You must lose all of your illusions about your affair partner – and that the grass was greener during the affair – if you wish to rebuild your marriage.

the grass was greener during the affairby Sarah P.

(Please note…Though Sarah addresses how the grass was greener during the affair with the man as the cheater, the same issues can certainly hold true when the female is the unfaithful spouse.)

After the affair ends and you find yourself in therapy with your wife, there may be a part of you that still romanticizes the other woman.

Now, this is absolutely to be expected simply because of the nature of intimacy and how it alters the biochemistry in our brains. But, even though it is expected, it is also a feeling that needs to be worked through until you see the truth of the matter.

When people have affairs, their brains are flooded with chemicals that are more powerful, addictive, and longer lasting than cocaine and heroin. Your brain is then on the ultimate drug: Lust.

The Relationship Between Infidelity and Addiction

This same phenomenon occurs during all new romantic relationships and it certainly occurred between you and your wife during the ‘honeymoon phase’ of your dating relationship.

But, the neuro-chemicals that are released during Lust and the ones released during Love are different. The issue is that the ones released during lust are more exciting and more potent than the ones released during love.

During lust, these chemicals make you feel energized, alive, drunk with exuberance and intense longing. They create a heightened state of emotions where you feel like you can conquer the world. But, they also prevent you from seeing or knowing reality.

During love, chemicals that make you feel comfortable, safe, and warm and fuzzy are released. While these are wonderful and reassuring, many people report they do not compare to the high they get when in lust.

The other issue is, some people are wired to find the lust chemicals more addictive than others and they are driven to recreate the experience. Sometimes, this drive is the very mindset that makes one prone to having an affair.

See also  Shift Responsibility to the Cheater to Recover From Infidelity

But, the worst part is, when you are in this altered state, you are going to see the other woman in an extremely unrealistic light.  I have put the following visual together to make my point:

This is your brain on an affair….

greener grass

The photo on the left depicts how you perceive the Other Woman during the affair… While the photo on the right reflects how the Other Woman is perceived by unbiased observers. (That is, the truth of the matter)

Those chemicals that are being released are drugs…

And a brain on an affair high is a brain on drugs that is incapable of seeing things clearly, thinking clearly, or even making good decisions. And yet… during the affair, you would never believe the above statement because you will likely perceive yourself to be more alive and clear thinking than ever.

You might feel as if you finally have life figured out and have lived for years just to come to this very moment. YIKES!!!!!!

Even after the affair ends, there is going to be a period of time where you secretly (or not so secretly) continue to believe that what you experienced with the Other Woman was love. (I can assure you that it was not love because love is not born from causing deep pain and betrayal to another. Love, after all, is selfless is that it refuses to engage in activities that cause harm to another, even if one were to benefit from them). No siree – you were in LUST.

Good, old-fashioned L.U.S.T.!! My dad says that when a man is in lust, he is thinkin’ with the wrong head and the wrong head isn’t very good at making the right decisions. That’s truly an understatement.

To give you some perspective on the other woman…

I have known many couples who have gone through affairs and have also seen male co-workers brought down by affairs. Each time, the man is made to feel like the Other Woman is his soulmate and therefore he is partially justified.

They feel as if the other woman completes them – they worship the ground she walks on. And if anyone were to ever bring up the idea that maybe the OW were just a 2-bit bar slut, the man would protest and defend her honor with his life.

Because, after all, the OW is truly an angel – a Good Person even – maybe the best person he ever met!! And the poor thing, that other woman – what pain she must live in because the love of her life is so inconveniently married!! The horror!!

But, truly, she is angelic and no one would want to deprive the poor, little, defenseless dear of her Prince Charming just because he has an “ugly” and inconvenient wife at home.* (Note, in my experience, no other woman has objectively been better looking than the wife who has allegedly let herself go.)

When a man is caught up in a time of lust, he rationalizes and believes the other woman to be faultless. Now, as many of you know, I do not believe other women are completely faultless or innocent. I do not blame them entirely, but they knowingly play a very deliberate part in the affair, and shame on them for that part they play.

“How Could You?” – The Psychology of Justifications, Rationalizations and Excuses for Infidelity

I have also seen several news stories where another woman attempts to kill a wife because the wife is too inconvenient. That is hardly a faultless angel.

