan B in place. Not necessarily to D him but to protect you.

      Minimally I suggest a bank account in your name alone that he has no access to. Have no statements sent to your home. Do everything on line.

      Second you need some earning potential. Whatever you can do even part time. You need to have $ and access to money in case he walks out the door on you.

      No guarantee he will pay you alimony or child support even if ordered by the court.

      Get an attorney. Learn your rights in your state regarding D.

      You need to protect yourself and get your support team in place. Now!!

    • TryingHard

      Susie
      I hear you. This stuff is all so shocking and most here have been naive and innocent with regards to betrayal and infidelity. I didn’t know sites such as this existed until i started Googling the subject. But i have learned so much.

      I know it’s very overwhelming all this information and advice. But we are speaking from experience, mistakes and empathy.

      Fursr and foremost i implore you to find a therapist with experience in infidelity. I truly believe you will find a lot of support and comfort with a more suitable therapist. Also go back in the Emotional Affair Journey archives and read up. That will be very helpful. Also I’m not sure you are aware but Doug and Lunda and Sarah P do mentoring and help as well. They are a great resource without even leaving your home.

      Good luck to you dear. I’m wishing you all the best of outcomes.

    • TryingHard

      Holy Cow Holmes do you think you could be just a little more offensive?!? Good for you that you think well of yourself, but is it real if you have to put others down in order to achieve it?

      Maybe your wife wasn’t perfect and I really can’t tell between your rants and bragging if she actually cheated on you, but there are better ways to recover from infidelity than maligning peoples ethnicity. Here “jewishness” had nothing to do with her cheating nor her supposed abusiveness to you. Pretty sure many survivors of infidelity here can attest to that.

      I hope you will do some more reading here and learn that infidelity crosses all lines of ethnicity, race, social class, religion, gender and that cheating is a function of poor coping mechanisms and poor character.

    • Andrea

      I LOVE it!!! ROTFL!

    • Susie

      I finally got a new therapist, and I feel like this one is going to help more than the first one. I feel like I’ve been able to express myself more in just 2 sessions; than with the first therapist I had for a year. She mentioned emdr therapy. Has anyone used this? Does this work? I was listening to my affair podcast, and I recently heard about this, so I was a little familiar with it.

      I’m still struggling, and I’ve been pushing my feelings down, and being bitter towards my husband. My first therapist wanted me to live in the now, and to breathe through pain, not really focusing on the affair. It just wasn’t helping me. I’m emotionally stuck, and don’t know how to get out. I’m hoping I can with this new therapist.

      How has everyone else been? Thank you all for your insights.

      Is there a Facebook page to follow?

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Susie,

      Research has shown EMDR does work. But here is the issue, it can be very misunderstood. I learned all about it during my Gottman training. Here is the scoop. EMDR is an entire therapy methodology unto itself. Many people associate EMDR with eye movements, sounds, or lights. The Gottmans found in their research that it is the therapy methodology that works and the eye movements, lights etc are NOT necessary if a therapist is skilled in the methodology. When people have encountered good EMDR therapists, they experience great results.

      You also must remember that therapists are like artists. Some are still using metaphorical crayons and coloring sheets while others are painting masterpieces in oil. Therapists vary tremendously in terms of skill level, education, and treatment approach.

      It sounds like your second therapist is a good fit. And listen to your intuition. If you do not feel heard or understood by a therapist, time to find a new one.

      Of course, all of this is just my opinion.

      But here is a question I would ask. Do you have proof the affair is over and proof it has not secretly resumed? What is your husband doing to help? If you feel stuck, that’s a red flag to me personally. It’s one of those things that would cause me to pause and really evaluate the current facts of the situation. This is what I would do. I am not saying you need to do it, but something here is not sitting well with my own intuition as a woman.

      The way I have always dealt with life is revisiting the facts. I will do it many times. And the facts change in any relationship. So when something is not sitting well, I start gathering facts to find out what is going on. If you are fresh out from an affair— I would say less than two years out, I would be re-visiting the facts a lot. I would be looking around and trying to see evidence that an affair has not resumed or that something else is not going on.

      In the end, bring this feeling of stuckness to your therapist.

      As for Facebook pages— we do not have one. We have been thinking about different forms of social media. If we started a Facebook page, what are some of the things you would like to see there? Inspirational quotes? Thoughts of the day? Links to articles? Let us know because our goal is to provide what people need.

      But since we are not mind readers (darn!!!) it would be great to know how we can help via Facebook. I keep kicking myself for not being a mind reader. Lol. (That’s a joke of course). But in all seriousness, feedback welcome!!

      Let us know how we can better help you.

      Sarah

    • Susie

      Hello Sarah,
      thanks for getting back to me. I’m feeling stuck with the healing, and wasn’t sure how to move on. That’s why I found the new therapist. I told her many times I’m stuck. I don’t know how to break free. The other therapist I had said to live in the now, and don’t think of the past. The past, meaning the affair. That wasn’t working for me. I still haven’t healed from that trauma. When she told me that it was ok for my husband to go out to lunch or to let him hug the other woman; when she came back for a visit. My heart sank, and it made me sad. I was thinking that wasn’t right!!! He needed to stay clear of her.

      I’m resentful that my husband didn’t ever tell the other woman that this was a mistake, and to leave him alone. When she came back for her visit; that’s when he should of made it clear. Leave me alone! He said it didn’t matter to him, but the thing is; it matters to me. The other woman thinks it’s a big joke, and I’m the only one not laughing.

      My husband hasn’t really helped me heal. I don’t know if he knows how. I do go in cycles of asking him things; even if he gave me the answers before. This irritates him, and he’ll give me a rude answer back. Example: Yes, I fucked her. I wanted her. Etc. That makes me angry, and I have panic attacks if he doesn’t respond to me; while at work. Text messages. I’m constantly thinking about the other woman. Is she coming back? Is she trying to contact my husband? Having nightmares about them together.

      He reassures me that he isn’t speaking with her, but he also says this could happen again, with any woman. He says he doesn’t notice it. Like, it sneaks up on him. I don’t see how when he was spending all day at work, after work, texting and driving home, and until bedtime texting her, how he thought that was ok?

      We live in California, and she moved to Colorado. It’s getting close to the end of the year, holidays, and I’m terrified. That means she’s going to be visiting.

      With the Facebook thing, maybe we could send questions and answers to others, quotes would be nice. How everyone is doing on their affair journey.

    • TheFirstWife

      Susie.

      I’m sorry you are having such a tough time right now. I know the first two years after DDay were rough. And my H was trying.

      From what you wrote it doesn’t seem likely me your H is trying very hard.

      How sad. And that makes it more difficult for you to heal.

      I had PTSD from his A b/c he kept telling me he wanted a D. This was out of the blue. So I struggled with that until I finally realized I would be okay.

      I would survive without him. My life would be good. Financially I protected myself in case of a D. (Post nup).

