surviving infidelityI was mentoring a betrayed spouse the other day and the person asked me if it was worth the effort of working things out or was it time to just give up after her husband’s emotional affair.

That’s a very tough question and there certainly isn’t any one answer that fits every situation. 

Since the pain caused by infidelity is probably the greatest pain one will ever feel, surviving infidelity will probably be the hardest thing one can ever do. Not everyone is up to it, nor will they be successful.

However, leaving a marriage or relationship after an affair to escape the pain and the loss of self-concept and self-esteem is not always the answer. It is possible that in a strange and difficult way, the fallout from the affair may actually be the catalyst for healthy change. After all, that has been our experience.  So therefore, it might be worthwhile for you to analyze what exactly went wrong in your relationship before giving up.

To be absolutely clear…there is nothing that you (the betrayed spouse) could have said or done that would have given justification for your spouse to have an affair.  However, everybody has issues and faults that they bring into any relationship and it’s vital that you explore your own in greater detail and how they may have affected your marriage.  

This should be an important element in your own process for surviving infidelity. If you do not do this self-exploration, you will certainly bring these issues with you into any future relationships anyways.  So as you work through the process of self-exploration you may find answers that can provide you with the desire to work to save your marriage.

So what are some things to consider when deciding whether or not it’s worthwhile trying to save your marriage? 

Absent of any dangerous or violent addictions or abuse, here are a few that come to mind.  Please feel free to add others in the comment section.

Is the cheater doing what they need to do?  The cheating spouse must show remorse and have the willingness to do whatever he/she needs to do to move towards healing a recovery.  If the cheating spouse refuses stop all contact with the other person and fails to be honest and transparent, then surviving infidelity becomes much more difficult.

Consider your own emotional state.  Sound decisions are not typically made while in such an emotional state of mind.  At first, you may be so angry and devastated that you feel that you just want to kick him/her out of the door so fast and hard that the doorknob is imbedded in his/her butt.  Plus, you may not even know the depth and extent of the affair and how your spouse is going to respond over the next several months.

You will encounter many frustrating emotional ups and downs over a period of several months, but it could be vital to surviving infidelity if you allow for more time to pass in order for your emotions to level out so that you can make more sound decisions about your relationship.

What has been the history of your relationship?  If your marital history was primarily positive, then the chances of you surviving infidelity will probably increase. After the betrayal, both you and the cheating spouse may not believe that your marriage ever had any positives, but more than likely that is not the reality of things.  If your marriage was good at one time, then it is possible for it to be good again – or even better.

Look at the practical aspects.  Whether you believe it now or not, there are practical reasons to try and save your marriage.  With divorce comes many consequences that can give you reason to work at surviving infidelity.  There are financial reasons.  There are the children to consider. There is your shared history together.  What are the other elements that exist in your marriage that give it value and make it worth saving?

Surviving infidelity is a long journey, but it is possible. And if successful, can be such a wonderful thing.  But it´s also important to find your clear direction and ways to deal with things when you feel you are stuck in a destructive and hopeless situation.  

 

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We’re here to show you the right way to survive infidelity so that your marriage doesn’t become some sort of statistic.

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    37 replies to "Surviving Infidelity: Is it Worthwhile to Try?"

    • RecoveringMommy

      Thinking back now on that dreadful day, even though I packed my things and left, I never really intended on leaving for good. I loved my husband (and still do) and I wasn’t ready just to throw all that away. We do have children and I couldn’t bear being the “bad parent” that made the decision to break up the family (even though I’d be justified in leaving). Our marriage wasn’t always bad, we had just suffered a severe breakdown in communication.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that we were “meant to be.” I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe God puts things in our path when the time is right. When I met my H, I was coming out of a long, emotionally abusive relationship. He was 9 months out of a divorce. But had he never married his first wife, he would’ve never met me. His ex-wife’s best friend is married to my Jr High/High School basketball coach. My old coach is the one that got my H the job that landed him in the town where I lived (he was living about 4 hours away at the time). All that to say that there is no way you can count all that to coincidence!

    • Saddenned

      I will tell you that it is not an easy road. I have been through counseling, just to go back to counseling again. Dealing with your own feelings is extremely hard the months afterward. I am almost 6 mos from D-Day and the pain I have endured is fading and will someday fade. The key for me is to get handle of my emotions. Your mind can play tricks on you and make you think you are not okay. That is why I went back to counseling today. For me, my relationship is worth it. It was not a bad one to begin with, we had grown complacent and were beginning to quit communicating.

      • RecoveringMommy

        Saddenned, I completely agree with you about your mind playing tricks on you. I’ve been struggling lately, 16 months from D-day. And I thought to myself just a few days ago… Am I forcing myself to think about everything because I’m trying to deal with it and move on, or am I dwelling on it to torture myself? I know that probably sounds extremely messed up. But I think everyone has experienced something in their life that although it’s painful for them, it’s a familiar security blanket.

