Why Do Women Cheat? It Is Not For the Reasons You Might Think

why do women cheat

While we know that both men and women cheat in equal numbers, it seems we do not hear much about female wayward spouses and why they had an affair. So why do women cheat?

By Sarah P.

Before diving into this blog post I wanted to preface it with the idea that all affairs are equally damaging to marriage, to families, and most of all to betrayed spouses. All affairs contain universal themes and every betrayed spouse goes through infinite pain, whether they are male or female.

However, there are some differences in the kind of damage caused and the repercussions of affairs by women. In this blog post I wanted to explore some of the reasons women have affairs and how affairs and affair recovery might impact men in slightly different ways than women.

I will be discussing some universal themes that apply to both genders, but mostly I will be looking at the perspective of the male betrayed spouse. While examining the male perspective, this blog post is in no way meant to undermine the experience of the female betrayed spouse.

Brandon

Brandon and I were project managers on the same team at a non-profit that focused on ending world hunger. Brandon was a reserved, thoughtful consultant who was all business. He wore old-fashioned business suits to work, wore thick glasses, and often had a stoic look on his face.

This was in contrast to his weekend hobby, which was spinning electronica as a DJ. He had spent tens of thousands of dollars on his hobby, made a lot of money, and had several houses paid off.

Yet, none of the women at work noticed Brandon because he was so soft-spoken, small in stature, and reserved.  Brandon never spoke about personal issues and kept conversations short and to the point.

Brandon and I decided to do a project on our own time. We had an idea to set up blogs for each village that our non-profit sponsored. We figured it would be a good way for donors to “see and experience” the people in each village on a more personal level.

One day we went to lunch and were talking about the technology aspects and hurdles that we would need to overcome to implement such a system.

Out of the blue, Brandon said, “you know I was once married to a woman when we were in college.”

Genuinely surprised, I said, “I never knew that. What happened?”

Brandon replied, “She cheated on me. Found her in bed with my friend after I got out of class early.”

I was stunned and said, “Are you kidding me? I am so sorry. That must have been terrible!”

He shrugged and replied, “Oh that was a while a back… who cares.”

And then, he went back to talking about the nuts and bolts of technology of our project as if nothing had happened. He made it clear he did not want to explore the topic further. He said what he wanted to say and then the subject was closed again.

I was left stunned because when someone announces such things, I am used to talking about it. I naturally want to comfort people and make sure they are okay. But, Brandon clearly did not want my sympathy.

Strangely enough, scenarios like this have occurred with two other men, both casual acquaintances. Each time, I wanted to know more and each time the man did not want to explore the topic further.

It has left me wondering why such topics come up in random and unrelated conversations and then disappear just as quickly. Obviously, in these cases, each man needed to get this event off his chest, but why not explore it once it is out in the open?

When I thought about writing this article, I knew that I wanted to interview a man who has been betrayed by his partner or wife. I was having trouble finding someone who was willing to talk about it.

Fortunately, as part of the Affair Recovery Movement, Kyle Benson, who is the blog manager at The Gottman Institute, graciously agreed to have an interview with Doug and I about this little-discussed topic. You can listen to that here:  https://www.emotionalaffair.org/kyle-benson/  

Our Psychological Make-up

I believe that men and women are wired differently and because of this wiring, it is very difficult for men to be betrayed by their wives. While we know that both men and women cheat in equal numbers, we do not hear much about female wayward spouses.

One of the reasons for this is because women tend to be more careful when they cheat and often do not have a subconscious need to be caught. But, the biggest reason this is not talked about is because of the issue of shame.

Culturally, a man’s fundamental masculinity is (wrongly) tied to his virility and his ability to please a woman. If a woman strays, this calls into question a man’s very masculinity. Such a situation cuts to the very core of a man.

Society still has a double-standard in that many expect men to cheat. About men, I still hear things like, “boys will be boys” and “men need variety” and “men are not wired to be monogamous.” The more wealthy or successful a man is, the more society takes for granted that he will have a little, black book full of women’s names. Among some very immature or macho men, having multiple women at the same time is a badge of honor.

This is not the case for women who cheat. Women are still the center of the home, even though feminism has influenced culture for the past 50 years. In many conservative circles, women are expected to find a good man and settle down. In these conservative circles, men are expected to find “good women” and it is taken for granted that “good women” don’t have premarital sex. Or, if they do, they keep this secret well-hidden.

Regardless of what feminism has taught us, gender roles are alive and well. And that is okay. I find nothing more wonderful than having the privilege to be a wife and a mom. (But, I am also grateful that I am able to work from home as a writer and marriage mentor.) Still, above all else, I am a wife and a mom. I do not judge women who do not feel the same way that I feel. I do not judge women who are not in the position to stay home. The important thing is that we all have a right to choose and do what suits us.

Having said that, once children come along, moms tend to be the center of the home. It has been shown that a mother is the strongest influence in a child’s life. Moms are generally the ones who cook dinner, who nurture, and who are involved in every aspect of a child’s life. Moms tend to be the very glue that holds the family together.

When a mom cheats, it turns the entire family system upside down and everyone suffers tremendously. Mom is no longer interested in being a wife and a mother to her children. Nope, she has gone off the deep end and her interests are elsewhere. This is not good for the family.

Generally, when men cheat, the family can continue plugging along since the affair probably will not be out in the open with the children. Many families are used to dads working late and so he generally does not have the largest role in day-to-day family life.

But, when a woman has an affair, the whole family falls apart. Women are often no longer invested in the well-being of the children. It is almost impossible to be invested in the well-being of the children and the affair partner at the same time.

Men who have affairs have demonstrated that they are masters at compartmentalizing. This is one reason why some men can have affairs for several years until they are found out.

However, I would dare to say that the children suffer in a more visible way when moms have an affair since it generally causes them to lose interest in their family.

This is not to say that children do not suffer when a man has an affair. Everyone suffers when a man has an affair because everyone can tell something is not quite right, even if it is not spoken.

But, when a woman has an affair, the day-to-day activities are disrupted in a more noticeable way. Basically, all affairs are equally terrible, but a female wayward spouse is generally much more disruptive to the children in a dramatic way.

 

The Social Implications for a Man

When a man is a betrayed spouse, he generally has nowhere to turn. Betrayed men often do not reach out to support systems such as their parents because doing so makes a man feel as if he has failed at life. Men are not socialized to be able to call up a good buddy and spill out their heart for hours. Even if such a thing were to occur, a man’s buddy generally wouldn’t know what to say to sooth their betrayed friend. The two men would not be able to spend several hours together analyzing every detail of what had occurred from many different angles.

Women are socialized to do these things and have done them from a very young age. But, men have not been socialized to behave this way and it leaves a man feeling extremely alone.

Even if a man does talk about the affair, it brings up such a tremendous amount of shame and this shame alone often makes a man shut off his feelings. After all, most men have been socialized to “keep their woman happy” and if they cannot presumably make their wives “happy,” they feel they have failed both as a person and as a man.

Our society does not have any kind of space in which men can talk about these hurts and betrayals openly. I believe it goes back to how boys were and are socialized. Often, when boys are hurt during play, they are told by the adults to pick themselves up and move on. Some are told, “boys don’t cry” and feel a tremendous amount of shame when they cannot control their tears.

I have spoken to many men who were not held or cuddled by their parents when they were growing up. It did not matter if they were physically hurt—their parents taught them to be stoic.  To me this is both tragic and unthinkable.

I knew about the difference between how boys and girls were socialized before I had children of my own. When my sons were born, I made a very strong point of using “attachment parenting” so that they would grow up to be sensitive men who were in tune with their feelings. I carried my sons around in slings when they were infants and have always been there to snuggle with them each day. When they cry, I tell them that they are very brave and that it takes a big person to be vulnerable around others. I am very actively trying to bring them in touch with their feelings and vulnerability so that they can better weather life’s storms. I believe that when each person is in touch with every aspect of themselves and allowed to be themselves without shame, it benefits them. They can become their best selves.

Men have not traditionally been afforded such a space in Western culture. I believe this is why affair recovery can be extremely difficult for men. Many men never have the opportunity to truly sort through their feelings and thus truly recover from infidelity. A safe space is needed to do the work and there are very few truly safe spaces for men to do the work.

So why do women cheat?

There are many “surface” reasons that a woman can cheat and they include:

  • Bored
  • Lonely
  • Immaturity
  • Too Much Male Attention
  • Revenge
  • Lack of Satisfying Connection
  • Low-Self Esteem
  • Abuse Earlier in Life
  • Depression
  • Poor Boundaries
  • Need for External Validation
  • Need to Feel Passionately Desired
  • Husband Has Stopped Having Sex with Her

If you notice, most of these reasons have nothing to do with a betrayed husband or his actions.

Of course, these are all surface reasons as to why a woman might cheat. In the end, a woman cheats because she is making the choice to cheat. Life is never perfect, but cheating does not solve life issues. It only makes them worse.

I wanted to point something out about mental health

Notice that both men and women can have affairs to mask depression. Often people mistake depression for dissatisfaction with their marriage. The reason for this is that depression often hides itself among life’s problems. If we are depressed and unaware of it, we can easily point toward anything in life that is not going perfectly and mistakenly believe that a life event is the cause.

If we are depressed, we lack serotonin and dopamine and an affair is a way to temporarily get these brain chemicals flowing again. But, affairs are a terrible way to self-medicate. It would be so much easier on everyone if the depressed individual sought therapy, regular exercise, and/or medication.

One therapist says this about a client she was counseling:

 “Not that she doesn’t have a handsome, successful husband. Not that she doesn’t have two adorable children. Not that she doesn’t have a beautiful home with two acres of land. Debra, a stay-at-home mom seems to have it all. But, does she? Actually home sweet home is not so sweet. Humdrum days – food shopping, cooking, cleaning and carting her kids around – go on and on. She feels trapped, bored, powerless, and lonely. Her brain chemicals are on strike. Serotonin is in short supply as is dopamine, vasopressin and oxytocin─brain chemicals that ensure good moods, bonding, and passion. To top it off Debra’s husband doesn’t get it. He’s too busy trying to get ahead to get into her. Along comes an attentive, sexy admirer and bingo!” (1) 

 

This therapist is describing a perfect storm of events. But, the final straw is the fact that this client is unknowingly suffering from depression. The affair will temporarily get the chemical soup going that the wife needs to get through her day.

But, this is a dangerous soup indeed. It would be like stubbing one’s toes and taking morphine to soothe it. Morphine is a very dangerous and addictive drug and should never be used for things such as stubbed toes, which merely need time to heal. Of course, this is an over-simplification. I am merely using this example to highlight the danger of using an affair to treat depression.

What is most interesting is that when women have affairs, they have no real desire to leave their husbands.

Consider this excerpt from an article about why happily married women cheat:

“According to new research, many married women are seeking affairs for romance and sexual satisfaction without any plans of divorcing their partner.

The research, which looked at 100 heterosexual, married females between the ages of 35 and 45 and their online conversations with potential suitors on discreet dating service AshleyMadison.com, found that 67 percent of the women seeking an affair cited the desire for more passion.

The most predictable thing about a relationship is that the longer it progresses, the quality and the frequency of sex between the couple will fade,” says Eric Anderson, co-author of the study, a professor of masculinity, sexuality and sport at the University of Winchester in England and the chief science officer at AshleyMadison.com. “This is because we get used to and bored with the same body.” The boredom of marriage drains intimacy and excitement.

Surprisingly, many women lusting for extramarital intimacy have no intention of divorcing their husbands. Anderson explains that all of the women evaluated in the study had no desire to leave their husbands. Instead, they were adamant that they were NOT looking for a new husband. “Many even stated their overt love for their husbands, painting them in a positive light,” says Anderson.

Rather than seeking multiple partners, women in the study exclusively wanted an affair with only one man.

Women get lost in the boredom and monotony of marriage, according to Dr. Jane Greer, a New York-based marriage and sex therapist and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal. When they want to feel like they’re special and adored, they tend to seek only one partner to fulfill that need if their husband isn’t meeting it. “They look for Prince Charming who makes them feel like a beautiful princess and can make them feel appreciated again.” (2)

Yes, marriage can be monotonous, but once again, cheating is not the answer to a monotonous marriage. The answer to monotony is to woo and reinvest in your marriage partner the same way that you might reinvest in an affair partner. I believe that is wayward spouses would treat their marriage partner the same way they treated their affair partners, an affair may not happen in the first place.

Much of the “high” from the affair is completely a construct developed in the mind of the wayward spouse. The wayward spouse has made up some grand story about this mysterious affair partner and it is the story that they tell themselves that drives the affair—not the affair partner.

My Secret Crush

One time I asked a friend, who also happened to be a psychologist, what was responsible for the feeling of love at first sight or the overwhelming attraction to a coworker that you have just met. I was newly single and had been harboring a secret crush on one of the new directors in my workplace. I knew nothing about him—just that he seemed to be my preferred personality type and that he was not wearing a wedding ring. Some of my coworkers said he wrote fiction in his spare time and that sent my crush into overdrive.

Now, I am going somewhere with this story, so please be patient. After I became single, I asked my friend the psychologist why I had such a crush on this new director whom I knew nothing about. Sure, I listened to him often in group meetings, but rarely spoke to him directly. When I did, it was a one-sentence status on a project. I was embarrassed to show my feelings so I kind of went out of my way not to talk to him. (Not a great tactic for getting to know someone!)

