struggling to heal

I’m on a quest this year to read as many books as I can.  I’m juggling my reading time somewhere in between my incredibly busy schedule at school and my almost daily caretaking of my aging parents.

I am currently finishing up a book by Cheryl Strayed entitled, “Tiny Beautiful Things.”  You may have heard of her as she is also the author of a book that both Doug and I enjoyed, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” which was what the movie, “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon, was based on.

Prior to writing “Wild,” Cheryl wrote an anonymous advice column for an online community called, The Rumpus using the screen name of ‘Sugar.’   Thousands of people turned to ‘Sugar’ for advice during her time writing the column.  “Tiny Beautiful Things” is basically a ‘best of’ collection of those columns.

She pretty much answered questions from people from all walks of life and about every situation imaginable.  One letter particularly struck me as potentially having some relevance for people who are struggling to heal after an affair.

The letter to Sugar that I’m referring to actually has nothing to do with infidelity or relationships.  It is from a young woman who had a miscarriage.  Since the miscarriage (a baby girl), the woman was struggling just to get out of bed.  Not a day had gone by that she wasn’t thinking about her daughter and who she would have been.

The woman stated that she had to force herself to act happy.  She felt empty inside and didn’t feel much of anything, “yet everything hurt.”

Her friends and family were telling her to just get over it – after all, it had been eighteen months since it happened.  But one thing that was really holding her back, was the notion that the baby’s death was her fault.  You see, a doctor told her that it may have happened because it was a high-risk pregnancy due to her being overweight.  So, she was carrying all that guilt around with her as well.

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Friends and family thought she was doing fine but nothing was further from the truth.  She was stuck.

If you are a betrayed spouse, I think that maybe you can relate to some of what this woman was going through even though it’s a different type of scenario.

I felt compelled to share a few excerpts from Sugar’s advice, as I feel that what she has to say can be appropriate for those of you who are dealing with grief and yearning to heal.  

Here is Sugar’s advice…

Tiny Beautiful Things“I’m so sorry that your baby girl died.  So terribly sorry.  I can feel your suffering vibrating right through my computer screen.  This is to be expected.  It is as it should be.  Though we live in a time and place and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.

Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now.  The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over anything.  Or at least not anything that was genuinely, mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering.  Some of those people believe they’re being helpful by minimizing your pain.  Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away.  Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death.

See also  Affair Recovery and My First Experience With a Therapist

They live on Planet Earth.  You live on Planet My Baby Died.

It seems to me that you feel like you’re all alone there.  You aren’t.  There are women and men reading this right now who have tears in their eyes.  There are women and men who have spent their days chanting daughter, daughter or son, son silently to themselves.  People who have been privately tormented about the things they did or didn’t do that they fear caused the deaths of their babies.  You need to find these people.  They are your tribe.

I know because I’ve lived on a few planets that aren’t Planet Earth myself.

The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because she/he experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated…”

She goes on to say…

“I think you should see a therapist – both alone and with your boyfriend – and I strongly encourage you to call and make an appointment today.  A therapist will help you air and examine the complex grief you’re holding so tightly inside of you, and he or she will also help you manage your (probably situational) depression.

This is how you get unstuck.  You reach.  Not so you can walk away from your daughter you loved, but so you can live the life that is yours – the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it.  The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her.  That place of pure healing is a fierce place.  It’s a giant place.  It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light.  And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it.  You’re a person who can travel that far.  I know it.”

See also  Healing From an Affair – Changing From Destroyer to Rebuilder

She wraps up by saying the following words, which to me, were quite powerful…

“You will never stop loving your daughter.  You will never forget her.  You will always know her name.  But she will always be dead.  Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will.  Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words.  Nobody will protect you from your suffering.  You can’t cry it away or even therapy it away.  It’s just there, and you have to survive it.  You have to endure it.  You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.  Therapists and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing – the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change – is entirely and absolutely up to you.” 


I hope you found Sugar’s words to be as inspirational as I did.

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Journey to Healing
Surviving and Thriving Post D-day

Healing and thriving is an active process, it is a choice, and best of all, it is in your power.  But how do you get past the anger and despair and on the path to healing?

Is there a system or “hack” that can guide you?

There is, and that’s exactly what this program is all about…

    134 replies to "Struggling to Heal? You Have to Reach!"

    • Hopefull

      Interesting. I feel like this is a lot of what my husband said to me in these exact words on dday. Especially the last segment/paragraph you highlighted. It gave me the chills. Not that it is not true but it was hard to hear from my husband who just informed me that he cheated on me for 10 years with two women. Well he did not tell me 10 years on dday 1, he minimized it.

      I know many people feel their marriage is dead after the affairs. I just never could work through that idea. If it was dead then we had to get a divorce. Maybe I am too literal and black and white. Just like my husband told me he would always love me but was not sure if he would ever be “in love” with me again and that our marriage was dead. He told me how strong I was and how I would be able to get through this and how I have so many people that would support me. He said it much better, basically like the above paragraph.

      It is all true you have to in the end be the one to save yourself. The irony is I was always the one taking care of myself. My husband never took care of himself and look where that ended up. That has been the biggest shift he has had to change how he looks at his life and how he treats himself.

      • Doug

        That is interesting that your husband said those types of things right after D-day. Do you feel that telling you that you were strong and able to get through it was a mechanism to make him feel better about his betrayals? Or some other manipulation tactic?

        • Hopefull

          I think there are a few factors. The main one is that he is a mental health professional and deals with this daily or almost daily at work. He has the highest level training, lots of experience, education etc. He has always been good on his feet word wise and especially in these situations. He had ended both affairs over a year before dday. He told me he thought often about telling me so he could “come clean”. However he always stopped since he knew how damaging what he had done would be for me. He knew it was the biggest damage he could impose on me and our marriage. He sees it every day. He also worried his life would end as he knew it especially with our kids.

          I do think it was also to do damage control and minimize what he did in some way. He never blamed me or told me I had any part. The only exception was he took a long trip with friends. On dday I did admit that trip was a turning point with me two years before since while he was gone none of us missed him. I had realized we were fine and actually happier without him being present daily in our lives. It was confusing for me and I never understood. I knew it wasn’t me or the kids but I could not put my finger on it. While he was gone on that trip I resolved to take care of myself and the kids since I knew it was not us. I had confronted him many times over the years about the potential of interest from other women on trips, at work etc and he always looked me in the eye and said never. So unless I became a detective and started digging around and even then he was sneaky and sporadic. He never spent any money on them. At most I would have noticed some cell numbers on the bills. Or if I dug around his ipad maybe I would have found something. But I never did that. So he said to me on dday something like ” you had to know something wasn’t right”. And I was replied how when I asked very direct questions over the years and he lied right to my face. He always blamed his distance on work, his parents…

          I do think he manipulates situations to work best for him. Or feels entitled to get what he wants. It can be confusing. I guess the good thing is he has made some major improvements. Still work to do but major strides, but that passage gave me the chills. Over the two years since dday I even have said to my therapist is he so good that he is manipulating me and just saying this stuff. My therapist does not believe that is the case. My therapist believes there is no way he could keep this up so long. I guess he would have to be a psychopath or he should go to Hollywood if he can keep it up for this long. I have brought it up to my husband and he laughs and says there is no way he could fake this for two years which is probably true.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Now I got chills regarding what you said to your therapist about him just manipulating you……I have had that same thought at times. The manipulation in the past was subtle and he was good. So now when I even think someone is playing me……….especially if I think it’s my husband….I call it.

            I agree they wouldn’t be able to keep it up for two or three years but easily slip back into the habit every now and again…..a half truth, just by the way they word things….managing things so they work out for what they want. I do struggle with that. But seriously when I read your response to Doug, I just got chills.

            • Hopefull

              Well that makes be feel good and also sad. I am sorry you have those feelings too but it is good to know I am not the only one who has felt that way. It is odd and hard to explain. As my therapist has said my husband must have grown up and got used to pushing the envelope for his benefit.

              What is most sad is I can see he lacks insight into himself or he is in denial. I do point things out to him and he is receptive now which is great. He has made a lot of changes personally related to himself, not just our marriage. I pointed out how it is nice to see him taking care of himself and making the decisions that are best for him vs what he thinks he should do or should want to do. What he did was horrible for me and our marriage but I am beginning to see that it was worst of all for him.

            • Shifting Impressions

              It helps me to know I am not alone on that as well…’s hard to describe, I know.

      • Tired

        Strange Hopeful. When I first found out about the affair my husband also told me I would be ok. I think Doug may be right. He may have done this to make himself feel better about what he was doing. Well in my husband’s case it certainly back fired on him. I told him I hope you’ll be happy and that the only problem I had with it was that the woman was cheap and not good enough for him. The last part was true and he knew it! After that I didn’t contact him and he came crawling back.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I have to agree, the people that live on “planet my partner cheated” have carried me through. My tribe….all of you…are definitely a life line.

      I agree “the down in the mud” change and healing is up to me……it’s just that I can’t quite seem to get there yet. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me it seems that I view the world through another lens now….not quite trusting, not quite believing and even the smallest lie or indiscretion makes me so angry. I used be able to give people the “benefit of the doubt” much easier than I can now. I am much better than I was (d-day was 3 years ago) but no, I have not fully forgiven and have not fully let go. Maybe I have just become to comfortable with that lens of betrayal and the sadness it brings along with it. It’s still the first thought in the morning and the last thought at the end of the day.

      • Hopefull

        SI, I feel the same way about the outside world. I am skeptical and keep everyone at a distance. Even my closest friends. I do not enjoy the company of others. I just see everything so differently. I feel like it is the only way I can protect myself from getting hurt. It is hard to be happy and enjoy the moment.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I still enjoy being with other people and actually find it hard being alone…..I used to love being alone. I used to love the quiet….now I usually play music. I’m just different now. In some ways more fragile and in other ways stronger.

