by Sara K.

trusting yourself
Often an overlooked component in the trust rebuilding process is trusting yourself again.

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome after an affair or infidelity is regaining the trust in your spouse and in the future of the relationship. But, often an overlooked component is regaining the much-needed trust in You.

Before my husband’s infidelity I had a safety net of faith in myself built up inside. I made decisions very quickly and always believed in following my gut. My friends and family came to me with queries all of the time, because they knew I always made great last-minute decisions.

Once the infidelity came to light, I found that suddenly I was second and third-guessing my instincts. No longer could I do any simple task without huge doubt.

Just picking out fruit at the grocery store was a chore. “Yes, this looks like a ripe melon. But, what if I go home and cut it open and it’s not good inside?” I would stand in my produce department having an inner turmoil for way too many minutes. People were starting to stare at my indecision.

I remember my friend Melissa calling me one evening asking me to pick the book for our book club. I spent over three hours reading reviews on Amazon trying to imagine if Betsy would find my selection interesting or if Michelle would roll her eyes at my choice, again. I was suddenly tremendously self-conscious so I started to do a different kind of search – an internal one.

When someone breaks your trust, your heart and your confidence in one fail swoop it is obvious why you would lose faith in his ability to treat you right. However, it can also feel like someone else failed you too – your own self. I felt that my instincts should have pointed me in the direction of what was happening right in my own home.

I had so much over-confidence in my husband that I never imagined he could possibly hurt me like he did. I never examined whether or not our marriage was in a good place (which is wasn’t) or why. I took for granted that my gut said ‘carry on’ and never stopped for a moment to say – ‘Hey, Sara, maybe something’s not right here’. I was angry, but not so much at my husband, but at myself for letting me down!

Opt In Image
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.

 

Trusting Yourself – Rebuilding Your Confidence With a New Habit

Learning to stand on your own two feet and trust your gut again can be a lengthy process. But, understand that with patience and trial and error you will get there. In my period of learning to regain trust I came up with an acronym that really helped me focus not only on learning to be confident trusting my husband but also with learning to accept and trust myself again:

H.A.B.I.T

Honesty – Being completely honest with the fact that I was angry at myself allowed me to examine and learn that there were issues within my marriage that were there long before the infidelity. Happily married men don’t cheat. We had both been responsible for ignoring our issues and pretending that everything was fine. I had to also be honest with the fact that although I was responsible for contributing to the issues within our relationship, I was not responsible for his infidelity. That was not a choice I made. That was a choice that he made.

Acceptance – Once I was honest with myself, I was able to accept that New Normal can be better than our old relationship. Talking through our biggest issues, having a chance to examine where we went wrong allowed us to begin to accept that we could have something much better, much stronger and much more honest than we had before. Trusting myself was already returning slightly at this point.

Bond – Aside from re-bonding with my husband, it was imperative that I re-bond with myself. Spending much needed Me Time, doing things I enjoy, writing, reading, walking, getting my nails done, lunch with an old friend. Bonding with myself allowed me clarity to love myself again and let go of the doubts.

Intimacy – Part of learning to trust your spouse and trusting yourself again comes from sharing intimate thoughts. Deep emotional connections, making and expressing love with open honest communication all bring in intimacy and ignite the trust within. Learning to trust and listening to my body carefully allowed me to tell my husband what I needed both in and out of our bedroom.

Trustworthy – Every time I make a decision and follow through on listening to my gut, I feel like it’s a little stronger. Being trustworthy means you can count on yourself to be there, to listen to your own instincts and think things through. You don’t need confirmation from others that you’re doing okay- you just need confidence in your own healing abilities.

With this new H.A.B.I.T in mind, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for putting faith back where it belongs – in you.  As trust grows, so does your clarity and love. This can permeate into your relationships, your marriage and your ability to function, to grow and ultimately, thrive.

 

    57 replies to "Trusting Yourself – Are Your Gut Instincts Extinct?"

    • Natalia

      This post hits home because this is exactly where I stand now. I am beginning to have confidence in myself and in my husband. I don’t miss the old marriage so much anymore because we’re building a new one which is stronger and so much better. Honesty is top priority as well as love. Many mornings before we have to actually get up we cuddle and talk about how we’re in a better place now. We also remember all the good moments we’ve had in the past. If we talk about the EA, we’re not sad or angry anymore. We’ve taken it as a lesson. We’ve also learned that by talking openly about it, it’s lost it’s power over us. By not ignoring it or sweeping it under the rug we’ve taken it apart and now it’s just a bad memory that doesn’t pierce my heart anymore. Even saying the OW’s names does not produce triggers or pain. I’m starting to feel truly free and I love it.

      • Doug

        That is really great to hear Natalia. Thanks for sharing that!

