Trust after an affair is fragile.  So much so that potentially any act by a cheating spouse that is outside the normal way of acting can cause suspicion or mistrust.

trust after an affairBy Doug

If any of you are teachers out there, you probably know that the first week of school can be quite stressful. 

Since that was the case with Linda, we decided to end the first week by going out to happy hour at a local bar along with several of Linda’s fellow teachers.  It seems they too were quite stressed.

After a couple of hours of drinking beer, eating appetizers and talking shop I was ready to leave.  I had to get home to take our daughters to their high school football game, and quite frankly I had had enough of listening to one particular person, who I was sitting next to ramble on endlessly about every subject imaginable.

Since Linda and I had driven separately, I rather suddenly got up and said that I was ready to head out.  I said my farewells to the others who were there, and took off for home.

I didn’t think too much about it, but when Linda got home a short time later, she was a bit concerned about my sudden departure.  She was wondering if everything was alright with me and if I was mad at her for some reason.

Of course I was not.  I was just ready to leave.  But my actions caused a bit of mistrust in her.  It was a trigger for her based on how I would act at times during my emotional affair.  And it was another learning experience for me as well.

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After discussing it briefly and reassuring her that there was nothing wrong or anything like that, she made the comment that my actions made her want to check my emails, Facebook and cell phone.

Normally, I would have thought her response was a bit of an overreaction to a completely innocent act on my part, but I now have a better understanding of why she responded the way she did.  You see it really doesn’t take much to trigger a flashback for a betrayed spouse after infidelity.

Is Facebook the Portal to an Emotional Affair?

Trust after an affair is fragile.  So much so that potentially any act by a cheating spouse that is outside the normal way of acting can cause suspicion or mistrust.  This is something that any cheating spouse that is working to rebuild the trust in their relationship must be aware of.

Thankfully, we are at the stage where trust has been rebuilt in our relationship.   Even so, this example proves it still doesn’t take much to shake the foundation of that trust after an affair.

So as you try to move toward rebuilding trust in your relationship, if you are the cheating spouse learn to understand that every action that you take, and every word that you say can make a difference and can either help you to further build trust, or send you two-steps backwards in the process.

If you are the betrayed spouse, know that you must understand your own barriers to trust, what the cheater must do to help you rebuild trust, your own mistrust triggers and communicate these to the cheater.  Continue to communicate with the cheater whenever his/her actions or words cause any measure of mistrust.

See also  Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair

Rebuilding trust after an affair is a process and it’s probably the toughest thing to accomplish.  Obviously, what I’ve discussed in this post is just a small part of the process, but hopefully gives you an idea of just a portion of what is required based on our experience.

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Journey to Trust
Rebuilding Trust after an Affair

Discover that trusting again is indeed possible and is a natural process, if you both are committed to putting forth the effort that is necessary.

Follow our own journey to trust and the exact steps and experiences along the way.


    29 replies to "Trust After An Affair is Fragile"

    • Norwegian woman

      Sometimes it seems that this blog is written directly to me….. scary.
      Yes, I am a teacher, and this first week has been very stressfull (still is). So I did not react until this week-end on something that I really did not have the time to think about.
      My husband has been on a class reunion. It was nice, and he catched up with a lot of old classmates. He also talked with a lot of old friends from other classes from the same year.
      He told me he had spoken to a particular woman. She was the daughter of my former boss, so they knew about each other. Suddenly, I found out that he had sent a friends request on facebook, and she accepted. At first, in the stress, I did not react to that. But suddenly it hit me: He and she was never friends when they were in school. They have never been friends afterwards either. They talked at the reunion and then he sends a friends request…… If it was a former classmate or old friend I would have understood it, but he only sent requests to two other guys and a woman that he also has worked with, in his former class. And this women from another class, that he never was friends with, never worked with….
      I asked him why the heck he sent her a request, and he just said that he just did because he knew who she were.. I didn`t buy that story, and I told him that I wondered if he hoped for any form of contact with her and that was why he wanted to be friends with her on facebook.
      He was, of course, very shocked that I reacted that way. After all, she was just a stupid blonde……… And of course my bells start ringing. When I first had suspicions about his PA, he was shocked to believe that he would have an affair with a nervous wreck like her…….
      There are triggers everywhere, but I don`t seem to get him to understand how devastating it is for me. He just wants to live like he did before. But he can`t. He has to take extra care for some years ahead. At the same time, I feel so bad for demanding it from him….