      I also was pushed to my limit if patience and tolerance of his infidelity and finally at DDay2 I told him I was D him.

      And I was prepared to do so. I had a plan in place.

      I have restored my self esteem and balance of power in our M. I stood up for myself and told him what changes were needed.

      And he has worked every day to make amends.

      For you – I hope this therapist is better because the last one was an idiot. You should not have to allow your H to hug someone. That is disrespectful to you.

      Your H is honest that the OW could be anyone. i find it hard to believe he cannot control himself but he is telling you that it could happen again.

      That is no way to live – it’s like walking the gangplank. Every single day. Every minute of every day.

      You deserve better. You need to get your ducks in a row. Because you just should not have to put up with that.

      And one day you may decide you no longer will. Like me. I decided at DDay2 I could not live with him cheating and demanding a D out of the blue. So the last time he said “D” a few hours later I told him I was D him. I could no longer live with his infidelity. He was free to go and be with the OW or anyone he wished. He no longer had any control over me. And I was making my own decisions about my life.

      I said it calm and rational and left the room. It was not a discussion.

      He finally woke up. He realized he pushed me too far. I can tell you I was tough the first 6 months of R. I stood up to him and stood my ground on every issue. I no longer backed down. No longer a doormat.

      I’m sure he was sorry he ever cheated during those first 6 months b/c I made it clear we were not going back to our old M.

      And we have not – things are much better and improved. Especially communication from him. It was pretty poor before his A.

      Now it has dramatically improved.

    • wenja

      Hi Sarah:
      Great article! I know you wrote it awhile back, but so much of this hits home for me. My husband unfortunately had a 7 mo. long affair with a “Ms. No Boundaries / JustAFriend / Sociopath” – a co-worker who had him thoroughly convinced that she needed to be “saved” from an abusive husband (this turned out to be false). My husband fell for her story hook, line & sinker, donned his shining armor and attempted to save her by sleeping with her (?????) (I know, right? I’ve never been able to follow the logic in that one.) Anyway, I was completely caught off-guard after 30 years of not perfect, but definitely happy and productive marriage with the love of my life and the father of my 2 beautiful daughters.

      He is an EMS pilot, and each shift he spends 12 hours closely working with a medic and a nurse (who can be male or female). Needless to say they can become very close in a short time, sharing the euphoria of saving lives together. He once described her to me (when he was still in affair fog) as the “most compassionate person” he’d ever met! But as you state, truly compassionate people do NOT sleep with other women’s husbands.

      Not only was she aware of me, but had met me many times, and during the course of the affair she made friends with me and invited me to her house several times!!! Hard for me now to even believe that happened!! Have you ever heard of anyone else experiencing that type of sociopathic behavior? I haven’t but would be interested in hearing their stories. When I found their messages and confronted her with them, her response was “I’m sorry, okay?” and then to beg me over and over to let her speak with my husband! Unbelievable.

      Anyway, I wanted also to let you know that I loved your poem! I too have written quite a few poems in my journal and have found it extremely therapeutic. Normally I wouldn’t be able to write a decent poem, but when the mood strikes and I have some obsessive thought I need to get out, the words just flow onto my paper! Maybe a poetry forum would be an interesting idea for this website, I think it would be great therapy for everyone!!

      Thanks for all you write – you’ve helped me so much over the last year, you have no idea!!! <3

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Wenja,

        I had responded to you and it put my response at the very end of the comments so you will have to scroll to the end to find it. (Hate when it does that and it always happens on my iPhone and NOT on my computer. It’s an iPhone issue– not an issue with this site.)

        Anyhow… had a question for you. So you confronted the spouse poacher with the evidence you had and all she had to say was, “I am sorry, ok?” and then she begged you to let her speak to your husband?

        It irrational and makes me think of a (fictional) scenario like this: two women are passing on the street, it’s broad daylight, many people are around, and one of the women is a mugger. The mugger woman walks up to the innocent woman and attempts to grab her purse. The innocent woman firmly holds onto her purse and asks the mugger why the mugger is attempting to steal her purse and its contents. The mugger looks at the woman with the purse and says, “Im sorry, Ok? Now will you please, please, please let me steal your purse? Pretty please? I really NEED that purse! Please let me look at it, please let me touch it, please let me steal its contents. Really, I am sorry, okay, but I still must have that purse!”

        Well, a woman who tried to steal another woman’s purse (in real life) then apologized for attempting to steal it and then begging and pleading to steal the purse again, would be immediately thought of as crazy. The men with the straight-jackets would be called.

        Also, a clarification about actual domestic violence victims. If they have been beaten by their husbands over and over, they might confide in a man, BUT they will not want a physical relationship with that man and would not want to steal him from his wife. Of course, I am only one person and have only observed behaviors of female victims in group therapy. In observing them, the last thing any of them wanted was to steal another woman’s husband. They wanted to be healed and are SOME of them are happy to speak with men who can help them gain clarity and help show them they are not worthless. But, many of them don’t want to speak to men at all because they get triggered.

        So that is very important to clarify since so many male, wayward spouses have very strong “night in shining armor” syndromes. Female spouse poachers know that and use it to manipulate. Women who claim to be abused (and are NOT abused) and tells these lies with the sole purpose of breaking up another woman’s marriage are the lowest of the low. And they do a tremendous disservice to REAL domestic violence victims. They make real domestic violence victims appear less credible. It’s such huge evil, I have no words to describe it.

        How did you send the spouse poacher packing? Did you get marriage therapy?

        Many blessings,
        Sarah

        • wenja

          Hi Sarah, I have read both your replies – thank you!! My whole story plays out like this:

          1. We are on our 3-wk. vacation to see the Solar Eclipse last August, and I realize my husband is taking a ton of selfies (even my 27year old daughter was teasing him and calling him a 13-year old girl because of that), and also hiding his phone a lot or it was on silent and upside down in the car. Also he took his phone in the bathroom every time and was in there a long time. So I checked our cellphone records & figured out who he was texting – this was truly my very first inclination that something was going on, (sad) so I confronted him on our drive home & we had a long tearful discussion in which he admitted to a deep friendship with her, and trying to help her out of her abusive situation. This was my first D-Day, I thought it was a borderline emotional affair but all he told me was that she was very attached and had told him what a good wife she would make for him. Looking back, don’t know WHY the F*** this wasn’t an eye-opener to me, but my husband whom I’d always had every reason to trust, was just so convincing that it was all one-sided.

          Anyway, at this time, he supposedly broke it off with her over text, and SHE sent ME a very very emotional and “sincere” apology for any problems she may have caused for him, for me, and for our family. We even discussed if it would be awkward for them to work together, and we decided they could both handle it in a mature manner. Little did I know, they had not even broken up it was all a ruse. It was after this that my H set up a secret messaging account so I would not be aware of it.