      Someone in my family is leaving their marriage and my mind immediately goes to infidelity…..My first question, is who else is involved??? That would not have been my first thought before.

    • Puzzled

      Hopefull & SI: I understand your skepticism and lack of trust. I hope that you both can open up again and enjoy life fully.
      Hopefull: reading your post was interesting because it was similar to what my wife threw at me. After d-day #1 (when she told me she wasn’t “in love” & was unhappy/had been for years), she started saying things to make it seem like everything would be easy and great for me if she left. She’d even say that “you’ll find someone younger and prettier” and how single women would line up to date me. It was confusing! I simply think it was her mechanism to make her affair “ok” because I would be better off because she was cheating and was thinking about leaving. I’ll never quite understand the “rewriting of our marriage” though. Maybe others can explain that but she would say there weren’t any happy moments or she was just acting like she was happy. It’s a weird feeling to be sitting here and typing some of this because other memories flood my thoughts and, while we are closer again, it sickens me to think of what she did and put me through.
      Anyway, sorry for getting off course. But please find someone with whom you can be yourselves. I have a very close friend who I confide in and can poor out my frustrations to. He doesn’t judge. I’m there for him as well so it works for both of us. A good friend and few beers is good therapy for me.

      • Hopefull

        Puzzled, Thanks for your thoughts and reply. What is odd is my husband said he was not happy as a person but he said he felt like we had so many good times together and so many memories. He did not want to rewrite it, but he did have a way of telling me how I was so clueless and did not see things for what they were. I have a huge stack of cards, poems, lots of great meaningful gifts from the affair years. I so wanted to throw them away or burn them. Really anything to get rid of them. He was adamant that he meant all of that. Both of his affairs were sporadic and he told me when there was no contact he would want to get close to me but then contact would happen and he would hate himself and feel guilty and grow distant. He did tell me on dday that he thought about leaving me and not telling me to save me the pain. That would have been even worse for sure. He has since told me on dday that he just had no clue if he could change and be a good husband, what I deserved. He had no idea if I would kick him out for good on the spot. He also knew it would take a minimum of 6 months to change his habits/behaviors(the affairs were totally over but drinking, hanging out with friends, being checked out, not being connected to me/kids) and truly know if he could do it. He said it was really hard at first. It is a crazy thing I will never truly understand since it is so far from my character.

        As far as friends I cannot imagine telling anyone. Honestly I have thought about this now for 2 years and I feel like there will not be any benefit. I have gone through the pros and cons over and over. Seeing the therapist was helpful. My husband has told no one. I suppose the only other people that know are the ow and if they told anyone. He heard from each of them one time due to a mutual friend issue but we decided it was best not to respond and nothing since then. We will see with time but I have not had the urge to share with anyone. I just feel with based on what my friends have said about others they would have little understanding if any. My husband had two 10 year affairs so I think most people if not all that have not been through this would say I should not be with him still. That is the general consensus in society. I also do not want to take any chance of it getting back to my kids.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I have a few close friends that know what happened and have been amazing. My children are adults also know….they have also been supportive.

        It’s just what goes on inside of me…’re really never the same after that type of betrayal. It is slowly slowly getting better. Part of it is accepting that this is what happened and it can never be undone. The sorrow of it…… but like I said slowly slowly it does get easier.

    • Stregthrequired

      Hopeful, I too have distanced myself from people. I keep to myself. I feel it is my way of not being hurt again, by anyone. It hasn’t been deliberate, it just happened that way for me. I guess depression helped pave the way for the way I am now. So you aren’t alone in how you live your life now to before the affair.
      I have been thinking about things at some times, where I think about meeting new people, friends, and then I think I know I couldn’t tell them about my husband cheating on me, because I’m not sure I would trust the idea, of the “new friends” thinking he cheated before why not try and make a move on him. Not sure why I think that way, but it just turns me off altogether.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I’m sorry to hear that….it can’t be easy. For me, the right people always seemed to come along at just the right time….with just the right words.

        I have become less trusting and more suspicious but I believe I might have grown in compassion and understanding…anyway I hope I have.

      • Hopefull

        Yes for me it is a way to protect myself too. I was always a very independent person and happy to be alone so it is not that different than my normal self I have always been. In a way I think that made it easier for my husband to cheat on me. I am a very happy and content person as an individual. I do not feed off of others.

        Now though I keep others at a distance. I have not worried about others learning this and trying to cheat with my husband. However I have a pretty strong feeling they would not want their husbands around my husband due to this. Like he is a bad influence. Who knows. I find it interesting since we were always seen as having the best marriage by far. It is so true no one ever knows what is going on. They were never as close or connected to their husbands over these years. Did they cheat on their wives who knows. My husband violated our marriage in the worst way and for a long time. He is having to pay the price for that dearly. He does thank me and acknowledge all of my hard work daily so I know he gets it.

    • Rachel

      Has anyone seen an update from Robert M.? I was just wondering how he was doing?

    • TheFirstWife

      I have not distanced myself but I don’t share with too many. I like my friends and I think life is too short.

      I had too many instances where my friends tried to steal my boyfriend or H.

      Honestly it gets old after awhile. I was never jealous or insecure about it until his last affair. Then I acted like someone I did not like.

      So I decided after 18 months to stop being jealous, obsessive, controlling, fearful etc. It was ruining me – though completely understandable.

      Honestly he could walk in the door (again) and tell me he was leaving me. And I would help him pack – seriously I would. I have gotten to a point you are either with me or please be without me. You are on my team or move along.

      But I remember the months I was a crumbled crying mess in a heap on the floor. I cried everyday for 2 years. He had me that tortured.

      Won’t happen again. I love him but once I restored my self esteem I will not let it become victimized by anyone. Ever again.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I cried everyday for over two years as well……I felt destroyed.
        I don’t think I could go through it again. The thing is as we move closer and closer towards healing, I become more vulnerable. So yes, he does have the power to hurt me again. And yes, that scares the crap right out of me.

        • TheFirstWife


          My H has the power to hurt me again. Absolutely true. I love him and would be crushed. But it would not last long.

          I would pick myself up and move forward. Without him.

          And never look back.

          I would understand that once again he made a bad choice and he has issues. Nothing to do with me. All on him.

          So in that respect I can walk away knowing I gave it 100% and it just did not work out.

          But I will not live my life in fear of it. I just have come to expect it could happen and I have a plan B just in case. I cannot control that situation. I just have to live and let live so to speak.

      • Tired

        I totally agree with what you are saying TFW. I also am behaving like someone I do not like.

    • Falling Ash

      SI, I too am 3 years out from DDay and, also like you, my OH’s affair is still my first thought when I wake up and the last thought before I go to sleep. My waking day is better than it used to be in the early days post-discovery and OH and I do have fun together again, but I honestly believe I will never fully come to terms with the facts that not only was he was attracted to someone else, but that he acted on that attraction and lied to me about where he was and with whom. It is so at odds with the person I believed him to be, and I think at odds with who he thought he was. He allowed it to happen because he convinced himself because it wasn’t physical, it wasn’t infidelity. Pathetic really.

      I don’t know what to believe these days. Is this new, loving, committed him the real one, or the sneaking, lying cheat? Time will tell, I guess.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Falling Ash
        It was so at odds for the man my husband is as well. You are absolutely right, time will tell. He shows a lot of remorse and it seems very genuine. Here is where the change comes in….I would have totally believed the remorse was genuine before, now there is that element of doubt and suspicion. I hate that, but as you said Time will tell.

        He did say recently “I know I have changed things between us forever.” I do believe that he is starting to understand.

        • Hopefull

          So true no one that knows my husband would believe what he did. They would think I was lying if I told anyone. Crazy. He has such a good reputation but no integrity.

          My husband understands too and it is his biggest regret and will take it to the grave. It is helpful that he feels that deeply and understands the damage he has caused. I know now that this will be a part of our marriage forever. Granted if I left it would still follow me to any future relationships. It is something I will never forget that feeling.

    • Tracy

      It’s been 14 months and I still am stuck in that mud, the pain is so overwhelming I went to counciling and tried so hard to forgive to find out he was seeing her again. He has begged for forgiveness telling me it was a mistake I dont have all the proof I listen to others they lie. It’s continuously deflected to me his bad choices and behavior. What he don’t understand is he has ruined not just my life but our children’s too. for his selfish needs and wants I’m struggling daily to survive it all

      • Shifting Impressions

        At 14 months I was still a puddle on the floor as well. Unfortunately, the majority of CS do seem to lie…..covering their tracks and and dribbling the truth in bits and pieces (mine included).

        I didn’t worry to much whether I forgave him or not for the first three years after d-day. It was more about survival and allowing myself to grieve. It’s okay to be angry. I am closer to forgiveness than I was but it’s a process.

        Take care of you.

        • Hopefull

          I agree it took a long time to work through the pain. Forgiveness came first since I knew I had to forgive him to move on whether we were together or not. The trust has taken a lot longer to rebuild. I do not think it will ever be at the level it was but we are moving in the right direction.

        • Tracy

          FB memories kill me I have decided to delete it. It’s a year since I went on a cruise of a life time to celebrate 30 years together a month after DDay and we are still not back together. He says he wants to be with me but shows no signs of doing it. Today I wrote him an email
          Stating that I will no longer be available to him for anything and that for me to heal I am going to leave him alone. I have waited a year for him to come back to me and I now realize that’s enough time to give to anyone never mind the man I love. The pain is raw today I feel the same pain as DDay but I realize it’s because I never let go I really believed he was coming back to us. ????????????

          • TryingHard

            Tracey–wow a year?? Yes time to call it a day. Sometimes there is too much damage done and stringing you along fir 22 months is more than enough time. My H was gone 3 months. Kept coming back and forth and finally I blew. Get out and leave me alone. I was done. I commend you for hanging in there but enough is enough

      • TheFirstWife

        Tracy. I am so sorry for you. It is terrible to find out the cheater continued seeing the other woman!!