Anyhow, my looked at me slyly and said, “you are projecting a story onto this man. You know very little of him, but you are writing a story about him in your mind that makes him seem like the perfect catch.”

 

That made sense.

She continued, “since your fiancé left you and you are vulnerable, you are naturally looking for that night in shining armor to rescue you from your distress. He just happens to be the person that you project all of these feelings onto. And by the way, this is also why people have affairs.”

Wow, in that moment, she demystified relationships for me and I had a major paradigm shift. I needed to get to know what men were truly about rather making up stories about what I thought about based on whatever psychological needs I had at that time. Also, my crush on this fellow ended instantaneously.

It also gave me insight as to why my fiancé cheated on me and left me for a woman he hardly knew. He was projecting some kind of story onto her and that fueled his desire for her. Later through the grapevine, I found out that she was not at all what he thought she would be. Apparently she was controlling, narcissistic, and looking for someone to support her family in a foreign country. 

Back to what my friend said—it is very important because this is the entire allure of the affair partner. The affair partner is merely a person onto whom someone projects their hopes and dreams. And if the affair partner wants to keep the affair going, she (or he) will keep up the charade.

For example, when a female wayward spouse meets a male affair partner at work, she only sees him putting his best foot forward. He shows up in his best clothes, puts on his best smile, acts like a team player, probably does his job well, and may even be admired by others.

She sees an image of someone at his best and assumes that is who he is at his core. She does not see him at 6am with morning breath and tousled hair. She does not wash his dirty clothes. She does not see him as his moods fluctuate.

Instead, she sees this one-dimensional character onto whom she can project whatever she feels she is missing in her marriage. She can tell herself a story about how he is the perfect mate and will meet all of her needs. This is the allure of affairs partners and it is the only thing they have over a spouse.

But, it is also a fantasy world. The affair partner never turns out to be any of those things she was hoping for because the affair partner was just a construct in her mind. Only this mind construct also happened to have a physical body. The affair partner is not special—anyone could have been the projection screen onto which the ideal partner was projected.

The male affair partner is never better than the husband.

This same principle holds for male wayward spouses and their female affair partners. The other woman does not have any of those attributes that a male partner believes about her. She is no more than a body onto whom he is projecting what he believes lacking in his marriage.

Of course, this applies mainly to emotional affairs or physical affairs with emotional components. This principle could apply but does not necessarily apply to purely sexual affairs or one-night stands.

How the Female Affair Is Different

The issue of the female affair is a dangerous type of affair for a marriage. This is because it is generally an affair of the mind, the body, and the soul. Commonly, a woman will forge a deep emotional connection with the other man well before she has an intimate relationship with this particular man.

It has been found that women are better at hiding affairs than men. By the time the affair is discovered, the woman has often gotten to the point where part of her does not care if the affair is out in the open.

Consider this excerpt from an article about female affairs:

“Diane left her marriage emotionally long before she had an affair. She says she was living with a lot of disillusionment in a disappointing, sexless marriage.

“You feel the loss of your dreams and hopes and how you thought things would turn out,” Diane says. “I was very lonely; I could never understand the concept of being lonely in a marriage until it happened.”

Diane began to flirt with other men to get attention, but she never considered having an affair. After a business trip with a friend turned romantic, she began a long-term affair, a path she admits she was likely on anyway as her marriage dissolved.

Using another partner to transition out of a bad marriage is one of the common reasons women have affairs.

“They are on a sinking ship and use it as a life raft because they don’t want to just jump into the cold water,” Reilly says.

She also sees some women have affairs during periods of vulnerability or life change, like when a child goes off to college or after a job loss. They may see it as a form of comfort during upheaval.

Another common reason is a cry for help in the marriage. One of Reilly’s patients had an affair, ended it, and then told her husband as a way to point out they were in more trouble than he thought.

Reilly says her clinical experience has shown that affairs are almost always caused by problems in the marriage. Therapy may be helpful to avoid going down that path.

“People have affairs because they are looking for something,” Reilly says. Although she sees a number of couples grappling with infidelity, “more people come to me [before it happens] because they want to save their marriage.”

Women are also less likely than men to have an affair that “just happens,” because they tend to think longer and harder about the situation, experts say.” (3)

I would like to discuss a very particular type of affair: the affair born of a sexless marriage. Sometimes affairs happen because there is an enormous disconnect between spouses in terms of physical connection. Consider this post from a Yuku community board:

”I feel … like I die more everyday. I have so much love and real passion to give and it’s not wanted, appreciated, or returned. …The man that loved me is dead. He is like a zombie. … I know my husband is a porn addict and is on sex hook up sites yet doesn’t want me. I have men flirt with me everywhere. He makes me feel like an ugly old woman just sitting out in the country waiting to die.” Rejection is a common theme: “But even when I think the mood is right and I try to initiate, she just brushes me off like I’m a dog trying to hump her leg,” writes one man. So too is low self-esteem as a result of the rejection: “I guess since I have gained a few stretch marks and dimples along with my pudginess, I am no longer attractive to him.” Some admit to turning to infidelity: “I have sought the physical and emotional intimacy I require outside of my marriage. Please do not condemn me for this.” Most posters describe a relationship that started out with a healthy sex life.  ”In the start, sex was ok,” writes one woman. “After two years or so, things dwindled and died away.” Often, things take a turn after the relationship reaches a cozier stage: “Once the honeymoon phase ended (basically right after she moved in) sex went from a couple times a week to once every other month,” writes a 27-year-old man. Often, it seems to come out of the blue: “Early in our relationship the sex was passionate and amazing so I really didn’t see this coming.” (4)

 

This is a very difficult concern for both people in the couple where there are mismatched libidos. One partner feels his or her physical needs are not being met, while the other partner feels it is unfair to make physical demands.

There are times when people have affairs purely for physical needs. There are times when women have affairs because physical needs are not being met in the way that they need them met. One time I read that 20% of women are in sexless marriages against their wishes. This often causes them to stray.

I have noticed that when people have high libidos, sexuality is very much part of their core identity. When it is part of their core identity, they have a difficult time compromising with those who have lower libidos.

I am not judging people with high libidos or with low libidos. I am simply pointing out a dynamic that occurs between people and this dynamic can sometimes wreak havoc on a marriage since each partner feels their needs are not getting met. One partner requires frequent physical intimacy the way they require air.

One time a colleague in the mental health field told me in confidence that they required frequent intimacy more than they required food or water and that a lack of it would be a deal breaker. That person admitted they would have an affair if their partner were at a point where the partner could not meet their needs.

This is a very loaded topic because there are very real health concerns that can interrupt a couple’s intimate life. When one person in the couple requires an intimate life the way people require food or water, it will be very difficult for the other partner if they experience a health problem that either lowers their libido or causes them to have pain. While it is not right, this can cause the high libido partner to go over the edge. Sometimes these high libido partners are women and this causes them to cheat.

Still, cheating is always a choice and someone time repercussions can reverberate for a lifetime.

talk about infidelity

A note to wayward female spouses who hesitate to leave the other man:

I wanted to take the time to write a special note to any female spouses out there who either hesitate to leave their affair partner or who have left him and continue to miss him.

If you are having an affair, you are harming your spouse and your children in more ways than you can imagine. The other man is not the solution to your problems. If the other man makes you feel special, he is doing it to get his own selfish needs met. He does not genuinely care about you.

Some men can separate the act of physical intimacy from love. So, there is a very real possibility that your male lover is using you solely for his selfish physical interests. However, he will tell you what you need to hear so that you agree to meet his selfish physical needs. The other man does not care about you.

On the other hand, you have a husband who cares so much about you that he was willing to take a vow in front of friends and family professing his love and loyalty. Your husband may not be perfect, but he has committed to you.

I can assure you that this is something the other man is very unlikely to do. Statistically, even after a marriage is destroyed due to infidelity, almost no one ends up with their affair partner. Of the very small percentage of people who do marry their affair partner, almost all of those marriages fail.

The other man might seem like an escape from your problems, but this is just a mirage.

I am not judging you for having one because I realize you were probably in a tremendous amount of pain before you had an affair. But, I can assure you an affair is not the answer and in the long term, you will deeply regret what you did and you will feel utterly used.  Therefore, for your own sake and your own mental health, I would recommend that you leave the other man and begin the healing process with your husband.

If you have left the other man, please don’t miss him too much. You are merely missing an illusion.

A note to wayward female spouses who are rebuilding their marriages:

I am grateful that you have decided to do the work of rebuilding your marriage. The final results of your efforts will be very rewarding. Please realize that your husband might need a lot of time to work through this and be patient with his questions. Or, he might also not want to hear details. He might want to move on without revisiting the past.

Either way, it is important that your actions are reassuring to him and that you make an effort to show you that you love him in the way that he feels loved. I recommend having both of you taking the Five Love Languages test to find out the other’s love language and to accommodate it. It will be rewarding if both you and your husband do things for the other that are part of your individual love languages. Perhaps you need more flowers and spontaneous acts of appreciation while he might need more words of respect.

Final Note to Male Readers:

The time for silence and keeping feelings to yourself has ended. I admire those of you who have come forward to share your stories and I hope that more of you will come forward to share too. Please help me remove the shame for other men out there by coming forward and sharing your story. Everyone here is eager to help you through your recovery. We will honor you and your healing and hope to change the idea that men need to suffer through things alone.

In fact, it is time to get rid of that social paradigm that tells men to keep things to themselves. It is time to welcome men to share their pain without shame and without feeling less masculine. It takes a strong person to share pain and strength is a masculine quality.

If your wife had an affair, it is not about you. So, please do not keep yourself up at night comparing yourself to the other man. You will be merely comparing yourself to an illusion since the other man was not any of those things your wife imagined. There is no sense in comparing yourself to a projection.

I sincerely hope that you and your wife will be able to rebuild your marriage and soon have a marriage that is better than ever. If you need a little more personal guidance about your unique situation, don’t forget that Doug, Linda, and I all offer mentoring services. I wish you much good fortune on your path to recovery.

Opt In Image
The Affair Recovery Movement
Guiding You Through the 5 Stages of Affair Recovery

A  member’s only area where the focus will be on recovering and healing from infidelity through interaction with us,  a supportive community, access to volumes of materials and resources, and guidance from those who have been down this road before.

We want to help you get to a better place. 

Sources:

Praver, Frances. PhD.  Why Women Have Secret Lovers. From https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-doc/200907/why-women-have-secret-lovers

Gallagher, Nicola. Why Happily Married Women Are Cheating. From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/knowmore-tv/why-happily-married-women-are-cheating_b_5787280.html

Worth, Tammy. Why Women Cheat. From http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/why-do-women-cheat#2

Clark-Flory, Tracy. How People Their Escapes from Sexless Marriages. From https://www.salon.com/2015/04/16/i_feel_like_i_die_more_every_day_the_bed_death_of_sexless_marriage_is_real_and_its_heartbreaking/

Photo:  Pedro Ribeiro Simões

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Related posts:

,

86 Responses to Why Do Women Cheat? It Is Not For the Reasons You Might Think

  1. Nearly Normal October 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Sarah, thanks for a great article. As a man, I appreciate the opportunity to read one where I don’t have to mentally translate all the pronouns to the opposite sex. I realize men are in the minority here, I think largely due to men not wanting to share their feelings.

    No, “wanting to” is the wrong word. The story at the beginning of the man who gave a quick summary of the ex-wife and then said nothing more is completely understandable to me. I am sure that he has felt tremendous pain and a pressure to speak about it, which is why he blurted it out of the blue. But he is also programmed to not speak about it, which is why you get two sentences instead of a full conversation.

    In my situation, I was reluctant to go to counseling shortly after D-Day, but recognized the need, so i was going to man up and get through it. (How’s that for a mixture of masculine impulses?) Unfortunately, counseling never materialized, yet I promised not to reveal my wife’s affair, so I was left for years without an outlet to talk about things. I was trapped in a slightly different way than most men to deal with my feelings on my own.

    In fact, this blog is the only significant way that I have “talked” about it to others. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to be heard here.

    But again, great article. I could resonate with a lot of info. My wife was mainly suffering from lack of connection with me, but I think that was largely depression in disguise. It has helped me a lot over the years that she did not do things out of a malicious desire to hurt me. It doesn’t make all the pain go away, but it helps.

    • Pepper October 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

      Nearly Normal- this is mine and my husbands situation exactly, except we are in counseling. It has really helped us, but I don’t think my husband would have gone to counseling for just him, so this was a way for him to “save” his manhood, per se and still get to talk to someone about “it.” I am hopeful for the future and always loved my husband. Good luck to you two.

  2. Shifting Impressions October 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    Nearly Normal
    Just a quick question…..how is it that the counseling never materialized? I think I would have gone over the edge if I had not gone for some counseling sessions and had a few close friends to confide in.

    I’m so glad you found this site as an outlet. Your posts are so honest and helpful.

    But you know….it’s never to late should you need more. I can’t say my experience with my counselor solved all my problems but more importantly I felt validated. It helped me to know I was on the right track with dealing with everything.

    • Nearly Normal October 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

      Hi, Shifting.

      Counseling did not materialize because of two factors. First, I made a serious promise not to reveal the information to others (although that promise was made with the mutual understanding that we would both go to counseling). So I was committed to not going by myself. Second, when it came time to go to counseling, she said that she could not do it, mainly because the OM was known to the other counselors, (small town situation – not many counselors to choose from) and she did not want to reveal his actions to them.

