the urge for revenge

What about the urge for revenge after the affair?

For many betrayed spouses, the thought of having a revenge affair of their own is a thought that races through their minds at one time or another.

Many have feelings that they want to make their spouse hurt as much as they have been hurt.

But is this train of thought healthy – or even accurate?

It seems that in many cases the betrayed spouse decides to have an affair in an attempt to make themselves feel better, or to get even, or to simply have some “fun” of their own. 

From our experiences in talking with those who did,  the result has been that it usually does the opposite and makes them feel even worse, and will usually do more harm than good.

But not always.

There are certainly those who have exacted some form of revenge – an affair of their own – and thought it was the best thing they ever did.

Interestingly,  what often happens when the betrayed spouse has a revenge affair,  is that the unfaithful person actually may feel as though they have been let off the hook – so to speak.

They don’t feel the same level of betrayal.

They may even end up feeling better because there is a sense that much of the guilt that they feel has been absolved.  They feel as though they have paid the price for their actions and that they should now be forgiven and/or released from their guilt.

Revenge after an affair can encompass many different things.  It can be a revenge affair of your own, or it can be getting back at your spouse of the other person in some other fashion.  The sky is the limit.

See also  Discussion - How Do You Really Know if the Affair is Over?

Here’s a good video about why some want to have a revenge affair:

So, we’re going to have a discussion this week.  Here are some questions to consider…

  • Have you considered having a revenge affair of your own?  If so, did you act on it?  
  • If you did act on it, what was the result?  That is, did your spouse find out?  What was his/her reaction, etc.?
  • If you wound up not having a revenge affair of you own, what stopped you from going through with it?
  • Did you carry out any other forms of revenge against your spouse and/or the affair partner?  If so, please share the details and the outcome!

Please be sure to reply to one another in the comments below.


Linda & Doug

Photo: Harsh Agrawal


    52 replies to "Discussion – The Urge for Revenge"

    • TheFirstWife

      I would never have a revenge A. I am not that type of person.

      Plus I would feel worse about myself b/c it is wrong and I could not knowingly inflict that kind of pain on someone else.

      It would not provide me any satisfaction.

      Now ask me about my will………………

      • keptindark

        I have thought about it, even setup an online profile to look but haven’t followed up yet. The wife had an EA, we went to counseling for a year but she never read the materials or put any effort in it, nor has she told me any details.
        I found a mushy email she sent her old HS BF she hooked up with on Facebook, and checked her phone logs. She covered her tracks well by deleting all the IM and texts but They were calling and texting daily for about a month. She denies it was an EA, with the “just friends” ploy and won’t give me details. She admitted had I done what she did, she would have been badly hurt but I’m supposed to just “get over it”. I watched her remove her personal FB account, now we have a joint one. She lived on it before, now she seldom even looks at it since her HS boyfriends aren’t in our list.
        I’d love to have an online fling, keep it all hidden like she did, and tell her on our 20th wedding anniversary that we are all even, smile evilly, and be done with it, leave her wondering like I have for several years with absolutely no details so she can “get over it”.

        • Shifting Impressions

          I doubt it would make you feel any better….and maybe even worse about yourself. One someone behaves in a “less than” manner why would want to stoop to that level yourself?

        • Richard

          100% she started a new Facebook account that you’re blocked from.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I agree with TFW, I don’t have any desire to have a revenge A. It would absolutely make me feel worse about myself. But, do I have the urge for revenge??? ABSOLUTELY!!! Almost four and half years after d-day that urge for revenge does sneak up on me every now and again. I work really hard not to give in. What purpose would it serve? It would just cause more pain.

      I did take a few minutes to listen to Dr. Huizenga and to my surprise….he described my husband perfectly. He spent so many years trying to be the perfect person for everyone in every area of his life that he totally lost touch of his own needs. It was the perfect storm for an EA. He will be the first to admit that he did this to himself. He was so good at going with the flow…..that he would almost believe it himself. He told me that he got to the place of not feeling anything.

    • TheFirstWife

      I love reading the revenge stories that people post about cheating spouses or BF/GFs.

      They are very funny. There is a billboard sign someone took out that was a very funny story.

      I had a guy friend in college who cheated on his GF who then became his fiancée and wife. he never brought her to meet his college friends. Ever. I heard he came home one day to a cleaned out residence . Empty.

      I guess she got tired of being the third wheel in her M.

    • Tired

      I agree with SI and TFW above. Don’t do it.

      I did consider it as a silly revenge fantasy but I would never go through with it. For one, I have too much self respect. And as soon as you do that the playing field between you as the wronged spouse and the cheater becomes equal in the cheater’s mind. And I was determined to keep the moral high ground. If I had an affair it would have been ‘but you did it too’ and the cheater would then be all accusatory and not feel the same remorse.

      TFW, I agree that I also love reading the revenge posts. One of the best ones I read was that the betrayed spouse swapped the phone numbers of the other woman and the cheating husband’s boss in the husband’s contacts on his phone. Now the outcome of that would be absolutely hilarious. Imagine the damage control!! I’m going to keep that one in mind.

      Another story I once read which for some reason struck me as hilarious was that the betrayed spouse got into the cheater’s closet and cut one leg off all his trousers. For some reason when I picture that I just crack up!! Imagine him getting ready for work :)) It probably works even better if the cheater doesn’t know they have been caught 🙂

      Stuff like billboards are funny when it is other people. But I think it reflects badly on the betrayed, probably even more so than on the cheater. Much better to keep the cheater in the limelight.

      The best revenge is being happy! The other woman constantly tries to get our attention with her silly social media posts but I will never give her the satisfaction of biting. We both just laugh at her. She is insignificant and she knows it or she would not try so hard.

    • TheFirstWife

      There is another story on another blog that happened in 2016. Wife received a text message meant for the OW. Sexually explicit. H deleted the text off her phone but not his. He thought he was safe.

      She left for a business trip as she normally would a few days later. Said nothing to him. He was going to meet her in a few days for a vacation in Europe after her meetings ended. Just the two of them. Romantic vacation.

      He flew to their European destination. She flew home. When he landed she called him and told him she knew and it was over. She had him served two days later after he arrived home w/ divorce papers.

      His reaction? “Why don’t I get a second chance? Just like that you are divorcing me?”

      Yup! Just like that. She moved out and divorced him. Never looked back.

      It wasn’t a revenge A. It was a “Revenge” Divorce – he broke their vows and she had nothing else left. He tried to reconcile and do everything he could to stop the D.

      • Tired

        Well good on her,. Though sad for her.

    • Puzzled

      I’m in the same boat with all of you. A revenge affair? Not in this lifetime. I can see the thought process though after surviving this crap. But, for me, keep your integrity. Keep your character. At the end of the day, you have to be able to look at the reflection in the mirror. I also know how disappointed my daughters were about my wife. I’ve said this before: they needed to see unconditional love, commitment and character. No matter what, my girls needed to see how a husband should act in a marriage. All along I knew one thing: I wasn’t just fighting for my marriage; I was fighting for their future marriages as well.

