what were you thinking


Please note: This post was originally published on 6/13/17 and updated on 9/10/19.  

“What were you thinking? Did you even consider the consequences? I just don’t understand how you did this without thinking at all of me and the kids!”  “Didn’t you even think of me?” 

Those are just some of the questions that might be asked after a person’s world has been shattered by their spouse’s infidelity. 

We suspect you’ll get almost as many answers to that question as there are unfaithful spouses who visit this site.

The easy answer would be to say… “I wasn’t. At all. If I had been thinking, how could I ever have done this to my best friend, my lover, my wife (husband)?”

But that’s a bit of a cheap answer.

Here are some thoughts on “What Were You Thinking?” from some former unfaithful spouses:

“I certainly wasn’t thinking clearly. I certainly wasn’t thinking ahead. I was living moment to moment, like a drug addict just looking for my next fix, never caring what was around the corner, or down the road, or, quite honestly, about anyone but myself.”

“When I was with my affair partner I rarely thought of my husband, but when I was at home I frequently escaped by thinking of my affair partner.” 

“Frankly, as the unfaithful spouse, I wasn’t thinking about my wife when I was  involved in the affair.  I didn’t think about my wife the day I told her that I’m involved with somebody else. I wasn’t even thinking about that, because I was, again, thinking of my own self.”

“I really wasn’t cognizant.  There’s many people who may be conscious of the fact that their spouse is pregnant or sick or away or doing something that they may need support, but there is another side that is driving them, which is a selfish behavior  which eliminates that thought process. So they separate the affair as one part of their lives, and their regular life is another.”

“My affair happened due in large part to me making everything else, and everyone else, a priority except my spouse. Work came first, people’s needs came first, my affair partner came first, and even my kids came first. My wife was dead last in terms of genuine concern, focus and attentiveness.”

“I really had no thought at all other than my own selfish requirements . It was just all about the feeling at the time and basically what was in it for me, and the ego stroking that I was getting.”

“If there was one struggle, one colossal mistake, among the myriad of smaller ones that helped lead to my affair, it was that of outright self-absorption. Somewhere along the line, life became about me and what I wanted and needed and deserved.”

See also  How to Regain Trust in a Marriage - The Trust Contract

“When the other woman appeared, and not only appeared, but melted at my existence, and had only wonderful, admiring things to say about me, and wanted to be with me emotionally and sexually every day, my world began to pick up speed and actually shrink. It had become all about me and I began to buy into the illusion that I needed to be happy and I needed to no longer deny myself, but simply take part of what was being offered to me in honor, affection and outright adoration by this attractive and flirtatious woman. After all, I was at the center of my universe and couldn’t see anything but how I was affected by everyone else’s actions. I did what many caught in affairs do, and accepted the fact that Jackie was a great mom, but a terrible wife.”

“It’s a slow, slippery slope. I had many opportunities over the years and never did…..until I did. I did not feel I could communicate with my wife. I believed the lies I told myself. Total delusion. The fog, if you like. The price is horrendous.”



“What Were You Thinking?” – A Painful Dynamic

While these quotes may be disturbing to the betrayed spouse, they may help explain a dynamic frequently present in unfaithful spouses. Affairs involve a high degree of selfishness and often serve as an escape. They provide a distraction, allowing the unfaithful spouse to escape the realities of life.

Unfortunately, in that moment little or no thought is given to the impact of their actions, they are solely focused on what they stand to gain (escape, approval, affection, etc.).

Rarely does anyone consider why they are doing what they’re doing; typically their only thought is, “I’ll never get caught.”

They don’t consider what it must inevitably cost their spouse, or what they could do to improve their already existing relationship since they are only thinking of themselves.

We recently came across a nice video that explains in greater detail some of what is going through the mind of the unfaithful.  It’s called:  Why Doesn’t the Unfaithful See What They Are in Danger of Losing?



And that brings us to the following article that apparently has been circulating around the Internet for a while.  We think it’s quite powerful, but would like to hear your opinions in the comment section.  (Also, we realize the article is very gender specific.  So we searched and found an adaptation of the article from a betrayed man’s point of view.  You can download it here.)

See also  Cheating Men: If you are one of them, don't be fooled by what evolutionary psychology says about your wiring


Before You Cheat On Her Know This

by Kirsten Robinson


Before you cheat, know this:

You will break her.

Like the violent shattering of glass as it crashes to the ground.

You will not just break her heart.

You will break her trust.

You will break her spirit.

You will break her joy.

You will break her belief in love.

You will break her sense of self.


Before you cheat, know this:

She will not sleep—not through the night, as she counts the cracks in the walls at 3 am, seeking answers from a God she didn’t think she believed in.

She will not eat—not by choice, but because she can’t stomach her reality or the thoughts of texts and images that haunt the corners of her mind.

She will not smile—not because there’s nothing to smile for, but because she doesn’t know what these things are anymore.


Before you cheat, know this:

It will teach her to hear “You are beautiful,” as “but not beautiful enough.”

It will teach her to hear “You are brilliant,” as “but not brilliant enough.”

It will teach her to hear “You mean the world to me,” as “but one person is not enough.”

It will teach her to hear “You are the love of my life,” as “but I don’t love you enough.” 

It will teach her to hear “You are enough,” as “but you are still not good enough to satisfy me.”


Before you cheat, know this:

She will cry.

She will sit at her desk until 7:30 pm too embarrassed by tears streaming silently down her face to get up and go.

She will curl into a ball on her best friend’s living room floor, cheek pressed into the carpet—and rather than tell her to get up, he will sit down next to her and say, “I’m here.”

She will get a lump in her throat anytime she walks past places that used to be yours until she decides to avoid these places entirely.

She will rage.

She will snap at friends, family and colleagues for no apparent reason at all. When they are stung by her anger, her cheeks will burn red with shame. 

She will curse at her reflection as she’s brushing her teeth, and think if only she were prettier, funnier, smarter—if only she were more, it would have made a difference.

She will throw a picture frame at the wall, and be too dumbfounded to clean the blood off her finger when she cuts it picking up the pieces.

See also  Consequences of an Emotional Affair

She will scream into the wind by the river, wondering what she did to deserve feeling this way, hoping her words will carry far enough to be heard by someone—anyone—who can tell her.

She will not feel.

She will be turned by shock into the same stone she uses to build walls to keep people out.

She will be numbed in new ways that her hopeful heart had not known to be possible.

And then she will feel everything at once.

She will feel devalued, discarded, disassembled, disillusioned, distraught—she will feel bewildered and betrayed.

She will feel foolish, frenetic, fraught and full of fear.

She will feel hate—toward you, toward them, toward herself.

She will choke on her own confusion as she tries to hold on, yet yearns to let go.


Before you cheat, know this:

She believed in you.

She believed in romance—and that a chivalrous manner meant chivalry in all manners of the heart.

She believed in honesty—and that being honest with your partner first meant being honest with yourself.

She believed in respect—and that a love respected meant not being gaslighted, nor played a fool.

She believed in goodness—and that being good meant working on being good together, even when it was not easy to do.

She believed you would protect her—and that being protected did not mean hiding the truth.

She believed in you—and that believing in you, believing in each other, meant the mutual support of a two-person team through the ups, downs and everything in between.


Before you cheat, know this:

These are all avoidable.

You have a choice.

You can choose to walk away.

You can choose to let her leave, on her own accord.

You can give her a choice.


But if you cheat, know this:

You will break her, but she will grow back stronger.

You will dim her light, but she will shine more brightly in the dark.

You will lower her expectations, but she will raise her standards.

You will cause her to hate, but she will find relief, release, and beauty in the breakdown.

You will make her question her sanity, but she will learn to trust her own intuition better than before.

You will crush her ideas of love, but she will never settle again.

You will burn her world to the ground, but she will pour her heart into becoming the best person she can be—and this time, it won’t be for you; it will be for her.

Click here for the original article.


    127 replies to "What Were You Thinking? Did You Think of Me?"

    • Shifting Impressions

      The article is spot on…..it was hard to read, as it brought up lots of emotions and tears.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I took a break and did some chores etc and reread the article….wondering if it would have the same impact.

      It did…and maybe even more so. I don’t know if I have ever read anything that describes what I went through more accurately. So even three and a half years after d-day with a husband that shows true remorse……..this article brings me to my knees with tears streaming down my face.

      • Doug

        Yes, SI this is a very powerful article in my opinion. I think that every CS needs to read it.

        • Shifting Impressions

          So true Doug….but getting that to happen is another story. I’m not sure my husband could handle reading that and I’m not sure I want to be the one asking him to read it.

          If I’m truly honest…..part of me wants to throw it at him and scream “See what you did to me”. There is also a great possibility I would throw in several unmentionable words….you probably get the picture. But I’m not going to do that…..it would cause much more damage than good.

          Even to hand it to him with all the right intentions……it would bring up to much. I am working at backing off but have to ask myself if perhaps I am working to hard at “keeping the peace” so to speak. Would he feel like I was punishing him?

          Are you willing to share what reading something like this does to you?

