why women cheatBy Sarah P.

This is Sarah’s second installment of her series on the leverage a betrayed spouse has after infidelity.  This post will address the leverage men have when their wives have been unfaithful.  (To read the first part of the two part series, you can  click here.)

Most of the articles on this website are geared toward women who have been betrayed. But, it turns out there are a growing number of men who are being betrayed as well.  It’s no longer a one-way street and estimates range between a quarter to a half of all women engage in an extramarital affair during their lives.

Yet, trying to find good online resources for betrayed men has been a real struggle. There are plenty of lists out there about why women cheat as well as yellow journalism articles. There are resources, but many of them are not great. In fact, tons of resources for betrayed wives are out there, but resources for men have not caught up. I believe this is because men have a history of cheating all the way back to the cave days. As they say, sperm is cheat, whereas pregnancy is not.

If you are a man who has been or is involved in a marriage when your wife cheated, this article has been written for you. We will discuss the type of women who cheat, the psychology behind why women cheat, and then discuss the leverage that you have if your wife will not leave her lover.

Men and Women are Indeed Different

The fact is that men and women are different, all the way down to how the male and female brains are constructed. Male brains are larger, and female brains have more white matter that connects the two hemispheres. (1) These differences can be observed in how language and math acquisition works for both genders. Generally, boys develop math skills four years ahead of girls and girls develop fine motor skills many years ahead of boys.

Thus, I wanted to stress in this article that while men and women have many commonalities, inherent gender differences are present and hold strong. I would also like to state that gender differences are not equal to one gender being better than the other. I believe that our differences complement one another.

But, the overarching issue here is that because we are different, we also have distinct ways in which we respond to marital infidelity. I will be bringing these differences out in the article and I will also be writing about generalities that are found within each gender. Therefore, I will not be spending time on stating obvious caveats for ideas such as: women are emotional (but some men are emotional too). 

Infidelity in Marriage: It’s Always a Choice

After reading several sociology studies as well as a personal accounts, I have come to the conclusion that there are roughly four categories of female cheaters. Of course, a woman’s motivation can overlap, but for the sake of clarity, I have broken them down into these four:

  • The woman who cheats to feel needed/wanted
  • The woman who cheats in order to “feel alive again”
  • The woman who cheats for sexual satisfaction
  • The woman who cheats for revenge

Before I examine these in detail, let me say up-front that cheating is always a choice and therefore the person who commits infidelity must own up to their behavior rather than blaming the betrayed spouse.

I would also like to state that women who cheat for the identified reasons are often emotionally immature or have preconceived notions of marriage that are incongruous with the reality of marriage.

An example of this would be that a woman might believe a husband is supposed to be everything to her emotionally and physically, while also ‘completing’ her and being a knight in shining armor. Such a mythical figure only exists in romance novels.

A good marriage is one of give and take, while both people already feel complete within themselves and both partners have the emotional maturity to meet their own needs. Good marriages versus romance novel relationships are in opposition to each other. But, even then, it’s just not as cut and dry as we would like it to be.

Finally, I would like to state that since many betrayed women come to this site to seek solace and to heal, the female subscribers who have been betrayed are not at all the type of woman I am describing. I would venture to guess that the female betrayed on this site are quite the opposite of women who are unfaithful, so I mean no harm to betrayed women.

feeling needed

The Woman Who Wants to Feel Wanted

I turned to the right [other] man for comfort for many years and hid it because I wanted my family to remain under the same roof. The biggest reason I strayed was the complete lack of attention I was shown [by my husband]. No birthday or Christmas cards, no gifts. He stopped saying ‘I love you. It’s really easy to fall out of love when you feel like your spouse is a roommate you co-parent with.”  (Anonymous)

A woman’s soul blooms when she is in a relationship with a husband who regularly lets her know that he loves and cherishes her. Most woman need a man who makes her feel like she matters, but each woman’s needs differs.

Some women like small gifts, some like compliments about everything she does and is, frequent shoulder touching or hand-holding, and phone calls just to say “I love you” during the day.

There are so many ways to make a woman feel loved and cared for but they need to be practiced on a regular basis. Many men are willing to put in the effort during courtship because they have a goal: to get that woman as a girlfriend or wife. But, once a man has reached his goal, he might stop doing the things that made a woman want him in the first place. He may keep up the courtship even until the first child is born. But, at some point he usually stops. This is extremely hurtful for a woman and it is a kind of pain that she cannot happily live with.

A lot of women respond to what in their minds is akin to being ignored by just becoming a shadow of their former selves. They desire to feel special and needed just as they did before, but that need is no longer getting met.

Some become clinically depressed, especially if they have spoken with their husbands many times about their needs and the husband has ignored or belittled them. Women are simply too moral to cheat then disappear inside themselves and live a life of emotional pain and drudgery. This is very bad news for a marriage because the woman will have checked out.

Other women may decide to get these needs met from an affair partner. In fact, there are some women who may not waste a second getting those needs met by an affair partner, rather than speaking with their husbands. Women are generally taught to be polite, not to offend others, and not generate conflict. Therefore, it’s easy to slip into another man’s arms rather than generate conflict and upheaval.

 

The Woman Who Wants to Feel Alive Again

He would take me to fancy restaurants and it was great. I could have this whole other life where I was a good mom and then another life where I was jet setting, being able to wear makeup again, pretty bras, dressing up… I think that was the most important part. Even though you know it’s wrong, the immediate gratification suffocates what you know is right.” (Anonymous)

When the excitement of the marriage rollercoaster ends, a woman who doesn’t know how to meet her own needs might begin to feel dead inside. This type of woman is used to excitement coming from outside of herself. She is used to a man making her life feel complete because she may not have the tools to make her life complete. She becomes easily bored and doesn’t know how to engage with friends, hobbies, volunteer work, or other things to make her life interesting.

She may not understand that a husband’s job is not one of entertaining her constantly. It is my personal belief that these women cannot stay loyal for very long if a ‘fun’ opportunity presents itself. She has a high chance of glomming on to a man who makes her feel alive again.

On the other hand, Frances Cohen, PhD., says it might be as simple as this:

She feels trapped, bored, powerless, and lonely. Her brain chemicals are on strike. Serotonin is in short supply as is dopamine, vasopressin and oxytocinbrain chemicals that ensure good moods, bonding, and passion. To top it off her husband doesn’t get it. He’s too busy trying to get ahead to get into her. Along comes an attentive, sexy admirer and bingo!” (2)

Please note that it is not a husband’s job to constantly entertain his wife. It’s good to have a balance where both partners keep things fun and exciting, but it’s up to both partners.

I would imagine that husbands in this situation feel particularly burned because it is simply impossible to be a stable, good provider and at the same time be a spontaneous, who-cares-what-tomorrow-brings type.

 

sex-fantasyThe Woman Who Wants Sex/Passion

My marriage lasted over 10 years. I couldn’t make him happy and he couldn’t make me happy. Sex had become like showing up for an army physical. Eventually I just wanted more: more positive communication, more kindness, more desire, just more. So I cheated…and the sex was spectacular. It had been years since I had that kind of desire for someone.” (Anonymous)

This type of woman still wants the cerebral aspects of coupling, but the sex part takes a much larger role. I have found that women rarely admit to being driven by the sexual aspects of an affair. Rarely do women admit to flat-out being sexual people and having an extremely high libido. But, it seems just as many women have a high libido as there are women who have a low libido.

But, we have a neat and tidy cultural myth that says men are sexual beings and are driven by an intense need for sex while women have sex because it’s what they are supposed to do to please men and to assure that the man sticks around to raise children.

There is certainly some truth to this. But, it implies that women don’t like sex—in fact, a nice girl doesn’t like to admit to enjoying sex. Because the underlying message that women get in this culture is that if you are a nice girl, you are not sexual. In fact, this plays in women’s favor since research has shown that men still greatly value a mate who has very little sexual experience.

Let’s consider the root of that myth that nice girls don’t like sex. I believe it comes from Christianity and the idea that a good Christian woman is not a sexual woman. In fact, this even extends to wives. A good Christian wife does her duty for her husband, but she should not show too much enthusiasm. If she does show it, then that might make her a sexual woman. A sexual woman is prone to vice and might mess things up the way Eve messed things up.

Now, modern Christians may not indulge in this stereotype, but we cannot ignore that this was how it was for many centuries. Take a look at the Puritans and the Victorians. In some circles, their influence is still felt today. This is still largely a Christian nation and because of that, this cultural influence still exists.

But, because of my ethnicity and my religious beliefs, let’s just say I have a strong knowledge both of Judaism and Christianity. So, I wanted to discuss the Jewish view on this since this is the exact opposite for Jews.

Even thousands of years ago, Jews knew that women were sexual beings and instead of denying it or repressing it, they found a way to make a woman’s sexuality safe. In the marriage contract that was invented several thousand years ago and still persists to this day, the Jewish husband has the following duties to his wife: to provide food, clothing, and regular sex.

