affair fantasy

We’re going to do something a little different today.  We’re calling it a “Fantasy Post Roundup.”  Affair fantasy that is.

Every affair begins in some way as a fantasy.  They also continue to drag on and become hard to end due to the fantasy.

Lynn Margolies, Ph.D. says…

“The most common element driving the power of the affair is fantasy. The essential problem perpetuating the affair is failure to recognize fantasy for what it is.  The glaring omission in awareness is that passion in romantic infatuation cannot be compared with intimacy in marriage.”

“The power of immersion in fantasy makes affairs much easier to get into than out of.”

That last statement surely rings true in our own situation and in many of yours as well.   We consistently communicate with readers who have spouses (or they themselves) who are so wrapped up in the affair fantasy that they don’t even realize it, nor can they escape fantasy’s grasp on them.

The results run the gamut from extended affairs, not adhering to the no contact rule, separation, divorce, marrying the affair partner, etc.

So here are six posts that we have written in the past that address the affair fantasy issues. 

We hope they shed some light and are beneficial for you.

As always, if you like this post, please share it!

1.  The Fantasy, Role Playing and the Playbook

All affairs begin as a fantasy.  During our Affair Recovery Group, Jeff Murrah stated that even one night stands begin with the person thinking (fantasizing) about what it would be like to have a sexual encounter with another person.  When the cheater begins either an emotional or physical affair they have readymade assumptions about the lover based on what they are fantasizing about.  Read more.

See also  Getting ‘Unhooked’ from the Emotional Affair Addiction

2.  Forget About the Fantasy and Get the Playbook

As a betrayed spouse I am going to tell you right now our spouses will never again have a fantasy about us the way they did with the OP during their marital affair.  So stop trying to recreate and compete with the affair and the affair fantasy.  It won’t happen. 

We are living in the real world in a real marriage and you can only pretend to be the cheater’s fantasy for so long.  Read more.

3.  Debunking Some Marital Affair Fantasies

Being involved in a marital affair is surrounded by fantasy and illusion.  The most difficult part for me was that I was also drawn into the fantasy.   I romanced Doug’s emotional affair just as much as he did.

By romancing the affair, I mean that I didn’t follow through on some of the most important things a betrayed spouse should do when recovering from an affair – to look at the affair as it really was – a betrayal of commitment.  Instead, I looked at it as if it was something magical; something out of a romance novel that we all long to experience. Today I am going to debunk some of the fantasies associated with affairs.  Read more.

4.  Stop Playing the Infidelity Game

Dr. Bob Huizenga discusses how to deal with competing with the other person and with the fantasy of the affair, or as he calls it “playing the infidelity game.”

There is a dilemma when faced with this situation:  Do you need to play the game better? Or, how do you extricate yourself from the game and still care about your spouse?  An affair is indeed a game, but just because your spouse plays the game doesn’t mean that you have to.  Read more.

See also  Discussion - Dealing With Jealousy After an Affair

5.  My Struggles After the Emotional Affair

What has been my biggest struggle after Doug’s emotional affair? 

Firstly, it is trying to put all the memories, the words, and actions that I know are true behind me and not dwell on them every day.  Secondly, erasing all the illusions and fantasies I have about the affair, about Tanya, the pictures that I have in my mind, and the scenarios of what I thought their relationship was like. 

And the hardest struggle of all is finding myself again.  Read more.

6.  How a Person involved in an Emotional Affair Can Heal

Much has been written about how the betrayed spouse should handle the aftermath of an emotional affair, but little has been said of how the person having an affair should heal and move on.

Whether you want to believe it or not, the persons having the affair go through a grieving stage once the affair is over.  Often it can be quite traumatic.  Read more.


Once again, we hope that this roundup provided you with some useful information. 

I’d like to end with a quote from a reader regarding the aspect of the affair fantasy…

“The high feeling the fantasy offers is hard to resist and stop, especially when the OP confirms that what they both have is “true love.” It seems to happen most in those seeking an outside source of happiness, because inside they feel unfulfilled for whatever reason they choose to believe. It is the state of being completely carried away by unreasoned passion or love, even to the point of addictive-type behavior.”

We’d love to hear your point of view about how the affair fantasy took control of you or your spouse.  Leave a comment below!

See also  Why My Emotional Affair Relationship Would Never Have Succeeded

Four out of 23 sessions in the Affair Recovery Group are dedicated to the fantasy aspect of affairs – when “soulmates” are suddenly discovered.  The rest of the program really digs deep into what it takes to recover after infidelity.  You might want to check it out.

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    67 replies to "The Affair Fantasy Post Roundup"

    • Strengthrequired

      I read through all of the links, and found quite a few things interesting. I do believe in the playbook, the ow/om know exactly what not to do, to keep eluding the cs that they are such a superior choice then the bs is. They know what not to do, because the cs handed it all to them on a silver platter. Who wouldn’t use the instructions iand the answers if it was given to you.
      It’s a game that sometimes feels like it is never going to end.
      My h tells me he knows the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but won’t tell me why he knows it. Yet I guess as long as he knows then it’s better than nothing.
      I do think I give much power to the ow and how my. H fell so hard for her, it really is a fantasy, yet sometimes as a bs we lose sight of that.
      I know I make it out to ne more than what it really was, and what relationship can withstand constant toting, calling as well as seeing each other for the long haul. Sure it’s wonderful at first but one will eventually feel like they are suffocating. something eventually hits and it’s called reality.
      I too felt like I was missing out on something, considering all the call and txts my h did for his ow, I never had that, not in my whole time we have been together, yet honestly I would have gotten sick of it anyway.
      As for my h thinning that he had more in common with his ow, well of course he did. They are both the same nationality, both have the same family, both felt sorry for themselves, so of course they had more in common.
      Eventually that what they had in common, wouldn’t even matter because whatever they end up talking about would become boring, sure they may have been learning something about part of their family they didn’t know, but tha can only stretc the conversation so far, before it ismjust repeated, such as the same put downs from the om/ow towards the bs.
      I know letting go of the trauma of my h ea, the power I have given his ow over me and my emotions, is something I need to work on. The amount of times I have told myself that I need to find myself again is ridiculous, because I know, I lost myself. I used to be so happy go lucky, my h loved tha about me, I would love to find that in myself again. I need to learn to smile again, really smile again. I think that is where my h will start to truly take notice of what he almost threw away, morE than just being loving to him.
      Anyone have any tips on finding that happy person again ?