    • Paula

      I absolutely agree, I made myself commit to twelve months. If I still felt like leaving/kicking him out after that time, and all that work, then I felt I would have made a more rational decision. However, wiht time passed I’m not entirely sure I agree with the statement that if your marriage was good before the affair, it will be better after. I think that reading here for months and months, I have come to the conclusion that average (but still good) marriages have been made, and often are given the opportunity to become, so much better in the aftermath. I have lived with my OH for almost 24 years, and we had an AMAZING relationship, we were so close and in tune with each other, and fiercely passionate for most of that time. Two years and some after D-Day, I am still struggling on a daily basis, and I now believe I will never have that AMAZING thing again, just an okay thing, but maybe that’s better than outright unhappiness without him in my life, as I still love this man as passionately as I did when I was just 20, and we have a lovely life together with three pretty great kids and a true deep friendship and commitment to try to put this ugly thing behind us. With sex involved, it does change things I hate to say to all of those here who were “lucky” enough to escape that part of their affair story, I have no confidence in my body anymore, no matter how often he tells or shows me his desire, and how very average the sex was with her, how can you believe that, he kept doing it? He has destroyed my self-esteem, confidence and security, and no matter how hard I have tried, I can’t feel joy anymore, unfortunately my rose-tinted view of the world has been permanently altered, and not all for the better, and it’s not because he isn’t remorseful, or working hard himself, he’s been super amazing, and really patient, I just can’t make myself believe again, no matter how desperately I want to.

      • Linda

        Paula, I know that infidelity is heartbreaking in every circumstance, however I have found that many of us who has been married and with our spouses for a very long time have a more difficult time getting past the pain. For me we had been together over 25 years when I found out, that was a lot of history, surviving good and bad times, we had been together what seemed like most of our lives. The betrayal hit me very hard and the grief of losing what I thought we had paralyzed me at times. I told Doug today it is really hard to remember when he wasn’t a part of my life and I couldn’t imagine a future without him. I guess that’s why some times I get so sad, I am not really sure why I feel that way it just hits me. I believe it is just the loss of what I believed we had. I know that in many ways our relationship is better but the specialness and innocence are gone. Linda

      • Broken

        Really great post Paula…I sooo agree with wanting that amazing thing back. I guess the question now becomes …can we live without it? Take care

    • Candance

      I often asked myself if repairing our marriage was worthwhile. At first when my H was still in the fog & chasing after the OP even after she had rejected him I definately thought it was not worth it. Once my emotions settled some & I could think more clearly my thughts changed. I know we had very good times in our past, our marriage needed work, we both knew it, but one of us was weaker, thus the EA. I finally decided that yes, I wanted to try to save our marriage. I realized that however much I may have wanted to be rid of him, my H would never truely be out of my life. We have a child to raise. We could divorce & try to have a civil relationship & share our daughter or we could try repairing our marriage & raise our daughter together. We both agreed the latter was what we both wanted. Yes, the road is very bumpy, but there have been some very nice moments too, hoping that time will improve us.

    • Paula

      Thanks Linda, I know, that is how I feel too. I have questioned very deeply in the last few months if I can live with this knowledge, and doubt, for the rest of my life, or whether I should cut the cord!

      We had an interesting session with the new counseller today, he has a completely different approach to others I (and we, at times) have seen, this is the guy that my psychologist recommended to me as the best couples therapist in our country. Given us a lot to think about. I realised that I am still searching for the big WHY, which I thought I had had answered, but it hasn’t been really, so my OH has to have a good think about that, ie, why choose that option over many others when he was in crisis, eg talking to me properly, leaving, etc. I’ve known all along that the double whammy of a friend and your best friend (ie partner in crime – life! -…lol) has been an even more difficult thing than had she been a stranger. I am still bewildered as to why she couldn’t apologise or at least acknowledge my pain, even though I realise it is partly because of her narcissism, and partly because she has never had another person at the centre of her life, and doesn’t understand the devastation, especially since I have only been with him sexually, and she has had multiple partners (she’s allowed, she’s a grown-up) and I am devastated that we got an STI because of his selfishness in not using condoms – I am just so thankful we are not dealing with a child from this, and he is also, he can’t believe he let her “count her cycle” to avert this, although, I think I could have dealt with it, I do love kids, and it would have been his too. I even loved her little boy, who she found so difficult to deal with.