          • Shifting Impressions

            Well…I was ‘wrong, Doug
            I was able to bring the article up with my husband. I told him about it and how it had touched me deeply.

            I just asked him to consider reading it sometime in the future. We were able to talk about how each of us is doing. Whether he ever reads it is entirely up to him but at least it opened up a good discussion.

            Oh, by the way….I hope I didn’t put you on the spot by asking if you were willing to share what thoughts or feelings the article brought out in you.

            • Doug

              SI, Thanks for the response. And no, you aren’t putting me on the spot.

              When I first read the article I got a lump in my throat as it took me back 8 years and was yet another reminder of the devastation to Linda that I caused. I talk to so many BS all the time, so I’m quite empathetic to the pain and all the emotional devastation infidelity causes, but the following lines really hit me harder:

              Before you cheat, know this:
              It will teach her to hear “You are beautiful,” as “but not beautiful enough.”
              It will teach her to hear “You are brilliant,” as “but not brilliant enough.”
              It will teach her to hear “You mean the world to me,” as “but one person is not enough.”
              It will teach her to hear “You are the love of my life,” as “but I don’t love you enough.”
              It will teach her to hear “You are enough,” as “but you are still not good enough to satisfy me.”

              Those are the things that I think Linda struggled with the most and were the hardest to recover and heal from, and also remind me of how stupid, selfish and uncaring I was at the time.

              I’m glad that you were able to have a good discussion with your husband. I hope that it lead to some sort of higher connection for the two of you!

            • Doug

              And I must add, that I very much agree with TH about the ending of the article. Linda and I have the unique experience to work with people (usually BS) and we do see this greater sense of strength and empowerment play out all the time.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Thanks for sharing that, Doug. I found that part exceptionally painful as well as I’m sure my husband would. That has also been a big part of our struggle.

              I also agree with TH about the ending. There is strength to be found and lessons to be learned throughout this whole process.

              The fact that we could talk and really listen to each other about such a painful article shows me we have come a long way.

              He hasn’t actually read the article….but hey….baby steps right.

            • Doug

              I hear ya! Maybe you need to print it out for him!

            • Shifting Impressions

              When he’s ready, Doug…..I am really working on the detachment thing None of this chasing him down stuff..Lol!!!

              I was surprised when later in the evening he came down to where I was working and thanked me for sharing what I was going through.

            • Doug

              Well now that’s a positive occurrence that may indicate he’s catching on!

        • Tina

          I have read some of your posts and appreciate your no nonsense mannerism. I have been married to a man over 20 years that does not communicate or try to work our problems out. Instead he started cheating. He lies about money. He has been distant for awhile and i gave it one last shot to try to work on our marriage. He said he wants to work on it too but his actions have shown me its just lip service. I am working on myself to be the best i can be. I think its best to get things in order and move on. I am decent when we do communicate but have been detaching as i heal myself. I have always been a strong person and finding this blog site has helped me alot. I am also getting counseling. Its tough but as others i will get through it and emerge as a new version of myself. Thank you to everyone on this blog.

          • TryingHard

            Hi Tina
            I’m assuming you’re addressing me with regards to no nonsense. I am def no nonsense. And boundaries and tough love

            You are correct to assess his actions and not his words. Lip service indeed.

            I remember actually highlighting books for him to read and putting a post it note saying READ ME. Ugh!!! Stupid stupid!! So I read book after book. I found this blog. I found my crew here and other places. I suddenly felt not so alone.

            My atty and therapists empowered me. The love I had for my sisters and sons and grandson kept me going and filled my broken heart with love. I let myself feel anger. Deep visceral anger. Anger to change. And I felt incredible sadness and hurt.

            And I decided screw him. Screw this narriage. I am working on me. Not him not our marriage but me. After 4 months of anguish I said enough. Leave me alone. I’m never speaking to you again. I was learning to hate him. And that’s when he came back.

            You are doing the right thing. Keep taking care of you. He may or may not decide to wise up but YOU will be so much better. Great even. Your marriage may or may not make it. Either way you will be good as long as you keep moving forward with your healing.

            I wish you luck and courage

    • Puzzled

      SI & Doug- wow! Very powerful and so true. Today is 2 year D-day for finding out my wife was having an EA. And even though she is doing so much to try making things whole again, this made my heart ache. I wish someone could post this on Facebook and tag her name so she could read it. I don’t think she will ever understand the damage she did to me.

    • TheFirstWife

      I would like to add my thoughts:

      Before you cheat, know that your spouse or partner will endure the Affair being thrown in his/her face and yet still want to try to make smends and reconcile. Because your spouse or partner is willing to overlook your selfishness, your ego, your lies and your emotional abuse.

      Before you cheat for a second or third time, know that your spouse or partner wil be as devastated and crushed as the first time. The pain and anger and hurt will emerge and erupt but stronger than before. Because, your spouse or partner believed in you and gave you another chance. And was willing to be supportive and understanding to help you face your issues or demons that clouded your judgement.

      And now not only is your spouse or partner devastated and angry at the cheater, but also at themself for being a fool. For being trusting. For focusing their efforts on someone who could be a cheater again. Without a care or thought for the marriage or love, family or children.

      So the anguish and pain that is experienced after the second or multiple affairs only sets the betrayed down another self-destructive path. And that is one where you question your judgement and commitment with someone who showed you EXACTLY who they were once before. But we just had hoped we, the BS, was wrong.

      Until the CS showed who they really were yet again.

    • TryingHard

      It’s too bad potential cheaters will never see thi until it’s too late.

      But I love the ending most. I went thru all this and yet I’m coming back stronger for ME. Funny how such a selfish act to strike ones ego ends up being that which destroys the ego. And yet we betrayed come back with a better stronger self image. Yes I would say the cost is huge for the cheater.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Trying Hard
        I would have to agree with you….the cost is high for everyone

    • Sarah P.

      Great article!! It left a lump in my throat and I could feel it in my stomach. Very visceral experience because it is all so very true.

    • Wise one

      Stop making holidays. Using d-day is bring a sense of pain to a landmark. After an affair you don’t need anymore triggers.

    • Lynsey

      Wow, this article is so powerful. Even though it’s been 5 years since D-Day, this really did impact me by describing exactly what a BS goes through. I’m in tears right now. It would be great if cheating spouses would read this, but when in an affair, they just don’t think it applies to them.

    • Puzzled

      It’s a funny thing about D-Day (at least in my relationship). My wife has no idea what D-day is. I fully believe she has no idea what day she crushed me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to simply forget it and have it like any other day. I do think Wise One has a point. D-day is a trigger for all of us. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for them, the CS doesn’t acknowledge or remember that day like we do. It’s a day that our worlds spun completely out of control and threw us in the chaotic abyss of the life of a BS. However, I know that it also triggers the reality that, even though I was dragged into a pit, I was strong enough to climb back out.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Hang on to that thought….you were strong enough to climb out of that pit. I will never forget d-day either….and I’m really bad with dates…but that one is etched in my brain to stay.

        I think as time passes it takes on new meaning…..I agree with Trying Hard about it becoming a benchmark about how far we have come.

        I do think it’s important that our CS at least try to understand the significance of d-day. I thinks it probably part of coming to that place of true remorse.

        I love the book RISING STRONG by Brene Brown. We find out what we are made of in the pit.

    • Trying Hard

      Doug–It’s so weird because I was the one betrayed and made the fool. And yet I have become wiser and stronger and yes I am still a work in progress even at my age. But we never stop learning.

      What is so said is that my once well thought of, well respected, honorable “gentleman” as he was seen by the his employees and the community, is the laughing stock now. I can see the shame and guilt in his eyes. He works so hard to bring back his honor but once honor is gone it seldom returns. The stigma stays and your name and reputation is forever a liar and a cheat. I know I’ve heard if he could cheat on TryingHard what’s he doing to me?? And indeed he is paying a much higher price than I.

      I’m sure it all seemed so easy at the time to make the decision to cheat and betray because one is sooooo certain they will NEVER be caught. But as they say “character is who you are when no one is looking’. It’s said because he has to look at himself every single day and put on that mask that it doesn’t bother him. I know it does. And to tell you the truth I think it’s getting worse. He sees how often cheaters in the news are brought up over and over again and no matter how much good they do, their past bad behavior and character comes up. The national election was sure tough for him to watch every time Clinton’s name came up or DT’s cheating was brought up. It’s a constant reminder for everyone.

      • Doug

        TH, Great comment. Of course, you have gone thru hell and back, but it is unfortunate that your husband has had to learn such a hard lesson and is still paying the price for his actions. Though I certainly don’t think a person should be defined forever by their infidelity (as long as they are remorseful and do the work, that is), the fact is our society does tend to remember and hold it against him/her. That said, we also tend to be a forgiving society as well. Look at some of those famous people who have committed adultery and other forms of abuse in the past and it’s like it never happened. Kobe Bryant comes to mind. Of course, when politics is involved, it goes to a whole other level!