      I do love the stories above though. Those are hilarious. I thought of a lot of things I might do during some lonely days & nights but I probably would be another casualty of divorce had I followed through with them. But, they would have made great stories later on!;-)

    • TheFirstWife

      Puzzled. I like your approach that you needed to show your children a good role model. My children don’t know about the A but I also always had them in mind in how I treated my H.

      It sure is hard but I never allowed the A to be discussed in front of the kids. Ever.

      That was between adults and they had nothing to do with it.

      And yes I too used to sit and wonder what would happen if I divorced him. He didn’t make the first two years of recovery a picnic. But I could see he was trying every day.

      And that is what I focused on. He was trying.

    • Puzzled

      TFW: We have a 5th grade son and he has no clue to her A. He was too young then and still too young to ever grasp. But, our girls are both college aged and, sadly, they figured it out before I ever suspected anything. It was the younger of the two who approached me and simply asked “is mom having an affair”? She and my wife took a vacation together and my wife was texting someone. My daughter asked “you texting Dad”? My wife said no, “I’m texting your sister”. My daughter, being the good snooper she is, noticed her sister’s name wasn’t there (my wife was using the Viber app). It showed the same initials as our older daughter. My younger daughter was in a text conversation with her sister at that moment so she texted “is Mom texting you?” Her answer, “no”. She asked “has she texted you at all”? Her answer “not in a few days”. My daughters both knew what was happening at this point but didn’t really know what to do.
      This was after my wife’s ILYBNILWY speech and it had never even entered my mind that she might be cheating. After my daughter told me what had occurred, I knew there was more to my wife’s behavior but I really couldn’t bring myself to believing it.
      As things progressed or digressed really, I could see how my wife’s behavior towards me was affecting our girls. I tried like crazy to be upbeat and the same Dad they knew. It wasn’t easy but it worked. The whole “fake it ’til you make it” mentality kept me somewhat sane every day. I focused on the good in my life and especially my kids. It was bad enough for them to watch their mother spiral into someone they didn’t know. They didn’t need to see their father become someone they couldn’t respect any longer.

    • TheFirstWife

      Puzzled. I was going to nominate myself for Best Actress in the category of “Blindsided by A and about to be D one week later” ???? Category.

      Fake it til you make it was my motto for 9 months. Until one day I had enough and told him to leave. I just could not do it one more second and I told him he was free to go and be with the OW.

      I no longer cared about him. But I did care about me and my sanity and I came first.

      Funny how at that point the OW was gone and was no longer important. But hours before he was telling me he wanted a D. I then figured out he wanted to be with her.

      Still SMH

    • Eleanor

      I had a revenge fling. It did me good. It made me feel like I was attractive to another man. I didn’t keep going with that… he wasn’t the right guy for that …but I felt I could have another relationship in the future.. and that I was attractive. My partner had forsaken me for years and it turned out with prostitutes. For years our sex life had dried up and I didn’t know why. Finding out about the prostitute use was devastating. Finding out someone else thought I was very sexy and having a great sexual experience with him was healing. And after all our exclusivity had been completely shattered. it was a farce anyway. it was only on my side. So much had been lost. Nothing left to do but rebuild.

      I also at the outset of this fiasko while I was in deep shock told everybody we both know about the situation. I’m glad I did. I gathered much support and outreach that I needed desperately. The devil hides in dark places. And now he doesn’t have any dark places to hide.
      He was chased out into the light of honest appraisal, and seen for the life wrecking force he is

      Maybe because of all of this and maybe in spite of it, my almost 60 year old ex partner has plunged seriously into getting help. He had nowhere to hide. All eyes were upon him and he did not like what he saw. I’m wishing him strength and perseverance. Nobody should live their life dishonoring the person who loves them and supports them, dishonoring themselves and dishonoring women. It really is a tragedy of an existence.

      I will tell those of you who are reading still that he kept this quiet for all of his life. I did not know I was living with someone who had a secret life. It can happen. Keep your eyes peeled. God bless you and keep you safe.

      • Deanna

        Understand fully. My husband had been dealing with issues thanks to his Mother, all of his life
        After 22 years of marriage I found out about an EA he had carried on for 7 years. She lived 2000 miles away or it may have been more, but that got me checking and found porn that was beyond the pale. Really sick stuff, along with the fact he had been flirting with just about everyone he has worked with over the years. At least those that would. He has a Directors position at work so was an easy stepping stone for many who would stroke his ego.
        Odd thing? In every other way he was the best husband anyone could ask for in every way except this dark side no one knew about.
        The last 6 weeks has been hell. Truth trickles out and he has done a 180 in actually trying to stop and is getting help. He seems relieved that it’s out in the open. He has never blamed me or the other women though he does understand predators in the work place now as just that……though I suspect he knew it before but the fantasy of being admired over rode that reality.
        I hope we weather this, I am trying, but I don’t know. Revenge. The same verbal beating I gave my husband, I would love to give to the OW but won’t.


      No, revenge is not on my mind. However, I do wonder why do I stay with him. This is not his first time. My husband has had several affairs in the 18 years we have been married. I want out of this marriage but can’t seem to make the move to go. I have been trying to be a Christian wife and let God lead me but I am hurting more now than ever. This time has been the worst of them all. I have been trying to seek person to person cancelling to help me understand my decisions. I really need some help.

      • Missguided

        @Confused Sorry to hear you have dealt with multiples…I can relate as my husband has had 2 EA’s (that I know of). After the first D-Day, I stayed because we had only been married for 3 months and felt like a fool that he was able to hide so much that I didn’t find before the marriage. I tried several things after that occurrence…being a Christian wife believing he would follow my lead if I tried to love him “the right way”. When that didn’t work, I tried using prayer and letting go to let God take control. When that didn’t work, I threw my hands up and said I wasn’t putting that much more effort in attempting to fix so I’ll just wait for husband to do the work to fix it – showing him even less love in the process. Well, that didn’t happen either and now (4 years later) I discovered a second EA with a co-worker that lasted for a year. When I discovered this one, I didn’t know if I should stay or go even with logically knowing if he did it to me twice that he may do it again so why should I stay to be hurt all over again?

        I made the decision to stay (this being the last chance for him) because I know what I tried the first time didn’t work. Also, I know deep down that neither one of us actually worked to try to fix what was wrong with our marriage. I also learned that letting go and letting God take control does not mean sitting back waiting for some gigantic sign with flashing lights telling me what to do with my situation. That was a hard but valuable lesson because I had so many people telling me to “just pray about it,” “let God control it,” and “be a submissive wife like the Bible tells us”…none of that works if the other party isn’t doing their part too.

        There’s a book I read this go round that I recommend for you if you have not yet read it – The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick. It is a Christian book but not from the typical Christian perspective. It helps evaluate your situation and decide on what choices to make. I’ll pray for you and hope you can move in a positive direction within and outside of the marriage.

        • CONFUSED

          You ladies have been so helpful. I will purchase that book tomorrow and start reading it. Thanks for the prayers.

    • Tryingtogetover

      There is another thread somewhere on this site of people’s imagined revenge fantasies and it cracked me up. Of course I imagine revenge….everything from painting “whore” on her front lawn to running her over with a car. But I think in real life she is going to have a lonely and sad existence and we will prosper and that will be the best (and real) revenge.

