marital affairsMany authors and researchers state that most marital affairs usually die on their own. There are several reasons for this. 

For instance, the excitement and infatuation wear away and the affair becomes more trouble than it is worth. Or the infidelity may be brought out into the open and the affair partners are forced to make a choice whether to stay in their committed relationship or begin a new life with the affair partner.

Another reason is that one cheating spouse may begin to expect more from the relationship than the other is willing to give.  They may begin to demand more time and commitment,  therefore causing an imbalance in the relationship.

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The other day I began to think about affairs that last longer than 6-12 months, and was curious as to why and how they are able to continue. We’ve heard many stories of readers who have had affairs for years – even a decade or more. One reader commented recently that her marital affair lasted several years because their infatuation and affair fog had worn off and they were actually experiencing true love.

This may be the case in this instance, but I believe their situation may have allowed the affair to continue because they had the perfect balance.  That is,  their marital affair involved two committed (married) people, which essentially allowed them to have their cake and eat it too. An affair like this could continue forever if it goes on undetected.

Let me explain further…Within their marriage there is security, a family life and history.  Because of the affair dynamics, they have pulled away from their spouse, and as a result, do not  put forth much effort into the marital relationship.  The spouse accepts this for whatever reason, and consequently this causes everyone to just go off on their own.  They end up receiving all the benefits of being in a marriage, but without much work.

On the other hand, the affair relationship offers them an escape from their mundane lives.  Somebody new and exciting sees them as new and exciting.  This person becomes the person that they would love to be, without the restrictions of life.  They do not have to deal with life’s responsibilities with this person, so most of their time together is fun, engaging and without conflict.  The marital affair offers a vacation from real life.

At the same time,  they are focusing on the negative aspects of their marriage, and how their spouse is not meeting their needs.  However, if they really looked at the positive side of things they would realize that they are receiving a great amount of fulfillment from their marriage.

They begin to take for granted all the everyday things their spouses do compared to the “grand gestures” demonstrated by their affair partner.  These gestures might be as simple as listening to the affair partner complain about their spouse, going out to lunch together, or handing out compliments.

The affair partners validate each other and their “unhappiness” with their  marriage, yet ignoring all the good things their spouses have done for them and the needs they have indeed met, and are probably still meeting.

Even though the affair partners fantasize about being together forever, I doubt  they realize that it will never be like it was during the affair.   Fantasy will eventually meet with reality.

I read somewhere that when asked if  they loved their affair partner more than their spouse, a common answer was that they loved their affair partner differently.  Well, to me this is ridiculous. Neither one loves the other unconditionally.  Instead, they are madly in love with the feeling that their marital affair partner is giving them – and that will soon fade.

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    115 replies to "Why Some Marital Affairs Last Longer Than Others"

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    • Jeffrey Murrah

      Linda,

      It almost sounds as if long-term affairs occur when both spouses agree to a relationship where they keep their distance and put on happy faces about it.

      I agree, that it is ridiculous for the cheater to love their affair partner differently. The only different are the levels of commitment and the rules of the relationship. I often use an escalator analogy for relationships. Since escalators only go up or down, in relationships people are either growing closer together or further apart. There is no in-between. Since relationships are dynamic, they are always moving. The question is, which direction are they moving?

    • Jenn

      WELL SAID, Linda, I think you hit the nail on the head.

    • Inthemiddleofit

      Being in the middle (well not in the middle, more like towards the end) of a PA, I don’t think I agree with the statement that you can’t feel love differently. I do agree with Jeffrey about the escalator and wholeheartedly agree that most of the feelings of love have to do with the feelings around the situation, not the person. But I do think you can love people differently.

      I love my wife, kids, parents and friends. But I feel love differently for each one of them. Do I love the OW? A month ago I would have answered a resounding yes. Now, not quite as sure – I think I’ve been much more in love with all the feelings that are elicited when I am with her. But I do think there were some strong feelings towards her as well. Maybe the beginnings of it.

      Even thinking about your spouse – don’t you feel love differently towards them over time? I know I felt differently when we were first together – then love changes. So I do think one can love their spouse and the OP differently – not more or less, just different.

      I also think its a bit dangerous to make the assumption that cheating spouses are only in love with the feelings and can’t really be in love with the OP.

      • Doug

        inthemiddleofit,I know that I shouldn’t make assumptions that cheating spouses are only in love with the feelings. I guess as the betrayed spouse who is trying to recover from the pain and save my marriage it is better for me to believe that Doug was only in love with the feelings and not the person.

        When I said that they loved each other the same what I meant was they were loving their spouse and the affair partner conditionally. This theory was based on a book “Real love” which talks about the difference between real love and conditional love. This book helped us realize that so many of our behaviors were based on conditional love and it requires true honesty to ever experience real love.

        I also want to add that I am just a woman who’s husband had an affair, I am not a therapist or an expert in the field. I have researched and read more books and articles that I care to count, I have gathered my knowledge from experience and I know that everyone will not always agree with everything I write. My main objective is to help anyone, whether be the cheater or the betrayed to navigate through this horrible mess. I hope that our experience will help other couples realize that their is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Linda

        • Inthemiddleofit

          I’m sorry Linda – you’re right. Any love that comes from an affair is most definitely conditional. The OW and I actually talked about this a little when the topic came up about whether we wanted to leave our respective situations. While I was in a fog, it wasn’t so deep that I didn’t see that our interactions were in Disneyland. I mean, we’d see each other once a week. Meet for drinks in a nice hotel, etc, etc… It was nowhere near real life. Where the fog kicked in was even though I recognized that, I thought we were good enough together that we’d still be great in the real world.

          I thought about my remarks for awhile after I posted them and realized that while it might dangerous to automatically categorize the love the cheating spouse feels is just about their feelings, it most cases that’s probably correct. And I think in the cases where the cheating spouse has shown remorse and is working to build a better marriage, it’s probably correct close to 100% of the time. I’m sure there are those cases where the cheating spouse and the OP have fallen in love, but I imagine in those cases, there is no discussion of marriage reconciliation.

          I have found your responses (and Dougs) to be completely refreshing and well-intended. I think this site is an amazing resource for those struggling through the aftermath of an affair. You’ve been able to take what you’ve found to be the best of many different theories and responses and put them to use. And for myself (on the other side), it’s been a welcome place to discuss and think through my own actions. So thank you for taking the time to post and respond to people. I can’t begin to imagine how many people the two of you have helped. I know your experience has given me hope…

        • Bella

          Hi Linda,

          I have recently ended a 3 year affair. We are both married and have stayed with our spouses. You are correct where you state the a marriage provides security, family and history. For the both of us this was worth preserving over the passion within our affair.

          I do believe that you can love people differently. Whether it is love or infatuation doesn’t really matter to the people that are experiencing it…to them it feels like love.

          I don’t mean to sound harsh but I don’t believe that you can generalize and state that the Cheating Spouse doesn’t love the Affair Partner but rather loves the excitement of the affair. In my experience, when we were intimate, I felt love for my AP and closer to him each time…real love. That may hurt the Betrayed Spouse to hear but it can be the truth.

          In my case, the history, family and security won out. My love for my husband was stronger than the love for my AP. My husband and I worked through our issues. I do agree with you that if both APs are married then an affair can go on for s very long time.

          Thank you for letting me share my perspective.

          Bella

      • barb

        what happened in one month to change your in love to “not sure”

    • Donna

      Great post and kind of relevant for me and mu husband right now. Sat and talked with my husband last night. He is tormented every day by his emotional affair because he has gone against what he knows is wrong, not just know, but feels it is wrong as well. he knows he is not suppose to want to be with another woman, and yet he does. He wants to fall in love with me and be with his wife and children, but how do you do that when you so desperatly love this ow so much and struggle everyday when you are not with her.

      I THOUGHT and foolishly believed as I have stated on here a few times that once again he is in the nc phase with ow coming up to 6 weeks. I was so proud only to learn that ow called him before he changed his cell phone number and then he has since called her, he has just put his phone on as a silent number so she does not have it, however he can access her cell. I am DEVESTATED and struggling to type this through my tears. He wants to be with his family and I said that he says that he has made a choice to be with his family but can’t do it. He can’t even go 6 flippin weeks without any contact. 18 months this has been going on for, I have only known since March this year though although new soimething was up prior, juts unsure what it was. He said that the guilt is a minor thing inthe scheme of things compared to the torment that he faces every second of the day. Said he never would have entered into an affair if he knew the pain of what he would have to face now. He never thought he would be this involved with another person and want to be with her.

