Trusting yourself after an affair is another element that many who have suffered from infidelity have problems with.

By Linda

trusting yourself after an affair

This is the first in a two-part series on trusting yourself after an affair.  This series comes from edited excerpts of our book, “Journey to Trust:  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair.”

Interestingly enough, many folks who we communicate with who have suffered from infidelity have no idea that they lost trust in themselves.  They know that they lost trust in their cheating spouse, but  in themselves – not so sure.

So what exactly does it mean to not trust yourself?

To not trust yourself deals with how you expect there to be harm or pain concerning yourself and concerning the future. When a person does not trust themselves, it’s almost like the world becomes a very scary place and they’re expecting a lot of negative things to come their way. It’s almost like they’re on the lookout for bad things and painful things to start happening to them.

That’s not a real good place to be.

The Impact of Betrayal on Self-Perception

It’s natural that you go through a period where you have difficulty trusting yourself and trusting anyone else, because you wonder, “Who can I trust? What is real?”

In my situation, I think the implications of the betrayal and the affair caused me to lose balance in my life and everything that I had believed that I was.

It affected me because I was afraid to make any decisions of any kind because I felt that they wouldn’t be right.

I used to feel very confident as a mother, a wife, a teacher, a person. After the affair, I started questioning everything that I was doing.  Questioning things as simple as cleaning the house every week. Did that cause the affair? Was I too fanatic about that? Or making a snack for a road trip. Should I have done that? Was that free-spirited enough? Was I too much of a planner?

The Quest for Identity and Answers

Every minute of my life was consumed with trying to decide what I was doing and how it affected Doug having an emotional affair or his perceptions about me.

I wasn’t really sure what caused the affair and what my part was in it.  It was like everything that had defined me before the affair was thrown out the window. I questioned everything that I did as a wife, a mother, a teacher.

That’s pretty extreme.

I basically went on what amounts to a witch hunt –I had a lot of questions and I looked for answers everywhere.  You may have felt something similar.

At one point, I really couldn’t think of anything good about myself. I kept a notebook where I would remind myself, among other things, that – “I’m educated and I have a good job.”

I would have to make a list to remind myself of my purpose and who I was because all that was taken away from me.

See also  Mona & Gary Shriver on Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity

It seems a lot of cheaters recognize that it’s not just a physical thing; it’s a slap in the face to the point where a person’s whole identity is ripped away from them.

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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.

5 Steps to Trusting Yourself After an Affair

So to help you with trusting yourself again I’ve come up with 5 steps.  This post will deal with the steps in general and the next post will deal with how I worked through the 5 steps.

With all these five steps, I need to add you don’t have to take them in order of one, two, three, four, five. You may find yourself one, three, two, bouncing back and forth. I need to clear that up, because so many times we get in the mindset of, “I have to do this step before I do the next one.” But you don’t.

Step One: Take good care of yourself.

The person needs to console themselves. They’ll need to take care of themselves. That’s going to be basic things like eating right, getting enough sleep, starting to exercise and also protecting themselves.

Once they start taking care of themselves and they’re safe – physically safe; that they’re waking up and there’s no suicidal ideas – then they can move on to the next step.

Step Two: Allow confidence to build in yourself.

What I mean by this is since they’re in a state where it’s almost like they’re shell shocked, where they didn’t want to believe anything that’s going on around them, they have to start paying attention. “Exactly what is going on around me? What am I seeing? What am I hearing?  And what am I experiencing?”

With affairs, there are so many rumors and half-truths. You have to sometimes go back to the drawing board. “What have I seen? What do I know for sure?” Because there will be enough rumors to drive you nuts.

The Role of Social Circles and Mental Diet

During that time, it’s also going to be important to avoid fearful people. There is a great deal of importance in having good friends. Those negative friends, especially the fearful people, you want to stay away from as you’re going through this whole idea of rebuilding trust because all they’re going to do is make you think that there’s nothing in the future that is good going to happen – the future is full of bad things. Stay away from those people.

