why married women have affairsI recently discovered a book that delves into the reasons why married women have affairs and I wanted to share some of  the information with you.  The book isn’t based on theory but on the author’s interviews with hundreds of women who had extramarital affairs.

I received an iPad for Christmas and even though I have not yet explored all of its wonderful features I have discovered something that I just love.  I discovered that I can download free books and magazines from my local library.  No more searching the library shelves for new informational books or paying my numerous fines for overdue books.  Instead, everything is right at my fingertips.

Last Friday while Doug was looking at his basketball tournament brackets and settling himself in for a long night of watching games, I started searching for some new books to read.  Basketball is my least favorite sport and I really only get interested in the last few minutes of a game – which seems to last about an hour anyway. 

While I was searching I found a book that caught my eye “The Erotic Silence of the American Wife” by Dalma Heyn.  The book discusses the various reasons why married women have affairs. 

Now, this is not a book I would normally go out and buy seeing that I am the BS, but I did find some of the information and interviews interesting, and it did give me an insight into why so many women stray.

The author begins by discussing when women get married they have this ideal inspiration that they will be the perfect wife and have the perfect marriage that will last forever.  Many of us grew up believing we should be like Donna Reed, even though many of those role models were purely fictional and only existed on TV shows.



I know I aspired to be the “perfect wife and mother” and even though I had a career, I believed that I could do it all without any support from anyone.  Heyn states that while many women would not want to completely fit into the Donna Reed model, they begin a process of self-revision. 

The ideas they knew about themselves and understood about men, sex and relationships slowly collapsed, yielding to imagines of what they believed a wife’s feelings should be. They changed themselves to fit the image of the “perfect wife” while burying their sexual past and keeping their opinions and feelings to themselves.

This all caused them to lose the person they were before they got married while being neutralized both sexually and emotionally. They buried the woman that their husbands fell in love with and began playing a role of someone they thought they should be.

See also  When Affair Partners Marry: 9 Reasons Why They Might Fail

Several women stated that “pleasure was not available to them” and that they perceived the role of wife as an “appointed renunciation of pleasure,” a fact for which they didn’t blame anyone.  It was a role one adopted when one married – this position of being less needy emotionally and sexually.

One woman cheater wrote:

“I’ve struggled to be the real me in my marriage and I just am not, either in or out of bed, and I don’t know why.  It’s a strange thing, something happened, early on; nothing dramatic, mind you.  Just got a little less cozy, more professional , like we were running a business together.”

While the author is not promoting infidelity or making excuses for these women cheaters, she states that many of them begin to experiment with affairs to find their “real selves.” 

“The women cheaters find that the affairs are surprisingly rewarding because there are no social rules governing it, no pattern for its development, no precedent for how to behave and no defined goals for an affair. Because it is temporary with no predictable outcome, a woman is free to create an unusual entity, a sexual relationship in which she has no prescribed role…”

“It will be she who decides if this relationship takes place, where, when, how often and just what her part in it will be.  She does not have to win a man, because she already has one; she does not have to plan a future, which is already planned with someone else; she does not have to worry about whether the relationship will end, nor if all her needs will be filled.  She has a life, it will be day by day, this friendship; its only goal is mutual pleasure, without which is has no reason for being.”

Of course this only can be achieved if there is an equal amount of power in an affair.  For example, if the cheater is a single woman she is perceived to want more out of the relationship, therefore has less power and is in a classic unrewarding role.  The married woman will have no less than equal power if her affair partner is married, more power if he is not. 

This power gives the woman cheater something new that often characterizes women’s relationships:  the absence of emotional neediness.  They don’t have to choose between being themselves or being desired.  They could be whoever they wanted to be.

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When these women were asked to describe their feelings for their affair partners, they had a difficult time articulating their thoughts.  The author states that they feel powerful and equal and freed from having to be pleasing.  It may not be the person they are with but the experience that is so enticing.

It was interesting to note that most of these woman felt little or no guilt.  They also had no intentions of leaving their marriages, as the affair was just an added bonus to their lives.  They justified their affairs by stating that it made them a happier person therefore it benefited their husbands and families as well. 

Many of these women however, were oblivious to the effect the affairs had on their domestic relationships – how putting their emotional energy somewhere else was depleting their emotional connections at home.

And of course most of these women’s affairs ended – as most affairs do – mostly because the balance of power in the relationship changed.  Affairs thrive on secrecy and pleasure and when this happens the relationship disintegrates. 