        My H did the same thing. Ended the affair and then it started up again a few weeks later. I found out the affair was still going on from the other woman!! I called her and she spilled the beans.

        It was not easy. I hated him for it. I thought he felt remorse. I thought he truly understood my pain. He was trying to help me heal. Until 30 days later I found out everything he told me was a lie. A big big big lie.

        Sooo I was able to say that our healing took longer b/c I felt so betrayed time after time. In his mind he thought he could lie his way out of the whole mess and I would never find out.

        Until I did find out everything as I was sent his emails to the OW! So I knew it all.

        My point is we were able to get past it. I was able to get past it. Counsrling and time. And yes I thought about leaving him for 2 years. Every day. Today I leave him. But I didn’t.

        We have a different marriage now and he is remorseful and tries to make amends every day. I still am angry about the lying (more than the cheating) but we are working on that too.

        I hope you can get professional counseling. it will help you heal, restore, be a better mom, understand and possibly forgive.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tracy. Is your H doing anything to help you heal? Other than begging forgiveness?

        • Tracy

          He calls me suggests things like being positive states he wants me loves me but we live in different states I left him when the OW started stalking me. He visits when he wants to see our family buys me anything I want and he sees this as trying

    • Rachel

      Funny story that I thought I’d share. I picked up my tax return last night and the usual accountant was unavailable. The women helping me looked at my last name and said hmmmm
      I worked with someone with that last name at a supermarket. Oh boy I said here we go!!!!
      Yup, that’s my ex. She said even at 16 years old he was a player. You know one of those guys?? Oh yup and he didn’t change. She said he was always dressed so perfect not a hair out of place, but he was a jerk. Sorry she said, I said no he’s still a jerk.
      Same thing happened to her brother, married 25 years cheated on his wife, wanted a divorce. Now that they are divorced he wants to be a family. They tell him, you are divorced!!! She said these guys think there is more out there. They have good jobs, good looks but want even more.
      She said my story is a lifetime movie. She said she couldn’t wait to tell her sister that also worked with him, that she met his ex wife and she is darling.
      I cringe when people question my last name. Always a story. I think this one is the ending chapter as my paperwork will be completed today and mailed out for the name change.
      Have a good day all!

      • TheFirstWife

        Here’s to the name change!!!

        May you lose the third child for good!!!

    • TryingHard

      Hello fellow citizens of the planet My Husband/Wife Cheated.

      This week has been tough for me. Yep it’s DDay week. Six years ago he came home on Saturday and told me he was in love with the OW and left me. Moved in with her fir a week. Six freaking years ago and it still hurts like a mother effer!!sux years ago and my ground under my feet still feels shaky. Six years ago and all the progress he and I have both made and I still feel unsure. Six years ago and I still feel like puking this morning.

      And what makes even angrier is six years ago I watched that dolt who wrote that book My Husbands Affair is the Best Thing the happened to me said that sux years later she is over it and barely gives it a thought!!! Six years ago I literally screamed at the TV SUX FUCKING YEARS IT TOOK? OH HELL NO IM FAST TRACKING THIS BULLSHIT!!

      Yes I fast tracked. I went to therapists, we talked, we renewed our vows, he’s been wonderfully devoted and commited and yet, here I am. Six.years.Later!!

      Si I had a trigger yesterday and I haven’t had a trigger in ages. You know how FB reminds you of a memory you posted? Well I got one. Stupid Facebook. Apparently in March 2009 I went to see my friend in FL. I posted to my friend I was packing my bag and was excited to see her. Anxious to get out of the winter weather even. Well that was smack dab in the middle of his affair. I can almost feel the excitement he must have felt as he dropped me off at the airport and the anticipation of me being gone a week

      You see I’d forgotten that I went to FL on that date. You all know we parse our calendars and even put them on spreadsheets to put that fucking story together. Only when I did that I’d forgotten to include my trip on that date. Now I’m going backward wondering what happened. I want to ask but really now??? More stupid puzzle pieces. And of course intellectually I KNOW it doesn’t matter. But here on this stupid planet IT DOES!!! It’s what we are driven to do. We.Cant.Stop. Because in this planet what’s true is false, what’s right is wrong, what’s real is fake, and what’s a trusted friend is a potential betrayer.

      Yes we isolate because the only real is US. And most time we can’t even trust ourselves let alone anyone else.

      This planet has putrid air and poisoned water. And just when you think you’ve found a safe place to trust BOOM there’s always something like Facebook to remind you Not So Fast.

      So for me this week it’s not 2017 it’s 2011!! And that author, well she can bite me!!!

      I hate this planet.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        Well, that just sucks!!!!!!!!!! I know what you mean about those FB Memories. I can’t help but link them as before, during, or after affair. I do it in a flash….before I have even had time to think.

        Yes this planet sucks…..but we are here with you…and here for you. And anyone who says their husband’s affair is the best thing that ever happened to them needs TO HAVE THEIR HEAD EXAMINED!!!!!

        It’s times like this that I wish we knew each other in real life and we could all go out and have good stiff drink…….even though I don’t drink.

        Thinking of you….

      • TheFirstWife

        And the one private laugh I always have is my normally smart H believing that his friends and their wives would accept and love his OW – drama queen, much younger covered in tattoos and your average millennial nightmare – trashy, boozer and drugs. Hahahaha

      • Rachel

        I’m glad this week is almost over for you. Tuck it aside until next year. I often wonder, does the cheating spouse remember d day? I doubt mine does, because he’s so perfect, he did nothing wrong. I think they are painful for us because we didn’t think anyone could hurt us so much. The betrayal.
        Facebook memories drive me crazy!!!! Brings me right back to a bad place. I can remember how I was feeling and what was going on at that time of my life.
        We all have to keep breathing and look forward not back.

    • Tired

      Trying Hard, that sucks. It made me think of when the affair started for my husband. One of the triggers for the affair was that our pet we had for 15 years had to be put down. I told my husband that I might not go to work for my night shift the next day. So just before he was about to finish work on that next day he rang me and was asking was I going to work. Having no idea about the affair that was just budding I said no. So he came home. Now, in hindsight I can see that he rang up to see if it was safe for him to stay out with her. He thought I might not have called in sick at work and was ringing to check. The sheer sneakiness of it! And at a time when he knew I needed him too. It is things like this that make me so angry I feel like leaving even though the affair is history now. So I understand how your reminder of your Florida trip set you off. Sometimes I wonder which is the real him…the man I’ve known for almost 12 years as a trustworthy and decent person, or the one who told me all those despicable lies!!

    • TryingHard

      Thanks SI and Tired– Me too!!! Actually I think drinking may have to be a prerequisite to be a citizen of this planet.

      Thanks for the support.

    • Puzzled

      Trying Hard: It’s been two years for me and I hate those FB memories too. My wife stopped “liking” or “commenting” on my FB posts like she had. I simply thought it was because she was busy, or didn’t see it, or anything else to convince myself that nothing was going on.
      We had some friends over on last Sunday and the conversation turned to a trip I’d just gotten back from. Last week, I took my oldest and youngest on a little getaway trip. We weren’t supposed to be back until Sunday but drove the whole way home on Saturday. My wife mentioned how it was surprise when we came in on Saturday. The wife of the other couple, jokingly said “so did you have to call your boyfriend to tell him not to come over”? She chuckled, my wife kind of chuckled, I was stone-faced, but luckily, the husband of the other couple is my closest friend and confidant. His wife knows nothing of my wife’s EA. He knows everything. He quickly added “no, she didn’t have time to call me”! and laughed really goofy to lighten the mood. But he knew it triggered me. It’s bothered me all week. I really wish that I could get past it. Sadly, I don’t think it will ever be completely gone. I still have doubts. I still have fears. I still remember going running just to get out of the house but would stop mid way because I was crying too hard to keep running. My wife has no clue how heart broken I was or how depressed I became.
      My 2nd daughter is the one who first asked me “is mom having an affair”? My wife chaperoned a high school trip to Florida and she noticed my wife texting someone on Viber (a messaging app/phone call app). My daughter asked her who she was texting and she said “your sister”. My 2nd daughter was texting with her sister right at that time so she simply asked her “is mom texting you” and, of course, she wasn’t. My daughter sat on our front porch with me the night she asked me. I said to her “your mom would never do that to me”. I can still picture that night and conversation as if it just happened. She knew and wanted so badly to tell me she knew. Tough thing for a 16 year old to try dealing with while her older sister is off at college.

      There’s a song by the group The 1975 called “Somebody Else”. There are a couple lines that hit me like a bomb every time I hear them. One line says “our love has gone cold, you’re intertwining your soul with somebody else”. The other line says “…I’m looking through you
      while you’re looking through your phone…” Those lines just scream at me because of the honesty and truth that they speak. My wife would sit there on her phone and would be texting the other guy and I’d be looking at her and wondering who this woman was. She claimed our love was gone and she was enmeshing herself with somebody else.

      Sorry for the long tangent. It’s just nice to share some thoughts with all of you. Healing is tough. Just when you think you’ve gotten over the hump, something drags you back. I hate that any of us have had to go through this hell.

    • TryingHard

      Puzzeled–No they really don’t get the pain. Not at all. They may give word service and pretend to understand but no way.

      I’m just so mad that six years later I’m back here. I’m mad at myself for letting a stupid thing like a FB post to bring me back. I’m mad because I’m better than this and smarter than this. Or so I thought.

      Two years is not such a terribly long time. I was still in limbo or more like shock after two years. I’m past the shock and just back into the angry mode this week.

