Couple having an argumentThe other night I was kind of bored with what was on TV so I snuggled up close to the fireplace with my trusty IPad and began “flicking” my index finger for a bit.  Eventually I came across a book I had ordered months ago which I had completely forgot about.  It’s called, “WTF Are Men Thinking?” by Christopher Brya and Miguel Almaraz.

I read through it pretty quickly and thought it was a pretty enlightening and entertaining book so I thought I’d share a small piece of what the book had to offer.

And please know that this isn’t meant to be a post about what women have to do to “win their man” or anything like that.  To me, any chance to get inside a man’s head (and vice versa) can be helpful in a relationship.  Plus, I thought the information was sort of fun!

First a little background…

The authors maintain a research panel through their business that consists of over 2 million people and they recruited thousands who agreed to participate in their online survey.

They surveyed US and Canadian women aged 18 to 72 to gather information on the questions they would most like to ask men regarding relationships, dating, sex, communications and more.  Over 1000 women submitted questions and in the end over 250,000 men answered them – and a book was born. 

The book contains well over 150 questions ranging from “Why are men so messy?” to “Why do men cheat?”  The answers can provide women with an inside look from the man’s perspective and how men view women, approach relationships and think about their interactions with them.

The authors feel that the end result is that you should have a better understanding not only of how men think, act, and react, but also how you can use this understanding to improve your own life in your relationship with the opposite sex for years to come.

The Categories…

  • Communication
  • Dating
  • Romance
  • Sex
  • Marriage
  • Work

I’m going to save the specific category questions for another post and concentrate more on the ending of the book today.  It wraps up with a section that summarizes men’s thoughts when they had the opportunity to  sound off without having to answer specific questions in a free forum format. From those thoughts, the authors came up with the top five list (in no particular order) of what annoys men about women.  

1.  Sex/Physical

2.  Money

3.  Attachment/Relationships/Baggage

4.  Communication/Nagging/Emotions

5.  Control/Change

I’ll touch a little on each one.

sex and intimacySex/Physical


According to the authors, this topic came up quite a bit and simply put, men have a beef about sex for a few reasons. Here are some of the biggies:

Don’t volunteer to reveal your sexual past. Keep them guessing as to how you learned that special technique of yours. If your husband does want to know, he will ask you.

Don’t make men ask for sex.  As you’re probably aware men are sexual creatures and there have been several studies that have shown that men think about sex every so many seconds of the day. The men that were contacted in the survey said that just because you are okay with not ‘putting out,’ it does not mean they are okay with it. They feel that making them work for sex is silly and taking a little initiative is very appealing to them.

See also  WTF are Men Thinking? Some Answers

Don’t fake an orgasm. Maybe you want your man to feel like he is a stud. Maybe you want to fake it so he will get more excited and finished earlier. Just keep this in mind: men responded countless times that they just want to satisfy you. If you fake it, they will not learn how to do that.


As the authors went through all the comments from men, one thing stood out loud and clear to them, and you may have heard this countless times before, but it bears repeating.  Your confidence will carry you, even if you’re not exactly a Victoria Secret model. If you feel sexy and act like you are, that exudes that attitude, and you will turn heads.

Oh and one more thing. Asking questions like “does this dress make me look fat?” or “which looks better?” and so on is only asking for trouble.  There is no right answer no matter what you think and men consider it a trap. This includes fishing for compliments by saying something along the lines of “I think my butt is getting bigger” or “I’m getting too old for those ______ (you fill in the blank).” In these situations, men may not always pick up on your need to be reassured that you look fine, and you’ll end up getting upset because of it.


The biggest thing that the men said on this category (and it pertains more to those who are dating) is that it’s puzzling to them that many women have fought a hard fight for equality and the chance to be independent, yet in this day and age some women still expect the guy to pay for everything.

Couple enjoying dinnerAttachments/Relationships


What man doesn’t love a woman who is into him? No man. It feeds their ego, etc. There is a limit, however, that you should be aware of when it comes to how attached you get. Getting too clingy is a big no-no.


Many of the comments from the men in the survey brought forward the obvious notion that “Prince Charming” comes in all shapes and sizes and isn’t always drop-dead gorgeous.  One man summed things up by saying, “They expect too much.  Life isn’t a romance novel.  Try having some fun instead…”


Another area where men felt obligated to comment centered around bringing baggage into the relationship.  The main premise here is that one should learn from bad past experiences, but don’t presume that every guy is going to act exactly the same.  Don’t take your past out on others who had nothing to do with those experiences.

See also  8 Communication 'Don’ts' After the Affair



Many of the questions that women in the survey had of men regarding communication were along the lines of “Why don’t you ever listen to me?” or “Why don’t you ever talk to me about your feelings?”  Sound familiar?

In asking men these questions it became clear that according to men, women are talkers. Men said that women process information through talking it out. It’s no secret that men do not process information this way.

A nice way to put it would be that men have a tendency to want the quicker version. The truth is that men really don’t want to hear about every last detail. They want to hear the main points, and if more info is needed, they will ask.

Men in the survey also told the authors that they are not mind readers, no matter how long they’ve known you. It’s not fair for you to think otherwise. So basically, if you want your husband to know something please by all means say it. If you have a question, ask it. And if you want something, tell them.

serious talkNagging

I’m sure that none of you women out there nag your husband, do you? Sure you don’t. I know I don’t. Well, for some reason this has been talked about forever by men and women throughout the ages.

So what constitutes nagging? What are its forms? And why doesn’t it work?

First of all, nagging, according to the dictionary, is a verb meaning continually faultfinding, complaining, or being petulant. It comes sweetly and innocently at first but as your aggravation grows, so does your tone.

Why doesn’t it work? Because, quite frankly, men see this as a positive reinforcement for bad behavior.  So if you nag your husband to death to paint the basement – and he eventually does – by him doing so, he is reinforcing your nagging behavior.  Works for me!


When it comes to emotions, the men that were surveyed made it clear that they want you to please keep them under control. They understand you’re an emotional being; they just don’t see that as an excuse to take it out on them.

For example, men inherently know that women like to talk things out. So there’s no question in doing it. From their perspective, it’s how you do it that’s important. Talk with your man, but remember to do so in a rational way, attempting to not get too frazzled or crazy if the conversation is emotionally charged.


Changing me

Many of the surveyed men said that their wives or partners were always looking to change them.  One man said, “It’s like they’re saying,  ‘We like you just the way you’re going to be when we’re done with you.” This sums up the feeling from many of the men that were surveyed.

See also  Affair Withdrawal: A Difficult Hurdle

In fact it seemed that most men almost anticipate that some degree of change will come when they get married; it’s just the degree of tolerance for how much.

The authors instead recommend that women should focus on why you fell for him in the first place and build on that – unless you purposely chose your husband as a “fixer-upper.”


Understanding control is a key element to all aspects of how you interact with men. Control as in knowing when not to say “I told you so.” Control as in knowing when it’s appropriate to get involved with various situations.

The majority of men in the survey said that this is a deal breaker for them. It causes some to withdraw, and even resent their partner. If you understand control, you stand a good chance of finding a relationship you both will be very happy in.

Well, that’s it for how we annoy our husbands!  I plan to follow this up sometime in the near future with some answers to some of the more reader appropriate questions that women asked in the survey.

In the meantime, I’m waiting with baited breath for the authors to put together a book about what annoys women most about men.  I imagine it will be quite lengthy!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, let me leave you with some answers to what men said they want as a gift on this special day…

vday flowersWhat’s the best gift to get a man for Valentine’s Day?

