Advice for a woman whose husband is still in contact with the affair partner.

still in contact with the affair partner

By Linda & Doug

We’ve stated many times in the past that we have a great community here on EAJ and quite often a reader will make a comment that is an absolute gem.

We wanted to share one with you in this post.  This gem is a response to a comment from another reader whose husband was still in contact with the affair partner (or at least suspected he was).

Here we go.

A Reader Writes…

“I recently found out my husband had an emotional affair (EA) with a long-time childhood friend that doesn’t live near us and is also married. It started as just connecting on Facebook and catching up. My husband and I have been married for nearly 7 years and he says for the past 3-5 he has been unhappy – unbeknownst to me. I thought we were happy, maybe in a rut of routine, but happy and committed. I never once waivered trust in him.

Recently I noticed he has been on his phone a lot, covering the screen, turning it upside down, and taking it everywhere with him. It came out that he had been talking with this woman A LOT and he said talking to her made him happy. He says he doesn’t want to be with her and can’t be with her, but I’ve made him so unhappy that the attention from her made him happy and that she is his best friend.

We have decided to do marriage counseling and to work on our marriage, but I still suspect he is talking to her. He said he would not talk to her while we were working on our marriage, but I think he still is.

He has also told me that he loves me and wants to be with me, but that he refuses to stop being friends with her because of the length of their friendship and that she is his best friend.

I just don’t know how to bring it up and ask if he still is, because it feels like I’m beating a dead horse when I bring her up. I just don’t know where to go from here. I feel like a complete failure, I feel insecure, and I just want him to choose me and leave her.”

Rationalizing the Emotional Affair as ‘Just Friends’

A Gem of a Reader Response…

I am so sorry you are going through this. I’m also sorry to tell you that based on what you wrote (which is ALL I can go by) that trying to reason with your husband at this stage of his affair will just be a waste of your time. You will only wind up feeling more frustrated and more insecure.

In order for your husband to rationalize what he continues to choose to do, he has to make you the one at fault. He can’t accept the blame himself because that would mean he wasn’t a good person.

On top of this, his friend is agreeing with him…it’s all your fault. It’s insidious and they have been making that decision about you (and her husband) for a while now.

When a husband or wife feels they have the right to continue a behavior regardless of how their spouse feels about it, then they are disrespecting their spouse and disrespecting their marriage. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but they’ve become a team and they aren’t looking out for you.

I know it hurts to hear all of this but the sooner you can accept the reality of what is happening in your life, the sooner you can start to heal.

Just so you know, I’m not concerned about your husband right now, I’m concerned about you. He’s already so far down the rabbit hole that he can’t even listen to reason.

As long as he remains in la-la-land he is just a waste. There isn’t much anyone can do for him. Which is why I want to impress upon you to look after yourself.

Become your first priority…

As Dr. Steven Stosny says in his book “Living and Loving After Betrayal,” “Get Out of the Hole First…there is a tendency to become preoccupied with the minutiae of how we’re mistreated which only distracts from the healing process.”

I repeat, become your first priority – not in the selfish, misguided way your husband chose, but in a nurturing way that supports you and your values.

If you’re married, then you have a legal, binding contract. You are one half of this relationship. You don’t have to accept a demeaning role in this relationship. You don’t have to accept a third person into your marriage. I doubt if you would have agreed to marry him if he had blatantly threatened to bring a third party into the marriage if you ever “made him so unhappy.” You have rights!

I’m glad to hear your husband agreed to counseling, but that, alone, may not be enough. I recommend you find someone who specializes in emotional affairs. Do not settle for someone who isn’t knowledgeable in this area. This is your life, and maybe the counselor can get through to your husband. However, if the counselor isn’t familiar with EAs you may not receive the help you need to get through the trauma you are experiencing.

When the spouse who has been the faithful one feels “like a complete failure” you have been traumatized. Do not willingly let your husband and his ‘friend’ dump this onto you. Don’t do to you what they are trying to do to you!

If you want to stay married to your husband and rebuild your relationship then here are some more things not to do. I am not suggesting they will be easy, but even if you choose not to stay with him, you can know you were true to yourself. One day you will recognize how important that is.