        • TryingHard

          Doug–of course one shouldn’t be defined by their past and enlightened people know they are not!! I believe people can and do change. Often they do a lot to make things right, not just for their marriage. lol I know a cheater who actually donated a kidney In his effort to rehabilitate his rep!!

          But my h sadly doesnt read much and believes he’s fine enough by going to MC. And maybe he has. Who am I to judge??

          Society does judge though. Of course the politicians are held to higher standards and they should be. Maybe Koby Bryant redeemed himself but I’m not so sure. Tiger Woods sure hasn’t. I know he calls it back problems but many golfers suffer severe back pain. He’s a freaking head case and it all started when his cheating came out. His games demise will forever be linked to his chumped wife beating the piss out of him with his nine iron after she found out what a huge cheater he was. It’s sad how he screwed up a great thing.

          I think my husband suffers from his own guilt and shame. We live in a small town. People love to judge and gossip about others. I think it makes their own pathetic existence palatable!! I’d love to move but I won’t because my family is here. I hope he can reconcile himself to his good side and be the man he wants to be

          • Hopeful

            Trying Hard, I so agree. No one knows about my husband, but being in a small town it gets old. Even the way people are consumed in others. This has made me lack interest in others. So many people are shallow and focus on the wrong things. And I think it comes from their insecurities or how hard they are working to make themselves feel better or that it would not happen to them.

            I would love to move but it is not happening. When I am out of town I am like a new person. The happy memories are not enough to outweigh everything I am surrounded by where I live. I focus on any time I am able to get out of town!

    • Trying Hard

      Puzzled–You are so correct. DDay which was in March has no meaning to my husband either. I actually said “ugh I hate March” and he looked at me dumbfounded and said “why???”

      No they don’t remember and they don’t want to remember. It’s called ethical amnesia. Why would anyone want to be reminded of when they single handedly tried to destroy another person or that they were a complete and utter selfish asshole??

      Oh yeah March is a trigger and I wish it weren’t. Maybe a lobotomy is in order. But I also use that time as a measuring stick of where I am today. So maybe instead of denying the trigger use it as a benchmark?

      As my therapist said the mind has a mind of it’s own

    • Hopeful

      My husband does not remember the exact day for dday but he knows right around the time and as it approaches. I do want to remember it. It was a hard day but we both believe that it was a turning point. Everything did change but the way we were was not good. He knew why I did not. So I look at that day as an important and meaningful day. I had no control or say in what he did and cannot change what he did but we have faced this together. Far from perfect but I would never go back.

      My husband did know it was wrong before, during and after his affairs. He said he heard himself saying to stop. He did not listen to himself and follow what he tells others. Why who knows? I still do not have anything except what I would qualify as excuses. My husband wanted to tell me for years especially when I would probe him or talk about our marriage. However he was scared he would lose everything he recognized as positive and he also said he knew that it was the biggest violation in a marriage so he was more than aware. But he dug himself into a very deep hole.

      He is thankful for his second chance but all of these thoughts still haunt me. I am more guarded with him and everyone else except my kids really. This is a challenging path. I do feel personally stronger than ever.

    • Fatcat

      Well, I wish I hadn’t read this at work. It’s been two weeks for me and I’m crying like a baby right now. Luckily my back is to the door and I hope nobody comes by. I keep telling myself to keep it together at least at work. The worst part is when the kids (ages 13 and 11) see me crying, they start crying also and but they don’t know why. How, what and when do you tell your children what their mother has done?

      • Puzzled

        Fatcat- you don’t share anything with your kids. They are innocent and you don’t need them to be emotionally overwhelmed right now. Get with a counselor or pastor and work through your feelings. Figure out if you want to try keeping your marriage together and if your wife will do what needs to be done as well. I so badly wanted to tell my kids (and they were in high school and college) so they knew what was going on. But I didn’t. They sensed something had happened and, honestly, knew it was my wife. They would ask questions about how we were doing and I would give them honest answers but never told them everything.
        You can get through this but it will take time and effort. Read through the website and alot of these blog discussions. We have all suffered and battled through this too. I know it’s extremely hard and emotional right now. You’re confused, angry, hurt, overwhelmed, and a whole lot of other emotions. Talk with someone to sort through this. Don’t battle alone.

        • Fatcat

          Thanks Puzzled. Your right that they are innocent and don’t need to be dragged into this mess. I have an appointment next Wednesday with a marriage counselor. I’m hoping my wife will go with me but she’s very angry with me right now so who knows. Crazy how she blames me for her EA and all the guilt she’s feeling. But because I’ve been researching about EAs since DDay, I knew this was coming and is “normal” for the unfaithful. It’s hard to be patient and kind when all you feel is rage and hurt but the posts and articles here give me hope. I still love my wife and I’m going to fight tooth and nail for my 24 year marriage. Even if it ends, nobody’s going to say I didn’t try hard enough!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Puzzled has given you some great advice. I am so sorry you are going through this. It is a very powerful article….It brought me to tears as well, and d-day was three and half years ago. It must have been so hard reading it with d-day being so recent.

        I’m so happy to hear you are going to a counselor….

        In the post before this one….Sarah has the link to a great interview with Robert Muller, regarding trauma….it is so worth listening to. Take the best care of yourself and your children that you can.

      • Hopeful

        Fatcat, It has been 2 years 3 months for me since dday and it still hits me. My kids were just a bit younger than yours but similar ages. We decided and worked really hard so they did not hear or see anything. If anything they noticed we were spending more time together. Crazy but true. We only spoke when they were at school or somewhere else. Or we would leave the house. My kids noticed I was quieter and just said I was just tired. They never questioned us and our relationship. I do not think they need to know details for sure. I never wanted my kids to know what my husband did. If we decided to separate my therapist agreed they needed to know some component but not a lot and that my husband would need to explain that he was not trustworthy or something like that. But we never got to that point.

        Two weeks is so early. I was still trying to get facts and figure out what had gone on. Also coping with the pain was a full time job practically. I cut back everything I was doing to only bare minimum. Sleeping and eating if possible, taking care of my kids and working. Everything else was put on hold. The first thing I did was to decide if I wanted to work at and make an effort with my husband. I read a lot and forced a lot of discussions. It has been a long road. Lots of highs and lows. It has all been worth it. Still not perfect but I am glad we have committed to each other. I have realized this will be a constant work in progress. Hang in there and keep posting. Shirley Glass’ book Not Just Friends and all of the Gottman books were the biggest help outside of blogs I read. And finding a therapist after dday 2 was best for me. Again lots of work still. I know it will never go away but we are closer now than ever before.

      • Lopa

        Yeah I know …my little one (4) also cry with me . I don’t know when I will be ok … it’s been 3 months already… but still feeling same like first day 🙁 though my husband is trying soooo hard ..but I can’t forget for a moment

    • TryingHard

      FatCat–I agree with Puzzled. Right now you don’t need to say anything to your children. However they KNOW and they are worrying about you.

      You should not lie to them and say everything is alright but rather just say Mom and Dad are having problems right now but we are working very hard to fix it. AND for sure make sure they know it is NOTHING they did. Kids will blame themselves. Sound familiar? If they can blame themselves then they can fix it. Make sure you aren’t doing this either. THIS IS NOT ON YOU.

      One other thing. Her Anger. Yeah, it’s a defense mechanism. Her cheating is not the issue in her mind, it’s your reaction to it. I call bullshit.

      Go easy on yourself everything is so raw right now.

      • Hopeful

        That is a good point if the kids can tell let them know what Trying hard said. We really focused on doing a lot as a family. That made us feel better individually and together as a family.

        One other thing I forgot to mention is we would schedule one time a week to talk about the affairs etc. So we were able to do it when the kids were not home and we had enough time. This was really a great option for us. It kept us from talking about it all the time. The other days we focused on each other and ourselves. I made notes, wrote questions daily and would look it over before our talk to see what was standing out as hot button issues. I was more pulled together when we would talk and felt like I had more resolutions at the end of our conversations. This system worked really well for each of us and the family. Maybe something like that would help too. We were both less emotional and defensive since we knew when and what we were talking about. I did not dwell on it and my husband was not walking around with his guard up wondering when he would be hit with questions.

        Then once we got moving through talking we set up boundaries and that really helped move us forward.

        Another great article which was short was Masters of Love by John Gottman in the Atlantic magazine. You can google it. My husband brought it home and shared it with me. It was more accessible and less daunting than reading an entire book (which makes my husband more sad and guilty, another story and issue..) but this article is something he still refers to today and helped him turn a page in his recovery.

