tell the betrayed spouse


A real-life scenario that addresses the question: Is there an ethical obligation to tell the betrayed spouse if their husband or wife was having a sexual affair?

By Sarah P.

A couple of weeks ago, I received some questions about a situation involving infidelity. The person asking the question had walked in on married coworkers having sex. Here is a summary of the situation:

Coworker A got a brand-new car. She parked her new car in a remote area of the parking garage where she worked so that it would not get dented.  She worked in a large city and cars like hers were also targets for theft. Coworker A parked her car in the most remote area of the parking garage under her corporate office.

Coworker A had a long day and she ended up leaving work around 10 pm.

When she arrived at her car, she noticed that a married, male coworker with a large family (coworker B) was having backseat sex with a female coworker (coworker C). Coworker C was a married woman, but did not have children.

Coworker A was in shock and got in her car and sped off.

She worked with both of these people and knew coworker B as a happy, family man with a loving and beautiful wife. In fact, coworker B had a marriage that was the envy of the workplace: a wonderful wife, adorable and successful children, and fun family vacations.

If anyone’s marriage was “affair-proof,” it was coworker B’s. Or, so everyone in the office believed….

Coworker A had never liked coworker C because coworker C had very lax boundaries around all the men at work.

Coworker A knew that is was inevitable one of the men in the workplace would have a quickie with coworker C, but she could not get over the fact that it was coworker B.

Coworker A’s head was spinning because coworker B appeared to be the ultimate family man, ultimate husband, and the last man on earth anyone would suspect to cheat on his wife.


Emotional Affair Signs


The Next Day 

At work the next day, coworker A avoided coworker B and C at all costs. Coworker A was trying to decide if she should pretend she did not see anything and continue to avoid these people OR if she should tell the wife.

Coworker A knew that coworker C was very promiscuous and that she likely had all kinds of STD’s. Coworker A knew that these STDs would be passed along to the wife if coworker B was sexually active with his wife.

Coworker A also wondered to herself what coworker B’s wife did to cause him to cause an affair. Of course, I immediately told coworker A that it is impossible to cause someone to have an affair.

Coworker B had made a concerted choice to cheat on his wife and he knew exactly what he was doing.

But, coworker A struggled to understand that.  She believed cheating was inevitable. So, the next question coworker A asked was, “How did coworker C seduce coworker B?”

For that, I had the same answer: cheating is a choice. Coworker C can seduce all the men she wants and had attempted to seduce many men in the very same corporate, office building. Coworker B simply made the choice to cheat.

In the end, coworker A and I talked about whether or not she had an obligation to get word of the affair to the wife. I told coworker A that if I were the wife in that situation, I would give thousands of dollars to anyone who came forward with proof of my husband’s affair.


Because there is always a chance of transmitting STD’s. As long-time readers know, I was unaware of my ex’s affair and just a week after finding out about his affair, I also found out I had what was nearing stage two cervical cancer.

The Newest Statistics on the Human Papilloma Virus 

Here is the part I hate talking about… because it is such a bummer. I am just like the “Shame Wizard” who is “making life a little bit lame.”

Who is the Shame Wizard? He is a cartoon character with a cockney accent from a TV show that is for mature viewers and NOT children. Here is the Shame Wizard’s song. Please note that if you are easily offended, this clip is NOT for YOU. If you dislike sexual humor, this clip is also not for you, although the sexual humor comes with an extremely relevant purpose… there are always consequences for behavior. You have been warned.

However, if you are someone who understands satire, irony, and gallows humor… you might just find the Shame Wizard both funny, insightful, and so painfully honest that it hits too close to home and hurts a bit:



Now onto my point.

There are real world repercussions of infidelity. For new readers, there are over 200 strains of the human papilloma virus. Some of these strains cause warts, including genital warts, but two of those strains cause fast growing cancers that kill you even if you are young and healthy.

Numbers 16 & 18 of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) cause fast-growing cancers that do not necessarily show up as genital warts. By the time you find evidence of these strains, it may be too late.

Here is the most SOBERING fact about HPV: condoms do NOT protect a person from getting it.

The only thing that assures an individual does not get cancerous HPV is for them to be in a completely monogamous and long-term relationship with one partner.

Like remember 150 years ago when most people did not sleep around?

Sure, some people slept around. But, they were few in number compared to today.

In the past there were more consequences….

There were issues with pregnancy, being branded with Scarlet Letters, there was SHAME, there was being kicked out of entire communities, beheaded, stoned to death, and social ostracization. So, most people kept sex within marriage and abided by the marriage contract: forsaking all others and being as one flesh.  

What does sexual monogamy mean?

Monogamy means that the follow acts happen ONLY with your marriage partner.

  • Kissing
  • Fingering/manual sex
  • Providing or receiving oral sex
  • Providing or receiving anal sex
  • Providing of receiving vaginal sex
  • Having contact with another person’s genitals, even if it is just rubbing skin on skin
  • Using vibrators or other sex toys

All of the above must only be done with your marriage partner. IF you mess up and engage in these behaviors only once, you can still transmit cancerous HPV to your spouse.

Most people do not realize that cancerous HPV is more dangerous than AIDS. AIDS is not transmitted if people practice safe sex. Thankfully, there are also medications for AIDS patients that extend their lives for many years.

But, there is no such thing as safe sex when it comes to cancerous HPV. It causes innocent people to die and is spreading like wildfire.

The bottom line: many cancers are caused by the STD form of the human papilloma virus: Oral, throat, esophageal, vaginal, cervical, uterine, penile, and anal cancer all have origins in the human papilloma virus. Of course, HPV is not the only thing responsible for these cancers. It is one contributing factor.

The Question

Now that we have had that bummer of a reminder about sex, let’s answer coworker A’s question:

Is there an ethical obligation to get word to coworker B’s wife (or coworker C’s husband) that coworker B/C are having a sexual affair?

Now here are my questions:

  • If you were coworker B’s wife, would you want to know?
  • For the men out there, if you were coworker C’s husband, would you want to know?
  • Who thinks that this information should be withheld from coworker B’s wife and/or coworker C’s husband? If so, why?
  • If you were coworker A, what would you do?
  • Is there an obligation to tell human resources? Note: For everyone out there, when a man has an affair at work and it is found out, he usually gets fired and the woman often keeps her job due to sexual harassment laws.
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    35 replies to "Do You Have an Ethical Obligation to Tell the Betrayed Spouse that Their Spouse is Cheating?"

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,

      I hear the crickets … chirp, chirp, chirp.

      I have had a VERY rough year in my personal life. Will be glad when 2018 comes to a close.
      I have not shared on the blog what is going on. It’s a Murphy’s Law kind of year. I know I am “off my game” so to speak.

