The  term “affair fog” is often used by experts and affair victims to describe the euphoria that someone involved in an affair feels. 

the affair fog

By Linda

Think of how good you felt when you first fell in love.  During this period, the cheater will often rationalize their actions in order to minimize their feelings of guilt — often to the extent that they “invent” reasons for having the affair in the first place. Healing from infidelity is impossible while one is in this fog.

The wayward spouse may convince themselves that they are in a bad marriage or that their spouse doesn’t really love or understand them, when that really isn’t necessarily the case.

Soon the cheating spouse begins to actually believe these lies that they have been telling themselves and therefore act accordingly by treating their spouse badly yet treating their affair partner in a loving and affectionate way.  This is how the affair addiction begins to take momentum.

An affair fog is nothing more than a fantasy created by the affair partners. All the wonderful qualities each partner possess are without flaws, weaknesses or selfishness. The affair partners are under the influence of an addictive drug similar to a teenager in love, and unfortunately it is very difficult to remove them from this fog.

Featured Content: “All You Need to Know About the Affair Fog”

In this audio (with transcript) we go deep into everything about the affair fog.

When Doug was in his “affair fog,” I too was in a type of fog (emotional turmoil) and I really wasn’t able to understand what Doug was going through. I believed he had found the perfect partner and had logically thought about everything he was doing.

I have learned so much about the affair fog and infatuation that now I am able to look at my brother’s situation more realistically. I am seeing firsthand that he is not thinking clearly and not acting in ways that are considered rational.  I am witnessing how an affair can turn a man that always put his family first into someone who is completely thinking about himself without regard to the hurt he is causing.

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I believe that we all deserve to be happy and have the marriage we want.  However, if life doesn’t turn out the way we expected is that an excuse to walk away and find something better?

I wonder if he ever voiced how unhappy he was or told his wife that she needed to change. Did he give her the opportunity to meet his needs or did he leave her feeling helpless and guilty? Was he willing to do the hard work needed to repair a damaged marriage or simply give up and find something easy and exciting?

My brother talked about how he always put his family first and all the sacrifices he made; now it is his time to put himself first. Did anyone force him to devote himself to his family? I believe that was his choice and he internally received many rewards for being a wonderful father and husband. He never regretted any of his actions until he met another woman who made him believe he deserved better and that she was the woman of his dreams.

Hey, What’s Going On With Your Brother In Law?

Talking to my brother, I see how little concern he has for the distress he is causing his family. He constantly tries to justify his actions. He has surrounded himself with his “real friends,” as he has called them, who completely support his decision and feel this woman is perfect for him.  He is constantly telling my parents and me all of the other woman’s redeeming qualities.

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My dad had the forced opportunity to meet her and commented that she was nice.  However, when my brother called him three times after their meeting wanting to hear what my dad thought of her, my dad remained quiet. It’s almost like my brother is trying to get everyone on his bandwagon.

He desperately wants Doug and me to meet her. For many reasons this is something that I don’t want to do. For one I don’t know if my fragile self-esteem can handle meeting the perfect woman.

I told Doug I would feel like I am meeting Tanya, because I heard the same wonderful qualities that my brother has used to describe his new love that Doug used to describe Tanya. I also do not want to witness the grandness of infatuation. When you are “in love” everything is wonderful.  You are confident, happy, energetic and beautiful. Unfortunately married love looks a lot different.

Another component of  an “affair fog” is the comparisons made between his marriage and his life right now. He talks about how wonderful she is when he comes home from work. She is waiting for him with a glass of wine eager to hear about his day. He describes how much energy she has and that she is always wanting to do things. They spend their evenings talking and doing things they both enjoy.

I would love to walk in the door every night having someone like that waiting for me, but the reality is that  it doesn’t always happen. We have children, carpools, chores and other everyday things that keep our life moving. On the other hand, my brother and the other woman are living in a two bedroom apartment with no family around or other distractions.  It’s  just the two of them in their affair bubble.

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I just can’t get through to him how difficult this is on everyone involved. He is so far removed from the reality of the situation that he believes that time will heal his family’s pain. I try to tell him that how he relates to his family now will define his relationship with them in the future. He really isn’t concerned about his future relationships as he is living for the here and now.

He feels bad about the situation, but at the same time feels that he doesn’t need to do anything to help them through this process. He is oblivious to the hurt he is causing his wife and appears shocked that her self-esteem is floundering. I tried to tell him that he needs to encourage her to seek help and that I worry about her mental health. He believes that with time she will find someone new and be happy.

Looking back I wonder how I was able to break through the affair fog and show Doug the reality of his actions. Right now I feel it is a losing battle with my brother. I wish there was some magic formula, or some drug they could take because I believe until the fog and addiction are gone, healing from infidelity cannot begin.

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    36 replies to "Understanding the Affair Fog"

    • ruth

      My husband admitted to me that he was addicted to her. I still think a part of him is still addicted to her. I don’t know how to help him but to be honest when I think about it I get so upset. I want him to be that addicted to me. I alway wonder how long will he be in this fog!!! I do believe he is getting better as far as I can see he hasn’t had any contact with her in 3 mos. One day your brother will see the true side of her and he will be sorry. He just cant see that know. Like anything else time will tell.

    • Duane

      I’ve experienced a unique situation since my wife confessed her affair, I had a brief one of my own. It only lasted three weeks, starting with texts, moving on to lunches and heavy petting. It stopped because she’s married and I couldn’t believe I was actually putting effort into something I knew would cause pain and suffering. But the wild part about it was that in that three weeks time, she was smitten. She is the same age as my wife, 43, married with kids. I’m a good looking guy, kinda short, but funny and clever. I showed her attention, said nice things to her. I wanted to seduce her. I needed someone to think I was special. It seemed effortless.

      I was aghast at the things this woman said to me in the affair bubble, exact phrases my wife used in her affair: “I need to get a grip,” “what does it mean to my marriage that I’m attracted to another guy?” “Maybe we aren’t meant to be monogamous,” and more. After we started meeting for lunches in week two she ended it. Didn’t take, she texted me again later saying she missed me. We went another week and this time I ended it. She still texted me for a while after that. Three weeks. The fog/addiction is crazy. I got to understand my wife’s affair far better than I ever thought I would.

