I apologize in advance for my language in this post.  I hope that it isn’t too offensive.

cheating men
Cheating men who do nothing to help their wives heal after their affair and expect them to just get over it – are assholes!

After a few years of doing this blog and reading over 16,000 comments, thousands of forum posts, hundreds of survey responses, tons of emails and dozens of mentoring with clients, I’ve come to the conclusion that men are for the most part complete ignorant assholes when it comes to relationships. 

Now the fact that men are assholes I’m sure doesn’t come as a complete shock to many of you, and has only been reinforced by the affair and the way you’ve been treated after the affair.  And by all means, not every man is an asshole, as there are certainly some fine upstanding men that read and comment regularly on this site. 

In fact, perhaps I need to narrow the asshole definition down a bit to encompass just cheating men. (Though I still think many of us men fail miserably in relationships whether a cheater or not.)

But wait, there are also some good men (who are cheaters) who just made very bad decisions and are truly trying to atone for them, show remorse and are doing their very best to help their wives recover and heal.  They may not be Einsteins when it comes to relationships, but they’re doing the very best they can – or think they can. 

So maybe I need to narrow this down even further to:  Cheating men who do nothing to help their wives heal after their affair and expect them to just get over it – are assholes!

These are the guys who just don’t “get it,” don’t want to get it and probably never will get it.  However, if they do finally get it – it will probably be too late.  I was an asshole at one time and luckily I “got it” before it was too late.

See also  After the Emotional Affair - The Thought of Him Leaving Still Causes Pain

And to be perfectly clear, there are also plenty of women out there who fit my definition of asshole as well.  However, in our experience on this site with surveys, comments, etc., the overwhelming feedback has been from women who have been betrayed by their husbands.  In fact, in our most recent survey 90.4% of the respondents were women and only 9.6% were men.

Many relationship experts, like John Gray author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus  for example, talk about the ways that men and women are different in how they communicate and relate.  Though it seems at times that these experts take a lot of heat for what they say, I for one agree in general terms that there are vast differences between the sexes. 

For instance, women and men have a differing tendency of reaction and action.  Women tend to have a purely internal process, while men have more of an external process (I admit that this is a massive generalization).

So, given a situation, women are more likely to react to it, where men are more likely to act on it. As a result, women in general spend more time considering, pondering, investigating the details and the emotional consequences of certain actions or observations they have made. Men on the other hand are less likely to consider how they are reacting to the situation and more likely to just do something about it, or ignore it.

For years I worked with female managers and it seemed that whenever there was a problem that popped up, they would react by trying to get to the bottom of who did what, where, when, how and why…rather than simply trying to fix the problem.  Obviously, we both felt that our way was the right way, and therein was the source for potential conflict.

See also  Sex, Stress, Hormones and Happiness After the Affair

There’s no question that in the wonderful world of relationships, women could learn from men about how to act on their feelings and men could learn from women about how to put their feelings into action.

So let me get back now to the real reason for writing this post.  Guys (and gals), if you’re the cheater and you know you screwed up and want to save your marriage, you’ve got to get busy. 

You can’t expect your spouse to “just get over it.”  You can’t keep doing what you’ve always done and expect things to get any better.  That as they say, is insanity.

Things cheating men and women can do to be less of an a-hole

So what are some things that you need to do to rid yourself of your asshole-ness? Here are several suggestions (In no particular order):

  • Stop all contact with the other person – forever
  • Be sensitive when your partner suffers from a trigger
  • Stop being so selfish
  • Take responsibility for your actions – and inactions
  • Stop trying to always be in control
  • Have some patience
  • Be trustworthy
  • Talk about things
  • Be honest
  • Show remorse and apologize
  • Acknowledge the depth of the pain that your affair brought to your marriage
  • Educate yourself about affairs and relationships
  • Figure out for yourself why you did what you did
  • Be thoughtful and reassuring
  • Stop being so defensive
  • Be loving and supportive
  • Stop thinking that the grass is always greener somewhere else
  • Listen – really listen
  • Stop blaming your spouse for your affair
  • Make your life and everything you do an open book
  • Check your anger at the door
  • Get some counseling or therapy
  • Ask your spouse what he/she needs from you on a regular basis
See also  Surviving Infidelity: The Marriage Journal

I’m sure there are other things that can be added to this list, so feel free to add your own in the comment section below.