      I know it shouldn’t make a difference whether or not I went to FL because he was doing it right under my nose. He’d go be with her then come home and act like nothing was wrong. But like I said I can only imagine his elation watching me go into the airport pulling my bag as he pulled away!! Did he call her right away after he kissed me and told me he’d miss me? Did he go directly to her house or meet her that night and the next and the next? Did he spend all day Sat and Sun with her? Yeah you can imagine all the questions that came flooding back.

      Stupid fat and sassy me going on with life as if everything is normal only to learn there was a malignant cancer in my marriage and I’m going off to spend time in the warm weather!!

      I think the hardest part for you must have been that conversation with your friend and his wife in front of your wife. I don’t know how you kept a straight face. I think I’d have looked at her and said “well did you call your boyfriend?” Hhhmmm I’m wondering if she does know and was testing your wife? Who knows right? Like I said nothing is what it seems.

      You hang in there Puzzled. Rant away anytime. We do that here. It’s ok. Sometimes we hold each other up and other times we are being held up.

      • Hopefull

        I so agree with this. I hate FB or even talk of memories. It is horrible. Even last night my husband starts reminiscing about our best trips together as a couple. He mentions so many, one for our anniversary one of the affairs started. To me it is a joke still. I tell him it is hard since I feel like my life was fake and it was a joke. He says he feels the same way too. Well I had to point out though he made those decisions and I was never asked once. And he did lie to my face and looked me in the eyes at least three times when I asked if on trips or when he is out if women show any interest in him. I get it this is not easy for him but how can he not get how hard this is on my side of the situation. Some days I wonder if being alone would be easier, happier and more satisfying. I am not sure if anything he can do will ever allow me to truly move past this and not feel sad and down. It is really hard!

    • TheFirstWife

      To my Been Cheated on Friends on This Planet.

      I feel for all of us. We have all gone through a terrible ordeal, compounded by life’s other ordeals such as illness, family issues, children issues, demanding jobs, and all those types of things.

      Maybe it is me but I silently give Quick and sassy comebacks. As an example when you do something kind of stupid and you say out loud “how stupid was that!” I immediately want to say something snarky to my H like “are you talking about your affairs?”

      For me it helps alleviate some of that underlying anger.

      I feel like every day is a new journey because you never know what life is going to give you. I don’t mean that in a negative way but I mean it in a way that I realize we all have choices in life. I may very well wake up one day and decide I don’t want to live under a cloud of being a betrayed spouse.

      Now that I feel I have my power back I look at things very differently. I know that The cheating can occur again. I don’t think I would be as blindsided but I would still be deeply hurt.

      I think we all have so many moments in our lives that have now been ruined because of the actions of our spouse. My 25th anniversary is no longer something I look back on with joy. He planned a beautiful romantic evening and the next day saw the OW.

      He texted her he was dumping me from our bedroom as I was standing in front of him!! Begging her to please wait for him. He is leaving me! Blah blah blah.

      Hard to read you are getting a divorce when you are the third person to know. Not the second.

      But I honestly think that when I dwell on this or focus on this I am giving him back the power in the relationship. I don’t want to get one more second of my life be impacted by the lying and cheating ways I was subjected to by my CH.

      After 3 years I have moved past it. I have to. Otherwise it will drag me down.

      Maybe I am not normal. Maybe I just have a plan for myself and I am happy with the direction of my life. I really don’t know what it is.

      I know the cloud is there hanging over my Head. It is painful. But I know he is trying to make amends and he has changed.

      But I cannot guarantee it is enough. When my youngest goes off to college in 2 years – who knows what will happen? We may decide to split or he may decide to leave or I may decide to leave. But for now I live my life to the fullest and I am OK if he is not on my team anymore.

      It is a matter of choice. You are either with me or not. And I am ok alone and single.

      I hope you can all get here – past the anger and hatred and hurt thrown at us. It stinks. It changes who you are.

      But it is a fight to restore the marriage and it takes 2 people. Working together. And it took me many years to feel like my H was working hard for our marriage. He made a ton of mistakes. But it was obvious he was always trying.

      I hope it is enough to sustain us.

    • Falling Ash

      It is my DDay anniversary this week too. 3 years and I still get triggered by FB memories too. It is a shitty place to be. Life is much better overall, but still those thoughts invade to take the shine off my life.

      I was reading a FB post this morning and someone was saying she felt guilty about having flirty messages with a work colleague when he had a young baby with his girlfriend. It was all I could do not to hit the roof! People delude themselves that there is any such thing as “innocent” flirting. Makes me want to vomit.

      Having a bad day today. Tomorrow WILL be better!

    • Shifting Impressions

      Falling Ash
      Hang on to that thought, that tomorrow will get better. I know the anniversaries are hard.

    • Puzzled

      Falling Ash: seems like there are several of us dealing with D-day anniversaries and FB. Keep your spirits up. Make every day the best it can be and keep moving forward. We know what you’re going through and are here to listen and help.

    • TryingHard

      Thanks all for the encouraging words. Yes must look forward not back. Sometimes easier said than done right ?

    • Falling Ash

      Thanks for the support during this trying week. I tell myself that each year the pain lessens just a little. Mostly I do keep trying to look forwards, not back. OH is doing all he should be doing these days. It is just hard at these specific dates not to be reminded of all the times he wasn’t.

      Onwards and upwards. Tomorrow IS another day. ☺

    • Rachel

      Are the cheating spouses the only ones that say, ” I love you, but I’m not in love with you”? Just thought of this yesterday and wondered if this is a narsarsistic comment or a cheaters comment?

      • Hopefull

        I agree. I heard it and all I thought was what an excuse. Then I had to sit there and listen to him explain it to me from his professional perspective. He is so lucky I did not take my anger out verbally or physically on that day. I actually researched it and I found information supporting both viewpoints as there always seems to be. I still cannot get behind that. It seems like code for I wanted to have carefree fun like when we were dating but we do not have that now. Oh right since we had to move for his career, I had to quit my job to support his super successful career, I paid for his education, we had the kids he wanted and got married when I never pushed him. He had the nerve to tell me also that we got married to young so he did not get to “play the field”. Granted I never once asked him about when or if we would get married. I never once pushed or even asked about having kids. He pushed me to have them. And then another reason he had the affairs was he did not deal with the stress of having kids and starting a family as well as he should have. When I type that out I question why I stay.

        And recently I brought up how he had his affairs so young and it seems like people have them more at middle age. And he says to me it totally makes sense why I had them. It all makes sense to me. Well of course we got interrupted and I never heard. Or is it his usual reasons of he did not handle the grown up part of his life. Then I respond that it is hard when 10 years of your life you were lied to by your partner and best friend. He said it is hard for him too. But he forgets he made the choice. I point that out to him and he says “oh yeah”. Ugh.

      • TheFirstWife

        I got it as a cheater comment. Not in love with you.

        That and I heard the line “if we divorced a ton of guys would date you”.

        All Said to me to ease his guilty conscience.

    • TryingHard

      Rachel- I think it’s the cheaters go-to excuse. If they don’t love the BS then the cheating is justified. The poor souls just couldn’t help themselves. They fell in love.

      It’s a juvenile excuse. As if they have no control over their emotions or their loins. Of course after many years that insane “in love” emotion probably isn’t there. But one moves to the more manageable loving and nature love.

      I think many people miss that adrenaline pumping feeling. They aren’t aware if missing it until some new shiny object gets their attention and bam they are 20 years old again but as all evolved adults know that feeling is fleeting and temporary. It’s like a drug until it isn’t anymore. Then you are stuck looking at your own sad self in the mirror.

      Saying this crap is an indication of a very unevolved character. Or someone with a very bad character. Sad thing is cheaters don’t even know this at the time, if ever

    • Tired

      Rachel, I agree with Trying Hard. I love you, but I’m not in love with you means I still love you so I’m not a bad person, and then the excuse…she gets my adrenaline pumping. In other words “I want a bit on the side.” I think a narcissist might not even care, so it probably is just a cheaters excuse.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Tired and Rachel
        The ironic thing is after d-day, now I’m the one that wants to say “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

        Seriously……there are days!!!!!

        • TheFirstWife

          I hear you on this one!!! I recall days feeling this way too.

    • Puzzled

      TryingHard: I agree, it’s the easy go-to. The CS has to “justify” the affair and their behavior. It’s a very childish/immature view of love and marriage. They need to create the belief that they aren’t doing anything wrong because they’ve told us that they “aren’t in love”, they weren’t happy, and that the marriage wasn’t meeting their needs. The truth is that they are destroying the reality of their lives. They are breaking vows, crossing boundaries, and justify it with their “recreated history” of their marriage.
      I look back and marvel at my wife’s behavior. It saddens me to know she did almost everything she could to push me away. I remember her getting angry at me and saying “why don’t you yell at me or get mad?!” and I simply said “because it won’t change anything”. I truly believe she wanted me to scream at her so she’d feel better about her choices.
      The sad depths that a CS will go to in order to justify their cheating.

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled–My h actually told me to go out and find a boyfriend, yeah like on freaking DDAY he said that!!

      LOL, yes that is exactly what I was thinking would be a good idea was to go out ASAP and find a boyfriend!!! Because men are really attracted to women who are crazy and contemplating ways to murder two people. That is such a turn on!!! Sheesh finding a boyfriend was the last thing on my mind!! I was too busy planning murders!

      They say so many hateful things I don’t know out of guilt or just trying to goad us in to stooping down to their level. Sometimes they act like petulant teenagers with all their silly excuses and comments.

      • Puzzled

        TH: oh how I can relate. My wife would constantly tell me that I could find anyone so quickly & easily. She said that I’d be better off without her. I was blown away. I kept thinking “who is this person”!?!?!
        But I think you’re right, they want to goad us into a nasty frame of mind so it’s easier for them to feel justified.

        • TryingHard

          Puz- when my husband said that I agreed with him!! I said yes I could kick the trash can and find someone who is better than you because I never trusted, or loved, or respected that person.