      He stillw ants to try for our marriage and i told him that while he is still contacting her, even periodically that we have not a chance because she is a thorn in our sides. He agreed although is not ready to give us up yet. I feel helpless and feel I need to just grow up and accept that I probably know how this is going to end. Oh gosh.. my heart is broken all over again.. how do I cope.

      He works ofr a family business and has decided to give notice and leave work at Christmas time and is considering in the the new year leaving interstate to work in the mines with a frioend to work on himself as he is in self destruction mode. He feels he just needs to focus on fixing him as he feels he is going to crack. He hates himself and what he is doing to his wife and 4 children and he just wishes he could shut off from being him.. It’s all just a great big mess.

      I have FINALLY decised throuogh a detraught heart that I have nothing to lose and am going to try the 180. I just don’t know where to start! I feel like this is the first day that I found out all over again. Sorry for the vent, I am just so broken at the moment and my tears will not stop, I am in for surgery thoday.. so it will be nice under the circumstances to have someone look after me for a few day.

      • Doug

        Donna, I am sorry to hear the newest developments, please read some of the books we recommend before doing the 180. You may also consider some professional help to aid you through this process. It will take a lot of strength to do this but I feel it will finally give you some control over the situation. linda

    • D

      Love is an illusion …. like democracy or Santa Claus; it exists because you believe in it. So there can be different feelings of love. But I think what Jeffrey and Linda are talking about is love based on reality vs. love based on fantasy. They are ridiculous comparisons, like comparing a real chocolate bar to an imaginary one.

    • D

      Excellent post, by the way, Linda. I’m afraid to even bring the affair up lately because my wife seems to have turned a corner, but I think the affair is becoming this strange aberration in our marriage. In hindsight it becomes less about love and more about infatuation, lust and opportunity.

      It’s going to be a while before I feel safe and/or comfortable with her but the nice moments are increasing. The affair is further in the rear view mirror.

      • Doug

        D, I feel I am at the same place and I really don’t want to talk about the affair so much anymore. I have come to the point where I don’t feel as intimidated, for lack of a better word, about their affair. I really just want to move on and enjoy the marriage we have now. However there are times, that come and go way too often that I question my thinking and wonder if everything that I believe is really true. I hope to believe that our spouses are farther along in their thinking and truly see the affair more realistically . Linda

    • D

      Linda ~ I taped a quote on my desk at work to help me through those times. It’s simple but a powerful reminder, “I stopped worrying when I realized that my wife will do whatever she wants to do. I have no control over her thoughts or actions.”

      I honestly feel that, while I love my wife (and how easy this would all be if I didn’t,) if she told me tomorrow she wanted out I would help her pack without a single tear. I want us to reach a good place, but it has to be on my terms too. Keep that in mind, Donna. You’ll get there. Hang tough.

      • Doug

        D, When I finally came to the place where I realized that I had no control of Doug’s actions, feelings, and thoughts I began to feel free. I began to focus on my happiness and for the most part put the affair behind me. I wished I would have felt this way in the very beginning, I believe I would have spared my self-esteem and some of my pain. I really regret some of the things I did to try to control the situation, I wish I would have set him free (not because I didn’t love him) I just wanted him to figure this out for himself. I was trying to protect our families from the pain, but the truth is we were providing more pain for the children by keeping them in the dark. I am sure they sensed that something was wrong and instead of talking to them about it we allowed them to worry in silence. Thanks for your comment. Linda

    • ruth

      Donna, my h was in his PA and EA for almost 2 yrs. Last Nov 30 was the last night he spent the night with her and made me a promise that it was over. Almost to the day Monday I get a text message that my h is at the casino where she works and has a hotel attached to it. That casino is 1 1/2 hour away from here. h lied to me and told me he was at the casino in the other direction that is 2 1/2 and he drank to much and would not beable to drive home. How stuiped does he think I am. I knew exatcly where he was. I told him enough is enough and honestly it was one of D’s comments that help me. I read your comment one F”’them over and over again and I did the 180 and told him he may not come home. Well OMG I had flower delievered to me, He made promises that I have never seen before and honestly he swears up and down that he did not have contact with her. The real progress was he told me the truth where he was were before he would continue to lie even when I had proof and than trun it on me as being a spy and that he is a prisioner. My gut honestly believes him for the first time i have seen true remose and real love in his eyes for me. I think he finally realized I am not taking anymore of this. I do desereve better. I was so tired of tip toeing aroundtrying not to drive him back to her but how is that any way for me to live. Donna you are a very strong and wonderful person. Believe in yourself. I know how hard it is, it took me almost 3yr now to really say I will make it on my own and I know I will love my h forever but I just couldn’t be afraid anymore. I really do believe he is finally making the effort and is very grateful he is still with me. I dont think there will be anymore secrets. Now I really dont know what happen Monday but he really did come home changed as I see it changed for the better but like everything else time will tell. Thank you all and Donna hang in there

    • Norwegian woman

      Donna. I feel for you. It hurts even more, everytime our hopes get crushed.
      I discovered my husband on his way to establish an affair last christmas. He stopped all contact with the OP and we were really trying to get our marriage right again. Then, as I was starting to trust my husband again, I god an e-mail from the husband of ANOTHER woman. Prior to the affair i discovered and stopped, he have had an affair with another woman from january – october last year. His wife left him in january but they god together again in july this year and she confessed about the relationship. I was devestated, but he begged on his knees, and I stayed. Now I have discovered that he had contakt pr. telephone and SMS with this woman until she moved in with her husband again.
      I feel like I have been betrayed three times. And it hurts even more each time I find out that he hasn`t been truthfull to me, but served me half-lies and somethimes straight out lies about his affairs.
      I feel like a fool for wanting to believe that he was truthfull and really wanted to do all in his power to make our marriage work. Instead the reality was that I was all alone on the work on the marriage, all the time.
      I feel like I have come to a point where I have to set a boundry. I can not control his actions. I really can`t. He is away on a boardmeeting on a hotel tonight, but instead of jealousy, I feel indifferent. I don`t even want him to phone me, because I feel that everything he tells me is a lie.
      I don`t understand what is going on in his mind, and I am not sure that I am interested in finding out either….. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired….

    • Norwegian woman

      I wonder if I am married to an Narcissistic serial chaeater……

    • Donna

      Norwegian woman, ruth and Linda.. thank you for your comments. So very much appreciated. x

    • Eternal Optimist

      Hi Doug and Linda, I am currently separated (he left earlier this year), something I didn’t choose, my husband (can’t/won’t say ex) has chosen to board with ex workmate. he is continuing his affair with someone who lives many miles away, so they don’t see each other often from what i can gather. We haven’t talked deeply at all since he left though he knows i want to, he seems shut down. i’ve said i don’t want to sweep this under the carpet and i want to talk through things, that i want to be the best possible us given the situation (i’m not trying to convince or have an outcome). He doesn’t engage when i talk like this, just says he is a good listener! My question is, if he is still in ‘brain fog’ state, which i believe he is, if i try and ask questions, talk through things will he be ‘hearing’ me…would you have heard Linda when still in the state Doug? What worked to get through to you? I guess i want to say a few things around what i’ve learnt through reading and educating myself. he is a classic romantic ‘love you but not ‘in love’ with you’…i wanted to talk about the chemical high/intoxication stage and how it fades, that she is just playing a role (as this is his 2nd affair and relatively soon after first)..why didn’t he want to work it out after the first time (and we definitely started to)..what about the impact on our boys/it’s in their history now… it feels he has frozen me out and i guess i get so scared of going there; sometimes i just want to give up and never see him again, i’m so sad and confused. he doesn’t seem to care about me at all. after 23 years how can you just do that? What’s with the coldness, we have been so very close how can someone just turn away so brutally. maybe he’s too far gone. maybe i’m just wasting my time/breath. What type of questions/statements get through! He hasn’t talked to his boys (19/21) about his affair. Just plays the ‘good fun Dad’ for a few hours every couple of weeks. He isn’t normally a cold person, we were very, very close on many levels. Thanks.

      • Doug

        Eternal, While he is in his “affair fog” he doesn’t want to hear you preaching all those things that you mentioned. Linda did all that, and wanted me to read this book and that book, and I wouldn’t have anything to do with it at first, but in the back of my mind I knew she was right. When she “backed off” I began to see the light more clearly.