I know that sometimes I struggle with what to get Doug for Valentine’s Day, so I was interested in some insight on this as well.

The data from the survey came back that if you’re going to get a man a present for Valentine’s Day, most men said they like a gift where you take them on a date for a change (with wild sex afterwards, thank you very much!).  They said that they prefer experiences more than something wrapped up.

Sporting event tickets were also cited as a great gift. A lot of men think it’s something that you’d like to be a part of with him.  It shows that you want to be a part of something he enjoys. For me, as long as it’s not basketball or that fake wrestling, I’m good with that.

In summary it seems that men do have Valentines’ Day gift preferences but they’re pretty simple gifts, and there are many ways to provide the impact that you’re looking for in your quest to give your man a memorable Valentine’s Day gift.

For more Valentine’s Day gift and romantic ideas, click here.

So in your own experiences with your spouse or boyfriend, do any of these things that seem to annoy men, ring true in your relationship?  And how about turning the tables…What annoys you most about your husband? Let us know in the comments below!


    45 replies to "The Top Five List of What Annoys Men About Women – Straight From the Mouths of 250,000 Men"

    • exercisegrace

      Interesting. Here are my responses.

      SEX: Reveal your sexual past. It tells me a lot about you and the value you place on women. It also tells me my likelihood of catching a venereal disease. Trust me, I will ask ONLY what I need to know and I expect truthful answers.

      Usually I will expect you to initiate sex because I expect you to BE THE MAN. However, I will flirt, hint, kiss, give you lingering touches and send you suggestive texts. By the end of the day you will WANT to initiate! But do so at a decent hour. Do NOT wake me up for sex. With four kids, my ability to be able to sleep off middle of the night love-making is long gone. Having said all that, I do initiate, but I was raised by a generation that sent me the message this was somehow wrong. I may never totally get past that. Be understanding.

      If you don’t want me to fake an orgasm, then take the time of take care of me first. I will never turn you down for sex, as I enjoy it myself. I will even give you a quickie. But don’t make me lie about whether I had an orgasm after five minutes of fun.

      PHYSICAL: If you catch me fishing for compliments it’s probably because you are not offering up enough spontaneous ones. When you do, it makes me FEEL like a super-model and we both win. I will do the same for you so you can feel like superman.

      MONEY: It amazes me that men are surprised that women expect the same pay for doing the same job, and that this somehow means we don’t want to be treated like LADIES. Hold the door for me, stand when I enter the room, open my car door. I will SWOON. Paying for my meal or movie IS NOT about the cash flow. It is about romance, providing for and protecting me. It makes me feel cherished.

      COMMUNICATION: I promise to save most of my big words for my girlfriends. I will communicate with you in the most direct way possible and with as few words as possible. perhaps we could work out some hand signals. I’m a huge sports fan so this should be easy. I know referee signals and I can read plays. All kidding aside, for as verbal as we are we don’t read minds. Be direct with us too. It’s better than hearing your laundry list of complaints while trying to recover from an affair and wonder why you didn’t just TELL US these things.

      CHANGING ME: We are not the same people we were when we fell in love. We have gotten older, gotten mortgages, kids, elderly parents and stress. We SHOULD be changing and adapting our relationship. We should be taking the temperature of our marriage particularly when we are going through difficult seasons. We both have to change as our seasons and needs change. We should do this TOGETHER. It should NOT be something we force on each other. Sorry honey, but the days of sleeping in on the weekends, going where you want when you want, eating out a lot and having expensive hobbies DOES change. You are a husband and father now, and that comes with change.

      CONTROL: I think the affair established that I have NO control over you, our life or our marriage. We will hit the pause button while I try to regain trust. Luckily for me I have never wanted to change you. I loved you for who you were. I’m struggling to believe you don’t want ME to change, in light of this ugly affair. In my late forties, i am just happy I can control my bladder when I sneeze, cough and laugh. The steering wheel to your life remains firmly in YOUR hands, but if you decide to steer it off the cliff again, I am BAILING OUT.

      Well that’s it for me. The categories I didn’t comment on, I pretty much totally agree with. Hope you enjoyed my off the cuff commentary, my friends! It was intended as mostly funny with a little serious thrown in. Heaven knows I need a laugh today!

    • Peggy

      For all of the women out there that want to say, “What were you thinking?”, it has been my experience that this is a loaded question when dealing with after the affair issues. If pushed too far you may, as I have, find out exactly what he is/was thinking and it may not be real nice. Depending on the maturity level of your husband at the time you may get, “I just wanted to F–k someone else.” This kind of information is obvious, but once you actually hear it coming out of your husband’s mouth, it will never leave you and have a detrimental affect on your new issues of self-esteem and self worth.

      Then there is the emotional side of things. I keep hearing that men aren’t as emotional as women and that just isn’t true. Once that emotional side of a man comes out, especially after he has had an affair and is feeling guilty, you may find that you are dealing more with his emotions than your own. Not that it isn’t a good chance to get in touch with the real issues of why, but once tapped into you may be spending all your time with his emotions and yours, which should be front and center because of his affair, will go on the back burner, literally.

      I’ve read that everyone deals with their three selves, child, mature person and parent. When you are doing your best to heal from your husband’s affair the last person you want to be with is the child. Most times that’s who you are going to meet when you tap into, what are/were you thinking. Because men have been programmed to suppress their emotions, it is the child that surfaces. During this time I know I have wanted to meet the adult who can hold me and understand what is happening with me. I know the ME is emphasized, but it is the me that needs real help in regaining self worth and self esteem. Be prepared for a long visit with the child in your husband once that emotional well has been opened.

      Not that it isn’t a good thing in the long run, but talk about baggage. I would like to read the survey that proves that most men have a lot more baggage than most women. Afterall, it is the baggage we bring to the marriage that gives the CS permission to have an affair. If I did have baggage prior to his affair, I sure have more now. His baggage got us into this crises, but if my new baggage doesn’t get any air time, not much is going to be accomplished in regards to rebuilding the marriage.

      Yes, women do have a romance novel in their heads and we would really like to see that mature, masculine man when we need his shoulder to lean on. Romance novel or not, I doubt any of us want to lean on a child when we are falling apart. Men have a romance novel in their heads, too. If they didn’t then why do they need the “I’m in love” feeling to the point of having an affair? Women get a bad rap on that. We want to have the same feelings, we just want it from our husbands not some stranger at work. And maybe the men would get more sex if they played that role more often.

      And if it’s a deal breaker for men if women need to be in control all the time, then playing the hero in our romance novels would definitely break that mold. Not one of the romance novels I’ve read had the man in a fetal position when they swept the maiden off her feet and carried her to the bedroom and made crazy love to her:) I’m pretty sure most women would get real turned on and a lot more interested in sex if their adult man showed up more often.

      On the issue of control, I have found that men want their wives to have most of the control. They literally encourage it and then complain about it. I’d like men to be more specific about the control issues. Just exactly what do they want to be in control of? Most of us would gladly share control of the finances, house chores, child raising, food cooking, etc. From a women’s point of view, I would love to hand all of that over so I can come home from my hard day at work to a spotless house, a warm meal and smiling children. I know I’m sounding sexist here, but come on. How many men are there that actually do share the control of the daily life we are both living? Why do you think we read romance novels?