      • Recovering

        My husband’s was a PA… I think that that is harder than just an emotional affair because there are the extra visions that I can’t seem to get over… Its added onto the emotional part – to which I have notified him that his feelings WEREN’T real for the whore, and therefore pretty much don’t matter… childish, yes, but I couldn’t take that he actually CARED about such a disgusting person on top of the fact that he took his clothes off with it!!!! Our intimate times are not like they once were… I always wonder if he made that face with her… if it’s any different with me… they SAY what you want to hear… that he never “made love” to it… I mean, how could you in the back of a car anyway, but still… when it isn’t an hour long fest then I feel cheap and like I am no different than it… like it doesn’t matter that it was with me… I don’t trust myself to judge that or any other thing he says… They SAY whatever… and I analyze everything… to what point is my mind making it what I want, or don’t want, for that matter? He got all lost in his head and now I am doing the same. I don’t know which way is up most of the time. I feel crazy… trusting myself… well, am more forceful than before, and not such a weakling, giving in to all of his maniupulation, but still… my tag name is a lie… I am NOT recovering… not at all…. damn I wish I was a half-full kinda girl!!

        • Gizfield

          Recovering, I hate it that things are not going well for you. like you, I am disgusted by my husband’s choice of Other Woman, ugh. He has told so many lies I didnt know what to believe. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make it easier on myself, and I am presuming that anything he says is a lie. That may seem drastic to some, but seriously, why should I believe one thing when the last thing out of his mouth was a proven lie. Needless to say, he does not like this. Before the “burden of proof” was that I prove he was lying. Now, it is on him to prove he is telling the truth. And trust me, it’s not that easy to do. Oh well, should have thought of that before you established yourself as a pathological liar.

    • Patsy50

      I will make this brief. We are in hurricane Sandy’s path. I mirror Natalia. I have learned to trust myself once again and my husband. The old marriage is still filled with many great memories which I will always remember but the new one is even better with brand new memories being made. My husband will turn to me and say ” we’re having fun” and that is just one thing that was missing before ” having fun”

      • Doug

        Thanks Patsy50…That is also great to hear. Please be safe in the storm!

      • rachel

        Patsy50,
        Glad things are working out for you. My H and I tried for 5 days but that was his limit. He felt he had no emotional connection to me like he did his g.f. So he was done with me.. When we were trying I thought things were great. We put each other first. Went out together, watched t.v. together. He wouldn’t answere any questions about his affair. That for me was stressful. I wish he at least gave it a month. But he didn’t and divorce is what he wants and what he’ll get.
        We are in Sandy’s path as well. Stay safe. Hopefully sandy will wisk him far away from here.

        • Patsy50

          Sorry to hear that Rachael. I believe the cheater MUST talk about their affair. And answer any questions that are asked by the betrayed spouse in order to help with the healing process and for as long as it takes for them to get the relationship to the next level of healing which has many steps. If both partners can hang in there there can be light at the end of the tunnel. Hope you are safe also and haven’t lost power yet.

          • Rachel

            Patsy 50,
            He didn’t want to get to the next level. That’s why he didn’t even try. This is what makes me sad and I have a hardntime understanding. But it is all about him and has always has been.
            I don’t miss his verbal comments about my clothing or my hair. I get positive nice comments from my customers at my new job. Even from the over 80 group.
            I think the storm has been rather quiet. And it’s quiet here as well. Stress free and should be for a few days. ; )
            Because he works for the power company.

            • Patsy50

              Rachael, hope you weathered the storm. I just got power back and thank god! It is very hard to understand why. It seems like you have some reasons as to why as he seems to be self centered and verbally abusely to you as that only tears your self esteem down. But glad you get it from other sources which is very important. Keep your chin up things can be better either way.

    • Gizfield

      I have a problem with the statement “Happily married men dont cheat.” Yes, some do. They have a moral defiency. They are not cheating because they are unhappy. They are cheating because they are CHEATERS to the bone.

    • Natalia

      Gizfield, I agree with you as to “happily married men don’t cheat.” Some cheat because they are either always welcoming the thrill of being attractive to OW or they have no boundaries. My H was guilty of both. And when I pointed out what he was doing wrong, he admitted it. I think that one of the key ingredients in healing is for the H to admit that he screwed up all by himself!

    • Virginia

      I agree with you Giz, but I would say men unhappy with their inner-selves cheat. I would also add that some of us knew our marriage was in trouble. I desperately tried to reach out to my husband numerous times before (and during) his EA. The harder I tried to reconnect with him the more withdrawn from me and our marriage he became. Sometimes when people are on a destructive path there’s just no stopping them. He now says he was having so much anxiety about where he was in life and his choices that he felt like he had failed our family. Those feelings led to the EA which is where he ACTUALLY failed our family. All the other issues had fixes, I’m still not sure his EA and the damage it has done will ever be “fixed.”

      • Carol

        Eerie, Virginia — your H sounds just like mine! Like you, I knew things were bad in our marriage, but the more I suggested we work on things, the more he withdrew & refused — he says he felt like a failure, and then as you say he really failed me with the EA and all the lying it entailed. It’s the lying that’s so hard for me to get over – that trust issue. I also hope my H will be honest about our probs now as he was not before, that he’ll be strong enough and present enough to be real with me.