    • konan

      By being at home as im off work sick with depresssion am i providing her with someone to take care of the mundane home life freeing her up to exist just in the fantasy of her relationship.
      By going back to work will she realise what i do for her and what she needs to do at home.
      i’m completely lost the other man has said he wants to move in with her but i cant stand the thought of him being in my home

      • karen

        Konan – your posts are painful to read – my heart goes out to you as your wife is clearly in a fantasy world right now. You have come to the right site for advice and encouragement – lots of other betrayed spouses here as well as spouses who had affairs. Please read all you can and know that you are not alone!!! Until your wife makes a decision to stop her affair, you really can do nothing so
        start working on and taking care of yourself and your kids.
        Depression can be debilitating – don’t let your wife’s bad choices overwhelm you. It is not about you. Your marriage is in a horrible limbo, so focus only on yourself and your kids. I cannot advise if tough love will work – sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn’t. You’ll know when you’ve had enough and then it’s ultimatum time. I can only say I would not sleep in the same bed with my H if he was sleeping with someone else!!! Get strong, get healthy and then you can properly take care of this terrible mess. Take care.

        • It’s just me

          I don’t know if I will anger anyone by my post . I hope my situation is different from what most of you have experienced
          Here is my story in short. My wife cheated on me many years ago. I forgave and stay together because the children were young. Three years ago my youngest graduated high school I don’t think I ever felt as close to her as i did prior to her infidelity.
          Anyway I felt her getting distant from me again so I decided I would rather live alone than go through it again so we separated and soon to divorce after three years of being apart . Anyway my point is I have a girlfriend who is married she got pregnant and then married because it was the right thing to do. She almost divorced him 5 years ago but her family discouraged it so they have been living together like siblings not lovers. I’ve been seeing her every day for two years now didn’t have sex for the first year we do fight sometimes but are deeply drawn to one another so always make up . We have never had a bad time together no matter what we are doing . Are fights are always because of my insecurities about trusting her to be faithful to me she has never been mad at me for anything other than my mistrusting her . She can’t leave her husband at this time because her daughter lives with them and is in coledge now. She hasn’t had sex with husband for 6 years now and clearly doesn’t love him
          So now I ask anyone do you really think we don’t belong together. She has never loved anyone but me and I believe I didn’t really love my wife because now I know what love really is It’s both physical and emotional to a degree that cannot be explained I’m sorry to say that in all your experiences maybe none of you have ever really been in true love Because I thought I was then realized that I wasn’t

          • Shifting Impressions

            It’s Just Me
            Since you have been betrayed in the past you would be very aware of the hurt an affair can cause. Your “girlfriend” is having an affair with you. You are the other man. It might be wise to trust your insecurities regarding her “faithfulness” to you.

            Is her husband aware of your affair? If she really wanted to be with you she would be. A college age daughter is no reason to stay in a loveless marriage….if her loveless marriage is really as loveless as she claims. I don’t mean to sound harsh but your girlfriend would not be the first person to betray their spouse and string the affair partner along. It’s not uncommon for a cheating spouses to claim their spouse is just not meeting their needs etc and etc in order to justify the cheating.

            Is this really what you want for your life??

            • It’s just me

              Hummmmm I didn’t expect to get a response but since Someone did maybe you will answer this . my girlfriend married because her mother made it seem like she had to marry the farther of her child thus not for long be of the man , they lived together for 15 years then she filed for a divorce, however through family pressure she dropped the divorce and said they can live together like brother and sister but that was it . So you must agree that she has been unhappy for many years . Now her and I meet and there is a strong attraction between us . Wouldn’t you agree that she deserves the chance to be in a relationship with someone who loves her deeply . Therefor the situation is different from what most affairs are believed to be a selfish act of lust . If u respond to this post I will be great full. Oh and I do believe that her husband knows of me because we text for hours every night she watches tv from her bed and he on the couch . Her daughter knows she text someone however they haven’t actually discussed our relationship I would like to thank u for taking the time to respond u actually surprised me by doing so

            • Shifting Impressions

              It’s Just Me
              Oh we respond to each other’s comments all the time….it’s a great way to support each other.

              Of course people deserve happiness. Perhaps just ask if her husband knows. Also staying in a marriage because of family pressure?? Why would someone do that? Lots of unanswered questions here.

            • It’s just me

              There was no reply button so u probably won’t get this but before I ask her who actually knows about us can u tell me the reason I should be asking. But as for me everyone in my family knows about her

            • Shifting Impressions

              It’s just me
              Well if your relationship is hidden from her husband and family etc then you are with someone who is living a lie and cheating on her husband. If her husband knows and is okay with it then that’s a different situation altogether.

              You have been with her for two years…..where do you see this going??

            • Just me

              Well I guess I don’t have to ask her that then because what man would be okay with his wife finding company with another man ???????? my concern is that I wonder if she will eventually leave him or just replace me in time . Resulting in myself waisting precious life on a temporary situation. Yes I know no one can answer that other than her

          • Shifting Impressions

            Just Me
            Only you have the answer to whether you want to put your life on hold for someone that isn’t really available or someone that doesn’t seem in all that big of a hurry to get out of her marriage,

            Infidelity is often steeped in secrecy and deception…..the affair partner often paints an untrue picture about their marriage in order to justify the affair…..just sayin. Ask yourself the hard questions.

            • It’s just me

              Well I discussed my blog posting with my girlfriend she was surprised that I would even consult a stranger with our lives. She told me that her sister knows about us daughter knows something is up husband just thinks things are just normal It would appear that living a loveless life is okay with him
              She had this to say “I am well aware that the situation in my home is not normal and that it’s not fair to you and also not easy for me. every situation is different people are different they react different to things”
              Regardless of what the future holds for us, I will always be great full for having known her and for letting me share in her life
              I am aware that this post is more for the spouse of someone who has decided that they needed a change for whatever reason . It is my belief that it hasn’t happened because of a lack of love they have for you. It is more for something that they think is missing in their own life . So if separating is the result just accept it and life will bring another relationship and a renewed enthusiasm for the future.

          • Shifting Impressions

            It’s Just Me
            Yes we are strangers on this site but a common thread binds us together…..that is the common thread of infidelity!! I’m not sure why you came to this site if not hear what others have been through.

            In my case I was the betrayed spouse. I will always view the act of infidelity as an act of pure cowardice!! I know that it is often something missing in the Cheating Spouse’s life but face that lack with honesty and integrity rather than choosing a path of betrayal and deceit .Sorry but the pain of being betrayed is just so deep…..surely it is better to show your spouse some respect by telling them the truth than to lie and cheat.

            It has been almost six years since d-day for me and my husband and I are still together…..and doing quite well. But I honestly would not wish this kind of pain on anyone.

            • Just me

              I just was googling about my girlfriend which we both agree is a bad thing to do and I just happened to click on this link. Funny this tho. Maybe I did because it’s something more for u than for me. I have accepted the way my life has changed and actually it is for the better. For my soon to be x hers isn’t going so well. But that’s not my problem
              Anyway you say things are going well for you I hope that’s sincere and not you just trying to convince yourself. The reason i say this is because after this long you haven’t detached yourself from the event . Which u referred to as d-day
              I believe that you are reminding yourself of the heartbreak u felt by continuing to expose yourself to things like this post . I’m sure u justify it by telling yourself you are trying to help others who are going through a similar situation. But honestly for yourself maybe you should let go and put it in the past .
              I gave my wife a second chance and she regretted screwing it up. And yes in an odd way it makes me feel good hearing that . But for me it is different I kept the house in a neighborhood that is great along with the neighbors and the kids like me better than her . She smokes way to much weed, drinks and has put on a lot of weight. She doesn’t seem to have long term boyfriends.
              I guess I’m lucky that my girl and I found each other . She is amazing . If u believe in love at first sight that’s what happened to me. But I didn’t actually pursue her because I just figured I would be spending the rest of my life alone . Things just happened on their own. Even for her, she wasn’t looking for anyone either . We did not flirt or invade the others life . We met because Our companies merged therefor work in the same place. It’s hard for me to see her there and not be able to express our relationship. But neither one has told anyone there that we are together. Although she says they all wonder because of the way we speak so comfortable to one another . Omg I don’t know why I am talking about me but I won’t re read or delete because I don’t know you and I’m sure u think I’m a jerk because I’m ur eyes I’m “ the other man “ and by ur description isn’t a good thing .
              However if by chance anyone other than urself reads this ridiculously long post, perhaps you will realize that the other person to whom their spouse has found, might not actually be an ass.
              I realize now that being married to someone doesn’t mean that u own them. They are only sharing their life with you.