For example, if the affair partner is married and his wife finds out, the balance of power changes, which thrusts the cheating woman into pleasing mode and makes her become emotionally needy.  She is no longer there for her own pleasure as she changes into her wife mode, which is not very desirable for the cheating husband.  He already has a wife at home and he doesn’t need another one.

Same if the cheating wife’s affair partner wants more of a commitment.  She wants to have the best of both worlds and has no intention of leaving her family.  The relationship becomes more of a hassle therefore diminishing some of the pleasure.

After the affairs ended many women made the choice to keep it a secret.  It was surprising that many of the husbands had no idea their wives were being unfaithful.  The author suggests that husbands would never entertain the idea that their wives would cheat and also are somewhat oblivious to their wives emotions, believing that if their wives are happy then they must being doing a good job. They are unaware that their wife’s happiness is generated by another man.  Often the only way most husbands find out is if they receive a phone call from the affair partner’s wife, or the cheating wife becomes sloppy and doesn’t cover her tracks.

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

It was also interesting to note how these women changed after their affairs and how they tried to bring their “real selves” back into their marriages.  Many women were successful if they were completely honest about their affairs and emotions and their husbands were on board with their transformations. These women typically stated that the affair was a big mistake and that is has taken years to repair the damage, but their marriages are more rewarding than ever.

The women whose affairs remained a secret often went back to their old marriages, still unhappy and oftentimes blaming their husbands for their less-than-desirable lives.   They also ended up in other affairs, still trying to find the “perfect” relationship.

As I finish this post I worry that many of you will think that I’m justifying these women’s choices or actions, but truly I am not.  I felt the need to write about this book not because of the explanations/justifications for the cheating itself, but more for the message it conveys. 

I feel that many of us have lost ourselves in our marriages over the years and that the person our husband fell in love with is buried somewhere deep within us just dying to resurface.

I truly believe that finding another person to bring it out in us is definitely not the answer.  The answer lies within ourselves and in the authentic life we choose to live.  The answer involves much self reflection and work but I believe that all of us could have a marriage that gives us the pleasure and freedom that affairs offered these women, as well as the security and comfort that we have in our marriages.

It is ironic that I have been able to find much of my old self due to Doug’s affair.   I have learned so much about myself both sexually and emotionally that I am a different person than I was four years ago. 


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    42 replies to "Why Married Women Have Affairs"

    • EyesOpened

      This is my first post and I am a CS. I want to say thank you to you and Doug for your invaluable help. Two things – not necessarily related to this thread – but I so hope my comments help BS’s and do not cause offence. 1) Strangely I could not feel the guilt I knew I should until I started reading the discussions on this site and truly began to understandi feelings from the other perspective (from the BS) 2) my h asked me why I could send flirty and suggestive texts and messages to the OM and not him. Just yesterday – like a bolt of lightening and with insight fom your site – I realised it was because 90% of the time the actions could not possibly be carried out – so it was safer to suggest to the OM than my h because I actually didn’t want the reality – just the fantasy.

      • Linda

        Eyesopened, thank you for your comment. I agree with both of your points, Doug did not truly understand the implications of his actions and the affect it had on me until we began this blog. For our recovery this blog has been a godsend because Doug finally understand that I was not overreacting or crazy. His actions affecting every part of our lives.

        I also understand about the texting and flirting, even in our own lives you may think you want something or find it appealing but to actually follow through takes a lot more effort and commitment. I know there are days when I am at work and think about Doug and have these “great” ideas of things we should do together. To follow through is a whole other matter, we are tired, there are children at home, the car breaks down, I haven’t shaved my legs, etc. All of those great ideas go out the window.

        In affairs, it is fun to think about all the things you could be doing or how you should be acting, it is all about the fantasy. However to actually be that person and follow through without any inhibitions is very difficult to do, especially with our spouses. Unfortunately we value our relationship and worry what our spouses think about us, there is an element of fear to allow ourselves to fully let go, To be completely ourselves. If only we could have the what the hell attitude with our husbands.

        • tryinghard


          I too have become more in touch with my own authentic self. Sexually I always held back and believed that having sex was to please him. If I was pleased well that was only a by product. Now I put my own pleasure first and in return he enjoys it more. No blue pills, no more failures. Our sex life has never been better. I listen more to him and offer less solutions and opinions. I let him handle his family and keep my critical thoughts to myself where they belong. As I said in an earlier I am wanting to go back into therapy because I want to work on making me a better person. My H has done a million things right since DDay and I know if I can get myself over all this anger and hurt our marriage will be better than ever.