    • Notoverit

      Yes, I am constantly working on trust in our marriage after the EA and it is getting better. The one thing that I cannot seem to control is the blind panic I experience if I wake in the middle of the night and my H is not in the bed. He used to wait until I was asleep so he could call the OW and talk into the wee hours of the morning. Like Norwegian Woman, that makes me want to check his cell phone and the computer. Since the EA, he has been having trouble sleeping and will simply be up, standing in the kitchen, doing nothing. I truly believe there has been NC since D-day but my mind runs away with me in the middle of the night. He now understands the trigger. Even though he wants me to trust him, that is one thing that sets me off.

    • Losing Hope

      Its been 5 months since Dday. My H and I have come along way. Or so I thought. There has been no contact that i know of in 2 months. Then 5 days ago i found that he had been looking at the OW on his phone. When i saw it, I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. All those feelings that i had started to over come hit me like a sledge hammer. When i confronted my H he lied and said he did not look at her pics. He finally fessed up and blamed it on me. Saying that the fight we had 2weeks earlier had pushed him away. The fight was over the fact that he friended one of the OW good friends on FB.

      So today i found on his google account a web history showing more googles..recent. I confronted H again. He swore up and down he didnt do it. (i think it might have been me when i googled her to see what he was looking at) not really sure. But when he came home he told me we needed a break from eachother. He wasnt giving up on us, we just need space. H also said that “I” needed to miss him. So he left and went to stay at the same place he stayed when i kicked him out at Dday.

      Im so confused, Hurt, Angry! I feel rejected and i cant believe he left. He said that its just for one night. Gave me a kiss and hug before he walked out the door. Oh yeah..I made him a hamburg before he left. I didnt say much while he ate. I just stood there like a friggin fool watching him.

      I dont know what to feel or think about this.?!
      Its been about 3 and half weeks since hes really told me he loves me. Said it a couple times kinda in a passing way. I wrote him a 3page letter telling him how i felt about that and why i need to hear it. When i asked him what he thought he said he cried. But it didnt change anything..he still isnt saying it. H claims he loves me and doesnt need to say it, that he shows it now. Where as before he never really showed it only said it. (omg.. as im writing this i sound like a doormat..pathetic)
      H also claims he knows he never loved the OW. It was just the friendship thing. But he did tell the Ow that he loved her, he wrote her love letters, bought her a necklace (hasnt givin me jewlery in 7 yrs)
      H wont go to counseling. I asked him once to check this website out and he told me to google emotional abandonment. I never brought it up again.
      We have had a lot of good conversations about our feelings.

      I dont know anymore!!! Im making myself sick writing this!!! I sound pathetic. I think Im done. H made a huge mistake leaving me tonight. Let me know if any of you have had any similar experiences that might be able to shed light on any of this. I dont understand it or what to do next.

      He doesnt want to talk about the EA. He wants me to just get over it. Says he isnt talking to the OW. Im pretty sure thats the truth because I texted her and still am. Keep your friends close and enemies closer. Texted her today. Said she will not talk to him that her bf just cheated and she wouldnt put me thru that. That she will tell me. (she did tell me about the throw away phone he had) That was the last time they spoke. Its funny but she never felt Love for my H. Just friendship. He got so wrapped up in the fact he could tell her anything that he thought he loved her. But while he was doing that, the EA, he pushed me far away. Stopped telling me he loved me. Picking fights. Yelling at me constantly.
      What is my next move?

    • roller coaster rider

      Losing Hope, I know exactly how you feel. First thing is, you are not pathetic. You are dealing with very normal emotions and you have been treated very poorly. You are right when you say that H made a huge mistake (and it really sounds like he has made many in the recent past). Talk about emotional abandonment…it sounds exactly like what he is doing to you.

      My experience has been quite similar in many ways. I have been married a very long time to a man who has huge psychological scars from a home where he was abandoned emotionally, and where there was horrible stuff going on, all secret, mental illness, emotional abuse…etc. He is only now beginning to deal with all the aftermath, and until this year has not wanted to look at the whys. He would act out in ways that sound much like your H, not want to talk about ANYTHING real, and always trying to make me the bad guy. He was checked out on me and on our kids, and although he was always a hard worker and good provider, was either drunk or high and watching TV, and even if not any of those, was in la-la land in his head.