            • Just me again

              I just realized I over shared a bit????
              I also reread ur last posts and what I really wanted to say is that it doesn’t really sound like u have forgiven ur spouse . I am also going to surmise that u r a woman probably born under the sign of cancer . You don’t like change there needed ur marriage to continue because of what others would think or because you have planned your life would have gone a certain way . And the sacrifice you have made is probably because of the kids .
              Well I watch hallmark movies too, although I don’t tell many people ????????
              I can tell from ur caring heart, that if things don’t work out for Your current relationship, someone will find you.

          • Shifting Impressions

            It’s Just ME
            No…I don’t think you are a jerk….we just don’t agree on some things. I will be the first to admit I’m not totally over my husband’s betrayal. I know that I still struggle with forgiveness. But we are in a much better place than we were just after I found out. And yes I sometimes question why I still come here? But it does make me feel better when I can give someone some words of understanding and encouragement. It helped me so much when that understanding and encouragement was given to me.

            In all likelihood I am much older than you are……I discovered my husband’s EA just a few weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary. There were too many good years to just walk away. Our children are close to both of us…..we are both good parents. We have four little grandchildren together that we absolutely adore…..so our relationship is worth fighting for.

            One of the hardest things for me is the lies and deception that go along with infidelity. So it has been interesting chatting with you and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has read your post. We just think differently.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Just Me Again
            I’m way to old to stay in a marriage just because of what others would think. There are no financial constraints and my kids are adults. There is lots of freedom in that. I told my husband that the only reason he should stay in the marriage is if he really wanted to be with me. There was no begging on my part. I simply wasn’t going to do the “pick me” dance.

            As for forgiveness….in my opinion it’s a process I will be the first to say that it’s a struggle, but I am much closer than I was.

            And no….not born under the sign of cancer. Also I never thought of my marriage as a sacrifice it was precious to me and I loved my husband with everything I had inside of me. The betrayal cut like a knife because I had trusted so completely.

            I stayed because I knew I would regret not trying to pick up the pieces if I walked away to soon. Our adult children put no pressure on us…..they just loved us through it all.

            • Just me

              I do understand why you would like ur family to remain intact . It is true every situation is different. For me, i forgave once because our children were still home. However, realizing twice would be to much I chose to end it . For my girlfriend she also remains in her marriage Because of her daughter. It has been a very difficult thing for her. Not marrying because of love and leaving her home to come to this country without family and a husband who chooses to drink, can really make a person feel alone. For you, family also sounds to be an important factor as to your decisions.
              I hope things go well for you and your family. I remained in my marriage for almost 8 years before choosing to end it. My friend has been in hers for I think 6 or 7 before we met, even tho loveless for even longer. So plz don’t judge our situation

          • Shifting Impressions

            Just Me
            It’s not so much about judgement as a total difference of opinion. I am much more of a lets put all our cards on the table kind of a person. I would rather someone slap me with the truth than kiss me with a lie.

    • konan

      Thanks for words I just need to know if it’s worth me waiting for her to come round do you have any advice how long it takes for her to make a decision

      • karen

        Konan: Of course it’s worth it if she does “come around.” My H and I have made great progress, with a long way to go, 6 months post D-day. I’ve read on this site many times not to make any rash decisions after an affair is exposed. That does NOT mean you sit back and be a doormat while your wife lives in her fantasy world. Calmly express your disapproval, set boundaries for your own health and well-being, and I’d read all the posts about stepping back and see if that seems helpful to you. How long will it take? You may have to try several things, including an ultimatum with consequences, before she may snap out of it. You may have to let her go completely out of your life. I don’t think there is a set timetable. As time goes on, it will become clearer to you what to do. Please take care of yourself – you are worth it!!! And you deserve to have your wife’s full attention and devotion . . . . only time will tell if she makes the right choice.

    • konan

      Thanks I have asked her to respect my home and not have him here but she said she can’t make that promise to me as she can’t stand to be apart from him so I’m a prisoner without anywhere to go as I know he will be in my house with my kids I’m really stuck and can’t escape she was gonna go to her mums but they said he couldn’t come round and his family say same about her as he is married with kids as well

    • karen

      Konan: Unless you’re willing to enforce your boundary, it will be meaningless to your wife as she is in the “affair fog.” Are you saying she will bring her OM to the house when you are gone? Only you can allow yourself to be a prisoner and be stuck. Reach out and get some help. No, it won’t be easy. But it will be better than your situation now. You cannot rely on your wife to make good decisions for you and your kids at this time. I know it is easy to wallow in pity and pain, which is all right for brief periods of time, but
      then you have to do the tough work of one step at a time moving forward. If your wife gets left behind, it is her choice. Believe me, many of us have had to do this – it can be done. Don’t remain a “prisoner” or “stuck.” There are always things you can do to move forward. Take care.

    • konan

      thanks you seem to be saying what i think about the fog but i cant see a way of her getting out of it if she has no where for them to go and get to really know each other so her fantasy will continue.She saw me checking my email yesturday and has read all my posts and is now being off with me where as we seemed to be able to coexist she asked me for sex the other day and i said no now i just want her so i can feel the connection with her but she says no as she read this and doesnt want to give me false hope i know i keep asking for help but i do need and appreciate it

    • karen

      Konan: While you are allowing her to “have her cake and eat it too,” even if they had somewhere to get to know each other, it might only fuel the fire of the affair fog. Please, please, please read Doug and Linda’s post today. It contains much of what you need to hear as the betrayed spouse. As for having sex with your wife while she is having an affair, that is your choice. As I’ve read in other posts on this site, if it is a physical affair, be wary of the medical risks of your wife sleeping with multiple partners and how that affects you.

    • konan

      Thanks for the support I don’t know what to I change day to day make the declaration of love talk to her listen to her side and probls act like I’m fine all seem to get a positive reaction from her but no end result I’m so confused

    • konan

      read linda and dougs post today and see how good their advice is im going to take it on board will post progress hope it goes how i want and not how i fear who would have thought your partner having an affair would create a scenario of hope for your relationship i believe we can make this work and be a better couple but just need her to want it to

    • konan

      just need her realise what we have is lasting love not new infactuation love hope we can pull through thisand she comes back to me

    • Confused76

      i blew up yesturday over the phone to her about being with him while i was home with the kids over somrthing small that got to me, So i texted him telling him about when me and her had been together and her kissing me and asking me for sex when she says she is with him,they came round together and i said it to there faces he asked me to swear on my kids it was true and i did they went out and she stayed with him alnight as far as i know but she sent me a text this morning asking me to tell him i lied i told her i didnt lie and wouldnt say that so she sent me a text seay “this will always hang over him now and that u have affected their relationship an i dont think we will stay together but that she still dont want to be with me” i dont know what to do its still konan just changed my name i still want her will she forgive me the way i am willing to forgive her?

    • Confused76

      please help me sort my head out

    • Confused76

      He asked me for details of what we had done since I found out I told him and that I can still see she lobes me and we have had moments off connection she has just text me to say he wants to end it with her I feel bad for her and still want her back but she is so angry with me help

    • Confused76

      She has now told me he hasn’t made his mind up about being with her and she wants me to tell him I lied about everything but I donut want to lie to help her relationship with him what should I do she is saying I should move out or she and the kids will to prove to him she doesn’t want to be with me why should I give up everything but why should I put the kids through moving

      • Doug

        Confused, You shouldn’t have to leave, and I sure wouldn’t do anything to help her with her affair relationship. She is being just plain hateful and is living in a fantasy world, which will soon come crashing down around her. She needs some tough love, in my opinion. If it were me, I’d tell her that she was free to leave (without the kids). You may even want to speak to a lawyer about your rights as it relates to the kids in this situation. She does not have their best interests in mind, and is using them for her own selfish desires.