          So three of the worst months of my life go by, I feel like I’m going crazy, I pretty much stop eating, and I lose 30 lbs (the only good thing to happen). I can’t sleep, I’m checking on him all the time, sneaking onto his phone, email, etc. Finding tiny trails to follow but never able to find any actual evidence, and even when I find a little my H became very good at gaslighting me so that I would end up apologizing for acting crazy!!! I hated doing these things, it made me into such a different person than I’ve ever been (Just even typing that now burns me up so much). And once I get to know HER better I even said she was such a nice person, and I felt bad for my suspicions! (ouch ouch ouch). Well… after that Craft Night incident, I finally found evidence on my H’s phone that they were still messaging each other, and that the messages were extremely intimate (I Love You, etc.) I didn’t see much at that time, but just enough to realize it truly WAS an Emotional Affair. (This was DDay #2). Confronted husband, told him if he didn’t stop I would be leaving. Another tearful emotional apology, lots of late night deep discussions, I thought it would be ended there.

          Final D-Day happened at the worst place possible, two weeks later at my sister-in-laws house where we were attending a family wedding, lots of extended family there we don’t usually get to see, including our 2 beautiful grown daughters who live far from us. I saw his phone blinking, and for the first time ever he had forgotten to close out of the secret messaging acct… I got punched in the gut with thousands upon thousands of deeply intimate messages between them!!! Found out then and there that it was also a full on Physical Affair. Worst moment of my entire life, without a doubt! Felt like I was dying. I couldn’t breathe, but managed to take pics of enough of the messages for evidence. Sorry, I’ll shorten this… confronted him, we took a long walk and talked, I got to control his phone, ipad, computer,etc. He let me change the p/w on his accts so he couldn’t access them (he probably NEEDED me too, because of his addiction to her sorry ass). I saw she had sent him a cutsie message “oh, I didn’t realize you were on here, Baby… blahblahblah), so I messaged back and said “It’s not who you think it is, its his wife… Stay the F*** Away from my husband!” That’s when I got the curt reply “I’m sorry, okay?” And then she started begging to talk to him! I just know she pictured him tied up in a corner, restrained and reaching out for the phone trying to message her – and me there holding a whip over him to keep these “soulmates” apart. So far from the truth!! My poor husband was actually so relieved to have it out in the open, he got giggly and said e felt a huge weight off his shoulders. (After our tearful discussion of course). So glad I could help him out, while my heart was being stomped into the dirt!!! lol

          Anyway, just funny the contrast between her fake apology on my first D-Day, and her true “apology” (I can just hear her tone in it, so dismissive of the pain I was feeling!). Anything & everything must always be about HER, which is finally what pulled my Husband out of his affair fog, when he was asked not to return to work because of her, and she messaged him again (1 mo. after D-Day). He shared it with me, we opened it together, and I KNOW he thought she was going to be all concerned about him and his welfare, but it just said “What did you tell everyone about me?” This is when he finally got 100% over her, or any empathy he still had toward her. Too bad it couldn’t have been because of his love for me, instead of because of her coldness toward him, but whatever.. I see now how much he DOES love me, and all my reading tells me that the affair fog affects the brain just like being addicted to drugs, so I get that. He has a new job, we moved to a new state, and we are mostly very happy now. He’s been great, all things considered!

          I love the purse analogy, it makes so much sense! It’s weird the way this world looks at things differently, depending on what’s being stolen! And you are right, she doesn’t fit the abused woman profile AT ALL, a thing I have told my husband many times! I told him he should volunteer at an actual shelter for abused women as penance, so he could see what an actual abuse victim acts like… except that I don’t want to trigger him, or unleash his White Knight Syndrome again! lol

          Sorry this is so long… I haven’t talked about any of this for awhile, and the only person I can talk to is my sister-in-law, but I hate turning her too far against her brother, so I minimize it. Also it was her son’s wedding we were attending that weekend, so we kind of ruined it for everybody as, you know how family’s talk… nothing was kept secret! Thanks so much for letting me rant here, Sarah, and thanks again for all you do!!

          P.S. No we never had therapy, the move was so stressful and took so much of our time selling the house, etc., we didn’t have time for therapy at the point when it would have been most helpful. We have read things together somewhat, but mostly lots of talks, some good, some not as good… 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, you know! This website has given me most of my reading and information although I have also read about 4 books on the subject. Mostly I read, and he reads the parts I recommend to him. But it’s worked, and I will say except for my on-going PTSD, we are happier as a couple than we have been for many years. Mostly because we are more open with each other now, and also we realize we have to actually make an effort to show our love for each other every day. 🙂

    • TryingHard

      Wenja—oh yeah. My story? The OW came to my grandsons first birthday party!!!! My grandson!! Indeed. What kind of person does that?

      • wenja

        Wow! I feel like I lived for years with blinders on … you just don’t realize these things can actually happen until they happen to you!

        Unbelievable she had the nerve to show up at your grandson’s birthday! Were you aware of anything going on between them at that time, suspicions even? Or a “close friend”? My husband’s succubus met me once to go hiking, invited me to a craft night at her house, and invited me to see a movie. I innocently thought that if I befriended her, I could help my stupid husband out of his situation with an overly clingy friend that he couldn’t shake. Her reasoning was that if she got to know me better, then he & I could double-date with her & her husband, so that she and MY husband could be together in public. He bought that BS, even after also believing that her husband was abusive!!! (he was not) Luckily, it never got that far. I’m pretty sure she was just trying to size me up as her opponent, and get info that she could use against me in trying to convince my husband to leave me.

        I’m so sorry for all us good women who have to go through this crap! These witches make our whole gender look bad.

    • TryingHard

      Wenja–No I had no clue. My h actually hired her to his company and my son worked at the company at the same time. My son told me, after DDay when I asked why she was there and he said that she had begged him to invite her to the birthday party. My H told me he had no idea she was coming and was mortified. I think she did it on purpose to make him squirm. Now imagine this it was all our family. His mom and dad were there my sisters and nephews and nieces etc and there she shows up. I remember saying at the time how odd I thought it was that she was the only employee at the party. Of course he just shrugged and actually agreed that it was odd she was there.

      From what I’ve read it’s not unusual AT ALL for OW in particular as opposed to male affair partners to show up where the wife is and family to scope it out. Also to make the MM squirm. Women can be devious for sure. So it doesn’t surprise me the OW in your wife made the moves you describe.

      It’s hard to wrap your head around weird people like this because it’s so not part of who you are. But what bugs me is when these women do this why doesn’t it raise a huge red flag to the MM that they are NOT dealing with a sane person. That she will most likely in fact make your life a misery. Your h must have been frantic when you two were together wondering what the hell she was saying to you. What a freak!