If a husband should not provide any one of these three things, this is grounds to grant a Jewish divorce. In fact, a woman’s right to regular, pleasurable sex from her husband is referred to as onah in Hebrew. This right even extends to post-menopausal women, as it should.

Why Affair Sex Matters: An Unflinching Look at Sex and Its Harmful Affects

Thus, the ancient Jews knew that women were considered and still are considered sexual beings with bodies built with a tremendous capacity for pleasure. Instead of suppressing and repressing it, Jews added it as a woman’s right guaranteed under the marital contract.

In fact, a certain amount of sex per month is required per the marriage contract. But, the times when a couple is permitted to have sex is also defined and can only occur during a certain window of time. Sexual relations are to occur after a woman has stopped menstruating and after she has immersed herself in a ritual bath (mikvah). I believe this serves several purposes: It allows a woman free reign to discuss and to ask for her sexual needs to be met, it forces couples to ‘couple’ (no more headache excuses), and it creates a perpetual sexual charge in a marriage since some times of the month are off limits. Indeed, Jews actually believe that sexual coupling within marriage gets them closer to God.

Coming back to the topic– when it comes to affairs, we cannot continue to believe that women are not sexual creatures. We must realize that not having sexual passion in marriage is a real motivation for some women to stray. Ignoring this fact or doing things that would subconsciously seek to repress a woman’s sexuality does marriages no good.

An example of this is that after most men marry, they would like for their wives to dress classy and conservative and not display anything that would show them as sexual creatures. Yet, these same men might frequent the Hooter’s establishment. If not, they are sure to get whiplash every time they see an attractive woman in a low-cut top or extra short shorts.  I believe that this type of thinking creates problems subconsciously because it is creating that idea that a wife = non-sexual, other women = sexual.

In some cultures, like Italy, this actually drives men to no longer see their wives as sexual and so they do not permit a wife to express her sexuality within marriage. This causes big trouble for everyone. This idea might subconsciously cause some men to not allow their wives to express her sexuality even within the bedroom. But, no matter, a woman still has a choice and if she makes such a choice, it is her fault. I always hold that someone should get formally separated and state why before entering into an affair.

Or it simply could be that a woman has a type of sexuality found more commonly in some men. There are women who happen to enjoy having sex with multiple partners and who tire easily of monogamous relationships.

In today’s society it is possible for women to do this successfully since a woman no longer must worry about pregnancy if the proper measures are taken. I have no problem with women who choose to indulge in a variety of partners. But, I do believe they should not marry.

What’s more alarming though is data that has come from a study as well as Ashley Madison. A new kind of woman is emerging. There are a lot of women out there who consider themselves happily married. But, they simply want sexual variety and have no intention of leaving their husbands or having their husbands find out.

A recent study backed up the idea that women simply lose physical desire for a partner over time, no matter how attractive a partner is or if the woman is in love with her partner. (3)

This would indicate that many women are just like many men who cheat. They are happy with their marriage and yet they still desire sexual variety. This is truly scary because for many centuries it has been the woman who has kept the marriage in tact. One person must do it. If both people are doing it, society is heading for a disaster. I truly believe that stable marriages without adultery create stable families. In turn, stable families create a stable society.

 

revengeRevenge

This type of infidelity is very clear: a husband cheats with one partner or perhaps multiple partners. His wife becomes so hurt and fed up and she decides to cheat as well.

When a woman has cheated for revenge, all bets are off. The man made the choice to cheat first and thus gave up his rights to the marriage contract.

Let me say that as a woman, being cheated on by a husband or fiancé hurts just as much as it hurts for a man to be cheated on by his wife. Evolutionary psychologists like to suggest that men are wired to cheat. I do not believe men are wired to cheat. I believe that since men controlled society for so long and did not need to fear becoming pregnant, it made it easy to cheat and so they choose to cheat since there were very few repercussions.

But, now that women can both support themselves and find ways not to become pregnant, they are also making the choice to cheat. If it were true men are wired to cheat and women aren’t, we wouldn’t see an equal number of wives cheating. At the very least, we could change that to both men and women are wired to cheat, because that would follow the logic of evolutionary psychology. But, that’s complete rubbish. Cheating is always a choice.

 

What Can You Do? 

The thing that I believe the first three types of women have in common is that they have mismatched expectations of what marriage will be like. There are always rough patches and some women do not have the emotional reserves or maturity to get through a rough patch. Or, they don’t have the tools to communicate with their partners in ways that are helpful and make them understood. On the other hand, women who cheat for revenge are different. I believe some of the most psychologically mature women are capable of doing this out of pain or simply out of being fed up.

But there are ways to handle this…. 

If you lived in South Korea where adultery is against the law, you could send your adulteress wife or husband to jail. But, since most of us readers live in the Western world governed by Western laws, we are not afforded that type of leverage. Let’s face it, if adultery were illegal and if people went to jail for it, that would serve as a deterrent and force would-be adulterers to think twice. There’s simply no pay off when the price of the other man or woman is jail time.

As a man, your only real leverage is in taking total control of the situation. If your wife has left her lover, you must take concrete steps to ensure that they no longer contact each other in any way. If she needs to change jobs or if you need to move out of state, then so be it. I would advise that you write this out in a mutually agreed upon informal contract that details the do’s and the don’ts of going forward. I would also recommend seeing a marriage counselor twice a week.

If your wife will not leave her lover, move all of her things on to the porch. Be unwilling to have any contact with your wife unless she does two things:

  1. Leaves her lover (including cutting all casual contact) and…
  2. Enters marriage counseling with you.

When you interact with your wife, everything about you should be authoritative and uncompromising. You must stick to your guns regardless of how much she cries, manipulates, or pleads. The bottom line is that she is wrong and you must stick to your guns. She must leave her lover or there is no deal.

Real Life Hardnosed Advice on How to Stop an Affair

Here is a tidbit about female psychology: regardless of what women say they want in a man, what a woman actually responds to and does is often times very different.

When I speak to many women, I hear them say that they want a good provider, someone who is good with children, someone who is nice to them etc. A lot of women genuinely want these things and mean it when they say it. On the other hand, there are some women who say they want these things, but in the end don’t appreciate these things when they do have them.

After all, the guy who is stable financially, a good provider, a great dad, and “nice” is generally not the man who is going to jet set, have passionate sex, or purchase lots of gifts. The problem is, if he is doing all the “nice” guy things, he may not have time for the rest of stuff. Being a good provider takes a lot of time.

Psychologists have observed that the behaviors that create love and stability are completely at odds with the behaviors that produce passion. So, don’t ever take on her mistake as yours. (However, this advice only applies if you have never had an affair.)

Affairs are never justifiable because they involve choice. No one holds someone else off the edge of a cliff and says, “Either we have an affair, or it’s your life!” In fact, if such a thing were to occur, the person being threatened at the very least would call the police and file a restraining order. So, it is imperative that you don’t listen to the justifications or the manipulations. If your wife wants to stay married, she must cut all contact with her lover and go to therapy with you (and also separately).

 

heartbrokenSo what if a wife leaves for her lover?

Here is the thing about proverbially putting your wife’s things on the porch if she does not leave her lover. This may have been what she has been waiting for so that she could get a divorce. Some women are so hell bent on being selfish and pursuing a divorce no matter how much damage this does to their children. This is entirely wrong.

Occasionally I have come across some of the father’s right sites online. I have noticed that a husband’s number one concern is ‘being taken to the cleaners’ and losing custody of his children after divorce. This is a legitimate concern. Since many states operate under no-fault divorce, a woman cannot be held accountable for her actions.

What’s worse is that the legal precedent has always been that a woman automatically gets custody of her children. In some cases a woman should have primary custody, in other cases she should not have primary custody.

When a wife leaves for a lover, and when her marriage was not abusive, either emotionally or physically, I believe it is a bad idea for a woman to get primary custody. There are statistics that show when children are sexually abused, it often occurs at the hands of a stepfather. So, I feel your pain because we all want is best for our children. We don’t want children exposed to the other man (or other woman). So, I know from a man’s point of view it feels very unfair and oftentimes it is unfair.

I witnessed a recent example of this phenomenon. An acquaintance’s husband cheated on her and left her. She got a job as a nanny/maid for a wealthy family that was in the middle of a divorce. Both parents had high-powered careers. But, the wife cheated on her husband with a man in a different equally high-powered field and left her husband for her lover. The wife recently got married to her lover and she mostly has custody of the children. But, it’s a really bad situation for the children because the wife now neglects them, in favor of her lover. The lover is quite mean to them and doesn’t want them around. The two elementary-aged children have had mental breakdowns from the stress and the mom still does not care. The father is wrangling for custody, just as he should be doing.

So, if you are specifically in a situation where your wife has left for her lover and is endangering your children emotionally or physically, I believe you must hire an attorney who specializes in father’s rights and who has a history of winning tough cases. I do not believe women should always get custody.