    • Confused76

      Thanks for the advice I will try I am suppose to have therapy tomorrow but don’t drive so if she doesn’t take me I can’t go

    • Confused76

      i feel bad that she hates me this much will she ever see my side of things is ther hope when this calms now

    • Confused76

      she has said she will take me but she is with him at the moment and im unsure of weather she will do this for me i feel my whole well being is in her hands and that i cant trust her with it all i want at this moment is some hope and a reassurance from her that her relationship with him wont be under our family roof and wont affect the kids she said last night that im still her best friend but she cant talk to me

      • Doug

        Boy, it sure seems like her disposition changes drastically from one day to the next. What does your therapist say about this whole situation?

    • Confused76

      i live in the uk but find you very helpful thanks

      • Doug

        Thank you, and actually many of our readers also are from the UK

    • Confused76

      my therapist said i need to accept the situation and move out for the sack of the kids but that leaves me with nothing and woulf extingish all my hope thay i have left i still believe she loves me and is just confusing her infactuation with new and exciting with the settled home life we had based on a mature love and supporting family

    • D

      I thought about moving out (and I did for one night) but it made no sense to me. She then thought about moving out and I begged her not to. Things changed for me though when I finally had enough and told her that not only should she move out, but if she wanted to stay with him I’d drive her over – but get the F*** out regardless. This sparked a four hour conversation that she later told me “definitely needed to happen.” I refer to this talk as the moment my balls dropped back into place.

      Do not move out. She’s jeopardized her marriage and the future of her kid’s well-being (which she continues to jeopardize, btw.) She is the one who is making the decisions. Let her make an adult one now.

    • Confused76

      I font know people who know both of us say if I go she will realise what she had and see this bloke for what he is but that would be in my home

    • Confused76

      but that involves risking all my memories
      she has said he wont come round here when i move out but how can they have a relationship when she is home wiyh the kids all the time and he doesnt come here its not possible she would have 2 nights when kids with me and what they go out then where do they go his mums or an empty 3 bed house i am giving up everything here for no guarentees just what people think that she will want me back then i come back to taited moemories or dont come back at all
      I still love her and want her

    • Confused76

      I went back to work today for the first time in 4 weeks when waiting for the bus home I got a text saying he had popped round to see how she was as she was sick from work but our son told me they picked them up from school together so how do I know they didn’t have the day together at my home when they had both said to me that he wouldn’t enter our home or be around our kids yet my first time out the house he comes round how am I suppose to cope with that help please

    • Confused76

      Doug please answer this it’s doing my head in need help

    • Doug

      Confused, The fact is there is no way to know for sure that they didn’t spend the day together in your home or be around your kids. I feel really bad for you and your situation. Again, I have to say, that if it were me, I would kick her butt out and make sure that the kids stay with you. I know you are in the UK, but I can’t believe that if it came down to it, that any court in the world would make you get out and the kids stay in light of how your wife is acting. She doesn’t deserve you and you should stay in the home with your kids. Again, this is just my opinion.

      I know it’s tough to cope with all of this, that’s why you need to continue your therapy and try to make yourself strong, both physically and mentally. Remember though that you are doing that for YOU–not her.

    • Confused76

      Hi doug I’m hoping your reading my posts on 7 ways to end their affair as I’m even more confused today what do I do with that information I have taken the day of work today as she is not well so I’m looking after kids

    • Confused76

      have spoken to several people today spent 2 days in limbo due to things she said having read my posts on 7 ways to end an affair and let my emotions get the better of me last night and challenged her about the mixed signals she had sent me this resulted in an arguement and i lost it and hit the wall in frustration this seems to have pushed her to him when it seemed she was coming round
      im now acting normally again and getting on with things but this afternoon i came home from work early and told her i would be in before her i had seen his car at their work on his day off and knew she was meeting him she was annoyed that i was going to be in so she said she was going to go out for the afternoon with him i just said i guessed that they both came round while she changed out of her uniform if i hadnt been here what would they have done its the same as dec 10 if i leave the house unattended they will come into it and that just messes with my head

    • Donna

      Have been doing really well lately and not fighting with my husband over ow etc… that was until lastnight.

      My husband says that he is still on love with her and he has to fight it every minute of the day not to call her etc… Says that he wants to work at his marriage but he has to let go of his love for her. I can’t deal with it when I hear of his love for her and I just flip. I said that if he was to live with her things would be very different to seeing each other a couple of hours here and there or a weekend together raising her 4 boys and not our children. He got so mad and said I have no idea what I am talking about. I said it is fantasy and he flipped it and said I have no idea.

      I am glad he still wants to try at our marriage, I just don’t know how much more hurt I can take. I have decided yes I need counselling for me. I am so lost and I need to work on me and just leave him alone and let him figure himself out. I think he will always wonder what if, if he did not go with her.

      I feel so done and defeated today with feelings of hopelessness. I hate that there are so many of us out there who are being hurt by these thougthless people. Tehy say they care and they know they are doing wrong… what ANNOYS me is that with my case, even though I have found out things, he still continues to disrespect me and continue his affair.. no matter how low I get. So SELFISH!

      Will he ever get out of the fog.. who would know.. does he REALLY love her? maybe he does and I am just delusional. Does he only care about me and not love me.. well obviously that is a YES.

      I feel done today!

    • Confused76

      I feel the same Donna but I have to move out to make the home better for the kids I have no one to talk to as I can’t talk to my partner as she says were over and isn’t helping me and now my mum has gone to see my sister in Australia I feel so alone

    • Confused76

      I’ve just listened to her phone the benefits office to tell them I’ve moving out while texting him I’m just walking round in a daze looking at stuff thinking I won’t be around it he will be I just feel so low and there is no one to talk with

    • Confused76

      This afternoon she kept looking at me then when we went in the kitchen she said she loved me and hated the fact I was moving out but what is she to do about her feelings for him I said it wouldn’t be easy but she would have to stop seeing him she then went to work and is then going out with him is this a sign the fog is lifting or am I reading it wrong

      • Doug

        Perhaps it is lifting somewhat Confused. It certainly might indicate that she is having second thoughts.

    • Confused76

      Thank you but what do I do in the mean time I have flu and I’m looking after kids on my own

      • Doug

        Confused, I would first of all take care of yourself as I’ve mentioned before. Get strong (and I mean more than just recovering from the flu), take care of your kids (don’t bad-mouth your wife in front of them). Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Remember that the overwhelmingly majority of affairs end on their own at some point. It may not happen in a week or a month or 6 months, but they tend to end–usually in messy fashion. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be ready to face the challenges that lay ahead.

    • Confused76

      Thanks for the quick answer since icing the kids up have done homework and now cooking dinner for the 3 of us have not got hopes up to much but there is hope there

    • Confused76

      She has said this morning that she still wants me to go but that she might not keep seeing him why is she messing with me

    • Confused76

      She has now told me he will only come round when kids are with me and that she only said that yesterday as it was upsetting our som so she was gonna stay with me for him but now she is back to where she was help please

    • Confused76

      I can’t come back to her if she does this I have told her that but don’t think she believes it

    • michael

      Confused76
      Almost feels like its time to change the locks when she out. Tell her to find a flat to stay at and when she’s done with him you can talk. But that is me. I wouldn’t have let this go on. But I did in some sort.
      I don’t know if you have said, because I have just started to read your post, is he married? Maybe its time to contact his wife? Just a thought that may get shot down by many here.
      The answers are never black and white. If you do kick her out you MAY loose her. Are you ready for that. Really think about what you are willing to tolerate and be ready to follow through with what you say your going to do.

