Why Don’t Cheaters Leave Their Spouses for the Affair Partner?

Why Don’t Cheaters Leave Their Spouses?

 

The stats are overwhelmingly high that married men and women who have affairs typically don’t leave their spouse for the affair partner. So why don’t cheaters leave their spouses?

Most betrayed spouses want to believe that their unfaithful partner stayed because they realized that they had made a terrible mistake and remained in the marriage out of love.  Sadly, this isn’t usually the case it seems.

Over the course of the last seven years we’ve heard (and read) a variety of reasons for this from readers, mentoring clients, articles and other blogs.  This post will include a summary of many of these reasons – in no particular order.  (We’ll use ‘WS’ throughout the post to refer to the Wayward Spouse)

Why Don’t Cheaters Leave Their Spouses?

The WS Emerges from the Fog. At some point – especially if the affair has lasted a while – the WS often gets to a point where the ‘feel-good’ chemicals start to wear off and the luster and excitement of the affair starts to fade.  They realize they were not thinking rationally and based their poor behavior and actions on a fantasy.  They eventually realize that the affair partner isn’t their ‘soul mate’ or that he/she was this magical being that took care of all of their needs.  In fact, the affair partner often starts to show their true self at some point – which often ain’t too pretty – and it’s a wake-up call for the WS.

The WS is Feeling the Pressure.  This is normally a situation with male WS.  The affair partner eventually starts to put pressure on the WS to commit to her – even if there was an understanding that the WS was never going to leave his wife and family.  However, the affair partner soon gets emotionally attached and wants him to spend more time with her and/or even asks him to leave his wife.  The resulting stress can get to too much to handle for some WS, so they end the affair (or not).

The WS’s Affair Partner Decides to Stay in Their Marriage. Yes, this is basically the result of the reason stated above, and from our experiences is usually a motivating factor for the female cheater.  Here the male affair partner decides to stay with his wife and the female WS decides to go back to the marriage – though usually quite reluctantly.

Fear of the Unknown. Here we will lump together things such as familial, social, financial, life-style, and even professional complications, that could arise when a WS abandons their spouse and family.

Linda’s brother comes to mind here.  He ignored the fact that his family was devastated and could suffer long-lasting scars from a divorce.  Yet for many WS this is the main reason they don’t leave their marriage for the affair partner.

We’ve also mentored folks who if their affair with a co-worker was ever discovered, they would lose their jobs.  So rather than risk it, they end it.

Divorce is very costly in a variety of ways.  In fact, it is one of the major causes of bankruptcies in the United States.  Many WS (again, mostly men it seems) don’t want to lose their ass financially. With possible child support, alimony, the splitting of assets and pensions, etc., it can be a major reason for some.

Dave Carder on Why Men Stay After an Affair

Cake Eating. Often a WS has no motivation to leave their marriage since they can carry on an affair at the same time and get all that ego stroking, frequent sex, admiration, validation, etc., from both the affair partner and their spouse.  This is especially true if they haven’t been caught yet, but is still a major problem even if they were busted.  A WS can get what they want from their affair partner and still come home at night to the comfort of their loving spouse and family.  There probably was never any intention of leaving the marriage and the affair serves as the ‘frosting’ to the marital ‘cake.’  They compartmentalize their relationships and happily go on.

The Jig is Up.  Here it is in a nutshell:  WS in affair.  WS gets caught.  WS ends affair (It was fun while it lasted).  WS wants to move on. Get over it.

Guilt, Shame and Pain.  For some, the mental torment of seeing their betrayed spouse in immense pain and anguish is enough for them to decide to stay.  Usually a WS doesn’t enter an affair with the intent of hurting his/her spouse.  But when that D-day occurs and the WS witnesses the agony and suffering of his/her spouse, it can shock them back to reality and an understanding of the gravity of their actions.

For the Kids.  We can’t tell you how many times a WS has said that they and their spouse agreed not to get a divorce for the sake of their children and their emotional wellbeing.  Instead, they decide to live together (often continuing the affair) with the intentions of sparing their kids the pain of them splitting up, while maintaining a charade of being a traditional family.

The WS Was Caught Off-Guard.  Many times, the WS gets involved in an affair and is unpredictably steamrolled by the emotions and the infatuation-related chemicals.  They are in over their head and don’t have a clue what to do.  So they do nothing.  They stay in the marriage and they stay in the affair.  Biding their time until they feel they have to make up their mind.  The WS may even have been caught (though they didn’t think they would) and they don’t know what to do, where to go, or how to do it.  They have no plan or strategy.  So they wait.

They Still Love Their Spouse.  The WS comes to a point where they realize that the one person for them was right in front of them all along.  They understand that they were chasing a fantasy and that the problems they were running from, or rationalizations that they created in their mind, were derived from their own issues – not their spouse. Often the WS claims that they never stopped loving their husband or wife.  (Though many betrayed spouses find this impossible to comprehend.)  And that this was always the case. They hate themselves for what they did and now they want to fix things.

We thought this was a great comment that a reader left a few years back:

I could not and would not stay with my wife if she couldn’t love me on my terms–the terms under which we entered our marriage. Her EA made me seriously question what I mean to her and “how” she loved/loves me.

I told her that I don’t want to be the secure and comfortable choice. I don’t want to be the easy option. I don’t even want to be the guy she has a “mature” love for. I want it all. I want the romantic love, the friendship, the companionship, and the feeling that no one could be as special to her as I am and vice versa. Is that unrealistic? Maybe. Is it unfair to her? I don’t think so. I deserve to have someone in my life for the RIGHT reasons; that is, the reasons that are right for ME. Life is too short to just settle into what you know if it isn’t what you really want.”

Finally, in the comment section below, we’d love to hear the reasons why your partner said he/she stayed in the marriage.  Likewise, if you’re the unfaithful person, please chime in here as to why you decided to stay.

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!

, ,

79 Responses to Why Don’t Cheaters Leave Their Spouses for the Affair Partner?

  1. Exercisegrace December 5, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    Most people don’t cheat because their marriages are terrible and they want out. They cheat because of issues inside themselves. They cheat because they are selfish, weak, and have crappy coping skills.

    In the 2-3 years leading up to his affair, we went through a storm. My mother died and then his father died. We built a house, moved, added two babies (for a total of four kids) to our family, the economy tanked and our business nearly did which brought near financial disaster to us. We were perpetually exhausted and worn thin. My husband checked out and left all the work of raising the kids and running the home to me, because he was “too stressed”. His ho-worker would admit later that she saw an opportunity and pursued it “aggressively”. He was weak, and enjoyed the ego boost it gave him. It was also a distraction from our problems.

    Many of the faults that cheaters find in their spouse comes AFTER the affair starts. My husband said he had to find a way to blame ME for the affair because he couldn’t believe he had sunk that low. If you asked him why he stayed, he would tell you it was because he loves me and he loves the relationship and family we have built over our 30 years of marriage. She was nothing more than an unhealthy choice to self-medicate his all too real depression. The affair was a temporary escape from dealing with his issues. He has told me many times over the years how horrified he is that he almost threw away everything that matters to him over someone who really meant nothing.

    • JD December 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      Simply…thank you. What you wrote helps.

  2. TheFirstWife December 5, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    After reading this post it doesn’t make you feel good that your spouse chose to stay married.

    Fear of the unknown, AP has ended the A, financial stress etc.

    I thought my H stayed b/c he loved me. Maybe I was mistaken after reading this.

