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.

See also  The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

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.

The Mind of a Cheater – Ambivalence, Approach and Avoidance

If Your Spouse is Still in Contact with the Affair Partner…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.

See also  Forgiving Infidelity and Making a Commitment

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.

See also  New Year’s Resolutions for Affair Recovery

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.



**Originally posted on 1/7/2020 and updated on 1/25/2022

    50 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.

      • Ify

        Thank you for this. i am currently experiencing something similar. my husband of 15 years is neck-deep in an emotional affair and i suspect physical as well with a girl half my age. They have been at this for months…. i recently called her and she said my husband was her “mentor” pray tell what does he teach you? she couldn’t say buy instead blocked my number on whatsapp…..all this was in his presence, he didn’t say a word but wrenched his turned-off cell phone from me and has not said a word to me… over a month now. They still communicate.
        Your words just gave me courage and i do indeed chose me.

      • D D


      • Emma

        I know that this is an older post but I just wanted to say thank you!! This has massively helped me get over my husband having an affair with my so called friend and boss. I makes me laugh every time I go back and read it as she now has my ball and chain and I am sooooooo free with out him and I am living live to the full! I am currently in Mexico solo travelling 🙂 and he is stuck with her and her kid lol

        • Kate

          I do have to ask, has he ever tried to get you back ?

    • 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.


        • 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.

        • Sandy

          I relate alot to u with the trust issues my whole life has been destroyed. I am very sick because of it.

    • 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.


        • 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.

        • Jennet

          I agree with you totally my family and my closest friends have been a hid send to me these past 15 months after DD when everything I believed in was shattered into a million pieces by my husband if 52 years the person I trusted 100%. Not only did he have a physical affair with a married woman 20 years younger than me it went on for about 3 years and even now I find it hard to believe I didn’t know about it and he could li e a double life like he did. The feeling of stupidity, failure etc are all part of the heali ng process. I don’t think I will ever trust him again like I did but for my ow. Sanity I have to trust otherwise doubt and insecurity eats you alive. I had some satisfaction just before Christmas 2020 my husband and I were confronted by the AP husband (I had told him the Christmas before what was going on In fact it was the day after I found out) she f….. My life and did the same to her but in fact the husband did me a favour because when he asked my husband explicit details he couldn’t deny any of it because he had told me just about everything I wanted to know but she on the other hand had denied everything for a whole year saying my husband was a good friend and father figure how I laughed at that comment. Fir the first time I feel at peace with myself and I can handle anything that comes my way. I am a stronger person than I realised and non of this is my fault they made the choices not me. I came to realise that she will and would not have had what I had 52 years of a happy life until she appeared in our lives and pretended to be our friend so I say to everyone out THERE BEWARE IF FALSE FRIENDS. But it dies get better with time just hang on in there.

    • 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


        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.

        • JstagirlJean

          As Caroline Myss (highly recommend her books, blogs, website on this spiritual journey),,,’Age has nothing to do with creativity, love, or joy’. We’re NEVER too old to have the life we love!

          I think one of the biggest struggles is with the ‘sunken cost fallacy’. I just read Mark Manson’ s (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck) weekly Mother Fckin’ Monday newsletter today that had the following…

          “It’s easier to fight the sunk cost fallacy in work situations and financial situations because you can actually sit down and do the math. But there’s no math for relationships. There’s no spreadsheet to calculate the expected costs of the pain of breaking up versus the misery of coming home every day to somebody you don’t want to see.

          But when it comes to emotions, we are terrible at accurately gauging how we will feel in the future and how important those feelings are.

          For example, we generally overestimate the significance of feeling a large amount of pain today and underestimate the significance of feeling small amounts of pain over years and years.

          Therefore, we stay in a bad relationship. We stay in the shitty job. “I’ll just give it another year,” we say, because another year feels bearable in the moment. Whereas destroying our relationship feels unbearable.

          In this sense, we throw away good relationships after bad. Because every year we stay in a bad relationship, we’re missing the opportunity to find a good relationship.”