      I lost a very long term friendship over this also, and that feels yuck, a group of old school friends – about half a dozen of us, scattered about the globe – get together about every year or so and have a catch up, over a wine or two, and laugh, and now we can’t because the couple of friends who know, are appalled, and I don’t want the others to know, as I don’t really want them to judge her too harshly, which probably sounds odd. I was treated like a complete fool, with them parading around right in front of me, all over my life (house, kids, holiday home, cars, farm, local cafes, etc) and that makes you feel very stupid, I never guessed, I started wondering near the end, but still believed all he told me about the innocence of their friendship. I am cautiously hopeful again today 🙂 I’ve always known I’ll be okay, whichever way the cookie crumbles, but I want better than okay, and that is why I have stuck out the “solving” part of this, I need to feel like I have done everything in my power to understand and learn from this before I can move on with my life in a healthy way, and protect my children from the worst effects by being able to explain and guide them, to the very best of my ability, through any questions they may have about relationships, now, or in the future.

      • Linda

        Paula, you are dealing with a lot of issues as a result of the double betrayal. I wish you luck with your therapist and will be interested in hearing how he is helping you to heal. I think all of us struggle with the why, I know that I will never completely understand it. There was so many options for the spouse, why did they choose to cheat rather than do something else about their unhappiness. Linda

        • Paula

          Thanks Linda, hard to believe when you see me rambling here, but I am a sensible, loving, educated, (used to be fun loving!) worldly woman, and I originally approached this very sad event in a rational and composed manner, I thought that would beat the madness of what they did. Sadly, I have fallen into many holes along the way, many times they were ones that I could see, but couldn’t avoid, bit like I was frozen in the headlights at times. I believe if she could have helped me by us all being grown-ups and talking this through, so that she could understand her part in this, and could see that I forgive her, I would be a lot further along in my recovery, but she decided to be a cow, and be as uncooperative as possible, and keep poking at us for two years, to see if we’d bite, or fall apart. This I don’t understand. We had the “added bonus” of a friend – and I use that term loosely! – writing/texting/emailing her, mostly abusive stuff,intermittently, and every time this happened, she would contact my OH and “have a go” and he would rise to the bait, and “defend” me, which perpetuated the contact. I was quietly furious that he would react, when I told him that he was doing exactly what she wanted, she was still affecting us, he should not reply, and he wouldn’t stop it, aaargh! When I eventually decided I had had enough of being manipulated by her, I asked him to leave, permanently, at the end of April this year. He did exactly what I thought he would do, and met her the day after I kicked him out, and then went up to see her two days later, “to find out what the hell she wanted from him, and what made her tick, and to see if there was still anything left, what was it that he fell for,” his words. Of course, he slept with her again (only this time, he wore a condom!!! lol) I have told only my psychologist this (no friends or family, etc) as I understand what he was doing (they would just judge him, as I’m sure many reading this will do) he was trying to see what all the fuss was about, why had he put his whole life under threat for this crazy woman, we talked after he came back down from her place, and he was completely honest with me when I asked if he’d been with her, much to his discomfort, and he said it was completely dead, he felt dirty, and like he’d just been with a corpse, shudder, he wanted to run out of there afterwards, and realised then and there that it really was all fantasy, fuelled by the fact that it was “forbidden.” But that doesn’t change the fact that for all his talk of me being the only one he has ever loved, and his huge regret at being such a lying arsehole, he was back in her bed three days after I left him. As the shrink said, “how did that make you feel?” I answered him with, “well, he was a free agent, he could do what he liked,” and he said, “yes, but HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?” I then realised that it made me feel like I didn’t matter, the previous 23 years, didn’t count, as I was so easily brushed aside, and discounted so quickly, and obviously, physically sick. This was the conversation that led my shrink to sack me, ha ha! He said, I would be doing you a disservice trying to “treat” you, there’s nothing wrong with you, your fear and feelings of not being safe anymore are real, your brain is not stupid, it has been trying to help you all along, he has just shown this, and then he referred me to this new couple who live two and a half hours away! Oh, by the way, OH and I reconciled in late May, I believe he has exorcised the demons, and there has been absolutely no contact, he is incredulous that he couldn’t see how that was hurting me previously, by replying to her, even though he was showing me the replies, and they were all, “go away, get a life, leave my darling alone, I’m sorry I hurt you, you sad person, please leave us alone to heal now” how it was making me feel constantly anxious, even though it might be three months between her texts to him, I was always waiting for the next one. My finger was hovering over the panic button constantly! Phew, sick, sad moment talked about, at last!

          The new therapist we are seeing mainly uses the Passionate Marriage (or Crucible Approach) as per Drs David Schmarch and Ruth Morehouse. I haven’t read anything about or by them (I try not to overthink things too often, it consumes me as it is 🙂 ) Don’t know if you are familiar with their work? Basically, this method looks at long term relationships as “people-growing machines” and avoids the fairy tale stuff, helping you to avoid wasting time, angst and energy on “am I with the wrong person, what’s wrong with us/me,” etc, and helps you realise that life’s fears and disappointments do and will happen, but not to be afraid of hurt, but to love fully anyway, to avoid a life lived in loneliness and self-deception. That makes some sense to me, as I have done this over and over and over-thought the “what if it happens again” question.