      Probably, I should have pressed the issue harder to have counseling. I recognize the value. Maybe my masculine stoicism kicked in to accept this way out of having to talk about it.

      I agree it’s never too late for counseling. But the issues and the promise are still in play. We are at a pretty good place, and the counseling need is less urgent.

      • Shifting Impressions October 3, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

        Nearly Normal
        I believe the price of that “promise” was way to high. And the person that had to pay that price was you. Your wife put her affair partner’s interests before your best interests.

        If OM was known to the other counselors….it probably means he works in the field or related field. Of course I’m just speculating.

        What about counseling in a nearby town?

        Anyway…in my case, right after d-day, my husband told me I was free to tell who I wanted. There was great freedom in that for me. I didn’t mishandle that, but found a few people to talk to. I didn’t make trouble for the OW but the people I confided in, did know her.

        If I am right about OM being in the field of counseling etc….then Sarah is right, why should he be protected?

        In my opinion, that is not a promise that anyone should have asked of you. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been, keeping so much to yourself.

        • Nearly Normal October 3, 2017 at 7:19 pm #

          Shifting,

          It was a high price. I will not dispute that by any means. But it was for the best.

          I’m going to choose to not talk much about the OM. He is completely out of the picture as far as my marriage is concerned.

          Sorry I’m not opening up completely. There are some things even here I should not get into.

          Thanks for the sympathy. It means a lot.

          • Shifting Impressions October 3, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

            Nearly Normal
            No worries…..you know the whole situation and only you know what is best for you.

            • Hopeful October 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

              My husband initially would not go to counseling with me. He backed off and said he would go if I wanted to. I decided to go on my own. It worked well since it was a great outlet for me and that one person I could confide in. My husband is in the mental health field and I chose to drive over an 1 1/2 hours away for each appointment. It worked well for me. I know mental health professionals are supposed to keep confidentiality no matter what but I was skeptical. I also wanted an “expert” and no one in our town was that in my opinion. I do not think it is ever too late to go to counseling. And travelling to someone is totally an option. There are also online options or setting up phone calls. One thing I appreciate is my husband told me I could tell anyone I needed or wanted to tell. I never worried about his wishes. I only thought of my kids.

  3. TheFirstWife October 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    My counselor helped me keep my sanity thru his A and the struggle for 2-3 years during reconciliation as I tried to make sense of HIM!! His choices and behsvior.

    Yeesh my mind was in a million directions at once. Luckily I had a good counselor who was wonderful and we were on the same page.

    He’d be dead if I didn’t have a counselor to talk to and I saw him for 3 years. There were times I literally had to just remove myself from his physical presence. Seriously the stuff he would say was beyond ridiculous. I could get a better answer from my kids.

  4. Sarah P. October 3, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Hi Nearly Normal,

    I am glad that you liked the article and that it was helpful to you. I am also glad that you have found this blog and that you are able to talk to others about it here. It sure is difficult to keep these things inside and I don’t know how men do it. If I had to keep what I went through inside, I would have had a nervous breakdown (and I was pretty close to one at the time.)

    I wanted to comment on what you and Shifting were saying about counseling. It is interesting to me that your wife did not want to go see the therapists in your small town since the OM was known to them.

    I wanted to say that you should have seen those therapists in the small town and you absolutely should have revealed his actions to them. It sounds like the OM was playing everyone, including the therapists in town. And therapists cannot help a person unless they know exactly what a person is doing in their day-to-day life. It seems to me that the OM was highly manipulative and it would have been good to expose him for what he is. I am truly surprised that your wife wanted to protect him in this way.

    Not trying to add fuel to the fire here, but this is one of those things where the OM should not be protected after the harm he caused and people in the community should know him for what he is. God forbid he goes on fooling, harming, causing trauma, and wasting the time of countless others.

    As for your wife, it seems she was taken advantage of by what people used to refer to as a “cad.” There are a lot of cads out there looking for their next target and it sounds like your wife met one in a moment of weakness. Very sad.

    • Nearly Normal October 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

      Sarah,

      Perhaps I should have seen a therapist anyway. But this is ancient history. You know how many mistakes can be made in the days immediately after DDay.

      As for the man, I suppose his behavior was in the cad direction. However, since his wife found out, he voluntarily went to counseling with her and turned his life around. They’re actually doing very well. That doesn’t mean that what we did at the time was right as far as avoiding counseling.

      Note: There is not an issue of a counselor (the OM) taking advantage of someone (my wife). So this is not a professional ethics violation. But I’d really rather not say more than that.

      I don’t want to justify my decisions too much because I know they were not the best. I was pretty well in shock for a while and made bad choices. That it turned out as well as it has is not so much from my wise planning but from stubborn unwillingness to give up, and a lot of blessing from God.

    • Nearly Normal October 4, 2017 at 11:57 am #

      Sarah,

      Today it occurred to me to fill out the picture a little more. My wife was not simply taken advantage of. Something that I perhaps have not mentioned before is that she had at least one EA before the one discussed above. The OM may have been looking for a target, but she was more than willing.

      The first EA was about five years before the second. At that time, I didn’t even know the phrase EA. She never admitted that anything was going on. “Just friends,” “We can talk and connect more,” – you know the drill. I am absolutely sure now that it was an EA. I doubt it became physical, but I don’t really know for sure. There were late nights at their job together.

      So no, my wife was not caught in a moment of weakness. I am not sure, at the time, who went looking for whom. Her wanting to protect him was, I think, part of the lingering affair fog, “I love both of you,” crap.

      • Sarah P. October 4, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

        Hi Nearly Normal,

        Yes, the picture becomes much more clear now. So thank you for filling me in on the details.

        That’s interesting that the OM was able to work out his marriage. I wonder what was going on there.

        I had not heard of the term emotional affair either until I started exploring why my ex did what he did. I remember telling my friends about it — back in 2002 — and they told me their was no such thing as an EA, just a physical affair. (My ex had a physical affair and the physical affair led to physical health consequences for me, due to the OW’s promiscuity, and that added insult to injury.) Anyhow, I would warn my female friends about their husbands having close female friends because it could turn into an EA. But, back then (and maybe because we were all in our late 20’s) all my friends believed it was possible for a man and woman to have an identical friendship to a same-gender friendship. And that set the stage for emotional affairs because everyone assumed a friend was a friend and that a friend (Of the opposite gender) would always be a friend. For whatever reason, emotional affairs have only been widely known and widely accepted only recently.

        And like in the case of your wife, they can happen at work. What has changed since the EA? Do you and your wife have boundaries that you have discussed about how to inter-act with the opposite gender?

        • Nearly Normal October 5, 2017 at 10:02 am #

          Sarah,

          NOt much outright discussion. I think a large driving force was her shame at how she hurt me, and a desire to not do that again. We would discuss little things, like “Do you think it’s ok if I do this?” But not much.

          i think there was a large change in her attitude toward boundaries. Instead of seeing how close she could get to a line, she is more concerned with staying as far away as possible.

          A lot of her change in attitude happened rapidly, but the hard work takes years. I’m not sure you can make the attitude change happen in a person. No secret formula here.

        • Hopeful October 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

          I think it is interesting and no one ever really knows how a relationship is. I mean whatever is put out there is curated. I would even doubt I can tell you 100% how my best friends relationships are. I can guess and pick up based on conversations but I just do not think anyone really knows. I know people always gushed at us about our marriage and look at what happened. People tell me daily how my husband has done so much for them and they credit him yet he could not take care of his own life. But he kept up the act so well.

          • Nearly Normal October 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

            Hopeful,

            Okay, it’s late afternoon and most of the caffeine has drained from my system. I’m not sure what “curated” means. Is that a word? I get the main idea of what you write, and I agree, just not that one word.

            Sometimes I get the same kind of gushing from others you describe about how great our marriage is. I have to strenuously edit my marriage in my mind to pick out all the good things and ignore the bad, and hope my face is not turning into a twisted grimace.

            • Hopeful October 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

              Ha ha yes I think of it as you might curate an art exhibit. A collection or exhibition technically. But with social media it is used to describe when people carefully select what is put on their page both from a visual, wording and overall aesthetic feel. I always ignored all of this but I notice it so much more now.

              • Nearly Normal October 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

                Hopeful,

                okee dokee. I’ve never heard that word used that way. Makes sense.

  5. TheFirstWife October 4, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Here is why women cheat. Same reason men cheat.

    Because they are selfish and think an A will solve their problems.

    And b/c they choose to.

    End of story.

    • Nearly Normal October 4, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Very true, TFW. The details may differ, but the bottom line is always the same

  6. TheFirstWife October 4, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    I think after all the years of being in a M hit with infidelity – I just get tired of analyzing it all.

    Depression, sex addict, mid life crisis, bad childhood and all that.

    Yes people have problems and issues. I understand that. But what does an A solve? In the end it only brings on more problems.

    And for me / I think that most W in an A are really just being used the the guy as a side piece. How sad.

    I would never let myself be used that way by anyone.

    • Sarah P. October 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

      You bring up a good point. The OW or OM often believes that a married person will leave their spouse and family for her. But it almost always ends up that the OW/OM was being used.

      For me, it has alway been obvious that a man in a relationship would use me if I were willing. So, even when I was single, I would not even date someone who had even a casual girlfriend. I knew that if I could lure a guy from his girlfriend, I knew that someone else would come along and lure him away from me. And I knew this even in high school. So I always wonder what causes a woman/man not to know this or else not love themselves enough to say no to such situations.

      Just like you, I would never allow myself to be used like that. And I would also never seek out someone to use either.

  7. Sidney October 4, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

    Why do people cheat?
    In my opinion…..all the above listed things: depression, mid-life crisis, low self-esteem, bored, lonely, revenge, sexless marriage, job stresses, feeling unloved, etc are just factors……the REAL reason people cheat? It makes them feel good. That’s the reason….it makes them feel good….so they do it. All the other things can be contributing factors that led up to the affair…..but engaging in the affair itself? It made them feel good.

  8. Puzzled October 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    I don’t think that I’ll ever understand why my wife cheated. I’m not sure if she can even say why. We had a good marriage. We were happy (even though she spewed out the “I haven’t been happy in years” crap on D-day 1). Our marriage seemed to have a solid base.

    Just like Nearly Normal, marriage counseling fizzled. My wife didn’t feel “connected” to our counselor and felt we could work together better. At the time, I took it at face value and just figured it was the truth. I didn’t know the reality that she was in the midst of an affair. All I knew was my wife seemed lost and I would do anything to help her. So, if she didn’t want to go to a counselor, then I would respect it and work with her. Sadly, things just unraveled from this point until my world was blown up several months later when I found out the real reason of unhappiness, ILYBNILWY, and not wanting to be exposed during counseling; an affair.

    It was quite a gut punch that I still feel today. Almost 27 months later and it still stings to remember the look of hate on her face when I confronted her. The look of contempt when I told her she needed to end things and never contact him again. And the seemingly endless cold and heartless treatment I’d get every day and night. And maybe that’s what lingers still too. The thought that the love of my life could look at me and simply not give a crap about my heart.

    My best friend knows. He was a good confidant early on but then my wife asked if we could just keep it to ourselves. Once again, this was me being foolish to respect her and trust that it was in our best interest. It was all a freaking smoke screen to protect her. Luckily, he knows me well enough that, when something gives me a trigger & he’s there, he will simply say “it’s not worth it tonight” to get my mind right.

    I know counseling would have been beneficial for me. I self medicated by working out more, running, & remodeling a house. The toughest part was the house remodel was where we supposed to be moving as a family. I’d ask my wife “why am I doing all of this work if you don’t want to live with us”. She’d just say that “we can decide that later” or “we can get more selling it”. I’d work all day at my office then spend 5-6 hours a night doing a complete remodel of a home. It gave me a lot of time to think, pray, and cuss at the world; strangely therapeutic.

    Life definitely didn’t turn out the way that I’d planned. Things happened to me that I really wasn’t prepared to handle. My heart and trust were shattered by the one person that promised to protect me, love me, and cherish me. We are rebuilding. We are growing. My heart is mending. My trust? That’s another story. I’m not sure how long it will be until I can blindly trust her again. Maybe that will come in time. Maybe…

    • Nearly Normal October 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      Puzzled,

      running is maybe the best thing I’ve had since D-Day. Some of my hardest moments are when I cannot exercise and the stress builds up.

      Trust is so hard. For me, it gets all tangled up with issues that have nothing to do with the A. Without counseling, I think it is harder for us to find that trust on our own. I do not recommend for anyone to try it without counseling. It’s like the difference between hiking on a trail, and trying to hike without a trail. In the second option, there’s a lot of additional pain and difficulty and danger and everything takes way longer.

      I hope you find a way to get counseling with her, which I realize seems to depend on her.

    • Too Weak December 4, 2017 at 10:51 am #

      Puzzled

      You say “It was quite a gut punch that I still feel today. Almost 27 months later and it still stings to remember the look of hate on her face when I confronted her. The look of contempt when I told her she needed to end things and never contact him again. And the seemingly endless cold and heartless treatment I’d get every day and night. And maybe that’s what lingers still too. The thought that the love of my life could look at me and simply not give a crap about my heart.”