Of course, the opposite of that is it’s going to be important to surround yourself with encouragement. Encouragement can come in the form of words or people. This is a good time to put up plaques around your apartment or house that will build you up; maybe mementos that remind you of your accomplishments or pictures of people that you admire and find encouragement from, or perhaps poetry or a religious reading that would give you encouragement.

See also  Journey to Trust: Rebuilding Trust After an Affair

During this time it’s important to also apply this stuff to what you’re feeding your mind with – the movies and television programs that you watch. If you’ve got a steady diet of network news, you’re going to be scared all the time and that’s going to work against rebuilding your trust.

Step Three: Be honest with yourself.

Trust and truth often go hand in hand. When you can start to be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth about what’s going on, trust develops.

This goes back to the idea that we can only trust people that are honest. It’s not just a matter of trusting other people; it’s also a matter of trusting your own self and your own gut.

Many times, when we’ve mentored with couples who have been caught up in affairs, one of the things we ask is, “Have you been trusting your gut?” and they say, “No, I quit trusting that a long time ago.”

When we go into it a little more, “How many times has it led you astray?” “Never.”

Getting them to trust those reactions is a big step. Oftentimes, they sense something was wrong in their marriage within their gut long before they knew about the affair. Had they listened to their gut, it would have led to avoiding a lot of problems or they would have been able to deal with problems much sooner.

It’s not just a matter of trying externally; it’s also a matter of rebuilding the trust internally as well. When you start to tell yourself the truth, you start to develop some objectivity. That’s where the turtle starts getting out of its shell.

Hold Your Wayward Spouse Accountable to Honesty

Step Four: Give yourself time to heal.

This is especially true before making major changes. After there’s been an affair, a lot of times people will press you to try to make decisions quickly and to try to set timelines. How long should I give him or her to come back? When should I start divorce proceedings? When should this happen? 

Through this time of healing, before you make any major changes in your life, before you make a major move, before you decide to totally kick someone out of your life, get well before you do.

If you start making those major changes before you get your own stuff together, it often leads to a lot of regret down the road. That’s why you need to give yourself time to heal.

See also  Affair-Proof Your Marriage

With an affair, although you may be able to get back into your regular routine of going to work, cleaning the house, making lunches– whatever it is that you’re doing – that doesn’t mean you’re well and that doesn’t mean you’re whole. It’s going to take time to heal.

Step Five: Forgive yourself rather than punish yourself.

Many times, the person who’s struggling with rebuilding the trust wants to punish themselves and they need to give up on punishing themselves and instead, to forgive themselves.

During this time, as they start rebuilding trust, a key question to ask is, “On what or who do you trust?” It’s important to push a little bit on this one in the sense that a lot of times when people are really fearful, they’re still able to trust – they’re just trusting that bad things are going to happen rather than good things. It’s wise to confront them and find ways to redirect that trust.

Building Blocks of Hope

I think you’ll find that trust and truth end up being the building blocks of hope, because as you have more trust and truth in your life, you have more of a sense of hope.

As I look back, the hardest part for me was forgiving myself. That took the longest. I felt that it was all my fault. I carried that around for a long time.

When I went to the therapist we discussed this often. He really helped me through that. I now know that’s what I was holding on to…not being able to forgive myself.

If your main goal is to heal your marriage and heal yourself, this is one thing that you need to focus on as opposed to figuring out where to put the blame.

Gaining Confidence and Moving Forward

I am to the point where I feel that I can be confident that when I make a decision to do something, I trust myself that I’m making the correct decision – or at least a good decision.

At the beginning – and this is probably what everyone in affairs does – you’re thinking, “What would she (the other person) have done?”

You’re trying to model what your husband or wife had during the affair and how he/she would have acted in that situation. You’re basically trying to become the other woman or man. I’m past that, and I’m still gaining confidence in myself. I write down everything that I feel good about.