          I have ZERO desire to feel shitty for the rest of my life due to my CH choices. It takes huge courage to let go and trust the Universe rather than hold on to what is no longer serving you.
          Fight for your life. You are WORTH it. When you do what’s true for you, it’s TRUE for everyone even if you believe it will cause ‘pain’ to your children (or anyone else) to break up your ‘happy’ home (my biggest battle but I’m getting there).

          God Bless you all!

          P.S. You are NEVER to blame for your spouse cheating. Ever. There is NO excuse.

        • Cantforget

          Thank God there is someone else out here like me, I felt so very alone-I was angry for 3 years at the EA betrayal-especially since he admitted it then and slowly “forgot” that he actually was way in over his head…started denying that there were texts and secret FB messages-even though I sent him copies of everything and his phone records too…now three years to the day I “made” him cut off communication he suddenly “friends the POS A$$ and they are back at it..won’t be long before EA turns physical ..I need to take care of me, great article-been living angry for 3 years because he wouldn’t let the EA go-and suddenly decides that there never was anything and he can be her friend-I am over it, need therapy to help me move on…

    • 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.

    • Maja

      Same story with me.
      A total of 12 y, of which 8.5 y were (legally, still is) marriage. We have three children (4y, 7y and 8y). And in January of this year, it was suddenly “we are fundamentally different” and “no, there is no other woman”, and in February, he moved out of the apartment where we lived together for 10.5 y. In June, he told me via message “it’s a matter of years of disagreement and it wasn’t life, it was torture” and he mentioned the official divorce for the first time. In late August, I found that he had only begun an emotional relationship with a co-worker 30 days later. Who has been present in his life since the first day we met, and otherwise, she knows me, I know her and she was at our wedding. During these 12 years, on several occasions, she was presented to me as a fat fool who does nothing and has a position at work only thanks to the love relationships she had.
      And now tell me that his relationship with her did not exist before, while he was still living with me and the children ?! By the way, this relationship seems very serious because after only 2 months (from the alleged beginning of the relationship) he introduced her to our children and only 4 months (again from the alleged beginning of the relationship) he introduced her to his mother.
      I know the two of us are distancing ourselves and that I put the kids in the first place (it may have been my fault), but with so much of his business commitments (long office stays and frequent business trips), my job, 3 kids and housekeeping, makes me that this distancing is inevitable. But I looked at it this way: children are growing, becoming more independent and there will be more and more time for the two of us. I was obviously wrong.
      And in all of that, the problem is that he always had my maximum trust, that I believed and still believe that my marriage was almost perfect and that “almost” was that we both lacked more time.
      2 days ago was exactly 9 months since he moved. Hey 9 months! A new life is born in 9 months, and I am still desperate and broken, my whole world has collapsed!