      • exercisegrace

        Peggy, you nailed several key points. I also believe men are much more emotional than we think. I also believe men that cheat are more so, because somewhere along the way their emotional development got stunted. They failed to develop the ability to discuss emotions and needs in a healthy way. If they had this ability they would never turn to an affair with some whore. SO. Talk about baggage! Due to some very serious stressors in our life, my husband didn’t feel as (for want of a better word) “babied” as he usually did. His “friend” saw an opening and took it. She lavished the extra attention on him he felt he was lacking in that season of our life. My needs weren’t getting met either, but I had the emotional maturity to understand that we were going through a rough season and things would normalize if we just toughed it out. I agree that after the affair, he is as emotional as I am. Very sensitive and desperate to hear both the words and see the proof that I still love him and that I will stay in the marriage. You aren’t kidding about the child coming out.

        You also knocked the control issue OUT OF THE PARK. It was seriously an AH HA moment for me when I read your post. Gradually over the course of twenty two years of marriage, my husband shrugged more and more control off onto me. As time went on, my support took the form of being the one to pay the bills, run the errands, drive the kids to all their sports and school events, take them to the doctor, give little ones baths, and in the year or so before his affair I couldn’t even leave the house without arranging childcare or taking the little ones with me. Admittedly, he built and ran a successful business that took a lot of time, energy and effort. However, that was his dream and his choice. I supported it fully. When he wasn’t working, he was taking a break. I didn’t want all of the control of the house and decision making regarding the kids. It just slid over to me gradually. It is sick how this turned from supportive to controlling when a whore arrived on the scene. Had he wanted more control or say, I would have handed it back gladly. I feel very resentful at times when I think I was taking care of his kids, and running the entire household while he ran around with his whore. They took business trips together and ate out at very nice restaurants while I was home playing single mom. For over a year, he shrugged off most of his responsibilities of husband and father, and I picked that load up.

    • EyesOpened

      EG – I thought your responses were brilliant!

      Peggy – I’m reading your words and realising I am behaving like a child at the moment. My husband would admit that I have had to deal with his child for years and there is a bit of me that is still so cross and resentful about that. We have both worked so hard (him more than me), but I literally feel frightened of giving in and giving 100% because when I was doing that, it got me to a very bad place. I spent years enabling, allowing him and even unconsciously encouraging him to control , dictate and decide every aspect of our life. I don’t allow it any more- and he swears my AP is dealt with and over in his mind but I just can’t believe that – and I’m not sure I believe that we won’t return to the ‘old us’ if I let down my defences for even a second. I want our counsellor to move in with us – then I’d feel safe :-). I think I have become unreasonable with expectations of utter perfection from him. Any ‘glimmer’ of (not even sure what to put here…. Nastiness? Irritability? Whinginess? Selfishness? Unpredictability ? ) Makes me stiffen and go into self protect mode for myself and the kids.

      He’s not an ogre – in fact on paper he’s beyond perfect. So what is my problem ???!!!!! It’s why the narc thread was so interesting to me – but am I the controller now? Aghhhhh so confused!

      • exercisegrace

        Just my two cents, but I think prior to an affair there are many things we tolerate. We tolerate them because none of us are perfect, and our spouses have more good qualities than bad and that makes up for it. I think it also just occurs gradually over the course of a long term relationship. I was an enabler too. I let him focus on his career and I carried the weight of the household, kids, paying bills, chauffeur duties, etc. I would have told you it was because I am a stay at home mom. In reality, he should have been expected to do certain things to help out. Simply bringing in the paycheck should not be his main job in our family, although I appreciate and acknowledge his hard work. Infidelity just changes things. Period. You have to negotiate a new reality while healing. This does not necessarily make you a narcisisst.

        Will the affair ever be over and dealt with for the betrayed spouse? Yes and no. As time goes on, it takes up much, much less space in my brain. Healing is a long road, that’s why they say it takes 2-5 years. But part of what my husband traded in when he chose to have an affair, was my absolute, unwavering trust. My belief that he was incapable of betraying me in this way.

        What we feel the strong need to control is our own feelings of safety. An affair demonstrates to us in a graphically cruel way that we do NOT have control over our lives and safety. Our spouses and our marriages are NOT impenetrable fortresses. People can make horrible choices and those choices can crush us. And we are left knowing we have to somehow reconcile that with our love for this person. There, now doesn’t that sound easy and straightforward? No? Not to me either!

        • Peggy

          I have this reoccurring dream and it is nothing more than feelings that I wake up to. Once I’m awake I see the images. I tell myself to not dream this dream every night before I go to sleep. But it still comes to me when I’m never prepared for it. This dream has a lot to do with why I can’t sleep.

          The feeling is just what you described. It’s a lightness. There is light everywhere. An innocence. I’m in my house that I lost because of my husband’s affair. I’m surrounded by the hundreds of birds I fed and I’m smiling and loving the moment. I walk through this house that is not huge, but larger where I am now by far. It’s opened and beautiful because I made it beautiful. It’s my reflection of who I was. I look through with joy the beautiful windows I had in my house. Everything that was beautiful in my home I made with my own hands. I walk through the beautiful white kitchen that I created. Then I go outside and look at my beautiful trees and I love them so much. My pool is glistening and my pet duck is swimming there, coming towards me because he knows I’m going to feed him. He can’t fly and he was born in the my yard. A neighborhood cat hurt him so his wings are deformed, but I love him, my dogs love him and my cat loves him. They all live in harmony in my yard. And everyone is safe there. Then I walk into the house and I do all the chores I love to do because it makes my home even more beautiful when it’s clean and I sit in front of my easel and start to paint. I have beautiful music playing and I’m in complete calm and joy.

          Then I wake up to my now reality. My home is a box so small that there is only one room to sit in. I’m out of place. I feel like I’m surrounded by insane people because everyone else is fine, but me. I realize that it’s me that’s insane now, not them. They are just normal damaged people trying to survive this world and I don’t fit in anywhere. I have to remember that I had to take my baby duck of 6 years to the pond down from my old house to fend for himself with the other ducks that can fly. I have no trees to look at. The windows in this house are ugly. The kitchen is small and dark.

          I really do try with everything I have to find any joy in my like. I really do, but there just isn’t any. I have no place to paint and it’s a struggle anyway because one of the first things my husband said to me when I asked the horrible question of why was that he lost respect for me because I didn’t make enough money with my art. He’s not creative so he had no idea how that would destroy me. I have to smile at my granddaughter because she’s so wonderful and doesn’t need to carry or see any of my pain. It’s not her fault that at 16 her Mother decided a boyfriend was more important to her than raising her daughter. Also a reflection of me because her Mother is my daughter and I can’t understand any of it. I have to smile at my husband because if I show my pain he will use it to be inactive and not make any money because of his depression. I have to gear myself for one more day to get through.

          Nothing will ever be the same. I know I won’t ever be the same and I’m feeling the age of 62 and wondering why I had to live long enough to experience such sadness. The love I had for my husband prior to his affair was so wonderful and I know I will never feel that total freedom again. It’s been three years of hell. I’m working very hard to find some sense of happiness every day. But today, after the dream, it’s not going to happen. It over powers me.

          How ironic that I can actually feel jealously for those who have addictions. If I did, today I could get high or plunge into a fog of nothingness. But I’ve always prided myself for having both feet firmly planted on the ground. When people like ourselves who have been givers our entire life are faced with such betrayal what we find is that we have surrounded ourselves with takers and there is no one around who gives a shit about us unless we have something to give them. And I’m all out of gifts these days. I can barely give myself a shower. And then my Mother calls and I have to switch into being what she needs because I gave up on her years ago and know there’s nothing for me in her but her need for me to be there for her. Another taker. At least I don’t have to share space with her everyday. I just have to listen and talk pleasantly and satisfy her enough so that I can get off the phone without another attack. She’s 88 years old and she’s not going to change.