      Anyhow… I forgot to add an important detail about the above. Coworker A parked her car in the most remote area of the garage because no one parked there. Well, coworker B and C were also aware no one parked there. And coworker B was in his own car having sex with coworker C. Coworker B’s car was parked one spot away from coworker A’s car. Coworker B did not have tinted windows and so coworker A saw EVERYTHING. Coworker B and C were so much in the throes of passion that Coworker A is not quite sure they saw her. Coworker A got into her car quietly and sped off. Because coworker A did not want to have to confront the situation.

      What the heck do you say to people having nude lap sex in a car? “Uhh how’s the weather… you guys be sure to stay out of the rain now…”
      Remember both these two were married, but coworker B had a wife and large family. Coworker C was married without children.

      If I saw such a thing, I would probably hide on the other side of my car until they left. I am trained to handle such events, but honestly I am at a loss. Because if they know you saw them, that makes for a very uncomfortable work environment. You know their secret. They know you know their secret. And it’s very awkward. Phrases such as “be sure to wear a rain coat” take on double meanings.

      Anyhow … this is one of those things where I am at a loss. If you go strictly by the book, you document it and report it to HR immediately. But then it’s your word against theirs. If they say you are hallucinating, you get branded a trouble maker and now have two mortal enemies.

      So, it really revolves around the betrayed spouses. Do the betrayed wife and betrayed husband deserve to know? If so, please tell me how you think the best way to tell them would be.

      There are no wrong answers. Just wanted to get a discussion going.


      • Blindsided

        First, so sorry that you are going through a rough time, Sarah. I, too, will be thrilled to see 2018 in the rearview mirror! Sending you prayers and strength …

        Re: Should A tell – I would suggest a variation. This worked great in a completely different situation, and I thought I would throw it out there as an option. Several years ago, when one of my sons was in 9th grade, he had friends over. My husband and I were there, we checked on the kids, all was good. Or so we thought. The next day, I found a couple of bottles of alcohol. hidden in his closet. I confronted my son, he came clean, and told me who (besides him) had been drinking. I was mortified that this had happened at my house, and wanted to let the other parents know. Instead of calling the parents, I called each of the kids, told them that they had 24 hours to tell their parents, and that I expected a call from their parents telling me that they knew. If I didn’t receive a call from their parents, I would call the parents and tell them. My reasoning was that I thought it better that the kids owned their actions, and frankly, as I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be and wanted to avoid a big scene with any of the parents. Well, this worked remarkably well. Each of the kids did as I asked, and each of their parents called me to report that they knew. They were all thankful that they had heard it from their kids, and not from me.

        Perhaps A could tell B that he has “x” amount of time to tell his wife, and if A does not hear back (directly) from the wife in that time, she will tell her. Though a completely different scenario than I outlined above, I know that as a BS, I would rather hear from my husband about his cheating than from one of his coworkers. And for A, hopefully the ‘conversation’ with the spouse would be limited to “Yes, I know.” No reason for A to become part of the hell that the spouse will now be going through ….

    • Exercisegrace

      I do think there is a moral obligation to tell. With what we now know about HPV, the cheating spouses are potentially exposing their betrayed spouses to a virus that could eventually kill them.

      Like Sarah, I would have given thousands to have been told. During my husband’s affair, I suffered numerous bladder infections. Because I have an issue with one of my kidneys, this could have become much more serious for me. After that, I developed sudden and severe bleeding and was diagnosed with endometriosis. Ablation surgery failed, and I had to undergo a total hysterectomy, multiple blood transfusions and a secondary stay when I developed a post-op fever. My doctor now believes all of this to be a direct result of what I was exposed to during my husband’s affair. In fact at one point I was asked if I had a new sexual partner. I have to shake my head now at the state of denial I was in to have believed my husband’s denials that HE was cheating!

      Exactly what telling the betrayed spouses looks like would depend on the larger dynamics. Unless I knew the spouse very well, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable discussing it face to face. How it might impact my job, income and my own family would play into my decision as well. So while it may sound cowardly, I would probably send an anonymous note detailing what I had seen. At least the betrayed spouse would have the information to verify on their own. Many times, the betrayed spouse has some suspicions and this would be enough for them to decide to investigate further.

    • Sarah P.


      I wish I could say your story is uncommon but it is not. This is happening to women all over the country.

      With my ex, I was heading into stage 2 cervical cancer. I had gotten paps every year by the same MD and I had a clean bill of health. I never had any STD’s because I was in a couple of long term and monogamous relationships. So I was with my ex for 4 years and had no issues. The last year I got busy at work and didn’t get my annual. It took a while after the break up to find someone else was responsible for it. And it took time to get into the MD and get the full results of the STD panel. I had no STD except for HPV related cervical cancer. I got a full cone biopsy. That indicated that I needed most of my cervix removed. I prayed like you wouldn’t believe during that time and the cancer never got into the other organ systems. Some coworkers knew the OW was targeting him. But they knew me and saw her and thought there was no way in heck he was going to be stolen by a woman who was 10 years older and basically trash. (That was how a coworker described the OW: utter trash). If I had found out later and not gotten tested, I could be dead. And this is what makes me so angry. There is no such thing as safe sex any longer. Before cancerous HPV was rampant people could put on a condom and hook up. I hate infidelity but I hate more that any sexual contact during an affair puts a betrayed spouse’s life at risk. It makes me SICK. Adultery kills a marriage (as people knew it) and affair sex can kill an innocent betrayed spouse.

      EG? Didn’t you say your OW put your life at risk in other ways and also became a metaphorical “bunny boiler”?

      EG, also if menory serves me correctly you worked as a nurse. Do you know if there are tests a person can take that screen for HPV related oral cancer, throat cancer, anal, penile, or vaginal cancer? I would really like to know. Any other medical professionals out there who know about these things?

      Thank you,

      PS – Anyone care to share an affair related horror story?

      PPS- When EG said she would probably send an anonymous note I agree. It at least alerts the wife and she can do what she needs to with the information. An anonymous tip off is NOT cowardly. A wife’s life might be at stake.

    • Sarah P.

      PPPS- ExerciseGrace glad to see you back. We missed you. ????

    • Shifting Impressions

      In this type of situation I believe I would send the wife a note. I am not sure if I would remain anonymous or not. It would depend on the work environment and with my relationships with the people involved.

      I would want to know!!! Even if there were no health risks involved (which of course there are) I would want to know!! I would not want to live a life based on lies and deception! Also if he has done it once, there is a good chance it’s not the first or the last time.

    • Rose

      Of course I would tell him/her. My H’s affairs have all been single, though.

      Would you guys tell the women on Facebook your H has been flirting with that he’s a psychopath? That he seems like the nicest, sweetest person in the world but has intimidated, threatened, and abused you? Probably a bad idea in my situation; might get me killed. Would you tell his doctor (who also happens to be your doctor)?