      • exercisegrace

        Wow Virginia, very very insightful comments and I can really relate to them. we had a number of external stresses going on (loss of parents, financial, potentially losing our business, adopted two children, on and on) He was very unhappy with where he was professionally and that made him feel like he was failing. That in turn made him susceptible to the attention and flattering words of another woman. Like your husband, as he felt worse about himself, he withdrew. He refused to talk much about how he was feeling, and despite the fact that I was supporting, encouraging and discussing all our options with him, he would tell you he felt unloved and abandoned at the time. The truth was that he was making a destructive choice to share personal information with this sleaze. By her own admission she had been after him for a long time, and once he went into self-destruct mode, he blew it sky high. (and for the record, that IS how he describes it, that he just got very depressed and went into a self-destructive mindset)
        Like you Virginia, all the stresses we were under had fixes. But he chose a self-centered “false fix”, and allowed an EA to become a full-blown PA for nearly a year. It has almost destroyed us. Eight months after d-day we are both devastated and struggling. He professes his fear that I am going to leave him, that he loves me as much as ever. Obviously, I am dealing with trust issues, etc.

    • Sara K.

      As author of this post, you are right in questioning me – let me elaborate: Happily married men DO cheat, when they are not open to allowing the happiness in. Men who are pained inside, emotionally unavailable or just absolutely inept go elsewhere for those feelings or emotions. However, there is a fundamental crack in the marriage when things continue to function below where they should be. There is a gut instinct that things don’t feel right and we all too often ignore that leaving ourselves or our partner vulnerable to look elsewhere to fill that need. That’s not posting blame on the betrayed, it’s just saying something existed within the marriage that was wrong and no one recognized or knew how to fix it. So, the “Happy married man” fixed it on his own, inappropriately.

      • Virginia

        I wish my experience was as cut and dry as you describe. Unfortunately it was not. It went deep into my H’s past and involved his mother in ways only a seasoned psychologist could explain to us. Our stories may have a common theme, betrayal, but how we got there is as varied as the lives we lead.

      • exercisegrace

        I completely disagree. After discussions with three reputable therapists, they ALL tell us that there was nothing I could have done differently. My husband became clinically depressed following several financial disasters, including the near loss of his business, losing two of our parents, adopting two kids, I knew he was depressed, was begging him to get therapy, medication, some type of help. He refused. We talked about all the options and I expressed my support for whatever he wanted to do: walk away from the business, the house, etc. Get another job, move to another state for a different job, etc. I told him repeatedly that we had each other and our kids and thats all that mattered. The rest would work itself out. There was no lack of sex (unless he turned it down, claiming stress) there was no fighting, no turning away from each other. He works from home, so we had time to be together, and I had and took the opportunity to support him in little ways, like bringing an afternoon snack, or picking up a favorite coffee drink unexpectedly.
        Unfortunately despite the availability of love and support within the marriage, he chose to fill broken part of himself with a willing colleague who, again by her own admission, had been after him for a very long time. She knew a lot of what was going on and used that to her advantage under the guise of business support. This turned into and EA and months later a PA with devastating results. All of our therapists said this was a result of something broken in him and choices he made to fill HIS brokenness. Even he can’t think of anything I could have done differently and neither can our therapists. Believe me. Recovery would be MUCH easier if I could look at this and say…….welll, I did this and I didn’t do that, so now I know what I need to FIX. Much easier.

    • Gizfield

      Sara K. , I can appreciate the fact that you think people who cheat are “unhappy” at some level, but I dont really think all people have the same motivations or expectations of marriage. I have known several cheaters who are very happy with themselves. The percentage in the general population is probably lots higher than any of us care to even think about. Most people who are truly Unhappy in their marriage will leave, but I bet that there are a lot of people who KNEW they could have a second relationship and NEVER get caught or suffer any consequences would do it, and never feel any remorse or unhappiness. I think that is just human nature. They think they deserve to do what they want to do. Just my opinion, of course.

    • Carol

      Another comment: some of us knew something was wrong, did not ignore our gut instincts, and got betrayed anyway despite our best efforts. One person alone cannot save a marriage. Marriage like tango takes two.

      • Rachel

        Exactly carol. It takes two. I tried and tried for him to go to marriage counselor and he wouldn’t go. I told him I would like to move on with his help to help me heal and he said no. I wanted our marriage to work and he said no, I don’t want you or our marriage. I want to fall in love with someone else he said.
        The end. I tried.

    • Sara K

      I understand what you are saying and it absolutely takes two to make things work. My experience was just that I ignored my gut telling me something was wrong. It took a long time to trust my gut again. But, it is just that, my experience… I would never stand in any other woman’s shoes. My friend has an excellent expression : You don’t sleep under their bed. We never can tell what transpires in someone else relationship. We can only share and learn from our own experiences.

      • Amanda

        Sara,
        When I look at my own brothers marriages and they are happy married men, who love their wives very much. They
        display affection toward their wives daily, and they conduct themselves in a manner that shows the world that they are happily married men. Their actions attitudes all point in that direction. My sister inlaws also give those same vibes. I have also seen them disagree and get ticked off
        over some trivial things, but they’re marriages are solid and they are happy.
        I do agree happily married men don’t cheat, I do believe
        its because they have a standard that they have set
        for themselves, and it shows.