See also  What to Do if You Run Into Your Affair Partner

This is all leading up to a point. The point I am making is that if you want to recover from an affair, you must shed every last secret rationalization about the other woman and you must see her as she is.

I do not believe that a woman who is a good person knowingly engages in an affair with a married man. I know too many good women who have been in circumstances where an attractive admirer fell into their lap during a time of being ignored by their husband. Every single good woman I know has just said no to such situations. You see, these women have integrity and someone with integrity never compromises, even under emotional stress.

So, discard any ideas that the other woman was simply a good person caught up in a bad situation. NOPE. That won’t cut it!

You must lose all of your illusions about your affair partner if you wish to rebuild your marriage. Because you cannot genuinely rebuild your marriage and also genuinely fall in love (and lust) with your wife again if your heart is secretly pining away for the OW.

So, the point of all this is, please take the time to see the other woman in the light of day and in context. She was not some angel sent to make you feel like the million-dollar man of the century. She is more like the drunk driver who ran into you and almost caused you to lose everything that you held dear.

The sooner you are able to see this, the sooner you will be on the road to re-establishing a phenomenal relationship with your spouse (who incidentally, always was the angel). I sincerely wish you the best in your healing journey.

We’d like to thank Sarah for once again contributing to our blog. Sarah is a busy writer and mom and has two Master’s degrees – one in English and another in clinical psychology. 



    36 replies to "Stop Secretly Believing the Grass Was Greener…"

    • Eyeswideopen

      Amazingly surreal! Great post! It’s crazy to be the betrayed spouse and watching it all. We see right through “THAT” other person, and cannot understand how the CS doesn’t get it or see it. In most cases, we’ll certainly mine, I was able to see what the AP was really all about, and not just because I was hurt or bitter, but because I wasn’t blinded by “love”. I was shocked at his choice of a cheating partner, as were the few other people that eventually found out. When this person first started working at my husbands place of employment, he would come home and tell me about her, and never in a flattering light. He complained she had body odor, she wasn’t very smart, etc…. 3 months later he was in an EA with this same person, which turned into a slight PA ( kissing twice, light touching). I remember after finding out and confronting him, how she had become this totally different person in his eyes. His BEST FRIEND, someone who made his job easier to go too and made it fun (he hated where he worked). He tried very hard after being caught to keep her at work with him, even though that was my main stipulation in staying and trying to save our marriage, that she go. I found out he leant her money, allowed her certain perks at work, including getting her rides to and from so she didn’t have to take mass transportation! He did so many things wrong to me after being caught, and for quite a few weeks after, that I am still suffering from those choices, 3 1/2 yrs later. I understand being blinded while your in it, but I have a very hard time understanding how, after being exposed and your marriage is imploding, that your CS can continue to fight you and try to continue to manipulate you and betray you? Eventually my husband woke up, and to hear him talk about her now, you would think it was a completely different person he had an affair with!
      I agree that when you first are falling “In love” with your AP you aren’t thinking clearly, thus causing you to do and be a different person, but I have a very severe problem with the CS and his behavior after being exposed! That is what I am still struggling with, all this time later. How you could treat someone whom you claim to love and want to save your marriage, yet you threw to the curb over a practical stranger!

      • CBb

        Same situation for me. Exact same circumstances. Told me 2x in 1 week we we were over because he just could not give me what I deserved. Truth be told he was divorcing me to be with her.

        I have the same issue – how come NOW I am so great and wonderful when the CH spent 6 months telling me they were over and then in find out they were still together.

        It is called mid- life crisis for many men.

        I just wonder what happens to their brains.

        • Strengthrequired

          Cbb, my husband and I seperated for a month, after dday. He told me that he had found that he found the one he loved about a week before he moved back home, through a txt msg mind you. I replied to his msg, and told him what a coward he was. Told him he could have his skank, that they deserved each other. He called me the next day to see if I was alright, he wanted to come and see me. Well I let him. He ended up moving back home the next week, but was with me almost every night prior to him moving home. when he moved back home, I thought he would have started working on us, yet time and time again, I found out they were still seeing each other. I almost left several times during that time, yet he kept stopping me, even after I moved away, I like to say we, but tbh yes his things were with me, but he was hardly there at our new place, for close to two years, until we moved back.
          So yes, that is something I had asked him, and keep asking myself. “Why am I so special now, why does he want me now, when I wasn’t worth giving her up for such a long time? Why did it have to take several months after our move away, for him to decide that we were what he wanted? He tells me he always wanted us. I beg to differ, I don’t see it.
          Yet midlife crisis, gives our men an identity crisis as well, as a mental crisis. One that reverts them back to wanting to be a child without any responsibilities. Unfortunately for them, their families suffer, while they try to run wild and care free.