Don’t lie to yourself. Have enough respect for yourself to question what you say to yourself. It isn’t all true. I told myself for a long time that I was stupid for not recognizing what was happening. I now know that wasn’t true and it was a way for me to feel bad about myself. That didn’t serve me.

Don’t let otherwise well-meaning people tell you what you SHOULD do regarding your life or your marriage. Just because someone has had a similar experience doesn’t make them qualified to tell you what to do…including me. No one knows what is best for you but you. No one gets to live your life but you. You are the only one who will have to live with the results of your decisions. Don’t lie to yourself.

Don’t get caught up in the drama. Don’t tell yourself that she is getting the ‘best’ part of your husband. No, she isn’t. You probably wouldn’t have looked twice at him when you were single if you knew he was capable of cheating on his future wife. Right now, he isn’t the man you were attracted to and agreed to marry. No one who values themselves wants that kind of spouse. (This should show you how little they value themselves AND each other.) Don’t settle for that kind of spouse for yourself. You know you deserve more. Don’t lie to yourself.

Don’t settle for anyone that doesn’t uplift you and doesn’t challenge you to be your best. It doesn’t take much to realize that neither your husband nor his friend is challenging the other to be their best. All they are doing is using each other for their own benefit.

But, enough of what not to do…

Decide who you are in light of this experience and who you now wish to be. You cannot go back.  You can only go forward. Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.

Honor yourself in everything regarding this or any experience in your life. When all is said and done you will realize that you came into this world alone and you will leave this world alone. Be your own best friend. (I find it sad your husband places that nearly impossible task onto another who doesn’t even have his best interest at heart.)

Always take the high road.  You will never do yourself a disservice if you always-take-the-high-road. It is so easy to let anger rule your thoughts and actions. The problem with letting anger control your life is that it can become addictive. It feels powerful in the moment, but its effects are temporary. When it’s over, you crash.

 

Bouts of anger and resentment always drop you down lower than the point at which they picked you up…” ~ Steven Stosny

 

Danger Ahead – You Can Live Without Your Spouse, But Not Without Yourself

It took me a long time to realize what an incredible opportunity my husband’s affair was for me. It was a time for me to finally quit lying to myself and realize how much I had discounted ‘me’ in my marriage, how much I had overlooked in order to keep the peace, and how much I had been hoping he would recognize the value I brought to the relationship.

As it turned out, I was the first one who cheated me out of a spectacular marriage. In only looking after him, I wasn’t looking after me. I didn’t express my dissatisfaction. I naively thought our disconnect would take care of itself. In retrospect I wish I had tried harder. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not taking responsibility for his choices, but a successful, loving marriage takes two. The more you are able to say, “This is who I am, this is what I stand for, and this is what I find unacceptable in our relationship,” the more you will honor you…and ultimately…him.

This is about you. It isn’t about your husband and the other person. They have their own demons that they have to work through. It’s up to YOU how you choose to view this experience. Your answer will determine YOUR future. You can view it as the end of your life or you can view it as a steppingstone to a world you can’t currently even imagine. I hope you choose you. Take care.

***********

What do you think about the advice given? 

Could following this advice have made a difference in your own situation?

What are some ways that you personally have “become your first priority?”

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

 

 

    28 replies to "When Your Spouse Is Still in Contact with the Affair Partner – Become Your First Priority"

    • A leopard with go faster stripes

      I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to get my wife to be ‘free’. In other words, to have the job that she wants in the environment that she wants. I’ve been focused on her happiness, rather than looking after my own wellbeing first.

      Do you know what she did with that freedom? She went and had an affair with our best friend. Talk about a punch to the gut. She’s now living in their 1 bedroom house-share, poor as can be, without an internet connection. Talk about a downgrade. She’s gone from a beautiful cottage in the countryside to living like a student. He’s got no ambition, no prospects and not much of a life to speak of. It’s the ultimate rescue fantasy. She can’t see that though, due to the effects of Limerence/Affair Fog. Reason, logic and common sense have flown out of the window to be replaced with: “he gets me like nobody else”, “he has hidden depths”, “I love you but I’m in love with him”, “we communicate on different level” etc. Sorry, my good lady, don’t make me laugh with your cliches. This isn’t Twilight, he’s not your Jacob and I’m not Edward. Bloody sparkly vampire stories. That’s what fuelled this particular love triangle.