It’s a long process when you’ve lost all that.

Between now and the next post in this series, we’d like to hear from you as to how you lost trust in yourself as a result of your spouse’s affair.  Also, if you’ve been able to regain that trust, please let us know how you were able to do so in the comment section below.


    24 replies to "Trusting Yourself After an Affair"

    • Recovering

      I did NOT trust myself after finding out about his PA!! I had had suspicions for about a year, and even straight up asked him if he was cheating on me, to which he acted like I was crazy. I had started to think I WAS crazy. Then one night the suspicions took me to his phone, again, but this time I had my proof because he forgot to delete the messages. I had been looking for a while, but he had denied it…. We could’ve been so much further along by now had he admitted the truth when I had asked, but like stats say, they lie lie lie until you have proof. After I found out I didn’t believe ANYTHING about anything or anyone anymore. I wondered if I had been deluding myself, and why I didn’t believe my feelings more, and didn’t trust how I would feel minute to minute. I didn’t trust myself to be able to control my actions. I felt like I wasn’t really ‘there’, as I would say and do things in this weird sort ot trance state. Later I would hate myself for things I had done or said, but I felt like I couldn’t even control my own self. Later as things started to progress, I still didn’t trust how I thought I felt about my husband and our marriage. I wasn’t sure if I was staying because of love, fear, hate, expectation or what. I didn’t have a solid feeling or thought about anything. Feelings and thoughts still seemed to change on a dime. Now that I have really looked at things, I think that I am much better at this affair recovery stuff than my husband. He still insists that he had the affair because he “felt like I didn’t love him”, which is fine, whatever… but that is pretty dumb. If he felt like I didn’t love him, but he still loved me, wouldn’t he try to woo me? Guess putting in the effort wasn’t as easy as going off with the whore in the bar who hit on him and was doing all the work and was more than eager to stroke his ego… I KNOW this is really why… because we never saw each other, and the little amount of time we spent together was doing chores or taking the kids here or there. We basically lived seperate lives. Not by choice, but by circumstances at the time. He was lonely and found someone who was there all of the time who wanted him. I wish he would admit that… especially since he hates her now knowing who she really is… Anyway, I forgave myself quickly, probably about month 3, because I realized that I, too, had been lonely, yet I still would have NEVER cheated in any way on my husband. This realization gave me a kind of power, and a bit of a superiority complex, that allowed me to start to see things in a more real light. I started to trust myself again. I realized that no matter what I did or didn’t do in the marriage, that he had no right to do what he did. I could’ve been the worst wife, and if I had been, and he was “so miserable” then he should’ve left. HE HAD OTHER CHOICES. He took mine away. Knowing this stuff, I mean KNOWING this allowed me to regain my confidence. Yes, I could’ve done things differently, but so could have he. I didn’t blame myself anymore. Funny how just getting over THAT allows you to trust yourself again!! I have come a long way in trusting myself, but I still sometimes wonder if my love for my husband will cloud my judgement again, in both positive and negative ways. Negative in that I chose to believe him when he lied about the affair and that I believe the details that he has given me which I have no proof of, and positive in that it has allowed me to open my heart to him again. When I feel that something isn’t quite right now, I address it NOW instead of letting it fester… sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t, but I am not afraid of the conflict anymore. Conflict is way better than cheating!! I am a stronger person because of the cheating… not that I am thankful for going through this mess… I do wish I was still in fairty tale land where I thought we were “meant for each other” and that we were “special” but I am more confident in my ability to handle things and face the mess of life. Plus, I know now that I could kick her ass without a doubt!! I was afraid of physical confrontation before… not anymore! LOL!!