      Linda, I also relate to how you falling asleep on the couch after a long day, was giving Doug a thought of feeling not wanted to be around, as I too would fall asleep on the couch, and I believe that is possibly the same thing my h felt. I know he used to get annoyed when I would fall asleep, yet I just couldn’t help it, just pure exhaustion, especially when I was pregnant, it was shocking.

      So now it’s my journey to find myself again, be the person my h fell in love with all those years again. He told me how I used to have this glow about me, he has also told me that his cousin it never had that, she was more harder faced.

      • exercisegrace

        SR, I haven’t had the chance to read all the information in Linda’s post, although it’s very good so far! I really appreciate what you wrote above and I can relate to so much of it.

        Personally, I think it’s not so much what they have in common with the AP, it is simply the ‘newness” of the relationship. It is having someone who has never heard your funniest stories, heard about your proudest achievement, the cutest thing your kid ever said or did, etc. The AP hangs on their every word, laughs loudly at all their best jokes, etc. My husband and I recently were invited to a new neighbor’s house for dinner. I commented on the way home that I could draw a parallel between making new friends and having an affair. When you first are getting to know someone, they are generally at their “best”. But as time goes by, the stories have all been heard, the company manners get relaxed, some of the bad habits are revealed and so on. Same way with an AP. The real person begins to emerge, not the mirage they created to draw someone into an affair to begin with. Demands and expectations begin to be expressed, instead of only mutual admiration.

    • Strengthrequired

      Eg, thank you, I too believe it’s the newness of the relationship that’s starting out, but I think that starts after they find common ground in which they both can relate, or think they can relate. I think that is what my. Focused on at the start and I think in someways through his ea, because it was easier for him to believe a relative wouldn’t set out to hurt him or his family and so it became a building block, then once he realized that t did infect love him, he the found it hard to knock down that building block with her because of being related and ” god forbid, e hurt a relative”.
      So I guess she also thought she would win over me and at times I believed, that she would too, because of that connection they had, yet in reality I knew that I always had the upper hand.
      I was telling my h how my 9 yr old as been asking me questions about his cousin it and why she made out she loved our family, and then turn around an hurt us. I think he was shocked that his ea still plays on our children’s mind, I don’t thin he realized the real impact it had.
      I know if she had asked him, he would have been even more thrown back. Sometimes I think he needs to answer these questions himself, just so it really absorbs.

    • livingonafence

      I’m sorry – getting someone out of the ‘affair fog’ or fantasy, isn’t hard. You take away their real world and they no longer want to play in fantasyland. Suddenly the real loss of their real life as it is and was is much more jarring than some imaginary soulmate. The only time I see it being difficult is when the BS sits back and tries to ‘help’ the WS see the error of their ways. This doesn’t work because they, in their F’d up mind, have no errors. They are finally happy. They’ve found the ‘one’. You’re just in the way. What do you have to show them? They don’t leave because they don’t want to hurt you. They lie to protect you. This is the proof that it isn’t real and they do care, but if you cling and beg, or even tolerate, then why on earth should they give up the thing that makes them happy?

      Throw the cheating scum out! Yes, SCUM. When cheating any person is scum. I don’t care who they are – if they’re cheating actively, they are selfish and they are scum. Do NOT tolerate this cheating. Do NOT be an option. They will wake up immediately. This has worked every last time I have seen it, without fail.

      What doesn’t work? Hanging around. Letting the WS know you’re there for them. Hoping they will come to their senses. Trying to guilt them with history, kids, etc. They didn’t care before you knew about the affair. They knew about the history and the kids. You vocalizing it doesn’t change it. So vocalize that you’re done, IMMEDIATELY. They’ll have no choice but to face reality .

      This is the advice I give to every new person that’s a new BS. Those that try it are thrilled very quickly. Those that dont, months later, are still unhappy, and usually end up alone since the WS now views them as weak, willing to be second fiddle, not very special. I mean, if we can’t stand up for ourselves and choose us, why should they? So they grow farther apart from us.

      I’m sure there’s a case out there where this advice isn’t spot on, but if you go on the forum you will see case after case where it works, and case after case where a BS waited patiently for their spouse to return, and the spouse just kept on cheating.

      I don’t know why anyone tolerates a cheating spouse, even for one minute. But please, don’t. Tell them to get the hell out. Throw their items out. If they won’t leave call the police. Show them they will NOT have you and a significant other. Show them you value yourself even if they don’t. They’ll see the light quickly.

      • Ann


    • Gizfield

      LOAF, you and I think so much alike, I swear it scares me. Maybe we are soulmates, or the same person or something, lol. When I look back, the only time I feel stupid or critical of my actions is when my husband continued to contact this slut, and I did nothing. I totally agree, if they do it a second time, it’s time for them to begin “to live the fantasy.” You, the betrayed spouse, sitting home crying and moaning and “understanding” is the ONLY thing allowing the Fantasy to persist. As long as it’s you against them, the Toxic Twins will just keep telling themselves they are doing nothing Wrong and you are Crazy. I wish I could go back and show them what CRAZY really looks like. It would involve clothes in the yard, blasts on facebook, and a big up close and personal visit with a whore who chose to sneak around with my husband, and then have threw no class ness to cuss me! You can get them out of it REAL quick…

    • Gizfield

      I will also agree with LOAF that the designation of good/bad person is absolutely worthless! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I ACTUALLY SPENT VALUABLE SECONDS OF MY LIFE ARGUING WITH MY HUSBAND ABOUT WHETHER A TRAMP HE WAS DATING WHILE MARRIED TO ME, WAS A GOOD PERSON. My god, that is incredible. You are only as good as what you are doing at this second in time. Not yesterday not tommorow. Right now.