        • Amanda

          Sara,
          I was once a betrayed spouse myself, I can tell you with
          all honesty I wasn’t the perfect wife, but I was a good wife
          who gave and did my best. I do not blame myself for the standards my exhusband chose for himself. We are no longer together, and I forgave him. But I am not responsible for the level of standards my exhusband chose for himself, he hurt himself the most.
          Sara I have made peace with the fact that my exhusband wasn’t happy at the time we were married, but it was his job to work on his own unhappiness. The affair was
          a mask to cover his own pain, that had nothing to do with
          me. By his own standards it was ok for him to cheat, and
          behave in the manner he did.
          He was an adult, and as an adult we are responsible for the choices we make. As I have mentioned I forgave him
          but we all are responsible for our own happiness, and choices we make, my exhusband hurt himself far more
          than he ever hurt me.

          • Amanda

            Sara,
            I know for myself I had to some self growth after my divorce.
            I knew I had been mistreated and to hear someone else
            say that happily married men don’t cheat, was a hot button
            for me for quiet awhile, until, I heard a speaker mention that
            we are responsible for our own happiness, and we shouldn’t put in on others to make us happy. By putting the responsiblity on others to make us happy, were not taking that responsibility and we assign it to others if you do this I will be happy or if you had done that I would be happy. That job belongs to us, This was very healing when I realized it was up to my exhusband to fix his own unhappiness. But he did what he did, and I forgave him
            after our divorce. Then it become my responsiblity to find
            my own happiness again, and I have.
            I agree in a marriage both people need to work with each
            other and problem solve as you go and sometimes compromise, its give and take, but there is no room
            for a third person within a marriage, and for a betrayed
            spouse to hear the words a happily married man doesn’t
            cheat, is not the responsiblity of the betrayed spouse. But it
            is the responsiblity of each spouse to stay faithful to their
            vows. Because if a person is unhappy then its their
            responsiblity to fix that and cheating is not treating your spouse, as you would wanted to be treated, and it only make matters worse.

            • Amanda

              Sara,
              Whenever something feels or appears different from what
              is the norm. I believe we all feel some kind of instinct that
              something is not right or off.
              I felt that way just before I found out about my exhusband’s last affair. I chose to ignore that feeling, and told myself he wouldn’t do something like that again to us. Well he did
              and all the classic signs were there. I guess I chose to believe the best of him.
              I do not fault myself or distrust myself because I chose to believe the best of someone. His betrayal belonged to him, and it was a disappointment to find out that he chose to involve himself with another woman, but this was his
              downfall, and it was my job to get over him and forgive him. But I never distrust myself or blame myself for loving someone who turned out to be a different person than I
              thought he was.
              Also by my forgiving him it has freed me to move on and
              live again.

            • Amanda

              Sara,
              With the saying happy men don’t cheat, there is also unhappy men who don’t cheat either.
              I believe we each have our set of standards that we live by and we set boundaries to maintain those standards.
              My set of standards comes from my faith, had I not had
              those standards, in my last year of my marriage I would have felt the right to seek out another man for my ownself during my own unhappiness, but I didn’t I had my own set of values that stopped me from behaving in that manner.
              I was better for us to go our separate ways and for me to heal. By me being single it has given me the opportunity
              to enrich my life with many different things.
              Someday if the right man comes along and we are good
              for each other I am open to a new relationship should that
              happen, but I don’t go looking for one, because I believe it
              will happen if its meant to.
              I am a huge believer of forgiving a person when you have been wronged by them, but I also believe a person does not need to stay in a unhealthy relationship either, if that
              person continues to be unfaithful.

            • Amanda

              Typo, I meant to say that if the other person continues to be unfaithful after getting a second chance the betrayed spouse is better off without them and to forgive them.

            • Amanda

              Sara,
              Of course this is only my 2 cents worth, and this day an age
              I don’t think we can buy much if anything with that.
              I wish you and your spouse many years of happiness and I
              am glad you found your own path to healing.
              I know my path was different from most others on this site,
              but it whatever works for each individual to recover from
              the pain of betrayel and to find their own happiness again is what counts how we get there is an expereince for
              each of us, and I wish everyone here the ulimate best.

    • Gizfield

      Considering the fact that I was so busy working full time, taking care of a preschool child, and a house I didnt have a lot of time to observe whether my husband was “happy” or not. I dont even know whether I was happy or not. I still stand by my statement that happy spouses do cheat. However, mature ones, committed ones, those who want to act like adults, not over grown horny teenagers DO NOT. “happy”is like the new get out of jail free card today. Follow Your Heart !!! No matter what the cost to anyone else.

    • Gizfield

      I asked my husband what on EARTH was he thinking pursuing a skank he lived in the same apartment building with 20 years ago. He said he was “crazy” and it took him “back to his youth”. Well I certainly agree with that. He has gone back 30 years, right back to his mother’s house which he moved out of when he was 18. Why on earth does every one want to be a teenager anyway. I’m around them all the time. They dont seem that happy, lol. Very unstable, and those are the good ones, lol.