    • Searching

      Just joined this site, but I have known about my husband’s EA for almost 8 months. It’s still just such a roller coaster ride. I think how much I trust myself just depends so much on how things are going with us. When I think we have finally put it behind us and are moving forward, I start to feel like my old self and regain my confidence and trust in the world. Everytime I find out that things are not as I thought they were, I feel like the rug is pulled out from under my feet and I start to doubt EVERYTHING all over again. For 8 months now, he has reassured me over and over again how much he loves me and that he has broken all contact with the OW. However, I found out in Mar. that he had made 53 phone calls to her in the previous 6 weeks, plus who knows how many texts. Once again, he swears that he loves me more than anything and has broken all contact. Then I find out that he would text her and have her call him so that her number wouldn’t show up on the phone bill. Same story AGAIN. Then because I had the text numbers I added to our phone bill, I find out that he had texted her several times while I was a convention on June 1. He SWEARS that was the last contact and he was only checking to see how her dad was doing after surgery. However, I am ONCE AGAIN a mess and not able to trust him or my feelings or anything about this situation. I know that I need to be working on getting myself in a better place, but I am really struggling with how to get there at this point. I have not done any professional counseling because my H doesn’t want to, and only one of my closest friends even knows what happened because he didn’t want anyone else to find out. So actually, I feel I little better by just putting this in print!

      • livingonafence

        I’m so sorry – your husband is still in his EA regardless of his words. His actions say it all. He’s still lying, sneaking around, and in very heavy contact with this woman. No contact means no contact.
        You should seek counseling for yourself, regardless of whether or not your husband will go to marriage counseling. Her father’s surgery is not more important than you and your marriage but that’s where he put it by contacting her on June 1st.

        I have no idea what else has happened between the two of you, but from your post it appears that you discover something, he SWEARS it was just this or just that, you try to accept that and move forward, and he does it again. I have to assume from this that you haven’t taken stronger actions, such as letting him know if his behavior continues you are leaving him or throwing him out, contacting this woman’s husband to let him know of the situation, etc. So my comments from this point forward are based on these assumptions. I apologize if this is an incorrect stance:

        The more you let him know that you’re checking the phone records, the more likely it is that he’ll get a second phone and hide it from you. If you aren’t going to leave or take stronger action then you should stop letting him know of the things you discover. You’re only tipping your hand while his is very guarded. 53 phone calls in 42 days is excessive for someone just checking in with someone. Lying about contact is a sign that he has/had no intentions of cutting contact. 8 months ago was the end of October/beginning of November. 4 months later he’s heavily involved with her again, and it hasn’t stopped. What actions are you taking to take control of this? Without consequences (other than a good talking to) he will continue. Do not say you’ll leave if you’re not prepared to do so, but you need to set some boundries and stick to them.

        Again, I’m sorry you’re going through this. There is some very good advice to be had on this site and some very experienced people here and in the forum. You don’t need this drama and betrayal in your life and you shouldn’t accept it.

    • rollercoasterrider

      I really appreciate this post, Linda. It gets to the heart of the matter which as you identified early on in your affair recovery, is trust. We know we can’t trust a liar, but how often have we second-guessed ourselves, done something shady and not truly been trustworthy? From the earliest days of my relationship with my H, I compromised and wasn’t true to my own standards, feelings, or expectations. Yes, I loved him, but I sure didn’t love who I became in order to ‘make it work’ with him. Granted, just like the affair wasn’t about me, my compromises and refusal to do what I could later feel good about and trust were about my insecurities and the gaps in my emotional development. That’s why I am coming out the other side of the roller coaster ride a much more stable person who trusts herself. I totally agree with what you said about support, too. Not every friend or family member is the most trustworthy when it comes to where we find ourselves after infidelity. The one thing I don’t completely agree with, Linda, is that we must be ‘well’ before we make a major life change. I know when I left my H and my home, I wasn’t well but my gut told me to do it and it was the right decision for me. I decided to file for divorce when I was in so much pain, I could hardly stand it. But my situation was possibly very different from others here, in that my marriage was such a long one and this was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back. For me, a big part of trusting myself flows from being the person I know I want to be, by God’s grace and strength. And now I have an opportunity that seems miraculous to behold: a chance to build a solid, secure life and marriage with a partner who wants to be forgiven of all that old junk and also prove to be a person of integrity and a good husband to me. So grateful.