      My wife’s sort of out of her fog now as far as the guy goes, but she’s still dealing with life now without its excitement. I’m sure marriage is like raw liver in comparison. It’s getting better. We’ve had three good weekends in a row (not counting last Friday night when I yelled F U to her face.) What we’re dealing with now is more like a mid-life crisis. I encourage everyone to visit to understand this little wonder. You’ll hear text book phrases like, “I love you, but I’m not ‘in love’ with you,” “I need space to understand who I am,” and “I’m not sure I’ve ever loved you.” Affairs are a huge component of MLCs.

      • Doug

        Duane, Interesting story. Thank you for sharing. It is amazing how crazy the addiction can get.

        • HarrieB

          This concept of an emotional “fog” makes so much sense. In retrospect, it explains many of my husbands actions and words, which seemed so bizarre at times, especially some of his explanations for what happened, or some of the things he said to me about her (- I have laughed at the posts on Stupid things said during the affair – so many of which I recognised!!). Doug, I am interested in the “lifting of the fog”! Can you remember a moment that the fog lifted? or was it more gradual? Was it as a result of Linda’s actions or words at the time or was it more to do with any change in your relationship or feelings towards Tanya? We (my H and I) are certainly so much better now, probably than we have ever been, but, in the pit of my stomach I am afraid that my H is still not out of the “fog”, and I am worried that we cannot really be on the road to recovery unless and until he is (especially since he still works with the OW). I’d really like to know whether there is anything more I should be doing to help the process, or whether I just have to continue in the way I am (which sounds a lot like many of the things that Linda was doing at a similar stage) and just hope that he no longer “needs” the EA and that this, in turn, lifts the “fog”! Your advice would be really gratefully received! Thanks.

          • Doug

            HarrieB, In hindsight, I would have to say that the fog went away for me somewhat gradually and as a result of Linda’s actions and words along with the realization of what I would stand to lose. She would also regularly talk to me about affairs based on her research and would make me see that I was living an illusion. It eventually made sense when I started to see just how Tanya really was. It can’t completely happen though if contact with the OW is not broken, in my opinion. I think your last sentence sums up everything…make it so that he doesn’t need the other person and the EA.

            • HarrieB

              Doug, thanks for that. I have done lots of research on affairs too, and have shared some of it with my H, but he started to become defensive and irritated so I backed off. I also tried to make him see the truth about the OW, with much the same result. In honesty, my pain probably made me too angry and spiteful about her and, naturally, since I now understand that he could see (and possible still cannot see) any wrong in her, it was not productive (in fact it was counterproductive). I think I have to try to remain calmer and, if possible, more objective, and try again to point out the – as you say – illusion. Thanks so much. Each time I log onto this site I start to see things a little more clearly.

            • Doug

              Yes, do not push anything on him, as he will become more defiant. I know that was the case with me at first too. Back off a bit then, and work on you. He will eventually see the light.

            • Cerys

              Oh I wish I had logged on to see your replies before the day I have just had! Had a wonderful stay at a friends house – my little girl and I had sepent the day on the beach having fun. My girlfriend and I had spoken lots about my situation and I had decided to be strong and aloof and then I come back to meet him when he is visiting our little girl and fall to pieces. We had a good discussion and then I went on and on and on and tried to persuade him, told him he was stupid for being so stubborn and throwing everything away – told him he couldn’t really care about his daughter if he wasn’t willing to try. I can go so far and he is responsive – we were even holding each other, but then I push and he clams up and says he is in love with this other person and I don’t respect his feelings and how he won’t throw away his happiness and why don’t I listen? Oh god, why am I messing this up? I have just been sat in our lobby on the floor crying in front of him AND I HAVE READ ALL YOUR ADVICE ABOUT BACKING OFF! Why am I so STUPID – why can I not help myself to ACTUALLY HELP MYSELF? Please tell me what I should do next? He says he wants to come and have a good relationship with me so he can see our daughter – I want that too but I also want him to consider a possibility that we could potentially work things out. He says he can’t say that we might be able to work things out as he is frightened to say ‘perhaps in 6 months time I’ll realise and perhaps come to my senses and come back’ because I might call his girlfriend and use it against him. I need strategies to employ to help me remain calm. When Doug was in ‘the fog’ did he claim he was in love with Tracey, if you tried to point out anything about his feelings or why he was doing what he was doing did it just w]make him mad? When you say work on yourself, do you mean accepting that we might not be able to work things out? Linda, did you ever give up hope? Did you ever think there may be a chance it wouldn’t work out? He has moved out you see and says he is happy. Is this strictly now an affair he has left our home and is being open about it? He says ‘just because you tell me I have to diesn’t mean I’m just going to say – ok I’ll come back now’. He says by talking about our daughter I’m trying to emotionally blackmail him and that ‘while I’m making him mad all the time that doesn’t make him think he wants to come back and we will be able to work things out’. Does he want us to have a normal, calm, steady relationship again rather than this frought one to try and help him see how we could be together or purely to make it easier for him to leave?

            • Doug

              Cerys, I know that you are going through a very difficult time and all of us can relate to exactly how you are feeling because we all have experienced the same desperation and emotions. Please take the time to read through all of our posts because it does tell the story of our recovery and a lot of what you are experiencing is the same experience that I faced except that Doug didn’t leave. Doug did say he was “in love” with Tanya, but a part of me wouldn’t except that, I would tether back and forth from telling him that it wasn’t real to encouraging him to follow his heart and be with her. I was an emotional wreck and every time I tried to be strong and back off I would lose it and push him away. I suggest that you read all you can about affairs, find a good counselor and just remember he is not thinking clearly right now and you need to gain the power over your life and your marriage. Remember you do have time, I felt like if I didn’t act right now that he would leave and go off with her. Statistically the infidel seems to go back and forth between the spouse and the affair partner so use this time to show your husband what he is missing, be confident, and continue being the wonderful person that you are.