          That’s the shit about betrayal. It comes from people you trust he most. Lol. I’ll never be betrayed again because I trust no one!

      • Tired

        “Too busy planning murders”!!! Hahaha, that really gave me a good laugh. I too became a psychopathic murderer in my mind! Thanks for the laugh. Take care ????

    • Rachel

      Ahh…. yes, this all makes sense. Thank you all!

    • TryingHard

      SI–that is priceless! And yes we would freaking mean it. There would be no hidden meaning or agenda. I like it. I get it!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        I figured you would lol!!!

    • Tired

      It is funny how they only realise they are not “in love” with you when they have a shiny new toy to play with! My husband never said this to me, but I’m sure he felt it when he was in the affair fog. He did not love the other woman but he was definitely on a high with all her flattery. It was all about his ego.

      Puzzled, my husband tried to push me away too. The reason I caught him was because he was so obvious he was about to have an affair. He started telling me how we weren’t good together and that the people he worked with “appreciated how hard he worked.” And I didn’t, of course. I knew he was referring to one particular person and I was right. Of course he didn’t realise at the time that he was a workaholic whom I never saw and that he was neglecting my needs as well. And on top of that he was taking the intimacy out of our relationship by putting all his effort into their “friendship.”

    • Tired

      Sometimes I think he must have wanted to get caught. How else can you explain being so obvious?? It was like he was trying to get some reaction out of me that he didn’t end up getting and so he went ahead with the affair.

      I did respond to him but it seemed no matter what I said he always came back to how it would just be “easier” to be in a relationship with someone else. I’ve beaten myself up over this wondering if I could have somehow stopped it before it went any further. I have come to the decision that I couldn’t have. He was already too emotionally involved and was determined to justify his behaviour. Of course now he sees it, but at the time it was like talking I a brick wall!!

    • TryingHard

      Tired– I think it’s doubtful he was trying to get caught. I believe he was feeling all cocky and smug about all that sparkly attention he was getting

      I hope you’ve stopped beating yourself. Hindsight is always 20/20. It’s like having the answers to the test. “Oh yeah do that’s why I got that creepy feeling first time I met her. Oh yeah so that was her earring I found in the backseat of the car. Oh yeah that’s why I felt like I was interrupting something when I walked into his office one day. Oh yeah that’s why it took him 6 hours to play golf that day”. And in and on.

      How could we possibly have known when they are the one person we trusted just as we expect to be trusted. We tend to judge others by our own values and actions. Of course we believe we are overreacting and reading something into nothing because well we are silly like that. It’s easier to blame ourselves and beat ourselves up because then we have answers and don’t have to face what might be really happening.

      So here we are now. Experienced and wiser, hopefully. In reality you couldn’t have stopped it. There’s many who once the affair came out and promises were made it was “over” and the cheater continued and just went deeper underground.

      Cheaters are adults in charge of themselves. They know right from wrong. They choose what they do deliberately and over and over. It’s just not as simple as thinking if I’d have paid attention I could have stopped it. NO indeed there’s NO stopping anything. It should have NEVER started. And that’s where the devil is in THAT detail that is part of the cheaters character.

      This is what we as BS really have to deal with. We are reconciling with someone who we now KNOW what they are capable of. Someone with shallow morals and values. Someone who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Well that’s NOT how relationships work. In fact it is they who aren’t paying enough attention to their marriages. It is they who are boring. It is imperative NOT to beat ourselves up.

      What we do need to do is keep our eyes wide open. Know that this could happen again and make our personal boundaries very clear. It’s also important to create a new relationship but remember the pitfalls. Not be complacent and call them on it when they revert to past destructive habits.

      We also have to know we will never get all the answers. Sometimes some more will come out like my FB experience and remembering I was gone for a week during their affair. That’s still bugging me and I think I will bring it up. I’m just afraid he will have selective amnesia and I may never get what I want to know from that time. And yes I’m reverting back to that bad habit of letting it go. But I read something today that says we need to have those tough conversations because it brings you closer. I’ll let you know how it works fir me. But I’ll admit, I’m scared.

    • Puzzled

      Trying Hard: I’m in the same situation as you are about details. While my relationship with my wife has improved, I still don’t have a lot of details. And sadly, I think she probably feels it’s “out of sight, out of mind” and we are over things. Unfortunately, when you are betrayed and have flashbacks, it’s not something you easily forget. I’m hopeful for you and that you get your answers. Please keep us updated because I wrestle with how/when to bring up some issues that I need to be answered. I’m terrified at times to bring things up too. It’s strange that I get the impression that many of us as a BS are afraid to confront the CS because things have improved. I know that I’m that way. I remember how horrible I felt and how awful I was treated so I’m afraid to go back there.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Puzzled and TH
        If something keeps bothering us….we need to go back and talk it out. Otherwise it just festers.

        If you make sure the timing is good….no kids, no distractions etc. and they still give you grief, I believe you have to call them on it. Living with fear and walking on eggshells is no way to live.

        I try to stay as calm as I can in these types of scenarios. But I do call him on defensiveness and stonewalling etc.

        Having said that….I do believe we will never get all the info we want….and maybe there comes a time when, enough is enough.

    • TheFirstWife

      To my fellow Betrayed Spouses

      I honestly believe that my CH was trying in many ways to get me to end our marriage. In his warped mind I think he believed if I ended it, then he was absolved of any guilt.

      I think some cheaters have that motive in their mind. They don’t have the guts to express what is wrong (before they cheat) and they want out of the marriage b/c of an affair. But when asked if there is someone else they lie and swear there is no one else.

      I swear it is like dealing with a three year old with a temper tantrum.

      Interestingly enough when I found out on DDay2 the affair was on-going I threw him out. At that point I no longer cared.

      But yet three years later we are still together and Happy. Shaking my head…..

    • Falling Ash

      Exactly TH. Everything you said! I believed all the lies about work nights out to which other halves weren’t invited. I actually used to feel sorry for him, having to go to these boring work dos without me there to cheer him up! I used to send him little loving texts to make him feel better. What he didn’t tell me it was just him and one other work colleague and he was actually having a great time.

      Boy did I feel stupid and gullible after DDay. BUT in my defence, it was because I had expected the loyalty I gave to him to be reciprocal.

      Never again will I be so trusting.

      • TryingHard

        Falling Ash—Arghhhh doesn’t it just gall you when you put 2 and 2 together??? Yeah, poor guy had to go to a horrible “work functions”. LOL I remember my husband complaining about the OW, when I believed she was only an employee, and how loud she was and would use foul language in the office. Or when I would come into the office and she was talking to me the whole time I guess out of guilt or nervousness or trying to throw me off the scent of their stink!!! It was weird at the time and it’s still weird they way she/he acted. But I chalked it up to weird when really I should have been paying attention to the red flags. LOL maybe I had a grudge against myself then???

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled and everyone else too–So when stuff crops up, like my FB trigger, and I really want to see if he even remembers or will try to address it. My goal is NOT to make him feel bad or ashamed but I know that will be one of the end results. I’d prefer he feels guilty but hey I’m not the emotion Nazi! I want him to simply answer the damn question.

      I’m sick of the head hanging “I’m so ashamed of myself” pity party. We went to the movies Saturday night and I saw a preview of a movie I said I’d like to see. It’s called The Lovers. Google it. It’s about infidelity, but it looks pretty funny. The premise is both the husband and the wife are having affairs and then they start cheating on the AP’s with each other!! Well I think it looks funny 🙂 When I said I wanted to see it he said “I don’t. Bad subject” Well WTF if I can handle it he sure as hell ought to be able to handle it!!! This is an odd reaction that raises a red flag for me. Such as, has he personally worked through HIS issues?

      I don’t know, is this still “I was a bad boy. I said I’m sorry and I’m being reallllly good now so let’s just forget about it” mode??? His affair was part of his secret life for 4 years!!! He sure as hell didn’t avoid it then, why now??

      Personally I think he needs to own up to it and deal with the conversations and the movies!!
      I’ve been going over this in my head for a week now and it’s still bugging me. What do I have to lose besides my dignity and that’s been gone a long time ago, so what the heck? I think I will bring up the conversation. Maybe tonight.

    • Puzzled

      TH: It amazes me how a lot of us are in the same boat on some of these issues. My wife and I are doing great and have come so far in rebuilding but…
      She’s never truly addressed what she did, who it was, and why she did it. I don’t want her to feel ashamed or bad either. I just want answers so that I can have some closure. I struggle on a lot of days trying to decide if I should just ask or keep quiet. Sometimes I just want to go for a drive with her and ask. No kids around. No distractions. No excuses. Just questions, answers, and honesty. And sometimes I just want to scream WTF were you thinking and WhyTF did you do this to me!
      And DO NOT think you lost your dignity, TH, for what your husband chose to do. I know that I struggled with that for a long time about my wife. But, unless you have also strayed, you’ve done nothing wrong. We were betrayed by the very people we trusted most; the people we chose to honor, love, & cherish. I don’t remember any part of my marriage vows that say “I’ll lie and cheat” but, then again, our minister was pretty boring. 😉

      • TheFirstWife

        Puzzled. I deeply feel for you. I was in your same shoes (actually we all were).

        My biggest regret with my H was his refusal to answer my questions, his inability to be honest and his stupid ideas that being honest would only make matters worse.

        That is the main reason I wanted to divorce him at times. The affair was bad enough, but his actions and continued behavior after that was worse.

        The lie upon lie upon lie was devastating. I believed him in the first month after DDay2 and I was so happy he was finally being honest and putting our marriage first.

        Until I found out EVERYTHING he told me was a lie. A big fat lie. All of it. He let me believe that she pursued him. Then I saw the email where HE made the affair happen. He pursued her. He asked her out for their first “date”.

        I believe she owes you an answer. To sny and all questions. But in my experience it does not appear one cheating spouse has done that here.