    • Strengthrequired

      I’m assuming the last few posts were for me, lol..
      Loaf and gizfield.
      Thank you, but I was just replying to the post from Lindas post of the day.
      If my h was still in his ea and I found out about it, I’m most definately done. I was just letting my h Know that our children are still hurt, and are trying to understand themselves why this ow came into our lives in the first place, even though she is apparently finished with.
      I’ve told my h if he wants his ow he can have her, because I don’t want o be with someone that deliberately shares himself.
      I’ve told him that I prefer to find someone that truly wants me and no one else. He knows I won’t stay, if he chooses to keep her in his life. Cousin or not.

    • Gizfield

      Strength , please dont think I was posting about you in any way, cause I wasn’t. I think you are a very strong peson and are doing what is best for you and your family. I dont give unsolicited advice to any one person, but if I were asked for advice that is what I would say, and what I wished someone could have convinced me of. It’s more in keeping with my personality than what I actually did, and I kind of feel I betrayed myself, unfortunately.

    • Strengthrequired

      Thats ok gizfield, I was trying to see in my post where I was saying he was still in his ea, lol.
      I know sometimes I have my doubts, I guess it doesn’t help when still the dreams come and make you question everything again.
      I know what you mean, I often sit back and wonder what the hell I was thinking putting up with the constant lies and betrayal, when of course there were several times where I was ready to leave, bags packed and all a stayed that way for a quick exit. Thinking you betrayed yourself, I feel that at times.
      Yet you try and hang onto that person that you knew and know is there somewhere.
      We all know though, how long do you put up with it, until you just snap and leave.
      I really do wish my h would cop all the questions our children have, instead of them asking me. He should be the one that faces th music with them.
      Having found this website at the beginning of my h ea, would have been what I needed, may have given me th info i needed to wake my h up sooner, as well as with the support I needed from people going through the same thing. Yet let’s hope none of us have to go through this again to try a different approach.
      If I ave to o through this again, my h wouldn’t be worth the effort again. It’s too draining physically and emotional.

      • livingonafence

        I wasn’t posting to you either – I apologize if it seems I was. I was speaking in general, to no one in particular. I disagree that breaking the CS out of the ‘fantasy’ is hard. You just shove them head first into it and take away reality. They learn really fast what they really want. That’s all

        • Strengthrequired

          There is no need to appologise loaf, you or gizfield have anything to appologise over, I am glad I have women like you both standing by being supportive. If it was early on in my h ea, I would have been glad to have such good advice.

          • Gizfield

            Thanks, Strength, I didnt think I was that bad, but you know it’s hard to judge yourself. as far as I’m concerned, all thoughts and opinions are welcome and helpful, except those defending adultery. Can’t stomach that, at least not here, lol

        • Christine

          Hi guys, i’m just reading this thread now and want to throw a small wrench into this. I know exactly what you’re saying and understand what forcing them into reality does and means. I’ve been being patient while still thinking he may be taking to the OW to because of what ive learned and realized about how we got here. Yes, it was completely his decision and his mistake but there were problems in our marriage like with most of us i think. taking each other for granted, not making them feel loved etc. Its so hard because I took the marriage fitness boot camp where they tell you its best to keep them in the house as long as you can stand it, showing them that the marriage has a potential to be better that they didn’t previously see. If they leave and never have the chance to experience change in the marriage and see that you can be forgiving and do love them more than anyone else probably would, it gives them more a sense of what they would really be losing. Otherwise, yes they’d be in shock but they also were not feeling love in the marriage for a reason. How would they know that things would be any different if they came back just out of fear?

          I’m afraid that the day may come when a short separation will be needed to knock my H off the fence. Honestly, i don’t think it would take long. A couple times after this first started a few months back, he went to a hotel for a night to be alone and think things thru. Just that one night alone made him come back with a different attitude . Because i let him know i was there for him, tho, and this was his home i know it didn’t have the impact that really feeling the “loss” of his wife and family would. Its such a hard call..

        • Santana

          How do you shove them to reality? By separating? Divorce? Currently experiencing the same. We’ve been separated but he’s still seeing the OW

    • Gizfield

      Again, LOAF, I totally agree. I despise the post the shows up at the top “It’s Tough to Stop an Emotional Affair”. I call Bullshit. Anyone can stop one immediately. Like you say, kick them out. End of affair. It’s only an affair as long as 2 people are creeping, while 1 or more others is sitting home waiting on them. When it changes from three to two, it becomes a relationship and not nearly so “appealing” and “fun”. I regret letting two roadwhores damage my mental health so they could give each other a daily little ego boost. This is much more damaging to you than you realize. Especially if you have previous trauma.

    • blueskyabove


      Ordinarily I wouldn’t bother responding to such a blatant disregard for another person’s feelings.  I would chalk it up to the person who wrote the comment, consider the possibility that their personal trauma has blinded them to their own inconsideration and let it go, but in this case I found your indelicate, rude comment regarding a former post of Linda’s to be abusive.  Have a little respect and consideration not only for the hosts of this site but also the people who choose to come here.

      To those of you who have silently put up with this continual bad behavior,

      I would really like to know why no one appears to be willing to stand up to this verbal assault on Linda.  To my knowledge Linda has always been kind and considerate to everyone who comments.  She’s a class act and is undeserving of this treatment.  I can no longer remain silent on this subject.  Both Gizfield and livingonafence have made ugly, disparaging remarks about things Linda has posted in the past.  Enough is enough.  They are entitled to their opinion but that does not give them the right to openly slap her in the face.  Surely I am not the only one on here who is appalled by their behavior.