      This year following my discovery of his EA/PA which he carried on for five months, he has finally seemed to hit a type of bottom, and is in therapy. But even there, it isn’t easy as he has done his level best to never remember all the crap around him as a child and when all of this does re-surface (if it ever does) it may cause him to lose his mind. In the meantime, he is sorry for the affair and ashamed he could stoop to something like this, says he wants me and for the first time ever is trying not to stonewall or blameshift. But also for the first time, I am trying to be painfully honest with myself about what I need in my marriage and refusing to settle for crap. If we don’t make the kind of progress that we need to make in the next six months or so (I am also in counseling by myself), I think we may need to consider other options because I don’t want the rest of my life to look like the previous 40 years; I want change in both of us and in our marriage. I am actually praying for miracles, and it seems like there are some happening. Often it’s two steps forward and three steps back but time will tell.

      And Losing Hope, back to the topic of this post, it really is all about the trust. I’ve come to a place where I am not blindly trusting my H anymore and I am not even really trusting myself (although it appears I am much more trustworthy LOL). I have a God that I know I can trust. He is the One who has to take care of me and He will also be the One to show me what I need to see, and what I need to do. He will for sure be the One to take care of my H, and He is the only One who can heal all the broken, messed up stuff that has gotten us here. If you can’t trust your H, at least be sure you are doing for yourself what you need to do.

    • Saddenned


      I always think I am on a path of destruction and think I have hit rock bottom and then I read your story. You are an extremely resilliant person to deal with what you have. I feel like “losing hope” does sometimes, like a doormat. You are right God is the only one who can help us through this.

    • upsanddowns

      Doug – Thank you for posting this. Even though I am building trust with my husband and it’s been 12 months since DD, your article was a great reminder about how trust is so fragile. When my husband started his EA, he was distant when coming home from work. His normally bubbly, joking demeanor changed and he was distant, quiet and would not carry on a full conversation with me.

      My husband is in sales and August was a very slow month at work. He’s been preoccupied with work and as a result, this has set off a ton of triggers for me. He would come home stressed from a slow day at work and I would take this demeanor personally. I’d question all of his actions. “Why is he so quiet?” ” What’s going on in his head?” “Is it really only work on his mind?” “Does he really want to be here?” “Does he still love me?”

      I wish I could trust him so easily and completely again. It would make my head so clear. By not being able to trust him wholly again, I can’t trust myself. I was one of those gals that went by her “gut instinct.” However, now I can’t tell the difference between a feeling of insecurity and the “gut instinct.” I don’t think I can ever blind trust again, not just my husband but everyone. I think that ability went away when I found out about the EA. But maybe someday I’lll be comfortable trusting him and I’ll be able to fully believe him when he says, “It’s not you, it’s work” and “Everything is fine with us, this has nothing to do with us.” Maybe…

    • Paula

      RCR, interesting you say your H has “bottomed out” and the issues plaguing the rest of his life are now surfacing in such a way that he now has to deal with them. My OH says to me constantly that my struggle is not solely about him having an affair, well, duh! All of our life events come into play in how you process and handle this kind of betrayal. I KNOW that other stuff in my life hasn’t been perfect, but I dealt with it all at the time, and moved on. He argues that I didn’t. He doesn’t understand that my strength in my mother’s sudden death at 55 wasn’t denial, I was fully aware that I had lost one of the most important people in my life, and I did grieve, but I did so in a way that he didn’t really understand, ie he didn’t see months and months of buckets of tears, I had to be outwardly strong for my younger siblings and my children. I have no problem with the way I processed that, I’m at peace with it all. I didn’t cry buckets or dwell on the fact that I was raped by a much larger and drunken “boy” when at university, I was devastated, but couldn’t change what happened, or affect “why.” I guess that is the frustrating part, I think I kinda “knew” his relationship with the OW was inappropriate, but trusted him to do the right thing anyway, I am unable to play the role of policewoman, it’s just not my modus operandi.