    • Doug December 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      Did you not read the last entry, TFW? 😉

    • Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 5:55 am #

      I have posted more below TheFirstWife but I do believe that what Exercisegrace said is true, they have affairs because of something severely broken in themselves and that they can love you deeply but still hate themselves so much or want to escape their lives that they can only focus on their selfish feelings and self-preservation. This is definitely the experience I have had with my husband (see more below). Despite wanting to be here with me (I do believe that), despite trying to repair, despite hating himself for what he has done, he still recently slipped back into lies and inappropriate friendships. I have given an example below of my brother in law who became so dissociated from his actions that he abandoned my sister in law the weekend her mother had a devastating stroke, (and he was fond of my sister in laws mother), he moved across the world to Australia leaving his two boys and continues to be cruel and defensive. I think it all depends on how far they are able to escape their own dark psychology to turn outward to others and have integrity and value again. They shoot themselves in the foot, otherwise, because they want real love and connection but are standing in their own way. Sometimes they get out of their own way but sometimes they are too far gone.

  3. Trying Hard December 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Doug

    This is the best post. Full of good information. I kinda had a feeling this is the case.

    We can pretend to live in some fantasy world much like the fog the cheaters live in or we can face the realities and the truths. I’ll take the real world any day. It doesn’t make me feel bad at all. Look that butterfly feeling we had at the beginning of our dating relationship is longggg gone. Not that I don’t look forward to seeing him or being with him but that whole initial romantic stuff. Um no, hardly after 40 years!!!

    I know as far as my h is concerned this post fits him to a tee! I almost feel like printing it off and showing it to him. I’ve never done that the whole time I’ve been part of this forum 🙁 But he has even expressed his confusion over not getting rid of her sooner, hiring her, and even starting the affair because he was not and has never been unhappy in our relationship. This article summarizes a lot of questions no matter if it’s the cheater or the BS.

    Thanks Doug

    • Doug December 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      Glad you found it helpful TH. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Sarah P. December 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    I would love to chime in…

    A few months ago, I was mentioning a doctor and nurse at my H’s work. Many people witnessed the backstory. Doctor was happily married to all appearances, an elder in his church, and a devoted family man. Nurse was looking to upgrade and noticed that doctor was a great target– wealthy and naive. Doctor has married his wife young and she was all he knew. Nurse apparently had been through several marriages and was onto her next target.

    Nurse went after this guy the way a shark goes after an unsuspecting halibut and successfully broke up doctor’s marriage. They got married in August and a wedding that was supposed to be ‘small’ turned into an ornate 300 plate affair. Also, prior to marriage nurse said she wanted to work. The second they got married she quit her job. And that was that. Here we are in October and the doctor is starting to drop little crumbs of dissatisfaction (about the nurse) into his conversations with the other male doctors. Recently, he told my h: “Yeah, since my first wife and I got married so early, I never got a chance to play the field. I never really got ‘experience’ and here I am married again…and I wonder what it’s like to get experience.”

    If you read between the lines, he is saying something more to the effect of: “How could I be so stupid to get duped into marriage with this woman when there are so many other and possibly better options out there. Why didn’t I play the field before I got remarried…” And once he starts thinking that way, there is a pretty good chance that another ‘nurse’ who is younger than the nurse that he married comes along. The nurse he married is actually pretty close to his age (late 40’s.)
    They have recently hired some residents fresh from medical school and he is responsible for training them and there is one in particular female resident who is single who he is training and I personally think she is attractive. (Plus, she is a Christian whereas the nurse he married is an atheist and made him give up Christianity.)

    I believe what happened in this case was he married the nurse before the fog wore off. He rushed his divorce and started living with nurse when he was separated. He also bought a house with the nurse well before his divorce went through. Now I think the affair fog is wearing off and ‘sleeping beauty’ (the naive doctor) is waking up.

    Doug, I would like to hear updates about how it goes with your BIL from time to time. That is, when the cracks in the happy veneer start to show.

  5. Sarah P. December 5, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    PS-
    This post is not all bad news. Also, let’s put this into another context. Of the married men who actually leave their wives and marry the other woman, almost none of those marriages actually survive over the longterm.

    I do believe that love can re-grow even in the most barren marriage where both partners have given up hope. And I believe a new, sincere, and deeply connected marriage can grow in what used to be parched ground.

    The thing I have learned most is that us betrayed spouses cannot take our wayward spouse’s affair personally. It truly is about the wayward spouse and their issues and the other person could be anyone.

    If I ever posted pictures of my ex (and the other woman who he married) everyone would have a laugh at his expense. We still have mutual friends and he has a horrible marriage where she wears the pants and where 1/2 of their income goes to support her family members while his elderly parents get ignored. People who know her have said they honestly believe she is a psychopath. Just goes to show what my ex did had nothing to do with me. It was about him and his issues and the person he got stuck with is apparently pretty horrible.

  6. TheFirstWife December 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    I know logically I am not to blame for my H’s Affairs.

    And I know I have posted how he has tried to make amends. Every day.

    But I find it hard every so often not to take it personally. After all the mean things he said and tried to blame me. The things he wrote in the emails to the OW.

    I just cannot undo that aspect.

    • Rachel December 6, 2017 at 5:44 am #

      The first wife,
      I understand your pain. But I do take it personally. My ex said some absolutely horrible things about me and the reason he cheated. Why they can’t just keep their mouths shut is a mystery to me. I unfortunately can hear his comments daily running through my head. I shake my head and wonder if I was so bad and you claim you were so miserable why didn’t you leave years ago???
      He even blamed my parents and my brother for his affair. My parents were getting old (just like his) and they didn’t have a lot of friends. So you’re leaving me because of that??? Their friends we dying!!! Always a lame excuse. And my parents were so good to him. Just still makes me angry.
      Hope you all are well.

      • Tired February 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

        Hi Rachel. You are dating now aren’t you? I think you should go for it. Of all the ridiculous excuses for cheating this one takes the cake: “your parents are old and don’t have friends.” How is that even relevant? Is he actually sane? That makes absolutely no sense at all. Your husband sounds like a dick. I’m glad you’re divorcing him.

        • Rachel February 7, 2018 at 7:09 pm #

          Hi tired.
          Yes, I am dating and have been divorced for 4 years. My ex was a piece of work and wasted many many years of my time..
          He really hated me and I’m the one who should have hated him for his inhumane treatment. God bless the next one who gets stuck with him!

          • TheFirstWife February 7, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

            I think it should be God help the next one who gets stuck with your XH.

            The best was the things he said about OW in front of your kids and then denied it. Says who and what he is right there.

            Hope you are happy 😊

            • Rachel February 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm #

              The first wife,
              lol yes very true!!! i shake my head when I think of the things that he has said. I am happy, thank you! Life is peaceful, with no more drama!😁

    • Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 6:01 am #

      Yes, I still find that aspect horrific. Even though I know that those cruel words were his way of doing everything possible in his own mind to justify what he knew, underneath, was a despicable action. It was the only way he could try to live with himself. But he ended up with many physical symptoms, sick to the stomach, not able to speak properly (stuttering), ED. His body was telling him what he was doing was terribly wrong even as he tried to justify it to himself. I think we might just have to think of the cruel words as symptoms of a horrifying dis-ease of the mind.

    • Dwilli December 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

      I feel the same way! Just read emails to one of the Other Women and I am disgusted. It’s very hard not to take it personal. Called her the same pet names he called me. Obsessed with her butt, body, etc. she’s 7 years older than him and I am 2 years older than him. I’m very attractive and she’s not attractive to most people but he still told her how beautiful she is.

      Baffled! Can’t get over it. Can’t move on with him!

      • Tony December 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

        hurts like hell. if you stay together, it will always be in the back of your head. you get thru affairs, not over them…

  7. Untold December 5, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

    Hello EG. Good to see a familiar name still checking in, especially with your insight and wisdom. I go back over 5 years also, about the same as you, when I suspected my wife was cheating. Three years ago the last trickle was discovered – it was a full PA . Even though it had ended a year before, recovery has been painful and agonizing, and slow.