      • Linda

        I guess I will stand up for myself and others who are struggling with infidelity, you do what you think is best for you and your family at the time. I was faced with something that I knew nothing about. I didn’t have a valuable means of support to guide me through this trauma. So I just followed my heart and my gut.

        I you asked me today would I approached things differently I would probably say yes. However I am a different person than I was four years ago and I have have the comfort of knowing that Doug and I are together so looking back at my actions and the should of’s is easier.

        I do not judge anyone or their decisions they made. We all have valid reasons to support how we handled the information of our spouses affair. Yes I agree throwing Doug out may have ended his affair but honestly the only thing on my mind was protecting our children because they would have been devastated. They were my first priority.

        I do value everyone’s input and opinions, your insights are what makes this site so valuable. I wish I would have found such a supportive community when I first discovered Doug’s affair. Maybe I would have made better decisions.

        • Strengthrequired

          Linda, that’s the thing I did, I wasn’t about to let ow take my h, break my family. All I could think of was what sort of woman is this wanting to take break my children’s heart, wanting to take their father away from them. Yet to also tell him that she wanted to have a baby with him.
          All I could think of was how it would break my children’s heart if we went to the shops or somewhere else and we bumped into my h and his ow with her children and him playing daddy to them, and not his own kids.
          I couldn’t let that happen without a fight.

    • Gizfield

      Blue Sky, I’m not really sure WHAT you are talking about, but I dont consider saying what I feel about a situation, or what I would do, is attacking anyone. I thought the purpose of this site was for people to freely express their opinions and what has worked for them. There is a ton of advice regarding infidelity, recovery, etc. The so called experts dont agree, and there is no one path that will work for everyone. I’m not going to drag Linda into this. If she feels offended by anything I’ve written, I apologize. I don’t see why she would personally. For all you know, if she could go back in time she might change things she did, just like me.

    • Gizfield

      Linda, if I have offended you in my comments I apologize but I dont really believe that you are all that worried about my opinion of YOUR opinions. Thanks.

    • EyesOpened

      Blueskyabove – I am not sure if my support as a cs is of any value – but I have been in immense pain recently and this site is such a support to me (and indirectly my betrayed husband). It has played a massive part in my effort to save my marriage. I actually think Doug and Linda have genuinely changed people’s lives for the better – and have so very generously opened their hearts to help others. Any attack on that is unbearable to witness. The family gathering thread also made me very uncomfortable to read.

      A little while ago Blue said something so profound to me on this site and she helped me through a very bad moment. How someone could tell through a digital site that I was in such a low place and let ME know I was vulnerable, I will never know – but I will always treasure that post. SR and others were also extremely kind to me.

      This site is full of such lovely people brought together by Doug and Linda. Debate, opinion and emotions are crucial to the ethos of the site – but not attacking a thought or suggestion posted. It’s just not constructive.

      Thank you Doug and Linda – so much – you are amazing, amazing people.

    • EyesOpened

      Linda – you obviously did something right :-). And you are so correct in flagging up the lack of support and knowledge as being a huge disadvantage. Without your help I would have made one massive mistake after another – so again – thank you for being there.

      • Linda

        Thanks I am am grateful you are still here. I also want to commend bluesky above for her contribution to this sight. I have learned so much from her and hope that one day I will reach the level of peace that she has. She has truly moved forward and has used this experience to learn and grow. We all hope for that, it takes time,introspection and forgiveness.

        I am sorry the family gathering made you uncomfortable, honestly it was a beautiful day, filled with love and pride. It was all about our beautiful daughters, I was just grateful that Doug and I were together as a family to celebrate the day. Take care.

    • Gizfield

      Eyes opened, I dont think you “attack” thoughts or ideas. You express them, or agree, or not, but you dont attack them. You do “attack” people and I dont think I’ve seen any of that. Having a difference of opinion is not attacking anything. I think everyone on here has been extremely civil to you, myself included.

    • EyesOpened

      Gizfield . I agree all have been civil to both you and me.

      I was referring to the comment ‘I despise the post that shows up at the top’.

    • EyesOpened

      Thank you Linda – I’m so glad you and your family had the beautiful day you deserved.

    • Strengthrequired

      Good to see you back EO.

    • Gizfield

      Eyes Opened, that was my comment that I wrote about despising the “you can’t stop an affair” post. I will elaborate to say that in my personal opinion this is what I do not like. It gives all the power in the relationship to the cheaters and the little fantasy they have created. This is not where the power should be. It should be with the spouse, the marriage, and the family. I also think that the real power is still with the marriage, if it was not they would leave. In most instances, when the marriage isn’t an option this POPS the affairbubble quickly. When faced with true reality the adulterous relationship does not last. I think if doug knew he could only have tanya, not her and linda, he would have kicked her ass to the curb pronto. It’s all good about talking about losing stuff or leaving til you actually have to back it up and do it.