      Right after D-Day, I was shell-shocked. She suggested that he move in with us in some kind of Polyamorous utopia. She wanted to have her cake and eat it. She said: “Bella’s a fool for not having both of them”. I nearly agreed. That’s how weak and pathetic I was. That’s how codependent I was. I couldn’t even look after my basic physical needs. Talk about living in her shadow. I was a total and utter doormat but then the anger came…

      …with each angry outburst she’d impose a new punishment. First it was demanding a separation, then it was saying that she wanted to live with him over me and then, finally, divorce was on the table. Anger is not the solution, it gave her all of the power. Until recently that is; I gently, firmly and tactfully kicked her out of our cottage, so that she can go live with him in poverty. You should’ve seen her face! It was a picture. A mixture of surprise, anger and fear. Checkmate, you manipulative harpy. We’ll see if her werewolf fantasy survives in the real world. You want to live in his dog kennel, then be my guest.

      Do you know what I’ve realised? She’s now trapped. The freedom that I’d worked so hard to get for her has vanished and now she’s hooked on him. I’m the one being released. I’m the one being set free. For the first time in my life I’m responsible for every aspect of living and that’s liberating. I’m doing a great job of it too. So, if any of you are feeling lost, alone, depressed and despondent due to infidelity remember this: they’re the ones in chains. Take your freedom, run with it and become the best person you can be. Grow.

      • Nearly Normal

        AL with GFS,

        best friend affairs are the worst. Trust issues are very hard for me with either sex because of it.

        I stayed with her and put up with her until the limerance transitioned to sanity, but even after decades it is difficult. I do not blame anyone for getting out when it’s a best friend affair.

        Hope your life is full of growth as you become your best person.

        • A leopard with go faster stripes

          Thanks NN.

          I’m not sure that I could stay with mine if she came back. I look into her eyes now and see Lilith the Demon Queen. Well, not quite that bad but very close.

          She was sweet, she was kind, she was beautiful. Now she’s a used up hag with dead eyes. The zombie stare of someone in Limerence. Where is her brain? Oh! That’s right, her AP ate it.

          Decades of pain… Ouch! I have to move on then.

    • Hopeful

      I relate to many of these thoughts. I think partially due to my own personality but also societies view of betrayal is why I felt the way I did. Thankfully from shortly after dday my husband took full responsibility and told me the narrative that I had any part in it was false. It was him that was the problem. I went through so many stages but in the end you are right I had to focus on me. I decided at one point 1. I was not going to let the other woman take anything else from me and waste any more of my life and time. I knew I was in the right and had done nothing wrong. The ow were the ones with the issues along with my husband. 2. I had to focus on me 100%. Whether we stayed together or not I needed to help myself get to the best possible spot. Setting boundaries and expectations of course were part of this, working through the pain, considering trusting my husband, eventually trusting him again etc. But in the end I learned to focus on me.

      Overall everything has worked out. Probably the biggest issues is I am still very closed off and guarded from the outside world. I struggle to connect/trust others. When a friend cancels or lets me down it hits me really hard now. It brings back feelings of betrayal and mistrust. I would have never felt that way ever before dday. I also feel challenged since this is such a huge part of me/our marriage/my identity. So I feel fake with people since they do not know. And more than ever affairs, betrayal etc come up in either a joking way or disgust and judging.