    • Confused76

      He is married with 3 kids but he is only 22 she is 27 and I’m 31 but he has left his family and is living with his mum I don’t want to leave but it’s bad for the kids and she sees that as my Depressing attitude at the moment I’m trying to be strong around kids but it’s hard I know she loves me but won’t give him up

    • Confused76

      My son is14 years younger than him and that grates on me I just don’t know what to do I’m leaving in 3 weeks will she be back to normal by then as she is not herself she doesn’t interact with the kids like she used to and she was fun parent to my practical parent now she is hardly here and when she is she is constantly texting

    • Confused76

      Last night she had her friend over and they talked till 1 in the morning and I went to bed at 11 I don’t know what they spoke about but she told me I would have liked what her friend was saying. This morning she told me she doesn’t know what to do but she still met him for lunch when she came back I was eating and broke my tooth she seems really worried about me she then sat on sofa went all White and fell asleep on sofa she has been I’ll recently so should I not take any notice of that

    • Confused76

      i said i was scared to move out and she said she was scared of me moving out i said probably different reasons and she didnt answer as she was reading a text from him
      Then she said your so boney if you put on 3 stone i will go back to you i said put it in writing and she said she would put a time frame on it and that was it back to her phone
      i need help figuring this out in my head what does she want and when will it be clear to her and me whats going on

    • kikky

      I really appreciate this writing but I am wondering when does fantasy run out. And reality sinks back in?
      My husband has seperated from me back in March 2011, he still lives at home and is in his fantasy world with his affair lover. I need the help and reasurrance that this wil run out soon. i know that it has only been 5 months but feels like forever.
      thanks

      • Paula

        Some affairs last longer than they should for all of the above reasons, and some also have the added puzzle piece of distance. This may be the case in internet affairs, or, like mine, the fact that OW lived several hours away, and as my H said, that made it last a lot longer than it should have, as she wasn’t around long enough, or often enough for him to “get sick of her” – even during the affair, he knew that, and told her the same. He actually said to her that she was living in lala land if she thought they would work together, as they have VERY different life philosophies, parenting styles, etc. He also told both her, and me, that the reason they had 2 years together 25 years ago was for the same reason, they only saw each other most weekends, and that worked great for him! She is very materialistic and politically right leaning, quite uptight, we are way more liberal and open-minded, and it used to create some funny moments when we were all on holiday together. I can remember her reading an article about a high-profile “silver fox” of a CEO in a magazine and gushing about how wonderul he was, while H and I shared a wry smile and had a giggle about it later in bed that night, sooo superficial. Also, the length of time in our case was exacerbated by her blackmail, he tried to get her out of his life for more than 9 months without me finding out, but unfortunately, she wasn’t going to let him get away with that, and did dob him in

    • kim

      has anyone gone through all this as well? I am 4 months into this..but it was aslo a physical affair as well, I am so tired of the stupid lies, do they ever end? do you ever rebuild the trus/

      • Healing Mark

        Kim, for me, the lies did end. Trust rebuilt, albeit much slower than either my wife or I would have liked. And I won’t lie, it has not been easy for my wife and I. But only after my wife’s affair had ended and she was fully committed to doing whatever she could within reason to make our marriage as healthy and happy we could make it. In analyzing what was going on while the EA was ongoing with my wife, she admitted that it would have been hard for her to end the affair at any time before she had made up her own mind that it should be ended (I hated, of course, to hear this, but whatever), and there would have been strong temptations to lie in order to keep the EA going. She did say, however, that because I only suspected something was up, but didn’t actually know, it was easier for her to let the EA play itself out (trust me, the infatuation phase will end at some point, and if you have a lot of prior history with your husband, he should realize that losing that after having an affair is a pretty shitty thing to look forward to, and the alternative of trying to make your marriage better after ending the affair is a much more attractive alternative). Had I discovered the EA while it was ongoing, she believes that it would have ended right then and there but only because she would have woken up to the pain and anger it then would be causing and because she really wanted our marriage to be happier and healthier more than she wanted to continue being “friends” with her AP and having to come clean to friends and family about the true nature of her EA and what would then be a knowing decision to destroy a marriage and family just so she could keep getting her kicks.

        So sorry that your having to deal with a PA. This is no doubt something that people handle in their own ways, and that there really is no right or particulary good way to go about dealing with it. For me, having sex outside of our marriage would have been just one more of many mistakes that my wife would have made, and I likely would have also had to deal with the fact that my wife had partially protected sex (i.e., she was not going to get pregnant as a result, but if the AP had a STD, which he probably does not, she would not have been protected from catching the same). I guess I would rationalize it from the standpoint that it was damaging and hurtful that she chose to get so emotionally close to another man, was physically attracted to him, fell in infatuated love with him, and just these things alone would be difficult to heal from, but not impossible. My wife had sex with plenty of men before we were married (such a slut, ha, ha; I jest!), and the fact that she was intimate with them did not prevent me, of course, from loving her and choosing to become married to her. As long as she stroked my male ego and said the sex was horrible and I am still the biggest and best lover she has ever had, I suppose that I might be able to move on as I have done so with all of her silly lovey, dovey crap she got involved with and the lies and hiding of the true nature of her friendship.

        God bless you and try to have a good weekend!

        Healing Mark

      • Paula

        kim, my OH had a 15 month long PA with a friend of mine. It is incredibly hard, I’m 2 years and 3 months past D-Day, and I’m okay. Our relationship is still mending, we were lucky in that we still love each other very deeply, and my OH had finished his affair before I found out, so the lies came to an end, and my OH had fully decided that what he was doing was damaging and juvenile, and OW was manipulative and coniving, he came out of the fog before I even knew, and didn’t confess because he knew it would absolutely gut me, however, my dear “friend” decided that “I needed to know.” Revenge on him for not choosing her, I suspect, so she told me about a month after he ended it, and she finally realised he meant it, to get back at him, with no concern for me, good friend, huh? We contracted an STI from her, which nearly killed me, he was my first and only sexual partner, mostly because we were only 24 and 20 when we met (killed me emotionally, not literally!) This woman was an ex of his, I’m a realist, I knew about their history, I knew about his sexual history with others, I didn’t, and still don’t, judge anything to do with sexual history, that is just part of life’s journey. All the books say men don’t cope with sexual affairs, and women don’t cope with emotional affairs. I immediately was more concerned about the EA part of it, as that hurt like hell that he was so unhappy but didn’t communicate it to me, we were a very close and loving couple, the couple all our friends thought had cracked it. In the past year or so, I’ve found the PA more difficult to deal with, for some reason. I have flashbacks and mental images during lovemaking, and I have nightmares every night about them having sex, and her/them raping me, all sorts of weird, often violent stuff, really stupid, but I can’t seem to stop the images/nightmares. Your question is, does it get better, and my answer to that is, it has to, because you can’t live like that. I still struggle on a daily basis, but do a lot more thinking and planning, and work on ME now. I was always last on the list, kids, OH, work, animals, then me was the order of things here. I’m trying to learn to put ME first occasionally, and still searching for peace and acceptance. Good luck sweet, life is short, and love and forgiveness are key, even if it doesn’t work out, I feel like I’ve loved well, and tried my very best at the forgiveness part of things, and I had 21 years (and three kids) worth of wonderfulness with him, just the past three have been a bit tough, I just keep reminding myself how good I had it, and that it must be possible to find some inner peace and self-belief again. He is helping me with this toughest of journeys, and I hope I am helping him to forgive himself, too.

    • johnny

      Do you believe in the Bible? You should, adulterers will be judged by God. It may look like they are having fun for a “season” but… BE SURE, God is not mocked what one reaps that one sows, they will be miserable and have no peace. Sooner or later God’s gonna cut em down! My wife is in an affair and God has told me through scripture that he is going to “throw her on a sickbed”!

      • John Sanders

        Nice guy. The Bible also says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” You too are in danger of having an affair someday. Trust me on this one.

    • sarah

      Hello all, I am so delight to hear all of your comments. My hubby had an affair which lasted for two years. It resulted to a baby girl now six months. This was his first cheat in 18 years of marriage. it was a huge heart break for me and the children. we do have three children. it almost broke our family apart. he swears that he will never contact the lady(why do I even call her a lady.. she didn’t behave like one). all the communication about the baby is through our lawyer and grandmother. My husband ask me to control all the communications and also the permission of him to go and see the baby if I want him to go. This is where the hard part is for me; I am not ready to let him go to see his daughter!!! I am planning to talk to the lawyer so that the baby can be dropped at the lawyer”s place and he can go and see him there while the witch is not there or the grandmother? I don’t know… help my dear victims!! Am I so bad for not let him go and see his daughter?? But I am still so so so hart inside! I forgive him but the wound is still new in my heart. I know about it 8 months ago

    • Holding On

      Sarah,

      I’m sorry. That has got to be such a hard thing. Not only was your husband physically intimate, but now there is a daughter forever. I think the important thing is to keep telling yourself you are doing this for the innocent little baby girl. That baby didn’t do anything and she deserves to have a father in her life. It will be so hard to always have this constant reminder and also the financial responsibility to raise this girl. She is going to be a part of your life for as long as you are with your husband. I know it is hard, and I feel for you. I really do. Would you go with him to see the baby? I don’t know if that might be helpful or hurtful. It might be really hard, but maybe just being around an innocent baby and seeing her just being a sweet baby would be helpful. I really can’t even imagine the situation or pain you must be in. I think it is probably similar to a rape victim that gets pregnant…should she keep the baby? If she does can she look at the baby and NOT think about the terrible thing. Can she seperate how this baby came into existance and not hold it over her. I think it is possible, but such a hard road.