To summarize, the leverage that you have as a husband is standing strong and asserting your rights. That is, if your wife had an affair, you have a right to have your wife back. But, forcing her to leave her lover for good and going to marriage counseling is the only way to do this. If she is unwilling to do so, you must place all of her belongings on the proverbial front porch, i.e. she must move out.

There is nothing that says you have to stand by a woman who will not leave her lover. Also, if she refuses to leave, I would appeal to her conscience and let her know that she is willfully harming her children and she is being a terrible mom. She needs a really strong reality check. If she moves out and continues to see her lover, consult with the best father’s rights attorney that you can find.

Unfortunately, this article only scratches the surface for the male experience with an adulterous wife. If you are a man in this situation, please know that your wife’s actions do not reflect on your worth as a person or on your masculinity. They reflect on her and her lack of immaturity or integrity as a person. As always, stay strong and never forget that your wife made a choice and this has nothing to do with you.

Please tell us your story— what have you been through and what has worked?  You can share in the comment section below.

 

 

Sources:

Web MD. (n.d.) How Male and Female Brains Differ. Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/how-male-female-brains-differ?page=2

Cohen, F., PhD, (2009, July 6). Why Women Have Secret Lovers: A secret lover is a desperate plea for help and a catalyst for change. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-doc/200907/why-women-have-secret-lovers

Ghose, T. (2014, August 16), The Real Reason Women Cheat. Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/47404-why-women-cheat.html

 

    52 replies to "For Betrayed Men: Why women cheat and leverage that you have if your wife cheated"

    • Untold

      In my case maybe the CW fits the “wants to feel alive again”. But we were doing that in our own marriage – travelling, more date nights, reconnecting etc.. The problem I saw was during and after menopause she developed BPD/narcissistic tendencies, thriving on constant attention, stimulation, highly impulsive, undisciplined and emotionally unstable. Facebook became an obsession. Reconnected with old flame and down the drain into the sewer it went. It was sickening.

      As far as leverage goes, this article is weak and doesn’t help much, because there isn’t much leverage. Sarah is right that being firm, setting firm boundaries and limits, and sticking to it with consequences is the only hope. Just be prepared to be called controlling and being “all up in her shit”. I even had two counselors say I need to be like a father enforcing discipline at the same time she was saying quit trying to be my father. Seems like a no-win. My main regret was not going “nuclear” early on in telling our grown boys and close family to wake her up and get her out of the fog. Instead I protected her reputation and she took advantage.

      • TheFirstWife

        Unfortunately you have had the worst experience. Her cheating is based on any and all justifications to rationalize her behavior.

        At least you have an idea what you are dealing with. That can help gain perspective for you.

        Cheating spouses will tell themselves everything and anything to rationalize their choice to cheat. My CH actually told me I only married him to spite my parents (they did not like him at the time). Really?! So I treated you like a king for 30+ years and you think I never loved you? Of course now he is sorry he said it. He knows it was not true and expresses deep regret having said that.

        But during his affair he was convinced it was true. Because he wanted it to be true.

        I also protected him and his reputation until I was about to walk out the door. I told our friends and my family what was really going on. He told his family years later (not sure why) but never told the awful truth. It was like “oh yeah by the way I cheated but she forgave me and we are ok now”. Not so fast here – I filled in the sordid details so they know what really happened.

        Sometimes the threat of divorce wakes them up and sometimes there is nothing you can do.
        Mo wish you the best – it is a nightmare you can only wake up from over time. It doesn’t happen all at once.

        • SARAH P.

          Hello FirstWife,

          You are so right about cheaters making up ‘stories’ or explanations so that they can cheat and make it seemingly okay in their minds. Did you ever work it out with your husband?

          • TheFirstWife

            I did and if you saw us together you would never know. He is truly sorry and regrets it all.

            But the scars run deep. I don’t worry about him cheating anymore because I really don’t carecall that much. I live my life. I put myself first and I have changed. If I find out he has done it again he knows there is no conversation just divorce. Swift and clean. End of story.

            But the post traumatic stress lasted 2+ years b/c I had to adjust being with someone I never really knew. He’s the guy everyone would say No Way – not him. He’s an upstanding guy. Well I have come to learn many things during this journey.

            I learned how a mid life crisis is no joke. Because that is what caused this to some degree.

            So I have learned many things about myself. I was somewhat independent but now a bit more. I know during a crisis I will make good decisions and not go off the deep end. I know I am strong and will put my family first.

            However I also know I no longer accept lies from people and I will call you out (in a nice way).

            I take one day at a time. My H knows gone are the days when he can go to bars after work and hang out til all hours. Gone are the days you can say you’ll be home at 11pm and show up at 2am without calling. Or show up at2 am at all anymore.

            I hate feeling like the warden but I have said if you don’t like it, you are free to leave. No questions asked. You blew it and your former lifestyle is finished.

            He has to look at himself in the mirror – not me. He chose to cheat twice with the same OW and ask for a divorce twice. Not me.

            Thankfully I have an amazing therapist. Hardly see him anymore but in the next 3 years it will be empty nest syndrome. Interesting to see what happens.

            I started my own business plus I work at my regular job, volunteer and read and just enjoy life. He can either be along for the ride or not.

            It no longer devastates me anymore. I am in a happy point in my life and I think he realizes it won’t get better than this.

      • SARAH P.

        Hello Untold,

        Thank you for your feedback and I do agree with the idea that in some cases there is not a lot to do. This is especially true when someone has developed narcissistic tendencies. They are very hard to treat if they attend therapy. But, most don’t attend therapy because their mantra is “it’s always someone else’s fault!” They have neither insight nor inherent feelings of accountability or ownership when they have caused or problems or added to them.

        I hate to say this, but, the best case in these situations is to walk away as unscathed as possible, IF AT ALL possible.

        I am very sorry for your situation and all of the years that you spent wooing her and keeping up with date nights. I think you know it wasn’t your fault and there was probably little to do. I did not tackle a couple of caveats to this article since they will require another long-ish article. These caveats are women with personality disorders (and the type of personality disorder). The other caveat is women who seem to have been born users. Maybe in the future.

        Thanks for providing your comments.

        Sarah

        • Shawn

          Sarah, I would love to see an article dealing with women that have personality disorders. I am trying to decide if I should reconcile with my wife after she had 4 affairs during a period of mania 3 years ago. I just found out. She stopped the affairs, but after 2 months of therapy, she is still accepting no responsibility and I fear I’m wasting my time. I have 5 children with her (3 are mine, 2 step children) otherwise I’m sure I’d be gone. I am trying to save this marriage for them more for me or for her.

    • Alice

      I think this article misses the fact that some women (and men too of course) are programmed to need tons of attention from the opposite sex. No matter what the husband does, she needs the thrill and validation from other men. She wants a nice guy at home to pay the bills, etc while having the thrill of side relationships at the same time. Narcassism is a far more common thing than most realize.

      • TheFirstWife

        Agreed. Some people just never are satisfied.

        • SARAH P.

          Hello Alice,

          You too are spot on. I actually had written a couple of paragraphs about this but deleted them. There are women out there who want the ‘excitement’ provided by the “Alpha Male”. But, they know Alpha Males are not generally reliable. So, they settle for the hard-working “Beta Male”. These types of women are not reliable, but they are generally (like their male counterparts) charismatic and fun. So, they can very easily charm a nice guy and get what they want in terms of financial stability.

          Thanks for the comments!

    • cracker10

      Having an affair and leaving a partner is an immature act that usually indicates a personality disorder of some sort. The lead up to the affair and the history of the relationship will also usually indicate that there was some form of emotional abuse in the relationship. There is a point that the betrayed must come to terms that the relationship is not healthy and must not look back and try to salvage the relationship, they are just looking for further pain down the track. My advice is to hire a good attorney, look after your children if you have any and move on.

    • bor

      Sarah, In my case it was an outside activity of spirituality that turned from her seeking his counsel in many matters of energy work and his perspectives on our very autistic son. my wife has got caught up in a perspective that my son is a great teacher and is here to serve his purpose to teach about autism. I was not 100% supportive of her point of view but at times would sarcastically ridicule her view, and sometime just be bewildered by it. I never openly rejected it though as I am not super set in any ofmy views on spirituality and what is God and what is truth. But this was a wedge that she began to no longer share and shared with him exclusively to the point as john gottman says a “sliding door moment” that lead her to be attracted to compare him to me. I have recently come to the term spiritual bypass and it seems to fit a lot of what she now says she needs to feel and just cannot get that from me. After we had a pleasant easter and even Wednesday night she sent me an email for a coworker who was having a wedding an saying “more dance practice” She came to me Friday morning and said she wanted separation and was contacting the AP again. And she did. Now I am completely in limbo. I cannot abandon my kids. especially with an autistic one. Linda did give me good counsel to just give her space and back off for now. She says she doesn’t know the future but is not closing the door but is going to focus on her self and the kids. so far it has been pretty much herself. I don’t feel i have any leverage, She may go back to him or not. but because she has now broken the no contact rule i have no trust. Even in February I had no trust. Even though she had been true to her word I have never got the story of the Affair and she as much admitted that she would fantisize about him during sex with me. So much for shutting the door.