    • TheFirstWife

      Confused I’m sorry you are still struggling with his repeated affairs.

      However you can stay M to your spouse but change YOUR reaction to him and his cheating. You can stop living under the infidelity cloud.

      But it comes from your desire to change. Assume he will not. You have two choices.

      Leave him OR Stay with him.

      If you stay you cannot expect he will stop cheating. But you can change your reaction to it when you see it. You cannot change him. Only he can change him.

      What you can change is your reaction to his cheating. And when you no longer engage in his poor choices you can free yourself from his poor choices.

      This is what I learned in therapy. I can choose to stay M. But know what you signed up for and if you stay and he doesn’t stop cheating – learn to manage your expectations. If you don’t expect him to change you cannot be disappointed if he doesn’t.

    • Micki

      I only considered it very briefly. But not as a revenge affair, but when he was gone, I wanted companionship. I could have but chose not to. First and foremost I didn’t want to muddy the waters. I wanted it to be very clear to my H, and possibly the courts if it came to that, that I did not also stray. I knew it would upset my H, but possibly give him an out of the marriage? Also give him an out of the guilt he felt? Also my heart just wasn’t in it. 🙁 I also could have exacted revenge on both of them, because he was her supervisor. But I didn’t. I chose integrity. At the end of the day, I still have to live with myself and my decisions.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Micki, you can never go wrong choosing integrity……I totally agree with you about having to live with one’s self and one’s decisions.

    • Sarah P.

      Revenge fantasies? Yes, I have one. And it is this: I merely wish that they could feel the life long pain of those whom they hurt. Because it seems very unfair that the innocent sufferers of their actions should feel pain while they go on their merry way pretending as if they are the most benign, caring and honest people you could ever meet. They are the ultimate in wolves in sheeps clothing. I hope someone (who is a third party and has nothing to do with me) rips the lamb costume off my ex and the OW. One time a famous business blogger wrote an article about the worst coworkers. Someone had actually turned in my ex and named his full name and place of employment. I know who turned him in and why, but it had nothing to do with me. (I could guess who turned him in. I was not that person’s friend but I got word one time of how he had angered this person at work.) It had to do with how he treated this particular coworker when no one was around. I actually read the article and found it because I googled his name. It took three years for the article to be taken down and I wish I would have taken a screenshot. But I did not. I regret not taking that screen shot. Oh well. Someone outed him, hopefully more people who are his coworkers will out him. He had just updated his work profile at a company he works for. You would think he was the nicest, golly, gosh, gee wiz person on earth in terms of how he describes himself. Barf.


    • Shopgirl

      I do not think of revenge by having an affair of my own. I do think of feeling what the OW felt from my husband and how that could feel…..but not to revenge him, to fill the hole in me. I do not think that would really help though. What I DO think about is telling the OW husband! NOT in an attempt for revenge – but to make things right. WHY should I keep my husbands secret? WHY should I keep the OW secret? If The OW husband knew – I would want him to tell me! Life is about choices. We all deserve them to make on our own. These “affair addicts” make choices for others. The OW made a choice for her husband – she lied and pretended to be an honest loving wife while sleeping with my husband – my H did the SAME THING! That what I feel is unfair. I am FULLY CAPABLE of making my own choices! I just need the INFORMATION to do so! That is what is missing in affairs is INFORMATION! I would like to share this “information” with the OW spouse. I guess that could be revenge – but I see it as “do unto others as you would have done to yourself”. It’s in the Bible people – just sayin’ 😉

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Shopgirl,

        I am SO SORRY what you have gone through. I have been reading your comments. Please tell me what kind of information you need about affairs very specifically so that I can provide it to you and the readers. If you do not mind, reply to my comment and give me a list of questions or thoughts that you need to know in terms of information. What information about infidelity is lacking? Send me as many questions as you like because it gives me a better idea on how to tailor content and better help everyone.

        As for the other woman, read that article on this thread that I posted several comments ago. The article was “what kind of other woman could you be?” or something to that extent, implying all of us could be other women.

        Now, I do know of one case where a guy traveled and did not wear a ring, had multiple addresses, and burner phones. He talked a very savvy and unfailingly moral person into a long-distance relationship. Once that person found out, hell hath no fury. That person’s first marriage ended because her H cheated multiple times. She was bound and determined not to be an OW. She sleuthed this guy, I sleuthed this guy, and he came up single. She had fallen in love, but once she found out, that was it. Her feelings of love were replaced with anger and she never saw him again. That happens occasionally and if a woman has any morals whatsoever she will call the wife immediately, show all the info, and NEVER ever see the guy again. Even if the guy leaves his wife, it does not matter. The guy is still a cheater and whoever goes with him gains a cheater. SO SAD. But this type of scenario is very uncommon.

        Most of the time, the OW’s know full well what they are doing and they truly could give a cr*p about the wife. There was this terrible story over in Idaho. There was a guy who was an attorney. He had a beautiful wife and 5 gorgeous kids. He cheated with an older, married woman who was his secretary. When her H found out, she baited the two men into fighting over her. (Meanwhile, the wife with 5 kids had no idea any of this was happening.) So, the husband of the married other woman shot the attorney and killed him. The innocent wife with 5 kids not only found out her husband was dead and she could not ever say goodbye, she found out he was dead because he was having an affair!!!!!!! She went on Dr. Phil a couple of years after that and confronted the OW. I thought perhaps the OW would “pretend” to care since she was on Dr. Phil. Nope. The OW did not pretend to care. She watched as the wife balled her eyes out and spoke of her pain. The OW just scowled and looked at her like a deer in the headlights. She didn’t even know what you were supposed to do in such situations. (That is pretend like you care– apologize from the heart. Even if you don’t mean it.) So at least the OW was honest in that respect. She was honest in showing her true colors, which was that she had no empathy for the wife. At least she was honest that she could care less about the wife. Sure, the OW cared about herself and the fact that she lost her hot, attorney lover, but she could not process the pain of the wife. I truly believe that many women have several screws lose in their head. All humans are built to have the same reactions to certain things. (That is except for narcissists and sociopaths. They don’t have insight or empathy. They make up more of the population that you might believe.)

        Anyhow, give me a list of EVERYTHING you want to know about the information that is missing about affairs. I really do want to know so that I can address this.

        As for your H, you deserve so much better than him. He has real issues. 🙁


    • Sarah P.

      Hello All Female Readers of this Blog,

      I have never done this before, but I came across an article today that I found to be utter BS. It was a nice apologetic article about the other woman and how any woman could be the other woman.

      In my next article this is one of the many things I will address– based on my personal experience. But, I can say unequivocally I would never be and could never be the other woman. I have always lived life very intentionally and usually had a very good BS meter in terms of whether or not men were lying about their relationship status. My next article is all about affair sex and even though it’s not about how I have always avoided being the other woman, it has that in it too.

      I would like all female readers of this blog to read this cruddy article that I found and tell me if you believe you are so weak that you could “be the other woman” under different circumstances. I stand by my assertion that I could never be the OW. Here is the article…tell me what you ladies think:

      • MissGuided

        I have lived my life “intentionally” and managed to “catch” every man prior to this one in his infidelity in our relationships (soon after it occurred). I was with current husband for 5 years before marriage. 3 months after our wedding, I discovered an entirely different part of him I didn’t know about and didn’t suspect. You never know anyone 100%.