    • Strengthrequired

      I’m a little lost here, because I don’t see how gizfield or loaf had attacked anyone with their comments.
      We all have opinions, and we all value each others opinions and appreciate Doug and Linda.
      We can only imagine how difficult it would be to keep the blogs fresh with new information.
      I find strength coming here to keep pushing forward, and in hindsight maybe things would have turned out different having known what we know now at the very beginning of all of our journeys.
      However no matter how similar our circumstances are, we only know how our spouses would react, our children would react.
      I strongly believe with all that cousin it had my h believe about me, like I didn’t care or love him, I was a terrible mother, basically shit at everything, I didn’t know how to care for my family, even though he knew differently, ( let’s face it, if I was all she had manipulated him into believing, he wouldn’t have stayed 1 yr need alone 22yrs) he would have thought to himself, well she’s right, my w doesn’t care because she didn’t fight for me or our children, she just let me leave. I know my. Would have taken me just giving up as his proof that he made the right decision being with his cousin it.
      Instead he was faced with a w that chose to fight for her family, for her man, who went through hell to save her family.
      My h never expected me to make it hard for him to walk away.
      When we look back on how we dealt with some situations we may have some regrets, but we showed our h love they thought they had lost.
      However, we have to remember our goal was to keep our marriages together and alot of us no matter how we handled our situations were lucky enough to still have our spouses by our sides.
      None of us know how different it would have been if we did things different, but none of us want to go back and find out or even go through this whole nightmare again.
      Let’s be thankful we didn’t follow the handbook the ap chose to read.
      I would prefer to win or lose the battle with honour and dignity, than to have not have fought for my family at all.
      My h may have been in his fog blissfully unaware of what was truly happening around him, but once that fog lifts, I’m glad he sees me as the woman who was there even when the chips were down to the very end, then to see me as the woman who gave up on him.
      We should all be very proud of ourselves, whether we are the bs, the cs, because we are stronger and wiser for knowing what we now know, and for having such great support with each other especially when we are having down days.

      • Christine

        You said it better than i could have. Thanks for making me feel like i am doing the right thing, as hard as it is! This made my day

        • Strengthrequired

          I’m glad you found comfort in what I said Christine. We do what is right for us send our families, and that may be different from one person, one situation to another.
          My h ow, would say to him, ” why doesn’t she just leave us alone, why can’t she let you go and just walk away?” ” I wouldn’t stay with you if you did this to me”
          Ha, just goes to show if she was married to him, she would have walked away, I guess it is different when you are the ow and have nothing to lose, if you can’t leave a married man alone. This ow, still tries. She must get her thrills out of playing with people’s lives.
          It’s funny how these ow tend to bury themselves with comments that contradict their actions.
          I read your other comment, and I believed if I had not shown my h that I loved him, then she had that upper hand. He did leave for a month at the beginning of his ea, yet I had told him repeatedly how much he meant to me, I showed him how much I loved him, and I also gave him space to sort himself out.
          She at that point in time, thought she had him.
          Then he moved home. While he was back home, I had the upper hand over her, and I did believe, while he was coming home to me while he was living with his family, she would slowly be just a horrible memory. She knew once he moved back home though that she had to work harder.
          There is only do much power the ow gets, while the h is still with his family.
          I remember my h telling me, that I was making it harder for him, ( because I was showing him that I did love him). It contradicted what she was saying to him, and what he had started to believe. My actions proved stronger than her manipulation.
          Let me just tell you, although my h saw that I loved him, that I wasn’t going to make it easier for them to be together, he did still keep up the contact with her. Several ddays, and I was ready to leave. I knew he knew I loved him, so that was no longer an excuse for him to use. So if I did leave, it was in his hands whether or not he was willing to fight for us, considering it had taken the load off his shoulders from the start of dday. Each time I was ready to leave, he stopped me, yet it did take over a year from dday to have him stop contacting her, it hasn’t though stopped her trying to contact him every so often.
          You will know in yourself, when enough is enough.

    • EyesOpened

      Thank you for your post Gizfield. As SR says – no one can know what would have happened if we’d turned the clocks back and done it differently.

      One of the benefits of ending it there and then, would be to allow time and space for both the bs and cs to process the circumstances. . But there are so many factors and pros and cons for each path travelled. It depends on whether you have children, what childcare support you have, or whether you are the male or the female, what financial options you have, whether you work etc. etc

      I think the balance of the relationship being ended by the bs would be better for recovery though. I agree that not ending it immediately can ‘imply’ that the CS has more power. As a CS – I don’t want that – I want things to be on a level playing field.

      My H is making so much effort. I actually wish he wouldn’t ! I don’t deserve it . I want to be the one making ALL the effort. I’m the one that did something wrong! But he feels that if he doesn’t keep trying 110% he will ‘lose me’. Clearly I have not been successful in my reassurances. If he’d have thrown me out, and I had chosen to come back to him, then it would be clear that was my choice and I assume he would have felt more confident as a result. But again – who knows? Maybe he would have found someone else ‘in the break’ – and could be getting married to her (as has happened to another bs we know).

      Each relationship and recovery needs to be judged on its individual merits. Being controversial – if I’d had an abusive, alcoholic husband that threatened to kill my kittens and I ran to someone else for support and help…. I would forgive myself.

      If I was SR and kicking my h out meant him going to another country and leaving me and my kids – I’d hold on tight. In the end – Linda’s hard work and belief in her and Doug has paid off – so I’d have done what she did.

      Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences.

    • livingonafence

      I did not now nor ever attack Linda, Doug, or anyone. I’m offended that someone is saying that a disagreement is offensive honestly. I’m sorry if a CS doesn’t like a BS saying the fastest way to end the childish and selfish affair is to force that fantasy to the frontlines, but I’m not surprised one bit. As a CS, I would imagine you being dismissed would have been ugly and uncomfortable, and said you weren’t the glorious wonderous person the EA made you feel like. Well, as a BS I could care less. I think EVERY CS should be forced to see the reality of what they’re doing – they are destroying a real person, someone they once promised to take care of forever, because they feel like it! Because they find it fun.

      I’ve seen many many many many many infidelity stories. As any BS can tell you, we all become experts. I stand by my comments – each time the BS immediately throws the CS out of their lives, the CS wakes up and realizes how disgusting they’ve behaved and ends it. In 90% of the cases where the BS waits patiently, tries to be understanding, and reminds the CS of all the wonderful things about them, the BS is still doing that a year later.
      EO, I’m not attacking you for being a CS – but surely you realize you have a different view of what works. You weren’t the one traumatized, shocked and completely demoralized. You weren’t humiliated and abandoned. No, you were just having fun without thinking. Why would you want a harsh end to that?

      No one disrespected Linda. Every member here is grateful that this site is here and to Linda and Doug for putting so much out there. That does NOT mean we cannot disagree, even with the site founders.