            • Amy

              Hi Doug,

              I think Linda is quite lucky that you were willing to listen to her about affairs even when you were in your fog state. My H never ever want to listen to me, I think he believed me as his enemy or an evil who tried to separate him from his affair. I really wish that I can send some of your useful articles to him personally, but I know he wont want to read them (at least this was what happened back then when he was at his high stage).

              Now his situation is better I would say, and he said he wants to work on this marriage and he is not going to move in to his OW’s place permanently. But he continues to stay for two nights at her house for work reason (probably to avoid paying hotel – an excuse I assume). He asked me to be patient and bear with him at least until before we leave for a holiday end of July. From what I understand, he is stuck because he cannot leave the OW immediately in case she lodge a case against him at work (they work together, he is the senior member of staff).

              He admits that he loves her, and she loves him a lot and really wants him to stay with her. But he said he loves me and the kids a lot, that is why he really want to mend our family. It really is hard to trust him at this point of time, knowing that he is still seeing her (at her house, and work) and contacting her via messages or emails. To me , he is not showing commitment to mend this marriage.

              From your own perspective as the cheating husband, do you think my H really loves her , or is it just lust? Also I am not sure whether he really is serious about mending our marriage although he mentioned about moving job to outside UK – both me and him. What made you want to listen to Linda about the affair story?

              Your story of experience is very much needed.

              Thank you.

            • Doug

              Hi Amy, Yes, while a person is in the affair fog, trying to get them to read articles, etc., is probably a waste of time. Perhaps since he says he wants to work on things, you might have better luck now. I challenge him as to whether he really loves her or he’s more in love with the feeling and/or it’s limerence.

              If he is truly wanting to work on the marriage he needs to really commit to it and end his affair and go no contact. Treat him like an addict and don’t be afraid to hold your ground and enforce boundaries and consequences. Stay strong!

            • Amy

              Hi Doug, Thanks for your insightful comments. Yes, I do agree, he treated me as if I am his enemy especially when I talked about how his Russian affair can affect our marriage. He constantly said he has not being happy over the last 17 years of my marriage. Ironically, only since he commited an affair with this Russian woman (who is his colleague) he started to ‘realise’ how unhappy he was with this 17 years old of marriaga (plus another 4 years of knowing each other outside marriage). He then said the problem has nothing to do with the affair, but it is between me and him when I pointed out that AP was the main cause of the tension in our marriage (although i do acknowledge we did sometime had some miscommunication or argument, which all couples do). Prior to his affair, I rarely responded to him when every he got angry, I chose to keep quiet and let him calm down by himself. But I do admit since he started this affair, I became outspoken and tend to be responsive and can be ‘ a little agressive (in terms of words)’ probably because of the frustration.

              I also agree that he needs to cut his contact whatsoever with the AP. However, I did read a book from Andrew Marshall (MY husband loves someone…) which somehow said that we cannot cut the relationship straightaway, if the BS wants to see the AP it is going to create more tension since the affair it self is like a drug… (maybe I have misunderstood this).

              I do think he is not really in love with that AP, but more about sex and I dont think he has a long term plan to stay with her or to marry her. Recently, he said again and again that he (and we) are moving out from this country soonest as possible despite me telling him that by early sept (after we come back from holiday) I will ask him to formally divorce me if he continues seeing that AP.

              Can you explain what do you mean by ‘treat him like an addict..’

              Thanks Doug.

    • cerys

      I agree with the defiance and the anger bit – I see tons of that. Thank you for this post. It’s helped me to try and believe that despite what my husband is telling me I have to be strong and know that even though I am far from perfect this is not my fault and I shouldn’t change who I am. My husband told me in February that he ‘loved me but wasn’t in love with me’. I was shocked but said we should try to work it out, that I had felt a similar thing during our 14 years together and that we should see a counsellor. One week later he slept with a girl from work and started an affair without telling me. Three weeks later he moved into a friend’s house saying he needed space. On the 9th April he told me he had been seeing someone and that he would try to stop seeing her and a month later he said he had made his decision and could not stop his relationship with her. We have a beautiful 3 year old girl and my heart is breaking. He won’t even consider counselling because it could ruin what he has with her. He expects us to be friends and whenever I want to talk he gets angry and threatens to or walks out. He has told me he is going on holiday with her for his 40th birthday in September to Italy to her brother’s wedding. Am I stupid to believe there is still a chance? He just doesn’t seem like the man I know and love sometimes. At first he said this was about him but he has since come out with lots of things I have done. He claims I have controlled him, driven our friends away, not taken care of myself, made decisions about staying at home with our daughter without caring about what he wanted and a whole host of other things. A couple of days ago he said I was such a big personality I had stopped him from being as engaged with people socially as I took over and that now he has changed. I listen and apologise – telling him I would never have wanted to do that to him or affect him that way if that’s what I’ve done. Our friends think it is ridiculous. I’m trying to take everything on board and look to myself and see how I can develop myself. His mum just laughed and said ‘I’ve never seen you with the bandaids out to stick over his mouth before’. I see now that his hurtful comments could also be tools to help him hide behind. He says he has ‘nothing to feel guilty about’ and that he has to ‘do what is right to make himself happy’. I can’t believe he cannot see the hurt and pain he has caused. I cannot believe that he cares so little about me and his little girl that he really feels nothing. I think he must be in denial. I don’t want to give up on him, us, our little girl. I don’t want him to be unhappy but I genuinely feel we could get through this – I believe, unlike him, that love is generated from what we give to others and that in time we could be strong and happy again and that he would feel love towards me again. Am I by holding on though being the very thing he says I am ‘manipulative’, ‘controlling’? He says that I don’t like this because ‘he has made a decision and is sticking to it’. Is there any hope left or should I just let go? He isn’t demanding a divorce, when I asked if that was what he wanted he said ‘one step at a time’! If anyone has any advice for me I would be so, so grateful. Our friends, his and my parents are being wonderful but I sometimes think they think I’m silly for not heading straight for the divorce courts given what he is doing.