    • antiskank

      I had to read this twice – I was almost sure I wrote it – maybe in another life!!! My thoughts right down to the descriptive words and phrases. Love the picture comparison. It gave me a good laugh!

      And EWO, we seem to have so many things in common! I am truly sorry about that. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but am glad that somebody understands. That’s what is so great about this site.

      It is SOOOO true. Cheaters are so blind! It is amazing to me how they cannot see any faults in the AP. Over the years, My CH had pointed out flaws that he disliked in women. His skank had all of them – smoker, heavy party drinker, sleazy, flat chest, huge butt, yellow teeth, manipulator, gossiper, selfish, insincere, flirty, cheater. He saw her as the perfect angel – beautiful, young, hot, gorgeous, exciting, etc. – his one true love.

      The first time I saw her after the first D-Day, I was both disappointed and relieved. I thought she was so mediocre and plain that nobody in their right mind would choose her on purpose so I thought it would be easy to get her out of our lives. But I also was upset and confused that this was the thing he chose over me. It’s still an odd feeling that I can’t quite get a grip on. And he did continue to choose her over me even after they stopped all contact. He did nothing to repair our marriage because he didn’t want to let go of the feelings he had. I knew at the beginning that he had chosen her over me. He told me all about what a piece of worthless trash I was – old, fat, ugly, boring, he had never loved me, never would….. so very painful to hear.

      After a few months and very few answers, following an ultimatum, he started to tell me that it had all been a bad choice, that he truly loved me and wanted to be with only me. Turns out it was all a lie! For another 2 and a half years, he had lusted after her from afar. He had spent his time reliving their happy moments of talking and stroking each other’s egos and fantasizing avout sex with her. He had nothing for our marriage or me because he was still not wanting to be here, he was still wanting her. He had just told me what he thought would keep me from asking questions or tossing his sorry butt out the door.

      I have given him way too many chances and he is now on his last one whether he realizes it or not. Once again he tells me he wants to be with me, that he is now over her and will do anything for me. Same old story. We’ll see, his time is almost up.

      I often wonder if the timing of the affair discovery makes a big difference in the cheater moving on from their bout of insanity? In the case of my CH, I found out at the height of his amourous feelings. He was convinced that I was the devil and he was truly in love with her and all of her perfection, that he could live happily ever after with her. They would meet at break times at work, before and after their day started to talk and would often exchange little touches of the hand, arm, shoulder, etc. Things were becoming very intense for him. He was head over heels in his words. Neiother of them had expressed their feelings for each other. He was very disappointed that she did not pursue him and their true love when told that they needed to stop seeing each other. She told me that she saw him as an older uncle, a friend. While I don’t believe that she loved him, I do belive that she loved the attention, the fawning, the little treats he would bring her and that she used him to get what she wanted. In the beginning he would tell me all the right things and act loving at one moment then tell me all the most horrbile things he could think up to destroy me. He resented me so much for stopping his affair. If he had been able to see her in the true light of day, would it have been easier for us to remove her from our life? Would reality have come back to him sooner?