      CSs think they know how these “triggers” affect our thinking, the times you are put in a position that is VERY uncomfortable, eg, sudden departures, or not being where you expected them to be, at the time you expected them to be there, etc, etc. They don’t. It cuts you off at the knees, your heart feels like it will explode, I shake and shake. I’m just really sick of this particular treadmill, life just feels like groundhog day. Have to wait til the end of October to see the new counsellor again,when we are to have several weeks of intensive therapy. I’m trying to hang in there, have stopped talking about it at all (wow, it’s only taken 2 years and 3 months, lol!) to OH. Should be able to do it, but every day inches ever so slowly along. I hope I can last, as I am continually thinking of how to plan my life (can I get a promotion/raise, do I need to go back to uni to re-train, etc) and my children’s lives if I leave, I just wish they had all left home, and I didn’t feel so responsible for their daily well-being, and would feel freed up to do whatever it is that I need to do to live a proper life instead of this tight and tense life. Bloody martyr, I know, but the financial constraints worry me constantly, and we still love each other and are close and each other’s best friends, what a bloody mess. Sometimes I wish I hated him, and he was an a-hole instead of him trying so hard to fix us.

    • Losing Hope

      “Rollercoasterrider” Thank you for that. It feels good for someone to tell me Im feeling normally. Eversince my H EA i doubt myself constantly. I use to have many friends, very outgoing, sociable. Now i feel like i just dont want to conect with anyone on a personal level. Im embarassed and humilated because it seems as if everyone around knows about what happened between me and H. They look at me weird. Or maybe i just feel uncomfortable because they know. My H seems to tell everyone around him everytime we have a rough patch. Feels like they’re looking at me like Im the bad guy.

      So my H came home tonight with his brother and ate dinner. Said he was bringing him home. Went and took a shower than told me he was staying with his brother another night.
      OK. He told me last night when he left that it was for only one night. I asked him (very upset) why another night? H told me that I was better today. What the hell does that mean?? I told him we barley spoke today! He seems to think that if we have space (like when i first kicked him out in the begining) that Im better towards him! He keeps gravitating toward this one uncomfortable talk we had about how he carved his undying love for the OW in a tree. The only thing i said about it was “is this where the tree is”(we were in the area i thought it might be, saw a pic of it) And i told him id like it if he cut it down and burned it. H said he couldnt (not the land owner) but he would deface it and send a pic to me. I dropped it. But he keeps brining this time period up. I think this is when we started drifting again. I dont know why it was so upsetting to him. Im the one that should be upset. I wasnt mean or even yelling. Just trying to let him know it bothered me.

      Back to tonight. I dont know why he feels he needs to leave. Im very confused. He said he would stay if i wanted him to. I told him to just go. I feel like ive been rejected by him once again. First he stops saying he loves me, now this.
      The more i type this out the more i feel like I think hes the one thats going to call it quits. Ill be devasted. He sends me mixed signals. Tells me he wants to work it out, then he wont talk about how i feel or how he feels. But he can do it with everyone else. I am at a standstill and dont know how or what to do to move forward.

      For everyone on this site. Im so sorry you have to go thru this as well. None of us deserve to be so humilated, and stripped of everything we know and love about ourselves. Ill hang in if you will?!

      • upsanddowns

        Stay strong. I know you are in pain and you may even feel like its the end of the world…but it’s not. If your path in life includes H or your path in life leads you in a direction without H, remember, first and foremost, you have YOURSELF and that’s what’s important. I’ve been where you are. Last year, H put me through hell. He was having an EA and would not tell me the truth about what was really going on even though I heard ugly, disgusting rumors. Every weekend that was supposed to be our “quality time” (he works around 15 hours a day and we have maybe 1 hour awake together), he’d find reasons to pick fights, blame me for everything that was going wrong with our lives (his paycuts at work, the foreclosure we were going through, our finances). Every time we were alone together, he’d throw divorce in my face (even though in the beginning of our marriage, he stated that divorce was not an option). The man who claimed to want to grow old with me on a porch somewhere was now telling me all the time that he didn’t think he was “marrying kind” and maybe he wasn’t “husband material.” What hurt the most was that he’d rub the EA in my face. He would say they were just friends but he would constantly make an effort to spend time with her (jogging at night, yoga classes, basically all of the things I would beg him to do with me that he claimed he didn’t have time for). Every night, I would cry myself to sleep and question why he was losing his love and affection for me. I’d question myself: What was wrong with ME? Was I ugly? Was I not attractive? Was I no longer fun? Why didn’t he want ME?