      • TheFirstWife

        Your CS is using spirituality as a justification to cheat.

        She is not Christian in her actions or choices.

        I suspect when you stand up to her and she realizes you will not tolerate her behavior she may have a “come to Jesus moment”.

        If not then perhaps you need to get a lawyer and protect yourself and your children. Her priorities are not you or the kids (sorry to say).

        Just remember she is doing all she can to put “her happiness” and affair first. My CH did the same thing. Broke his no contact promise. Went running back to the OW after a few months apart. The months apart from her were pure hell. I was losing him and we were on verge of divorce and he unleashed 30 years of anger and unhappiness in his life that I never knew existed.

        When I finally told him to get out he realized all he had done and I was no longer gong to tolerate his crap. Fast forward we got past it after 3 years and yes, we have a different marriage now.

        But the CS has to want the marriage to make it work. I hope your wife sees the light soon.

        But be prepared for the journey. I had a lawyer & therapist lined up for months. At the last second the gig lifted and he got his head out of the sand.

        And BTW the OW took her revenge out on me! When my H saw that he knew what a mistake he made. I never had contact with her or met her but her revenge was awful.

    • Shawn

      My wife cheated on me three years ago but I just found out a month ago when she got blackout drunk and mumbled her being “So sorry!” about something she couldn’t tell me about. I pressed while she was drunk and the details all came out. 4 affairs over a year (although dates remain a mystery) some 3 years ago.

      I am 38, a volunteer for children’s sports, I have a great job and have been moving up the ladder rather quickly, I am a father to 2 step children and 3 with my CW. I pride myself on how “good” of a man I am. Sure I have some faults, but I’m stable and dependable.

      My wife is diagnosed Bipolar but has not seen a therapist in 18 years before last month when I booked one for her.

      She falls mostly into “Need to Feel Wanted” category. She says she felt neglected. But at the same time, I do everything for our family. Steady job, moved up the ladder, pay all the bills, do most of the groceries, plan our date nights, plan our trips… but she cooks most suppers and does more laundry.

      If I bought my wife anything, in her mind it was because I had messed up somewhere. If I planned a date night, it was because I had stayed up late the night before watching a movie or playing a video game. If I planned a trip, she says I never considered her in any of the planning (I always ran everything by her months before we’d leave).

      And then there has always been my wife’s anger. She is angry constantly. She loves our kids to the end of the earth, and she rarely loses her temper with them (maybe once a month), but with me, I became the bad guy. I take the brunt of all anger. She has told me that I am the person responsible for her happiness, and because she’s not happy, it’s my fault.

      Therapy is helping her see things more clearly, and I am not to blame for her affairs, but it’s such a slow process. I believe she is mentally unable or unwilling to accept blame.

      I have given her 6 couples therapy sessions to show me improvement. She does not know this. If I see nothing, I will move on and seek a divorce.

    • Tabs

      Shawn,

      My brother was married to a bipolar woman. I watched her tear the family apart and drain my brother’s bank accounts. She actually accused my father of rape then blackmail him into giving her money. She had many, many affairs while married. Some days she seemed sorry, other days she flaunted it to me no less. During the divorce proceedings, she wanted another child because it made her feel special. I cringed while reading your post. I know exactly what you’re going through. Needless to say, I was soooo happy my brother cut ties with her. Unless your wife is willing to admit she needs meds and therapy, there’s no logic that in her reasoning. To this day, my brother’s ex blames everybody else but herself for the divorce.

      • Shawn

        Tabs, that’s just terrible. Accusing your father of rape is incredibly damaging!

        I am very lucky that I have been in charge of our finances so that my wife didn’t ruin us.

        Did you brother have any children with this woman? My love for my children has kept me beside my wife thus far.

        When I first found out about the affairs, I forced my wife to go to therapy, and she’s gone willingly. The meds part is trickier. Where I live, getting a therapist to talk about the issues is very fast. However, getting to a doc that can prescribe meds takes about 3 months. I need to ensure that my wife is still trying to book that appointment.

        • Tabs

          Shawn,

          My brother wasn’t as smart as you when it came to finances. His ex handles the family finances and she did the taxes. His divorce lawyer cost a fortune. The lawyer to get custody of the kids cost another fortune. He tried for 8 years to make the marriage work, but in the end, she wouldn’t change.

          My brother had two kids from the marriage. His daughter, who has problems similar to bi-polar, now acts like her mom. At 21, she’s had three abortions, and countless “boyfriends”. She’s also has driven a wedge between her dad and her grandfather who are now estranged. Its a mess. You may not want to wait for the sake of the kids

    • Shawn

      My biggest fear is that I won’t get full custody and I know that. What then? At least now I can protect them from her.

      • TheFirstWife

        Can you talk to a lawyer well versed in make custody battles? I am not sure why you don’t think you can win. But if you get good advice you can plan your case well enough and then when you leave or she leaves you have the wheels in motion.

        I don’t know what state you are in but every state is different. If you can prove incompetence or other issues that your wife has (such as not being on medication if she should be) you can petition for physical custody and/or supervised visitation with the mother if you think she is a flight risk w/ kids.

        Contact a lawyer now and find out your rights and what you need to do to get things on your end situated for the next step.

        Your kids will thank you. If you need to protect your children then you know you are doing the right thing even if they are your step children. God Bless you for stepping up.

        Maybe you can make her go away and leave the kids with you. I hate deception but maybe you can get her to sign something one night. It worked for my friend and held up in court.

    • William B

      I’ve read a lot of these comments and problems all over the web, but I haven’t found anything close to my problems and they are beginning to get to me. 18 years ago I knew something was amiss when she began the “going out with the gang from work” thing, but she refused to go out with me.(we had a 4 yr old son then, and we hadn’t spent a single night alone together since his birth) I babysat, she went out. Then comes the admission that she slept with someone.(I supposedly knew him, but she wouldn’t tell me who it was, supposedly over and done) Still wouldn’t go on a date with me.
      Well, big mess over 6 months which resulted in my moving out. ( I dealt with this other big pansy and it ended for certain. Those types aren’t very brave when they believe they’re dealing with a psychopath. He was 6’1″, I’m only 5’6″, but he never would meet me in a public place to talk….. Oh well.) anyways, six more months go by of us still keeping too close of contact for our son, she becomes pregnant and we have a girl. She still wants us to stay married, says she loves me, so I move back home. Everything is supposedly great , but by this point in the nightmare I have developed some unbelievably wicked ESP. ( I directed a friend through his cheating wife’s breakup. Told him what was coming next for six weeks). Something just wasn’t right, and I really wanted it to be. So, for the purpose of proving myself WRONG and silencing all the voices, I tapped my own phone again. It took ONE DAY, and I was in bed asleep in the next room, for me to discover that she was having an affair ( definately emotional, unsure if it was physical) with her immediate supervisor at work! This was someone that I thought was a family friend( we spent time with he and his wife and kids, he and I even went out drinking once!). His wife had caught on and was fixing to leave if he didn’t make the right decision and end it, but he was talking to my wife, wanting her to committ to the promise that if he left his wife, there might be a chance for the two of them ! All she would say is that she didn’t want to be the one responsible for breaking up his marriage. Nothing was ever said, by either one, about me. At all.
      Well, I go balistic and confront her the next day. She hits me with ” it’s over. He went back to her, you and I stay together, it’s over and done”. She refused to say anything else about. REFUSED to discuss it with me, refused to give me any details to help in my healing, never showed remorse and definately never tried to make amends. And still not been out alone together. I then discovered that his wife was going to take the kids and go home to mom and dads, IN CANADA, if he chose wrong. I
      told her that he didn’t pick his wife over you, he picked his kids over you. That’s a no-brainer. I would have done the same. But I’m supposed to believe that all those feelings vanished? I said the only reason you’re with me is because I’m the last kid on the playground. And you can’t stand to be alone. That set off about two years of anger toward me while I buried my head in work, no sex, no intimacy, always being told ” I love you”, but never shown…. And still no date nite.
      I must tell everyone reading, 19 years is waaayyy too long for anyone to carry this shit around with no resolve. Everyone around me thinks I’ve got things together and handled, even working hard on fixing my marriage. (Not easy when she still doesn’t contribute)
      Truth is, I’m a hand grenade with the pin pulled nearly out.
      I still have not gotten my one night out alone with her, and my son is 22. Nothing has ever really changed. I push for date nite and the refusals and excuses are louder. But now my ESP is coming back. I put it aside years ago for my kids and my sanity, but now it’s coming back because my current job allows for too much thinking time. ( truck driver) if I attempt any type of discussion of how I feel, I’m accused of trying to pick a fight. I’ll never get answers. I can’t heal because she won’t help in any way. It’s gotten so bad that if I manage to talk her into sex, I just take care of her and give her a good orgasm because nothing is working on my own and she won’t make any attempt to help me in any way. ( what sucks is that when she leaves the room, things work fine. Until she comes back….) and the cruelest part of all of this mess, is that after all these years, all the bullcrap, and everything else, she is the absolute only female that I desire. I don’t look around, don’t flirt and cut up with women anymore, I just have a severe case of tunnel vision and the damn tunnel is caving in.
      Any opinions or thoughts are welcome. You can laugh too, if you want to. That’s all I can do nowadays, because everyone looks at you funny when you cry.