        I’ve made mistakes in life I said I would “NEVER” do – quite a few of them (not talking about being the other woman). My husband had an EA behind my back after he said he would “NEVER” hurt someone the way he’s been hurt. Sometimes, the other woman doesn’t know they are the “other woman”. Weakness has nothing to do with it if you tend to trust people.

        I don’t trust many people these days. Also, I’d be careful how much you say you’d “NEVER” do something. I said that once and ended up lying to myself and others. (As I’m sure many other people can attest to for themselves). I’m not taking up for people that have affairs or knowingly mess around with involved/married partners, but I’d seriously reconsider how perfect you think you are to not ever do something. Circumstances change everything.

        Also, if the article is “cruddy”, then why do we need give it more hits/traffic? The more people read such “crud”, the more it gets posted online and the more gullible people believe it. .

        • Sarah P.

          Hello Misguided,

          I see where you are coming from and the idea that nothing is absolute when circumstances change.

          There is only one “never” I have and that is “I would never cheat on my husband.” Mine has been a hard won “never.”

          The first thing is that I have experienced a horrendous backstory due to being cheated on. I lost everything (including a cheater.) But, what he did to me goes beyond many infidelity stories. It included physical harm and all kinds of things so that I would leave our mutually owned home. The fallout was nothing less than trying to live life after an “emotional” nuclear bomb went off and then having to deal with the emotionally toxic fallout. Another thing that happened was I got cervical cancer due to his infidelity. It was treated, but the treatment almost made me unable to have children.

          The second reason I would never cheat on my husband is because I plan to be married for the rest of my life and have no interest in anyone else. I do not even go there in my mind. I don’t go down the path in my mind of “what would it be like to be with so and so?” I also avoid circumstances where there might be temptation.

          Some might ask what will happen if my husband dies before me? Then could I fall unknowingly into the other woman role (such as the article that I asked everyone to read suggested?) The article basically suggested everyone will be the other woman at any point in time by asking the question, “What kind of other woman will you be?” That’s also a NEVER for me. I will NEVER be the other woman.

          How can I know for sure?

          Well, I have a rare genetic disease called acute intermittent porphyria. We don’t have the longest life-expectancies and can die from a flare-up of the disease at any time. As some know, I temporarily died and was brought back to life last April (a year ago) due to an emergency room doctor being careless and negligent. I am not sure I will outlive my husband. Who knows.

          I have a different perspective than most and the last thing that would interest me is having an affair. My meaning comes from being with my children and my husband. Not from life’s fleeting frivolities such as infidelity.

          My meaning also comes from writing for this blog. I truly don’t know how long I will be around. If I can keep the disease at bay, well, then I have a normal life expectancy. But, I have flare-ups of the disease that require ER visits about every 2 months now. Each flare-up/attack could be deadly.

          That’s one of the reasons why I am so involved with this blog. I want to get as much information out there as possible. I want to leave something of comfort behind for others even if I live another 50 years.

          Perfect? Nope. I am far from perfect. I make mistakes just as everyone does. I have a younger child with autism and an older one who struggled with suicide earlier this year.

          There is no perfect here– in fact I do not think I am perfect, I am just an imperfect human like everyone else, trying to do the very best I can for my children, my husband, and for others I encounter, as well as for the readers of this blog. I spend many hours here each week ensuring I can offer a little bit of support, even if meager.

          Like everyone else, I am doing the best I can, but I do have some absolutes and never cheating and never being the OW are my two absolutes in life. These absolutes have been hard-won because of a combination of trauma and the fact that I have a life-threatening condition.

          I thank God for every day I am here.

          Missguided, I am sorry that your husband has hurt you so, especially after he said he could never hurt someone the way he has been hurt. I am sorry that you discovered three months after you were married that there was an entirely different part of him that you did not know about and did not suspect. That is absolutely heart-breaking, especially since most of us are still in the so-called “honeymoon phase” for the first year of marriage. That must have been a terrible realization.

          I hope that you don’t mind my opinion as a Christian about your situation. I wanted to say that I could not agree more with your thoughts on “just praying about it” and “being a submissive wife.” In working with Christian couples, I have never found that to work. It kind of acts like a get out of jail free card because nothing is being asked of the person who transgressed. Being a better wife in the Biblical sense will not change him. He has to change himself. Finally, I do believe that it is okay for Christians to get divorced where there have been affairs and genuine attempts to work through the marriage, but with no changes. I am in no way saying that a divorce is what you should do– only you know what is right for you. I am going to check out that book that you mentioned.

          I always believe in praying our way through situations and asking God for his guidance. But, in my opinion, there are practical steps that should also be taken. If you are on top of the proverbial house in a flood, get on the helicopter or in the boat. Don’t drown and end up in Heaven asking God why he did not save you only to hear from him that he sent the boat and the helicopter. I like that story in general because it reminds me personally that I can pray all I want but that taking practical steps (like getting in the boat) are necessary.

          Many blessings, Missguided, and I sure hope you are able to work something out with your husband.


          • Nearly Normal

            Gosh, that must be a difficult burden, having porphyria. My heart goes out to you.

            I want to say that all of us have no guarantees of how long our life will be, but you have something entirely different.

            I admire the way you have turned your focus on helping others, rather than just moping around, feeling sorry for yourself. Many of us are very appreciative that you have chosen this better path.

            (Sorry, nothing about revenge fantasies here.)

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Nearly Normal,
              I was not talking about revenge either. I have never believed in revenge– just in the idea that one day people who do egregious things to harm others are able to feel the pain they caused to others.

              Here is the “high level” of my porphyria story for everyone and also for you, Nearly Normal. (Nearly Normal, note the part about Divine Intervention toward the middle. I am a very spiritual person and was raised a Christian but also study Judaism. I am a Christian-Jew who likes to also examine Buddhist philosophy. Anyhow…).

              One day I should write a book about it. There is so much more than what I will say below:

              Anyhow, I am going to contrast who I was before the diagnosis and before the disease became active. Please don’t think me arrogant. I am not trying to sound arrogant and those who know me in person (as in life-long friends) know I do not like to be in the limelight or the center of attention. I like to be in the background getting stuff done and supporting others. I prefer talking one-on-one or to smaller groups. Not huge auditoriums.

              It took me YEARS to get diagnosed with acute intermittent porphyria. It showed up around puberty and I was out of school for almost a year getting every test done under the sun. No one knew about porphyria where we were living.

              Then it went away. Throughout high school and college, every few months or so, I had excruciating and unbearable abdominal pain that would keep me in bed, moaning until it went away. My parents called it “nervous stomach” because it came so infrequently and usually around a high stress time like finals week.

              I had always been the person who lived the life of 4 people at the same time. (Not as in 4 different personalities.) I am saying I would squeeze into my life activities, degrees, projects, travel, that would normally take 4 other people to accomplish.

              When I was in the corporate world, my ‘attacks’ were very infrequent. My bosses gave me the world of 4-5 people because I could do it. It took that much work so that I did not become bored. Bosses loved it, as you can imagine. More work with less employees? “Hooray!” says the corporate machine.