          What’s not fair is that I have to change ME now. My husband has learned his lesson. He’s changed and still looking for that innocent and loving wife he betrayed to come back to him and she doesn’t exists anymore.

          I’m sorry for this depressing post, but it’s, if nothing else, real. I know all of you know how this is because all of you have and are still living in it. When I read the post that talked about a couple where the husband finally got it and because of the length of time his wife had to endure his not getting it, she was done when he was now ready to begin to work on their relationship. The percentages were against her to find another relationship where there was no affair because she only had 50% chance of finding another man who wouldn’t cheat on her so she might as well stay with what she has now because he wasn’t going to cheat again. Not a real optimistic scenario.

          I’m the person that stood up for the lovely young receptionist in the company I worked for because she had been passed over for promotions because her boss, a woman, was prejudiced and the young girl was black. I got fired because this horrible woman who was giving me the promotion decided I needed to go. I came back for an exit interview and told the owners what had taken place and they gave the young girl her promotion, fired that horrible prejudiced woman and offered my job back. I’m telling this story not so everyone can say, wow, what a great person you are. I telling this story because I’ve always stood for justice yet I’m staying in a situation where there is no justice at all and I’ve lost respect for myself. I’m told that I need to work to find a place of peace in my marriage and inside I feel as if I’m having to give up all my moral standards of what is right and wrong. I can’t believe that my lesson to learn in all this mess is to let go of my standards. Are they too high? Have I been wrong my entire life?

          Tomorrow will be better. I won’t have my cruel dream tonight. I’ll keep fighting to be a better, more positive person. I’ll work hard at finding joy. Today I will listen to a positive book on soul growth and sit in front of my easel and create something beautiful. I will remember that I have not been a perfect person in this life either. That people do make mistakes and are forgiven for them and I need to be one of those people who can find that forgiveness when it’s not easy. When it is a challenge. When it does matter. I love all of you.

          • Suzie Suffers

            You spoke right to my heart….Everyone wants a happy face, but my heart broke over and over with my husband leaving me and starting up with woman after woman…..then coming back….and I took him back because I loved him….my therapist said….how can you love someone that treats you like that….and this was after 30 years of his being an alcoholic/pot smoker…functional and very cunning in him hiding it…..but he got sober…..and the affairs…emotional and sexual….got worse with all the available AA and Alanon women needing his “loving” support……but he forgot that he needed to giving that support to his family and wife first………It’s hard breaking that this is where it all ends up…..years of struggle and he finally decided he needed to divorce me for not recovering fast enough….and of course there was another Alanon woman on the horizon….he didn’t end up with her, she was too smart and rich for him, but he found another poor soul that was at his level of brokedness in order to share their lives…..he’s been with her for 2 years now…….he had filed for divorce but been dropped by the last Alanon woman….but he found the newest one within weeks…………..35 years is a long time…..

          • Jrs

            I’m so sorry, Peggy. Your post was very touching. I can visualize where you live now vs. where you used to live. My home is a very important and almost sacred place to me, and I’m so sorry you don’t have the beautiful home and life that you once did. If your art illustrates as well as your words do, you are surely a wonderful artist. Hugs to you.

    • CBb

      Peggy, I feel for you.

      We are victimized in a sense by men we love and they expect life will go back to normal.

      Doesn’t happen that way.

      Your husband’s depression is making this even harder for you. He could have easily turned to drugs or drinking but chose something that emotionally devastates you. I am sure you would better understand his drinking. But not this.

      It sounds as though your life is full of challenges right now. But know that people need you and rely on you for your strength. I hope you have someone to talk to about this. It can help.

      I am only 90 days past the day of reckoning and finding out about my H and his EA/OW. The good news is that he is afraid I am going to leave him. I hope not. He was a good person before this mid life crisis took over. I pray every day. I am a wreck.

      I wish you luck and hope you can find help and get past this. Your blog friends care.

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

      Peggy, I am so, so sorry for your loss and for all the difficult, painful places you find yourself in this life.

      I am not an artist, but I think I understand how it feels to lose a cherished dream.

      I tried and tried with my marriage, but when all was said and done my love and commitment and forgiveness was not enough. My ex is just too broken and F-ed up, and he couldn’t pull himself out of the hole.

      Choosing to love and care for your granddaughter and mom are beautiful things. I pray you will find the peace and comfort in the life you have now, but I understand, too, how some days and weeks are just hard. I have been close to the black hole myself. Don’t go there.

    • CBb

      Question for you ladies.

      Is our emotional devastation going to turn our H off? Mine has committed to staying. But it is only 90 days from discovery. I cry days on end (I try not to show it in front of him).

      My fear is one day, down the road, he will tire of this and bail. I was stronger when I was angry b/c I always said if you cheat, I am gone. Now I am trying to stay but it goes against my nature.

      I see a counselor who is wonderful. I just need to understand how to help myself. Suggestions truly appreciated.

      • Peggy

        Please do not hold your pain, anger or frustration inside of you. I can say from my experience that I have lost 1/2 the volume of my hair I had prior to his affair. I lost 25lbs in one month from my grief. I look at least 10 years older. Do not let this fester inside of you. He needs to know what he has created and own it and do whatever is needed to gain your love and trust back to him. If he leaves because he gets tired of it then let him go. He will do it again and you will be faced with even more pain. The statistics are out there to prove what I have said to be true. I’m not saying you should take up boxing and let him have it, but it’s not healthy for you to hold your feelings inside. You can develop major health issues if you do. In the end he is the only one that you need to hear your story because he is a co-creator. Remember, there is only fear and love. I’ve heard that for years when I didn’t know any fear other than fast cars while walking across the street. Now I know that everything I’m suffering from is based in fear. I hate it but I understand it.

        What eyesopened said in her post about being afraid to let love back in because there is and never will be again that freedom to totally trust that he won’t go back to his old ways is true for at least most of us. I know that there are times when I’m having a good day and I sometimes get irritated that he is enjoying me so much, but when I have my bad days he’s no where to be found. Being taken for granted or the real ugly ‘used’ is a fear. Everything we are feeling that is negative is based on fear because we know how bad it can be and we know we can’t feel that again and survive. He needs to know this and then you will give him the opportunity to show his true character and his true love for you.

        You are early into this. Your emotions are going to be up and down for a while. The timing has everything to do with how you H is responding to you. There are stages to grief and that’s what we are and have been going through. They don’t come in any order and they repeat in no order either. What you are experiencing is a severe loss. A trauma. They have initials for it now. PISD. Post Infidelity Stress Disorder. I can be sitting at my computer with three people around me talking to each other and one can just accidentally touch my shoulder and I have literally jumped out of my chair. So embarrassing. I can’t go into a card section of a store without feeling the sense of passing out. People look at you real strangely when you are obviously having a problem entering into a card isle. But it’s real. He needs to know the depth of your pain before he can be of any help to you at all. He needs to walk in your shoes. Impossible, but he at the least needs to understand with true empathy where he has taken you and what he is expected to do to help you. The lucky ones are helped by their husbands/wives and those that aren’t usually end up in divorce court or ill.

        Know that you are worth his effort and don’t let the fear of him leaving you inhibit your healing.

        • Peggy

          There are a lot of websites online that could help you to help yourself. Dr. Huizenga is a good one to check out. If you google recovering from an affair you will find so many places to investigate. There are exercises to remove the images and ways to handle the anger. But what all of them say is true. There has to be communication and answers. You determine what questions need answering. Linda and Doug’s program on healing from an affair is a good one, too. My husband actually listened to the Mp3’s and said he had a breakthrough. That was two years ago and he hasn’t done one thing Doug told him to do yet, but your husband may actually take it seriously and learn how he can help you.