          • Linda

            Paula, thank you for your reply, I am interested in finding out more about this concept. I believe we do waste much of our energy over thinking things after the affair, wondering if we are meant to be with only one person in our lifetimes, wondering what was wrong with me, or what issues Doug may have. I would like to focus my thoughts on other matters. So I will definitely look into their work.
            I also believe that most of our fears and insecurities are justified after the betrayal, and that our spouses are not doing everything they can to rebuild our trust. It is ok to continue to feel fear and pain, it is our way of dealing with the aftermath of having our worlds turned upside down. If we do not feel this way we are in complete denial and eventually it will surface later on. My therapist told me the same thing, you are fine, and those worlds set me free. Before that I thought I was crazy and I realized how I was feeling was normal and justified. Also I completely agree that the hardest part about Doug’s betrayal was that I also was completely brushed aside, that my pain I felt while he was still conducting his affair didn’t matter to him, the times I would be lying on the floor crying, or physically sick didn’t stop him from turning around and contacting her. During his affair I meant nothing to him and that is the part that still hurts the most. Unfortunately I am afraid I will never forget nor understand it, the only way is to accept it and move on. Linda

            • Paula

              Linda, just done some more reading, I am not entirely convinced about this method, from my brief overview, but this is my last attempt to heal myself enough to stay in this relationship, and I’m gonna go with it, as I’ve tried a lot of other stuff that hasn’t worked yet 🙂 And sometimes it’s good to challenge your ideas with something completely new!

              You’re so right, you do have to accept it to move on, I’m just not sure I can accept it, and maybe I’m worth so much more, but I’m not leaving without throwing everything I have at it, as I do know this is a good man, the man I love more than anyone in my life, including my own kids, and he deserves me to try as well, as he has been very patient and open-minded, he really is not keen on more therapy, he feels like he has dealt with his questions about it all (meeting with her the last time, particularly, made him shake his head in disbelief that he ever found her attractive, and put so much at risk, he can’t understand why so severely lowered his own feelings about his self-worth and morality, he even says, “what kind of MAN does that to someone who has given me so much, and tried so hard, I would judge that man, privately, pretty harshly if that man wasn’t me”) but he is encouraging me to explore this option with him, despite it feeling like ripping scabs off almost healed injuries for him.

              Comments from uncoupled people who have never tried to compromise parts of their lives in order to accommodate another person in their lives, are unhelpful. I just hope that these people (like our OW, and Lizavette Biblio) get to experience the richness of a loving, fulfilling relationship with another that is as much about give, as it is about take, as this is truly what personal growth is about. I also don’t really believe in marriage, per se, but I totally respect other people’s belief in it, and respect everyone’s right to their opinions and beliefs, and I know that your perspective on these things can and does change with life experience. Our relationship was (perhaps too) idealistically about being together because we loved and respected each other, not because we signed a contract, or stood up in front of people to declare our commitment to each other, or spent money on a frock, a cake, a ring and a party, it was agreed between us, privately, and that doesn’t make the betrayal hurt any less. No matter what happens, I am grateful that I have shared a wonderful couple of decades with a super guy, and learnt that life is not all about me, amongst many other enriching life lessons.

    • Penny

      I am so hurt and destroyed when I read of all the various situations that are given a chance to heal and reconcile – at least there is that opportunity – hope. My 10yr relationship ended with him not even giving me an explanation prior that anything was seriously wrong enough to want him to move on. In reality he had met someone else and wanted out. We had a good relationship, although there was a 13yr gap and he knew we could never have childred, but he always convinced me – I was enough, and that he loved me, even 2 days before he suddenly left, now saying that he wants a wife and children. Well to wait 10yrs to tell me this now. How can I fight for this relationship, how can you make someone stay with you, I fear to even broach the subject. I will always feel inadequate.
      The pain and feelings of abandonement is all consuming. I struggle to come to terms with the betrayal and also one is left of the memories of what was a very good and loving relationship. There is so much unfinished business, unanswered questions.