        And my therapist would say that at some points the details don’t matter. But I think they do. As an example both my H and the OW swear up & down there was no sex. They both stated that to me.

        Do I believe it? Hell no!!! Because it just doesn’t matter. He cheated. He lied. He dumped me for her. Lied about that too.

        But in the end one more “piece of evidence” doesn’t change anything. And doubtful I would believe what he said Anyway. He has shown himself to be a liar.

        So I believe what I think is the accurate story. I could be wrong BUT I cannot believe him anyway regarding the affair. He lied so much to try and save his own neck that I just don’t have it in me to go down that road any longer.

        I stopped asking questions b/c it just made me crazy and caused more problems.

        I hope you have better luck than I did. Too bad the cheaters just cannot see the damage from our side of the fence.

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled–that is exactly what you do. No way you have those discussions with children around. Way to easy to escape for the cheater.

      Maybe talk about a time where you guys WILL discuss the state of the marriage/relationship AND the affair? Nothing is off the table for those discussion. It’s a weekly appointment when the children are not around. Also make it a set time so you can prep for it just as if you were going to a MC. Maybe that could be your first discussion with her.

      Just be honest and tell her you need some answers. Tell her your intention is NOT to punish or shame her. It’s really the least she, and for that matter my husband, can do. They can talk. We are not asking for blood, although I think sometimes they’s RATHER give blood!!! This stuff is HARD. It’s hard for them, it’s hard for us BUT they are the ones that started the game. We are the ones ending it. They may have jumped off the affair train a long time ago, we on the other hand just got on it and damn they owe it to us!

      Just for the record, I am not longer planning any murders LOL! I’d have never gotten away with it anyway AND I would look awful in orange jumpsuits!!!

    • Puzzled

      TH: I’m really going to try to find a time to be alone for a talk with my wife. I fear the defensive wall will come up when I ask her. That was the challenge before. She would go on the defensive as soon as she knew I wanted to talk. I know she’s sorry. I know she regrets hurting me. She’s answered a lot of my questions but the one answer she’d never give is who it was. Her answer to it has always been “someone at work”. I have to call BS on her because she works at a big hospital. She said it was a guy that was in on an emergency procedure and asked her to let him know how it turned out. How in the world would she have some random guy’s phone number to text him how things turned out when they were working in an emergency? I just can’t buy it. I have always felt it was someone that we know as a couple. I think that’s why she has never said who it is. Saying it’s a guy from the hospital is an easy out and, in my opinion, a cop out & the last wall that needs to get knocked down. I hope that I can post positive news.

      • Hopefull

        Puzzled, These conversations are so hard. My husband totally did not want to tell me who he had his two affairs with. It did not matter since I know neither one however I think it does matter to us and in the end to our marriage. I ended finding out since he told me where the one lives since she was from out of state and he told me the other ones profession. I looked at the history of his fake fb account. Luckily I took photos of it all the night before dday. I had no idea what I was looking at. But when I went in and looked it was obvious who the two women were.

        I wrote out everything I wanted to say in advance. I was very direct and non emotional. I asked for him to listen before he answered me. I explained that it was necessary for me to know who he had his affairs with. And not so much that the person mattered but we needed to as a couple understand exactly how it happened and then put in place boundaries to avoid that from every happening again so we can protect our marriage. In the end I figured it out first but he did confirm what I learned through the documentation of his secret account.

        • Puzzled

          Keeping her from becoming defensive is the challenge. We called the affair “the elephant in the room” for a long time. We just didn’t know how to handle not talking about it. About this time last year I ended up buying a small fish bowl and taped a picture of an elephant to the bottom. I then typed out all of my questions. I told her she could answer one at a time or all of them. It was slow at first and she would answer one here or there. She finally answered a bunch. There’s only one left in the bowl: “who was it?”
          When she finally answers it, I’m going to fill it with concrete and sink it.
          My wife would be the last person anyone would imagine having an affair. I’m sure a lot of us can say that about our spouse. My heart breaks every time I type that she had an affair. Even two years later it still feels raw at times. I know many of you have dealt with far worse than I have. I’ll just always be confused by it. Just because opportunity knocks, nobody says you have to open the door.

          • Shifting Impressions

            I love that fishbowl idea……..I think we might need to implement that. Even if they only answer one a month, that would be major progress.

            I know how it breaks one’s heart….my husband is also the last person one would expect to have an affair.

          • Hopefull

            Same. People would flip out if they knew. My husband is the opposite of that. He helps people professionally deal with this since he is in the mental health field. People come up to me all the time and tell me how amazing he is at his career/profession and how he has changed their lives. It used to be something I thought how great, now it makes me more bitter that he can help all these other people but look what he did. It has been over two years. Some days go really well and others I wonder if I can stay with him. It can be crushing. Just when I think I am past it then I collapse and fall down hard.

            • Puzzled

              Hopeful: keep working at it. No matter the outcome, do what you know is best and it’s up to him to become the man & husband that he needs to be.

            • Shifting Impressions

              I know what you mean Hopeful…… put that really well, I sometimes fall down really hard as well. But it doesn’t last as long as it used to and doesn’t happen as often as it used to.

              My husband is a wonderful man, who made some very poor choices and I just love him to much to just walk away.

            • Falling Ash

              I too am still on that rollercoaster where I am doing really quite well, then a few rapid triggers will trip me up. As SI says, it is progress in that I don’t slip back as far or as hard as I used to, but it still hurts and makes me wonder just how long healing is going to take. 3 years today for me.

              My OH is in a caring profession too, so it hurts all the more that he didn’t take the time to care for me/us in all of this. He was more interested in “saving” his pretty young work colleague at that time, and listening to her tales of woe, whilst all the time pushing me further away.

    • Puzzled

      FA: Sorry it’s a D-day anniversary. Not a day any of us enjoy. It’s good to hear that you’re progressing. It’s just past my 2 year and I can relate to what you and Shifting Impressions posted. I hate the triggers and setbacks but thankfully the doldrums don’t last like they used to.

      • David

        Puzz….was it a full blown affair?,my wife was obsessed by a doctor at her work and really pursued him even stalked him I would say,v disturbing but when it all collapsed as he rejected her(found a google search dealing with rejection by a man,tried to say I did that search,yep usually brilliant with excuses but couldn’t really answer that one),does this sound familiar?

      • David

        Puzz….was it a full blown affair?,my wife was obsessed by a doctor at her work and really pursued him even stalked him I would say,v disturbing but when it all collapsed as he rejected her(found a google search dealing with rejection by a man,tried to say I did that search,yep usually brilliant with excuses but couldn’t really answer that one),does this sound familiar?

        • Puzzled

          Hi David,

          It was an full blown emotional affair. It started in late 2014 and continued through 2015. I’m not sure when it truly ended or if it ever went further than texting/talking. I’m not sure about your situation but there are others on her who could give you some helpful tips and guidance.

    • TheFirstWife

      I would like to know what happens to our spouses that they practically end up being people we don’t even know, even if temporarily.

      My H was in love with a 29 year old ((he’s 50) drama queen covered on tattoos with an arrest record (not sure he knows but I do). he honestly thought his friends and their wives would accept her.

      He believed they were going to sail off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

      Until you factor in alimony and child support.

      Weekend visitation

      College tuition
      Anger and resentment from his kids/family

      Not living with his children

      Yup sounds like a real exciting life to look forward to. Broke, living apart from your children and losing your friends and family.

      Not to mention the shame and guilt for causing all this.

      What causes relatively good people to behave this way?

      A woman stalking a male colleague – that is crazy!!

      It is just out of control!!

      • Puzzled

        TFW: That is something I’ve wondered throughout this whole affair situation. What happened to the woman I married and who was the person that replaced her? This behavior was so out of character for her. She did and said things that I would have never expected even in my worst nightmare. It’s like they get a chemical imbalance and they truly become someone else.

        • TheFirstWife

          Puzzled. I agree. They truly become someone else.

          They say the stupidest things – classic line love you but not in love with you is one. I deserve to be happy is another.

          They become someone else completely. I know my situation with my H was classic midlife crisis but seriously – how many brain cells does it take to know right from wrong ?

          • Tracy

            They have no brain cells to start with. They know right from wrong they decide wrong is a better option, when it’s just fun between them and their new found toy. family and loved ones have no chance in the throws of there uncaring attitude towards them. It’s a case of me me me.

          • Tired

            Puzzled &TFW, I think they sound like someone else because they are parroting the opinions of their affair partner. My husband also did this. If I bring up some of the things he said now he gets really embarrassed. He was behaving with her lack of integrity and conscience. The complete opposite to him.

          • Tracy

            Thank you, like yours my husband worked hard and had so much freedom because I believed and trusted him. I never stopped him doing anything weekend alway with his friends bar time with his friends social events I let him do anything because he worked so hard for us.

            If I even mention the OW he gets so mad and angry, he will not talk about her in anyway when I ask questions or bring her up he clams up stating ‘ we need to look forward not back’
            This annoys me as of course I need answers the biggest one is she still on the screen hanging waiting in the back ground Some where like a lion waiting to pounce.

            I also think my H has had a massive midlife crisis but he don’t seem to be able to get over it

            • Shifting Impressions

              I hate that “we need to look forward” line. Perhaps tell him that’s what he “wants” but not what you need. Funny how they presume to know what we need.

            • TheFirstWife

              Hi Tracy. You & I are/were living the same Drama with the H’s affair and very similar experiences.

              My H definitely had a mid life crisis. He claims he ended it the first time but I think she did and he was miserable.

              Then they resumed the affair about 6 weeks later. Except it was very well hidden and no obvious outward signs.

              My H got over his midlife crisis when I asked him to leave. At the point I was fed up I asked him to leave.

              And lo and behold his midlife crisis ended because he now had to work very hard to get me not to leave him!!!