      Sorry to hijack the thread. Haven’t slept in a week. Hope things straighten out for you Sarah!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Hi Rose
        You have been in my thoughts and prayers

        I would absolutely forget about the facebook stuff…..that’s just playing with fire. But I would absolutely talk to your doctor.

        Also…you mentioned not telling your daughter….that scares me. She needs to know what is going on. She is safekeeping things for you without knowing why. What if she inadvertently mentions this to your husband.

        The secrecy that shrouds infidelity and domestic abuse is part of what allows it to continue. I hope you reconsider. Yes, she has her own life and responsibilities but your husband is a grandparent. She has the absolute right to know everything about the person her child is in contact with.

        I hope you are able to get out soon!!!

    • Rose

      Thanks SI. I’m not giving it to my daughter. I’m going to have my son who lives with us put it in his closet. He is somewhat aware of what’s going on. H would never ever hurt the baby nor our daughter. The target is me. If he finds out I told her, it could make it worse for me. I am thinking of telling our doctor about his suicide threat (its just to scare me) and also to have it in my record. I’m sure she isn’t aware that he stopped his antidepressant. If you ask me, he is worse than depressed. This is bipolar or something. I did detail the whole thing is a written letter to my counselor so that’s also in the record. I see her next week.

    • Rose

      So, what about Facebook since I’m going through all this garbage? I wrote a post about what an affair is and isn’t. If your H is privately messaging someone there, and you aren’t privy to those messages, is it an affair? I’m saying yes. Blocking or unfriending, deleting texts or emails—you’ve got something to hide. On his latest post to a former high school friend, he said “I’m sorry I can’t say how great you look without crossing the boundaries of impropriety.” But he says he’s not flirting. I would, as a MARRIED woman, never say that to someone. And that’s just one example of multiple. He is at the very least having another EA with a woman he used to work with. But he says “She’s a lesbian!” so I guess that makes it all okay. If either of these women were married, AND I was not in an abusive situation, you bet I would contact their husbands. I’ve learned my lesson.

    • Rose

      Btw I found this on; maybe it will help someone. H has all but one.
      27 Characteristics of
      Unsafe People
      1. Has difficulty
      committing to one relationship.
      2. Cannot be trusted.
      3. Abuses substances, often indebted.
      4. Frequently dishonest.
      5. I’m at my worst around him/her.
      6. Can’t delay gratification.
      7. Resists freedom rather than encouraging it.
      8. Lacks empathy.
      9. Prefers to confront than make connections.
      10. Expects perfection, intolerant of mistakes.
      11. Always has an excuse.
      12. Apologizes but doesn’t change behavior.
      13. Always angry at something or me.
      14. Blames others for their problems.
      15. Makes promises and doesn’t fulfil
      16. Like a grown-up child.
      17. Jumps on ethical bandwagons.
      18. Betrays secrets.
      19. Concerned about “I” not “we”.
      20. Rigid and avoids personal growth.
      21. Constantly interrupts you.
      22. Wants to control you.
      23. Rarely considers consequences of actions.
      24. Defensive and unopen to feedback.
      25. Has no room for forgiveness.
      26. Is condemning and judgmental.
      27. Doesn’t listen to me.

    • Hopeful

      Sarah, So sorry 2018 has not been a good year for you. I hope 2019 will prove to be better!

      I would feel obligated to notify the betrayed spouses. I would most likely find a way to do this anonymously. Since this is happening at work I would be cautious to disclose my identity. I think with the health risks alone it is critical. I would have been crushed but thankful for someone to alert me of what my husband was doing. My husband of course was targeted by single women who did not want marriage or long term relationships supposedly. One was a mother. Who knows what she was thinking of how distracted she was from her kids. I still worry about diseases. I continue to go in for my annual exams even though my MD says since I am not in my child birthing phase it is not necessary. Better to check every year.

      Rose – As far as all of that FB activity I think it is betrayal. I honestly think even these emotional connections/affairs are worse than physical (with the exception of the health risk). I think the physical affairs are easier to get over and move on. My husband said he could care less about both ow. And in my book he can say whatever he wants but in the end you set the boundaries and allow what you feel is okay. I think in most affair/betrayal books and information that this would be considered cheating. At a certain point they need to wake up and realize what they are saying/thinking is bs. Until he does there is no reasoning with him. But I think it is all unacceptable.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,

        Yeah, I hope 2019 is better, but from the looks of it, it will be another bad year. I could write an entire book about everything that is happening. It would do no good because there is nothing I can do except detach, set boundaries, and talk to my own therapist. I finally bit the bullet and found a great therapist my friend recommended. I had not spoken with a therapist for years, but I am so pleased with the woman I found. (My kids have always seen therapists, but I did not need one until recently). This year has become so crummy that both my training in psychology AND my spirituality (which I rely on heavily) no longer works. I have hit a brick wall for the first time in my life where I cannot see my way through things. Everywhere I turn in my family and extended family, there are serious issues and family members are offloading them onto me. I am one person but right now I am carrying six people: my husband, my parents, my kids. I am supposed to carry my husband and kids. That is normal. But now my parents have to be carried emotionally and financially and are blind to the impact it has. My parents are nice people otherwise. Then there are my in-laws which are toxic… and that is a whole other barrel of monkeys. Then there are my mom’s parents who I have no words for right now. They are not as bad as my in-laws, but they are really screwing things up even though they have kids who live next door to them. My mom lives 1,000 miles away and my dad is disabled and her parents want her to visit just for a power play. My mom’s parents are sick in their own way because they toy with people and I have never had contact with them. Even when I was a kid, I saw they were intentional crazy makers and I wanted nothing to do with them. Sometimes I feel like buying a tiny home, a truck, and hitting the road with my two kids and dog. It is so very hard to constantly be bombarded with drama that is NOT necessary. It’s stuff that could be avoided. And when it happens, it always comes back to me. I have all these adults who cannot “adult” around me and some are needy, some are selfish/narcissistic, have priorities wrong, and others are toxic. And that is the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more going on and I have already hit max capacity for garbage, but the garbage keeps coming and piling up. I have never been in this situation before and I am at a loss.

        If there are any prayer warriors out there, please send your prayers my way.

        Thank you for listening,

        • Rose

          Sarah, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I have begun to hate this time of year over the last few years. I think there are so many hopes and expectations for Christmas, and then you add in the personal and marital stress and it’s like, I have not one iota of space left for any of this. I have some stuff to get done around my house. I don’t feel like it. I feel like curling up in a ball and sleeping for days. But if I don’t get the painting done and everything else that needs doing, we’ll never sell the house we are in, and I will really be stuck. So that’s what I’m doing this weekend but I might do a day or overnight trip to the beach if H isn’t around. Want to go with me??
          I was thinking of something that may or may not make sense. I’ve mentioned all the hoarding that H does, and all the projects that have been sitting for literally years. I wonder if instead of him just being lazy, that it was another way to control me? I mean, if nothing gets done and we can’t sell the house, he has me stuck here. Does that make sense?