      • wenja

        Trying: yes, I’ve always wondered what my husband must have been thinking at the time! I know when I was on the way to her “Craft Night” he actually called me and asked me to meet him at work for dinner instead of going. I told him I had to go as I had promised to bring some of the supplies (yes, I actually paid for some of her crafts, and brought goodies, and she never sent my Tupperware back! lol) There were other ladies from work there, and turns out they also knew what was going on and were shocked she had invited me. I hate thinking about it now, they were all so nice to me!! Guess I should’ve wondered why in the 4 previous years he’d worked there they had never invited me to anything before!

        Anyway, I asked my husband later (post Dday) if he had called to stop me for my sake or for her’s, and he admitted it was because she had been calling him and freaking out and panicking about me coming (even though SHE invited ME), just her way to create drama between them, something she was majorly good at. Every time she thought he might be pulling away from the relationship, she would come up with some new drama in her life that he had to help her with. It made me sad to hear that he wasn’t trying to protect me, but to protect her (and probably himself), Nothing dramatic happened that night, just seemed like a normal girls’ night out. She was very good at playing whatever part she wanted to play at the moment. She was texting someone the entire night, however, and I’m sure that was my husband. 🙁

        Sorry to go on so long, it’s good to talk about it though! It’s incredible to hear that your husband’s OW begged an invite from your son, to a FAMILY party! I’m sure your husband must have been hyper-ventilating the entire time! These women should become actresses, they’re very good at it. And poor you, who didn’t even have suspicions at the time, just thinking it was rather odd she was there.. you were probably very polite and courteous to that most undeserving … **** … person… (wanted to say a different word, but keeping it clean! lol ) If you’re like me, you’ve relived that scene in your head over & over, wishing you could rewrite it and say what you wished you’d said to her if you’d only known at the time!!

        And also YES, why doesn’t this behavior raise a red flag to the husbands!!!??? College educated, mature men/fathers, … how can they really be that stupid!!? When I hear stories my husbands would tell me about her, how she would freak out & scream & cry & throw things if he tried to break up… or how she would freak out over messaging if he didn’t respond quickly enough, or if she thought he was texting me, or if he even talked to other women at work… she would even call him names in the heat of her anger. He said he hated it, but he always thought it came from a place of pain from her life, so it made him feel even more protective – her manipulative plan all along, anything to keep him bonded to her. And when she befriended me, I don’t know why that didn’t freak him out more. Guess he was just so used to her crazy by then. And of course, if I had ever in my life treated him the way she did, our marriage wouldn’t have lasted a year!

        Indeed, they are all freaks… it truly saddens me to have had my blinders ripped off me in such a heinous way, but I guess its better to understand what’s really out there in the world than to live a sheltered, clueless life. You can’t combat the evil unless you know it’s there!

        BTW, I’m not trying to inflict my religious views on anyone, but if you’re interested I found this article extremely enlightening… “5 Indicators of a Wicked and Evil Heart”. My husband’s OW fits into all the categories perfectly, as I’m sure they all will. Interesting reading no matter what your beliefs are.

        https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/5-indicators-of-a-wicked-and-evil-heart.html

    • Sarah P.

      Wenja,

      Thank you for telling me how much this post meant to you and thanks for letting me know this site has helped you. I appreciate feedback so that I know what content is most helpful to others. Glad you liked the poem. I can only write poems when I am in a very visceral or painful moment. Sounds like you do the same and I would love to see your poetry if you want to share. 👍☺️ The best poetry comes out of visceral feelings- elation, anger, gut wrenching sadness, empowerment, and the feeling of victory by overcoming adversity.

      Love your screen avatar. Is that Wendy dressed up in Ninja clothing?

      But onto serious stuff. I am so sorry what you have been through. What you have gone through is one of the most heartless and serious experiences that spouse poachers intentionally set up. It has played out in my life and the lives of female acquaintances. A spouse poacher knows she can fly under the radar by befriending the wife. Spouse poachers know this is one of their best “stealth” tactics because wives (who are not cheaters) don’t see them coming. A normal woman (unless she has already had a run in with this type of poacher) will think the poacher legitimately wants the wife as her new best friend forever. Almost always, the innocent wife— who has not met such a person— takes the bait. This was how the tech mogul Sergey Brin’s wife was taken down. The spouse poacher befriended Anne Wojcicki under the pretense that she (the spouse poacher) needed input from mom’s like Anne. How offensive- not only were Anne and her sister founders of Google along with Sergey, Anne founded her own multi million dollar company called 23andme. And they divorced because of the poacher. The thing that burns my buns about it was Anne held off on marrying Sergey while they dated. She said she wanted to ensure she had a future marriage that would not be marred by infidelity. Of course Sergey gave that promise so that Anne would marry him, but broke that vow as soon as a new pair of panties was hired at Google. Google even had a sentence that was part of their branding. The sentence was: don’t be evil. The irony is so overwhelming that it has entered the realm of extreme absurdity. The man who promised not to cheat on his wife and then cheated on her created a company logo telling people not to be evil. Seems like the move of a sociopath. Sergey is allowed to do what he wants while telling everybody else in the world not to be evil.

      Wenja, back to your husband. He certainly works in a field where emotions run high and people can become fast friends. There are many research studies that back the idea of people becoming extremely close in such situations, even if there was not prior attraction. The experience of being in and life and death situation with others draws them together. Corporations have even picked up on this idea and hold team building events at “rope courses.” In my first job at a high tech company, we were sent to an all day ropes course. We could pick a friend from the team to hang out with for the morning sesssions. My friend Kim and I decided to team up. Since Kim had so many fears when attempting to do the course, we stayed together all day. In the end, she fainted from fear and was able to stay on the ground and watch. Meanwhile I completed the parts of the rope course that I most feared and asked to do it alone. I was not showing off. I was attempting to access every piece of courage and positive self talk I could muster. Why? I intuitively knew there would be times in life where I would have to make scary journeys alone. I could not complete the scariest part of the course by myself or even with a partner. It was 100 feet off the ground and the ropes were more lax and wobbly. Anyhow, I did see a remarkable change in how the team interacted after that. People were more open to taking work from other team members. The team found ways to accomplish difficult tasks together. The team no longer saw itself as all these single individuals working in their cubes. Everyone turned “I” into “us.” So we accomplished all the work for the day together and would split tasks according to ability. The best part was that everyone had more compassion for each other. Everyone had everyone else’s backs and each of us would naturally mentor others on a skill one person might have but another person didn’t. The person who had that skill would quietly mentor the person who did not and vice versa. We all grew very close. And it happened because of a ropes course where no one was going to die. But it still had the same emotional affect. I had worked in different tech companies and different teams since then. But have never had a work experience like the one with the first team. It was such an unusual and positive work environment. In your husband’s case, he is dealing with actual life and death everyday. These work environments are difficult when two (heterosexual) people of different genders are placed together. A natural attraction can occur even if the other person is not physically attractive and even if in another setting the two people would not find the other attractive. It’s very problematic and in these situations I believe people of the same gender should be placed together. I know that sounds “sexist” and I know that people are “grown ups and know better.” But in these situations, the executive functioning is over-ridden by the strong emotions that occur when saving someone’s life or not being able to save someone’s life. These situations change people and can make a person very deep or it can make a person shut out feelings and go numb. But the biggest problem is, if a spouse poacher comes along and tells the target, “I am the only one who truly understands you and you are the person who understands me because of what WE go through together each day.” A lot of people will fall for it. Then there is the most commonly used tactic of female spouse poachers: “My husband beats me and you are the only man who makes me feel safe. I am so scared to leave and maybe one day he will hurt me and I will be dead. I am so sad because I never know what he will do and don’t know how to leave.”