    • Andrew

      I just feel like l want to share my story and its twists and perhaps get some feedback.
      I discovered emotional affair just over 4 months ago, after 22 years together. We are both 42, her AP is 29.
      I got hold of all their messages and pics on WhatsApp so was able to see how deep it was.
      I feel I healed myself partly from that chaos but I am somehow still in limbo about her commitment. He had the on the fence stage within first weeks following D-day, but made decision to break up with him. She did it but after 2 weeks admitted they still see each other and she kept lying to me about going to work when she was actually going to see him.
      She then agreed (after a month since D-day) to break up with him again. That ended with him breaking into our house and assaulting me in front of her. Of course, he was reported to The Police and awaits his trial for an aggrivated assault. After that she seemed committed to our relationship but they kept working together and she kept delaying her transparency and proving to me she ended all contact with him. I learnt that there was still contact at work and that he kept persuading her to leave me and she finally decided to move out (that was 2 months since D – day) as we both agreed that was the right thing to do considering that she was unable to break up with him. She became very emotional day before she moving out and said that she would return to me as soon as possible but still wanted to try him out. I emotionally agreed. It was Christmas and New Year’s period which I spent alone first time in my life. It was also her birthday which she spent with him. After she moved out, she kept telling me how she missed me and not to give up on her etc and after 3 weeks living with him she came back to me. Things seemed like going into right direction but at times I missed manifestations of her love or real commitment and my gut feeling was that she still had contact with him. I did agree not to push for her transparency as that was back firing and affecting her attitude towards me too much. After just over a month since her return I pushed her to tell me the truth and she admitted that she went to see him in his flat twice. Apparently nothing physical happened and it was just to chat as chats at work were literally just “hi” etc. and they felt they needed to talk. She strongly admitted her fault and told me she would end up all contact and show me her mobile to prove he was banned etc. She also stated she would remind him in person (at work) that she wishes no talking at work and no more contact. Day after that I searched our house and found few souvenirs she brought over. It was a hand written note with hearts and how he loves her and a book with pics of some of their dates. That was really shocking and I felt like all my healing progress was gone. When I faced her with my findings she admitted she did not realise she brought those things (even though they were hidden) as she packed in hurry.
      She is still to have a chat with him at work but delayed it since blaming the fact that she didn’t see him at work, and it has been 2 weeks already.
      I reminded her politely that this is too much for me etc. and it needs to really happen. She says she will do it this week and that she does not want to be with him and that she is committed to our relationship and loves me, shows remorse but whilst saying all of these there is a tone of defensiveness and even a bit anger in her words. All of it makes me very insecure and I feel my healing is on a standby mode rather than on a full speed with her help. I feel I offered her enough support as we agreed our relationship was not a broken one. I allowed her manipulation (it feels from the perspective) and constant limbo so she could try work out things with him or simply just have sex with him for a bit longer. We still had no sex since her return but there is intimacy and solid emotional connection.
      Do you reckon she really intends to finish with him and will stop all contact and will commit to healing our relationship?

      • Shifting Impressions

        It sounds like your wife is playing with fire….her AP is predisposed to violence. She is putting you and herself in danger. I strongly urge you to get help handling this situation. You have every right to feel insecure in this situation.

        Please please get some help with this.

    • wendy

      I think this post hits my situation perfectly. My husband is also in an EA with a high school friend and I thought we were having a reset after 2 months but nothing is changing on his end. I am taking the EmpowerME course right now and learning that life will go on and I will not let his behavior stop me at this point. Although I am unsure of the journey end point my goal is my happiness now. He lost my respect and continues to betray me. He is not showing any empathy and I cannot live in a loveless marriage.

    • Wendy

      My partner cheated on me 8 year’s ago. I fought to get her back for a year. I then found someone else. That relationship was very abusive. I was stuck and didn’t know how to get out. 8 year’s later I got out. My partner and I reconnected. We still have feelings for one another but I don’t know how to deal with the fact that she and her affair partner have stayed friends the whole time. She said they are just friends and fishing buddies. But the thought of her staying friend’s with her just eats at me. . I broke up with my abuser 4 times and tried to get back with my partner. But her being friends with her affair partner just hurt to much so I ran back to the abuse. Now I just don’t know what to do. She said it’s not fair for her to give up an 8 year friendship. I don’t care how long. It’s the other woman. I don’t like it.

    • Jennet

      After Infidelity I just don’t think the trust ever comes back 100% I think we hope that it will. The betrayal is too much to let your guard down totally. I wish the trust was there but at the end of the day you can’t control another person ,when you ve been lied to so many times and then found them out time and time again it is so very difficult to believe them. In my case I just don’t bother looking any more can’t see the point if he is going to contact her then he will ,he will just be more careful. Hard to admit but I think it’s true so maybe ignorance is bliss who knows.
      Probably not what you wanted to hear but that’s the way I feel. I look after myself,enjoy life with my husband and family and I hope with all my heart that he is faithful and I think that’s all you can do is hope. Good luck to you all Jennet

      • Bill

        I am the unfaithful spouse. The betrayal is far too great to overcome. I have destroyed my wifes life in more ways than I will ever truly understand. I still love her and wish to make this work. I still care for my affair partner which is making it difficult. She cant trust me and I cant trust myself. We are 2 weeks into this revelation of my 2 year love affair. No kids. Oh if I could go back in time. Id do anything to prevent this betrayal from happening. But it has. And Neither of us seem convinced we can get past it. Both are terrified to truly consider divorce. Is this hope or denial? neither of us know