        • Hopeful

          Sarah, I am so sorry. It can feel so overwhelming! And especially you have done everything to use your training and background. Good for you to seek out the support and help you need. You cannot take on the burden of others really besides your children. At least that is my opinion. I feel like everyone else can get in line.

          I will be thinking of you. You have the best heart and are so caring. You deserve to get to a place where you are happy and content. Thinking of you always!

        • Shifting Impressions

          I’m so glad you have found a great therapist!!! Taking care of you is of utmost importance, I’m sorry that circumstances have made it that you need one.

          You are in my thoughts and prayers…

    • Rose

      Hopeful…it sure is a betrayal. And it’s entitlement of someone with NPD. What I see is “I’ll do what I please when I please because your boundaries, and your voice, do not concern me.”

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,

      I hate these dark subjects, but since people are living them everyday, let’s hit this head on. Rose, please know that I am 100% on your side and I am extremely concerned about your situation. Rose, please be careful. I am here for you and I am sure others are too.

      I am going to get down to brass tacks first. So please know I am speaking about logistics first. At the end I will address the emotional impact this has on you, Rose, and ask everyone how we can support Rose (and others in the same situation) emotionally via the comment thread. But, first, I am going to talk brass tacks, so please know I am not trying to sound cold in any way.

      I wanted to tell everyone out there what I know of “the real world” versus ” textbook advice because this is life versus death advice and these are life versus death situations.

      A waiver: I have Master’s credentials in Clinical Psychology. I have completed all of the Gottman training. I have done lay-counseling for years in one form or another and I do phone mentoring and in-person mentoring for those who would like to meet me in person. But I have chosen NOT to take the route of being a therapist who sits in an office all day and talks to one person after another. Why? Our current system is BROKEN. I could write a book about all the ways it is broken. (I have recently discovered therapists who have been licensed for many years are abandoning their licenses because the laws in some states work against the physical safety of clients). These therapists are becoming phone counselors and life coaches because the laws dictate the titles, even if a person is a therapist with years of experience.

      Working on this website actually allows to have more freedom than a licensed therapist and this is very relevant to domestic violence. An example: If a client came to me in an office setting and I was a licensed therapist and a client said, “My husband is beating my children with hammers and I am a stay-at-home wife and I don’t know what to do…” I would be required to call social services immediately. Social services would get involved and when they did, such a husband would more than likely turn around and beat his wife and his children MORE. He (the husband) would also require them to cancel counseling sessions. He would beat them so much that none of them would tell social services the truth when social services did their so-called in depth interviews. Social services would close the case and the family would be in MORE danger. This happens all the time across the United States. Look at the news and you will see thousands of cases where a social services worker saw a child dying in front of them and they closed a case.

      Moving on.

      Someone can tell me they are in such a situation and I can tell them what I know about how these things play out in real life. I can tell them to get safety plans, an attorney, and all kinds of other things so that they can get out of an environment safely. I can “recommend” strategies. But I am not required by law to call social services. In the future I may have to one day, but would do so just as a citizen and not as a “mandated reporter.” I have never had to do that and would NOT do that in Rose’s situation. That would place Rose in danger, but her situation wouldn’t require such action in the first place.

      Again…I am NOT a licensed therapist and do not represent myself as such. The system is broken and I have found I can actually help people better by being a writer and “marriage mentor.”

      Rose is in a domestic violence situation with a husband who unfortunately has some kind of mental disorder along the lines of a personality disorder. He could also have untreated depression and bipolar disorder. He is also a cheater. Those are labels, but they do no good when it comes to real life.

      What do I think of Rose’s husband?

      Well, he has been cheating for years in one form or another from reading Rose’s comments. He is also violent as described in this thread.

      I believe Rose should be very quiet — be as quiet as a mouse around her husband specifically. She should be getting multiple copies of information regarding bank accounts, retirement accounts, mortgages, doctors, lawyers, friends, multiple keys, A SAFETY PLAN (which Rose can get by calling a domestic violence hotline worker), and Rose should be documenting everything daily and sending it to herself and/or friends with an email account her husband is NOT aware of and from a computer her husband has no access to. Rose needs to give copies of her information to two or three people she trusts the most (as well as an attorney) and probably have copies in a bank vault that the attorney is aware of. Rose has mentioned a therapist she sees and she should also send all documentation to her therapist.

      Rose should try to open some credit cards for emergencies only. Rose should be setting aside emergency cash in a locked drawer at her work– if possible. When at home, Rose should be acting as if life is very normal. She should not do anything out of the ordinary or challenge her husband in any way because it could cause danger to her.

      Let’s imagine Rose gets up the courage to leave her husband. There are many very modern women’s shelter’s where a woman gets her own studio with her own bathroom and small kitchen. Women no longer have to sleep in beds in an open room with 75 other women. These shelters also have on-site therapists and access to pro-bono attorneys.

      This is great… right??

      Well, it is and it is not. I have observed the current models for myself and seen what they offer. Waiver: This is what I have seen in one area and so I am one person describing what I have observed. I have not been to every shelter.

      But here is what I have seen…

      Let’s imagine a woman leaves– each time she leaves– that is as she is walking out the door, there is a chance she will get killed. If there is to be a homicide, it will happen then. So a woman has to find a way to leave where her abusive partner has no knowledge of what is occurring. In fact, she should spend a month putting everything she needs OUT of the house so it will be there. That way she can leave with the clothes on her back. She needs her computer and phones but must turn off all location devices. She should also probably leave her car on the premises and take a taxi. (In case an abusive partner has put a tracker on a car).

      Let’s imagine a woman makes it to a woman’s shelter. Hooray!

      But, now the real battle begins. What’s the battle? A victim of partner violence will start to feel very alone. She will be overcome with an irrational need to return ESPECIALLY if her abusive partner knows where she is. If he does, the flowers will arrive. The cards will arrive. The “I am going to commit suicide if you don’t come back” letters will arrive. In fact, she will experience the biggest “love bombing” of her life. And she will be so hungry for the attention (she’s only human) and there will be a strong temptation to return. Because NOW he is paying attention to her and loving her and that is all she wanted in the first place. It’s all she wanted and only after she leaves is he willing to give it.