              In other words, I was always the highest functioning person in the room in terms of what I could get done even in small amounts of time. (Am I better than anyone? Whatever that means. Please don’t think I am arrogant for saying this. I think the reason I would get bored was because my IQ has been tested before and it was in the 99th percentile. No, I am not bragging. When the tester told me that, I LAUGHED. I told them they had someone else’s results mixed up with mine. I only believed it when my son got his IQ test done a couple of months ago. His number was identical to mine and his test was administered 20 years later and by a different person who knew nothing of my (alleged) IQ.) I don’t know how on earth people get high IQ’s, especially me. In kindergarten they said I had a severe “learning disability” and I seriously could NOT read until I was 9 years old. No joke. I could not write anything that was even remotely worth a passing grade until sometime late in high school. But, I could do these beautiful paintings and drawings that were far beyond someone of my age.

              In my twenties, I worked, worked, worked and then took long vacations to far flung places. I met my (ex), we fell in love, I bought a new house (and he only wanted in on it in the 9th hour…) and we traveled together and worked at the same company. We all know how that ended. It destroyed me for several weeks. (As in lying in bed, immobile, unable to eat, drink anything or sleep and just crying my head off. I took time off work). Then I brushed my self off and back to work it was.

              I met my husband, we dated, we got married and everything was great. We had so much fun living in a tiny 400 square foot apartment across from the hospital. (We could afford more, but liked living a simple life and saving).

              Then he got his full-time job in another town and we had a house built. Then I got pregnant. Before the pregnancy test even came back as positive, I was ill. So ill I could not get out of bed. I had to quit my job. I saw all kinds of doctors about the stomach pain, the constant vomiting, the bouts of physical paralysis that would come and go. I had endoscopies, colonoscopies, lab tests, on and on. Nothing. Nine terrible months and then I had a beautiful son. All of the physical symptoms left, except for the stomach pain. More work-ups for the stomach pain. Nothing.

              The low point was when a doctor my husband and I knew well looked me in the eye and said, “I think you need to see a psychiatrist.” I cried.

              I went to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist asked if I was depressed. “no.” Family history of bipolar of schizophrenia? “no.” I was given all kinds of psychological tests. They found one thing– I had ADHD (inattentive type).

              I learned to live with the stomach pain and sometimes had to be hospitalized for the pain. I got another job and kept working. Then I got some more consulting jobs and kept working. We wanted to have a big family, but I did not know if I could get through another pregnancy. We waited. Then we decided to have another child. I was working as a consultant and was determined to stay at work. So, I spent my days going back and forth to the restroom vomiting and being doubled over in pain. I got an ultrasound at 5 months and the doctor said it appeared my child had down’s syndrome. I snapped in half and had to resign. That was the last straw. So we waited several weeks for the amniocentesis. I already told my husband I would NOT have an abortion- regardless. Anyhow… he did not have down’s syndrome. I stayed home and stayed in bed all day, getting sicker and sicker. Finally, my pregnancy was induced at 38 weeks. I was too ill– deadly hyper-tension etc.

              When my son was born, he was not breathing. They whisked him off before I could see him. My husband followed. I was frantically asking the nurses what happened and they would not tell me. He was in the NICU. They had to take a tremendous amount of meconium and fluid in his lungs. It was touch and go for the first two days. On day two I got up and saw this gorgeous sunrise over the huge mountains. There were colors I had NEVER seen. I dropped to my knees and said, “please God. Don’t take him. Take me. I have lived long enough, let him live.” And God told me (in my mind) very sweetly that He was so much BIGGER than that mountain or that beautiful sunrise or the colors in that sunrise. He made it all and he told me that he does not bring death; he is the One who brings life. His love for me and my son was bigger than my love for my son. And he told me he was in charge and all was well. That was the day my son opened his eyes and could breathe normally. We took him home the next day.

              But, I got more ill. So we decided I would never leave the house for work again until I got better. I would be a stay at home mom and pursue projects or work from home.

              I had a lot of good days, but when the bad days came they were worse than before. My doctor told me that he could put me on Oxycodone or morphine for the rest of my life for pain.

              I said, “no.” I knew people who went on that stuff for back pain and it destroyed their lives.

              I kept getting more work-ups. Nothing.

              One night, I went to a different ER– sometime in 2012. That is a story of Divine Invention that not only affected me but changed the course of the lives of others that night. I have mentioned it briefly in comments a couple of years ago. There was a porphyria specialist on duty and he ran all the rests. He found the mystery disease and told me all about how to prevent it. He also gave me the medications I needed to receive in the ER when I got sick. (They had nothing to do with pain killers.) So, I got my diagnosis finally. There was a girl who had attempted suicide in the same room and we were separated by a curtain.) She explained she had tried to end her life because her mom had died a year before and she was waiting for a secret sign. She had not gotten the sign and did not say what it was. Here is what happened next. A few months earlier a sterling silver angel wing with crystals arrived in the mail for me. I did not order it. It was sent by accident. The company said keep it. I put it in my purse and forgot about it. As I was leaving, God directed me (in my mind) to give the woman the angel wing. I was not going to do that. It was too weird. But, when God wants something done, He will press on you until you do it. So, I walked around the curtain, held out the wing, and said, “I am so sorry to disturb you, I was told this is for you.” She broke into tears and said it was the “secret sign.” She promises she would never try to end her life. Her boyfriend, my husband, a couple of nurses, and a doctor all witnessed this. Everyone was speechless. So that was the day I got my diagnosis, got the preventative plan, and got the list of medications I needed for future ER visits.

              I was in the middle of my Master’s in Clinical Psychology. It was almost done and I was enrolling in a PhD in psych.

              After I got the diagnosis, I threw out the plan to have a clinic in the community. I decided I would be a psychology writer and ghostwriter instead. I found Doug and Linda’s blog after that and over the years it has evolved into something bigger.

              As for not moping around and feeling sorry for myself… I will tell you that I do sometimes mope around and feel sorry for myself regarding what happened with my ex. And sometimes I feel sorry for myself for having porphyria.

              And I am able to take all that moping and pain and turn it into an article that will hopefully help countless others. This blog is also an outlet for me to document my lingering trust issues and channel all that pain into something positive for others.

              I am infinitely grateful that I can contribute here and only hope that the stuff I am thinking about and writing about gives someone else their “aha moment” or the thing they needed to hear to get through the day.

              One more thing about porphyria. I am glad I was not diagnosed with it before having kids. It turns out that when people have acute intermittent porphyria, many doctors advise them NOT to have children. Why? Because it causes the porphyria to advance. That is how I ended up so ill. It is also why we will never have the big family we so longed for.

              But, it is okay. I am infinitely grateful for my children and would do it all over again for them. But right now, I cannot risk having a third because the AIP has become so advanced. They need their mom around, not another sibling and no mom.

              Anyone who is reading, THANK YOU for reading my long story about acute intermittent porphyria and how it has shaped my life and career choices.