          You are awesome on this blog. I really appreciate all your efforts. BTW has anyone read The Monogamy Myth? What are your thoughts?

          • honorgentle

            (BS) I’ve read The Monogamy Myth and a few hundred others after my wife admitted to her affair. If you accept the premise that monogamy is a trumped up controlling measure by men to ensure their paternal insecurity; “who the father is”; is mitigated, then be ready to accept that women are naturally more promiscuous and that they are prognosticators of broken families.

            I personally feel that it’s something in the middle like this: Monogamy is not natural so therefore the real beauty in marriage should shine forth. The crowning jewel in marriage is a monogamous one because you were able to go against natural programming which is to be promiscuous. Apparently, only 20% of the population is able to do this.

    • justbecause

      Hi. It has been a long time since I have commented. My H feels my visiting this site is detrimental to our continued healing. I agree in some respects.

      Today is 1year anniversary of my d day. I am allowing myself on this site because of this. I have benefited greatly from all of you and especially appreciate C S willingness to add their insights.

      I still want to confront / talk to OW. I am considering trying to catch her on lunch hour today. . . I want this.

      Be strong.

      • tryinghard

        Just Because

        I hope you will continue to visit this site especially if it helps you. Yes sometimes when I read things I get worked up but it is not as if those feelings weren’t going to come up anyway. My H thinks the same as you but I am an adult who can make her own decisions and I am choosing to read what helps me. It might seem as if he is acting in your best interest but it may be just a little bit of control he want to exert over you. Not a healthy move in any relationship. Your input on this site helps others and that will help you to heal. I hope you will reconsider this.

        I know the feeling of wanting to confront the OW but if or when you do I hope you are ready for whatever hurtful things she will do or say to you. I would hate for a confrontation to do more harm than good to you. Also remember there is nothing you can say that will make her feel guilty or ashamed for the part she played. There is nothing she can say to you that will make you feel better. Maybe a better idea is to write a letter to her telling her what you feel about her rather than physically confronting her. I also hope she is not the violent type and comes after you. Please be careful. Desperate people do desperate things. She got dumped, I’m sure she’s pissed. DDay anniversaries are awful and I am in the middle of my two year anniversary from hell. You are in my very best thoughts and prayers today. You are not alone.

        • justbecause

          Thanks …Will maybe visit in 6 months. Like the song says – Carry on, carry on!

          Oh – she wasn’t at work:-(

    • livingonafence

      That book sounds awful – like trash. It sounds like the author is justifying having affairs. I’ve really never read such garbage about women before. Did it explain anything besides why women have affairs?

      I’m curious – did you get the feeling the author had a desired outcome when she wrote it?

      • Lynsey

        Actually, the title, “The Monogamy Myth” is very misleading. I thought the same as you when my H bought the book, but the author is a BS whose H had several affairs. She does not believe that affairs are a good thing, not does she think positively about multiple partners, etc, unless it is something that both the husband and wife want.

      • Linda

        livingonafence, As I said I usually do not read books like this and as I was reading it I was noticed the similarities between this book and Gary Newman’s book about cheating wives. I really didn’t like the way she glamorized affairs and many of the women interviewed did not receive any consequences for their actions, just as in Gary Newman’s book.

        However I found some of the content interesting, especially how the women felt little guilt, which really surprises me because in my mind if I were I cheater I couldn’t live with myself. Another interesting tidbit was the way they acted during their affairs. How selfish they were and how everything was about them and their pleasure. Some of them acted totally bitchy or demanding, spoke their minds, where in their marriages they were mild mannered.

        They appeared to pretend to be a person they wished they could be before marriage and reality got in the way. These women were definitely content to have it all, stability at home and the excitement of an affair. Their agenda was no different than a man’s agenda. The more I read the more I realized how shallow an affair is, basically two people there for their own pleasure, getting their own needs met with little regard for anyone else. The affair worked as long as this criteria was met, however when the affair became too much work, or not as pleasurable they found a way out and went back to their marriages.