    • livingonafence

      EO – your H is probably making such an effort because, despite what you say, he feels not good enough. After all, if he was why did you cheat?
      I do NOT say that to be cruel. I say it to give you some insight into the mind of the betrayed. Actions speak far louder than words and even though in our heads we know it isn’t our fault, in our hearts we feel that if we were better the CS wouldn’t have found another. It’s sad how damaging an affair is. I wish more people understood that before having one.

      Also, I appreciate you being here. Not many CSs will post unless it’s with other CSs. It isn’t pleasant but it is welcome. Thank you.

    • Gizfield

      LOAF, I can certainly attest to the truth of what you are saying in my own case. My husband is actually a pretty good guy, BUT he was clinging on to the I’m not doing anything wrong, we’re friends, shes a GOOD PERSON crap. With only me to contradict it, well of course he was still saying it. he was still talking to her so I imagine she was whispering it in his ear. Daily. It is correct that it’s hard to stop this on that vacuum. After being evicted from the house, he is a whole new man. I got the apology I deserved , “what I did was wrong, I’m sorry I did it, I wish I hadn’t done it, AND if I could go back in time I would not do it again.” When I am distant, or dont text or call back quickly, he is the one who gets the worried look, and says “whats wrong, baby?” Not the defensive crap I got before. I told him I was DONE, had very little to do with him for a month, and saw a divorce attorney. Did he run straight for this chick the moment he got the opportunity? , noooo, he stayed at his mother’s house and spent his time trying to get back into mine. I just hate people thinking there isn’t anything a betrayed spouse can do about these affairs.

    • nessw

      Gizfield, I’m interested in how you managed to ‘evict’ your partner? Mine is bloody well staying put. I have one option only to remove him….which is divorce. He calls this ‘nuclear war’ and says he ‘doesn’t know what he’ll do’ if I instigate. He has talked of giving up work, ‘disappearing’, fighting me till theres ‘nothing left’ over the kids.

      You strike me as a no nonsense person. Did you not get any of this?

      part if me doesn’t care what happens to him but most of me cares more about him than myself. My self-preservation instinct kicks in even so and tells me I can’t just leave with the kids as I often feel like doing. A solicitor I saw also told me on no account should I leave the house without legal action first.

    • nessw

      I am struggling today. Ans reading the spat with an OW called Jackie that’s going on has made me feel deeply sad. I know that the woman my h had an affair with Yeats ago has gone on with her life very happily. When I see someone Luke Jackie defending herself I think of Claire who is ‘my’ OW and I wonder why the universe hasnt punished them. I know the answer, but I wish the two women who have helped my husband bring my family to its knees would suffer. Today I do, anyway.

      • Strengthrequired

        Nessw, Maybe that’s jackies (ow) punishment, to live in denial thinking that her om wanted her over his wife and that his wife has trapped him for the rest of his life.
        As for your h ow, maybe the universe will punish her in a different way, maybe karma will hit when she gets cheated on by her next partner.
        I do wonder when my h ow will have karma hit, she too sounds alot like Jackie in denial, thinking that her love was so much stronger than the love of a wife, whom he couldn’t bare to leave, all because of the children.
        Let me tell you, it wasn’t because of the children my h stayed, he stayed because he knew who he could really trust with his heart and his love and it wasn’t the ow.

        • Gizfield

          Strength, what is the name of the post jackie is commenting on? I was reading it last night but I’m not subscribed so I dont get notifications and can’t find it. thanks.

    • exercisegrace

      It’s interesting to contemplate. In my situation, I gave up my career years ago. At the time of my husband’s affair, I really didn’t have that many options. I have been out of my field for so long it would have been next to impossible to find employment and arrange childcare for four kids. They worked out of our home so there was no way to kick him out and have the sole provider for the family not working. There certainly were times I wanted to kick him out, but there is NO way he would have left. He was adamant that NOTHING was going on, and despite my efforts, I could find no proof. In retrospect, I wish I had believed and trusted less, and been more suspicious. A simple baby monitor would have eventually busted things wide open.

      Hind sight is 20/20. I am NOT the person I was back then. I can’t even BELIEVE how much I trusted him. How much I believed the LIES, and how much I WANTED to be wrong.

      Our counselor says I was in a no win situation. Had I given an ultimatum, the OW would have used that as proof I didn’t love or want him (as he thought at the time, despite evidence to the contrary). When I cried and begged and carried on, that was proof that I was crazy. When I tried harder to be a “better” wife, I was faking it and only doing things to “compete” with her. My husband admits ALL of these things are true. I tried ALL the above tactics and she turned them to her advantage. She truly DID have the playbook. Heck, she CO-WROTE it.

    • nessw

      Exercise Grace, I am in a similar place. I work but have six children, I can’t afford to rent a house and feed them all. If my husband does the decent thing and leaves but still supports them things will be ok. If he goes into meltdown then I am stuffed.

      A solicitor costs £250 an hour. If he wants to fight I don’t have the money he has to do so. So I’m hoping he’ll cone round, see the error of his ways and man up one way or another….either start working to keep the family together and start loving me again, or leave us to get on with it.

      He sits in his room and is grumpy with the kids, he’s very unhappy, but hes got no clue what to do about it. He is at the top of his profession: he got there by being stubborn and sees this as a virtue. Now I’m on the receiving end of his stubborn treatment I no longer see it that way.

      last night my two teenage girls pointed out that dad silks in his bedroom more than they do….they shouldn’t be seeing that. My younger ones are always a bit on edge….they seem fine but scratch the surface and there’s the fear and confusion because they know our family’s not right. I have to gather them in to me and protect them how I can. I wish I could let the strong woman inside of me out, sweep them up and head for the door. Life is not always like that. I just hope this does not damage my kids long term.