              When the cheating spouse gets the sucker punch they don’t always like it. And it can wake them up very quickly

            • TheFirstWife

              Tracy. Do not let your H stonewall or gaslight you.

              My H’s furst EA was swept under the rug b/c he denied the affair and this was before the term EA was even coined.

              The fact that there were no repercussions or fall out and he got what he wanted led to his last affair.

              I told my H at the end of his last affair that he has no more chances.

              And he has to answer my questions about what happened and why. Because if he refuses to answer anything he can too easily pretend it did not happen.

              He tried the avoidance tactic a number of times but I would not accept it.

              Please be sure that your H is on the same path as you and willing to rebuild your marriage. No matter how painful it is to him he cannot just “move forward” and let it go.

              It just doesn’t work like that. If he cannot help you heal and repair, there is the potential for long term anger and resentment for you.

      • Tracy

        They don’t think they don’t care, they never imagine being caught do they. The affair is an adrenaline rush fun exciting cheating on there wives/ husbands don’t come in to play. It’s all new exciting an ego boost to there self esteem.

        They can’t even see the wrong they do to the people who love them they are blinded by there needs to be with and see the OW or OM

    • Tracy

      Funny my H was a true gentleman a decent person, no one not one of our friends would believe he would do what he did he was so loved and liked by every one he met.

      But he did do it and he still thinks what he did could be swept under the carpet and forgot. He has no understanding as to the damage he has done to his children and there partners never mind me.

      Some one said may be it’s a chemical imbalance, I see it as a drop in MORALS, VAlues and dignity. He is still now playing a wounded person and he had the affair. My H will not even tell me why, I only saw the OW when she decided to confront me in a bar and cause so much trouble the police where called.

      I feel she won at this point, I ran away and my husband ran to her not me . I found out since he has lied to her about visiting his family he can’t tell her he is with his children.

      To make it worse she just divorced her third husband and she thinks my H will marry her when we are not even divorced.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tracy I am so sorry for you. It sounds like a nightmare.

        The OW confronted you publicly? How low class. How stupid of her to believe yiur H’s lies and fantasy world he created with her.

        My H was one of those guys also. No one would ever suspect he would be a cheater. His friends were envious of the way he lived. I never nagged him or said “no” very often to him playing golf or going out with his friends. He worked hard and deserved it. I respected him and I felt he loved and respected me.

        His affair was like living in crazy town. He planned to divorce me. I read that in an email to the OW. He had a classic midlife crisis and affair and was practically out the door. He was trying to keep the OW hanging on while he finaly dumped me.

        Except at the last possible second he begged me to take him back. One minute he wants a divorce next second he wants me back. After this happened for the second time in a week I finally told him to get out.

        He was trying to sweep his affair under the rug. And dump her and have her go away and try to get away with it. His plan MAY have worked but that night I called her and she told me they were still seeing each other. Now it all made sense.

        And then I threw him out. It was such a mess. I just wonder what happened to him and why.

    • Tired

      Tracy, she sounds like a piece of work. I think my husbands other woman also hoped he would marry her even though he was still married to me. She got very desperate when he told her he loved me and wanted to work things out with me. This drove him away because she was trying to play the ‘friends’ card but it made him realize no contact was the only way to go. Your husbands OW sounds like she is getting desperate too. If you play it calm she will get even more desperate and clingy and that will be a turn off for your husband. Does he really want to be a fourth husband? There is likely to be a fifth

      • Tracy

        I wish I could truly see that, the issue is I ran away to another state and he stayed where she was, I thought he would run after me he thinks he did i realize he never. Now I’m left here and try to force the issue of selling our home and trying to make him come to me but it’s an up hill struggle and one I’m on the verge of giving up on. It will break my heart but what options has he gave me none.

        • TheFirstWife

          Tracy. I don’t have any advice for you. I wish I did.

          I do know that at some point if you can have a rational and slam conversation with your H you may be able to calmly state your position.

          There may be a solution that you can reach and work on restoring the marriage.

          I think that sometimes the cheating spouses want us to walk away or kick them out. This way their guilt will be lessened b/c they can tell themselves they didn’t end the marriage.

          Um technically true but the action of cheating ended the marriage. The cheater just technically did not day the words. It was said for them.

          I wish you the best. I hope you can resolve the issues and get your H back in your life full time 100%

          • Tracy

            Thank you I hope so too, but the longer this goes on the less hope I feel. It’s such a shame I really thought we had it all how wrong I was. It’s so hard and the fight is so hard and long I feel tired so very tired with it all. H don’t say how he feels just this blankness about his behavior towards us all ????????

    • Tired

      Oh Tracy, that’s hard. If your husband has left I don’t know what you can do about it but wait and see if he comes to his senses. Would you take him back? How long have you been apart? I allowed mine back but it was only a couple of weeks before he was wanting to come home. Even so, he still carried on contact unbeknown to me for a couple of months.

      But if you wait for him you have to put a time limit on it. He can’t just think he can carry on having affairs under your nose and expect you to have him back. That is even more disrespectful and cruel.

    • TheFirstWife

      Why does the bulk of the healing effort get dumped in the betrayed spouse?

      You get disrespected, lied to and cheated on

      Then the betrayed spouse ends up dealing with the recovery issues.

      From what I have read it is mostly the betrayed spouse that has to lead the healing process.


      • TryingHard

        FW–So my counselor says it’s because the cheater is getting off that train and has seen everything at the same time we are getting on that train and know nothing.

        I think some cheaters work harder than others in the healing process. Doug is a good example, I think 🙂 Most however stick to the old attitude deny deny deny.

        Many don’t own up until he have the solid evidence in our hot little hands and even then they will try and deny.

        Just my opinion

        • Doug

          My personal feeling is that first of all, you have to separate the healing process into two categories – healing the marriage and personal healing. Though the CS needs to help (and ideally be the catalyst) in the healing efforts in both instances, many of the CS that I speak with are of the mind that the personal healing is up to the BS. They feel it’s not their responsibility, nor can they control it.

          Why is that? Well, I think there are many reasons that come into play. Usually it boils down to a multitude of reasons (excuses): ambivalence, guilt, shame, laziness, fear, resentment, embarrassment, denial, feeling like they’re in a marriage they really don’t want to be in – but feel trapped for some reason, and as TH mentioned…”because the cheater is getting off that train and has seen everything at the same time we are getting on that train and know nothing. And then there is always the situation where the CS is just simply a selfish, emotionally unavailable, narcissistic, disrespectful asshole. I know I’m leaving out some reasons, but those are the typical ones that I’ve witnessed.

          Often the lack of effort also comes from a lack of knowledge about what it takes to affect the healing process. They may feel that all they have to do is be a good boy or girl and not rock the boat in any way, and this will prove that they are sorry and will not do it again. And therefore it should all just go away on its own and the BS can just get over it.

        • Tracy

          That’s because they do not want to deal with the pain and suffering they cause, it’s easier to deny then own up and help with the healing process

      • Tracy

        Why, because the cheater only wants to deny deny deny, but helping with the healing they are admitting guilt admitting they did something wrong.

    • Tired

      Point taken.

    • TryingHard

      Oh man Doug you are right on!!! Perfect explanation.

    • Puzzled

      Just a quick update: I had a trigger earlier in the week and really wasn’t myself. My wife noticed it and texted me to ask what was wrong. In the past, I would have just texted back that I was fine. I decided to just text the real reason. I texted her that something triggered a memory and I was hurting. I told her that the things she said and did to me during her affair still haunt me and that they are very hard to get out of my head. I told her that this happens and the memories hurt.
      She texted back saying she was glad that I told her. She also texted “I know sorry will never be enough for what I did”.
      It was good to be open and I think she is finally understanding that this hurt before & will for a while longer.

      • Shifting Impressions

        That is so good. I am now able to do that as well (usually) not always, sometimes I’m still to emotional when a trigger happens. It is so helpful when you can just talk about the trigger and feel heard and understood.

        That is really a step in the right direction for both of you.

    • Strengthrequired

      There are days, many days that go past and you feel just fine, or really good at lying to yourself that you are fine. Then you get a trigger. Yesterday for me was that day. We went to visit old friends, I haven’t seen for a while, my ch on the other hand has.
      Well they start talking about this other person we know that has an affair, in the end it broke his marriage. Of course this conversation was not in English, but I could tell what they were talking about, when included at times.
      I truly though I was OK, besides the few little sarcastic comments I was saying to myself in my mind, about how my ch is so passionate about what this friend did to his wife and how terrible it was, how he minimises what he did to me, and what this man did was far worse. We have actually had a conversation about it a when we found out, and he truly believes what he did to me does not compare. (Nothing was mentioned about my ch indiscretion)
      So anyway as we were leaving the male friend of ours asked me if I was ok, and if everything has been better between the both of us. I asked him, did you know what happened, and all he said, was call me. So to me my ch has talked with him about his affair, and I wondered how bad he made me look to them. To make his affair seem warranted.
      All I have done since is think about all those terrible days, the way he made me feel, how he made me look to others, and it sickens me to the core.
      Our friend wants me to talk to him, but I just can’t, I’ve been getting through each year trying not to think about the past, trying to move on, and trying not to feel so ashamed and embarrassed about what my ch chose to do to our marriage, our family, to me, and to himself, by inviting some ow into our lives. Just over five years since dday, and i became good at detaching myself, and keeping that guard up. I became good at covering up all that heartache and pain, I still feel. I became good at showing that happy face, that we made it face, that lets move on face. I became good at holding my feelings in, pushing them deep down, because I don’t want my ch or myself to go through it all over again. I’m tired of the past, I would love it to stay there.
      Yet yesterday, it felt nice that someone asked how I was doing, yet also sad that they know. It would be nice to talk about my side of the story, but I don’t want to, and I also don’t want to hear anymore bad things my ch told them about me. I don’t want to be reminded, I don’t want to cry anymore over the affair. I already hold myself hostage over this as it is, I’m still trying to break free, from that numbness my heart and soul feels everyday.
      It’s a tough pill to swallow, when that person you loved most in the world, and who you thought felt the same way, but didn’t. That is what’s so hard to get over, the fact that you loved completely, thinking you were thought of in the same way, only to find out different.
      needed to get this off my chest.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Those triggers are so tough, aren’t they. Your words and pain really resonate with me. It’s like I’m standing on the edge of forgiveness…..and I just can’t quite get there. I agree, you think you are fine and then you get hit all over again with some type of trigger.