      • Doug

        Cerys, thanks for sharing your story. First of all, don’t believe for a moment that the affair was your fault. He chose to have it–not you. Sure, perhaps you contributed to the issues in your relationship–as did he–but do not blame yourself for the affair.

        As far as if your marriage has a chance…sure it does. He is in an infatuation driven stage (fog) loaded with denial and he is using your supposed faults as as way to rationalize his actions. I would not let him be in control of this situation. You are. But I would back off, and not try to “fix” anything and start to work on you and become strong, and prepare yourself for the chance that your marriage might end. At some point though you will need to tell him calmly that you will not stand for his affair, you do not deserve it, he needs to make a decision as to whether it will be you or her, and that if he chooses her then since you are strong, you will be fine. Some day, he more than likely will come out of his stupor and the affair will end–as they usually do.

        Read more of the posts on this blog as we address this type of situation often. Good luck!

      • Doug

        Cerys, Doug acted the same exact way when I became suspicious of his affair. The anger, the threats and the things he said about me still haunt me today. His comments made me believe that I was a bad wife and basically a person no one would want to be with. At the time I believed him because why would this man who acted so differently before now be ready to walk out the door, it had to be my fault. So I picked apart every bit of my personality, my looks, etc and tried to be what he “claimed” Tanya was, I found out much later that she wasn’t as perfect as Doug had initially projected. I am urging you do not become someone you are not. I have learned the hard way that was the worst thing to do. I reaffirmed everything Doug and Tanya had dreamed up about me and our marriage and in reality Doug lost even more respect for me.

        Do not take anything he says personally right now, he is not thinking clearly. I learned that from Doug and now watching my brother in his “fog” state. Look at what is wrong with your marriage, changes can be made when your husband is willing to discuss your relationship, for now just work on yourself. I realized that personally I needed to make some changes, which did help our relationship but trying to be something you are not is counterproductive.

        Right now your husband and his affair partner are trying to justify their relationship at your expense. They are also feeding each other’s ego’s by highlighting the negative aspects of your marriage and forgetting the positive. Don’t play their game, continue being the person you are, a good mom and wife and realize that this is not your husband and eventually with patience and love he will return back to you and your daughter.

    • Cerys

      Thank you Linda and Doug and everyone. It’s good to know that I’m not alone. I’m going to pick myself up and try to be strong. I suppose I can’t help having a ‘mad moment’ – this is so hard. Doug, what made you change your mind? Was it because Linda was strong and kind or was it because you realised your relationship with Tanya started to unravel? Take care.

      • Doug

        Cerys, It was definitely a combination of the two.

    • Susan

      Cerys, first my heart goes out to you. I’ve been where you are and the pain at times seemed unbearable. I truly believe it is the addictive feeling…..the “high” so to speak of “being in love”. First thing is to start to see a counselor…there are lots that accept sliding scales fees. You need someone to help support you, and that you can trust. Even though my family and friends were very supportive (and I would cry to them for hours), I always felt they were being supportive of me because they cared for me….but I wasn’t sure they were looking at both sides of the story. Finding a counselor was essential. I agree with Doug and Linda, read about affairs…it will make you sad at times that there is so much pain out there, but it will also give you some insight into the insanity of a person that has an affair and that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!! NEVER BELIEVE IT IS!! I know that’s hard because he’s throwing arrows at you, and he may “believe” these are truths right now….and maybe some of them do have a bit of truth to them…everyone has some faults, but if they were such a factor, he could have addressed them through counseling….but really for right now he’s just using them as his rationalization for his insanity. My husband had an affair 2 years ago. We had separated just weeks before he started this affair, and he found all the rationalizations in the world. He told me all the things you hear all of them say…I love you but I’m not in love with you….I need to find happiness, I deserve it. You are this and you are that….and that’s why he wasn’t happy. She was the “total” package is what he would tell me. He would tell me she is beautiful, smart, we have alot of chemistry together, she is everything I was looking for. He said the excitement of being with her could never be exceeded……. Well, when your in a fog and looking through rose colored glasses……sure it looks that way. They were always doing “fun” things…..and then off for a weekend vacation to a resort for valentine’s day. My husband even filed for divorce. I was devastated. I couldn’t hardly keep myself going. I would cry and cry. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t go to work. I was neglecting everything in my life………for an insane person!! It’s like listening to a drug addict….they have a million excuses for why they keep taking the drug. Their life is a shambles, but they don’t see that’s it the drug that’s causing all the chaos, they think it’s everything and everyone outside of the drug…..BUT it is the drug that’s caused it all…..just like an affair. The high from this “drug” eventually loses it’s punch…and then it’s just the chase of the high….and that just get’s hard. Reality is a whole different life, and when that starts to happen there will be a realization. That’s not to say this insane husband of yours will return, he could “commit” himself to the insane asylum!!……..but, when the fog starts to lift, and he starts comparing apples to apples……he has alot to lose. Right after the affair ended, he was still “addicted” to her….I could tell, he wouldn’t say anything negative about her….she still was on a pedastal, but eventually as he realized that he was potentially going to lose the life he had created, he was willing to consider working on things… wasn’t a big jump back into the relationship….because he had spent so much time building this other woman up…his fantasy and making the long list of all the things wrong with me….he had begun to believe all those lies too… he didn’t want to come back to the “mess” he was going to have to work on……so some of the things I did…which is what I think Doug and Linda are recommending was to do something different………FOR me!! something I had neglected for a while….having kids and responsibilites can put us women on the back burner. So I went out and got a manicure and a pedicure…something I had never done for ME…..oh, and I had my ears pierced…something I had wanted to do but never had….mind you I was 50 at the time!!! I saw the OW…and she was younger than me, thinner and more beautiful….that was a self esteem killer right off. So the immediate response would be …….weight loss, exercise, color my hair, try to look younger…all the crazy things you hear about how we feel when discovering an affair….!! throw those all in the dump!! Those are just the things that are killing our self esteem. Sure, you can always do some improvements, but in talking to my husband, although looks were something that initially had him “pick” this woman, he kind of said that anyone that would have given him the attention she did would have been the “pick”. It gave him that rush of feeling important, wanted….all ego stuff. It really is the “rush” of addiction… fact you’ll find the “rush” of the in love feeling dumps chemicals in their brains, just like a drug….and they get addicted to that rush….problem is….he can’t keep that “high” going…..and eventually things start to unravel. The normal day to day routine starts to kick in….and soon he’s chasing the feeling which is associated with this OW and when that starts to wain, so does the feeling that this was “love”. My therapist said, to begin with, love takes development…..there is no development in this relationship, just the rush…the ego building….well, everyone’s flaws come out eventually…my husband has a ton of them and so did the OW….even though she was beautiful, young and thin……..the reality of life surfaces. Good luck to you and find a professional to talk to….do something for yourself, get a babysitter….go to a movie, join a class, anything you might like to do FOR YOU!! Show him that you could go on without him and have a full life……….even though I know that is that last thing you want to do or even think about….just for now pretend that’s how you feel……My heart goes out to you right now, but you will survive!! You are the survivor…he is the coward…and the OW is just sad that she actually is so empty that she needs to find a married guy to fulfill her ego too….