    • Puzzled

      Hopeful has a good point about talking about things. It will be stressful enough while working on things. If you aren’t prepared to talk rationally and calmly, then things will go in the wrong direction. I printed out my questions on small pieces of paper and put them in a small fish bowl. I simply asked my wife to pull one out and answer it when she had a chance. No pressure and no interrogation. It worked well for us. We’d destroy the fish bowl when all questions were answered. We still have the fish bowl though. One question remains: the name of the other person…

    • Rachel

      Great article!!! As I read it it was sad. The memories were flooding in my head. His words how this was my problem if I couldn’t
      Accept it. I asked if he’d miss me and that was a no. Who says such mean and hurtful things. He does, that’s who. Spoiled, selfish, conceded bastard.
      The last paragraph is me, stronger and I will be the best person for ME!
      I am feeling anger and disappointment with myself for letting him abuse me verbally for years!!! What a waste of time. I can hear his laughter in my head when I questioned his whereabouts or finding women’s glasses in his truck. He lied right to me, but he wasn’t good at it.
      I recently found out that he was cheating on me in the 90’s. This recent news got me moving to get my name changed and what a relief!!! My younger son congratulated me and said you must be happy to be free of that name. Happy isn’t the word!

      • TryingHard

        Rachel– if there were ever an example of real emotional abuse from ones ex it is you. Your ex was extremely cruel and abusive. Don’t be mad at yourself. You didn’t do anything to get that treatment. Be proud of yourself for getting out!!!

        • Rachel

          Thanks Trying

    • Throwaway987654

      OW here… d-day was over a month ago but he’s still seeing me (EA&PA) and lying to BS. He has no intention of leaving the marriage, made clear from the start. I feel sick reading the reactions of BS’s here and how devastated the victims are. I fully expected this to END at d-day and am confused as to why it’s still going on. Is it my responsibility to cut off contact? How can I make him do the right thing? Do I need to apologize to BS?

      • TheFirstWife


        Thank you for posting. No judgement here.

        But YES I think you need to end it. No contact. Like ripping off the band aid.

        Regarding the BS, I had to call my H’s OW/AP to find out affair resumed and was on-going. Humiliating but I would rather know the truth (that is just me – not everyone wants to know).

        The A is still going on because he is lying to everyone – you and his wife.

        Take a step back and end A. See how you feel one week after it is over. Then two weeks. Then one month. Etc. I hope you realize the A was not real but a fantasy based on lies.

        My H had OW convinced our M was over and it was terrible. So then why did he plan a very romantic 25th wedding anniversary get away for us if I am so bad and our M is over. Because it is all a LIE.

        So yes I think YOU need to end it. And tell his Wife out of courtesy and respect.

        And then disappear from their lives.

        Good luck to you. Find support for yourself. Breathe. Read up on affairs and relationships. Vow never to do this again. Understand the impact (I think you do).

        • Throwaway987654

          I’m afraid that if I end it without convincing him that it was wrong, then he’ll just go back to the previous OW or find a new one without fixing the marriage. BS only found out about me when she went through his phone and doesn’t know he’s never been faithful to her. He isn’t lying to me and has never offered or claimed that we could ever have a real relationship; it’s only been a fantasy and we both know that. That’s the point, that’s why it feels good, because it’s an escape from the stresses of reality.

          I’m trying to convince him that she WILL find out again and the next time will be so much worse and he may not be able to keep her from telling all of his family and community then, so it’s better for us to end this on our own then wait for it to be ended in that way.

          And I tried to go no contact – lasted almost 24 hours. Then I remembered that we have scheduled classes together over the next few months which neither of us wants to cancel. What’s the point in going through affair withdrawal now if I’m going to have to start all over again when we see each other then? And what’s the point of me trying to be noble and break up if he’s going to keep having affairs with other OW?

          • TryingHard

            Throw– Boy he sounds like a real prize there!! Are you having fun yet? Total snark sorry.

            I was speaking for your own welfare. His well being nor the survival of his marriage is not your responsibility.

            Sounds like you’re ok morally with this set up. I’m not surprised. Most people take in your very same attitude of “if it feels good, do it” or YOLO!!!

            This situation is despicable and sad. Sad for you because you could be out there finding a nice guy. One who’s single and available. Instead you choose someone who treats you like well a Throw Away. That’s very sad to me.

            Too bad you can’t find a group of former OW to help you figure this out. I feel bad for all of you.

            Just remember what you sow, so too will you reap. Maybe you both could take a “class” in that? And Karma is such a bitch!

          • Shifting Impressions

            I guess the question here is…why would you want to be someone’s fantasy rather than be in real relationship with someone that values you. You deserve better…..everybody does.

            The point of being noble is for your own self-respect. You will probably never convince him that what he is doing is wrong…..that’s not your responsibility.

            This is not about him but rather about you….perhaps read the post again and ask yourself if you really want to be with someone that casually inflicts this type of pain on his wife. As you said he has no real intention of being faithful and if it’s not with you it will be with another OW.

            Why would you waste another moment of your time with someone who only seems to care about himself?

            What is it that you want? The only loyalty this man has is to himself. Don’t you deserve more???

            • Hopefull

              I agree you need to decide what you want. Everyone has to make their own decisions. My husband had two OW neither knew about each other for 10 years. Both were sporadic and he told them both he would never leave me or our family. They would go 6-12 months at a time without seeing each other. He never spent a dime on them or took them anywhere. They both would track him down to meet up with him. I asked over and over why would they do this. The one OW never had any other relationships. He said he never even understood it and she never gave any ultimatum. He was the one that ended them 15 months before dday and neither wanted the affairs to end.

              If you choose to live in a fantasy world then that is your choice but I do think this article states well the damage, harm and pain you are part of causing. In the end it is his responsibility to his wife but you are part of this. So you need to decide if this is what you want from your life and your legacy. After no contact my husband recently heard from one of the OW over 2 years past when he said to never contact him again. Each time he hears from her or a friend he shows me and blocks the number. If someone wants to cheat they will find a way, a reason and an excuse. It is up to you to decide your path.

            • TryingHard


              LOL, You would think that I would be delighted that the OW in my life is lying stiff on some slab in a lab just waiting to be cut up and disected!! Yep, she sold her body to science. How appropriate right??

              And yes, I am somewhat relieved, but really he can kick the trash can and 100 more will be willing to to do whatever for whatever reason. We have no shortage of cockroaches and morally void people in this world!!! I will never get people like the OW in your h’s life or any OW for that matter. It’s almost as if they are cartoon characters!!! These people are truly pathetic and sick!!! They are like walking dead. No morals, no goals, no values. Just walking in whatever direction the wind blows them and sucking off everyone else.

              In the end it’s up to him to keep his own moral compass in check. In the mean time, DETACH 🙂

            • Hopeful

              So true there is no shortage of these people. One of the two OW tracked my husband for four years, begging him for his cell, finding out where he would be and getting dropped off at bars or restaurants with no car etc. He said no for four years and one night gave in and gave her a ride home. He said he told her no over and over even that night. Of course in the end he is fully to blame for the damage he has caused himself, me and our marriage. But wow that is a lot of effort from one person. And I guess if someone is pursuing you that hard for four years it is flattering. And this is a single mom. Who knows if there were other men he says no. So I wonder what is going on that she was so obsessed with my husband? His friends have since referred to her as that crazy strange woman and no one remembers her name. So it is not like they all loved her and wanted her around. But yes he says they are all over and there is no shortage for women that are willing and okay with it. But yes in the end it is on them. It is sad to me that people are okay leading their lives this way. I know that my husband had and has issues that run deep if he was able to do what he did and I think anyone that knowingly participates in this type of relationship has issues.

      • TheFirstWife

        I hope the day he dr used to end it with you (for whatever reason – his W finds out, he gets another OW whatever) that you have:

        A support system for you
        A good therapist or counselor
        A good circle of friends who will listen to you cry and rage
        Strong self esteem and confidence
        Love from your family

        Just trying to give you a preparedness plan. See most of us were just blindsided and thrown into this mess. You, on the other hand, can plan for the end of the relationship and take the bull by the horns.

        It just sounds like you don’t want to. You will be in pain. You are afraid of the future without him.

        I hope you don’t wake up one day and realize you have your best years and your best self to someone who didn’t deserve it. Don’t throw your life away.

        And stop living with the excuses as to “why” you cannot end it. You can. You just choose not to.

    • TryingHard

      Hello Throwaway and btw no one should see themselves as a Throw Away. I think your moniker speaks volumes.

      My question to you is, seeing all the pain that women like yourself are complicit in causing others, why would you want to stay in such a relationship? And the answer is not because you love him. Love is not compelling you. It’s a choice your making. Love is always a choice. So why are you choosing a relationship that will go no where? It sounds as if the MM has fessed up to his wife and he’s still with her right? And yet you are continuing a relationship with a man that is refusing to be there with you.

      For your own well being yes you should exit. Run even. You are asking for nothing but a whole lot of trouble and heartache. And NO do not contact the wife. Any apology from you is useless and given its early in discovery will not be accepted. Besides the fact that you choose to continue to be involved in a relationship with her husband after discovery would be insincere at best.

    • Lallysbub

      This is so hard but also empowering – knowing I am not alone with my feelings.
      My wonderful, honest husband has turned into a lying cheating idiot – having an affair for about 15 months, moved out about 10 months ago but I’d totally denying anything is going on – despite overwhelming evidence. He is telling the small few people who know how bad I was and the marriage was but ever the sensitive didn’t mention it until it got too much and he moved out ! He comes back 3 nights a week to help with kids and spends part weekends with us, he spends rest of time an hour away. I am trying to follow being nice, safe place but would just like him to wake up and smell the coffee. He is her manager at work. Any advise for me ?

