surviving infidelityWe have another post today from Dr. Bob Huizenga that deals with the healing paths we take in surviving infidelity. 

This is a great article for those of you who have recently discovered your spouse’s affair.  It is also good for the cheater to read so that they understand more of what the hurt spouse is going through.

Please share your thoughts and comments in the comment section below.

Surviving Infidelity: The Paths of Healing You Will Take

By Dr. Robert Huizenga

It’s D-Day.

Day of discovery.

You thought it would never happen to you. You hoped beyond hope it wouldn’t happen to you.

And now, the ugly monster infidelity rears its head and you wonder if and how you will survive the affair that powerfully stands before you.

Surviving infidelity IS possible although on D-Day it may not feel like it.

You will move through this. You will more than survive infidelity. If you face it, name it and begin to see it as an opportunity for radical change, in a positive light, surviving infidelity becomes much easier and very possible.

In reality you may not merely survive infidelity, but one day see it as an impetus for you and perhaps your marriage to thrive.

Surviving and moving through infidelity means you will move through particular stages, steps or paths.

My research, study and experience with those attempting to survive infidelity indicates there are 8 defined paths or steps that one progresses through.

surviving infidelity

Surviving Infidelity: Key Factors in Your Recovery Path

Awareness of where you are on your journey in surviving infidelity often increases the speed, effectiveness and ease of that journey.

Here are some ways an increased awareness of these paths can help you survive infidelity and move beyond your marital crisis:

1. Awareness of these paths in surviving infidelity will help you realize that you are not alone. Others before you, many others before you, have traversed the same paths. There is a beginning point. There is movement. A good outcome is possible.

The knowledge that others have been in same boat enables you to step back at moments and see the larger picture.

That is good. That is a step toward surviving the affair and profound healing.

2. Pasting these steps on your mirror (or refrigerator, or somewhere where you are reminded) keeps you self oriented.

Self orientation is a major secret to surviving infidelity and also in saving your marriage, if you really want to do that.

A common trap – actually, I’m not sure how anyone can or does avoid this – is to spend your time, energy and effort focusing on your spouse and/or the OP (other person.)

You wonder where s/he is, what s/he is doing, what s/he is thinking and what this or that word or action means. You may spy, or you may ruminate about him and her together.

His/her life dominates your life.

You appear fragile, needy, out of control, flailing around and without direction and hope. You’ve lost your self, your inner core from which to make decisions and charge neutral (an important skill I teach).

Not very attractive, and as well, often gives him/her a rationalization to continue the affair.

Self orientation – focusing on your path, your journey of healing and surviving – dramatically changes the picture.

You reclaim your personal power. You don’t blink. S/he wonders what YOU are thinking.

You’ve turned the table.

3. Moving through the 8 steps become progressively easier.

Most enter feeling victimized and frozen. Once movement is made through that stage, moving through subsequent stages demands less concerted effort.

Getting over that initial powerful sense of being stuck is a key.

It’s as if you need that first boost of confidence, that first boost of awareness to begin the forward movement.

4. Your movement may seem very slow but at a point experience a break through.

You may feel as if you take a step forward one day and the next you feel like you have regressed.

The negative feelings and thoughts may dominate. Nothing else seems able to slip into your thinking or feelings.

And, then, one day, you made it.

I have a tape with Sue who described her 3 week crying jag. Every day, tears. Every day, indescribable pain.

And one day it was gone. Totally gone. Internally she had somehow experience healing, some sort of resolution and she was able to move forward. She was done surviving the infidelity. She now was totally ready to live her life.

5. As you move through the paths or stages you increase your power to strategize and employ new tactics and skills that will work toward resolution of the infidelity crisis and most likely make his/her head turn.

I describe 16 different skills or tactics for the 7 kinds of affairs one can use to stop the affair or at least resolve the crisis.

However, a problem with using skills is you need the internal strength and confidence to use them effectively.

You may experiment with trying on a new skill or strategy but it falls flat on its face when you feel yourself falling apart. It’s impossible to sustain your new behavior.

Once you move through the stages you become increasingly more able to do exactly what you must do – use new strategies and tactics – to break free from the affair.