    • Jennet

      Reconciliation is probably one of the hardest things to do there is no easy way it takes time and tremendous amount of effort on both sides. There will be many backslides and heartache on the way. Get as much information you get your hands on. Answer the questions you will get asked don’t lie which I expect you will on many occasions that’s all part of the course the unfaithfully can’t seem to help themselves.
      I wish you good luck but it’s not going to be easy jennet

    • Adriana

      Well my spouse broke it off with the OW but works with her and wants to remain friendly/friends. He says it is better for him that way. I don’t trust and don’t know what to think. It has been 5 weeks since DDay and several lies since then.

      • Doug

        Remaining “friends” is not a good idea as there will probably be continual interaction between the two of them. There should be zero contact with the OW.

    • Jennet

      Hi Adriana 5 weeks is nothing no matter what your husband says you have to realise that it won’t have finished and to remain friends is trying to get your agreement that it is ok. Believe me it’s not ok there has to be NO CONTACT in any way and I just don’t think they can stop after 5 weeks. Sorry probably not what you wanted to hear.
      I’m 3 years since DD and I’m only now believing him and some days I still have my doubts.
      I’m not sure what you can do if they work together maybe a transfer ,change jobs drastic I know but if they still have contact then you might as well assume they are still having the affair.
      Tell her husband if she’s married or her boss make it so difficult for her that something has to change.
      I’m afraid you have a long road to travel and I wish you well jennet

    • DPB

      Why is the betrayed spouse the one who is accused of being “jilted” or I hear so many defend the woman who slept with your husband? I’ve been with my husband 18 years now, and in 2020 he’s addiction hits all time high, and he “befriended” a female coworker. The coworker, was divorced, 6 children-who father had custody. Within a year after her divorce started living with a man, then started her flirtations with my husband, and he left me that summer for a few weeks-telling me we weren’t connected, we weren’t intimate. He was drunk every single night-and by the time I got home from my work, he was passed out, or on the floor. I tried communicating, I tried intimacy, but the truth-he couldn’t and never remembered I was sitting next to him, or something I said 2 minutes prior. He abandoned his finances on top of his drinking. Yet, she and him-claim “your marriage was in trouble long before I came into the picture.” Now while my husband left me those weeks, I was completely aware of what he did, but I had suspicious, and approach him many times. “Why is she calling at 1am?” It wasn’t until he came home-that I learned via text from her to him, that she was living w/ a man, encourage, enticed my husband to go run around with her, he thinking he was in love with her and he wanted a divorce. Well, after he left me, she played with him a few weeks, she dumped him to go yet to another male coworker to start a relationship with him, Again, during all this, she was still living with a man. My husband came home, in such an emotional state, still drinking (even after a 3 month very costly rehab center) prior to his leaving. I learned he committed adultery with her, while he was hospitalized..

      I was beyond devastated, and here I am two years later, still in shock, hurt, angry and trying to take each day to wake up and face the day. Even after he’s affair, yes he figured her out and we were repairing this betrayal. However, the woman finished w/ the third guy, dumped him and once more came after my husband. So for the last two summers, he texted her, he spend evenings with her, he worked for her ‘fake” pool business claiming he was working with her to make money so “we” could catch up on bills. However there was never money coming in, and he would stated she paid him if and when she could. He insists they are friends, then they fight and he gets angry claiming she used him, she claims he used her. I’m the wife!! I’m the one who has cared for, handling all finances, dealing with him working/not working-because he is “so depressed” and his constant nightly and all weekend drinking. She continued to manipulate him, use him to do work for her, toy with his emotions, he texts “I love you dearly, I miss you.. I would have done anything for you.” Then tell me things like “I’m just a friend to her” or claims he figured her out, and doesn’t care for her. He has lied to his employer about me, claiming “home life sucks” or “she ruined my credit”…his family claim “I’m the reason he drinks”… even though he drank since he was 13 years old, and was sober/clean when he met me and stayed that way up until a few years ago when he lost his mother and started his drinking and drug use again. I have seen the messages, I see that she is completely using him and I also know she only went after him to make live in jealous enough to marry her, but he won’t…so she used my husband and the other coworker. My husband is emotionally involved with her, he won’t stop texting or calling-even when she calls him worthless, a waste.. or don’t text me or call me I’ll file harassment charges on you. Then the next week there she is texting him back.