      • anotheronein AZ

        I definitely undrestand your situation. I found out about the emotional affair (I think it was only at that time but it may have just turned physical that weekend.) Dec. of 2009. It was his high school sweetheart, his first love who he had contacted again who lived across the country. Lucky for him, his work sent him very close to her and so, even though I decided to stay and work on the relationship he decided to keep in touch and even see her what I now beleive is many times, all while telling me they had not talked any more and he had not seen her for 25 yrs. I worked on anything he blamed me for and tried to connect but he never cared to. He said working on it felt fake… there was too much resentment. But every time I mentioned divorce and leaving, etc. he thought I was rushing it… finally, he went to my counselor and basically my counselor told me to run… get away. He was one very selfish, narcisistic man who was just afraid to leave. So, we separated and he continued to play me for a 2 months and even into when we started mediation divorce proceedings that they had spoken but not seen each other in in 25 yrs…. finally, in digging throuhg things for I found out he had an extra phone and had seen her and been to her house with her son there, etc. It was all a lie and I believed him through out that year…. After 24 years together, I meant nothing and being honest with me was not even considered. When I confronted him with the first item I found of him visiting her ( june) I asked him why he didn’t tell me then and just be honest….. his response was ” You know what you would have done??” Of course I answered that I would have left…. his response was “I wasn’t ready for that!” Well, he has been able to make the choice of how our relationship has gone all the way through and still is. We are now divorced and he moved her in as soon as I was out of the house… they are happily looking at rings and planning a wedding as I still have to deal with the loss of self-esteem, and self-worth along with the betrayal while trying to co-parent a 20 and 16 yr. old. I adored this man and wouild have done anything to work on our marraige, and I did…. he chose to move on way before I knew anything was wrong. I envy those people who at least had a spouse who was willing to try… I did not even deserve that in his mind. I keep working on myself and try to find who I was before he affected me so much but it is a long term project with many ups and downs. I keep telling myself I had nothing to do with his decisions but it is hard when I am the one picking up the pieces of a life and family that doesn’t exist anymore.

    • workingthruit

      Married 12 years, together 18. Found out in March 2011 that hubby had EA since January 2011 with a coworker. Since dday he decided to stay with me, however while I worked on myself (lost 70 lbs so far since Jan!) and tried to be the best wife- he and I had fun but I could tell he wasn’t sure he wanted to stay married and he wouldnt let himself see the changes I was making in my life and how I partnered with him in marriage. He would speak to her at work and not talk about our marriage, however I know that she was still “present, waiting, pursuing him”. Since March, we have had great talks, fun times, and have gotten closer. While this has happened she felt him moving away from her. It is at this point, 5 months later that he finally realized he wants to definitely stay married and wants to be with me. He leaves his work cell at work, got a new personal phone (his idea) and goes to counseling. He told his mother that he wants to definitely be with me as well which holds a lot of weight. I’m happy about him coming out of the fog, but it is very hard to trust that this could really be happening now. Now that he is “back” and things are better than ever, I find myself not able to trust reality or get too excited. I now start to feel the anger brimming at times, and I really want to have him treat me like a princess (just for a bit) and then a better marriage forever more. He is just a little behind in healing than I am- yet part of my healing to stay in this marriage has yet to take place. I want reassurance. I’m starting to get this a little as of yesterday. We are going to start marriage counseling soon. We head to Jamaica for our 12 year anniversary in September. I am looking foward to rewriting some of the painful history since Dec 2010 (when she told him “he excites her” at a holiday party). I want to reclaim what was almost stolen from us- one moment at a time. However, I have made it clear that I will not settle for anything less than a great marriage with honesty, respect, communication, fidelity, affection and passion. I’m praying for this each day. A book I recommend is called the “Love Dare”. It has given me something to try each day, even when I don’t feel he “deserves it”. Gets me out of a funk 🙂 Doug and Linda- I’m sooo hoping for the improved marriage that you both seem to have. If I can see a lot of positives that come out of this tragedy- I can see that it was a wake up call for my and hubby’s life.

    • sharkgirl

      Found out in May and had a great couple of weeks after deciding to try again till I found out he was still texting her 50-60 a day first thing to last thing. We kept trying but he wouldn’t stop ‘just friends and will fizzle out’. I always knew she wanted my husband though, and believed him nieve and guilty. Then found out he went to see her July 19th and I said he had to go and think if he wanted me or his ‘friendship’ with her. Aug 5th a text saying he’s stopped contact, so trying again we went away for the night Aug 21st and it was great only I had this feeling and someone had told me it’s never stopped. Naughtily I checked his phone bill and texts have never stopped, I put the truth on his facebook account and started divorce proceedings. Then I get all the texts about how he feels for me, doesn’t feel for her, not lying (when I have the proof he is). This morning I get a text he’s stoped contact and turning his phone off to prove it – not sure how that works. Seen an e-mail clearly shows it was never over as she talk about last 2 days together been the best, the holiday he’s promised her, etc… Is this our real chance to see if we can survive or does this 3 months of lying and what that means, my friends hating him for what he’s put me through mean we don’t have one. I feel I know I should end it but I still have this hope but I can’t go through this again and I know longer know what to believe.