6. There is overlap.

Categories, steps and stages help because they give a framework. They allow you to see the larger picture. That, often in itself, provides hope, courage and the strength to try something different.

However, we are people and we don’t always fit neatly into categories.

There is frequently overlap. One moment you may feel frozen, numb and the next you may be spitting nails enraged. The next moment you may see a little light and feel a glimmer of hope.

When looking at the paths, ask yourself, “Where am I most often lately?”

Become familiar with the 8 paths. Keep them in the back of your mind. When surviving infidelity seems most tough, refer to the steps and identify where you are.

When you experience change, identify your previous step and the movement you just made.

Remember, this too shall pass, and you will succeed in surviving infidelity.

To learn more about Dr. Huizenga, his books and his other articles please visit his website.

 

    31 replies to "Surviving Infidelity: The Paths of Healing You Will Take"

    • Strengthrequired

      I believ I am at:
      The worry, doubt confusion stage and
      Overwhelmed, impatience and frustration stage.
      More the later, but I jump between the two stages.
      Acceptance, patience and boredom stage, only sometimes, not often. Sometimes I accept, and have patience as well as get bored of the whole drama of the ea, I then regress back to the previous two stages.
      So i guess I’m getting there……. Still frustrated , impatient and overwhelmed though. Lol

      As for patience, it was more or less forced on me, I has no choice but to learn to be as patient as I can.

      Its good to see roughly where I am in healing.

    • nck

      i simply want to say thank you for this blog: i just discovered (rather confirmed) that my husband has been having an affair (on and off) for the past 5years. the first thing i remember was sexting which he said he just met the girl on line – i couldnt believe this and said so to which he admitted that she was just a friend ( i later found out that he dated her before me and even contemplated marrying her!). anyway i was pregnant with our first child when i found out he had slept at her house, which he told me he slept on the couch and there were other people there. anyway he promised to stop communicating with her and i believed him. he became more secure with hiding stuff including his mobiles. i still had access to his emails and would find stuff that he had deleted or sent. two years ago adn pregnant with my second child i was alerted to his cheating by an anonymous text message, confrontation led to nothing. Now i am pregnant with baby number three and had began to trust again when i felt like snooping and lo and behold, they were still communicating and not only that they had met up and taken pictures together including a couple where they are sharing a pillow!. i am done suspecting and now know the truth. i went on line to determine how to confront him and i found you. I would appreciate some advice please. i already made a bit of a mistake and sent a pic to his best friend who knows about the affair (my husband always denies – and denies and denies). How do i move on after this misstep? i havent shown him all the pictures. and i think i am going to bluff a little.

      • Doug

        Hey nck, Thanks for sharing your story and we’re sure sorry about what you’re going through. Everything I’ve read about confronting your spouse seems to say that you should make sure that you have all of your evidence and ducks in a row before doing so. Also, have a plan or strategy thought out first. Don’t worry about your misstep. I’m sure your husband’s friend will tell him so it will be curious to see how your husband reacts and handles it. I bet he continues to deny and lie! Best of luck and let us know how it comes out.

      • exercisegrace

        Nck, I am so sorry for what you are going through. First and foremost, be sure to take care of YOU, and by extension your precious baby. As hard as it probably is, try to eat when you can, get enough rest, and exercise as you can tolerate. Just walking helps me enormously with my stress level. I will have you in my prayers.

        I will echo what Doug said above. While you still have mostly the advantage of surprise, I would comb through his phone, emails, look in his car for a hidden phone, etc. I would gather my evidence. Secondly, I would (as calmly as possible) think through what you want. What your deal-breakers are, and what you need from him in order to stay. I would make a list of my expectations for him if he chooses to stay. Top of the list would be a phone call with you on the line, telling her it is OVER and there is to be NO further contact. EVER. At the very least, I would have him send an email that I read and approved and we both signed. It would reaffirm that our marital relationship is intact and the intention is to keep it so. At the time I found out about my husband’s affair, it was already over. however, I told him that ANY contact initiated by her needed to be brought to my attention immediately, and shown to me if it was in the form of a text or email. Failure to do so, or if he initiated contact, would be a deal-breaker for me.