              Also, I know some people probably wonder why I am not licensed. To get licensed in my state, I need about 2.5 to 3 years of unpaid internship onsite somewhere. I simply am not in the physical health to make that commitment. In my state they used to allow people to take the exam and that was it. Before that, my state did not even require a college degree to be a therapist. (That is insane.) Anyhow, they changed all the rules before my degree was completed so that is why I am not licensed. I don’t have the physical health to meet the requirements. Because of my condition, I need more than sleep than others– sometimes 14 hours a day to be well. I know that seems crazy, but it is one of the things that prevents flare-ups.

              This blog allows me to work on my own time. (The other great thing is that my parents are a 15 minute drive. They help with our kids each day. My husband also works only half-time at his job. I am grateful for everyone’s support.)

              People never see the “behind the scenes” of my actual life– just what I write on this blog.

              I am so grateful for this blog. I can use my degree, so that it wasn’t a waste of time and so I can help others through what I learned.

              Thanks again to everyone who read this looooooong comment.

              Many Blessings,

            • Nearly Normal

              Quite a story. You’re a great example to a lot of us.

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Nearly Normal,

              Thanks for listening to my story.

              I am very grateful for everyone on this blog for many, many reasons, including the reason that I cannot sit around the house all day and feel sorry for myself. There is nothing like helping others in order to get out of one’s own problems. I am not speaking about helping others to avoid problems in one’s own life that need to be dealt with. I cannot change the fact that I have porphyria and I do the best I can already. I deal with the porphyria and take it head on. But, I am grateful there is this outlet to help others, so that porphyria does not swallow my entire life whole and turn me into a moping couch potato. That would be such a terrible existence.

              So my deep thanks to everyone who reads this blog, including you, Nearly Normal.


    • Sarah P.


      I have a great aunt who was the other woman for 40 years. No one in the family supported her relationship with this married man and it was a very small town so the wife knew but pretended not to know. This was also during a very different period of time– like during the late 1940’s when it started. During that time and in that (particular) small and VERY rural town, the culture was to pretend like it did not exist. Sure, my great aunt would cry on my happily married grandma’s shoulder on ever major holiday. My mom and her siblings knew about it but pretended not to know. That was the game– the elephant does not exist. I have played the elephant does not exist game but that was to avoid an affair and to pretend like men hitting on me were not hitting on me. Then I would walk away. Of course, my great aunt’s married lover promised her the heaven and the earth. He promised to leave his wife thousands of times but did not. My great aunt became “the wife” only after his wife died. I am pretty sure they married in secret. By that time, he was very old and she got to take care of him. (He was much older than her.) That is the prize she got: the “honor” of taking care of an incontinent old man who chose her only after his wife died. He died a while ago and she is still alive. She lives in a nursing home. She is terribly ill and kept alive by 15 different medications. She has no friends, except for my 90-something grandma who goes to see her regularly. My great aunt was once a beautiful, stunning blond. There is not even a shadow of the beauty she possessed in the past. On the other hand, even though my grandma is in her 90’s, she still has the same face, the same bright smile, and twinkling eyes. She is older but she is still beautiful (believe it or not). She is wrinkled, but still has the same face and same body type. Her red hair has turned a bright, white color that suits her sparkling blue eyes. My grandfather is also still extremely good looking, considering his age, and he brags about how beautiful my grandma remains. So, what was my grandparent’s story? Even though I have never probed, it was obvious they were each other’s “first” in all areas. (As in they were both virgins). Their marriage was never marred by affairs even though both were always good looking people. They still live in their house and have interests in life. In fact– here is the most interesting thing about my grandfather: he was always so athletic that every summer he made a 90-mile trip on foot through someone of the most rural mountainous terrain in the world. His son always came with him. My grandpa was doing these grueling, 90-mile hikes on foot into his 80’s. It’s quite remarkable. They have had a very fulfilling life and marriage. Their faces show the joy of those years spent together. Contrast that with my grandma’s sister who chose a different path. My grandma’s sister is decrepit. alone, and afraid of death.

      That’s how it usually turns out for the “other women” of this world. Why any woman could be sweet talked by a married man is beyond me. The times in my life when that had happened to me– that is a guy casts a line to see if he can catch me, I don’t take the bait. I walk away. I don’t mull over whether or not he is cute or this or that. He is married and so I don’t even consider taking the bait. I do not understand why this is so difficult for so many people– that is, it is difficult for people to avoid the bait even though it’s easy for me. I walk away and don’t give it a second thought. I did this before I was married and after I was married.


    • TryingHard

      I never considered any kind of revenge affair during the tumultuous DDay aftermath nor during recovery or reconciliation. Actually the thought disgusted me still does. The idea of getting naked in front of a stranger sends chills up my spine. No thanks aunt no one need to see that nor do i need to see them naked ????Even harmless flirting by my friends husband or acquaintances disgusts. Si meaningless and superficial.

      Now revenge in the OW oh yeah. I did plenty of that. And i would have sooner poked myself in the eye with a hot poker than to confront the OW in a tearful plead “please Joleen leave my man alone” a la Dolly Parton song. Matter of fact i said take him but buckle up bitch cause it was going to be a bumpy ride to get there through any loss to me. She didn’t have guts to try me. She skunked away like the cockroach she was.

      I owed her nothing. Not even the unemployment she was getting as a result of being fired from my company. Ha she tried and she worked for cash under the table for which i turned her in and she had to pay back to the state with penalties. I doubt she even paid all of it back as she became ill, quit her job and went in Medicaid and welfare. She died a broke just like she lived.

      I had my revenge and it didn’t bother me one bit. I didn’t make her poor life choices but she sure felt the consequences of those choices. I hope her pathetic life served as an example to others in her life. You don’t mess in other people’s lives with out consequence. Too bad for her.

    • Eleanor

      For some odd reason I went from feeling compassion for the prostitutes my partner used to hating them with all my heart. Their life choices their willingness to hurt others and dishonor themselves, their filthy occupation disgust me. I used to have compassion for women who were brought to that level of low and now I just hate hate hate them. I don’t like feeling this way. I liked the old compassionate me much better. If anyone can fill me in on what’s going on in my head I would appreciate that. This level of hatred does not belong with me.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Sometimes I think it’s easier for us feel that hatred towards the other person rather than our own partner. I think it’s hard to face how angry we are with our partners for betraying us. They are the ones that broke our trust.

        • Sarah P.

          Hello Shifting Impression and Eleanor,

          This was written a couple of days ago, but you are right. It is so much easier to get angry at the other person. I call it ‘displaced anger’ and people do it all the time.(It comes from the larger idea of displacement according to the psychology definition, not a dictionary definition.)

          For example, let’s imagine a child is abused at home. He might come to school and start beating up on the weakest kid in the class since he cannot beat up his abusive a parent. A child has a psychological need to feel that their mother and father are protectors and there for them, even if the parent is abusive. This happens in adulthood too. It’s why adult children of narcissists continue relationships.

          Our spouse is our primary source of love as an adult so it’s easy to displace all that rage on the other person. I even do it. Of course I am angry at what my ex did and I am more angry at him. But I also have a lot of anger for her too.

          And I have a lot of anger at women who choose to be “other women” even though I do not know them. After all, being the ‘other woman’ is a choice just like cheating is a choice. We are all adults here and fully responsible for our choices.