      • Paula

        CBb. One of the things that is absolutely key to survival, at least of your marriage, is for the cheater to feel the pain of the betrayed. It sounds simple, you were terribly betrayed, that must hurt, huh? Doesn’t everyone know that? No, they don’t, the words are really just that, words. People who have not experienced this devastating loss really are just speaking platitudes, making soothing noises. Mine was extremely remorseful and sorry, but he said it took him at least two years, probably closer to three, to fully feel the pain I feel – and that was through him SEEING and LIVING WITH my pain, talking, comforting, learning more about himself (he had ended his affair well before my discovery, and he had already started down the path, on his own, of finding out who he is, and why he acted that way – an affair was NOT a part of how he saw himself, until it happened to him – for that period of time in our lives) on a daily basis, not by me hiding it away, in case it offended his delicate sensibilities! I was lucky, he didn’t get angry if I was hurting severely, he felt ashamed, tortured, and deep, deep regret for not knowing the level of pain this causes, before he unleashed this on us and our family. It is common for those who are betrayed to initially fear the cheater leaving if we seem too hurt, too damaged, not the strong person we saw ourselves as before this, if we don’t appear to have our previously counted-on resilience. But guess what, they might leave anyway, what kind of prize are they if you have to reduce who you are, and suppress your real feelings, so as not to upset poor, widdle, ole lonely/unappreciated/sorry/(fill in the blanks here of the lies/story they created to allow them the self-permission to cheat) manny – it is THEIR problem, THEIR weakness, and you are not responsible for their choices. They need to be your healer, this is really hard, hard territory.

        Peggy, my heart hurts for you, I understand, I feel some similarities, but as you said, every day is another one to try to create/find/chase the elusive peace and hopefully, eventually, a little joy, let’s keep hoping and working together x.

    • CBb

      My H is doing everything possible to correct this. Answered questions (all except for one with complete honesty on whether he loved her). Beyond that he is open honest and trying hard.

      However he ended this EA in the summer and it started up again in the fall for 2-3 months. When I found out about the second time around I asked him to leave. That is when he felt the pain I had been feeling.

      So we are moving forward.

      But I still have the trauma associated with the EA. I love him and he has always treated me well, as I have him.

      My fear is a repeat of this.

      Therapy helps but still leaves me with doubts. I know I can hurt again and sometimes I think I am trying to avoid that.

      And when do I stop shedding tears over this hurt?

      I tell my H how I feel and he is sympathetic, helpful and my cheerleader. And profusely apologetic.

      How do I get past this? Is it all a matter of time?

    • Paula

      CBb, mine too. Very honest, answered every question honestly, and openly, even the terribly hard ones! He worked hard from the start of this, the only thing he didn’t do “right” was change his phone number, and we were badly harassed by her for two years after D-day. He now knows this was his way of trying to control the situation, he was “managing” her (not so well, actually!) There was also the kind of “addiction” thing – he had identified that his affair was like an addiction, and he felt the best way to face it was to not avoid it, to face it, but it was the wrong way to help ME. We separated four times, the third time, was FOREVER (I really thought so) and he says he wept buckets every night he was apart from me, especially as he drove off to his new housing – and I have only seen him shed tears twice ever in 25 years. I still have tearful moments, and I get your question. I was not a crier. I was strong. I tried to avoid being a crying woman over stuff, not to say I didn’t cry at times in life, just it was something I fought, saw as pretty weak, and playing the gender card poorly! I am actually a really emotional person, but felt sometimes tears just make it easy for people to dismiss you, or judge you as “just a woman.” The answer is, you never get over it – you just learn better ways to cope with this new reality that has happened in your life. Please don’t be too disheartened reading that! I thought you “got over it” too, but more than four and a half years later, it is a part of my reality, and for me, still a part of my daily thoughts. Time does help, but only if you use it well, and it sounds like you are, with love, understanding, research and good counselling. Hang in there, you are moving in the right direction, and there is no magic bullet to speed up the pain and healing process, sorry! I wish you and your lovely husband all the best in this terrible journey.

    • CBb

      I need some perspective here.

      Background – I am less than 90 days from d-day and my H is trying hard to help us get past this. We have children (not yet adults).

      We had a wonderful Valentines Day that both of us contributed to making very romantic.

      I asked my H (via text as he is away on business) what are the 3 things he wants from our marriage. First he answered with love and happiness and excitement for each other (which we have right now in our honeymoon phase and rediscovering our love and commitment to each other).

      The second response was complete trust.


      I do not believe I will ever completely trust him. The issue is he started this EA and told me about it in the summer and ended it. He was then miserable about ending it. I tried everything to change us and he told me we were happy. In the fall she started up again with him and it was serious between them. He ended our marriage twice but both times, within hours, begged me to take him back.

      I had no idea they were still seeing each other in the fall, meanwhile he was telling me he was so happy with us and how great we were doing.

      My question – is he just a selfish person to ask for this? And will I ever ever trust him like that again? Or even close to complete trust?

      If I cannot do this, and I am surei cannot, then is this a deal breaker?

    • Gizfield

      Cbb, just curious, what was his third reques? I will say pretty much all cheaters want their relationships to go back to where they were before they cheated in the trust department. I haven’t seen that most betrayed spouses on here were jealous, distrustful, snoopy, etc. before they were cheated on. I certainly was NOT, and you probably weren’t either. I gave him trust he did not earn, he abused it, and now he wants it back. Not happening. Did you ask him what “complete trust” consists of? Go where you want, do what you want, no questions asked? Thats not trust, thats lack of accountability, imo.

    • CBb

      Gizfield, the 3rd was complete confidence in our marriage to be able to talk about anything.

      As I am sure there will never, ever be complete trust (as in what am I an idiot-I trusted you and you went back with her a second time), what do I do now? Tell him the truth? Hope that someday the trust is repaired, though it will never be the same.

      I think he is looking for his old life back. Free reign. Hang out and socialize after work. Meet friends in the city for drinks. Business commitments in the city after work. I have already told him no to a recent request and that I am not sure those requests will ever get a “yes” response. And that’s how his EA started. Met this girl in a bar, hired her to work with him(at the time totally legit) and it escalated to an EA, not once but twice.

      So what do I do now? He knows where I stand on the after work socializing issue. But he wants complete trust which I know will not happen. I know myself that well. You destroyed what you had and now there is an expectation or hope to have it restored. Fully restored.

      I am not sure how that could have been in his top 3 things of what he wants from our marriage. Seems like a longshot if you ask me.

      I need serious advice on this one.

    • Paula

      He just needs to know that he ruined the free rein thing – permanently – CBb. If he can’t live with the poo he created in his once easy marriage (I had one of those, too, no questions asked, complete freedom, so easy, breezy. I LOVED that, thought I was so darn lucky! Never been a jealous type. I struggle with the new system, HATE that it is necessary – but mine has put the rules in place for himself, as he felt and understood the permanent damage done) that is never an option again. If he doesn’t like it, then leave now, HE changed the rules, and HE has to live with the consequences. Or leave. If he doesn’t understand this now – he sounds like one of the good ones, who wants it to work – he will, and if he doesn’t come to this conclusion himself, you will need to repeat it to him, again and again, until he does get what he has done – PERMANENT damage to your sense of safety. I Trust is never fully restored, but transparency, and accountability can certainly help to mend it enough to carry on. Things are forever changed, and no use whinging about it, because he created the need for the new rules by being a stupid, selfish, douche (mine too!)

    • CBb

      Thank you Paula. I agree with everything you said.