    • EyesOpened

      Just Because – Do you know? More than anything I want to meet OM’s wife and apologise for the hurt I’ve caused and anything I have contributed towards her hurt and pain. Anyone I talk to about this says its the worst idea ever. I don’t want forgiveness – I just want her to know. I still work with OM and am trying so hard to leave the job – but the pain it causes her knowing that I’m there is just unbearable to think about. He wont talk to me or attend meetings and is clearly doing his best to have NC but we have to work together. people at work obviously don’t understand (because they are as in the dark as I was before i became involved in an EA). Somehow my h is able to push the hurt and pain of my actions aside (I couldn’t do it). He feels that a lot of his characteristics and actions over the last decade contributed towards the mistake I made – and he has no problem with me staying but for my sanity I have to go – even if it bankrupts our family. I want her to know all this but can’t tell her. My boss wants me to stay but says I have to work professionally with OM – I am just trying to work out how to get out as quickly as possible..

      Linda – your legs shaved and children’s attention comments are so true in our everyday lives. I often say to my h that even if he could get in my head to understand my sexual desires – he still wouldn’t understand because I can’t even keep up with my own thoughts. I can feel randy at 1.15 but by 1.16 I am thinking about a parents meeting etc… Should I move to another thread for all this ‘offloading’. ?

      • Tryinghard

        For what it’s worth I think you should apologize to his wife. You owe her an apology for interfering in her marriage. You should do it in writing. Do not speak anything about your supposed love for her husband because it will just sound hollow. You don’t need forgiveness I just think if you don’t it will haunt you the rest of your life now that you’ve seen the light:). I’m just sayin…..

        • Teresa

          I agree with tryinghard…a letter telling her how sorry you are and how you will NEVER EVER have ANY contact with her H again would be great!
          I wish the cow that my H had the EA with would write me a letter apologizing, last contact I had with her she told me it was MY fault that my H turned to her!
          Eyeopened, my biggest fear for over a year after Dday was that the cow would contact my H again…or he would contact her again in a weak moment….a letter from you stating how sorry you are and how totally disgusted you are with your behavior would help ease this fear from the BS mind, I would think….just keep it short and be totally sincere!
          I’m friends with a CS that I met on here…some of you “oldies” might remember Alone?? She’s a real sweetheart, and is sooooo sorry for all the pain she has caused, and has worked hard at repairing her marriage, so sometimes a CS DOES get it!!
          Eyesopened, You’re one of the ones who “gets it”…good for you!!

    • EyesOpened

      Linda – on the theme of the thread – as a cs – I had decided my marriage was over (it wasn’t ), I felt I’d done all I could to address our problems (I hadn’t ). I told myself that as the affair took 2.5years to develop – it was ‘real’. I thought we were the only two people that had ever felt like this!!!!! Physical reactions demonstrated my guilt ( I developed stomach pain and headaches etc) each time OM and I were together – but I justified everything because I wanted to. I became more sexually active at home so my husband was happier (because I was more turned on) – so that was good (not good but explaining my thought process). I actually thought I was doing OMs wife a favour (honestly)!! Why? Because I didn’t want to have sex with my h and wished he would find someone else for that bit of our relationship! – so I thought I was helping her by advising how he could support her at home (look after kids more, be kind, don’t demand sex). I find it unbelievable that the person writing this and myself are the same person.

      I am no longer that person and cannot believe what I did.

      One thing I ask myself though – is how all this would have come to light without an affair ? I only know all this now because the affair happened and because of this site. I think everyone should read this whole site before they enter a marriage. I have read so many posts on here – but I wonder if we TRULY admit this – what could our other halves have said before the affair that would have made a proper difference to the marriage? What and when should have Doug said that would have improved your marriage before the affair? Would it have worked?

      • Linda

        eyesopened, Thank you for you insight, it is really helpful to hear the other side of the story. To answer your question “what should have Doug should have said that could have improved your marriage before the affair?” Well on our first dday, when Doug denied any involvement with the OW, “just friends” and I believed him, he also told me “he loved me but was not in love with me, that our marriage was more like being roommates. that was enough at the time to completely evaluate our relationship and make the changes I felt necessary to improve our marriage. Unfortunately as time went on and I realized that there was more to the story, everything became more complicated to say the least.

        We were not only dealing with the problems in our marriage but the devastation caused from the betrayal. However I do question if both of us would have completed the needed work on ourselves if the affair hadn’t happen. It really takes something that traumatic to reevaluate everything about your life, but honestly I think I really could have done that without the affair if Doug and I would have learned to communicate properly.