          Anyhow, displaced anger is completely normal because it is too difficult to reconcile that your primary love and protector figure as an adult (your husband) could betray you. It makes no sense why he would do that and so being angry at the OW does make sense.


    • TheFirstWife


      I can understand your feelings as these are the people who destroyed your life or shattered your M.

      There would be some people who would say they prefer “no strings attached” sex b/c it is just sex. The “person” or prostitute doesn’t have an emotional attachement to the cheater.

      I think they can rationalize that NSA sex is “not as bad” as their cheating spouse falling in love with someone else.

      But it doesn’t matter it is that these women destroyed you. And you are angry. Rightfully so.

      But I believe (or hope) in time your anger will fade. Because you will come to put them in the past. They won’t be in your focus as much. Because you will move away from “the cheating” and focus more on “the choice”.

      I used to want to exact revenge on the OW. Seriously I wanted her to understand the level of pain she caused me – until I realized one day she probably did not care. She was a 20 something selfish Twit. Lived her life all over social media.

      Until one day I stopped hating her. She became a nothing to me. And she could have been anyone. She was nothing special IMO.

      I chose to use my energy in a more positive way. Focus on something to better me – not keep me trapped in my black cloud. So I moved on.

      She could show up here tomorrow and I just would not care. It would not affect me. Because I have moved on from letting my anger rule me. or my fear.

      Maybe you can release the anger by focusing on something else. It took me two years to get past the anger towards my H. it took 4 years for all of it to go away completely.

      • TryingToGetOver

        Eleanor I think it is natural to go through a period of hatred and anger when their actions affected you so personally. And TheFirstWife I look forward to getting to your place of peace! Someone on another board recommended the book Finding Forgiveness: A 7-Step Program for Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness and it has helped me understand that anger is one of the steps we just have to go through to get to that point of the OW being a nothing and no bother. I want to rush my own process but I’ve realized I can’t, I have to feel all the emotions (including anger and the urge for revenge) and process it all before being able to meaningfully let go. The book even urges readers to write down their revenge fantasies in all the gory detail as a way to just get it out there. Then, of course, it just reminds you over and over that staying angry or moving on are both choices we can make with our minds. My particular mind is not ready to move on quite yet but many of you, like TheFirstWife, make me hopeful that I will get there! So thanks for the encouragement!

    • TheFirstWife

      As Marcus Lemonis says in The Profit – you have to understand the process.

      It is a process.

      You grieve your M – not going to be the same.

      You grieve the hurt and betrayal.

      You deal with the rage and anger you face.

      You suffer through the trauma of infidelity.

      You are an emotional wreck and devastated by the infidelity train wreck.

      But you can survive it. And face it and deal with it.

      And emerge from it a stronger person. With your spouse with you in the reconciliation path. But if not – you the BS do not have to live with the infidelity cloud raining on you every day. Creating storm after storm.

      You can move away from it and create your own path and peace. Calm. Healing.

      But it is when you are ready to do it that makes it happen. Your CS can only help you heal to a certain point. The rest is on you.

      I chose me – and my happiness.

    • JanR

      I’ve thought about different things to say to the OW and maybe wish things wouldn’t go so good for her. But I can’t see myself getting revenge. My H is doing all he can to make things right after he confessed his EA a year ago, but I still feel like slapping the mess out of him…and her. I know the OW and have had her and her husband in my home (he doesn’t know). We have found out she’s cheated on her H so many times. We haven’t told anyone about it, I think she knows that I know, but I’m not sure. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the EA at some point. I’m just so ready to be over it but seem to be stuck. Dad gum how long does it take to move on?

    • TheFirstWife

      Jan. I suggest you and your H inform her H. Not as an act of revenge but he has a right to know.

    • JanR

      He knows she’s cheated on him multiple times, just not about the EA with my H. He filed for divorce and ended up with everything. We decided to work on our own marriage and didn’t want our children to know anything, so we’ve kept it just between us.

    • TheFirstWife

      Jan. I understand. I thought maybe her H had no idea.

      But I agree keeping it out of the limelight if at all possible is a great idea.

      My children don’t know (except my H told one of his friends that I specifically said “please do not tell this guy b/c his wife has no filter). so I hope they don’t know.

      But at this point – whatever it is – it is.

      From what I have heard most of the APs don’t think they have any responsibility in the A. It appears the CS and AP blame each other. So it probably would not make you feel any better if you did have a chance to say something to the OW b/c her response may even be more infuriating to you.

      In my case the OW and I spoke. She profusely apologized. I accepted her apology. I thought she was sincere. Until she tried to start the A again for the third time.

      And when I asked her to please stop (very respectful and no harsh words) she taunted and harassed me in her social media blog for years.

      She would write that “she would never stay married to a liar and cheater and anyone who does ….,,” type stuff.

      But it is OK to knowingly be the OW.


      I wait for the karma bus ???? to come rolling on for her – and it will. And this is the “woman” my H was dumping me for. Hahahaha

    • JanR

      I’m sure she would say something that would really tick me off. Sounds like you’ve dealt with a real pain!

    • Eleanor

      In my case the other women were Korean massage parlor prostitutes. Not sure how I would exact revenge on them.
      But unfortunately I am coming to despise the culture and the people who would profit from such a disgusting trade, including the prostitutes. And exactly how pathetic do you have to be to give some woman cash for her to allow you to touch her body? Pretty damn sick, sad and pathetic.

    • Tired

      I agree with Sarah about the displaced anger. That is what it was for me. I was getting all riled up about this silly woman. But TFW is right. The affair partner does not matter.

      In my case, I think it was easier to blame her for ‘making’ him do things. It is true, he would not have done them if she was not so pushy and persistent. However he still did things that reek of disrespect and betrayal.

      We went away recently and I finally got everything out of him. Now some of the things I was thinking were way worse than what actually happened but because he would not talk about it my mind went into overdrive.

      Now if he had told me 2 years ago that she came and started waiting around his new work my mind probably would not have concocted up all these horrible scenarios. But because he chose to hide this from me it has made our relationship and my recovery much, much worse. Now I have heard what he said to her I feel like I know the truth.

      In fact our discussion led me to think about how much his cultural background influenced the way he behaved. To him it is normal to go out of your way not to cause offense. So there he was trying to reconcile with me and doing everything he could to make it up to me. But at the same time he being way too nice to her, hoping that she would just get the message and go away, worried she would turn psycho if he didn’t respond to messages…which only made her think that he was still interested. To me that seemed to be cowardly and/or dishonest. But now that I have heard the truth I can see where he was coming from. That is exactly how he and all his family are. I don’t think it was even an affair. It was a very inappropriate friendship that got nipped in the bud when I found out about it. I had always felt that there was no affair when he came home. It was just a gut feeling. But I also had a gut feeling that they were still in touch. Now that I know why it makes it a lot easier to understand why he did the things he did.

      She became insignificant to me when I realised these things. I can now see her as she really is…a desperate girl who thought she would never find anyone and once she thought she could have someone she went for it with all she had. She was like a dog with a bone. That realisation makes her lose a lot of her power in my mind.

    • TheFirstWife

      Tired. I completely understand your position of making the A out to be more than it was.