      • TheFirstWife

        I am so sorry for you. We completely understand as we have all been there.

        I hope you have a counselor or therapist to support you through this terrible awful period in your life. It is the worst b/c you are dealing with your spouse who is no longer acting like the person you knew and had become an alien and foreign being.

        Get a support team – lawyer or mediator, priest or minister and good friends and support team. Be prepared for the future.

        Focus on your family and child. Be the mom you need to be b/c your spouse does not have that ability right now.

        Read about the 180 and detach (which you have).

        Watch his actions!! Don’t listen to his words as he doesn’t know what he is saying. But his actions will be a big “tell”.

        Do not get sucked into his Drama. He has issues. You are the prize – not his plan B.

        And when the realization sinks in on what he has done DO NOT FEEL OBLIGATED to him.

        Don’t let him think your M is a revolving door.

        So sorry for you – know you are better than that.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Hi Lallysbub
        I’m sorry you are going through this. My best advice is to take care of yourself and educate yourself on emotional affairs. A really good book is NOT JUST FRIENDS by Shirley Glass

        Also, I hope you have a counselor or good friend or family member you can talk to.

      • Hopeful

        I agree with the book suggestions Not Just Friends and all of the Gottman books too. A therapist for you would be crucial. They can help you navigate through this and give you support no matter what happens. I suggest finding someone that has experience with infidelity. In time figure out what you want and need.

    • Jeanette

      I am so glad I found this website. This is all very new to me as it’s only 3 weeks from dday which also happens to be out anniversary. Since then my h had an uncle pass away. I was there for him and his family. I feel that I always have been but of course at the moment he doesnt agree. At this moment he won’t discuss us or what he wants to do. He needed to get passed the death and now he had surgery today so that is his focus. I don’t even know if the ea is still going on but i suspect it is. I know this is soon and its going to be a long road so i wait. The thing I want most from him is for him to touch me or kiss me with more than a peck. Dont know why this is so crucial to me. He is unwilling to show me any physical affection and i see that this is very common. I am sure I will be posting more thank you for the group. Never wanted to be a part of it

      • TheFirstWife

        Jeanette. So sorry for you. I know exactly how you feel and exactly what you are going through.

        Google Affair fog -,that will help explain your H’s mental state.

        Read up on the 180 (detachment while living together) to preserve your sanity.

        Learn about the “pick me” dance and decide not to do it. Do not appear weak or parhetic in front of him. He will resent you for it.

        Start getting $ in your own name.

        Get yourself a counselor or therapist to help you navigate this terrible situation.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Hi Jeanette
        I am so sorry you are going through this….none of us wanted to be part of this group either, but alas here we are. Lots of good info and support here I’m glad you found it.

        I realize your husband just had a death to deal with and now a surgery….but it does sound like he is calling all the shots.

        Once he has recovered from his surgery….I hope he doesn’t find more reasons to not talk with you regarding your relationship. I realize this is all very new and there is a good chance you are in shock and feeling traumatized. Remember to take care of you. And remember you have rights and legitamet needs as well.

        • Jeanette

          Thank you shifting. He has always called all the shots so i guess nothing new. He has talked a bit but it’s in spurts. He explained that he is keeping his brain ordèred in files right now and only opening one at a time so he doesnt lose it. He has bipolar disorder so this is a good coping mechanism for him. Doesn’t do much for me though.

          I plan on waiting till his recovery is on the way and then i need some answers. I at least need to know if he wants to work on our marriage or not. That’s the first step.

          He says he loves her and she’s his best friend. She listens to him and gives him support. As I explained i am all those things to but i cant can’t listen and support if he won’t open up.

          This past weekend was father’s day. We went away for the night with the kids and he was behaving more like the man I love. Being considerate of me as a human being. I thanked him for the obvious attempt to try. He said that the guilt was getting to him and he realized he was selfish and not being a good father or husband.

          Baby steps….

          As for me I am pretty numb the past 2 days. Prior to that I have gone from crying to punching things to walking like it will solve something. Moods change like the wind. Started therapy last week.

          • Puzzled

            Baby steps is the way to start. We all, unfortunately, know exactly how you’re feeling. Keep working on you and keeping your kids emotionally safe. Show them what unconditional love looks like. No matter the outcome; they need to see how someone should behave when faced with a heartbreaking situation. Keep the communication going with your husband & keep fighting for your marriage.

          • Hopeful

            So sorry you are going through this. For me I had to decide if I wanted to work at repairing our marriage. It is hard when faced with a family death and surgery. Early on I scaled back and only took care of the minimum necessary in life. I said no to everything except my kids and work really. Even now my husband and I have found the more busy the more stressed we are and the more distant we feel. We both recognize this. I knew right away I wanted to give my best effort and I asked my husband if he wanted to also. He said he did and he did not tell me but he gave himself 6 months. It really can take that long to make changes (this is based on his professional background as a mental health professional in all issues). My husband had ended both his affairs 15 months before dday but I still set very firm boundaries. If any contact was initiated he needed to share it with me and we would decide how to deal with it together. The early weeks and months were about him opening up and sharing details with me. It was hard but necessary. It took me about a year to get through it and start to feel normal again. That is when I think he let his guard down finally since he was no longer worrying and caring for me. Even over 2 years past dday issues arise and things come up. It is something that will always be there but most important is to take care of yourself and what you need and want. I would suggest even if it is just you to find a therapist you can talk with and get support. For me it was that person that was there just for me. I found someone who specialized in infidelity. It was a huge help and support.

          • Shifting Impressions

            You really do need and deserve some answers. If your husband is like so many cheating partners he will find every reason in the book ot not talk about it or take responsibility.

            I am sure we could all tell you some of the ridiculous “reasons” our own spouses used. My husband and I decided we would take an hour a week to check in with each other and talk about the affair….he ended it right after d-day

            But he would come up with so many reasons not to talk:
            Timing is one example…if I wanted to talk first thing in the morning….the whole day would be ruined, so he said.
            If I wanted to talk at night…he wouldn’t be able to sleep.
            If I wanted to talk during a meal….he wouldn’t be able to eat
            I approached him the day before his birthday…and of course I ruined his birthday. And on and on it went. It’s Christmas..It’s vacation time…I have to work and on and on and on.

            One of the most difficult things for me in the early days after d-day was that so much became about him. It’s like they shoot you in the back and then can’t handle that you are bleeding all over the floor.

            So glad that you started therapy. And yes the mood swings are extremely hard.

            • Shifting Impressions

              One more thing, Jeanette
              Maybe something to ask yourself is…..why you allow him to call all the shots? Sometimes we find a wealth of information in questioning our own responses to situations.

              The balance of a relationship gets totally overthrown when one partner has an affair. That also means the balance of “power”. Everything is not up to the cheating spouse. You also have choices. Often the betrayed spouse is so traumatized right after d-day they forget their own power.

            • TryingHard

              SU– lol and so right. Just had a blow out. His response was “I don’t need this”. Haha. YOU don’t need this??? WTF you did it. I didn’t.

              And then of course comes the “gee I just dont remember”. Losers

            • Shifting Impressions

              Yup, Trying
              There is that handbook they all seem to be using. Unfortunately for them we see right through them.

    • Puzzled

      I know many of you have read my previous posts concerning my wife’s EA. We’ve made great strides in our reconnecting and rebuilding. I’m really not sure why but, last night, I thought we’d come far enough to simply ask her to tell me the name of the other guy. I’d hoped beyond hope that she would tell me so we could clear one of the last hurdles in this. Sadly, it didn’t go as I’d hoped. She’s working today and I don’t really know where we stand. I haven’t felt this ache in a long while. My gut tells me that her reaction and emotions/sadness is what I’d feared all along. It is someone I know and I have a nagging feeling that it was more than an EA. Just asking for some prayers for me to get through today and that my wife & I can keep moving forward. It was a long, mostly sleepless night. Hadn’t had one of those in a long, long time. Just need some positive vibes sent my way.

      • Hopeful

        I am so sorry. My husband never wanted to tell me who either affair was with. I am not sure if it was to “protect” me or to keep it at a distance for me. I am not the type of person to pursue someone and confront them. In the end I knew neither person. He was so guarded about it. But I figured it out with the sketchy details he told me and matching it to the search history on his fake fb page. The night before dday he was out of town with friends and a few texts popped up with a female. Nothing major or as if he knew her really but had met her that night. It was eye opening and disturbing still. He always took his ipad with him but did not this one time. It started pinging and woke me up at 2am or so. So I did not sleep the rest of the night and found his fake fb account and more. I did not even know what I was looking at but I took screen shots of everything possible. So when I confronted him about all of this he told me about the affairs and he gave me vague and incomplete details so I went back to the screen shots and it was easy to figure out who the ow were.