      • Strengthrequired

        William b, I’m so sorry for what your cw is doing to you, your marriage and family. 19 years is a long time, to go through this sort of behaviour. I know it’s easier for people to say just leave, find someone that deserves you, because honestly after 19 years, your wife definitely doesn’t deserve you, yet the truth is, I can completely understand it, You say, your wife is the only one, you care to look at. Or to be with, because I feel the same way towards my ch, we have been married for close to 25 years, and I just can’t imagine myself with anybody else but him. I wish he felt the same way about me, I used to believe he did, until he decided to become a cheater, now what I feel is that I am easily replaceable.
        Look after yourself.

      • TheFirstWife

        This is a living hell for you. If your kids are not children any longer you can feel free to start living a life instead of a living hell.

        I strongly suggest counseling for you. You alone. She has telegraphed her wishes about your marriage. Big red flag all these years.

        I suggest you stop trying with her. She is clearly not interested for whatever reason.

        In my experience with my H who has cheated in the past I learned to stop trying to “make him see the mistake” or “trying to make him get it” when it came to our marriage. His OW was wonderful and perfect and he was going to end a 25 year marriage for her.

        As soon as I told him to leave, he very quickly snapped out of it. The fog of the affair, his soul mate and all that crap. Done and over.

        Maybe you should stop trying and get some therapy to deal with these issues. It can help diffuse the anger and get you to a better place. You deserve to be happy and loved and in a satisfying relationship.

        After 25 years of marriage I am finally in a better place. Things that would upset me two months ago now just roll off my back. Why? Therapy. Starting when the affsir came to light 3 years ago.

        Example: my H came home 2 weeks ago and was not honest about something (not cheating but drinking). I questioned it and stated that it appears the facts present a different story. Swore up and down only a few beers. Well he stunk of alcohol and o could smell it from across the room. Week later he had one beer after dinner and did not smell of alcohol at all. Questioned again on what did you drink the prior week. Same answer and a few beers (1-2only). I cannot tolerate drinking and driving drunk. I know when you have more than 1 or 2.

        So I was devastated when he continued to lie. But I thought about it and realized he is incapable of telling the truth at times. He wil lie to save his own neck. Pathetic.

        I could fight him to the bitter end. I know I am right. He stunk so bad of alcohol a few weeks back and drove 35 miles home. Legally he was over the limit. But if he wants to deny it and bury his head in the sand and lie, go right ahead. He is not an alcoholic at all but makes mistakes at times. This is one of those times he is wrong but won’t admit it.

        And one day I won’t be able to tolerate it and I will leave him. Could be tomorrow. Who knows. But it is his doing and I will put it out there and let you know I believe you are not being honest or truthful. If you have no respect for me that is ok. But you are only fooling yourself.

        In any event I never thought I would be at this place. I think it is no longer important Eolliam B what your wife says and does.

        One thing my therapist told me was you cannot change people. However you can change how you react to people and their issues.

        That is what I am suggesting to you. Therapy can help you deal with this and come out a better stronger person. And who knows your wife may take notice and it could turn around. Or you may decide you are gone with her someday.

        All the best to you and your kids are grateful you hung in there.

        • William B

          Thanks for the advice. This year will make 30 yrs married and 34 together. I suggested counciling way back, but she will have nothing to do with it. Since 1997 I have become extremely self-aware, reading and studying everything I can get my hands on from relationships to sex to human behavior. She won’t even watch a Mars/Venus video. She constantly reads romance novels, one after another, and nothing else.
          She does have one endearing trait, and I have no earthly idea how she does it. She can somehow sense when I’m at the end of my rope. I can give no indication whatsoever of my thoughts, but she can sense that I’m headed out the door, so she gives me just enough hope to keep me from walking. It’s usually not much, but it’s just enough to keep the spark of hope alive. My son graduates college this spring and my daughter graduates h.s. and goes off to college this spring, so I think the time may be approaching.
          As far as the anger issues, there are none. You see, when the only thing that you have left in this world is a surplus amount of pain and misery, you learn to embrace it, even welcome it at times. Then you begin to use it. You feed off of it like a flame does gasoline. It eventually drives you and you become addicted to it. I’ve been here a long time and I’ve made peace with all the demons, voices and everything else that make people crazy. They’re pretty much the only friends I have left. Oh, did I mention that back when I moved out that she allowed everyone, including her family and closest friends, to believe that I had moved out because I was seeing someone else? She told NOBODY WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON. And after all this time there are still those who don’t associate with me because of it. It gets lonely sometimes when you’re the last kid on the playground. But I’m starting to recall that I ACTUALLY ENJOY BEING ALONE MOST OF THE TIME. She’s the one who doesn’t . Thanks for the help.

          • TheFirstWife

            I would hate to think you are settling for a life that is ok when it is possible to have auce that is great!!!

            I think people will believe what they want and good for you for not caring as much about that. But I think you can have friends separate and apart from your marriage that will value you as a person. Not cheating or anything like that but mutual interests. Nothing wrong with that.

            Your wife – why do you think she is hanging on when she appears to be unhappy?

            • Strengthrequired

              William b, I wonder that too, why do you think she hangs on to you, even though she clearly wants to feel free and single?
              I know only too well of that hope being tossed your way, especially when your ready to call it quits. My ch would do that during his affair, he would give me just enough to keep on trying. Yet I think after 19 yrs of it, and not ever getting that time out alone together, which every couple needs, yet her needs triumphs over yours all the time, I’m not so sure I could have stayed as long as what you have. Yet for our kids we will do anything, to keep them happy.
              Yet your kids are older now, it’s your time to take care of you.
              I do feel terribly sad for you, I feel the sadness in your words, that want of just wanting your wife to wake up to herself, and for her to start showing you what you mean to her other than someone she can walk over.
              I can only imagine the things my ch said to friends and his family, about me, when he was running around with his ow, I know somethings, that were spoken that made himself feel in the right to do what he was doing to me and our family, made himself feel justified, by putting me down and me being the bad person. We don’t see anyone now, he does of course, but we don’t as a family.
              Can I ask you, don’t you feel as though you are worthy of love, and being loved by someone? your cw certainly believes she is entitled, and the only one that is in your marriage that is entitled. Maybe she holds onto you, because she is afraid of giving up her life, but still wants that single feeling.
              I think she also feels that you won’t leave her. So it is ok in her mind, she gets to have the best if both worlds, at your expense.
              Btw, my ch wouldn’t go to counselling either.

            • Strengthrequired

              William, don’t you believe you deserve better? Don’t you think it is time to put yourself first? By the sounds of it, you are the last person your cw is thinking of.
              One day, you will no longer put up with it, and you will call it quits. There will be no more excuses, no more being last on her list, you yourself will be done. All the attempts of her throwing bones of hope your way, for you to chew on for a while, will no longer mean anything, but her attempts of keeping you down. One day you will see yourself as someone deserving of love and mutual respect, and you will say enough is enough, I’m done.
              When that day comes, you will know, in your mind, heart body and soul, that everything she says and does in an attempt to hold onto you, will not work. You are done, trying to save a marriage that is one sided. You will know, that you are deserving of love and respect, and you won’t accept anything less.
              Think of yourself, and know what it is you want, for your life. Think of what you want for the rest of your life. You need to decide what it is you want, and deserve.

            • TheFirstWife

              Well said. Most cheating spouses won’t go to counseling.

              I would have thrown in the towel on this relationship. If she reads continuous romance novels but is not willing to put any of it to good use then what does that tell you?

            • Strengthrequired

              The, she is reading the romance novels continuously, not giving it good use for her husband but for others she feels more worthy. That’s why William is here.

      • Wivescheatlso

        Your story is very familiar to me and I fully understand your struggle. There is no way to heal from a trauma that has never been openly revealed the extent of. And the psychological damage from living in that space effects every aspect of your being. The sexual dysfunction due to the fact that your brain has decided this relationship is not safe and will not allow you to function. That in turn makes your manhood feel threatened and feel as if it’s cause for her to look elsewhere. I’m very sorry for you and I both but we felt that 20 years of marriage should mean more than tossing out so quickly when things go badly. My case I had stayed at first for 3 kids but after continued damage from the unresolved trauma I truly don’t want a part of any relationship including the marriage I’m still in. Wife will only come initiate sex when she’s drunk and then in that state once I disappoint her she’s quite verbal about how she has needs and I’m supposed to be fulfilling them cause there’s plenty that would love a chance. I’ve actually considered strangling her if she wasn’t my kids mother.