      That is totally how I feel. I run that question through my mind unceasingly. How could she do that to me, her best friend, her husband? If you asked her a year ago she would have said there is NO way I’d ever do that to you or to me or to my family or to my kids – yet here we are…
      She gave me the ol’ I should have left you years ago” bit and the hate in her eyes was cutting.
      I had just exposed her secret to my older kids and she was furious. I am still not sure if that was a good idea or a bad one. It certainly was the catalyst for her to leave me, take the kids and file for divorce. My thinking at the time was that I needed help to shake her from the fog. Perhaps the disappointment from her children would do that – Nope.
      There is no manual for this shit. I was desparately hanging on to my sanity while my whole world was spinning apart. She had just brought the family car back filthy with their fluids soaking the back seat amd floor and I was at my wits end.
      It is like struggling to hold onto a merry-go-round when your buddies are spinning it wildly. It was a struggle just to breathe much less move. Even on those days where you might be successful at getting to the center so that the feeling and fear of not flying off into space was more managable, still you had to deal with the spinning – which was almost as bad.
      The look of anger and hate in her eyes was indescribable. It was like looking into the eyes of someone possesed. She wanted to have her cake and eat it too and I was ruining her frolicing in her secret sin.
      She ramped up her seeing him after that – which killed me even more. They are screwing like rabbits anytime, anywhere. She slept in motels with him and continues to sneak back to his house by leaving her car and he picking her up then dropping her back later. All the while telling EVERYONE there is NO affair and that I’m making it up to hurt her. Everyone thinks I’m a turd and she gets sympathy and support and furniture – so unfair! OMG – this make me so angry I forget I want her back and instead I want to destroy her. I then begin to feel the complusion to get the “hard proof” but I don’t have the time and I believe that it would backfire on me anyway. I would show the evidence and instead of saying “Im sorry. I will fully support you”, they would say “you are a creap for stalking her. Can’t you see its over? Who cares if the divorce is not finalized – she considers it over so she can sleep with whomever she wants”. They would even rationalize away the fact that he is married too with kids – all in the same school no less. People don’t give a shit and that’s the sad truth.
      Perhaps I’m minimizing what folks reactions would be but I’m already shocked at the reactions I have gotten from those I did tell. Since they beleive that she would never do that (as EVERYONE thinks of her) then she didn’t. Thus, I’m the paranoid delusional despite the evidence I DO have.
      His wife told me their marriage was now on the rocks and they were separating. I was glad that finally I wouod get some vindication as people would put 2 and 2 together but that was short-lived as they decided to work through their problems. She STILL does not believe me that they had/having sex. I showed her a video of BOTH tbier cars in the motel parking lot and she still says that’s not proof they are sleeping together – WTF? She got an anonymous letter ststing thwy were seen out and it was definitely more than friends – but now she thinks I wrote it. She recuses to hire a PI or gather evidence on her own saying it would proove she doesn’t trust him – which is not what love does… Whatever… Good luck with that.
      I’ve since concluded that she simply doesn’t want to know.
      I am hoping God will do a miracle and shake her loose from this deception and that she would come running back and begging to be forgiven but your wife’s reactions and attitudes are scaring the shit outta me.

      • TheFirstWife December 4, 2017 at 11:28 am #

        TooWeak.

        I prayed for that miracle. That he would snap out of it. It took six long months but he finally did snap out of it and end the A (hours before I found out by calling the OW). Miracles do happen.

        So let’s recap your story:

        1. You found out about A and she took kids and filed for D immediately. Sounds like an exit A.

        2. She slapped you a RO which cost you $ to vacate. No contact with kids during that period.

        3. She has convinced everyone there is no A and they believe her.

        4. She has turned your friends against you.

        5. The Other BW is reconciling with the OM who is her H but yet the A is still going on and the OBW doesn’t believe it.

        6. You were sucker punched by all this.

        7. Shortly before split your wife was kind and loving to you.

        And now she is completely rewriting the M and your lives together.

        Been through it. I held my head high b/c I had the H no one thought would cheat. Seriously no one would believe it. Everyone was in shock.

        I kept my wits and calm b/c of my children AND if we were able to reconcile I had no regrets. I didn’t say or do anything I would be ashamed of.

        I don’t know your outcome but your wife is angry and vindictive. I lived thru that too. It was MY fault he was unhappy. Hahaha!!!

        His friends all were envious b/c I was so laid back. Very little restrictions. Thought he was trustworthy and honest.

        Still very few restrictions b/c I no longer care if he cheats or acts like a teenager in love. Because at the first sign of anything I am out the door. No questions asked.

        I think you need a short vacation or mental break. Just a day or two.

        And what have you done for yourself today?? One nice thing. Anything you can to give yourself a bit of joy or pleasure or contentment. I make it a habit everyday since the A. One thing. Yoga or read a book or bake or meet a friend.

        What is your one thing(no drinking or anything like that)

        • Too Weak December 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

          How could you be together with him if you no longer care if he cheats or acts like a teenager in love? It would seem to me that you would care or there’s really nothing anchoring you too the marriage in the first place. What am I missing?

          I think she was way more unhappy than she led on to believe. I don’t think she was looking for an affair though so it’s hard for me to say it was an exit strategy. I think as the affair took root she experienced the rush of feelings that one gets from a new relationship aka the start of the Fog, and this made her mistakenly think their marriage was the problem and that she was really miserable in her marriage. As time went on the delusion got stronger, the emotional tie got stronger, the feelings got better and she started to blame the marriage and me more and more for her unhappiness and the reason why she wasn’t getting those feelings in the marriage. By the time I discovered that she was already on the fence with the marriage and probably already resigned herself to a divorce eventually. I think because she thought I was so sensitive and would be clingy which ashamedly I was, she wanted to do the divorce on an installment plan AKA a legal separation that could easily be changed to a divorce with the check of a box at the end. By that time, I’m convinced that both her friends and the OM filled her head with all kinds of crap about me and she was already rewriting our history together. So while I don’t think that her intention entering the affair was an exit I think she took the opportunity to make it so. All she was looking for was a good reason to change it from a legal separation to a divorce and I gave it to her when I decided to tell our children of her infidelity.

          Now that the obs and the OM have decided to call off their separation I would love to know what the OM is saying to my wife about the whole thing. I’m pretty sure it’s something along the lines of “hey we got to cool it for a bit my wife is freaking out”
          From what I have learned about the Dynamics of an affair I’ll guarantee you they have no intention of stopping there affair and will resume their secret meetings in random places in short order.

          This just pisses me off to no end and I want to just expose them to the world. But again if I get involved in that way it’ll be like D-Day all over again Plus it just makes me too weird Plus more than likely I’ll just be accused of being a stalker.

          When I start to think that there’s got to be something that I can do to help her out of the Fog then I start getting weird and then the thinking becomes unending to the point that I can do nothing else.

          Maybe I’m mistaken but I think the only thing I really can do is give it to God and walk away. I just don’t see how I can walk away and not think about something like this all day long. I think that if I am thinking and worrying about it then I’m not having faith in God which only further discourages me. The Bible says that a bruised reed he will not break so maybe I’m being too hard on myself.

          What I don’t want and what I will not accept is a bitchier version of herself from now on I don’t see how all the issues that she has trumped-up against me will dissolve to the point that she becomes as loving as she was Prior to this affair haven’t called me manipulative and controlling and all the other kinds of weird stuff I don’t see how that will all just go away. But I certainly won’t stand for bitchier version of herself I know I refuse to be in that.

          I think it’s safe to say that since she’s not considering the consequences of her current behavior she’s probably also not considering did it would be tougher on her to divorce and start again and it would be too work on her marriage. There’s so much here that is out of my control that I panic and get discouraged and throw my hands in the air and say forget it it’s never going to happen but stranger things have happened I guess the hardest part is just waiting to see what will transpire. I think the thing I must hold onto is that regardless God’s got my best interest at heart and that while it hurts now and while I’m jonesing for what was I have to believe that good or even better is possible regardless of the outcome of this but that frame of mind is elusive and hard to hold on to

          • TheFirstWife December 4, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

            TooWeak – 2 part Answer.

            My H told me so many hurtful things during his A and they were all things to justify the A. I don’t do this or I’m not happy and haven’t been for 2 years (freakin’ news to me) and we’ve grown apart etc. none of it was true except in his mind. I acknowledge he is entitled to his feelings but it’s funny (not) that the day he decided to end the A and reconcile none of those things he said were true.

            Well in my mind they were true then. He did believe them. He did have anger towards me. He wasn’t nice at times.

            But now it is different. However – and I say this in all honesty – I will never forget those hurtful things he said. He tries to compliment me and yes, there are times I just want to say – I still remember when you told me ILYBNILWY or that I didn’t communicate etc.

            So now it will be hard to explain the second part b/c you have not reconciled. But my H wanting a D will be a pain I never heal from. Being blindsided like that caused me PTSD (very well hidden) and stress and sleepless months (like 1 hour per night). and this was his second A (first was a 4 year EA) and second was an EA with some kissing but that one led to him believing he wanted a D but he tried to blame it all on me.

            Soooo yes I love him. Yes I treat him well. Yes I am happy. But he is no longer #1 to me. He ruined that at DDAY2. He will never be top dog like he was for the past 25 years. I would give in to avoid confrontation if it didn’t matter. Like if he wanted to paint a room green and I had another idea but it really was not a strong preference- I’d say ok green.

            After the last A I think the battle scars have made me put up a protective wall a bit. I am prepared for anything at this point. He could walk in the door tomorrow and say “I’m leaving you” and I would be upset and hurt BUT I would not crumble go pieces like I did a few years ago.

            I would not try and talk to him. I would just nod my head and move on.

            I know you wonder why I stay M. Because I will be like this no matter WHO I am with. I no longer blindly trust people.

            And I realize I married a coward. What I thought was a strong confident person was not who he really was. As my therapist says the rose colored glasses are off. And I don’t adore him and put him up on a pedestal.

            He is a good person and I have forgiven him. But I don’t believe in happily ever after anymore thanks to him and his lying and cheating ways. I now know that if the person you live & trust for decades can turn on you, anyone can.

            And I don’t plan to be victimized any more.

  9. TryingHard October 6, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    I believe there’s a huge difference between the sexes and cheating and “reasons”. However the one common denominator is character or the lack there of which applies to both sexes. Both male and female cheaters simply lack character.

    Sarah P. I disagree. In fact I do NOT believe any OM hopes the OW will leave her marriage. My hs OW was married when their affair began. He bet this was a safe strategy for him because, well he was in control and so rational. He bet that since she was married she would never risk HER marriage or out him. He was married, she was married, simpatico! Until…she got divorced!! Yeah then everything changed as she started pressuring him to leave me so they could be together forever and ever and live hap hap happily ever after. Um no, that was def NOT part of his agenda! And that is when he tried to get away from her BUT she kept threatening that knew his secrets and could make trouble. Now he was stuck. Now what?

    I believe many MM who cheat do so with married women because it’s seen as safe. The MM does NOT want to leave his marriage. He has zero respect for his AP, married or single. I don’t believe single men who cheat with married women hope the married woman will leave their husbands either. There’s already one strike against her as he KNOWS she’s a cheater. Marrying a known cheater would be a very bad bet for a single guy, unless he’s an idiot!! Also is this woman really someone any man wants to bring home to Mommy??? I don’t think so. Nope the whole Madonna/Whore men deal with comes into play for these women. They are only good for one thing.

    Nope the single guy who cheats with a married woman is probably perfectly happy with the situation as there’s also no added pressure to entertain her, spend a lot of time with her, do chores for her, support her, fix the leaky faucet for her, listen to her problems etc. you know all the crappy stuff about married life. Nope he gets to have sex with her, send her on her way back to her poor husband and he gets to go watch some football game with his buddies in a bar and flirt with the women there! For some men this is an ideal relationship.

    Women cheaters, hell yes, it is their fantasy that their Prince Charming is going to divorce the wicked wife and sweep her off to fantasy land because she’s so damn special. Their love is special. But I believe women who cheat with single guys know damn good and well he is NOT her knight in shining armor because the single guy is def NOT giving her that vibe. She’s having sex for the excitement of it.

    Women are so different from men. Men compartmentalize life and women wrap it all up in fantasy and feelings. They read so much into their interactions with men to support their fantasy. When in the end the man is pretty much using the woman, married or single, as a means for his own gratification. Men don’t leave the safety of their marriages very often. And those that do often regret it. But women do fantasize about leaving their husband.

    One of the most favorite movies for women is The Bridges of Madison County. Ask any girl. Why? Because it’s the fantasy of the romantic stranger who just floats into the poor, bored farmers wife’s life and sweeps her off her feet and she falls in love with him. Women eat this shit up!!! It’s taught to us from the beginning through fairy tales, books, movies, music we buy this crap. I’d venture to say if the roles were reversed in this movie it would not have been nearly as popular as the plot was pretty insipid!! LOL no man would act like Francesca did in that stupid movie. In fact I believe Robert when leaving Francesca (as a real life person) would have had zero remorse and simply thought well that was fun! Time to move on! Better get out before she takes me seriously.

    I feel for the husbands whose wives cheat. Yes it’s much different and to a certain degree much worse for everyone on many levels.

    • Nearly Normal October 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

      TH,

      I am hearing a common reason why people cheat cited by multiple people. Sydney said, “the REAL reason people cheat? It makes them feel good.” and The First Wife said, “Same reason men cheat. Because they are selfish and think an A will solve their problems. And b/c they choose to.” and you say, above, “Both male and female cheaters simply lack character.”

      I hear all these as the same reason. People choose to feel good, ignoring the convictions that their character should hold them to. That is the definition of selfishness.