    Of you and TFW I am envious, that your spouses seem to be able to show deep remorse. When it counts, I still don’t get that. Often when a disagreement escalates, she will bring up the past and say I’m punishing her for life. It’s her cop out to NOT own her own shit. Still rewriting history, blameshifting, when it’s long over. in the last six months I’ve heard “I’ve never really wronged you”, “I would never cheat again because I couldn’t stand to put myself through your torture again”, “that note was never meant for you to see”, and “you just need to start trusting me, or leave”. So outrageous at times it’s funny. I don’t know it has been worth the bullshit I’ve endured to keep my family together.

    On the topic, I think the article is right on. I especially know now that every other reason for staying came before her love for me. The jig was definitely up. Wife had a huge fear of unknown. She talked big but inside is hugely insecure. I have been the rock. And she would try to have her cake and eat it too! She had no plan. There was no logic employed, no control, only impulse and entitlement. Though the boys were grown, the last one was still finishing college and she knew she would lose all respect from them if she bailed. There was not much love for me. How could there be with such betrayal and deceit.

    But we recognize whatever reason they stay, it gives a chance for love and connection to be restored. It needs to be rebuilt, in both directions, as well as trust. That rebuilding is what gives it strength to endure, and to prevent relapse.

    In my case though I am terribly discouraged that, even now 3-5 years later, there is still such denial by my wife. I don’t know she’ll ever really accept what she did, and how hostile and contemptuous she was while doing it. I do not see or feel much empathy from her at all, nor the respect and gratitude I feel I deserve for keeping it together. I plod forward on a thread of faith and glimmer of hope.

    • Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 6:22 am #

      Hello Untold, I can really sympathise here. I am nearly four years out from original D-day. Although my husband wants to stay, says how sorry he is and so on, he has been incredibly defensive at many times in this ‘healing process’. He has told me I’m holding onto things, has been cruel and turned things against me when I was experiencing triggers (this is not all the time, he has also listened, answered questions and so on). However even up to this day, his automatic defensiveness kicks in and I discovered that he was having more inappropriate friendships and lunch dates THIS SUMMER. To summarize the deep seating self-esteem and self-hatred problems he had have not been addresssed or solved. In periods of stress he runs back to acting out and thoughtless, self-medicating actions and lies. It is only now, 4 years on, once I discovered the new friendships that we went to counselling and he is so shocked by himself that he is eager (but also frightened) to see what the counselling can uncover and suggest. I may be wrong but I see their defensiveness (including your wife’s as a way of preserving their ego and esteem and until that is addressed I don’t think things can fundementally change or their is always a risk of more bad behaviour. Have a look at Steven Stosny’s compassionpower site. There is a book called Love Hurts – about turning resentment around. He works on developing people’s core values so that they can turn to that when they feel threated, they can get their value from what they appreciate, love, protect and connect to rather than having to take other people down or act out. I’ve also found it a good way of renewing my own self-esteem (Living and Loving After Betrayal) after the pain of the affair. In both books (they have similar material) there are also sections on self-forgiveness which can be good for both people. I’m not sure whether my husband can face into and change these patters, it’s taken this new shake up for him to finally look closely at himself. I had to draw a strong line (he’s on couch and I’d made it clear that a separation might happen if the issues weren’t addressed post these new revelations). I don’t know if it’s possible for you to bring these issues to the fore but I feel that while some progress was made these last few years, the fundamentals had not really changed. I just couldn’t live in this half-life of lies and defensiveness any more. It is difficult though so I wish you good thoughts.

    • Exercisegrace December 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      Untold, the old timers have to stick together! I think it’s helpful for the newer members to see the journey (good, bad and ugly!). I’m sorry you are not getting the remorse you need and deserve. I’m not sure how I would feel about that. If they continue to minimize what they have done, where is any sense of security that they have learned anything?

  8. Shifting Impressions December 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Well…this post has me thinking. Why do any of us stay? Similar to the reader’s comment…I told my husband he should only stay because that is what he really wants. That I am the one he wants to be with.

    I’m not sure that most WS’s are all that honest with their BS’s as to why they stay. Like most BS’s when I ask that question I am hoping that he will profess his undying love and how he can’t live without me. Somehow the conversation never seems to go quite that way Lol!!! This whole recovery process is just that….a long difficult process.

    Mixed in with why did he stay is the question…why did I stay??

    For one thing many years ago, two naive twenty year olds….promised that they would stay. Promised they would stay through thick and thin. Forty-four years later….we are still here. Some years were Diamonds and some were stone….as the song goes.

    Over those years we built a life and had a family….a strong beautiful family. One does not so easily walk away. I believe my husband came to himself when he saw the pain he caused me and how close he came to throwing away the life we built together. For that same reason I knew I couldn’t walk away, without giving it my all.

    The recent email Doug and Linda sent out said experts say it takes about two years to fully recover from infidelity. I would say it takes at least four if not longer. I am not even sure I know what “full recovery” looks like. All I know is we stayed and are slowly moving forward.

    • Hopeful December 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm #

      I agree I think it is important to ask why do any of us stay. I decided early on i can only stay for my reasons. And honestly at first it was my kids. Second was a quality of life/financial. In the beginning i did not see my husband having much to offer after what he had done.

      He has told me he thought about leaving me so i would never find out. He also thought what he did would end us and our family. So that is why he hid it for so long. He still struggles with the pain and guilt today. In a way i think some recognition of that is good. He stayed initially since he wanted to try and I think he felt obligated. Rather quickly he saw how much better he felt about himself and how happy he could be. He was really unsure if he could be the man I expected. He has told me he gave himself 6 months of putting in full time effort. He said it was easy and never a drag from the start since he felt the benefits right away. I think getting questions from his friends is still the hardest. They notice he has changed and they have not.

      Over time things have changed and I continue to see more value in staying and working on our marriage. And at this point his affairs etc will always be part of it. But not the focus. I think through all of this our communication has grown and is the most critical reason for our success. And as far as a time frame to work through an affair I think it varies for everyone. We are approaching 3 years. And it is not our focal but neither of us will ever get over it. I am not sure if I want us to be. A good level of vigilance I think is healthy. Nothing like a burden but just that little bit in the background.

      • Shifting Impressions December 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

        Hopeful
        I don’t think either of us will ever get over it completely either. It is part of our history now….nothing can change that. The fact that we are still making headway four years later tells me we were stronger than we thought.

        Every now and then a wave of sorrow does still hit me…..but much less often and the sorrow is not near as ferocious as it once was.

        I noticed a huge change in our recovery after three years….during the fourth year there was more peace, acceptance and hope.

  9. Trying Hard December 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    SI– Boy do I love your comment. Totally agree. I can answer why he stayed and mine DOES profess his undying love for me and gratitude. He tries very hard at romance, lol it’s pretty funny after all these years, he’s kind and loving and generous and totally spoils me but don’t.you.just.know?? i wonder what he’s “really” thinking.

    Yep, instead of parsing and reliving what he said or didn’t say I question my own motivations for staying. I guess partly because of all of the above and all the efforts I see him making. I cannot be bothered with whether or not he loves me more or less than he “loved” her. because I’m not sure what his own personal meaning is of love. So all the blah, blah, blah I love you’s is pretty moot!