    • Paula

      Yes, perfect. Forgiving yourself, and learning to trust yourself again. The two parts of my story that are missing. I agree with RCR about not necessarily being “well” again to leave, if necessary (or make major life changes) how can we get well if we can’t make changes? I did promise myself one year, to see if our relationship was salvageable. He offered to leave the night I found out (the OW texted me the details whilst we were at a party we were all supposed to attend, that she never showed up for, around 6 weeks after he had ended the 15 month old sexual and emotional affair, which I had absolutely no idea about.) Because this woman was a friend I had known, at that stage, for 32 years, my instincts about people have been severely doubted. All of my friendships are damaged by who I have become, and I know it, and I can’t seem to make the positive changes and let them stick. In retrospect, I did know this about her, but I stupidly trusted him not to go there, just because I thought I knew him, and I knew I would never do that, so assumed he wouldn’t either, that and her less-than-savoury background.

      So easy for me to get side-tracked, still, with the minutae, the details of the stupid affair, when I need to be trying to heal me, and stop going over and over the past, that I know I can’t change.

      If I was so easily duped by these two people, who I spent so much time with, what does that say about my judgement? I had always thought myself a good judge of character and quick reader of situations, but I was so easily duped here, maybe I wanted to be??? Why? I asked him, towards the end of their affair, a couple of times if there was anything inappropriate going on, so I did have some instincts, mostly fired up one night when we were cuddling on the couch, around midnight, and his phone bleeped with a text message from her asking, “what you up to?” and I said, that’s wrong, what is going on here, are you giving her the wrong impression about your friendship? He just said she was a lonely person, who had probably had one too many wines that night, and was reaching out to someone to make contact (she’s permanently-never-been-in-a-relationship-45-year-old-single.) What do you do when the person you trusted more than you trust yourself is able to look you in the eye and tell you bald-faced lies? Why didn’t I get it then??

      The problem for me, is I am WAAAY worse now, three years later, and separated permanently, than I was at any time throughout this journey, and I feel like I’m damned if I do (reconcile) and damned if I don’t. Which is the worst of two evils, being unhappy with him, or being completely miserable without him. I don’t know where the strength I had went? I wasn’t like this to start with, yes, I was all the usual things, devastated, disappointed, disgusted…. but I knew what I had to do to look after myself, I knew that it was over, he hid nothing from me from that day forward, and was completely transparent with technology, came to counselling, actively participated in our recovery, and I never got to trust myself again. I now wallow in the dark places, I never did that before, yes, there were pits and dark shadows, but I always climbed out, or stepped out of the shadows. I feel like I’ve tried it all, and have run out of options. Six different counsellors/shrinks, meds/hypnotherapy, etc… what next? I thought I just needed to dig deeper, and I have tried, maybe there is no depth to me, maybe I am just a shallow puddle of self-doubt. Not what I thought about myself before this. I’d survived some pretty dark stuff, pretty capably before, held a family together after the premature loss of our mother, played the matriarch of my family of origin for many, many years now, healing from a violent rape, helping family members (and friends) through infidelity, divorce, infertility, death of children, etc, you know, all the stuff that life throws at you. Man, I can’t tell you how sick of me I am. How come people come to terms with this, somehow, and yet, I haven’t? No one has been able to answer this for me yet. I wish my ex didn’t hold out hope for reconciliation, I have told him I don’t want to be with him whilst I can’t deal with what he has made me feel about myself, and yet, I just fall deeper and deeper into self-hatred, which I KNOW is not good for me, and I KNOW I have to STOP, but can’t seem to find a way… I know none of this is about me, so why do I continue to punish myself for it all??? It’s the vortex of self-doubt, you know you shouldn’t feel bad about yourself, and THAT makes you feel bad about yourself, because you ARE feeling bad about yourself, etc, etc. Self trust is a real key to recovery.