I think I can speak with all confidence and honesty that over the last 3 + years I have graduated from asshole to being an occasional Martian – at times bewildered by the behaviors and communications of my Venusian wife.  Luckily, I continue to learn and improve and things keep getting better and better.

You will be seeing a little more on this in the near future as I’m in the middle of writing a guide for the cheater who just doesn’t “get it.”

For information on e-workshops by Dr. John Gray pertaining to gender communication differences, click here.

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The Cheater Must Become the Healer
“The Unfaithful Person's Guide to Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair”

If you want to discover the 24 healing ‘tasks’ that the unfaithful spouse needs to carry out, then you should check this program out now.

    53 replies to "Why Cheating Men (and Women) are Assholes and How They Can Become Less of an Asshole"

    • monie

      Doug, I liked this post. I think that the male genre can learn from your experience, but for people like me that have problems with asking exactly what they require in moving forward may need Linda to chime with her female take on this topic!

      • Doug

        Monie, Good idea. However…though it’s written from a male cheater perspective for the most part, I think that the elements that are needed from the betrayed are basically the same whether male or female.

        • Sue

          I don’t see how calling those who were unfaithful assholes actually helps anyone in the recovery process. The betrayed just feel more justified in their anger and the unfaithful feel more shame and scorn that many have already felt all around them.
          Just not productive or professional in my opinion

          • Doug

            Hey Sue, Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure if you read the entire article, but it was tongue in cheek and I even labeled myself an asshole for the way I acted more than 7 years ago (when this post was written). And coming to that realization helped me to get busy and do the things I needed to do in the recovery and healing process. It didn’t make me feel shame or scorn, it made me mad at myself and motivated. But I certainly understand that everyone is different and respect your opinion. Sometimes the unfaithful need a good kick in the pants to get busy rather than just insisting that their spouse “move on already,” and that’s what the intention of this post was.

            • Sue

              yup I get that. But not every unfaithful spouse is like that, some actually carry quite a bit of shame and don’t blame anyone else.
              that’s all I meant

          • Sarah

            Lol, ashamed? Ashamed they got caught. A man is never ashamed of what they did otherwise they would never of some it. If he never got caught do you think he is feeling ashamed? No, because they do not feel any shame and when they get done cheating he will come home and make her feel guilty for not making dinner at a certain time or how she forgot to sign off for their child’s homework and how he had to take care of it. So, he doesn’t feel shame. He is a true Asshole.

            • dianna


    • tryingtoowife

      Thank you Doug. No apology needed. You made me laugh (a lot!) and I already feel better today. I think that is great you can come up with such self explaining title, to a very serious article, and still it made it fun. Great post, lots of useful things here! Read after laughter! I think that the BS here should show this to their partners, and let it sink in for a little, and then discuss it. It would clarify so much of things that is is difficult to put into words ourselves, specially at the beginning of this journey, when all is so even more confusing! Thank you. On the James Bond fever I can come up with: Assholes are not forever. The asshole that loved me, (and still do). Thanks

      • Doug

        Thanks, TTW I like the the James Bond references. How about “Dr. Asshole” or “OctoAsshole”

    • chiffchaff

      This is great and made me laugh too, thanks.
      The big ‘but’ though is that if they don’t ‘get it’, will they buy a book on it? I think their BSs will, but they won’t.

      Assfall #bond

      Asshole of Solace really is a juxtaposition that doesn’t work, but maybe it refers to the AP.

      • Doug

        JuxtaWhat? 😉 To answer your question, no they will not if they don’t get it. They should, but they won’t.