      All the other reasons that people give are really just a BS frosting over a selfishness cake. People try to justify their actions. They don’t want to think that they are selfish and lack character. They HAD to cheat because blah blah blah… They cannot face the fact that they turned into a selfish child who ignored everything else except what they wanted.

      Also, thanks for the sympathy toward husbands. I have long thought it is harder on us, largely because of our particular makeup. Another husband said the same to me recently. It’s hard to verify, but it feels true.

      Happy Friday

    • Sarah P. October 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

      TryingHard,

      You are right. I just re-read my comment. I was trying to add in gender neutrality by stating both without thinking it through. And boy that was a mis-step. I do agree that most OM do not want the OW to leave. I do believe it is a have your cake and eat it too situation where everything is a-ok as long as the OW stays with her husband and does not ask for commitment from the OM. I do believe is everything is correct that you added about this topic in your post.

      CNN just had a front page article yesterday about this exact same topic. Was wondering if CNN was peaking in on this blog.

      They mentioned something interesting. The interesting thing they said is that there is a new breed of married women who wants to cheat and maintain her marriage. She does NOT want to leave her marriage– just have an affair with someone else while keeping the safety of marriage. That is, historically what men used to do. The CNN post has new information that I was not aware of.

      An interesting read for everyone if they want a take on this that is slightly different from mine:

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/health/why-women-cheat-partner/index.html

  10. TryingHard October 6, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    NN
    Indeed yes there’s a common theme. Lack of character, immaturity, selfish self centered egotistical behavior. All very childlike as fantasy tends to rule these folks with no moral compass thrown in for good measure.

    You and they other men however are NONE of this things. These “girls” you are married to should be kissing the ground you walk on to even consider reconciliation with them. If that sounds harsh it’s meant to be. I hold all women to a higher standard as I do myself. They are stupid and tisk so much with this behavior. I’m much less forgiving to women cheaters than men. She’s supposed to be in charge of herself. She’s supposed to give of herself and her well being for the sake of her family. im sorry but once a woman breeds it’s not about her happiness anymore and to let herself be led down that road by a new shiny object is reprehensible. She’s not happy??? Too fucking bad!! Get happy. And not by sleeping with other men. Do something constructive not destructive. Affairs NEVER work for women and the women that believe they do are idiots.

    I hear your reasons and forgoing MC. Your wife’s need to protect herself and the MM at the expense of your needs and refuse MC is just another selfish act on her part. You are an honorable person. She is not. People need to be humbled to learn and be honorable. She may be ashamed and feel guilty but she has sacrificed nothing. It makes me mad for you.

    I love you guys. I swear I’m coming back as a man in my next life!!! You guys are so good at pushing stuff aside and forging ahead. You guys really do have super powers!! I could barely clean my house and you guys are running and rehabbing the house. Aaack a hammer or any sharp objects could not be in my hands during that time! Had I taken up running I’d have been like Forest Gump and just keep running!!!

    • Nearly Normal October 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

      Trying Hard,

      Gosh, thanks for the kind words. I feel like framing my Y chromosome or something.

      I personally see it otherwise. A woman who stands up to the challenges of a scumbag husband who cheats is much more courageous in my view. A man compartmentalizes and shoves feelings aside just because that’s what he’s been doing all his life. I don’t see it as a virtue. But I think I know what you mean, I just see it differently.

      And by the way, I run because it’s a way to stay sane. I don’t think it shows strength, more like frenetic pathological need.

      I want to speak up in defense of my wife, but do that too often. I know you’re right in what you say.

      Thanks again

  11. TryingHard October 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    NN
    Not dissing running at all. Just stating the difference 🙂 I actually started running a bit after DDay with a torn meniscus hurt like an m effer!! Running didn’t do much for me. I should have taken up target practice.

    I’m sure on the surface your wife is a perfectly fine person. You don’t need to defend her. Heck I have two women who cheated with MM in my family and I love them both. I just don’t respect their character. Both were actually too young and had other questionable stuff going on in their lives. Today as mature women I KNOW sleeping with a MM is last thing either one would do.

    I’m speaking as a woman and a how I see my gender. We are in charge of our bodies. To give ourselves away for someone else’s cheap thrills and I’m sorry but for most me having an affair that’s all it is, cheap thrills. If there’s any kind of emotional involvement it’s not out of any kind of respect or need for the OW/AP but so that he keeps getting his cheap thrills. How women don’t know this baffles me. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to have affairs. These men made me laugh. Such desperate little creeps!

    I don’t know if I’m courageous of simply grateful for what I have. I may hate him a little more but I do not love him any less. We are all perfectly imperfect for sure. Men and women. I think your wife could have and should have handled it much better and at least gone to MC. I’m hoping she has dug deep and learned a lot about herself to never be caught up in a temptation as odious as cheating again.

    You know happiness ebbs and flows. But if you are continually unhappy man up or woman up and get a divorce. Go jump from as many beds as you like but don’t be duplicitous! Level the damn playing field. I’m on your side pal and if I knew your wife I’d give her a good talkin to then I’d take her out to lunch 🙂

  12. Looking Forward October 6, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

    I’m a little over 9 months out from D-Day, and the pain of my wife’s affair is real and tangible. It has lessened and I have learned to deal with my anger and hurt, but they are still my constant companions.

    She suggested that we should separate & said she was interested in a divorce. I knew we had typical marital problems, but nothing so gross as to warrant ending our commitment. I suggested counseling, found 2 local counselors that could help our family & got all of the pre-registration done. She waffled on going, would never commit to picking a counselor, & eventually outright refused. I should have known something was wrong. On the night we agreed to tell our oldest about the separation, she dropped her bomb. It was a neighbor. ILYBNILWY

    Since then, I started seeing a therapist because I did not know how to process that amount of hurt. Seeing someone, even for that hour a week, helped tremendously. You start to realize that you’re not crazy. What you’re feeling is a normal. It’s awful, but I’m not alone in having felt this. Luckily, I also have a couple of close friends who are willing to patiently listen, & my family has been terrific, as well.

    I may be in the minority here, but my wife has decided to move on with the OM. There was no reconciliation on her mind ever, from what I can tell. They’ve built a house (3 blocks from our home, btw), moved in together, and are engaged. She filed for divorce almost immediately after D-Day. The divorce is set to be finalized early next year.

    This has been awful beyond my wildest nightmares. I can’t tell what the worst part is: her refusal & rejection of us or the fact that our children have to be exposed to this.

    • Too Weak December 3, 2017 at 3:50 am #

      2 months ago I discovered my wife of 23 years in an affair with a friend. This guy is the married father of my youngest daughter’s friend. To add insult to injury upon discovering this my wife then left me, took the kids, filed for divorce, is still having secret rendezvous with this guy and lying about it to everybody. She is telling my children that I am dangerous, emotionally unstable, and making this up from my wild imaginings.
      All this from the person that I loved with all my heart. She was my best friend.

      I cannot begin to tell you how torn apart my heart is, how completely devastated I am, and how it has rocked my world to the core. I have continuous anxiety attacks, I cry daily, and I wonder if I’ll ever be whole again. Anybody who thinks an affair is harmless is a selfish ass and lacks integrity, character and courage to address issues like an adult.
      We have four children and they are all reeling as well. She has no regard for their hearts and she has damaged her relationship with her children forever.
      I can honestly say that I do not know if I will ever fully recover and I am choking up even now just writing this. It is absolutely true that there are issues and baggage in her life that this affair will not begin to address. It will also create many more issues for her to address on top of the other issues she is not dealing with.
      I can only hope that one day it will catch up to her and she will realize what a horrible mistake she made. But this will be of little consolation to me because I don’t know if my heart will ever be the same, or if I will ever find love again, or if I am even worthy of love.
      Of course there were issues in our marriage – who doesn’t have issues? But I was working on myself, going to therapy and making headway that both she and my children saw and liked. But she never worked on herself. Then came the opportunity – and having been groomed by bitterness and resentment – plus believing she was somehow disenfranchised,
      she was prime target for the temptation to take hold. And she took the bait.
      God only knows how long she will be caught in this whirlpool fantasy but it can’t last forever because eventually reality will catch up with fantasy and the illusion will dissipate exposing it for what it truely was – deceit at it’s highest level.

      After D-day she said needed space so she thought we should separate. She told me to move out.
      I told her I would do ANYTHING to save the marriage and I willingly agreed to move out until she laid out all her terms.
      She told she she would ONLY work on the marriage if I agreed to ALL her terms:
      * Me move out and take my home-based business with me.
      * Give her full custody of the kids
      * Agree to her terms on my visitation of the kids
      * Get a full, legal separation
      * I could not object to ANYTHING or she wouldn’t work on the marriage.

      I made MANY mistakes in my reactions to the affair and the divorce, (begged, cried, anger, accusations, etc.) I fear I only pushed her deeper into his arms which I kick myself for daily.

      With advice and prayer and council I agreed that movimg oit wascthe WORST THING a man could do. I decided that what she was really telling me was to choose between the marriage or the kids.
      I eventually told her “no, I would not do that to my kids. I dis not want my kids to see me moving out and say “Dads movimg out, he must be the problem”. I also didn’t want to set a legal precident of willingly leaving my kids.
      I told “you suffer abandonment issues from your father and you ask me to do that to my kids? No way!”
      She got pissed off, stormed out at 10:30pm. She went to pick him up, had sex in the minivan and brought it home at 1am nasty with their fluids soaking the back seat and carpet. I confronted her and said Im not stupid, I know thw smell of sex and I know yoilur scent. Tou commited adultery in our family car. I thought I finally had umdeniablecproof andcwould gwt jer to fonally confess – but she flatly denied it saying “she spilled something”.
      I lost my mind. I was so twisted up I decided ro twll my 3 older kids why weve been fighting and roldcrhem their mom was having an affair. They freaked out on her and she freaked out on me. This is when shevsaid “its over!. I should have left you years ago!” She was re-writing history as it’s said they do to support her choice of persuing the affair becaise later I found a Father’s Day card from 2016 in which she had written the sweetest things.
      She got physically agressive so I called the police and they made me leave a go figure.

      I went to stay at a friends and when I came home the next day they were driving away. She took the kids and split. Rhen slapped a NO contact TRO on me so I couldnt even see my kids or even call them.
      It cost me $5K to get that dismissed and get a wee bit of time with my kids and she’s still being hateful.
      Because she was SO not the kind that would ever have can affair, and because she emphatically denies any affair, and because she is accusing me of making it all up, most of our mutual friends have deserted me and treat me like I am a leper while showering her with sympathy and support and furniture and whatever…
      All while she is still sneaking around and screwing this guy whereever they can! I told his wife and she dosnt believe me.
      I showed her video of their cars together at a motel in the next town and she got an anonymous letter saying they too saw them together there the same night, but she still won’t believe it and he too flatly denies it – chickenshit of a man!

      I am very visual so I am haunted by the imagery of them together. I cry and weep thinking of this and how she is telling him he’s SO much better than me…

      I have never been too confident in this arena and since she really hadn’t had any other sexual partners besides me I considered it to be my sanctuary, my secret garden or sorts, where I didn’t have to worry about being compared and could just enjoy – as it was intended to be – but not anymore…

      She has never complained and always reassured me and seemed to be satisfied. As a matter of fact it was my mission that I never satisfied myself until she had climaxed. And the sex was getting better every year. I guess it still wasn’t good enough and I just don’t “measure up”…
      It must be incredible sex because they are still going at it every chance they get – and stabbing me in the heart with a grapefruit knife every time draining any remainder of confidence and hope and dignity from me.
      This alone makes me want to step in front of a train!

      Even if she came back I’m not sure I could ever believe her if she tried to tell me that I was just fine in that arena. I don’t want to be “just fine” dammit! I want to not have to be concerned about that – but I don’t see that happening. My mind is wrapped in this 24/7 and I am going crazy!
      The ONLY way I can see it ever working between us is if she comes back so broken and contrite that what she once enjoyed now sickens her – but today is not that day and it doesn’t look like tomorrow is either. Her pride and stubborness is so strong I thing maybe even God has met his match in her….
      I am but a shell of the man I was 2 months ago and I fear that any stiff breeze will make me disintegrate into a cloud of dust. I often wish for that to happen just to stop the pain and anguish and lonliness and shame and dispair.

      I hate that I love her! I wake up every day and the first though is of this and my heart fips in my chest panic and dispare settle in and I get sick to my stomach and I think to myself – “this can’t be my life” but it is.
      Please just kill me now!

      Make no mistake – affairs are incredibly destructive and will destroy your partner forever!

  13. TryingHard October 6, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

    Looking Forward
    I am so so sorry for your pain. It sounds like you ex wife is moving pretty fast on to her next relationship.

    I am particularly sorry for your children. Divorce is devastating enough let alone to throw infidelity into the mix. You children are going to have a hard time dealing with this and it looks like you are going now appointed the go-to sane parent. I am happy you are going to therapy. Keep going and get advice how to navigate the whole divorce shared custody thing too. My son is divorced from his first son’s mother and I am telling you it is a mess. He couldn’t have made any more mistakes and still makes them. Mean while it is my grandchild who suffers.

    I hope you hang around here for a while. We’ve got some pretty smart people here and sympathetic shoulders to cry on. You hang in there and be good to you.

    • Looking Forward October 6, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

      TH,

      I think Sarah made some excellent points in this post about the tradition of encouraging stoicism in men. I tried to keep it to myself, but I quickly realized how therapeutic it was to talk about it.