      • Eyeswideopen

        Antiskank, I too am sorry we have so much in common. Your husband sounds like a complete jerk! sorry about being so frank. You sound like you’ve given him many oppertunities to do the right thing, far too many. I have to say, my husband was really only in his affair fog for about 3 weeks. He has done everything in his power since then to try to right the wrong. I do appreciate his efforts, but I just do not think I will ever get past it. We have been together since we were 18, 37 years! Married 29, and when he cheated it was 3 months after celebrating our 25th.
        I truly can get past the betrayal and the actual affair, I just can’t get past, how after he was caught, and everything was out in the open, he continued to lie and try to do whatever he could to continue having her in his life. I can understand calling the affair “a mistake”, “a temporary loss of sanity”, The, “I don’t know what I was thinking” etc…. but I just cannot come to grips with what happened after being exposed. When your claiming to love your spouse, and it was all a big mistake, how do you continue to do hurtful things? That is not a mistake. That is not just a slip up, or lack of judgement anymore. No, to me, that is deliberate betrayal on all levels. The man I once thought I knew an admired, the man I believed was my partner, my hero, is gone. No matter what he says now, really makes no difference, when I needed him the most, when I was sick with hurt, when I lost 40lbs that I couldn’t afford to lose, when I couldn’t sleep for months without crying myself to sleep, that was when, had he truly loved and cared about me and the possible loss of our marriage, he should have stepped up.
        I wish you nothing but happiness ANTISKANK, and I truly hope you find whatever your looking for in regard to your marriage, wether it be to save it, or move on.

        • CBb

          You write my exact story. This is the same thing I question.

          However I got myself esteem back with the help of a great therapist.

        • CBb

          Do you think the cheating spouses understand or get that we no longer view them in the same way?

          Do they care?

          More importantly, was the affair worth it? Worth losing everything we had together?

          • Strengthrequired

            Cbb, I’m not sure if they really understand, as I know my husband would love nothing more than to forget. He has told me that he understands that it is going to take time for me to trust him again, he accepts that.
            Yet I don’t think he gets that we have lost, the way we used to be. I believe he thinks we can just go back to the way things were prior to his affair, as if nothing happened.
            He has told me, that the affair was not worth it, she was not worth it. I guess though only they know what is going on in their mind.
            Why did we here end up having the husbands that decided to lose the plot in an affair for their midlife crisis, instead of something else, men in midlife focus on. Guess we weren’t so lucky.

          • Eyeswideopen


            I think all of our stories are so similar because the cheaters seem to all follow the same cheating rule book or maybe they are all suffering from the same MENTAL CONDITION! Glad your doing well and found a great therapist to help you.
            In regard to your question about Cheating spouses understanding or get that we no longer view them in the same way?
            I cannot speak for all, but mine sees it. He knows it’s not the same and I think he’s afraid it will never be again.
            Do they care? Again, can’t speak for others, but my husband seems very bothered by it. And I know he doesn’t think the affair was worth it, NOW. Or worth losing all. But thats what I think happens… they wake up a little too late. Had they spent even a milisecond thinking it through before hand, and the damage it was going to cause, there would probably be a lot less affairs. Very sad indeed. I wish you all the best.

    • Scott

      “She is more like the drunk driver who ran into you and almost caused you to lose everything that you held dear.”

      Face it, in many cases they do lose everything they hold dear. I know the article is written to cheaters, but the fact is most marriages don’t survive infidelity. And most of the reason is the delusion and blameshifting, lying, and anger of the cheater, not anything the betrayed did.

      The reality is, it’s a nuclear bomb. Most of us wouldn’t survive a nuclear bomb and most marriages do not survive it. And speaking as the betrayed, I know I view her attitude and actions and lack of integrity as a deal breaker even to be kind natured toward her. I give one word answers and that’s all she deserves. I’m not going to be her buddy.

      And I do look at my 16 year marriage as an incredible waste. I’m not shy about it either. People want to know, I tell them. There’s no reason for me to protect her or shield her from the caution others should rightly exhibit toward her.

      • Eyeswideopen

        Scott, I so get you! It’s exactly how I feel. I look at all the years married as wasted years now. The bullcrap about having to start anew and rebuild, making new memories, is just that, bullcrap! I wish you the best!

      • Loveheals

        Scott, I related to your descriptive term *nuclear bomb* as it’s a term I’ve used many times. I also described the affair as a tsunami.
        As wonderfully kind as my man has been in his sincere efforts to repair our relationship I still feel that he has no idea the level of pain and destruction brought on by his affairs. He knows it hurt me and he’s truly remorseful but he is ready to move on. There is still a lot of work to do in order to clean up the mess brought on by the emotional affair, as it was incredibly intense. If I could take a picture of the injury to my spirit, the image of a wasteland left behind by a bomb or a tsunami is probably most fitting. And this is coming from someone who feels that my relationship will eventually be healed.