    • livingonafence

      Forgiving yourself is huge. We all see things that in hindsight we should have been all over but we trusted our spouses and end up feeling like we helped the affair along. We no longer trust our own judgement in anything which makes living difficult. We need to forgive ourselves and realize that trusting our spouse is what we are supposed to do, and that believing their lies is not something to beat ourselves up over.

    • Carol

      What LOAF says is critical. We are supposed to trust our spouses. We BS upheld our vows; we trusted & were trustworthy.It’s not our fault! It’s not about us! I keep telling myself this in hopes that one day I’ll really believe it.

    • Gizfield

      Paula, DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF THAT YOU TRUSTED TWO PEOPLE THAT WERE UNWORTHY OF YOUR TRUST! Please. You are a good person who thought you were dealing with people of the same ethical standard, which you were not. In an adulterous situation there are 2 people out of 3 that are lying, pathetic cheaters and you are not one of those 2!!! Believe me when I say that please!

    • Gizfield

      I saw this on Facebook and thought it was cute, as well as true: Don’t you wish liar’s pants really did catch on fire? LOL, I love it !

    • Hopeful

      This was really hard. Like others, I had suspected and feared something was wrong long before DDAY. I confronted by H with the weird behavior of the OW towards me and that I saw a weird intimacy between them. I freaked out, felt unhinged, asked, begged, said why don’t we go out for a drink with her, and so on. He said , not surprisingly: I am crazy. I am unreasonable, possessive, weak, a problem, needy, and ruining his life. He needed her as a friend. He was going to be her friend he told me.

      I went to counseling shockingly to fix my paranoia problem! This is how successful the gas lighting was. This is how far away from trusting my gut I ended up. I thought, I am bad, weak, needy, crazy, pathetic, a sorry hideous woman. OMG.

      Then, it all came out and I honestly part of me was relieved that thank god, I f-ing knew it!

      Ugh, then the typical lies about lingering contact and what happened in the EA. Thankfully my H broke off contact for sure relatively early on but the lies continued for almost nine months, trickling out piecemeal. I guess I knew most everything in four months, but it took FOUR MONTHS for him to admit he was attracted to her. What a crock.

      Now, a year later, I do feel strong again and mostly trust myself and him. But it feels fragile and delicate.

      Linda, thanks for writing this. It really resonnated with me.

    • Better

      All this time (1 year after last contact) I thought I just couldnt find myself, that it was just my self esteem…
      I never thought along the lines of not trusting myself.
      But thats exactly what I’m feeling. I use to be so confident in everything I did. Now…I can barley hold a long conversation with someone without doubting myself or fumbling over my words. Its a really scary place to be, and I think I’m the extreme case of losing trust in oneself!!
      I feel like if I say or do the wrong thing my H will contact her again. I really have no idea how to trust myself again, but I’m going to reread this post. Im really scared that I wont be able to figure out how or what I need to do to trust myself!!

      • Anita

        You mentioned “I feel like if I say or do the wrong thing my husband will contact her again.”
        This isn’t about you trusting yourself its about you not
        trusting your husband. You shouldn’t be afraid to be yourself and live each day without the fear of him cheating
        again. You need to live and enjoy your life again, and do
        things that bring joy into your life, if he cheats again then
        you have the choice to stay or leave him. But if your walking
        on eggshells in order to keep him faithful, that’s not
        His infidelity was a poor choice that he made, and his
        responsibility was to remain faithful to you. If he has
        trouble keeping faithful its because there is a issue
        within himself that he needs to resolve, its not because
        My faith has been key in my own healing and has given
        me great confidence to a strong woman in the Lord.
        Therefore I can talk and be confident in who I am, because
        I know the love of God, and he made me perfectly me,
        so I don’t have to fear others if they don’t like me, I can
        shake it off and go foward, leaving the past behind.
        Better I wish you and your spouse the best, however
        don’t let his infidelity get to you, forgive him and live the
        life God created you for.