      • Cerys

        Dear Susan
        Thank you so, so much for your kind words and for taking time out of your day to share your experiences with me. A lot has happened since he told me ‘he loved me but…’ back in February – its been the hardest 10 months of my life but I’m still surviving and hanging on. I’ve made so many silly mistakes but I also know that I have always been honest and true and I guess that is something to be proud of. My husband told me a couple of weeks ago that he had started going to see a counsellor and that he split up with the OW, they got back together again (he found it too hard he said to not see her just like that) but last week she finished things and he said he did nothing to stop it. He is still living at a friends house, where he has been since March and says that he finished the affair because she had been pressuring him to move in with her and he wasn’t ready – I also sense that his feelings towards me have changed (he says he no longer has an intense desire to run away from me – HA!) and that perhaps ‘the fog’ has started to lift a little. He says he is confused and doesn’t know what he wants – hopefully this means he has cancelled their trip to her family in New Zealand in the New Year? He gets mad at me because I manage to get him to tell me details of what is going on regarding his relationship when he says he doesn’t necessarily want to share that. For me it is important to share this detail – I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on or knows exactly where I stand (it’s just the two of them deciding what they want) – this isolation he creates is so painful it often deprives me of my ability to act how I would otherwise wish to do so i.e. rationally and with dignity! I had hoped that when he finished things with her that would mean he would want to come back and try to salvage our relationship but I guess he needs space to figure out what he really wants and I suppose that is at least a positive development in that he is trying to do that as honestly and fairly as he can. I will let you know how we get on.
        I worry though that he is still trapped in the blame game to some extent. He says he worries our relationship is ruined because of the way we have argued and fought in the last months and he says that now we have done that to the extent we have that he doesn’t believe it would ever really stop and that he doesn’t believe I wouldn’t be able to not drag the affair up everytime things got tough! There isn’t much I can say to that as only time would tell. He also says he has a hard time understanding how I could possibly forgive him as he doesn’t think he could ever forgive me if I did the same thing. Again this is something he has to deal with. I suppose my biggest issue at this point of the proceedings is that I feel a small ray of hope and I am eagerly clammouring for it and pursuing it but all that seems to do is make him hang back and somethimes react angrily – he says he needs to decide what he wants to do for himself and of course that is true but I’m also part of that and sometimes his arrogance kills me. The other more painful thing is just how hard it appears for him to want to fight for me! Am I so uninspiring it takes a whole 10 months to even get to the place where he is just starting to consider that his daughter and I are worth fighting for – it makes me wonder whether I should even want to be with him? It’s interesting but he says that he has been really clear about what he wanted but that I never wanted to believe him – it’s strange in that I agree that I have never given up hope that we can work things out but I feel that he has never really let go of me – that he has always acted ambiguously enough to somehow keep me dangling. People wee know say that he has been hedging his bets, having his cake and eating it – I have always defended him of that by saying I can’t believe he would be intentionally cruel like that – I so hope that is the case and him holding on was simply a subconcious reaction to him not being ready to walk away from me?
        I pray that this time next year my life will be more settled and that my husband and I will both be happier than we are today – hopefully that means together but if it doesn’t I hope it means that I have been able to move on and start doing those things for me like you suggest. Thanks again Susan – it means a lot to get messages – it feels like people care and that gives you a lot of strength – thank you – Cerys

        • tree wallace

          cerys, No one can MAKE another person feel anything without their permission. So NO he can not blame you for ‘making’ him mad! it is his choice. he is trying to put the blame on you so he’ll feel less guilty.
          yes, you should work on yourself, whether or not the marriage can be saved! you need to realize your happiness is WITHIN! NOT dependent on him! so do what resonates with you! but i listened to klove radio, i read and researched all related topics on line and in books, i journaled and meditated and prayed. i found a church with great classes. i started working out, eating healthier. i joined meetups ( to meet others of similar interest and went out and have fun and made new friends. i got massages. and the best thing, that really turned my life around was learning and living the LOA (law of attraction). and i learned to love myself & live unconditionally. you can check on abraham hicks on youtube and see what you think! (it’s actually a woman!). anyway, it was ONLY then that i was able to very calmly tell my husband what i could and would NOT live with any longer and he had 24 hours to make up his mind! and he did and that was the first time he was able to fully recommit to me!!!

        • Anne

          I’m in the same boat as you so I speak knowing how you feel. In the end the men have to do the right thing for their commitment to God (Jesus). They have to hate their sin . They have to then realize they can’t do this on their own and let God lead their lives. To do this behavior they either didn’t have a god or they lowered their moral compass.