      • CBb

        You are right. It is a nuclear explosion. Perfect analogy.

    • Rachel

      I don’t hold back either , Scott .
      I tell people that my ex didn’t want me. So I filed for divorce.
      Told me and my boys that he wanted to fall in love with someone else and should have not married me.
      I use to cry after I told someone and now I don’t.
      I guess with so many people telling me what an idiot he is, it doesn’t matter now because he is an idiot.
      He must have said to me about a thousand times that some day his “soulmate” and he will be together in the future. So why would I want to be with him?
      We have to stNd up for us. Just because they think we are no good we have to remember that we are.
      I’ve had neighbors, dr’s attorneys in the area tell me what a jerk my ex is. And how inappropriate he is.
      My grass is definitely greenier on the other side!

      • Eyeswideopen

        Rachel, Good for you!

    • Loveheals

      p.s. I had the opportunity to tell the affair partner how harmful her relationship with my man was. I said “It has harmed me and you have harmed me. I am a person with an open heart and this has hurt me to the core.” Since she has a degree in the helping professions and works with the elderly population I thought my words might mean something and get her to back off. Not so. She’s a sociopath. She called once more looking for him so he could give her a ride somewhere. I intercepted the call. This was on D-Day, and she never called again.
      She had to obtain a ride another way.
      My man cut off all contact from D-Day forward. It’s been close to six months since they spoke.
      I do my best to leave sarcasm out of my communication with my partner because I believe that doesn’t benefit our healing. I instead express my hurt which he finds very uncomfortable but I also share my joy. Causing discomfort is not my goal. I don’t think it’s healthy to keep all the emotions tamped down. Eventually they will blow and it is not a good scene.

      • Strengthrequired

        Loveheals, due to the ow being a cousin of my husbands, and her having met our children, I thought I could appeal to her good side ( which I had hoped she had) to stop hurting my family. This was through txt msg though, on several occasions, yet she didn’t. What I realised through all of this experience, is these ow who knowingly chase after a married man, that knows they are breaking a family for their own selfish needs and wants, only care about themselves. The wives and children are just collateral damage in that process.
        I couldn’t get rid of her sorry ass for a very long time, through all of her tricks, through all of her manipulation she used on my husband, to get him away from us, she thought I would just walk away from him. Maybe I would have, if it was just me, but I had my children to think about, and there was no chance in hell I was going to let her have anything to do with them. no way I was just simply going to give up and raise my white flag so easily. Stupid woman didn’t think she would have had the fight on her hands that she ended up with. She actually thought that my husband would just give up on our family too, after all of her brain washing him into thinking I was so terrible, so undeserving of him, and how she was so much better.

        • loveheals

          Strenthrequired, what a nasty mess for you. Ugh. A close family member is hard to avoid. Add to that the yuck factor. I’m so sorry.

          • Strengthrequired

            Loveheals, definately the yuck factor. My husband barely knew her, hadn’t seen her since they were young children. She came back into our lives after leaving her husband of twenty years, and decided it was time to ruin my marriage. She didn’t want to be alone, so thought why not. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

    • TrustingGod

      I try to avoid comparisons, especially because, physically, I don’t measure up to several of my husband’s online “friends,” since they are all younger than me, and single and without kids. But the one he had the most intimate conversations with, while she was younger, definitely looked more like Pic #2 next to me, since she does have two children, and is not very attractive at all. But she didn’t have any real pictures of herself online during their little EA, so maybe he fantasized that she looked different when he told her how excited he was and how he wished she was lying next to him. Instead he just had me and our new baby, but I’m done feeling sad about that, and utterly rejected.

      Today is one of those days where I don’t wonder what my husband was thinking. He’s an insensitive, selfish jerk who keeps thinking that I am being obsessive because I just want him to admit in writing all of the ways he cheated on me and when so that I can know what I’m forgiving and get the repentant apology that he owes me if he expects me to get over it. I just want to get him to recognize how much he hurt me and understand how much more he needs to do to restore our marriage. But he doesn’t think I’ll leave him, so I guess I better pray a little harder for the means to leave and support my sons, as well as daycare my son won’t cry at so that I can work. Because that’s all I want to do now.