      • Soul Mate

        Hi Hopeful,

        2 years out from dday and I too feel very closed off from the outside world. I find that I have no desire to indulge in relationships outside my marriage, nor patience or trust in anyone anymore. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Whether my feelings of disconnect are a result of the trauma of being betrayed. How now, every little slight from a person feels like I’m being betrayed all over again. Mostly from my having feelings that something was going on at the time and in the end berating myself for not trusting my husband as he was never late from work, never goes out with the guys and we spent all of our time together outside of work and always shared our bed. He had an EA with some physical, however no sexual contact with a work spouse poacher. All interaction with her was through the phone, Skype and work hours.
        Still I felt something was off and felt great guilt over feeling that way. During the affair, I was also having nightmares repeatedly that my husband disappeared and I could not find him. Could not get him on the phone, that he simply vanished off the face of the earth. I also had dreams that someone else was living in my house and I continuously was trying to get into my house but was locked outside. Those dreams must have been warning signs I think now. I almost dreaded going to sleep at night.
        After dday the nightmares intensified. They were horrible, graphic violent and involved the parasite AP. I even had repetitive dreams of pulling a large ball of hair out of my throat that was somehow caught on the inside and refused to come out. The more I pulled, the longer it became. I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and crying and flailing and my husband would hold me and try to soothe me until I calmed. I know this sounds so weird considering he was the reason for all of the trauma but I’m not sure how I would have lived through those nights if not for his being there for me and talking me back into reality.
        The nightmares have subsided, however my feelings of self alienation and mistrust of all people linger like an open wound. My husband and I have been talking through this lately. It’s almost like I’ve given up on people.
        I can deal with them, but accept that people cannot be trusted period. Maybe it’s because when the affair was taking place deep down I knew, I could feel his subtle actions of pulling away and I denied it and beat myself up for even thinking it. Maybe because the EA took place while I was recovering from a severe break to my lower leg and ankle. Maybe it’s just easier now to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again. Not sure but I’m working on it. Funny how you mentioned it in your post.
        My husband says that I need to listen to my heart and I will feel that trust can be restored. I can’t help but think that it’s heart that gets me into trouble in the first place.

        Peace

        • Hopeful

          I am glad the nightmares have subsided. I felt something was off but my husband’s affairs being sporadic things would seem normal then not but always with a reasonable excuse. And since the contact was sporadic I am not sure I would have ever figured it out. I did ask him very directly many time about interest or interactions with other women. I was not dumb or naive to think nothing would ever happen. Every time he would look me in the eyes and say no never.

          It is a tough topic since my husband feels 100% responsible for my lack of ability, desire or interest to be around others. I think it is due to many issues. There is the obvious after being betrayed it is hard to trust. Also after expending so much emotional energy working through recovery I honestly do not feel like I have anything to give. No matter how much self care I focus on I am still drained from it all. I also feel like when others do not know I cannot truly be myself. I also feel like people are very judgmental of those who cheat and women who stay sometimes it is joked about but most of the time it is really negative talk which makes me feel even worse about a situation I did not put myself into.

          I will say my husband has similar feelings about others. I understand that more though. He has changed a lot both his priorities and behaviors. He was the organizer of all things social in all his friend groups and now he is not. Since he is not organizing his friends do little to organize anything. He also sees his friends as more shallow and cutting corners in their lives I guess is the best way to say it. He also sees less benefit to being around his friends since he has matured. He is less interested in the drinking, staying out, trips etc. So he is disillusioned also with others.

    • Lynsey

      Like Soul Mate & Hopeful, I too cannot trust anyone, whether it be family, friends or strangers, even though it’s been over 8 years since D-Day. I’ve dropped just about all my friends, still interact with family, although I am very guarded around them. I really have no desire to ever trust again, because the two people in my life who should have had my back & protected my heart failed me in such big ways; those two being my mother (long story) and my husband (EA and other things) I feel safer being distant. Luckily my jobs don’t require much interaction with people.

    • Nearly Normal

      Trust is so hard. I find that I can have friends, but I will only open up so much with them. Even trust with my wife is difficult. It’s there, but always takes work.

      Soul Mate, I’m glad your nightmares are better. I find they come and go. Recently had a bout of them after nearly two decades since Dday. My healing was particularly messy and just plain bad.

      How do we overcome this distrust? I am afraid (perhaps wrong) that it takes a lot of work on healing PLUS the willingness to put ourselves out there and take risks. For some of us, that may never happen, or if it does, the first time we’re hurt we pull back into our shell.

      Afraid I don’t have much positive today. Right now working on some communication issues with my wife. After hard work, it may have a positive ending.