      Note: Actual domestic victims say and legitimately experience these things at the hands of their husband. These very things do happen to actual domestic violence victims and domestic violence victims are telling the truth. And the lives of domestic violence victims are at stake because many end up dead.

      The use of this slander by poachers: This is why when a spouse poacher uses this tactic it is LOWER than LOW. First of all, they are accusing an innocent husband (their betrayed husband) of being a violent man capable of killing. That is a terrible lie to tell about a husband who is being cheated on by a wayward wife. Not only is the man’s wife cheating on him, he is actually being accused of a terrible crime. What a terrible and wicked thing to do to a betrayed husband. Most surprisingly, it is the most commonly used tactic. It was the tactic that was used by a nurse, whom I call “Nasty Nurse” to break up the nearly 25-year marriage of “Devious Doctor.” Not only did Nasty Nurse announce to her female coworkers that she was going to break up his marriage, she also told them how she would do it. At the time they worked in a large military hospital and everyone was cheating with doctors. So her female coworkers helped since some of them had successfully broken up marriages of doctors. Nasty Nurse made up a horrendous story (lie) of being married to a physically abusive husband, which was NOT the truth. Nasty Nurse was the evil one. Nasty Nurse is an atheist and broke up the marriage of a doctor who was an elder at his church. And now that Devious Doctor and Nasty Nurse are married, he is not allowed to go to church, not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter, not allowed to do anything. And Nasty Nurse was not married to an abuser— Nasty Nurse is the abuser. Maybe it’s better that Nasty Nurses husband is rid of her except it’s not fair that Devious Doctor’s wife and their children had to lose EVERYTHING they held near and dear to them. Because do you think Nasty Nurse is fair minded now that she successfully poached a Doctor? The answer would be NO. She wants all the goodies for herself and for her children and has made sure Devious Doctor is estranged from his children. His children lost everything near and dear to them, including a house and hobby farm that meant everything to them. And they were also missionaries- the ex-wife and the children. Devious Doctor wouldn’t even let them keep the house. Spouse poachers are not nice women who become evil incarnate because they met their ALLEGED soul mate. That was also the story Nasty Nurse told to the people who were NOT in the know— that Devious Doctor was her soul mate and that she couldn’t help herself. She had gotten fired from her job at the military hospital and when she showed up at my husbands place of work, she had a sob story. Devious Doctor was asked to leave and soon showed up at my H’s work. There was another female doctor at my H’s work who knew what went down at the prior hospital. She knew the wife and had also worked there. She described to everyone the step by step process Nasty Nurse used to break up the marriage. Nasty Nurse is a very evil person through and through.

      And I am sure that your husband ran into someone similar.

      Finally, YES, I would love a poetry forum for this website!!! That is such a GREAT idea!!! It would be great to publish everyone’s poems, no matter how large or small. And they won’t be edited or judged. They will be published as they are to represent and validate the writer’s voice and experience.

      Who else wants take Wenja up on her idea and to share poems?

      Any takers??

      Also…. for any artists out there, it would be so cool to have a page where you can send us any art that you created while working through feelings. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small doodle on paper or if it’s something as large as painted and re-finished furniture. Or maybe it’s a photograph, a piece of pottery, or any other art form you can think of. It doesn’t have to be “good” (or whatever that means). It just has to represent your feelings. Even if you drew a ball of scribbles during recovery, that counts as art because it visually represents an emotional state in its most raw and honest form. And the more raw and honest, the better. Even scribbles can be breath taking if they represent visceral feelings. There is a book called Hyperbole and a Half. If you want to REALLY laugh, this is a must read book. The artist illustrates moments from her life such as her catatonic depression and also the time a goose broke into her house and snuck up on her and her boyfriend and attacked them as they watched a film. I laughed over that goose attack for hours straight. She has taken so much criticism for her art style. She was trained as an artist but intentionally developed a style that would look like a child’s scribbles. I think the way she illustrated her graphic novel is brilliant. Anything that is created under the pressure of intense pain comes from the soul is art.

      What do you all think— does anyone want to share art and poems? This would be such. COOL thing to do!!! (Also you can remain anonymous).

      I am happy to share some of the art I made when my very first boyfriend cheated on me when I was 19.

      Sarah

      • wenja

        Hi again, Sarah –

        A short reply here, as I have just finished writing you an entire novel above!! It’s good (?) to hear that others have experienced the same “friendship phenomenon”, but it’s sad to realize how much that actually happens. It makes it hard to ever trust any woman again! I now think women fall into 2 categories: Good and Bad. When we meet other women, we have to ask what Glinda asked Dorothy: “Are you a Good Witch, or a Bad Witch?” lol

        My Avatar was from a website where you could make yourself into a South Park character, and yes, that is where the play-on-words for my screen name came from!

        As for the Poetry/Art Forum, YES!!! Maybe you, Linda and Doug can add it as a whole separate page or something. I for one have never been able to work the Chat Rooms, every time I go on no one else is there. Forums like this work better, I think. Everyone has different schedules. A whole separate page where we can post things, and then look at them and comment at our leisure – it would be wonderful! Let me know when and where, and I will post some poetry! I can’t wait to share and read the others as well! Take care & thanks again 🙂

    • TryingHard

      Hi Wenja— i know you replied to Sarah but i hope you will allow me to chime in.

      I don’t believe it’s a simple as good or bad women. It’s good or bad people. This cheating is 100% on your husband. Yes that woman played a party and he was happy to let her. Don’t cloud your thinking on that.

      That is all 😊

      • wenja

        TryingHard, I appreciate what you are saying and yes, you are correct… he is an adult and responsible for his actions, and I place the blame on him completely. That is, of course, why I am so very hurt by the whole thing! She means nothing to me, and her actions alone can’t truly hurt me. However, the difference I am making here is that my husband is a stupid idiot (lovingly said, lol) but he is NOT a bad person, and he has never been a bad person. He is a guy who had a true midlife crisis and made a horrible mistake. He is a good guy who did a bad thing, with misguided “good intentions”, and then couldn’t dig his way out of it. SHE, on the other hand, IS a bad person. I know, I know… it is not my place to judge. But based on what I have learned, she had been stalking him and manipulating their friendship for 3.5 years to work up to what happened. SHE knew he was married the whole time. SHE had a plan, SHE used tactics, SHE is a spider who spun a successful web. The fly she caught, my husband, obviously has weaknesses both he & I never realized before. Is he to blame? Yes, absolutely, I hold him 100% responsible as does he!! But is HE a bad person? No. Simply said… No, he is not.