      I was same as you and never questioned anything and had complete confidence in ourcrelationship.

      So now I hate what I have been forced to become – suspicious, a gatekeeper on time and place (though he has willingly volunteered all the information) and a distrustful wife.

      I guess I am fearful this will happen again and am trying to prevent it. So if I know I will never fully trust again, what do I tell my H in response to his request for complete trust? Do I now tell him that?

      So confused on this.

    • Peggy

      Of course he wants to go back to his old life. He’s getting off with no consequences.

      One of the therapists that I read said he didn’t believe in forgiveness. He believed in compensation. He said forgiveness is not completely possible and compensation is tangible.

      He’s lucky you haven’t insisted that he change jobs or move closer to home so you can keep a better eye on him. There is no going back, period. He needs to get this real soon. Like Paula said, he changed the game and now he needs to accept the consequences and pay the compensation, i.e., no after work drinks with the guys (girls), being completely transparent and that means you have all his passwords to everything electronic that he has access to. That means work as well.

      This process that was put into place by HIM has caused your mistrust. He doesn’t get to say, gosh, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be a good boy now and you can trust me. Bullshit! We all know trust is earned. I, too, had complete trust in my husband, never jealous of any of woman. He used to come home from work and bitch about the women he had to work with and I was the one that shopped for them at Christmas, even the girfriend he was having an affair with for 4 years.

      When he changed jobs he started doing the same thing. He would describe the women in his office as short and round and unattractive. Men are so stupid. Mine is in Real Estate and they plaster pictures of themselves all over the internet. I called him on it and that stopped. And I also stopped asking, but I did make him move to another area of the office where he was surrounded by men only.

      We can’t control anything the minute they leave the house. But we can attach GPS systems to their phones if suspicion is strong. I can say this for a fact that it took me a while after D-Day to trust my intuition, but I have been right on for months now. If your gut says something isn’t right, it isn’t right. It’s not being paranoid. It’s being intuitive.

      I would suggest you think long and hard about compensation. You can come up with compromise. How about you meeting him for drinks with his friends after his work day? If you aren’t included in social situations, I’d say it’s a deal breaker for you. If he wants this to work out he needs to understand that his game changer changed the real game for good and introduce him to the new rules.

      Yes, you do tell him that you may never regain total trust in him because he abused the total trust you had in him. Trust is earned and even though you would be so happy to have that trust back it will take time. A long time and it depends completely on how he handles himself from this day forward. It’s the truth and he deserves that just as much as you do.

    • Gizfield

      Thanks, Cbb. The thing with cheaters is that they think they are the victims and that the betrayed spouse is doing something to them. Wrong, you did it to yourself. They are totally selfish. Does my husband REALLY think I enjoy wondering whether he is actually where he says he is or doing what he said heis doing? I’m not the one offering to go get breakfast so he could text a whore. Or coming home late so he could stop by a whores house on the way home. I actually enjoyed thinking I had found a MAN I could trust, not a child who had to be watched. After someone lies on an extended basis, I dont believe them anymore, end of story. Hate it for him, but even more for me. And you. and anyone else who has been betrayed then treated like they are crazy for mistrusting them. Really?

    • Gizfield

      Also, in my personal opinion, married men (or women) do not need to be spending very much time without their spouse in a bar. Nothing good comes of it so why do it ? Luckily, I think employers look down on this more than they did in the past. My husband is in a band, plays in bars exclusively, and the amount of whoring is stupendous. He invited his girlfriend out to see him while I sat home with our baby daughter. Just disgusting.

    • Strengthrequired

      I just finished watching a show on TV over here in the land of oz, called “wicked love” a true story of infidelity, and the murder of the w by the ow. The ow strangled the w and left her in the trunk of the w car, having driven it away from a house. The w was not found for 4 days, when they found her the police realised she was still alive, she remained on life support for five months.
      On the day of her funeral, the cs did not go, but had called people, filmed his last words, and hung himself, apparently by accident.
      The ow was sentenced to prison. Turned out the coroner had came to a judgement that the cs was also involved in his w murder.
      I have to say, had me in tears, it really touched my heart, and shows just how bad affairs are.
      How many lives are destroyed by stupid actions.

    • Strengthrequired

      Well my h has been so good having the gps on his phone, so I can see where he is, yet I’m finding I am looking at it too much. Sometimes I jump to conclusions too. It is actually driving me nuts, I don’t like feeling like I am his parole officer or something checking in on where he is. It is too much. Yes it makes me feel good that he has done this for me, yet how is this healthy?
      I want to live my life and just not care anymore. At times I think this gps is more trouble than it is worth. I’m not his mother, I can’t control what he is going to do, or where he goes. I find that I don’t like myself for using it.
      Crazy isn’t it, something that is supposed to make me feel good, and feel at ease, which it does at times, yet it also feels not so good.
      Am I the only one here that feels this way?

      What I would give just to feel normal again.

      • Strengthrequired

        I think watching that tv show today, was not a good thing for me to watch…

    • Strengthrequired

      Not sure what’s going on today, but movie on tonight, crazy stupid love, with Steve carrell. He is a bs. This man decides he wants to help him, with his image. One comment, that got me. ” your wife cheated on you because you lost sight of the man you are”. Hmmmm…

    • CBb

      Strengthrequired, I agree with u on the GPS on the phone. It may be there but what is the result when we use it?

      It makes us feel bad having to get down to that level. I have decided not to go there. It will not make me feel better or heal.

      Here is a funny story. I have my H’s email accounts. I saw he emailed himself a picture of a rose. Thought it was suspicious behavior. Decided not to say anything. Turns out he put a slide show together for me as part of my anniversary gift. One of the photos was of the rose. So I would have come off looking stupid AND ruined the surprise.

      I think this is all part of the trust issue and us (women) trying to prevent this from happening again. Maybe it is also a control issue as well.

      And why I believe staying in the relationship is harder than ending it.

      We now have emotional baggage we did not have before. And stress and anxiety over all this.

      My therapist has a few words of advice. If 2 people really want the relationship to work and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can result in a better relationship than they had before. He has clients who are living proof. I have friends who had friends who separated and got back together and have a wonderful marriage 10 years later. I try to hold true to that. Maybe this can work out for us.

      Too bad it takes time. And healing.

    • Strengthrequired

      Cobb, it is all about trust. It’s about finding a way that will help you trust sooner, rather than later. Yet what annoys me, is that here we are wanting so desperately to trust again, you end up feeling more like a detective, watching every move. It’s draining. It just feels like too much hard work. I don’t like what his ea has done to me, I was not like this there was never a reason. I just want to not care for a while lol.

    • CBb

      Strengthrequired, I agree. I am mentally tired from this crap and it has just started for me. I need to figure out if I can live with someone who is a liar and a cheater. That is therapy talking.

      Welcome to our lives. This is where we are. Living with the worst kind of relationship.

      I want to know how long it took Linda and Doug to get to stage 4 and move past this.

      And does the trust come back and the relationship move back into some of the ways it used to be. If possible. Those are my big questions.

    • Strengthrequired

      Cbb, I think I would be able to trust more, but the delay for me is that my h and I are apart 5 nights a week, due to our business, and trying to get back on our feet. 8-9 months after my h was came out dday, we moved far away, yet we didn’t have the funds to move the business, so he stays there and comes home weekends.
      I can’t wait to truly feel like I have my life back, but it is hard with us being apart all the time.
      Hopefully someday soon we will start being a proper family again, I think when that happens, trust will follow. Here’s hoping. Lol

    • CBb

      So last night we had a huge explosion via phone. H is away on business and I found out one of the young single girls he works with is also at this conference/event.