      Isn’t that awful? I have asked myself for years why abusive men can’t just pay attention to their wives while their wives are there. Why does a wife have to leave for a man to start sending love letters, flowers, and promises he will never hit her again? Why? Well, there is no why because the mind if the abuser is NOT normal. A normal person would get lost trying to follow the trail of insanity that is the mind of someone who physically abuses others and is cruel to those who love them. There is no WHY– at least not for us normal folk. It would be like asking a snake why it bites. Well a human is NOT a snake and cannot imagine why a snake would crawl up and bite someone who is not even bothering the snake. A human has no context for it because it’s crazy. But it’s what snakes do. They go around biting things all day long. There is no reason; it is just what they do.

      Statistics… the following are based on the last time I looked and they are off the top of my head. Please research this if you want the most up to date information.

      1) Most women leave their abusers only to return … and most women have to do this leaving and returning between seven and nine times before they TRULY break free and leave the freak forever. Some abusers will commit suicide when they are left, such as an abusive family member of mine who married INTO the family… not a genetic relative. If it happens, that is not the fault of their victim.

      2) Each time a victim leaves and abusive partner, they risk getting killed. Each time they come back, there will be a honeymoon period and enormous love bombing by the abusive partner, but eventually the violence will become worse than it was before the victim left.

      3) The more the victim boomerangs back to the abusive relationship, the more she risks getting killed. Why? Abusive partners don’t want to be left. And they will observe the behavior of their victim and learn what she does before she leaves. This will make them very angry and they will counter-plan so that when she tries, the abusive partner will be there, and if it doesn’t go well, she will get injured or killed by an abusive partner.

      Now… let’s ask WHY a woman would leave a woman’s shelter with counselors and go back to the abuser? Well, there are several reasons:

      1) She misses her husband. Not all the times were bad. Even abusive husbands have good days and good vacations. Many abusive husbands are CEO’s, attorneys, surgeons, doctors, psychologists, accountants, college professors, teachers, religious figures within ALL religions, construction workers, middle managers, and anything else you can think of. The higher up the socioeconomic level a woman belongs to — that is if she is married to a Vice President– the harder it will be to leave. It won’t be due to money, it will be due to the fact that most people won’t believe her. They will say, “Oh Jacob the VP is such a great guy. He sponsors the company golf tournaments, he has pool parties at his house, barbecues the best chicken in the state, he always has a smile on his face, and a compliment for everyone he meets. He is the NICEST guy I have ever met.” Well, Jacob the VP has intentionally crafted a seamless social face so that when he is behind closed doors he can beat his wife and children and have fits of rage that come out of nowhere. And he knows that if his wife left, he would tell everyone she was psychotic and she would be shunned. He would say she was a crazy, drug addicted, alcoholic (even though she is NONE of those things) and he will paint himself as a long suffering husband whose crazy wife finally ran away. It is hard for women to leave because many people won’t believe them IF their husband has a flawless social face like this. So these wives grin, they bear it, and they emotionally die bit by bit each day.

      2) Here is the bigger reason. The field of psychology has not yet figured out a way for women to leave and never return. They have not discovered the key to giving women the tools they need to stay strong and not return. So, what is the recent counseling model based on in many women’s shelters? It’s based on toxic shame. (There are two types of shame: healthy shame and toxic shame. Not all shame is bad. If a married man is caught having sex with his secretary on his desk, he NEEDS to experience shame because he has done something extremely shameful. People in the office need to snap photos and circulate them all over the internet. Healthy shame can deter people who have poor impulse control/entitlement issues from giving into base urges. It may not always deter them, but if they experience shameful consequences every time they act out, eventually they might make an attempt to figure it out or everyone will abandon them. The pain for people who harm others has to exceed whatever pleasure they get from harming others. Shame helps the pain sink in when someone has done something they should be ashamed of such as having an affair.)

      But, here is the issue…. when I observed staff and therapists in some women’s shelters just to get a sense of how it all worked, what I found surprised me. The women were not allowed to refer to their husbands as their husbands. The women had to refer to their husbands as “their abuser.” They would be corrected if they said the word ‘husband.’ A staff member would say, “Your abuser. Not your husband. He is your abuser.” A woman might start to talk about how sad she is for the good times she had. A counselor would say, “There are no good times with your abuser and it is unreasonable to think there were any.” Well, that is TOXIC SHAME. The model was based around using toxic shame on the female victims of abuse hoping the toxic shame would prevent them from going back to “their abuser.” Well, here is the crux of it…. using toxic shame on a victim is another form of abuse. It’s not physical abuse, but it’s mental abuse. And so a woman is struggling with the ambiguous feelings she feels towards her husband, which will often include missing an abusive husband, especially if the love bombing starts. Instead of talking to a woman about that and exploring those feelings they are shamed for feeling that way.

      Do you think that works?

      No, it does not.

      Now, I am ONE person. I have only observed a handful of shelters in one area. That means I can speak only of my observations. Women’s shelters in other areas may have a model that is not shame based. And I think we can judge whether or not something is working by the results. If women return to abusive situations up to nine TIMES before they leave forever, we have a problem. We really need to look at the model we use to psychologically treat victims of abuse.

      Here, on this website, I know that real life is different than “an ideal situation.” Real life has many gray areas. So if any of you are being abused and hesitate to leave, I would obviously encourage you to leave because I want you to be safe. But, if you don’t leave, I will NOT shame you. I will ask you to ensure your children are safe, but I will not shame you as a human being. I will not tell you that you are crazy for still having feelings for an abusive husband.

      Why? Well, the obvious reason is because it does no good.

      But, there is a BIGGER reason and it is a paradoxical reason. Traumatic relationships often create stronger bonds than healthy relationships. They are called trauma bonds and they are real bummers. They are the reason adult children of abusive parents go back for more abuse from elderly parents. Mom may throw plates at her 55-year-old son’s head and call him a “son of a bitch who she should have aborted when he was five years old,” but she is still “dear, old mom.” (Sarcasm, but it is true. This is how trauma bonds work). And yes, I have actually heard an abusive mom say something to that extent. It was not “I should have aborted you when I was five months pregnant,” It was “I should have aborted you when you were 5-years-old.” Both statements are tremendously abusive, unacceptable, and insane. But, the second one has a shade more insanity than the last… the second phrase means she in conveying she “should have killed her child when the child was five years old.”

      So trauma bonds are tight whether they are between husband and wife OR abusive parent and child.

      Back to Rose… she has a lot ahead of her and a lot to consider. And this is going to be an extremely emotional time for her and she needs solid emotional support as well as a safe place to be (physically) and she needs a realistic plan where she is able to follow through. Otherwise, things could become very dangerous. Rose knows what is best for her and Rose also has to live her life. None of us have to live it, so I believe we need to support her and be wise guides for her. We can speak our truths, because truths must be spoken, but we also realize Rose will do what is right for her and we need to help her find a situation where she is safe and can have a sense of stability.

      What does anyone think?

      Care to add anything?