      • Rachel

        Gizfield,

        You make me laugh!!! Why does everyone want to be a teenager???
        I guess they get so low with their self esteem that they need that ego stroking that they cheat.
        My h says now that its not about the first g.f. ( he has another one now) it’s just that e doesnt want me.
        Ok so that’s fine but why is he still here??? He wants a divorce,wants his freedom, wants to worry about only him and put himself first. Ok we get it mr. Selfish, mr. Me,me,me. Go then.
        My therapist said he can throw away people but not things. He goes thru the garbage and pulls things out because he can’t part with them when I throw them away. Bu me and our marriage, he’s left in the garbage.

    • liberty

      I knew things were wrong in my marriage. However, I was so busy working 10-12 hours a day and taking care of our child that I didn’t realize that my husband was trying to tell me he was unhappy. Now granted he did not sit me down and say it flat out, but he did say it in arguments. I was unhappy too, but it takes a lot of energy to work on it and none to just let things be. I never thought he would find a “friend” to talk to instead of me. So?? I don’t know what’s next! Thanks for listening and offering advice. I appriciate it.

    • Disappointed

      Last night my H said he still doesnt regret the EA even though he is sorry he betrayed and hurt me. He doesnt see it as a breach of professional ethics that his EA was with a student. He says marriage just doesnt work and it makes people miserable. We had a dinner for our nonprofit and all the way there in the car he told me some of the “100’s” of instances of my behavior that made him give up on me/us. He said a lot of things in front of his mother who got in on the act and started telling me that it was about him and i was just on the side of it all and that he needs his freedom. Then she told me “remember all those years ago when I warned you not to be stupid when he started losing weight and looking younger”. I am being blamed for his affair and for our marriage being on the rocks. He told me every day since last Fall he has had a knot in his stomach because he hurt me and lied to me. I said I could forgive him he says he cant forgive himself.

    • Surviving

      When I found out about my H EA he told me he had told her he thought I gave up on us.
      I blasted him so fast and so hard, I couldn’t believe the garbage that was coming out of his mouth to justify his betrayal.

      I never gave up on us and still haven’t
      There are times I do question staying with him and when I do I look him straight in his face and tell him so.

    • Gizfield

      Disappointed, how horrible for you! I would have told him, and his mama, no matter WHAT is wrong with ME, he and his little chippy are a hundred times worse if he thinks any of this behavior on his part is acceptable. My roommate in college dated a professor as well. At least he wasn’t married, that I know of! One of the first things she told me when we met was that she liked to steal other girls boyfriends. I told her I liked to beat the hell out of girls who mess with my boyfriends. She stayed away from mine, but decimated lots of other relationships. Ughhhh.

    • Carol

      Disappointed, forgive me if I’m crossing the line here, but his words to you sound like they’re almost emotionally abusive. And don’t even get me started on his mother . . . what a cruel person. Is marriage to him still something you want? That’s the big question.
      Re: professional ethics – at my particular university, a professor’s involvement with an undergraduate student or with a graduate student in the professor’s department is a fire-able offense. I mean immediately, upon discovery, fire-able; no lengthy process, no messing about. Here, an EA also might get you fired, or it might get you a stern caution coupled with the end of any further advancement at the university (I saw this happen once). He crossed the line, he behaved unprofessionally — plain and simple. Sheesh.

    • Carol

      Disappointed, one more thought — on rereading your post, I think I should strike the word “almost” from my comment — he’s blaming you and your behavior for his bad choices, which IS emotionally abusive and terribly wrong. He’s responsible for his own bad choices, not you. My H tried to pull that on me in the day or two after D-day. I told him that he was solely responsible for his own stupidity and that if he thought his lying, cheating, narcissistic skank of an OW was a better woman than his faithful wife of nearly 20 years, then he was too much of a fool for me and he could get the hell out. The thing is, I meant it. You have to mean it. Had he dithered in cutting off contact or continued to spout shit about how I was to blame for the affair, he would have been out on his ass. It is up to you as to whether you’re at that point — whether you feel that if he cannot change and grow up, you are willing to pull the plug. It sounds like his mama is letting him get away with gross irresponsibility also — it is evident to everyone here that his behavior is that of a very selfish, immature man, and now it’s evident how he got to be that way!

    • justbecause

      He was missing something in our marriage and found it elsewhere . . .

      Did I realize something was missing? You bet, for years. Did I think he was having a EA? Ummm, no – I didn’t know what an EA even was. But my gut did, at times, make me suspect something may be going on. Then the rollercoaster would start chugging up the hill and my mind would quiet and life went on – although it was still not good, it wasn’t always bad. Hope that makes sense.

      I too tried and tried. Was I perfect, no. Is anyone? But I bear no, absollutely no responsibility for the “missing something” in the marriage or his EA. My H is an alcoholic. He battles with bipolar issues. He does not want to face problems, handle the issues of everyday life. No excuses here, he made the conscious decision to have the EA and other bad behaviors.

      Our marriage depended on his facing his demons, quitting drinking, and working on us. Discovery of the EA occurred just after I had made the decision to move out. I had contacted a realator about a rental. My H did not know this. Then D-day occurred. Divine intervention?? Carol, I agree you have to mean it when you give an ultimatum. I did mean it, and my H knew it. I was ready . . .and so was my H – ready to change.Some writers and their spouses don’t seem to be in sync with this timing. Then what?