      H never mentioned it.

      I exploded. I do not think there is anything going on as she lives in a different state and they just work together, however, I was furious he did not tell me in the interest of “transparency” that he has promised.

      Men just do not f’ing get it I swear. His reaction? I do not trust him. That is when I saw red I was so mad. You are right pal, I do not trust you. Get that through your head.

      I am starting to wonder how long this recovery phase or phase 3 will last. Every week I have a repeat conversation over how things have changed, what the fall out is, etc. Does he think things will go back to normal in 60 days because now he is trying?

      What about the 6 months that I tried and he did nothing AND continued to see her?

      Needing advice here – any and all appreciated. I am starting to feel beaten down.

      • Peggy

        The answer to your question is YES he does think things will go back to normal in short order. And YES he does not get it. My H took 3 years before he even started to get it. He was just waiting until I got over it. He never said that, but that’s what he was doing. Very few and I repeat VERY FEW get it at all. The reason the divorce rate is so high after an affair is because of this exact issue. They don’t get it. And in your case I wouldn’t trust him with any female on any business trip and please don’t make the mistake of assuming that nothing is going on just because they work together. A lot of us are dealing with affairs with co-workers.

        Whatever phase 3 is there is no time limit on any of this. It depends solely on your H getting it or if you are one of the really lucky ones that can look past his horrible behavior and pretend nothing has happened, you are going to be going through and in circles with all the stages for a while.

        When I read what therapists call transparency they say the CS should let you know where he is, what time he’s coming home and be there, etc. For me that meant nothing. He called me constantly from work and always called before he came home or when he had a “late night appointment”. He even called after being with the OW and asked if he needed to pick anything up from the store before he got home. And he did the same thing as yours has. He didn’t get that omission was the same as lying. He just didn’t tell me that he was placed in a very small cubicle with a very attractive younger co-worker at the new job. And this was a month ago. I’ve been going through this for over 3 years. And he had an affair with a co-worker for 4 years. He said it didn’t mean anything to him and that I needed to accept that he worked in an industry where there were more women than men. I told him to move his desk or I was gone. And he knew I was serious so he moved.

        My advise to you is to get tough. Obviously and this is me assuming because I have no idea what your complete situation is, he hasn’t taken any of it seriously. He knows he did a boo boo and probably thinks you will come around to accepting what he needs because it is his job afterall. If he wants his marriage in tack he has to accept that he is going to be under the microscope for a long time. He has no right to even suggest that you should or could trust him. He has proven that he isn’t yet trustworthy because of his omission last night. If he had gotten it he would have known that not telling you about the co-worker was considered a lie by omission. Every time he lies you get to go back to day one again and all the stages repeat themselves.

        What you are dealing with is a child who got caught cheating and lying and now is grounded. If you don’t get tough you are really going to suffer and it is you that needs help from him so that you can trust again.

        I really think men believe because we are women that we don’t trust on a good day so our not trusting them isn’t that big a deal. They want our trust because they can remember how much fun that was and it was also real easy before they had the affair. We want trust back because we felt alive and happy when we had it. It’s a very big deal when it’s gone.

    • Gizfield

      amen Peggy.! during our conversation this morning he said ” you don’t trust me.” I said damn right I don’t trust you. you don’t lie to someone for
      years and have them trust you. then he said I’m not going to be asked a bunch of questions all the time. I said I will ask you anything I want, anytime I want. then he said, ” you never did trust me.” I said that is b*******, and you know it.” prior to his cheating, I had never looked at his phone, his email, or questioned anything he told me, like where he was, etc. He had total trust, he has lost it, and now he misses it. All through his own actions. that’s why they are so pissed off.

    • Gizfield

      oh and the fact that they know it’s not coming back.

    • CBb

      Amen Peggy. I think you are wise and spot on. Maybe the fact that you have been dealing with this for years puts you in the driver’s seat on this.

      We will see what happens when he returns home. It should be interesting.

      And omission is lying. Plain and simple. And that is what I have been dealing with. But now he either tells me of his own free will, without me asking or checking, or what do we have?

      It will be interesting to see if he can do this. I suspect a few years down the road he will get tired of this arrangement and he will bail. Unreal expectations on his part will not lead him down the path of happiness and fulfillment. I am certain.

      And, of course, they never acknowledge they created this mess. They act like children.

      Trust me, I will raise my sons to be better than this. Even my older son who is in high school has more sense not to tell outsiders private family information. Too bad my H did not have that sense.

      • Jrs

        CBb – I am dealing with a somewhat similar situation in that things just seem to not get told to me. Those texts you got from the young intern that you never mentioned? The fact that you went out to lunch with a female co-workers, you both drank beer, shared an appetizer and you picked up the tab, yet I didn’t know that until I saw the credit card entry with an awfully pricey lunch? My DDays were almost 4 years ago. (I had two, also. He ‘stopped seeing her’ but really didn’t until I found out a third time and told him to move out.

        My counselor back then told me this is a habit with him. The inability to be fully truthful, even when he’s not doing something to violate the marriage, seems to be constant. It’s little things and big things, not always regarding women. I cherish our daughters, who are still young, and they adore him. He’s a great father. I feel I continue to put up with the BS because I had a very broken childhood and do not want the same for my girls, if I can help it. So I sacrifice some of what I need in to ensure they have what they need.

        I don’t think he’s cheating on me now, but he’s also not doing much to ensure I feel secure. I told him I don’t like him sharing an appetizer, picking up the lunch tab, and the two of them having a drink at lunch. He cannot for the life of him seem to understand why that bothers me. I truly don’t believe this pattern will ever end with him. Transparency and full disclosure are terms I’ve been using for years, but I don’t always get them.

    • Peggy

      It comes back to the adult, parent, child factor every time. As soon as he starts to say anything asked yourself, who am I talking to right now. Is it the child, adult or parent. 9 times out of 10 it’s the child.

      Fog, slippery slope, bullshit to all of it. They made a conscious choice to do what they did. It’s not our fault that it didn’t work out the way they wanted it with the OW. If they want to stay married the game has changed. I should have gotten a medal for how F=—ing wonderful I was to be married to. I’m not going to be that same wonderful, trusting, giving all the time person he had because he pissed me off. He hurt me big time and I’m now going to experience what it feels like to get instead of give. I don’t want to be a bitch. In my past life I was humorous and easy to be around and attentive and caring. Now it’s his turn because I am a mess, seriously. I have more good days than bad, but when the bad come I’m useless to everyone. I hate who I have become but I am getting tougher. I have regained my intuition and I guess that’s all I needed to get busy doing me with him.

      Someone said a while back and that’s why I hadn’t posted for a year or so because she hurt my feelings, but she said stop threatening if you aren’t going to follow through with the threat. It hurt because I hadn’t, but she was right. There’s no better time than NOW to start taking back the power we used to have. We don’t have to be horrible like they were, but they all need to know that we are a person to reckon with and we aren’t playing their game anymore. Get it or get out.

      I can’t believe what I told my H this morning. It even shocked me, but after I said it I realized that I really did mean it. He has changed his job recently and has had to take a month and a 1/2 of classes to just work for this company. We are commission only. We only had three months of savings to get us through the transition. He has been saying for a while now how hard it is with this economy and both people in the relationship have to work to make it. Well I worked 12 hour days with him last year and he couldn’t have made the money without me. During that time he did nothing to help me through the mess that the job brought me and his indifference to my pain. This morning he’s now getting stressed because our money is running out. I’ve been keeping him up to date on a daily basis on the financial situation with us so no surprise. So I told him straight out that if I had to get a job to support us I would do it to support my granddaughter and myself only. I was not going to be supporting him. He was so surprised. He said you would leave me? And I said yes. That if I had to go outside the house to work, give up my work I’ve been doing in art to make more money so it would be easier on him, I would not be able to come home and be a wife to him because he is still not really getting it and that would be the end of the line for me. We are in this financial situation because of his affair. We lost our house because of his affair. I’m not supporting him at all. Call me old school because I am old. I’m 62 years old and he’s 4 years younger than me.