      • suzie suffers

        Susan….are you still out there on this blog?? How I would love to talk to you. I actually had to read your story twice just to verify that I had not posted my story under another name!! What my now ex husband said to me was almost word for word what your’s said…….and the LAST affair partner he had was more beautiful, smart and thin than me….and blonde……I lost weight….had a manicure and pedicure for THE FIRST TIME…..and then had my ears pierced… age 50!! Unfortunately as much as I was willing to try and save the marriage, my husband continued to lie about stuff all the time……I couldn’t trust him and kept trying to talk to him about my feelings….which I think just overwhelmed him…..he went out searching for women to console him….and found them more than willing to talk to him about how awful I was to not forgive. He was going to AA….and found women there….but his last affair there failed miserably and he moved to Alanon where the women are alot more consoling…especially if you talk about how terrible your life is……….and of course leave out how much you’ve cheated on your wife!!! He is charismatic and charming Always…..but told them we hadn’t lived together for 3 years and had been struggling to finalize the divorce for the same amount of time!!! Wow…should have let me know when he was sending me the love letters and vacations and telling me he loved me more now than ever in his life…..but when I told him that my unemployment benefits had ended and I couldn’t get a job until my mom’s cancer surgery was over and she had recovered……….within 1 month he moved out and filed for divorce….of course, he already had a woman consoling him on how hard it was since he had struggled so many years with the b…tch shrew that I was…controlling, manipulative, hurtful etc etc……well, I met this woman…and told her about the affairs…..that pretty much had ended because she was dating someone else too……but he just moved onto the next Alanon woman……our divorce finalized in July 2012 and he’s now moved in with woman number 2….telling my kids how amazing and “cool” she is….that she has all of these fantastic traits and he has never been happier in his life…………Wait….I think that’s what I heard him say about the last 3 affairs!!! Each time….he was never happier to be rid of me and enjoying this fantastic woman….Well, maybe since he’s divorced this time it is something real because I think part of the reason affairs don’t last is the guilt……..and that’s why he wanted the divorce pretty quickly….he was involved with someone and didn’t want to be the “bad” guy again having a sexual affair while married…… divorce and then it’s OK….and so no guilt…maybe this is that he found his soul mate….Just hard after 35 years together.30 of them dealing with his drinking and marijuana addiction….then he get’s sober and the cheating doesn’t end….it’s actually more apparent…never could catch him when he was in his primary addiction….maybe this woman addiction flamed up since he lost his first addiction……………ANY WAY….SUSAN, IF YOU ARE STILL OUT THERE……I’D LOVE TO TALK…..Where are you in your recovery…It’s been a year since he moved out and filed…..but I’m still heartbroken……….thinking what’s wrong with me that he couldn’t give me the attention he gives these other women…..some tell me he’s a narcissist…but that might be the excuse to validate his behavior and excuse why he left me…………..

    • sally daly

      My husband had a 2 year affair with our daughter’s friend’s mother, they carried out this affair in her car, parked in carparks and at local amenities it also occured in her family home. Both my children and I are devastated. I am frightened both by what he did and the intensity of my anger, pain, humiliation and rejection. He also seriously neglected his business while he was in the affair. We have gone to counselling he says “I didn’t think” as his excuse even though I had always asked him to leave instead of cheating. He now claims that he loves me and the children always has and always will! funny way of showing it. He also admits to being selfish and cited this as an excuse he also says that he was encouraged by OW. He comes from a family where his brothers cheat and are extremely disrespectful to their and other women, yet their wives stay. I loved him and trusted him firmly believed that he would not do anything to hurt the kids or I. got that one WRONG. I feel that I cannot escape the pain. Its been 10 months instead of easing it is becoming unbearable. I really appreciate having this site to refer to

    • aida

      doug, it’s aida, and i’m here – also. (sigh, you get no respite, huh?)

      anyways, sorry but on the other page, you say that my hubby is deep in the affair fog and he doesn’t know what he is doing. how is that possible when he is one of the most brilliant men i have ever known? okay, scratch that. he passes of as one of the most brilliant men i have ever known.

      • Doug

        Hi Aida, He may be brilliant but that doesn’t mean he’s acting with any sense. I’m a pretty smart person myself and I acted completely out of character and was just plain stupid. You might want to read the following post for more on the affair fog:

        • aida

          dear Doug,

          I’m working very hard to forgive “for they know what they have done”. affair foggers (CS) are in a state of sighted blindness (not necessarily because they are in love with their APs but because the AP promises them love, attention and affection, at least that’s what i’ve been told)

          It’s really strange because I’ve been told that the OW may have been pressuring him to marry her and what makes this funny is because even when my husband and i were still single – back in the day – we never discussed the date for a wedding etc. it was just something that we thought would happen.

          and today, i’m being labeled as rude, pushy and insensitive – when it’s his girlfriend who is (reportedly) pushing him by talking about the Future.

          and it’s really the scrambled brain talking : he said that he has told her that ‘it is not good to build happiness on another’s misery”.

          hahahahahah : is that humorous or is that humorous : i mean, here i am (a.k.a. Wife), who is labeled as rude, uncaring, arrogant, selfish,etc.

          and on the other hand is a woman who is pressuring him to marry her.

          and when Wife finds out, it’s surprisingly the wife who says, “Carry on, honey, if it makes you happy”.

          and from what I hear, the OW is still working very hard to convince him to marry her.

          Now i don’t know how close he is to actually seriously ‘letting me go’ but anyone with half a brain can see the difference between me and the OW. I mean she’s out to get all that she can get, and i’m telling him, If you really love her you should go for what you love : so WHO IS THE MORE RUDE, OBNOXIOUS PERSON now?

          But somehow – he can’t see that.

    • samuel

      Quit saying love in this thread, love has absolutely NOTHING to do with infidelity. Its called infatuation, lust, fantasy, illusion. Love & affairs have nothing in common…

    • Shifting Impressions

      The “Fog” explains a lot of things. A very helpful article.