        Everyone has problems in their marriage and most of those problems can be resolved with work on both parties. It really has prolonged and complicated our recovery since we were also dealing with betrayal and loss of trust. I feel that prior to Doug’s affair if we would have had a honest talk about how we were feeling and what we planned to do about it, we would have been ok. For us it was really just not spending enough time to together that caused everything else to spiral out of control. When you are not having fun in a marriage everything other issues magnifies and appeals much worse than it really is.

    • EyesOpened

      Trying hard . Thank you. I really do want to do it and practise what I would say over and over. I am scared the letter or email will arrive on a ‘good day’ for her – and spoil it . I think I will pluck up the borage to send one though.
      You are obviously lovely. It sounds like you are working on ‘you’ as well as your husband working on him. I think you will be stronger and better – sounds like you are already actually. Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it.

      • Tryinghard

        I think you should say just that. You have wanted to apologize for a long time but didn’t want to upset her. We betrayed spouses live in fear that our husbands may go back to the OW or she may try to persuade him as we know only you can:) right? There is nothing wrong with acts of kindness however I explore you to keep your comments to humble apologies, no excuses, reasons etc. good luck and I hope you will let us know when you do.

        I’m trying on a daily basis to work on me. Now I only think about10 ways I would like to injure the OW rather than 50:) KIDDING. Good luck to you

    • Rachel

      My soon to ex is dating a married woman. This is his third girl friend, second married one. When I told my ex therapist about the new woman she said, ” oh I know her. She has nothing with her husband. And has been miserable for years.” I said I’ve been miserable too for years and what did I have?? She said well you are divorcing, it’s not like he’s cheating on you again!
      Since when do we stick up for the cheating spouse??

    • Tryinghard

      And this is why she’s you ex therapist. Good move. There is some really bad therapy out there. My H first therapist suggested we both date to see the grass wasn’t greener out there. UGH. You are doing the right thing ridding yourself of that cancer. He sounds cruel.

    • Disappointed

      This article really resonated with me. I know the OW has no genuine interest in my H. This is all a game to her with no intention of leaving her family. My H is a lovesick idiot who will lose all very soon. I will be losing everything because my H felt like a failure and she was there to pump him up and turn him into her puppet. I hope someday he sees her true colors and realizes he made a colossal mistake.

      • Tryinghard

        So this is all a game to her? Destroying other people’s lives? Does her family know? He will figure out real soon what he’s losing. I’m sorry

    • Recovering

      I thought it was interesting in a way to have what I have told my husband about the OW confirmed in writing. That SHE never felt guilt and that like him SHE was the problem in her own marriage. I also told him she would do it again… All of this right from the outset before the internet became by best friend… SHE even had the nerve to ask my husband why I was calling HER when I found out! I knew she didn’t feel guilty, and she never once thought of him or anyone other than herself! She NEEDED, in my opinion, to at least get some sort of jolt, though now I know that no matter what I said, that it wouldn’t make a difference to her. The only thing that bothers me about the article is that now I wish more than ever that I had contacted her husband and told him. I didn’t know either of them, and was too psycho at first to even think about telling him, but a couple months in I wanted to, but was scared. I didn’t know what he would do… now I feel almost guilty because though it is not my responsibility to stop the whore from cheating on her husband again, I feel like MAYBE I could’ve saved some other woman from going through what I have gone through by maybe making her face what she has done to her own marriage, as well as mine. I’m not one to say that her marriage isn’t my business… she made it my business when she started flirting and pursuing MY husband because HER marriage was so bad! BLAH! Then leave your husband you idiot!! Anyway, the article just reinforces my guilt… She doesn’t feel bad for what she did, and she WILL do it again. She has learned nothing and paid nothing. My husband, on the other hand, well…. he has paid dearly, and I am choosing to believe, from his ACTIONS, that he has learned from this and would never be THAT person again. That cheating is NEVER justified and ALWAYS wrong. She will never see or feel REAL love, so I guess for me, that is going to have to be her Karma. My husband is now the best husband he has ever been, and it isn’t because of her, though I am sure she would like to believe that she had something to do with his improvement, but because of ME and how he and I fought for US. She was the smelly doo that hit the fan, but not the electricity that kept the fan going!!!