      • exercisegrace

        Nessw, this sounds so familiar. My husband basically took to his bed too. He was stressed and depressed. He can see now that depression was one of his vulnerabilities, and then making such a horrible choice and living with the aftermath of it drove his depression to all time lows. At the time however, he blamed me and the kids. We didn’t keep the house “perfect”, things were too loud, too chaotic. There were endless lists of complaints. I addressed every single one, no matter how small or stupid it seemed to me.

        Unfortunately we can’t shield our kids from their stupidity. My oldest two were teens, and believe me I tried. I think you are doing a better job of it than I did. I denied it all when my daughter raised concerns about what was going on between her dad and his colleague. I insisted they were just friends, blah blah. She admits now that she hated me at one point for not believing her. For protecting him, and not standing up for our family. In truth, I was. At one point we were fighting daily but behind closed doors or when the kids were at school. I had no proof of the affair, and frankly I think I was too chicken and in too much denial to REALLY investigate as I should have, and wish I did.

        If I had a do-over, I would be more honest with the kids. Not in a way that would throw their dad under the bus but I would NOT make excuse after excuse for things like missing their sporting events. I would send them to HIM to ask him why. I would let HIM carry the burden of defending his choices with them. While I thought I was protecting my family, I was just enabling his affair and shielding him from most of the consequences with the kids.

        Does it damage the kids long term? I would have to say yes. My daughter had some emotional issues and anxiety after the truth finally came out. We have had some long talks about how I wish I had listened to her and validated her fears at the time. she has accepted my apology. We continue to press forward with healing. So much is said about marital healing, but often little is said about healing the kids and the family relationship.

      • Strengthrequired

        I have the 6 children too, it would not have been easy if my h decided to leave for his cousin it, i wouldn’t want to rely in my h if he did go to her either, I don’t want a man helping me out if he chose someone else, is like rubbing salt in the wounds, I prefer to look after my kids without his help, if it came to that.

    • nessw

      Silks! Silks sounds creepy!

    • nessw

      It changed sulks to silks again! Battling with predictive texts!

    • EyesOpened

      LOAF. Thank you for your thoughts. This is the reason I come to this site. My h doesn’t want to read about the healing. He has been amazing but has tried to race through recovery by forgiving me for everything and blaming himself for his faults prior to the affair which he believes contributed heavily to my choices. I read this site and learned and have told him that no matter what he did – I ultimately made the wrong decision and should never have had the affair. My difficulty is that I don’t know where to go with residual negative feelings towards him. I don’t feel I have any right to be angry with him for anything – but in spite of all the turmoil and trauma he continues some of the same behaviour that hurt me originally. I feel so much anger, disrespect and shame at myself for the crime I committed that I find it hard to move on.

      He makes every effort on a daily basis to be ‘perfect’ – but I know in my heart that the level of effort he is making just can’t possibly last – so I don’t trust it. It’s hard to explain ! He says I don’t show him love in return. I do. I just don’t show him in the way HE wants me to. Basically we are still not meeting one another’s emotional needs I guess.

      I AM making the effort – and I do love him and I do want to make this marriage work. I just need to learn HOW.

      I want to commission a national tv campaign warning people about the effects of affairs.

      I am so sorry on behalf of all Cs’s to all BS’s for this horrendous behaviour and the consequences of our decisions.

      • forcryin'outloud

        EO – I highly recommend reading Harville Hendrix’s “Getting the love you want.” I know it helped my H and I understand why we expected certain things from our relationship (that neither was getting) and that we are both “hurt and broken” from childhood. It was the first time in over 40+ years that my H was able to understand where his deep rooted pain and problems stem from. (Psychology scares him, literally, so we were never able to do the workbook or exercises.)
        You are a considerate person for coming here and sharing your perspective. I appreciate it and wish you the best.

    • EyesOpened

      Another thing which has been covered before by Gizfield and others and that has really started to ‘bed in’ with me now (8 months on) is that if you acknowledge how bad the other person is – it reinforces what a fool you have been.

      When I force myself to face the truth of the other person I chose to get involved with – I have to admit it wasn’t real, I have to admit that I was just one of many. I have to admit that I was not special, I have to admit that I exposed myself and my h to health risks and I have to admit that I’m stupid and cheap. That is a pretty crappy person to be – I can tell you! Believing that someone could still love me is nigh on impossible. When people say nice things to me I want to yell at them – Don’t you know what I’ve done?!

      I haven’t admitted all this to my h – and here is why. .. 1) It means I threatened our lives for less than nothing 2) ( and this is the most honest thing I’ve said since dday ) IF I admit all this, then will he still feel I am worth the effort any more? If he doesn’t feel I’m worth the effort and gives up – our marriage will fail.

      I cannot believe I have just put that in writing. I’m doing it because I do not believe that I am alone with these feelings – and I bet other CS’s are hiding this guilty reality.

      • exercisegrace

        Eyes, I think you are coming to an important part of healing your marital relationship. My husband eventually had to come to some of the same realizations. He was not someone special, he was one of many. He took tremendous risks with our health that we will have to monitor for years to come. He had to come to grips with the fact that he did something that was in direct violation of the way he saw himself as a moral, christian man devoted to his wife and family.

        He cringes in discussions when I criticize her, because he takes that as direct criticism of HIM. Because he made the same choices. When I rant and rave and ask what kind of person would walk into another woman’s home and have sex there, he hears it as what kind of man would LET another woman violate his home and family by having sex with her there. It is hard for him.

        Yes, he risked so very much…..five people’s lives, happiness and future…..for someone who is worthless. He can say this to me today and he has. You are right, it is the most honest thing he has said in years. It is also the most painful thing for BOTH of us. BUT. It gives me SOME measure of security to hear him acknowledge that. It makes me feel that because he truly “gets it”. Truly knows the cost and how little she was worth, that he will never make that choice again. There is some peace in that pain. hope that helps a little! Blessings!