        Wishing you all the best. You have come to a great place for support! This is the nicest group of people I have ever met ( and wish I didn’t have to have, lol)

      • Jamie

        Nck, I am so sorry about the situation you are going through. I went though a version of this same story. You are NOT alone.

        I was pregnant when my H was having an emotional affair. (It sounds like your H is having more than an emotional affair; and I hate to bring it up, but a full-onlong term PA (physical affair.)

        I’m not convinced that my H didn’t have a PA or several in the 10 months that I was pregnant. I’ve gone through all of the stages that you are about to embark on.

        No matter what anyone says to you here on this blog or elsewhere; finding out about an affair,( PA or EA or both) while pregnant or weeks/months post pardum is incredibly devistating in a very different way than finding out your partner of 5, 10 or 25 years and a lifetime together has an affair. I say this from personal experience with your particular situation. I mean no offense to others and their experiences with a CS; but I’m telling you all now that finding out about an affair at that particular juncture in a relationship is beyond the boundaries of devistating and does incredible damage to the relationship at it’s foundation. That said; it does incredible damage due to the vulnerability that the woman feels due to her pregnancy, state of mind, and real need/want for her H to be involved in the joy and new parenthood process.

        Nck, I feel your pain, completely. I can tell you that after going through this kind of pain once; I will not go through it again; and it’s not a matter of losing love for my H. It’s a matter have having respect for myself and expecting certain things from our union and marriage from that point forward. I am sure you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about. My H is aware fully, of the consequences of his actions and should he ever repeat any kind of “bad behavior” there will be no discussion, as there will be nothing to discuss. I will pack our daughter, clean out the bank accounts, put the house up for sale and leave.

        I do not feel guilty at all about setting boundaries after the affair. It is clear that my part in his “bad behavior” is the fact that I did not set clear boundaries and expectations, AND voice them, simply because I blindly trusted him from the moment we became a couple. This was my mistake, and the only mistake I made in our relationship. His actions of cheating and lying to me during the process of becoming a family and a what was supposed to be a joyful and together time in our lives are his responsibility and so is the damage he created. I have finally learned to allow that kind of “guilt”…”what’s wrong with me”, “what did I do wrong”, “what could I have done wrong”, “how did I push him to this affair”…all of that, is gone..and the reason I feel that way; is because I did NOT do anything wrong. I chose to love him. I chose to have a baby with him. I chose to be his friend. I am a good wife. I am a good friend. I am a good communicator (for the most part). These are the things you must tell yourself over and over and over. Most importantly…you must keep telling yoursel that NONE of his actions have anything to do with your value as a person, his wife, a partner, the mother of his children…etc. NO matter what!

        The consequences of his actions are the stages of healing that you will go through, if you decide to continue to love him and be his wife. After 3 pregnancies and 5 years of this affair; I’m not sure many women would chose to continue with this relationship. That said; let me tell you a little bit more about my situation…because I also had several D days in this discovery of an EA which revealed another huge lie he had covered up.

        I found out that my H had been lunchtime”dating” (meeting her at a local restaurant for lunchs) a woman and sexting her, texting, email..etc 7 weeks post pardum. He left his phone home when he went to work, I was curious; figured I was probably invading his privacy but decided to snoop anyway. I found the texts…the sexting etc. I remember holding my 7 week old baby in my arms and literally feeling crushed to the gound as my legs folded under me. I was immediately furious after the initial devisitation and hurt. I began texting the woman immediately from his phone…and asking “who th eff is this”…etc. I instantly moved form that to IMing my husband and work and told him to get his ASS home NOW…and I knew about Jenna and wanted an EFFing explaination…blah blah blah…on and on. He came home immediately.

        Over the next few months I hated him. I felt completely abandoned. I have abandonment issues from childhood and my H was the only man I ‘knew’ would never leave me in a lurch or abandon me. I had no idea that this kind of behavior had been going on with him for months with at least 3 women. It progressed from sexting 2 others, to finally meeting in person with this particular OW. I want to believe that I caught him before a PA happened, and that this affair was one of opportunity. Doug and Linda have taught me a lot about these subjects.