      I remember asking my H at around 1 year past DDay 1 how many times they saw each other face to face. They knew each other for 12 months.

      His response blew me away. 8 times. A measly 8 times.

      I thought it was 2-3 times per week for 8-9 months (about 100 times).

      My imagination ran away and made this out to be more than it was. That answer put the entire A into perspective.

      It was more of an EA And it was a fantasy. An escape.

      I see your H was caught up in a situation he was ill equipped to handle. That sheds a different perspective on things.

      I just wonder why it takes the CS so long to provide details that really matter. Details that are significantly critical to the BS.

      Glad you had a positive outcome.

      • Tired

        ‘There are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in between.’

        I believe we will never know the whole truth. They minimise it and in some cases they probably have forgotten the details. Annoying, because the details are very important to the person who is trying to piece it all together, yet the cheater finds it so easy to forget because they don’t want to be that person.

        I think the best we can hope for is to get a good overall picture of what happened. In my case, that is what I have finally arrived at. I’m sure there are still omissions here and there. But the stories I was getting had a couple of large gaps and I could not make sense of it. It made me doubt everything he said and I could not get over it. I think it is more important to arrive at the overall picture than to continue obsessing over every detail.

        In my case my husband came home a couple of hours late one night after work. Why he would do this when he was being so attentive and trying to make it up to me I could not fathom. He made an excuse about road work that I knew was not true because I drive the same road every day and there was always road work…but it never added more than 20 minutes to my travel time. Not to mention there is google maps and you can see the congestion in real time. Yet no matter what I said he would not admit he had seen her.

        The next week he came home and was so keen to tell me how he had damaged his car by backing out of a parking spot too quickly. I found it odd because I would not have even noticed the damage if he had not pointed it out. And I did not believe the story because it was a brand new car and recklessly backing out at speed seemed a little hard to believe. Guilty conscience giving itself away…

        These two incidences both occurred on the only days he was back in town and he was not at home. Hello? Talk about obvious. Although I had a gut feeling it was really over, I could not let go of this.

        Recently I found out the truth about those two delays. She started hanging around his work place. She would confront him and go on and on. He tried to placate her fearing what she would do. In the end he got annoyed at her persistence and got angry, driving off in a huff and damaging his car in the process.

        This took two years to find out! I thank you TFW because I read a post that you wrote some time back saying that you kept on about an issue for two hours with your husband and did not give up until you got the truth. So that is what I did.

    • TheFirstWife

      Thank you Tired. I had a 2 hour (can’t believe 2 hours of stupid nonsense) trying to get him to answer a question. Did you tell our child something?

      Just answer the question. He danced around it. For too long. Finally I got him to admit “he did not answer the question”.

      I won”t print the foul language but FINALLY I got an answer.

      So I understand the avoidance tactic some CS use. But as I learned from past mistakes – if you give an inch people take a mile.

      Not any longer. I don’t back down any more. I stand my ground.

    • Tired

      You know TFW I think a lot of it comes down to the differences between the sexes. For instance, we women get so worked up over the emotional part of the connection between our partners and the OW. But in their mind it is like “What? it was nothing?’ They didn’t have sex, so it was ‘nothing.’ I have come to believe some of these wishy-washy answers are probably the truth.

      I think when my husband said to me over 2 years ago that she ‘meant nothing’….it was probably true. She was the ego boost who made him feel important. Yet when he finally realised what he had to lose and that trying to be a people pleaser on all sides benefited no one she was gone, and he never looked back.

      Research tells us that women get more upset about the emotional connection in affairs. With men, they are are more angry if their wife has had sex with the other man. Thinking from a man’s perspective they would then think that an emotional connection with another woman was ‘nothing’ because there was no sex. So they go on responding to the other woman, because in their mind they are not being unfaithful.

      Thinking about this perspective that my husband probably had about the other woman has really helped me make sense of things. It explains everything. Why he responded to her texts. He felt bad for hurting her, but didn’t think he was being unfaithful by responding to her messages, why he was so genuine in reconciling with me. He really meant it. I truly believe that.

      I have always have always half known that. It only became truly clear when he finally filled in all the gaps in his stories.

      If you are a cheating spouse (not you, TFW), please listen when your other half wants to hear the truth. No matter how angry and confrontational they are, telling the truth will only help both of you. Do not hide anything,no matter what reaction you are afraid of. Doing so will only cause more harm. We have all been there. Tell the truth from Day 1, even if you are afraid of the reaction.

    • Determined

      Well I have to say you guys are much better people than I.

      I found out my wife had been having an affair with a former lover (from before we met) for some time. I had been tricked into believing they were just “friends” and I had nooooothing to worry about and honestly, I whole-heartedly believed her. She played the game very well, hell I even ended up at he and his wife’s house to hanging with them. What a couple of chumps his wife and I were.

      Anyway, I found out through a close friend of my wife’s who she confided everything in. We were also close, our kids had grown up together and she at one time was married to my best friend (that kind of close, nothing inappropriate). I had also just suffered a devastating broken lower leg in which I couldn’t walk for 6 months and still need a total ankle replacement. I had gone from athlete to invalid which was already hard enough emotionally and physically and then found out about this affair on top of it. Well, you guessed it, I had a revenge affair with this woman, it was very short, but nonetheless an affair. It gets better…. or worse. I ended the affair, I guess I realized sometime in my depressed, narcotic induced haze (pain meds post surgery) what I was doing was the absolute worst thing I could do.

      I confronted my wife, against the OW’s wishes. At first I didn’t tell my wife about my revenge affair. After going through all the question/answer stuff and why and when and where, etc. it turns out my OW had made some creative additions to the story of my wife’s affair to make it appear worse than it was (if that even makes sense). So here I am depressed and medicated from my accident, my wife has had an affair, I was dumb enough to have a revenge affair and half the shit this dumb bitch (my OW) told me wasn’t even true!!!!! I literally almost took my own life, like sitting on the side of our bed with a pistol in one hand and suicide note written on my phone almost took my own life. My phone rang and it was my wife, for whatever reason, I guess I wasn’t meant to squeeze the trigger, I answered the phone and that was the end of my attempt.

      Now I felt I needed to protect my wife from this supposed friend who had double or triple betrayed her. And the only way to do it was to come clean about my affair. Well I did it, one evening when we were alone I sat her down and told her everything. As you can imagine that went over like a lead balloon. In the end I think my wife is more pissed off with her than me. I have taken responsibility for my actions and know no matter my mental state at the time I still made the choice. However my wife feels this OW took advantage of my personal situation and then added to the already horrible news of an affair in an attempt to have me for herself.

      It didn’t work, wouldn’t have anyway the OW is nothing I look for in a woman. My wife and I are still together. It’s been 2 years since DD and though it is still very hard we are working to rebuild a better marriage.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, a revenge affair is not worth it. It only makes a horrible time that much worse. Feeling horrible guilt from your own actions in addition to the heart wrenching pain of being betrayed is….. I don’t know even know how to explain it. It’s beyond the most horrible thing you could ever imagine.

      Just don’t do it, be like all these other people on this post and take the high road.

      I know this sounds like some crazy ass soap opera shit but I promise you this is real. My wife and I have even chuckled about it at times because it sounds so bizarre.

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