      To say that my STBXW moved on quickly is kind of an understatement. I know a lot of the statistics point to a high failure rate in those types of relationships, but it feels like they are going through with all of this just to prove that they were “right” all along.

      I hope to provide stability & sanity to our kids. I hope they look up to me. I want them to have a strong role model. It’s amazing what they perceive at such a young age, and having them around 50% of the time gives me as much hope & joy as I can handle.

      I’ve been lurking on the boards for a while (among others). Thanks for the kind words & encouragement.

  14. Wow Really? October 7, 2017 at 2:36 am #

    Found out my wife has had a year plus affair a few months ago. She has yet to come clean and I filed for divorce 55 days ago. I have called her on it and have been angry and drunk a few times. In one drunken stupor, (last weekend) I called the other punk and we had a long discussion. Long story short, I ended her relationship with her boyfriend.
    Now she says she doesn’t want a divorce, but I should get past the affair and move on. I’ve asked for a few things from her and she has conceded to none of them. I’m having a real hard time deciding to move forward with someone who is as narcissistic as her to tell me what I need to do after her lies and unfaithfulness.
    I feel like the backup plan. I feel used and I feel as though I need to end it.

    • Nearly Normal October 7, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Wow Really?

      Man, there’s a whole crap ton of us hurting men out there. Sorry you have to be in the club.

      So she doesn’t want a divorce, but she wants to concede nothing. Then what is your motivation to stay with her?

      I think you should make it clear to her that you are not the backup plan. If she just wants to do whatever she feels like and get away with it and still have a home to come back to, what is in it for you? If she does not want to give an inch, then what is to stop you from getting a divorce?

      If she is still in the affair fog, she may suddenly snap out of it and become sane. But you can’t count on that. You may have to snap her out of it by telling her what the consequences are if she does not show some commitment. But I’m not there. I’m not you. Nor am I an expert. I would say, do not rush into anything, but be very firm.

      Leveler heads than mine might have better advice.

      Hope it gets better.

      • Wow Really? October 7, 2017 at 11:43 am #

        I’ve done that. We went to the attorney to (I thought) sign the divorce agreement. Then she says she’s not sure if she’s ready for that.
        I came home and tried to talk and she was just getting angry and my voice was calm which is actually opposite of how it has been.
        In my head I know divorce is the only path. In my heart I don’t want it to be.

        • Shifting Impressions October 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

          Wow Really
          Divorce is not the only path….especially if that is not what you want. Take care of you….perhaps get some counseling. If your wife is not willing….many BS’s aren’t, get some for you.

          In all honesty….it takes most of us a few years to get through this difficult process.

          The devastation of being betrayed is excruciating…..there is no quick easy path. Give yourself time.

        • Hopeful October 9, 2017 at 2:03 am #

          I have no idea if it is really any different dealing with a cheating wife instead of a cheating husband. For us my husband ended both of his affairs 15 months before dday. So that helped us a little bit. However on dday we agreed that he would have no contact with them. He would not reach out to them, look them up on ducal medial, and if they reached out to him he was to tell me asap and we would decide if and how there was any communication. This no contact was critical. Then the other boundaries followed shortly after dday. And I would say boundaries have gotten more detailed and increased in number since dday. In the end you need to ask yourself what you need. What do you need to stay. What do you need to feel safe. What do you need to consider working it out. Then the hard work starts after that. The idea of building trust with the person began at that point for me and that is the really hard work. If your wife is not being open with you then there must be reasons. It is up to you to figure out what you need. I made it simple and told my husband what I needed to know and what he had to do for me to consider staying. It has been a ton of work and I am exhausted from it but we have also become closer than ever and feel a connection from working together.

    • Shifting Impressions October 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

      Wow Really
      It’s great having you men comment….it’s good getting that balance.

      I find it interesting that you say YOU ended your wife’s relationship with the OM. Hmm, not sure if it really works that way. That was your wife’s responsibility. Also drunken stupors?? Not the best way to deal with all of this.

      I’m not trying to be harsh here but many of us deal with spouses, who didn’t do what we asked of them, especially at first.

      It’s only been a few months since d-day…..give yourself some time.

    • Too Weak December 3, 2017 at 2:23 am #

      2 months ago I discovered my wife of 23 years in an affair with a friend. This guy is the married father of my youngest daughter’s friend. To add insult to injury upon discovering this my wife then left me, took the kids, filed for divorce, is still having secret rendezvous with this guy and lying about it to everybody. She is telling my children that I am dangerous, emotionally unstable, and making this up from my wild imaginings.
      All this from the person that I loved with all my heart. She was my best friend.

      I cannot begin to tell you how torn apart my heart is, how completely devastated I am, and how it has rocked my world to the core. I have continuous anxiety attacks, I cry daily, and I wonder if I’ll ever be whole again. Anybody who thinks an affair is harmless is a selfish ass and lacks integrity, character and courage to address issues like an adult.
      We have four children and they are all reeling as well. She has no regard for their hearts and she has damaged her relationship with her children forever.
      I can honestly say that I do not know if I will ever fully recover and I am choking up even now just writing this. It is absolutely true that there are issues and baggage in her life that this affair will not begin to address. It will also create many more issues for her to address on top of the other issues she is not dealing with.
      I can only hope that one day it will catch up to her and she will realize what a horrible mistake she made. But this will be of little consolation to me because I don’t know if my heart will ever be the same, or if I will ever find love again, or if I am even worthy of love.
      Of course there were issues in our marriage – who doesn’t have issues? But I was working on myself, going to therapy and making headway that both she and my children saw and liked. But she never worked on herself. Then came the opportunity – and having been groomed by bitterness and resentment – plus believing she was somehow disenfranchised,
      she was prime target for the temptation to take hold. And she took the bait.
      God only knows how long she will be caught in this whirlpool fantasy but it can’t last forever because eventually reality will catch up with fantasy and the illusion will dissipate exposing it for what it truely was – deceit at it’s highest level.

      After D-day she said needed space so she thought we should separate. She told me to move out.
      I told her I would do ANYTHING to save the marriage and I willingly agreed to move out until she laid out all her terms.
      She told she she would ONLY work on the marriage if I agreed to ALL her terms:
      * Me move out and take my home-based business with me.
      * Give her full custody of the kids
      * Agree to her terms on my visitation of the kids
      * Get a full, legal separation
      * I could not object to ANYTHING or she wouldn’t work on the marriage.

      I made MANY mistakes in my reactions to the affair and the divorce, (begged, cried, anger, accusations, etc.) I fear I only pushed her deeper into his arms which I kick myself for daily.

      With advice and prayer and council I agreed that movimg oit wascthe WORST THING a man could do. I decided that what she was really telling me was to choose between the marriage or the kids.
      I eventually told her “no, I would not do that to my kids. I dis not want my kids to see me moving out and say “Dads movimg out, he must be the problem”. I also didn’t want to set a legal precident of willingly leaving my kids.
      I told “you suffer abandonment issues from your father and you ask me to do that to my kids? No way!”
      She got pissed off, stormed out at 10:30pm. She went to pick him up, had sex in the minivan and brought it home at 1am nasty with their fluids soaking the back seat and carpet. I confronted her and said Im not stupid, I know thw smell of sex and I know yoilur scent. Tou commited adultery in our family car. I thought I finally had umdeniablecproof andcwould gwt jer to fonally confess – but she flatly denied it saying “she spilled something”.
      I lost my mind. I was so twisted up I decided ro twll my 3 older kids why weve been fighting and roldcrhem their mom was having an affair. They freaked out on her and she freaked out on me. This is when shevsaid “its over!. I should have left you years ago!” She was re-writing history as it’s said they do to support her choice of persuing the affair becaise later I found a Father’s Day card from 2016 in which she had written the sweetest things.
      She got physically agressive so I called the police and they made me leave a go figure.

      I went to stay at a friends and when I came home the next day they were driving away. She took the kids and split. Rhen slapped a NO contact TRO on me so I couldnt even see my kids or even call them.
      It cost me $5K to get that dismissed and get a wee bit of time with my kids and she’s still being hateful.
      Because she was SO not the kind that would ever have can affair, and because she emphatically denies any affair, and because she is accusing me of making it all up, most of our mutual friends have deserted me and treat me like I am a leper while showering her with sympathy and support and furniture and whatever…
      All while she is still sneaking around and screwing this guy whereever they can! I told his wife and she dosnt believe me.
      I showed her video of their cars together at a motel in the next town and she got an anonymous letter saying they too saw them together there the same night, but she still won’t believe it and he too flatly denies it – chickenshit of a man!

      I am very visual so I am haunted by the imagery of them together. I cry and weep thinking of this and how she is telling him he’s SO much better than me…

      I have never been too confident in this arena and since she really hadn’t had any other sexual partners besides me I considered it to be my sanctuary, my secret garden or sorts, where I didn’t have to worry about being compared and could just enjoy – as it was intended to be – but not anymore…

      She has never complained and always reassured me and seemed to be satisfied. As a matter of fact it was my mission that I never satisfied myself until she had climaxed. And the sex was getting better every year. I guess it still wasn’t good enough and I just don’t “measure up”…
      It must be incredible sex because they are still going at it every chance they get – and stabbing me in the heart with a grapefruit knife every time draining any remainder of confidence and hope and dignity from me.
      This alone makes me want to step in front of a train!

      Even if she came back I’m not sure I could ever believe her if she tried to tell me that I was just fine in that arena. I don’t want to be “just fine” dammit! I want to not have to be concerned about that – but I don’t see that happening. My mind is wrapped in this 24/7 and I am going crazy!
      The ONLY way I can see it ever working between us is if she comes back so broken and contrite that what she once enjoyed now sickens her – but today is not that day and it doesn’t look like tomorrow is either. Her pride and stubborness is so strong I thing maybe even God has met his match in her….
      I am but a shell of the man I was 2 months ago and I fear that any stiff breeze will make me disintegrate into a cloud of dust. I often wish for that to happen just to stop the pain and anguish and lonliness and shame and dispair.

      I hate that I love her! I wake up every day and the first thought is of this and my heart flips in my chest, panic and dispare settle in, I get sick to my stomach and I think to myself – “this can’t be my life” but it is.
      Please just kill me now!

      Make no mistake – affairs are incredibly destructive and will destroy your partner forever!

  15. TryingHard October 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    Cman. You are very level headed and that is excellent advice

  16. Lynn B October 10, 2017 at 12:29 am #

    Wow Really – It can get better – affair fog is the thing that keeps the CS in lala land and unable to see clearly. The first step is to insist she go no contact, (detox) and also be able to be 100% transparent. As she comes out of the fog, the rest will fall into place – I am 2 1/2 years past the end, and I am only now sincerely calm. It is a long road, but so worth it. She will eventually see you as someone who is brave – and truly loves her – keep telling yourself that and it will come true – Try to see her side, and she will see yours – try to own up to whatever caused you to disconnect, and maybe she will own up to being deceitful. Lots of times you need to put yourself out there first, and the small steps from her may follow – this is not for the faint of heart – it is all very painful – and takes baby steps – one thing to remember is there will be good days and bad days and don’t give up – as long as you see she is willing to change, go with it. It may be the hardest most challenging and rewarding thing in your life. When you can finally take a breath, you can step back and say, I went thru this! and came out stronger! The alternative is not so good – go bitter and cold, and still have nothing to show for it. sending you strength.

    • Wow Really? October 10, 2017 at 12:44 am #

      Thank you Lynn B. I appreciate your constructive comments. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have told her that she needs to end it, and that if he contacts her she needs to tell me. I’ve also told her I need her to be transparent. Her response is that being transparent is me trying to control her. I assured her it is not.
      Furthermore, she contacted or he contacted her this weekend on a few occasions and I Only found out because I asked. Then I proceeded to ask if they texted to which she fell silent. I explained to her that the only reason she felt it to be controlling was because she has more to hide.
      Her time is drawing near as I’m quickly realizing I have nothing to work with in this.

      • Hopeful October 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

        Wow Really?

        I am so sorry. It is hard to believe while you are in it and even 2 1/2 years later it is still hard to understand what my husband did. My husband ended both his affairs 15 months before dday but he was still covering his tracks and being defensive. He really was at such a low point. He was ashamed and still is but also did not know who he was or could be. I am not saying this to be sympathetic to him but more that they can be so twisted in what they say and think. Being in your situation it sounds like she will say whatever she has to in order to cover herself and she is her number one priority. If I were you I would even ask her what is a relationship/marriage supposed to be or look like. What are reasonable expectations. Also I remember saying to my husband that things he did and behaviors he exhibited are things are pre teen and teen would never do. They know better and not that they would be in trouble but that you do not do those things to someone you are married to, are in a relationship with etc.

        I cannot remember if you have been to a therapist or not but getting some support through this phase might help you. It is just crazy talk for her to say you are controlling her. Early on we set out boundaries that were very precise. I mean it was call me during lunch, call me on the way home from work, call or text with any change to your work schedule, if going anywhere who willl John even with where how long and if anything changes I need to be called immediately, no contact with women except professional or if a waitress. His way of looking at everything is he wants everything he does to be something I could be next to him or reading etc and not be bothered or concerned at all. He was not sure he could do this. However now he is so happy. He says he has never slept better and feels so good about himself. I do think I had to challenge him initially and tell him what I needed. But in the end he had to make the changes. It really took 6 months for him to adjust after living his life for 20+ years in our relationship one way. At a year last dday is when he really started to look at himself since I was past that initial pain. He is a new person now it is dramatic. I told him that last night and he said it is the only way he knows how to be now. It took a lot of work and it will always be work but it has made it worth sticking with him and we are closer because we have gone through this together.