        Later on, a few months later, about 4 months, a different woman sent him a photo by email of her bra laden breasts; and “I miss you”…blah blah blah. That pretty much undid all of the work we had been doing to heal; because I didn’t believe that he wasn’t cheating or lying again or continuously. That began a tornado of hate and anger. I hated him. I wanted to take our child and leave constantly, daily. I was economically dependent of him so it wasn’t an option until I finished my degree and got a job. Next, a few months later, I was searching for some graphing paper and found child support paperwork for 3 children…3…not 1….3 children…that he never disclosed when we were dating or at any other time in our relationship. I had NO idea he had other children. He had always claimed that our child was his only child. Now…I know how insane this sounds and most women would have packed up the car, the kid, the cash and left…but I had more to think about than just myself. If we hadn’t had a child I guarentee that I would have left him immediately, that day. That D day was about 14 months ago.

        We have worked and worked on our relationship to repair and recreate our love for each other. Honestly, I love him, and he is the man that I knew he always was; and he made some disgusting and hurtful choices and has suffered the consequences of my wrath, anger, hate, meanness, apathy, stinging tounge, disengagement, and great hurt. I am not proud of the way I greived or reacted to this news…all of it, from the EA’s to the sexting…to the nondisclosed kids. (and yes there are circumstances that are beyond his control and yes he does and always has paid child support; one is 20; the other two are with his exwife and they are 16 and 13; and that whole situation is a gigantic hot mess train wreck. For reference, he filed for divorce after his exwife went off birthcontrol for the second time without having a discussion about wanting children. His youngest was 3 months old when she left the country on purpose so he could not execute parential visitation; she has since been back in our state and is very very bitter and nasty about being divorced. They have been divorced for 12+ years and she has some serious mental health issues, none of this is an excuse, just an explaination of circumstances) Which leads me to my point….

        I stayed with my H. Even after all of this bullshit and lying and oversight and nondisclosure and pain and deceiving. After 3 children and 5 years with your H doing the same kind of lying to you, destroying your relationship from the inside out; making you feel abandoned, insecure, shattering your confidence etc; the choice is still yours.

        I am here to tell you that things can work out if BOTH of you want to work it out. It’s been 2 years in July that this entire situation has been dropped on my head. I’m at the “boredom, acceptance stage”…and feel that I’m getting on to the “loving, hopeful, positive stage”..at times. I love him, but I don’t like him very much, STILL. I have bad days still. I still think about it every single day, and the girls and the bald face lying he did. But we are healing because he is also working at it and has given up any and all inappropriate communication with any and all women but me, his wife. I demanded it.

        I’m not sure that your H is willing to do that, after lying to you for 5 years. I hope so. Especially if he wants to repair the damage he’s done to you and your relationship and your family. NO communication with the OW needs to be immediate. Seriously. Demanding it is the first step. Changing phone numbers, gaining total access to any and all electronic communication of his is imperative for your peace of mind. If he refuses and refuses to give up his privacy, then he’s not committed to repairing the relationship. You’ll find TONS of information about “the affair fog” on this blog and it’s all true and correct.

        Nck- hell is about to open up and swallow you and your family and your relationship on this journey to recovery, if you so choose, but BOTH of you have to be no holds barred, 150% committed and willing to be uncomfortable. Communication is the key. He’s gonna be crazy defensive and that only makes the process sooooo much harder and exponentially longer. We’d have been a lot further along at 2 years out if my H wasn’t so defensive; and it was because he is ashamed of his behavior and didn’t want to face the music.

        You didn’t DO anything wrong. HE chose to be a cheater. He chose to lie. He is responsible for his own actions.
        Keep taking care of yourself, don’t drink too much, keep exercising…and go slowly. Like I said, it’s been 2 years now since the 1st D day and I still don’t like my H. I love him though; and I understand he was broken and made some horrible decisions; I understand why; I don’t forgive him, but I understand. Maybe I’ll never forgive him? I dunno. But I love him and our family.

        There hasn’t been anything suspicious at all since I demanded no contact and full electronic access (even work email accounts). This is the key to getting shit under control and having some kind of peace in your mind and your home.

        Nck I’m so sorry for your pain. I feel it. I know exactly what you’re going through. You are NOT alone.

        • nck

          thank you, thank you for sharing. you are right the relationship can only go forward if we both want it. i am afraid i am the only one who wants it. we will see come sunday.