        And then I realized something: Maybe there wasn’t anything wrong with me after all. Maybe it was him. Maybe he was just truly a jackass to pursue the OW and have an EA. I wasn’t going to die if he left me (even though in the darkest moments, I did feel like jumping off a cliff). There are good, no, GREAT things about me. I’m a beautiful, smart and loving person and if he didn’t want me then hell, maybe he didn’t deserve me.

        I finally snapped one morning a week after we decided to give it another shot. The week prior, I told H that I didn’t think this was going to work. He begged for another chance and swore he changed. The next week, he was back to his old rude ways. My poor family thought I was having a breakdown (I probably was) but I saw it as a breakthrough. I went to his work at 5pm, met him outside and I told him to his face, “I’m not going to die if you aren’t here. I’m an amazing good person and I deserve much better than you. You are a bad person and a shitty husband. I want you to pack your shit by 11pm and move out. I…DON’T…WANT…YOU.”

        That was his breaking point. He realized that he had to follow through on his promises to change and to work on our marriage because now I was the one questioning him. I was very serious about him moving out but I gave him another chance. I’m glad that I did because I do still love him. Every day is hard and I have painful triggers every day, but the pain lessens just a little bit with each passing day.

        Hang in there. You owe it to yourself to know how special and valuable you are.

        • melissa

          Good for you, girl. I’ll take a leaf out of your book if I need to…

    • Shattered

      Upsanddowns, I can so relate. Same thing happened here. I kept thinking that he was just tired or that things were stressful at work. No wonder we are afraid to trust to our “gut” anymore. It’s been six months for me and I really thought that I trusted my husband. however, last week he brougt his cell phone into the bathroom and laid it on the counter while he showered instead of leaving it on his nightstand. The door was unlocked and it was in plain site, but my heart started pounding b/c he used to always take the cell phone with him into the bathroom where it was in his constant sight when the EA/PA was going on. This time I think he really just took it out of his pocket and laid it on the counter. It really was quite surprising to realize how fragile my trust really is.

    • Notoverit

      You know what I keep hearing? It’s always the BS who has to “work on” her/his trust. For some reason that pisses me off! Why is it our responsibility? The CS is the one who broke the trust in the beginning. Let them fix it; let them be honest and open about what they are doing, where they are going and who they are talking to; and most of all, let them work on the trust by reassuring us daily, not matter how monotonous it is. It seems like that since D-day I am the one who has taken all the steps toward trying to fix this mess. I see in a lot of the posts what we are doing, how we are trying to talk about the mess and move on but the CS is still avoiding it. Why? Shame? Guilt? Or just doesn’t want to do the work? I know we have some CSs who post on this site but, geez, if they all were so sorry why aren’t there more of them reading all this and explaining themselves or looking for answers?

      I think sometimes we over-analyze ourselves. I always go back to “the working on myself” philosophy. If I am better, then I have accomplished something. I am not responsible for making my H try to work on this marriage. If he doesn’t want to, there’s the door. And yes, I have 31 years invested here but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life dragging around my H like a ball and chain, trying to get him to work on this mess he made. I just think that these CSs need to take a really hard look at themselves, their selfishness and the fact that they aren’t the prizes they think they are.

      Enough rambling, back to the issue. I think we have all been dealt a terrible blow to our self-esteem. Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Am I…? That has to stop! Work on yourselves fellow BSs and let those cheaters EARN the trust. And if we feel insecure about something, let them know that part of the winning the trust issue is explaining their actions. If trust is fragile, they made it that way!

      • Jackie

        Wonderfully said!

    • melissa

      We’re all going through the same thing. Today’s a really bad trigger day for me: I took my H to the airport. He’s off to a conference for nearly a week. Same time last year, same event, he had organised to meet the OW and lied again, after, I think, a few months of no contact when we were trying to rebuild our marriage and trust. Today I was looking at him, trying to see if he would make eye contact with me (last year he didn’t, he didn’t even say goodbye and left me stranded by our car. I think he was meeting her at the airport although he’s always denied it). Today, his eyes wandered…he said he was looking for a luggage cart!

      A week ago I raised the subject and he told me I had ‘nothing to worry about’ and that she was unlikely to be at the event. A quick search on the web shows that it is actually very LIKELY that she’ll be there too. My heart’s pounding, I feel sick, I don’t know what to think and I feel totally out of control. Will he lie again? Will he try and meet her again? Will he delete his texts and calls and pretend nothing’s happened again? How can I be sure that this time he’s learnt his lesson and is mindful of our marriage. He still refuses to talk about it and yet I’d so much like to hear him say ‘I realise how much I’ve hurt you and I will never, ever do anything like this again, you can count on me, you can trust me’. Sadly, despite all the positive things that have happened since last year, I haven’t heard those words yet and I despair I’ll never hear them.