    • William B

      You’re right about her wanting it both ways. She’s always been that way and I was her fallback plan.
      And I have barely scratched the surface. I could write a book that would rival War and Peace. One of the more hurtful things that I used to see regularly, was when I was out on the road driving, sometimes she would ask me when I was going to be home. I would try to be home asap, and I would say Friday evening a lot. Well any driver will tell you that nothing goes as planned, so I usually made it in about 11:00 or 12:00 if I was lucky. Then I would get ” Well, I wanted us to go out together tonite, but you didn’t make it home in time. I had a sitter for the kids and everything”. And if that didn’t make me feel bad enough, I’d say that we can go tomorrow night, which got me “Oh no, tomorrow nite won’t work. ( insert your own lame excuse here. Any one will do)” Funny thing about it though, I don’t recall ever seeing her dressed to go when I came home. Strange ……
      But I guess I chose to stay and not rock the boat for my kids. We do have two wonderful kids. Well mannered, polite and smart, and we’ve been receiving compliments from friends, family, teachers and total strangers for many years regarding their manners. I’ve always been very proud of them.
      But lately things have changed. Basically, I have changed. All my life I was the patient and understanding one in the crowd, the one that could see both sides of a situation and argue for each if needed. I used to laugh a lot. I used to be able to smile, because I had something to smile about.
      Nowadays, I have no patience or tolerance for senseless things in life , like drama, bullshit, and lies. If I ask someone a question, I expect an honest answer without any games, no drama or bullshit. I don’t take hints very well, and if you ask my opinion about something you’d better be wearing your thick skin. I no longer pull punches. I’ve lost a small fortune due to this bullshit. I’ve helped build two businesses during this timespan, and watched two businesses of my own fail because I was trying to save my marriage instead of taking care of my business. And all of these things have brought me to this point in time. And if you’re wondering about what the trigger was? I’m not really sure, but recently when I was trying to talk to her about some stuff, like going out with me, I was told to STOP BEING SO SELFISH ABOUT US GOING OUT. And during the same conversation, I told her that my emotional state was bordering on a complete and total breakdown, and at times I just wanted to sit down and bawl like a baby…. Her response? ” well, I can’t help you. You just need to MAN UP!” So I guess there are a couple of things that could have triggered it. But I’m afraid it may get ugly this time. Last time I did inventory, I found a grand total of ZERO PATIENCE, ZERO TOLERANCE , with ALL FILTERS AND SAFETY STOPS REMOVED. All systems are on full automatic
      Maybe the person that advised against pushing a person that cares too far was onto something . We shall see. Thank you for your help. Many times it can be helpful to just bounce your thoughts off of someone new,

      • TheFirstWife

        William. I would like to give you some advice. My H and I recently had an issue where I questioned if he was telling me the truth. I believe he wasn’t truthful about something (not cheating). I was very upset and hurt.

        Then I remembered a few things my thetapist told me:

        You cannot control how people are or what they do, but you can control your reaction to them or their behavior.

        You have seen a pattern of behavior which you tried to understand and rationalize. But now you have run out of the ability to continue on that path. If you change your expectations then you can better cope. If she gives you no love or emotional support then don’t look to her for any.

        Uou need yo get yourself to a better place emotionally and feel supported and valued. If it doesn’t come from Her then try to find support from someone or something else. It is a long process to get there but once you go, you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted.

        I understand your zero tolerance for liars and lying. I am at the same place with my H. Yet he continues to not be able yo tell the truth 100% of the time. If his OW did not send me the emails between them I would have believed she chased him and started the whole affair when in fact he asked her out and pursued her. Part of the reason this happened was mid life crisis (his) and he was mad at me b/c I called him on something and he didn’t like it and I believe part of the affair was revenge against me.

        So now I am at the point, like you, that I hate being lied to. Zero tolerance for it.

        I suggest you assume most of her behavior is self centered. And run your life accordingly. Start your own life. Apart from her. You need to enjoy yourself.

    • William B

      Thanks firstwife. I understand what you’re trying to say to me. I also appreciate the concern for my peace of mind. You also reminded me of plan I wanted to try a few weeks back. Something came up that didn’t allow me to try it then, but the plan was when I made it home close to the weekend (which will work out for next weekend), my plan was to casually say ” it’s been a really bad week. What do you think about throwing a change of clothes in a bag and going somewhere to relax and unwind?” And then I wait about 5 seconds for the excuses or reasons she can’t go. When she tells them, I don’t make a fuss, I just say ” Oh well, it was just a thought” and continue on. Now later that evening, when I walk out of the bedroom with an overnite bag and she says ” where are you going?”, my response will be ” I told you that I’ve had a bad week. I’m going to find a hotel, either with a bar or within stumbling distance of one, and I’m going to have a drink or twelve. Probably gonna get drunk. If I’m lucky, I might even laid. But definately gonna get drunk and try to figure out why my wife doesn’t want to be seen in public with me. See ya later.” Smile and walk out. I will let you know how it turns out.

      • TheFirstWife

        It will work out if you actually leave and go and do something you enjoy. She had an opportunity to join you but she chose not to.

        so if you go and leave her behind and you don’t spend the weekend focusing on her and why she ruined it got you, then you know you can move forward and have started moving forward. And that is a success! Step 1. Might be the hardest one to make.

        I think some of the things I have read on this blog have been frustration and despair because situations don’t change. The spouse still cheats. The spouse still lies. The spouse still drinks. Whatever it is you feel hopeless and stuck.

        Until you change your attitude and expectations. You can live with some of the crap and can tolerate things but when you cannot accept it or tolerate it, you need to change your expectations, reaction to behavior or just move out and separate or divorce.

        But staying stuck doesn’t help you. It only depresses you. And brings you down.

        I know this is hard. Too many times I have had to climb out of the hole. But I get in the hole when my expectations got honesty and sincerity and trust are not met. I do it to myself.

        After April 1 (funny it is April Fools Day) that the last suspicious incident arose between us (again not cheating) that I decided it will be the last time I feel frustrated and angry and let down. I cannot let his character flaws ruin me.

        He chooses to lie and if it gets to a point of a serious lie then drastic measures will be taken. Until then I just have to move past it and not take it personally. It is his behavior. I can only control how I react to his behavior.

        Every day I would wake up and think today is a new day for us. Don’t dwell in the past. Be positive.

        April 1st is/was a new day of reckoning for me. Wake up and be positive about me. Don’t dwell in the past for me.

        When I get tired of carrying the load I will have to leave it behind. End of story.

      • TheFirstWife

        Woo hoo! You rock!

        We are on the same path.

        We should try and get a daily chain or post going to answer this question – what is one thing you did for yourself today?

        Today I’m going out with friends and I baked 15 dozen cookies for a church event. ?

        And reading a good book too.

    • TheFirstWife

      Oh and one thing I forgot to include. I went to my therapist again last week and updated him.

      He basically said this is not new behavior just a new incident and I should not be surprised when it happens.

      I made a comment and said he must go home and tell his wife I was in again with issues on my marriage and how it’s been 3 years blah blah blah.

      He said quite the contrary that every so often he will mention to his wife that he “loves me” (he is kidding he has a wicked sense of humor) because I am so easy going and tolerant and basically just too kind.

      So when I start to get upset at myself for being a doormat (in my mind I have been a doormat throughout our marriage) it is nice to get reminded that I was a kind and loving wife and it is too bad the person I love the most took advantage of all that.

      It is not all my fault – and I admit mistakes were made during our marriage but I never did anything to lead someone to cheat multiple times blah blah blah.

      Sometimes a little validation is all you need. ?

    • William B

      You are so right ! And good for you for taking the step back up, as I call it. I usually end up hitting rock bottom in the past over these things and I started referring to it as ” climbing out of the hole”. If I mention that to anyone they usually don’t know what I saying. You are also right about validation. It’s a big help. I’ve been a doormat too ( you know what they say ‘men are like doormats. Lay them right the first time and you can walk on them for life’ ) but the few times that I’ve felt good about things have been when I plant my feet and stand up for myself. I usually end up being ignored for a year or two , but I’m used to that.