        • nck

          yes i do believe there is a physical affair there: someone sent me a text warning me about it. but i have no other hard evidence

          • Realist

            nck, Believe the text. I have worked in a career for most of my adult life that was dominated by males (military). My experience says that if someone has the decency to inform you of this, they are a real friend and it is true. Many men will cheat and lie through their teeth to their spouse then brag at work regarding their “escapade” and lying then getting away with both. They seem to think it’s their right to be this way, once they are caught they are little kids acting like they made a mistake, though everything else I’ve seen indicates they intended to do just what they wanted, with they did and continue to do regardless of what they tell their wives . Those that don’t feel this way are few and far between. Odds are, if they have cheated once, it will happen again – especially if they got away with both the lying and the cheating. It’s just the way they are made. I call it their genetic make-up- being male. There are also women that are of the same mindset, however, percentage wise, they are far fewer.

    • SamIam

      I am so sorry nck~ welcome to a club none of wished to join. There is plenty of reading here on the blog and a good post about gathering knowledge before confronting your husband.

      • nck

        thanks samlam, i read through them and i am now in the note taking process. i keep going back over the pictures to keep my courage up,despite feeling sorry for him(why?)

        • forcryin'outloud

          nck – you may feel sorry for him because instinctually you know the tiresome effort and toll it takes on someone to continuously lie and deceive. And unfortunately you may be in a bit of denial. (I know I was when my H was acting like a fool. He would be an a$$ for weeks then be nice for a week, back and forth for over 2 yrs. I kept wanting to believe in the person I knew not the jerk he would be most often.)
          This site has a wealth of info and the easy forum to communicate with people in your same boat stands above the others. Best of luck and so sorry you were forced in our lifeboat. 🙂

    • SamIam

      I am in the overwhelmed, impatience and frustration stage. I am anxiously awaiting the boredom stage. Soon I hope. 🙂 Right now everything is more about my H and nothing about the OW (except when I get really really angry by a trigger, a small trust that has been broken, or some insensitivity on his part) I know the OW is not a person my H would have even respected in a different situation and that really helps me regain my power.

      • exercisegrace

        salmlam, you make an excellent point here and one that every betrayed spouse needs to completely understand. The AP nearly ALWAYS is someone the cheating spouse would not ever choose in “real life”. I think that is largely because affairs are not about real life. They are about a selfish little world where the cheating spouse is king….adored and admired and ego-jacked to the highest degree. Most cheaters are NOT looking to end their marriage, and they choose their AP’s accordingly. In our case, my husband most definitely affaired down. We have four kids and she doesn’t like kids. She was very up front about that, so clearly it would never have worked. I could fill a page about all the ways she is far from his ideal partner. She is not even close. I keep reminding myself of that.

    • nck

      Thank you (Samlam, forcryin’outloud, Doug, exercisegrace, indeed this is a much needed support and I have learnt alot from this blog. The confrontation will take place in about 2 weeks (25th May or 1st June). Evidence is scanty at best he NEVER lets his phone out of his sight. but I have enough. I am also waiting to see his reaction.

      This is the deal breaker for me i am tired, I am amazingly calm its scary. i am rehearsing lines in my head. thank you for your comments they are very helpful, they give me more ammunition. i believe that being forewarned is forearmed.

      • Exercise grace

        The phone possessiveness was the first “tell” for me that something was going on. He had held his phone so tightly before. Even took it to the bathroom with him! He got a new kind once and I asked him if I could play with it to see if I might want to get one too. He actually said no. I can only shake my head now that I was so trusting. I don’t mind anyone messing with my phone, as there is nothing to hide.

        • nck

          Exercise grace – i keep thinking i am the worst kind of fool, because it has been going on or 5 years and i turned a seriously blind eye.

          as to the paths of healing i am jealous, resentful angry adn enraged. believe it or not i have already had my time in the first two steps especially early on – i put myself down, felt responsible etc. But no more, there are better ways for him to deal with my faults then rush to the nearest available shoulder or bed (whatever).

          • Jamie

            You are no fool. You got fooled. There’s a big difference Nck.

    • Jamie

      I bought an Android stick called…Paraben’s Phone Recovery Stick. This USB stick recovered enough “deleted” text and photo information from my H’s smartphone. Gave me ammunition. Expensive but worth every single penny, for the peace of mind. And the confrontation.