    • Keri

      I feel the same as you sharkgirl, I feel things may still be going on. I have checked his phone, but do not know the ins/outs of that personal model to peruse it fully. I have found nothing there but I know he has internet, etc…at his work. He says I have his “word” that he is being good now, lol..his “word”. I caught him after his first EA and thenn the next 2 surfaced in the next month. I am almost positive ther was a lot more and he is not telling me. I threatened to put this info on our facebook and he threatened me that if I did this to him inn front of his family he would try to take our son away from me. Now he has gotten better this last month but still denys a lot, even solid proof I saw, read, etc….I want to go to counseling but he keeps putting excuse after excuse out there. Well I fell he is just a big liar and do not think anything he says/feels for me is true. Why continue on if he may be doing this still? IDK, I can’t seem to let him go yet, if ever. I feel a very strong bond with this man and everytime I look in our baby boy’s face (14 months) I see his Dad and fell like if I leave I am ripping our family apart. BTW, he was having an emotional afair while I was pregnant.

    • sharkgirl

      Thanks Keri. Sorry you are in the same boat I am. Think we both need to find the strength somewhere to do what’s right for us and in the long term makes it right for our children, I so understand thought it’s this constant battle in your head and heart. I can excuse it in my head because it’s the same affair but if he did again now I know he really has ended it due to the e-mails that would be it. I just don’t know if his e-mails to her about her been the one, etc… are showing that our marriage is worthless or are just words of appeasement

      • Keri

        He did the same to me, was even telling one girl “I love you”. Of course he said that it was just words, that she was a fantasy and he would never meet her (she lived in the Philippines). Imagine how that made me fell, him telling me another woman was just a fantasy to him. I’m like you here, if I find one more thing, he is out. I am never depending solely on another man. I think his safety net of me being stranged at home with the baby gave him the false hope that he could go do what he wanted and get away with it. I wish you luck and hope it turns out best for everyone.

    • sharkgirl

      Hey Keri, just wanted you to know I’ve found the strength to go through with this. I can’t live with the e-mails not knowing if I’m second best and he’s lying to one of us and why when he was wanting me did he take her to the cinema and bowling to end it ‘because she wanted to talk to change his mind’ when they were the best day ever to her, ending it obviously never came up. He’s dug himself in a hole and can’t get out and I don’t want to help I’m truly not interested anymore. I believe in fate and if we are meant to be we will be but right now for me and my kids we have to move on and that means divorce. He just can’t help himself all week he’s stayed strong and consistent about ending it then sent her a ‘Hi, how you, etc…’ e-mail out the blue. Well that’s got her hopes up and shown me there is none. I’ll never be 1005 with this decision and I don’t think anybody truly is but I feel content, relieved, calm, etc… about it

    • Cheerleader

      I am 6 months post EA, he is 7. My H of 14 years, 18 together came clean in March. After meeting this OP once & continuing a texting EA with this out of state person, he came to me to let me know he wasn’t happy. Blew me out of the water! Never thought there was a problem, never saw it coming, so the logical explaination was..is there someone else? He admitted to this and I was in a downward spiral. He came to me the next day and said he wanted to work on us, that she was just a wake-up call. Ok, so we did..went to one therapy session together but that was it. I have continued w/ the same therapist, but he refuses to go! There has been so many hurtful talks, where he is brutally honest about how he feels, for example, he doesn’t see us together in the next 20-30-40 years, he doesn’t know what he wants, she stirred something in him, etc. She sent him a text at the end of April and again a week later, neither of which he answered, but he didn’t tell me about them. I found both on our phone bill and approached him w/ what I found. Meanwhile we went through May and June without much of a relatinship because he was so conflicted. We took our family vacation, which was pleaseant but I could tell there was something different, he was pulling away when I would go to take his hand, etc. The week after we got home, I aprroached him to ask where we stood and if there was contact w/OP..he admitted that he had been calling her from his work phone (H works from home) for the past 3-4 weeks, a total of 4 phone calls. I told him that he needed to leave the house. 2 days later he came to me & said he wanted to work on us, he would end OP but not go to therapy. He said he thought we could do this ourselves. We talked about what he and I thought were some weak spots in our marriage & agreed to work on them. We also agreed on date night..to reconnect. Well that worked for about 2 weeks..eventually I brought up the questions, where are we?? It always spawns an hour long conversatin which totally drains both of us. He feels the same way about OP, about not feeling “it” for me, but not having any answers. So, here we are again..another text last week, then a “missed” call from her on his cell phone. Once again, he fails to tell me about either & again says he didn’t answer either. I asked if that was over and he said yes, but won;t call her to remind her of this…he said it sends her more of a message by not calling or texting her. I agree and so where does that leave us..still “trying”. It’s been stained the last week or so..don’t see him coming back..don’t know what to do.
      Of all of the posts I’ve read, there hasn’t been a situation where the OP is out of state…this EA lasted 2 weeks of texting w/ a one time face to face meeting, followed up w/ some phone calls..how is this still in his mind?!!? Is there any hope for us? We had a great marriage! Neither one of us can believe this is happening…
      Any words of wisdom?