    I also can’t even pretend to be silly enough to want to have that initial tummy tingling of first love that we had way way back in the day. Chasing that is just another version of betrayed spouse fog. Yes I believe BS also experience a certain fog. Long term relationships are different and carry lots of baggage that was mentioned in the article that Doug wrote, that by the way I think is probably one of the best articles posted lately. He is spot on in his assessment. And there are certainly ways of rekindling part of that spark. If old dogs like me can learn new tricks, so can you 🙂

    So yes maybe he stayed because of the problems divorcing me would have cost him financially, emotionally etc but it’s all one. I also know he’s with me because he needs me and loves me. It’s a package deal and I am part of that package. Pretty sure if I was really so awful he wouldn’t have cared what it cost him to get rid of me and vice versa!

  10. Shifting Impressions December 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    TH
    Aren’t you special….I mean getting professions of undying love etc. Lol….just kidding!!!

    My husband treats me really lovingly as well but those conversations are just painful. I think the lifting of the affair fog, is such a process. When they wake up they are almost as shocked as we were on d-day (almost but not quite) During the affair and after d-day he had his head completely “up his ass” to quote Doug. As that fog slowly slowly lifts the recovery process starts.

    And yes our pain and grief over everything is intertwined in that process.

    Early on I told him not to do me any favors by staying if he didn’t want to be with me. I told him it would kill me but I would survive. I will never forget the look of pain on his face when he answered that he wasn’t sure if he would survive leaving.

    It took me a long time to decide whether I would stay or not. At the beginning the thing that kept me going was that I didn’t have to have the answer to whether I would stay or not ….that in time I would know.

    Today, four years later I’m glad I stayed.

    • Hopeful December 7, 2017 at 1:03 am #

      That sounds so familiar. I found it hard to understand how he could make all these decisions and have all these behaviors for so long and not be happy. It took a while but really what made me the most sad was that he did this to himself. My husband has told me many times I would be fine and actually do well. He said he is the one that drags me down. I was always really independent but in a way looking back he was right especially since he was not as invested for so long. Now it is his number one priority to be the best husband and father every day. He says he thinks about that before every decisions or action. What is most revealing is he says he can look himself in the mirror and also lay his head on the pillow and he is starting to feel good about himself. I hate what he did but I am so glad to witness these changes. It has taken a while to get here but again seeing that and observing his transformation is great. And in the end I know i cannot stop him from anything. And SI as you said now i realize I am stronger than i ever knew.

  11. TryingHard December 6, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    LOL SI 😂 I’m special alright!!

  12. Stuckinlimbo December 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    Hello, I’ve been following this website for the past 4 months and reading almost every comment about emotional affairs written here and throughout the web. I thank all of you for just your insights based on your personal experience and I feel like I am understanding myself and my husband’s current affair more and more. We have been together for almost 10 years, married for 5. We were always the envy of all our friends and had a wonderful marriage (I thought).
    This past 2 years has been so rough as I saw him withdraw emotionally and eventually physically. He still takes care of our “financial well being” (I work part time now to take care of our toddler)… But I am still in the uncertain future part because he still hasn’t woken up from the fog after 2 years and we are separated now for 4 months. In the beginning he begged me not to kick him out, but through all my anger and disbelief that he went back to his EAP (2 years of this mess!) I made sure he knew I was angry, hurt, and wasn’t going to stand here while he disrespected me and our marriage. He started his unhappiness stage when I became pregnant and life pretty much became stressful and routine. He hadn’t prepared himself emotionally to mature to fatherhood and to mature love of husband and wife where I was too tired from taking care of a colicky baby to be his muse. His ho-worker started hitting on him and he said he felt a connection that as married man he should have for me. Wow, way to abandon your responsibility as a new father and husband! I don’t know how far he has taken the EA to a PA, but he swore that he hasn’t slept with her yet out of respect for me (he would wait until we are fully divorce). Who knows what physical things they’ve done and I’m terrified to picture it. I’m in terrible depression and have almost collapsed from the pain and limbo everyday, waiting to see if he files for divorce. I have spoken with a lawyer and am prepared to file if need be. I want him to be the one to file so he feels the full weight of his actions. So far he has dealt with our finances respectfully (since I built much of our wealth through careful savings & investments — I’m a financial advisor) but I can feel he’s got one foot out the door because he keeps saying “I want to protect you and our baby even we aren’t together.” Well, then why hadn’t he filed for divorce?! I keep trying no contact but he keeps calling me about our finances, and then asking about how our baby is doing, and sometimes adding in his daily activity. I’m hoping that he will wake up and realize how stupid and selfish he is acting right now and profess his love…but as you have highlighted in this article, I don’t think he will ever profess his love like in our first 7 years before he met his AP…if he ever comes back, it will be because all the other reasons are exhausted and he’s stuck with me. Jee, lucky me, then? I won the leftover plate of love?

    • Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Stuck in Limbo, I think you did the right thing by drawing a line and separating. I also understand that you want to make your husband file – if he wants to file – thus taking responsibility. My husband had/has an awful habit of talking passively as if things happen to him rather than take responsibility for his actions. When D-day and the awful fog afterwards happened I specifically did not throw him out because – just like you I wanted him to take the decision to leave if that is what he wanted rather than blame me for ‘throwing him out.’

      I think one way of looking at it is to shift the focus onto what you need for yourself. I don’t want my husband to leave but if you read the rest of my story elsewhere on the post I could no longer put up with more lies and inappropriate friendships and deceptions happening again four years later. I was so severely depressed and had first to take an online course on depression and do other work to get myself off the floor. Then I finally realised that he was harming my mental health and that we would have to separate (despite four children) if he kept acting this way. I don’t know if our husband’s are similar but my husband would pride himself on ‘doing the right thing’ even though he felt that our marriage was flawed (and it was but not to the extreme extent he thought in the fog. So my husband in the fog would feel that I’d be happier without him but that he would still provide for us and act more or less the same towards us financially, DIY around the house etc if he left us. He had already lent the OW 500 euro without letting me know and she was treating him like a husband, asking him to source phones and other items for her. He did not seem to understand that he was not her husband, not responsible to her. Even though he felt he would do right by us, I knew that the OW would soon whisper in his ear and that his financially and emotional loyalty would transfer to her. It’s infuriating how childish and stupid they are in the fog and treat the wife and OW as interchangeable. Your husband has not faced what he is doing, he is enjoying feeling better by having the attention of the OW and salving his conscience by deciding he will treat you right. I think you need to make him aware that you want things to work out between you but that you can’t live in this limbo situation anymore. I know how difficult that is, even with a half remorseful husband. You will have to tell him that you don’t want to divorce but that you have to move on with your life. It’s good you have a part-time job and that you are a financial advisor. Now you need help with your mental health (counselling, your doctor or I can recommend as a start Living and Loving after Betrayal by Steven Stosny) and put aside some money. Do everything for yourself that you would advise a friend to do, put all efforts into minding yourself. Your husband may or may not respond to the boundaries and respect you set out for yourself. Keep in touch, I hope things get better.

      • Stuckinlimbo December 21, 2017 at 3:09 am #

        Thank you FOH. I’ve been reading many of your messages throughout the site and am glad you cared enough to respond to my post. Your husband is at least remorseful and willing to go to counseling. I honestly wish you the best…it’s hard to see our husband’s relapse and making us wonder “once a cheater always a cheater?”

        Your insight into how my husband is still in the fog and unable to wake himself up is correct. I wrote him a long letter reminding him of our story … everything we had was worth telling, worth being proud of. How we met, how we had so many mutual friends & family, how our lives intertwined easily & we built a strong family & business…everything was serendipitous until he started his affair. I asked him if he would be proud to tell the story of him and the OW to the world, would it be serendipitous and innocent? He obviously doesn’t have a problem with it because he never answered my question. I guess I knew the answer all along.