      • Jamie

        Nck, take his phone…after you get the recovery stick…go to a friend’s house with your lap top or borrow one. Just take his damn phone one day and recover the things he thinks he’s deleted.

    • Jamie

      Nck Doug and exercisegrace give seriously good advice about confronting your H.

      After I confronted my H, I had this fantasy of doing it a different way. I really think it would have helped me have an upper hand. I thought about orchestrating a meeting by finding out their schedule, sending her a text message from his phone to “meet me at such and such place, a restaurant, a crowded place..etc”, delete the text(s). It had to be somewhere with a clear view for me. Watch them meet, then go sit down righ next to the OW and look them both right in the face for an “immediate explaination”…and threaten to make a scene in the crowded restaurant about “my husband cheating with this woman, and I caught them red handed, right now”, if it wasn’t a calm and cool explaination, then order some lunch..LOL.

      • nck

        wow, i decided to take him out on a date-to some secluded nature resort ( i am in africa). i drive so he will be at my mercy. leave the kids and have it out with him-my script is already written and i am threatening him with leaving. that seems to trouble him the most. But you have all been tremendously helpful and i feel better. i broke down today – for the first time since i got hit over the head with the pictures. and i realised that i had lied to myself about my level of calmness.

        wish me luck and prayers.
        p.s. he is at school 300km away and has been demanding we move to join him-which i have refused because of the whole untrustworthiness he displays.

    • Strengthrequired

      Jamie, I’m so sorry for what you have been though too, you have given nck good advice.
      Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I believe all of us here whether babies born or unborn, children from all ages are affected by the actions of a cs. It doesn’t matter whether you are pregnant, or just had a baby, or if you have been married for a short time or for decades, the truth is we the bs have all suffered, the pain for each of us is no different, we all hurt, we are all in pain, we are all here in the same place, trying to look for answers on how to keep our marriages afloat, our families together. We are all trying to make sense of this senseless place we have been pushed into.
      None of us can compare whose pain is worse, whose situation is worse, because as it’s all painful. No situation is worse than the other.
      It is the way we process the pain, and handle the pain that can be different, some of us can get through it quicker than others.
      I have been with my h for 23 yrs, we have 6 children together ranging from 21yrs down to 2yrs, when I found out about my h ea my baby was 1 yr, ever since her birth I was struggling with depression after a difficult pregnancy as well as a difficult birth recovery, I needed my h, I needed his support, did I get it not really. As for my h, he was going through depression himself, midlife crisis coupled with it. Now instead of leaning on me, he chose to lean on the wrong person, he chose to listen to lies, and made up lies, he chose to see me in a different light, he created a picture up of me with the help of his mistress, that he talked himself into believing. He created an image of the ow which was so much more to his liking. It was easier to live in a fantasy land than to live in the real world for him. Instead of handling his depression the right way, he dove right in and made himself worse, all the while I was trying to get myself better. Until I found out about his ea.
      Not only did I have to think of my oldest down to my youngest, instead of finally feeling like imwas getting myself free of the dreaded depression, impound myself feeling a very different form of it. It was the feeling of great loss, trust me I had felt loss several times before, in which I felt indescribable pain,it was through miscarriages, now they were painful, I couldn’t breathe, i had lost apart of my h and myself, that I was supposed to be a protector of, yet i took each loss as a failing in myself and to my h as well as my unborn babies. The difference with this is, I had my h to lean on. However the pain I experienced, when my h told me he now loved someone else, ohh he loved me, but was not in love with me, after just a month of his ea being in play, then him leaving me for a month to continuing his ea with this woman, now that pain for me was so much worse, as this was the man I loved for over two decades, he was the one person I could count on, who I could lean on everyday of my life, until that trust was taken away and replaced with pain. Pain of thinking everything you knew and trusted and loved about your life time partner and fathermof your kids was possibly a lie.
      However, if I was younger when it happened I probably would have believed it to be a lie, but after so long loving, knowing this persons good and bad side, just everything, being able to finish sentences etc, you know it isn’t who they are.
      My point here is, even us long timers, we devoted most of our lives to this one person, we raised children who we have had to see their world turned upside down and try and be strong for them. They too lose trust in what they believed to be true. They went through stages of Anger and hurt, they wonder how their parent could choose someone else over them, because that is exactly what my h did to them, while in the midst of his ea. My children were not used to not having theirmfather around, my youngest missed alot, she needed that daddy bonding.
      Now for ow that knows that a man is married and has a pregnant wife or has children and still chases him for her own great of good, now that is not what decent women would do, they would turn their head and walk away, yet having a ow that is also a family member try and destroy your family is even more disgusting, as is what happened to me.
      My children were getting to know her, she made them think that she cared for them, until they saw she was only after breaking their family, their sense of security.
      So us long timers have shared a lifetime with our partners, and have loved them, been there for them, raised children together, knew each other inside and out, believed in our marriages and our partners, we were getting to stagesnin our lives that we would see our children marry, have their children and we would be together through it all, then reality hits and it’s all taken away from us for a while, all because of the wrong choices made by a spouse that was not himself. When you grow old with someone, the last thing you expect to face is the possibility of living the rest of your life without that person it’s unbearable, the last thing in the world you want to do, is enter the dating scene again. However that is what you face.
      I say this because we all here are here, all in indescribable pain, trying to make the most of a crappy situation, into a better situation and save our marriages. No ones pain is worse then the other, it’s all bad, a place none of us wanted to be in.
      None of us want our families to break apart, whether just starting out or if it has been decades in the making. None of us expected that the one person we devoted and committed ourselves to would be capable of hurting us more than anyone could ever hurt us, but they did, and yes it’s not our fault none of it.
      It’s so good to see that nck can relate to someone who has been through a similar experience, it would help her greatly to know that she can get through this no matter what. The most important thing right now is her unborn baby that needs her to be strong, no matter how hard it is.