      Things are good. I will not only continue to listen to my gut, but I will also be more active in my response. I will confront any issues sooner. I will not let problems simmer within only to explode later.

    • rachel

      November 13, it will be a year from d-day. I have been thinking back to that day so much today because we change the calendars tomorrow.
      I’ve been thinking of the excuses that he used for the reason he had the affair and some of them are just so far fetched.
      One excuse was that my parents don’t have many friends. Well, they are 82 and 81 and many of their friends have died. They have a few close friends and family that they do things with, senior citizen trips and bingo. Really why would he even go there?
      When his sister came to my house to talk to him about the affair she turned the table and started to blame me. She said that I clean up too soon when I have a party. She also said that I am too overprotective of my children. Really what does this have to do with him having an affair with his exgirlfriend that he looked up?

      • justbecause

        Hi Rachel, How bizarre – you clean up to soon after a party?I don’t get the corelation . . . And what do your parents have to do with anything? Besides snior citizen trips in your 80’2 is awesome!

        Be strong this month. Do something special for yourself. Come and talk to all of us if it helps.

        • Rachel

          Just because ,
          They were just trying to justify his cheating by finding fault with me. But, that’s ok, I know I am a better person then them.
          I will be in this site, you will probably gets sick of my rambling on and on.

    • Surviving

      Rachel,
      At least you clean up after the party.

      Usually the people who complain are the ones raising or raised inconsiderate kids, if they have any at all that is.

      • Rachel

        Surviving,
        Wow! You hit the nail on the head. My soon to be ex-sister in laws daughter is the most inconsiderate person on this earth!
        Her parents give give give, because she wants wants wants.
        Again another one in that family who is unhappy.
        I am still waiting for a thank you note from her birthday in June. I also dug out a blow up mattress for her for when her friends sleep in her apartment in Boston . And again no thank you. Oh and princess is her nick name.
        Great point, thank you!

    • Exercise grace

      Instincts? Mine were dead on. If I had trusted my gut, I would have and could have prevented the EA. from becoming a PA. But no, I let my trust in HIM and my belief in HIM trump my trust in ME, never, ever again. Guilty until proven innocent! If I don’t like someone or some situation….it’s out of our life. Period. Even if I’m wrong. That’s the price he pays. My gut rules, ha ha.

    • Rick

      This is a question for both Linda and Doug and let me both tell you that this website has been a Godsend. Whenever I found myself alone all it took was looking over the articles and comments to know I wasn’t.
      Here’s my question for you Linda, When the affair was going on did you have to almost list your contributions to Doug? Because your contributions suddenly were forgotten, while he listed all of his contributions.

      Thanks. I sent you both a comment last week. Unfortunately regarding my partner she has decided to begin a life with him. She’s going slow and says that for the first time in a long while she is happy and she doesn’t wish to see me. Everything you related Linda during your fight for your marriage and your growth almost mimic mine, except of course the end. But I know what I contributed and so does the Good Lord. Thanks Rick

      • Linda

        Rick, I did list my contributions, often to deaf ears. It is one of the many things I will never understand about the affair and Doug’s state of mind at the time. He rewrote everything about our marriage and made it very one sided. I was the bad wife and he had been unhappy for quite some time. I learned from experience that trying to convince the cheater that they are wrong is almost impossible until they are able to step back and end the affair. I feel the justifications lessons their guilt, so they will continue believing those things while they continue to feel guilt. I wouldn’t give up just yet, I suggest you give her space and let her feel everything alone. She may realize that she isn’t as happy as believes she is.

        • exercisegrace

          Rick, I hope you don’t mind if I chime in here with Linda’s comment. It seems to be the norm. The bubble of unreality is very, very strong. But there is guilt there as well. As strange as it sounds, I can look back and almost see the fact that he was criticizing me as an early POSITIVE sign that he was coming back. The rewriting is hideous and hurtful, but it’s what they do to justify how guilty they feel. Deep down they KNOW what they are doing is WRONG, even if for the moment, it feels so right. Some part of them knows it’s not reality, knows its not sustainable. He looks back now and can’t believe what he did and said. He says it feels like we are talking about someone else. Hang in there and take care of YOU.

          • chiffchaff

            Rick – what Linda and Exercisegrace is true, but you do sound like you valuing yourself at this difficult time, which is fantastic.