    • Angela December 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

      Wait a sec. You don’t believe him when he says there’s no PA but you DO believe him when he says he’ll look out for your financials? Not. You better go shark mode and get that money into your own hands. The man is cheating. Cheating reaches every level, including the the financial. If he was concerned of your future he wouldn’t have hurt you. He won’t file for divorce and my guess is that he’s already realized what it’s going to cost. With you being a financial advisor that’s a fight he’ll be afraid to take to you. Cut the money off and do what you know to do. How many of your clients are divorcing? Look at their situation and you’ll see.

      • Stuckinlimbo December 21, 2017 at 3:18 am #

        You’re right. My advice to my clients was way more protective than I’d ever done for myself. I thought I had married my best friend, who wouldn’t ever hurt me…so I settled for crumbs in my marriage. Everything that was great went to him first. I took care of him and his family’s financial well being and this is the thanks I get. I did move all my money out and made him sign over the life insurance to our daughter as irrevocable beneficiary. He’s lucky I didn’t make him a fuss about anything else! He demanded the same of me and I reminded him I didn’t have a OM to worry about…he is the cheater, not me!

  13. Trying Hard December 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

    Stuckinlimbo–I don’t know if you can feel the heat or not as my hair has caught fire just reading your story.

    Since you’ve read a lot of posts I’m pretty sure you know what I am going to say. GET THE DAMN FINANCES OUT OF HIS HANDS, IMMEDIATELY. Get a lawyer and forensic accountant. Have you not seen the movie Gone Girl or heard of Scott Petersen? Please, your h sounds terribly immature and I have to be honest I am worried about your safety. No people of good character do NOT leave when they have children or their pregnant wife. I don’t care if the baby is colicky!!! Sociopaths do that stuff. I will also go out on a limb and say it is NOT an EA but a full blown PA.

    Please find the help you need and please take care of yourself and your child. Do you have family that will help you? Quit worrying about “winning” him back and find out what’s really going on in your relationship. Next thing you know he will start gaslighting you. Please be careful

    • Stuckinlimbo December 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

      Trying Hard. — you’re scaring me. I never thought my husband could ever get to the point of hurting me or my baby in the way that would be criminal. Most people on here knows their partner is acting insane and have a difficult time adjusting to this new person, but I don’t think they feel unsafe in the way you’re describing. I certainly don’t feel unsafe that way, though I am mad as hell that he would end our marriage for some ho-worker who doesn’t understand his life & responsibilitis at all.

  14. Trying Hard December 7, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    STUCKINLIMBO

    Sorry to scare you. But I doubt you believed he would cheat until he did right? Plus do you know what she’s encouraging him to do? Do you know her? Most of us don’t. Plus we’ve all talked about when people are in affairs they are normally not in their right minds anyway.

    You’ve been putting up with this affair for his for 2 years now right? That doesn’t sound repentant to me. Thing is it is imperative you find out what’s going on in your marriage. Inviting other people into your life when you are already in a committed relationship brings out a whole lot of crazy.

    I knew my h for 40 years when I found out he was having an affair with a real creep. Plus she was married and to a motorcycle guy who called and threatened his life!! My dear I went immediately to a lawyer, I changed the locks on the door, I changed the garage code, I covered the garage windows with paper so he couldn’t see when I was and wasn’t home, I boarded the doors and windows in the basement, I used my alarm system religiously, I opened my own checking account. This is all within two weeks of him leaving! Yeah, no I did NOT know him. He was NOT the same guy I knew 3 weeks prior to that. And no I don’t think you know your h either. I’m asking you to protect yourself. NOrmally when there is infidelity there is financial infidelity as well. Ask me how I know?? Yeah to the tune of 50k at the very least!!!!

    I hope I did scare you enough to warn you.

    • Sarah P. December 9, 2017 at 2:21 am #

      Struck in Limbo and Trying Hard,

      Even though it’s scary, Trying Hard has excellent advice and if I were you I would pursue that forensic accountant. If someone is cheating on you, they will also lie about everything to keep you off balance.

      This is not good news, but it is necessary to protect yourself and use everything possible such as forensic accountants and PI’s to know the truth. You must know the objective truth and not the lies your spouse will tell. You must know your adversary so you can protect yourself.

      Sarah

    • Stuckinlimbo December 21, 2017 at 3:23 am #

      Ttying Hard — Holy smokes you’ve been through the wringer! I believe I have turned a blind eye, or maybe just stuck my head in the sand.

      • TryingHard December 21, 2017 at 8:03 am #

        Stuck in Limbo— it’s easy to put ones head in the sand so to speak or believe what the cheater lies about or gaslights. It’s hard to get to the bottom of things unless A. They confess or B you catch them in the act. Life is busy. Children, work, families, responsibilities plus we dint want to cause problems or be all dramatic or seem jealous. That was me when i had some red flags during the affair. Mine confessed and then left for over 3 months. Insisting he wanted a divorce, refused MC, continued the affair, refused to fire her. Until i blew and did the 180. I quit doing the pick me dance and being nice and understanding. his lawyer i believe made it very clear what this was going to cost him and it was everything he’d worked his ass off for. Plus his sins were shunning him. And his friends. He was humiliated and he started to see the OW in the stark light of day and it wasn’t pretty.

        Yes I was put through the wringer. It’s taken a long time and i still have the lasting affects of the trauma. Not as bad as early on and i must say there are times i wonder if he or our marriage was worth the fight. But here we are and he has been very remorseful.

        I think the BS has to be very smart and to take care of themselves. Firstly financially. I’ve seen many people, make and female alike, be very foolish in this regard. I dint think you will make that mistake but sometimes we old warriors know what we are talking about.

        It sounds like you are making good progress. This is a really crappy place to be. I don’t care what stage of life you are at, this all stinks.

  15. Joey December 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    Good post. But part of me wants to scream out – why are we, as the betrayed, so concerned about why the unfaithful stayed?! Constantly worrying about that only feeds into the unfaithful’s “image” of us that we were such horrible partners and didn’t meet their needs and that’s why they had every right to cheat.

    Hey – wayward spouses – here’s an idea? How about you ask your betrayed spouse why your he or she stayed? Afterall, wayward spouses cheat because the betrayed spouse prioritized the kids, or fell asleep on the couch, or worked too much and rationalized that they deserved the affair. Well if that’s your reasoning, then we as the betrayed have every right to leave the minute DDAY hits. But the most of us stay and fight because we believe in our commitments, believe in loyalty, understand that we didn’t do everything right but there is something worth saving here because of history and love. It’s pretty common sense that leaving because your partner cheated, lied, and betrayed you with another person is a lot better reason than the cheater gives for the affair.

    So instead of worrying about your cheating spouse is staying… celebrate in the joy and reassurance that you as the betrayed partner is strong enough and courageous enough to fight and survive one of the hardest things in life. Whether it be for your family or children, you are powering through and doing the selfless thing.

    My ex never once asked me why I am staying and trying to make it work, because it’s all about the cheater. During the affair, they think they are so perfect and special because the AP tells them they are. A person who betrays their family and spouse is NOT a prize, and when we give them the gift of reconciliation, that is the prize – not THEM. Lucky for the waywards, we don’t kick them out right away and give them the chance to learn and grow and love them, a courtesy they didn’t give us when embarking on the affair.

    Sorry – I got riled up. Long week 🙂

    • Untold December 7, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

      Thanks Joey. I hear you, feel the same way as you, and appreciate you coming out and saying it too.

      I’d really like to hear my WW express gratitude for me staying and working through it. Sadly, I don’t think I ever will.

      • chely December 8, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        i agree totally. Don’t think there will be any love coming – the way I need it to be. It is a sad realization, but a necessary one none-the-less.