    • Sarah P.

      Hello Wenja and TryingHard,

      I have been off the comments. Lots of stress around here these days.

      I totally want a poetry and art forum. I wrote s poem the other day. But it’s too terrible to post here. Terrible as in the swear words I invented.

      A friend had sent me a music video by Amanda Palmer. Her song and video was about Harvey Weinstein and all the women he came on to. It released some kind of inner rage I had no idea it was there. If anyone is curious google
      “Amanda Palmer Harvey Weinstein song.” It’s not safe for work. It’s a song and video I will never forget.

      Wenja, I know of the female stalkers you speak of. The ones who wear men down no matter how hard it is. I say shame on them and they need to stop going after married men. But I also feel like men need to quit a job (or stop Facebooking) to remove themselves from temptation. When a woman befriends you when she is having an affair it’s so very low. It’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Her personality sounds psycho. But what did your H expect? Women who are normal don’t stalk married men. What is the latest status with your situation? I am just so sorry you have gone through this.

      Blessings,
      Sarah

    • theresa

      I just saw this. Jeff Murrah gave me permission to post on EAJ. Thought it would fit well here.
      “Hello,

      Whether or not you want to admit it, there are times that creeper that works with your spouse is thrilled. They love it when the two of you are not getting along, especially after the affair.

      The moment your spouse arrives at work on those days, they smell it. The tension between the two of you puts a smile on their face.

      They know that trouble between the two of you means they have an entry point into your marriage. They are just looking for a chance to move in along with the potential for an affair. Creepers live up to their name, they creep into those little entry points.

      They live for the chance of getting close to your spouse and getting in their pants. They know they don’t have to get your spouse to fall in love with them or like them. All they have to do is wait for you and your spouse to not be getting along.

      Creepers look for opportunities. They look for when your spouse is vulnerable and then they strike. It often starts with an innocent lunch or coffee. They work their way up to texting and chatting and before you know it, they creep into their lives.

      Experienced creepers spend hours grooming and obsessing before they strike. They know when your spouse is most vulnerable. Creepers also know there’s little you can do in stopping them.

      Sure, you can warn your spouse about them and their intentions. Yet when the two of you aren’t getting along, all those warnings are ignored.

      You can’t be there protecting your spouse’s heart 24 hours a day. Since you can’t be there, they are vulnerable. You now face the question of “What can you do?”

      This is where the ‘Preventing Affair Relapse’ program helps strengthen your relationship. You can know what the high risk situations are and know what you can do in protecting yourself and your spouse from them.

      Since you can’t be with them, you can make your relationship better.

      Keeping It Real,

      Jeff

      P.S. If you’re already a member of the Restored Lifestyle Community, Login here to get your action step on today’s topic.”

      • Sarah P.

        Well, I do agree with Jeff’s assessment of “creepers.” I have witnessed them in action when I used to work in the corporate world. I was always the silent guardian of wives I never met. If I saw a creeper trying to interfere with a married man, I would often confront the woman who was trying to interfere privately. 90% of them would be so embarrassed that someone “knew the game” that they would get embarrassed and stop. But there were 10% who found it funny that I figured out who they were. And they would bat their eyes and remind me it was my word against theirs. Now, I never contacted wives. I just dealt with the “creepers.” It was one of those “do unto others” things. I had the backs of women I would never meet because I would have wanted people to do the same for me.

        However, since cheating is a choice, the only thing we can do is be alert and strengthen our marriage. Doug has some excellent programs that discuss how to do this.

        But, most of all, us betrayed must focus on ourselves and strengthening ourselves. We can only control ourselves. I have learned from experience that there is very little we can do about it if a spouse meets someone very aggressive who just won’t give up. If our spouse is smart, they will run the other way. Many people forget that if they become involved with a coworker, they can lose their job. And many men get fired because they have a tryst with someone who says she wants a no strings attached relationship. Sure she does – when he’ll freezes over! Wives, spend time on empowering yourself.

        I will soon be releasing a 30-Day program for betrayed spouses to focus only on empowering themselves. It’s called “Empower ME.” I have written it and developed it based on research and based on my own learning throughout many yesrs. Its not a rehash of any content you have ever read. It’s the first program of its kind, so be on the lookout when Doug sends the emails about it.

        Thanks,
        Sarah

    • Susie

      Hey guys I’m back. My husband stopped all his shenanigans February 2018, and were still together. Friday we had another fight. He told me he never had an affair. To him what he did wasn’t one. All this time, he’s just telling me yes, to shut me up. He just hired a 20 year old at work, and that’s when I freaked out. Not feeling safe. He has an app that he downloaded with the new security cameras at work. I was watching it. He was sitting in a bar stool at the counter at work. His hand on the mouse, doing something for a customer. The new girl reached under his arm that was extended out, and like between his legs to get something on a shelf there. That fucking flipped me out. He didn’t do anything or say anything. This new girl has no bubble space. The affair partner is coming back to visit in June, and I’m already freaking out. I didn’t tell my husband about seeing that on the camera. He doesn’t know I have access to it. I’m afraid if I say something. He’s going to change the password. lol I was at therapy Thursday, and she said I’m always using excuses why I can’t do things. Or why someone else needs to do things. She said you need to take all that and put inside of you. I understand that, but don’t know how to do it. I guess it was a defense thing as a child. It kept me safe. She told me I don’t work, and that it’s my responsibility to take care of the house, kids, laundry, shopping. My house is an extreme fixture upper. I got pissed yesterday and went out to Lowe’s, and picked up 2×4’s and drywall, and other things. She said it’s my job to work on the house. I’ve been working on the house for years. I have to reframe the walls, hand drywall, insulate, mud, and all that fun stuff. Then go rent a floor sander and do the floors. I was pregnant and climbing scaffolding, lifting up heavy drywall alone. I’ve been up and down ladders, and I’m afraid of heights fixing the siding and painting. He is the one that wanted this house, and I’ve become resentful. I said it’s his choice, and that he should be the one fixing it. The therapist told me to stop making excuses and to do it. So, he can go eff off. I got this. Not my choice. This house is a turd. I’m exhausted all the time. I don’t know when I get rest, but it doesn’t matter. While he’s at work whatever all day. We live in a small town, and I ask him to pick up groceries in the near by city; since we don’t have much where we live. My therapist said that’s my responsibility. I don’t know. My husband and I haven’t been talking for a week. He says I’m abusive to him. Maybe I am. I’m always telling him that he needs to eat better, to not spend money we don’t have on junk food at work. To exercise, to hang out with me more, but he won’t. He’s always in front on his computer playing games or watching Netflix with his phone. I’ve been trying emdr, but there is just so much from my childhood. It’s making me crazy. After my brother died, and my husband having his affair. I feel like I’ve lost it. I’m crazy. I don’t know what to do. He keeps saying to act normal. I don’t know what that is? Thanks everyone. I know I’m mean, and get irritated easily, from childhood, but that would be an excuse. I’m using an excuse to hold on to being a bitch.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Susie–I guess I don’t remember your first posts here so I am addressing just this post.