    • Rachel

      I have to share my story because I am completely lost and not the strong woman with morals and standards that I used to be. I’m currently 8 months into an affair with a former co worker. It started as what we had promised to be a one-time thing. He has a girlfriend recovering from cancer and I’ve been married 11 years. At first I wasn’t sure. I just wanted some attention because I’d just turned 39 and lost a lot of weight and wanted that type of attention. I went through with it on a drunken evening, thought that would be the end of it and I’d move on. But something happened. I wanted him to WANT me still. I was addicted to the attention. Soon, it was a full-blown affair in which I even met him over seas for two weeks. That was the biggest mistake. That’s when I was sure we were meant to be together. I was ready to abandon my husband and child to be with him. He told me repeatedly that he had no idea what the future held or what he wanted. He said he was hesitant to be with a woman who has a child. He gave me warning signs. But my fog affair has and does impair me completely. I still do all the organizing and pushing for us to continue this awful affair and I cannot stop. It’s like a drug and I feel like I have to posses him even though there are no guarantees. I’m convinced that if I end it, I’ll be miserable with my non-sexual relationship with my husband. It’s only non-sexual on my part because of the crazy sexy i have with my affair. I’m completely mental right now. I’ve become so depressed that it’s affected every aspect of my life. And there’s no rainbow at the end. I don’t know how to end it without falling into a complete suicidal depression. This man is not good for me. I know it. But yet the highs feel better than letting it go somehow. Someone help me.

      • Miranda

        Oh Rachel I feel your pain. I’m right where you are. 20 years married to a man who doesn’t desire me as a woman. Met up with my first love. Long distance affair for 3 years now. Totally mind blowing sex and feelings I never knew I had. Having to try and manage my emotions every time I see this man makes me feel like I’m losing my mind. Plus keeping the secret from everyone ( bar one friend who I can talk to). I know neither men in my life are emotionally available but I don’t have the strength to give either of them up.I do believe it is an addiction. Those of us who embark on such a journey must be masocists. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. All because we are wanting to feel loved and alive. If it was truly love the mental torment we are going through would not exist. Like you I feel in such emotional torment and such sadness and despair. The roller coaster goes up so high that at the top I can touch the sky. Then it swoops down so low I feel like I’m plunged into complete darkness into a void that only my addiction can fill.

    • Dazed and Confused

      Well, in my situation like one of the other commenters my life partner of 8 yrs was also diagnosed recently with prostate cancer and is now beginning treatments but I was there to get him over the initial hump when he went to the Hospital ER and they discovered it. It was a nightmare for us. We have always been super tight or so I thought. For me, I thought it would make us closer than ever experiencing something like that together I thought we were going to grown old together but it seems to have turned him away. Back in the Spring he ran into an old HS sweetheart (he claims his first real love) at her fathers funeral who was his neighbor and apparently the two of them spoke and exchanged numbers. They have been communicating behind my back for some time now and have developed what seems to me is an emotional affair or some kind of a relationship. Now mind you this gal is a Lesbian and lives in another state. Well, while he was out of town working on a yearly trip out west he started acting more distant towards me in his phones calls and texts and then told me over the phone one evening “I’m not sure if I have the feelings for you anymore like I’m supposed to” and of course I was crushed but because of complications he had a surgery procedure done to completely shut down his testosterone which feeds that type of cancer, he can no longer have an erection but we hadn’t been intimate like that in a couple years anyway because of the complications from an enlarged prostate so I had just excepted that was how it was always going to be but I loved him so I was okay with it. In my mind he was acting this way because of hormones or rather lack of. I was trying to be understanding because of how this cancer may be affecting his thinking but apparently while he was on this work trip he traveled down to see her ……. once again behind my back. I was oblivious until I found receipts. He and I had stopped communication for about 7 days leading up to this trip and apparently that was why. When he returned home I said “what’s going on with you. I need you to be honest with me because you owe me that much” and that was when he told me he had feelings for someone else. He also said, “I can’t concentrate on her if your living here with me so I need you to find another place to live” (myself and our animals). This was like getting a stake driven through my heart. Our whole world we built together for 8 years was crumbling down in front of me and there was nothing I could do about it because we lived in his home. How did it gets to this point with us? How could he betray me like this? he became very mean towards me and hateful towards me. I had to remain there until I closed on my new place and it was very awkward to say the least (1 month) and I’m still going to his place to get all my things. People in his family said it’s the cancer talking just go out and rent a place don’t buy anything give him some time but our conversations led me to believe there was no working it out …. he told me this ….. so I made a decision to buy a place. I don’t think he expected me to do it so quickly but then what choice did I have? Now, I’m getting mixed messages and when I brought it up to him about their relationship he claims there is no relationship with them yet he still made me move out. He never backed down on that decision so obviously there is something going on with them. He wants his cake and eat it to. I’m convenient because I’m here and she isn’t. I also overheard him on a phone conversation saying the two of them and a trip planned to Key West the first of the year. To me he distanced himself from me to free himself up to go with her on this and future trips and to see where this may go. I’m very confused. How can this ever work? Are they just great friends or what is going on there? If she likes women then what is their relationship? Perhaps he thinks he can change her. She obviously was straight at some point in time back in high school but how can you compete with an old sweetheart and why even bother I ask myself. He definitely has the affair fog and I know it feels good to him to have another woman to reach out to and possibly loves the attention he gets form her too. How can you ever go back to that anyway? I really need some input from people. There seems to still be an attraction between us but I’m very confused. It’s almost as if the roles have gotten reversed. That she is the main woman and I’m the gal on the side now. How did this happen? Why does he feel he owes her anything? I am also wondering if she even knows about me or how serious we even were? I heard thru a neighbor that knows her and her family that he was telling them that our relationship was platonic. Yet we slept together and I had a diamond on my finger and we always said we loved each other. That doesn’t sound like a platonic relationship. I guess it is like she represent for him simpler times and I represent the cancer era in his life. Is he with her now because she won’t expect sex from him? I’m just very confused because I know soon he and i will go our own ways and never see each other again and will become strangers and the thought of that is killing me but what he has done to me is very humiliating too. I had considered reaching out to her. Possibly sending her a letter but I keep talking myself out of it. Maybe because I would rather him be that situation than with someone local I have to see him with. I know I need to just end all contact for now because as long as I’m still around he will not miss me and he has totally taken me for granted and has now respect for me or he never would have done this to me. Thanks everyone. I’m really struggling with all this but each day it gets easier for me and as time passes when I’m around him I see him in a different light. Need input!