    • TryingHard December 7, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

      Joey— HERE HERE!!! Yay Joey. Very well said.

      And yes this is the exact resin i believe my h is so good to me. He’s got to be thinking “man this chick really loves me. WTF was I thinking??” Or “man this chick is crazy to stay with me”. So yes instead of lamenting why THEY stay we need to turn it around.

      If the reasons people cheat are as demonstrated we BS have more than enough reasons to cheat and leave!!

    • Shifting Impressions December 7, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

      Joey…don’t apologize, I agree with every word. WELL SAID!!!!

    • TheFirstWife December 8, 2017 at 5:37 am #

      Excellent points Joey. All true.

      But I think the cheater (in some cases) stayed for selfish reasons like $ or security.

      And if I thought that is why my H stayed I would be crushed. Because I R w/him for love and no other reason.

      He told me in DDay2 that he ended the A and loved me and our family etc. made a mistake and wrong choices. I believe him and hope that is the reason he stayed.

    • Angela December 14, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

      Hear now! Damn if you didn’t just nail it!

      And thank you. You just reminded me of something I have to be grateful for.

      My WS has said to me that he doesn’t know how I stayed through it.

      This validation from him is worth more than gold to me.

      It means he appreciates me, sees the dilemma he put me in and respects my choice, and yes, is even amazed at my choice to stay, and now knows he needs to show he’s worthy of that choice.

      Thank you.

    • David January 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

      Joey – perfectly stated!

  16. Rebecca December 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s stories. My husband has been involved with another woman for about a year now. They met at the gym. It’s such a long story. I suspected something (behavior with his phone changing passwords etc)last Feb but thought there is NO way he’s doing anything. My fears weren’t confirmed until April. After i confronted him he swore he wouldn’t speak to her and it was done. He switched gyms, We started couples counseling. We only went a couple times because Honestly he seemed so remorseful and seemed like he truly wanted to make things work with he and i. Fast forward to Sept – while things seemed fine i had a gut feeling he was still communicating with her. I checked his phone and don’t you know there was a text from her. It was blank which was weird but her number was right in front of me. He said that she appeared at the gym he moved to and she said do you want me to leave and he said no. Thinking he could handle it. essentially them seeing each other daily at the gym didn’t stop from the first time. Oh boy was he remorseful. He said he wants to be with me and home with our kids. There’s just something about her he said that just draws him to her. While my husband is in amazing shape and doesnt look his age he turns 60 on Monday. She’s 39. I’m 46. So In therapy we’ve talked about how he has issues with his ego and how she fed that blah blah. He promised transparency and it was me and our family that was his priority. He changed his phone number and changed gyms again! Since mid Sept things have been awesome. We’ve had great times we are working to make us better etc. I would still check his phone email seeing that’s the only way she’d be able to get him unless she called him at the office. Mind you she’s also married and has 2 kids. This past Tuesday night I checked his phone just to reassure myself and low and behold I found emails. Apparently she emailed him from her work email – has the company name as the header so it wouldn’t be obvious to at least me. He actually deleted the first 2 emails and she finally called him at the office. This happened at the beginning on November. They’ve been talking/emailing meeting in the mornings for 10 min to see each other. I kicked him out of the house. He claims again he’s not going to see her etc. wants to be here with us – we are his home his safe place all of the above. I also found out that their relationship wasn’t just emotional. They did kiss – and that started near the beginning. He swears they didn’t have sex. I have access to his map on his phone on where he is day to day (real time and history) so if they were having Sex it was in the car. which obviously could have happened. We went to therapy the day after i found out again (appt had already been sched) and he went with me. I have never in my life seen him cry the way he did. I just sat there watching like wtf. Why now? Our therapist said he’s nearing rock bottom but as history has told…. the initial reaction after being caught is I’m done, I’m done. I want to be with you and the kids and I’m done and I’m and idiot and I need help. So obviously I’m treading lightly. He’s out of the house. The kids don’t know what’s up. Think he’s on abusiness trip. Oh and I contacted the AP’s husband the morning after I found everything out – and he seemed to be in shock but I’m not sure it’s changed anything. My husband supposedly hasn’t heard from her since I had texted her that night saying i Knew they were communicating. She never responded. I’m sure she told
    Her husband how I’m overreacting, he’s 60 and all that so in theory it does sound like a stretch!!! i am so sad, hurt, tired and just really in disbelief that he has done this to me. I want nothing more then to make our marriage work. I do believe my husband when he tells me this is where he wants to be even though my friends tell me I’m crazy. He knows he’s not going to end up with her so that’s where my question to him is why continue. He compared it to being addicted to drugs. He knows he shouldn’t be but can’t help it. I’m just so tired and I don’t know if this is worth fighting for anymore. i honestly wish I didn’t love him. Would make all of this a lot easier. And he wants to stay with me but why. I mean if he was being completely transparent from here on out maybe we can start to heal. sorry if i wrote this in the wrong forum. If it needs to be moved could you tell me where? Thanks for listening.

    • Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 6:42 am #

      Hi Rebecca, some of my story is below but I just wanted to say that my experience was that my husband went down a road of emotional affairs and inappropriate friendships in 2013 and one went so far that he was thinking of leaving us for her and her six kids (even though when I questioned him, he didn’t know what he loved about her – it was really a fantasy,) Even though he’s been horrified at himself and wants to stay and loves me he still went back 9 months later for more contact and this summer (3.5 years after D-day) he had some inappropriate friendships – with vulnerable women who he invited for lunch and coffee – one fancied him. He kept it all from me and lied. Like your husband said, mine didn’t seem to be able to help himself. All the repair didn’t really matter if he was to go and do similar things again. So I drew a firm line and said I can’t live with this anymore and he is on the couch and we are in counselling and he is finally looking at why he acts this way. I do truly believe that my husband wants to change (it sounds like your husband does too). Until the counselling is more progressed and my husband does active work on himself I don’t know if he will change his habits. I think its worth giving your husband a chance to do some counselling or other program and do lots of work to uncover and deal with this.

  17. Fragments of Hope December 8, 2017 at 5:46 am #

    My experience is very much similar to Exercisegrace above and sadly has continued in some further problems right up to this day – four years after the initial D-day. My husband had massive stresses – his mother had had a devastating stroke that rendered her disabled and no longer the person we knew and there was a major work disappointment as well as terrible behavioural difficulties with our son with Aspergers. On top of that we had some very poor patterns of interaction between us. My husband self-medicated with his affairs to feel better, feel someone cared, to bolster his ego. He used his already existing supercilliousness and defensiveness (and our poor interaction history) to blame me – villifying me to the OW and just wanting to escape. He never dealt with this way of reacting to stress. Even though he decided to stay and said he wanted this life, he slipped back into a friendship with the OW months later and had a series of inappropriate friendships some of which have occured just this year. He also used porn as a crutch. I’ve only just found out that he also kissed his ex girlfriend during the period where he had his emotional affair with another woman.

    It was due to problems within him that, despite his plea (which I believe) that he wants me and our life here, he still acts out. He wanted to escape the stresses in life but not really to leave all the good here. Only now (with still many life stresses still) is he in counselling and facing into the thing within him that stands in the way of a true loving relationship with us and with himself.

    His sister’s husband however did leave. He left his two boys and moved to the other side of the world. Many years after the divorce he still blames his wife, thinks only of himself, refuses his sons money (one just started college) on the basis that he has to pay for his mortgage or his fancy wedding. In one way he got a free and easy lifestyle in Australia with his OW whom he married. He blames and avoids all guilt and responsibility. He got his escape but he is a deeply damaged man. His parents are very strange and unloving. He left when his mother in law (who cared for him deeply) had just had the stroke. He never faced into what he had done

  18. Rachel December 8, 2017 at 6:12 am #

    I don’t understand why these cheaters don’t turn to their spouse for support when a family crisis happens. Stresses, we all have them. Why turn to someone else. Why not the familiar, someone that you’ve been with for years? I guess I will never understand these cheater, their reasoning for affairs. And blaming the betrayed spouse for their justification.