      Maybe in a couple more years I will drop her husband a little note about their cheating… who knows…

      • Strengthrequired

        Recovering, like you, karma couldn’t come any sooner to the ow. I too believe that the ow will never know what true love really is, i guess you are right that is her karma.
        Of course the ow didn’t lose anything, yet our h did pay dearly. It gets me every time I think about it.
        I told my h how this ow I read about as somupset that the person she was havingman affair with was married and he made all these promises to her that he would leave his wife, and that he never didmleave his wife for her. She was so upset because she had pictured the holidays with this man and his children. She had pictured his family as being her family, and that it was supposed to be that way, that she took the life of the wife. She felt it was her life. Yet didn’t understand how the mm chose his wife over her because they were so in love….
        I told him, do you see the ow just wanted to take my family away from me. He said to me that the ow was jealous of our life and yes she wanted it for herself.
        At least he scknowledged it, and he actually sees that now.

      • Disappointed

        Recovering – I feel I should tell her husband but my friends, family, counselor and lawyer are all telling me not to. My lawyer says get settlement then tell. Counselor says confront husband and then do whatever. My gut says I have to tell him. It is the only way their relationship may become real. If I confront my h, her h will not know and when my h walks it will make it easier for them to cheat. And she has two kids… Their favorite hotel is less than 6min from where her h works and you cant tell me that doesnt add a little kick to every time they meet there. So many people have said I would be the bad guy to tell… I just want her gone and back with her h. There is nothing I could do to her that would equal what she has taken from me. I am not out for revenge. Just dont want the lies and secrets.

        • tryinghard

          Screw this!!! Send me the info and I will send the story to her H. HE NEEDS TO KNOW! It will come from a completely different state than you live in. They would never figure it out.
          I’m just sayin….

    • newstart

      Eyesopened- it sounds like your situation blew up and it all got out. I’m a CS & I wanted to post because I too understand that my decisions were so wrong. I had health issues that went away when I stopped contact. My h never found out but even now he fears I will leave him. I never thought a marriage had to be worked on. It wasn’t an issue for 15 years. I like seeing my marriage improve as we both work on it. My h understood that if things didn’t improve it wasn’t fair to either.

      Linda, thank you so very much for this thread about the book. I’ve done major self examination & totally agree with the book. I often said that I had been following my h around for so many years. I lost me in there along the why. My situation may be different than others because my h supports my independence. In a way it made it too easy to converse with the OM. I knew I needed girl friends & new interests.

      One thing that isn’t mentioned real often is that in my case the EA ruled my life. When I wasn’t waiting for the next word I was daydreaming. I lost interest in all the things I enjoyed before except my appearance. I dreamed that the OM would show up, reveal all & whisk me away. I wanted to look my best if that happened.Stupid! Now I bake, enjoy movies, plan parties & just simply live. You may think I’m talking about a couple weeks but I acted that way for 7 months. I was a wreck.

      I also related to the part about being in control. As soon as I learned the OM had a live in gf I didn’t want him anymore. I didn’t feel in control of the situation. I also think deep down I didn’t really want to give up my current life.

      I’ve been beat up on these threads for making the choices I did. I’ll just say it now that there is no excuse or justification.

      • tryinghard


        OK I’m going to go out on a limb hereonly because I feel like I have rounded a corner. You are NOT a bad person. You’ve made bad decisions and bad choices. You lived in a fantasy that you and the OM created and just like everyone else it blew up and went away when it all hit the light of day. I’m sorry you’ve felt beat up on this site and I maybe even helped. I am sorry. The only time I take offense is when the CS blame or attack the wife. While she/he may or may not be perfect you cannot judge them. You are only getting one side of a very glossed over story and besides you wanted to believe your lover. All part of the fantasy. As I’ve stated before I have had a lot of hatred and feelings of need for revenge for the OW because I know she made herself very available to my H BUT he is the one who took her up on her offer. I know this because I went to where she worked and it just so happens as I put the timeline of events together. This is when I first met the OW. I owned a store and I was going up to buy something for the store to display Christmas merchandise. As she talked to me I had the biggest feeling “this woman would go after my husband”. She wreaked of desperation. I knew my H did business with the place she worked. I have never had that feeling about any other woman before. Then when she started to work for him I kept wanting to say something to him but I thought I was being dramatic. I never liked or trusted her. It was a huge gut feeling and red flag that I chalked up to being a drama queen. Well I wasn’t a drama queen, I was right. She played her cards right with him and she took everything she could get financially. She made herself so pitiful and made him believe he was her hero. He could please her with gifts from WalMart where for me, well let’s just say I don’t.