    • hotmadAZ

      i found this website late last night and although not under good circumstances, what a blessing.
      just a few nights ago, 9/14/11 at 1:30am (while at work) i found emails and texts that my H was having an EA since October last year. he denied everything to my face until i showed him proof and then he blamed me. denies anything physical went on… ends up he even created an alias for her, by leading me to believe he was going to see a male friend.
      this website and the posts from people are exactly what i have been feeling. the betrayal, the heartbreak, the sadness of lies. and now comes doubt and the lack of trust. has our 7 year relationship (married 3) been built on lies? can i trust him again? it’ll “take time” i keep hearing, but is it worth it?
      we are currently separated. i have to say i’m unfortunately thankful that we don’t have children in the loop, but i feel just as heartbroken for our 3 dogs.
      we have started counseling, even before i found ALL of this and before i had him leave the house. is it worth the fight to continue?
      sometimes i think i’ll never trust him again. i’lll always question who he’s texting or who is he emailing. he has his own business on top of a 9-5 job and uses the internet ALL the time for it. how do i trust its “work” or a “customer” now, since thats what he’s been saying and its all a lie?
      then, sometimes i think these are what awesome, rock solid marriages are built from. when i’m giving my grandchildren advice, will i be able to look back on this to provide positive words and boast with pride that we overcame it?
      not too long ago, in the news of Will Smith and his wife having rumors of marital problems, they stated “divorce is not an option”.
      i really, really want that, but i just don’t know what to do. how can i get there when this has happened? how long will it take? when will the hurt end?
      after reading some of these posts, i’m still undecided…..and still very heartbroken.

    • antiskank

      Linda,
      Your response to Paula really struck a chord in me. It is one of the many things I continue to worry about

      “”I completely agree that the hardest part about Doug’s betrayal was that I also was completely brushed aside, that my pain I felt while he was still conducting his affair didn’t matter to him, the times I would be lying on the floor crying, or physically sick didn’t stop him from turning around and contacting her. During his affair I meant nothing to him and that is the part that still hurts the most. Unfortunately I am afraid I will never forget nor understand it, the only way is to accept it and move on.”””

      Have you made peace with this aspect of the betrayal? dos it ever get better, does it ever go away? It is so difficult to know that no matter how much pain I was in and how badly damaged, the AP meant everything to him and I meant nothing. It is just so difficult to believe him when he says now that he wants to be here after so many lies and deliberate choices that hurt so much. How do you shake it off and move forward? I do try but it comes back when i least expect it!

      • Linda

        Hi Antiskank, Sorry for it taking so long to respond but I’ve been enjoying my first week of freedom from third graders!

        Yes I have made peace with this aspect of the affair. I had to believe that the person Doug was during his EA was not the person I fell in love with so many years before.

        During the EA I knew he was not the person who has looked deep within himself and has made many changes to become a better husband and father. The person who looked me in the face and lied, had an affair and completely ignored my pain was a stranger to me. This person was not Doug, so I made the choice to forgive him and move on.

        However it takes time, and it is a process. You need to feel the pain from every aspect of the affair and process it and try to move on. If you become stuck at a certain phase it usually has something to do with you, your past, or your triggers. For instance, I found that when I became stuck on something that really bothered me during the affair that it had to do with my abandonment issues. So I had to work through those in order to move on.

        I am not saying that you should forgive quickly nor forget but there are issues along the way to recovery that have more to do with you than the cheater. And it is helpful to deal with those issues so you can be emotionally healthy and able to move forward to save your marriage.

    • Strengthrequired

      Any island, I’m still waiting for that to get better for me too. Like Linda, curling up in a ball crying etc, had no effect on my husband, I too brushed aside like I did not matter. Very hard at times to believe you matter now, after that being done to you.

      • betrayedchump

        AS & SR,
        This is my take on how my x CS felt about my pain, I DESERVED IT!!!!!
        She was unhapppy, hurt & in pain so I should be also. Funny thing was, I was unhappy, hurt & in pain already (because I knew she was), without her blaming her unhappiness, hurt & pain on me. She just couldn’t see that part of it, it was ALL about her selfish wants & how easy it was to blame me for everything she didn’t have in her life????
        “The people that mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind.”
        ― Dr. Seuss
        Peace to All

        • Strengthrequired

          Betrayed, I believe that my husband thought I deserved it too. At times I think he was trying to punish me, because of course it was my fault he was depressed.

          • antiskank

            I definitely agree – My CS thought I deserved it too, and could only feel good if he was making me hurt as much as he possibly could. He went to great lengths to tell me what a complete waste of space I was – old, fat, ugly, boring, unlovable, the worst person in the world, and the list goes on – none of which is true! It causes excruciating pain to hear this from the one person in the world you love and need to comfort you. While I would literally be unable to function due to the pain and shock of it all – bawling uncontrollably, he would just keep piling on the emotional abuse. He later admitted that he wanted me to be punished for ending his affair with the only pesron he had ever loved! He has since apologized profusely but words said cannot be unsaid and the pain has not gone away.