  19. tony December 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    touché’
    I wasn’t going to be second fiddle. That always has to be in the back of your mind after an affair…whether you stay or not.

  20. chely December 8, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    In my case, I got the feeling that all along he may be playing both of us. I witnessed his attempt to stop on discovery, the withdrawal, depression and vertigo that he went through. I believe that she thinks she is the only other woman. I do not know how long this has been going on (they worked together 10 years ago) but I don’t think he can give her up. I also have this strange feeling there are more. She is just his main side dish, feeling special and all. Since I believe they continue in this affair, I’m not sure if he’s just stringing us both along or he has finally decided that he really would rather be with her. I say “be a man” and make a choice or I will be forced (despite the fact that I really don’t want to leave this marriage, I haven’t remained in this 20 year roller coaster of a marriage for no reason) to do it because there CANNOT be three of us in this marriage. And because he is a covert, nice guy narcissist I don’t think he’s interested in changing his ways. Why would he since he’s been able to have cake for a long time in addition to me. God I wish I could find a good lawyer so he doesn’t manipulate in this divorce as well. I love the man I thought he was, not the one who lives behind the mask. What a waste of 20 years of my life. I tried to leave 5 years into marriage but got sucked back in thinking the problems we had (no known infidelity at that time) could be addressed. I was niave and believed in love perservering despite all odds. Boy was I buffaloed big time. I wish I could wake up from this nightmare but unfortunately it’s reality.

  21. Hopeful December 8, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    I think in many cases there are more details. Rarely does anyone get caught drunk driving the first time they have driven drunk. For my husband what he told me and what I found initially was just the beginning. He forgot a lot and I think on many levels he did forget and at least compartimentalize.

    I know for me I took time to think about what I wanted and expected from our marriage.the farther we got away from dday the more I expect. And i have made that known to my husband. He understands and we have worked through boundaries and expectations. I have made it clear that if he does not want to make an effort, respect what I need and want then i would rather be on my own no matter what.

    And i think the first step for anyone is to find an individual therapist. They can help so much with working through this and giving guidance and support. I also think consulting with an attorney and even an accountant is smart.

  22. Rachel December 14, 2017 at 5:51 am #

    Ladies and Gentlemen please don’t believe the cheating spouse that they haven’t slept with their affair person because most likely they did. And chances are if they are discussing or mentioning the word divorce it’s pretty certain that’s what they want. I remember when my ex mentioned divorce but was still in “limbo” I was in fighting mode for saving my marriage. I guess only for the reason that I was scared stiff to be on my own. As he was “trying” we went to dinner and he made a comment about our waitress and what he was sure she did for her husband and I thought to myself, there is no way that I can continue this lifestyle. He Also, he kept telling me that I wouldn’t get any of his 401k retirement and investments. He was wrong on all.
    Before filing I changed my beneficiaries of my life insurance to my boys and started hiding money. Be prepared they get half of what you have.
    I thought he would change and wanted him to be someone else. They don’t change.
    Be prepared and find a good attorney.

    • Stuckinlimbo December 20, 2017 at 11:21 am #

      I appreciate everyone’s responses. It’s sad that I have chosen to believe his words that he still hadn’t slept with her. Perhaps the denial makes it easier to say that the marriage is over. It doesn’t matter. He didn’t fight for me, our marriage, our family. I’m meeting with lawyer to file divorce tmrw. Just focusing on building a new life.

      • Untold December 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

        Good luck to you SIL.

      • TryingHard December 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

        Stuck in Limbo– I’ve found there’s just some things we are never going to know the whole truth. It’s sad people make poor choices and then poorer of choices of not being honest and at least own up.

        I’m sorry your h didn’t fight for you and your relationship and only you can be the judge of how you choose to move forward in life. I wish you the very best and I wish you peace

  23. Dolly Allen December 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    In my case, we were having serious marital problems, both of us felt as though the marriage was pretty much over. Had he said we should divorce or separate, I would have agreed. Instead he cheated with a moman who over the years had been a friend but she always wanted more. Ultimately the emotional affair became physical and I found out. Before I even told him I knew, I hired a divorce attorney the Monday I learned of the affair and by that Friday, the papers were filed. I told him to get out and move in with her. He didn’t want to. We decided to give the marriage a try – it’s been ups and downs. 14 months past D-day. He has really been trying. It seems as though it ended up being a wake up call for both of us, although I wish there had been another way.

    • TheFirstWife December 18, 2017 at 8:35 am #

      Dolly. I sorry you had to endure a rocky marriage plus infidelity

      But having an A with a friend? Why do spouses or SO do that? Don’t they realize it adds another layer of problems?

      I hope you are getting some guidance and support during this difficult time.

      • Dolly Allen December 18, 2017 at 8:39 am #

        It was his friend not mine – they’d known each other even before I met him. He was never interested romantically but she always wanted him, even offered to call off her engagement 25 years ago, but he had met me. She always hated me because in her twisted mind, I took him away from her. They had been out of contact the majority of our marriage, but a few years ago, she started coming around – after she was served with divorce papers they began talking, our marriage was going south and things went from an emotional affair to physical.

        • TheFirstWife December 18, 2017 at 10:40 am #

          She’s a poacher.

          Having been in the same situation with my H and his first 4 year EA 20 years ago I have learned a thing or two. Wolf in sheeps clothing so to speak.

          This woman was interested in my H from the moment she laid eyes on him. But he was married and she knew it. Met me and pretended to be my friend too.

          So I have been down that road. When she made her big move (trying to get me to say yes to my H being her wedding date) I knew she crossed the line. My H however refused to even admit it was an EA!!!

          I just hope the poacher is truly out of the picture or your M doesn’t Stand a chance.

          • Dolly Allen December 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

            She wanted him for 30 years and never gave up. because of what they did, i know she still believes she’s going to get him. She was very upset when he said they couldn’t be friends and still reaches out usually via text every couple of months or so. I doubt she will let it go even though he told her 3 times not to call him anymore. She drunk texted him last month around her birthday and I found it on the cell phone bill. He said he never read it and just deleted. Didn’t tell me cuz he didn’t want me to flip out as we are having some mental health issues with our son. I ended up flipping out on him anyway, not because she texted but because he didn’t tell me. He understands why he must disclose any attempt at contact, so hopefully he keeps his word. I do however believe she will be a problem for the long haul. The only good thing is she is crazy and I am able to show him the crap she does. She has created multiple FB and Instagram profiles to stalk me. I’ve shown him then blocked. I believe she set up a FB profile in my name as well which I also showed him and blocked. The crazier she acts, the more my husband cringes and wants no part of her.