    • Norwegian woman

      You are so right. They have to earn the trust back. If they are not willing to put in the energy to repairing what they themselves have broken, they are not worthy of our time. When the fog has lifted, and the consequenses of their actions lay there in the open, they have no excuses for not doing what they can. Any other thing is just plain egoistic. Of course, they did it because they are egoistic. But if they continue to be egoistic, they will continue to thing only about themselves at the next crossroad…

    • Irish Kate

      This post made me think a lot over the last couple of days, about trust and what trust really is…. but its a slippy thought, much like trying to nail jelly to the wall but I’ll do my best…

      I sometimes wonder if the CS is really aware at how shockingly awful the discover of the affair is to the BS, how it really must feel for the BS to be blindsighted one random Sunday morning with shocking text messages discovered on their husbands mobile phone (I speak of my experience here), to realize that an affair is actually taking place…. and your marriage, your life, your family, your home, your safe place, your haven is about to get blown to bits by the bomb that has fallen right on top of your head.

      To give a CS just an idea of the level of shock I’m talking about.

      I remember one random day at work over 10 years ago when I received a phone call from my dad, he was crying and told me I had to come home right away…. my mom had just be diagnosed with breast cancer, she was scheduled to go directly into hospital for major surgery… the world that I lived in was turned upside down in a matter of moments, all terror filled thoughts ran through my brain, along with fear, dread, extreme shock, emotional pain which words cannot fill, heart breaking sorrow and the loss of the innocence of my family life….

      I have only felt that pain twice since, the night that my mother finally died in my father’s arms while trying to tell him she loved him and the morning that I discovered my husband was having an affair….

      I sometimes feel that the trust I lost in my marriage was really the innocence of my marriage gone for good, a good friend once told me that ‘you can love but you don’t need to trust’ and sometimes I wonder if she isn’t right.

      A couple of years ago I discovered a lump in my own breast and I felt instant concern, I called my doctor that morning to have my lump checked out. Some friends (including my own husband) were very positive about saying ‘oh don’t worry’, ‘it’s skips a generation’ and ‘you won’t get cancer so young’… however when I told my dad and sisters their instant responce was ‘go to the doctor’, ‘have it checked out asap’ and ‘make sure you push your doctor for a mammogram’… the difference between the two sets of responses are due to the fact that my family and I fought on the front line against cancer, just like I’ve been on the front line with my husbands affair and all the pain that came with it….

      Today I’m very aware of my body, I give myself a check up often, I’m aware, watch out for and am sensitive of small changes on my body…. it’s not that I think I’m going to see cancer again but I don’t trust that my life will be a cancer free life either, I’m just aware and watchful….

      Why should my marriage be any different? all of us that have felt the pain of an affair are now, most likely, super aware of changes in their partners, within their marriages, in behaviour and actions… personally I don’t see that there is anything wrong with wanting to ensure that something that has pinged my radar is checked out… I don’t THINK that my husband is having an affair now but at the same time I no longer TRUST that this will never happen again….

      Hope that makes sense

      • Doug

        Irish Kate, what an insightful comment. I agree that for us to feel safe and secure we need to be aware of changes that occur in our relationship. I try not to be paranoid but I am definitely tuned into times when we are not communicating well or spending enough time together. Sometimes it is stressful and creates more anxiety than I would like but unfortunately it is the way it is. Last weekend we were at a neighborhood party and Doug was having a brief conversation with a woman that is going through a divorce. Before the affair I would not have bothered me, I would have completely trusted him, now sadly I thought to myself, it happened before could it happen again? Will I ever understand what made him vulnerable to the affair in the first place and safe from another one? I know there are no guarantees, but I hope that all of the work we have done in our recovery will keep our marriage safe from temptation. Linda

        • Irish Kate


          This is a major life changing event, to imagine it is anything other than that would be to deminish the pain, suffering, and ultimately the new way we now look at life, our marriages, love, trust and union.