    • Battleborn

      Doug, This is too good! I have always called my H an arrogant asshole and he proved me right. It took 20 years of marriage, but he managed to grow into my assessment. My H is one of those who “may not be Einsteins when it comes to relationships, but they’re doing the very best they can.” We had a very enlightening talk the other day as I dropped him off at the Metro. It was like a light went off in both of our heads… and believe me when I say his was so dim it wasn’t worth the electricity to keep it running. Anyway I digress.
      This post would have fit my dimwitted H to a tee if he hadn’t opened up yesterday. I can honestly say that while I still think he is an arrogant asshole, he is finally beginning to … wait for it… see the light. Okay bad humor on my part, but it is true.
      My H was the perfect “don’t talk about it and it will go away” man. He still might be, that will remain to be seen, but as of today, I think his “Asshole self” may be on track to become a better H and person.
      Thanks fo rthe post… I for one never mind hearing a little bit of off color words now and again. We are all human and have in the past said far worse than asshole. :}

      • Doug

        Thanks Battleborn. It’s good to hear that your husband is starting to be a little less dimwitted. It does seem as if most of us men have the mindset that if we don’t talk about something, it will just disappear.

        I’m always a little shy about using colorful language (as I’m typically prone to do) for fear of really offending someone, but I really don’t think asshole is that bad.

      • justbecause


        Curious…do you care to elaborate on this enlightening conversation?

        My H too is the “trying too but no Einstein” type. I am hoping for some enlightenment. Glad you experienced some.

        • Battleborn

          JB, I was in counseling and my H was invited to go. He felt we were picking on him so he went ballistic and basically told us that Yes he loves her, and Yes he feels sorry for her and he wasn’t going to discuss it anymore then left. So for the past 9 mos I have been trying to work on myself and leave him to his own misery. Funny how one little book left out on the countertop woke him up. I was reading “I love you but I don’t trust you” and had meant to take it to my next counseling. He saw it and out of the blue asked me if he could attend the next session. I asked him why since he wasn’t interested in discussing the affair anymore. That is the point when he said he never said that… or if that is what he said, that is not what he meant. So that opened the door for me to begin telling him how I have been keeping all my rage and anger to myself, how many nights I have fallen asleep crying and why I seem to be doing more and more things without him. All because I heard him say he wasn;t going to discuss it anymore… now granted, I may have thought that is what I heard, but it’s been too long for me to worry about the semanitics. I had my opening and I took it.
          We spent about a half hour talking at the metro and because it was a safe place (I could kick him out at anytime I felt uneasy about the conversation) I just let it all spill. The best thing that could have happened.
          He did attend my next counseling and we both agreed that it was the best thing that could have happened to us. Is it all perfect and coming together, no, but I feel like a huge rock has been lifted off my shoulders.
          My Einstein is not a very talkative person unless provoked. I am not one to do the provoking so we were at an empass… it is my suggestion that if your Einstien is not a talker to find a safe place where you can limit your conversation and ask a though-provoking question of him. It may just work.

          • justbecause

            BB, Thanks for your insight. Interesting, our counselor suggested the same – have a place outside of the home, limit the time – to talk about issues. We have done it a couple of times. It was good. Now my H wants to bury all of the past. My D day was 7 months ago. I agree that it is not good to focus on the past, “throw it in his face” – as he says, but I still have issues I want to talk about. Some specific to the EA – some not. He gets very defensive on many subjects.

            I am glad you are moving forward. I am too. Going to counselor by myself today. First time for this. Will talk to him about my problem in letting go of some aspects of the EA but also my concern of H not wanting to face any problems. He has always been that way and is, I believe, part of what led to his alcoholism, depression, EA . . .

    • chiffchaff

      My H says he’s now reading the ‘when good men do bad things’ (I think that’s what it’s called). I haven’t read it myself but I am hoping that he sees a better way of dealing with his problems than giving in to the self-defeating vortex he finds it easier to rely on. I still feel that somewhere in there there’s the non-asshole man I married waiting to get out.

      • Doug

        Chiff, I think that’s a pretty good book to start with. It’s another quick and easy read. Question…Did he initiate reading the book, or did you ask him to?

        • chiffchaff

          He mentioned that he’d started to re-read the ‘I love you but..’ book again. He said he had real self-esteem issues so I said I’d heard that people on here had mentioned another book that may help if he was suffering from dealing with guilt. He said he’d buy it the next day and he did.
          I just have no idea if he’s reading these things because he knows I’d be pleased or if he really wants to know what to do. In fact, I have absolutely no belief in what he says this week and I am looking at where to move out to. He seems so desperate but maybe it’s all an act. I really don’t know.