      I know a lady whose husband had an affair and there was a child conceived. It was very painful, but they are many years out now and this woman has a very good relationship with the girl and they have her a few times a month for visitation. I’m so sorry. I really pray that you can find peace. I can feel your pain in wanting to let him see his daughter but being in such hurt and pain yourself. I wish you the best in your healing journey.

    • Torn Apart

      I found this website by chance and am even more confused about my feelings after reading all of these posts. I have been married for 20 years to my high school sweetheart. We’ve had a good marriage and he is a good man and an excellent dad. Our relationship has changed over the last few years. He has very little interest in intimacy and we’ve had many, many discussions about it. He insists it’s all him, not me but nothing even changes. I feel like we are roomates more than lovers. There is no spark or fun in our marraige.
      I didn’t realize how deeply it was affecting me until I started a new job and met another man who makes me feel alive again. It started as a mild flirtation and is developing into real feelings. We are on the brink of beginning a physical affair, but I feel like I am already emotionally cheating. He is also married, but not happily and was already halfway out of the door with that relationship.
      I feel so happy with this new man. I know it’s fantasy and not real life. But I also realize how much I’ve missed feeling wanted and special. I live now for those stolen moments and smile everytime I hear from him.
      I have children and it is so hard to think about ending my marriage and destroying their sense of security. But I also wonder if it is fair to stay in a marraige when I am not happy. I am so conflicted about the best course of action.
      So I ask those of you who have been the spouse who was cheated on…..would you rather have known about it before the affair ? Would it have been any easier to hear ??
      My heart is so badly wanting to leave….but my loyalty is keeping me tied to my family. I know no matter what I do I’m going to hurt someone =*(

      • Sidney

        Torn Apart,
        Yikes! Reading your post was like reading a chapter out of my life!! Your situation is almost exactly what happened to me….good marriage….great husband….great father….etc. But, we had little emotional connection….and I am the one who has to initiate sex. So…I reacted the same way as you did when I met a man who ‘gave me a spark’ and yes, it made me realize how much I longed for that feeling.

        Ultimately, I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting my children. I knew if I continued on that path, I had the potential of shattering their lives. That was my main motivater of ending the affair (we were not found out)…I hate to say it, but although I didn’t want to hurt my husband, it was my children’s lives I was mostly concerned about.

        So, is it fair to stay in a marriage when you’re not happy? It sounds like from your post, you were happy (except for the sex part). And although this man gives you excitement…is it worth tearing apart your family…..forever altering your children’s lives? Your actions have the potential for scarring your children’s lives forever (at least that is how I looked at it). For me, I just couldn’t risk it….all because of how another man made me feel.

        It’s hard to give advice on a situation you know so little about. But I would think long and hard about your actions and the implications it will have. I have never regretted putting my family first. Do I miss the OM? Oh yes! Do I miss the fun, excitement, and thrill of the affair? A definite yes! But, as a mom, I have chosen to put my children first. Can I live in a dull-drum marriage for my children’s sake? Yes.

        Good luck. I know it’s hard. Belive me….I understand.

        • Sidney

          Oh, I just want to say that I am not an advocator for staying in an unhappy marriage…because that’s not good for children either. I think it would be better for children to have 2 happy (divorced) parents than for them to have 2 miserable (married) parents….but it sounds like in your case (and mine), your marriage isn’t toxic to the children….

          • Torn Apart

            Thank you for your honestly Sidney. My marriage isn’t unhappy and we don’t fight in front of the kids. I know it would come as a shock to everyone if we split up. From the outside we have the ideal life.
            Our kids are almost 18, 16 and 11. I find myself going through the motions and biding my time until our youngest is grown up. I am only 39 and don’t want to live the rest of my life without passion.
            The OM says he will wait, that I am worth it. I can’t see myself living a double life for that long. And I feel like that would only make it worse in the long run for my family than if I ended it now.
            It’s so complicated. I can say 100% that if it were not for the kids I would have been gone already, even before the OM came along. My husband is a great guy and we are very comfortable together. But I want a real partner and lover, not a best friend. I don’t even know if I am making sense. It just feels SO GOOD to be able to talk about this as I have no one in my real life I can talk to.

            • Sidney

              Torn Apart,
              Boy do I understand the feeling of wanting a ‘real partner and lover.’ I describe my marriage as ‘roommates who co-parent.’ I long for a marriage where there was true closeness…emotional and physical. I’m too chicken to say anything to my husband as I don’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ I’ve half-assed tried to express my needs to him…but he doesn’t change. So, I go the route where I need to change myself….my attitude towards him, our marriage, etc. Even tried to ‘spark up the ole marriage’ by sending him riske’ texts, pictures, etc but….it’s a no-go from his side. Then I get tired of trying…so it’s back to complacency. The EA was a huge ‘pick-me-up’ for me and I think that’s why I clung to it for so long.

              Okay, sorry, not trying to make it about me here….just wanted you to know I understand what you are feeling. I’m not a marriage counselor, but I think you need to do what’s best for your situation. I’m sorry you are struggling. Keep posting here….it is theraputic when you can’t share it with anyone else. Sometimes it just feels good to ‘talk.’

            • Torn Apart

              Sidney,
              Please don’t apologize for sharing your feelings/situation. That is exactly WHY I posted, hoping to find other people who knew what I was going through.
              I know exactly what you mean about trying to create a spark with your spouse, I could have written that myself. Only I HAVE talked to my spouse about it and he has acknowledged my feelings but nothing ever comes of it.
              Sometimes I wish that HE would fall for someone else because then I would be free.

            • Sidney

              Omgosh….I’ve thought that myself too!!! How much easier it would be if he left me. Then HE would be the bad guy in the marriage breakup! That’s horrible, I know. Okay girl….hang in there….and keep me posted on your situation.

            • blueskyabove

              Torn Apart

              Your last sentence “Somestimes I wish that HE would fall for someone else because then I would be free.” speaks volumes about YOU and where you are in life. Sidney is right…then HE would be the bad guy. Bless you, Sidney, for not only being able to recognize that truth, but also for helping Torn Apart see where she is right now. I don’t believe she could hear how that sounds from a BS and accept it.

    • changedforever

      Oh how I wish my H had had the decency to tell me he wanted us to spend time apart because he was not happy…that he couldn’t stay in a marriage that seemed lifeless. I wish I had been given that chance before I was so disrespected by my H’s affair that ruined everything good in our lives. It really would’ve been the wakeup call I needed while I was deep in family life & recent family trauma….back then (17 mths ago…)
      To Sidney & TornApart, what would YOU want to hear from YOUR spouse before YOUR spouse started an affair…?
      YOU hold your families’ lives in your hands with YOUR decision. Just be honorable….this Sunday’s readings involved scripture along the lines of ‘what would Jesus do’ – the homily discussion involved how we need to ‘imitate Christ.’ Interpretation? Do what’s right…END your relationship when its not enough for you or, at least give your partner the opportunity to know you mean business. Ask for a seperation (hard to contemplate…but honorable…) before you change your & your families’ lives forever (and NOT for the better.) Just do the right thing. Just my opinion as a BS who wishes I had heard those words from my H before he literally ruined everything….

      • Anita

        Changedforever,
        I so agree with you.
        I need to get the fire truck and put out some of these hot
        flames burning in the posts above you.
        Whoa feels like the locker room!

        • Anita

          Torn Apart,
          Your feeling of passion, is exactly whats clouding your
          judgement. Your married, and before you decide to ruin
          your life, slow down, and think about this for awhile.
          Since your married didn’t you take some wedding vows
          to forsake all others? Now is the time to put that to
          use. No contact with this other person. That will help
          to settle down your burning flames of passion, also
          you need to start controling your thought process,
          to think like a married woman with a family.
          Read the posts from betrayed spouses and the hurt
          that they have endured because of red hot passion,
          its not so fun. Now is the time to exercise good judgement
          for the sake of your spouse and children.