    • William B

      And I also want to say thank you to everyone for the feedback and support. It’s really easy at times to get beaten down and believe you’re all alone at the bottom of a hole. But then you look around and you see other people dealing with problems, some exactly like your own, and then you begin to recall your strengths. To paraphrase a Rocky movie line ” life isn’t about how hard you hit, or how hard you get hit, or how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up” or something like that…. I have a habit of forgetting my own basic phylosophy and advice. Basic rules that I try to stick by in life. One came from an extremely low point in my life, when things were really BAD, and it seemed like taking the easy way out was the way to go. At my lowest point, the same little voice that gets me into trouble a lot says to me ” You know, you can do this, but if you do, all those people throughout your entire life that said you were a failure, the ones that said you would never make it, that you were worthless, and the ones that talked about you behind your back, well, they were right. If you quit now, they won. IT MEANS YOU LET THE BASTARDS WIN. So never, ever give up. Never quit. If for no other reason in the world than to BE A PAIN IN SOMEONE ELSES ASS, DONT EVER GIVE UP. DONT LET THE BASTARDS WIN”
      I had a cousin and an old friend once that I really wish I could have said this to. They got down and made bad decisions that only hurt people that cared for them. ( different situations, not related) But each one thought they were hurting someone that wronged them, but it didn’t. I believe it made life easier for the ones that did them wrong. So for anyone that reads this, don’t ever think that taking your own life will hurt someone that has hurt you. All you are doing is removing an obstical out of their way. You need to BE THAT OBSTICLE. And smile when you step up in front of them. Never let the bastards win. ( There, that is my contribution to the injured out there)
      And thank you all again. D-day April 24, 2016. Starting my climb back up ( and this time I’m wearing my shit-kicking boots). I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

    • Scott

      And here’s where I stopped reading, “But, once a man has reached his goal, he might stop doing the things that made a woman want him in the first place. He may keep up the courtship even until the first child is born. But, at some point he usually stops. This is extremely hurtful for a woman and it is a kind of pain that she cannot happily live with.”

      Please, by all means, blame the man.

      • TheFirstWife

        I don’t know where you saw that posted.

        It can be the same behavior from a woman.

        That is why I am careful to post cheating spouse. In my mind most cheating spouses follow the same rule book.

        One poster recently mentioned CH will lie and not come vlean about affair details. I pointed out that it is most cheaters who act that way whether it is man or woman.

        Unfortunately the male posters here are in the minority so you see “male bashing” when it should be plain old “cheater bashing”.

    • wes

      Revenge- Maybe the man never cheated at all, and she just cheated just to hurt him,

    • RodU

      Hi I live in the UK and have a twist to this story and to be honest the last few months have been the worst in my entire life, lets take a trip through history. My wife and I got together in Dec 2001, married in 2004, had two wonderful kids in 2008 & 2010. We moved within the UK and she took a part time job so that she could spend more time with the kids. As I am the main earner I was fine with this.

      Work over the last few years has been tough for me but we have pulled through together, the romance was fed with date nights, flowers, touching, little love notes, good sex, remembering Anniversaries etc etc

      All seemed fine until last December and just before Xmas she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer but it was found it early and had not spread, we were so lucky. As you can imagine Xmas was different because we knew there was a life changing operation in January.

      The Operation went well and then she had two weeks bed rest and then 6 weeks radio therapy that ended in mid mar 2017. I took time off work, to be fair my bosses were great and I looked after my wife and the kids. The rest of her family and even she said I was truly amazing and she loved me so much.

      We talked about what we would do after the treatment had finished, holidays abroad, weekends away etc, work turned good and I was on top of the world in early March, with a great marriage, a loving wife, two great kids a good job etc…

      Then came suspicion, my wife went out with a friend to see a movie on 24th March 2017 and I noticed on her Facebook comments one of the owners of the Business she works for was hoping to meet up and called her babe with a x. I thought this was strange because he was a married man but then she came home, we had cuddles etc and I thought all was good.

      Roll forward to 6th April 2017, she had been around to the same girl friends to watch some TV and have a meal and got home at 11 pm, shortly afterwards she got a couple of messages ping through and I thought it might be important so I opened her phone and drew down the status bar. Whoa two messages from her boss on Whatsapp and the summary line saying ‘wish we had more time’ !!!! I told her she had received the messages in the morning when she took the dog for a walk and off went the phone, with no comments etc

      two days later on the 8th my wife went out for a girls night and I noticed she was taking a long time to respond to any text messages but was on Whatsapp constantly, my suspicions were running high and I started thinking the worst. She eventually came home at 1:55 am and woke me up, i checked my phone and could see she had been on Whatsapp two minutes earlier.

      I could not sleep and in the end I opened and looked at the Whatsapp messages, there was nothing since Friday, something was not right. So on the Sunday morning I called her out whilst the kids were playing and asked her why she was on Whatsapp and who she was speaking to, she fell silent so I helped, I asked if it was her boss from work and she said yes, I then asked the question every man dreads, are you having an affair with OM, the response was swift and brutal ‘Yes’, boom my world just started to disintegrate

      Where as they had not had sex yet, because of a lack of opportunity they had been conducting an emotional affair since December 16, when she told him about the cancer. The 10th April we sort of celebrated our wedding anniversary and on the 11th she pulled the trigger on our relationship and said she wanted to be with him rather than me but that her head was all over the place because of the cancer experience. She went to him that night and stayed, another spear into my heart !!!!

      I fought for the next three weeks to save our marriage, though I didn’t beg and the reason she gave me was that the cancer experience had triggered a chain of events, she said I had done nothing wrong, I was the perfect husband and fantastic dad but she wanted to have fun, excitement, go places, have nights out without the kids and enjoy life !!!! It destroyed me or so I thought.

      Roll forward 3 weeks and her relationship is blossoming, she has not stayed in the marital home and has moved in with him. I’m breaking apart but need to be on an even keel for the children even though i feel smashed inside. She then tells the children and I’m there too, so much destruction and pain, this was truly the worst day in my life

      So where am I now, 3 months on. Well i’m in a slightly better place, I have good days and awful ones, I don’t feel like I can ever trust again and that I’m damaged goods beyond repair. But I have and will always been the kids constant and that has helped me too. I’m still friends with her, to be fair I have to be because of the children, she is getting on with her life, getting away with the OM etc as I have the kids 3/4 nights per week, where as I’m frankly a mess inside

      I’ve gone past the stage of thinking what have I done to cause this, but how long will the pain carry on for? I am seeing a counsellor but I just don’t seem to be moving forward, will it ever get better or am I doomed ? I have never been betrayed in this way before and have never felt so much pain, grief and sadness, even seeing couples out together brings happy memories back.

      Sorry for the length of the story and any help will be gratefully received

      • Jix

        Dude. Based on the information I can tell you with confidence that you played your part well and that your work is done. You did what you could to be there for her in more ways that one can possibly imagine. There is only so much us men can do to keep them happy. Youve done a good job in keeping your cool and I have to acknowledge you for that. I can understand that without her by your side it’s like learning to walk again and I can only imagine the turmoil that rages within you day after day. What makes it even worse is; some days you are okay and you think that you are happy and some nights you are in pure hell…. drowned in thaughts of what you have done wrong and what you could have done different to prevent the outcome. I am not worthy of telling you how it will all get better soon or how you should man up and go on with your life because rebound relationships are not the answer and many times it only makes matters worse. But I can advise you to do is keep up the good work of caring for your kids with all of your strength. Be kind to her in any way you can and do not harbour bitterness and resentment. Men like us are care takers and providers. Taking care and providing for our families are hard wired in our genetic code and can never be stripped from us. Do what you do and what only you can do best; be the loving father that you were born to be, no matter what. Avoid the pitfall of self pitty because it can lead to depression and that is dangerous. Cry when you need to… Its okay and healthy as well, But never loose yourself in the process. Once again, I have to commend you for doing the doing what you have done this far through out all the turmoil. All respect to you sir, I salute you for staying thrue to yourself and your kids. “God bless the child that can hold his own.”

      • TheFirstWife

        How are you going months later? Any change from your wife?