      • Natalia

        Chiffchaff: he’s probably reading “When good men behave badly” by David Wexler. I suggest you read it too, I read it and then gave my H a copy. He read it and it opened up his eyes and mind as to why he behaved the way he did for so many years. When your H is done reading that book he should read: “You might be a narcissist if…” by Paul Meier. My H is now reading it and the change is very noticeable.

        • chiffchaff

          Thanks Natalia, I’m glad your H is getting benefit from his reading. I know that I’ve considered that my H is a narcissist before by many things he’s said and the way he’s always acted. For years when we visited his friends I would be pretty much dumped at the door, it was like taking a kid to their friends’ house and they can’t wait to get inside and play and forget their mum who dropped them off, until it’s time to go home.

          • chiffchaff

            Just bought the narcissism book for me seeing as the amazon review mentioned that it included how to extricate yourself from a relationship with a narcissist.

            • chiffchaff

              Sorry to repeat post but I read the narc book pretty much from cover to cover last night. It’s a difficult read for many complex reasons but I can see that I am not going crazy or being unreasonable in setting boundaries that I need. What is unreasonable is for my H to react to those boundaries by appearing to comply yet defy them at the same time. I called him out on this last night, (it was bad timing for a discussion being after midnight, but I am exhausted with all of this), and his response was that my not liking his online secret chat and asking for boundaries and transparency was actually that I was jealous of him having new friends. He berated himself for not standing up for himself on ‘small things’ like that. small things?

              We also ended up in a situation where again he refused to take responsibility for his affair and when I stated that his affair was not my fault I got silence. and more silence. He denied having told me that he thought himself superior to everyone else but instead said that after reading the book I’d just read it was no wonder I would recall events that way now. That so MADDENED me. It was me who remembered things wrong, I am crazy, he is right.

              He returned to pre affair days of our marriage yet again and how I was then.

              reading the narc book has helped me see his painful inability to admit wrong is a weakness he daren’t show me. I feel that he has difficulty coping with the horrible things he has said and he either denies them or suggests it wasn’t what he said or meant to say and that it’s just my whacky interpretation.

              but also after reading the book I can see that he is trying desperately not to lose his marriage, he’s just ill-equipped to do it in a way that exposes his real self.

              I’m considering posting a copy to my sister. we both suffered from our narc mother and I can also see how she has behaved in a way in some aspects of her life that are likely to be as a result of our mother. and that our father who’s still alive, is also quite narcissistic. I’d like both myself and my sister to understand why we do what we do and to improve the happiness of our lives.

              thank you for this blog. thank you so much.

            • Doug

              Chiff, If you haven’t watched the documentary “Narcissist” in the Higher Healing area yet, you might want to. I think that it can also be good for your husband to watch.

            • chiffchaff

              I haven’t watched that, but we may do soon. we had a very good and constructive chat about narcissism in both of our families at the weekend and I can see that this has had a deep, if troublesome, effect on my H and how he views what he’s been doing and why. He seems to see that his recent starting up of inappropriate chat through online scrabble was really a deliberate bit of passive aggressive behaviour aimed at hurting me.

            • Doug

              It’s good that he’s aware of his hurtful actions. Could it be a breakthrough?!

    • crios

      Doug this is a great post i am the CS and yes an asshole as in many ways you can say it. I do agree with your level of A-holes. It took time for me to fully undetstand myself so i could ascend myself to a minimal asshole. Its been a year since i was discovered and i thank my wife and god to helping me on this journey. We have much to learn i have much to learn. Thankyou Doug and Linda you have helped me tremendously. Keep it up!!!

      • Doug

        Thanks Crios. Your comments have always appeared that you are remorseful and very much willing to work on yourself and your marriage, so you’re no asshole in my book. Keep up the work!

    • Pippi

      Love the title, Doug. I haven’t commented in a long while but that is just so . . . real . . . and honest and how most of us feel if you get right down to it. Affairs, at the end of the day, are pure selfishness and, really, there is no better word for such behavior when it comes to hurting a spouse and a family.