      Maybe here’s the positive thought: You will always have some scar of the wound with you. But that makes you a badass. You have survived and gotten through pain that most people cannot imagine. You have amazing strength in you even when you feel nothing but weakness. Maybe that helps somebody. But I’m just rambling again, so I’m signing off.

      • Soul mate

        Hi Nearly Normal,

        Thanks so much for your insight.

        Some days I do feel like Badass, others I just feel like an Ass but I’m working on it.

        Peace

        • Nearly Normal

          Ass! Nice!

          Me too. You can’t always feel good about yourself when you’ve been stomped into the dirt by the person you trusted the most in life.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Regarding trusting others after betrayal I think perhaps I went the other way. My adult children and a few very close friends exceeded all my expectations in their love, wisdom and support. Some of those relationships have deepened as the level of vulnerability went up. We have shared each other’s pain…..and I believe there is something almost sacred about that.

        I read a quote the other day that read: KEEP THE ONES THAT HEARD YOU WHEN YOU NEVER SAID A WORD. They never said who the quote was by, but it touched my heart, Because I literally had someone know there was something very wrong just by the tone of my voice. And two people saw the pain by just looking in my eyes. Those same friends have trusted me with some of their most painful moments as well. So as shattered and disillusioned as I was, I have also been in awe at the love and compassion shown to me.

    • A leopard with go faster stripes

      Survivors are definitely badass. I feel like I’ve had the flu + angina for months. That’s the weakness alright. I feel like a soggy piece of spinach.

      The weird thing about trust is that I now trust my old enemies (my brother and father) and distrust all of my friends. Will I trust people again? I must, it’s in my nature. I’m not going to be afraid to love again… and lose.

      Look, what I’ve realised is this, I hate myself. I’ve always hated myself. That’s why my wife ran off and my friends suck. They hate themselves too. I’ve picked perfect matches: wounded, damaged, dysfunctional, toxic people. Relationships only work well when you 100% love yourself (not in an arrogant way). So, that’s what I’m going to work on, loving myself. I’m marrying myself the next time. At least I won’t get cheated on!

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        Unless I meet a beautiful 36 year old red-headed Pisces called Kathryn that is.

    • Another One

      I think becoming your own first priority is an important lesson for any betrayed spouse to learn regardless of whether their spouse is still in contact with their AP or not. I know I regret ignoring my own unhappiness and loneliness and trying instead to be the best wife and mother possible. My self-sacrificing nature gave my husband plenty of time and ability to meet up with the OW. I definitely wish I’d made it harder for him!

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        Some cheaters will always get around any boundaries that you put in place. I put two very simple boundaries up with my wife and she stepped over both of them in quick succession. The consequences are that she was kicked out of the house and no longer has the benefit of using the joint bank account. That still hasn’t stopped her from proceeding with her behaviour.

        So, it seems that no matter what we do as the betrayed, we can’t control or convince them to change their minds. When they are under the influence of Limerence, they’ll pretty much do anything that they damn well please and hang the consequences.

        I wish we could just lock them in the basement and wait for the Affair Fog to wear off.

        • Another One

          So true!
          My husband found it easy to convince himself it wasn’t really lying when he told me most of the truth about where he was going and what he was doing, just omitted to mention who he was doing. I know he would have ended up doing whatever he wanted regardless but I do wish I hadn’t made it so easy for him.
          Now I’ve learned that putting myself last doesn’t help anything so I’m trying to prioritise my own needs and wants.

    • Camper

      Leopard… Thank you for posting. You have inspired me. I am just four weeks past D-Day/confrontation. My WH – despite claims that he is trying to break it off – is still in contact with OW. I can only imagine what is being said about me but I know my own self and know what is and is not real.

      We have built a damn good life over the years and had lots of terrific plans, all of which are in doubt. He is very close to losing everything and trading down to a predatory partner poacher with whom he may end up in a wee tiny flat next to the highway.

      I need to take care of me. Period. I need to keep taking the high road and not stoop to their/her level. Period. If he ends up with her, then he is no longer they guy I married and they deserve each other. Period. I can still pursue my dreams.

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        I feel for you Camper and totally understand where you are. I admire your strength. I hope that he makes the right decision and that you build a better vision of the future together.