      I didn’t say it in anger, but I did say it. I do plan on carrying through with it if that is what ends up happening. I have to say he got busy and has been working real hard today unlike the last 3 months. I have a lot of responsibilities other than him and me being gone all day would put a real hardship on the rest of the family and me.

      I keep telling him that whatever comes out of his mouth is what I hear. He can’t say after the fact that it wasn’t his intention to say it that way. I will own that for myself, too. I did mean it and it was my intention to let him know exactly where he stood with me. I know no man wants to think that their only thing worth giving is money, but it was him that said he got angry because he didn’t think I was making enough money and that was why he had his affair. He has taken it back a zillion times since, but it hurt so bad that I couldn’t paint for 3 years. I’ve been a working artist for 32 years and it stopped in one moment for me because I felt so guilty that it was my fault. I’m over that now. I know I had nothing to do with his affair at all.

    • Gizfield

      Peggy, your comment about dealing with the “child” really made me think. One thing I’ve realized if that if you are trying to get your spouse out of an adulterous relationship, you are not HARMING them, you are HELPING them. One thing that may sound strange is that I felt like my REAL enemy in this crap was Satan. I know some people dont believe, but this really was the main idea that helped me get through this. I feel I helped my husband preserve what was good in his life (family, good wife, reputation, morals) and get rid of the harmful (loser girlfriend, lying, acting in an immoral manner). I especially think it was important to protect my child from all this. So we shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to help our spouses from throwing it all away for some crap cheating relationship.
      I also dont think most cheaters really want to be with the other person cause if they did they would leave. All they have to do is walk out that door, but how many do ?

    • Peggy

      My H says that he feels as if he is possessed when he’s displaying his passive aggressive behavior. He tried to convince me that he felt possessed when he had his affair, but four years, come on. I still stand on the fact that he made a conscious decision and there had to be a time when he could have decided to stop and come to his senses during those four years. Three years of fantasizing, lusting and flirting and one year of him knowing he was in love with her and trying to get up the guts to tell me he wanted a divorce.

      I told my H that we needed to name his ego because it seriously had a personality all it’s own. He told me I could call it anything. I named his ego, Prick. I thought it was appropriate. So now I can call him Prick and he knows I’m really just talking to his ego. He does own his ego, but it has proven to be a very disassociated entity. And also, it’s just fun to call him Prick. He actually agreed on the name I chose as appropriate as well so it was a shared decision. So now when he gets defensive as he usually does if we are discussing anything even remotely associated with his affair all I have to do is say to him would you please ask Prick to leave the room. It works wonders. The other reason I named his ego was because it seemed somehow kinder than telling him he was acting like a child. He does respond much better and knows his ego needs to take a time out.

      You’re right about saving him and helping him to remember his own morals and what is important in his life. I know my H has said often in the last 3 years that he always had high moral standards and just didn’t understand what happened to him. To that I responded, why me then? Couldn’t he have misplaced his moral standards with his ex-wife? She wasn’t as nice to him as I was. I never met her but have heard stories from other family members and she did die of alcohol poisoning. Very tragic. A very intelligent and talented woman who just couldn’t stop drinking. But she was a mean drunk and made my husband’s life miserable and I think it would have been more appropriate if he had cheated on her instead of me. Just saying. Not that I would wish this on anyone, but I was really nice and I rarely drink.

      My husband really did think he wanted to be with the OW. The only reason he told me was because she had dumped him and moved away and he was heart broken. He just knew I would be able to help him get over her. I know, WOW. Now we are really talking about a child here and at that point in our relationship he saw me as his best friend/Mother figure that he could depend on helping him. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out quite the way he imagined it would.

      She told him she was leaving because her poor old parents needed her in NY. After I found out that she had left him for another man who she had been seeing at the same time she was having her affair with my husband and having sex with two other men in town (the other guy lived in NY), he realized who she really was. Not to mention that she was at the time married. She did get a divorce to be with her NY guy. But, not until I did the research and told him about her did he realize what a mistake he had made. He’s really glad she left him now. I’m not so sure I am. I really do think he deserved to be with her every single day for the rest of his life. Now that would have been just compensation.

      You’re a very good woman, Gizfield. I agree that most don’t really want to be with the OW. They want to play and do something naughty and secret. In the case with most of the H’s on this site, you are dealing with an emotional affair. The only reason my H didn’t end up having sex with her was because she said she wasn’t ready for that. I know now that her sex card was just too full at the time and he was the last one to sign up. But he had developed a very intimate relationship with her over the four years and seriously wanted to be with her. In his fantasy I had become boring and then there was the issue of my not making enough money for him. All excuses to support his obsession with her. He told me that he had fallen in love with another woman and she left him. The very first words I heard. At that moment he was clearly telling me the truth. He realizes now that it wasn’t real love. He played with her for four years and had to justify it in his mind that he was in love with her. And it would have been a sexual relationship in the last year of his emotional affair with her the minute she agreed to it. Her playing with him kept him coming back in hopes that he would accomplish his goal. Prick was so full of himself that he just knew after he had told her how much he loved her that she would jump in bed with him.

      Seeing what this has done to me has definitely made him grow up a bit more. I’m no longer the best friend/Mother figure he made me out to be. And he says that he has learned what real love is. Now if Prick would just evaporate things would be a lot easier. My H is still having trouble with lies of omission. After lying to me for so long I imagine that’s a hard habit to brake. And I’m not as patient as I used to be. Like most C he has felt that he needed to omit anything that he thought would upset me. I told him that he isn’t allowing me to express my best self when he does this. He knows what being transparent is now. He knows he has blown it big time and I am convinced that he truly wants to be his best self, too. But it has taken 3 years of hell to get Prick out of the way long enough for him to wake up.

    • CBb

      There is a very special place for all these women who carry on EA/PA with a married man. For some of them the payback will be when it happens to them. I would like to be around to watch it come back and smack them in the face.

      I have gotten firm and I am standing my ground with my H. He is now starting to get it. Finally. At least it appears that way.

      But they will always be a liar and cheater in our eyes. How sad to go through life with that being the way you are viewed.

      Whatever happened to morals? At the time they find every excuse and justification to rationalize their behavior. And then come back home so we, the rock and steady part of their life, can pick up the pieces and help them heal and mend and recover.

      My H keeps asking me about my mid-life crisis. I am having one right now. Taking care of me. Making the life I want for me. Doing things for me. Mapping out my happy future. So when the day comes and I choose to move on, I can with no regrets. I may stay for my children and/or me, but if I ever change my mind, I can go.

      My mid-life crisis does not include cheating on him. Or another guy in my life. But it does mean he is no longer held in the highest regard I once had. He is a great Dad and fun to be around but things change. And so must all of us wives who are victimized here.

      I am lucky in that some of the posts here are so much worse than my situation and it makes me sad. Wish I could help all of us. Really do. I feel bad for the affairs that went on for years or wives who suffered multiple affairs with a CS.

      I think Elena Bobbit had the right idea. Remember her? Caught her H or boyfriend cheating and shot off his privates. That should be their punishment!!!

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