      It’s my oldest son’s birthday today, and my husband doesn’t understand why he would rather go volunteer at a dog rescue today than stay here in this house all day doing nothing, except maybe watch movies. Why would anyone want to stay in this depressing house all day? He should have gotten a clue when our other son didn’t call or text him on his birthday a few days ago. That son doesn’t live with us and doesn’t want to know anything about our depressing and awful lives. At least he called me on Mother’s Day. That surprised me. Only one of my sons knows about my husband’s infidelity (the birthday boy, not the one who called me), but the tension and sadness around here for the past year and a half makes me want to run away, too. Are you sure the grass isn’t greener somewhere else? For me, just being away from my cold hearted husband sounds like a paradise of green pastures.

    • Beckyb2

      It is a shame the cheater who stole the very meaning of I love you can’t see how simple a face to face with a slutty whore and being honest saying I don’t love you I used you I would never choose you would be such a heartwarming gift for the betrayed spouse to be party to . It is too bad cowards just can’t seem to be the healers just the destroyers. Such a simple request and it is the deal breaker without it

    • Untold

      What do you make of it when your unfaithful spouse refuses to even talk about the other person? WW has not even acknowledged much of a relationship. It’s as if it were really a fantasy, or totally compartmentalized and locked away. I don’t like that. As I once read “Secrets about your affair keep you bound by your heart to your affair partner.”

      • Scott

        Therapists would tell you it’s normal. I would tell you it’s about her controlling the dialogue. As I always state, I did divorce, so understand that when you consider what I tell you. If it were me, I’d be firm. I’d inform her in a very straight business like way, “If we stay together, you will come clean and give me the information I want and need to heal. If you choose not to, that’s a breaking point for me. If you would be more comfortable doing this with a therapist I’m fine with that, but my healing, and any hope this relationship has, is conditional on your ability to be transparent and forthcoming with the information I require.”

        My conversation wasn’t quite this polite, but I wasn’t going to hold back either. Let’s just say some choice words were used. Multiple times.

        In any event, she never told me squat even with evidence right in front of her. Top 10 reasons why I’m divorced? Somewhere in there is “Cheating spouse unwilling to answer any questions about the affair.”

        And you’ll find many many resources say the exact same thing. The cover up, the deception, is just as horrifying as the betrayal.

      • CBb

        Those are red flags!

        Does your CS feel so ashamed it is just too painful?

        Is the CS hiding the EA/PA so it can continue like my CH did? I was told it was a one time thing. It was going on as my CH pursued the AP for 6 months. He “ended” it but it was still going on. The 73 minute phone call where they ended it was nothing more than a false effort on both parts. Within weeks they were together again.

        My biggest mistake was trusting him the first few weeks after he admitted the affair. When he was away and I accidentally came across an email card, I realized what I was dealing with and what a liar my CH really was.

        Lessons learned:
        1. They will lie about details and facts and everything they can to save theirvown neck. That lasted 6 months for me until I was about to walk out.
        2. They will forget details and facts – complete amnesia about the affair. How convenient.
        3. Don’t look to the CS to help with your recovery – you are on your own.
        4. The CS will do whatever necessary to get you to stay in the marriage. It will only be a matter of time before certain things start to backslide as to how it used to be prior to the affair. Communication, certain behaviors, things you may want to change about your relationship – might not stick.
        5. I found out the OW was in my CH’s car – that car was gone the next month. Rid yourself of any visual reminders of the affair.
        6. Get yourself esteem back. I wasted 1 year waiting for my CH to fix us. Through therapy I fixed myself and am now stronger and better than I was prior to his affair.
        7. Don’t expect a straight answer – most likely you will not get it. Don’t ask “why”. You will get every justification imaginable.
        8. Don’t let the CS put any blame on you. My CH had 25 years of frustrations that were unleashed when he justified the affair. Not my fault you did not discuss it when they occurred. Asking me about something rather minor 20 years later? It is called justification for a reason.
        9. Don’t let the CS gaslight you. Continue to call them out on everything. I did every step of thecway, calm, rational and level headed. There were many times when I said if you want to be with her, go ahead. I am not stopping you. But be a man and own up to your choice b/c I am not doing this (triangle) any longer. Pick one.
        10. Realize that the CS has an affair for their own satisfaction, ego boost, attention, mid life crisis, etc. it is their choice.