        The predatory partner poacher will get their Karma. Don’t you worry about that. They should suffer in the end. Very few affair relationships go the distance (or so I’m led to believe) and the ones that do most probably have the backing of the Universe for some exceptional circumstance.

        Love is stronger than Limerence. Stay strong.

    • L Plunk

      Is it wrong to give my spouse time to heal with losing the affair relationship? I’m trying to give grace but also not be a door mat. I love him, forgive him and Im willing to rebuild this marriage. He says he is torn and doesn’t know what to do. This is all very fresh as it has only been going on a couple of months and that infidelity has only been outed for a week. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      • Shifting Impressions

        L Plunk
        It’s never wrong to give grace and understanding but I hope for your sake that you back up little and look more closely at how this has affected you. The cheating partner has a way of making things all about their pain and loss. What about you??? What about your pain and your loss???

        You say it’s only been a week since d-day…..barely enough time to process what has happened, let alone come to a place of forgiveness. The best book I have ever read on forgiveness is HOW CAN I FORGIVE YOU? THE COURAGE TO FORGIVE, THE FREEDOM NOT TO by Janis A. Spring. I encourage you to really face what your husband’s betrayal has done to you before worrying to much about his loss.

        I hope you can give yourself permission to really feel all the anger and pain that betrayal brings. You owe this to yourself. I wish you all the best through this painful journey.

      • True_Love_91

        Get him to therapy! My H broke his addiction after 2 sessions!

    • Kyle

      My d-day was 3 weeks ago when I finally went into my wife’s Facebook and read messages to her affair partner. First, she said it lasted 3 months. Then 6. Then I found videos she made for him dating back over a year. She moved out that day and as since been “taking time” to think. She did see him again but says she’s not seeing him but talking to him as she isn’t ready to give that up. Meanwhile, she tells me she loves me but isn’t in love with me. She is the most defensive person I know; builds walls and pushes everyone away, including her best friends who didn’t know and they have barely spoken to her. She told me she is done with me but doesn’t want a divorce. But then says things like she misses me, and she needs time to think because she doesn’t know what she wants. I have told her that I’m willing to try to fix this. We have gone to a counselor once and am going again, we have a 3 year old daughter who is confused and I’m sitting here holding on to hope that she’s coming back. That could be desperation or maybe this is all too raw. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been seeing army own counselor for months and will continue to do so. I being told to give her space but it’s hard seeing/talking her everyday for our daughter. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks.

      • Betterdays

        Kyle,

        You are playing a hard core “pick me” dance. All that does is sure you up as the secure plan B. That is a tough road “you” are choosing for yourself. Her “taking time to think” is trying out her new life/partner while you wait in pain. You have to take action. Right now you are telling her she can do what ever she pleases as your wife. You need to make it clear, she can do whatever she pleases, but NOT as your wife. Divorce/separation must be the path you take while she is actively seeing another man. You can always stop if she pulls her head out of her ass.

    • Jstagrljean

      I love reading all the comments and the amazing articles on this website. One of the best I’ve found on my betrayal journey. I’m coming up on a year from DDay and have very mixed feelings about how to handle the ‘first’ anniversary. I’ve done a TON of healing work. Literally have spent any extra moments reading, learning, programs. Therapy (all kinds!), talking, about myself, relationships, etc. I agree so much with the article above about putting yourself first. I never knew what a people-pleaser and co-dependent I was until this ‘awakening’. While I am very grateful to now know how to honor myself there is still so much pain there although I can see how very far I’ve come. I’m very proud of myself. You all should be no matter what stage you’re at! This is absolutely a brutal road.
      My H is trying hard to save our marriage but sometimes I just don’t know if the empty void left between us from his years of lies and betrayal can be filled enough for me to feel fulfilled in our marriage. My self-esteem is still very tender. Trust seems impossible! Forgiveness does tho but I’m not sure I’m there yet. I have learned so so so much. A lesson I know I would never have learned any other way! I can see things so clearly now but the future is where I’m struggling. I know I’ll be ok no matter what path I take, the big question I struggle with is which path! Both involve incredible risk and courage.
      I’m still trying to learn to trust myself. Forgive myself for allowing any man I’ve ever had in my life to treat me so poorly. I now honor myself. Anyway, it’s a painful journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And a journey I never thought I’d be on. I’m eternally grateful for all the healers I’ve been led to and the wisdom of others that have walked this path. As Shakespeare said ‘To thine on self be true.’ With love!