      NCK, you have had some wonderful advise, please take care of yourself and that precus bundle of joy you are carrying, as well as those gorgeous children you have. Come on here when you need and get the best support especially when you are feeling so alone.

      • Kar

        Your story is almost the same as mine. I married my high school sweetheart and we also have 6 children He cheated with someone I knew since I was 7. I knew she wasn’t a true friend all she did was talk about herself. My children loved her although we all knew she had major issues. My husband and I always knew she was so jealous of me and my marriage she would love to see us divorced, my husband new she was addicted to prescription narcotics. We both knew she was sleeping with 5 other men. Yet that’s who he turned into a great person and was willing to take the chance of losing his whole family. After knowing someone for 34 years I know he would of never choose her to date. I know he wasn’t in his right frame of mind. I don’t except that for his behavior but i know it had nothing to do with me. The two worse things for me is he gave her the satisfaction she wanted. He let her think it’s because she’s so pretty, smart, and enjoyable to talk to that he would give me up for her. She has no idea it was all a fantasy. No one could of been the person he let himself believe she was. Last is the fact the person you once told everything to the person that you always went to for support was now the enemy (for the beginning stages) the person you thought would always be there for you in this crazy world was no longer the person you could talk to.

    • nck

      i went through with my plan of confrontation, with prayers for discernment, conviction for him etc and many tears beforehand. it was surprisingly anticlimactic. one thing i did establish beyond the shadow of a doubt was an ongoing emotioanl affair. the physical affair was denied. despite writing things down there were things that were missed. explanations for certain things were given and after i slept on them they didnt make sense. His explanation is she is in love with him, she wanted to have pics taken with him and he agreed. i just dont understand why he had to be in them and they have to be sharing a pillow to do that! in addition he seems to enjoy the attention. he lied about breaking it off with her in 2009/2010. i told him to choose and i have yet to see his response. i keep thinking that he should leave me alone and go be happy with this woman. I keep feeling that he is comparing us to each other. i am still going to have a follow on discussion because the explanantions are too well packaged

    • Strengthrequired

      I wish you all the best of luck nck, I hope your h realizes what he has with you before it’s too late. He needs tomwake upto himself and start putting you first and stop with the energy he is putting into his ea and put it all into your marriage.

      I do hope it all works out for you.

    • Strengthrequired

      I have a question I thought I would throw out there.

      Do you think love is enough to save your marriage if you don’t trust?