      First of all, get a new therapist. Yes we all have our jobs to do. And as a SAHM I do believe there are certain things that would fall under your adult responsibilities and role since your are at home. HOWEVER that does NOT include rebuilding your whole freaking house!!! That is unless previous to being a SAHM you were a general contractor??

      I’m talking responsibilities such as laundry, cooking, cleaning NOT shoring up the ramshackle house you and your husband bought together whom I am assuming agreed at the time of purchase that he would help renovate? Nothing wrong with buying fixer-upper but when only one spouse is literally doing the heavy lifting then you have a very one sided, non-egalitarian relationship. Is your husband working at a job as such that he has no time to do the renovation to your home? Is he contributing so heavily financially to your household income commensurate with all the work you’ve taken on? If so hire that shit down. If he’s just too busy working and bringing home lots of money there are plenty of carpenters that will take on the work you are doing.

      Also do you even know what you are doing installing 2 x 4 and drywalling? Again unless you are a general contractor I am going to thing NO you do not. So what are you really proving doing work that you have really no experience in? And in doing so you just may be making matters worse with regards to the structure of your home.

      So maybe instead of doing all the contracting work you sell the house and buy one together that requires less work. One that isn’t falling down at your feet? Just a suggestion. It may end up being cheaper.

      Now to the big stuff. GET RID OF THAT QUACK THERAPIST. I cannot believe the crap she is pushing on you. I think your h had an affair and I don’t even know you. He’s lying. Cheaters do that, they lie. Does this even make sense that he admitted to having an affair when he didn’t just to shut you up??? Seriously no one does that and if you are buying that story I have a really good bridge to sell you 🙂

      What do you care if he knows you have the password. You have every right to have the password. It’s your business too. Look people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Apps with disappearing texts should be a HUGE red flag to you. Employees who reach between their bosses legs is NOT normal. No one does that. Even the cheekiest of people DO.NOT.DO.THAT.

      What you are doing is accepting the blame. You’re mean, you’re demanding, you’re whatever else that quack therapist and your h is telling you you are. I call bullshit. You may be all those things but it still doesn’t give them the right to tell you to shut up. And that is exactly what these two are telling you. Your h because it works for him. You are dancing around like crazy showing him how good a wife/mother/general contractor you are and he gets to sit his fat ass on the sofa watching Netflix and playing games. AAAAAAGGGGHHH. And it works for your therapist because you keep going back paying her $125/hour and she gets to be a half assed therapist.

      Look if your h is having affairs it’s not because you’re mean or demanding or not a general contractor. He’s having an affair because he’s an entitled asshole!

      My advice is fire your therapist ASAP and give that lazy, cheater a choice. Either he can step up and help with the renovations or you are hiring a general contractor to do it.

      Oh yeah and don’t do his laundry for a while either 🙂

    • Anon

      Your husband is having inappropriate interactions with co-workers. Not maybe his fault BUT he’s not keeping up boundaries and distance.

      The house you describe as needing work. Ok. It needs to get done. Why is that 100% on you? Why not work on it together?

      Your counselor doesn’t sound supportive. The dynamic needs further explaining to understand what the therapist is trying to accomplish. Otherwise it sounds like she may be telling you something different than how it appears (based on your post).

      And then there is your anger. Or unhappiness. Or frustration. All normal. Again I don’t understand your therapist’s position.

      Are you saying you are having trouble with your anger b/c your H still does things that upset you? I would be mad if my H didn’t talk to me for a week too.

      Is this all marriage related anger or a mixture of his affair and the house and your childhood and your brother’s death – my condolences by the way – or is it Affair based?

      Is your husband helping you now? Or just not speaking because he can’t or won’t help.

    • Susie

      Hello guys, I am not a general contractor, but for whatever reasons I’m very handy. I have taught myself novice woodworking, and have built many things for myself, and for the house. This house was tossed together throughout its age, and I’m repairing it better than it ever was. I have even built our bathroom vanity. When we were looking for a house. I did not agree to this one. It just needed to much work. It was an eyesore, and ugly pink. The first time looking at this house I actually walked in and ran out. I said no, no, no. I’m not buying this. He talked me into buying this home. It has been a giant headache. Roof leaking for most of the time we have lived here, and living in 1 spot in the house. Not having a bedroom for at least 3 years we have been here. I have taken on the roll of the General contractor, because my husband is working most the week. He doesn’t make enough money for us to hire out, and he is lucky I can do things. This house is such a turd, and I’ve become resentful at it. Finally got the roof replaced in December, and thankful. It has been one of the wettest years in Northern California. I’m resentful at him, because he should be spending more time than he is working on the house. Either for us to sell it or to rent this turd out. Instead he was having late nights at work with his hoe worker, and came home to be drunk. In the last year his attitude has improved. I think he should be spending more time on his home, as opposed to video games and Netflix. My therapist says he is so tired from work, and never has time for himself. The last therapy session, since I guess I say I’m handy, now the therapist says it’s your job; since you do not work. I couldn’t believe it. It was also my husbands idea to buy this house. She told me if you want to get out of it sooner; you’ll work on it.

      I like to do multiple forms of art, and for many years didn’t do anything. Only after my brothers passing I’ve decided to refinish furniture as a means of income, but that isn’t working out very well in my community. I need to get online. I have sold some items; enough that’s it’s paid for everything I bought, and supplies, but need to start making that profit. I don’t think the therapist really knows the exact details this house needs, and how much work it entails.

      My husband is the manager at his job, but runs it as mostly the owner. He opens and closes, gets paid for 40 hours and works more than 40. That is his decision. They hire people that smoke weed at work and drink beer. It’s a small tile shop, and I cannot understand how this is professional. We had a company get together a couple weeks back, and went go karting. I was ok; until we got to the parking lot, and people were smoking weed, and drinking beer in the parking lot. Got into their cars and drove. I don’t agree with this kind of thing. I don’t know why, but that is how I feel. They were heavily smoking pot the whole time we were go karting, and they told me pot doesn’t do anything to you. Then why is it they do it? If it doesn’t do anything? They place no boundaries or rules at that job. I’ve gotten very bitter at that job after the hoe worker incident.

      I’m frustrated that he never told his hoe worker to leave him alone. That what he did was wrong. I told her to leave us alone, and she said she would. A few months later she comes back to visit. She’s now coming back in June. I’m already stressing out about that.