            • Strengthrequired

              Antiskank, we the bs, have a lot to forgive and “forget”. I wonder at times how we can. As you said words cannot be unsaid, those words that have been said to us during their deluded phase, about us, about the ap, and comparing us to the ap, ( we are no good, but the ap is the best thing since sliced bread), as well as their actions, is forever embedded into our minds. what we have been through isn’t so easily forgotten, unfortunately.

            • Strengthrequired

              Anyiskank, you know during that whole time of my husbands affair, I actually felt he wanted to hurt me, that I was being punished. All because he actually believed what the ow was wanting him to believe about me.
              One time the ow told my husband that I was seeing her husband, next thing My husband is calling me questioning me, and tbh he was angry and upset. He actually didn’t believe me for a while that I wasn’t seeing her husband. I can just only imagine the other cr@p she used to feed my husband, constantly, to try and drag him away from me and our children.
              Honestly, the things I had heard about her husband, all not nice, he actually thought I would want anything to do with such a man, it baffles me. Yet at the time, his soul mate was telling it was so, so it must be.

            • antiskank

              Wow, SR, you really do understand! I only wish you didn’t have to deal with this too. Nowadays I rarely think about his affair with the skank although it does come up once in a while. I still am not happy about it but the most devastating to me was his attitude towards me. I will never understand how a human being could purposely and willfully hurt another person in that way, much less a person that you once loved and claim to love again. How is it even possible? Due to his lies, his treatment of me, I still cannot believe that it is even possible that he could love me now, even though he insists he does. I do try to enjoy the good parts of life and work toward having more of those but it is soooooo very hard to let go of the abuse, it just causes so much damage. I sure do hope that I won’t live forever with this empty hole and sense of impending doom.

            • Strengthrequired

              I do understand antiskank, I too sit back and think how is it that you fell out of love with me so quickly when she was around, but now you claim that you love me and only me? That she means nothing.
              In a way I do believe that he didn’t love her, and that is because of how I feel that he was just wanting to hurt me, punish me, because he was so miserable about himself, with her help.
              However it does cross my mind, that he did and said these terrible things, and the whole time was protecting her, and playing into her hands.
              I have told him on several occassions, how gullible, how deluded, how he during that time was easily led manipulated into becoming something he was not. He played right into her hands,
              let me just say, he does not like me telling him how gullible he was, as he doesn’t believe he was.

    • Untold

      That feeling is not limited to women BS’s. Adding insult to injury is the fact that, during the affair and downright evil deceit, I was totally financially supporting my wife and family, paid for her new clothes and “friend trips”, planned and took with her an expensive 25year anniversary vacation where she had two total hostile meltdowns (now I know why) and paid $9k for her new teeth veneers. All of that is lost on the CS’s. They can’t bear to see it or own it because the weight of the pain they caused would overwhelm them.

    • Strengthrequired

      Untold, your right, it isn’t just the female bs that feel it, the make bs feel it too.

    • Amy

      Hi Linda
      I have the same question. How do you come to terms with the feeling of being completely brushed aside by your spouse even after he sees the pain it causes ( I cried so many days and nights and was physically in pain) but still goes ahead and contacts the AP and continues to lie? Please help me with this… I am struggling. Do you feel different now?

      • betrayedchump

        Amy,
        I can’t answer for Linda but I will tell you from my own personal experience that it is VERY, VERY, VERY HARD to come to terms/acceptance that this person (who you thought you knew & who you thought loves you) did this to you & continues to do this to you!!!!
        My x CS would text her EA MM AP in front of my face, then smile & giggle when he replied to her texts, WTF???? She refused to stop all contact with him, turned it around on me, said she wasn’t going to let me try to CONTROL her, who she talked to, texted, e-mailed, Fakebooked with.
        Yes your struggle sometimes is overwhelming, it seems hopeless BUT it isn’t forever, it is just a long painful moment in time!!!!
        Will you feel differently about your CS, yourself, your relationship/marriage, your life? Yes you will, it takes a lot of self soul searching to realize & accept that you are a GOOD person!!!! You did NOTHING to make your CS do what he has done & continues to do to hurt you!!!!
        The affair your CS started & continues is ALL on him, it was NEVER anything about you or anything about your relationship/marriage!!!! The affair is all about how unhappay, hurt, & unfullfilled he is in his own life & his failure to share/communicate what he needed/needs to let you help him become a happy fullfilled partner/lover/friend with you!!!!!
        “If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.”
        ― Paulo Coelho
        Peace to All

    • Amy

      Hi Betrayedchump,

      Thanks for your insight on this. I hope your are feeling much better now and at peace with this. Right now to feel normal on day to day basis matters the most to me. I have lost that feeling where I dont have to think negative and pass my day in just feel that everything is ok.

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