  24. Terry December 30, 2017 at 1:06 am #

    My husband of 30 yrs married me with an EA already going on the side with a mutual friend and coworker. I figured out what was going on (before emails/texts) over the first year and drew the line, giving him the engagement ring and wedding rings back. The ball was in his court. He was having EA with someone I’ve come to see as his first real love. She started dating the man she married before my H was able to get a chance with her, but that didn’t stop him from trying to be a very close friend of hers. She was never an option for him to marry – they are still married – so his reason to stay in our marriage was a combination of – he would be embarrassed (family/friends/coworkers) if we divorced, he couldn’t marry her anyway, her H started deliberately keeping my H away from her socially (they still worked together, closely), he would loose access to my paycheck to put into “our” investments (he’s addicted to long term investing and living like a miser), we had bought a house and he’d loose money selling to divide it up & just plain not wanting to change the path he was on. I have always felt like she was the special one for him that he couldn’t have and that I was a substitute. His parent’s marriage was a model for how he felt about “the wife” figure in his life. He changed how he treated me right after coming back from the honeymoon and had been away from contact with her for too long. He treated her like a queen and treated me like he resented what I represented in his life – I wasn’t “her”. He was settling for a safe option. I truly loved him, but that emotion for him was erased over that first year. Some “honeymoon year”. We were encouraged to work it out. There is a lot of resentment. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and still won’t admit it was an EA. Counselor didn’t believe in that back then. Lots of damage done to my view that he ever really loved me. Is there a blog asking how often AP was a real love interest / infatuation for WS before BS was ever in the picture and how those relationships heal? I never realized what she meant to him until after we married and lived together. Classic “I’m going to marry Mary & Jane’s going to be my gf-bff”.

    • Stick Figure January 5, 2018 at 11:23 am #

      Terry,
      My situation is very similar to yours. My husband believed that he would always marry his high school sweetheart. But, they had a bad breakup when he went to college and, although he tried to get back together with her, she had moved on. A couple years later, he married me. He is the only man I have ever been with and I thought I was marrying somebody who could love me the same way I loved him. But, he always seemed a little aloof and unwilling to be truly intimate with me. He wasn’t mean. He just seemed perpetually unsatisfied. After 20 years of marriage, he suddenly moved out one day, saying that he wasn’t happy and probably never was. During the next three months, we talked a lot and dated. It felt like we were connecting for the first time the way I had prayed for for so long. So, he moved back in and it was good for a while. Then, he started to get mean. Everything I did was wrong. Everything I said seemed to annoy him. I still do not know why I stayed during that. Probably a combination of fear, depression and hope that things would get better. I didn’t want my children to be from a broken home and he was always nice to me in front of them. Six years later, I got a message from his high school girlfriend’s husband telling me that his wife (my husband’s high school sweetheart) and my husband had been involved in a long term affair. After a lot of investigation, it turns out that their affair had been going on for 8 years. When he had left before, they were 18 months into their relationship and trying to decide whether they were going to leave their spouses and be together. Because they lived in different states, they decided to stay in their marriages and see each other when they could probably indefinitely. If her husband hadn’t of caught them, it might have gone on forever. By the time I found out about it, they had been no contact for 6 months, my husband had stopped drinking (he was clearly an alcoholic) and he was treating me really well. If anybody would have told me 18 months ago that I would end up staying with my husband and being happier than I have ever been, I would have laughed in their face. But, with a lot of therapy (for him) and a pretty profound transformation in his character and personality, I believe he loves me more than he has ever loved anybody before. Sometimes that “first love” ends badly and a person gets stuck. Add an unstable personality, abusive childhood and pornography addiction and you have the makings of a miserable, selfish, destructive human being. He has done the hard work. he has turned his life over to Jesus. he has figured out that his affair with her had more to do with a teenage boy whose heart got broken than it did with being in love with the 43 year old version of that girl. I didn’t deserve any of that and I will be recovering from the effects of a pain that nobody should ever have to feel. But, we are really good together now. My family is not only intact; but it is thriving. Maybe your husband can learn something from my own husband’s experience. The fantasy of this “first love” is powerful and intoxicating. But, it would fade and become routine over time because true intimacy is a choice and not a feeling. My husband and his affair partner both wish they could erase that decade of their lives. My husband has no fond memories of his affair and calls those years vile, disgusting, lost years that cause him nothing but shame and sadness. Your husband will never be “free” to love you the way he should, until he lets go of the fantasy of what could be with her. She clearly doesn’t want him or she would have left her husband long ago. He will regret wasting his precious time on her. As for you, 30 years is a long time to be in second place. But 31 years is even longer. If my husband had not transformed his life and become unrecognizable to me, I would NOT be here. I feel your pain and I will pray for you to have the wisdom of what to do next.

      • Rachel January 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

        Stick figure,
        Very similar story as mine except my ex left me for his “soul mate”. I recently found out that he was seeing her during our 25 years of marriage. I always felt that something was off but he assured me it was my problem. 😉

        • TheFirstWife January 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

          Rachel.

          Didn’t the soul mates crash and burn after you were D?

          • Rachel January 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm #

            First Wife,
            I would bet they still see each other, but she didn’t leave her husband because he is joint on her Lingerie stores.

  25. TheFirstWife January 1, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    Terry. I am so sorry for you. What are you going to do?

  26. tony January 7, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    mine isn’t seeing the other man anymore. she broke up our family for a guy that never really loved her like she thought. she stayed infatuated with this home wrecker who had a wife and 3 kids. I stayed thru 2 years of Hell for my 6 yr old son. if I stayed, I don’t think I could ever trust her again. I would always have doubt in the back of my head and be unhappy. forgiving is tough for me after the pain I went thru. I think she knew that…

  27. Rachel January 7, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    Tony, I feel the same way with my ex. I was married to a narcissist. I wouldn’t wish my past married life on my worse enemy. Whenever I would question my ex he would say, all guys talk like that, all guys do that. When he was going to dinners with work women, I would ask him if he could take me. His answer was I don’t want to go with you. We never had the money for dinners was always the excuse he gave me. If he did take me, he would have been flirting with the waitress making comments telling me what she probably does to her husband. So you see I am blessed that my ex wanted to divorce me because I don’t need to go through that abuse anymore.
    I am happy for people on this site that are able to mend their relationships and I love hearing that the CS is putting in effort to patch things up. For me it wasn’t an option.

  28. tony January 7, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    Rachel, I have a hard time believing that a marriage can be mended (or better) after an after like some say. if you went thru the pain that they caused, you will always doubt their love for you…

    • Survivor January 11, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      You are so correct and nailed the emotion. My marriage can’t be better because he has betrayed everything that I thought our marriage was. No forgiveness just pain

  29. tony January 11, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

    it’s the ultimate betrayal. you can’t imagine how painful it is unless you’ve experienced it…she said that she didn’t know how to help me heal, don’t think she tried very hard. trying to heal myself…

    • Rachel January 11, 2018 at 8:27 pm #

      Very true Tony. The cheating spouse has no idea how much it hurts or do they care. My ex’s concern was all about himself. He told me and my boys that. Time for him.
      Honest he was, caring not so much. I’m glad he’s not wasting my time as I was wasting his.

      • tony January 12, 2018 at 11:57 am #

        Rachel, how old are your boys and when did this start? I stayed in pain for two years for my now 8 yr. old son…

  30. Rachel January 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

    My boys are 26 and 21. I’ve beeen divorced for 4 years.

  31. tony January 13, 2018 at 9:26 am #

    good luck Rachel. I hope nobody ever hurts you like that again. don’t be afraid to love again…

  32. Rachel January 13, 2018 at 10:03 am #

    Tony, thank you for your kind words. I hope nobody hurts you again either. It’s very hard to overcome. A lot of therapy. I always knew that there was something wrong in my marriage but my ex reassured me that all guys act like he does. My dad never did.
    Three months after my divorce,I have been blessed with a very kind man who never treats me like I am important.
    He’s not a flirt, game player or womanizer. He looks at me when I talk and never yells or puts me down. He likes my hair which ever style that I decide on. The complete opposite of my ex.
    He too went through a divorce after 27 years of marriage. His ex had an affair with a coworker and is still with him.
    It’s all a learning experience and some days we just have bad days and have to reassure each other, it is what it is.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Login

Web Analytics

Clicky