      These are my opinions based on my limited knowledge of Rose’s situations. I am not a licensed therapist and I don’t know all the details. But, I do need we need to take Rose’s situation seriously and rally around her.

      If there is anyone else out there experiencing violence in addition to a spouse’s affair, you are not alone. And I understand why it is so difficult to leave sometimes. Life is not cut and dry. But, please, above all else, make sure you and your children are safe.

      Rose, what is going on today? How are you feeling?

      How is everyone else feeling?


      • Hopeful

        Thank you for sharing all of this Sarah. As I read this I kept saying to myself there is so much grey not black and white. So many similarities to betrayal. I always thought that cheating was so black and white until I was in it myself. Also the other thought that came to mind is I can be understanding but since I have not been in this situation it is hard to provide the best advice. Again similar to betrayal.

        Rose I think about you often and wish for your safety and ability to seek out the best option for you going forward.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Thank you so much for sharing this information. Most of it is not new to me. My biggest fear here is that he will hurt someone she loves.

        Rose, all my alarms are going off when I hear that your daughter is not informed. I hear statements like “he would never harm….fill in blank”!! You don’t know what he is capable of. You say that you are the target….but that means that no one you love is really safe.

        Sarah…am I overreacting here?

    • Rose

      Ever been too tired to sleep? The last few nights I’ve taken a “sleep” herb with melatonin, theanine, etc., plus 2 Benadryls, and I cannot sleep. I have a daybed in my office that is insanely uncomfortable, but there’s nowhere else to sleep. Last night I added some wine in and that helped for a few hours. Tonight I’ll have some again.
      I had a few days to take off work before the end of the year. Today and tomorrow were a couple of those, and the plan was to work on H’s mother’s house to get it ready to sell. After being called a golddigger by him last week, I figured he can do all the work, by himself, with his bad back and arthritis. Or he can get some Facebook friend to help. I hope Facebook is keeping him warm at night.
      I’m just exhausted. The entire night last week is like Groundhog Day, playing over and over in my head, and it will not stop. We had all these dreams. With his mom’s house, we’d pay off the bills, give some to the kids and put a down payment on the retirement house. But now I’m “only here for the money.” Wow. I guess I should HAVE married for money because we are $50,000 in debt and his mother’s house is worth about $100,000. So I guess I’ll get rich, huh? I thought having this plan in place would cure him of needing other women. I guess I was dreaming, too. I’m his WIFE. Yeah, I guess I thought making some money might be a good thing for US, I don’t’ know.
      I’m safe. I have pepper spray around my neck and I know how to use it. But as I said, my son is up all night so I can sleep. I am still terrified of going downstairs where my bedroom and bathroom are when H is home. He’s been a screamer before, but that stopped scaring me a long time ago because I was able to walk away, detach, and not react. But I think the other night I just flipped. It is not like me to trash a room, throw things, and scream. I guess it has been building up for a while.
      You know, I think I have mentioned how in his FB use, all his posts to his “friends” were “I” oriented. Places we had been, restaurants, movies, trips…all his posts said “Oh yeah, I went to this great restaurant last night,” “I saw so and so in concert last night,” etc. Not ONE with “we.” Tonight I’m sitting in the living room doing homework and watching a travel show about lakes and rivers in our state. H is in the kitchen. He sees a lake on screen and said “Beautiful” or something like that. I said “Oh yeah, I remember when I went to Junebug lake.” H says “Yeah we camped there.” My response, “Yes, I camped there.” He appeared confused. When he had his tirade the other night, I screamed to him about things he had done, FB posts he had made, affairs he had had. He’s like Trump; he denied it all. Said I was making it up, which made me scream louder about his brain damage.
      I need to practice deep breathing and mindfulness because if he starts into it again, I need to be as stony-faced as possible and not react.
      I am deeply sad about my future. I kept hoping there was one. I’m an idiot.

    • Eagle2435

      My wife had an affair with a coworker and confessed to me. She has been extremely remorseful, takes 100% of the blame, and is actively working through recovery and wants to identify everything inside of her that caused her to choose to cheat. It didn’t happen overnight, but she has become almost a perfect example of how to help your spouse after having an affair and we are working through it. Her AP, however, (I found out who it was and confronted him) is not the same way. The only reason he isn’t pursuing my wife anymore is because he is afraid I am going to kick his ass, and tell his wife. He’s not remorseful (he didn’t want the affair to end and he didn’t apologize to me, although he was trembling so maybe he just couldn’t think that we’ll lol) and doesn’t plan on telling his wife. There is no love in their marriage but his wife has a lot of money so I don’t think he wants to lose the lifestyle, and it’s likely he’ll cheat on her again now that he thinks he can get away with it. He can have his lifestyle that his wife provides and still have someone on the side. I don’t believe my wife will cheat again, but I expect this guy to. I have never met his wife although I expect I will sometime this holiday season with their work functions that include family. My wife is actively looking to change jobs as well. I don’t want to tell his wife until my wife has secured employment elsewhere, as it could cause her to lose her job and obviously severely damage her personal reputation at work. (Yes, I know this is a deserved consequence for what she did, but I love her, still seek to protect her and I think adding that to the mix would be another difficult thing to handle in recovery) So, I plan on telling his wife after my wife has left her current job. I’ve always felt she deserved to know, and he’s not going to tell her. I don’t know how things work medically, but I’d guess she couldn’t get anything because of his affair with my wife because we were completely monogamous for over 11 years before the affair. My fear for his wife is that he will do it again and now not only would she be in a place of living with (and sharing her wealth with) a man who doesn’t love her and is lying to her, but is putting her in harms way physically as well. She deserves to know so that she can make decisions based on reality, not lies. Their marriage hasn’t been good, but she could possibly be staying with him by rationalizing that ‘he’s been faithful’, and if that’s the case than she should know that he hasn’t. I’m wondering of the best way to tell her – I don’t mind doing it in person if there is an appropriate opportunity because I have very good communication skills. I have also thought about writing a letter, anonymous or letting her know who I am. Thoughts?

      • Hopeful

        Eagle 2435, It sounds like you are both handling this situation well. I do not think you can expect the AP to show remorse or do the right thing especially if your wife ended it. Also I would not be surprised if this AP has had other affairs already which for your sake should mean you and your wife get checked for any possible diseases. I know people will tell someone they have never done it. But as I have been explained by many mental health professionals it is rare someone gets caught the first time or only doing something once. Whether it is cheating on taxes, cheating at school, drunk driving, physical abuse etc. So saying that I am sure he is bothered and does not want to face what he is doing. I think it is smart to wait until your wife finds a new job and makes that change. It sounds like she is doing everything right and being proactive so I think that support is great by you. One thing I saw over time was that during the affair my husband was disconnected and detached from me but since dday we have grown closer together. Both his transparency and authenticity have helped but most of all it is us working together to get through this betrayal. Personally I would tell the person anonymously. I think no matter how in control we are these people are unpredictable. There is no way to know what his wife is like and how she will react and then in turn the husband.