        I am so sorry you are having such a tough time.

        • Falling Ash

          SR, I have such sympathy with your struggles. Three years for me and I feel similar pain still. Just as you described it. I make out things are better, and on the face of it, life IS better than it was. BUT I daren’t examine too closely into my heart, because those feelings and emotions are all just bubbling under the surface, ready to erupt at each trigger. Even now. Last night we were driving home and David Bowie’s “Five Years” was playing. I crumpled. OH asked me what was wrong. I told him that song reminded me of how much time he gave me and our relationship before he was tempted by the OW’s charms.

          I am well acquainted with that numbess of heart and soul you feel. *hugs*

          • Strengthrequired

            Falling ash, shifting, Thankyou, it’s strange how something so small can get to you. Yet after writing here about it, has lifted a load off of me. i didn’t call this friend, I have chosen not too, besides he and his wife are more my ch friends than mine, I would hate for anything I say get back to my ch or be spread around like the plague.
            Which is one of the reasons I came here to get it off of my chest.
            Onward and upwards they say, fake it until I make it, has been helping.

    • Strengthrequired

      Falling ash, shifting, just wanted to send some hugs your way too.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thanks SR
        It’s amazing how helpful each other’s support is. I’m glad to hear how sharing your feelings with us helped. I feel the same way….sharing it here…in a safe place…makes so much difference. Just hearing how many of us still have this same struggle, even after a few years makes me feel validated, somehow, and not so alone, in the struggle.

        • Strengthrequired

          Si, it truly is amazing, no one knows what it is like, unless you have been through it. Thankfully here is where we can get that validation, that we aren’t alone.

    • Puzzled

      shifting impressions: i love your part about “standing on the edge of forgiveness”. I think that is so painfully true. I’ve forgiven but not completely. I want to but it’s just not an easy thing. Forgiveness is a daily decision for all of us. The challenge is the forgetting and moving beyond the damage when the memories still haunt all of us. This website is a blessing for us to vent and support each other. We need to work at recovery every day, even on the days we hurt. We have chosen to battle and fight for our marriages. At least for me, I decided shortly after d-day that, no matter what happened, I would show my kids and my wife how an honorable person will act even in the face of emotional torture. I would love her, honor her, and cherish her; even when she treated me her worst. I wouldn’t let my kids see my marriage crumble without showing what it means to face adversity with dignity and grace. Keep battling everyone! Make each day better than the last. Our stories aren’t over yet.

      • Shifting Impressions

        You’re right….our stories aren’t over. I also wanted to show my family…..that I would fight for my marriage and our family. That I would take the high road in the midst of betrayal.

        They were and still are tremendously supportive. But at some point I need to be “all in” again, not just for my family but for me. Several years ago, my then two year old granddaughter had a fight with her older sister….she came down the stairs and said, “Mommy, my heart is frozen”. Later in the day she told my daughter “My heart is thawed out now.” After d-day, I felt like my heart was frozen…..but slowly very slowly it’s starting to thaw. The trouble is that SCARES ME SPITLESS!!! The more I start to care again and the closer I get to forgiveness……..the fear creeps in.

        But as you said, our stories aren’t over yet.

      • Jules75

        Puzzled – Your post was just what I needed today. It is a daily choice, even on the hard days. I am very very fortunate that my husband and I are good to each other in our day to day living. But the pain is in the background – the deep hurt from years of lies that he told me, the things we both did that lead to emotional detachment…but we are fighting our way back. I hope, I pray we will get there. Some days I believe it. Some days I fear we won’t make it. We just have to keep trying, keep hoping, keep believing, keep forgiving. Keep fighting against the mundane. Thank you for that reminder and for the support! (hugs)

    • TryingHard

      Hi SR–Yes, just when you think it’s safe and been a while right? I think what we all have to remember is that while we may or may not forgive forgetting is a whole other topic.

      And no, we most probably will never forget, so these kind of situations will continue to come up. I always wonder what do they know about me. I live in a small town and when ever we are out and see people we’ve known most our lives I always like I and my husband are under watchful eyes and scrutiny. Is there’s whispering “yeah he cheated on her. can you believe she stayed with him?…” and on and on my mind goes when in reality they don’t give a crap!!!

      I wouldn’t call the guy. I mean what could he possibly have to say that would help you? Nothing, right?

      You come and vent. I had to last month. It was DDay anniversary month 🙁 Hugs to you dear one.

      • Strengthrequired

        TH, I’m sorry for your needing to vent day. I keep thinking I should be in a better place, and these little things shouldn’t bother me when they arise, but they do. Calling this friend is just uncomfortable to me,
        i try and stay away from here so that I can try and move past everything, and have it not control so much of my life, yet it is hard, because here has been such a crutch for me, still is too.
        There is not a day that goes by, that i don’t wonder how you and the others are, and hoping that everything is going well for everyone, so I do pop in and check up on you all.
        Honestly how anyone can think that an affair was the best thing that could of happened to their marriage, I don’t know. I truly and deeply loved my ch before his affair, and now that all the dust has settled, I’m not so sure I can bring myself out of fear of being hurt again, to love him that way again. I want to, but it is hard, to just let go.
        The Cs will never understand, just how much damage they cause to the one person that truly loved them.
        Hugs to you TH.

    • Tracy

      I also feel like your standing on the edge of a forgiveness pit, frightened to let go. My confidence my trust Where just coming back when I found out he was still
      Seeing her. I just can’t understand the lies the cheating when they say to your face they love you and only want you in there lives. I feel like I’m back to DDay all over again .H can’t just comprehend what he has Inflicted on me twice. Words cannot express how I feel right now.

    • Jules75

      This was a read I needed. We are year from D-day of my husbands long term emotional affair with a coworker, and they still work together. So I am a part of this “my husband had an affair” club, but I am also a part of the “I lost two babies” club. 13 years ago we lost our first born twins, and son and daughter, and much like above I had to find the strength within myself to reach, to move forward, to get through the “down on your knees through the mud” healing that was necessary to heal from such a tragic loss. Since dealing with all of this with my husband, I have thought many times how if I can heal from the death of my children, and was brave enough to try again and have the 3 boys I have now – then I can get myself through this healing, through this pain, to a place of trust and love and healing. I CAN DO IT. And I needed this reminder as I struggle. It’s almost a daily struggle and yet a daily healing all at the same time. Interesting dance. I just pray for it to get easier and easier. Never forgotten – just like my children are always with me – but more healing. Thinking of all of you too!

    • Shifting Impressions

      That’s terrible….you are right, I don’t think many of them understand the depth of pain they have inflicted and often continue to inflict.

      I know, there are no words……..

      • Jules75

        Shifting Impressions and Tracy – so very true. That is my biggest struggle with my husband – getting him to see the deep pain. That yes, our marriage was seeing some trouble and there was distance created by both of us, but that does not excuse his choices. I think he is starting to get that part, but the fact that he still works with the OW – he just doesn’t get the pain he has already caused, and then the pain that it causes me each day he works with her. No matter how much I believe him that the affair is over – it’s just painful.

        • TheFirstWife

          Jules I am sorry you are tortured by this every day.

          It is awful they still work together. You just don’t know what to believe.

          My H worked w/ OW but not in physical location – they spoke on phone frequently. but it was more than an EA.

          And yes “he ended it” but it resumed a few months later. So they made sure it was kept well under wraps. So many cheaters lie and say it is over when it is not.

          So I don’t blame your anxiety, mistrust, fear, pain and pounding heartbeat day in and day out. The CS just doesn’t understand the pain.

          I wish I had an answer for you. But when you get to the point that you are stronger than this and better than that and emotionally have moved past it, it will no longer bother you.

          If your H thought for one second you might leave him, I am sure the work situation would change real fast.

        • Struggling

          My husband is the owner of a small company of 3 employees, the OW being his secretary. She is in the office all day by herself while the others run service calls. She has been there 2 years. Her husband called my husband 1.5 years ago accusing them of an affair. My husband said he was crazy, I looked his secretary up on fb and found out she is 36 not the 55 he told me. I told him to let her go because I would always have doubts. He called me the next day and said he was keeping her. Fast forward to this past January and I felt something was wrong. Figured out he had changed passwords but I was able to get into the phone records. Just from Dec 24 to January 22 there were 3,000 texts and 2000 minutes spent in the phone. Her husband went to jail in march 2016 and their communication went through the roof. I called him immediately because sadly I am impulsive that way. He denied it then admitted he just talks with her but that they did kiss. He chose to leave for five weeks. He was mean to me and said nice things about her. He came back after five weeks and it was good for two. But he refused to answer questions, provide passwords, and let her go. I was still able to get into phone records and their communication was zero. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that they had to talk somehow. He has left two other times because I can’t let it go that she is still there and there is no accountability for them at the office. I have tried so hard because I want my marriage but I still felt he was lying. I finally figured out that they are texting and talking through an app. He denied it to my face 4 times. I went to the office to talk to her and she is nasty. And it didn’t go good. I left and he and I got into on the phone again. He came home that night after already telling me he was leaving. He has now told me that he was going to stay but because I didn’t say anything I called his bluff so he left. I feel devastated. I feel stuck like I can’t get past their communication. He tells me that he doesn’t talk to her about me or our relationship and I have to let it go. How have you been able to deal with your husband still working with the OW?

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