      He told me he never had an affair. Then what was it that he did? I don’t care if he said he didn’t have feelings for her, but she had feelings for him. He stayed late drinking with her at work. On his drive home; he was texting her. In the bathroom he was texting her. When he was laying on the couch drinking. He was texting her. Some late night text, and sometimes he’d wake up and text her. It was BS.

      I was in a fog after my brother passed. I lost my brother; which he was like a father to me. It’s another story of all that happened after his death, but it was just to much for me. At that time my husband was having his emotional affair. I was in this dark fog I couldn’t get out of. My first dday was the night he was drinking and texting her. He said I’m going to her house after work on Friday. I’m going to spend the night. Playing video games with her boyfriend and drinking with them. I kept telling him no, and that I wasn’t ok with this. He asked my 5 times at work on Thursday, and I said no. Finally when he was drunk that night at home. He said if I can’t go. I’m not talking to you, and your a bad mom. I had a huge mental breakdown. I wasn’t in a good head space after my brother just passed away. I was hyperventilating and crying like I just lost my child. I was screaming why, and he couldn’t even hear me. He was sitting like 10’ away from me. Had no idea I was freaking out. I guess to drunk to remember, and to busy with his hoe worker. I didn’t engage with him Thursday night or at all Friday. I had no idea if he was going to her house or not. He chose to come home. I wasn’t home. I went to my sisters house. I was so upset. Not eating. Not sleeping. He did come straight home that night, and the next morning I drove to Oregon from California, just in a daze. He had no idea where I was going. I just drove. He said I’ll stop drinking and I’m sorry. I don’t think he knew what he was sorry for. Just saying it. That Monday he went to work and told his hoe worker everything I had done. How stupid I was. I then went through the bank account, that I wasn’t even on. It was all in his name. I had to drive 45 minutes to him if I needed to use his card. We have 3 kids together, and that made me very isolated. I went through the bank account. Found out how much money he was spending on lunches and things for him and hoe worker. Found out he was giving her his debit card, and his PIN number. That he let her have his credit card and things to go get 8$ coffees and 40$ lunches. That shit added up. Found out how he spent 1500$ in 5 months on video games. Games he couldn’t even play, since his computer was to old. Went through all the phone records, since it’s in my name. It was crazy. All the damn phone calls and text messages. I pretty much flipped out.

      A week or so after the dday I asked him while he was distracted playing video games if she has sex addiction. Found out yes, all the guys she fucked. How she lied to her boyfriend. How she was still fucking guys. How my husband knew for at least 6 months of her cheating, before the boyfriend found out. The boyfriend never left her. He has his own issues. To find out that her boyfriend had his friend over. Them drinking. How her boyfriend was drunk on the couch, and how the hoe worker was sucking the friends dick in the kitchen. That triggered me even more. That my husband wanted to go to her house, and knowing all the shit she does.

      Months and months of him telling me she’s his good friend. How I was such a bad person for wanting to take her from him. All these awful things. My dday was March 2017, and he wasn’t texting her at home, but when he was at work the phone was off the hook. Her texting and calling him the moment he left her eyesight. He said it was ok. It was for work. Then in October, hoe worker bought him a ticket for a Halloween party. One of the designers invited them to go. He said I’m going. If you don’t go. I’m going to spend the night at her house yet again. The pain that caused me. Having to go, and having to sit there all night. Her starring at him when he wasn’t next to her. How when he would get up to use the porta potty that she would follow him. How she followed him to get alcohol. How I just sat in the chair alone. It was so damn low. He still says he’s so happy he went to that party. How it helped his business out. Everyone had mask on, and they were drunk. He didn’t talk to anyone. He says he gained customers; when he went to that party. I don’t get it.

      Finally many other things happened. I was suicidal. I was ready to end it. I wrote letters to all my kids. I was saying my goodbyes. I was about to do it, and stopped myself. Wasn’t sure which child would find me. I had kicked my husband out of the house for yet another lie. He wasn’t there. He was drinking and other things; while I was saying goodbye. February 2018. I said if you don’t stop this shit. I’m getting a divorce. I told him I went to get divorce papers, but they were out. I think that freaked him out. He stopped. He started trying more. In August 2018, we started going to therapy together.

      I had an abusive childhood. My family never gave me a hug or said I love you, and I have issues from all that trauma. Anxiety, and things. I still try to push people away. That I’m not lovable. I get angry at things, and I do try to have a sense of control. My therapist told me the affair was years ago now, and with all the childhood trauma I need to take all the excuses I make and put that inside of me. That I’m trying to remain the victim, and need to move on. This is why I’m going to therapy. I’m unsure as to how. When my brother passed away suddenly. Everything that happened to me as a child. Everything that I was hiding. Everything I did. Everything that I tried to forget hit me like a semi truck. That’s how I can only explain it. That I’ve gotten “crazier”. That I don’t feel safe anymore. I hate my husbands job. I’m freaking paranoid now. I never feared female coworkers in our whole relationship, but now I do. Marriage and relationships don’t mean anything. I think people can and will do anything even if they or the other person is in a relationship. I don’t know how to be “normal” as my husband put it. I don’t know what that is? He says I just want you to be happy. What does that mean? I’m so frustrated, and I don’t know if therapy is going to help. The last therapist wasn’t much help. Even as the affair was going on. She said to let it go, not worry about it. He was seeing his own therapist. She told him to get a divorce and keep the hoe worker. This one has helped out more than the other, but it kind of hurt when she told me to take everything and put inside of me, and the affair was so long ago now.

    • Cara

      I am so sick of hearing/reading about the poor OW, so misunderstood and blameless, being seduced by the nasty WH! You nailed it, Sarah!
      In our case the OW knew my H was married with children the first time they were introduced when she started work for the same company. He had a white gold wedding band on his left hand and occasionally referenced his children in conversations.
      After many conversations when he would be in the office, he bumped into her in passing and said, “excuse me”. She asked, “for what?,” standing close to him. He said “I bumped into you. I’m sorry.” She stood very close to him, looked him in the eyes, and said, “don’t be sorry, you can bump me any time you want”. She asked him to join the office for an employees going away happy hour, he went with the group, she soon asked him out for a drink, he accepted and he slid down the slope. Since they worked for the same company & she was his CS rep, she would often call him at home, using work as a cover. I would answer the phone so she talked to me briefly over the year they were having their affair.
      She knew all about me and the children, using us to her advantage since I knew nothing of it. I had so much love and trust for my husband of 20 years that I never suspected. The long work days, frequent travel, “tennis” every weekend (exercise to relieve his stress, not!) and missed home dinners & family functions were sacrifices I was willing to make for a better life and future for us all. Without complaint.
      So much for the sacred sisterhood of women! I only wish I hadn’t been so trusting. He had all the time in the world to indulge in their fantasy. That was decades ago and I wish I knew such women were out there.

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