        All that being said I see now what was going on and like EG said he affaired down because he never had any intention of leaving me. He had the best of both worlds. Me at home taking care of him and her on the side. He managed this just fine until the stress and guilt became too much. She was fine for the dark but as soon as it came to the “light” he was over it. He lied to her more than he lied to me. She was used too but the way she was used made her essentially a whore. I’m not casting that moniker on you though because I don’t know your whole situation and don’t really need to. The fact is we can call the OW all the names in the book and that doesn’t make it so because they are calling us all the names in the books too. We can call you low, immoral whatever but really who are we to judge because none of us is without sin.

        Sounds to me like you have done some real growing up and maturing. I hope you too ask for forgiveness to the OM wife. She deserves it. She didn’t have a vote in yours and her H’s choices and she is dealing with the consequences of them. I’m sure she hates you but that is just something you have to deal with. Be sincere and kind in your words. You will feel better. She may not forgive and that doesn’t matter.

        Good Luck to you.

    • Strengthrequired

      Newstart, you have done so well overcoming the ea, and enjoying the Newstart with your h. You deserve to be happy in your marriage, as we all do. It’s a great feeling when you knowmwho you really want to be with, and knowing that all those feelingsmyou felt when you first met can happen even with your h. Marriages do take work, to work but they can be so rewarding. Good on you.

    • Strengthrequired

      Trying hard, I never trusted my h ow either, never since the first time I met her over 20 yes ago. Yet when she came back into our life a few months before their ea, I asked my h what her intentions were? He told me that itmwasok, he had already told her that nothing could happen between them. She apparently agreed, that it wasn’t her intention.
      The only reason she came back into our lives was she had left her h.
      So she too made my h pity her, she made him feel like a hero. So you know what happened next, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
      You know something though, nothing I would have said would have made a difference to my h, because of how he was at the time. He would have fought me every step of the way, even if I had told him to stay away from her. It’s pathetic, but yes he did step down too.
      My h even told me she had too much baggage, ye he didn’t think about it for a while. You know why don’t you, she would leave her kids and stay with my h until all sorts of early hours of the morning. So of course he didn’t see her as having baggage, he was hardly around them, just lapping up the time with her.

    • EyesOpened

      Linda and TryingHard – Thank you for your responses.

      I’ve been away and got some distance and it has helped me to make a decision. TH – I sent an apology email and also handed in my resignation at work and let her know in the apology email. It may not be the best action for my family but I have to get away from the poisonous situation. I’m feeling a weight lifted from my shoulders and I so hope that it has had a positive effect for her – and that she gets the comfort that you would have had from a letter. Thank you for helping me to decide.

      This site is just such an amazing concept .

      • tryinghard

        I wondered what happened to you. I’m glad you took some time to think about what you should do. You too deserve some peace and it sounds from the tone of this post that you feel better. Maybe it helped his wife, maybe not. I have a hard time believing that extending kindness and true remorse wouldn’t be taken positively. Her peace isn’t your problem. You took responsibility for your part in her husband’s betrayal and that is all that matters. You didn’t betray her he did but you played a roll.
        I’m sorry you had to resign your position but this will really be for the best both personally and career wise. You may not think people at work know about the affair but trust me they do, they just aren’t talking about it. It’s too bad he didn’t resign but we are still such a patriarchal society that when this crap happens it ALWAYS impacts the women, both the OW and the wife, more than the male. Too bad this is not taken into consideration beforehand right?
        I hope you also understand that no matter what you may want to believe your whole relationship was nothing but a fantasy. Like a very real dream that always turns into a nightmare. Given that he is back with his wife should answer that question for you. If you two would have ended up together it would have always been tainted for both of you since your whole relationship was premised on a lie. I know you probably don’t trust your own judgement any more than we betrayed spouses trust ours any more but facing the reality and acceptance of that reality of what it really was I know will help you to heal as well.
        You’ll find a job, a better job, I just know it. You are in my prayers as a child of God who deserves His forgiveness and Mercy. Good Luck to you Eyes and don’t be a stranger here. We are AMAZING and so are YOU 🙂

    • EyesOpened

      Wow! Thank you TH! Thank you.

    • TheRealTruth

      Because they just Can’t stay with Only One Man anymore.

    • Sal Hepatica

      I knew my wife had cheated on me. She cheated three times. It’s nice for the cheating wife to believe, “My husband didn’t suspect a thing!” How do you know he did not? What if he knew but didn’t say anything to you?