          • Rick

            Thank you Linda, exercisegrace, and chiffchaff for your comments. As I said earlier, I have learned so much read the articles and postings (well some of the postings..lol) All I can tell you all is thank you for the concern and advise.
            Maybe she is still caught in the affair bubble. I hope so. Even now I see and reconsider during this time if I wasn’t listening to her and was selfish myself by staying and hoping to repair our relationship.
            If I could do it differently now, I wouldn’t have moved back in a year and a half ago after stumbling upon her box of letters on the top shelf. After I moved out and she’d call and send texts like, “I battling good and evil right now and an ashamed of who I’ve become.” I thought the discovery of the letters had shaken her up. It also forced me to look at my role in the pain in our relationship. Not affairs or alcohol or drugs. But time away and forgetting that she needed my time instead of tv or the computer. I was away for two weeks at a time. Not meaning to make excuses but it is easy to fall into a rut. This has opened my eyes of the deep and past reason why I fear intimacy.
            Something my counselor and I have opened u recently and have seen the effects it’s had. Hurt and abandonment linger on for years if you don’t confront them. I am proof of that. But I also know that quitting my job at the time she wanted me too wasn’t easy. I have two children I needed to support and her ex-husband stopped paying child support, so someone needed to cover those expenses. That’s why I was asking Linda about if Doug had completely forgotten about her contributions. I didn’t want her feeling worry about me looking for a job and the money drying up in case I didn’t find one immediately. I was looking within my company and others. She would tell me how her ex had put her in such a financial predicament, that I never wished for her to go through that again.
            I wasn’t easy for me either. Both her children were out of control. Drugs, selling drugs, disrespect towards her, school problems. I’d listen and when it got bad, I would get involved. If rules were set up with consequences, she never held to them. Their father was nonexistent in her sons lives, well just enough to stir the pot. I even talked to him that his boys needed him and I would help if he needed it.
            Being a stepdad is tough. It’s never if your right but whether how wrong you are. When I’d get frustrated and told her what I thought was needed, I was preaching. If I backed off and told her she could take care of it, I was giving up. While at the same time, my two sons loved her and treated her with the utmost respect.
            I don’t want anyone to think that I was a knight in shining armor. I am so far from that. My disconnect hurt her deeply. She never knew her father. Her Mom had an affair with a married man and Tania and her brother were the result of that affair. In fact everyone in her family has been involved in an affair. Young and old. She got married at 18 after getting pregnant to an abusive man. Her relationships were generally unsuccessful leading up to me. Who as I’ve mentioned isn’t in the best of ways myself.
            About a month before I found the letters, she told me she wanted to break up and have some time to find herself. I was devastated but felt if I truly loved her then she deserved that much from me. I was looking for a picture of her to carry to my new place when I found the box of letters on the top shelf. But if I look back the signs that we were in trouble were there, probable if I’m honest long before this “man” entered the picture. Which is the most humbling part of the story.
            I left when the box was found. She sent me a text saying how “He was broken just like she was.” but a few days later she began texting me. Telling about how lost she was and wanting to try and rekindle our relationship. She even told her friends about this. I took the plunge. Felt that it was time I finally commit to her. Give her all of me for once. But even once we started to try again, she was still writing him. Letting him know what I was doing. I focused on us and not him and she opened up to me. I heard a lot about her feeling for him and about things I hadn’t been listening too for years.
            In short after a year and a half she wanted me to move out about the time when he was relocating here. I went three weeks without hearing from her until a few days ago when she told me, after I called that she’s in a better place right now and happy. She’s found out that she’s not as broken as she thought and I had made her feel that way. She was going to take things slow that she didn’t need a relationship now but was enjoying her friend. Also that it wasn’t an affair she was having and I should have never told her to end it. Now this was after 2 months of listening to her talk about him and me, trying to be her friend. I will probably never hear from her again.
            Not sure if I wasn’t trying to “Fix” her. She would tell me thru the years how inadequate she felt and I would encourage her to go to school find friends and have a life outside of us (since I was on the road but also because of her abusive kids.) It’s hard not to blame myself but I know the affair wasn’t my fault and I am still working on things.
            Sorry this was so long. All I’m mad at now is how she treated my son’s. She tossed them away like she was tossed out by others. My boys while not angels loved her and treated her with respect. Her kids lied to me, cursed at me, stole from me, and hit me at times. Yet she doesn’t remember. I’ve been asked why I stayed. Because I loved her and understood all the pain they were going through. You don’t bail out on family. At least I don’t.
            I am learning about my enabling and the issues of abandonment that have influenced me in my life and relationships. It will get better, it just hurts right now. She and I did have good times, and those are what lingers in my thoughts. Thanks Rick. I encourage comments.

    • Surviving

      Rick,
      Sorry that you are going through all this.
      I don’t understand how she could abandon the two boys just cut them out of her life as if they meant nothing to her.

      Hopefully you can help them heal, even though you are going through so much yourself the boys need to know that her relationship with them was real but who she is now and how she is acting isn’t because of them, they did nothing ” wrong”.

      I don’t know if she realizes how much you did and sacrificed for her and the family.
      Some people just run from relationship to relationship without doing the work.