    • Bor

      The question is still one of the things that bothers me and i guess i should ask the person who kept my wifes affair quiet to me. She is involved with our family as a therapist to my son adn so would be at our house and interact with me and my family on a personal level. So I feel the betrayal was also part of not being told and she even went as far to agree to lie for my wife if questions came up to what things did my wife and her do while hanging out at her house. I have not told her how much it bothers me now to see her in my house. I have told therapists and my wife how much it bothers me and have been told by my WW that it wasn’t like that. My wife tells me at first the therapist told her do not kiss him. Ok so that would be solid advice to give to a friend who was making the biggest mistake of their life. But how about protect the family from her? My Wife set it up that she is the only one who can pay therapist with state funds so the therapist is at a cross roads, tell and possibly lose the ability to earn money from my wife by getting fired or not tell and keep things the way they are. The pain and loss are my kids and mine to bear by their mothers unfaithfulness. Now my Daughter seems to have gender identity disorder and is gong to therapy to help her with her anxiety and coping mechanisms which have been more problematic since her infidelity came to light 3 years ago. How much of that shit is on my wife? My daughter and son have both openly mocked my wife when she has said things like you need to have good boundaries. I think this goes over her head but it sure seems to me to be a sore point with the kids. My daughter has openly shared with my wife she felt abandoned 3 years ago. So yeah i think the timing is just too coincidental. I was trying to recover only to have my self absorbed wife relapse 4 times during that year and my kids got to be in the middle of that. Me in extreme pain from betrayal and the kids knowing what my wife was doing by not going to counseling and us being separated. Me catching her talking to the AP in front of my non verbal son and putting up the boundary if i caught her again I would be moving out with the kids leaving her in the house by herself. So yeah i really wish that the therapist would have told me when she got put into the middle of my wife’s affair. If confronted with the same situation i would have told my wife You are my friend but I can’t sit by now that you have told me. Either you tell your H about this or I will have to. Having an affair is against my principles so I must do the right thing now so i can be ok with myself. I feel since that didn’t happened her compass was not strong as I would like and it bothers me to have her around as i feel she was accepting of the situation that she was a part in.

      PS, Rose I wish you protection from God, Keep safe. Sarah i wish you well and hope your situation will improve. It saddens me that this comment thread is so heavy with very little to do with the topic that seems trivial in comparison to what you are going through. Blessing to all for the holidays

      • Hopeful

        Bor, Is this a mental health therapist or some other type of therapist like OT or PT? If this person is a mental health therapist why are they spending time in your home with your family? Or maybe I am misunderstanding. The first issue would be boundaries with this therapist. I have never heard of a therapist coming to your home or being connected to the family. That would be a dual relationship. Even acquaintances should be referred out. Or if for example one person has been seeing a therapist the spouse cannot all of a sudden just jump in unless it is something specific related to the patient.

        • Bor

          Hopeful, she is not a ot or even licensed. There are a group of us parents of non verbal children who use a type of communication with our kids called RPM. It was developed by a woman named soma. It stands for rapid prompting method. If it wasn’t for her and a handful of these people trained in RPM in our area I would have no idea what is going on with my child. I have looked to try to minimize my interaction with her. yet I am grateful of her abilities to get my son to express himself and learn. I am dad and Mom is Mom we try to get him to do it with us but usually he just doesn’t get the message through. if i had one wish it would be to be able to get his body to cooperate with his mind. We have ABA, ot speech therapist only the ABA is in home. We have strong relationships but not friendships with these providers. It is unnecessary to have a personal relationship and it could be just professional. That was all i was asking of my Wife.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Eagle— so I’m all about revenge, some tasty schadenfreude and all for telling the h. But one thing and the main point of reconciliation is to get the interloper out of your lives. Both you and your wife’s. Telling her can open up a whole can if nasty worms and invites him and his wife right back into your lives. Eagle, you don’t know her or how she will react to this news. She will undoubtedly blame your wife. You simply need to read right here on this blog how we BW don’t see the OW as blameless. Lots of crazy revenge fantasies and even revenge enacted. She could be extra pissed off that you and your wife are doing well while she’s just now getting the news.

      I’m with you and everyone else here. She needs to know and has every right to know. I think you need to look at what could happen when she does find out. I doubt she knows. I think this whole crap that wives “know” is Hollywood fantasy. I’ve read lots about this subject and have learned most wives might think something is amiss in their relationship but infidelity is always a surprise. No woman will live with a man she “knows” is actively cheating and choose to look the other way. If there are they are a rarity. If you choose to put him def do it anonymously.

      It sounds like your wife is earnestly remorseful and working hard to make things right. I’m thinking that outing her AP might put yours and her recovery in peril. This stuff is packed with a lot of hot emotions. It sounds like your wife is done with that guy and sees her foolishness in her relationship with him. I’m betting she just wants him to go away. Cheaters are desperate we and everyone else forget. Lol my h would love to schedule a lobotomy for me.

      Anyway that’s my two cents for what it’s worth. Just some food for thought. I hope you stay in touch and let us know what happens

      • Eagle2435

        Thanks Trying,

        Yes I have thought about the points you have made, for the very things you say. I know how it was for me when I found out, and I’ve always been extremely confident, extroverted, a business owner, etc. It really wrecked me. Ironically, I would have been the one that people expected to cheat, not because I acted like I would, but because of my personality and the fact that she is more introverted and I have always treated her very well. For 9 years and 9 months we got along very well, and then had a 3 month rough patch where we were going through a lot of stress and frustration with a couple of things and she literally chose to cheat on me in that short rough patch. She told herself a story that I had changed as a person, that it wasn’t just a rough patch. The physical part of the affair started right after our 10th anniversary, then less than 2 weeks later I initiated a long talk about how I thought we were growing apart because of our recent rough patch. I changed my behavior and made sure I wasn’t taking out my frustrations in other areas of life on her, and started treating her like I had before, even better. For some reason, she let the affair drag on for 6 mos., although it waned as I continued to show her that I was still the same person as I was before our rough patch. She confessed the affair to me after she ended it; I was blindsided because I would have never believed that she would have made that choice in such a short amount of tumult in our marriage. She also made up that it was a fictitious person at first, she didn’t tell me it was her old, ugly ass coworker. (20 years her senior) I found that out myself and then confronted him. I got to watch him visibly tremble as I did, which was somewhat satisfying lol.