      I know she is a narcissist con artist, I know she never cared for my husband only used him, I know she uses men for her own gains, he even admits that. However these last 2-3 years I am a wreck emotionally, mentally and physically. Yes, I’ve had him talk to people, counseling, AA, detox… his family can’t reach out to me now–because this past summer-when he was in tight with her, he claimed he lost his “sweeping feelings for me” and filed for separation to divorce. The agreement was signed last June, and he was to vacate our home in August, with him signing the Deed over to me, He only wanted his clothes, his tools and rest was mine. I wasn’t getting alimony, or 401k.. he’s lawyer was lied to, never told he committed adultery, told lawyer he didn’t know about his credit cards. I never used them, he did running around with her, yet he wanted me to pay them.

      August is gone…we are now into the next year and he remains in home, still won’t help with his bills, he leaves his paycheck and I am still handling all the finances. He still drinks every night till he falls around. He still texts her, still has contact but can’t figure out his life. Cries to his other drunk buddies and family, he’s so depressed, he can’t stop drinking, he is miserable with his home life. Yet, he laughs around with me, he eats my food I buy and fix (he insisted on a in house separation)

      I don’t want to live like this, I want my marriage, who he was when we married, who he was before all the heavy drinking and his adultery, and continued affair. But the lies… My trust is gone, my heart breaks so much, the nightmares I have, him just being near me-I still want him to reach out to me, us have the intimacy, the honestly the relationship we had before this trash come into the picture.

      Yes I’ve done meetings/theraphy, medication…yes I have a lawyer (worthless one) She hasn’t contacted me, she knew he was to have been out but she hasn’t followed up. I can’t afford a another lawyer-I can’t even get basic bills paid-he lost his job because he was too drunk to work -now he’s new job he makes less than half of what he did. Now he is trying to work with her again, her claiming “you can make extra money.” But I remember two summers of him working and not getting paid by her, nor her filing taxes, or didn’t even have a business or contractors license for 3 years…

      I am told throw him out, move on with life. I’m sorry–call me dumb as hell but I love my husband, and keep praying and hoping he will stop drinking, stop his affair with this woman. We had an amazing relationship-why? Why did she have to play her game and destroy my life?! yes he allowed it, but he was mentally ill…she knew that.

      • True Love

        Said this is a lot easier for me to say if you love your husband, and you want shinny chance of having him back to the normal person he was, you know that you have to have Toughlove. Have you gone to Al-Anon meetings? Also, do you need to love yourself more than you love him. I mean no disrespect to you and I know that you are trying to do the right thing but you can’t bring yourself down to save him. I know exactly how you feel about the narcissist. See you next Tuesday that infiltrated your marriage and took advantage of your husband when he was in a vulnerable state. I dealt with a similar OW. They are like spiders, making their webs to catch their prey. I’m sorry you encountered somebody like that. Please focus on yourself and let the rest fall where it falls..

    • Jennet

      Hi I’ve had three years of hell and I realised after about 18 months that you can’t control another person it’s impossible. All you can do is take control of yourself,your life and your family. Let your husband and the OW get on with it,it will probably end sooner if you show them that you are not at their mercy!!! And that you have a life with people that love and care about you.
      Surround yourself with friends and family, get plenty of exercise any sort. I walk miles every day it helps clear your head and it makes you feel amazing.
      Get as much information as you can,read books especially by Andrew G Marshall he has a terrific way with words to get things in perspective. I found this site and also so very helpful.
      We are all in this together you will find so much support out there.
      Good luck Jennet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.