      • Rick

        Oh, the boys are fine. My oldest who is eighteen. Tania and I met and combined our families in 2005. My oldest was 11 and the youngest was 9. Tania was very good to my boys. She helped me with much. I am a better dad because of her. My oldest has moved on in fact last year when this situation came to the surface, Jordan told me, “Dad don’t worry you were good to her. Tania changed after her mom died a few years ago. She became lost, we could see it. If you had gotten a job in town that problem would have went away but another would have cropped up because she was just lost.
        My youngest who is now 16 adored Tania. It has hit him. When I moved out he helped. He saw the pictures of her EA’s son on the wall. The reason my son knew about the EA. One day last year the boys were at the house. Her oldest who knew her “Friend” came over and they got into an argument about the relationship. They were yelling and I had to break them up. My sons overheard. Josh told Tania on the next visit that he didn’t want to visit anymore. She met him and they talked. She told him that she loved me but she was confused and trying to sort out her life. When this finished, Josh has told me that he doesn’t think of her. Fortunately this has come at a time when Josh’s social life in High School is developing. His junior year is going well. Tania was great with my sons for a long time. I still believe from this site and others that she never had an intention of starting an EA. She was lonely and hurt and things got out of control. Many of her behaviors mimic Linda’s and others examples. She is not an evil woman. There is so much sweetness in her. We all make bad choices and live with the consequences. I need to work on myself. This has shown many things I need to work on. The fact the relationship got to the point that an EA could take hold means Tania and I both have issues. Thanks for the concern. My boys and I are going to be fine.

    • Disappointed

      Rick – Your comment that she said her affair partner was broken just like she was really hit me. My H said that he and the OW were both damaged and that is why he sees them assoul mates. Truth is we are all broken and damaged in some way… Life does that. I wonder if I am too high functioning to love – how said is that. He gave her his love, attention and concern so easily. All the things I wanted and he wouldnt do. He is moving home until I find a new job and can pay the bills on my own. He started counseling so I have a tiny glimmer of hope, but mostly I am scared.

      • RIck

        Hey Disappointed… As I said earlier and a few weeks ago in a question to Linda and Doug. I’ve learned a great deal from this site, about the mechanics of an affair, be it physical or emotional regarding the offending spouse/partner. Also learn the pain of the victim (us). That’s why in particular when Doug and Linda respond I find answers and the feeling that I’m not alone comforting even for the smallest of moments. And believe me those moments can go by in an instant.
        While there may be differences be it subtle or not so subtle the one constant is the affair and the choice for the affair is theirs and theirs alone. Maybe life catches up to them. Perhaps the baggage from their past was to much. Who knows. I wish I did and because they seem to have found someone our minds think, “It must be us.” The hardest thing to get past is the fact as I look back, I missed things. We think we should have be perfect and their problem is of our doing. Even if they say it’s “Them”.
        What I learned from Linda in particular is it’s not us, it is them. But it gave her the chance to fix and become aware of some issues through the help of her counselor, that had effected the way she sees herself. The need to please. In my case it’s abandonment and holding on out of desperation. My counselor has told me the same as Linda’s. I hold him up here and myself down here. Any errors on my part were of being human. Once I let it sink in, I’m sure that the attitude Linda has (If I’m not someone he wants to be around, that’s his problem.) will be mine as well.
        It’s hard when you tackle it on it’s own. For better or worse means something. Boy it’ great giving this advise. Wish I took it myself sometimes…LOL What I admire from Linda is it took a few months for her (probably seemed like an eternity for her.) For me it’s been a 1 1/2 years. I felt so weak and second guess myself. If I had been stronger and left would she have realized the errors of her ways. Don’t know.. But I must have faith that I am on the right path and she is not this confident woman that she seems to be on the phone. If she chooses him then fine. I’ll be great for the next woman in my life. If she decides to try with me in the future, I will be stronger and expect respect and the fact that she’ll need to work on trust. Now tomorrow I may be crying again and sad. But I’ll keep moving forward.
        In the end the truth will come out. I don’t prescribe too much that if it’s meant to be. I believe in choices and God’s work. People have turned themselves around and realized their mistakes. Some haven’t.
        How are you doing “Disappointed” are you reliving his words and your history together. Is talking to friends not getting you anywhere. Find a good family counselor for yourself. I was amazed how much garbage from my past this situation has revealed. Junk that wouldn’t have come out if we were still together. Your worth it and I encourage it. No shame. Your a good person and made mistakes just like every person on this earth. Look at the marriages you see day to day. It startled me at first. Why are they together know how he/she is treating their partner but then over time I saw how unhappy many were and they weren’t fixing themselves. It’s a wonder there aren’t more affairs and it surprised me when I couple I see as picture perfect, went through the same thing and fixed it but not without a lot of pain and struggle. Like Linda and Doug. Then what true, deep, adult love looks like. I hope you are doing better and give yourself a break. Your trying and loving the unlovable is a hard thing. Keep us updated. Now tomorrow I may be down again but for now it’s okay. I miss her but that’s okay. Rick

    • RIck

      Also about your comment that he felt the same as her. is a key component of how they get in. “I know exactly how you feel” and such. The old saying “Misery loves company” is very true. One feeling I had at times after I heard her excuses and read a number of his letters to her. “Boy, this is so High School.”

    • Jen

      Linda and Doug, disappointed that you’ve posted something that perpetuates the myth of “Happily married men don’t cheat.”

      • Doug

        Hey Jen, Thanks for your comment. I have to disagree with you here. This post from 4 years ago is about regaining trust in yourself after an affair. True, the author, Sara K does make the statement that in her opinion, “Happy married men don’t cheat” but that is not the crux of the article. To take an article with 1000 words that focus on not trusting yourself and pulling out those 5 words and saying that the article perpetuates the myth that Happily married men don’t cheat is a little unfair, don’t you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.