        She has said that she would rather me not let his wife know, even anonymously because she thinks his wife would find out who it was if she knew at all (she would confront him and he would tell her who it was, is what she thinks), and she just wants him to be out of our lives. I believe her in this regard – although I believe some of it is self-preservation (because she hasn’t really ‘lost’ anything since I stayed – barely anyone knows and nobody at her work does) of her reputation I do believe she just wants to be done with him. She is actively looking for another job in a different town about 40 minutes away, where we would move. So I feel like if I wait to let his wife know, even if she finds out who it is, since my wife doesn’t work there and now lives close to an hour away she might not do anything. And honestly, their marriage has been bad for awhile – they take separate vacations, don’t spend much time together, etc. But his wife has the money and I think she deserves to know that her husband didn’t think enough of her to be faithful to her but just wants to live the lifestyle her money provides.

        Maybe I need to check my motivations a bit though – a big part of it is just being pissed off that he’s just going to ‘get away with it’ if I don’t let his wife know – he got to have his affair and almost wreck my family (we have 4 young kids, he has none), will stay at his job, keep living his lifestyle, etc. without anyone that he knows knowing what he did. He didn’t even have to live through the ass beating that I wanted to give him but didn’t because of course I would have been the one to end up in jail, lose my job, etc. The only thing he lost was what wasn’t his to begin with – my wife. So I just want him to lose something that is valuable to him since he didn’t give a shit about trying to take everything that was valuable to me. I tried to taunt him into attacking me so I could claim self-defense and he was too scared to even do that so I couldn’t even hit him one time. Damnit. lol

        • Better days

          Hi Eagle,

          We have a lot of similarities in our unfortunate situation. Wife had a 1yr relationship with someone at work. Luckily she interviewed for a position just before I discovered the relationship and was offered a job in the first week after. I got a lot of the same stories(AP’s marriage and wife were terrible in all the ways imaginable. Lazy, naggy. etc..) and I’d be hesitant to put too much faith into it. I think this is a common connection between the cheaters. It’s something in common they can support each other with. They complain about their married life and get support. Well, I had to contact and inform his wife because the relationship wouldn’t have stopped otherwise. He was continuing to reach out a month later. When his wife confronted him, she got the same story about our marriage. I gave him a chance to prove my wife was also contacting him or encouraging his efforts and I would have walked away without contacting his wife. He couldn’t, so I reached out to her. This worked after a few angry communications from him to my wife about her breach of their hush agreement. The only downside I could identify by telling his wife was that they may split and he’d then be full in pursuit of my wife. If that was the scenario to unfold, I would have said good riddance. The only real thing we know is that these other dudes and our wives were sleaze bags during this time. We have teenage kids and the other family has a larger younger family that they were willing to sacrifice.

          • Jeremiah

            Hi better days,

            Yeah I didn’t put a lot of faith into the story of the AP’s marriage – not that my wife didn’t believe it was true because that’s the story she was told, but people often justify their affairs by blaming it on their bad marriage. However, I have heard from other people that they at least have a ‘weird’ marriage – they don’t vacation together, almost got divorced a few years ago and she made him sign a post-nup since their pre-nup had expired, etc.

            Honestly, the only downside for me telling his wife at this time is to my wife and the other guy, honestly. My wife accepts anything that comes her way as she has recently told me repeatedly to do whatever I think is helpful for me and what I think is necessary. And just last week that she agreed that his wife needed to know even if my wife had to suffer the consequences. She’s flat-out said that she made the decision, deserves all the blame and deserves the consequences that come her way; and that the consequences she receives from his wife knowing are nothing compared to the betrayal she handed to me. She doesn’t constantly beat herself up about the affair all the time (because I am careful not to do that either), but she has a healthy view of it now and understands the ramifications and how selfish she was.

            I am frankly more blessed than others regarding my wife’s reaction to the affair. In a relatively short time after confessing the affair and giving all the details, she has taken total blame, worked on her recovery, given me everything she can to help, cut off contact with the AP even though they work together. (anything they need to discuss about patients which is few and far between she makes his aide deliver a message), she is actively searching for a new job, accepts the consequences, and is utterly repulsed by the affair now. She even wrote a letter to her AP that is quite insulting to herself and he – he’s older and unattractive, and she even put that in the letter to compare him to myself and said that anyone looking at the affair would say she was insane, and she admitted she did basically go insane for a time. The letter sounds mean but I believe she felt it was necessary for her to write – not only to tell him flat out that not only is she disgusted with what she did but that there is no emotional or physical attraction anymore (and anything that was there was fake), so he doesn’t have any reason to try to keep contact.

            They haven’t spoken a single word to each other since Oct 11, so much so that co-workers have asked what was wrong and her boss asked if they needed to have a group discussion, to which she replied “no, we’ve had a disagreement and things work better this way” 🙂 Her response to everything has made everything so much easier and clearer in the early stages of recovery. It still hasn’t been easy, but I can’t even imagine what it would be like if she didn’t react this way. The prospects for the future of our marriage are easier to see. I hope your situation will prove to be a good one in the future as well. Take care.

    • TryingHard

      Eagle— i hear you. I really do. I speak only from my own experience and of course i can only glean so much about you’re experience by what you’ve written here.

      Honestly i have to commend you. This road is hard and not for sissies. You are NO sissy. I believe you and you wife are well on your way to rebuilding your relationship. No cake walk after infidelity right? Glad to hear she’s looking for a new job and in this job market it should be pretty easy. Glad to hear you can move away too. New digs, new life. I hope your kids are ok with that. It’s such a waste of time and energy right?

      I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when you confronted that chicken [email protected] dirt bag!! I kinda did the same thing. Confronted OW at the office which happened to be my property! Scared her like crazy. I kept moving in her face trying to get her to leave. She kept saying she was going to punch me and i kept moving in on her and never touched her. Told her to Bring It On Bitch!! I was hoping too she’d have hit me. I’d have put her down i had so much adrenaline going. Lol I’m 8 years older than her and have NEVER had a physical altercation with anyone in my life ????. Anyway at the time i didn’t care but i knew better than to touch her. My point is revenge IS sweet. But it’s a drug. You can NEVER make him hurt enough. I enacted a lot of revenge on the OW and i always wanted more. My desire for revenge sent me to therapy for a year. If she weren’t dead I’d probably still want revenge. Like i said in my experience revenge is an addictive drug. Funny thing is i don’t want revenge against my husband. And HE’S the one i blame 100%.

      I’m glad you’re going to wait until your wife finds a new job before telling his wife. Eagle this guy sounds like a real creep. Maybe his wife is too. Maybe it’s a marriage made in hell. But you are getting his story from your wife who got it from him. Who knows what the real truth is? Certainly not you and probably not your wife. Cheaters like him lie. They lie about their “miserable” marriages. Meanwhile we BW are left scratching our heads wondering how we missed our h’s were so miserable!

      Anyway just wanted to give you a little more food for thought.

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