    • nw

      Sadly, in Britain you have only ix months to start divorce proceedings after discovering an affair or ‘unreasonable behaviour’, it is coming up to that point for me and I feel nowhere near ready to decide on something that major. So, yes, I would like to take time, but by doing so I can close a door in my decision making process. Since my OH is also taking a long time to come to terms with the situation it’s difficult. I am gradually starting to trust my own responses only now as they are gelling a little. Until now I seemed to have a different view every five minutes. I still frequently change my mind about things.

    • Anita

      I never knew that until I read your post. It sure doesn’t allow
      you alot of time. I guess every country is different in their
      divorce laws.
      In my church my exhusband and I are still married, even
      though in civil law we are divorced. I am awaiting the outcome of the annulement proceedings I started several
      months ago. My church doesn’t reconize civil divorce so now I have to wait to see what happens next.

    • Anita

      This has been a long long journey for me and I am praying
      that my annulment will be granted, and I will be single again in my church. If its not granted, I will be considered married, even though I have a civil divorce. I can’t remarry in my church unless this annulment is granted, or until death due us part. My civil divorce happened a few years
      ago, so I am more than ready to have this settled once and
      for all.
      Thats alot of pressure for you to be under to decide something so serious in a matter of months. My heart goes out to you.

    • Paula

      Yes, British law is weird about this! You have six months after “becoming aware” of the adultery, and the definition of adultery is sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex, so EAs or same sex affairs do not count. Also, the CS cannot cite the affair as reason for divorce, only the BS can. The “reasoning” behind this archaic law is that if you do not file within six months of finding out about a sexual affair, then you are judged to be “condoning” it! Obviously statutes written by people who had never been on the betrayed side of the equation, trying to work out whether it was worth trying to stay in the marriage, rather just angrily storming off with, “I’m gonna teach you, I want a divorce!” However, there are always other reasons you can cite, should you find you need to divorce much later on, such as “unreasonable behaviour.” Not much help, sorry, nw.

    • nw

      Sadly unreasonable behaviour (which would include) an EA also has a six month rule. In my case my oh has admitted his adultery so I could divorce him easily. If I waited and went the unreasonable behaviour I’d have to give all the evidence and he could give his ‘just friends’ defence to the judge. I don’t think it would wash but it would be more stressful.

      Six months does not give you long to be sure you can trust your own judgement though.

      • Paula

        Yes, nw, but if the behaviour is, as you have mentioned elsewhere, that he won’t stop contact with his AP, then surely that is unreasonable, if it is causing you such anguish, and he still refuses to stop to relieve you of this pain. Very unreasonable. I think it best not to worry about the law at present, and just concentrate on you. And of course your children, but firstly YOU. If divorce is the eventual result, there will be a way, but that is not your concern at present. Good luck!

      • Anita

        Until you are mentally ready to divorce, it is best to wait until
        you are fully ready and know that this something you want.
        If your still having doubts its better to wait and see where
        this goes.
        Divorce isn’t something to be rushed into, give yourself
        sometime to digest this all. Don’t decide until your emotions subside.
        When my exhusband and I got our civil divorce, it was
        done when he was still involved with his affair partner,
        it wasn’t the first time he cheated on me. So after
        telling him to straighten up or get out, he brought divorce
        papers and I signed them. Some of it was done in the
        heat of the moment, but I was also mentally prepared
        to leave him also. After signing them I made myself
        a promise to go forward with my own life, and leave
        that unhealthy relationship behind, and not to create
        a cycle of of back and forth. I moved to another state
        so I wouldn’t go back to him in a moment of weakness.
        The Bargining Stage in the grieving process is when
        my emotions were all over the place. My family was
        my strenght in that time, keeping me strong not to
        return to a unhealthy relationship. I am very thankful
        to have had them love me enough to be honest with
        me. Thankfully that stage does pass, and I survived
        the whole greiving process to get to a better life.
        NW, take your time you will know when the time is