        Unfortunately we are the unwitting victims dragged through the mud.

    • TrustingGod


      I’m just wondering if you were really set on saving the marriage from the beginning, or undecided. I’m trying to be strong right now, because I have told my husband that I require a letter telling me the truth about everything he’s done and giving me the repentant apology that I deserve. He still doesn’t get that he did something that bad, because he’s been unwilling to talk about it except for a few times. I had told him at one point that we clearly needed to seek a therapist, because of how angry and cruel he would get when I tried to get him to understand how much I was hurting and why I needed certain things from him. His voice dripped with contempt as he told me that we didn’t have money to waste on that, although I had already suggested seeing someone at our church, which would be free. He has never been there for me emotionally and I have been trying to decide whether he will change if I do everything to show him respect and honor and meet his needs. But right now I just hurt so much from his indifference. I was wondering if you were stronger because you’d already made up your mind, or whether you just didn’t care anymore at that point?

      • CBb

        In regards to your question to Scott, I cannot speak to his marriage. But I will say that had I known what I would endure with the continued lying and crap, I would have left too. The first time my CH said he did not love her, I should have ran. I saw his emails (b/c the OW sent them to me) where he professed his love for her.

        I have told my H that the affair is not the issue but his continued lying to me after I forgave him for EVERYTHING. I showed unconditional love and showed how much of a coward he is.

        If I had any idea of what I would have faced, I am not I would have stayed. The signs were there but I keptbgiving chance after chance for him to be honest and truthful.

      • Scott

        Unlike many on here, she exploited her affair after I found out, and for at least 2 months, if not much longer, she was involved with him, so in retrospect I probably went down the path of divorce quicker than most, and was pretty sure I had to move forward without her. That said, I gave her many many chances to change my mind and there was a time I was hoping she would rise to the challenge, but to my disappointment at the time, she just sank deeper into the pit. Hindsight, I’m so much better off now, but that’s only my story.

    • Carole

      A 3.5yr affair & 2 yrs on from separation, he is still in love with her. She is 23 years younger than him. I think it was a MLC & that she is looking for financial security but he says she adores him.
      I gave him lots of chances to return but he wouldn’t or couldn’t despite saying I was his best friend & soulmate!
      Even with a lot of self work & a counsellor, it is very hard to bounce back from this. It’s a hard knock to my self esteem. The age gap is a real issue for me & the belief that he is loving her more than he ever loved me.
      Current divorce proceedings have stirred up a lot of emotions that I thought I had dealt with.
      I am hoping that time will heal – but how much time is needed after a 32yr marriage falls apart like this?

    • Charleygeorge

      For them to see the affair partner in this true light – don’t they have to be willing to admit all of this about themselves? Isn’t that really the hard part?

    • Antiskank

      It’s interesting to see these old posts come up again. I remember this one well and it still strikes a chord. My CH carried on his fantasy without her participation for years after.
      It has been 6 and a half long torturous years since DDay for me. I have not visited this site for the last few or even read the email posts as they just stir up so many painful memories and emotions. Every once in a while I read “the latest” and feel that connection with people that understand. This is a wonderful site for support, but for me, I think it kept me believing that the cheater at some point realizes what they’ve done, feels remorse and wants to fix what they have destroyed. That is not the case for me. He seems to feel that I should carry on as if it never happened, ask no questions, and be grateful that he is “here”!
      My marriage has not improved but we still reside at the same address. It’s really not much more than that. I have lost all hope of improvement but due to finances and family obligations we have not separated. Even after all this time he does not show any desire to accept responsibility beyond admitting it happened. I don’t know if he is over her and seriously doubt he feels anything for me. He has lied for so long that it’s hard to know if anything he says is truthful. He doesn’t see why I would be so hurt!!! Still minimizing, excusing, still can’t be bothered to even talk to me.
      It certainly takes a strong person to get through this, doesn’t it?!

      • Doug

        Hey AntiSkank! Long time no hear. Over the years I’ve talked to many people and unfortunately there are lots of folks who are experiencing similar things with their unfaithful spouses. They refuse to address the elephant in the room and have chosen to sweep things under the rug – as if it was nothing. And by doing this it pretty much blocks any chance for real healing. I feel for you and hope that you can find happiness!

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