    • Kate

      Hi Doug.

      My husband is currently in a affair fog. He told me he doesn’t ‘feel for me the way he should for his wife’ 6 weeks before I was due to give birth to our second daughter. The past 3 years have been full on. IVF for one year, our first child the next then another pregnancy shortly after.
      4 months before the birth of our second child he started behaving very strange. Angry, bitter, short, reserved, detached. He was side note comparing me to co workers (not done this before I was the best in his eyes) he started to seem as though he had convinced himself that I dint understand or love him. He was ruthless, brutal in his words, hurtful, cold he had my entire future planned out for me without him. When he looked at me I felt like a burden to him. His phone codes kept changing. He works away. It was a no brainer but he played it well to make it all look like I’m the most horrible person and that’s why hes leaving. He doesn’t know I know hes left me for a affair, It was confirmed for me when jewelry was purchased to the value of $1699.00 only 5 weeks after he left home. I begged pleaded for him to stay but he simply cut deeper and deeper with hurtful things he said to me. I felt as though he was desperate to push me away so that he could make a run for it to his AP.

      I’ve still not said a word to him about her 5 months on. For him to be buying jewelry this has gone on for some time I’d imagine. He felt NOTHING for me NOTHING even while birthing our child.

      He has his own place now.

      What on earth do I do. I don’t feel I have a chance in hell to get him to see the devastation he has caused. Utter devastation and yet he seems liberated and having the time of his life while I raise our 5 month old and 2 year old.

      Honestly not a clue in the world how to address this. I remain in no contact and dont really give him my time at all. I don’t feel I need to. What use done is beyond cruel to his own family, kids and I.

      • Doug

        Hi Kate, I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Now, this will be the Reader’s Digest version, but if it were me, the first thing I’d do is let him know that you realize that he has left you for the affair partner (and you know about the $1699). Now, he might not care that you know this, but at least you will put it out there for him to process. You might want to tell him that though you love him, etc., there is no room for another person in your marriage and you will not accept that, nor his shitty behavior (think of boundaries you can set and enforce). After that, there really isn’t a whole lot you can do other than focus on you, your well being and your family’s well being. You really cannot make him do anything or feel anything, as he’s got to figure all of this out on his own. In the meantime, you take care of yourself (and kids), you talk to a lawyer and you get your ducks in a row legally and financially (including understanding your state’s laws on abandonment). You also need to educate yourself about affairs and their dynamics as they tend to follow a similar course. And you carry on as if he isn’t coming back. Now, this doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re giving up on your marriage and that he’s gone forever. Things change. Fantasies are erased. Reality sets in. Affairs blow up. Spouses come home.

        Stay strong!

    • Karen

      I need help guys I have been with my husband for 24 yrs since we were 16 yrs old married for 12 we have 4 beautiful boys 3 teenagers and 1 toddler
      So 7 weeks ago my husband dropped a bombshell and told me he’s been having an affair with a woman that comes into the bar he works in said he knows her 2 yrs nut affair started 6months ago I’m not sure if he’s telling the truth about it being 6months or not anyway I lost it told him to leave only to find out he moved straight in with the other woman so now they have been living together for the last 7 weeks she has two kids both with special needs
      Myself and our 4 boys are devastated completely heartbroken I love my husband very much I hate him for what he has done but I still love him
      He comes once a week to see the toddler as the older boys are so angry they don’t want to have anything to do with him or see or speak to him 😢
      Well two weeks ago he called and one thing lead to another and we ended up in bed together he told me he was going to come home leave her and his job I was so happy because I want to try fix our marriage well two days later he told me what happened was a mistake and he’s not coming home so there I was right back to square one completely shattered 💔
      He only visited again yesterday for the first time since all this I had cut contact with him for the two weeks so was my first time to see him since we slept together he told me he told the other woman but I don’t believe he did I had told a close family member but he denied anything happened and said I was lying I don’t know wat to do I’m just broken by this I really am
      Every time he calls to the house he ends up crying when he sees how angry the kids are or how upset I am but he still gets up snd leaves he’s told me he loves her and said he stills loves me but not in love with me we had kind of drifted apart because he was drinking heavily but now he’s stopped drinking snd feels like he gave up the drink for her but no matter how much I begged him to stop for me and the kids he didn’t I really want him to come back home I love him so much and feel totally empty without him but he has told me he’s not moving back home I know they are still in the honeymoon stage considering they are only living together for 7 weeks now but I want him back so badly I can’t go on feeling like this I just want a chance to fix my marriage 😢😢

      • Hurt

        Can you give me an update? I need hope! I married a serial cheater! My post is under – hurt.

    • Hurt

      My husband of 20 years had his 3rd affair- my 19y/o caught him on may 27th. It’s almost 7 months since the D Day! I tracked him and spit check him after work and caught him 3x with her – June, Sept and Dec ( last thur) . He lied and gaslighted that is overs and that she’s too young (18 or 19 age gap- calls her the SAME NAME HE CALLED OUR 11 y/o! How disgusting! I cracked his PIN on his phone n read his WhatsApp’s messages to her!) etc. he says all the right things, how he’s working on this marriage and how impt the family is to you, how he loves mer yada yada yada!! Behind my back he sees her!
      We lead separate lives after his 2nd Affair! We slept in separate bedrooms n lived separate lives! How did you expect me to sleep with a guy who had a 3.5 years affairs and took him 1.5 years to break it off. She emailed me all the details while my 2nd was born and I was dying in the hospital! How heartless of him to conti his affairs when I was recovering from 3 surgeries AND postpartum depression!!
      Back to present, said it’s over had 20 sessions with a psychologist and still
      Sees her after work in our cleaning van at 11 pm! How disgusting are they!!!
      Years together and
      This is how he repays me! Said he loves me and can never leave me and no one can replace etc!

      I have depression now and I have anxiety from
      This person! I prayed and fasted for him
      But still he can’t break the lust so he said!

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