      • Strengthrequired

        Eyes, I would bet there are several cs out there if not all or most ofnthem would be feeling the dames thing as you. Dint ever think your alone, if there is anything I have learned coming on here is that, I have so much in common with how I feel when I see so many comments on how other bs feel.
        I do hope all works out for you. You have done such a good job so far.

      • Christine

        god, i wonder if this could be true?? Right now, my husbands seems to feel that i need to get over things and how he’s feeling has nothing to do with her and seems to have no remorse. i have wondered this exact same thing and if deep down he may not be able to really forgive himself for what he knows he’s REALLY done and if being in our home and with me is a constant reminder that he is not the man he thought he was.

        • Strengthrequired

          Christine, it doesn’t have anything to do with you being a constant reminder. He definitely would have guilt, that is hard to face when you know you have caused pain to the one you truly love. That guilt is what makes them want to move forward and to just forget.
          My h was always telling me that he wanted to forget, unfortunately for us being the bs, we have so many things racing through our head, it is harder for us to just forget.
          I think though, your h would be looking at you, ( not seeing a reminder) as someone that makes him want to be a better person. Don’t take it as you being a reminder.

    • Gizfield

      Eyes Opened, I am really glad to hear that you are seeing your affair partner and relationship in a bad light because it means you are that much closer to being ecovered. I guess I was lucky cause my affairpartner completely disgusted me once I finally saw him for what he was. The important thing is not that you hate yourself or anything, but just that you see what you did in it’s true light, and that you dont want to do it again. That is what it really is all about :~). Best wishes.

    • EyesOpened

      Thank you Gizfield. You are right. And I can assure you I don’t want, and never will want to do it again.

      Best wishes for you too.

    • Strengthrequired

      I can’t remember which post it was under, I can never find what I comment on if it was under an old post, lol. I too don’t always log in.

      • Strengthrequired

        That was for gizfield

    • Gizfield

      Thanks, strength, I found the one with Jackie by following the comments trail. She’s certainly a piece of work. Sounds exactly like my husband’s girlfriend lol. Thinks she’s better than me cause she was sneaking around with my husband. Yeah, right. Also thinks she “let me keep him ” cause he didn’t leave. Again,.yeah, right. Keep telling yourself that, honey.

    • Strengthrequired

      How did you do that? I can only see the last 5 or 10 comments?

    • Gizfield

      Absolutely, Eyes Opened. I meant to tell youearlier that I admire any cheating spouse exposing their story here, except those who are trying to flaunt it, and taunt people, like Jackie. You do get some negativity but you can help yourself and others, so it’s worth it I think. I do try to be truthful cause it’s not helpful if you aren’t.

    • Gizfield

      You know,.I’m not really sure. I use the mobile site on my phone, there is a widget (???) Shows me hundred s of comments, broken down by the day. It’s cool, but I dont knowhow to get put,.it just shows up. Hope that helps….

    • Gizfield

      It’s something called Home Screen News Widget. If that helps. it may be called an RSS Feed. I probably signed up for it somehow.

    • EyesOpened

      Thank you EG – it helps a LOT. Gizfield and SR – lovely comments. FCOL – I will get that book – it sounds good. I’m also starting independent counselling tomorrow – so trying to achieve some positive progression rather than dwell on the negative. Ill miss this particular thread – it’s been so helpful.

    • EyesOpened

      Hi FCOL – just to let you know that I got the Harvlille Hendrix book and it is brilliant! Thanks for a great recommendation. My h and I were able to be honest with each other this weekend in a way we never have. Reading that book filled me with such emotion and has made me look at myself and my h ( and the way I parent) very differently. I feel like I have made some incredible personal progress and that I’ve helped my h to, as well. He is reading it this week! Thank you so much.

      • forcryin'outloud

        EO – Glad to hear the book is benefiting you and yours. And I have to agree it is brilliant. In fact I think I will go back and read it again after hearing your enthusiasm.
        Your welcome and best wishes.

    • Jo

      Hi everyone

      Just looking for some thoughts or advice.

      My partner told me six months ago that he didn’t feel the same anymore that the switch had gone off. He then spent the next 6 months emotionally and mentally destroying me and making up a whole bunch of reasons as to why our 13 year relationship was doomed and would fail. In that time unknown to me he was emotionally getting involved with a co-worker 15years younger than him.

      I kept asking about her and he kept denying and saying I was crazy. I kicked him out of our bedroom and then we had a massive fight and he moved out for wat I thought would be temporary. He asked to return but wanted to go back to the spare room and I said no not until we tried to fort stuff out. He then took a short term rental, went on a quik holiday to visit parents then returned and I confronted him with an affair.

      He finally acknowledged it and is now living in his expensive apt romancing this young woman telling me we can never be together again and that he DID love me.

      I’m so shocked, hurt and confused. This woman is so young, uneducated and never done anything in his life I just can’t see how it’s going to last but my greatest fear is that he’s do in love with her that’s why he’s destroyed his family. That it’s real love cause why else would he do it? He of course says our relationship was terrible and then still tortures me by saying if I’d of let him come home the texts would have fizzled out ?!!!!!

      Any thoughts or advice from anyone who’s been through this hideous experience would be welcomed? Even after all that he’s put me through I love him and miss him and out family life. At the moment we are in a no contact phase. It’s been a month since I’ve actually seen him and just a load of mud slinging emails.

    • M

      @ Jo…not sure if you’ll see this, as your comment was written in 2016, but I would like to share my thoughts with you.

      Please don’t blame yourself. HE is the one who cheated and hurt you. He is the one who disrespected your relationship.
      It sounds like he attempted to blame you for his actions. Nope…the responsibility is all his.
      It’s one thing to hit a rough spot in a marriage/relationship. It’s another to decide that cheating is the answer.

      I hope you are doing much better now. Also, she may be younger and all of that, but it’s only a matter of time before he does the same to her.
      So take comfort in that.

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