    • Sean

      Im not sure if anyone is following anymore but here goes. Last year just prior to Christmass i recieved a message via facebook from a guy i never met. He said “i saw some of your comments on posts. You seem like a good guy so im sorry for what i did to you. I know i dont deserve it but i hope you can forgive me” i responded asking what this was about and he proceeded to tell me that he had had an affair with my wife when he worked with her 3 years ago. My wife immediately denied it, called him a druggy loser who she used to work with. Said he likes to start crap with people.
      The next morning i woke to find he had sent me copies of some texts between them. They were extremely pornographic. Detailed sexual acts talked about. I sent them to my wife, she was at work. She responded saying only that she wouldnt deny it and would move out when she got home. I was devistated. My world crumbled. He continued to send me things, a picture of her she had sent him taken in our bathroom. Telling me they used to have sex before and after work in her old car and the new one i bought at the time.
      She denied the sex. Saying it was only texting and nothing more.
      We started seeing a councilor to deal with, which turned out to be a waste of time. The councilor acted like it was all my fault. Yes she chested and that was bad but your doing more damage by being hurt by it and not trusting her.
      For the next 9 months while i was dealing with the trama of it and learning that he was only 19 at the time, she was 40, she kept telling me it was just texting and that it just exciting to have a kid find her attractive. Then monday morning this past october she admitted to having sex with him. She said the first time was after they got out of work, in her car behind the staples building. The next time she went to his appartment after dropping our kids off at school. Then the last time was after work behind staples again, in the brand new car i just bought her. How could she do that? How could i be so far from her mind and heart that do that?
      My devistation has started all over again. 9 months of lying to my face. Looking me right in the eyes and lying. She says shes sorry and regrets she ever did it. She says shes not lying any more. But how can i trust that? She says hes the only one she ever cheated on me with. She loves me wants to be with me that she’ll do anything to fix it. Shes now seeing a councilor to try and fix whats wrong with her. She accepts it was her. All her justifications were all in her head. She takes full responsibilty for it.
      I love her i want to be with her. Im affraid her emotional damage, which is massive and too much to go into here, will cause her to do it again, im affraid he wasnt the only one. Thats hes just the only one that ever came forward. And why did he?
      I dont know how to deal with this. This is my only real relationship ive ever been in. We had been married for 16 years at the time she cheated. We had just taken our kids to disney. We were planing a motorcycle ride to niagra falls. Everything seems so perfect. She seemed happy and loving. I dont understand how she could do this. I dont understand. Given the things shes said i put her in catagories 1 and 2 of your article. Im sorry this isnt very well written and theres many details left out

      • TheFirstWife

        Sean. I am so sorry for you. I understand your pain and hurt. It is just raw and ugly right now. You love her. You hate her. You tolerate her. You want to slap her. You want her to make it all go away.

        I suggest you find a therapist who can help you navigate this stage. It may make a difference for you in that having a neutral third party can be helpful. For you and your M. Mine kept my sanity for three long years. The A was 12 Months but the roller coaster ride was 3 years.

        Read up in the 180 – google it regarding an A. You no longer need to be her H in the traditional sense. Don’t do her errands. Don’t help cook dinner if you don’t want to. Get your own meals and exclude her if necessary. I made sure my H knew it was a privilege to sit at the dinner table with me & kids.

        Set new boundaries in the M. If you want transparency then request full acces to ohonevad devices and passwords to all accounts.

        Demand no contact with this idiot she screwed around with. Block him on all devices and social media.

        Don’t make any decisions for 6 months until things level off a bit. You are too emotionally charged to make good decisions right now.

        • sean

          Thank you for the response.
          My wife has broken all contact and hasn’t seen or spoken to him in 3 years. She’s deleted her FB account and given me full access to her phone, email accounts or what ever else i want.

          We’re both seeing a pastor in town, he used to council abuse victims and has a lot of experience dealing with affairs. He’s helped me for 10 months to deal with this. And my wife is now seeing him once a week so he can help her resolve her issues.
          So far its been a tremendous help.

    • TheFirstWife

      Also DO NOT allow her to blame you for the affair. It was nothing you did or did not do that would make it OK for her to cheat.

      If she starts to try to blame you by saying things like “you weren’t there for me“ or “you didn’t support me“ or “you didn’t give me any attention“ please be prepared with a response that goes something along the lines of this: I’m sorry that you are using this as an excuse to cheat. I’m sure there are times that I felt you didn’t show me attention or affection, however, I would never use that as an excuse to cheat and destroy our marriage.

      The cheating spouse usually follows a typical behavioral pattern. They lie about facts and details. Many will not admit to anything you cannot prove in black-and-white. They will initially deny it was even an affair, then they will admit it was an affair but they only kissed, and then they will admit they did a little bit more than kissing but they didn’t have sex, then they will admit they had sex but it was only once and it wasn’t that good, until you find out the affair is been going on for months and months and everything they’ve told you is just a lie.

      Please know that the cheater makes a choice to cheat. They have to take full responsibility for that choice. If not then they are not truly remorseful and there is always the chance they will justify the affair and potentially cheat again.

    • RodU

      Hi Firstwife and Sean. Sorry to hear your situation Sean. I think Firstwife is giving some great advice

      At this time it’s so raw and you will keep thinking what did I do wrong that caused the affair. When this happens take a breath and think to yourself there may have been issues in the relationship that you may be part responsible for but you are responsible for zero % of the affair. People say it gets easier and I suppose in some ways it does, in other ways you will feel waves of sadness. If you want to get back together then get the counselling both as an individual and as a couple. It will help

      A brief update on my journey, well things have passed since I last posted, my wife has moved on and is head over heels in love with her new man. We spoke the other week and part of me is truly glad she has found happiness, albeit it’s not with me.

      We have agreed to be friends and our kids will always come first but there is no turning back in our case so we are filing for a divorce. No arguments just done calmly, with compassion, respect and dignity.

      Me personally I’m still devastated that all my dreams with her are shattered and I am still getting stronger. My kids have asked that I don’t get a girlfriend or get remarried as they are still coming to terms with it all and believe mummy and daddy should be together.

      For me I don’t think there will be another relationship with anyone else, not because I will not be ready for one but as a choice. In that I choose not to open myself up to the level of pain and destruction a truly loving and trusting relationship can bring. So for me being single with my friends, kids and God is fine. I don’t want another woman to fall in love with me because I may not be able to trust again and that’s not fair for any new woman, better imho to concentrate on the things I can control.

      Sorry for the ramble

      • Shifting Impressions

        RodU
        I am so sorry to hear that things turned out the way they have. You have been through so much….give yourself time to grieve. Hopefully as time passes your pain will ease somewhat.

        Take care of you and your kids and I hope in time you will be able to put your life back together. Oh and you never have to apologize for the ramble…..we are here for you.

      • sean

        Thank you for responding.

        I’m sorry things turned out as they did with you. That can’t be easy but i agree with Shifting Impressions statement. Dont close yourself off you’ll heal.

        As for me and mine, we’re seeing a councilor thats been helping us deal with not only the affair but with ourselves as individuals. We’re both damaged from past hurts. We both made tragic mistakes in our marriage, her’s being the ultimate.
        I’m taking things day to day, moment to moment. My wife is being compassionate and supportive. She knows she’s made a terrible error in judgement. She knows she has to earn back my trust and my love. I’m encouraged by her willingness to do whatever it takes.

        In my original post I stated that i feared there had been others. I asked her if she’d submit to a polygragh test and without hesitation she said yes. Previously when she was lying to me she would get angry and take offense to that question. So I feel confident that he’s the only one.

        One of the hardest things right now is she responds with “I dont know” or “I dont remember” to many of my questions. TO some degree i can understand, the affair was 3 years ago. She put it behind her once it ended, never thinking about and pretending it never happened. Thats how she dealt with it thats how she copes with things shes done. She’s told me she doesn’t want to remember because she’s so ashamed of what she did and how she acted. The councilor is helping her deal with it and herself. And she’s trying to figure out the hows and whys.

        • TheFirstWife

          Glad to hear things are improving Sean.

        • KeptinDark

          Yep, been hearing “I don’t remember” 3 days after D-Day, she won’t face it, but she remembers every bit.
          My advice, make an appointment for a polygraph and watch her try to dance out of it before you are so sure he was the only one since she agreed to it. It’s the only way to know for sure.

    • Jeremy

      Me and my wife have been together 7yrs things recently got really bad in her eyes 2yrs ago I got sick and could no longer work she had to go out and get a job not to mention her family causing problems in our marriage and her talking to everyone about her problems well she come to me and said she was no longer in love with me she claims to have fell out of love with me in 8 months who does that. I took my step daughter to my mom’s for a week I went and stayed also to try and give wife time to figure things out my wife and step daughter are my everything I’m the only father she has ever known and I love my wife I would have atayed with her forever anyway come back from my mom’s tried to talk to her about the elephant in the room you couldn’t she would say their you are trying to control me again or your blaming everything on me which couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sometimes she would just get up and leave not come back until the next day she says she felt unloved I wouldn’t help around the house she is tired of struggling everything to make it my fault she finally said she is done we both have gotten attorneys and are awaiting divorce papers to be served.Not what I wanted but you can’t make someone love you she is unwilling to listen to reason and it’s killing me all I can think about is what I’m loosing never get to see the child IV helped raise since she was 2 she is 9 going on 10 that breaks my heart wife is unwilling to make marriage work for me I’m like I don’t want anyone else but who would want a 38yr old man that no longer can work with no money in the last few days while being stuck at home with no way to go waiting on family to come help me move IV found out a few things apparently she has been fooling around with a guy old enough to be her dad that she claimed was like a dad to her this guy smokes meth and just recently got divorced because he was cheating on his wife with some woman but this is who my wife chooses to have a affair with don’t get me wrong I acknowledge my faults in the marriage but never would I have been a cheater I’m at my end I’m so tired of the pain I feel I wanted my marriage to work but at this point I can’t stop her from going through with divorce any advice

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