      I never told my wife that I knew. I tried to talk about “problems,” but that is not the same as saying, “Honey, I know you are a liar.” By not telling her, I didn’t send off signals to her. There were no red lights. So she showed me who she was as she coasted along downhill. I tried to talk to her, tried to tell her that I was unhappy–but without giving away my coign of vantage. She didn’t care if I was unhappy–she blamed me for several things and kept her nose in the air. A person is many things. Cheating on a lover or a spouse does not mean you are a bad at everything; it doesn’t mean you a failure at life. It is not at all a sin. I don’t believe in that. But what it does mean is: you are not going to arrive at a happy place. You cannot cheat and confess and expect good things to come from your history. You have done that and it won’t go away–ever. You will never have “innocence” again. The person you hurt–cannot and will never forget, especially if they’re the type of person who really cares and has passion for you!

    • bor

      Wow Do i feel stupid I did accuse her actually of infidelity 4 months into the emotional affair, just friends and shaming me. Again at 9 months more shaming me just friends, at 12 months again this time she deleted hangout texts and i found she had sent him images from her time in Germany for work. again more blame shifting and shaming. on Dday i read the work computer and there it was in at least a month of affair emails times and dates and descriptions of events and yes sex. Again she came home and denied this time i had the evidence and was not going to take no for her answer. Shattered 21 years of marriage and four kids. most of her family and mine and all our friends would fall off their chairs if they knew. I have been a devoted husband and father, mostly though father to one autistic child and two hockey players and a cheerleader and gymnist. I was really before giving her unconditional love and being doormat for her to walk over me. I have given up all my friends before we married to the obligations of being a parent and spouse and running the house. Just so I could also persue my activities that i enjoyed and still be their to support her. now I find that those neglected friendships are hard to revive when i need them most. I look at my life and know that i have incredible value as a person of moral character and am going to be changing to be independent of her wants and needs. It is she that will have to find her own self esteem and grow. I will move on with or with out her.

      • honorgentle

        I understand your situation.. mirrors mine. It’s very important to find the reasons why your wife has traded her home for an affair.

    • Renato

      I believe it’s not true. My wife is in love with me.

    • Federico Felix

      I honestly think that behind the attitude of leaving home, there are causes. The shares are in 100% caused by other actions. Example: If you talk loudly to your spouse what will happen is that she can and will get away from you, as this shows disrespect. If it knocks it will move away. Now if she cares, she’s probably coming closer, right. It’s my opinion. Beautiful article, made me reflect.

    • Julia

      We need to stop to understand everything we let happen.

    • Ana

      I’ve been married for over 5 years. Totally shielded our love.

    • Tom

      Facing dday tonight. Not looking forward to it. All of these posts help and the study materials of the preparation. My CS got involved in some ‘naughty’ groups on Facebook 3 years ago. She started exchanging posts and sharing pics and it came to light when she left her phone out and I saw several texts from an old flame she had in HS. We’ve been married for 36 years, so that was a long time ago. I found the texts 2 years ago and we had a big blow out about it. She gave me, what I now know, is all the standard excuses; we’re just playing around, doesn’t mean anything, exploring my sexuality. But when I wasn’t buying, she shifted the blame to me. I was withdrawn. Not engaged in the marriage. What are you doing snooping in my private stuff. I told her how hurt I was but she assured me I was making a mountain out of a molehill. She said she’d back off and I especially insisted to cut out her old flame. However, she changed all of her passwords and opened a different Facebook account. (I found out later) very red flags, huh? Fast forward a couple of years, I’ve been working at being more engaged with her. Doing more things. Taking vacations together and I thought we were moving forward. She seemed to be happy. I was happy. But a few months ago she seemed to be spending more time alone on her computer when she was supposed to be studying, and I noticed a subtle difference in our relationship. A couple of days ago I was looking to upgrade my phone and when I was comparing data plans I noticed she had 1333 texts the previous month. Whoa. When I checked the month before. Same deal. Over 1200. And the month before that as well. So I checked the numbers and there were three that kept coming up with long text conversations including pics. When I back checked the numbers with Whitepages, one of them was her old flame. So Dday has arrived! I love my wife and want nothing more than to repair and build, but it’s her choice now. I need to rebuild myself either way. Thanks for letting me vent……

    • Shaun

      This article actually makes me hate my ex wife even more. Cheating women are some of the most entitled toxic pos’ in the world today and females in society either literally turn a complete blind eye to this, or defend it.

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