      • Doug

        Thanks for chiming in Pippi. I hope all is well.

    • Peggy

      You will be seeing a little more on this in the near future as I’m in the middle of writing a guide for the cheater who just doesn’t “get it.”

      Please hurry with this. I’m running out of time. My patience has gone south. My heart is worse because of all the mistakes he’s made after disclosure. Maybe he’ll read yours. It gives me something to look forward to at least.

      He truly doesn’t “get it” on a level that I never in my wildest dreams could have believed.

      • Doug

        Peggy, Linda an I are in Nashville right now and for a good portion of the drive down here, we worked on it by doing recordings and such. We just discovered that’s an excellent form of communication – doing an interview type discussion on various topics. It was really pretty cool. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to get everything together. Stay strong!

    • KelBelly

      I don’t think I would be where I am at emotionally had it not been for my husband getting it. He is constantly looking for ways to improve himself and has probably read this site and everything on it backwards and frontwards. I think the greatest thing he has learned is to listen to what I am really saying and when he doesn’t understand now, instead of ignoring it, he asks more questions until he does get it.
      We discussed the list you posted Doug and the only thing he has not figured out is the why? He sais that he gets close to understanding why but he hasn’t quite grasped it yet. This was hard for me to accept and caused a lot of anger for me but now I see that it will come when he gets it all figured out.

      • Doug

        KeBelly, I’m glad that you decided to come back. I’m also glad that your husband is getting it. I think the why’s will come with time. It’s not an easy thing for many people to do.

      • justbecause

        Hi KelBelly, I have been able to relate to many of your posts but, unfortunatelly, not this one! That is so great your H is reading and learning about your situation.

        My H did a little googleing on EA’s immediately after the EA. He said he hadn’t realized how damaging it is to a marriage. His EA was all thru online chats & phone calls. I am not certain of all the specifics, especially how it started. But now my H wants to forget the EA ever happened. Any talk of it brings anger and defensive remarks. I have learned so much from this site and others. I have asked him to listen to an interview Linda had – he refused, I bought the book “How to Help your Souse Survive an Affair ” (I think that’s the title??) – it sits in his nighstand untouched.

        I want my H to spend as much time on me as he did on her. He says he is not comfortable writing. Well he sure wrote alot to her.

        I am happy for you KB. I think both of our relationships are so much better – but are slowly moving forward. I think we have to work on ourselves to accept what happened and continue to improve our marriage. It sounds like you are doing welll with this – better then me.

        • KelBelly

          Just because. I can tell you that it got ugly about five months after the EA and I was ready to leave. I made plans to move in with a friend and I believe that is when my H finally got it that what he was doing was not working. He was still trying to protect himself and not be transparent. If it hasn’t yet, your anger will come and I will tell you, it is nothing like the anger that you first felt when it all happened. This is deep and comes from the very depth of your soul. When that came out, my H knew that either he really start trying to do what I needed or we were done. Your H needs to feel that to truly get it. I think the biggest thing for me was getting over my fear of him leaving if I pushed too hard for the answers. I now see that I don’t want a man around if he can’t be honest with me or himself. I really hope that you can find a way to get your H to see what you need to truly heal.

          • justbecause

            KB, I had actually contacted a realator about a rental the week before I my D-day. After years of living with my H’s alcoholism, and his increasing negativity towards me (that’s putting it mildly), his moods & unpredictable behavior, I had decided to move out. I sometimes think God had a hand in my discovering the EA. It brought about the explosion that caused my H to wake up and realize what his EA was doing to us – although he would not admit it the first couple of days.

            So we are doing well, but I am concerned about his wanting to bury everything and more importantly his not wanting to discuss current problems i.e., lack of sexual intimacy, his uncomortableness going out with friends due to his stopping drinking.

            I am so proud of how much my H has accomplished and me too! Maybe I need to be patient. I don’t think I’m asking too much from him. Maybe I need to ask him differently, maybe I should show him what I need by giving it to him . . .Hhhmmmm.

    • Sara K

      Doug, you hit the nail on the head for each and every bullet point. The only thing I would add to this list is Gratefulness. Acknowledging that you could have been kicked to the curb at any moment but she chose to ride it out with you. My husband writes a few times a month to remember to be grateful for everything he got to keep in his life…just helps keep things in perspective.