        Sorry for the long story but in the end I had no idea who these women were. They are bottom feeders. One ow is a mutual fb friend with someone I am fb friend with through one of my kids. I was/am resentful he just did not tell me who the ow were but he did not share. It makes me resentful I had to figure it out along with way too many other things. I got the I was ashamed, I did not want to hurt you, it was going to do no good. The only thing in his favor is he had no contact with them, showed me if they ever reached out to him, never went on fb or his fake email again. So he seems to have shown me he means what he says. Granted anyone can get a fake phone, he could use his work email or work phone etc. But in this day and age if someone wants to cheat they will find a way.

      • Shifting Impressions

        So sorry to hear. It’s the one question left in the fish bowl, right? Only you can decide if this is a deal breaker for you or not.

        I don’t believe she is being fair to you…as if there is anything fair about affairs. It’s almost as if this is her way of hanging onto control. Also by keeping the affair partner a secret and if he is part of your “circle of friends” how would you know if boundaries are in place. I really believe there should be no contact…in your case you would have no idea he could be sitting in your living room and you wouldn’t know it.

        This is a huge road block for sure….by “protecting” the affair partner she is in essence saying his needs and her needs are more important than yours.

    • TryingHard

      Puzzled–Who is one of the most basic questions that should and needs to be answered.

      Given she is so protective of the name I would almost guarantee it is someone you know or her boss/co-worker. Whoever it is, it threatens her for you to know. That’s why she’s covering. Knowing the who won’t put an end to it. She may also be trying to protect him. But most likely to protect herself.

      This would be a deal breaker for me. There is no way I could even consider reconciliation with out at least that mere detail. And the message it sends is she is more important than you. She knows best. You are too weak to handle the truth. She is giving herself a very unfair advantage.

      If reconciliation is to have any kind of chance, honesty has to be on the table. and honesty goes both ways. You are doing yourself no good unless you are straight with her and tell her that this question must be answered.

      Maybe it’s time you answered some very tough questions for yourself? LOL I think answering those questions are the hardest of all.

      Is this situation tenable long term for you? I don’t think so. Is this how you want to live your life taking baby steps for years trying to get the answers to your questions that are obviously eating you up? Only you know.

      I will keep you in my prayers but also know it says in the Bible God helps those who help themselves!

    • TryingHard

      Hopeful–She sounds like a freaking stalker and what the hell was your husband thinking??? He had to be drunk.

      Ok I get the flattery thing too. Currently I have got men friending me on Instagram. I don’t think anything of it not even noticing they are men and just people with the same interests I have. Then they start with the messages “hello beautiful”, “hi how are you today lovely”, and on and on. Yeah it’s flattering and creepy. I have asked “do I know you?” and get answered always “no but I’d love to get to know you” WHATEVER CREEP!! I instantly delete them and block them. But there is that instant where someone weaker could be flattered.

      I swear I will die not knowing the answer to why people cheat. If you aren’t happy in your current situation put on your adult panties and get a divorce and live that single life. Thing is that is NOT what they want at all.

      Also, Hopeful I understand the whole detachment problem. I’m feeling it too but I swear it’s a so much better problem than being attached. My heart just can’t take it any more. And I turn to myself too to solve my problems. Probably why I’m always examining my role when relationships fail. But I swear this whole detachment thing is working for me.

      • Hopeful

        Exactly. It is creepy. I mean so stalker like. By the time that happened he said he was already at an all time low. I still do not get what she got out of it. But I have just decided we are obviously two very different people. I spend the rest of my life alone and in isolation before acting like that! Oh and the day after dday he told me the first ow was annoying and nasty but he thought the second one and I had a lot in common both in looks and personality and we would get along and might have been friends. Well let’s just say he never said that again. I am not sure if I ever got that upset with him up to that point or after. I made sure he never mistake me for that again. It would have been one thing if he lied to her or something and she knew nothing. But to compare me to a stalker or sat around waiting to see him and for what some random sex and texts? Yuck.

    • Jeanette

      Funny my h said a similar thing about the ow. He said shes really a very good person and very nice you would like her. I would never like her I assure you

    • TryingHard

      Hopeful–LOL. My h actually said “..I think you two should meet and talk. You’d really like her. She’d do anything for you” I.Sweat.To.God!!!!


      • Hopeful

        Omg why do they all say and think the same way?? they have to be mentally ill or even should plead temporary insanity. My kids that are not even teenagers would never think, say or believe this! Sad and pathetic! At least we are not alone.

    • Jeanette

      Lol. I’d do anything for her too. Just not nice things. On dday while he was telling me how wonderful she is I said…you know i want to kill her right? He almost fell over. Did he really think I’d say oh good she sounds great let’s all hang out together

      • TryingHard

        Jeanette LOL indeed. When I said that I said “I’d like to throw acid in her face!!!”

        Yikes where did I come up with that????

        It’s crazy

    • TheFirstWife

      My H wanted all of us to be friends.


      • Shifting Impressions

        You can’t make this stuff up….what was he thinking!!!!!

    • TheFirstWife

      Shifting. On another blog there is a thread I started called “funniest things CS said during affair”.

      I didn’t mean to hurt you – no I guess the cheater did not know an A woukd hurt the other spouse. SMH still

      The AP is really nice – you would like her. Don’t bet on that one.

      The AP reminds me of you – really?! Because I am a low class cheater too!? Still SMH

      AP wasn’t that good in bed – so that is why the A lasted all this time. Huh!

      I didn’t love the AP – that’s interesting because you wrote it in emails and text messages.

      And the stupidity goes on and on. Sometimes I just laugh at the absurd things the cheater says with a straight face and expects the BS to believe it!!!

      Please note my H did not say all of these to me. Only a few – these are thoughts from other BS’s.

    • Jeanette

      I know the ow’ s name. It’s the way dday came. It was our 10th anniversary and miracle of miracles he got a sitter and we went to the casino for a date. This was a rare occurrence. We had a fabulous day. We had dinner and we talked instead of me people watching and him buried in his phone. The phone didn’t come out all day. On the ride home the Bluetooth showed an incoming call from “beth” and he frantically hit ignore. I thought hmmm not because it was a women’s name as I have never been a jealous or paranoid wife he has plenty of female friends and I’ve never cared. It happened again and again and again. This Beth clearly wanted to reach him and he clearly didn’t want to answer it with me in the car. I immediately knew. I asked him the next day by a text. Chicken move but i really don’t think I wanted to know the truth. But I needed to know. He texted back that we needed to discuss in person not through text when we were both at work.

      So I left work in tears waited for him and then he “spilled the milk” as he put it. I said milk can be cleaned up I just wish you spilled it before you decided to make pudding out of it

      Worst day of my life but a lot of things made a lot more sense.

      Apparently she was jealous that we were on a date and he wasn’t texting her or calling so she kept calling out of spite trying to out him. My response was she sounds charming. I can see why you love her she’s a dream

      • TryingHard

        Jeanette—Yes OWs are always so “charming”.

        I’m always amazed at the audacity of the OWs jealousy of the wife. The OW in my h life was furious when we took a vacation over Valentines Day one year and called him relentlessly threatening him. My husband was so visibly upset I thought he was going into some kind of diabetic/sugar shock and he doesn’t even have diabetes!!!! I had no idea what he was up to!

        I am so sorry you are part of this group. We all know how DDay is one of the worst days of our lives. It turns the perception of our world upside down. But it is imperative that you focus on yourself and take care of yourself before anything and anyone else. Every thing needs to be divulged before you consider reconciliation. After my h moved back I did some snooping into his computer and found a spreadsheet of the $$$$$ he spent helping the OW rebuild her house. When I asked him about it he denied it. But it was in black and white and he finally had to fess up. He hid the costs in other projects. To this day it infuriates me to no end. Matter of fact there was a blow up last night about that subject.

        Get as much information as you can and you have to decide if you want to go further with this relationship. It is a very hard road but it can be done. However, you can forgive, it’s the forgetting that is impossible.

        Today, 6 years later, I am tempted to throw in the towel!!

    • TheFirstWife

      I love the “revenge” card the OW/OM will play.

      Gives the CS an opportunity to see the “real” person they have been having an A.

      My H’s OW tried to start up A and contact a THIRD TIME!

      Her words – you cannot fake a connection like that – we had a great friendship and it should be allowed to continue.

      Yes b/c I plan to dump my H for al my “friends too. Lol.

      It appears if they, the AP, cannot get what they want then they will take revenge out on the spouse. As if we haven’t suffered enough already and have PTSD and anxiety and fear and stress all at once. Lucky BS – the gift that keros on giving

      • Tired

        I’m not sure what my husband’s other woman’s excuse was, but she was very jealous. She began to ‘nag’ when she realised he didn’t want her (nagging: my husband’s words). She said “I could make you happier.” As if she had any right to an opinion on our marriage. As we speak, she is 9 months pregnant with another man’s child. And the “affair” with my husband ended 15 months ago. Yes, he was her undying love. She moved on so quickly.

        • TryingHard

          Tired— I’ll call your ‘she’s pregnant with another man’s child’ and raise you, LOL, my husbands OW was having and affair on him during THEIR affair when he was cheating on ME!!!!