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        Inspiring comment Jstagrljean. It certainly shines a light on your stuff to take a look at. You sound like a heroine to me.

        Forgiveness is one of the most important parts of the healing path. Good luck with it, it’s like an onion I hear (I’m on the outer skin).

      • Newpaths

        To jstargrljean, I agree with your comments. It’s been Three years after d-day and I just found this website. Amidst the discovery of other transgressions revealing that the emotional affair was a habit more than an aberration, we have had three years of talking, arguing, counseling, making new agreements on boundaries, and working to rebuild trust, build a new marriage based on honesty and transparency. And now, I just found out that he never ended contact with the OW, and has been lying through this entire reconciliation. I give up. I am done. As you say, I am now focused on taking care of myself. I like how you phrase it: i now honor myself. After almost 30 years of marriage, I now honor myself. Good luck to you. You deserve better.

    • David

      I found out my wife had cheated on me 2 weeks ago. She was very secretive with her phone so it was a big red flag and I had a look one day and there it was. She initially pretended nothing happened until I quoted some of the txt, she then downplayed it saying it was just chat sexting. Finally when confronted with the facts she admitted it. 2 weeks later she is still secretive with her phone claiming I snoop and it’s a big breach of her privacy, I recognise that our marriage broke down a long time ago and we were both to blame but I want to save it so I have been trying. We agreed on on some things she and I needed to do and one was ceasing all communication with him. He works with her at another location so I understand the work emails but no personal chats calls or txt. Last weekend I found pictures he had sent to her and some pics she took but did not send. I lost it and reacted badly kicking her out with her bags, the kids were I. Tears and I was unreasonable bitter and angry and my actions were destructive to say the least. I felt I had come back to the start and betrayed again. She claims she is struggling to stop being friends with him but all sexually stuff had stopped and it only happens once she says, at our house in our bedroom. I am a wreak I do t want to lose her but my emotions s are all over the place from anger to depression to waiting to end it all to wanting to make it work. I feel I have caused a huge amount of damage because I react so emotionally. Next day I regret everything I did. I feel sad and scared. She says that she will really try and make our marriage work but we have been set back weeks because I blew up over finding the txts and pictures and I feel I may have blown my marriage and I don’t want to lose her. I read that you need to look after yourself first, that’s hard, I am trying to look forward but I keep focusing on her actions and reading things into it, like I asked her for her phone, she did not want to give it to me and when she did she walked away to check before she gave it to me and it’s all encrypted and double security and that just fees my anxiety. I want to talk to her but I end up lecturing and now feel I can’t because I have pushed her so far and anymore she will have had enough. She is drained and tired of my emotional outbursts which I have had a lot of. I have to stop but it’s hard, I just need her to give me some reassurance that’s how weak I am. I want to be rescued but I know that won’t happen. I am scared and nervous of what will happen to me if we split up. I will struggle to cope.

    • Heather

      David, I’m sorry you are going through this. I’m up reading now because I found out my husband is still in contact with the OW and it’s a tough pill to swallow. I don’t know how I will approach it but I’m working on it. In the meantime, you have to forgive yourself for being human. I did that before too once throwing my husband out the house in front of our crying kids. It wasn’t a pretty sight but you can redeem yourself. However, its sad to say that she is gaslighting you into feeling guilty about finding out about her indiscretions and it’s not right. I recommend counseling to work on controlling your emotions to avoid anymore outburst especially in front of your children. You being calm and loving to them and around them will aid in the healing process for you and your kids. As for your wife, hopefully she will see where she is wrong but don’t hold your breath. Recommend marriage counseling as well as individual counseling to her and tell her you are starting as well and do it. If she chooses not to go that’s her choice. At the end of the day you need a sound healthy mind to be a stable man for yourself and as a father to your children. I hope this helps. Take care.

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