      I particularly love the last one on your list – asking what the healing spouse needs never gets old, ever…

      • Doug

        Gratefulness is a very good point Sara. I know I’m more than grateful Linda chose to not give up on me and throw my butt out. I’m sure other cheaters feel the same. Thanks.

      • Linda

        Sara K, that is a great idea, I believe it would be helpful for both the BS and the cheater to remember to be grateful that they are still together. I read the book “How to improve your marriage without talking about it” (second time tonight I quoted this book) one of the headlines is “Why does a man fall in love with his wife as she walks out the door” This chapter discusses how woman regulate anxiety by considering the future and what they will do when bad things happen. The think about the consequences of being without their spouse, the impact it will have on their families, etc.

        Love and Stosny states ” When your primary vulnerability is shame, which is what men feel, they avoid thinking about anything that will involve a sense of failure. It is not that men ignore what will happen if they leave their marriages, it’s that their defensed do not allow those failure provoking thoughts to enter their consciousness. Thoughts of life without you are so horrible they cannot bear to think of them.”

        I believe that is why the BS understands all the implications of the affair. Everything in their live is webbed together, where men appear to compartmentalize everything. It is difficult for them to express how important we are to them and how much they almost lost by their stupid actions. I image it was a big step for your husband to put his feelings into words and a positive action toward your healing.

    • Hurt wife

      Kelbelly, my HB also has done a lot of reading and been very supportive. He cut contact with the OW and answers my questions. It has been a journey as lack of communication had been an issue in our relationship previously, more so we had a communication style where we both avoided conflict. His EA was with an ex GF and the why is something it has taken a long time to come to terms with. He really is a special man and is working hard to work with me to repair our relationship and I am confident we will figure it out.

      • KelBelly

        Hurt wife, Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I am glad to see that there are more men out there getting it lol! I really got caught up in the why and couldn’t let it go! I had to take a break from everything and everyone to reset myself. I had to look at what was in front of me instead of why did this happen to me.
        The best thing that I did for myself was take time to see what I really wanted out of everything and only then could I tell my H what it was I needed from him to heal. Since then he has done everything he can to show that our marriage is his number one priority.

    • hurt wife

      It is still a long journey KelBelly, but if you are on the same page and making the journey together it does make it more likely you will reach your destination together 🙂

    • KelBelly

      Hurt wife, you are so right. I think that was part of my frustration on here was seeing how long people struggle with this and that CS some times relapse again into another affair and I wondered how could I take this for so long and run the risk of him doing it again. I really had to change my mind set. Once I did, it seemed much easier to get through a day. Now I just face what the day brings and go from there 🙂

    • Dave

      My wife was helping me get over it for a while, but then she hit the wall. She had no more strength. She started drinking. Now I’m the one walking on egg-shells, because if I bring it up, she hits the bottle. She is going to a therapist, but that doesn’t seem to help. So, I’ve had to internalize all of this.

      She was the one person I thought I could be honest with, since I believed she was my best friend. I built my life around her and really had no other friends. What I didn’t know is that I couldn’t trust her. I wanted to try, but when she showed her cowardice and weakness again, I had to stop leaning on her for support.

      I have my counselor, but that is all. I’ve lost my wife and best friend and I have no other real friends that support me. Sadly, the only person who has shown the most concern is my former male best friend – her lover. It is a bizarre and painful situation.

      • chiffchaff

        Dave – that’s very sad to read about your situation. Have you any ability to get out and socialise with a new group or interest/hobby? You sound like you really need some friends and distractions to help you cope right now.

    • Dave

      I need something. My hobby was sailing and sailboat racing. It was “our” thing for the last decade. Now I can’t even sit on a boat with her, much less race. Racing requires a fair amount of trust. With that shattered, I feel uncomfortable. The couple times we tried to go out, instead of silent and comfortable coordination that we used to have, there was chaos and yelling.

      When I try to do things without her, all I get is accusations that I have somebody else, meeting another woman, or I’m happier without her and should just move on. It makes doing anything for me so uncomfortable and unpleasant that I’d rather do nothing at all.