          Life any other major life changing event (such as an unexpected death of a close one, the birth of a child, loss of a job etc) we take a journey within ourselves, and for those of us that have discovered our partners affairs and the personal suffering that comes with that discovery we do take one heck of a journey…. to hell and back again….

          Like any journey in life we learn so much along the way, and yes we are forever changed by the experience… the woman I am today is not the woman I was 2 years ago… the journey was hard and we continue to learn everyday and therefore continue to evolve and change, for the better 🙂

          Perhaps we will always be alert to such situations like you described, but perhaps this isn’t such a bad thing… for me when the blind trust was removed from my marriage I felt that someone took away my security blanket, it was scary and yet I now feel more confident within my relationship as I’m now much more aware of what is happening…

          I was looking at my wedding photo the other day, at the young Irish woman smiling back at me from a captured moment in time and I took a minute to go back to that day, in reality we had no ‘game plan’, we didn’t think about 5 years in the future, 10 years, how we would evolve as people, what our emotional triggers are, we didn’t discuss infidelity (or any other events that could shake our world)… we thought that love was enough, that love would be balm on tired minds, stressed bodies, overworked souls, troubled hearts etc… but my father once told me that ‘when hardship comes in the door, love goes out the window’… it never occured to me that love would be something I would have to work at everyday, no-one tells us these things when we are young, our first impressions of love are fairy tale endings and hollywood soundtracks…

          But we are still here and I hope our husbands look at us sometimes and think ‘wow, I’m the luckiest guy in the world’ because they are…

          • Paula

            Irish Kate, I love that saying of your father’s, about hardship and love, might have heard it before, but it rings so true now

    • melissa

      Irish Kate, it does make sense totally. Hope all’s well with you.

    • Losing Hope

      Thank you ups and down, and everyone else..
      This pain does feel like a life changing disease.

      I have to post this question..because i know what i feel, i just cant put it into words…

      My H blames his EA on me.
      This is why… I was diagnosed with bi polar about 10yrs ago. (After he had a PA) So i was on a lot of meds. About the last 5 yrs. my symtoms (tiredness, no energy, lazy, not being able to function etc..) started and progressivley became worse. I would tell him over and over that i wished hed go to the Dr. with me, maybe he could explain it better than me. He refused. He said something Was wrong and i needed to go to the Dr. and get my medc. changed. I did this many times. Was put on all kinds of things. Nothing worked. Through this struggle he would yell at me a lot. Tell me i was lazy, and i needed to get up and get things done. It just went on. Any time i tried to talk to him he would get very angry with me. He said he always felt defensive when we talked.

      So, in Feb of this year i hit rock bottom and decided to wean myself off the pills. In March is when i found out about his EA.

      Here is where im having difficulty trying to figure out how i feel.

      When i found out he told me the only reason he started talking to the OW was because he felt alone in our marriage and that i was like a zombie. (which i was for the time period of his EA which was 1 1/2 yrs) I realize now that this is when i became really bad. Hes also said that how long was he suppose to be alone?? I dont know how to respond to these statements. I can understand feeling alone. and even told him i probly would of felt the same in his shoes. I get it. What i dont get is why the continued lying. The OW wont talk to him.

      So now this morning we had another big argument. He said he cant live in the past anymore and live like this with me always checking his phone and all his records. He said im not his f*&^& mother. I know this is causing him a great deal of pain and stress. But its killing me not to be able to talk about it when things come up. He does not want to dwell on what happened just move on with life.

      Last Thursday i saw on his phone he googled her.
      How am i suppose to put this out of my mind. I feel like shit….

      • upsanddowns

        One of the first posts I read when I came to this site was one written by Linda (and for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it). However, one thing really hit home with me and that was that Linda pointed out that EA is not OUR fault. Your H’s EA is not your fault anymore than you being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Maybe your H was like my H and the EA gave him a means to escape all the stresses of home that he was too cowardly to face. Whatever the reason, the EA is NOT your fault. Take care and stay strong.

      • Jackie

        Yes, you may be bipolar. Yes, it may have been lonely for your H, but he chose to have an affair. He could have talked with you about it, asked to seek counseling with you, made an effort to do things together, play sports with his guy friends. He had many choices, but he chose to have an affair. A second one at that. He didn’t learn from his first one how much pain and sorrow he caused you and your marriage.