  17. TryingHard October 10, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    WOW really. Maybe try the argument that you are not trying to control HER but rather control yourself. That you need to be aware of what’s going on in your marriage not to make decisions for her but for yourself. Explain you are simply trying to level the playing field and that if indeed she still feels the need to contact him you may decide to give them all the space she needs to do so. She would no longer need to lie and sneak around. That you’re not trying to control because obviously that is an impossibility. And yes most down confess until they are confronted. I’m so sorry. I know this is awful.

  18. TheFirstWife October 10, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    Wow Really

    You are at the worst part of this nightmare. Lies continue and hidden contact with the AP etc. it really stinks!!
    Google affair fog and this will describe your current marital state.

    It is like talking to a crazy person.

    She doesn’t want you to “control her”. She cheats and throws the dirty bath water in you. Wow!! Really?? that is just ridiculous.

    The A may still be on-going. There is still contact. And she refuses a divorce b/c she is not sure.

    Is she lining up Mr Wonderful the OM before she leaves you? Is she staying b/c she is comfortable and financially secure?

    she is COUNTING on you doing nothing and allowing her to call the shots. You go to sign D papers and she won’t sign? Because it is in her best interest not to sign. She can have both you and the OM.

    You can stay in limbo or do something to stop this pattern. Just remember YOU have choices too.

    My H’s A ceased on DDay2. Same OW he was going to D me for. I was being replaced with someone he knew for less than 12 months. But DDay2 I told him we were finished and not to worry b/c I was divorcing him!!

    And now I have my power back.

    He never ever thought I would ever tell him I was leaving him. He counted on me being a doormat during his MLC and A.

    And once I confronted him everything changed.

  19. JTK October 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Almost 10 months after dday and for the first time I hear “Well we (me and W) have been drifting apart.” Why did I not hear this years ago before the EA could even develop?

    • Puzzled October 17, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

      My wife said the same thing to me on D-day 1. I think it’s part of the CS script. They have to justify their betrayal with random thoughts:

      Drifting apart
      Unhappy for years
      People change
      Rewriting of marital history
      Resentment of long ago actions that were never an issue

      It’s all part of the smoke screen that they put up. All a bunch of crap.

    • TheFirstWife October 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

      Please allow me to respond b/c I heard the same thing.

      Which BTW his last EA turned slight PA almost caused our Divorce.

      He said it over and over again as an excuse and justification as to why he had the affair. Disconnected. Taken for granted.

      About a year ago I was sick and tired of hearing that as an excuse, because like you, I felt he should have said something or done something (Other than having an affair).

      My response to him was this: “please don’t tell me how I feel about our marriage and our interaction. It is OK if you felt that we drifted apart but please do not project your feelings onto me.

      I’m not sure why you felt so disconnected, as you are the one who doesn’t communicate. You don’t tell me about things or discuss things with me, and I was perfectly willing to accept that. I always believed that when things required a discussion, we were always willing to do so together. And I was fine with that.

      So while I was perfectly willing to accept you for who you are, unfortunately you could not see that you were the driving force in our lack of interaction. I’m sorry that you felt so disconnected that you chose to have an affair.”

      I gave him that response a few times until he finally realized I was not accepting ANY blame for his cheating nor was I accepting any responsibility for HIM feeling like we drifted apart.

      I hope this helps. The way I see it – just another EXCUSE. The brain gets a high or some chemical reaction when you meet someone new who is interesting Blah Blah blah.

      But seriously the cheaters act like they are 11 and in middle school or junior high.

      Flirty flirty and all that crap.

      How they look at THEMSELF in the mirror after what they have done is beyond me.

      And watching the BS suffer and cry and try to be supportive – and they just turn a blind eye to our pain and suffering. That is the part I do not understand.

      • Too Weak December 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

        TFW
        I can’t believe you are have made it through TWO EA’s! Damn girl, you are a force to be reckoned with by now.
        Do you ever think that your husband is lying to you regarding both affairs and neither one getting sexual? IDK but that seems hard to believe. Did you or would you ever consider a polygraph?

        • TheFirstWife December 4, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

          TooWeak (which I don’t think that is true)

          1st EA was 4 years long. She was madly in love with him but he just lived the attention. He was her friend but she was hoping it would become more than that. I was never insecure or jealous but when items zed she crossed a boundary all hell broke loose and he would not give up the friendship. This lasted 18 months until finally I exploded and did not speak to him for 3 days. He then realized he had to end it.

          He never admitted to me he knew it was wrong but did tell his lady OW he knew it was wrong. Ugh!!!!

          The last A was 12 months in duration. The beginning of the A was very poor timing b/c he was angry with me over something I requested and he didn’t want to comply AND for this time I would not back down or compromise. One of the few times in 25 years of M. I stood my ground.

          How convenient he met the OW a few weeks later and hired her to work for him (remote locations). They became friendly via work and A began about two months later.

          They saw each other only 8-10 times in 12 months. Now to his credit he did come home and tell me about the A. DDay1. July 3rd. Will never forget it. Week later wants a D.

          This went on 6 more months until DDAY2 in December. I then was so fed up I told him it was no longer going to be his decision b/c I was going to D him.

          Told him get out.

          He begged for another chance. I said good luck but I won’t promise anything and if you want me to stay I demanded (and got) a post nup. I am financially protected in case of D.

          So now you understand (maybe) a bit of why I am looking at strike 3 and you are out. And it doesn’t have to be cheating. It can be anything I deem inappropriate. No questions asked.

          To my H’s credit he has tried very hard to make amends. He really has. He knows it was all his choice and wrong. He treated me well before the A and after the A. Just not so good during the A.

          Yes I have forgiven him. But I will never forget what he did. And I make sure every $ I spend iscwrll planned.

          Because I was the stupid person that did not have a plan B and had no $ in my own name. I relied on us being together forever because I was stupid.

          My H was leaving me with no $ to my name, teens, a house I could not afford alone, no financial security AND with no reason except the OW was his focus.

          We had no fights or issues. Until he chose to have an A.

          I don’t believe they did not have sex but the OW told me when we first spoke they did not. Do I believe it? Not sure but it’s not that important. He cheated. He was ready to dump me for someone else.

          I know exactly what I am dealing with.

          A coward. Someone who thought an A was going to resolve his problems (whatever they were ) and make him happy.

          Guess That idea didn’t really work did it?

    • TheFirstWife October 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

      And here is the funniest part.

      His friends woukd all tell him he wishes their wife was like me – easy going and supportive and not a complainer.

      He traveled extensively and I was home with all the responsibilities – he never heard a complaint from me. I always made his life so easy.

      Not anymore!! Learned my lesson the hard way.

  20. TryingHard October 17, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

    Yep right out of the play book, “drifting apart”. Well duh. Kinda hard not to when they are sending thousands of texts and emails and phone calls and constantly trying to cover up and thinking about the AP and lying and plotting and planning…. Yes, when there’s little to NO focus on one’s spouse, people do drift apart. And besides all marriage ebb and flow during it’s life cycle with regards to drifting apart. LOL she just found a catch phrase and thought “yeah that sounds good and it puts some of the onus on him for this mess I created”. You know what I call, bull$h1&!!!

    Like Puzzled said, justifications because they can’t stand the idea of being the bad guy.

  21. JTK October 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Ironically the day after day, we had a discussion about how good things were between us the whole year before dday. So which is it – we drifted apart or we were teally good? A bunch of crap is right.

    I think it’s over between us and she does not want to be the bad guy. She said this weekend that she cannot give me what I want and cannot gove any physical affection. I said, okay it’s more important to me to just be with you, so no physical contact, so be it. Then she said, well I probably cannot give any physical affection maybe ever. It was like well you did not take the bait and say you’ll leave.

    Again, I think it’s over, but I am just going to keep hanging in there. If she wants to end us, she will have to leave.

    I think eventually after her “attempt” at MC with me, she’ll just say she’s not happy or see, it os just not working between us.

  22. JTK October 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    the day after dday

  23. TryingHard October 17, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    JTK–I am so so sorry to hear this. It seems she hasn’t been very cooperative or forthright since DDay. You can’t do this by yourself and NO it is not acceptable to go the rest of your life with out physical or emotional companionship. Just NO.

    As I’ve said I think it’s almost worse when women cheat. It seems once women cross that line there’s no going back. I don’t care what the betrayed husband does. It’s like her head is definitely somewhere else. It’s not even a fog. But I personally know of many women who have made this choice and regretted it because the grass is not only not greener on the other side it is fraught with land mines!

    I’m sorry it’s come to this and I hope you are taking good care of you at this time. It’s going to be a rough go. Ugh I remember my son going through the same thing but his choices and actions have gotten him into a worse mess. A rebound relationship gone very bad! So be careful.

  24. JTK October 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    TH
    I think you are right about her head definitely being somewhere else, and my W is very strong-willed/stubborn. When she makes up her mind about something, there’s no changing it.

    I won’t have to worry about future relationships. I cannot be with anyone else. So, I am trying to prepare myself mentally to being alone.

  25. TryingHard October 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

    JTK–You say that now but after a while you may change your mind. LOL but I hear you. The last thing ANY of we BS want is another relationship after the shit show we’ve all been through!! OMG my husband kept insisting I find a “boyfriend” during the DDay aftermath. I wanted to throw a punch. Not too many men find women with swollen eyes, a bad attitude and throw up breath that attractive.

    I’m so so sorry and sending hugs your way

  26. JTK October 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for the hugs; those I’ll take and will need🙂

    • Puzzled October 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

      Just like TH, my wife kept telling me that I could find anyone in a heartbeat. It’s like she wanted me to agree with her so she could then justify her choices. The affair fog clouds everything from them including themselves. They turn into someone completely opposite of who they are and who they’ve been. And, sadly, they will never, ever understand the pain of their betrayal.

      • TheFirstWife October 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

        My H said the same thing!!!

        A lot if guys find you “hot”. And the worst was his suggestion that one of our longest and best friends would be at the front of the line.

        I doubt this guy is interested in me like that.

        Second I don’t think he would want to do that to his good friend and date an XW. No way. This guy has morals and class.

        Third – my H was just plain delusional to even say it.

        Still SMH years later!!!

      • Too Weak December 4, 2017 at 3:47 am #

        Puzzled

        You said “The affair fog clouds everything from them including themselves. They turn into someone completely opposite of who they are and who they’ve been. And, sadly, they will never, ever understand the pain of their betrayal.”

        1) YES! I don’t know who this woman is! Its certainly not the woman I married… Mean, hateful, spiteful, vengeful.

        Re-writing our marriage memories to suit her – YES!

        She told me “I should left you years ago! Funny, b/c she wrote a sweet and tender card to me Father’s Day telling me how great I am and ended it with “Truely blessed”. Go figure…

        She accused me of being manipulative, controlling, uncaring.

        When I approached her to get her to reconsider the separation she said “Dude, you are not hearing me”. Funny b/c she never said anything….

        I loved how TFW said her H complained about drifting apart. Had my W grabbed me by the ears and told me “I am miserable. I need X,Y,Z” then I wouldn’t be herel now. She w9ild show disc9ntent and when Id ask shed say “nothing”. She would let me take a nap and when I got up she was pissed off that I slept through dinner. I told her she could have simply woken me up but it seems she would rather have resentment hold her than me.

        I said what about us making love recently, (days prior), what about that? And she said our marriage has been dying for years. Cold hearted and pure evil. At the time I was devastated but now I understand the fog mentality.
        I just wonder and I’m sick to think that I was making love to her then she was making love to him in her mind! Ugh! I dont even onow if thsts the case b/c even though she is still seeing and screwing this turd she completely deies it as if Im some moron that doesn’t see and know her rendezvous pattern. This rips my heart out.
        Damn her!

        I was hoping to reconcile but she is still active and commited to the divorce in progress. You are scaring me that IF she were to come back she would be uncooperative…
        I pray for her to return to me but she is also so stubborn and prideful she may not ever come down and confess.

        • TheFirstWife December 4, 2017 at 7:15 am #

          TooWeak

          The A Fog is horrible to understand and a nightmare to live through. You cannot do anything right and you are being compared to the AP who doesn’t have to live with your kids and W and bills and in-laws etc.

          My H changed his mind at the last possible second on a D. He was adamant he was going through with his plan.

          I was not on this blog prior to DDAY2 so I made a ton of mistakes. BUT at DDAY2 I did a hard 180. On everything.

          When HE decided to want to make the M work my heart was so broken I didn’t know if we would survive. But yet we did b/c he finally realized what he had done. He thought we would be fine in 6 months and I would “be over it”.

          Nope – doesn’t work like that.

          My counselor saved my sanity and our M.

          But I have financially protected myself for the future with a post/nup in case things change. He cannot change Insurance beneficiaries b/c I am the account holder.

          I suggest you have a plan in place for you. She may turn around one day and decide she wants the M and you. You need to know what you will tolerate and accept.

          You need to have a plan for You- b/c at some point she may decide she wants to R but it may be too late.