      • Paula

        That is is crux of the whole situation! I must admit, that if I was as unhappy with my relationship, I am very confident I would have moved for separation, I would not be making new attachments to other men, as I am much, much stronger than that, I am fine on my own, even with my three kids, I would far rather they grew up with two happy (poor!)single parents than two miserable married ones. That is the absolute “nail-on-the-head” for me. Why not release yourself from one relationship rather than have them overlap. We had an agreement to this effect, discussed it every time someone we knew had affair issues/marriage breakdowns, and yet, he still ignored it, because he was too weak to be on his own for a bit whilst he sorted out his feelings for the OW, and how he was feeling like his life was spiralling out of control. He is not usually this weak, it happened when he had been cut off from his previously supportive and close family, was under huge financial pressure, and felt disconnected from me, and was struggling to get my attention, but I wasn’t to know any of this, because he was too scared to admit he’d lost control of the situation. Torn Apart, and Sidney, whilst I understand your pain and frustration, this is not the way to fix it, to make yourself feel better. TALK to your partners and get help, INSIST on it (I asked and asked before the affair, during the affair, if he would come to counselling for us, I knew there was something amiss, he wouldn’t come, he would rather get his counselling with my so-called friend, and put everything we had worked for, all of our wonderful shared history, our lovely children, and their happiness and future at risk, great choice!!!) then leave if the situation doesn’t improve, PLEASE! My OH wishes he’d had a crystal ball and could have seen the exact catastrophic effects of his selfish choices back then, even though when he did it, he didn’t care anymore, he is sure he would have rather done anything other than cause this huge mountain of mistrust and excrutiating pain, to both of us.

    • Torn Apart

      That you all for your honest feedback and opinions…I appreciate all of them.

      • Anita

        Torn Apart,
        Before becoming involved in any new relationship,
        you need to address the one your already in.
        Only when you are single and past relationships are
        dealth with, and you are free legally and emotionally,
        can you start a new relationship with someone
        else. Until then you risk hurting others, and also
        yourself.
        Take time away from this other man, and figure
        things out with your marriage. Its only fair for
        everyone. My Best to you!

    • kmb

      Husband and I divorced two months ago. He left me for his year long affair partner. He moved in with her before we were even divorced – has been with her 4 months under her roof. Here is what she doesn’t know (speaking of disneyland) …. he owes 15k to the IRS (good lucke with that!) His car payments are nearly $700 a month (his car AND my car per divorce decree). Our house is in foreclosure with refinance denied. His total debt with IRS / car payments / misc. cc bills is 50k (Yes – $50,000).

      WELCOME to reality OW!!! Go for it. Better you than me. The fantasy is yours. Oh – and my debt – ZERO!!!!

      And the final kicker … when he was seeing YOU in his affair … he was also seeing ANOTHER woman when YOU were out of town!!! And we have no kids together so I can kick him to the curb. He’s all yours ladies.

      Mess with a married partner (male or female) and you get what you deserve!! Just because she is single doesn’t excuse her of responsiblity. I even mailed her back her house key and she just gave it back to him. He’s yours. WELCOME to reality!!

    • Kris

      Thank you for this post. It has helped me greatly understand how this could happen. It did indeed happen to me and it is going to take along time for my recovery.

    • Jolie

      That is ridiculous to think that people can’t love others differently. Yes, the feelings fade, but so do the feelings between married couples. Relationships dont last. Be they business, friendships even familial relationships progress until there is not a relationship at all. Yes, people can love their affair partners more, too.

    • Pheonix

      Affair partners can be loved differently but not in the same way you habour real love for your spouse and children. We can all become bored of the routine of family life and being with the same partners/spouses for many years. Anyone is capable of having there head turned by someone paying us attention when we are not getting it at home. We then follow a predictable partner of comparing the affair partner to the spouse or partner and find the affair partner seams to be the better choice. These feeling don’t last once every day routines are put into the equations then the resentment starts to set in about what you have given up for the affair partners… It’s called limerence and we become addicted to the chemicals the brain releases during the beginning of these relationships. We associate theses feelings with the affair partner and believe theses feelings will last forever but by nature they don’t and can’t, human nature could not exist if this was the case. There’s a guy on the internet called joe beam who explains this phenomenon on his web site. The easiest think to do for both men and women contemplating or having affairs is to stop it and never have contact with that person again. The next thing they need to do is get some councilling and find out why they are giving into these feelings for the other person. I don’t believe in one sole mate for everyone, we can connect and have deep connections with anyone if the circumstances are right. I don’t believe people who are having affairs or contemplating having them are initially bad people I just believe they have a weak personality. The easiest think to do in my opinion is no matter how long you have been with someone, always remember to keep dating them, be present when you are having any sort of conversations with them, this one is a must for all guys… When your wife or partner is talking to you about her problems, don’t try to fix them for her, just let her talk n be there n listen to what she’s saying!!! This one is for the girls… Be your husbands or partners biggest cheer leader and make him no he’s the number one guy for you!!! If he stays up watching tv and your in bed on your own and you want him with you just put your sexy underware on with your best heels, take a selfie and send it him saying I need you right now. These are just my thoughts on how I could of saved my marriage but it wasn’t meant to be so I have tried to educate myself so when I do find that next special person I have better tools to keep the passion and communication in the relationship.

      • Hindsight is 20/20

        Things in hindsight seem so different. I was married for 18 years – 10 years before we had children. We had 2 boys basically back to back and the marriage seemed to spiral downhill from there. I used to be very rigid related to adultery, disgusted when I learned of someone I knew conducting an affair. But now 11 years later from my divorce – I have to say I view it differently. My husband went through something – he couldn’t get an erection, put all the blame on me, the stress of all of a sudden having 2 children, he had left his job ( a good job, with a good living) to open his own business. It was a clear case of mid life crisis. He never had an affair. But the constant criticism of my looks ( mind you I am and have always been 5’8, 135 pounds and in good shape) most people describe me as beautiful, yet his feelings of? insecurity related to life changing, stress of providing for a family or what? caused him to pick and criticize claim “I wasn’t sexy – my boobs were too big, I was too wholesome looking” Deep down I knew it wasn’t me, it was him, but I allowed him to make me feel awful about myself, always feeling like I was chasing his affection like a little puppy. He never had an affair, we finally tried marriage counseling but by then it was just too late. The marriage counselor and myself agreed how do you work on the fact that one spouse just is really no longer in love with the other spouse and that perhaps the best thing we could do was part as friends and co parent our children without the animosity of growing to hate each other. Which we did and my children are well rounded confident boys – he and I are supportive of them and each other – better atmosphere than many of of married friends.

        Here is where the hindsight part comes – I know many friends or patients of mine – I am a dental hygienist that the man had an affair – meaningless – mostly about HIS need to feel like a man not the lack of what his wife was or wasn’t – but they got it out of their system – no one knew and the marriage sort of went along and feel back into the good phase and here they are years later fairly happy with each other. That perhaps if my husband could have done that and worked through his shit – maybe we could have survived and remained married.

        Every situation is different – no one can or should judge anyone else as to what or how they feel – yes it is wrong and I can imagine how terribly hurtful it is for the partner who has a cheating spouse. Its taken me many years to heal the wounds caused by my ex husbands treatment of me and there was no affair. I am not saying to have a blinds eye or to condone cheating just sharing what my take on it is at this point in life .

    • ritu

      My husband has been in affair both physical and sexual for last 10 years with married co-worker, I found out 2 years back but unable to cope with it and taking care of two girls 14 and 8 . He said he wants to fix the marriage initially but never wanted to try counseling or any efforts . I came to know that he is still seeing her. I am lost . we are filing for divorce because its affecting us , kids. I am lost and scared though how upsetting its all over lives.

    • Thomas

      I have been reading this site but dont understand how to procede. My wife denies that her affair was physical though it is clear from the sexing that it was physical. She says that was just fantasy but It does not read like that as they refer to specific sexual acts they did at specific times. I accused her of gaslighting but she denies it. Also she still texts with him. If the affair wasnt physical then perhaps I could accept the emotional affair and sexting or perhaps not, idk. But as it is I am not sure what to do. We are separated and she refuses to not see him but claims it was never physical thus a friendship. Now what the fuck do I do? If it was not physical I dont want a divorce, if it was I have no choice, right? Help.

    • Mulberry

      Sounds like people are telling themselves things to make themselves feel better. Wives/husbands leave their spouses for others all the time. People fall out of love; people change. Has nothing to do with routines. A marriage is nothing but routine. But whatever works and helps a person sleep better at night.

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