        You were ill and seeing a doctor trying to get yourself better. He on the other hand still hasn’t worked out why he keeps doing destructive behaviors like having an affair. Has he even done anything to seek help for his mental illness…that is seeking an affair as an escape from his unhappiness? We are each responsible for our own happiness. It is not our spouses job to make us happy. It is our own job.

        It is not your fault he chose an affair!

        It is so much easier to blame someone else, rather than look at your problems. This is what your H is doing. As long as he is blaming you, and you are accepting the blame, he doesn’t have to look at himself, and what a horrible husband he has been.

        Don’t let him blame you! I also came from a family who had to deal with bipolar disease. I feared that I would get it myself when I discovered my H EA. One thing I said to him 2 days after discovering his EA, and I was breaking out in hives was, “If it comes down to choosing between you or me and the kids…I will choose me and the kids.” I was determine to not allow myself to get ill because of what he was doing, nor was I willing for the kids to have to suffer too much because of H. I was going to do what I could to protect us from him and his destructive choices.

    • upsanddowns

      One thing that my H constantly says when we argue is that he feels that he can’t do anything right or what he does is just not good enough. He’s right. When I need assurance I am loved, he will tell me loves me but it’s still not enough. When I ask him to spend time with me and we’ll spend the day together, it’s just not enough. The trouble is, I don’t know what I want but I have a terrible feeling that what he’s giving me just isn’t enough because I don’t completely trust him just yet.

    • melissa

      Having a bad day again, just found out the OW IS at the same event as my H. Just do´not knoz what to think, feel I am being paranoid but it is hell. Sorry, just needed to ‘talk’ to someone who would understand.

      • Healing Mark

        Melissa, happy to “talk” to you. The most dialogue you can have with your spouse the better. Ideally, the fact that your husband is at the same event as the OW will no longer matter because your husband has gotten out of the “fog” and now recognizes how he needs to appropriately interact with the OW given that he is married to you. Understand how you can be paranoid that things might not be as they “should” be. Trust is so hard to come by after a betrayl in any relationship. Have strength in what you and your H have established since the beginning of your relationship and have faith that the love that your husband has had for you over time will overcome the infatuation or whatever that your husband might be feeling, or have felt, with the OW. You are better than her, no doubt, and your H will come around if you want him to. Believe this. And God bless.

        Healing Mark

    • Waiting

      My H tries to blame me and I am proud that I stood up to him today. He blames me for how when I confronted him about the EA it was in front of our friends who saw the same behavior in him that I did. As a result he has turned away from their friendships and said I caused him pain because I was gossiping about him. He says he feels like he is under a microscope and everyone in the neighborhood is analyzing his every action.

      I stood up for myself and said the bottom line is that there was a reason why I had to confront you. The reason was you were pushing me out of the way to be with the EA and our marriage was threatened. I confronted you about removing the threat from our relationship, I am not the bad guy. Don’t think so. Your behavior which caused the confrontation is the real issue. He had no response.

      My H didn’t like how I confronted him and keeps reliving that when what he should be thinking about is how he chose to push his wife out of the way to be with his EA and as a result, there were consequences. All behaviors have consequences.

    • Losing Hope

      Waiting,, My H did the same. He pushed me away so far and i couldnt understand why at the time. (locked phone shoulda clued me in) Hes stay at work late or pick fights etc..

      i need to elaborate on my post above. I do not have bipolar..It was a mis diagnosis years ago after i had our second child. It was postpartum.. These dr. (at least where i live) like to talk to you for 2 min write a script and send u out the door.

      I asked My H so many times to go with me and help me. Something wasnt right. i could feel it. But all he did was say no and i needed to figure out what was wrong with me.
      So now he blames my medical situation on why he sought out the OW.
      Blah, blah blah…
      I dont take the blame anymore.. im getting stronger everyday.
      I am not a doormat for anyone.

    • hotnmadinAZ

      i’m post EA by 3 days and every word that people have posted is what i feel. the trust is completely gone and i feel lost, sad, hopeless and that it was all a waste. and now the doubt of knowing what to do. we are and have been in counseling, before i found evidence of the EA and hope that it helps. he’s been having this EA for just shy of a year!! what a fool i’ve been to trust the good times, the great sex and everything in betweeen wasn’t based on feeling for the OW, a “coworker”.
      in trying to figure out what to do, i don’t even know if i trust myself to move on and not throw it in his face every other day…
      this just sucks.

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