    • mil

      It is now 4 long years since I discovered my H’s EA. I don’t think I’ve healed at all. I just stumble from one event to the next and keep booking holidays and breaks (with my H) hoping that somehow it will help. But it doesn’t. My initial need to prove his love for me and show him mine has faded and all I see when I look at him is a cheat and liar. No doubt you will advise me to seperate but I know I can’t. He’s just had a second pacemaker fitted and has been told that his own heart doesn’t work on its own at all now. I look at him lying asleep and a rush of love and pity comes over me only to be replaced by hatred at what he has done.I will never ever get over it.

      • Deborah

        Mil you obviously love your husband. You have to let it go you have to forgive. Jealousy plays a huge part in this its not a good place to be. Your husband is still with you hold onto the rush of love you feel, hold onto the good feelings, and dont let the other creep in

    • Gizfield

      I know there was a discussion on here previously about whether it was “wrong” to spy on cheaters or not. I certainly dont like doing stuff like that but it is just about the only defense you have with them. Even WITH PROOF, they still continue to lie, deny, evade, dispute, etc. that they are doing anything wrong. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to get them to even admit something without proof. I monitored my husband’s phone a couple of months before confronting him. I also found all the emails I could find between them and printed them out. This gives me a record of what went on and dates. Also, when he starts his “I didnt DO anything !” Battle cry I can remind myself, yes, yes you did. I need to be reminded of what he is capable of because it is still hard to believe myself. He went through the “gaslight” phase not long after this all started , in which he was particularly nasty, accusing me of being insecure, crazy, jealous, and what not.I didnt have any proof at that time and it was rough cause I was wondering if I really was all those things. That is why you need proof.

    • Gizfield

      My husband was just now explaining something to our daughter and used the phrase “the proof is in the pudding.” Lol, how ironic is that? Just about says it all. One more thing: I made certain that any spying I did was specifically related to the girl friend. I did not even look at anything else. Makes it harder to detect because you dont know things youshouldn’t know. I’m not good at remembering and didnt want to let anything slip, like a co workers name he had never mentioned, lol.

    • Deborah

      I hear everything your are all saying it is comforting that my thoughts are validated. It has been 18 months since I caught my husband texting the OW. It has taken me all this time to let go of the pain and anger I have felt for so long. Long before the A was discovered. My H was in another world and I could not reach him. We talked but I felt he never heard me. I felt the distance. I asked him two years ago that If another women approached him and wanted him what would he say he replied Id tell her to ….. off. But that was a lie that was just to get me off the trail of where he was heading. He had a working relationship with the OW that would take them away to meeting interstate and to the City he never thought I would find out about the A. So I felt so lonely even when he was home I felt lonely. We went overseas for a holiday which I thought was wonderful we had fun we made love we laughed and saw the sites of this other country it was like a second honey moon for me I thought it was for him to but found out later that he was ringing her while we were away and had already been with her twice before we went on the holiday. This is the hardest thing to put out of my mind the fact that we were good but he had this other world as well as me. I was devistated when I realised the extent of his lies. After I discovered the A he told me that it was another world he felt like a teenager, someone else wanted him it made him feel special. He never wanted to leave me but thought he could have both worlds, so sad. So I believe it wasnt about me it was all about him and his insecurities as a person that sent him into this fog. We are really happy now we have talked about the A the OW and he realises it was the most stupid thing he has ever done. We have been married for 39 years he is 62. I forgive him and believe it or not I forgive the OW. I will never forget what happened but I can see it for what it was at the time. Forgiving is the key to healing for both parties and I have never felt so secure and safe and know that my H I have everything in perspective and look forward to a wonderful life together.

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