      I keep hoping that her counseling will pay off and she’ll be able to cope enough for me to heal.

    • Coral

      My husband continues his emotional affair, and sees nothing wrong with it, as they are “friends”. (It has been a few years). He hopes that I can get “used to it”. In some ways, our communication is a bit better and honest than in the past, and I think he is trying to reassure me that he wants us to stay together, but I have moments of extreme anguish which I sometimes express, and he just comforts me. But he will not stop communicating with his “friend”. I have asked him, and I believe him that he is, not discussing our marriage with her, but he seems to share everything else about his life, and she does with him. I don’t know where to go with all this. Please help 🙂 Thanks. Wonderful blog, btw.

      • Natalia

        Coral, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Been there done that. It’s time you give him an ultimatum but make sure you will follow through with it if he doesn’t get it. Please read “Not just friends” by Dr. Shirley Glass and “Why men cheat” (I think that’s the title) by Gary Neuman. And you’ll understand why you need to put your foot down. You need to stand up for yourself and demand he stop bullshitting you. All the time and energy he’s spending on her, he’s stealing from you. You are the wife not the other woman and should not settled for second place. You’re supposed to be number one in his life. It should be you whom he should be confiding in always. Please don’t degrade yourself by accepting this stupid situation. He can’t have his cake and eat it too. That’s what divorce is for. Good luck and stay strong cause it’s a long and difficult road ahead.

        • Coral

          Thanks for your encouraging words Natalia, although I’m not feeling courageous enough right now to implement the ultimatum. That is my problem. I’m not prepared to split up, I don’t want to split up. I have asked him to stop, but he sees no reason to. I once got so upset that I said we would have to separate, and he got very angry and said ok, but I should know that it would be permanent. So this scared me, and I haven’t brought it up since. I’m not sure what he would actually do if I did leave, but I’m scared to find out. I feel tied (and I think he does to) because we have a disabled son who requires our care. However, in a couple of years or so, he will probably move on to a new caregiver (we’re in our 60’s), so our relationship situation may change at that time. It’s difficult to see how we would be as a couple without our dependent son – things may become more clear then. I will check out the books you mention. Thanks 🙂

    • Monique

      Doug, I had my husband read this post because I thought it was ver accurate. I am the BS & feel the need to discuss his affair with him. He on the other hand, doesn’t want to, gets angry & antagonistic if I push, & then shuts down. He was very angry to have read the post & took great offense to being called an asshole. He eventually admitted that yes he is the asshole but only after I point things out to him. I wanted him to take away from this the same that I did – the wonderful list of how he can help me through this. He was so caught up on being termed an asshole by you, that he couldn’t even get there. We are in counseling now. D day was only 2 weeks ago. I’m very confused & feel like I’m hurting again when he lacks the self awareness to admit fully what happened but even worse when he’s totally insensitive to my need to discuss this. Thanks for any insight you can offer as we muddle our way through this.

      • Doug

        Hey Monique, Sorry that he took offense to being called an asshole. I was trying to add some humor to the post and I do believe I called myself one, if that’s any consolation. You’re pretty new to this so don’t expect anything great at this juncture. He more than likely is not in any frame of mind to talk about anything, much less do anything to help you out. Hopefully, he will just be a temporary asshole.

        I wrote: “Cheating men who do nothing to help their wives heal after their affair and expect them to just get over it – are assholes!
        These are the guys who just don’t “get it,” don’t want to get it and probably never will get it. However, if they do finally get it – it will probably be too late. I was an asshole at one time and luckily I “got it” before it was too late.”

        He needs to work at trying to “get it.” He needs to understand the depth of pain he has caused and what he needs to do to help the healing. No excuses about having hurt feelings because I termed his “type” as an asshole.

        Best of luck to you!

    • Michele

      “Let them…”
      Let them judge you.
      Let them misunderstand you.
      Let them gossip about you.
      Their opinions aren’t your problem.
      You stay kind, committed to love, and free to your authenticity.
      No matter what they do or say, don’t you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth.
      Just keep on shining like you do.
      ~Scott Stable

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