          • Too Weak December 4, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

            TheFirstWife

            I have said to myself that there needs to be a real and sincere apology. I need to see that she is broken by this and that she really wants the marriage. I don’t see that now though. She’s hell-bent on the divorce. Her mom has since moved here from the Northwest to help her with the kids and we have never liked each other much. Her mom is a horrible boundary-crosser and meddler. Strangely, my wife has always hated how her mother handled things and how crazy and damaging her actions were, and yet she’s following the same footsteps. I told her that and that just pisses her off.

            So I guess she would have to be broken, contrite, supportive, tender, understanding, willing to work on it, willing to go to marriage counseling, willing to go to individual counseling because I think that’s where a lot of this stems from. She’s got to get out of this socialite circle she’s been in that pulls her into the world and away from God, and she’s got to acknowledge that she has a drinking problem and stop her damn drinking. She’s been downing as much as a bottle and a half of wine every night. When I mentioned that to family court services mediator he is such an ass that he said there’s no way for me to know if she’s drinking or how much . Maybe she’s not drinking now that she left you . Maybe she was drinking because of you. I honestly don’t know how people get these jobs. He’s the director to boot and said stuff to me that was so unprofessional and shocking that when I got back to my car I started crying so hard. This was one of my lowest moments and I am glad that I took my guns to a buddies house.
            I am honestly Disturbed when I consider all the horrible things she has done to me why in the hell I still want to reconcile with her. Do I think so little of myself that I have to settle for her? Do I not think I can find a better partner? Is it just because I’m afraid?

            She was fun to be around. I love that she was always rather upbeat and eager to do things and that everybody loved her. I would have bet everything I had that she would not only have never cheated but that she would never have treated me this way. Seeing what she is capable of scares the s*** out of me because I see what she’s capable of now. Now that she has gotten the rush and has been exposed to the addictive qualities of an affair I wonder if another affair is more likely in the future. I suppose there’s no guarantee of anything but I think the best way to insulate against that is a lot of therapy and communication and I need to be a lot more present and attentive.

            I really want an opportunity to see if this marriage can be saved. I really want this marriage to become a Beacon of Hope and a testimony to God’s mercy Grace and Power. While I’m sure God wouldn’t argue with that it really all hinges on whether she breaks from the fog and his willing to reunite. She has so much support and is convinced so many people how awful I am that I can’t imagine her going back on that, but stranger things have happened I suppose.

            I feel like I’m in limbo waiting for her to change your mind waiting for God to break her. I have a hard time releasing the whole thing and focusing on what I know I need to do for myself for my business for my kids and to prepare for this damn divorce and all it’s requirements and deadlines. I find myself I’m getting sucked in to endless perseverating on this in a myriad of other issues which ends up just stealing my time I’m making me farther behind then I am now. I’m even doing it as I speak as I should be doing other things but I feel this compulsion, almost an obligation to continue to think on these things as if there’s going to be some sort of answer at the end of it all. But there never is. I just end up feeling worse and more hopeless. The hardest thing for me to do is to turn my attentions from it as they seductively call me to continue my perseverations – but I’m finding that if I give in to wanting to think it all over and over and over I end up just tired with no real answers at the end of it and a lot of wasted time. Sometimes I think faith is more of a action than a decision in that I just shut off my thinking I just start doing, and in so doing, I’m leaving it in God’s hands in a roundabout way. What else can I do?

  27. TryingHard October 19, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Pepper—. So you pkayed Words and started chatting with some stranger? Or did you know the guy? I’ve been friend requested by random men on Instagram and weird comments by people in Words. Lol curiously I was repulsed. Quit the game and blocked them. Same with Instagram. So no I don’t get how one becomes so involved in a fantasy relationship or even starts down that slippery slope to the point of thinking they are in love and risk their primary relationship.

    You know there’s Lots of predatory people out there. We teach our children to be aware of strangers. It seems some adults need to be re-taught that lesson. You’re lucky something terrible didn’t happen to you or your family. Not smart letting complete strangers into your life. Even if it is cyber but maybe especially if it’s cyber.

    Good luck to you and your h. Hope you’ve learned your lesson.

    • TheFirstWife October 19, 2017 at 10:53 am #

      Trying.

      You posted this in the wrong thread but I would like to say that it took a lot if guts and courage for Pepper to post.

      I for one – was glad to see how easily an A can begin after getting “I don’t know” ftom my H.

      We should understand that we can learn from each other. That is why this site is so important and valued by so many.

      Free advice. Sharing of experiences. A community of support snd understanding.

      I think some of your comments could be misconstrued as judgemental and hurtful. Such as “hope you learned your lesson”. If that is not the intent to be that way – then I am merely pointing out that it could be taken in that context.

      If it was meant to be judgemental – I think you should understand the spirit in which She posted. She was remorseful. She admitted it was wrong. I get that so many of us hete despise the OW because of what we had to endure.

      But on the interest and fairness of newcomers here – we need to cut them some slack. They may not know this forum and need some time to adjust to their situation.

      people come here in emotional pain and shock, filled with despair. We should want to help. Even if it is with someone who was the CS. Because if we can help reform and change just one person from being the CS, isn’t that a start? It’s better than nothing.

      people need our help and this blog should provide support and compassion and good advice whenever possible.

      Just remember many of us have reconciled with our CS. Forgiveness and tolerance and patience and understanding. Because if the BS did not have that there would be more divorced people in the world.

      Please take this in the spirit it is intended. your words can be misconstrued and sometimes we don’t view the written word the same way others do/can. If that is what happened then maybe you should re-read your posts before submitting the comment.

  28. TryingHard October 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    TFW— thanks for your POV. I will take it into consideration. Meanwhile I have no idea how my words are construed or not construed or even read.

    Until I am censored by the owners of this blog I will continue to post as I see fit. You are free to do the same as often I’ve felt lacking in some of your comments but certainly haven’t felt the need to point them out to you. You have a right to your opinion and how you want to state them. So do I.

  29. TicToc October 31, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

    It has been 15 months since my d day and I feel as if I have been stuck with my healing process for the past few months. What is so amazing about this awful thing that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is that I had no choice or say in this affair that my wife had and now she is suppose to be the main person to help heal me? Doesn’t that sound f up?

    She really doesn’t like talking about the EA, she doesn’t acknowledge triggers, she doesn’t seem overly remorseful, but she has been very engaged and present in our marriage. During our first round of counseling is when she had the EA and then early after d day we sought counseling again and talked a lot about why and what happened that made her do this to me and our family.

    My concern is that I feel I am falling out of love and do not feel as if I will ever be able to forgive her for what she did. I have been very crystal clear telling her what I need and she doesn’t seem to understand or follow through. I have repeatedly asked for her to share the whole dirty truth which has never happened and realize at this point I am not sure it even matter any more. All of this certainly doesn’t help my feeling toward her. I am very cautious and protective of my feelings and know that I am not giving 110% of myself to this marriage for fear of being hurt again.

    I have read about affairs until I am blue in the face and do not know what else I should try or whether I should just give up on the process and move on.

    Does anyone have any suggestions.?? I am stuck and want to move to a better place in my life.

    • TheFirstWife November 1, 2017 at 7:35 am #

      TicToc. I am sorry for you. Your moniker say much – like you are awaiting SOMETHING. Hopefully you will get it.

      Please know that I did not get all the answers regarding my H’s EAs. Yes he had two – and one was well before the term EA was coined. He would not admit the “friendship” was inappropriate or crossed boundaries. It lasted four years.

      The only reason I found out he knew the 1st EA was wrong was b/c he admitted it to the second OW and she in turn told me.

      I have never gotten the entire truth about his last EA. The one that almost led to our D. I would say I know enough details and from the emails the OW sent me I know what I need to know.

      And yes we have reconciled and have a good happy Marriage.

      My H made many changes after his last EA. Why now? Because I told him to get out and he doesn’t need to worry about asking for a divorce (which he did during his last EA over a 6 month period) b/c I had enough and I was going to D him!! Yes I said that to him b/c I was tired of being a yo-yo in this marriage.

      I tried to be kind and patient and loving and supportive during his mid life crisis affair. Known as the “pick me” dance. I was seen as weak and pathetic (though I did stand up to him on many occasions).

      It didn’t work. Not until I asked him to leave and get out. For good. Then he knew he was out of options and he has worked hard for the last 4 years to make changes and amends.

      He made classic cheater mistakes and continued to lie b/c he feared telling the truth would make me madder and throw him out. He could not trust me enough to know no matter what he said I would accept it and deal with it.

      And for the record many cheaters believe if there is no sex then there is no cheating.

      Your wife may be fearful to tell you the truth b/c she may not want yo discuss for fear you will leave her. But by not discussing it you may still leave her. Sorry she didn’t get that.

      Also she needs to understand she has the ability to make amends and get back to a happy marriage. Unless she is in the affair fog and is emotionally disconnected from you b/c of her wanting the relationship with the Other Man.

      I hope she can understand your need for details and why. 15 months is enough time for her to see that if you are committed to her and the M then she should be too.

      Has she read any books or articles on this topic? Does she want to?

      No one ever gets 💯 % truth unless you hire a private investigator OR read the texts and emails. And yes it is sad to know your spouse turned to someone else and gave them everything you wanted such as time and devotion and communication etc.

      But it can be turned around if both parties are “all in” and committed.

      I had a wonderful therapist who saved my sanity and helped me during and after the A. When I was ready to give up he would show me how things were changing and look at the positives – which were hard to see at times.

      I hope this helps you with understanding your W and possible her hesitancy on coming clean. But then again she may just be selfish and not care much about the M.

      Either way you will need to decide how much you can take if the status quo.

      I hope it works out for you.

      • TicToc November 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

        FirstWife

        Thank you. Much appreciated.

        Robert

    • Shifting Impressions November 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

      Tic Toc
      I totally get where you are coming from. Most of us here have dealt with or should I say “are dealing with” spouses that don’t like to talk about it and are less than forthcoming.

      Although fifteen months seems like a long time in dealing with things it really isn’t. I went through many of those same feelings about that long after d-day. I would ask myself if I could ever see him the way I used to. Would I ever be able to forgive??

      I put up protective walls around my heart as well. But in all honesty I don’t buy that my husband is the main person to help me heal. That would put my personal healing in someone else’s hands. A lot of the battle I had to fight and am still fighting to some degree almost four years later is up to me,

      When I took a step back and took the pressure off my husband things eased up quite a bit, One book that really helped me with this is the book IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred Reilly. It made me realize…..I can be “crystal clear” as you put it in saying what I want, but in the end I cannot control anybody. My power lies in my own response.

      Of course, I had a bottom line…..He had to end the EA and no contact etc. (which he did). But I couldn’t make him open up etc. So when I took my focus off of him and put it on myself and my own responses things changed for the better.

      Give yourself time…..take care of you. This is a long process but slowly slowly the love can return. And slowly the walls can come down, I wish you all the best.

      • TryingHard November 1, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

        SI–You read the best books. I’m almost finished with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@#$. So good. Going to get this one next.

        • Shifting Impressions November 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

          Trying Hard…..it’s probably because I need all the self-help I can get, Lol!!!

      • TicToc November 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm #

        Shifting Impressions

        Thanks. I completely agree that I ultimately own my healing but she plays such a crucial role in it as well.

        Much appreciated

  30. TryingHard November 1, 2017 at 7:48 am #

    Tic Toc—. I’m sure you’ve read this suggestion here before but have you thought about getting individual counseling? The one issue I see is that your idea of knowing everything is not the same as her idea of you knowing everything. A therapist will help you get to that. Like what specifically do you want her to do or say to explain it?

    She may be keeping more hidden I.e. it may have been a PA as well and maybe doesn’t want to or can’t admit it. Also a good therapist will help you dig down into your reasons for wanting to stay with someone who did this to you.

    It’s normal to feel hurt and get that falling out of love feeling. We feel pushed away and vulnerable. It’s nit a good feeling. But you can’t go in like that forever. She can’t go in as if nothing happened. It’s not reality. There’s a 500 lb gorilla in the room and he ain’t going away just because everyone wishes he will.

  31. TicToc November 1, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    TryingHard

    Thank you for your suggestions. It is greatly appreciated!

  32. The Very Honest Truth November 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    Well with most women sleeping around with different men all the time which doesn’t surprise me at all. And it is these type of women that are just real losers to begin with.

  33. Fatherof4 December 1, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Thank you everyone on this blog for being so open. It helps knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing that I am. I just passed 1 yr since my Dday when I learned my wife of 20 years had an EA. We had 6 months of dark days and 6 of relative peace since then. I live with it everyday and it hurts everyday. Hopefully, with the passage of time and her recommittment to our marriage, I’ll have some days in the future when I do not think about it. Maybe some day I’ll trust her again but 1 year out that hasn’t happened yet.

    • TheFirstWife December 1, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

      Fatherof4

      I’m sorry you are still struggling but please know it is normal. I just passed the 4 year mark and the 1st two years were rough.

      Like your W my H recommitted to the M and me (despite asking for a D 3-4 times). He has tried to make amends every day. And I see and recognize it.

      The anger and resentment will subside.

      I just keep stating focused in the present. Not the past. If we are good now then I am happy and I have to move on from the past. Not easy. We all know how hasty it is to be the betrayed spouse.

      Good luck to you. What are you doing for yourself?

  34. Too Weak December 5, 2017 at 1:23 am #

    Sarah,
    You list several reasons why women cheat abd say that most holave nothing to do with their Husband –
    There are 13 reasons listed and I could ID at least 6 that have everything to do with the husband…
    Can you elaborate?

Leave a Reply

Login

Web Analytics

Clicky