          He suspected as much and actually drove to her boyfriends apartment one night and took pictures of her car parked at his apartment to confront her!!! Oh yeah he was the “love” of her life too. AAAARRRGGGHHH

          I know you need a scorecard right?

    • TheFirstWife

      Tired and TryingHard.

      They are both pretty terrible stories. So sorry for both of you.

    • TryingHard

      LOL. All stories are bad. It’s not a competition. It’s just good to know when you think you e heard the most ridiculous thing that you are not alone!!!

      Glad you saw the humor TFW

    • TheFirstWife

      Regarding humor I have a thread on another blig about the “funniest” or most ridiculous things the CS said during the A.

      Could be a good topic here as well. Because I have about 10 of them, including the infamous line so many BS hear “you would like her”.

      Hell no I’m pretty sure I would NOT!

    • TheFirstWife

      Doug I read that post from 2010 (before I joined).

      Seems to be most of what the betrayed spouse hears.

      One of the ones I saw posted on another blog is the following:

      CH to his wife: well I guess the right thing to do is go and be with the OW b/c she is pregnant (with his child)

      BS to her CH: Honestly the right thing to do would have been to keep it in your pants!!

      You just cannot make this up!

      • Doug

        TFW, No you can’t!

    • Shifting Impressions

      I still think that this is an extremely moving post. It’s almost six years since d-day and this article still has the capacity to bring me to tears. We are still together and still moving forward….but to this day I will never understand what he was thinking and I know he wasn’t thinking about me and what was at stake.

      As Kristen Robinson’s article says….I did grow back stronger. And yes there were valuable lessons to be learned along the way……but oh my, the price was so high.

      Today is my son’s birthday as well as one of my little granddaughter’s. In a few short hours the house will fill up with laughing children and adults. It’s all so precious to us…..and yet he was willing to jeopardize it all. I just don’t think he thought about what he stood to loose. The same month my precious little granddaughter was born was the month he started up his 18month EA.

      Many times over the past years…..I just wanted to walk away. But unlike my CS I did and still think about what we all stand to loose should I walk away. Today I’m glad I didn’t…..but there are still places deep down inside that are not healed. I’m not sure they ever will be. I know that even though we are still moving forward I will never be quite the same.

    • DS

      Hi all,
      This is what I am having trouble with. My husbands affair was with his Physicians assistant, an orthodox Jewish woman. We are not Jewish. His affair. Lasted 6months, so you have to figure there was flirting and sexual. Innuendo prior to that. Who knows how long that Went on. Who would have thought I’d have to be on guard with an orthodox woman. He would talk. About her a lot and then. It just stopped. Stupid me. We were going through a tough time due to extrinsic circumstances, but i knew we were having issues personally. I tired everything. There was no sex, no intimacy and everything i did, back fired and ended with. My husband treating me like. Crap. So here is my problem, everyone says the “affair fog”, “wasn’t real”. But it was real. For those months she satisfied his sexual needs, she was his confident, she was the focus of. His life, she was his primary relationship, she gave him. Joy, pleasure, sex and intimacy, she was his best friend. So, how can you say it wasn’t real. It was real. Those feelings of love, passion, attraction, intimacy, they were all real. He treated me horribly. Half way through his affair and supposedly prior to consummation i flat out asked him “are you f&&*%ing someone else because you are not F^^*ing me. We are broken, we have no intimacy and you are unhappy all. The time. He started screaming at me like i. Was crazy for. Thinking this and stormed off. Three months later DDay one 5months of trickle truth and a second DDay then a week later a third DDAy. This is a sordid story but little miss innocent was having affairs with two other men and going to sex parties and swingers clubs every weekend. I contracted two STD’s. I went ballistic lost my mind and. Trashed her office. I was almost committed. Thank God my psychiatrist got me released. Took. CS 8 months to show remorse and empathy. So, How do I forgive that, how can i move on. I hate him. After DDay one, they continued to. Work together for 5 months. I told him professional conversations only, well guess what that didn’t happen. I am so F&^%miserable and fed up. When is enough , enough. He doesn’t. Work there any more but she still works there. Getting paid. To have sex during the work day. Suffice to say she. Doesn’t eat Kosher all the time. I’m pissed and want out I dont see any other way for my recovery. Ive been used, abused and made a fool out of.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Maybe you can’t forgive that. How long ago was d-day? Do you have anyone to talk to? How is your husband treating you now? Of course you are miserable and fed up!! You have every right to be.

        Only you know when enough is enough. Only you know if there is anything here salvage.

        • Ds

          I have two therapist and a psychiatrist and some friends and sisters. First D-day dec 19,second April 29. Third May 2nd. Thats when I found out they had been having sex all that time. He lied and lied. Nothing made sense, until i finally found out on May 2nd because i tricked him. For 8months he has been blaming me. Off and on, getting. Defensive, angry and yelling. He actually said. To me. One time “maybe if you had given. Me blow jobs” etc. i was stonewalled and gas lighted. I started to think he was a narcissistic sociopath and i never knew it. Last three weeks,he has been trying to be more empathetic and remorseful. I also have this constant desire for revenge on her. I know it was 100% his fault but she was not the average AP, she was ready willing and able and let him know it. It makes me sick. I dont trust or believe a word he says, so this new empathy is taken. With a grain of salt. I pray every night to know what to do. I am still so angry, sad and hurt. I trusted and believed in him. He was my rock. Now he is my Judas, my Brutus.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I’m glad to hear you have so much support….
      It’s still early days for you as It hasn’t been all that long since d=day. Give yourself time to grieve. It’s okay to feel anger and even rage. It’s okay to get in touch with your pain. And it’s okay to not know what to do….to not have the answers for now. The answers will come with time.

    • Ds

      I. Feel like my H has expectations of me that i am not ready for. He uses terms like get over it. I. Tell him i will. Never get over it, i am. Trying to move thru all the pain and grief this has caused me. But i will never get over it. He presses me for answers as far as our future. I cannot commit to anything now. It was six months of a PA, then DDay one where story was one kiss lol please. I never believed that. Then DDay three where i found out about full blown sexual affair. Thats been five months. Perhaps if he had told me the truth earlier during one of the thousand times I asked for truth, we might be in a different place.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I believe you need to tell him that his expectations are unrealistic and perhaps that he gave up any right to have expectations regarding your future etc. when he betrayed you. I think sometimes the cheating spouse forgets that they are not the only ones with choices to make.

        Take time for you. Give yourself permission to grieve. It’s almost six years since d-day and I still find myself thinking in terms of before d-day and after d-day. It takes but minutes to shatter something precious. It takes much longer to painstakingly put the pieces back together. And even once they are back together you are never quite the same.

    • Ds

      Sometimes I think he is okay with everything, so long as i move right on along. Now I wonder what was real, did he cheat before? I have more. Questions than answers but if i ask anything, he gets defensive and angry. I know what you mean about being shattered. I knew we had some. Fractures and actually called him out on it. He says this was before sex. A week later after my heart felt plea for more intimacy and to address our issues, he is fu$#*ING HER. Then. She starts an affair with his junior partner. He lost his mind. He said he had to beat him, couldn’t let him have her and win. She referred to herself as everyone’s favorite toy. But i wonder, was it her he wanted more than beating.his friend. I am beyond shattered. Why should i stay? F him. I really feel like I’d be better off with out this lying,manipulating, betraying piece of shit. He had the balls to say , you were never supposed to find out. DUH

      • Shifting Impressions

        They all thought they could get away with it…that they wouldn’t get caught.

        Maybe you are better off without him but give yourself time to figure that out, Perhaps tell him that the longer he gets angry and defensive when you ask questions the longer your recovery will take. There are no easy answers.

    • Ds

      I have begged him on many occasions. He is pushing me right out the door. Thank you for your support

    • Ds

      What do you do with all the anger and hate?

      • Shifting Impressions

        I think that is a really good question. I would love to hear a discussion on that question alone. In my opinion I think the worst thing you can do is bury the anger and the hate and push aside the rage that threatens to overtake. In some ways I found the anger easier to deal with than the layer of pain and brokenness that was underneath all that anger and rage.

        First of all I made no apologies for my anger and allowed my self to feel the hate. The thing I DID NOT do was act out my anger…..well to the best of my ability anyway. There were days….. But I decided I respected my self to much to stoop to his level of behavior, We both worked hard to treat each other with care during those very painful years after d-day. We both worked on not causing more damage.

        I poured my heart out to my few close friends…..I cried almost everyday for three years. I talked to my counselor and i spent many many hours on the site. Slowly slowly and I mean excruciatingly so, did the anger start to lessen. I didn’t run from the anger….some days it was the only thing that got me out of bed.

        I don’t know if that helps. I would love to hear what the rest of you have done with the anger and the hate.

        • blueskyabove

          DS and Shifting Impressions
          Re: Anger and Hate

          Anything that might help a betrayed spouse recover quicker is worthy of discussion.