      Im just not sure if it is enough. I think how can I be with someone if I don’t trust him anymore, I love my h but can’t help but wonder if it really is enough.

      • chiffchaff

        – Yes. I don’t trust my H like I used to and don’t think I ever will. It doesn’t stop me from loving him.
        I trust him to do certain things – like go to work, pay the bills he pays, come home when he says he will and if not, to tell me beforehand where he is and why. There is functional trust, if I can call it that, without which we couldn’t stay together. What we don’t have is the blind, implicit, trust we had before he abused it and I don’t think that’s a bad thing to have gone although I know my H misses it.

        • Strengthrequired

          Thank you chiffchaff, sometimes I wonder am I looking for an excuse to leave, because it’s just so hard, it’s like everyday I’m waiting to be pushed under that bus again, or waiting to be fed to the wolves.
          Maybe it’s because my h is rarely home. I had a dream over a week ago, of my deceased father and he told me to leave. That just keeps playing over and over in my mind.

    • gizfield

      Strength, my answer is YES! Millions of women don’t “trust” their husbands and they are usually the ones who DON’T get cheated on cause they make it more difficult, I imagine. There is no mention of trust in the marriage vow, so that is a human addition. Probably encouraged by homewreckers. My Husband’s Turd told me I was “insecure” cause I didnt trust him. No, I didnt trust him cause he was creeping with her ass!

    • Strengthrequired

      Thanks gizfield, it’s been playing in my mind for a while now. I had been thinking about mentioning it to my husband that maybe we shouldn’t be together because I just can’t trust him, although I love him dearly. I guess we are all hear putting our hearts on the line again.
      I’m glad I haven’t mentioned anything to him yet, I think I needed to hear that it was ok. I hate that he did this to us. I miss not trusting him.

    • Orlando

      My Recovery from the Affair

      -The Shock and Long, Dark Road
      It’s ironic that I found this post because it’s Dr. Huizenga’s books that helped me get strong quickly. My D-day shocked me like it does to everyone who experiences being cheated on. I remember feeling as if there was a long, dark road ahead of me. I couldn’t see too far into the future at that point.

      -The Fork in the Road
      Then I read Dr. Huizenga’s books. One of his first messages to survive infidelity was to focus on your own feelings, not theirs. Do not become reactive to their actions. Let’s face it, you can affect how they feel, but in the end they choose what they want to do. And just like he mentions in his above post, reacting and focusing on what they are thinking, doing or saying will not only drive you nuts, but make you look pathetic to your spouse. (This I assure you will only push them further away.)

      You see I knew if I really wanted to feel better I could at least control my own feelings. This gave me some light, like a flashlight for which to see farther down the dark path. So as I looked into the darkness ahead I noticed a fork in the road.

      This fork in the road was more of a moment of truth. Here the truth was the harsh reality that I had two options for the not-too-distant future (no, not the red pill or blue pill); and both were difficult choices: 1) stay with my wife, attempt to reconnect again but with no guarantee we would remain together or 2) not take the chance of more disappointment and leave now.

      -The Choice
      In the end I decided to stay and attempt new ways to connect. She was obviously holding back feelings and thoughts. I wanted to understand her better to determine if she simply panicked and made a mistake or if she had serious character flaws that were going to make her be a repeat offender.

      -My Personal Power and Hope
      By now I gained peace of mind that no matter what happened with our relationship I had decided I was going to feel good. The shining moment for me came when I finally understood that my life is bigger than my relationship with my wife. There were many things I wanted to do in life that didn’t necessarily involve her or any woman. Although I would prefer a life with her in it where she is trustworthy and a pleasure to be around, the other side of that coin was just unacceptable. So if she indeed were just not strong enough to deal with whatever insecurities she had that caused her to choose to go too far and cheat, then I would never be happy in a marriage with her anyway.

      Would you rather live always wondering if your spouse was cheating on you again? I wouldn’t.

      Life is full of tough choices that are not fun to make. This is one of them. Your cheating spouse will NOT make the decision. THEIR CHEATING ON YOU ILLUSTRATES THEIR INDECISIVENESS. They are deciding to be with two people. It’s your call. Take some time to think, don’t overreact now. Then choose your next move.

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