          IMO, understanding how these emotions affect a betrayed spouse’s recovery from infidelity is really important. There are plenty of books written about the subject, but determining which authors appear to be interested in helping you recover versus the ones who appear to only be interested in the drama of your spouse’s affair is important. I honestly don’t know if it’s even possible to distinguish the difference in the early days of discovery strictly because the pain is so raw. However; just like so many myths surrounding infidelity, what I have found on the subject is not necessarily the prevailing view. I’m OK with that. I’m more interested in the results if it will help someone recover faster.

          The following are some notes I have taken over the years regarding anger. Some are from books and some are from internet blogs. I’ve never compiled them in one place before, but I found it interesting that they all have a similar message…more or less.

          From “Soar Above” by Steven Stosny:

          “The feeling of power gained from anger is transitory, coming from the amphetamine effect of the adrenaline spurt that fuels it. The sense of power and confidence gained from anger resolves in depleted energy, self-doubt, and a diminished sense of self. It always drops you down lower than where you started, which is why most people feel depressed after a bout of anger.

          When it comes to feelings, the best strategy is to validate them (briefly) but put your focus on how you want to feel. Thinking of how we want to feel moves us into the higher functions of the adult brain.”

          From “Go Ask Susie” blog:

          Believing That Staying Angry Gives Me Power.
          “It’s an irrational (and seductive) belief that anger gives power. But does it, really? Or is it just a ruse to hide the fact that we actually feel powerless? That’s something to think about, huh? Here’s the thing about anger: It doesn’t give you any more power than a lampshade gives a lamp power.”

          From David J. Lieberman’s book: “If God Were Your Therapist”

          “Anger is the illusion of control. It is a defense mechanism against feeling vulnerable; yet, in the end, it offers no real satisfaction or psychological comfort. It intensifies the ego and makes us feel stronger. All the while, the opposite is happening, as we spiral out of control, and we become weaker with each intense, anger-driven action or reaction.

          When you express your anger you think that you are getting anger out of your system, but that’s not true. When you express your anger, either verbally or with physical violence, you are feeding the seed of anger, and it becomes stronger in you. Only understanding and compassion can neutralize anger.”

          From “Living and Loving After Betrayal” by Steven Stosny

          Intimate betrayal snatches the floor of personal security out from under you which morphs into a new floor of…anger.

          Anger evolved to provide a sense of power in the face of threat. More than any other internal experience, anger increases feelings of power. If loss of power were the problem in intimate betrayal, anger would be the answer. But the great pain of intimate betrayal has little to do with loss of power. Perceived loss of value is what causes your pain—you feel less lovable.

          Defensive reactions to intimate betrayal force you into reactive, narrow, and rigid perspectives that inhibit growth and further erode self-value.

          When we feel devalued, we must do something that makes us feel more valuable, not more powerful.

          When it comes to recovering from intimate betrayal, it is best to get out of the hole first before speculating on how you got into it.

          From “Survive Your Partner’s Affair” blog by Jeff Murrah

          “When the betrayal of the affair surfaces, it’s likely that both of you have resentments. This is when the temptation of ‘fighting fire with fire’ arises. While you’re hurt, part of you wants to hurt them. Giving into that temptation gives you an opportunity for venting, yet no opportunities for healing. Venting allows you or your spouse to let off some steam and let some angry words out.

          When the anger is intense, such ‘venting’ provides only a temporary relief at best. It doesn’t heal anything. Venting only allows you a time for dumping on your spouse.

          It also pushes your spouse away from you. Anger and resentment at this time provides emotional isolation. You think it keeps you safe from your spouse and further hurt, yet all it does is push you into further isolation.

          That ‘quick fix’ actually isolates you further and drags you down deeper into your pain. This makes the hurt worse. It pushes away the people you need.”

          Note: As with many of Jeff’s writings he somehow gets me to read from both the betrayed spouse and cheating spouse perspective. I don’t think it’s intentional. I just think it’s the nature of his work as he deals with both sides of the issue. I suggest you try it and see if it gives you more information as to how your spouse sometimes reacts.

          “The most important part about your emotions is not how they make you feel, but what they get you to do.” Steve Stosny

          “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” Buddha

          • Shifting Impressions

            Interesting collection on anger. All I know is it scares me when people don’t acknowledge their anger…..as if it’s somehow wrong to feel that anger and rage. What I did with that anger and how I expressed that anger was also important. That anger did not give me license to behave like an out of control lunatic. But in no way will I ever apologize for feeling that anger. I needed to embrace it to some degree.

            The anger was much easier to get in touch with than the layer of incredible pain that was underneath all that anger. It concerns me when people are too quick to forgive and don’t allow themselves to grieve.

            Yes I know that ongoing anger can eat one alive…..but pushing it down and not allowing oneself to feel it can also eat one alive. Throughout the last years my prayer has been that this does not turn me into an angry, bitter and hard person. There just aren’t any easy answers are there.

            • blueskyabove

              I don’t think you have to worry about turning into an angry, bitter and hard person. You don’t come across that way at all. Quite the contrary.

            • Shifting Impressions

              Aw….that’s so kind of you. Nice to hear…as I am having one of those days. Yup almost six years later it can still hit you up the backside of the head.

    • Ds

      I totally agree anger and hate is so much easier than the excruciating pain of deceit , deception and betrayal. I am working hard on my flashbacks of them together in his office, so disgusting. I wear a rubber band on my wrist and snap it a couple of times when i start to ruminate or have flash backs. Sometimes i find safety in anger if that makes any sense. So many lies. The trickle truth was the worst. Stories not adding up and knowing he in my gut they had sex and him swearing it was an EA and they kissed one night. I woke this am with severe anxiety and panic attack. It felt like DDAY and I couldn’t figure out why i wanted to puke and was shaking. Then it dawned on me. Did the math with dates and realized today is the day they started physical affair. It was after office. Hours on a Thursday in late Sept. went back and looked at Jewish holidays last year and they were early. It’s amazing what our gut tells us. The universe is amazing that way. This is so hard.

    • Shifting Impressions

      You are absolutely right….it is so hard. I know exactly what you mean about finding safety in anger. My anger helped keep my going…..whereas my pain left me in a puddle on the floor. And yes listen to your gut….it’s amazing how that works.

    • Ds

      My CS was angry that I didn’t fear losing him or our marriage. Why would I want a man or a marriage that led to a disgusting sexual affair. He doesn’t understand that the man he became isn’t someone I’m interested in anymore. Our marriage became a union of deceit, lies and betrayal. Why would I want that. He said, most women fight for their man. What self respecting woman would want a man and a marriage that cost them so much. I don’t know what to do. Why am I still here?

      • Shifting Impressions

        I think he has it backwards…..he should be fighting to win you back not the other way around.

    • Anon

      DS. Tell him most normal adults don’t cheat and that once married you should not be faced with a situation to “fight for your man”.

      You did that. It’s called dating. It’s a learning process.

      Once married you face challenges but it’s “together” – not separate.

      He’s in Fantasyland sadly. The cheater is no longer the “prize” – why don’t they get that?

    • Ds

      I asked him to take. A polygraph and he refused. He stayed they can make things worse. But what if he is a serial cheater ,liar and manipulator. I am scared and frightened all the time.i said if you have nothing to hide why not just give me a little piece of trust i can build on. Any thoughts?

      • TryingHard

        Ds— yes indeed they can make it worse FOR HIM when the test proves he’s lying. Look people that have nothing to hide hide nothing. If my husband asked me to take a polygraph I’d go running to take one to prove my innocence. By him saying no he wouldn’t take the test i believe gives you your answer.

      • jess walsh

        DS- contact primeloghack at geemail…. he can get you all the evidence you need from his mobile phone.. thank me later.

    • CS Mike

      I’m the CS. Recently started reading this blog as I’m trying to do everything I can to save my marriage. I had a 4 week internet affair with one pathetic meet, then it ended as I knew right then that I had to choose my wife. It’s been just over 8 weeks since D-day. My wife is still very abgry and just starting to process her feelings. He big stumbling blocks in order to decide if she wants to work on the marriage are:

      Can you truly love your spouse if you cheat?

      How could you do this to your wife and family?

      What I offer as a partner/wife is not what you need from a partner. It’s clear based on what you were willing to risk in order to get that from someone else.

    • Anon

      CS Mike

      I don’t believe you didn’t love your wife during the affair. I think you just chose to put yourself first and do what you wanted (cheat) b/c you enjoyed the thrill of it all.

      My H blamed me for his unhappiness in his life and that’s how he justified his actions and cheating. He didn’t stop loving me – he told me he did love me – but his actions were contrary to that. Yes it’s a confusing situation but in some situations the love for the spouse doesn’t die, it still exists. It’s not an either / or situation.

      Affairs are built on a fantasy and it’s just not real. Your Other Woman isn’t living a real life with you. She’s not living with you and paying bills and cleaning the house and dealing with all life has to offer. The OW is giving you a small amount of time with a “perfect” world devoid of real life situations. It’s all love and laughter and it’s an escape, an ego boost etc.

      Maybe after an affair you realize you no longer love your wife. That is possible. If that’s the case you certainly owe her the truth.

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